Litmus Test

If you make business decisions purely based on money, you’ll get yourself into trouble just like you do with your personal money.  It’s that Money Trap I call “Money in the First Position” all over again.  You’ll take on clients and projects you hate, just to make a buck.  You’ll buy something that doesn’t really work, just to save money.

Here’s the problem.  Money alone is not a good basis for a decision.  I learned this one the hard way.  A partner and I were starting a software business.  We took on a project that we hated, just to give us the money to do what we wanted.  It was awful, hard, painful and tedious.  Yuck.

After that experience we took some time to create a list based on criteria other than money.   A Litmus Test for why we would take on a project or a client.   Or, conversely, why we would not.  Here’s how that worked.  We moved money down from being the only criteria, to being an important reason in amongst other ones.  We crafted a list of other criteria that we called the Why Of It!.  This list included Fun, Ease, Creativity, Innovation, Builds Relationships, Increases my Credibility, Creates a New Opportunity, Teaches me a New Skill that I Want.  Each of these things was something we wanted to foster.  I’ve kept this list, and I still use it to make business decisions.

I make sure that any business ventures hit a big yes on most of the items on my list.  If something hits 7 of the 9 items, it’s good.  If it hits only

or 4 it’s not worth doing, no matter how much money it makes.

Spend some time making your own list of things that move you, things that you want for your business, things that you dream of – and let that list drive your money decisions.

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