I’ve been privileged to have some interesting conversations with people about building their businesses. In every case, the people I was talking to wanted to make good business decisions, and save money, and be safe.
Unfortunately, the actions they took weren’t going to get them to their goals.
As a public service, I want to share a few myths that I see so many entrepreneurs believing – all for the best of reasons – but at the expense of their dreams.
Trading is a way to get great business services – free.
Truth: I know that many business gurus will suggest trading as a way to get some of the help that you need when you’re starting out. Maybe. But the message that you’re giving the Universe is ‘I can’t afford what I need’ every time you trade. If it’s an even trade, exchange the money instead – it will feel very different. If it’s an uneven trade – someone’s getting the short end of the stick. Don’t do that, it’s bad energy, regardless of which side of the stick you’re holding.
Here’s another way to look at it – If you wouldn’t pay money for it, don’t trade your even more precious time for it. You’ll spend all your time getting services but no money, and you can’t run a business that way.
Hidden Truth: Most people trade because they are afraid to ask people for money. And if you’re thinking ‘It’s so great that I can get these important services for free’ you’re badly undervaluing the cost of your time. That means, in a trade, you’re working for free, too. Is that the message you want to put out there? Why should anyone hire you, if you’re willing to work for free?
You also want to look at ‘You get what you pay for.’ If you’re getting all of this ‘for free,’ what’s it worth?
It’s not smart to go into debt to build your business.
Truth: Every entrepreneur needs to decide the level of risk that she can tolerate. For some, that will be very little. (People with low levels of risk tolerance tend to either change their level, or go back to the job market. It’s too stressful for them.) If you’re not willing to take on risk, you should look at getting out of the entrepreneurial world. Pretty much every aspect of running a business involves risk, and trying desperately to minimize it means that you stunt the growth of your business.
Hidden Truth: Every successful entrepreneur I know incurred debt to build their business. This doesn’t mean that it’s the right move for you, but you should consider whether you’re holding yourself back by not being willing to risk.
You can do it all without help.
Truth: If you’re doing it all in your business, you’re doing many things that are outside your area of expertise. That means you’re not working efficiently, and you’re putting your valuable time into a task that could be done much more effectively by someone with a different skill set.
Even assuming that you have the skill set to do everything in your business (a big assumption!) AND if you’re better at all of them than anyone else would be (a near impossibility) not all tasks are created equal. Mowing the grass, for example, is worth about $10/hour. If you usually charge $100/hour for your services, which is low for most entrepreneurs, any time you mow the lawn you’re wasting $90 that you could be making by investing that time in your business. You can apply this logic to all the other tasks in your business that would be better performed by an assistant.
Your assignment: Look at whether you’ve been believing these myths, and take a close look at what it’s costing you. The amount of money your saving could be used to create a huge return this year in your business.
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