Shooting The Messenger

There were many years when I was in the position of being the reporter on the position of the funds (meaning a CFO).  I often felt like carrying a sign that said “I don’t spend it, I just count it!”  It was something about shooting the messenger.

And that’s what often happens in our money thinking.  We shoot the messenger.  Money is the messenger.  Money in itself has no value judgment, no right or wrong thinking.  Money is the least opinionated friend you’ll ever have.  If just reports what’s going on.  Money says “made $30, lost $50”, just like that, no more, no less.

All the judgments and opinions about money come from us.  We decide whether it’s good or bad.  Money, of itself, is totally neutral.  And because of our judgments and opinions, and the emotions we have around those judgments and opinions, we often just don’t want to hear what money has to tell us.

What does money have to tell us?  Well, money tells us what’s working and what’s not.  Following the money shows us where the system is asking for help, and where it’s smoothly running.  It’s one of the delights of financial statements.  A company’s financials tell you what’s working well, and where the problems are.  If customers aren’t paying invoices it shows up in the Accounts Receivable and it points to a problem.  Somehow, the customers aren’t happy.  Now we know where to look to help the company.

So what would it be like to actually listen to what your money has to say to you?  What might the information it could give you, without emotion, help you to see?  And what if you could set aside your emotions and opinions about what money is telling you long enough to see what it is really saying?