Is your enterprise Profitable?
You can only know this after doing some reconciling.
I believe this is an exercise worth doing in all pursuits and isn’t ever as simple as financial accounting.
While it may be financially profitable, what are the less tangible/quantifiable costs . . . AKA unintended consequences?
The decision to proceed along any path must begin with taking stock of the probable effects.
This part is easy.
Invite all “stakeholders” to a brainstorming session
Take out a fresh sheet of paper (or start with a blank white board)
Write the GOAL of the Mission at the top
Draw a vertical line down the center
Write “PROFIT” at the Top of the right column and “LOSS” atop the left one
Anything goes here – Capture every comment
Capture this (Copy the paper or snap a picture of the white board) and give every person a copy.
Schedule another meeting in a week or 2 to gather to discuss findings
During the week or 2 between now and then, everyone’s minds will be churning these Profit & Loss and will then form more informed opinions.
Upon being satisfied that this is an adventure that will yield an important difference, we then ask ourselves periodically:
Is it worth it?
Yep! Given the time, energy, and money you are expending, how are things going?
If loss, is it just a “dip” to work through . . . or have you hit a dead end?
The most difficult dynamic to face when the balance sheet is showing a loss, is two-fold.
Ego will fight for you to continue along . . . to muster the intestinal fortitude to continue charging FORWARD regardless of the “challenges.”
Then there’s that excruciating drama playing out in your head: “I’ve invested too much time, energy, and money into this venture to quit now.”
It’s thinking at that level that keeps good people in bad places as things continue to spiral into that vortex of doom.
I spoke about this in this morning’s BarrysDriveTime.com relative to the growth of Nashville.
This is a case in which the “Project” has led to a HUGE and very COMPLEX “Organization.”
In the minds of many citizens, Nashville has grown too fast too large (100 new residents EVERY day) to keep up with preserving the quality of life that made Nashville a great City in which to live.
This influx of people and organizations is bringing in a diversity of people that is “threatening” the long-standing culture of this fair Southern City.
So . . . We’ve “created this monster” and it’s a LARGE monster to feed and house, our challenge is to embrace the change whilst we preserve our core values.
Exciting stuff at all levels.
What I like most about it is that I see less apathy than ever before. People are getting more involved and connected and passionate.
Mayor Barry has made such a HUGE impact on this city in terms of clarifying our values and priorities . . . as she has literally rattled the cages and upset the apple cart with some seriously out of the box actions and behaviors thereby unsettling Nashville’s Historically even keeled social and political climate. Her alleged transgressions have literally shaken the city to its core and awakened the passion for many citizens to get more engaged.
The underlying questions always remains:
Is it worth it?