For the twenty years immediately prior to coming online, I worked as a classroom teacher during the week, and as a residential real estate appraiser and broker during the evenings, weekends, and school vacations. This put me in the unique position of being both an employee of the school district and self-employed in my real estate business. I also believe this helped me to make the transition to working as an entrepreneur on the Internet go much more smoothly. Let’s take a look at these three business models to see how they affect the outcome of your life.
As an employee of the Los Angeles public school system, I had little say in what I did on a daily basis in my job. The district trained me in how to present the instructional materials to the students, and it was my job to deliver them in a way that would result in the outcome they wanted to achieve. When the student’s test scores were increasing, that meant that I was doing my job. I am simplifying the process here, but the idea is that an employee follows directions, and has very little say in the day to day activities of the business.
In my real estate business I made the decisions regarding the clients I would work for, the hours I worked, and the geographic locations I would serve. Over the years I was able to have some large accounts with lenders and mortgage companies, as well as individuals who owned multiple properties. I was an independent contractor, which meant that I could sever my relationship with anyone at any time. Even though I set my own prices, these always had to be in alignment with the range of prices charged by the tens of thousands of other people who offered an almost identical service as I was offering. New clients found me through referrals of current and past clients, as well as through national and local organizations that I belonged to at any given time.
When I came online and began doing business in 2006, I soon realized that being an entrepreneur was very different from anything I had ever been involved in before. The rules of this game are unique in that you must constantly be creating your business and promoting your products and services. Basically this means that nothing happens unless you make it happen. If I want to generate more income I must create new products and services, market existing ones, and keep up with what others are doing within my niche. I love doing this, but it truly is something that I live and breathe throughout each day.
Think about what you want for yourself when it comes to running an online business. You must prepare yourself for what is to come so that you can be as successful as possible.