The best way to build wealth is to create a business.
The only way to become really rich financially and really rich personally — in other words really, really rich — is to start your own business.
So if starting one business is going to make you rich, then what about starting multiple businesses?
Is this even possible? Is it realistic, by anyone’s stretched imagination to start one, two, three, four, or, heck, even twelve businesses in a calendar year?
Why not dream? And why not try?
Here are some ideas for helping you do just that.
One barrier to business-building is the idea of what constitutes a business.
According to some starry-eyed entrepreneurs, no business is worth starting unless it’s something like Apple, Google, Microsoft, or any one of the Silicon Valley unicorns.
Let’s unburden “business” of such lofty aspirations.
Investopedia defines “business” as “an organization or enterprising entity engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities.”
See? You don’t even need to be profitable. You just need to be doing something.
My vision of a business is something that turns a profit, so let’s add that into the equation. Now, how hard is it going to be to start one (or forty) of these?
Not hard at all.
Here are some small scale businesses.
- One rental property with monthly cash flow
- One book for sale on Amazon
- A set of stock photos for sale on Flickr
- A gig on Fiverr
- A hot dog stand
The great thing about small scale businesses is that they have the chance to scale up. A single Amazon book can turn into a series. A single hotdog stand can mushroom into a national franchise.
If you want to start the next Google every month, be my guest. For purposes of rapid deployment and realistic expectations, however, you may want to readjust your definition.
You’re sunk unless you decide to systematize your business-launching process.
Starting a business from scratch every time is called “reinventing the wheel.” And it’s a spectacular waste of time.
As you start your first business, write down the exact procedure that you follow along each step of the way.
Let me give you some sample systems. These aren’t detailed systems, but they will at least give you an idea of what I’m referring to.
- An incorporation system. Call the same lawyer, use the same website, and follow the same process to register the entity.
- A website system. Use the same service, CMS, template, and hosting service to launch a website. You can eventually do this in five minutes.
- A hiring system. Most businesses need more than one person to function effectively. If you’re going to be starting a few dozen, you’ll need people. Use a Craigslist template, your Fiverr contacts, or a hiring maven to get you the people that you need to get stuff done.
- A marketing system. Marketing can be systemized, too. Define your strategy, write it down, and execute it for every business. Ad creatives, social accounts, content marketing, and lead generation can be automated and streamlined.
Outsource like your life depends upon it. (Because it does.)
If you don’t outsource, you won’t be able to start businesses.
Let me be very clear. Just because you start the business does not mean that you run the business.
Plenty of skilled people are willing to work for you. They may not have the chutzpah to start forty-five businesses, but they sure wouldn’t mind working for someone who does.
Outsourcing is going to be a pain, so you may consider outsourcing your outsourcing. (Hire a project manager, COO, or someone equally industrious.) But by all means, outsource. You have to start somewhere, and you won’t grow until you do.
Let go of control.
To build a business is to create something larger than yourself. You must be willing to surrender your absolute control. You must be willing to let your business grow beyond your limited abilities and contribution.
You don’t get to decide exactly what the ad looks like. You don’t monitor the Twitter stream. You don’t decide what commerce platform you use.
Why not? Because you don’t have time. Micromanaging one business is difficult and draining. Micromanaging multiple businesses is impossible.
The sooner you surrender your control, the sooner your fledgling businesses will be able to fly.
Franchise. It’s the law of multiples.
There is a proven model for starting lots of businesses. It’s called the franchise model.
Franchising a business is the simple process of turning a single business idea into dozens or hundreds of actual businesses.
To facilitate the process, you’ll probably want to hire a franchise consultant.
Leverage business number one, to build business number two, to build business number three, etc.
Sometimes, businesses will need funding. Sometimes, you can bootstrap the business. Sometimes, you can buy a business.
I’ve done all of these. When you build a profitable business, you can use the income generated by the first business to build your second business.
If your third business needs even more funding, you can use the combined income from the first and second business.
Use your businesses to build more businesses. Business building has a snowball effect.
Keep those ideas rolling.
The only thing that is going to get in the way of your serially starting businesses is your own lack of drive and ideas.
Hard work is important, of course, but there is no substitute for a steady stream of great ideas.
Every time the entrepreneurial muse inspires you with a new idea, write it down. Better yet, take an hour or two and launch it!
If your systems are in place, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to set the pendulum in motion. Pushing an idea from conception to execution is all that it takes to “start a business.”
Now your idea is born. You feed it, train it, raise it, and let it grow.
Such a glittering perspective on business launching is, I admit, optimistic. Maybe overly so.
However, optimism and passion will set you on the path toward serial entrepreneurship faster than pessimism and laziness will.
So go ahead, see if you can start a new business this month. And then one next month. And so on.
How many businesses do you think you can start?
This article was written by Neil Patel from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.