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Are You Leading a Paycheck Factory or a Company? – by Tom Caprel

Are You Leading a Paycheck Factory or a Company?


By:  Tom Caprel


Have you ‘bought yourself a job’? Or created the ‘Paycheck Factory’? Perhaps both?


I was facilitating a planning meeting last week, and one of the participants said, “All we’ve created here is a paycheck factory! Our customers pay us for the work we’ve done, we put it through the business, it splits into paychecks, and we have very little left over as profit. I don’t see the future getting any better!”


We’ve all seen it – the freelancer, sole proprietor or even a CEO who lands enough business to fund a lifestyle, but not enough to build anything that has long-term value. I call this, ‘buying yourself a job’.


I challenge you to evaluate where you are: even though you work for yourself, have you just ‘bought yourself a job’? And has it extended to Part II: The Paycheck Factory?


Here are some questions to help you recognize if you have a paycheck factory:


  1. Is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) unclear? Does everyone in your company describe what you do differently?
  2. When’s the last time you visited your business processes? Based on your customers and the industry climate, have you looked at the way you do business lately for ways to modify or improve these processes?
  3. Are you and your management team aligned on the ‘end game’ for this business? Do you plan on growing it or selling it?
  4. Do you have a seemingly disconnected workforce where communication only happens on a surface level and the true meaning and significance of the message is vague and even lost?


Did you find yourself identifying with even two of these four sets of questions? If so, you are probably running a ‘paycheck factory’. And for many entrepreneurs, this is really okay, and all they want.


But for those who are reaching for more, and are looking forward to rich rewards, an empowered staff and even financial security, here is what I suggest your action needs to be:


  1. Get crystal clear on why your company is the best…either cheaper, faster, better, etc. Claim it to be so in your company, and then make sure everyone can express it.


  1. Define your end game. Working towards a future, this offers a pathway for goals, decisions and actions.


  1. Question, review, and reflect upon all the ways you do business. Generate ideas to support where you are going, not where you have been.
  2. Make your people part of this process. If you don’t feel you have people you can trust, are smart enough or care about the company, then replace them with those who want more than ‘just a paycheck’.



Being a ‘paycheck factory’ has its rewards. Being a company that wants more, will give you more.


About the Author


Tom Caprel, Sr., is the founder of Breakthrough Results, and is a master coach in success, both for life and business. (630) 918-0760.