The other day, I wrote about the first step for every professional practice owner to get their income into alignment with their life, financial liberation and a practice/business built around your life.
If you missed that post, you can check it out here.
Financial liberation is knowing that (with your services) you can earn what you need, when you need it, on demand, being all of who you are — and having a great life to boot.
If you take the first step strategically and with wisdom and guidance to support you, you will have a professional practice or service-based business that is thriving within 6-18 months of starting. 3 years, max. (Without guidance, well, many professionals never get there, but I imagine that you are here to make a different choice.)
This is a practice in which you get to serve your clients 1-1, they are happy, your practice is full and life is good.
Until you get antsy and want more …
Either more income.
Or more time.
And if you cannot raise your fees, and cannot take on any more clients, because you are already at the top of your market, charging a high value for your services, and your calendar is full, it’s time to look at shifting from practice owner to business owner.
One side note: once you’ve mastered step one, it’s likely that you’ll have more free time than you had when you weren’t successfully getting hired by clients you love to work with, and you may decide to shift your freed up energy to growing in other areas of your life, such as relationships or health, and not keep focusing on practice or business mastery for a while. And, you do really need to shore up relationships and health before making a run for the next level.
In the event that you do want to grow the business side of your life (generally because you are maxed out on time and income with your step 1 business structure and not impacting at the level you’d like) you are going to focus on bringing on more team support, employees, independent contractors, and others who can serve your clients.
Now, you are moving into the realm of creating a legacy business for yourself.
In step 1, it’s all about lifestyle.
In step 2, it’s about legacy. And that requires you to up your leadership game.
Upping your leadership game, building a legacy business, will require another level of time, energy, attention and money investment than you’ve made up until this point.
You’ll need to learn to hire, train and retain key team members.
Everything you thought you knew about leadership will be tested.
You’ll need a new coach/mentor relationship, investing in learning how to truly become a leader from someone who has done it.
And you’ll need to upgrade your legal, insurance, financial and, tax systems (and knowledge) to another level.
Building a legacy business isn’t for everyone. Mastering the lifestyle business is the first step. Having an income model that works for you to deliver your 1-1 gift in the world is where you start. THEN, once you’ve mastered that, you are ready to convert your practice into a business, if you choose to focus your energy and attention there because your calling requires it.
My calling has required it. I WISH I could have just been happy with my 1-1 law practice, making great income, having plenty of time for my family.
But, my soul was called to another level of impact that I couldn’t have at the 1-1 service level and so I’ve been focusing on legacy-fying my work for the past several years and repeatedly it has me at my edge of growth.
This is what I signed up for and I’ve revisited the decision repeatedly to make sure it’s really what I want.
I love how my leadership gets stretched, tested and grows as a result.
I love that my work will continue on, beyond me. And not just from an ego perspective, but because I know how impactful it is for the people who use it.
I am growing into loving building teams of people who love working together. This has not always been easy for me.
A legacy business is not for everyone.
Building a legacy business is not necessary and should only be done with eyes wide open and clear choice.
Lifestyle business (or even a life aligned income, forget the business part) is just fine for most people and will provide you with a life and income you love.
Most people will never even get there — they’ll stay stuck in jobs that don’t serve them or the world, and frankly don’t even earn them enough money to have the lives they want.
So try not to get distracted by building your life and income in alignment out of order, or by building a business that isn’t really what you want.
The promise of a passive income business is pretty much a lie.
Owning a business requires your effort, input, and energy.
When you build a business that’s truly in alignment with your gifts and the work you are here to do, it can feel fairly passive because you are getting paid to do what you love, but that’s not because you have magically built some business that pumps out money, on demand.
You can have that through a lifestyle business.
Because you will have learned what your path is, you will have chosen an income model that is aligned with that path, and you will have mastered the art of asking for what you need in exchange for what you have to give to the people you are here to give it to — and doing your work feels so aligned with who you are, that you are getting paid to truly do what you love.
You can have all that through a lifestyle business.
ONLY choose to move into building a legacy business if you are truly called. And then, understand, you are likely to experience a short-term drop in income, another level of investments, and an even more full schedule, as you push your edge into unknown territory around leadership.
If possible, and before that, while your lifestyle business (or 1-1 practice) is flowing well, focus on shoring up your personal relationships and your health and be clear with yourself and the people around you that you are likely going to need to call on reserves as you move into the next level of your personal evolution.
Good luck. And, may the odds be ever in your favor.