From Richard Russell, Dow Jones Letters

In life, most people become masters of mediocrity, spending more time just dreaming about living than they spend living out their dreams.  In the free enterprise system anyone can live out their dreams, but “live your life as most people do and you will be forced to settle for what most people settle for.”

Most people rent their entire working years to others in return for job security (?), benefits, salaries, bonuses, incentives or hourly wages.  As a result, most people do not retire financially independent but completely dependent on company pensions, government pensions or their relatives.  These same people find out too late that the only way for most people to achieve financial independence and live their dreams, is to own their own successful business.

The number one reason people do not start their dreams, is FEAR, as it is widely known that most business ventures fail within the first five years.  The most likely reasons for these new business failures are, 1) the start-up money runs out, or 2) the business was simply not a good business to start with.

There is probably no such thing as the ‘perfect business.’  But the following is a list of some ‘ideal factors,’ that if combined would produce a ‘fantasy business’ or ‘perfect business.’  You might gauge your own business or profession on the basis of this list, or you may want to use this list as a reference for measuring the potential of a new enterprise.

  1. The ideal business has no initial investment.   In other words, it is financially ‘risk free.’
  2. The ideal business has a huge and growing market.
  3. The ideal business is one you can ‘test’ before committing to.
  4. The ideal business sells a product which fits a continuing need.  In other words, it’s not a fad product or a product which can easily be substituted for or done without.
  5. The ideal business has a product with ‘inelastic demand.’ –the product is needed almost regardless of price.
  6. The ideal business distributes a product that is difficult (or almost impossible) for a competitor to copy or reproduce.  In other words, it has a ‘barrier to entry.’
  7. The ideal business is involved in a mission or significant movement, not simply selling a product just for profit:  Where you can ‘help others,’ or ‘do what’s right,’ or ‘make a difference.’
  8. The ideal business has low overhead; it doesn’t require huge cash expenditures, large investments in equipment, an expensive location, large amounts of electricity, advertising, legal advice, etc.
  9. The ideal business has low labor cost and payroll responsibilities.
  10. The ideal business has cash billings; it does not tie up your money in extended credit arrangements.
  11. The ideal business is relatively free from, or protected by, government and industry regulations.
  12. The ideal business is portable.
  13. The ideal business is one that holds your intellectual and emotional energies.
  14. The ideal business is one where you pick when you work and whom you will work with.
  15. The ideal business provides a reliable and consistent cash flow.
  16. The ideal business produces income and profits for you – forever.
  17. The ideal business provides UNLIMITED INCOME (no quota or territory changes/restrictions etc.)
  18. The ideal business is one where you are BUILDING EQUITY.  Otherwise you are renting your life to someone else so they can build equity.
  19. The ideal business is one where you have OWNERSHIP.
  20. The ideal business is FUN!

If you use this list, it might help you cut through a lot of nonsense and hypocrisy about what you are doing now and what you are looking for!  Any successful business owner will tell you there is nothing more satisfying than having your own business, achieving financial freedom and living your dreams.  If you don’t make changes your next ten years will be just like the last ten years!  Change will not be easy, but it will be WORTH IT!


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