The Free Agent

The FREE Agent

What One Thing is the Essence of Being Self-Employed?

Is it capital? No, capital can follow. What about profit? No...that can be designed into the business structure and be implemented to develop out of the essential...once you have the essential.

"How about marketing?" many will ask. That's close. This can be born from the asking and listening

A product? A service? One would think either of these are essential to a business. Yet it could develop after the business begins and thus is not essential.

Assets? Tools, technology? No, these are not essential; these can come from your essentail. A unique business value? Important, but not essential.

Passion, enthusiasm, loving what you do? Very important. Also not essential. Many have demonstrated that you can be in business without these valuable qualities...and why would you?

OK, already; enough! Uncle! Just what is that one essential thing, with which you are in business, self-employed, and without it...and even with everything else in place, you are not in essence self-employed.

Simple, it's a customer...transaction. That's right, a customer transaction. That's all. Nothing else is essential to being self-employed, to being in business. Nothing else. You recieve payment, or the promise of payment in exchange for value, or the promise of value. Solve the customer's problem, satisfy thier needs or wants, or promise to. This is a exchange. As Zig Ziglar said, "Help enough other people get what they want and you will get everything you want."

This is the simple story of enterprise. Find some good to do, do it, and prosper from the result.

Except for this one essential, none of the important components we discussed above will create a business by themselves...or even together. Without a customer transaction, you can have the assets of a business...yes. You will not in fact have a business.

For that reason, if you can get the idea that when you start with a customer or customers, all else follows naturally from that. Keep in mind you still ned responsible, ethical, open, and creative management of resources, ideas, people and opportunities, to make the most of what you have going for you. These buold on your essential. Without a customer transaction, you can have business assets of billions of dollars in value; inventory valued in the millions; legions of management and marketing people and no productive result...just expenses

Nothing, nothing, nothing happens without customer transactions. And, while we're at it, why not have lots of them...hundreds, thousands, even millions of 'em. Wow, exciting, huh?

So, when considering enterprise, focus there and thus get over any feeling of inadequacy..that is, any sense that capital, assets or personnel is inadequate or lacking.

Start with the customer(s) and invent from there.

And while we're still on the subject, what is a customer worth?

Is a customer valued at $100 by now? By your co-workers? Or $1000 each? $10,000? $100,000? A million dollars each?

Keep in mind, a lifetime customer (there's a concept) can being you more than $1000 per year or more in his/ her direct personal spending...that's $20,000 in 20 years...and they can send you 10 customers per year, every year for 20 years. That's 200 lifetime customers from one (20 x $20,000 = $400,000). So what is a customer worth?

Is this promise or pie-in-the-sky? You decide!