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The Stupidity Of Now

Introduction

In this Growth Engine episode, we’re going to talk about, potentially, a controversial subject.

This is not me calling you out, but the title of the article is The Stupidity of Now.

It’s something that I see entrepreneurs cycling in and out of on a regular basis, and it’s more of a check for you to sort of see where you’re at, and as a reminder, to sort of stick for a long game, because entrepreneurship is for the long game.

Examples of The Stupidity Of Now!.

Finance Stupidity Of Now

You manage your finances on sort of a frugal basis as you start to sort of growing.

You start to get established and you’re in that growth and survival mode, and you just sort of get past this and you got a bit of cash in the bank, you’re using the overdraft less or not at all.

So what do you do?

You stop being frugal and you start spending money.

Then, when money gets tight you have to cut back, that’s like the stupidity of now around finance, you live in the moment.

The stupidity of now is,

“Hey, we’ve made it. We’ve got the money in the bank, we’re going to do new cars, new offices, new furniture, new pay rises for everybody. Cheers all around.”

I’ve seen it so many times where I’m not saying that you wouldn’t let your hair down a little bit and reward the team or yourselves, or improve your delivery. But, that’s just one example in finance.

Operations Stupidity Of Now

The same can apply in operations, you have a strict customer service focus, you’re really looking after your customers to start with.

As you start to grow, you get on top of it, and you scale out a little bit, that culture gets a little bit weaker, and the stupidity of now kicks in, where you no longer focus on your customers as much.

You stop doing the basics.

People / HR Stupidity Of Now

The same can apply in people management, how you recruit. You recruit type for culture, then you let your guard down. The stupidity of now comes in.

We’ve achieved it, we’ve made it, we can afford to hire other people, cheaper labour, or whatever it might be.

What does it do?

The lack of service backbites you.

Marketing

You move that, then, to marketing, the stupidity of now kicks in.

You hire an agency.

You get to a certain level, you stabilise your strategy, they put campaigns out there

It builds slowly, you drop a big client, a large client and you think,

“Hey, I don’t need marketing anymore.”

Guess what happens in three to six months when the seasons change, or the market changes, or a new competitor comes in, you lose that competitive edge.

Then, you’re back in the same grind, you’re having to start again. So the stupidity of now kicks in.

Sales Stupidity Of Now

A major area I see entrepreneurs get horribly wrong and where the Stupid of Now appears to breed heavy is in sales.

You build a nice sales process in the beginning and you’re very structured going through that to win clients.

You get a few sales coming in, you start a short cut. The stupidity of now comes in.

“Now, we’ve made it, I don’t need to run a sales process.”

What happens? You lose control of the sale with the buyer’s journey and they go and buy elsewhere.

Governance Stupidity Of Now

That could happen in governance. You’re filing your VAT returns on time, you keep your insurance up-to-date, you’re looking after the social community aspects of governance and all that’s right.

Then, you get busy, because the stupidity of now comes in, and ultimately, you stop doing these regulatory things.

The Entrepreneurial Long Game Requires Consistency

When I say it’s about the long game, it’s about doing the same things consistently, and improving, whether that is about

  • The trends
  • The regulation
  • The market
  • The customer demands

Just do the basics right. Don’t think that just because you’ve crossed a certain threshold that you can stop doing the basics.

So if you’re an entrepreneur suffering from the stupidity of now, then look at what made you successful, or look at what got you that big deal in marketing, or the high ticket sales that you closed, or your good customer service reviews, and make sure you do that and perfect it.

Dial back down, go back to basics, and just take a check with your team.

When you do feel like you’re crossing those thresholds, ask yourself a few questions,

“Do I need to keep doing the basics?” – The answer is Yes, by the way.

“What if I don’t? Will, it set me back in the same place?” It’s a lot harder to restart.

So I’d love your feedback, whether you are suffering from the stupidity of now, where you have the decisions that come back and bite you later on, or you have done in the past. Leave your comment below. We maybe have a chuckle and giggle about it. I know I’ve done it several occasions, I still do it occasionally. I have to keep reminding myself, “Am I in the stupidity of now?”

So I hope that’s helped you get a reality check.

Just take a time out, have a look at what you’re doing, and whether you should go about its basics, and ultimately, thanks for continuing your growth engine and development.

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.

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