Building a business is hard. Whether you want to call the work “hard work” or “smart work”, frankly it takes both and a lot of each. The definition of success is at the discretion of each person but let’s face it, the reason most people want to build a business is to get rich and then do whatever they want, be it sitting on the beach all day or enjoy their hobbies. To achieve this is very difficult but when planned property any business owner can make this their reality, even those in the contracting services sector. Often times these business owners become an owner and operator and are coming from a point of being selfish as opposed to providing value to the marketplace. This leads their business to be stuck and rather than creating a company that operates automatically like a system or machine without their presence, they have just created a job for themselves.
Building The Right Business When Providing Services
The first step in building the right business begins with work ethic and habits. Young kids are always saying to work “smart”, while the older folks say to work “hard”. To build a successful service based business it takes BOTH! You must have a balance of knowing how to be determined and ambitious to work hard day-in and day-out.
The Problem With “Hard Work”
If you are a concrete contractor in Huntsville, that does not mean you should be the one smoothing out the freshly poured concrete for the next twenty years. As the owner your efforts will be required for the heavy labor in the early years, until you have the workflow coming in and management skills to hire crews to handle these tasks. But you must have a goal and vision for where you want your company to go. You must plan 5-10 years down the line and you do this by asking yourself about your financial goals, then work backwards to crunch the numbers. Once you have calculated the numbers, maximum effort is required to achieve these goals. You must realize that in order to hit the large 7-8 figure liquid cash payday, it will require scaling and utilizing employees, software and management protocol (otherwise referred to as systems) in order to continually level up.
This is the number one reason why so many business owners take on the owner-operator role and are perpetually in this place until they turn 65, and “retire” with the cash they were able to scrounge up and save. It is simply because they stay at this point and most do not even realize it. Not a wise plan for those looking to get rich and have freedom and choice over their time. But many business owners with these service companies are in business for selfish reasons, such as desiring more money but not working a job with a boss (though as an owner-operator, with the hours put in their earnings are less than a managerial position), or to fill an egotistical gap. Nearly every one of them will not get past this point until they shift their mind to provide value instead of taking from the market for their own material gains. With providing unique value comes more financial gains than most can imagine.
The Issue With “Working Smart”
On the other end of the spectrum is working “smart”. This is a concept that younger people have coined but it has a lot of truth to it, as long as one does not use it as an excuse to slack off in their duties as an owner. Most folks see it as laziness, however they are only seeing half the puzzle behind these words and those people that think this way are stuck in the 1960s when there was not anything that provides leverage like the internet does today. As a goal oriented entrepreneur, the people with these clueless thoughts do not matter.
Balance Is Key
When “working smart” is combined with “working hard” – which means executing calculated work 60+ hours per week for months on end while still envisioning their future goals, that is where the magic happens. You cannot beat the guy who will out work anyone from a time standpoint, but the work he does creates immense value for the marketplace while at the same time uses leverage to grow the company as much as possible. Combine this with ensuring his daily habits are in check to ensure his brain and body are healthy, and the ambition, determination and perseverance to dominate a marketplace, you have the recipe for an unbeatable entrepreneur.
This calculated work involves first realizing that as an owner, they need to get themselves out of the trenches (front end labor) as soon as they have the workflow coming in and they have learned how to manage employees. The owner needs move beyond their ego and realize these are tasks that can be done by most people that are skilled and ambitious. Once this is realized, the next step is automating themselves out of positions like the salesman and bookkeeper by hiring people for these positions. The owner will have to do the “smart work” to ensure written or video protocol is in place for this employee to know what their position is and how to execute. Then the owner must continue this cycle with each position in his company to scale up the business. Once it has reached a point where his financial goal of a liquid net worth is possible, he must then seek out a business broker to find a buyer for the company and exit for millions of dollars. Then take the vast majority of those millions (lets also not forget the 6-7 figures cash earned while owning the business) and park it into low risk investments that yield a 2.5%-10% yearly return which will perpetually continue to pay for likely decades to come, and that my friends, is how you get rich AND have ownership of your time.