I Can’t Afford To Grow My Business
I used to be terrified of not having, or making, enough money.
Like, keep-me-up-at-night, stress-me-out, give-me-migraines terrified.
So for years I spent as little as humanly possible. If I didn’t spend a lot, (because I didn’t need a lot) I would be able to live worry-free, right?The problem was, even though I thought I was being “responsible”, what I was actually doing was keeping myself poor and scared. Fast forward 5 years, and I’m not shaking-in-my-booties scared anymore and it’s not because I have more cash on hand...
What set me free is me becoming more competent at GENERATING money.
In fact, I find the feeling of safety comes exclusively from the knowledge that you can make money, and not the number in your bank account; cash can always disappear, but being able to generate money is like owning a bottomless ATM.
Investing in Yourself
Stupid and Risky? Or Savvy and Necessary?
I’ve invested heavily in my business many times, spending money I sometimes technically don’t even have to level jump to a place where I can make more and more money in less and less time.
I do it because I’m the impatient entrepreneur, and I don’t have the time or patience to wait until I “can afford” (i.e. have all the cash on hand) to make the business moves I want to make. But even if I weren’t impatient, there’s another huge reason I keep doing this: I do not think it is FINANCIALLY SAVVY to wait until I have that cash to invest.
Because there is a HUGE cost to waiting.
Waiting usually means hustling in the stale, less profitable business model you’re currently in until it somehow, magically, generates enough extra cash that you’re able to finally invest in yourself to build a business that generates extra cash (i.e. is profitable.)
I have gotten more and more comfortable with NOT waiting because I’ve learned that waiting to invest in growing my business until I have enough money to feel completely financially secure and safe (which is how much?) can set me back months, or usually, years. And during that time I would have been missing out on all the benefits (financial and otherwise) that investing in my business would bring me (i.e. having success sooner.)
This isn’t to say that I wholeheartedly love the feeling I get when I make large spends on my business. That pang of fear always kicks in on a gut level.
But by looking at the reality of the situation, and by doing it again and again, I’ve weakened that feeling. Because the reality is, like all investments, I always plan to get a return on my investment (ROI); I plan to make back more money than I’m investing.
But I don’t just hope for it, I decide that I’m going to get that ROI no matter what.
I spend money on learning how to get somewhere faster— through courses, coaches, and consultants instead of trying to figure things out the old-fashioned way. Again, this goes back to the impatient entrepreneur in me and knowing that waiting is expensive and time-consuming.
Learning new things quickly isn’t cheap, but it’s the only way to turn up the volume on our business to make it more valuable and profitable.
To be clear, these are not things that MOST entrepreneurs do because it’s scary. It was scary for me, too, until I saw investment for what it really was — the fastest way for me to move onward and upward in my business.
When it Goes Terribly Wrong
Getting that ROI doesn’t always come clearly, or immediately. Sometimes it can feel like it was a big, fat mistake.
For example, once I invested in hiring two outside consulting services to scale up my operations. In the end I didn’t get anywhere close to the immediate ROI that they promised.
Many would say that that was a mistake, and that I poured that $30k down the drain. And many would let that experience stop them from making another investment in the future.
But every investment brings massive value!
I learned a ton about hiring outside companies, managing them, and setting my own expectations when they aren’t set for me. These are soft-skills that are priceless to me in the long run. I also learned all of their strategies and techniques, kept the ones I liked, ditched the ones I didn’t, and am now deploying these strategies on my own without having to hire a company. The experience also helped me make a huge pivot in my business in a direction I like ten times more. And once I was able to experience what they were doing that didn’t work, I was able to change course and become even more knowledgeable in my field because of it.
Had I tried all of that on my own first I’d be at least a year behind where I am now!
If you decide to squeeze every ounce of value out of every investment you make in yourself and your business to it’s setting you up for more success in the future, whether it also produces immediate ROI or not it is worth every penny.
Learn to Tune Out the Emotional Response
Investment seems scary because spending money is emotional. From early on, most of us were raised to be frugal, to make sure we don’t “waste” money, and that it’s good to fear not having enough.
The prospect of not having money when you really need it amplifies this fear. What if I can’t pay for groceries? What if I lose my house? What if I can’t pay for my kid’s college that’s going to cost a ridiculous $300K in ten years?
But what if...
Spending money now is the best way to prevent you from having these money what-ifs in the future?
You’re grasping for pennies now to lose out on dollars later?
Spending money on becoming more valuable and knowledgeable now will prepare you to make more and more money later being better and better at your business?
I don’t think it’s possible to “waste” money on that.
Be Rewarded For Facing Fears
Now I’m not going to lie, when I’m in the middle of a huge investment period, I sometimes wake up wondering if I’m making a huge mistake. It’s so ingrained in me; it’s so ingrained in EVERYONE!
I recently had a friend who called me up for support because they’re in the middle of scaling up their business with plans to double their revenue and hit a $300,000 this year.
But right now they owe $20,000 on a credit card and are scared shitless. But let’s get real: even if the business doesn’t quite hit $300,000 this year, it will certainly make over $200,000 – yet they’re stressing about $20,000 of credit card debt.
That is so crazy!
They're not just going to increase their revenue this year because of that investment, they're going to increase their revenue for years to come because of their investment because it’s increasing their ability to make money.
We have been raised to have this kind of crazy in us. We confuse the irresponsible behavior of spending money on products we don’t need with the logical and responsible behavior of investing heavily in your MOST valuable asset: YOU and YOUR ability to make money.
Whether it’s $1,000 or $10,000 or $50,000— what does it even matter if you’re going to be able to make two, three, or five times as much as you are currently making?
I encourage you to look at your business, look at what you COULD be making in the future, and ask yourself how much you would pay to get there.
How much would it be worth to get where you want to go months or years faster?
I spend a LOT of money on my business and building my skills. Sometimes it doesn’t get me the return that I was hoping for, and sometimes it catapults me to completely new heights. But I don’t let the times when it didn’t work out like I wanted stop me from doing it again and again, because the times that it does catapult me to a different level makes ALL the investments – good and bad – totally worth it.
I’ve learned that investing in my potential to earn more money later is the SAFEST investment I can make.
And much more than just making and saving some money, it’s the only way to get rid of the stress of not having money.
Who do you think is crushing it in business?
Do you think they waited before they invested in what they thought would get them to the next level?
Or do you think they went all in on the business they wanted to build?
I think we all know the answer.