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How Much Money Did That Cost Me?

Recently I made a decision that cost me $140000+! Yep, you heard right. I deliberately walked away from $140000, the easiest money I would have ever made. I hear you asking ‘what did you do?!’ Well I walked away from my business. The business that I’ve worked 80 hour weeks for, spending over three years building. The business that I’ve lost sleep over, even costing me my health a couple of occasions. The business that finally worked. That had loyal customers, that produced raving fans! The business that I had shed tears over, even bled over. The business that had finally become profitable for the first time since the mid 90’s (although I have only owned it for 3 and a half years). The business that was finally a saleable commodity, valued at least $140000. All I had to do was sign a new lease

Before I explain my decision, let me tell you about Island View Takeaway, my baby. I spent two years doing whatever necessary to get this business; I worked almost as hard to get it as I have to keep it! I made horrible mistakes in the first year. I was naive and even plain stupid on occasion. I wanted to be a ‘successful’ businessman so bad that I even allowed myself to believe I could run two businesses at the same time when I was struggling to run IVT! The mistakes of the first year nearly cost me the business, and they still haunt me now. Then I got smart, which is to say that I realised that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and I had better learn quick! I cut my losses at the second business, got business coaching and put my head down, working hard.

The second year of business was a period of rapid learning coupled with the realisation that I was doing it all wrong. I swallowed my pride, changing my attitude towards nearly every aspect of how I thought a business should run. The biggest decision during this period was removing newspapers from sale. As a business decision it was smart, saving the business a significant cost that yielded a loss. Profits went up from the first week! However, I had not learnt about loving your customers at this point, so, in typical fashion, I totally stuffed it by not including the customers in the decision. They simply woke up one day to discover I had removed the papers with no warning! I should have given them a few weeks warning to explain why the decision had to be made.

The third year was my, and IVT’s, best year! I learnt that I needed to love my Team first, customers second, suppliers third and myself last. It was during this time I realised my biggest and best success, my Team! I have built the best Team in town by genuinely caring about them and their lives while not being intrusive. I have been sympathetic and caring towards them, showering them with just praise and justly earned rewards! I have loved them to the best of my ability and the reward has been their loyalty. They have all expressed the desire to back me, waiting for me to get another business and continue to work for me. Nicole, Kelly, Rhys, Steph, Jayden and Dom, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Lastly, but definitely not least, my customers. Let’s face it; customers are what we are in business for! A basic principle in business is creating ‘raving fans’.  People who love your business and everything it does. People that tell anyone that’s listening – even those who aren’t – about you, your product, your service, everything about you. In a world where the statistics tell you that, on average, an upset customer will tell 19 people, but only 3 if you impress them. Having raving fans is invaluable! In the 24 hours since we announced our decision to close IVT the outpouring of genuine sadness, together with comments of praise towards my Team, products and the business in general has been overwhelming! I didn’t recognise that I had also successfully created raving fans. I will miss my very special customers. Thank you so much for your support and patronage; it means an unmeasurable amount to me!

What do you value?

Now to my decision to close IVT instead of sign a new lease. Simply put, the lease proposed was unfair and greedy. More importantly I realised that I could not sell the business, as good as it is now, to someone, having to tell them it’s a good lease, not to mention the Landlord (and I won’t!). It came down to integrity, which choice could help me sleep at night? Money is not everything; it’s not even in my top five. My decision to leave IVT satisfied my top five; my families respect, integrity, peace of mind, fairness and my friends respect. These things are way more valuable and important than money. I know I can create wealth with successful businesses somewhere else, but my top five I can’t afford to lose, not even for a day!

So thank you to everyone that has loved and supported me through the last three and half years. Truly thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, and stay tuned for our next adventure, with an invitation to join us.

  1. July 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Scott, I may not like your decision to close the best take away food place in Wagga but mate i respect your decision and your truthfulness and honestly. Your right, money isn’t everything. I can only hope your next business adventure has something to do with take away food, somply because my stomach love the food I get from IVT. What ever you take on may it be prosperious and make you a wealthy man, you already have all the other qualities you need in business. Good luck. 🙂

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