I am talking about self-employed people especially but this also pertains to small business owners as well. What is the most valuable asset in life? TIME! Yes money is valuable as well but having more free time provides us the opportunity to create more money, expand a business, venture into new markets and sit back and plan the future of your endeavor. If your too busy working 15 hours a day being self employed trying to make as much money as you can your going to burn out eventually. Being self-employed is great but if you don’t work do you still get paid? If you got sick or injured and couldn’t work for the unforeseeable future how long would you last before you ran out of money?
The first company I ran I was about 20 years old when I started it with some buddies and we had an eBay business and a massive warehouse with loads of consignment contracts, we got real estate foreclosure deals and liquidated all the assets on eBay, we got this one deal from the Smithsonian which included 50 massive bins that we were filled with thousands of canvas maps, original prints and the negatives to make all of the National Geographic Maps and books. We started selling them on eBay and our websites and built up a client base, I was selling about $2000 worth a day at one point but I was also working 20 hours a day and pulling all nighters. I made around $20k a month for doing grunt work of taking pictures, writing descriptions, shipping out items but I lost focus of the business itself. I had to turn away consignment contracts, expansion opportunities, I was so caught up in the quick money that when the maps finally ran out I was right back where I started, well I had a massive bank account but the business had gone no where. Looking back on that time, I was afraid to let anyone else do the simple job of selling maps and I put myself into self-employed mode and not business owner mode. I could have easily hired any college kid, work at home mom or person off the street and paid them $10/hr to list these maps and that would had freed up four months of my life and provided me with passive income. I could have hired two or three people to do the job and instead of having $60k I would of had $50k and four months of my life back! Used that time to hire more employees, create more business contracts and after the four months had ten times as much inventory, more employees and closer to financial freedom even if my bank account was empty at that point it. It would start growing more rapidly with more contracts and employees and my work load goes down and down and income goes up and up and the climb out of the rat race begins….
Yes I know there is the old adage…never pay somebody to do something you can do yourself….try running a business that way…let me know where you end up in five years
I eventually did learn to delegate, and hired college kids to ship out packages, another college kid to answer the phones and handle e-mails and customer relations. I hired someone to go find deals for me, someone to handle the accounting, etc. During that time I found myself with nothing left to do, If I did not show up for work it didn’t matter anymore I was still getting paid. Finally I was not self-employed anymore and I was a business owner, I could jump back out of the work cycle and it flowed without me being involved which led me to expand the company and take it off but that’s another story after that…
Today I am self-employed, but I work like a business owner. At any given time I have about 20 or so websites under my media company ranging from E-Commerce sites, forums, blogs, membership sites, etc and there is no way I can manage them all and keep them updated and flowing. There is no way I can dropship products, handle customer complaints, list items on eBay, write blog posts, goto auctions and buy products, ship out a hundred items a week…..soooooo I act like a business owner with twenty employees, but instead I hire freelancers, contractors and other businesses to do the work for me. You can do this too! I don’t care what business your in you can use some help! You will never leave the rat race if you stay self-employed.
Here are some examples of what I outsource:
- I pay a blogger to write 50 posts a month of new content spread across 5 blogs (not this one =P) – I earn more in the adsense on the sites than I have to pay out so its PROFITABLE
- I pay college kids $8/hr to ship out physical items I sell – The handling fee that I charge for shipping and small profit I make from shipping covers them.
- I pay an accountant to keep track of the books – nuff said here! numbers are boring
- I hire marketing firms and SEO/SEM companies to handle link building, search engine traffic placement, keywords..etc (Yes you can do this yourself…but once again your getting nowhere fast)
- I have webmasters install PHP scripts, write bits of code to make sites more ascetically pleaseing, design banners, icons and logos (graphic design takes forever!)
- By outsourcing unimportant tasks like these I can focus on more important matters like selling a small web business or buying one, creating new business relationships, planning the future – DON’T GET STUCK DOING THE SAME THING DAY IN AND DAY OUT! Open your eyes! There is a better way to live.
- I constantly bid out projects on freelance sites a few good ones that you can get away with having a smaller budget on are ones such as vWorker and Scriptlance - elance is also good but there are a lot of bigger companies and hiring price tags for projects on that site.