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Money is a popular subject for most people, but even though you may talk about money in general terms, i.e. the credit crunch, what you think of the banks, unemployment, late payment by customers, how tough it is to get customers, I bet it is rare for you to speak specifically about our own situation to others; or even to yourself.
Now I am not saying you should be telling people all your business. There is something to be said for keeping our own counsel. But is that due to caution or fear? Is your lack of action or motivation more for personal reasons; despite feeling that you could really do with some help.
This may not necessarily be because you are in financial trouble. Your business could be going through a transition or just experiencing the stresses of growing and you have reached the stage where you realise doing everything by yourself or the way you have handling your accounts and finances will not work well for much longer.
So what stops you and so many others from doing something about it?
- Do you find yourself often saying “I just don’t get it”? You recognise financial terms and names and you have a vague idea of what they mean but your feel inadequate when faced with trying to understand and interpret financial information, let alone try and produce it yourself.
- Do you meet with your accountant or sign off your accounts each year but you don’t really understand what they are all about except that you owe tax or you don’t.
- Frankly you couldn’t be less interested if you tried. You really just want to get on with being creative and making a difference in your business, with your family or in the world, but these darn numbers keep getting in the way. You know they are needed but every time you thing about getting down to it, you at best start to yawn or at the other end actually feel the beginnings of a migraine.
- Your experience of money, whether growing up; with your partner or spouse or even with business colleagues; regularly turn into arguments and is just another source of stress to add to the others you already deal with trying to run your business
- You are ashamed and embarrassed about your finances. People perceive you a certain way, you have your pride and you are afraid of being be judged or condemned by others. No doubt you can beat yourself up enough; you certainly don’t need others to make you feel even worse. The irony is that most people are quite understanding but it is not what they say that you afraid of. It is what you believe they are not saying; and what you perceive as the negative impact it would have on their opinion of you as an entrepreneur, or worse, as a person.
So why bite the bullet, what is in it for you.
- The cost of not being in total control of your finances is greater than just losing money
- Isn’t it just so tiring hiding things and feelings from those around you? The energy used to do that could be directed at actually making your foundations firmer
- As you understand how your money moves around, you build confidence and that will show up in how you price your goods and services, so you get better at pricing for profit not just for turnover
- You attract other savvy finance people because you become more discerning about who you work with, which ironically could mean you need to do less on the financial front because you know it is being dealt with effectively. Or if you are a hands-on person you are being advised better, so your decisions and actions are more effective.
- While mindset is crucial to get you started on the road to controlling your business finances, sometimes just taking basic steps that gets you a positive result, even if you don’t feel it yet, will give enough confidence to create a shift in mindset.
That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach does not have to be a way of life.
Please know, you don’t have to tackle this alone. I went through a painful period of yo-yo money and yo-yo diets so I know what it feels like to feel out of control. And it only got better when I stopped beating myself up and took action.
The time to suffer in silence is over for you. If you know where you can go for the information or the guidance you need; even if it is just to feel free to voice your concerns, then do it.
The wonderful thing about most of us finance people is that we are good at keeping secrets.