The 2 Types of Businesses You Can Choose From

Feb 7, 2014

Now that you know your default mode for running a business, it’s important to know what kind of business you are building.

There are 2 types of businesses out there:

  • A Solopreneur style business – where you are the one providing a service and doing *most* of the work
  • A Legacy style business – this is where the business becomes bigger than you, and you need a lot of support to keep it running and growing.

 You need to ask yourself:

  • What kind of business do I want? Why am I in business?
  • If you have a big mission/purpose in your work and you want to GO BIG – 6-figures and above –then you are looking at a Legacy style business

If you want to make a good living and keep it simple – generally earning up to 6-figures – then you are building a Solopreneur type of business.

It’s absolutely essential that you answer these questions, so that you can purposely create a business that serves you FIRST (and that doesn’t suck the life out of you and lead to burn out.)

Like most entrepreneurs, I started with a Solopreneur business working as an Online Business Manager (OBM) for my clients. They hired me to work for them directly (as a contractor) and I did all the work myself. During this time, I had my daughters – Sam in 2006 and Lexi in 2008 – and was able to easily balance family and client commitments while still bringing in a good income.

Then, in Fall 2008, I launched my book “Becoming an Online Business Manager.” Shortly after, I started the OBM Association and opened up the Online Business Manager Certification Training Program. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the start of my shift from Solopreneur to building a Legacy business.

When my business hit the 6-figure mark in 2009, I was still doing most things myself, with a bit of help from my VA. It was my own coach at the time who said to me, “Tina, you need to do what you tell everyone else to do and hire your own Online Business Manager.” Go figure right? 😉

This was a tough choice to make for a few reasons:

  • I would have to invest a tidy sum to pay for an OBM each month. Even though I was making 6-figures, this still felt like a stretch because I wasn’t used to investing much in a team, I was used to doing it all myself.
  • Could they do as good of a job as me? Having been an OBM myself for many years, I knew how to do everything and the thought of having someone else take it over felt really scary.
  • If I gave X to someone else, then what the heck would I do with my own time? I seriously didn’t know what to do with my time if I wasn’t doing all the day-to-day stuff myself. (This is a very real issue for those of us who are used to doing everything on our own.)

 I hired my OBM Tiffany in January of 2010, and she very quickly jumped into managing the day-to-day running of my business – which was great! For the first time ever, I got to experience what it was like to have someone else take care of me and my business, and although it was uncomfortable at first, I have to admit that I got to like it very quickly. (Much to my surprise, there were some other “inner game” things that came up for me on this journey, but that is a story for another time.)

In my experience, many business owners work “blindly” towards the goal of continuing to grow and make more money in their business. They don’t realize that this means they need to be willing to let go. They need to be ready to allow the business to grow bigger than them….

Or not.

if you prefer not to, then it’s simply a matter of being clear on how much work you can handle, still deliver top-notch services as a Solopreneur and not fall into the grow-grow-GROW Trap!


  1. Bill

    There are a lot of factors that play into the type of business. Tina’s journey started with her creating value for one customer, then several customers and then sharing what she’d learned along the way. The article makes some excellent points:

    1. Tina was (and is) always growing professionally. So back in the early days, she was a technical expert “doing it all herself”.
    2. As she grew, so did her ambitions and the realization that more could be done with a team, more consistently than could be done oneself.
    3. This is where the “business” started – she then began to put systems in place to accomplish necessary tasks, and staffed them with additional resources.

    I think this is the “aha moment” – the time that a decision needs to be made to either stay as a solopreneur, or to make the commitmenet to growth.

    Thanks for the article, Tina!

    • tinaforsyth

      That is the aha moment indeed – and I think it’s really important to know that growing to the next stage isn’t always the best option.


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