Have you ever wondered why money is such a sensitive topic for most people? I have met many people as a business coach who have grown up in homes where growing your wealth and managing your wealth is never taught. Not only are we not taught how to manage our money, bringing up the topic of money itself can be borderline “offensive” for some. After you graduate high school and college, you still have never received one single lesson on how to manage your own money. We are all taught to want it, need it, and to accumulate as much as we physically can with no limits, goals, or boundaries but why is it that we never learn to manage the one thing we are all reaching for? Have you ever noticed that it is such a sensitive topic for most families and even in most businesses? Money is simply a vehicle to achieve your goals in the areas of your faith, family, finances, friendships, fitness, and fun. So, why do we never learn how to use it? Money is also the scoreboard that tracks who is winning and who is losing. If you are winning, you are actively achieving your goals. If you are losing, you do not know how much money you have, how much money you owe, and how much money you need to achieve your goals. As a business coach, I save 50% of my income.
You have to measure what you treasure. That includes literal treasure which is also known as money.
According to Forbes, 9/10 Start-Up Businesses fail. The biggest reason that nine out of ten of these businesses fail and how the one out of ten of them succeed can be summed up into one single word. Tracking. When you are running a business, you have to know what is working and what is not working. The only way you can possibly know if you are scaling out something that will have a positive impact or be a massive mistake is to track. When the dot-com bubble burst back in March of 2000, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel of PayPal, realized that they were losing massive amounts of money every second. Ried Hoffman said, in an interview with Sarah Lacy and PandoDaily, “If we were standing on the roof of our building and throwing wads of $100 bills over the edge of our building, we would be spending money less fast than we were spending money in fraud, credit card charges, and bonuses.” Without tracking, Reid would have never known that the money they had received from investors was drying up much faster than the money from their product was bringing in. Paypal, the company that today we know and love could have died an abrupt death back in 2000 if it were not for Reid and Peter diligently tracking where their money was going. The way Paypal solved this issue was to do something almost every entrepreneur, including Reid and Peter, is afraid to do. Paypal rose their prices from being completely free to charge a fee every time you used their service. Reid said, “We either charge and maybe die, or we don’t charge and die. So, we’ll take maybe die over 100% die.” Tracking the revenue of your company is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner but revenue is not the only thing you should be tracking. When looking for what to track in your business, you want to find things that move the needle. Some of these things are tracking where your leads are coming from, how your ads are performing, and how many times your company has reached out to potential customers, just to name a few.
You have to measure what you treasure. That includes literal treasure which is also known as money. Tracking your money might seem like a massive overwhelming task or like jumping into a massive spider web if it has been a period of more than one week since you have looked at your numbers. The best place to start is to simply print off your bank and credit card statements from the previous month, divide them into income and expenses columns, add each column up, and see which column is larger. If your expenses are more than your income, don’t freak out, we can fix this. If your income is larger than your expenses… Great! But don’t get too excited, we want to make the margin between the two columns gets larger and larger. The next step in managing your wealth is to begin optimizing and removing your expenses. This step is the best way to grab the easily accessible and low hanging fruit (money). It is the quickest way to keep more of the money that you make every single day.
Although your employees may not be stealing physical cash or products, they may be stealing time.
When looking at account charges in your expenses column to find items that you would like to save money on in the future, be prepared for some rather disturbing findings. Nine out of ten times our business coaches go through this process with the business coaching clients I work with, the client finds some sort of fraud, theft, or neglect of the money they have worked endless hours to accumulate. Forbes says that “75% of employees have stolen from their employer at least once”. You may be thinking, “There is no way my employees steal cash or product from me! They are great people!” and you may be right. Although your employees may not be stealing physical cash or products, they may be stealing time. The founder and former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove says, “Only the Paranoid Survive” which is a mindset that you must have if you own a business. You have to track what money your employees are spending on products for your company, where they are wasting their time while at work, and keep an inventory of your products. Only do this if you don’t want to find yourself going out of business like the coffee houses and restaurants in your city do as a result of employee theft. Remember, no one cares about your business as much as you do; this includes your employees.
If you want to successfully grow your business, you have to become a master at keeping track of the revenue-producing activities that your business accomplishes on a daily basis which is what I am doing as a business coach. If you do not track these numbers, your business is destined for a painful death. Jonathan Kelly, the President and Partner of MYLE Agency, one of Oklahoma’s largest marketing firms, says “Many people by default are so perpetually distracted by all of the opportunities that we’re now fortunate to have that they never become great at anything. I recommend that you stop focus hopping and become a master at something — but just one thing.” If you become a master at tracking the key numbers of your business, you will be able to course-correct the direction of your business, build systems for your business, and scale your business to a point where you can achieve your goals. You have to stop focusing on all of the daily distractions that come from every direction, focus on the numbers, and begin tracking. Managing money isn’t confusing if you understand how to keep track of it and how to use it. Money doesn’t have to be some sensitive topic that you have to avoid mentioning at the dinner table. You should enjoy managing your wealth and teaching others in your family and business how to manage theirs. Take action, start tracking today, and watch the number on your scoreboard get larger and larger every single week.