“Why should we even have to talk about money? Isn’t it a dirty topic? Isn’t it a taboo?”
Today, we are taking a quick break from the High Performance Series (it will be back next Sunday) and talk about this often avoided topic — money. As I write this, I am preparing to attend a big learning event in Pasay City to increase my learning about wealth so that I may also grow in knowledge, application and results in this area of life. I encourage you to do the same. Or to many of you who are very much ahead of me, keep doing what you are doing and I hope we can have a conversation sometime soon to exchange ideas and insights over a cup of tea or coffee.
So does money really matter? What do you think? Let me tell you what I think…
It matters. We have to talk about money because money matters. But let me first clarify that money, definitely, is NOT the most important thing in life but we cannot ignore the fact that it affects the important things in life – like family, faith, friends and fitness. To help your family, you need money. To nourish your faith (perhaps by going to church), you need money – at least for your jeepney fare. To further assist your friends and build projects with them, you need money. To maintain your health, you need money to buy good food. It surely is not the most important thing in the world but it affects these important things.
It’s not dirty. It is neutral. Money is a tool. It is not bad or good. It depends on who uses it and how it is used. It can be bad if it is used by a bad person but it can be very good if it is used by a good person. It can be clean as the motives and intention of a good person using it. It is simply a tool that has to be used well in good ways. (Of course, it has to come from an honest way of earning, too.)
We might be committing a big mistake. We have been fooled by the portrayal of filthy rich people on TV shows, movies and comics. Most of the rich people shown there are bad who take advantage of the poor. While there may be rich people who are bad but not all of them are bad. Many of them are good. We have to understand this: Goodness does not even depend on how much you have. It depends on who you are. (Yes, there poor people who are good and there are also those who are bad.) Thus, stop associating evil with how much money a person has, rather, on who he or she is. Money does not make a person good or bad, it only reveals who the person is.
“But I don’t even have a lot so I do not want to talk about money. Can I just forget about it?” At times, when we don’t have the money we need and want, we tend to ignore money topics. But shouldn’t we talk about it more because we need it more? The more that we have less of it, the more that we need to learn more about it. It matters to talk about it. But of course, we could accept this unless and until we come to better understanding of what money is.
So, what is money for you? It is important to settle this issue…
Money is only a medium of exchange. Money is a symbol of value. To have money is to exchange something of value. That’s why when you offer a product of value, you get paid for a certain amount of money. That’s why when you render a service that helps people, you get paid for a certain amount of money. That amount of money is the quantified value of the product or service that you have given away.
Essentially, when we speak about money, we should speak about value. Ask questions like, “How can this product or service serve the customers or clients?” That’s how entrepreneurs make money. They give value to the society.
It is similar with employees. When an employee wants to increase his or her salary, he or she should ask how his or her performance and productivity can be improved to be able to deliver better results for the company. In turn, the company will benefit from his or her output and perhaps declare performance bonus or give salary increase, as appropriate. The company may even give away profit sharing for them – the employees.
In other words, money flows where value flows.
Let me repeat, we talk about money because it is necessary. It is part of life. It just needs to be anchored to its real purpose and with the goodness of the people using it. We talk about money because it matters. After all, money is a tool to further the goodness of life. In the end, it is not about money. It is all about the value being exchanged, it is all about the value being shared.
Let’s grow in our finances!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM – as an author, trainer and speaker – shares about leadership, high performance, communication, productivity and personal finance. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website www.chrisdaoanis.com.)