So, how did you read that?
A friend of mine went on a mini-rant about this a while back on Facebook. She saw it on someone else’s wall and was pretty offended by it.
Apparently, the original poster was one of these Type-A guys who is promoting a nose to the grindstone, super-intense work ethic. That’s fine, I guess. Some people feel really great working themselves to death.
I’ve been there. I’ve done that. It’s really not that fulfilling. It rarely pays off. The ROI completely sucks.
Anyone who says otherwise is trying to justify their penchant for procrastination-based productivity pushes. Why plan your work and schedule manageable chunks of activity when you can wait until inspiration strikes and then stay up for a couple of days cramming it all into an unrealistic deadline? Meh…
That being said, when I read it I found it pretty inspiring and insightful. I didn’t see it as an exhortation not to sleep. Again, been there. Shakespeare paper, software testing, personal projects, the list goes on but the lack of ROI never ends.
No, what I’m seeing there is an observation of the stunningly obvious as an exhortation to…
Create a Business!
The way I looked at it, it says that if you woke up broke it’s because you don’t happen to have a business and therefore didn’t have one when you went to sleep. Okay, there’s no shame in that. It’s just an observation. Most people don’t have a business. By the same token, most people wake up broke.
Even if you have a “good job”, you’re still dependent on a variety of factors that are entirely out of your control. When you own the business, you have more options.
Want more money? Give yourself a raise by bringing more value to your customers.
Can you do that on the job? Not so much.
If you bring more value to work, you might get a raise at your next review. Your annual review.
No, if you want to be in control you need to be a free agent. It’s scary to be in charge, but the rewards are well worth the risk.
Want a false sense of security? Want someone else to make all the important decisions? Want to live on someone else’s schedule?
Keep your day job.
Want to sleep in? Want to be able to give yourself a raise on demand? Want to be able to deduct lots of things on your taxes?
Start your business.
Of course, not all businesses let you do this. Traditional brick & mortar businesses will totally own you for years until you get them up and running. Successful business owners all over the country and all over the world enjoy a lifestyle that their employees can only dream of. Struggling business owners enjoy a lifestyle that people in WWII prison camps would look at and say, “Boy, I’m glad I’m not stuck there.” No, unless you have a burning passion to open a restaurant, store or other traditional business, don’t go there. You have options that are less daunting and potentially far more rewarding.
Back in the day, the only option most people had was to go the brick & mortar route. If you had a special service to offer, you either had to go door to door with your cart or you had to get a spot in the market square or you had to build yourself a workshop.
This is the information age. Information is the most valuable commodity in human civilization. Information can be shared by anyone from anywhere. CPAs can answer tax questions from their offices or their dining rooms. Self-help gurus can help you from their local Starbucks or the foothills of the Himalayas. Experts of every kind can help and advise in real time or by content schedule from wherever they can get an internet connection.
That’s where you come in.
But Rob, I’m not an expert at anything.
Lots of people say that. Sure, it helps if you’re already an expert at something but it’s not a prerequisite. All you have to do is be interested enough in something to follow up on it and provide answers to the less dedicated masses. If I want to know something, I can take almost for granted that there is someone who already knows it and enjoys talking about it.
You see this at parties and picnics. That quiet guy who keeps to himself and listens to all the conversations until, boom, they hit his topic. Suddenly, the wallflower blooms. The guy holds forth with Ph.D. level detail about the topic and everyone is entranced. Who knew this guy could actually even speak and now he’s giving a symposium.
Add to this the power and scope of the Internet. Ubiquitous global communication means that a guy in Quito or a gal in Kuala Lumpur can share their genius with me and anyone else who wants to know about their field of interest anytime we want to know it. When people can find common ground across diverse continents and time zones, it makes the world a smaller and much friendlier place.
So, what has this to do with starting a business?
Well, showing your brilliance can be profitable if you do it right. Stay tuned here to find out how.