It’s an entrepreneur’s dream: unlimited earning potential, control of your own schedule, and the freedom to choose your own destiny. But the reality is, most entrepreneurs trade in their job for less time and less income and only a few achieve the freedom they wanted. Why is that the case?
Why is it that most entrepreneurs live a reality that’s the exact opposite of their dream?
This is their reality: They’ll agree to meetings with a client at 6:15 in the morning because they desperately need the sale. They don’t want to be homeless and working at a broken desk at a shelter in two months. After struggling for a long time, working as a grocery bagger starts to look luxurious.
It doesn’t make sense. Why do some entrepreneurs have freedom and money while most are still working like they have a job?
To understand this, we need to look at the four levels of business, and the four types of entrepreneurs.
Watch this video about the four types of entrepreneurs.
Technician Tammy: Level 1
The first level is what I call Technician Tammy. A Technician Tammy focuses on survival. As a Technician Tammy, you’re trading hours for dollars. You could be a bookkeeper, a consultant, an accountant, or a lawyer.
You could be making a high income, but at the end of the day, if you stop working, your income stops. In this case, you don’t really have a business, you have a job.
A Technician Tammy frequently says, “I’m exhausted,” or “I need a day off,” or “I don’t want to work on weekends.” Another common saying is, “I haven’t taken a vacation in three years,” because you’re not making enough money.
Life for a Technician Tammy looks like a seesaw. First, you’re working and working, then to tip the balance, you’re chasing the work. When you’ve chased enough work, you’re doing the work. You’re trying to maintain balance by going back and forth, doing one and then the other.
In level one, you’re getting paid for your time and not for results. A lot of entrepreneurs stay at this level and they don’t understand why. But if they evolve, they reach level two, and they become a Manager Michelle.
Manager Michelle: Level 2
As a Manager Michelle you focus on security. The most common thing that a Manager Michelle says is “If you want something done, do it yourself.”
Manager Michelle values independence, doing things her way because she wants things to be done right. A lot of the time, she’s saying that, “I can’t find good people these days. How come they don’t care like I do? I told him a million times how to do it, but he never gets it. They’re so incompetent, these employees.”
I say it’s better to have one percent of a hundred people’s effort than a hundred percent of my own. Delegate!
As a Manager Michelle you’re running a business and you’ve got people working for you or with you, but you’re running in circles. You’re putting out fires.
You’re fixing all the mistakes made by the people that you employ. You think that they work for you but in reality they don’t work for you, you, you work for them. As a Manager Michelle you don’t own a business, your business owns you. As a Technician Tammie, you also don’t have a business, you have a job.
And that’s how 97 percent of entrepreneurs operate. They don’t even understand why their business model doesn’t work. The intention right from the beginning doesn’t work.
When you’re doing the work, or you’re hiring some people, you’re making a little bit of money, but you don’t have freedom. You cannot walk away from your business. If you want to walk away, even for a little bit of time, you need to move to level three.
Owner Olivia: Level 3
A small percentage of entrepreneurs, around three percent, graduate and move up to this level. You have what I call an Owner Olivia.
Owner Olivia focuses on growth. As an Owner Olivia, you’re not doing the work but you have to be physically there in the business. You’re not actually doing the hands-on technical work but you have to monitor the business. There’s a big difference.
The most common things that an Owner Olivia says is this, “How can I empower my team? How can I put some systems in place so my business runs more smoothly? How can I put in a marketing or client attraction system that consistently and predicatively attracts clients to my business?”
There’s a shift in mindset at this level. You’re not just focusing on making more money. You’re thinking more strategically. You want to know that what you’re doing today is going to lead to where you want to go tomorrow.
You identify your goal and then reverse engineer it by identifying what you want to create and what you want the business to look like.
The biggest difference between an Owner Olivia and a Manager Michelle is what happens when they go on vacation. If a Manager Michelle takes a two week vacation, her income drops significantly or when she comes back, her business is a mess.
If an Owner Olivia takes a two week vacation, she will come back and business is just fine. Her income is the same, the revenue is the same, and the employees didn’t even know Olivia was away. That’s the difference. But to achieve complete freedom, you need to reach level four.
Entrepreneur Eva: Level 4
As an Entrepreneur Eva, your focus at level four is freedom.
The most common questions that an Entrepreneur Eva asks are “What’s my next big idea? How can I find someone to run my company? How can I leverage my contacts, my resources, my capital, and get the highest return?”
The mindset and focus aren’t even on the same planet as the other three levels.
As an Entrepreneur Eva you have total leverage and total freedom. You’re not doing the work and you don’t even have to be physically there. People have asked me, “How can you run sixteen companies?”
I tell them “I can because I don’t run sixteen companies.” Every single company has a partner or an operator running it. Management is not my strong suit. I learnt that many years ago. I’m a lousy manager.
I’m a concept guy. I’m a strategic thinker. That’s the highest and best use of my time, and you have to ask yourself the same question. What is the best use of your time?
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re struggling to make a profit, what I’ve just said may shock you, but it’s a learning process. If you’re a Technician Tammie or Manager Michelle, now you know what you need to do to change your level and gain the freedom you dreamed of when you decided you no longer wanted a job.
Final Thoughts On The 4 Types Of Entrepreneurs
People become entrepreneurs because they want freedom and the ultimate control of their own destiny. Unfortunately, many find themselves trading a 40 hour work week for an 80 hour work week, making even less income.
They don’t have a business, they have another job. Or other business owners have employees but they spend so much time putting out fires that they don’t own their business. Their business owns them. Only three percent of entrepreneurs make it to the top two levels of business.
At levels three and four, their business flourishes even when they aren’t physically there. At level three, entrepreneurs are growing their business. But when they reach level four, they have the freedom that people dream of when they first decided to become an entrepreneur.
What was your reason for becoming an entrepreneur? Comment below.