Entrepreneurship > Business Ownership

November 22, 2016

I believe, for some people, entrepreneurship is how we are truly supposed to live.

I despise rules. I hate answering to anyone. It’s something I was born with and was reinforced strongly by my mother and father, although they may not want to lay claim to it, my parents instilled my rebellious spirit in my childhood. My mom and dad fought the status quo my entire childhood and still do. You won’t catch them following the ways of the world, buried in iPads, burdened by bad news, and considering divorce. You may however find them loving each other and enjoying their growing family. There was always a marked difference between my brothers and I and other kids. We related with most kids, but as a Campisi boy, you were just a little different.

When it came time to pick a career path, I always thought it would be business ownership, but as I got older, I found that I hated everything I saw about the business owners lives I saw, and decided it was entrepreneurship I was chasing. The business owners I watched worked countless hours a week, missed countless hours of their younger life, and never seemed to be truly fulfilled with their lives. It seemed to me they had the life just like everyone who worked a job but even more stress and sometimes less money and time!

A lot of people think all business owners are entrepeneurs, but if you read the book “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber, you find that not to be the case. Entrepreneurship and business ownership are totally different, and the reasons seem endless, but I can sum it up in a few paragraphs, and shed some light on this lifestyle and why I am so passionate about it, and the difference between the life and goals of and entrepreneur and those of a business owner.

The very not so obvious difference.

Have you ever heard someone respond to the question “How are you?” with something like “Busy” or something like this one I heard the other day “tired, grumpy and mean.”?

It seems like in the business world, these responses are worn like a badge of honor, and oftentimes an excuse for a woe is me, garbage eating attitude.

Now have you ever had someone respond a little lighter in terms of how they are doing career wise? Maybe something like “it is what you make it!” or “doing great”?

It’s refreshing to hear that.

When talking to a business owner, more often than not, unfortunately, they respond in the negative. Why?

Why is it that entrepeneurs are so excited for their direction and business owners are dreading every move?

Could be it be a simple difference in ideals?

How do we know?

One simple question and the answer to the question you might be asking yourself

Am I a business owner or an entrepreneur?

Is your business being designed for your life or is your business desiging your life?

In other words, are you building a business that caters to the life you want (other than money), or are you being forced to design your life around your business?

Remember I said “not so obvious difference”?

Let me help you understand with a simple example from my own personal life. I am no expert, and out of the several businesses I run, you may or may not make more money than all three combined, but in my eyes money, although very nessisarry of that which I am very aware, to me, doesn’t equal success.

When I started Dirty Worm (formally know as Tony’s Bait & Compost) a wholesale live worm and bait business, I was asked all the time questions like “Where is your shop?” “Do you have a bait shop?” “Do you plan on opening a bait shop?”

Those are fair questions no doubt! Knowing me it’s easy to see why someone would assume that’s the direction I intend to head. I love to fish, I love anything near water, I certainly love to interact with others, and swapping fish tales with old buddies is one of my favorite ways to kill some time.

What those friends and family were missing however was my personal goals and aspirations for my life. They were thinking business, I was thinking lifestyle. You see, I don’t want to work Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday, or even Friday. What are the most popular days to fish?

Those days of course.

Not because the fish bite more, but that’s when people are off work and can fish.

So why don’t I want to be in a business where I sell to fisherman on those big money days?

Because I want to fish those big money days! Sounds simple, and to me it is, but after quite a few years trying to explain my ideals, I have come to the conclusion that it is not, in fact, all that simple to some people. Bare with me.

So my answer was and still is, “No I don’t have a bait shop, don’t plan on it, and don’t want one, I want to sell to bait shops.”

Simplest way I can think to explain it. Below.

#1Bait Shop = Sitting behind counter while others are fishing.

#2Wholesale = Sitting in boat while others are selling to the ones fishing.

#1 Business-owner

#2 Entrepreneur

Now of course the worms aren’t going to crawl into containers and deliver themselves. I still need to work, and want to work mind you. I am not entirely lazy, but a little laziness is sometimes the greatest form of motivation. My goal was to work hard a few days of the week, and have the majority of my week available to me to do the things I deemed important.

So here is my answer to the question above. I am designing my life with my business. My business does not force me to design my life around it. I want to work from home, and I do. I only want to work 3-4 days per week, most weeks I do, sometimes less. I want to work on something I am greatly passionate about, I do. I want to grow my business as my family grows, it’s in the works, since Mariah has come on as my wife we have worked together allowing us to get more done without adding much in terms of workload or stress. When kids come, even more help may come available, and as my brothers and friends have children or need/want better jobs, Lord willing, we will have opportunities for them.

The mindset

A quote I used to quote a lot (but not quite understand yet) and still reflect on today (which by the way, this quote kills my brother danny, a very dedicated student of leadership,entrepreneur, and very genuine hard worker. We have fun with it.) is “Why give 100% when you can get by just fine with 50%?

I just broke every rule of business didn’t I?

What about the grind Tony? What about work hard play hard? What about all that leadership stuff?

Are you encouraging people to be lazy?

No, I’m not encouraging you to be lazy, you don’t have to listen to me. But heres how I see it.

Let’s say you need to make $45,000 dollars a year to survive and live your version of a good life, and you also love to build bird houses with your son, and cook big meals for the whole family (random? Sure, but its my blog, so lets throw horseback riding in there too). Don’t forget that life is more about what you love than about what you “do”.

Now let’s say you have a choice; you can work 40+ hours a week to make $45,000 a year or you can work 20 hours or less a week to make $45,000 a year, which do you pick?

I pick 20. I’ll spend the first 20 hours building my business, so that I can live in the next 20.

An entrepreneur finds a way to make the same amount of money with less time, so he or she can put the time otherwise spent making a living into making a life.

You only get one go around here on planet earth, so as Ho Yinsen from the movie Iron Man says “Don’t waste it.”


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    1. I think you’re young and quite idealistic, Tony. If you are happy on a living that is “getting by,” more power to you. As an older American, I see the flip side of the coin. How about working a few longer hours to build savings for a “rainy day”? Autos break down and need to be replaced, people get sick and can’t work for some time (think back injury). Crap happens. Health and liability insurance goes up and up. How do you pay for those things on a mediocre income? My husband and I, at age 60 and self-employed, pay $2200/month for health insurance with a $4000 annual deductible; no dental coverage. It’s getting impossible for young couples to be one-income wage earners. Then wait until kids get added to the mix. I’m playing devil’s advocate, but my questions and concerns are valid. I think being an entrepreneur means lining your coffers with a little extra. It’s not ALL about money, but savings does offer a sense of security.

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        Darlene, thanks for your input. I believe, however, you have missed the point of this post. This post is highlighting the pros of true entrepreneurship and why I am passionate about the choice I have to make however much I determine I need in however many hours I choose. Making the exact same money in less time. Therefore, if I determine my family unit must make $250,000 per year for example, I, as an entrepreneur, will find a way to make that money in the least amount of time possible. True entrepreneurship is making more money with less time. Money is absolutely necessary, working long hours to make it is not.

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