Run a Business Because You Want to Run a Business

I read this fantastic Medium post by Jeff Goins about a phone call he had with Seth Godin.

“Don’t build a business because you want freedom. Build a business because you want to run a business,” Goins wrote.

And I need to echo it.

Every time I ask one of my clients why they are doing what they are doing and they tell me they want freedom, I cringe. In many ways running a business by your own rules is freeing, but it’s also a prison sentence. When you run a business, you become a slave to your pricing and your profits and your payroll. You can draw theoretical boundaries with your clients all day long, but when they call at 8am on a Saturday morning from a client who just paid you $10,000 up front, you’ll answer. You’ll answer because you want them to feel secure about their investment; you’ll answer because you’ll be compelled to prove your worth.

Becoming a slave to these things is part of the thrill.

In a world where everyone is preaching the gospel of balance, it sounds sick to tell the tale of how thrilling it is to be imprisoned by a monster you created. But if the challenge and the chaos and the obligation doesn’t breed a high, it breeds resentment.

If you start a business so you can do what you love and you find yourself running a business instead of doing what you love, the result is always resentment.

If you’re having delusions of entrepreneurship, before you get to resentment, ask yourself…

Do I want to do what I love?
Do I love running a business?

You can do what you love and get a regular paycheck from a company that manages all of the crippling responsibility of profits and payroll. Sure, you’ll have to serve your time and work your way up the right corporate ladder to achieve the freedom of doing what you love, but it’s safer and far less messy than he alternative.

If you vow to build it on your own, you’ll also have to serve your time. But instead of one ladder, you’ll work your way up a plethora of ladders before you figure out which one works for you. You’ll have your hands in a million medial tasks and tangled strategies that—at times—you’ll hate it. At times you’ll hate it so much you’ll cry about it. But you’ll be able to bask in the aftermath of the mess and say, “I built this.”

So what will it be?

Laura Diaz is the CEO and Senior Strategist at Kiss Me Creative where they make client love all day long. Her super powers are efficiency, follow through and creativity based on sound logic. She enjoys long sips of coffee and short lines at Starbucks.

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