ICS Magazine

Ask Jay: How Can I Turn This Into a Real Business?

December 8, 2009

Dear Jay,

In “Eleven Easy Ways To Destroy Your Company” you asked, Can anyone add to my list?

I started a carpet-cleaning business over 20 years ago, and while it’s been mildly successful, I have fallen into the trap referred to as “The E-Myth.” What I actually did was create a job rather than a business. I’ve done well enough to send one child through college, have another one in now, have a decent house and a cash flow that doesn’t leave my family wanting for much.

The problem is, I am 49 years old, have very little saved for retirement, and have to do the very physical tasks every day of doing the actual work. I have one employee but rarely send them on their own because customers expect me to be at the job.