I’m sorry babe I’m failing and this is not working, we might lose it all. This was me slumped shoulders eyes down explaining to my wife that I had fucked up and had not been successful in the business. I had blown through or reserve saving and literally bet the farm and was about to lose it all.
I couldn’t figure it out. I had created a business. I had a website. I had a ton of social media content out there. I had a badass message why the fuck wasn’t this working?
Why weren’t people knocking down my door to do business? I‘m fucking good at what I do.
I’ve told this story in front of many audiences, on podcasts and interviews. I still think about that moment in shock about how close I was to losing it all.
Heres the thing it wasn’t that I wasn’t doing a lot of the right things – I was.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t putting myself out there – I was
It was that I wasn’t doing the sales activities – I was.
What I wasn’t doing was thinking like a business owner.
I didn’t know how or really what that even meant.
I was throwing a bunch of shit at the wall and hoping something would stick and somehow magically this would all take off.
My mindset was in a constant state I have to do this, I have to that. Where do I find time to do this and that?
I was telling myself I need more revenue to get to the next level. I need more time to get stuff done.
I was literally telling the universe that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing; and I was proving it daily.
I was trying to be a business owner but I was thinking like an employee.
Daydreaming about being on big stages, being recognized in crowds. Working hard getting stuff done day and day out. But I wasn’t pulling my head out the clouds and building a business.
I was doing things to make myself feel like I was working when in fact it was busy work just like when I was an employee.
And I was doing this alone…
There was no real ownership in my mindset…there was only get shit done. It was just the wrong stuff.
I knew I had to evolve and become a business owner, but how the hell do you that. I had never done this before.
The first thing I started to do was list out everything I was doing in my business. Every task, every function, and every activity. Let me tell that was a big ass list.
A little shocked from how big that list was created a huge amount of overwhelm in me. No way I could sustain this amount of work. I asked my self one question. What would a business owner do in this situation?
I started to mark each task as one of two categories – business owner or employee.
I started having a discussion with myself about “should the CEO do this or should someone else.” Surprisingly there were a lot of things I shouldn’t be doing and I was clueless about how to fix that.
Not enough money to higher people, not sure how to hire them if I did. There had to be a better option so I got creative. I began looking for people who loved what they did but were struggling in there business like I was. They needed to level up and I needed their help.
Hello, bartering, trading or swapping; or whatever you want to call it.
I would love to tell you this helped me take off in the business, but if you don’t know what to tell someone to do, how the hell can you trade and get them to do it?
Some of my first trades were a nightmare and for the records this was all my fault. I was doing what I call dump and run. I would work out a deal with someone and then literally hand them everything with no direction, guidance or anything.
I bet I have people out there that are not my biggest fans because I was so employee-mindset driven I was not communicating the work needed, thinking they’ve got it now it’s off my plate…whats next. (That’s how employees think it’s your job or it’s not and if it’s not then why worry about it)
After burning a few bridges and finally learning that I was setting people up for failure, I was again going to my handy question. “What would a Business owner think?”
It hit me: I needed to be able to tell them what I needed to be done and then tell them to have fun with it, and check in on the agreed amount of time and offer suggestions, corrections and other ideas.
This is my business and running it is my responsibility. I should set the vision and help all who help me get there by setting them up for success.
Man, once I starting think like a Business owner I started to grow and evolve not only the business but myself. I found partners who wanted to run with me and are constantly helping me to scale and build.
Learning humility to be bold enough to share my failures along the way so others can learn from it has given a whole new view on life.
Now that I’m 2 years into the business we have some awesome momentum. I have a brilliant team (Which are all 1099s by the way) and we are building a badass company.
I’m still learning and putting systems and processes in play. We are still scaling but every month we continue to learn more and evolve.
I am enjoying the learning process and have so much respect for those that have gone before me to build successful businesses because I understand the time and work they put in.
This really is a journey – and what a hell of a ride it is. If you really want to change your mindset from employee to business owner then do it. Ask yourself the tough questions, ask yourself what the vision of your business is, how are you building to scale, how are you putting the processes in place so someone else can do it.
Most of us have spent our journey working for other people. Now its time you start working for YOU and build your empire, and get to that dreamed of freedom
Freedom doesn’t come from thinking like an employee – its comes from thinking like a business owner.