While the popular start up mantra is ‘Get Stuff Done’ (expletive intentionally removed), it’s important that we get the right stuff done.
We’ve all been there. We assign an estimate to a task only to discover (yet again) that we are horrible estimators. What we originally anticipated taking 2 hours, has now taken us 5 hours and we’re still searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Do we call it quits or do we keep pushing on? Because hey, we’ve already invested 2.5 times what we estimated. Now we have to finish. Or do we? Check out the chart above once more. It demonstrates that as the amount of time spent on a task or project increases, the profit decreases. At some point in the process, we reach “the point of no return.”
Perhaps you recognize that point. “I know that point. The point where no matter what, I’m going to push forward until (fill in the blank) is finished.” No, I don’t mean a point you reach where there’s no possible return to logic or sanity. That’s not it at all.
The intent behind highlighting the intersection of time and profit has to do more with ROI (return on investment). If your time or capital investment is excessive, the task or project quickly becomes not only unprofitable, but often times costly. So how do we know if we should quit and when will we know it?
Last year I read a great book by Seth Godin (go figure) that helped me better decide when to quit and when to stick. It’s called The Dip.
It covers different curve types he calls, “the dip, the cul-de-sac and the cliff.” We experience these curves in business as well as in our personal lives. Recognizing these different curves and taking the appropriate action will increase your success and achievement.
Now I know many entrepreneurs think they don’t have time for reading and to you I say, “good luck.” Just kidding. To you I say, “you’re in luck.” While the book is small and should be an easy read, you can also just watch this video:
I may have laughed out loud a couple of times while watching it. Hope you enjoy it.
P.S. Return to our blog this coming Wednesday for another hand drawn chart.