Everything in life has a cost. There’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. Folks advertise this or that thing as “free”; but someone paid the price to offer it at no cost!
Yesterday I read the following post from leadership guru, John C. Maxwell entitled “Are You Willing To Pay the Price for Your Dream?”. It’s worth reading for yourself, but basically he alerts us to the fact that dreams are free. . . but to bring them to reality; someone must bear the cost. Emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially.
So the question begged is are we willing to pay the cost to bring a dream from the world of imagination to the temporal world? Better still do we count the potential cost before beginning? I seem to recall that Scripture says no commander goes to war without assessing the cost.
As a woman in business – especially a small business in which she is the solo-owner, operator, marketer and on and on – we need to determine up front the cost. Then if we’re willing and ready to bear it!
One of the most popular business models that attracts women in droves, is direct sales or multi-level marketing (MLM). Such businesses are easy to get into; usually less expensive with regard to up front costs and promises a “team” who will help us get to our goals – and success, we desire. It’s an organizational model I happen to like. Something about multiplication of the “loaves and fishes” feel to it. And many women, myself included, buy-in to this model with great expectations of instant income. Plus the promise that I can “work from home”!
Well nothing is further from the truth. At least in practicality!
Yes I can work from home which means I can set up shop in a closet if necessary; however if I want to make it work, I have to leave home to do so. Yes, we can crawl all over social media with our ads and pleas – but ultimately we have to join and attend events where we get in front of a ton of folks! As for social media – well the rule of thumb is 80% social and just 20% commercial.
I don’t want to lay a heavy burden on the backs of women whose small business is a direct sales company. I use it as an example of the shout outs that promise us ease of operation; enormous income potential and small up front cost. Trust me – been there; done that and survived to tell. Love the company with which I was associated; but the cost to continue was simply too great.
I had not counted the long-term cost to reach the income potential I desired. And when I reached it, suddenly it vanished with one leg of my organization heading off to the next shiny bobble in the direct sales universe. Whoosh – it was gone!
Traditional businesses are not immune to similar situations. A major client leaves and income drops. Your business grows and you need to find office space outside the home – suddenly the cost-to-do-business rises and the profit margin falls. Without a long range plan that includes such contingencies; the cost of bringing the dream to reality has tarnished the dream.
So what do we do? Do we put all dreams on the shelf to draw dust over years of no use? Do we find someone who can and will take the dream to fruition; paying us a little for our trouble?
Perhaps the best wisdom I can share is to determine if the dream is part n’ parcel of your life purpose. If so, then it has merit and ought be developed in all aspects. But not without the following steps:
1. Study. Lots of it. Study the dream from all angles
2. Begin to put a framework around and to your dream
3. Seek the wisdom of those who’ve gone before you. Don’t try to go it alone!
4. Build a team. Lay out the dream. Get buy-in from those who share the same passion and pursuit of your dream
5. Try the “PRO’s and CON’S” approach as well. What’s the best thing that can happen – and the worst that can happen. But the most important column is the “WHAT’S LIKELY TO HAPPEN”.
6. Put numbers to paper. What hard costs are likely to occur. What soft costs. And most importantly, what might be a cost you haven’t anticipated (this where your team comes in very handy).
7. Decide. Decide if you will or will not pursue. Don’t let the dreamstealers take it from you; and don’t be your own worst enemy in terms of letting fears and doubts steal the dream.
But on the other hand; be realistic in counting the cost. If it’s worth it and the passion runs deep in your soul. . . .
Then by all means – GO FOR IT!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]