Question # 32 - Have I paid the DUMB TAX?
Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash
No one likes to feel dumb. I hate feeling dumb. But I have done dumb and I will bet you have too. Keith Cunningham, author of "The Road Less Stupid" calls it DUMB TAX.
I have paid DUMB TAX.
Dumb costs money. Almost every time. Think about it ... how much money would you have in the bank if you could "undo" some of the purchases you made that ended up being "dumb". Here's my partial list ...
I have invested in on-line courses that I never finished.
I have paid for coaching that I only half implemented.
I have signed up for seminars, did not attend them, asked for the re-play and did not listen to it.
I have bought books that I didn't read.
Joined a chamber and expected the sales to just start flowing.
I hired people that were more work to onboard than they helped me.
I spent more to get a client, than I charged the client ... ugh. BIG DUMB TAX.
And the list goes on. I bet you have your own list.
Sure, I learned some valuable stuff along the way but my bank account would have a bunch more money in it if I had stopped to think DEEPLY about one thing:
"What is the problem I am trying to fix?"
Sometimes making a list of what is "wrong" in your business is only the first step. Let's look at some potential problems you may have right now ...
Not enough sales
Not enough prospects
Market is unpredictable right now
Poor lead conversion %
Not enough staff
Staff is not good enough
Finding people is hard
Lack of repeat business
and so on ...
But are those the problems or are they a symptom of a problem?
What happens with my CFO clients is that they make a list like the one above and then start Googling answers until they find a magic bullet: the "coach" "person" or "product" that will solve the problem. They make some calls, write some emails and pull out their credit card. Usually to find themselves in the same situation a few months later and with less money in the bank.
That is what Keith Cunningham calls "dumb tax". He challenges us as business owners to sit down on a weekly basis and THINK. Yes THINK. When is the last time you did that?
When did you last sit for one uninterrupted hour to think about how to solve the problems of your business? No social media, no email, no messages .... one hour of thinking time?
He would say that the list above is just a small sample of SYMPTOMS of a problem, not THE problem. I wholeheartedly agree.
I hope you enjoy it and forward it to other business owners that may need some help becoming truly profitable.