The word sacrifice is largely misunderstood.
It might not conjure up images of ritualistic murder and religious genocide these days, but for many it translates to the loss of something valued or enjoyable.
It’s a misguided perception. And even though it’s not immediately obvious to those who don’t think much into the cause of their effects, misunderstanding the true meaning and real purpose of sacrifice is more derogatory to their lives than they imagine.
Sacrifice is letting go of something of a lower value to obtain something of a higher value.
Between 2006 and 2010 I “owned” two homes. When my then pregnant wife and I moved homes with our son in early 2006, just as I stepped away from corporate employment, we rented out our previous home.
That’s how it stayed until Victoria and I separated in April 2009. I returned to our former home in the early autumn of that year. By then my business was on its death bed. The two large contracts with my two large (and only) clients were terminated a few months before and the pipeline was as empty as the Mexican arm of the Donald Trump Appreciation Society.
I had to sell up. I had to ensure I could keep the wolf from the door and do the most important things of all – feed and clothe my family and meet my obligations. My wife didn’t have a good salary. She was a Teaching Assistant. And despite my woes, I didn’t want her returning to Corporate HR just because her then husband had screwed it up.
She had the right to live into her purpose as much as I did – and that’s the choice we’d made, together, some years before.
My predicament was further exacerbated by the property market at the time. It stagnated during the financial crises. There wasn’t a lot of traction. Within a few months, the coffers were all but empty. The business had gone…taking the fat corporation tax bill with it…and for the first and only time in my career, I sub-contracted myself out to a carefully chosen sales training company in London, just to keep my head above water.
It took a year to sell the house. A whole friggin’ year. A year of my life on hold – stuck somewhere I didn’t want to be at the whims of a market I couldn’t control. For a man who has freedom at the top end of his primary values, this was a living hell – particularly as I was going through a heart-wrenching separation at the same time.
This was my “annus horribilis”.
When I eventually sold up, I had to hand a significant sum of the profit to the mortgage lender. Three years before I’d fixed the interest rate on the mortgage for five years. At the time it was the smart thing to do. Now, three years later, it wasn’t. Through gritted teeth, I had to pay an onerous redemption penalty at a time in my life when I needed as much cash as possible.
The remaining funds took the heat off for a while…but not for long. I knew I had to make that money work as hard for me as possible. I couldn’t just live off it and “hope” for things to get better. That’s dumb. I had to leverage it to bring more income into my life. I had to sacrifice something of a lower value to obtain something of a higher value. I had to let go of the cash to learn how to build a profitable business that made me cash.
That’s why I used most of it to fund my first year participation in a high end “mastermind” group with a marketing mentor. It “cost” me £25,000…nearly all I’d got left from the sale of my home….and in those days £25k went a long way in keeping the wolf from the door.
It still does.
This wasn’t an easy decision. Far from it. I lost plenty of sleep on it. But I knew if I wasn’t willing to take the risk, if I wasn’t willing to educate myself in how to market a small business so it was profitable, I was negligent as an entrepreneur, negligent to my family…and negligent to myself.
The rest is history.
Yes, it took a lot of work and yes, it didn’t happen “overnight” but I’d rather put my back into something proven that leads to growth in my business, which leads to growth in my profits, allowing me to extract ever-increasing amounts of income in the most tax efficient way so I can live with greater choice and freedom in life…
….than waste my time on some quick fix promise and “ninja tactics” which deliver nothing but more frustration, struggle and underachievement.
What’s your preference?
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here