It’s Sunday night.
You open your calendar and your weekly planner and the first thing you think is that your week looks emptier than it did a few months ago.
You’ve heard people talk about the Sunday Scaries but now you’re feeling them, that feeling of dread about the uncertainty and overwhelm you feel on a Sunday night before you head into a new work week.
If you’re honest – part of you is a little excited that you have more time on your hands to do all the things you said you would, but the other part of you is getting nervous, because the last time you checked your bank account your revenue numbers were down . . . again.
2020 was supposed to be the year you beat all of your previous revenue goals.
You thought 2020 was going to put 2019 to shame. . . but like everyone else around you, you’re starting to entertain the idea that the world is collapsing.
Of course, it’s not really. But when revenue numbers are low and client’s aren’t reinvesting like they used to – it can seem like it.
It can definitely cause your already questionable mindset to take a hit.
So, you start to plan. You start to think how can I just stay afloat?!!
If you’re like most people you start to think about cutting expenses. It seems like the most reasonable thing to do.
You pull out your business expense statement and identify all the things you’re not using and start there. You figure ok . . . all the little expenses add up. It can be harder to part with the mastermind or the other bigger investments because at least you get some brainstorming and support from those groups and places, right?
But let me ask you a question – is that the right approach? Is that simply an approach that gives you some wiggle room, but really does nothing to shift your mindset or help your growth?
Are you actually just making arbitrary decisions? Or decisions that will make you temporarily feel better and alleviate fear?
Here are some things to consider when you find yourself in tough times.
Have you ever thought about why we immediately cut part out of our business during tough times?
Sure, it makes sense to operate lean and mean, but do you ever really think about what that might actually do to your business long-term? Are the actions of cutting random expenses actually just causing your businesses to lose all real life force and ability to have legs once the tough times are all over?
At first, saying no to expenses and cutting off all investment seems extra appealing.
You say to yourself, “Well, heck, I’m not using it anyway – I don’t need that.”
The problem with that kind of thinking is that it forgets the big pictures. For example, maybe you’re part of a membership community and you haven’t used the resources – at this point, it’s just an expense so you figure you’ll cut it off.
But what if you actually took the time to dive in and you’re able to use the time you have to make good on some of the material you missed out on.
Or perhaps you decide you can’t enroll in a course – even though it’s probably the exact thing you need.
Cutting off may seem like the responsible thing to do – but it may not be the right thing to do for your business.
Look, I get that these tough times are unprecedented.
And rather than focusing on the short term – perhaps a better strategy might be to look at what you can add to make your business more successful.
When the tough times roll in (whether it’s during a recession or otherwise), the decisions we make tend to be from one place – and that’s the place of fear.
But the problem with operating out of fear is that fear will get you thinking about “what if’s” and how to stay “safe”. Fear thinks nothing about thriving.
It thinks nothing about why you went into business for yourself in the first place.
And if I’m being perfectly honest – fear will have you kill your entrepreneurial mindset faster than you could imagine possible.
I advocate a different approach – one that looks at Mindset First.
I always say that if you adopt a Mindset First approach to business, you’ll move to success faster and more certainly than you have before.
The idea is this – every decision you make is made from either a place of vision and certainty or fear and limiting belief. And if you’re really on top of your mindset and can distinguish between the two – the choice you’ll make will guarantee you move through tough times faster.
It requires real honesty.
I want you to look at your business and tell me where are you cutting because of some fear? When revenue is down and clients aren’t reinvesting, it’s easy to immediately go to a place of lean and mean.
But if you’re acting from a gut reaction that has you shut down your weekly calendar or planner and quickly go to your expense account to cut . . . chances are you’re acting from a fear-based place that may be unnecessary.
That course you signed up for, the mindset classes that were meant to center yourself, the mastermind you were in – were all there for a reason (usually it’s to help you grow). And the sad truth is that the first thing we tend to cut out is the part of our business that are directly correlated to ourselves.
The decision is as quick as the dread filling you up when you look down at the planner – it’s a split second decision you don’t even notice you’re making.
The problem with cutting everything out to stay afloat is that you’re not adding anything in that can help build your business or yourself.
And while this kind of fearful response may be natural when financial situations make us uncomfortable, fear starts an ugly narrative saying that we can’t get what we want and it’s time to slash now before we’re in debt over our heads.
Whenever I hear fear knocking (and it still does), I like to think of fear as that friend that comes in and worries about you – it’s always warning you so you don’t get hurt.
Problem is that fear often doesn’t know when to shut up.
It keeps going and going and starts to be that annoying friend who won’t leave the party.
But if fear is your friend, you might want to put your friend at ease. Recognize fear’s role and appreciate it’s there – but you can choose not to act from it.
So here’s what I suggest you do:
For every one thing you cut, add two. .
Recently, my entrepreneur mindset has me cutting things out of my life that aren’t benefiting my businesses – such as distractions, projects that aren’t aligned with my vision, people who are negative, etc.
I’ve hesitated to cancel other things if they’re still in line with my goals, and my vision.
When you act from fear, listening to that friend who doesn’t exactly know when to stop protecting you, the end goal may stray from your own.
When you separate fear from yourself, you’re creating an entity that has different wants and needs – whose goals don’t align with your own. I’m not telling you to not cut aspects from your business when you’ve decided they’re no longer valuable in a time like this.
All I’m asking is: cut one, add two.
When you are cutting the one aspect of your business you think you need to, look at the original goals you set to make your business flourish.
If you’re convinced you need to cut this one thing, then you need to add two to help it grow in the direction you want (shat you add doesn’t have to be financial, but it does have to improve your situation).
Before you cut, before that step, you have to examine, “why was this in my life?” “why did I sign up for it in this first place?” A masterclass, membership, or a course. If there’s something in it, think twice before you let it go.
If it’s still aligned with your goals, really think about what cutting that aspect out will do for your business or your trajectory in terms of your goals.
Then when it comes to adding two things in make sure they support your mind and business – you might add things like 30 minutes of reading in the morning or join a free group where I know I’ll meet people who are on the same path.
Or you may choose a lower expense membership and really create a structure and discipline to follow it. Whatever you do, make it a simple rule. When I cut, I add.
That way you’re always growing your business and your mindset no matter what your bank account shows you.
Try this out this week and see how it feels. You might be surprised and what starts to develop!