The Virtual Job
So this is my first blog post on our new site. Whenever you have a task of writing the “first” of anything there is always a bit of added pressure.
What should I write about? How do I start off the conversation? So what did I choose?
Simple. I wanted to begin with one of the biggest problems that I see in the Entrepreneurial world. A problem that I see repeated time and time again. A problem that is so severe that it led to John and I forming Efficient Profits – it literally has defined our vision for this company.
A little background
At this point in my career I’ve moved beyond the dream of making money online. That has long since been a reality for me since launching my prior business in 2010, I’ve been online full-time ever since never looking back.
This is what I call “The Shift” for most entrepreneurs – the point at which they cross over to the freedom side (you thought I was gonna say “dark side” didn’t you?). In “The Shift”, there are a lot of powerful and difficult mindset shifts going on.
You have to learn to think like an entrepreneur and not an employee. You have to learn to “let go” of what you think is security (your job) and embrace the world of uncertainty.
The truth is, that you’re really only letting go in your mind because what most employees tenaciously hold on to as security is nothing more than a thinly veiled and tenuous position on the hillside crouched below an impending avalanche at any minute.
What I mean is that any job in this day and age is nothing more than 30 days or 60 days of security at best. It can all come crashing down nearly immediately and you’ll be left with nothing more than a little severance pay (if you’re lucky) and maybe some retirement savings that you scraped by to save. What real security is that?
And don’t be fooled by the level of your income or position within your company. You may think that you’re untouchable. You may think that your $150k salary is secure. You may even be an executive and think that you’re position is rock solid. Trust me, it’s not. I’ve been there. I’ve been an Executive Director making a very cushy six-figure salary thinking I was untouchable, thinking I was key to the growth and expansion of a business I had helped lead out of the dark ages. Things change and change quickly.
The “Stability” Phase
Next up in the successful entrepreneur’s journey is what I call the “Stability Phase”. You’ve made the shift from an employee mindset to that of a entrepreneur. You’ve successfully built up your business to a six-figure or even seven-figure level and are doing quite well.
So what’s the problem?
Well, for many, you’ve entered into a period of confusion and wonderment of just exactly where you are. Let’s talk about that a minute.
At first glance, you’re very successful and most of your friends and family would describe you as highly successful. You run your business from home or from a small office. You have a lot of plates in the air but have consistently demonstrated you’re quite the juggler and you’ve managed to keep them all spinning for awhile now.
But there is something deeper going on. Something that others from outside can’t see. Something that only you, your spouse and family and likely your accountant know. The fact is, you’re doing an awesome job supporting the economy, paying your taxes, employing a few people and taking a salary, but just how much of it are you really holding onto?
It’s not what you make…
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s not what you make, but what you keep”. But how many of you truly understand this from a very personal level?
It kind of goes like this (ask me how I know – lol)…
Something just doesn’t feel right about your business. While at a personal level you take a great deal of pride in what you’ve accomplished, you suddenly realize that you could actually have a much simpler life and make more money as well by eliminating 90% or all of your staff and just reducing what you offer or do a bit and “focusing” on that.
You look at the bottom line each month and realize that what you thought was success, the creation of revenue, has instead become a huge weight on your shoulders. You look at your finances and the weight of that $60k a month “nut” you have to pay just to stay afloat each month weighs on you much more than you ever thought.
Instead of looking at the 700k you’re making each year in your business, you suddenly realize that you personally are only taking 70k in salary out of the company and it just hits you like a ton of bricks.
You realize that 90% of what you’re doing is just being done to keep the wheels spinning, to keep your employees employed, to keep the bills paid and the lights turned on and that in the end you realize your quest for the ideal Entrepreneurial Lifestyle has slowed eroded over time to the point where you’re nothing more than a hamster on a virtual hamster wheel.
Sure, it’s better than having a J.O.B., you tell yourself, but deep inside you realize it’s not so very different and in many ways actually worse! At least with a job you could leave work at work and just go home at the end of the day. But with the virtual job you’ve created for yourself, it’s actually the worst of both worlds.
You still don’t have security – that becomes more and more clear to you every day as you see that monthly nut facing you each and every month, weighing on you, stressing you. You also realize that if you stopped tomorrow, your income, your children’s future, your family’s stability would all erode overnight as well. Suddenly your $700k business feels like a $700k boat anchor instead of the liberating entrepreneurial dream lifestyle that it started off as!
It’s not your fault
The first thing that you have to accept is that this is very common and that you’re not the only one. Again, ask me how I know! I came to this same conclusion a year ago. I had built up a multiple 7-figure business online from scratch in less than a couple of years and was feeling very good about it, until I came to some of those same realizations. So let me just say, I’ve been there and I “get” where you’re at right now.
At one point, I had a team of around 110 people working for me and my former partner, Mike. We had amassed quite an infrastructure and support network for our business and it was doing well. Mike retains that business today and he and I are still good friends to this day, each doing our own thing.
But for me, I just came to many of the realizations above and I simply decided it was time to rewrite my definition of entrepreneurialism and my own definition of success. I ventured out on my own and decided to cut out 95% of what I had been doing, only focusing on the 5% I truly enjoyed and nothing more. A few months later this led to the birth of Efficient Profits as John and I, long time friends, decided to join forces in our shared vision.
The revenue trap
One of the biggest problems is that while you’ve likely let go of many of the traits of the employee mindset, one of the biggest and hardest to let go of has to do with revenue, and it’s really not your fault.
We’re conditioned all through life to think of revenue. Big numbers are tossed around all of the time and big numbers are what impress us. We let our ego get in the way and the bigger the number the more we’re impressed – even with ourselves.
Which would you rather say to someone, that you own a 7-figure business or that you make $15k a month? I know a lot of people that own 7-figure businesses that struggle to make a consistent $15k net cash-flow per month. They’re caught in that same “revenue trap” that so many others get caught up in.
The bigger they grow the revenue of their business, the more successful they feel – until they don’t! This works until it just “hits them” one day how hard they’re really working and inefficient their business really is.
That is truly the crux of everything behind our new business. John and I both are extremely devoted family men. John has a young son and I have three children, the older two reside in Brazil with their mom and the youngest, 3, with my wife and I. Today my greatest pride is in knowing that I spend more time in any given month with my children than the average dad does in an entire year – John is just the same.
And here’s a very interesting fact. In December, I made my best net income month ever, yet it was only about 15% of my best revenue month ever. In other words, I’ve cut out 95% of what I used to do, dropped revenue 85% and yet increased profits and net income at the same time and dropping my work load from 60-70 hours a week down to around 25. I’ve also taken a renewed focus on my health and dropped 40 pounds along the way as well.
John and I both only work 4-day work weeks – Friday is strictly off limits and is “family day”. In fact, we don’t even talk to each other on Friday’s – lol. We have an inside joke between us about “call me… but not on Friday”.
We’ve both actively made the final shift in the Entrepreneurial lifecycle towards efficiency and that’s what this blog, our new business and our products and services are all about. Whether you are already a successful six or seven-figure entrepreneur or an aspiring one looking to not make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past, there is much to come in the upcoming months so please join us for the journey. Bookmark this blog, sign up for our newsletter and join the march towards efficiency, freedom and profit with John and I!