When people think of cash management, most don’t think about attitudes or mindset. The business owners that manage their cash recognize that faith, gratitude, and thankfulness area critical for sustaining good cash management during bad times and good.
The inspiration for this blog post came to me during the American holiday of Thanksgiving. It is a day where we focus on what we are grateful for. People who are doing well have a lot to be grateful for. People who have had a difficult year often take a step back and reflect on what went well and small blessings in their lives that make the challenges easier to bear.
So, on Thanksgiving I reflected on what I was grateful for, including my work on The Cash Management Project. I reflected on the companies I have worked with and realized that the business owners in real trouble with their cash had a lot in common. They:
I realized that these business owners lacked at least one of two attitudes critical to running a sound business and being a good cash manager:
Let me explain why these attitudes are so critical to good cash management:
Faith – It’s an Action, Not Just a Belief
It may seem strange to talk about business and faith in the same sentence, but I’d like you to consider that faith is taking action based on hope. Dictionary.com’s lists a definition of faith as “a belief that is not based on proof;” this is what I mean when I speak of faith in a business setting. Here are simple acts of faith that every business owner takes as they start and maintain a business. Business owners act on faith, not having proof, when they believe:
What happens to a business owner’s faith when cash starts to get tight? It is often replaced by thoughts that reflect the opposite of faith:
Doubt that things will be OK and work out.
Denial that there are problems that need to be addressed.
Despair and anger that things are bad.
Disbelief in the reality of the current situation.
I’ve seen lack of faith completely freeze business owners. They truly believe there is absolutely nothing they can do to help the business. They withdraw and stop communicating.
The isolation this creates only makes things worse. Collection calls don’t get answered. There is no response to employees’ requests for help. Even trusted friends and advisors become people to avoid.
“Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” – Gov. Brad Henry.
When you lose faith, it’s hard to do the work to accomplish what needs to be done.
If you are having problems with managing your cash, do something, anything, and start to manage it.
Make a phone call.
Trust a friend.
Have just a little bit of faith to get started and make a little progress. Feel a little better and do a little bit more, which is a demonstration of a little more faith.
Faith brings an action, which creates a positive result, which helps you have more faith.
I am sure that some people who read this article will get to this point and say “Safeer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Faith? Gratitude? All I need is cash in my pocket to fix my problems and then I don’t have to deal with my cash management anymore.”
If that’s you, you might be right.
Still, let me offer an alternative…
The reason your business is having cash management issues is because you don’t see what you already have. The tangible and intangible assets.
Gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation, recognition, and acknowledgement are all ways that we as people say to ourselves and others that what we have is a blessing. These benefits in life, these good things, are valuable in our lives and in our businesses.
We become what we think about. We attract what we focus on.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey
If you thank about the cash you don’t have, that is what you are attracting.
When you think with gratitude on any assets you do have, you are attracting more.
Here are some of the things that you may be grateful for in your business:
Access to Capital
Three Practical Ways Gratitude Can Help You Manage Your Cash
Here are some practical ways that gratitude can be applied in helping you manage your cash.
Employee Productivity – When employees know that you appreciate them, they will be on your side. When you say, “thank you for showing up every day and helping me grow my business” and then explain that you need their help managing cash better, they are more likely jump in and help you with new and creative ideas. They will trust that you are acting in their best interests and not create a rumor mill of doubt and fear.
Vendor Relationships – If you view vendors as a trusted part of your business, have gratitude for the goods and services they provide you and let them know it. Then, they could be a huge part of resolving your cash management issues. People prefer to do business with people they like. They will go out of their way to help a friend, even if the friendship is based on a business relationship. So, when you call and explain that you are looking for different terms, a payment plan, a new monthly payment date, or a way to reduce your total costs, if you’ve built a good relationship, they are more likely to help you.
Client Relationships – Everything that can be said about vendor gratitude can also be said for being very, very grateful for your clients and letting them know it! I’ll reemphasize- people prefer to do business with people they like. This includes when all things are not equal! Think about this in your own life. When you shop, doesn’t the experience count? Think of the restaurants you go back to because they know your name and your favorite table. The doctor who really listens to you and digs deep to understand your issues. You get the idea.
Let your clients know that you appreciate them with every interaction, whether you are having cash management challenges or not. Then if you do have cash management issues and need to raise prices, change delivery terms, ask for deposits, or make some other change to your business relationship, there will be a lot of good will and mutual feeling of gratitude that will get your through the discussion.
There is so Much More to these Topics
I’ve just scratched the surface. There is so much more to faith and gratitude that it would be a good idea to understand them and internalize them as you learn to manage your cash. If you want to do some more reading on these topics, here is an alphabetical list of books that I’ve read that have helped me have more faith and gratitude.
You’ll notice that there are a lot of different types of books here – fiction, non-fiction, business, self-help, recent, and ancient. Faith and gratitude are a fundamental part of increasing our capacity as humans to live our fullest life. As a business owner, a full life includes having a thriving business.
How Do You Express Faith in Your Business?
Does what I am talking about strike a chord? Does it make you think of things you do in faith and gratitude as you run your business? I’d love to hear how, along with any any ideas you have about cash management.
Is there a topic you’d like to learn about? Contact me at [email protected] to introduce yourself, share ideas, or ask me questions about managing your business’ cash.
David Safeer creates breakthroughs that help businesses owners overcome their biggest obstacles. David founded The Cash Management Project in November 2018, to help businesses maximize their cash resources. David writes, teaches, and works with diverse companies around the world.
Thinking globally, one business at a time.