Every business needs two things: numbers and faces. We need the faces to bring the numbers and the numbers keep us looking for more faces. For a business to continue to serve its faces, it needs to make its numbers. More than that, it needs to maximize its numbers. The output must be greater than the input for any business to be sustainable year after year.
As I leap into the role of a freelancer myself, I am confronted with this reality. Being strong in the people business while separated from the currency conversation, I find myself hitting a roadblock. If I want to share, facilitate and continue to work within this realm, I have to have the energy, the resources and the time to be able to do so. All of that comes with numbers.
People aside, I have had to shift my focus to the financial debate many of us wrestle with. What are my services worth? What am I worth? Will they pay? They should pay, this stuff is great. Right? Yes, right! Back and forth. Convincing, reminding, make-believing, that who I am and what I am here to share is, in fact, valuable and worthy of receiving numbers.
Money, income, capital gain. Whatever we name it, it is dictating the way most of us make decisions. Take the job or leave the one we are at, live where we do or move, take the trip or stay home. Choice after choice, we hand over the power to what's inside the wallet instead of what's inside the heart. And the hardest thing about it all, I get it. I, too, allow money to take me places both positive and negative, internally and externally.
When the power of numbers triumphs over the power of people, we all experience great loss. When we see faces as percentages and calculations, we dehumanize them. We forget their story. We reduce them to inanimate objects that fit patterns and trends.
When we forget that the essence of numbers is the people they represent, we lose touch with why we are in business in the first place.