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  • Writer's pictureBill Petrie

Red or Green: It's Your Decision

Your business activities can either grow your ego or grow your business - not both

Let me start by writing one of the most obvious statements in the history of ever: building, owning, and running a business is as challenging as it is rewarding. It’s a continual learning experience – especially the daily, hourly, and by-the-minute question of where to spend time and effort. On any given day, these are the staggering number of hats an entrepreneur wears:

  • Strategic planning

  • Budgeting

  • Payroll

  • Sales

  • Marketing

  • Social media

  • Content creation

  • Accounts Payable

  • Accounts Receivable

  • Collections

  • Reconciliations

  • Research

  • Presentation development

  • Project management/traffic

  • Email responses

  • Production

  • Internal meetngs

  • External meetings

  • Professional development

As an entrepreneur knows, the above list isn’t even a 10th of the duties and responsibilities that are required daily. It’s a lot to handle, let alone handle well – especially if you’re a solopreneur. As I wrote in the beginning, it’s challenging to know where to spend time in order to maximize it, particularly when you factor in that in any job there are things you need to do, want to do, should do, love to do, hate to do, and things that you avoid doing altogether.

When I’ve managed teams in the past, it’s been my experience that when confronted with a decision on where one spends time, people usually gravitate toward the things they like doing. Sometimes, that’s precisely where time needs to be spent. However, many times spending hours on activities that one enjoys might feel great in the moment, but it’s not moving the business forward.

Before I go much further, let me be crystal clear that I’m as guilty of this as anyone from time to time.

The other day, I was chatting with my business partner, Josh Robbins, about something, and he said, “red or green decisions, brother.” It’s one of those phrases I instantly understood without asking but wanted him to continue anyway. To paraphrase, he articulated how he sees so many people get caught up in things that may have value but they fail to monetize them. At the same time, they could be doing less sexy things that are profitable and produce cash. Again, it was as if a light bulb had gone off, and I told him immediately that I’d be writing about the conversation for the blog this week.

With all the things that need to be done in a given day, there are red activities that may fuel ego or make one feel productive, but they aren’t going to immediately increase your cash flow. On the other hand, green actions propel a business forward, financially and otherwise. To be clear, it’s a balancing act, as Josh himself agreed. At the end of the day, green activities pay the bills, give one financial freedom, and create a life.

Today you’ll do several hundred things that are business related. At the end of the day, what percentage of those activities will be red and what percentage will be green?

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