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Do you ever feel like you're on a hamster wheel? Are you constantly working for short-term gains? When a person gets on the hamster wheel, short-term gains are the brief signs of getting somewhere, however shortlived they may be. Some examples of this could be:

  • Getting married

  • Buying a new or better car

  • Moving into a bigger house

  • Going on a vacation

  • Going to the opera

  • Going to a movie

  • A weekend getaway

  • Etc.

But then Monday morning comes around, and we are back on the hamster wheel. Many times, in the life of a small business, the owners often feel like they are on a hamster wheel that they don't know how to get off.

It's very similar to a Rat Race. A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. The phrase equates humans to rats attempting to earn a reward such as cheese in vain. It may also refer to a competitive struggle to get ahead financially or routinely. Wikipedia

Most businesses start this way; however, this continued routine peaks at a certain production level and makes it impossible to expand a business that continues to operate like that.

Promote and sell, collect money and deliver products or services. The speed of expansion is determined by what activity the owner of the business creates the business from personally. When the Technician-minded business owner builds the business from the production and delivery aspect of the business, expansion is limited to the delivery capacity of the owner and so levels off much faster.

Once the owner believes he has to be the one overseeing or even personally producing all the delivery of the products or services, he unknowingly narrows his attention down to that one aspect of the business resulting in expansion leveling off rapidly. It becomes a roller coaster business, meaning it will climb up to max capacity and then back down, then up again and down again. Eventually, it will drop to a much lower range and often takes new management to ever surpass past high numbers.

The entrepreneurial-minded business owner will get other people producing and delivering the products then moves over to marketing, sales, and personnel. The expansion will more likely surpass the technician-minded business owner and, more importantly, grow to a much higher level. However, the same will eventually occur to a business owner that insists on holding on to any particular job in his or her business. The time will come when the owner will be holding the business back by not turning over any particular job to someone else in order to concentrate on expansion and planning.

I learned early on it is a bad idea not to have a deputy. For purely selfish reasons, I learned that it is difficult to take time off if you don't have a deputy to leave in charge. So, in my second job, I got myself a deputy, and when I took time off, he would get a temporary replacement for himself, then he would take over my job while I was away. When I left that company to start my own business, he took over my job. There was no issue or upset that I was leaving because I had a competent replacement.

As a business owner, I would always build the business from the operations aspect of the business so that I knew all about how to deliver the products and services we provided. I was always looking for someone who could take over my job so I could move up to an executive role and oversee the marketing, hiring, and finances.

What I didn’t realize was that I was still on a hamster wheel to a degree. Yes, I could take a couple of months off and not have to worry whether I could pay the bills or not. I did have reserves and investments, but I was still thinking of short-term gains, not long-term for my family.
The most successful people in the world often leave empires behind that continue for generations. This means the founders of these empires meant for them to be around for generations when the creation began. Materialistically, things will inevitably come to an end. Although, a vision that includes the benefit to mankind will expand and expand and, can survive the generations based on the initial purpose. Henry Ford had the mission of “Economical transportation for the masses.” Ford is still going strong after nearly 130 years. 
Building assets and empires that will survive the generations will mostly come from education after school and college. 
The solution is to read entrepreneurial books and apply what you have read. In time, a total change of mind will follow. I’m training young entrepreneurs now, and it is surprisingly more simple than you would think to have people thinking long-term and building assets and empires.
Email or call me at +1 727-243-1336 for an education program that will get you off the hamster wheel and out of the rat race.
Let me know if this was helpful.

Graham Payne

Getting out of the rat race: Projects
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