The simple test to reveal why you’re not making money

Jan 18, 2020 | Private Wealth

Do you feel like you’re working harder than ever but not really getting ahead or making money? Let’s explore what is behind that demotivating feeling.

We all have times in our business where we feel a little off track. We’re doing a pile of things, in fact our days are incredibly busy, but we just don’t seem to be making money and getting ahead financially. One of the big problems is that most of us do so much in a day that it’s hard to reflect on what we’ve actually done and how, precisely, we’ve spent our time.

When I go through these periods, I have a very simple test (or perhaps process is a better term) that gets me back on track really fast. I print out a landscape sheet of paper with four columns headings from left to right:

  1. Specific task.

  2. Is this moving me towards my immediate goals?

  3. Neutral.

  4. Is this pulling me away from my immediate goals?

Then over the next few days, as I work I put down every task I complete in column one. And when I say every task, I mean every task – every phone call, email, meeting, piece of work, administrative task etc.

Next, I decide how I would categorise the task. The question as to whether it’s “moving me towards my immediate goals” asks whether the tasks are in alignment with what is most important in my business right now. I’ve defined these as making money, or finishing a specific project but of course you can adapt these so they reflect your priorities.

“Where we spend our time is often more important than how we spend our time.”

The “Neutral” column means the task is one of those things that needs to be done but it doesn’t really add or detract from my immediate goals. For example paying a bill or ordering some stationery.

The last column, the “pulling me away from my immediate goals” is a biggie. This one identifies all of the things I’m doing that I really shouldn’t be doing (you know, watching the latest cat video on YouTube, shuffling papers around my desktop, doing a project that doesn’t really align with where I’m heading and so on).

Do this for two days and any weaknesses in your business will soon become apparent. Most of the time it becomes very obvious that I’m simply spending too much time doing work that doesn’t pay, hence my billings are down for the month.

The value of this exercise is that it takes the “I think” out of the equation. It makes it very clear exactly how I am spending most of my time and of course why I’m getting the results I’m getting.

Typically for me, my results show things like “chasing butterflies”, or “freebie work that doesn’t pay the rent” as my greatest distractions.

After a while of fumbling our way through business, we have to get smarter. As soloists our time is our greatest limited resource and using it wisely is clearly very important. As simple as this exercise might sound, I would be very surprised if the results didn’t shock you a bit, perhaps enough to take action.

Source : Flying Solo November 2019 

This article by Andrew Griffiths is reproduced with the permission of Flying Solo – Australia’s micro business community. Find out more and join over 100K others.

 

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

<a href="https://ugc.net.au/author/louis/" target="_self">Louis van Coppenhagen</a>

Louis van Coppenhagen

Louis is a Financial Adviser with 15 years experience, three university degrees and specialist qualification in Aged Care.

Recent News

Episode 114: Have The Markets Reacted To a COVID-19 Normal World?

Episode 114: Have The Markets Reacted To a COVID-19 Normal World?

This week’s edition of the investor exchange podcast kicks off with a discussion on the COVID-19 situation in Victoria. It’s been 20 days since Victoria recorded its last case and is on track towards a COVID normal Christmas. Following that, Louis talks about the benefits of holiday for your mental health which in turn impacts our performance in work and in life. Brett takes us through the changes in stamp duty that will soon be in place for home buyers soon and breaks down what the costs and benefits will be. Finally, Joel provides a share market update and highlighting the current situation in the United States.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe here to receive all UGC updates as they happen

Good Move! Keep an eye on your inbox for our next update.