Four Quarters or 100 Pennies?

There’s a saying about friendship that I think applies to so many other concepts as well, and it’s something that particularly applies to anyone who has a service business, or a program that doesn’t easily scale.

Maybe even to social media, or to leads and prospects in our pipelines, too.

The saying is: “It’s Better to Have Four Quarters Than a Hundred Pennies.”

Both add up to the same amount – $1. But in one, fewer and more PRECIOUS items get us to the dollar. And in the other, a LOT of less precious items get us there.

In the past, I think I was a penny collector, in every way. I was VERY much caught up in MORE:

  • More friends
  • More followers
  • More clients
  • More leads

Vanity metrics, almost across the board, except perhaps the “more clients” item…that one DEFINITELY came from scarcity mindset.

I’m very lucky to work with and for some incredible thought leaders and overall, just great humans. One of them is Eleanor Beaton, who is the founder of Safi Media.

At Safi, the team is on a mission to double the number of women entrepreneurs who scale past $1M in revenue by 2030. 

Many of their clients came to them as overworked consultants, coaches or like me, done-for-you service providers. Eleanor shares – on her own amazing podcast, called Power + Presence + Position – that a Jewel Business is a company that fulfills the following 30/30/30 criteria:

  • 30% revenue growth per year (until such time that the founder chooses to accelerate or decelerate growth);
  • 30% profit margin per year
  • 30% open, unscheduled time for the founder

More is FINE, at least as I interpret it, but only when you have an offer and a business that is set up to grow WITHOUT you having to put all of your time and energy into it.

That is a roadmap to burnout and if you’ve spent any time with me here on the podcast, on social media, via my newsletter or in person, you know that I have BEEN THERE DONE THAT.

So, four quarters or 100 pennies? Right now, I’ll take four quarters.

Four leads that I can nurture and convert successfully, rather than 100 who get a more “spray and pray” marketing funnel – and who then also get the very best of me and my efforts.

Four friends that are ride or die and love me no matter what, than 100 friends that don’t even know my favorite color, kids’ names or pet peeves…

Four hours of intense, high-quality work time, rather than 100 cumulative hours that never actually end in something I’m super proud of.

If you’re listening to this and you don’t yet have a business but you’re thinking of starting one…or you’re still in the early stages of growth, you may still be collecting pennies and for now, that’s totally OK. I put in my time, too, and I’m thankful for it – because it gave me so much clarity on what I wanted to do and FEEL as a business owner, and what I for sure did not want to do anymore or again.

100 pennies pays the bills the same way four quarters do.

But if you’re in a season of business, or friendship, or WHATEVER and you’re ready to value your time and work in a way that allows you to focus on a smaller group but do much more and much better work, I hope this helped get you moving.