When Expectation Fails to Meet Reality
When I started my first company at the age of 30 I had dreams of turning it into a multi-national corporation with tens of millions in revenue.
I thought business and financial success was the key to my happiness.
For a kid who grew up poor, people with money seemed to have it made. For us, it was always about what we didn’t have, what we couldn’t do.
So in 2009, I poured myself into my work. Over the next 7 years, I grew that small online education company into a business that served more than 20,000 clients in over 110 countries.
I employed a dozen people and we made millions each year.
(You’re waiting for the twist. Here it is.)
But a funny thing happened. Despite being flush with cash, and living a life of luxury, I was more stressed out and anxious than I’d ever been.
I’d wake up in a panic almost every night. Worried about all the people who depended on me and the responsibility that rested on my shoulders.
One of the things nobody tells you about building a BIG business is that you have to hire employees. And those employees become your responsibility.
In the early days, if I made a bad decision it was just me who paid the price. Now there were a dozen families looking to me to guide the company that paid their bills.
Maybe I should have cared less about the people who worked for me. Maybe I shouldn’t have let it bother me. Maybe I’m just weak.
But it did bother me.
It resulted in me taking on more responsibility, working longer hours, and being more stressed than ever.
Entrepreneurship is often discussed within the context of scaling up and going big.
If you’re thinking about starting a business you may be put off by the idea of taking on that much risk and responsibility.
But I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Making the Shift from
Entrepreneurship to Solopreneurship
In 2018 I left Trade Empowered, the company I founded eight years earlier. At the time I thought my life was over. Little did I know the journey I would take over the next five years.
I’ve completely reevaluated what’s important to me. I’ve embraced the idea of Solopreneurship over entrepreneurship.
Solopreneurship is all about doing:
- More of what you love,
- Less of what you don’t,
- Maximizing time with the people who matter most,
- Being paid well for the value you provide.
I’ve realized that money is just a tool that gives me more control over my time.
I have no interest in optimizing my schedule so I can squeeze out another 15 minutes of productivity every day. What I want is freedom and autonomy.
Today my business exists for two reasons.
- To maximize my time freedom.
- Create income mobility.
“Getting rich” isn’t part of my thinking anymore.
Today I run a company that:
- Has no employees,
- Allows me to work on a schedule of my choosing,
- and provides me with enough cash flow to live comfortably and travel.
If you’ve been holding off starting your business or side hustle out of fear, I want to encourage you to start taking action today.
Building a business, even a small one, takes time. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.
If you’d like a little help I have a fantastic program to help you get started. Check out the Leverage Coaching Program. I’d love to work with you.
That’s all for this week.
P.S. Later this month I’m holding a free 2-hour workshop on “How to 3X Your Lead Flow Using Story.” Since it’s a workshop attendance is limited so make sure you register today.