In business, we can’t always have what we want nor love what we do almost all the time. There is a cost to it, a cost of love. Ken probes into the things that are costing you today to love what you do. He talks about family and the business while giving some real-life accounts and scenarios that tell you you’re not alone in this.
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The Cost Of LOVE
This episode is strong and emotional. Our topic is on the cost of love and it might even be called the cost of loving. In a two-hour airplane ride, I was able to almost have an out of body experience and look at our business objectively from a third-party viewpoint. I’m going to say even numerically, I came to the conclusion if I’m right and true to our company where we’re at, where we’re going in the future. To put some perspective on this, we got a call from our banker. He called my cell phone and said, “Ken, can I talk to you?” I said, “Sure, Tom. What’s up?”
See the forest for the trees. Click To Tweet
He’s like, “We’re finding it odd that you haven’t logged into your bank account in over three months.” I said, “Why is that odd? We have an accounting division and if I want to know what’s going on, I can call somebody and ask.” He goes, “We have your pattern and for all these years we know what you check, what you look at, the reports you run. We find it interesting. I heard you guys had a great year last year. You ran some solid numbers, but did you know that you have already eclipsed last year’s revenues?” I said, “No, I did not know that.”
The bottom line is we’re growing in every facet. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting of what our deliverables are, what we do, what we offer, what we sell, what we promote, and does it align with our company mission and with our goals? I came to the conclusion that the thing I love the most and brings me personally the most gratification is the most profitable area of our business per hour. I came to the conclusion that if I’m a good leader, I have to turn that division off or drastically adjust it.
I’m looking at this from a third party. What would an outside Accenture consultant say to me? What would Ed Bogle, one of Ernst and Young’s greatest consultant say to me? What would these people say to me if they knew what I knew? They would mesh or match up my activities, what I love to do and what I do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis with the company mission and company goals. They would show me that in long-term, these activities you’re doing simply do not align and it would be very selfish for you to continue doing this. If I was to continue doing it, it would hurt employees, clients, and family. I want to put this in context.
Let’s pick an industry that everybody is either touched of or have been a part of, public speaking. I’m thinking like the Zig Ziglar types, the Brian Tracy, the Tony Robbins. From the ‘70s through 2006, you could make a flat-out fortune being a public speaker, all the way to 2006. In 2007, we had a little bit of a real estate crisis that affected all corporations. From 2007 to now, corporations aren’t paying diddly-squat for speakers. They pay a little bit for the creme de la creme, but there are so far and few between. Could you imagine being a public speaker in 2006, the apex of the rainmakers of the stage, and then you come face to face with 2007 and you realize very quickly, “This isn’t going to continue to work.” You don’t yet see the forest for the trees. You don’t clearly see there’s a digital play emerging where you could do live webinars and Facebook Live. More importantly, you could model platforms like Lynda.com and as a speaker, you could be a rainmaker, financially, if you knew how to aggregate these platforms.
The concept that I’m trying to say is the public speakers that stuck with what they loved, which was the stage, many of them, not so politely, were forced into early retirement. Those that gave up what they love to do what was right for their families and their business, which jumped to digital platforms and try other partnership models, they kicked serious butt. Some of you know who those players are dominating the digital space. I want to also give this context in a different industry. There’s a great story way back in the day, 60 to 80 years ago, where Mr. Scott from Scott Tissue was caught in the industrial park. A couple of Fuller Brush salesman was making fun of him because he was pulling a little red wagon with toilet paper. They were making fun of Mr. Scott, “How do you like doing your demonstrations? You got to love that.”
They were jabbing on him and he started laughing, he started cracking up. These guys couldn’t handle it after a while and they’re like, “You got to tell us what’s so funny.” Mr. Scott said something like, “I’m sitting here laughing. You are probably Fuller Brush salespeople because you love it. You love the thrill of the hunt. You love selling. You love closing. You loved the high commissions.” He goes, “I don’t sell toilet paper because I love it. There’s no thrill in this for me. As a matter of fact, I have an army of people in other industrial parks trying to get other clients. None of us do this because we love it. We do this because it’s right. We do this because it’s an evergreen product that they’re going to need to buy over and over. If I do it long enough, even though I can’t stand it, my kids, grandkids, and their grandkids will never be in want the rest of their life.”
Will stopping something today cause a vacuum of explosive growth tomorrow? Click To Tweet
Mr. Scott had a very clear vision of how to run a business and a division in a company. It was centered around going against the grain of the concept of doing what you love. The point of this episode is, “What is it costing you to love what you do? Do you love what you do? Are there pieces of what you’re doing today that you just love it? Is it possible that if you evaluated your income streams, you might need to do some pruning?” The concept of pruning is going into a tree and pruning off some of the little stems, even the healthy stems. You do enough pruning so that when the next year comes back, the nutrition and the water goes into the right stems to make the tree balanced for growth. Here’s the question you have to sleep with tonight, “Will stopping something today cause a vacuum of explosive growth tomorrow?” There’s a great chance it might. I hope that helps. Take care.