The Myths of Building a Successful Business | Part 2 | More Knowledge More Profit Myth Pt. 1
In our last post, we talked about entrepreneurship and the myths associated with building and running a thriving business.
Today, we’ll begin to address one of those myths: More Knowledge More Profit. That is, the more knowledge you acquire, the more successful you will become. Or, to achieve your business goals simply attend the right workshops, courses, or acquire the right degrees.
I love learning the fact that I worked in academia for ten long years fed my habit. I’m the first in being guilty of thinking that everything I need to know, I can learn from a book, a workshop or from YouTube. Sometimes though, the best way to learn is by doing, but we’ll talk about that later.
When I considered leaving my 9 to 5 to pursue a career in photography the first thing I did was take a class on the fundamentals of photography.
Before taking the jump, I felt I needed to know the technical aspects of my new profession thus, I took multiple photography courses. Then, I needed to acquire knowledge on how to start a business. I took a class on that. Oh, I needed to know how to market myself to prospective clients, then there was mastering WordPress to set up my website.
Then there’s the world of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram….I needed to take a class to sort through that world. Then, I didn’t want my clients to feel awkward in front of the camera so I took a class on posing. Then I needed to take a class on lighting, then on efficient use of flash. Oh, I also spent countless hours on CreativeLive learning and learning Photoshop.
Two years into taking class after class, so that I would have the knowledge that would make me legit, my husband asked, “When are you going to take on clients?”
I mumbled, “Ummm, well, next month maybe, I still need to take a deep dive on bookkeeping.”
You see, I couldn’t take on clients because I was very busy. I was juggling my day-time job while taking courses and networking in the evenings. On the weekends, I would practice my photography, or create a new vision board. Obviously, I was too busy to take on clients. Seriously, clients would flock once I was a learned scholar, right?
My husband gave me a quizzical look. “If you don’t have clients, or if you’re not making money, why are you concerned with bookkeeping?”
That was when it dawned on me. I was “busy” but I didn’t have a business. I had a hobby.Busyness doesn’t always produce revenue. #coffeebarblog Click To Tweet
If you’re not taking clients and are not making money do you have a business?
Just because you are busy learning, this does not mean that you are being productive. Being busy does not mean that you are bringing in revenue. Bringing in revenue does not mean you are profitable.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t master your craft. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t proactively seek professional development. I’m not saying you should stop learning.
The thing is, getting more education needs to be linked to SMART goals and action. In turn, action needs to be linked to being of service to your clients AND creating revenue finally driving to profitability. After all, you’re in business to feed your creative soul, to pay your rent, to pay for health insurance, to buy food, to pay your employees and at times, to save for your kids’ college education.
If you’re not in business to generate revenue and in turn profit, then you’re running a hobby. Which is great too, if that is your aim.
Learning + SMART goals = Profit
Most of us go through the stage of bingeing on knowledge because it feels as if we are active in our business.
Let’s be honest, it feels good to be “doing.” However, learning that is not tied to strategic action + revenue generation will not produce a thriving business.
In the case that you get stuck or want to know whether or not a workshop is the right fit for your business here are some questions to help you out.
- How will this course help you become more productive in the next 10-14 days?
- How will you measure the change in your productivity? Once you answered this question, really think about whether you are being honest with yourself or are merely justifying your actions?
- What will this workshop teach you to help you increase profits? By how much?
- How will this course expose you to a new audience and in turn increase your booking or conversion rate?
- What are one or two things you “have” to learn in this workshop and how will you use it to grow your business? Be sure to use SMART goals.
IS THIS DECISION RIGHT FOR MY BUSINESS?Use this worksheet and answer the questions to see if a conference, course, webinar, or workshop will benefit your business.
Next time, we’ll continue the discussion on More Knowledge More Profit, but in the meantime, we’d love to hear what or if any of the information I shared resonated with you. Have you encountered, the More Knowledge More Profit myth? Share your experience or thoughts in the comments below.