In recent years there has been a huge focus on austerity and, with it, a need to cut back and work in a leaner and more streamlined fashion. I agree that it is important to be a good steward of whatever you are responsible for, but it’s also true that, in worrying times, cutting back is a default position that we don’t necessarily need to adopt.
I saw a statement the other day that leapt off the screen and got my attention, hitting home. After all, it did come from one of the richest men in the world, so, he must know something, right?
Elon Musk said it: “It’s easier to make 10K than to save 10K.”
Let that sink in for a moment. When I read it, the thought struck me that making big savings is all very well, but if we believe in what we are doing and where we are heading, making more sales solves the problem, doesn’t it?
There are many reasons why sales stall, and, while we always need to keep a check on expenses to stop them from spiralling out of control, we also need to realise that it’s selling our product that makes the most difference.
So, what do you need right now? Would 5K change everything? 10K even… How many sales would you need to make that? Break it down. When we break things down into smaller chunks our focus changes and, all of a sudden, we can make a choice to go for plenty rather than having to go lean.
With current rates of inflation, everyone seems to be putting their prices up.
Here’s an idea though: rather than focusing on price and how much you can increase it, think about how much value you can add. You have something to give. For myself, I had a moment of clarity when I realised that I have over 30 years experience, which means that ten minutes working with me can solve someone else’s hours of problems.
I’m not trying to brag, I’m just saying that experience is a gift that you can share.
My experiences through life have led me to have what I call an ‘abundant mindset’. This mindset challenges me and keeps me going rather than giving up. Even when I used to queue in Tesco for ‘yellow labels ’I was always trying to maximise our spend. £10 could buy us a week’s worth of goods. We made a choice to maximise what we had to get what we needed.
You see, in tough times, having an abundant mindset isn’t about excess, necessarily, it’s about maximising the opportunity you have with the resources available. It’s not about being cheap. That £10 was a lot of money for us at the time (longer story), but we made it work harder for us.
It is not about buying a sports car but rather seeing the opportunity in the investment. Can what you spend money your on actually add value? That is the abundance mindset I’m talking about, where stuff pays for itself.
So, if I buy a watch, can it do more than tell the time? Will it go up in value? Can it save me time? No, it can’t. And, guess what? I don’t own a watch. I get more value out of a decent phone which also tells me the time. Investing in a posh watch doesn’t add enough value in my life or reproduce anything.
So, what do I do as a business owner that might seem like a huge amount of work but generates significant value?
Well, I record a Podcast. I don’t monetise it either. We create content to inspire people towards action, around purpose. Indirectly, it has significantly changed the kind of conversations we have been having and we have seen an elevation in our impact and influence.
An abundant mindset doesn’t just focus on the money, it focuses on the level of impact it can create. For us, money provides momentum, however, it’s the message that makes the impact. If you focus on the motive behind your money-making activity you’ll start to develop an abundant mindset, and your commitment to impact-led living will create income opportunities.
It’s possible to switch from being ‘money-conscious’ to being ‘message-led’ and when you do, you’ll find yourself doing business from a conviction of the heart. This is a great place to be as it’s then that you are doing something that you absolutely want to do and life becomes truly purposeful.
I believe that we should all have a cause to champion and when we discover what it is and have the right mindset, great stuff starts to happen. Our heart carries the message and the motive, the mind carries the momentum to make it all happen. Then we’re in the place to take the right actions and continually invest.
One of my favourite reads has been ‘Shoe Dog’ by Nike founder, Phil Knight. The company didn’t make money for 10 years but Phil’s abundant mindset motivated him to keep investing and, eventually, he came through. The recent movie, Air, (the story of how Nike secured Michael Jordan), describes how Phil Knight got comfortable when he stopped taking the kind of risks that had originally fashioned the company. However, Nike’s basketball talent scout, Sonny Vaccaro, believed in Michael Jordan so much that he wanted to spend their entire budget sponsoring him. So, he worked with Peter Moore to create a shoe for Jordan, and rather than just supplying Michael Jordan with a shoe, the shoe itself was named the ‘Air Jordan’ and it carried the Nike brand. With an estimated $3 million return in year one, the actual $162 million the shoe brought in exceeded Nike’s wildest expectations. However, for two people, Michael Jordan’s Mum, Dolores Jordan, and Sonny, it was a foregone conclusion, they simply needed Phil and Peter to climb aboard their dream. Then, Phil Knight sanctioned an unprecedented percentage of sales to Jordan! Sonny had pulled purpose back out of him.
You see, it was a stretch, a ‘never been done before’, a crazy step up and out which saw Nike take its brand beyond Adidas and Converse in the basketball market. In fact, Nike ended up buying Converse out. It’s true that sometimes, as with Phil Knight, it takes people around you to remind you of who you are. We all need a hand to get us through.
This was the reason I wrote a book, The Crisis Catalyst, and it has helped hundreds of people to ‘get through’. The message creates its own momentum and it has opened multiple doors of opportunity. It keeps me grounded when things are good, and when times are tough, in life, as well as in business.
Going after your dreams is about seeing the opportunity to extend your brand and your message, and having the mindset to keep going. With a ‘lack’ mindset, you’re much more likely to give up and pack in. Never allow the negativity of circumstances to get you to quit out, settle for loss, and become another statistical failure that ended with a full stop.
In my dream to create ‘everything business ’I wanted to provide the infrastructure to make sure that people would neither give up nor give in. And as long as there is fire, even an ember of hope, there is a chance that we can help you.
Cre8ion is about brand, but we can also help you improve your company culture with ‘Hum4ns’, or we can create software products for you with Di9ital, and help you find your own business tribe at ‘Introbiz Bristol’.
We can elevate your message if you join us on the sofa for the ‘Purpose People Podcast’ and, together, we’ll help others double down on their purpose.
You see, the greatest thing you can do is add value and, if do that enough, people will pay you to add more. The key is to break rank first and give freely, offering your insights and experience to make an impact. Your words will be enriching somebody’s world.
So today, why not sign up to our emails, or subscribe to The Purpose People Podcast on YouTube, listen and review on Apple, Amazon or Spotify. If you want to start investing in you, start small by reading The Crisis Catalyst, where we can help you through those challenges with some real tools that ensure you are here for the long term.
Having a plentiful outlook is about building with the end in mind. If you keep this focus, you won’t lose sight of what you need to do. Even in the tests and trials you’ll stay focussed on moving forward.
Plenty of people quit, but when you focus on making plenty of impact, the people who are running on empty will see you and ask you for help.