Spending and saving. Two sides of the same slippy coin.
Productivity is all about these seeming opposites.
Spending time, saving time.
Spending thought, attention, and energy, saving thought, attention, and energy.
Spending money, saving money.
The right time to spend and to save is an art and a science rolled into one.
An old proverb reads, “a penny saved is a penny earned”. The less we spend the more we earn.
It is very easy to accumulate, and unchecked accumulation leads to a big pile of disorganisation that bleeds in every direction.
Take for example the inclination to buy all sorts of fancy-pants software and over-expensive services.
Let’s be clear. These can sometimes be a tremendous investment. At other times, it is easy to think that the software or the service alone is going to lead to results. Truth be told, I can get further on a pushbike if I ride it correctly, than I can reach on a motorbike that’s sitting in my driveway.
I’m an advocate of going as far as you can on your pushbike until the investment in the motorcycle is needful to take the next step, but only if you plan to ride that sucker!
I have seen many people jump on board with high spec bells-and-whistle services that cost them hundreds of dollars a month when a tricycle could have got them the same distance for cents.
What services are you paying for that are just not paying for themselves? What services or products are you dropping money into for no reason?
Where are the opportunities to save and still see the same results?
Think around this question in terms of time too. Where are you spending time that could better be saved and spent elsewhere?
Make an inventory of your outgoings and ask if they are wise spend or save investments.
I spend money on some services because they save me time. The saving far outweighs the spending.
I spend time on some activities because they save me spending over-the-odds to have someone else do the work for me.
Spend or save.
Lean excellence is when we work our system in the mental gym and shed the excess.
I’m a big fan of saving. I’m always on the lookout how I can accomplish the same or better results with less.
I am also an advocate of spending.
Recognising the time vs money balance in business is a key strategy for sustainable growth.
I have made mistakes on both sides of the spectrum, applying false economy of time and of money.
I once rolled with a cheap autoresponder service whose prices were “too good to be true”. You know what. Their prices were too good to be true! Go figure. The hassle of moving things to a suitable and sustainable service following the meltdown of this Trojan horse was not pretty. Plus, it most likely cost me many subscribers and revenue.
Saving money was a huge expense!
Conversely, I have sometimes spent far too long trying to save a few extra dollars when I should have understood wise and necessary expenditure is an investment not a cost.
As an example let’s take the online products and courses side of my business.
At one time I was bootstrapping this at every turn. My online training arm was serviced by websites I built myself, bolstered by plugins to handle memberships, content delivery, other services to take payments and handle affiliate relationships, and another to take care of secure video hosting. I was always on the look out for leaner, cheaper ways to keep the machine oiled and running.
But my savings in dollars were offset by a spending in time and endless headaches fitting the working parts together, and then keeping everything up and running smoothly.
After several years I finally took the plunge and chose Podia (https://www.podia.com/?via=pure) as a catchall for all of these working parts. The investment has paid off tenfold in time and the effort it now takes to set up digital products and online courses. I save hundreds of hours, and taking in to the account the spending I once incurred on secure video hosting with Vimeo, payment platform costs, plugins for my WordPress sites, and other incidentals, I have been pleasantly surprised that my spend is actually far less than I originally anticipated.
Having said all of that, my choice of Podia was also informed by lean thinking and a tight pocket. Compared to other services of a similar nature Podia was very economic, and covered a lot of bases. Unlimited video hosting, unlimited courses and products, payments taken, a basic affiliate management set up (very basic unfortunately, come on Podia!), customer messaging and a rudimentary but efficient autoresponder and drip email system that could be attached to a course or product, integration with my other services such as Convertkit (https://christiancreative.academy/go/convertkit), the autoresponder I now gladly pay for!
Podia is a prolific creator’s dream in many respects, and for a price that makes it a worthy contender in the online product and course creation and delivery space.
The best? Maybe not in some respects. But again, the balance of “does-the-best-job” and “does-a-good-job” can spell the difference between shedding dollars and pound unnecessarily for negligible improvements.
The workings out of today’s advice will differ from person to person, business to business, and the spend/save equation will weigh differently during different seasons of your growth and priorities.
Look for ways to save.
Know the relative value of time vs money according to your season.
And finally, let the Holy Ghost lead you to creative solutions in life and business that will help you serve your self, your family, and the world. He will help and direct you to spend and save wisely.
PS: To be clear, I am both a client and an affiliate for Podia (https://www.podia.com/?via=pure) and Convertkit (https://christiancreative.academy/go/convertkit). If you sign top for their services through my link I will become unbelievably rich and retire to an exotic island by the time I am thirty. Oh no, hang on, I’m already 49 so that’s not gonna happen. Ok, I’ll get a small commission that will most likely pay for a nice bottle of wine so I can celebrate your good taste in recommended products and services recommended by a trusted friend. 🙂