The Importance of Becoming Unimportant
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to speak with thousands of distributor owners and business owners in other industries. I have concluded that though many people say they own their own business, they really don’t. Here is the test to see if you really own your own business: Can you fly to Hawaii for three months and tell someone else where to send your checks?
If you can, then you truly do own your own business. If you can’t, then perhaps your business owns you and you own a tough job. If that’s where you are today in growing your business, that’s OK. Most people who own their own business, at some point in the early and emerging stages, are the business. In these early stages the business owner is the most important person in the business.
However, if business owners truly want to get to the point where they can enjoy their life and reap the harvest of years and decades of hard work, they need to learn the importance of becoming the least important person in their business.
I’m a big believer of beginning with the end in mind. Many people tend to think relatively near-term. Often so near-term that their focus is always on the tyranny of the urgent and the tyranny of today. However, it’s important from time to time for all of us to take a look out 10, 20 years, perhaps more, and see where we want to end up when we are older, empty-nesters or heading into retirement. Then work backwards to determine what we need to do to get there.
Most people would probably say that at some point in their lives they want to really enjoy life and make money because they are the owner of a business. To make money from the business without having to work in the business requires that others in the company increase in their importance in running the company, while you, the owner, diminish your importance. And thus is the journey of going from being the most important person in your business to the least important person in your business.