August 10, 2010

How do You want to Grow and Prosper?


There are many ways of thinking about getting wealthy and prospering. Many thousands of books have been written on the subject, and I’d like to break down all of that into several different personalities that people typically forge into when trying to make it “big”.

Annuity income

This way of thinking revolves around creating passive income streams for yourself. The ideology is that a person works extremely hard in the beginning (regardless if they enjoy what they’re doing or not), and once the passive income starts rolling in, they are free to do as they please.

This works best for people wanting to see the world on more than just a shoestring budget, and stay at home moms that want to give all their time to their kids. The model is great, but it is flawed in the sense that it defines work as something that we should all avoid, and does not make many references to working on your passion. You see these kinds of people reading books like “The 4 hour work-week” on the beach, and setting up several hundred blogs working on auto pilot earning them their monthly bread. Its excellent for people who want to have the freedom of not working, but for me, work is a critical part of life and it defines us and our roles in society in a way that nothing else we do can. Passive income, although a great thing to have, should never make a person stop contributing to society.

Consultant

The consultant is a special branch of person who has typically amassed tons of experience at his previous jobs, and has realized that he wants more time and money for himself while still applying his passion. Being a consultant allows you to essentially earn up to 7 times what you would get working under a boss – although this does not factor in the risk of not having work to do, the costs of running a consultancy, marketing etc.

Consultants typically work on an hourly basis and have highly specialized skillsets. Their business is often hard to scale, and their is always the risk of having their industry saturated with other consultants (e.g. web design), or having their skillset become obsolete (e.g. cobol programming consultants). It is a worthwhile road to take if you are extremely skilled and passionate in one field, and have a flair for marketing. However, the business naturally caps with you, and in my view it is a bit of a dead end in terms of growing your wealth exponentially.

Entrepreneur

The entrepreneur is the workhorse that constantly explores, innovates and connects. This personality typically works much harder than the other personality types, simply because he is often over-commited and too involved in too many things. I would have to say that most entrepreneurs do not have one particular business which they focus on. Most of the entrepreneurs I have met are involved in many different projects at once, and act as project managers, creatives, strategic planners and “connecters” in the work they do. This work is highly taxing to the mind and body, but it is extremely rewarding and definitely makes you feel alive as you jump from one opportunity to the next.

The downside is that there is very little time left for anything else. Thus, the entrepreneur’s work becomes his life. This isn’t a bad thing since what they do is highly stimulating, creative and lucrative. However, I believe ideally one would want to evolve into an executive.

Executive

The executive is essentially an entrepreneur that has found a single avenue to pursue. Whereas entrepreneurs are great at discovering new opportunities and connecting links in the supply chain process together, the executives have found their one cash cow and reap massive rewards from it. Executives are not necessarily entrepeneurs, although they may have been entrepreneurs in the past.

Executives take the bull by the horns on one great idea and grow a prosperous business because of it. In my view, some of the most successful people in the world are entrepreneurs-turned-executives, including people like Bill Gates and Richard Branson. It is the amalgamation of finding the right opportunity after exploring many others that is perfectly aligned with your interests, skills and goals.


Although there is overlap between the 4 types of personalities I have defined above, I truly believe that to be successful you should focus on one and make that your purpose. You cannot be an executive, and try run other businesses as an entrepreneur. You cannot work efficiently as a consultant while trying to create side projects that generate passive income and still have time left over for family and fun (although I have met some people that manage to do this, it is rare).

Who am I?

This year I tried to literally be all 4. I consulted my SEO, web design and marketing services to large brands. I worked as an entrepreneur exploring different business opportunities in the online as well as offline world. I explored generating passive income streams for myself by leverage my coding skills on the web.

And after all of this, I partially diluted the value of my largest cash cow – Fuseware. This is my company of which I am an executive, and to be truly successful, I need to nurture it and remain focused like a laser beam on it. It is extremely aligned with my skills, passions, and future goals and is ready to be scaled up almost infinitely. I want to be an executive above all else, and after realizing this – I made peace with myself about what I really wanted to do and contribute to humanity.

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