I read an interesting statistic last week. In a recent survey, when asked how they were doing financially, compared to this time last year, 55% of respondents said they were worse. 26% said they were doing better, and the remaining 19% of people said they’d experienced no change.
I’m not sure what’s more interesting – that 55% of people were feeling worse off financially than at this time last year, or that 45% of people said they were doing fine, or better than fine. It seems completely at odds with the news we’re hearing in the media daily. It’s certainly subjective. I’m sure that in some parts of the country the answers would be very different than in other parts, and surveys are whatever we make of them.
I also think there’s always a piece missing from just about any survey question. In this survey it asked about numbers … so quantity – without any mention of quality.
For myself, I’m in the 45% … somewhere between doing the same and better off, quantity-wise. However, last year at this time, I was also working 7 days a week, always felt behind, was always running, and the cracks were starting to show. In all honesty, last year at this time I was making lots of money, but I was very unhappy. All that money wasn’t adding up to increased quality.
This year my business is different. By changing up the model, I’ve been able to work less … so much so that I completely forgot about writing a blog entry this morning, and spent most of the day hanging out in the back yard, doing some gardening, reading the paper, and marveling at just how dirty three cats can get when they put their minds to it. My income dropped for quite awhile – it’s only come back up in the past couple of months. And yet … today reminded me again about the importance of balancing our desire for quantity with the need for quality. I don’t know that working harder or working longer is the answer. I think it’s working smarter – finding the hidden business assets, learning how to generate passive sources of income, and understanding where the quantity vs quality balance point is for each of us.
Actually, I wonder if this is something that our Gen Y offspring understand. We’ve got a whole generation of kids who watched their parents work their butts off; who spent their early years in day-care and their later years as latch-key kids. Maybe what we sometimes see as laziness and unwillingness to work hard is a rejection of “quantity before quality,” and their attempts to define a better balance?
Or, maybe I just spent too long out in the sun … who knows!?! But I’d be interested to hear your stories about quantity vs. quality, where your tipping points are, and how you maintain your balance.