During my Twitter chat (#BOSSchat) with The BOSS Network last week, a very interesting question was posed: what’s the difference between being self-employed and a business owner? I believe there are four stages of being in business for yourself.
Stage One – Self Employed
Most people start out being self-employed. At this stage you have a product and/or service to offer and will employ yourself to do the majority of the work. You may have people who help you but the bulk of the responsibility for making your ship sail is in your hands. You don’t have much time away from the business and probably feel as though it is consuming your life. It is difficult to strike a proper work/life balance but you are not sure that you trust anyone else with your baby/business. This stage is the most frustrating but survival is the key to your success.
Stage Two – Business Owner
You have now progressed to having a manager or someone to take over the bulk of the responsibilities for your organization, however you are still involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. You don’t feel totally comfortable delegating tasks to others but realize that it is necessary for you to be successful. At this level, you should take advantage of opportunities to leave the business and network in your community. You have successfully established your brand, now is time to put a face with a logo. You may also begin to consider what is next for yourself personally and professionally.
Stage Three – Entrepreneur
Most business owners or self-employed people that I know have visions of owning more than one business. People toss around the word “entrepreneur” to define anyone who owns a business, however, I believe you become an entrepreneur once you are able to successfully establish a business AND begin working on additional projects whether professional or community based. These opportunities will provide you with additional leadership skills and business connections that can help make some of your goals attainable. As an entrepreneur, you may now feel the freedom to travel to travel to industry related events with the confidence that you have created a solid foundation within your business and that things will continue as you have envisioned.
Stage Four - Philanthropist
Once you have had a chance to establish yourself and build a successful business, you should have some connections and some money in the bank. I believe that most of us strive to make a difference in our community. How do you do that? Money and influence. Do you see the connection? Many times we see older people in our communities making decisions and being power players. This is because they have amassed the connections and capital to have influence over decisions. At this stage, people are coming to you seeking advice, financial assistance and consider you an industry leader.
Which stage of business ownership are you in? Are you ready to move to the next stage? If so, contact me ~ email@example.com ~ for a one hour complimentary consultation to discuss strategies to help you achieve your goals.