One of my awesome customers sent me an email with this in it and after reading the entire message, it impacted me so much that I felt it was a perfect subject to pop my Reddit cherry with.
See I run an online Accounting and Bookkeeping business and about a 3rd of my customers are startups (I just relate to this crowd really well). As you can imagine, basically all the owners/founders come from non-financial or non-business backgrounds. So I spend a significant amount of time educating them on reading and managing their financials, at least the stuff that actually matters. In fact, I'm thinking about building a small video course for the accounting-phobes to include in my packages, but that's a whole 'nother topic…
So with this particular customer, he was burning cash left and right on things like meals, networking & events, and a shitload on apps, travel, and marketing. So I asked a simple question…
What do you expect your ROI to be with these investments you're making so we can develop a process to track that (and yes I taught him the basics of ROI)?
Of course his response was "uh.. I don't know, it's just part of doing business". And that's where I took my glasses off, set them on my desk and slowly and softly commenced to school him on some business acumen.
To make a long story short, part of "doing business" is being intentional with your expenditures and mindful about what your building, a BUSINESS ; not a cool, trendy startup but an asset that will be valuable enough to someone who will pay lots of $$ for it (i.e. exit). I ended the convo like this, "You're no longer a programmer or engineer, you're now officially a businessman!"
Seeing how much this opened up and changed his perspective, I hope this can also shine some light for you reddirors.
Thanks for reading!