One of the fun parts of being 43.5 years old (aka not exactly young anymore) is having known a number of people who actually lived through The Great Depression.I know it was a terrible experience for many of them, and in almost every case I’ve seen it “left a mark” on their psyche.You see this in their attitudes towards money. No matter how much financial success they had later in life, many folks who lived through The Great Depression remained very frugal for the rest of their life.I don’t blame them. I think it would have pretty much the exact same effect on me.Many self-employed developers have a similar “mark” on their psyche that comes from a formative experience early in the life of their business.That experience is scarcity. Not imagined, but real scarcity.Scarcity of clients, leading to a scarcity of work, leading to a scarcity of revenue, leading to a worldview in which desirable work is perceived as… scarce.As your business grows, this worldview–if it remains unchallenged–will have negative consequences:
- Saying “no” to prospects will feel like leaving much-needed money on the table.
- You’ll be predisposed to keeping your utilization too high to allow you the “margin” you need to work on your business, your marketing, and speculatively developing valuable expertise before clients ask for it.
- It will be difficult to prune “dead wood” from your business to make room for new growth.
- You will generally adopt a reactive, break-fix posture in your business rather than an investment-minded one.
This might sound crazy, but one simple thing you could do to address a worldview of scarcity is to allocate one fewer day per week to client work. If you spend 5 days/week on client work, cut it to 4/week for at least 90 days.Just like a Great Depression survivor won’t die from upgrading to power locks and windows when buying a new car, your business won’t die from trying to figure out how to fit 60 days of client work into 48. In fact, I’d bet you’ll learn something valuable that delivers a wonderful return over the life of your business.if I may be so bold, I think you’ll learn that you can create abundance by consistently making choices that lead to… abundance.-PP.S. Want help improving your positioning or marketing? I offer a small group program to help you do exactly that: http://positioningacceleratorprogram.com