The following insight came from my podcast interview with David Ledgerwood, where he talked about things to know when you create content.
I love big new ideas. I want to do something new every day. So how did I grow that muscle by doing it poorly lots of times? Eventually, you learn that you need to do this. There’s always going to be that next thing.
One of my guests on our podcast told me that it comes down to having a mission, your vision of the company, and a set of values that will help you say whether something is directly driving yourself and your clients toward that vision.
We weren’t sure about being mission-driven, but we had this passion. Our passion is that any founder that works with us will never have to worry about cash flow again.
I’ve been that founder, where I had to call friends, family, and fools for a loan for next Friday’s payroll. And that was painful. I didn’t like that very much. So I said that if we can direct everything we do to that passion and measure the opportunities. When a shiny new opportunity exists, can I make sure that our client never has to worry about cash flow again? He has a tight binding around the boundaries of that passion, and some stuff is compelling.
You would chase projects and think about different types of things, and it just doesn’t fit. Likewise, it should tell you who not to do business with. We’ve honestly fired people, but we released some clients who we said, “we’re not achieving the thing, because, in some cases, you won’t listen to us. In other cases, you have not provided the volume necessary to do this. It’s unethical for us to take your money anymore.” It cuts both ways. On that, you do the best thing that you can to make sure that you’re delivering, at least in our case, an extreme level of value to the clients that stick around.
I think in previous businesses, I did not focus, and I just chased the revenue. I try to advise people not to do that; don’t just chase the next shiny revenue thing. Try to grow and scale the thing that you have. If you find another opportunity, put that idea in the notebook, and build this current business in a way that it can run itself. So you have the time, space, capital, and energy to go. Do the other thing, but do it as a separate business.