The swing shift can be an exhausting occupation. Some say you get accustomed to it, but it’s not natural for the body to stay up all night, days in a row, and then shift to day work. At least working nights brings premium pay. Entrepreneurs leave eight-hour shifts behind and replace them with 24/7 responsibility. They don’t get paid for the hours they lay awake planning and worrying. The wise entrepreneur will make another shift as soon as the business cash flows. The shift from worker to owner is essential if the entrepreneur ever wants to retire. The distinguishing characteristic of a business OWNER is the choice to work or not to work. An owner earns money sitting on a beach in Cancun.
If you would make that shift, start with first gear and define the individual jobs you currently perform. By defining tasks, you will identify the jobs you can hire someone else to do. Second gear develops policies and procedures to protect you from the incompetence or dishonesty of your employees. Once you get rolling, you’ll need to make a plan to increase your revenue by five times, so you can afford to hire excellent people. Steady acceleration as third gear defines doesn’t work with make-do employees. Fourth gear is the biggest shift. It requires you to defer even growth to your management staff. They are empowered to push the company forward without your supervision.
When your people, policies and procedures are in place, it’s time to try cruise control. Take an extended vacation to test the viability of your business. Some savvy owners have internet accessible monitoring so they can see how the business is doing without disturbing the managers. Your dashboard should include a running Profit and Loss report, a list of new bids, new orders, and a delivery cue. Remember the purpose of your vacation is to test the business that you have created so don’t interfere unless the situation is drastic.
The final shift is to retirement. If your business can endure your absence for a few months, then it can more easily be sold, or you can completely defer management and collect your profits while pursuing your hobbies or another business. Enjoying the yield of several profitable businesses without going to work everyday is like shifting into overdrive.