In the movie (adapted from a graphic novel) Watchmen, the protagonist, Rorschach, fights a one-man crusade against crime. Though brutally effective, he’s ultimately beat down by the system. Within the internet marketing arena, unfortunately, too many marketers adopt a similar “Rorschach” approach to running their business, sometimes not realizing they’re getting beat down in the process.
“If you want something to be done well, you need to do it yourself”
This is probably the most commonly cited reason why internet marketers find themselves doing everything themselves and have difficulty bringing in outsourcers or employees to grow the business.
Even working at optimal efficiency, you’re limited by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Besides measuring your business by the traditional metrics of revenue (sales) or income (profit), the “quality of life” metric can sometimes be neglected.
Are you feeling worn out, even as you’re doing what you’re enjoying in your business?
Are you looking for opportunities to get out of your home office/office unit?
If you have these experiences, perhaps it’s time to relook at how you’re running your business.
The fact is with an average life expectancy of 77.7 years (according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention), you’re probably going to spend about half of your lifetime working. Why not make it a more enjoyable/profitable effort?
Here’s a simple test to see how indepdent your business can be without you: If you were to go on a 1 month long vacation, would your business continue to generate profits while you’re away?
If you’re working in sole proprietor mode, and are responsible for 80% of your business activity, things might come to a screeching halt if you were to go MIA for a long period of time. It’s also a sign that your business growth is limited by the 24-hour day, whether you’re working on your products/websites yourself, or project managing it with the aid of outsourcers/employees.
One way to get around this is to automate your business, although you will still require admin/technical support to make sure things are in order while you’re away.
The other way is to think “corporate” – not necessarily becoming an IBM (oops, Lenovo) in the making, but by bringing in partners/employees who have project manager responsibility – they’re given the mandate to run the business under a series of guidelines and meet objectives/targets.
With 2 young kids in my family now, I don’t have the same luxury of pulling “all nighters” to ensure that campaigns and products are launched on time, and the uncertainty of my schedule means that thinking and planning ahead are the keys to successfully executing a project well.
Working ahead of your schedule to ensure you have sufficient buffer to deal with business or personal emergencies is one way to maintain your A-game.
So while the Rorscach approach might work well in a pinch and when you’re just starting out, adopting a holistic “Watchmen” where you’re working with a team will grow your business and ensure it’s sustainable in the long term.