Growing a small business or non-profit requires investing money back into the work space. As hard work pays off the needs of the business grow: more employees, lager office space, technology upgrades–all good problems to have at the end of the day.
But the haste to spend-money-to-make-money can cause panicked, if well intentioned, decision making. More often than not, this causes a poor investment that hamstrings the company. Maybe it’s overspending for a fancy new phone system that does little, if anything, to improve sales; or revamping your website into a fresh, new look that turns out less user-friendly than before.
Most small business and non-profits are guilty at one time or another of making an ill-advised investment to help improve the company. Fortunately, however, one such move typically fails to deliver a death blow.
Rather, what ends up sinking the ship is the inability (or refusal) to admit to the mistake, correct course and write the investment off as a sunk cost. Instead of stuffing the coffers to replace your bogus phone system or ineffective new website, you lead your company forward making due with a systems that does more to hurt the bottom line than help it. Game. Over.
Coming to turns with a poor investment is obviously a tough pill to swallow. How could I be so careless? Why did I panic? Smart entrepreneurs and business people learn from the mistake by making more tempered and measured decisions, especially to correct unfortunate errors–you acknowledge the ship is taking on water, and you bail out the water to stay afloat.
In theory, investing back into your company would seem to come without pitfalls, but any entrepreneur or growing business knows better. So maybe we should cut our beloved Cubs some slack for panicking to sign Edwin Jackson to that hefty 4-year, $52M deal. Just saying.
What’s happened to the Cubs’ lone All-Star from 2013? After setting career marks last season with 200.0 innings pitched and 32 starts, 24 of which were quality outings, Travis Wood has been a shell of himself this year. Less than half of his 22 starts in 2014 have been quality outings, and his unsightly 5.08 ERA is two runs higher than last year.
It seems the league has adjusted to Wood’s style of pitching, and he’s yet to find a winning counter attack. So 2014, it appears, has become a learning year for the Cubs’ southpaw.
Entrepreneurs experience their own learning curves, sometimes lasting weeks, months or even years. Despite achieving short-term goals, setting career marks and speeding towards our ultimate goal, we find reality has it’s way of breeding more hurdles for us to jump.
But there’s an upside to new challenges: it forces us to adjust to changes, rethink our strategies and refocus our goals. And when we work through our learning seasons we stay green to grow instead of ripe to rot.
Never forget that we learn the most when we’re stuck in the muck, and rest assured, no season–not the good ones nor the tough ones–last forever.
In an already difficult 2014 season for the Chicago Cubs, the second half schedule doesn’t get an easier for the North Siders.
In addition to reaching the All-Star break 14 games under .500 and entrenched in the NL Central basement, and having depleted the starting rotation for the third season in-a-row with the trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland (albeit for a handsome return), the Cubs face 16 legitimate playoff contenders in their final 20 regular season series.
Factor in the non-waiver trade deadline being less than two weeks away, and the likelihood the Cubs will trade even more of it’s big league talent for prospects, and Chicago is staring down the barrel of another 100-loss campaign, reaching triple digit losses in two of the last three seasons.
Despite the grand vision the organization has held tightly to since the arrival of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer–rebuilding the team from scratch–it’s difficult not to be discourage by the gauntlet of opponents that lie ahead in the coming weeks, even if it means the lowly Cubs will ultimately be rewarded with another top-five pick in next year’s amateur draft, which in theory, should bring them a step closer to being truly competitive sooner rather than later.
Entrepreneurs face similar realities with the quick introduction of the always unknown and often unforgiving road ahead. The natural excitement and glorious visions that create inspiration to build from scratch, be it a bakery or a baseball team, easily dissolve when confronted with the plethora of hurdles that appear on the horizon.
Doubt becomes a stranglehold; failure seems inevitable. Do I have enough money? Am I on the right path? Can I survive this journey? (Will people ever support goat farms in the Dominican Republic?)
There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to play out your season ahead.
There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
There is a decision everyone has to make at some point in their life.
Are you going to let things happen to you OR are you going to make things happen?
At Reverse The Curse – we CHOOSE to make things happen.
One of the many ways goats cure poverty and hunger is by using their naturally born instincts to deliver a rapid and powerful kick to the posterior.
For a limited time you can shop and eat at Toni Patisserie in Chicago to raise funds for giving goats in the Dominican Republic.
Goat inspired sweets and savories will be available from Feb 3 – Feb 11th.
Join us this Tuesday from 4 to 7:00pm for some goat cookies, goat cheese salad and meet Bill the Goat!
Here are some photos of Bill hanging out at Toni’s.
We just returned from a 3 day adventure to the Dominican Republic to meet with potential partners and beneficiaries for goats.