Even when businesses are running into trouble, the two most common excuses given for a lack of action are no time and no money. They don’t have time to address the problem — often because they’re too busy doing the same things that got them into the problem situation to begin with — or they don’t have money to fix the problem, because their time is being spent on activities that are not profitable.
The No Time No Money Trap is a catch-22, and it’s deadly to business.
Many business owners and salespeople fall into the “no time, no money” trap and don’t even realize it. Someone asks if you want to do something, maybe it’s a friend or a family member, and maybe it’s something you really want to do, but you say no because you feel like you really don’t have the time.
Maybe you have an opportunity to do something that you know could have a tremendous, positive impact on your life or business, but you tell yourself you don’t have the money to do it. If you ever notice yourself falling into either of these two scenarios, consider this your wake up call. It’s a red flag that something is wrong.
Most jobs are about trading time for money. We invest time to get money. In business, if you actually have no time AND no money, that’s a screaming indication that you’re either doing things wrong or you’re doing the wrong things.
Some people complain about trading time for money. “Yes, I’m making a lot of money,” they might say, “but I have no time for anything else.” And while that may sound like a problem, it pales in comparison to those who are working like crazy, still have no time, and also have no money to show for it!
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. In the early stages of a business, there can certainly be time invested that doesn’t immediately correspond to an influx of revenue. Some think of this as “the learning curve.” Others refer to it as “paying their dues.”
In any event, that investment, by it’s very nature, should be entered into strategically and temporarily. It’s not something you should just wander into like a black hole and tell yourself you’ll figure out a way to fight your way out of it once you’re inside. It’s not going to happen. You don’t enter it without a plan, and you don’t just wait for to pass or for an exit to magically appear, because it won’t.
It takes very specific action to get yourself out.
So the goal is to shorten the learning curve, pay your dues and get on with the work of generating profit as soon as possible, so your time generates adequate money. Adequate meaning enough to pay you and eventually enough to pay others to do the work that you’re either not good at or don’t want to do.
So if you’re investing your time, but you have no money or not enough money to show for it… if you’ve wandered into a black hole of “learning curve” or “paying your dues” and you don’t know how to get out, don’t convince yourself that it’s either normal or acceptable.
If you find yourself falling into the “no time, no money” trap, take a moment, clear your head and ask yourself why you’re in this situation to begin with and more importantly, what you’re going to do to get out of it as soon as possible.
Also, if you’re in this situation and you’ve convinced yourself that there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s a lie. Stop lying to yourself. Think Cher and Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck. “Snap out of it!”