If you are struggling financially in a business you love, I have good news for you: We can fix this. It will challenge you, and you will need to think differently, but we can fix it. Here are two good places to start: time and price.
Step one is to prioritize your business focus, and put the time where it needs to be in your current business. Here is what I recommend:
This alone is usually a huge eye opener. If you are working in your own independent business, chances are that you spend far more time in unproductive pursuits than you need to. Typical culprits are email, networking meetings, and volunteer work, but there are many other possibilities. People can be incredibly inventive at this, it seems, in order to avoid the work they need to be doing. Once you see it laid out before your own eyes, start prioritizing the work that makes money—whether you love it or not.
Step two is to start driving price, and this means a fundamental shift in your attitude. People who do what they love are often so enamored by the perceived privilege of being in this kind of business or work that they forget to charge for their work appropriately. They discount too much for friends, or go along with the hard luck of clients and customers, or wait for payment on services or products that need immediate payment, etc. ALL OF THESE ARE WAYS OF DISCOUNTING PRICE!!
If you find yourself making exceptions, reducing your price, and wondering if you can continue your chosen work, consider this key secret of people who make a lot of money:
They ask for it.
And they completely believe that they deserve it.
These people work from an attitude of abundance rather than one of scarcity. In a world of scarcity, everything is a zero sum game. The pie is so big, there is one pie, and it has eight pieces. If I eat mine and the seven others, you get nothing. That’s scarcity.
Abundance acknowledges that the world has plenty, that people make their own decisions and have a right to do so, and that exchanges are a two way street. It also acknowledges that I am valuable, and therefore can and should ask a price that reflects that value. You need to change your attitude from one of scarcity to one of abundance.
I invite you to take a hard look at your business practices:
C’mon. Fess up! We’ve all done it.