Why I will always take business ownership over employee

Ok….I know what you are saying, “never say never”. But, let me talk you through my thinking.

Upon reflection, I have always had the entrepreneurial drive. I am no Elon Musk or Gary V, but, I have always loved the pursuit of coming up with a way of selling something and generating an income. When I was 12 years old, I would walk up and down my street offering to clean cars for $3 (which was a lot of money back then). I also discovered the canteen delivery guy had a lot of trays to carry into the canteen. I offered to help him one day and he paid me $2. I did this every day until all the other kids sussed out what was going on and he had a swarm of kids wanting to earn $2. For a period (between you and me), I worked out how to record VHS tapes onto blank VHS tapes at home. I would rent movies, copy them onto another VHS tape and sell the movie at school.

Yes, the drive was always about making money at that age, but there was also the love of the process. Working it out, understanding who the market was and executing. It is most likely this reason that in 2014 I decided to establish my own wealth advice firm, Affinitas Capital. A big leap from selling copied VHS tapes, but the idea was the same. Understand what people wanted, be clear on how to deliver it well and stick to my target audience. Setting up and running a wealth advice firm however was a much more complex and demanding journey than selling some VHS tapes. However, the learnings were priceless! More on this in a minute.

In 2019 I established my second business, John Purl Coaching. I took so many of the learnings from Affinitas Capital and applied them to the new business. Mind you, I was now running both at the same time. So, in 2022 I sold and exited Affinitas Capital, to focus my energy and my time on something I truly loved (and still love). Helping people become ‘successful’…..but not just financially.

So, through my journey from washing cars in the street, to running two businesses at once, what have I learnt that is crucial for YOU TO KNOW, if you wanting to leap out of employment and into business ownership?

  1. Stop thinking about the business for one second: Be clear on your personal VALUES, your WHY and your END GOAL. Your business is going to be an extension of you, whether you like it or not. If you are not crystal clear on these three things you should not be moving forward with the business yet. Start here & get clear!
  2. What is your WHY for starting a business: Again, there are many responses to this question and largely there is no right or wrong. BUT you must be clear on why you want to be a business owner before you start the journey.
  3. Are you physically, mentally & emotionally ready: This journey is not a straight path. There are bumps, twists, and turns. Nothing that cannot be overcome or navigated around, but if you are not operating at your peak, you are unlikely to make the best decision, manage the stress and enjoy the journey.
  4. Shore up your personal situation first: Is your estate planning in order, do you have personal insurances in place, and have you built up a war chest of cash to cover no less than 6 months of living expenses?
  5. Engage an accountant very early on: This is a journey that comes with lots of new learnings. An accountant is your right-hand man during the setup, along the journey and should you decide to sell and exit. Seek advice with structures, software, asset protection strategies and tax/cashflow planning. This was something I did not do well with business #1.
  6. Be clear on what type of leader you are/or want to be: Whether you are managing people, engaging external consultants, or paying for the assistance of external advisors such as lawyers, bankers, brokers, accountants, marketers, designers etc, you are indeed a leader of your business. One key component of leadership is being self-aware. The better you understand yourself, the more effectively you can lead. Investing in understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a leader is crucial to successful execution of strategy and growth.

These points are KEY if you are going to start the journey from employee to business owner. We don’t know it all, and my advice, don’t profess to know it all. Invest in you, your idea, your growth, and your execution. These six points will help you on your journey to success but are by no means ALL the points you need to learn.

So, what stops you from leaping out of employee to business ownership?


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