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Financial Statements or Dental Cleaning? What Causes More Angst?

Lying in my dental hygienist’s chair the other day, I could feel my body stiffen in fear that her evil cavitron machine with its high-pitched grinding sound and water spout might touch a sensitive spot. I could feel myself fighting her, not wanting to open too wide and give her a wider zone in which to work than I absolutely had to.

I thought to myself, “What a way to make a living, not knowing if, with each zuzzing of that machine, you were going to cause your patient to jump like a defibrillated cardiac patient?” “I could never do what she’s doing,” I said to myself.

Then I thought about what I do, coaching business leaders to use their numbers to improve their businesses. I then wondered if numbers, which are the instruments of my business, strike as much fear in my followers as the cavitron does in their hygienist’s chair.

“I certainly hope not,” I said as I stiffened even more at the thought of that possibility. “C’mon”, I said to myself. “All I do is help owners see their businesses in the mirror, the mirror being their numbers.” “How painful can that be?” I mean, I help them understand their balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow, price their goods, improve their controls, raise capital, double or triple their profits and sell their companies.

How painful can that be? I suppose some might feel they’d rather get a dental cleaning than use numbers to influence their business decisions and I’d have to accept that, even though my feelings might be hurt a little bit.

But my mission is clear and no amount of hurt feelings will deter me from being the next great Marvel Comics character, Numbers Man. I will press on, fighting the forces of poor financial management and catch falling business leaders in mid-air and deliver them safely to the rooftop of their dreams.

To those who don’t like numbers and clench their office chairs when reading their financial statements, like I did my dental chair, I say learn and use them anyway, for your own good and the good of your employees. Especially since you have a coach (Numbers Man) at your disposal to numb the pain.

Remember, just like the cavitron, the numbers are your friend and are for your own good. I can’t remove your fear of the cavitron, but I guarantee I can remove the plaque clogging your business finances.

For actionable steps to give your business finances a cleaning, follow me on LinkedIn.


For how to use your income statement to increase profits, check out my blog series called “What’s In Your Margin (Part I, Part II, and Part III)”.

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