Living the dream

Written by: Jason Cunningham | April 29, 2017

A friend and client of mine (let’s call him Macca) lives one of the greatest lives of anyone I know: skiing in France, running with the bulls, festivals, you name it. He owns a hospitality business, makes extremely good money, and works just six hours a week. The rest of the time he’s getting massages, going to the movies, or planning his next overseas trip. This guy is literally living the business owner dream.


“Too many business owners I see end up buying themselves a job, rather than a true business, because they don’t fully leverage other people’s time.”

– Jason Cunningham


I meet Macca and a few other friends for breakfast every Friday. And every week, as I get up to leave, Macca always asks the same questions: “Why do you need to go to work? Aren’t you the boss? Why don’t you just take the day off?” I tell him that I have to go. They need me. The business couldn’t possibly function as well without me. This is the trap that many owners can fall into. If we believe that we’re indispensable to our business – that we need to be there because we’re the most knowledgeable, the most skilful, and we care the most – then we’ll end up a slave to it.

To me, Macca has the perfect business. He’s not pulling beers or watching the till. His business works (extremely well) without him. People are clamouring to buy it from him, but he’s happy with his return, and his lifestyle. It’s a true business: 1) profitable, and 2) sellable because it doesn’t rely on the owner. I believe Macca defines ‘business success’: owning a wildly profitable entity that can operate without you, meaning that others will be fighting to buy it from you.

What’s your business dream?
Most owners go into business for similar reasons: To be the boss and not answer to anyone; make more money; do what I’m great at; choose my hours. Basically, a more flexible and rewarding lifestyle, and the freedom to live life on our terms. So… how’s that working out for you?

The reality for most business owners I meet is polar opposite to Macca. Most don’t get the full financial and lifestyle rewards they deserve from their business. They’re working longer hours, often for less reward (and definitely for a lot more risk and stress), than when they had a job with guaranteed income, super and paid holidays.

Some owners make perfectly healthy profits, but are slaves to their business. Others have great lifestyles, but no cash to enjoy it. And the hidden killer: most businesses have their potential sale price reduced simply because the business relies too heavily on them, so it’s less attractive to a buyer. But with a ‘sell mindset’, and an action plan across the 7 key ingredients of business success, I promise you can have your cake and sell it too.

So who would you rather be? My mate Macca working six hours a week… or most other owners who are trapped in the business and stuck on the ‘busy’ treadmill?

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Success North Queensland