There is a distinct difference between having a job or having a business. Many small business owners, freelance workers and professionals have built themselves good jobs with a decent income, but these types of self-employment are often not real businesses.
What is a Job?
A job is when you get paid for doing work. Your salary is generally directly proportional to the hours of work you put in. Work more hours – make more money. Work less hours – make less money. Most people are stuck in a job for life. If they should ever fall ill, get injured or worse, income stops coming in.
What is a Business?
A business is about creating systems and processes that earn you money irrespective of the time you put in. Ideally a good business can get to the point where it almost runs itself. Ideally, an effective manager shouldn’t have to do anything, because her employees and the systems put in place practically run the business by itself.
A key factor in running a business is having people to do the work. Work online has opened fantastic opportunities to outsource almost any type of work to experts or inexpensive unskilled staff from anywhere with an internet connection. Online tools like Google Docs and services like www.norada.com make collaboration and project management with these outsourced workers sometimes better than working together in the same office.
Focus on the One
Productivity and efficiency are all about maximizing results for the least amount of effort. We all need to focus on work that will create the maximum impact on our lives. I call this, focusing on the one. Everything else should be outsourced or handed off to employees.
Sure you can design your own website, maintain your own servers, manage your own newsletter lists and answer your own emails. You can do everything. In fact most people starting out, do everything on their own out of economic necessity. However, by trying to do everything yourself, you will sacrifice output, quality or both. Get good at outsourcing to professionals and you can accomplish a magnitude more than working alone. Outsourcing is not without its pitfalls, however, you can’t become a business without getting others to assist you in your endeavors.
There are far too many mediocre businesses competing for attention. You need to do amazing things to stand out. Focus on what you do best and create systems and processes to effectively manage other outsourced professionals. That is how great businesses are built. Stop being an hourly wage slave and turn your job into a business.