If you’re like me (and you must be at least a little, if you’re walking the path to PIE), you are a highly motivated, self-starting individual. You have an unending drive for success. You are tenacious. You have a tendency to go-go-go, until you attain your goals. The word stop just isn’t in your vocabulary. And that is completely fine. But there’s a difference between stopping and slowing down a little, and that, perhaps, may be prudent to your long-term success.
There’s an old saying: “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” And that holds true to many businesses. Is it true for yours? Are you playing a long game to success, or is yours a race to the finish line, before moving on to another endeavor? Maybe it’s time you found out.
Take a look at how you have set up your business model. There are many, many paths that lead to success, but we’ll look at two in particular.
Instant Return: The sprint. This type of model is designed to bring you as much income as possible, in as short a time as possible. Your costs are kept low in order to maximize income. A good model on paper, but ask yourself, is it sustainable? Can you maintain this kind of pace in the long term, allowing you to continue maximizing profits, and in turn, making you a lot of money over a long period of time? Oftentimes, the answer is actually no. As various costs (labor, material, etc) fluctuate, this can negatively affect your profit margin, and in turn, impact your PIE. Can this model work? Of course. But it’s best suited to a business that is not designed to be a long term career solution, which begs the question, what do you really want out of your business?
The Slow Burn: The marathon. This is the long game, and more of a gamble. Your costs may be higher, and your profits lower, but that’s not the point at this juncture. The point is to build your business over a longer period of time, to a point where you become far more profitable than when you start out. Obviously, there are risks involved, and if factors don’t align properly, you might even fail, but the potential for long term gains is much higher, and chances are you could end up making far more money than taking the fast approach. In the old story, the tortoise does beat the hare, after all.
Either method has the potential to make you money. The trick is in finding the pace that is right for you and sticking with it. Leave yourself a little room to adjust if necessary, and I am confident that you’ll come out ahead, be it soon, or further down the line.