Recently, remembering something Chris Guillebeau posted some time ago helped me relax. I can’t find the exact post, but he basically said that you should stop sweating the small expenses of your business, and concentrate on expanding your earning potential instead.

It’s a strategy backed up by Trent at The Simple Dollar, too, as in interesting way of looking at the old adage ‘Spend less than you Earn’. Most people interpret this into a list of ways to reduce expenses, but Trent reminds us in the second half of his post that the last part of that sentence is about How Much You Earn.

I write a lot of thoughts down on notes, and envelopes and different notebooks, whatever is to hand really. It’s a good habit because I usually end up with inspiration at very inappropriate times, but difficult because then each project is spread over a crazy series of scrap pieces of paper which wind up under the bed or left at my boyfriend’s or in the bottom of the wrong handbag.

So I’m standing in Easons because I know my project list has expanded and I’m conscious that I want to stay organised and keep all the details together and easily accessed. My brain is doing mental loops through spending on the business when I’m not yet earning anything, whether using the cheapest manilla folders will mean projects end up all ‘out of sight, out of mind’, whether I should be buying something that will double as presentation folders to clients, and how well they will last if they’re in my bag a lot.

And then Chris’s post comes to mind, and I realise that I am wasting precious mental energy, creating stress, and taking up time over a decision that, had I plenty of cash I would solve in a heartbeat by buying exactly the range of items I knew I wanted and not worrying about it. So I did. Really in the scheme of potential earnings it was not that expensive, but when things are tight it’s easy to fall back into the lessons our parents taught us about being very frugal with every penny and living within your means, and forget about the bigger picture and the benefits of sometimes spending what you need to make you most effective.