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The Fear of Large Numbers

Of all the fears people have, the fear of large numbers is, perhaps, one of the strangest. Yet, numbers can get so large as to be incomprehensible. Maybe that adds to the fear. Just how much is a million dollars, anyway?! Who has ever seen a million dollars in one pile? In the world of business, a million dollars is not such a large figure, really, but for people who think daily in terms of hundreds, millions can be overwhelming.

When your business has an average of $2,000 – $3,000 in sales per month, a million dollars of sales sounds like a huge number. One million dollars a year is $83,000 per month – quite a bit more than you are doing currently. To think you will ever sell $80,000 of goods or services in a single month may be mind-boggling. What would have to change in your business for that sales explosion to occur?

Most small business owners, with one or two employees, would consider $80,000 sales in one month to be the stuff daydreams are made of. It is roughly $4,000 per day – twice as much in one day as they are making now in a month. It is a frightening dream — exciting but frightening!

I have been thinking about fear surrounding money and question whether it is really fear of not having enough, or fear of having too much. I see it as a fear of large numbers.

Suppose your business does 100,000 per year – that is over 8,000 per month. You are doing this now so it is a manageable figure. Not frightening.

To become a million dollar company (which is what I am focusing on for clients) – 1,000,000 in sales per year – they have to do 83,000 per month. Ten times as much business. That’s a lot! That’s frightening. The amount of work required is frightening. The responsibility of making supply commitments to customers and clients is frightening.

Most people quit and go back to thinking 8,000 a month – maybe 8,500 next month and 9,000 by Christmas!

Now – here’s the crunch. You will almost never reach a big goal in that fashion. Because doing 83,000 a month is a very different game from making 8,000 a month. You cannot grow incrementally from 8,000 to 83,000. You must change your business totally – everything must change. Most of all, you must change your way of thinking about money.

And this amount of change is what is so frightening without a guide – without someone who has already done it to show you the way.

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About Frederick Pearce

Frederick has over 10 years coaching experience revitalizing small businesses, and mentors clients to re-energize their business and revitalize their company's potential.