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  • Writer's pictureLyle Mustard

Get Catch-Up Stains Out Of Your Finances

Updated: May 10

How to accept getting behind without falling behind, and how to catch up.

There is only one way to avoid a stain — don’t spill anything.

Problems, am I right? Don’t start none, won’t be none.

But you will. Spills will happen.

Sooner or later, you will ketchup your pants and mustard your tablecloth.

When the inevitable spill happens, quick action is key. The faster you address the problem, the easier it is to fix.

Problems Happen, Don’t Be Shy

Getting behind in your business finances is like spilling ketchup on your shirt - it will happen, no matter how diligent you are.

And, once it happens, the longer the problem sits, the more difficult it will be to fix.

Do What You Can Right Now

If some condiments blast out of your burger all over your shirt, it’s best to head straight to the washroom and rinse it off.

This won’t completely get it out of the fabric, but it will prevent it from soaking in and taking root deep in the fibres.

Some Action Is Better Than None

If you have an overdue bill you can’t pay off right now, some action is better than none.

Don’t let it sit and stain your workload - rinse off what you can!

Maybe you can’t pay it all now, but can you pay 20%? That’s certainly better than zero, and it will put just a little grease on that squeaky wheel.

Can’t pay any right now?

Send their finance department an email and tell them that you have them on your list, you know the payment is behind, and you expect to have payment to them by such-and-such a date.

Talk To Them — We All Understand Problems

They’re just a bunch of stressed-out business folks, just like you.

All they need to know is that you’re there, you’re aware, and their payment is right around the corner.

This is how you build a strong bond of trust between your business and theirs. Sometimes it can even bring wonderful surprises, like waived overdue charges!

Waiting Is Wishing For Perfection

If you let a ketchup spill sit on your shirt, or, worse, clumsily mash it into the fabric with a table napkin, you only make more work for yourself down the road.

Keep Time On Your Side

By the time you get home, the spill will need to soak.

If the stain has already set in, you may never get it out.

Action Keeps The Wheels Moving

When you let a bill sit and sit, it only gets worse.

Overdue bills get bigger as their overdue fees grow.

If you can’t afford to pay it on time but don’t take any action to address it, you will really not be able to afford it later.

On top of that, you will have a lingering to-do in the back of your mind. Our brain can’t ignore problems that need solutions, so it will backburn that item until you take care of it.

Inaction Leaves The Problem Stuck With Us

It is stressful to carry a debt without a plan of action to pay it off.

Your brain doesn’t like chronic stress, so it will do whatever it can to get it out of view. That means it will do anything to ignore that lingering to-do.

But that’s the same as putting a sticker over the ketchup spill.

It doesn’t belong there and it only masks a problem that will only get worse. The only way to have peace with it is to avoid looking at it.

Everything is fine… so long as I don’t look there. Or over there. Or that way.

Work Towards Constructive Habits

When you fail to address a problem one time, it increases the chance that you’ll take similar action later.

Before you know it, your shirt will be covered in stickers and you’ll smell of stale condiments.

Overdue charges pile on top of overdue charges. Then the next bill comes before the first one is paid. Then you need to buy more supplies, but you can’t until you pay the overdue bills.

Become a Champion of Action

Whether it’s ketchup or catch-up, taking action now is the best way to keep things from growing out of control and keep the wheels moving.

Every time you take action, that action is one step closer to becoming a habit. And every habit eventually becomes a reflex.

Act now to build a routine of taking constructive action – build problem-solving reflexes – and you’ll be able to take on any challenge.

A Little Today, A Little More Tomorrow…

A rinsed-off ketchup spill is an almost-solved problem.

An overdue bill with a partial payment and a polite email rinses most of that catch-up out of your finances.

After all, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

With a little ketchup.

Written by Lyle Mustard

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