If you are passionate about your business, it will change your life…
It’s January. It’s the month you think about improving your business, and this is the month you set the tone for the rest of the year. Something to think about for this year and for the years to come, you are successful if you cannot distinguish the difference between work and pleasure. I really believe that. For example, if I had 50 million dollars in the bank, I would still be doing Service Autopilot. This is what I want to do. I believe it’s incredibly important. I believe what we’re doing is very different than what everybody else is trying to do, and our master plan is vastly different than what others are trying to achieve. For me, it’s the thing that I’m incredibly passionate about.
Now, it’s been a very, very difficult business. The same was true with CitiTurf. It was challenging and a bit frustrating. I didn’t always enjoy it. I went through a whole lot of pain and things didn’t just come together. But, as the businesses have matured, and I’ve been strategic about where I want to take them, how I want to grow them, and how I want to build them, they have become more and more fun, and more and more pleasurable. That doesn’t mean every day’s fun because there’s a lot of stress that goes with it, but everything in life comes with some level of stress…even a marriage, a relationship, and kids. No matter how great one thing is, the inverse of that is it does come with some element of frustration and stress. Life isn’t pure bliss. I really, really believe this statement, and for me I finally believe that I’ve finally reached a point in life that I’m able to live it. But, it took some work to get here.
Think about how you can create that in your business. If there’s something in your business that’s driving you crazy, that you hate, maybe you hate that service offering. Even if you get someone in place to run it for you, it’s going to be a miserable thing inside your business. Or, if you hate this industry so much that you can’t imagine being in it even if you don’t have to run the company yourself, you’re probably doing the wrong thing. If you are selling inside your business and you hate selling, but you love managing and creating processes, and you’re not going to do the work to get yourself out of selling, to hire somebody to replace you, then you might as well do something else. Because if that’s what you’re going to do for the next 10 years, it’s going to be nothing but misery and you’ll be passionate about your business. You will never achieve a business that is as pleasurable to work on and run as it is to do other fun hobbies in your life.
One thing that I hear all the time is a lot of guys want to sell their company. They just want to build their company. In a million or two, they’re going to dump it. I often ask why. If you’re making a lot of money and you sell the company, once you pay taxes, where are you going to invest it to get a better return than in your own business? The point there is I generally believe in services businesses if you are to build them, build them right and then have somebody else run it for you. It takes a long time to get there. Make sure they’re highly profitable, but build it in such a way that it brings you pleasure and that you enjoy it.
If you’re not building your business in that direction right now then you’re doing it wrong and you should rethink it. Just because your competitor is doing it one way, just because somebody else in your market is doing it another way, just because somebody in your trade association said you should do it one way, does not mean they’re right. Your business is built to serve you and to generate profit. I recommend strongly, and I remind myself of this frequently, build it the way you want it to be. Just because somebody else has an expectation of you or because somebody else said it should be done a certain way does not mean that’s right. Build your business in such a way that it gives you pleasure. You should be passionate about your business. You should enjoy it as much as you enjoy other things.
Be careful though not to move away from the business just because you’re going through some pain having to learn some lessons such as how to sell, how to market, how to manage…that comes with every business. You have to get past those hurdles no matter what you do. You don’t want to run away from whatever you’re doing now to go start something else, because you’ll have all the exact same problems all over again. You have to get through those and push to the other side. Every new thing, every great thing, comes with pain. As you grow you can hire people to do the things that are not your unique ability and your strength so that you can spend most or almost all of your time in the area that brings you great joy and pleasure. When you reach that you’ll have no desire to sell your company and you’ll have no desire to retire.
Good luck building your business that way. It will change your life. It’s taken me a long time to get here and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.