In the early years of my entrepreneurial journey, I did not have a healthy money mindset.
I had a huge amount of debt that honestly felt like an anchor and weighed down every decision I made.
This really weighed down on me because I knew that investing in business was necessary.
But with every decision the voice in my head kept reminding me of how much debt I already had.
Most of this debt was accumulated during my 16 months of unemployment and cancer.
However, the early years of my business were not exactly robust enough to support a large family, so I continued to borrow.
The Turning Point – For Which I Owe A Debt (of Gratitude).
One morning I was having breakfast with a mentor and he asked me a very important question.
“Jim, if you’re so optimistic about your business then why are you being so cautious?”
My mentor was one of two people who knew how much credit card debt I had – and the shame I attached to it.
To this day, I can see it in my mind’s eye – him looking at his coffee and then back up at me as he continued:
“Jim, you are far too emotional about money. Money is not a yardstick of who you are or how well you’re doing. Money is a tool and these frugal decisions you’re making, thinking you’re somehow saving money, are only prolonging the growth you say that you want. Jim, you cannot save your way out of debt – you must grow your way out of debt.”
That was profound, and for a moment I thought he had made his point.
On very episode of Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer, who appeared on Dream Business Radio, focuses primarily on growing the bar’s revenues.
The Dressing Down From My Mentor Was Not Over – Thankfully!
My mentor then turned over his paper place mat and asked me the monthly cost of my No Hassle Newsletters membership, to which I answered $197.
He then asked me if I felt I had already saturated the market.
This was a bit of a “wiseguy” question to which I answered no.
Then he paused, looked me again in the eye, and said something that literally changed my life.
“Do you realize that if you get just two more customers in each of the 50 states – just two new customers per state – you’ll add another 100 members which will produce an additional $20K in new monthly revenue. Jim, if you do this you could be debt-free in less than a year!”
He then repeated,
“Jim, you cannot save your way out of debt Jim, but you can sure as hell grow your way out of debt, so what are you waiting for?”
And that’s exactly what I did.
I made several calculated investments – yes, initially more debt.
But in a little over a year I added 140 more No Hassle Newsletter members.
Yes, I eventually completely erased the mountain of credit card debt.
Now, On The Surface, This Post May Appear To Be About Money Mindset.
And yes, as ultra-valuable as that lesson is, the greater lesson is how much faster and how much further you can grow your Dream Business when you work with a coach with a proven track record of success – and listen to them!
Had I not been working with my mentor, it’s quite possible I might still be
- making small, cautious decisions about growing my business; and
- still trying to save my way out of debt, instead of being debt free and living a truly extraordinary life.
So, I’ll close with this question:
If you’re so optimistic about your business, then why are you being so cautious and not investing in a coach?