You start small. At first it’s slow, hard work. You have to keep your day job to stay afloat. But you gain more clients, more revenue, more experience, more results.
After a couple of years, you can make an actual living doing it. So you mitigate as much of the risk as you can, and leap.
A few more years pass and you have to choose.
You can take your experience and understanding, package it up and sell it as a completed whole. Then find a way to make it scale and travel the world speaking and giving workshops. All the while, tweaking, adjusting and making marginal improvements to your system.
Or you could resist the urge to convert your wisdom into a saleable package. Instead of scaling, you could focus on questioning assumptions and learning from diverse sources.
The choice is between a brand or system, and an individual philosophy. Both paths have their merits. Both have their flaws. But there’s two things to take into consideration.
1) It’s easer to generate income from a system or brand. The positioning is clear and there’s tested strategies, tactics and tools available.
2) Systems are hard to reinvent. If new knowledge comes to light that invalidates the system, the system dies. Whereas an individual philosophy thrives on new understanding.
Last year, I went to a seminar with the strength coach, Dan John. Of all the things I learnt, the most important was this:
You don’t have to transform your individual philosophy into a system or brand. You don’t have to scale. You don’t have to start a company. You don’t have to do most of the things that everyone says you have to do.
You can remain an individual.
You can spend your time seeking out diverse teachers and questioning the foundations of your knowledge.
Learning, evolving and sharing what you learn along the way is enough to make a good living. Not a lucrative one, but a good one.
You don’t have to become You, Inc.