We just got home from a 3-day RV trip to Bend, OR.
And one of the first things I did when I walked in the door was check the mail.
I noticed two checks sitting on the kitchen counter. I opened one for $175. The other was for $5,220.
Now I don’t consider myself to be a super-smart businessman (I wish I was). And I’m not really good at math. But I know $5,220 is a lot more than $175.
So the question is: why was one check 30 times more than the other one?
Here’s what the checks were for…
One was a special “urgent” request from a current copywriting client who needed a Facebook ad made for a coaching program he was launching.
I quoted him $175 for the ad (copy + design) and had it back to him within 12 hours.
The other check was for a website project. And the check was actually just one of four installments for the project. The total cost to build the website, the marketing automation and the PPC campaigns was $20,880.
So really the website project is 119x more than the Facebook ad.
Of course, so what? What’s the point?
My point is this: why bother to do $175 jobs when I could do $20,000 jobs?
Now of course the $20,000 job took much more time to sell. And since I’m a little OCD about time tracking I know exactly how much more:
I spent 7 hours, 16 minutes and 31 seconds on that particular website proposal.
And I spent 25 minutes and 48 seconds on the Facebook ad quote.
So yeah, it took 15 times as long. But it was 119 times more valuable.
And yes, I know I’m talking about “revenue,” and not “profit” here. But I don’t have the balls to discuss profit yet (I’m mustering up the courage to share that on here one day but I’m just not there yet, sorry).
But let’s just say that even after paying my web team, marketing automation specialist and PPC manager, I’m still happy with the profit margin.
More happy than the profit I made on the stupid Facebook ad.
So why do I even mess with these small jobs still?
I don’t know. I could try to psychoanalyze myself and tell you it’s because of “fear.”
Or because I have a “scarcity mindset.” Or that I hate to say no (people pleasing).
And who knows, they may all be true. But I don’t trust my own diagnoses. I know I’m too close to the situation to render an accurate judgment.
But I do know this: something needs to change!
Why on God’s green earth would I spend time trying to make a sale that’s over 100 times less than another sale? Just doesn’t make any sense Sherlock, does it?
So I guess I’m writing this more to figure it out for myself then I am to give you advice (because apparently I’m the one who could use some good business advice!).
Speaking of advice…
I recently read a post by James Altucher on Quora where he said something I loved. He said:
“Advice is autobiography.”
I like that.
I like it because sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to shell out advice all the time because I blog. But then when I do that I feel like a pompous asshole.
I want to help. And I want to write. And of course I want people to read what I write.
But I don’t like it when people give me unsolicited advice so why do I try to do it? Makes me feel like such a phony.
So anyway, got off track there… sorry.
Back to the two checks I was holding in the kitchen a few hours ago.
$175 in my left hand. $5,220 in my right.
Like I said, I know I’m no Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. But I can do simple math. And if it’s possible to sell more $20,000 jobs why would I waste time on $200 jobs?
Better yet, how can I focus my sales and marketing efforts on bigger jobs? One way is to ignore small jobs.
I’m kind of embarrassed to share this and publish it. It all seems so simple.
But someone once said if you feel like that then it’s a good sign you should probably share it (or maybe it was the other way around… maybe he said it was a “warning sign” not to!).
All I know is I started this blog with the intention of “showing my work” and documenting my entrepreneurial journey (whatever that means) in a real and honest way.
So in that spirit where’s that publish button? I need to jump off the bridge quickly before I look down and psych myself out.