7 Reasons to Run Your Own (Online) Business
I’m a huge believer that we should all have the opportunity to make a living from our passions and over the last year, I’ve become more and more vocal about this. My recent ‘What I believe’ blog was a big hit!
However, I’ve had some feedback from some people in more traditional jobs telling me to be more inclusive: “not everyone has to run their own business, Lisa”.
They’re absolutely right! There are jobs where people get to live out their purpose and add more value in employment but so many people I meet hate their jobs, dread Mondays and have dreams of running their own business. I can’t help but think, sometimes, a job is just a situation we get caught up in and we don’t know how to get out.
I’m not trying to be exclusive at all. I just believe really strongly that we should all have the chance to make a living doing what we love, on our own terms. I really dislike the idea of 9-5 hours, monthly pay checks and ‘meetings’. Oh my goodness. We’ve all sat in rubbish meetings before and wondered what the heck we’re doing there haven’t we? Come on now, don’t fib.
You see, in many traditional jobs there is a status quo, a boss and a rule book. Dress like this, say that, perform in this way. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried it. I’ve tried it all. I mean I’ve worked in restaurants and pet shops, large corporates and retail empires and I’ve recently sold one six figure business and downsized another – both of which I’d built from nothing – because they weren’t what I wanted. Over the last year, I’ve been building my online business: DARETOGROW. I’ve gone from running events to running online courses, from networking to webinars and I LOVE IT.
Next year, Alice (my beautiful partner) and I are going to Vegas and LA over March and April and we want to spend the whole summer in Ibiza or hotfooting around Europe.
There is NO WAY I could do this in any of my traditional jobs, nor with my more traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses. In fact, just thinking about it gives me hot flushes.
I won’t lie. Getting to this point has not been easy. I’ve taken many a wrong road but I’ve arrived all the same. Now, I want to teach as many people as possible how to do it: how to uncover your purpose, set a compelling vision for your life and make a living from your passions.
And I have to be honest. Life is just more fun when you’re doing your own thing and running your own business. So for any of you who are ‘on the fence’, and especially for those of you who’ve made the leap and are having cold feet, this is for you:
Your earning potential is untapped
When I hear people ‘waiting for payday’, I can’t help but wonder if it’s not a little demoralising; waiting each month for that one off payment. Even in my most broke days when I was absolutely skint and paying off £70k in debt (that’s another story) I still felt grateful for the fact my earning potential is untapped. It may be tough now, I told myself, but in only a few months, things will be unrecognisable. This Christmas, Alice and I are making plans to spend a month in America over March and April. We’re attending a Tony Robbins seminar and we’re going to watch Gabby Bernstein in LA, squeezing in a little trip to San Fran before finishing off the tour at a huge marketing conference in Vegas. Why not?! I’m not sure how I’d ‘save’ for this with a job. With my business, I can set a target and work towards it. The formula is simple: the more value I add, the more money I earn.
I’m not shy about earning money. I have big plans. I want to save hundreds of thousands of animals from cruelty (next year I’m donating 20% of my profits to PETA in the UK), I want to help thousands of people to become vegetarian (if not vegan) and I want to inspire people to live their dream lives. I’m going to need cash for all of this! Plus, I want Alice and I to see the world and enjoy some treats in life like a big car, 1st class air travel (you’ve got to try it once haven’t you?!) and villas by the sea. And again…why not?
What would you do with uncapped earnings?
You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission
Following on from the point above, my plans would be impossible in ‘earlier lives’. I couldn’t up and leave my other businesses and I couldn’t really get 6 weeks ‘off work’ to travel the globe. In fact, I’m not even sure I could run my own blog in a job (some contracts are very strict!).
When running your own business, you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission for anything. But, there is something I want to highlight here. There are three types of ‘running your own business’. There is:
- Building a business you thought you’d love only to realise it’s not what you wanted, before promptly getting trapped and in a bit of a mess. Anyone?? Just me?
- Building a business just to make money. Hmm, not my style.
- Building a business you fucking love (erm, I swear), living out your passion and changing the world for the better. Yes please!!
I’m a massive advocate of business option number 3. I’m all for making money, as I’ve said, but earning money for money’s sake it an empty endeavour. Tony Robbins said he knows a lot of unhappy millionaires and even billionaires. That’s because there is a big difference between success and fulfilment and I know from experience. In the last year, I’ve been more financially broke than I’ve ever been in my life (a story for another day) but I’ve also been happier, more energised and healthier than I’ve ever been before in my life and living a life of passion is why. I just know it.
What would you make a living doing if anything were possible?
Your growth is untapped
I’ve already said that your earning potential is untapped but have you ever stopped to consider the freedom in personal growth you get from running your own business? There is the growth you get from learning to manage your own time, money and attention and there is the growth you get from spending time reading, watching content online and joining training events.
Just a few months ago, an opportunity came up to attend a two-day workshop with a best-selling author in London. I didn’t think twice. I booked my tickets, cleared my diary and went. Sure, I worked on the train to stay on top but the trip didn’t come out of my ‘annual leave’. Eugh. Annual leave? I’m sorry but why do we have to ask for a day off? And why do we only get 28 days? Have you ever really stopped to think about it? Career lifers will think I’m crazy now, or maybe a little rude, but these regulations (and that’s what they are) come from the old industrial days of factory workers. I don’t want to work in a factory and I don’t want to ask for a day off. Do you?
Now, let’s not hide the truth here. Running your own business is DAMMMnnnn hard. Especially in the early days but if you get your head down and work hard things do get easier. You build a brand, you set up some automated systems and you learn to scale. And this is important: learning how to build a business you can scale. I show people how to build businesses that do not rely on their direct time. Trading time for money rarely leads to uncapped anything apart from uncapped stress. Been there, done that.
Building a business is hard graft now for more freedom later. You reap what you sow but you must toil first.
What would you with your time if you had more of it?
You get to go to the cinema in the middle of the day
I asked Alice for some ideas for this blog as she is building her own online business too and she replied: “If you always work 9-5 you’ll never know what it feels like to have sex on a Tuesday afternoon”. “I’m not writing that!!” I replied.
You get to go to the cinema in the middle of the day. Running your own business means you get to run your own diary. You can work on a Saturday if you want and take off Monday and Tuesday. You can work when you feel inspired and recoup when you don’t. You can lie in and work a bit later, or work a bit earlier and hang out in the afternoon.
It was really hard for me at first getting used to this. We’ve all been so well programmed by school and work that we give over our time 9-5pm every day but why? Who says this is the best way to do it? In my marketing agency, I always said people can work anywhere, work from home and even go to the cinema in the middle of the day – I guess because it’s what I wanted deep down – and I meant it. I wonder if they thought it was a trick.
The point is that you don’t have to work 9-5. When you have your own business, you can work whenever you want. When it’s something you love, you have to be careful not to overwork yourself haha. Rest is important too!
What would you do in the middle of the day if you owned your time?
You get to work with incredible people
There is a phrase which goes: “You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are” and I’ve seen this to be so true this year. If you’re negative, you attract negative people. If you’re positive, you attract positive people. Positive people find it hard to be around negative people and negative people find it hard to be around positive people.
Because I run my own business and particularly because of the nature of what I do, I attract likeminded people: people who are gritty, determined, obsessed with personal development; people who want to change the world. And I love it!!! I love my DARETOGROW community. We learn so much from each other and we inspire each other to grow. At work, you’re not always so lucky. You get ‘put on’ projects, you’re ‘sat beside’ people with little choice, you’re ‘put into’ a team. In your own business you get to choose who you work with, when and where and you attract people who are into what you’re into. It’s amazing!!
What kind of people would you love to work with?
You get to work with your family and friends
Okay, okay, this isn’t for everyone, I know. But that’s a shame! Alice and I get to spend nearly every day together. And why wouldn’t we love that? Our interests are aligned, our trajectory in life is aligned and passions are aligned. We’re building our dream lives together.
Don’t get me wrong. We are very different people. I like running and Alice likes yoga. I like speaking on stage and Alice likes 121 meetings. I ‘think’ things and she ‘feels’ things. We do have our off days but we create such a safe environment for each other we grow so quickly. There is a phrase: if you want to go fast, go alone – if you want to go far, go together.
That’s what we’re doing: building our dream lives together and that villa is clearly in our sights!
Of course, a lot of my family and friends work more traditional jobs but when they’re free, they don’t need to ask me twice: I’m there and I don’t need to book time off. This is something I particularly love about my online business – I can run it on the go, and from anyway. Manchester, Northallerton, London…Vegas, LA. You get the picture.
Who would you spend more time with in your family / friendship groups?
You get to follow your bliss
What is your deep passion in life? What would bring you ultimate joy? Who knows. We’re all in pursuit of this, aren’t we? Only, some of us aren’t. Some of us go to work just to make money so that we can afford to do what we love on the weekend. Who on earth made up this rule?? I want to do what I love all day every day and I’m not joking.
Steve Jobs once famously said that if spends too many days doing what he doesn’t love, he just stops and makes a change. Just like that. Because he knew that one day, he’d be dead. He literally said that. He knew: live each day as if it’s your last.
You see, there is another way. You can literally make a living doing what you love and spend every day on that journey to utter bliss and more and more entrepreneurs are doing it. I’m doing it and what’s amazing is that it’s rubbing off on the people around me. More and more people are asking themselves ‘what’s my passion’ and ‘how can I make a living doing what I love’. Even if you don’t know how, just begin by asking the question. The path will unfold.