Meet Roger. Roger is 24, he loves to party and mess around with his friends. That’s why it took him 2 years more than it should have to graduate from design school. Nonetheless, he managed to get a good job at a well-known interactive agency. Roger’s work was so good that not only did his boss love it, but clients would also praise him.
In the following years Roger gained more experience and was continuously improving his design skills. One day he decided that it was time to leave the company he was working for and start his own business.
That’s when the problems started…
Roger quickly understood that every client that he worked with in the past was actually brought in by the company, and that he only played a small part that was responsible for getting the work done.
Without the company Roger wasn’t able to get a consistent stream of clients, and therefore wasn’t able to make a decent living. Sad, isn’t it?
As a result of this unpleasant situation Roger started to doubt his skills, talent, and knowledge as a designer. But there was one thing that he missed. He didn’t realize that the minute he decided to become an entrepreneur and start his own business that he also changed his job into something completely different. He went from being in the business of designing websites to being in the business of marketing, which is something that he had no experience in.
That’s the first thing you need to realize.
If you have your own business, you are in the business of marketing
Being self-employed is an interesting thing. At first you think that clients are paying you for one thing, when in reality they are paying you for something entirely different. In other words, you’re not making money from what you’ve thought you would have.
Let me explain that thought.
Let’s go back to the time when Roger had his day job. Every day he went to work, sat down at his computer, spent 8 hours designing websites, and then he went home. And that’s exactly what he got paid for. He was trading his time for money.
Once Roger decided to start his own business the amount of time he was spending designing websites didn’t matter anymore. Roger could spend 10 minutes or 10 straight days designing websites, but he wouldn’t get paid for that work.
It didn’t matter how much time he spent, if he couldn’t find someone who was willing to pay for it. Roger isn’t trading his time for money anymore, he is trading his ability of convincing someone that they should be doing business with him for money… in other words: he’s monetizing his marketing.
Here’s the biggest difference between having a day job and your own business:
If you have your own business you have to make money before you even start working
OK, let’s take a look at the moment in which Roger makes money. When he had his day job he got paid when he was leaving the office after 8 hours of work.
Now when he has his own business he’s making money when a client looks at the offer, and says “yes”. And that’s the moment when Roger starts doing actual work. Of course he won’t get 100% of the money upfront, but in time he’ll fully get paid.
Not everyone makes it
Changing what you do in life (from whatever you have been doing to marketing) doesn’t always turn out well. 95% of new businesses tank, that’s just terrible, right?
Well it is, but it’s easier to understand why once you realize that you’re not just becoming an entrepreneur, you are also becoming a marketer. Sadly, you might not be as good at marketing as you were with your original profession.
Let’s look at it this way: Imagine a group of 100 randomly selected people. Imagine that you give them a task of learning to play the trombone by the next morning. Would you be surprised if 95% didn’t make it?
Every entrepreneur wants to be one of the fortunate 5 who have managed to play the trombone.
So here’s the question:
What do you need to do as a young entrepreneur?
Forget about what you’ve been doing so far, as you won’t get paid for it any longer.
The most important thing is your ability to convince your clients or customers that you are the one they need to be doing business with. Remember, you are making money as soon as a client or customer says “yes” not when you give them a finished product.
This concept has made my life easier since I’ve learned it. What do you think about it?