We are so quick to say in our businesses that we are here to “serve our customers,” but at the end of the day, we are also all in business because we need to earn money. One of my favorite quotes from Earl Nightingale’s inspirational book, The Strangest Secret, is, “The only people who make money work in the mint. The rest of us have to earn it.” We all have to earn the money; it’s what we do with that money after we earn it that defines our level of financial security and, ultimately, the amount of freedom we enjoy in our lives and in our businesses.
Thanks to the Internet and mobile banking, our financial picture is at our fingertips at all times. I love the fact that I can log into my business accounts at any moment and find out exactly where I stand financially. Looking at your balances is important, but it’s about more than just checking in on the amount. I look at my bank accounts every single day for the following reasons:
- I need to know what I have so that I can handle my financial responsibilities accordingly and pay bills responsibly.
- I want to learn what should be there so that if something is missing, I will know right away.
- It’s my responsibility to handle my money—there is no one who is more responsible for my financial picture than I am, so I have to know what’s happening day in and day out.
- By looking at my balances every single day, it creates a habit that is similar to daily reading my goals. It reminds me of where I am and where I want to be.
It’s like riding a bike—the more often you do it, the easier it gets every time you put your feet on the pedals. The more often you manage your financials, the more you strive to understand exactly what every line on the balance sheet means, the better you will become at handling your money and making every dollar count. It really is that simple, but you first have to identify how the process works by immersing yourself in it daily.
When I work with business professionals across the country, I always ask, “When was the last time you did a deep analysis of your financials, profit and loss statement, and your balance sheet?” The vast majority of the time, the response I hear is, “I don’t remember.” That amazes me. It’s your business—and it’s your money. If you don’t care about it, I guarantee someone else will gladly take it off your hands. The people who say, “I don’t remember,” are also often the same people who tell me they can’t afford a personal assistant. Does anyone see the correlation here?
You need to be taking a look at your financial situation on a daily basis. I also review my financials in-depth at the end of every month to understand exactly where we are, both as a business and as an individual. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” There is simply no way to reach as high as you want to reach in business without making sure you have the clearest view of your financial picture.
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