Thursday, June 14, 2012

Making Money vs Working Hard

Packing up beads to return. It's been on my to-do list for five years!
Recently I really wanted to take a business class run by Marie Forleo. But it was a lot of money--like take-a-trip or buy-a-computer type of money. So I made a deal with myself. If I could somehow raise the funds to take the class, plus pay the bills and add a big chunk to our savings--all within the seven days before the class started--then I could sign up. It was a pretty much impossible task, essentially making as much as I normally do in three months within a week, but I was highly motivated. And guess what? Somehow I pulled it off.

What I learned has really stuck with me: there's a huge difference between making money and working hard. Making money involved a lot of things that weren't too fun, but brought in cash: finishing the taxes, filling out rebate forms that had been sitting on my desk for weeks, emailing customers who were months overdue in payments. Many of the things were also scary, such as contacting new customers and asking them to buy large products (something I dread).

I spend a lot of time "working" very hard. I love to scan new images and make new designs. But if those designs and images don't bring in any money, then I end up stressing out at the end of the month when bills are due.

What's great is that this realization has stuck with me. It's helped me "get over myself" to a certain extent and do tasks that are either initially scary or super-boring. Contacting people really isn't as scary as I thought it would be. And by completing tasks that have a definite financial aspect (not selling my soul here; just doing things I know I should be doing anyway) it frees me up to have time to do my business labors of love.

So far the Marie class has totally been worth it. The irony being that the best lesson so far was the one I learned before the class even started: often it's good to put yourself out there. Take a risk. Make a phone call. Do something boring but necessary. Go for something big. It will pay off.


Jennifer Cameron said...

Great post! It's amazing what motivation can make help us accomplish.

Jenipher Lyn said...

Wow!! That's so incredible!! Great post. :D

Did you do anything differently, or just try to concur things that scared you?


darlene said...

Fantastic post! Thanks for the link to Marie Forleo.

My new motto: Put yourself out there!

piddix said...

Darlene, love your new motto.

And Jenipher, most of what I did revolved around asking the question:

"Will this make any money?" or "How much money will this make?"

So things I normally love to do, like surf around and research, which can eat up hours, or scan and scan new images, I skipped for the week, since they weren't bringing in any immediate income.

Things I specifically did to bring in income that I normally would have avoided as either too boring or too scary included:

1. Finishing and mailing taxes
2. Filling out and returning rebates.
3. Other paper-worky things like the above such as returning beads I've been meaning to do forever or returning books to the library that were getting fees.
4. Contacting current retail customers to see if they needed to place an order (ones that had mentioned needing more collage sheets earlier).
5. Emailing accounts past due that owed me money (ick!)

All that sort of thing. I know you can't always work in this mode, since there are things that don't bring in money that are still great or necessary to do. But I also am trying to use this same type of motivation to make me do other boring and/or scary things. For example, I just hired a bit of part-time help for the summer, so in order to keep her employed I'm contacting all kinds of new retail shops for my collage sheets. Or maybe I'll think.....I'm scared to contact so and so...but if I do and they place an order, it will pay for a plane ticket to Hawaii. And you know what? Thinking about Hawaii helps me get over my fears real quick.

Jenipher Lyn said...

I tweeted you this morning, and i thought it was super funny that i was reading your blog, and some clicked on a link that led me to a post i not only read, but commented on in the past. :)

Happy Friday! :D