The most important question that you can ever ask about your own business …

A little while ago a wrote a post that asked “why are you in business“?

It sounds trivial, but as I mentioned in that post, it is THE most important question that you can ask in business.

Here’s the comment to that first post that inspired this follow-up post:

I just read your post and to be honest I’ve never thought about this. There are several reasons why I am in business, but I have to admit I’ve never thought about the “end” result, let’s just say 15 years down the road. Hmmm….

So, why are you in business?

The answer, of course, is to sell it … tomorrow … eventually … or, not at all.

But, even if you choose NOT sell it, you should act as though … when the time is right … that you will sell it ….

… to yourself!


Because this kind of thinking forces you to do things with your business that you would otherwise not bother to do

… things like setting out a clear chain of command (easy if you are flying solo … not so easy if it’s you, your brother, your aunt, and three cousins running the show!)

… things like setting out clear systems to run every aspect of the business (especially if it’s all just sitting ‘in your head’ and the ‘heads’ of those around you).

… things like pretending that you are creating a ‘franchise prototype’ and that one day there will be 1,000 more just like it …

… because, if you do, one day there just might be 1,000 more just like it!

 The difference between Subway and your local sandwich shop … the difference between Burger King and your local hamburger shop …

 Is ONE GUY who dared to imagine a larger business than the one that he had.

The difference between the McDonald brothers and Ray Kroc is the difference between two guys who had a great little business and the guy who made a multi-billion business from their little idea …

… by systematizing an already great (but, small) business!

Let me share a personal story …

In 1998, I had a little business built upon a great little idea but it had just trundled along for 5 years getting new clients here and there, growing slowly, but for one small problem …

The business was losing me $5,000 a month and I was struggling to take out $50,000 a year (my wife still had to work).
Then one day I had a vision of how my future life simply HAD to look:

1. No work (my vision required me to have LOTS of spare time on my hands)

2. $250,000 a year (to ‘fund’ my ideas … ideas that involved a lot of travel and creativity)

 Now, earning $250,000 a year is one thing – but, I had to get it with no work!

That meant that I needed about $5,000,000 sitting in some passive investments … trouble is I had no investments …

… except my little money-losing business.

That, my friends, is what drove me to massive action … to make my business somehow ‘worth’ $5 million to somebody … in 5 to 10 years!

It was this ‘massive action’ that took me to expanding my business across three countries … at the same time, building up a multi-million dollar real-estate and investment portfolio … all the while, keeping my eyes and ears open to try and quickly learn all the rules of the ‘money game’ …

Now you know how this site came to be called $7 million in 7 years.

Do you see why your future business success starts with a question?

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8 thoughts on “The most important question that you can ever ask about your own business …

  1. Care sharing more about your massive action? I know exactly why I want to be in business(es): to generate enough cashflow for me to quit working the 9-to-5 job. What after that I still need to find out but right now, I am focusing on building up my passive income portfolio. That’s the only way out of this rat race.

    Can you please do easy with the ellipses? It seems like you were walking down memory lane to collect past events for the post and the ellipses seem to reflect that and break down the flow of the writing.


  2. Great post. Reminds me of the story about the enchanted kettle and the most important aspect to have: imagination.
    The guy who started Coca Cola spent his life saving’s on the recipe.
    Calculated risk, belief, and imagination.
    We don’t need to know how you achieved your goal because knowing you took massive action is enough and men/women of action are favored by the Goddess of Luck.

  3. @ Alex – I will share more of ‘my story’ as we go along, but only where it serves to illustrate the point. MY story is always boring … YOUR story is always exciting: one, you READ … the other, you DO 😉

    @ Anthony – I’ll have to look up that ‘enchanted kettle’ story … can’t say as I’ve heard of it ‘fore. It’s interesting, that both of our examples (McDonalds and Coca Cola) involve a guy who BOUGHT an under-developed business/concept and took it to massively greater heights. Who had the greater imagination: the McDonald Bro’s or Ray Croc? Prob. a bit of both … right?

  4. Well this is interesting. I have been on the pursuit of opening a business and I find what you have written something I have figured out for myself (just not as developed).

    If I understand what you wrote correctly, you figured out a way to earn 250,000 a year so that you can start the business of your dreams? What did you do (other than real estate and investment) to keep your business afloat?

    My second question is what book do you suggest would be great informational tools to understand how to invest in real estate and the stock market? I have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Takeover, I’m reading a book by Warren buffet right now as well as 2 others I plan to get into in the future. All of it bout understanding real estate and investment.

    I am well aware of having a million dollars in a investment that gives you 5% APR gives you 50,000a year… so having 5 million at 5% will give you 250,000 a year…

    But how do you stay focused? Real estate and investment isn’t my dream, my dream is to make the web a better place and to educate and entertain at the same time. I actually love urban planning and can see myself being interested in becoming a real estate developer (my background is in Architecture and Design), but I much rather make the web a better place that be the black Donald Trump.

  5. @ gAs – Thanks for your comment. No, I started a business so that I could fund investments that would eventually provide $250k/year in passive income (i.e. w/o working). Read this page for reviews of books on real-estate:

    Read this book for a Warren Buffet-style stock investing strategy:

    Good luck w/your dreams … they just MIGHT make you rich! AJC.

  6. Pingback: Some financial advice for the blogging community … « How to Make 7 Million in 7 Years™

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