When the (Money) Pipeline Shuts Off – What’ll You Do?

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money pipelineThis past Friday I had the good fortune of attending Bar Camp San Juan, Puerto Rico. A huge congratulations should go out to @gcollazo for organizing a terrific event. Unfortunately, due to a business issue I had to leave early.

While I was at the gathering I spent a good amount of time talking to Raul (@ConsultantRC) and Gabriel (@gabrielpagan42) about life, business, and of course, social media! At one point during the conversation, Raul had wondered off and Gabriel and I began to discuss the economy.

As we were talking I let him know that during the past year my brother, brother in-law, and best friend from high school have all been without work for extended periods of time (greater than eight months). To which, Gabriel made one particularly keen comment, he stated, “Yes the economy is in horrible shape, but it’s more like one day someone decided to shut the pipeline off.”

Gabriel’s comment struck a nerve with me as my small business “pipeline” had been shut off over Labor Day weekend. During the long weekend, hurricane Earl destroyed the dock where the ferries bring in tourists while at the same time, the FAA grounded both of the small airlines that fly to our island.

Essentially, we were stuck, but even worse was the fact that tourists (our paying customers) could not reach the island. Indeed, on one of the busiest weekends of the year for our small business, our “pipeline” had been shut off. Needless to say, we lost a lot of money.

I bring this story up for two reasons.

First, the transportation debacle was the catalyst that got me to thinking about creating ten niche websites in twenty weeks with the hopes of having all of them generate some income within six months to a year. Some people call it Escape Velocity or Non-Conformity, but in this day and age I call it being practical.

Second, I wanted to get you thinking about the fact that your “pipeline” might indeed get shut off some day. What are you planning to do? Have you been thinking about starting a project but have been putting off?

Get started today!

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image source: ShellyS

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Mark Hayward

 

8 thoughts on “When the (Money) Pipeline Shuts Off – What’ll You Do?

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I have been in some discussions recently at my night job where we are planning the budget for 2011…and the owner does not seem to feel that the macro-economic situation should have too much of a bearing on the direction of the guest counts and revenues.

    This baffles me, as we had some similar discussions last year and I turned out to be right (regarding counts going up but revenue shrinking due to lower average checks and so on). The economy is still not recovering the way the government would like (or keeps telling us it is on TV), so it is vital that people branch out. It is dangerous to depend on one source of income.

    I am with you on the niche business idea, something I should have pursued more vigorously 2 years ago.

  2. Thank you for mentioning me on the Post. I really appreciate that you motivated me into going to Barcamp. Just like your brother and brother-in-law I have gone through those issues these last few years trying to set up my business.
    My pipeline was cut-off in September 2008 while I was doing work in Virginia for a key financial institution just went on I started on my own. At that time Lehman and Bear Stearns went down. My project was canceled given the fact that other priorities had to be addressed to solve the current crisis.
    I was very optimistic in thinking I was going to land another client. I spent the next year in which I only had projects for 3 months and the other 9 months I was without income. During those months I was able to restructure everything and priorities identifying other sources of income.
    Out of all the projects I tried to make happen I was always able to grasp some knowledge that would help me in future projects. I might not hit a home run on all of them but every thing I tried and did not work help me identify the business structure I wanted to build upon and still building on.
    I think many people don’t really take the time to identify other sources of income. It can be for many reasons such as:
    They have conformed to what they are doing and getting currently.
    They still think in holding a job and going for a career (I don’t think that is still possible)
    They only focus on one service, product, or market and don’t do enough to expand. (ex. Seralles having the Captain Morgans rum issues)
    You don’t have enough resources either time, personnel, or capital to take it to the other level. In this case you really need to slow down a bit and analyze how are you going to get these.
    Great post Mark!

  3. Stephen – man, I agree! Wish I had pursued this strategy much more rigorously two or three years ago. Finding the time to work on projects this week has been really difficult but I’m trying not to get frustrated and just maintain focus.

  4. Raul – great meeting you in person! I think that “not hitting a home run” is okay and the fact that you keep trying is very impressive. With respect to your last point, “don’t have enough resources either time, personnel, or capital to take it to the other level,” I’m trying to substitute creativity for my lack of capital, time, & personnel. I don’t know if it will work, but at least I am learning. :-)

  5. Mark,

    Not hitting a Home Run prepares you for hitting one in the future. Creativity and planning can help you shift or drop somethings to find the time. Some people everyday say they don’t have enough time and lose out on great opportunities. I was very busy but going up to San Juan to meet you was well worth it. Other people would just leave it at I am very busy!

    Stephen,
    Great analogy. I think I will use it to explain the benefits of Social Media to my clients.

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