In our pixelated workshop we learned that money is a representation of value. Money, in and of itself, does not give you anything. You can trade it for things you want.
Getting more money is only one way of getting things. Other ways are:
Not Needing Things
photo by Nanaow2006
The easiest way to have more value in your life is to not need so much. That starts with shoes and clothes and other stuff. Within living memory, most people had 2 outfits and one pair of shoes. Houses were not filled with stuff.
The bleeding edge of technology not only means paying to buy the latest, it means paying to discard (or store until we finally throw it out) the not-so-old-and-still-functional. All these gadgets don’t really help our productivity or our enjoyment.
Now it seems we need more things even though we can still only wear one pair of shoes at a time and we use less than half of the functionality of our tech toys. Stuff takes up room in our spaces and in our brains and then we have to clean them, worry about them and insure them. The ultimate insult is to pay to store them.
I’m not a Luddite; I use all 4 of my computers and my cell phone. But I don’t need always-on internet. If I’m in a strange city and want to know the best place to get a coffee, I don’t need to call up 4 Square, I ask the guy standing next to me clutching a cup, beaming a satisfied smile.
Spend money on technology that adds to your life.
Swapping services is a great way to get the things you want/need. Just make sure to swap invoices and account for the sales tax properly. It’s a way to get access to a service you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. It’s a way that people can work together by using their strengths to help each other.
I enjoy doing bookkeeping; that’s why I started my business. It makes sense for me to swap off time with a graphic designer. We’re both doing what we love; we’re good and fast at it. We’re both getting professional results.
Making or Doing it Yourself
There are times to get a professional and there are times when what you can do is good enough.
In our household, food is important. We like to eat well. Fortunately; Don and I both like to cook. A Sunday spent making soup, a roast, baking bread and cookies is a day well spent. We enjoy it and have put in the 10,000 hours to become good at it.
That means we can spend our money on other things or not spend our money.
In business, there are times when doing it yourself does make sense. I don’t need to hire a cleaner if my kids and I can come in here and vacuum on the weekends. We get time together, they see my business and they get to contribute to the business side of our family.
photo by Malcolm Teddinick
We don’t need a water cooler service when a jug filled at home works just as well.
I want to tread lightly here because I’m a strong advocate of the “you can’t shrink your way to greatness” school of thought. I’m just saying to think about how you are spending your money in your business. Think of your expenses as investments in your business. If they further your aims, go for it; if not, don’t.
Money is only one way to achieve your business goals.