Thanks - interesting topic!
About those "businesses" that sound like it's "building your own job"... Here are a couple of stories...
Earlier this week I met an entrepreneurial guy, who I've known for a while, but this is probably the first time I've chatted with him about his history.
He started working very young - around 5 years old, helping his Dad with his window washing business.
Eventually - when he was still a kid - he started his own window washing business...
Washing windows? Sounds very much like "build your own job"... You have to go around, and wash all your clients' windows... It's work.
At around age 15, he sold the business... I think it was for around $12,000. This was in the 1980s... Not bad money for a 15 year old kid in the 1980s!
That's one big difference with a job... You can't sell a job! But if you have a list of clients, who all regularly want their windows washed, you have a business you can sell...
He told me how his teachers were trying to persuade him to remain in school, because he was a smart guy, etc. But then, he inquired how much his teachers were making... And he found out he was making more money than his teachers were!
He switched over from washing windows to selling and installing security systems... Alarms, then security cameras.
From there, in the last few years he's developed a van which he decks out with the latest security gear. It has a huge pole out the roof of the van, with video cameras. It has a panel of screens inside, showing the video being captured by the cameras. He has a system where further video cameras can be installed on nearby trees, etc. It's a security system that can be instantly set up and used at festivals, large outdoor events, etc.
These vans sell for just under half a million dollars each. He told me he'd just done a deal to sell six of them to the police forces of a south-east Asian country. (I'm not sure if I should mention which country that is publicly.)
The key is, these "build your own job" businesses can also lead to other, bigger things...
Okay, a second story. There's a guy in Australia, named Jim. He started a small business mowing lawns.
That's another "build your own job" type of business... You have to physically mow the lawns of your clients.
However, Jim found he was quite good at generating new jobs with his advertising. Many others mowing lawns didn't advertise, or otherwise were not as good at generating jobs.
Jim found he was generating more jobs than he could handle himself. So, at first, he sold the jobs to other lawn mowing businesses.
So, not only was he making money mowing lawns, he was making extra money selling the extra jobs to other businesses.
He then changed his business model, and started a lawn mowing franchise business. He offered a great deal - he guaranteed each franchisee a certain amount of income every month. He felt he could offer this, because he had no trouble generating the jobs.
Nowadays, Jim Penman has a huge franchise business in Australia, called "Jim's Mowing." He's also now expanded into other areas (Jim's cleaning, Jim's antennas, Jim's fencing, etc.), as well as into other countries, such as New Zealand, the UK, and Canada.
You can see the boggling full range of franchises he offers now here (scroll down on the page)...
I saw an article saying that, in 2012, Jim Penman's business (known as "Jim's Group") was worth around $50 million bucks... It would be worth more than that now...
The point? A "build your own job" type of business is not "really" like a job... First, it's something you can sell if you want to stop, whereas you can't sell your job! And furthermore, it can potentially build into something much larger...