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Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve been wanting to pare down, simplify, and get rid of stuff. I’ve been working online since 1998, and, since that time, I’ve spent probably $200,000 (or more?) on purchasing internet marketing products and trainings and software and so on. The sad fact is this- I haven’t used most of it. Sometimes, I go into a heavy research phase, where I am testing out a lot of different things. Other times, I just really like something and want to have it.

save-money-and-time-in-businessBut what that has left me with, now, is a lot of stuff to sort through and get rid of, plus money spent that I never got a full return on investment from, and a realization that some stuff I bought last year, which I never used, is now outdated and will never get used.

Now, luckily, I have also bought some things which have been pivotal for my business and instrumental in my success- so it’s not all bad.

Though I think the tendency to buy now and save for later is one that a lot of entrepreneurs and online marketers experience.

Here’s what I’m doing now instead:

I’m only buying something when I am going to use it immediately. If I’m in the middle of developing a new video marketing and SEO service, then I will buy a product to help me with some aspect of this. I know I will use that product immediately, and so I buy it. Then I use it, right then, and it makes money for me much sooner.

In the past, I would buy any product that looked good and seemed relevant, even if I had no immediate plans to implement that strategy or idea right now. The problem with this, as I mentioned, was that by the time I came back around to that idea, either the product was outdated, or I couldn’t remember the name of it, or I’d completely forgotten about it at all.

For a while, I thought I’d create a classification system to help me find all my digital products- but then I realized that this made no sense- why was I spending more time cataloguing things rather than using them? Maybe you can relate?

And so I offer to you, too, the idea that we could save money, time, hassle, and stress if we just purchased products as we were going to use them.

On reflecting back, I see that a lot of my early purchases were because I didn’t have a real plan or my own business goals. Now, as I am a more confident business owner, and I have data about what’s working in my business, I can select better what is for me- and what is not.

I like this new way of purchasing, a lot, and you might too, because it puts you in charge of your business- you’re in the driver’s seat, by having a pre-existing business goal, and looking for information to support it- not finding the information and using it to determine your business goal.

It’s the difference between knowing you want to make spaghetti, and finding the sauce, vs. finding the sauce and saying, “oh…maybe I’ll make spaghetti.” – especially if you weren’t considering spaghetti at all in the first place. The first way is internally motivated, the second is externally motivated.

This is a key distinction in how your business grows and how successful it becomes.

So, if you, like me, have a lot of digital purchases that you’ve never even used, perhaps you want to try this new way of only purchasing when you are going to use the information right away.

I have already seen a savings of money, time, and mental energy in adopting this new approach! If you try it, let me know how it works for you.