Ambitious entrepreneurs have big income, impact, and lifestyle goals. They started their companies to be able to live a wealthy, healthy life, often spending a lot of time with their loved ones. But more often than not, they end up working crazy hours, and never really get to experience the surplus of cash and freedom.
When we work with our customers, we guide them in building 3 businesses and how to design a business for maximized wealth & wellbeing. Now before you scream “3!? It’s enough with one! I need to focus on one thing only and stop splitting myself!”… hear me out.
Every entrepreneur needs to build 3 businesses:
- Your INCOME business
- Your VISION business
- Your INVESTMENT business
Let’s break this down!
#1 business: your INCOME business
That is the business that brings you INCOME. That means you have a business that you use to finance your life right now, such as replacing your corporate salary. This is the business we start with, most often. This could look like this:
You create a service offer that sells to a specific target group. The more DFY/customization you add, the easier it is to sell it.
But… DFY/entirely customized services are often not scalable… they are easy to sell, but not scalable. So, you need to be super mindful that you, while you build your income business, are also building your…
#2 business: your VISION business
This is the business that you are building while you are running your INCOME business.
The VISION business is your future business, where you are going with your business.
You see, when you get started, you most likely need to focus on your income business first. The ONLY reason you don’t need to is: you have an income already. This could be due to your full/part-time job, family wealth, investments… if you have sold a business and now starting a new one, you don’t necessarily need to build an income business, and you can just invest your money to build your VISION business right off the gate. If you have investors to back you up, then you have the cash to build your future business. But if you have none of that, you need to build the income business first.
These two businesses are not the same thing
Your vision business is the scalable (or at least growable) legacy that will be way beyond your own capacity. It could be the same brand and product/service, but the delivery and operations are way different than your income business. Or, to be clear: they should be. If you think you can just keep running your income business and still upgrade your lifestyle with more profits, impact, and joy… you‘ll most likely fail in getting it.
You COULD… but often it doesn’t work in your favor.
So, your job as the CEO is to build an INCOME business AND your VISION business at the same time.
- Income business keeps your pipeline full so that you can bring home cash and invest it back to your business to grow it.
- Vision business is where your ship is sailing to, the big vision, the legacy that you‘re building, and what will provide you with the lifestyle you dream about.
The #3 business: your INVESTMENT business
This is the business that you are investing in while you are running your INCOME business and designing your VISION business. This means: where your profit goes to make more money. Also called your asset business. This could be properties, investments in other companies, or, of course, financial instruments.
This is the business that you don’t need to build and own to have a great lifestyle, but you might want to because your current business is making profits, and that profit needs to be invested somehow.
All these 3 businesses could be the same brand. It could be 3 different brands. Or it could be 2 different brands.
Let’s have a look at some examples:
- You might have a consulting offer that you use to bring home an income. This offer is unscalable but gives you a nice cushion each month, and provides for your family.
- Then you might have an idea of how to scale it, your vision business. This could be to turn your consulting into an education empire (like Avenue) or hire a team of consultants who do the consulting instead of you.
- Your investment business could be real estate that you start buying with the profits from your income + vision business.
- Or, your investment business could be the same as your future business because you know how to build it to sell at a high multiple. You see, your income business is not sellable, and it’s often the type of business that stops if you stop… like a job. It’s an important vehicle for you to start with because without getting the cash in early in the process, there will be no vision or investment businesses…
A critical, yet common mistake
An entrepreneur starts building the VISION business too early… Truthfully: the future business often is a cash-eating beast. So if you don’t have the cash, your future business will most likely die before you get to the fun part…
Example: physical goods. It’s quite expensive to run a physical goods business, and the margins are often low even when you manufacture big volumes. Now, it could be a great vision or investment business, but you need to have very strong financial muscles to be able to scale a physical goods business.
So… before you get into a product business, I’d recommend you start a service business. If it’s in the same industry, GREAT! If not, that’s okay too. Get that running and then build your vision business on the side, and invest your profits into it.
Another example: online courses. While they don’t usually have the same low margins as physical goods… but man… it’s expensive to scale an online course. Most people don’t believe that until they start doing it themselves. That’s why, you should start with a 1:1 offer or DIY service, and then build the online course on the side. There are other reasons for starting with an unscalable 1:1 offer, but let’s talk about those another time.
Another critical mistake: you’re using the same recipe for your VISION business as for your INCOME business…
Your income business is designed to bring you the one thing you need when you exit from your full-time and go into entrepreneurship: income, which is money that replaces partly or fully your salary. So, obviously, the easiest way to create that is to sell something that YOU can deliver at a premium price point. I fully believe you should do that as your first business… (unless you have Silicon Valley Money in your pocket, then you can do whatever you like) 🙂
Most of us don’t have that money in our pockets… not yet anyway. Now, your income business is a vehicle for you to catapult into BUSINESS of you, but NOT the BUSINESS OF FREEDOM.
Why? Because that income will disappear if you stop. No billable hours, no money to you.
This doesn’t work for you in the long run, if your goal is to build a great lifestyle. If your goal is to build a job for you, then by all means it works.
But… you need to truly understand the difference and the consequences so you know how to get both: income and a great future!
Income businesses are a necessity. Just because we talk about scaling and building your big vision business, because that’s what we at Avenue help our students and customers do, we do not hate or look down on the income business. By far, everyone needs one, and we all might need that in periods. In fact, until you have a scalable business that is making great profits, you need to have an income business too. You might want to quit your income business when your future business is providing you with a great income… you decide what success looks like to you.
But know this: if you think you can create your dream future solely with your income business… you might get disappointed.
When you decide to join our programs, either the Growth Engine Intensive, Avenue Program, or Avenue Coach Certification, we will help you build the businesses you need and want right now and in the future. More specifically:
- The Growth Engine Intensive is designed to build the engine for your INCOME + VISION business
- The Avenue Program is designed to scale your VISION business + build your INVESTMENT business
- The Avenue Coach Certification is designed to give you the tools to teach these things to your customers and help them grow and scale!