Twenty-one million businesses in the U.S. have only one employee – themselves.
For millions of these folks, it means being freelancers – doing a job themselves. For others, it means “going at it alone” and building a business without employees, but with resources.
The differentiation was identified by Bruce Judson in his book Go It Alone: Do What You Do Best Let Others Do The Rest. Judson contends that it’s possible now, in the digital age, to stay small but reap big profits by outsourcing tasks, which then allow individuals the freedom to concentrate on their greatest skills.
Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, put a different spin on it, but with the same ideology. Gerber challenges the freelancer, professional, entrepreneur to get out of a mechanical cycle of perpetual existence – doing the same things over and over again to generate a stream of income. For example, a mechanic, web designer, shop owner, or therapist who performs the same tasks every day, existing only to produce an income as long as these duties are performed.
In other words, they are doing the same job if they were an employee, but now they have no health insurance plan.
So why does it matter? Because it limits taking your vision beyond the obvious.
1. Do you have systems?
a. Do-it-Yourself: Your business depends on a pre-existing relationships and service people you already know.
b. Go-it-Alone: You have a mechanism or system for repeatedly selling your services to a broader pool of clients.
2. Do you improve offerings and operations?
a. Do-it-Yourself: You are doing the same thing in business you were 12 months ago.
b. Go-it-Alone: You are in constant experimental mode, testing new business initiatives, designing your business with the flexibility to shift your product and constantly improving your core business.
3. Is profit tied to your time input?
a. Do-it-Yourself: You use all your time in producing the product, project-by-project and client-by-client. Production is dependent on your time.
b. Go-it-Alone: You get the greatest benefit of your use of your time. You don’t link your time to your compensation or income potential. You have eradicated the limits created because income is no longer tied to your time.