Do You Want to Run Your Business or Own Your Business – Part 1

own a businessWait, is this a trick question? If you run your business you owned it and vice versa, right?

Not entirely true.

This question is addressing one the biggest issues in entrepreneurship, that cause many entrepreneurs to be the most busy people in the world: Do you really want to run your own business?

I want to run my own show

Many people I know have a common statement about entrepreneurship: I’m tired of… (fill in the blank with: working for others, making ends meet on a tight budget, etc.) – I want to run my own business and make millions.

Yes, you could, and people do make millions running their own business. The real question is, do you really have what it takes to run a successful business?

Run a business vs. own a business

My answer to the above question is: no, I don’t have what it takes to run a successful business.

I hate business traveling (I do love looking for business opportunities while traveling for leisure), I don’t like doing series of meeting, and I resent working for many hours to run my business.

I’ve done all that, and I really, really don’t fancy running a business. I have to stop here before the rants are taking over this blog post :)

Running your business means you are involved in your business’ day-to-day operation, in such a way that many business issues that pop up at any given time will require your attention and will keep you working for 18 hours a day.

When that happens, you are becoming a member in the elite group of entrepreneurs that live and breathe running business.

Not good. All of a sudden, your business is becoming… your job.

Here’s what I envision being an entrepreneur: I prefer to own my business, rather than to run my business. Blame 4-hour Work Week’s Tim Ferriss for this :)

Seriously, I fave what Tim Ferriss is doing in outsourcing his life – He said that the idea of being rich and own a big company is obsolete. Working many hours to manage a multi-million-dollar business empire is no longer on his mind. He mentions about the New Riches that run autopilot business (that could very well make millions of dollar annually), allowing them to pursue their passions – And no, their passions are far from clubbing all night and being a socialite – Some work in non-profit organisations, and some do travel the world for leisure and for fun business opportunities seeking. What a life!

Basically, the idea of owning a business is better – You own the business, receive all the perks, yet you, ideally, don’t need to lift a finger to get things done. Even better, make yours run on autopilot.

This is the end of Part 1.

On part 2, you can learn from those who has done it from a couple of case studies that practically answer this question: How appealing is owning your business and have it on autopilot (at least semi-automatic.)

Go to part 2 »

Ivan Widjaya
I want to own my business, not to be owned by it.
Image by House of Sims.