Do you sometimes wonder if you should spend your time going to a particular event? Or if you should spend your money on something new for your business? Or if that 2-day workshop is worth the time and money? How about if you should hire a professional to create a business card or just go for the freebie cards and do it yourself?
You're not alone.
My clients ask me questions about these types of expenses all the time.
And what I tell them is that there's a distinction that's important for every entrepreneur to make; and that distinction is knowing the difference between an INVESTMENT and a COST.
The reason this is so important to be aware of is because your perspective on this can either free you up to explore what's possible for you or it can tie you down, stunt your growth, and can actually hurt your business.
When you see everything as simply an output of money, you often will find yourself holding back for fear of what it costs. You say things like "it costs how much?" Or "I can not afford that." I've heard people say this without actually knowing what the price is!
So if you catch yourself saying, or even thinking these things, you need to realize that you're already in a mindset that is working against you and it can actually keep you from making the most of your money.
You see, not everything is a cost. A cost is something that you expend time and money on for which there's no return on the time or money you put out. For instance, the money you spend on supplies. Even if there's a benefit to having supplies, it's still a cost. Once they're gone, they're gone and it's time to restock.
On the other hand an investment is something that you expend time and money on with the expectation that you'll get something valuable in return.
Examples of investments that could have a great return are:
* Equipment that will help you better serve your clients and therefore attract more of them
* Enrolling in a workshop or coaching program that will help you develop the skills you need to better your service and increase the potential to make more money
* Creating a quality website that will help you attract and convert online browsers into paying clients
* Hiring a graphic designer to create a professional looking business card or logo so people will see your business is a viable entity and not a hobby
The common denominator is that you are expecting to get something valuable in return for the time and money you put into it. Most often, it's more or less of something; such as more clients, more traffic, more time; or less stress, less clutter, less trial and error.
The bottom line is that if you see everything as a cost, you limit your resources. If you're not in the mindset of understanding how investing in yourself and in your business will actually help you achieve your goals you may never actually reach them.
So make sure that you understand the difference between a cost and an investment and allow yourself to invest in yourself and your business.
As a result, you'll reach a new level as an entrepreneur and you'll feel good about money and time well spent.