I will share with your strategy today that we have used to build our business, to add new opportunities for us and to get rid of complacency, but what’s different about this is it is not a feel-good positive mindset, everything’s going to be great type strategy. Here is what I do mentally to get myself to stay focused and to stay driven and to do my best to not take all this for granted and here it is. Pretend like it’s all going to go away. That’s it. I’m serious, pretend like it’s all going to go away. This is what we did years ago when our photography business kept growing. We have a lot of people singing our praises, a lot of people telling us how great what we’re doing and projecting to the future both possible and I love that. But I also saw a lot more people that were doing more dreaming than they were working. And a lot of people that would give me the advice for the same type of people. It was a lot of talk but very little action and very little success. but they had the dreams where everything was going to be.
So I found myself getting complacent because everything was going so well. The money was coming in, the jobs were going well, the business was growing, we’re making more money, we’re spending less time, we had to put less effort into it but it was still getting better. There are a lot of people that are struggling right now and they’re doing everything they can to get their business off the ground or to become financially viable. And to hear something like that, they would trade places with it in a heartbeat. I know because I’ve been in all those spots but I’m telling you it’s not a place you want to strive for even if you’re struggling right now. Because until you get your mind right on this, when you’re struggling with money and your business, there’s always someplace to strive to that you can get to. And to me no matter how bad what we were doing, I always loved knowing we can get better at this.
The problem with doing well is you start to believe it. You start to think you’re better than you actually are and you forget that it is the hard work that actually created the success. And that’s the point that you see people getting complacent and then they lose it. Once they lose it, they try so hard to get all back but they forgot about the work ethic that got them there and they don’t know how to do it again and quite often you see them fail. And I’ve seen this enough to know that we need to protect ourselves from something like this from happening to us. And the beautiful thing about the struggle, the beautiful thing about struggling is that you need checkpoints to get to so you can get to the next level. They’re not false, they’re real checkpoint that you need to get to, to pay the bills, have a certain amount of money in the bank, whatever it would be. The problem with success is, especially when you haven’t had it in the past, you don’t have those checkpoints anymore. When you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before, maybe in a long while, it’s very easy to rest on that. And when you have a business that grows and it gets better and it doesn’t require much more effort, you can be lulled into thinking that it’s never going to change and its only going to get better from here. You see people increase their spending, they increase their lifestyle, they buy the nicer, bigger house because they know the monies coming in now but they stopped to do what got them there. And when it goes away, it’s actually a bigger fall because now there’s so much more to lose.
So that is why I came up with the strategy, this mental strategy to put on us to make sure that we’re always growing, we’re always innovating and we arere doing our best not to take any this for granted. And the thing we said was pretend like this is all going to go away. Pretend like this is the last year that this business is going to be this successful. When you do that, the change in how you view your business can happen instantaneously. Because if you knew right now that your job or your business or your businesses were going to be gone next year, I can pretty much guarantee that the approach you’re taking right now will be different than if you knew it was going away. We forced ourselves to act that the money wasn’t going to come in so that we can get our money straight now.
Now deep down I knew it wasn’t going away, we already started to book clients for the upcoming year but we mentally and financially prepared like it wasn’t to be good anymore. Now I know this sounds like a negative mindset possibly to go through to figure this out but it was incredibly valuable because it forced us to get our crap together. It forced us to figure out where our money was going, where we’re putting it, how we’re investing, how we were getting rid of debt. It forced us to say this might be the last great year we have in a while so let’s get our stuff together just in case it all goes away and has to be tighter. Now I can imagine you can see the two benefits that come from this which the first was it made us work harder. It makes us more smarter, makes us realize we need to keep putting the effort into his business even when it’s going well because it’s going to go away.
So even though we were successful, we got to act like we were beginners. And the reason why beginners get so much success often is because they try so much harder than the veterans. The beginners aren’t trying to hold on to anything they try to grow. Often, the veterans are just trying to hold on to what they got. So the work part was great but also the money part was great to because there’s no way I’m going out to buy a brand-new car with the money we do have if I think the monies going away next year. So depending on where we were in life either went towards paying off debt, it went towards investing ourselves, all the things to make next year better with the things we did.
And guess what happens when you do those things and you think that way. It doesn’t go away the next year because you prepared for success for the following year. So just imagine doing this 1, 2, 3 years in a row. Instead of buying crap you don’t need or not working as hard because you’re taking the business for granted, you take the money, make your financial life stronger and you work really hard to make your business better. Now you got more money in the bank. You got more money invested, and invariably, your business is good to be stronger.
So when you get the next level the next year and the business is now bringing in more money and you got more leeway with your money and you still pretend like it’s going away, I hope you could see how quickly you can elevate your life and your business. But most people spend their money and their time like it’s not going to go away and hint hint, this isn’t just a business tip, it’s a marriage tip as well. How differently would you treat your spouse or significant other if you knew that if you didn’t do better, there going to be gone next year? And so often taking for granted is our downfall and unfortunately, we don’t even see it until it’s too late. So, as we approach the new year, a new decade, how can you use this to your advantage now to prepare for what’s coming up in the future? The question is what are you going to do differently if you knew everything was going away next year? Would you treat your customers differently? Would you make better use of your money and your time? Would you spend less time watching sports and Netflix and more time making sure that it didn’t go away?
I’ll talk to you tomorrow.