Recently I was thinking about routines, patterns and assumptions
and how they affect the way people move through their days, weeks and
months. A memory flashback took me back to a kitchen
scene in my fraternity house in college starring Juanita, the frat house cook.
Juanita, a chain smoker, was about as wide as she was tall. And in spite of her rotund physique, food preparation
was not her passion. She, like the
succession of cooks before her, was willing to tolerate the mediocre pay and sometime
raucous behavior of a house full of young men in exchange for a paycheck for cooking.
No Iron Chef, her culinary skill was at best, tolerable. She could fry eggs for breakfast, fry bologna for lunch and bake pork
chops desert dry for dinner.
The line up of low quality cooks for the fraternity
had continued semester after semester because of rationalization that we couldn't afford any better and low
quality was all that could be expected and that was that.
I recognized the frat house meal program was clearly in a
rut; assumptions, money and apathy
were keeping it stuck.
Inspired by hunger, I proposed a radical idea for a solution
to our bland three meal program:
Make your own breakfast. Eggs, sausage or bacon,
cereal, toast, milk and coffee. Pay a
frat member to do the dishes.
Lunch on your own, on campus; most of us were
doing that already.
With the money saved from hiring a full time
cook, hire a college student majoring in restaurant management as a part time cook to prepare top quality meals.
It worked! The dean
of the college sent us the perfect candidate to prepare gourmet dinners on our fast food
budget. We ate like kings. (Marc, the cook, went on to run
his own restaurant)
So what does this old story have to do with your horse business?
The same three things may be keeping you in a rut.
False Belief About Money
With things the way they are in the general economy, if something isn't working in your
business like it should, it's time to study alternatives and make changes, quickly.
Change is often uncomfortable, but as a
small business owner you will agree it will be the key to your survival. One of the reasons you're in business for
yourself is the freedom to make changes; exercise that freedom.
If you assume your board rate cannot be raised because no one can afford to pay you more or believe there is absolutely no way you can finance an indoor riding arena, you may be loafing in the rut with thousands of others.
Raise your head above the edge of your rut and have a look around. You'll surprise yourself with possibilities.
Challenge your assumptions, find new sources of money and
eliminate apathetic attitudes.