Speed Up Your Career by Indulging Your Lazy Gene
The unpaid bills are stacked next to the unwashed dishes. You’ve been short about $1,200 per month since the divorce.
You need something to fill that now-a-memory, two-income cash flow gap. Something that’s not a pipedream. Something that’s feasible, flexible, and powerful. Something capable of producing more dollars per hour than you’ve ever made in your life.
It can’t be a financial investment, because you’ve don’t have enough in the market to make a big difference. So what can you do?
Before shutting down your computer for the night, you check your email. You see an advertisement. But before you delete it, you notice something in the message about extra income. “What the hell,” you think.
You click on the link and it takes you to a landing page titled “The Extra Income Project.” It’s a promotion for a collection of two dozen lessons, each one a different way to make extra money by working part-time from home. The author is someone named Mark Ford, said to be a best-selling author and a self-made multimillionaire. You’ve never heard of him. Still…
You order the EIP program. It arrives immediately, and you spend the rest of the evening looking through the lessons. One of them – “Service Businesses” – is particularly interesting. “Compared to other side businesses, a service business has the lowest barrier of entry,” this Mark Ford character writes. “It can be started with the simplest marketing methods, requires little to no start-up capital, and is likely to put you into business faster than any other sort of enterprise. The one requirement: You must be capable of doing high quality work.”
“I can do that,” you think.
Ford then lists several dozen service businesses, each with a short but helpful description of its benefits and drawbacks and income potential. Under “Landscaping Business,” you read: “This is a great business for people that don’t mind waking up early, enjoy working outdoors, and don’t mind getting their hands dirty… at least for a while. The income potential begins at about $25 an hour and can increase to $100 or more once you have a customer list of a few dozen people. If you are good at managing schedules and workers and do great work, this can easily become a business that makes you six figures.”
“I can definitely do that!” you think.
The next day, you spend $23 to print 500 colorful flyers advertising your new business. You use a variation of one of the pitches suggested by Ford:
Landscaping With Love
I’ll Make Your Lawn the Best
In Your Neighborhood, Guaranteed
First Service Only $10!
The $10 offer is an advertising trick – a “loss leader,” to prove what you can do.
It works. You get six responses in week one and land two Saturday gigs. By week four, you have $380 worth of weekly contracts. Your Saturday is now a workday, but you’re making an extra $1,520 per month.
You do good work, so you start getting referrals. You can, if you want, make even more money by working Sundays. That’s money you could use to lease a new car and maybe buy some new clothes. You’d have some left over for saving.
But do you want to work seven days per week? Hell no. You’re 52, not 22. You want the money but not the work.
There is a “Recommended Reading” section of the EIP program that lists several books that promise to “take you to the next level.” One is called Ready, Fire, Aim. It’s by the same author. Mark Ford. You order the book.
To Hire or Not to Hire, That Is the Question
After reading the book, you think about your situation. You’re making an extra $1,520 per month by running your own part-time landscaping business on Saturdays. You’re tempted to expand it, but you aren’t willing to work seven days per week. The book has given you the obvious solution: Hire help.
But is it worth the cost and hassle?
Following the book’s guidelines on “analyzing growth opportunities,” you sit down with a pen and a sheet of paper and make two lists, one marked “plus” and one marked “minus.”
On the minus side, you include things like “the trouble of finding someone” and “managing people” and “figuring out the right compensation,” and so on.
The more you think about it, the longer the “minus” list grows. And yet you can’t think of anything to add to the “plus” list aside from “do less work” and “maybe make more money.”
You think, “This is exactly why I never wanted to have my own business. It’s just one long list of worries and concerns. Maybe this Ford guy is more smoke than fire.”
So you decide against hiring help. Instead, you accept a few jobs to do on Sunday mornings. You’ll make another couple hundred per week, and still have Sunday afternoon to relax.
A month later, you realize that you didn’t take into account rainy days and the occasional “Can you come back tomorrow?” You are making more money but working every sunlit hour of every weekend. It is wearing you down. It’s even affecting your performance at your weekday job.
You do the math. Doing everything yourself, you’re making about $50 per hour. You can hire someone to do the grunt work and pay him/her maybe $15 per hour. The difference, $35, would be your gross profit.
There would be some additional costs involved in growing your business, too. Taxes, for example. And you’d probably have to hire an accountant. But on an hourly basis, that couldn’t be more than, say, $5. That leaves you with a gross profit of $30 for each hour’s work.
That’s $20 less than you are making now. But overall, you’d be making about $1,800 per month instead of $1,500 while personally working the same number of hours.
It makes sense. But how do you make it happen? Where can you find a good worker?