Entrepreneurs often think in terms of cost rather than investment and that can make the difference between true success and just having a mediocre business.
One of the first questions clients often ask me is, “How much will this cost me?” and although I publish my rates people often automatically ask that question immediately.
I don’t mind because I think it’s important to know what you are paying for, but I always wonder if clients ever imagine what it will cost them if they don’t pursue investing in something for their benefit?
What does it cost you if you don’t seek medical help? Sometime it could cost you a life!
What does it cost you if you choose not to invest in life insurance? Well, it could cost your family their future.
What does it cost if you don’t invest in repairing your car? Possibly long term transportation or worse perhaps a tragic accident.
It’s common to ask, “How much will this cost me?”
But the better question might be, “What is the price I will pay in the long run if I don’t make this investment?”
Investing in the things that help you achieve peace of mind, security, safety or advancement can be life changing.
So, while I absolutely want my clients to know what their cost will be, I also want them to realize that staying stuck in a situation they dislike, remaining in a job they hate, being bored in a career for decades or missing an opportunity to create a dream business can cost more than they can measure over their lifetime. The price they pay is often a lifetime of discontent and lack of purpose.
Having Some Skin in the Game Changes the Progress, Outcome, and Intention.
That’s why I love to share this story. One of our former neighbors, Ed, was a financial adviser and a good friend. When he was at a social gathering another neighbor, who I will call Bob, approached him and asked for some advice about an investment. Ed shared a few tips and moved on.
Several weeks later, Bob approached Ed again, this time while at a sports event,mentioning he needed some advice about funding some of his mother’s medical expenses. He asked a few question and again my friend, Ed offered some suggestions and it seemed that was the end of it.
Until… Bob saw Ed coming out of a hardware store one day and mentioned that he had a few questions he just wanted to bounce off of him if he had a few minutes. Ed finally said, ” Here’s my card, why don’t you give my office a call and we can schedule an appointment and go over any questions you have then?”
“But, if I schedule an appointment I will have to pay you, right?” asked Bob.
” Well yes”, said, Ed,”But if you don’t, I’m going to send you a bill for all the times I have given you help which I never charged you for!”
“But we’re friends, I’m your neighbor!” Bob responded.
“That’s just the point!” shot back Ed, “Friends know friends have to eat too!”
It’s easy for people to take advantage of your skills and expertise in the name of friendship.
I tell people something I believe is very true: Once you put some skin in the game, the rules change.
Expectations are made. People are more intentional and dedicated. Action becomes a verb and it’s a win/win situation.
The reason something costs you is because it should be worth something and often when you don’t want to pay for it, it says you don’t think you’re worth the cost or the effort you will have to put into it.
You want a doctor who is worth your time and money. You want a babysitter who is worth the price you pay. You want a meal that is worth the cost and you should want the services you need from others to be worth what you pay.
But if you don’t want to pay anything then your expectation should be not to expect anything either.
It’s like Ed stated, ”Friends have to eat too.”
If you are hesitating moving forward with something you really want or need because of the cost, take a moment and ask what price you will pay if you delay pursuing it, if you continue to make excuses or put off the obvious, if you choose to settle for something less effective or even less costly?
If you really want to see change, you often have to put some skin in the game.
The Real Cost of Anything is How Much of Your Life You Are Willing to Exchange for It.
You often pay a price no where near the cost of something by choosing to not have skin in the game.