You might think  you’re getting into business for yourself to pursue your dreams. Finally, you think, you’ll be doing what you love and working for yourself, and you’ll be happy.

You might even be right.

Unfortunately, odds are good that you’re not. Even if you’re getting into a business that you’re passionate about – which you should be, if at all possible – working at anything for 18 hours a day, seven days a week is a surefire recipe for overwhelming yourself, no matter how much you love the work. And when you get overwhelmed, you get tired. You get stressed. You get upset. And most of the hardest work comes at the beginning – whereas most of the income comes later. It’s not an easy place to be. So why stay there?

If you’re looking for freedom, then you’re not looking to run a business. You’re looking to own one.

Take a little food shop near where I live. The place is called Dance Mac, and it’s an absolutely amazing lunch spot. They’ll use just about any ingredient to put their own twist on the classic mac and cheese, and it’s all prepared with a friendly attitude and (of course) plenty of cheese. But the owner of that place must really love drizzling cheese on things, because that’s basically all he does, every day. Now, maybe that sounds like your idea of a great time. But if you’re looking for a little more variety in life, then you don’t just want to be focused on being the best at drizzling cheese; you need to be focused on using that tool as a means to grow your company as fast as you can to a state where you are purely overseeing things. From there, you want to keep growing to where you’re overseeing the overseers. At that point, your responsibilities are greatly reduced – and your free time is commensurately improved.

So when you’re making your decision as to what route your company should take, start out by thinking about how fast you can grow it past the point where you’re responsible for every last decision. How fast can you turn around and let your company do the work for you? Because unless you love dribbling cheese, you’re in for a long road otherwise.

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