Can Your Business Survive Without You?


This week could have been a minor plot point in Edgar Allen Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, or at least it felt that way.

If you’re not familiar with the famous short story, then shame on you, but here’s the general idea: There’s a deadly plague sweeping through the city called The Red Death so a nobleman and 1000 guests lock themselves in a sanctuary of sorts to ride out the plague. Inside there are seven rooms, each room is a different color, and they are having a big party. So they’re partying whilst outside everyone else is dying a horrible death from this plague. A strange masked man wearing a blood-splattered robe, like the plague victims, shows up at the party. The nobleman, outraged, chases the stranger and they end up in the last room, the room painted in red and black, and the nobleman suddenly dies. The guest discover that there is no man behind the mask at all, it is the Red Death itself, and they all die. The End.

Go read it if you want a better version of the story.

In any case, I was sick, really really sick, this week for 4 days in fact. I didn’t do *anything* during the first day and a half. I didn’t feel good enough to even turn on my computer. My online business kept going, all by itself, without my help.

The rest of my business and life however, stopped cold. I am now very backed up (my tasks, not me personally) because I stopped. That’s the difference between having a properly set up online business and an improperly set up online business.

If you’re business is properly set up, it will continue to function, to bring in sales, bring in leads, follow up with clients, etc. when you’re gone for a few days. Now I’m not saying it can, or even should, function much beyond that UNLESS you have a team helping out on the backend, but for a one-man show, you being out of action because you’re deathly ill (or feel deathly ill anyway), or need a day off, or a few days off, should NOT stop your business from running.

I know a fellow marketer, a friend of mine, who missed a couple months because of serious illness and her business ticked along just fine all because she invested the time to set it up so that it can run without her.

You have a choice: you can either run a business or you can be the business, but you can’t do both. Make the changes you need to make so that your business runs along just fine without you for a few days.

That’s “runs along just fine for a few days” not “everything’s fine if it stops for a few days”. There’s an incredibly important difference.

– Jeffery