The Entrepreneurial Bug
I have had the entrepreneurial bug for as long as I can remember. When I was about 8 years old I would check out books from the library about how kids could start there own businesses. Books like Better Than a Lemonade Stand that would give me dozens of different ideas of simple businesses I could create.
As I got a few years older I started collecting basketball and football cards. I loved going down to the card shop on the weekends and picking up a few more packs of trading cards. It was such a rush to open those packs. Not only was I hoping to find a few more cards for my collection, but I was also hoping to find some rare insert cards that I could sell on eBay to make a fortune.
I've delivered newspapers, I've delivered phone books, and I've shoveled snow for the neighbors. All of these things I did before the age of fourteen.
During high school much of my time was spent hanging out with friends and other school activities so my entrepreneurial efforts were greatly diminished during this time.
However, after high school it all started up again. I started my own web design business for a few years. I had a band instrument repair business for a year. Now I am an Internet Marketer (for lack of a better term).
I should note that I have also worked more than my share of standard jobs at grocery stores, department stores, and pizza places. They just weren't for me.
Two Ways to Be Paid
There are basically two ways you can earn money and in my mind one is vastly superior to the other. You can either:
- Be paid for your time
- Be paid for your service
Most people get paid for their time. This is your standard job. You go in to work, clock in, work for 8+ hours, and clock out. You are paid an hourly wage so it doesn't matter how much or how little you accomplished during those 8 hours, you will still be paid the same amount.
I prefer to be paid for my service. Take my newspaper route for example. I got paid $20 (I don't remember the exact amount) for completing the route. I could walk the entire route and it might take me 3 hours and I would get paid $20. Or I could run the entire route and be done in 30 minutes and get paid $20. Believe me, I ran. (When there were dogs, I ran faster.)
It was the same idea with my web design business. If I charged someone $500 to build a site, I could take my time and deliver the product in a week or I could hunker down, concentrate, and code it all in two days. Either way I make $500 because I am being paid for my service and not my time.
Being paid for my services in turn provides me with two related, yet different freedoms.
In the case of my web design business, once I complete my first $500 project in two days, I now have two options. I can:
- Complete the next $500 project
- Take some time away from work and do other things I enjoy
Now my earning potential is only limited by the amount of work I am willing to put in. If I want more money, I just have to keep working. If I want (or need) some time to take care of other facet of my life, I can take the time for that.
The second freedom is simply that I am my own boss. I don't have anyone telling me that I need to be at work from 9-5. I don't have anyone telling me that I can't attend my niece's birthday party because pizzas need to be delivered or trucks need to be unloaded.
I am now in charge of my own time. I work when I am inspired. I work when I am the most efficient. This could be at 3AM or it could be from 9-5. The point is that I can choose when to work.
"I now schedule work around my life
instead of life around my work."
Signs of Progress
I have struggled with entrepreneurship for most of my life. I always knew it was something that I wanted, dare I say, something that I needed.
It has been a long road, but I believe that I am finally achieving my goal.
Don't give up. The path of entrepreneurship is never easy. But if you want it, if you need it, you can get there too.