The bottom line of businesses is to make a profit. Businesses want to increase their bottom line each year. They want to be able to take advantage of opportunities when they occur. How does that apply to you personally? I believe each of us should have our own personal financial statement that defines our bottom line.
There are intangibles in our personal financial statement – similar to a company’s financial statement. Let’s call it intellectual property. A company may own patent rights, for example – we own our mind. Our bottom line reflects a monetary value for our life at that point in time. But, it does not reflect our true value.
Businesses look for ways to improve their bottom line to their customers by offering more value for the same services or products, in order to get their customers to buy more, or to get new customers. Why should we not be thinking the same way? Why can’t we increase our own value, even if we don’t increase our bottom line today and tomorrow?
Let’s assume for a moment that we keep our bottom line consistent, financially speaking, how could we add value to our lives? The first one that comes to my mind is time. Everyone would want more time. I worked for a company a few years ago that had a 9-80 program – work eighty hours in nine days – every other Friday was off. It was great. My salary was the same – I worked the same total amount of hours – and I had twenty-six more days off a year.
I thought it was a great program. Yes, I had to work later than normal on eight of the nine days that I did work, but the reward, the value I received, was worth it. That option wasn’t open to all. Oh, by the way, my company disbanded it after a year. Why? I don’t know – we were never told – it was a ‘test’ and management decided they didn’t like it. Management was not included in the test.
Let’s assume for another moment that you cannot change your work hours and your salary doesn’t change – what are your options? That’s the boat most of us are in every day. We want more enjoyment in our lives, but we just can’t seem to make room for it, or enjoy it because of the stresses, priorities, relationships, demands, etc.
How does a business add more value to their customers? Each one is different, but they find something that the customer wants and they fulfill it. Pretend you are the customer of your life – what would you do to add more value into your life? It’s a complex and simple question. Complex only in that there are so many things out there; and, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Simple in that you can select something you are good at, something you love doing and something you can earn money doing it.
Let’s assume that you don’t recognize anything that fits that mold. Don’t fret – most people look and don’t see. Why? They have become blinded by their comfort zone for so many years. It is difficult to see anything else unless they have been laid off from work for over six months. They resign themselves to answer the question, “What else can I do?” Why wait until you have your own personal recession in the midst of a poor national economy?
The intellectual property that businesses own is the same thing that you can own by investing in yourself – and, the investment doesn’t have to be huge. But, action is required – you must do something. And, you should consider doing something sooner than later. Action has been my personal bugaboo – I can plan and analyze and tweak and think about it and even dance around it. However, when the rubber meets the road, I have to do it. I have to take action.
Most of us work similarly – we procrastinate and delay – and, in many cases, never get started on improving our lives so that we can have more time and enjoy our lives to the fullest. It boils down to action. Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote a top ten hit called Wishin’ and Hopin’ – the song begins – Wishin’ and hopin’, and thinkin’ and prayin’, planning and dreamin’ each night… You can do all those things, but without action, it most likely won’t happen.