This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
I want to share a dilemma with you today. I'm not sure if this is of immediately obvious concern to anyone who hasn't tried to start their own shebang, but maybe it is... I'm so deep down into this whole process that it was often difficult to remember what life looked before!
In a nutshell, the dilemma is: How do I get what I consider to be of adequate quality, while satisfying legal requirements and keeping inside my budget?
The 'what' in the sentence above refers to a great may things - from equipment (New of everything! Best brands! Top of the line!) to systems (Checklists for all! Accept no mistakes!Throw out everything that doesn't taste like a 10!)
There have been many places where this dilemma has taken the limelight - but perhaps first and foremost was during the time I described in my last post... when I was getting into Floortown (with a slight layover in Drainageburg).
I sketched out a little picture for myself during that period... And here it is in all its doodle-glory.
Perhaps stupidly, I have a line below which I will not go, quality-wise, even if it meets standards and fits the budget - but just how high can I go before I fall out of spec with one or the other of the other conditions?!
As if I couldn't get the grasp of it when I made my first doodle - I made another. I guess I thought it might be easier to understand as a Venn diagram? Sheesh.
Essentially - there is a magic, holy grail (yup - that's the cup pictured in the center!) where my personal quality standards compromise to meet both legal and budgetary requirements. And yet, as I am basically crazy - and anyone who is trying to start a business has no business being otherwise - I STILL cannot accept middle of the road. I simply must be better than average (the word 'best' is a frequent visitor to my lips), so I inevitably spent more money than most trying to get to Floortown (and will again to eventually to retire in Cureroomopolis with summers by Lake Gonnarunsosmoothly).
These are dangerous places to visit or stay in with a disposition like mine - because I can easily get talked into spending much more than my budget can handle under the unassailable logic of "It'll cost more to fix/re-do/maintain if I cheap out on this now!" also known as the Savings-in-The-Long-Run argument.
Reasonable logic, but the Dilemma then argues that if I agree to too many of those, I will find myself skimping on items that I need right now. Or...even.. worse... (the true horror for any new entrepreneur)... I could completely run out of liquid cash. Imagine those last few days before payday where you're trying to make ends meet and you're completely strapped? Now imagine that in order for payday to actually arrive, you need to keep spending money... That's the horror of running out of cash as a business owner.
I wish that I could say that I have come up with a satisfactory conclusion.
I will say that my tendency to let myself be swayed only by quality has been on the decline... Basically, as a function of obscenely high-priced purchases at the beginning of this journey ("Sure! £700,000.00* for drains sounds about right. Where do I sign?"), I am now scrounging around in the bins of my neighbourhood for anything I can jury-rig, DIY, into a functioning piece of equipment... But always falling above my personal limits of course!
Next up - The Hilarious Acronym All Cooks Promote... Anyone who knows what I am talking about gets three points. Anyone who doesn't will have to tune in next time!
*Prices changed to protect my wallet.