Owing Your Own Business
Here’s the thing my self-publishing indie authors, slow and steady wins the race, even when starting a business. Hey, there’s something to be said about owning your own business and not having the business own you. Yup… Believe it or not, most people don’t own their own business. Instead, the business owns them. For most business owners, they are the business. If they stop working, the business stops working. If they go to the beach for an afternoon, the business stops working for that afternoon. If this is how the math is working out for you, then you don’t own the business, but the business owns you. Got it?
However, as an authorpreneur, you can create a thing that is called passive or residual income through your books. When you have that income stream of royalties coming in, or hopefully multiple income streams coming in all day every day, then you own your business. The business doesn’t own you.
You can go to the beach and come home to more money in your bank account. Heck, when things are running well, even when you sleep at night, the income streams are still flowing. What’s better than that, right? As an authorpreneur, you have a real chance of owning your business. Hey, the proof is in the pudding. When you stop working because you took your better half for dessert, the business can continue to work while you’re at the restaurant with your sweetie.
Owning a business isn’t easy for anyone. It takes a lot of work to create passive income streams. And this is where a lot of our self-publishing minds wander in the wrong direction. Sometimes we can actually feel how hard this business is. And our brains wander over to the thoughts of how much easier this would be if we had lots of money to market and do all the other things we don’t have the money or time to do. If we just had someone come to save us with a lot of cash, everything would be great, we think.
However, let me tell you right now that angel investors usually are not angels. Sure the injection of cash into your business is helpful, but now you have to answer to someone else. Is that why you went into business? Do you really want to work 16-hour days and be held accountable to someone else’s vision of what your business should be? In addition, if your business grows like crazy, then you also end up with a Board that you have to answer to as well. Do you want that too? And if your business becomes super successful, then your angel investors and Board can conspire against you and push you out of your own business. Just look at Steve Jobs. It happened to him. And that couldn’t have been much fun.
Now I’m not saying to never go this route of being a startup. But what I am saying is to fully know what you’re getting into. An injection of cash into your business by someone else doesn’t come free and clear. There are always strings attached when it’s someone else’s money. So beware.
Hey, I know going alone is a lot harder. I know most of us won’t make it to the big leagues. But, if we really enjoy what we’re doing as authorpreneurs, and we keep our day job income for as long as we need it, then we can kind of have the best of both worlds. We just need to be smart about it and slow and steady.
Instead of letting others invest in your company, turning it into a startup that could enslave you, I would suggest that you endlessly invest in yourself. Give yourself the knowledge to be free and capable. That sort of dynamic can only help your business. After all, it’s you that is the creative genius of it, right?
In addition, it won’t always be comfortable working with service providers if you get stuck dealing with them because they know how to do something that you don’t. Now I’m not saying to never work with other professionals. Sometimes you have to work with them if what they do is outside of your main bread and butter. However, again, I’m saying, be careful. Service providers won’t always be honest with you or always provide you with the best service. They may live in different time zones, which will make it more difficult to communicate. And they may hold on to your project longer than you want them to, causing you to feel frustrated and at their mercy sometimes.
Continual learning will make you less of a slave to your service providers. It will make these sometimes necessary transactions easier to conduct. You’ll feel like you’re in more control of your business when dealing with contractors if you better understand what they do, or even know how to do what they do.
Our goal as authorpreneurs is to always strive to become a high-quality person so we can own our business instead of our business owning us.
*Check out the free video lesson on this chapter!