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Looking at the numbers

Do you like numbers?

Personally I’m not really that interested.

But they can be useful.

I’ve just put together a projection for a personal trainer, showing how he can get to his goal of £6000/month take-home.

He puts in how many clients he expects to have each month and it tells him how much he is likely to be spending on wages, how much he needs to set aside to cover tax and how much he can afford to pay himself. On his current structure and growth rate, he’ll get to paying himself £5300 per month in February 2022, but no higher.

That shows him, quite clearly, that he’s going to have to raise his prices at some point.

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I went through and redesigned the dashboard for my business last week. I put my figures from March onwards into the new format, and got the graph below. It shows a correlation between the number of conversations I have (meetings, one-to-ones, LinkedIn messages) – the blue line – and the number of clients I have – the purple dotted line.

That shows me, quite clearly, that I need to start conversations with more people.

So knowing the numbers might not be exciting but it can give real clarity and show you what to do next.

Which numbers do you track and what do they tell you?

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The Rails Way

I started my business all the way back in 2007. I was a Ruby on Rails developer.

At that time, Rails was a very opinionated tool. It told you how to organise your files, your database, and if you wanted to do something different it made things very hard for you.

We used to talk about “The Rails Way”.

There was a saying “if it’s hard to do then you’re doing it wrong”

Rails changed – version three was basically a total rewrite which was significantly more modular – and the rails way dropped out of favour.

But there’s something about “if it’s hard to do you’re doing it wrong” I keep coming back to.

You don’t procrastinate over the stuff you love to do. You dive straight in and get on with it. You get in the flow, time becomes meaningless and you love what you’re creating.

Maybe it doesn’t apply to the employed, but for those of us who work for ourselves, why does it have to be hard to do? Maybe we’re just doing it wrong.