This is going to seem like such a contradiction to everything I stood for a year ago that it may confuse people.

Everyone doesn’t need to own their own business.  I will say it again: everyone DOES NOT need to own a business.

I know, I know – I have been preaching…err teaching that in order to become wealthy you must do what the wealthy do.  That means that you must focus on the things that create wealth.  It has been proven over and over again that the best way to do that is to own your own business, investing/trading, and continuously learning and exploring new opportunities.

However, with the decision to wholeheartedly embrace this ideology, there are painful lessons that walk hand in hand with becoming wealthy using this philosophy. If you were not privy to wealth building principles early on and/or were not taught how to become financially literate, you will be forced to spend some time undoing the poor decisions that you have made.  By “poor decisions”, I don’t mean you made right/wrong decisions, but rather that you have made some decisions based on bad data and have embraced poor people’s concepts.  For example:

  1. Is a house an asset?  Most people will say yes.  However, they never take the time to discuss what the term “asset” really means.  By my definition (and most wealthy people) an asset is anything that produces more wealth than it consumes.  A liability is the opposite.  It consumes more wealth that it produces.  This means if you bought a house and it does not put more money into your pocket than it takes from you, it is a liability.  I hear some of you thinking, “It’s a great tax write off!”  That sounds cool until you look at the money you spend yearly and compare it to your supposed “write off”.  “Owning a house as the foundation of your investment strategy” was/is a marketing ploy devise to keep poor people consuming.  Why not rent something instead and save the difference to buy a smaller home outright – yes that takes a long time to do, but you will thank me later for it.  If you have to purchase a home, why not purchase a duplex and/or quadplex.  Rent the other spaces out and let your tenants pay for the mortgage.  If you just have to have a home you can do one of two things:
    1. Rent the house
    2. Create a business with enough cash flow that it pays for the house. Let your profits from your ideas buy your house
    3. Engagement ring should cost 3-6 months of man’s salary.  Really?  Does this mean that he loves you more?  Do people even realize where this concept comes from? If the man truly loves the woman and she loves him – why does the size of the ring matter?  Before you say, it just does – ask yourself “why”?  What was the purpose of the ring?  Would you seriously rather he spend 3-6 months’ salary on a ring or to put 2-5 months of that money into your joint savings account? In the same vein, why spend $20k+ for a wedding? Especially if you have to borrow to do so?  I’m all for enjoying the occasion, but what’s the real purpose.  You spend all this money to impress people that won’t add one extra benefit to your marriage.  They will come, drop off a gift, eat your food and then return to their lives while you are stuck with the bill.  Why not have a small reception you can pay cash for and save/invest the rest? Just a thought.

However, back to why everyone doesn’t need to own a business.

There are many struggles in building a business.  There are sleepless nights, painful setbacks, loss of friends, severe highs and lows, and a plethora of other things waiting to cause you to fail.  It is not enough to work hard or be smart. It’s not enough to form a team and get started.  It even isn’t enough to identify your passion and commit to pursuing it. Those qualities, though helpful, will not sustain you during those dark moments – and trust me you will have those dark moments.

I have heard people say, they want to start a business so they can have free time or, “Own their own time”. I secretly cringe now when I hear that because nothing is further from the truth.  Your time is not yours; it belongs to your company until you have positioned it in such a fashion that it becomes self-sustaining.  You give up your 8 hour day for 16 hour days.  Anyone that tells you otherwise, is either lying or never really started a business themselves (I’m sure someone is going to argue this point but for every one person that disagrees – I have 10 people who will sign off on this statement).

As such, I have come to realize that most people can’t take the pain.  It’s not that they are weak, but rather they don’t see the point in undertaking the entire struggle just to find out the pain was more than they were willing to bare.

  • “I have a comfortable lifestyle now, why jeopardize it” – stay at your job
  • I like being a part of something that is bigger than myself that’s already established – stay at your job
  • I have kids and the have needs/special needs and they come first – stay at your job
  • I do not know my purpose and am unwilling to undergo what’s necessary to find out – stay at your job
  • I like/love my passions and all, but am not interested in making a profit off of it – stay at your job
  • I am near retirement and just don’t want to start something that is a lot of work – stay at your job

Bottom line – if you don’t have a burning desire that just won’t go away to start a business, just stay at your job.  Everyone can start a business, but not many are willing to undergo the pains of self-examination, finding the need in society and creating a solution for it, etc. And you know what?  That is perfectly okay.

The problem comes in when you want Bill Gates type wealth, but don’t want to put in Bill Gate’s effort.

Another example is Steve Harvey.  He has a radio show, is the host of Family Feud, has his own talk show, and a host of other projects that aren’t televised (like his non-profit program for young boys).  Many people talk about wanting his level of wealth.  Don’t forget, that he has spent more than his fair share sleeping in his car. Are you willing to put in his level of effort?  Don’t just talk about it.

So stop romanticizing the idea of being in business.  It is hard work and isn’t for the faint of heart.  For those who are willing, know that your efforts will not be in vain – no matter what your eyes are showing you or your flesh is telling you.

Stay focused.  If you don’t have anyone who has struggled building their vision and passion, know that you are not alone in the fight. Stay encouraged.