Updated: Oct 13, 2022
✦ No, that isn’t a typo. I’m here to tell you that joy CAN in fact be found in the clarity of your business finances.
Now, it might seem like a long bow to draw. Most of us struggle to relate to our financial facts and figures with anything higher than mild interest (frustration or outright terror is more common).
But my philosophy is quite far removed from your average accountant. Which is why this talk of ‘joy’ probably hasn’t come up for you in your regular chats with your finance team.
Yet. (*sly wink*)
For a long time, I’ve found it to be a great injustice that we force ourselves to divorce our feelings from our finances, when we assign so much of our self worth and success to figures in an account (not that we should, but that’s a rant for another day). Our numbers are often an endless emotional rollercoaster: investment decisions make us nervous, big sales make us excited, lean months make us tense.
Think about it: why is it socially unacceptable to ask someone how much money they make?
Because it’s personal
So rather than drop kicking your Xero login at a bookkeeper as fast as possible and mentally checking out in an attempt to save your sanity, I would argue that making your numbers your personal business is the pathway forward here.
In this way, we can start to experience the true joy that comes from clarity, organisation and understanding. Not only that, we can then find ourselves leading our team of financial support staff with confidence (rather than handing them the wheel and hoping they know how to drive this thing).
Still not convinced? Let’s set aside our usual thought processes around numbers for a moment. I want you to consider the following questions as a more holistic ‘step 1’ to finding this hidden financial joy.
How does it feel to be sure of yourself?
We all have something we can easily turn our expertise to - that ‘thing’ we can do with our eyes closed. Yours may likely be closely linked to the enterprise you’ve created.
Take a moment to consider the feeling that task evokes in you, when you’re in a high state of flow and results come easily to you. You can go from nothing to something with relative ease, you know the process like the back of your hand and it brings great satisfaction when it’s complete.
Now imagine if you felt the same way about your finances.
What if that feeling of surety, that complete faith in your thoughts and actions to create the results you seek, rose to the surface when you reflected on the financial data in your business. When we take the time to check our own work, educate ourselves and put obscure financial concepts in context, we have the ability to replicate that genius zone feeling (and likely replicate the same high level of outcome, too).
How does it feel to master the unmasterable?
Similarly to the above, have you ever been struggling to surpass a hurdle and then felt that rush of relief when you hit your breakthrough?
This may have been as you were honing your professional skills, you may experience this in the sporting arena, perhaps learning to play an instrument or even an achievement within your industry or field. We’ve all experienced the notion of rising to a challenge, knowing that what we learn in the struggle makes the success all the more sweet.
This same sweetness can be achieved in the mastering of your money within your business.
You may have written yourself off as ‘not a numbers person’. But what if you found clarity and confidence in spite of that? Remember the last time you succeeded in the face of adversity, that feeling of being 10ft tall. It’s possible for us all to become the experts of our own enterprise - you just need to start the climb knowing that the view from the top will be worth it.
How does it feel to know EXACTLY where everything is, at any given moment?
Do you detest chaos and clutter as much as I do? There’s nothing more frustrating than looking for something important in the midst of a mountain of ‘stuff’ that has accumulated unchecked.
On the flipside, the relief of being able to lay your hands on whatever you need, the minute you need it, is one of the best ways to mitigate unnecessary stress.
Think about the last time you did a frenzied clean out of the spare room, the shed or that storeroom out the back where everyone throws stuff through the door without even turning the light on. Radio cranking, sleeves rolled up and a day spent ensuring everything has a place and it’s dang well in it - that’s supremely satisfying. And the functionality that everyone enjoys thereafter has the whole team wondering why we didn’t tackle that A LOT sooner.
Now imagine your finances being organised in a similar fashion. Clearly marked, itemised, easy to see at a glance - when you’re fleshing out a plan for the next stage of business, running the pros vs. cons on the next investment or simply reflecting on the month prior, the clarity and insight that comes from well-organised figures lends itself to ease in other areas.
To paraphrase Marie Kondo, well organised finances can truly spark joy.
Confidence, capability and clarity
Whilst you’re probably all imagined-out by this point, take this final moment to reflect on what it would mean to feel these things in relation to your finances.
What if you were confident in your understanding of your numbers?
What if you believed you were capable of using them to make strong decisions?
What if you could justify those decisions easily with data that was close at hand?
The numbers themselves don’t change. That’s one of the things I love about mathematics more broadly - it’s the truth. Yes, numbers can be manipulated, falsified, misinterpreted and messy. But the truth is still in there; it’s down to us to get our houses in order so as to see it more clearly.
Your finances also transcend your ego, your expectations and your misconceptions. By gaining that confidence, capability and clarity, we can step into our power as business owners, see our enterprise for what it is and shape an exciting future for ourselves.
What a joyful prospect indeed.
If this resonates with you, and you’d like to work together on finding joy in your numbers, I can’t wait to get started. Book a FREE 30 minute chat with me and let’s get started: https://betterbusinessdecisions.com.au/
Disclaimer: These are yuck and boring but unfortunately a legal requirement for professionals in my industry. So just a reminder, the information contained here is general in nature and you should seek financial and business advice tailored to your own personal circumstances. Which, by no small coincidence, I can help you out with. Head over to my website and book a free 30 minute chat with me: https://betterbusinessdecisions.com.au/
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Liz Jarvis BEc CA
Better Business Decisions
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd_7znD53DbzVfmLoFPVZWQ
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