I think I’m in love…
I’ve fallen hard for a phrase I just heard and I cannot get it out of my mind because it sums up everything so succinctly and powerfully that my many, many words and conversations with clients and blog posts over the years could never do.
It is “The Short Hurt” a phrase coined by Laura Gisborne. She dropped this in a conversation she was having in a podcast with John Warrillow, On the Built To Sell Podcast, and I stopped in my tracks when I heard it.
The Short Hurt, according to Laura Gisborne, is the investment of time and energy that one needs to make to document processes and tasks, and clearly and simply communicate it so you become less dependent on key players–including you as the business owner. Her philosophy was to systematize your business so that you have something that is both scalable and sellable. It’s what we’ve been telling our clients for years, just not so eloquently.
The Short Hurt is what happens when our clients go through a process of dissecting their business model, their financials, their procedures so that we can jointly put them back together in a stronger, more sustainable way. It hurts– it’s not fun– and it can be frustrating. The Hurt can go beyond the financials and includes getting your documents in order including your operating agreements, your vendor and employee contract agreements, and systematizing your operations to make the business less dependent upon YOU.
It hurts to pull back the layers and see all that is wrong with the business, or that your business model is broken or that you don’t have a scalable, sellable business because you have your hand in everything. It hurts to see the investment you need to make to get things in order that you perhaps should have done when you first started the business or at least should have done over the years.
The Short Hurt is recognizing that things have to change and while it will be painful, it will be contained in time. It’s the end that we look forward to. It’s not like pulling off a Band-Aid with one rip– it is more like peeling it back millimeter by millimeter in a deliberate way.
What happens after the Short Hurt? The Long Gain (my phrase)… the period in which you will see the return on all the investment and work on putting your company back together in a way that is both sustainable and credible if you want to sell your business, or just hang on to it and reap the benefits.
Everyone wants to get to The Long Gain as fast as possible, but you can’t without that short period of time where you have to make some sort of investment of time and energy to build a business that can live without you– in other words– a business that will command a much higher value and which should be much more profitable over time.