Justin Cooke

May 22, 2011

I was having an interesting discussion with a friend today about a scheme he had to make 20k on a one-time deal.  I told him that those things don’t really interest me anymore and he was asking me why…it’s a great deal of money!

While I agree that the money is tempting, I gave him two reasons why we weren’t interested:

  1. It’s not repeatable. Basically, I’m back to working per hour again.  It might be a GOOD deal of money, but it’s still per-hour work and when it’s done, it’s done!  I have to dedicate a portion of my time to it, will get paid for my time, and I have no chance of making money from his particular process again.

  1. It’s not scalable. I can’t add people and replace myself. (and my hours)  There’s no potential for adding more revenue or turning it into a real business project…I’d be constantly chasing down new “schemes” like this to earn a buck.  I’m not really building anything, getting others involved, building community, etc.  (His particular idea was basically an arbitrage…his idea’s not important to my point, though.)

I told him that he’s counting on that 20K in the bank (he started around 6 months ago) and he’s still working for that 20K.  A few problems for him here:

  1. That 20K dropped to around 12K with discounting, refunds, etc.
  2. He was considering it a one-shot deal back in Nov/Dec…but what about all the hours he put in up until now…and still counting!  Lots of time spent on non-buyers only adds to the hours required, dropping my per-hour pay even further.
  3. If he would have taken that effort and energy he’s put into the project over the last 6 months…what kind of repeatable/scalable income generation could he have going by now?  During that SAME period, we started our niche site project and are up to over $4,000 per month of passive income on a repeatable/scalable project that we’re currently expanding.

He mostly agreed and we then got to talking about how difficult it is to say “No” to money in-hand.  My business partner and I have STRUGGLED with this over the years.  If someone wants to pay us right now…we should take the money, right?  I mean, they’re handing over cash…shouldn’t we take it?

Keeping the above rules in mind, we’ve since gotten MUCH better at turning down clients, deals, etc. that don’t add to our long-term goals.  It’s saved us a TON of headache and, honestly, it feels kind of good to turn down deals!  I know that sounds crazy, but when looking at it through the lens of what you would LOSE by taking that additional money it helps put it in perspective and keeps you focused on your goals.

Do you look for repeatable, scalable processes?  Would you turn down deals that don’t fit, even if it’s a fair amount of money you’d be missing out on?  Share with us your thoughts…think we’re on to something here?


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  1. I SOOOO relate to what you’re saying! It’s so darn easy to take the supposedly “easy” money rather than work on something that isn’t going to see profit for possibly months (which is kinda funny in itself, cuz prior to the internet if a business showed profits in 2 YEARS it was doing well…lol)

    Anyway, I’ve been making residual profits from the internet for over 10 years now and I’m addicted to it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I still don’t get sidetracked sometimes by those big shiny dollar signs :-)

    BTW, thanks for a great blog!

    • jwcooke says:

      Lisa,

      Yes, most offline businesses take much longer to recoup initial investment, for sure.

      Any particular situation where you just had to say no to a large potential deal because it didn’t meet your goals?

      Thanks as always!

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