The Biggest Scam In Business


With a headline like that we immediately conjure images of ownership loopholes, skimming software and identity theft. All pretty terrifying right? And all things I have no idea about, so unfortunately I cannot comment on them.

What I can comment on however, is the silent thief. The crook that continually leeches everything you have worked for in business and in life. The thief we never really notice until everything is gone.

The Setup

Right now there is an unspoken drive in all business people, a burning hustle that keeps them moving. I know it, you know it and it will ring true when I share it. The setup for the scam comes in many forms, however most commonly:

“I can make the family dinners, just when X is finished”
“I have to be successful now so I can relax and enjoy life then”
“Things will be great when…”

These phrases are the fuel that drives the early mornings and the late nights of a fledgling business. This is the hustle of small business, without it most businesses would never reach their full potential. As useful as this is, it is also where the scam gets a foothold. Where it starts to take your time. All of a sudden it is acceptable to sacrifice that which is most important to you, for that which is not important at all.

The Build

So you have gotten your business off the ground and it’s rolling well. All those late nights and missed family meals were a fair price to pay right? “I’m doing it to provide for my family, so it’s ok”.

However, the thing about business is that as it grows so does the work. There is always more to do, always a bigger sale, always a bigger bill, always more risk. Now it is not just about growing, but also maintaining what we have grown into. The pressure is on, now more than ever.

“If I just push through to the end of financial year, until I open that third shopfront then I will take the foot off the gas. ”Sound familiar?

The Trap

So as good as things are the Scam does its job and things come to an end. Sometimes, it’s only the business that suffers. You miss market changes, illness sets in, a bad business deal. All of these can creep in with a focus to “just get X done”.

Other times it can be the family that suffers, relationships breakdown, children grow up and move on. Perhaps you even manage to open that fifth store front and hit the eight figure mark, however, what was it all for again? If we are honest here the greatest loss can be the time.

You find yourself looking back over 10, 20 or even 30 years of hard work, for what? This pain is far greater than a bad shipment or a few negative years. The Scam has been there from the beginning, pushing and edging you towards this point. Blindly we follow in pursuit of “Success”.

What is the Scam?

So what is it, what is the scam? It’s working in not on your business; it’s sacrificing today for tomorrow. We need to push we need to hustle to get a result. But if we never step back and work on our business we are simply working a job. Not owning a business.

You open a business to create a lifestyle, not run a business that is fuelled through sacrificing our lifestyle. Remember, if you live a life for tomorrow, you will find yourself not living a life at all.

The Solution

How do we avoid this?

The answer is relatively simple and its start to work on not in your business. A big vague statement right? Well here are some essentials that we know people need to have to move from working in the engine room to sitting in the captain’s chair.

  • Ensure you have clear personal and business goals, 10 year, 5 year, 3 year, 1 year and 90 day.
  • Have a staff development and appraisal process.
  • Know ROI per staff member.
  • Have clear KPI’s for each pillar of your business (sales, marketing, etc).
  • Use defined KPI’s for each staff member.
  • Set very clear and defined personal rules.
  • Know your personal and business values.
  • Nurture your mind.

These are the main things, but every business is different. If you are looking for something more comprehensive, we compiled a 71pt checklist on how to start working on not in your business which you can download here.