Avoid The Trap of The Service Based Business Owner

Often, the very thing that gets you out of a painful spot will be the very thing holding you back from achieving the next level- and causing the next major pain point. 

The idea of running your own business, controlling your time and living life on your own terms is most likely appealing to you. 

Small businesses are started in a wide variety of different ways. There is no cookie cutter template-no matter what anyone tells you or sells you. That’s what’s so fascinating, exciting and frustrating about the world of business. 

Yet, quite often, a similar scenario emerges. 

Let me give the example of Joanna, a person I’ve known for at least five years. Joanna was not alone-she was in a job she didn’t enjoy, had a dream to go out on her own and do her own thing, and craved time, freedom and being her own boss. 

So she did what almost all of us do, when we are ambitious and driven. 

She pushed away the fears and doubts and got started. 

Joanna knew that getting client-based work was the quickest way to get started. It wouldn’t require that many clients to get the proverbial ball rolling. And after the first few clients were signed on, she began to believe that this could be possible. That she could build a business that would get her out of her job. She had three steady clients, and she figured that if she could get to ten, she’d have enough income to quit her job. 

Time and effort began to prevail. Even with the extra workload and the occasional client leaving, she was on pace to create that life of her dreams. She could visually see it taking shape. When she reached seven clients, she also reached her wits’ end with her job. She was making enough income- and getting much more interest-that she knew she could leave her job. 

And, you will be happy to hear that she did! Joanna went out on her own, replaced her income fully within three months of quitting, and created the scenario that she had dreamed about. 

That is, until it wasn’t. 

Because, often, when we are focused on a goal, we can naturally only see the path right in front of us. It’s kind of like new parents who have everything planned out for their little sweeties, and the grandparents- who have been down this road much longer-see things that the parents could not even anticipate. 

For Joanna- and countless other service-based business owners, it’s somewhere around this point that they see up the road a little more clearly. By now, they have gotten a sweet taste of that freedom. They no longer have to march to the beat of their employee schedule. They can wear pajamas when they work, or take the dog out to play fetch at 11am, or enjoy the occasional long lunch with a friend or client without repercussions of having to return to the office. 

But the forward thinkers of the lot are starting to see a potential cage they have built for themselves. 

The good side is they have reached an income level that they are happy with. The downside is that they are on a perpetual wheel of chasing new clients to replace the ones leaving, and if they want to increase their income more, each new client requires more of their precious time. They now realized that they thought that they were building a business, but in fact, they were creating a job for themselves. A job that has a much tougher boss than the one they worked for before they quit. 

In my world, this is about the time that they find me and my work. All of a sudden, it’s not just about quitting a job or building a business. It’s now about two things. 

1- Getting their time back. They realize that they value their time even more than they realized, and they have seen that they have given that away. And they see me as someone who can help them get their time back. 

2- Creating fractional recurring revenue. This is the key to business freedom. As I was wisely told, if you don’t have recurring revenue, you don’t have a business. Recurring revenue that is predictable is the surest path to creating the ultimate dream scenario for small business owners. 

But this requires an entirely different mindset to do so. The business plan that takes you from being an employee to building a service-based business is a completely different plan than the one that takes you from being a service-based business owner to being an entrepreneur who builds a business that creates online recurring revenue. That recurring revenue frees up your time and takes away the financial stress (because you go from a handful of clients that take up most of your time to hundreds (or thousands) of paying members that create fractional income for a fraction of the same amount of time. 

Two different approaches. Two different mindsets. And I love helping people once they need it, but I would be so much happier if I could get people to see it this way before they need it. Because then, they can actually start doing the work to build that online foundation before they are strapped for time because they have filled it with client and busy work. 

I guess that’s why I write these newsletters…


P.S.- If this sounds like you, and you’d like to ask me a few questions about it, reply to this email and I will be sure to answer it for you.


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