How to escape slavery by running your own business
Danny Burke is successfully self employed as a PC trouble
shooter. He is also a builder and designer of computers and an
inventor of software. He has strong views on life in general and
on how you should run your own business.
Danny believes that from the minute you are born your life is
controlled by economics and the government.
>From the age of five to fifteen you are forced to go to school
and after school you are forced to work from the age of 16 to
65. This age may go up to 70 or higher in the UK and elsewhere.
People are living longer. So economically it is necessary to
raise the age of retirement. People will have to work till they
Danny worked for computer companies from the age of 18 to 35 and
then one day realised he was a slave. To show you what he meant
by being a slave he gave me a brief description of his daily
He usually had to get up at 7 a.m. to drive to work by 9 a.m. It
took him an hour and a half to drive through the London traffic.
A train would have taken two hours and cost more! He would have
had to sniff the arm pits of his fellow passengers as well.
However, Danny is very tall so the situation might have been
Once he arrived at work he was told what to do by his immediate
boss. He was forced to make phone calls; answer emails and get
equipment ready. The penalty for not doing these things was
unemployment and losing his house and car etc. After his
standard 9 hour day he then had another hour and a half fight in
the traffic getting back home by half seven. He was working
basically from 7.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. (a twelve hour day) and
sometimes a half day on Saturday. He was working 66 hours a week
i.e. 75% of his waking time was spent doing things that he was
told to do and forced to do.
Extrapolate the above to your life. If you live to 74 that's
55.5 years spent doing things you don't really want to do and
being bossed around. Even in your personal time you are dictated
to by the government as you have to sort out licences; fill in
forms etc (sometimes for good reason)
So Danny sat down one day and got very depressed at the thought
of dying at 75 with two grand in the bank. He eventually thought
about how to break this vicious circle and decided that there is
only one way and that is to earn enough money to pay all the
bills without worrying.
Once you reach a certain cash level you cannot be dictated to. A
certain amount of cash breaks your shackles and sets you free.
Working for other people ensures that you will remain
downtrodden and poor unless your job is among the few jobs that
are highly paid.
So you must decide how you are going to earn the cash to pay
your bills. So you cut out the middleman (your employer) and
start working for yourself. In the end it makes no difference
what you decide to do.
But it is going to involve selling something to someone. It
doesn't matter what you sell or to whom. although obviously you
would prefer to sell a product that you morally agreed with and
which serves a useful purpose.
The bottom line is you buy something for a pound and sell it for
two pounds. This action will set you free even if it takes years
to reach your target. You will still be working towards your
freedom from the usual rat race.
You may have to keep working at a normal job to support your
family in the meantime. Even celebrities make much of their
money through sales. David Beckham (the English soccer player)
can earn a big salary because his employers can sell products
through the use of his image. He might earn a million a year for
playing football but will earn 10 million for sponsorship and
So the principle is; you must sell something and decide what you
are comfortable with selling. Preferably you should be running
your own business and buying and selling as soon as you leave
school. Bill Gates dropped out of university before he finished
because he saw the opportunity and did not want to miss it. If
he had waited till he finished his degree course or got married,
the opportunity would have passed him by.
Is it risky?
You may think starting your own business is a risky venture and
that working for someone else is the safe option. This is a
fallacy. You might work for an employer for 20 years and then
one day you go to work and he fires you and all that 20 years of
effort means nothing.
Any way you look at it; it is better to work for yourself.
However, if you want an easy life, business is not the way to
go. It is often easier to work for someone else. If you want an
easy life, you will stay a slave. Danny, if he were 17, would
leave school and slog his guts out for 15 years working for
himself and then retire.
Danny admits that he is not fully following his own rules. He is
self employed but he is still selling a service which takes up
too much of his time. He is making more money now than when he
was employed but he would make much more money if he were
selling products rather than a service.
I asked Danny what skills he uses now to make his business a
success. He came up with the following:
You have to have a product/service to sell in the first place
This product or service needs to be both cheaper and better than
the competition or at least as good.
You have to get the advertising right. I'm going to say that
again, YOU HAVE TO GET THE ADVERTISING RIGHT.
So many people have good ideas and good products yet totally
fail due to poor marketing. You could build the best car in the
world for half the cost of anyone else and you would STILL fail
if the marketing was wrong. Marketing is time consuming, boring,
expensive (all the costs are up front) and, if you get it wrong,
very wasteful. It's no wonder most people don't want to do it.
BUT YOU MUST!!!! A lot of people do not follow up the calls and
leads they get. You must follow up every single lead you get.
You never know which call will make you a lot of money. Even if
the call looks unpromising, ALWAYS call back. Danny has many
customers telling him that out of 5 people they rang, he was the
only one to call back.
Even if Danny is too busy to take on a new customer he will ring
back and tell them this. He will even recommend his competition
if they are desperate. They remember this and will probably call
again when he is less busy. Even if the customer thinks Danny's
prices are too high, the fact that he called them back will mean
they end up coming back to him.
Cost control is another major factor. It is very easy to spend
more than you are earning. You can earn a