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Mike's ...take the money and run!

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For the major part of my working life I have been self-employed. I have started and run businesses of various kinds, some successful, others less so.

I always thought of myself as an entrepreneur, always said that about myself, to others.

On reflection, I can see that I am not and never have been an entrepreneur, not in the accepted term.

What brought about this conclusion, and is it a state of defeatism?

Now that I am thought of as an old person, though I don't feel that myself, I have questioned the fact that I don't have much money! In theory I should be a rich man. Very rich! I have certainly made a lot of money for other people.

I have always started my businesses from scratch, usually without any money at all, because the previous business ceased for one reason or another! In nearly all cases the business has prospered in a small sort of way.

I'm very good with ideas, sometimes my own but sometimes I've seen another business and thought "That's for me!". I've then gone and done it, in my own way using my own ideas.

And therein lies the problem.

I am married to the idea, enjoy the struggle and learning new processes. Of course, I think I'm going to make a fortune and I get excited by that. But it's the business that I like and not the money.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be filthy rich, but it's the process rather than the money I like most of all. The trouble is, when the process is fully learned and run its course, so have I.

My current business, magazine publishing, started when I was unemployed. That was 14 years ago and it's still going. That is due as much to my partner as it is to me. It is probably the best of its kind in the world (I would say that, wouldn't I?), but it sure isn't making me rich!

I have a new project that I am keen to get under way. It's a film script I wrote, a new experience, and one that I would like to put together and direct. An entrepreneur would look at this and figure how he could make money out of it - sell it, get someone else to finance and direct, etc.

In my case it is the making of the film that counts, the whole exciting process of learning how it's done, the struggle and the work. All the directing and hiring of crew and actors, the editing and so forth. That's what counts. If it made money that would be even better!

On the other hand, if someone said "Okay, great script, here's xxxxxx" I would take the money and run!


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