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The Dangers of Having A Something for Nothing Mindset

One of the biggest obstacles to business survival is limited thinking and breaking free of the "something for nothing" mindset is a true victory in the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

How many times has someone tried to get something from you for nothing or at a cost that strikes you like a blow to the gut? 

How many times do you find yourself doing the same?

You see it every day, but the big question is, what kind of impact does this limited thinking have on business success?

I recently sent a survey to a group of local entrepreneurs to gather data on what they were looking for in networking events.

One question provided several cost options for a year of dinner meetings, including display tables and guest speakers.

The price options were made up of actual annual costs of several networking organizations nationwide. I also included one fabricated figure that was significantly lower than the lowest actual membership cost listed.

Seventy-five percent of those surveyed selected the lowest price listed. This price didn't cover the cost of meals, let alone taxes and gratuities, gifts for guest speakers, room set-up or costs for processing payments or basic supplies.

Business owners who presumably understand you won't be in business long if your expenses exceed your revenues, selected the fictitious price that couldn't logically support such an event taking place.

They want a professionally organized event that will provide them with marketing and sales training, access to expert speakers, opportunities to promote their business, create alliances and grow their circles of influence, yet they want it for the cost of a large pizza.

It seems absurd when you see it in writing, but it's a reality within the business world, particularly small and home-based business.

They'll justify $40 a month on hair care, but not on building their business. Is it any surprise why so many small businesses fail? They're applying small thinking to small business.

Cost is certainly a factor when you're starting out or running a small enterprise, but if you want to grow your business to a size that will allow you to take real vacations without a laptop strapped to your back and without having to work 60 to 80 hours a week, it's important to shift to a business success mindset.

Investing in networking events, learning programs and specialized products and services is just that, an investment in your business. There is a return on that investment in the form of increased profits from connecting, promoting and enhancing business skills.

Last night I participated in a call hosted by two multi-millionaire entrepreneurs who discussed this limited thinking phenomenon common among many business owners who find themselves struggling.

They referred to it as the "lottery mentality," the "I can get lucky" line of thinking, believing a self-sustaining, freedom creating business can be built for next to nothing. This line of thinking is not only unrealistic, it's dangerous.

The truth is there is a price to be paid if you want to succeed in business, but it's worth it and your level of success will be directly proportionate to the investment you make in yourself.

Look at the business success stories and you will discover that they re-invest a significant amount of their revenue into networking, learning and growing every year.

This doesn't mean you have to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands a year to grow, but it does mean your investment in yourself has to be relative and not considered an avoidable expense with no return. 

The next time you're presented with an occasion to learn, grow or connectArticle Search, consider the value it can offer to your bottom line. Look at it from an investment perspective and treat it as such.

The adage "You get what you pay for" is timeless. 

2006 Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source

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Laurie Hayes, founder and director of The HBB Source, helps individuals transition from employee to home-based entrepreneur. Subscribe to her FREE e-zine for valuable tips and resources designed to create business success, at

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