Has your spouse ever freaked out about how much money you make (or don't make), how you're not saving enough for retirement, or how you'd pay for a $50k tax surprise (this happens more than you think!)?
I thought so. (It's happened to me too!)
Odds are, it's because you over-invest in your business. You spend money (and often time) on things that won't move the needle on your short term or long term goals.
Over-investing kills profits and cash flow, keeps you from paying yourself, and honestly wastes your time and money! (When I worked at GE, we made sure any business investments were sound before cutting the check).
How does this happen? The coaching and personal development industry promote that success and wealth can be yours when you invest in yourself.
But I think they happen faster when you invest strategically.
Most entrepreneurs miss the boat. They over-invest rather than strategically invest.
Over-investing shows up as:
- You easily spend the cash (or credit limit) on another mastermind, saying to yourself "I'll make it work.... somehow"
- You have withdrawn precious retirement funds to invest in high-end programs
- You rack up credit card debt for the latest marketing techniques, without maximizing the ROI
- You are expanding (and paying for) your team, but not sure which are most essential to boosting your bottom line
- You don't have the cash cushion (or credit limit) for something that would move the needle on your business goals.
- You have invested with a consultant, coach or mentor for a specific result, but haven't gotten the results yet. This is a biggie, I'll address it separately soon!
- You couldn't cover a surprise $50k tax bill: the money went to another mastermind program or must-have technology
If you've experienced these, odds are you're living month-to-month with your business, your savings are shrinking, and your relationship stress is at an all time high.
This is heartbreaking, because it's preventable.
Here are 3 steps to stop the bleeding right now.
(Set aside an hour to do this exercise. Seriously. It could literally save you thousands of dollars that could go to retirement savings, and save you dozens if not hundreds of hours that you could spend actually enjoying time with your family.) These steps are key to using your money intentionally and strategically to grow your business.
Step 1 - Acknowledge and let it go. You've been drinking purple kool-aid, investing in the name of personal and business development. You've grown and stretched, and gotten some results (even if it's not the financial results you'd hoped for). Bless the lessons you've learned. Write them down or journal it out if it helps. Then move on. I recently saw a quote in tourist shop "Don't look back, you're not going that way." This step sets the stage to move forward, with intention.
Step 2 - Create a game plan. Summarizing your investment strategy will keep you on track. Here's what I do: List out your 3 year and 1 year goals. Big picture only. Think of revenue & profit, impact, hours at work, speaking, authoring, traveling, etc. Then write a statement something like this: I, _________, will only invest in my business in a way that will propel me toward my goals of taking home $_____________ per year, working ____ hours per week, and impacting others by _______________." This statement reminds you that pursuing your your goals is the only reason to part with your cash. Print it in large font, frame it, and put it on your desk.
Step 3 - Plan to fail. Yes, that's right. If you want to lose weight, you'll still be tempted by birthday cake. If your want to fund your retirement and alleviate relationship stress, you'll still be tempted to over-invest, even if it doesn't serve you or your goals. Studies have shown that positive results increase when you plan out how you'll react in challenging situations. (Check out Chapter 5 of The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg for how Starbucks uses this exact technique to deal with irate coffee customers).
Here's how to prevent clicking "Buy Now" every time you see it:
- Identify what situation will ultimately cause you to overspend. Surfing facebook? Watching too many free webinars? Going to live events? Hanging out with other over-investors?
- Write down your desired actions in the face of temptation. It's a resource for any time you need to say "no" Here's a write up if you attend webinars and often purchase products without implementing them:
When I see the invite for a "get more clients using ____" webinar, I don't sign up right away. First I look at my 1 year and 3 year goals. Then I ask myself if the information in this webinar is something that I need right now to help me meet my goals. If yes, I sign up. (don't forget to create this writeup for when you actually attend the webinar too!). If not, write down why it's not good for me right now. Then I delete the invitation. When the next invites come (and they will), I can delete them right away. If I am still intrigued by the invite and won't delete it right away, then I will review what I already wrote down about the first invite. Essentially, I already decided and I just need a reminder.
Use a high level of detail to address your triggers and weaknesses. Have the write-up easy to find when temptation finds you.
I've used this technique around food, exercise, parenting, and more. This strategy alone could dramatically improve not only your profits and take home, but other areas of your life.
Do you want me to do this with you? Click here to apply for a free session.