Which type of business do you want to run?


Photo by Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My colleague Tina Forsyth graciously allowed me to reprint her brilliant article on the two types of businesses that entrepreneurs can aspire to create. The model that you select will impact the types of productivity challenges that you will face. So read on and then ask yourself which type of business you want to run. You’ll begin to make better decisions about your business right away!

The 2 Types of Businesses You Can Choose From

Now that you know your default mode for running a business, it’s important to know what kind of business you are building.

There are 2 types of businesses out there:

  • A Solopreneur style business – where you are the one providing a service and doing *most* of the work
  • A Legacy style business – this is where the business becomes bigger than you, and you need a lot of support to keep it running and growing.

You need to ask yourself:

  • What kind of business do I want? Why am I in business?
  • If you have a big mission/purpose in your work and you want to GO BIG – 6-figures and above –then you are looking at a Legacy style business

If you want to make a good living and keep it simple – generally earning up to 6-figures – then you are building a Solopreneur type of business.

It’s absolutely essential that you answer these questions, so that you can purposely create a business that serves you FIRST (and that doesn’t suck the life out of you and lead to burn out.)

Like most entrepreneurs, I started with a Solopreneur business working as an Online Business Manager (OBM) for my clients. They hired me to work for them directly (as a contractor) and I did all the work myself. During this time, I had my daughters – Sam in 2006 and Lexi in 2008 – and was able to easily balance family and client commitments while still bringing in a good income.

Then, in Fall 2008, I launched my book “Becoming an Online Business Manager.” Shortly after, I started the OBM Association and opened up the Online Business Manager Certification Training Program. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the start of my shift from Solopreneur to building a Legacy business.

When my business hit the 6-figure mark in 2009, I was still doing most things myself, with a bit of help from my VA. It was my own coach at the time who said to me, “Tina, you need to do what you tell everyone else to do and hire your own Online Business Manager.” Go figure right? 😉

This was a tough choice to make for a few reasons:

  • I would have to invest a tidy sum to pay for an OBM each month. Even though I was making 6-figures, this still felt like a stretch because I wasn’t used to investing much in a team, I was used to doing it all myself.
  • Could they do as good of a job as me? Having been an OBM myself for many years, I knew how to do everything and the thought of having someone else take it over felt really scary.
  • If I gave X to someone else, then what the heck would I do with my own time? I seriously didn’t know what to do with my time if I wasn’t doing all the day-to-day stuff myself. (This is a very real issue for those of us who are used to doing everything on our own.)

I hired my OBM Tiffany in January of 2010, and she very quickly jumped into managing the day-to-day running of my business – which was great! For the first time ever, I got to experience what it was like to have someone else take care of me and my business, and although it was uncomfortable at first, I have to admit that I got to like it very quickly. (Much to my surprise, there were some other “inner game” things that came up for me on this journey, but that is a story for another time.)

In my experience, many business owners work “blindly” towards the goal of continuing to grow and make more money in their business. They don’t realize that this means they need to be willing to let go. They need to be ready to allow the business to grow bigger than them….

Or not.

If you prefer not to, then it’s simply a matter of being clear on how much work you can handle, still deliver top-notch services as a Solopreneur and not fall into the grow-grow-GROW Trap!

To watch the Google Hangout interview where Tina and I talk about productivity for profits, click HERE.

Photo by Stuart Miles


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