When you feel like you’ve wasted your money (3 tips)

Mar 24, 2016

Broken Piggybank

Let’s be real – we ALL have moments where we feel like we’ve wasted money. Where we didn’t get what we thought we would get. Where we spent more than we should have. Where we said yes to something and later regretted it. Where we tried something new and it didn’t pay off. Where we bought something – or joined a program – and didn’t get the value we expected or didn’t do the work to get the results.

The simple fact is, this is business. Not everything will payoff the way you hoped it would. And even though this isn’t FUN – you always get to choose how you let it affect you.

Here are 3 tips for when you find yourself in a situation where the ROI (return on investment) was not what you thought it would be.

#1 – Don’t take it personally

Don’t beat yourself up. Be gentle and look for the lesson in this experience.

You always have the choice to view it as a failure or a lesson.

Choosing failure will stop you in your tracks – you will look to assign blame (be it on yourself or others) and will use it as an excuse as to why you don’t have what you want. Why you haven’t made progress. Why it’s OK to stay stuck cause “X happened to me!” or “I must suck, maybe I’m not meant for this.” It is VERY easy to get stuck here!

OR you can look for the lesson woven into the experience. What did you learn from this? What would you do differently next time? What has this experience taught you about yourself? About how you handle stress? About how you are able to handle disappoinment?

Often, if you are willing to see the lesson you will find that it is ultimately worth WAY more than the cost of the experience.

#2 – Make an ROI based decision

Most money decisions in business fall into one of 3 categories:

  1. A ‘Run Towards’ decision – where you spend money towards the potential of what could be, the big dream
  2. A ‘Run Away From’ decision – where you spend money looking for the easy path or hoping that someone will come in and fix it for you
  3. ROI based decisions – where you are clear on what exactly you are looking for as a result of the investment

The first two are decisions based in emotion – passion/hype or fear. Emotion based decisions can be a powerful force to help us breakthrough, but they can quickly turn to disappointment or regret if there isn’t a clear measure of success.

A healthy investment of your money will always have a clear ROI attached to it. Maybe you want to double your profits in 12 months. Lose 20 pounds by summer. Launch a program that brings in 50 new clients. Learn how to communicate with your kids so that they listen.

When there is no clear measure of success you can’t tell if something is working or not. All you have to rely on is the emotion that drove the original decision… as the passion/excitement fades then so does our satisfaction with the result.

Commit to ONLY spending your money when you have a clear ROI to go along with it.

#3 – Own your role in the success (or lack thereof)

The superpower of any entrepreneur is personal responsibility – owning our part in the journey.

If you didn’t get what you thought you were going to get in a program, did you talk to the person about it? Were you willing to reach out to have an honest conversation and to look for a solution? Or did you secretly seethe and complain to those around you. If you did this and still weren’t happy did you ask for a refund? It’s not always easy to have these conversations, but weigh that against the cost of saying nothing.

Did you do your part of the work required to create success? Did you follow the steps that were laid out for you? Do what your coach asked? Reached out for support when you felt stuck? Any investment is going to require some kind of action on our part to reach our ROI, success is never handed to us on a silver platter.

We can’t control what others do or don’t do… what we receive or don’t receive. But we always have a choice in how we respond to the situation. 

Money is a renewal resource. Part of the beauty of being in business is that you ALWAYS have the option to create more income. Don’t get caught up in the things that didn’t work. Look to what you really want and continue to invest in the steps that will get you there.

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