Keeping Your Mind on Your Money, And Your Money on Your Mind

I started my adult work-life as an employee.  Prior to starting my own business I worked only for 2 different employers where I moved up through the ranks in Corporate America.  I thought I was a great money-manager, especially because I have a degree in accounting and worked as a Financial Analyst in a prior life.  I understood the debits and credits, I was a whiz with spreadsheets, and I had even created the systems to make sure that the internal controls were all in place.  In short, I was a hot-shot business woman, or so I thought. (are you laughing yet?  I know I am).

Business ownership will kick your proverbial posterior like you can’t even imagine.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can prepare you for having your own hard-earned money and your personal reputation on the line.  I started my business with nothing, no clients, no experience, no money, and probably no common-sense.  All I had, all I’ve ever had, are a lot of guts,  fight and will, as well as a little blessed ignorance.  When you are running your business and especially when you are just staring out, you’re “it.”  There is no one else to do any of the work or  any of the other jobs that it takes to run a company.  When you are running hard trying to make a company successful it’s easy to put off your financial review and planning.

What I’ve learned along the way is that one of the most important things you can do for your personal and business success is to tend to your finances on a daily basis.  You must keep track of all costs, look at cashflow, and watch every single dime daily.

When you don’t you may find that:

1.  An employee will steal from you.
2.  A business partner will steal from you.
3.  Clients will slow or no pay you.
4.  Vendors will over charge you.
5.  You won’t be realistic with yourself about how the business is doing.
6.  You’ll be surprised that you made more than you thought, which sounds like a good problem to have until you realize that now you have to pay Uncle Sam on April 15th instead of getting that nice refund you were counting on.
7.  You’ll never find the time or money to plan for retirement.
8 .  You won’t be truly financially successful.

How do I know all of this?  I know this because each of those 8 instances above have happened to me personally.  But it’s not happening any longer because I remember that great rap song that I love to “jam out to” which talks about “having your mind on your money and your money on your mind.”   I think the song is actually about something else not so nice, but I like to exercise to it and it’s a good mantra for the business woman wanting to be successful.  Success is impossible without a strong hand on your finances.

If you are considering starting a business or if you currently own a business, I recommend this great article.  Afterall, we are in business to make a profit.  Even if you work for a non-profit, you are in business to be a good steward of your donors’ resources and the same money-saving and accounting principles still apply.

So what are you doing today to keep a good eye on your finances?


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