Are you in business because you want to make a lot of money… as fast as possible?
Or are you in business to endure pain and suffering that never ends… for minimal financial rewards?
Judging by most business owners’ actions it’s the latter. They do all kinds of bone-headed stupid stuff that only insures them constant frustration and little financial gain.
In spite of giving lip service to the entrepreneur thang, they treat their business and their personal time like an employee. And THAT, my friend, is a whopper of a boo-boo.
Let me present an alternative scenario:
How about you leverage your time and your business for maximum ROI in minimum time?
How about you work hard, doing EVERYTHING as efficiently as possible for only 5 years.
Then sell the business for a 5, 6, 7…10+ multiple of net… and have…
THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
to do whatever the hell you want!
Doesn’t that make a lot more sense than being some kind of masochistic martyr, as if that’s honorable or something? Enduring almost daily “grind it out” pain and suffering… with no end in sight?
I’ve done both. The daily “grind it out” pain and suffering with no exit date. I’ve also built businesses, cashed out and enjoyed a couple bouts of retirement.
I can tell you this:
Being “cashed out” and retired beats “grind it out with no end in sight” a million times over.
Want an example of how most entrepreneurs are flagellating themselves to death for pitiful financial rewards?
This morning I decided to pull a project off the shelf that I’d back-burnered for about 18 months. The first thing I did was look at the sales copy I had been working on back then. I had written…
46 different drafts…
of just the first sentence!
When I looked at my headline ideas it was even more ridiculous.
This kind of obsession probably qualifies as a mental illness, I’m tellin’ ya.
It got me to thinking about my first several mail order projects.
Even though I was a copywriting rookie, I wrote my own copy. I thought (mistakenly) that I couldn’t afford to hire a copywriter.
Wanna know what happened?
Well, because I was a really inexperienced copywriter, every project took me 3 to 4 times longer than it should have. And I had to write and rewrite endless drafts… and test and re-test time after time after time.
That hurt me three ways:
- I pissed away a lot of time doing something I should have hired someone else to do. Time I will NEVER get back. (And I REALLY would like to have it back now that I have more days behind me than ahead of me.)
- I spent 3 to 4x’s more money in ad spends than I would have if I’d hired an experienced copywriter.
- It delayed me WAY too long from the only reason I started a business… the making money part.
My point? It has taken me 20 years of blood, sweat and tears… and losing MILLIONS of dollars of my own money (literally… no exaggeration) to get to the point where I’m finally a good copywriter.
That’s supposedly a good thing, right?
Don’t be so sure…
Looking back in hindsight I now realize that it was actually counterproductive to my initial goal: having a business that made as much money as possible… as fast as possible.
Look, would you rather spend a decade or two struggling to get good at something… and missing out on millions in the process? And possibly even missing out on what COULD be a lifelong retirement after only 5 years?
Or… is it a better use of your time to just pay a dude or dudette to handle that for you. A person who has already spent the required decade or two (or three) paying the price to become a great copywriter?
There are plenty of copywriters out there (I know most of them.) And many REALLY good ones are more than happy to whore themselves out for what amounts to peanuts, compared to your potential return on investment.
Wisdom comes from decades of screwing up… and I have a LOT of wisdom. Darn near 30 years as an entrepreneur and 20 years as a direct response entrepreneur… with more monumental mistakes than you could possibly imagine.
The biggest mistake?
Having the opportunities of an entrepreneur but…
Thinking and acting like an employee!
Making myself the “General” directing the troops. Then constantly running down to the front line, picking up a rifle and doing the job of the grunts.
Then running back up the hill to be the General again.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Listen… this boo-boo has screwed up at least three opportunities I had that could have been cashed out for millions. One I know for sure could have been sold for at LEAST $10 million. And this was back in the mid 90’s when $10 million was still a lot of money.
You gotta think and act like the General… NOT the Private.
Anything less and you’ve just got a j-o-b.
And it’s a j-o-b that will NEVER end… because no smart entrepreneur or investor would EVER consider buying a business like that.
Cuz it AIN’T a business.
Word up. I’m out.
All the best,
P.S. Sometimes the message that upsets your mental “apple cart” the most and pisses you off is the one you need to hear the most.
And sometimes your adopted Uncle has to tell you some unpleasant stuff you’d rather not hear. Because he appreciates* you.
* “Appreciate you” is what ex-cops say when they’re still too damn macho to say what they REALLY mean… I love you.