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Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

Don’t Throw Money At The Cracks

Date - 25 May 2017/ Category - Volume 2
Volume 2

I want to tell you a little story, you may or may not know this about me but at one point in my life I had nothing, well actually less than nothing.

I slept on a concrete floor in a warehouse for just over a year, although I did have the luxury of running water (not heated) and a toilet (no shower).

My biggest expense was a £36 a month gym membership that I used to get a shower every morning and my food, well that was from handouts by my parents because I simply couldn’t afford to feed myself.

My life is completely different now but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten where I came from and that experience has had a profound effect on how I view the world and my projects.
I think building yourself up from nothing has a profound effect on people, well it did at least on me.

Firstly I see everything as an opportunity cost. People say I’m “tight” with my money but I don’t think so. When even £1 seems like a huge amount of money to you at one point in your life, no matter how much you have I don’t think your perception of money changes that much.

I can only speak with experience from what I’ve seen, but to me the people who have never gone without money seem to spend it a lot easier because to them it holds a lower value.
The second thing then is that once you’ve had nothing you’re constantly waiting to lose it all and be back to square one.

Yet interestingly that doesn’t mean that I’m afraid to take risks. If I think the risk is worth the reward then I will take the harder route, provided I genuinely think it’s doable.

Fast forward a few years from that concrete floor and I find myself in a world surround by tonnes of cash. It’s not my cash, but it’s cash that none the less some of my clients trust me to spend for them.

Cash plasters over the cracks and makes bad people look good. But coming from a world where tonnes of cash was only ever something you saw on TV I seem to have a different view on how to approach those cracks.

To me cracks are bad and throwing money at them doesn’t solve the problem, only the symptom.

Unless you fix the crack then in the end it will just keep on soaking up money and for a man who finds it hard to justify spending £10 a month on Spotify that’s just not acceptable.

Most people think results despite the cracks are all that’s needed but to me it isn’t. It’s the cash that those results cost and the cash that those results generate are too close together then what’s the point? I’d much rather have a sales make me £1000 and cost me £100 than pay £10,000 for an £10,500 sale; sometimes numbers on the board aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Of course it’s difficult to sometimes attribute a cash generated figure to back office roles such as accountants (can you tell I come from a sales world) but the fact is we need to factor in these costs when working out the price we need to charge as a minimum.

I have never agreed with the high value to which accountants are afforded vs sales people but as I am engaged to an accountant even I accept that they are a necessary cost and without them the wheels of business often won’t move.

This blog post isn’t meant to be a lesson like the others, it isn’t going to bestow some great idea upon you but it might just serve to demonstrate why looking at the world a little bit differently is instilled in all of us.

I’ve had a hard life at the face of the wall, but that doesn’t mean everyone has and their journey through life might put a different perspective on everything they do.

There will be consultants that disagree with my view point on sales or accountants, just like there will be the ones that say all sales are created equal and the cost to achieve the sale doesn’t matter.

It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t tell you they were wrong, but that doesn’t mean they can’t add value in other areas where their experience and collective wisdom outweighs mine.
When picking a consultant then, or recruiting for your next role it’s really important you understand how people look at problems or your money in order to understand how they will deal with problems as they arrive.

To me there’s nothing worse than someone who forget that capital belongs to the shareholders when they find a crack that might dent their bonus.

Read our next blog post “The bozo explosion”.