There are questions we all face as our businesses grow; should I spend my hard-earned money on this or on that?
It’s a question that comes up again and again when people are on the path to working with me as their business coach.
And it’s the question I have to ask myself every time I think about how best to improve my skills and grow my business.
I’m off to Soulful PR Live tomorrow and I needed to ask myself some questions before I took the plunge and bought a VIP ticket for the event.
So, I thought I’d share the top 4 questions I ask myself before I get my visa card out and take the plunge.
1 Do I like this person?
This may seem like a strange first question. But I don’t like to give money to people I don’t connect with. I’ve done it in the past and it always felt jangly (my word, for not quite right, out of sorts). This goes for brands as well. So, think about the person or brand you’re about to give your money to. Do they fit with you, do you believe in them to deliver whatever they are promising? Would you enjoy the experience?
2 Does it take me where I need to be going?
We all have hopes and dreams for our business, people we want to work with, ways we want to grow, products we want to develop. We don’t all have a 5-year business plan written out, but I bet you do have an idea, however vague of where you are going (and if you don’t you should – otherwise how do you know when you’ve got there!).
Does the product/offer/conference move you in the right direction? Does it help you and your business move towards your dreams?
3 Do I need to do it now?
So, if you’ve answered yes to both of the above questions, the next question is do you need to do it now? Are you OK and happy where you are, is this something you could consider in 6 months or a year? After all, building a business is a process and I’m sure most of us are not exactly where we want to be.
My answer for this is if you’re looking at something wondering whether you should buy it, the chances are you looked for it – otherwise how did it turn up on your lap? What do you gain by doing it now, what do you lose by not doing it now?
4 Can I afford it?
Let’s assume we’ve answered yes to all 4 questions. The final part of the puzzle is price. And I know that as business owners, we do need to keep an eye on the pennies that come in and come out.
Now only you will know what state your cash flow is in and what your projected cash flow is. But we also need to think that generally when we buy something for our business, we are hoping that our projected cash flow rises. That whatever we are considering will improve us and our business and that more work will flow in as a result.
I was at a free workshop a while ago, and while the workshop was pretty terrible (perhaps, and I think because it was free) but they did say something that stuck with me.
“Spend money on advertising like you are already the business you want to be.”
Now this could be taken wildly out of context. You can’t and shouldn’t spend money like you are Richard Branson – that would be, frankly, crazy. But it did get me thinking.
Spend money on your business like the business you want it to be. If you want your business to grow, if you want to have more clients, sell more products, make more money, chances are you are going to have to invest in yourself.
If you are happy where you are, all well and good, but if you’re not and you want more, you might need to bite the bullet and spend a little bit to get you where you need to go.
So back to the Soulful PR Live with Janet Murray. I actually had a conversation with Janet before buying the ticket and it was along the lines of I felt I wasn’t ready to focus on PR in my business as there were other things I had to get done first. Procrastination as we all know can be a killer.
But then I went through these questions and realised that if I wanted my business to grow and I was serious about being the brand I wanted to be I had to spend the money and it became a no-brainer. Plus, I really like Janet and what’s she’s doing with her business!
This is not the only time I’ve spent money on my business.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time you’ll know that my first tax return was around £9k (which is my earnings in 2 months these days) and spending money as a single mum struggling was hard to do. But I also knew that I wasn’t going to get anywhere without investing in myself. So I’ve spent several thousands on online courses and my business coach is about £750 for 2 hours. I wasn’t even sure where they money for these things would come from, but I believed and I worked hard and the money was always there.
So, if you’re sitting on the fence looking at a conference or coach you’d like to work with, answer the questions above. The most pertinent being, will this take me where I want to go?
And if you're thinking about working with me, why not take the plunge - it's only going to improve your business and help you attract more customers! (we all need to get good at selling!!)
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You probably won’t earn 7 figures after reading this!