Not becoming emotionally attached is probably one of the hardest things to do. After all, we’re only human!
Emotional attachment is what nature makes as do for survival.
But… in terms of your business it can be deadly.
It’s easy to get emotionally attached to projects, products, copy, developments and staff. In fact, it’s possible to get emotionally attached to almost every aspect of your business.
And, when you do this, you’re going to find that you start to make bad business decisions. The more emotional you get the worse your decisions will become.
Now I’m not saying that you have to be cold and stony faced all the time. Just that you have to be able to detach yourself emotionally from your business when making decisions.
And this can be tough.
I used to employ a very good friend of mine. He was creating the content for a niche site, and it did really well for six months.
It just tailed off.
We couldn’t get anymore traffic that converted and the site was costing me his salary to run it whilst the revenue was steadily declining.
So, I had to close the site down.
Did I want to?
But I knew that the business can’t sustain sites that don’t make a profit. So they have to go, whoever it is that I’m employing to work on them.
It wasn’t a problem because I’d been upfront about how I worked when he’d joined.
Now imagine if I’d become unable to shut that site down because I hadn’t been clear with him about the site needing to make a profit when he started working with me.
It would have been very difficult to close it down.
Then I would need to find another way to make up the loss that was being created by that site.
Another personal example is a WordPress plugin I wanted to develop.
I decided to try developing it with a new developer, and the quote was $800. After the project being three weeks late on delivery it was also poorly coded and didn’t look good enough to be able to sell.
Another five weeks spent trying to get the developer to make it better and fix the bugs resulted in…
…something that was still sub-standard quality.
Finally I decided to use another developer to fix it. And ended up with…
A product that is poor quality and over $1000 in expenses.
In reality to get this product to the quality that it should be to launch, it needs to be re-developed from scratch by one of the developers who works with me regularly.
But I’ve already spent $1000 on this project.
So, the question I need to ask is it worth it to spend yet more on this development?
And the answer is… No.
It was going to be a low priced product and I was only originally looking to make back the cost and get some strong buyer leads. If I had to completely re-develop it there’s no way I’d make the cost back.
The final decision is to cut my losses and move on.
Yes, it’s annoying that the money has already been spent and there is nothing to show for it.
But, the key is in the words:
“the money has already been spent”
You see the money for the project was allocated to it months ago now. It’s already been spent and we’ve moved on.
If I was to start re-developing it I would have to allocate money to it that can be used on other projects. Projects that will result in a profit.
The choice is purely a business one.
I will scrap the plugin and instead write a PDF guide on what it does so that users can get it for a few dollars and implement it in their own business manually.
That should make back the cost of the failed plugin development for a few hours of time writing the guide.
The lesson to learn here is that it’s always better to cut your losses than spending money on a project or website just because you’ve already invested something in it and it hasn’t worked out.
I’ve seen more than one business nearly go bankrupt doing exactly that. Don’t make the same mistake.