In the way old caveman days, the experience of “eat for today” was soon found to be too risky, and so we learned how to gather, and then ultimately to farm. Being able to plan for tomorrow got really important way back when. But these days, that’s a bit muddy.
Lots of people got jobs. Jobs feel like planning for tomorrow. But are they? You get paid. You may or may not have a 401k that may or may not be worth money some day. You may or may not have a job tomorrow.
Then, some of us left those “secure” jobs to run our own projects. And we learned how to hunt again. For work. For money. For something to feed us today.
But are we planning any crops? Do we have food (money!) put away for when the hunt is sparse? I have some thoughts on that.
Planning for New Crops
Let’s say you’re a consultant. I learned a lesson early on From Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications. He said: “Never let a client account for more than 15% of your revenue. That way, if you have to lose the client, you still have the other 85% to keep you going. I never forgot that. Plus, I have started applying it to my business.
Last month, shifted more of my revenue into courses and pulled a lot of my attention away from corporate consulting (except for a bit of executive mentoring and some brief coaching calls). In doing this, it allows me to plan some different types of revenue that aren’t so time-based. Booking hours for consulting is time-based. It’s also very custom, so it can never be re-used. The courses are the opposite of that.
That’s one way to plan some ways to keep eating. But just one.
How Do You Make Your Money Right Now?
Start there. How are you making your money? What would cause you to stop making that money? What’s another way to make money if that stops? These are the questions to start asking.
What Can You Sell?
I took my business to a cool hunter friend and asked him what was useful and what was worthless? His frank appraisal of what I had and what I thought I had shifted my thoughts dramatically, but still let me work within my strengths. I don’t intend to sell my business any time in the near future, but the question – asking it and thinking hard about the response – gave me a lot to work with, and I’m still implementing what I’ve learned.
What could you sell? What could you do to make money without you being right there to earn it? These are the questions that will help you plan for those crops.
How will you eat when what you’re doing right now runs out?
Think like an owner.
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