While nowhere near back to functioning at 100%, I'm at least slowly starting to feel human once again. :) My major health complaint of the day: 'Why does everything taste like burnt coffee?' Nonetheless, sure beats 'Where in jeebus's name does all this nasty multi-hued phlegm come from, and when will it stop?' any day. Apologies for that mental image!
Since I'm feeling marginally better the last couple days, I decided to at the very least catch up with my stats collection for my blasting income. While doing so, I let the ol' mind drift for awhile, and made a few observations.
Owning a Job
Doing tax work this time of the year, as well as via relationships with people in the little rural communities around me, I personally know more than a few who call themselves business owners who really aren't. What they've done is created for themselves a job. Yes, indeed, occasionally a very well paying job. More often than not, a very demanding job. Sometimes even going so far as to surround themselves with an extensive support staff that they consider their employees. Nevertheless, it isn't truly a business in my mind; it's a job that is heavily dependent on the owner being there day in, day out, month in, month out, for the 'business' to run smoothly. Oftentimes, for it to run at all.
I've got one of those 'businesses.' In addition to tax work and the online biz, I do a fair bit of PC tech work a good chunk of the year. And a day I don't walk into the office and get my hands dirty inside a computer is a day when that business makes precisely zero dollars. Just about the farthest thing from passive income as one can get. Honestly, there are plenty of days that I'd be just thrilled to never crack open a case again. And soon enough, I won't, unless the mood strikes me to add another petabyte to my next PC.
The graveyards are full of indispensable men. -- Charles de Gaulle
In a scarier position yet are those employed in one of these 'businesses'. The day the owner decides to call it quits, or the vagaries of life i.e. death forces that decision on the owner, so goes the business. The owner was the business, and now that s/he's gone, time for the employees to find a new line of work. Or take on the task of recreating the owner's job for themselves. Methinks a rather precarious position.
Owning a Business
But while pulling in my stats and massaging them into the desired format, the part about this online income gig that just rocks my world became abundantly clear: While I accomplished almost nothing over the last week+, my online business continued to chug merrily along in my absence, almost as if that fact didn't really matter. Because, in all honesty, at least on a continual basis, my being present working in the business doesn't. By design. I have taken great pains to make it so.
It, like any well-designed business, doesn't need its owner aka me sitting at a desk continually micromanaging every little thing going on within it. What I do isn't rocket science. And even if it was, to do that well takes a similar process.
Namely, I have systems in place that explain, in often excruciating detail, most of what I do. And what isn't explicitly explained today gets written down and added to my system as I further optimize what I'm doing. Truthfully, I see that process a more vital part of the business than the actual business of the business.
And why bother? Because, if I can systemize my business, I can do something like hire or outsource to complete those parts of my business that I've tired of doing personally. Or, for that matter, all of it. Or multiply my efforts for the price of an employee or two or freelancer or two. Or, pull my system together, pretty it up, put a bow on it, and sell the system itself. Or if I'm tired of all that passive income, sell the whole thing off. ;)
So, I'm left waiting for the bugs to get killed off so I can get back to working on my business. Can't wait!