How to start a business that won't burn you out?
In my business, I mostly talk about effective ways to earn more income and using your passion to create more impact, but I also put a huge emphasis on choosing business models that can create more freedom in your life. By freedom, I specifically mean freedom of time.
The most common reasons people start businesses are to have financial freedom, more flexibility over their schedule and to follow their dreams. And that is great, but the reality is that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. That is an astonishing 80% - what goes wrong?!
The reason why so many business owners end up giving up and burning out for what was supposed to be the best decision of their lives is quite simple; instead of starting a business, they actually have just changed jobs. They simply went from working for one boss to another; their business - a much more demanding boss.
The deeply rooted employee mindset of putting in a certain amount of hours in exchange for financial reward follows and they fail to understand that being an entrepreneur is not just about working against time but making time work for you.
For the sake of the example, let's say you have decided to start a consulting business where you offer your services with a price of $50/h. You're getting a lot of traction and clients are keeping you fully booked. You work full eight-hour days getting paid $400 per day, making $2000 in a five-day working week. Sounds pretty fantastic!
One month however you end up falling ill, and you are forced to take a full week off from work. You have just lost $2000 worth of earnings for a reason beyond your control. It's not surprising that many business owners feel like they can't afford to get sick.
This business model is very common, but it is based on the employee mindset of exchanging time for money and often causes entrepreneurial burnout when your business is fully dependable on your presence. If you don't show up, your business is not moving forward.
But what if there was a better way?
Instead of getting paid for just for the hours you work, you should build your business on a model that earns you money 24 hours a day whether you're there or not; passively.
If not all, consider shifting at least part of your business towards this model. You can have more than one source of income. In fact, that is highly recommended. Did you know that the most successful people in the world have at least seven sources of income or more?
You want to offer something people can buy whether you're having dinner with your family, sitting on a beach or as before, badly ill, without needing to first spend money on hiring people to do the work for you.
What does this mean exactly?
You want your business to run on auto-pilot and automate your systems and processes as much as possible. This is done by taking at least part of your business online. Not just to free more time to do more work, but to enjoy life and the things that actually matter to you.
The best and easiest thing to sell through automation is information.
Why? Because it doesn't require physical stock, production, packaging, and delivery. Information is also something any of us can sell, as we all have skills and knowledge in something.
As a consultant, you could put together information packages for people in different scenarios to buy. If you're a photographer you could sell your photo packages online, or as an interior designer your colour scheme and styling packages. Perhaps you could teach others what you know and create a digital course like me?
What you want to consider is the price vs. demand ratio to determine how much of your business income can rely on this. If you are selling a product for $30 and you sell 100 of them a month, you have made $3000. If you sell a product that is $300, you need to sell only 10 of them a month to get to the same figure.
This business model is also fully scalable, so you are not restricted to how many sales you can make because of your personal time limitations. No one says that you can't also sell multiple products at the same time. Remember, you can have more than one source of income.
As soon as you get to an income level that allows you to invest, you can start to outsource tasks that take too much of your time and energy. Yes, arranging this can require you to invest a little bit more of your time first, but the return on this investment will repay itself back very quickly.
To avoid falling into the employee mindset potentially resulting in complete exhaustion, you want to make sure you follow these four steps when starting your business:
1. shift at least part of your business online
2. automate as much of your processes as possible
3. have more than one source of income
4. outsource as soon as possible whatever tasks take too much of your time