Quote of the Day – “Job” or “Business”

“A ‘job’ makes you money when you are working at it.  A ‘business’ makes you money when you are not.”

– A bunch of people

_______________________________

 So, are you building a business or creating a job?

Before you answer, let it be known that I’m not asking with the sort of snobbery I usually find associated with the quote above.  In almost every instance I’ve ever seen this written or heard it said, the implication was that “building a business” is a worthy goal while “creating a job” for yourself is somehow an inferior pursuit.  My interest in the answer is quite the opposite.

“Creating a job” for yourself is every bit the worthwhile activity of “building a business.”  Frankly, it’s the very FIRST measure of success in eventually building a business.  To behave as if only getting paid while you are working is a bad thing is ridiculous.  The irony is that most of the people I know who are intent on “building a business” because “creating a job” is beneath them end up sitting in a cubicle at someone else’s business, twidling away, wondering why they aren’t vacationing in the south of France with Steve Jobs while their “business” fills their bank account with cash.

Believe it or not, the first big step in “building a business” is “creating a job.”  There is simply no way to sidestep it.  Granted, some folks will think it’s an exception to have a web application that makes money without much oversight, or an affiliate sales site that generates revenue with very little day to day interaction.  True.  But getting your “business” to that level takes a very large amount of work and a very high level of energy.  Any person or television advertisement or banner ad that tells you that you can build a business without working your ass off (i.e. first “creating a job”) is obviously lying to you.

The fact is that whether you “create a job” for yourself and eventually, successfully “build a business”, you’re in for more work then you imagined.  That’s a big reason why a relatively small number of people even try to venture in to anything on their own.  If you want to sell wares on eBay or write a blog or build websites or manage AdSense campaigns as a “job” then there is absolutely, positively NOTHING wrong or ignoble about that.  I assure you that you’ll be much happier working 60 hours a week for yourself then 40 hours a week for someone else.

And if your aim is to “build a business” that can make money while your taking a nap on a Sunday, I have a simple suggestion you’d be wise to consider: get a job first.

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2 Responses

  1. Great post! A good book that explorers this further is The E-Myth or The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. A business owner I worked for gave me a copy of this and it changed the way I thought about starting a business and the process that entails.

    I definitely agree with what you say about creating a job though. Even though you eventually want a business that can run without you, you may have to run your business as a job for a while before you can get to that point.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Mike. I’ll definitely check out the Gerber book.

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