Expressed opinions Entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
I started my first business when I was 19 years old. That business grew rapidly to six numbers and half a million dollars in its second year. While the business model itself is an incredibly lucrative option for entrepreneurs, that type of business was not consistent with my goals and entrepreneurial ideals.
I sold that business in 2012 and transformed it into an online-learning business model. I wanted to make money with my mind, not my body.
I am fortunate that this business has grown in such a way that it allows us to travel full-time. I am writing this article to you from Nice, France. My wife and I have spent the last three months exploring cities in Europe, experiencing history, eating delicious food, and growing our business.
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In 2021, we have significantly changed our business model, which has revolutionized the way we spend our time. We have decided to stop providing all kinds of client work and fulfillment services. We have become a model where we pay for what we teach.
I have been an entrepreneur for 22 years. I think the thing we don’t think of as entrepreneurs is how we want to spend our time. Automatically, the assumption is that you need clients to earn. More specifically, if you are going to make real money, you need to offer client and / or fulfillment services.
The client-based model has an alternative business model. If you are going to build a business that allows you freedom and financial security, you need to be clear about what kind of model aligns with your future goals. Client service is not the only option.
Model of education only
A client-oriented business means that a consumer hires you to do something. You charge a fee, and you get the job done. This equation does not consider that there are several factors that lead to a successful outcome.
You can’t control every aspect of what results you create, but when you offer a client-based model, you have to. From a client-oriented business model much responsibility falls on the entrepreneur. Does that work for you?
The alternative is an education-only business model. You get paid to teach something, and implementation and results are the client’s responsibility. In other words, you show them how, and they will decide if they will take action.
Education-only business models are more scalable. Not all of your time is spent working on projects and providing work to clients. You sell pre-packaged information online that doesn’t cost you time.
You can sell e-books, digital-information products, online master classes and other types of training online. Offering digital-information training means you can put it behind a payroll and continue selling it 24/7. The beauty of this model is that you do not have to fill in the blanks. You are selling online training.
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The challenge with client work is that sometimes entrepreneurs are more concerned with getting results than their employer. Only in the education model, you are giving consumers what they need to get a successful result, but they want it and take action.
You can supplement the training with a private community or offer a monthly Q&A if you want to add more value. You can train consumers to get answers to their questions and give them an outlet. But how they act and their continuity falls on them, not you.
Guaranteed lead to free work
If you offer a guarantee, this is probably one of the first questions you will have when making a discovery call. Potential clients prefer the guarantee.
Some consumers find it annoying to cheat or snatch. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Your goal is to provide the best possible information and provide real value. But it doesn’t have to be the savior of the internet.
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Guarantees will allow you to work long and hard to meet anything that may be out of your control. There are dozens of reasons that lead to successful results. Most likely, you do not control these factors.
Only the model of education takes you away from the situation where guarantee is sought or expected. In the education model only, you are only providing training.
Think about how you want to spend your time
More than anything else, the goal of many entrepreneurs is time, freedom and financial security. We want to wake up and spend our time the way we want to.
A business model where your initial offer is training means you will not spend all your time working on the client. This means you can record content, put it behind a wall and sell it. Or it means you have scheduled classes for a certain period of time each month. Once you’ve completed the training, it’s your turn to do whatever you want with it.
Service providers often work long, hard hours when hiring clients. It is not uncommon for clients to spend most of their day on projects. You need to ask yourself how you want to spend your time.
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We live in the digital information age. Millions of people log on to the internet and social media every day. When your business is only set up as a learning model, your time can be spent creating content and sales posts that point customers to your training.
You can create lifestyle-based or educational content for the benefit of podcasts, YouTube videos, and other people’s viewers. Talk about the things that can be spent on your time that enlighten you and not always be on the lookout for projects.
A client-oriented business is not the only option we have today as entrepreneurs. Your experience and knowledge can be sold in a semi-passive way to generate valuable training packages and revenue. Not only does it take time and effort to build an education business, but it is something that can be done and maybe it will lead to a better balance for you.
Client work may be for you, and it’s good. You should always do what makes sense to you. As a co-entrepreneur, I would like to ask you, have you thought about how you want to spend your time?