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Your Starting Point

In this transcript, Clay Clark (US SBA Entrepreneur of the Year) discusses where to start: the five vehicles to choose from on Thrive15.com, one of the most affordable business schools in Michigan! 

Clay Clark:    I met a guy about three years ago who was a videographer. This guy used to work for a major studio in New York. He left the company to become his own videographer. He though, I could move to Oklahoma. I could live on the cheap. I could shoot videos, and what he did was he was working all the time as a self-employed videographer. He would film people's commercials. He would edit those commercials. He would work all the time. I see the guy. He's working like, I'm not exaggerating, he's probably working 16-hour days, every day. 

    I talked to this guy, and I'm like, "Are you making money?" He says no. I said, "Why not?" He said, "I've got to buy a new camera. I've got to buy new microphones. I've got to get an office space. I've got a hire a secretary. My secretary who I have right now never answers the phone properly. I've got to install a new website I'm building. I've got to, I've got to ..."

    The point is he's not making any more money than when we worked for someone else. In fact, he's making less. He's working more, and making less, but at least he doesn't work for the man. At least he's not in a wage cage. At least he's not a polar bear stuck in the zoo, but he's not getting ahead. He's just not in a wage cage. 

    I guess that feels good for a while, not being in a cage. If you're a polar bear, you're like, "Woo, I'm free." The problem is, you're not making any money. If you're a polar bear, you're not eating any big food. You're just a skinny polar bear now because you're free but you don't own a business. You just own a job. 

    The pro is that you have this. There's no cap on your wages. You say, you don't work for the man. You own your own business. On the con here, the con is that you work all the time for not even a dime. You're working on the weekends. You're making a workflow. You're building a website. You're building an email, and you don't even have any customers. You're just grinding. You're building the sales systems, and you're not getting paid a dime. At least you're not working for the man, but at least when you worked for the man, the man paid you. Now you make nothing at all. That's terrible.

    You don't work for the man. Now, the other problem is that there is no man. That means there's nobody to hold you accountable. There's nobody to say you have to be at work at 9, or leave at 5. A lot of self-employed people, they show up whenever they want, and they're poor because of it. There's no systems. There's no man. There's no man. There's nobody holding you accountable. There's no boss being like, "You have to be here on time." There's no invoices. There's no paperwork.

    I left a job because all this BS paperwork. Now, you own your own business, there's no paperwork. In fact, you don't do any paperwork at all. That's why your taxes are jacked up.

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    I met a builder about six years ago who hadn't filed his taxes in three years. I met a landscaper about a decade ago who hadn't ever filed his taxes. Are they in trouble with the IRS? Yes. Do they wish that they could go back and work for someone else? Yes. Is that bad? Yes. 

    Okay. There's no cap on the wages, right? Now here's the fun thing. There is no bottom. There's no bottom on the wages. This is outstanding. This is a con. That means, this is a bad thing. That means there's no limit to how little you can make. Have you met that person? They start their own video company, and there's no limit to how little they can make.They can make as little as they want. They work 80 hours a week and not make a dollar. They can dress like a jackass and talk like a jackass and not have their stuff organized and never be on time, and do everything wrong and make zero dollars. 

    There's no cap. It is awesome. There's no accountability. There's no systems. They're a builder. No one's telling him what to do. They're not making any money. There's no bottom on the wages. There's no cap on the wages. They don't work for the man. There's no man telling them what to do, and they own their own job. They live in their truck because they can't afford their house payment, but I'll tell you what, at least they own their own job. They are just over broke. We don't want to get stuck there.

    Being self-employed in my opinion is a transition. It's phase two. I say my opinion. I've interviewed millionaires, billionaires, have read more autobiographies than almost anyone I've ever met. I read case studies like they're ... I devour case studies like someone would devour Pez, if they're into Pez. Pez, those little candies, where they just pht, pht, pop those things in their mouth. It's like a candy dispenser with the shape of Yoda, Yoda's head, is on the candy dispenser, and they're just downing those. That's how I do case studies. 

    I'm just telling you this. I've read a lot of information. I've seen it firsthand. I've worked with these people. You do not want to get stuck because phase one is the employee. Phase two is self-employed. That's the hardest phase, the hardest phase.  

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