Boom! I just waved my magic wand and doubled your income. Now what?
If you're like a lot of Americans, you'll quickly find a way to consume the "extra" and adjust up to a new lifestyle.
You'll adopt what I've often called a "comfort zone" where you expect the nice car, the big screen television, and perhaps the country club membership along with the expectation for free time to consume it all. A sad fact is that most small business owners will spend more time planning a vacation than planning for the success of their business.
In fact, on average, fewer than 10% of small business owners will spend any appreciable time on business development.
Is there a correlation with that number and the roughly 80% failure rate for small businesses in the first five years? I think you and I both know the answer ... yes. With that in mind, how do you invest - or reinvest - your income into business success?
More importantly, if you had that financial windfall, what would you do in your business to make it run better? To make it more effective? To give you the benefit of a better quality of "free time"?
In my experience, many people would not take the first step towards those goals and instead, simply choose to hang out in that "comfort zone" where the stress is somewhat mitigated by the income and their weeks all look about the same. They'll passionately speak of how difficult the work is but have taken no steps to changing that.
It's just not quite painful enough.
Let's take the opposite view - my magic wand just reduced your income by half. Now would you start taking a hard look at how you do business and what actions you need to take to create a Great, Growing Company?
I bet it would have your full attention!
I've talked until I'm blue in the face about building systems to make small businesses successful and there are plenty of entrepreneurs who have taken that conversation to heart and reimagined their business model as an organized, effective system that handles every single part of their business with duplicatable results utilizing a team of trained personnel. The problem is usually not that the message hasn't been heard or discussed, it's the comfort zone getting in the way.
To put it bluntly, it just doesn't hurt quite enough to fix it. When it hurts most is when you miss your daughter's dance recital or have to travel on your anniversary or when there isn't any budget for Christmas gifts. That's when we suddenly get passionate about the things that we should have been passionate about all along!
I challenge you, Dear Reader, to stay uncomfortable and to not accept status quo because it will drive you into stagnation from your goals as an entrepreneur. A hard look in the mirror is the only way to determine if you are leaving stones unturned in your quests to build your company and at the same time, how you are (or aren't) doing that as effectively as you should be.
Working "hard" to hold on always works out poorly. Turn your efforts towards making a difference each day in how your company runs and you'll find the vacation is longer, more fun, and doesn't take nearly so long to plan!