Building a business, or making a living?

In 2010 I started my first company, an online shop selling WordPress themes.

Before that I was doing freelance web design, and before that I had a full time job as a graphic/web designer. I recently started a new company that helps people build their own mobile apps in 2014.

Every job I took, or business I’ve started was something I thought would be exciting, and would make money. I need to pay my bills just like everyone else, so financially all I ever considered was making enough to have a comfortable living.

At first I thought it would be great if I could make a product and someone would buy it. When I got my first few sales online it was an exhilarating feeling, someone thought what I made was worth paying for! If I could build the business enough to make six figures, that would be the life.

The only thing that mattered was making a living doing something interesting. The freedom of setting your own schedule, being your own boss, and actually making money doing it is really exciting.

For many people, that’s the end game, as I thought it was for me. There’s nothing wrong with making a living and stopping there. As I’ve written before, success in business is not about making millions.

It’s not about the money, I just have to keep pushing. I can’t help myself.

Building a Business

I want to build multi-million dollar business, not just make a living.

Building a business means that my income goals are no longer top priority. Putting money back into the business to make it grow is paramount.

It requires long term thinking, and short term sacrifices. Instead of padding your retirement account, you are investing in your company.

Going Big

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my company can grow 10X. My previous goals have been how to make a little more the next month or year, but I really like the 10X approach. It requires making fundamental changes that I never would have made with my old approach.

You need to make changes to your company infrastructure to make this growth possible. It may mean widening your market, hiring more people, or completely pivoting. These are things that never occur to you if you are just trying to get a few more sales, or a few more clients.

Cutting your own salary

It seems like a no-brainer, put money back into your company to help it grow. Think bigger. Duh.

It becomes difficult when you actually have to cut your own salary significantly to hire someone, add a marketing budget, etc. The idea of growing the company is alluring, but cutting my own salary sucks.

It would be great if I had a different source of income, and all the money could go back into the company. If you are in a position to be able to do that, I highly recommend it.

I’m risk-averse, and very frugal. The last thing I want to do is put all my money into a company that could fail, instead of a bank account that can grow slowly. It goes against my financial principles, but I’m going to do it anyways.

I don’t know why, but I just really want to take a shot at building a bigger company. It just seems like the next logical step in my career, and if I don’t do it now, I might not ever.

Who knows, it may even work.

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Posted by Scott

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