This is The Edge Of Innovation, a business weblog for entrepreneurs. Curated by the folks at New Methods.

How to Make Money on a Boat

I'm on a Boat!

I'm on a Boat!

I remember this vividly: It was the summer of 1994. I was 8 years old. And my Dad and I were out fishing during a weekday.

I asked a simple question from my young inquisitive mind. And his answer was the catalyst for why I’m typing this outdoors from a cedar lawn chair at 1:30 on a Friday afternoon.

As I watched him put a minnow on my hook, we had a 30 second chat that changed my life forever…

“Why aren’t you working?” I ask.

“Because I own a business,” he replies.

“But don’t you have to work?”

“Yes, but my business is still running and I choose when I work”

“So this is how you can go fishing with me right now?”

And with a big smile he says, “Yes, buddy.”

Trading Time for Money

There’s a preconceived notion in the world that you must work for a paycheck. And it’s not just an employee mindset, we all know employees trade time for money. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs I’ve met or worked with share this mentality.

The self-employed syndrom, as I call it, is an unfortunate learned trait from the do-it-yourself school of thought:

“I just want to be my own boss!”

This quintessential self-employed statement is most likely the number one phrase people scream before leaping into business for themselves.

But it’s flawed in so many ways. While, when it comes down to it, you do become your own boss. Your job not only stays the exact same, you’ve added 15 other hats to wear. Sure, you may have “fired your boss.” But you also metaphorically fired your cook, chief chef and bottle washer.

And now you’ve taken on those roles as well. Welcome to self-employment!

Ditch the Self-Employed Syndrom

It’s time you take a step back and realize what you’re doing. Are you making money on a Sunday afternoon while you’re at a park with friends and family? Can you take a trip somewhere for three weeks, only to find your bank account is larger than before? Or as in my story above, can you go fishing with your son on a Wednesday afternoon?

If not, you’ve got a task on your hands. But luckily, it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

Through a little research and out-of-the-box thinking, you’ll find a way to remove yourself from the day-to-day equation of your business.

Maybe it requires hiring a staff and training them on your methods & business to replace your efforts. Maybe it requires collaboration or partnerships with fellow businesses. Or maybe it requires you take your service offerings and turn them into products.

Whatever it takes, I have faith that you’ll discover a way to allow yourself to stop work in your business. And start working on your business.

About the Author: Bradley Gauthier is co-founder of New Methods. And is passionate about helping big thinking entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. He has been a serial entrepreneur since the age of 12 when he created an online marketing firm. Connect with him on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn & Facebook.

Enjoyed This Post?

  • Jacqueline Ross

    You’ve hit the nail on the head! Owning a business and running a business are two completely separate things. Learning to leverage your MONEY is one thing, but learning to leverage your TIME is like one of those made-for-TV-movie moments where there’s a break in the clouds with a golden ray of sunshine streaming through. Like any investment, though, even when you hire people to do the ‘heavy lifting’ (like property, business or office managers) you still need to be involved enough to manage the manager. Working IN the business looks different than working ON the business but there’s still work involved. Great post!

  • Bradley Gauthier

    You’re absolutely right! I learned that the hard way by a former employee, mostly because I trusted him without “managing” him. And I’m still recovering from the damage. I didn’t find a healthy balance of managing the manager… But ultimately, isn’t everything a benefit as long as you learn from the experience? :)

    Thanks for comment, Jacqueline!


Previous post:

Next post: