The number one reason most people want to buy or start a business is to achieve financial freedom. Moreover, part of that dream is to gain FREE time to do those things we all dream of accomplishing—your “bucket list?” However, is it a small business owner calling, or a step to another calling?
The sad thing is, although many small business owners make a good wage, many never obtain the second part of that dream. They long for that quality free time, without the constant fear their company will fall apart in their absence.
A Good Wage Doesn’t Always Translate into Good Living!
The title of a recent article in Success Magazine, “It’s Your Calling Calling—Are you free?” written by Shawn Achor, really struck a chord with me. I hope Shawn won’t mind my borrowing at least part of that title for this blog, seeing its from a very different perspective. However, it couldn’t be more suited for our message here.
Was a Singer, Songwriter, Band Leader MY Calling
The blog title took me back to the time when I made the decision to leave the music business. Mainly, I was hoping to completely reverse course on a path I’d traveled for twenty years. I had been a coast-to-coast singer and bandleader of a rock band, relentlessly trying to “make it big.”
So abrupt was my course change, my friends, agents and a few family members were shocked, to say the least. They questioned my decision and, some, even my sanity. “Philip you spent so many years in music, why would you leave it all behind when you’re so close to making it “BIG?” Well, that was their perception. My answer to them? Music was NOT my “calling,” although I had some success in it. Truth was, at that time I still didn’t know what my calling was; I just knew what it wasn’t.
The year was 1988, when I made the decision to hang up my microphone and start a printing company on a wing and a prayer. Enthusiastically, I started my new business in a space about the size of a small apartment, some four hundred square feet. Despite challenges and struggling a year or so, we began to grow at a very nice pace, and life seemed to be looking up. But, five years into owning a small print shop, I found myself drowning in chaos and had no idea how to resolve it. So much for my small business owner calling!
Was being Owner of a Printing Company the Calling?
With the printing company steeped in chaos, it forced me to make another decision. Moreover, I had to find an answer—to stop the messes or just continue in the pain, which I hated. As a result, I sought the advice of a business owner I knew who told me our business chaos was all “normal—just business as usual.” Was that right?
I thought, “If this is a life, a small business owner calling, I want no part of it!” I would start looking for a way out.
After a short-lived pity party, I made the decision to stop the madness, and began reading everything I could get my hands on about business organization. For example, quality control, ISO, leadership, and process management. I watched demos of job shop management software, business process management software, and small manufacturing management software.
Over the next months and years, I started applying that knowledge to our small printing business. In fact, with the same tenacity and excitement I had pursued the music business years before. As a result, with these new systems in place, we started growing at a phenomenal rate.
Are You Free to Answer Your Calling, if Called?
Several years into this new-found mission, our company was running like a well-oiled machine, without my constant attention to everything. I found I had free time to do things I always wanted to do, like restore an old southern house, and write a business book. Most important, hearing a call, I founded a software company that helped small businesses organize via systemization.
Other business owners took notice of our orderly business and began asking me to help them with their businesses. Consequently, several business owners asked me to write a book about how it all happened. Before I knew it, I found I really enjoyed systemizing a business and helping other business owners in their efforts. The calling was getting stronger!
My Small Business Owner Calling Came and I was Ready
Because of bringing my own business to order, step by step, and using the power of systems, my business was no longer just a job. I believed I’d found my real “calling”, which was, helping and coaching others on how to truly own and control their business. Many small business owners have a tough job working long hours bogged down in daily operations. Ironically, our calling was helping them to answer their calling, if it called!
Take a tour of a lean and mean business that enabled me to answer my calling.
By and Large, your current business may NOT be your “calling.” However, I suggest you take the cards you’re dealt, even if you feel stuck in a business you are now sorry you started or purchased. Most importantly, there IS a way forward.
Turn what now feels like a burden into a well-oiled machine—using THE POWER OF SYSTEMS. Before long, you won’t have to be on site all day long; I believe you will find the time to hear and answer your real “call.”
Is your “calling” calling? If so, do you have the freedom to answer the Call?
Did I mention? Great Systems Work!