There’s a new strain of cancer going around the business world. This time, it’s contagious. It even masquerades — for a bit — as something healthy for your business. And, if it’s gotten ahold of you, you know it. Because it is eating away at your profits, and — far worse, for me at least — robbing you of family time.
Here are some of its symptoms:
- You’re robbing Peter to pay Paul;
- Inconsistent and unpredictable income systems; (i.e. You can’t count on what’s coming in every month.)
- Even time “off” is wrecked with anxious thoughts, and the gnawing of what you “should” be doing to grow your business;
- You’re TIED to your computer and iPhone;
- No matter how many hours you’re working (or NOT relaxing) you just can’t seem to get the “system” right — numbers aren’t consistently moving up. (And the # of hours you’re working don’t count!)
- You feel like you’re at the mercy of your clients… they say WHEN and WHERE and HOW MUCH… and you begrudgingly oblige them;
- You watch others around you and constantly re-invent yourself, your offerings, and your pricing… trying to find your “sweet spot.”
See yourself experiencing any of these symptoms? You just might have the new (business) cancer impacting so many business owners today.
The Cancer of Complexity and Chaos.
I can speak on this. I’ve been there.
There was a time when all of my life was ruled by the pursuit of simplicity. Things were good. Every year, my business grew by impressive leaps. I hired a coach who applauded and encouraged and defended my pursuit of simplicity. It was a brilliant fit. Life was good. Business was good. Income was up. I was happy and peaceful and profitable.
But then I fell off the simplicity wagon. Naturally attracted to any hint of vulnerability, the cancer of complexity and chaos snuck in. Oh.. and it grabbed me by the throat. I was traveling all the time. I rushed from airport to hotel to airport. I worked in flight, I worked all night, I apologized over and over and over to my family, whom I am ashamed to admit I was shortchanging regularly.
Finally, something opened my eyes. Literally. I saw something that caused me tremendous pause. Stopped me in my tracks — literally. It caused me to take a long hard look at my recent investment of time, talent, intellectual capital and well — time. The lump in my throat probably could have been seen from miles away. But I saw clearly for the first time in a long time.
I’d been diagnosed with the cancer of complexity and chaos. I was thinking, well… BIG LEAPS in income can’t happen in my simple little life. I’d have to make things more complex for myself, tolerate a bit of chaos in order to go from 6 to 7 figures.
And, make no mistake here. This little business of mine is not about ego for me. I started it to make money. The day it stops performing predictably for me, I’m out. While I’m PASSIONATE about what I do, it is a business. Not a charity. Not a ministry. Not a non-profit. I demand a profit from this business. And that profit should increase each and every year. Anything less is not tolerable.
So, here I am. Eaten up with the cancer of complexity and chaos and wondering what to do. How do I get cured? How can I escape this terrible condition? What is at stake here?
And I looked at my numbers. MONETARY numbers. This was the first step in my recovery — and the most painful. Truth be told, the numbers made me LITERALLY sick to my stomach. Prior to this moment, I’d never looked. I’d just made a lot of assumptions. WRONG assumptions. The numbers showed me that I had — for the first time EVER in the history of my business — NOT made an increase in income. I’d stayed the same.
You mean with ALL that work, ALL that travel, ALL those late nights, ALL those working holidays?
YEP. My income hadn’t increased. Gulp. Times had become more chaotic, more complex, and downright miserable. But my income remained the same… for the first time ever.
The cancer of complexity and chaos sucks. I see corporations and small business owners and sales teams alike make this mistake over and over and over again… and I feel for them because I KNOW that the fastest way to their monetary goal is ROOTED in a simplistic approach. Any deviation from the most simple approach is a “short cut” that will cost you big time. It’s the “short cut” that takes you further than you planned on going, keeps you longer than you planned on staying and costs you FAR MORE than you planned on paying.
The real short cut is simplicity.
Do you think you may have “caught” the cancer of complexity and chaos? You too can be “cured.” Take a moment to look back at your business history. When were you MOST profitable? (Keep in mind, PROFITABILITY is about how much money you KEEP, not how much money you MAKE. Complexity and Chaos usually eat up a lot of cash!) I can almost GUARANTEE you that the most profitable time in your business was the most simple.
Go back to when YOU were most profitable. What were you offering? What were you charging? What were you giving? How were you serving? How were you tracking? What were you measuring? How were you marketing?
Now, you’ve got the roadmap. Each step AWAY from complexity and chaos is a step in the more profitable direction. But only every time.
Today, I’m more profitable than ever. I love that. My life is simple. My weekends are my own. Do times still get chaotic? OH YEAH. But, for all the RIGHT reasons. Because I rule my business, and not the other way around.
I invite you — Planet WOW residents — to take this vow of simplicity with me. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Love & WILD success to each of you,