I’ve always said that success is easy if you work hard and are continuously learning. One thing that I am constantly amazed at is the amount of wisdom that we have available to us, to draw upon from the past, that is largely neglected today.

Case in point: John Ruskin (1819-1900). He was a leading English critic of Victorian era art, a social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on all kinds of subjects including geology to literature, botany and the economy. He was born almost 200 years ago, and yet his thoughts are as fresh today as ever. Here’s what he said about having a business balance mindset!

“It’s unwise to pay too much…but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money…that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing that it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.” John Ruskin

Look friends the phrase, You Get What You Pay For, isn’t a new concept. And it’s not a flippant quip that should not be paid attention to. The common law of business balance is real and if you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner or corporation trying to survive, let alone thrive in today’s economy you had better memorize this universal law of business. Again, Ruskin says, “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done.”

One of the first rules I ever learned as an entrepreneur, no matter whether you’re a startup or an established business is ALWAYS, Protect Your Money! That means making smart decisions on how you spend it and what you spend it on.

Master this foundational business skill and you’re well on your way to building the business that will sustain itself through any economic condition. Make every cent count. Don’t waste a penny through bad decisions; impulse buying or working without a budget and a plan. Have metrics in place so you know how you’re doing, because one bad deal can lead to your last deal!

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