I became an employee when I was 10 years old when I started mowing lawn and doing other work for my Dad at our rental properties. It wasn’t until I was 20 when I started my own business, that I thought I became a business owner. I actually became self employed.

I owned another job. Well actually several jobs. I was the manager, the tech, the sales person, the marketing person, the accountant, etc, etc. I did every thing. Even after hiring another tech to help, I still did everything. But that’s what I thought being a business owner was about. Just keep getting work till you can hire people to do it for you.

It wasn’t until recently that I truly became a business owner. I realized that starting my own business didn’t make me a business owner. I had to stop owning jobs and start owning my business. But what does that really mean?

A business is a system that provides a service or a product. Within that system there are jobs and tasks that make up the system. As the owner, my job is to work on and manage the system. Then hire employees to do the jobs within the system. Only then will I actually become a business owner.

By becoming a business owner it doesn’t mean that I’m limited to just creating and working on the system, I can do jobs within the system. But it is just that, a job within the system. If I created the system right, then I can find someone else to do that job, including managing and growing the system.

This can be a tough thought process to get your head around. Most of us go through life being trained to be an employee. From preschool all the way through college trains us to be employees. We are taught to never make mistakes. To work hard. To follow directions. To do as we are told. We are trained by the advice our parents give us, “Go to school, get a good job, so you can have a good life, and be able to retire.”

This doesn’t mean school or the advice your parents gave you is bad and should be thrown away. No, we all need a good education. If it wasn’t for school I wouldn’t have a foundation to learn from. I wouldn’t have learned math or how to read and write. If it wasn’t for my parents I wouldn’t have a solid good work ethic. I am grateful to have gone through that type of learning. But for me it is time to move on and start my next stage of learning. Learning how to become a business owner.

To learn how to become a business owner means learning how to create a system. A system that can run a business with or without you.

My question to you this week is do you have a system? or do you have just another job?