There’s a saying “Never jump over dollars to get to dimes.”
What does this look like in business? Essentially it’s the desire to be frugal and save money wherever you can rather than investing in yourself and your business in a way that might bring in bigger dollars down the track.
Usually this behaviour comes from a place of scarcity and looks like this:
- Refusing to hire a bookkeeper because you know how to do your own books.
- Umming and ahhing about going to a conference because you don’t have the money right now and you’ll have to pay for it on your credit card.
- Thinking “Why would I hire this person to consult to me when I can read their blog?”
Here’s what I know about each of the above:
- Back when I first hired a bookkeeper, yes it cost me money. But it also freed up countless hours and head space. I was able to make far more money from those freed up hours than the bookkeeper cost me. And the benefits to my business that came from always knowing our cash position and having daily cash flows on hand, it’s hard to put a figure on that.
- I remember the first ever Problogger conference I went to. It was a fair investment to make in what was, at best, a very new hobby at the time. But invest I did and my word has that paid off many times over in the years since. While we’re able to make great friendships and form great relationships online, the level of connection you’re able to create by meeting people in real life and having proper conversations with them – there is just no substitute. Conversations from that first conference led to me being able to work with some of Australia’s biggest bloggers as a designer and advisor. I’ve since been invited back to speak at the event about writing, blog design and blog maintenance. Attending the event every year has also allowed me to cement relationships with people who’ve helped with my writing career. And a chance encounter at the event one year led to me taking up the Editor role with Flying Solo. Not every conference will be a game-changer for your business or personal situation, so yes, you do have to choose them wisely. But so long as you are attending an event that either contains like-minded people or people who might want to hire you, and if you use those conferences to create meaningful connections with people, it would be hard not to see a return on your investment.
- I’ve avidly read the blogs of many smart people over the years. And I’ve taken away a lot from all that reading. But what people are able to share on their blogs is (necessarily) quite general in nature. So whenever I’ve had the opportunity to buy an hour of one of those smart people’s time, I’ve taken it. Being able to take their knowledge and have it applied to my specific situation has always been money incredibly well spent. In fact, I would go so far as to say this particular shortcut has been the one thing that has helped me achieve my goals faster than anything else. Another advantage of paying for someone’s time is that, if they’re an influencer in the circles you like to move in, you now have their attention. They know who you are. This is another thing that’s very hard to put a price on.
It will be very hard to ever achieve business success if your sole pathway to making money is to save money. Invest in yourself and the future of your business. It’s basically betting on yourself. And how nice to lay a bet on something where you get to influence the outcome so directly!