Where Does the Entrepreneurial Spirit Come From
I will definitely dive into this topic with other business owners in the future but I thought it would be good to share where the seeds were planted for me to have the entrepreneurial spirit.
I get to have wonderful conversations with many existing private investigators and business owners from all over the world. And while talking to a private investigator recently he asked where I got my entrepreneurial spirit. And I thought it was a great question that I wanted to spend some time thinking about. I probably could have given him a quick answer but I think it is an important topic.
I guess when really thinking about I can point to my early years when I was around 7 years old. We had a lemon tree in our backyard and way more lemons then we knew what to do with. So I took my little cart, filled it up with lemons, and price the lemons according to size. I then went door to door in my neighborhood selling lemons. Why did I want to sell lemons? My family didn’t have a great deal of money when we were younger and I wanted to earn money. So I earn money in my early years doing that.
I later had a paper route. I actually had to routes at the same time for two different news papers. It was a lot of work but I did it and made around $400 to $500 a month while in Jr. High. I liked working independently being responsible for my own success.
When I got involved in sports and hobbies I realized I wasn’t a big fan of team sports where a coach decided if I would play or not. When I got involved in wrestling I enjoyed being in charge of my own success and destiny. If I was going to be a varsity wrestler it would be up to me to put the work in and win the varsity position. I liked the feeling of being responsible for my success.
Fast Forward Post Army
I think the biggest realization that I didn’t want to be an employee forever happened when I was working in Loss Prevention with Gap Inc. I was able to see a lot more things then I did when I was in the Army. I could see how much company politics were in play in business. I could see how there were so many people in supervisory and management that were more about self preservation then the success of the company or any employee in the company. I saw that there was no future in that industry and there were no mentors for personal growth. If I stayed there I would never grow.
I Became a Private Investigator
Becoming a private investigator further reinforced how I liked having my success in my own hands. I have talked about my journey to becoming a private investigator many times. At that moment in my life I had two jobs. One job was delivering newspapers 7 days a week from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. and the second job was working as a Loss Prevention Agent for GAP Inc. I didn’t want to work 2 jobs. I was exhausted by working two jobs. I just wanted to take the skills that I gained with Loss Prevention and apply them to one job that paid the same as two jobs.
I eventually got hired with a good investigation company and found that I excelled as a private investigator and was promoted quickly due to my work ethic, willingness to learn and my investigation results. I loved having my destiny in my own hands. I loved my performance being based on what I did and how I performed in the field. There were no real politics and moving up happened quickly because there was no one holding me back and my results weren’t based on anyone but me.
A series of event happened with that company (being bought out, bad management, bad leaders) and I walked away from that company after they could no longer provide work for anyone in the state I was living in.
With my back against the wall financially I decided to start my own business and take my career and finances into my own hands. At the same time I started my business I actually got hired with a company at the same time. I will save the first year of having a business and working for a company for another conversation.
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR ADVICE
P.I. Advice came out of a couple of things. I had just started to learn how to build a website for my business and I also learned about niche websites. I thought it would be pretty cool to share things about being a private investigator and maybe earn a little extra money with ads on the website.
Since the website was created, I have created 99.9 percent of all content on the site. Only recently did I allow for a Canadian private investigator to write and article for P.I. Advice regarding how he became a private investigator. Since starting the Private Investigator Advice websites it has expanded to large amount of Youtube video and podcasts.
Here is the interesting thing that you might not have guessed. I never made a great deal of money from all the efforts related to Private Investigator Advice. The money earned from this endeavor actually means more to me then the money I earn being employed with someone. I think a lot of that feeling has to do with helping and teaching people in the private investigation industry and the fact that it was my own thing. I wasn't working for someone else's dream. I was working for my own dream. And I can make that dream as big as I want as long as I put the work in.
P.I. Advice probably would be much much bigger if I incorporated others into the content creation over the years. I am sure within a year or so that will happen and who knows, it might be the biggest resource in the near future.
HEALTH COACHING WITH MY WIFE
As most of you know I have lost nearly 100 pounds in 2018. And in 2018 I became a health coach with my wife. Little did we know that it would be one of the most rewarding things my wife and I have ever done.
We get to see lives transformed every day. We get to work on ourselves and help others identify things about themselves they might not have considered.
We have created really cool friendships in the past year that I would never have imagined we would have.
I have grown more in the past year then in many years combined. The great thing about this health coaching business is we can do it from anywhere and like any business it only grows if you grow as a person and if you put the work in.
I will be a health coach with my wife probably until the day I die. It is the best thing ever.
WHY I LIKE BEING A BUSINESS OWNER
Being a business owner allows me to set my own schedule. Owning your own private investigation business gives you control of when you work or how long you work (in many cases).
If my kids are sick I know that in most cases it isn’t the end of the world if I start my work day later or I can pick them up from school. I don’t have to worry if I am running out of sick days or PTO for an employer.
No Limit on Growth
The growth in your company is not determined by a superior above you. Growth is determined by personal growth and doing the work.
I don’t have to worry about someone thinking I am worthy of a higher position when I am the owner.
No Office Politics/Negative Corporate Cultures
I have worked for some really bad companies with some really horrible company cultures. You can identify those companies because they keep getting acquired by other companies. The same bad leadership keeps getting passed on to the new owners but the core issues are never addressed within the company.
Being a business owner give you more control as to who you partner with. You can do sub-contract work for other companies and if you decide that they aren’t a good company to partner with any longer you stop taking their work.
No Limit on Compensation
In the corporate world there is going to be a cap on your compensation. You can only work so many hours in a day. Even if you work overtime, there is still a cap on your compensation.
Being a business owner gives you the opportunity to have as much financial growth as your skills, personal growth, hard work, and imagination can dream up. No matter what you will always have to put the work in.
Of course, just because there is no limit on how much you can make, there is also no limit on how little you can make. Well I guess zero is the most you can’t make. So you will have to put the work in.
No Limit on Vacation Days
I alluded to this earlier but I think you get the idea. Being a business owner makes it possible to have no limit on your vacation days or when you take them.
I can’t tell you how much it bothered me that I only received one or two weeks paid vacation while employed with a company. This happens a lot when working for investigative companies.
I hated the fact that my extended getaways with my family was only limited to 2 weeks a year. There was really no unpaid time off options. I was either on vacation or I was working. That is just not living. I resent those days greatly.
In Charge of my Own Destiny
As a business owner I am in charge of my own destiny. My growth is a direct reflection on how much I am willing to grow and how hard I am willing to work.
I love love love seeing something I built grow and impact people in a positive way.
So How Did I Get My Entrepreneurial Spirit
I don’t like just existing. I don’t like living in the status quo of life which is usually go to college, accrue college debt (which I did), get a job, climb the ladder, vacation only as much as the company I work for allows, maybe get some sort of retirement (if I am lucky), maybe “retire” when I am 65.
There is nothing wrong with doing that if that is something you want. I just don’t want it.
I want to live in abundance so I can give more financially, give more of my time and give more of my knowledge to those wanting to learn what I have to share.
I want to teach my kids that they have more choices then just to be an employee. I want my wife and I to be an example of that.
So in short, I feel as though I can do, give and share more as an entrepreneur then if I was working for someone. I want to live my best life and that is what I think living this type of life for me will bring.
I hope that this speaks to you in one way or another. I want you to be all that you can be. I want you to seek knowledge and be more tomorrow than you are today. If you want to grow in this way, when you look back to the moment a year from now you will not be in the same place. Make sure you are different (in a good way) a year from now.
Personal growth doesn’t come with age. There are plenty of immature dumb people that are old. You need to go out and seek knowledge so you can fulfill your entrepreneurial desires.
What Do You Want?
What do you want for your life and your families life? What do you dream about doing in your life? Who do you dream about helping and serving? Whatever your dream is I want you to picture the type of person you need to become to have the job or business of your dreams. And once you realize who you need to become it is time to think about the skills you need to be better at to realize that dream.
I call it reverse engineering your future. Some people call it leading from the future. No matter how you slice it though, personal growth will be needed to reach your goals and dreams.