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Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Have you ever looked at someone who owns a business and thought to yourself, “This person is a freaking train wreck!”

Truth be told, we have all thought this in some way, shape, or form. After all, it’s oh so easy for the DEVILS in the world to judge one another. I wonder how many of us ever take the time to ask ourselves, “What is the real reason behind this business’s lack of success? Why can’t the owner see the obvious issues holding the business back?”

I know that the DEVIL likes to keep the answers to these questions a secret. Today I’m going to do what I can to change that. I am going to share what I have learned over time that holds business owners back from achieving their dreams.

1. They have absolutely NO trust in their Payback, NPV, or ROI calculations.

Have you heard of any of these calculations? If not, or if it’s been a while since you ran the numbers, check out these videos:

If you find these calculations to be overwhelming, I suggest you push the easy button and hire an expert to help you figure them out. If you are familiar with these calculations, I’m sure you understand some of their drawbacks.

I find most business owners lose their trust in these calculations in three ways. The first way is when they have never heard of them. Why would they trust something they have never heard of? The second way is when they develop too little data. Business owners are very busy people, and sometimes they do not have the time to establish meaningful data. The third way is when they overthink the calculation which drives them into a state of paralysis by analysis.

All three situations cause the business owner to doubt themselves, followed by the DEVIL’s voice in their head reassuring them that math sucks, the numbers are wrong, and there are better ways to figure things out. All the while helping them stay put - never moving forward, never getting better, always in a state of frustration.

2. They are afraid to take the RISK involved with a new project.

The calculations mentioned above are tried and true methods for predicting future profits; however, these calculations do require a fair amount of guesswork. For example, the NPV and Payback calculations need someone to estimate inflows of cash. Should the business miss on those estimates, the calculations will be incorrect. That doesn’t necessarily mean the investment is a bad one. It merely means there are no guarantees that the investment will perform as expected, and this is where RISK enters the equation.

I would venture to say that everyone would love to be totally assured that if we invested $1 million into a business, we would be guaranteed to receive $10 million back one day. Guess what? That kind of guarantee does not exist. Anyone who tells you differently is flat out lying, and you should respond accordingly. Embrace the fact that to grow your business, sell your business, or buy a business; you are going to have to RISK something. The DEVIL’s voice in your head is going to do everything it can to convince you that the RISK is too high. Remember the DEVIL’s job is to ensure your misery.

3. They find it safer to choose INACTION.

Doing nothing is always the easiest choice of all. Doing nothing keeps you safe and warm. The DEVIL in your head is going to tell you, “Things might not be perfect, but if you change, things will get much worse. Just keep plugging along, and things will get better on their own.” Business owners make choices every day, some bigger than others. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you know deep down in your gut that you have to make a difficult choice and change the direction of your business, but can’t find the willpower to do so, ask that little DEVIL in your head, “How much will it cost me to do nothing? $50,000? $500,000? EVERYTHING?

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