Focus On Where You Want to Go, Not Where You Don't

The first time I went skiing as a teenager I watched my classmate beautifully ski down the hill and, in slow motion, turn gently to the left and ski into a barn.

The barn wasn't anywhere near the bottom of the run. It was way far away and posed no danger to anyone. But as the instructor shouted "Stay away from the barn!" her turn became sharper until she was pointed directly at the big, red barn!

I suspect that her problem was that she focused on "not hitting the barn" instead of going straight.

That's a lot like when in business we are focused on preventing a result instead of focusing on the result we do want. We often end up "hitting the barn" instead of getting the result.

When I ski and I'm moving fast, I always need to focus on where I need to go and I consciously block thinking about obstacles that could cause danger. I know the danger is there, but I focus on where I want to go.

The same in business. Focus on where you want to go.

I'd love to hear any comments you've had, or...

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Faith and Gratitude: Critical Keys to Cash Management

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:

  • Loved their businesses
  • Had serious problems with accurate bookkeeping
  • Used financial reports that didn’t...
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The Five Key Mindsets of Good Cash Managers

A business owner’s mindset about cash management is the difference between having enough cash and struggling to meet expenses every day.

When I meet a business owner who struggles with cash flow, I ask, “Tell me about your business?” They can say whatever first comes to mind, and they usually tell me the good things, starting with whatever their business is known for and what’s going well.

  • “Our unique products are awesome! We can’t make enough!”
  • “We carry the best selection in the area and have service to back up the sales.”
  • “We have a contract with the power company that others would kill for.”
  • “Our systems can handle a lot more volume. We’ve figured this out to the last detail.”

People talk forever about the wonderful parts of their businesses. Those areas that the business was built around- marketing, products, software, services… anything that helped them grow sales.

The One Thing that...

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