17 money practices for business that cost me a lot to learn (part 2)
PART 2 of 2.
The question I get asked the most in terms of monetization and business priorities is about what to focus on first. Here’s the only mantra you need: Get the money in the door. I talk about this in The Fire Starter Sessions and in this Interview with Glen Stansberry at LifeDev.net What can you do in your business to make money RIGHT NOW? Today? This week? And the week after that? Do it. I’ll bet you it doesn’t rely on having the perfect logo or the right suit to wear. You might even be able to get the cash moving without having a website and by just picking up the phone. Let me recap: No money, no business. Go get the money.
I never do it for the money. If I do gigs purely for the coin, it most often ends in resentment or dirty feelin’s. THAT SAID…you need to get money in the door for the first 18 months (see #1 if you missed it.) If you need to pimp your ride and work with clients who irk you and do tasks that give you hives – have a light at the end of the tunnel plan. “I will ho’ for 12 months or less, after which time, I will ho’ no mo’.” Plan to prioritize passion and you’ll get through the hard parts with a genuine smile.
I distinguish “could-do’s” from “really, truly want to-do’s.” I could make good to great money by doing coaching groups, master minds, a subscription model, more stationery, turn my truisms into posters, hold regular teleseminars. And I regularly get offers to do a TV show. But…I don’t wanna.It’s good to know where cheap money is so you can focus on the meaningful money (because meaningful money goes farther.) Make a list of all the things you could do to make money. And then cross off two thirds of that list. Leave only what you’re really excited about on the list.
I have a “No way, Jose” list. For starters: I decline most free speaking gigs, unless it’s for charity. I don’t take red-eye flights. I don’t do client work on weekends.
I take great pleasure in paying people. I love that in my own little way I contribute to an economy of love when I pay the people who help me do what I do.
I don’t bitch about the reasonable costs of doing business. Because, it’s simply the cost of doing business.
I will bitch about waste (and bad design, because bad design is always a wasted opportunity,) and crappy customer service.
I do something everyday to attend to my money. Even if all you’ve got to set aside today for savings is $10 bucks, do it. Straighten out the bills in your wallet. Start shopping for a financial advisor before you think you need one. Read an article about prosperity. Listen to this excellent conversation between Bryan Franklin and Jonathan Fields: Three Types Of Earners (Which Are You?)
I stand in my value, but I never sell someone something they don’t need. I don’t offer refunds on The Fire Starter Sessions program (you can read my policy logic here.) If I think I’m not a fit with a 1 on 1 Fire Starter client, 15 minutes into the phone call, I’ll offer them a coaching referral and refund their money. (This has only happened once out of 500+ lovelies.)
Trust is a form of commerce. Out of 700+ people who paid for The Fire Starter Sessions on the Pay What You Can Day, only one person got the product and didn’t keep their end of the bargain.
I deal with a mainstream major bank, because as much as I loved the progressive views of my local credit union, they never answered the damn phone.
I feel that integrity is more valuable than cash. Even though I was legally free to walk away, I shelled out over $100K for a deal gone wrong because it was more important to me to not screw people over (and it was very tempting to get ‘em back.) But that decision further defined how I walk through the world and how well I sleep at night.
I’ll never raise money for a business again. (I reserve the right to change my mind on this.) Raising money? Don’t do it until you have to. And then question if you really need to. And then think twice about it. And then get a second opinion.
The boys from ReWork (Jason Fried + David Heinemeier Hansson) sum up my sentiments on raising money perfectly. Allow me to paraphrase: You give up control.
“Cashing out” begins to trump building a quality business.
Spending other people’s money is addictive.
It’s usually a bad deal.
Customers move down the totem pole.
Raising money is incredibly distracting.
When raising money is the right thing to do: get mentors; start sending your banker chocolates; prepare to be out of your company at least 30% of the time. Take your vitamins.
I work with people who are the best at what they do, but still have a detectable hunger to grow their own empire and serve the world.
Small gestures of gratitude make deep impressions. When I was in hot water with a big bank, I swear it was the Armani socks that I sent my account manager the year before that kept my boat afloat. Thoughtfulness is not only memorable, it’s appreciable.
I’m thrilled to whole-heartedly know that:
It’s all about relationships.
I’ll nod to Hugh McLeod on this one: “The people you trust and vice versa are what will feed you and pay for your kids’ college. Nothing else.”