By Jim Ingersoll
“We don’t need to keep score, let’s just have fun tonight.” That is exactly what my wife Cheryl said when we went putt-putt golfing last week.
She always has fun putt-putt golfing, but neither of us wanted to carry that score card and sharp pencil around for 18 holes so we decided not to keep score. What happened? Neither of us played well. I missed the shots I would normally nail and so did she. Routine shots where we could hit nothing but the bottom of the hole — We missed! The game ended up taking longer then it should have taken. OK, she did have fun like she always does, but for me I am way too competitive not to keep score. In the future I will gladly carry that sharp pencil for 18 holes just so I can keep score. Last night she wanted to play a game of scrabble and she did it again, “we don’t need to keep score,” are the words that she spoke…. Needless to say I told her I would gladly keep score.
Why keep score when investing, building a business or just having fun.
1. Focus: How can you focus on a game, a business, or an investment without having a clue what the score is? I learned that I could not and the ability to focus transcends just being competitive in nature. When building your business or investment you need to focus on the end result or you can easily get distracted. Too much time for things like facebook and twitter, but no time to focus on the actual operations or acquisitions strategy of course. You see my point, just stay focused, and keeping score will help you keep everything on-track.
2. Bad Decisions: When I was playing golf and not keeping score I found that I did not think at all about what I was doing. That resulted in some bad decisions along the way. In your business or investments if you make a few too many bad decisions you will find yourself in a world of hurt in a record time. You need to know the score so you can make great decisions on your overall strategies.
3. Win: If you don’t keep score you will not know if you are heading the right direction or if you ever win or lose. I live in Richmond, VA and if I want to drive to Chicago I would not just jump into my car and head west until I finally run into a sign that points to Chicago. That would be a bad decision and have no focus both wrapped into one bad strategy. It would be better to map out the course from Richmond to Chicago and plan the route. In business and investing it works the same way. Chart your course starting with an intense focus on what you are working to accomplish, map out your strategy and take the map that gets you to your end goal. If you don’t know the end result of all your efforts are, then you never know if you have won or loss.
Do you know what your number one goal is? Maybe it is your overall net-worth, maybe it is a monthly residual cash flow, maybe it is an overall financial valuation of your business. Do you have the scorecard in place that provides you with a snap-shot of the score on a regular basis? In most cases that could be some financial reports such as an income statement and a balance sheet. If you are an investor, maybe you use a spreadsheet that lists your assets and the rental income that they produce.
“If winning isn’t everything, then why keep score” Vince Lombardi
Be sure that you keep your focus on the end results you are working to achieve, know the road map that will lead you and that you are focusing on the score of the most important metrics you must accomplish.
Do you have your road map layed out? Need some inspiration to get everything in place? Leave me a comment!