Feed your cash cow

Last week, Jacqueline and I rolled up our sleeves and prepared 350 of my new preview DVDs to ship out to a speaking event I’m doing for meeting planners. We don’t have employees, so sometimes, we end up doing grunt work to keep the speaking business plugging along.

This week, I’ll visit speaker bureaus in DC, New York City and Dallas to tell them about my new book and encourage them to book me at future conferences and conventions.

When I explained this work to my son Anthony, I told him that it was the act of “feeding our cash cow.” I made the point to him that all of us have a cash cow, which is the source of most of our income. It might be our ‘day job’, or if we own or run a business, it is our best selling (and highest profit) product.

Why is it important? If the cash cows starves or gets neglected, it could die or cease to deliver the milk (money). Do we starve our cash cows? Absolutely!

In my life, I make money in several areas: Media products, consulting, music, investing, writing books and speaking. The last one (speaking) represents 80% of my income. However, the third one (music) is my favorite – but produces less than 1% of my revenue. It would be easy to spend too much time on the things I love, and not the things that pay the bills.

This is especially true for creatives or entrepreneurs. We get bored doing the same thing over and over again and eventually resent the cash cow, feeling entrapped by it. Bad idea. It’s far easier to stoke your love affair with the cash cow than to find a new one. Unfortunately, by the time you sense the cash cow is starving, it is on its last legs and frequently can’t be nourished back to health.

Here’s my advice: Invest the same percentage of time, effort and money into your cash cow that it pays you back. Make it the top item in your To Do lists. If you are struggling with this allotment, review the benefits of the cash cow and what it enables in your life.

Meanwhile, devote at least 10% of your time on ‘new cash cow development’ (mine is training products, like EmailAtoZ). By making progress on that front, while carefully feeding the current cash cow, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and sustain your success over time.