Business can create the greatest fortress or the greatest prison


I was shooting a video last week about my journey. I went to the house where I grew up and visited a bunch of places where I worked.
I stopped at a small gym near my house in the country where I worked my first job.

When I left that place as a teenager I can remember the boss really wanting to get rid of the business.
I remember him saying he wanted to sell it but needed to make a little more money to get the price he wanted.

Seeing him was a blast from the past.
Talking to him I felt like time had stood still.
Barely anything had changed – including his excuses.

After talking for a bit. I realized he was still trying to do everything himself.
Everyone was too expensive to hire, the work seemed to be too important to hand off and no one was good enough for him.
Instead of hiring someone to fix equipment, he would do it himself.
Instead of getting someone to manage the place, he would manage it himself.

A real jack of all trades but a master of none.

The problem was that he was never open to learning. He never understood that if he focused his time on marketing instead of fixing equipment he would be thriving. Also he never trusted people. Always felt like people were out to get him. He never understood that if he spent his time creating a system to hire, train and manage good people that the business would be thriving. That he wouldn’t still be there slaving away for something sucking the life out of him.

Instead he was exhausted.
His health isn’t good and the business isn’t looking good either.

Before I left he offered to give me the business in exchange for a yearly salary.
It was a sad sight for me because I really love the guy.
But I told him I can’t and I went on my way.

Business can create the greatest fortress or the greatest prison.
Done right and it can become a source of joy.
Done wrong and it can become a source of misery.

Always keep an open mind, learn as much as you can and understand that you need to be the painter, not the paint.

Also published on Medium.

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