How a Successful Business Works

by Brian C. 8 months ago in advice

Why aren't you in business for yourself? Is it really that hard to make your own money from home?

How a Successful Business Works

For the longest time I yearned for something better, something more than my daily 8-4:30 grind at the Microsoft Online Store. Even after they shirked me out of a $30,000 bonus, I still plugged away for them, spending my days resenting them for pulling my bonus yet still selling their product because there was security in it. There was security knowing that I would get paid on Friday and that my bills would then subsequently be paid, and as such, my son would continue to have a roof over his head and internet at his fingertips.

But then one day they found a way to terminate my employment; they used the most minute thing they could in order to cut the tie between us, as though my +$1M in sales that year meant nothing. But let's be fair people, it's Microsoft, it doesn't mean anything to them anymore, they make those kinds of sales repeatedly (keep that term in mind for later).

I was sour. How could they sting me on the bonus I earned and then cut me loose? I rode the bus home that morning texting my co-workers that I was let go, I think I hoped inside that they would form a coup and protest to management. I later realized that they weren't going to do that, the fear behind it was too great, all for what, to end up like me?

Then something happened over the next few days in my wallowing. My routine changed from picking my son up at the babysitter around 6 PM, to picking him up from school at 3:30 PM. We didn't have to rush home, I could afford half an hour at the playground before we left, we could go for a walk, and there he was, suddenly, grown up in front of me, the past two years I had missed, and had I not been terminated I would have continued missing him growing up.

I decided that there must be a better way, there has to be a way to make money from home, so that we can still afford the luxuries that we've become accustomed to. Also, so that I could always be there for him. So I looked in every corner I could. I started paid survey sites... Yeah... I know... I actually found a secret shopper program for Subway, which was great because I could get us a meal on the house and make $15 in the process; the problem there is that there are only so many Subway restaurants in the region.

So I tried the MLM thing, yeah I know a lot of you just thought "Ohhh a pyramid scheme" and let's just get something straight here, EVERY business operates under the umbrella of a pyramid format, there's a regional manager who leads district managers who lead supervisors who lead team leads that monitor all the "sheeples" grinding away making a little bit of money for the overall cause. The only difference in a desk and chair job is that you're rewarded with a paycheck for performing the duties they require and with an MLM you have to build up to that first.

After many failures and many downgrades to our home life, I realized that I needed more research. I realized that McDonald's has had the answer to my question all along. You're probably all familiar with their iconic sign and the quote that's on it: "Over 99 Billion Served," and I thought, well even IF they only made one cent profit on all 99 Billion, then they still profited 990 million dollars (and we know they made more than one cent profit on each).

Now, McDonald's did not serve 99 billion orders with just one location, they put locations all over the world, in pretty much every city possible.

Together, each restaurant makes a small portion of their sales in comparison to the whole group. So I realized, in order to succeed at home, I needed to do as many things as I could, in order to make money in as many areas as I could, and the resources are out there waiting to be utilized, for sure.

Like many entrepreneurs, I went to e-bay and started selling things like a garage sale, and I made some money; however, I ran out of things to sell, so I started a business, a sole-proprietorship as far as Revenue Canada is concerned. I started buying things that were in discount bins at WalMart and Target and Shopper's Drug Mart and I continued making money on e-bay until I realized I needed a more reliable source of product. So I started buying things online that were being sold in bulk for a lower cost and making profit by taking the time to sell those things individually.

I'll be honest, this was generating roughly $300 a month in profit for me; it's not a lot, but what would you do with an extra $300 a month? I have since grown that number several times over, but I realized that I was missing out. I wasn't committing a full eight hour day to earning money, like I would at a traditional job. So then I started exploring the YouTube idea, and while I have made no money there, I also haven't been overly active yet. This of course led to a couple of Twitch channels being set up, and for how young they are, they're building quite nicely. No income to report from that yet, but I'm confident that it will get there within six months.

I also found Vocal, and while I don't know if this will also be a source of income for me, I am certain that even if I only make $4 a month on views of my writing, that's another $4 I did not have before, and hey, maybe some people will enjoy what I am saying and feel generous, who knows? And that's the magic of it all, you just never know how you're going to touch someone's life.

Here's my overall point. If you go to work at a traditional job, you spend 30-90 minutes commuting one-way each day, that's 60-180 minutes of your day spent getting to work and going home, then you spend 8.5-12 hours at your job, working yourself to help someone else obtain more money (whether that be by providing support to their customers, or by actually selling customers something).

Today I made $161 on e-bay for two hours worth of work that I did three days ago, and tomorrow I may make more. The point is that I made it for me, it's all mine and aside from my lovely wife, no one is going to dip their greedy little fingers in it, nor will they tell me what to do. Now imagine what that kind of effort would yield if I put in the normal 40 hours per week.

There's freedom out there people, but don't let yourself settle on one idea. Heck, if you're here, you already have that one idea, and if you're not committing eight hours a day to this, then find more things that you can make money with until your eight hours is spent working for yourself. And then, when you have built your own mini-empire, take a vacation, and when you ask your boss for the time off, just say YES!

Brian C.
Brian C.
Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Brian C.

I'm a father of 2 boys, I am mostly chugging through this life looking for a better way of providing for my family. The daily grind has become far too intrusive, impersonal and negligent for my liking, and I need to find a better way!

See all posts by Brian C.