Beating the Entrepreneur’s Curse

“What Gets Measured Gets Managed.”

~ Peter Drucker

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t spend a lot of time crunching numbers in my business.  My darling retired accountant husband pays the bills and I often joke that I am “innumerate.” But keeping track of numbers is an important aspect of maintaining and growing a business

One of the big challenges for entrepreneurs is often termed Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.  It happens to non-entrepreneurs too.  We are all wired to notice and be attracted to the “new,” but as a business owner, if you’re constantly trying or buying new things and neglecting or forgetting what you already have, you are wasting time and money.  And if you have a really bad case of BSO, your business is likely spinning its wheels- in other words stagnating – and your success will suffer.

I did a brilliant exercise this past weekend that gave me some insights into my own BSO leanings and helped me breathe new life into a plan to defeat it. One of my mentors sent out a simple excel spreadsheet to track all the online training and products you purchase month after month for your business.

SPREADSHEET EXERCISE

Across the top columns it lists the purchase date, the product/service name, the purchase price, whether it is a recurring charge, who created it, your reason for buying it, the URL, login, password, etc. and general notes.

I looked at my Paypal account and elsewhere for receipts and wrote it all down. What an eye-opening experience! My spreadsheet lists dozens and dozens of purchases since January, several of which I had forgotten about, some I had not “gotten around to” using yet and at least one I think I actually bought TWICE! (Ouch!)

Regarding implementation, I noticed I am quick to jump into training materials I buy, but slower to dive into getting a new tool set up and running and incorporated into my business. With this simple exercise, I discovered this behavior and now can be more mindful about changing it.

TAKE ACTION

With only a few more months left in 2014, taking this kind of inventory can help any entrepreneur work smarter. What purchases are you using fully and what tools and training did you invest in this year that you have overlooked? You have no way to calculate your R.O.I. (return on investment), unless you keep track of the I!

Don’t feel guilty. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome afflicts all of us. You still have time to get value out of what you have lying idle on your computer hard drive. Just do the exercise, become more aware of your tendencies and start working with what you already own to get results before 2015!

From now on, I am going to keep a running tally on a spreadsheet and look at it before I decide to make any new purchases. This one small step should make me a less likely BSO buyer and a more savvy action-taker!

Thoughts? Please leave a comment.

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Janet Vasil

On-Camera, Speaker & Media Trainer/Coach at Vasil Media Group | Your Media Moment & Beyond
Virtual Communication Specialist Janet Vasil is a former award-winning, EMMY®-nominated TV Journalist who teaches business professionals to communicate with impact on-camera, in media interviews, and as public speakers. Contact at http://bit.ly/Talk2Janet

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