Thursday, July 10, 2014

Momentum, ROI and Instant Gratification

We've all heard that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest, right? 

It's tougher to get rolling from a standing stop than from a slow roll, right? 

If anyone had a first car experience like I had, you know what it's like to push a car, and man it is tough to get moving, but once it starts rolling, it doesn't seem so bad.

So why is it SO tough to keep ourselves moving? 

You've also heard the term ROI. Return On Investment, the concept that an investment of some resource will yield a benefit to the investor. In business, we think of ROI most when we are calculating our marketing budget or specific marketing tactics. 

I think our most valuable resource, by far is our time. And here's the BIG danger - we live with an instant gratification mindset. Whether we realize it or not, whether we acknowledge it our not, it's true. 

When it comes to effort in building a business, or getting in shape, or losing weight, we expect linear results. 

I put in x I get y.  I put in 2x I expect to get 2y, right?

But it doesn't work that way. Remember the car? 

So here's what happens... 

Let's look at business prospecting. For the purposes of this illustration, let's accept that there is a ratio of 1 to 10 in lead conversion. You expect that if you talk to 10 prospects, that you will yield 1 customer. 

So, you go out and talk to 10 prospects and get 0 new customers. You talk to 10 more prospects, and get 0 new customers. Now, you're frustrated. You talk to 10 more prospects and get 1 new customer. You look back at your results and get even more frustrated, thinking that your ration is 1 to 30 instead of 1 to 10 and you decide, maybe subconsciously, that the result is not worth the effort.

But if you were to have kept pushing, kept moving forward, you would have found that your effectiveness is likely to dramatically increase. 

10 - 0
10 - 0
10 - 1
10 - 0
10 - 2
10 - 2
10 - 3
10 - 3
10 - 4
10 - 4

Now after talking to 100 prospects, you have 19 new customers, not just 10. But those first 40 seemed fruitless. 

There are loads of reasons that a prospect may not become your customer, and that's not the topic of this blog, but you do need to wrap your mind around that as a business person. It may be a wrong fit, a not now, a lack of need, a lack of urgency. 

The best way to combat the instant gratification monster is tracking. If you track your efforts, you can link it to results over time. 

We've been talking about business (mostly because it's super black and white to understand) but this same principle holds true for exercise, eating healthy, learning something new like meditation or yoga, yard work, there are a million things in life that will respond this same way. 

It would be great if all things were linear, but how BORING!

Keep plugging along, don't get discouraged, and track your efforts and results so you don't end up running behind your car rolling down hill without you. 


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