There are many things I do and many activities I am engaged in. To continue to do all these things and to help more and more people, I need to maintain financial stability. There are, in fact, many things that add up to and result in financial stability. Four of these are especially important and, if not present, will derail the financial stability of any person or activity. Through all stages of any activity I am engaged in (planning, establishing, and managing) I stay very alert to ensure the presence of these four factors. These factors are:
- Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.
- Manage your activity by numbers and statistics.
- Produce and deliver what is promised.
- Be honest in all that you do.
The first step in establishing any activity is having a good idea of what you want to establish or create. Write this down and work this out so that you have a clear idea what your goals and purposes are. Monitor this often enough to ensure that your plans, programs, and actions are aligned and will move the activity in the direction of your vision. This clear vision of what you want to accomplish acts as a guide in judging the appropriateness, importance, and urgency of different actions and projects. As time goes on and successes have occurred in an activity, this vision can be revisited, modified and expanded upon.
It is very important that all those working with you clearly understand and act in alignment with that vision. Having a clear vision and purpose is one fundamental to having a true group and a true team. Having this vision posted clearly for all to see helps to ensure that it can be easily referred to and will not be easily altered.
Know what you want to accomplish. Know what types of things need to occur so that these accomplishments do come about. Monitor these actions on a continual basis as to quantity and quality. This is a system by which you can manage an activity objectively.
This works with any activity – large or small. For the sake of example, let’s take a now somewhat old-fashioned profession: A door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman! This fellow, or his manager, could monitor the activity by keeping track of such numbers as:
- Number of doorbells rung or doors knocked on
- Number of potential customers spoken to
- Number of vacuum cleaners sold and delivered
- Revenue ($) in
You would monitor the numbers and manage by ensuring these numbers increased. Managing by numbers is very objective and practical. It disregards hearsay and rumor. These numbers would be reviewed by the person doing the function as well as the executive managing the activity or business.
Produce and deliver what is promised.
Whatever you are producing – whether a product or a service – it is essential that you deliver what you promised. The finances and long range viability of the activity are directly related to this.
If you promoted and promised a beautiful, shiny new blue car, that’s what you need to present and deliver. If you agreed with a customer that you would do an excellent job cleaning his two office buildings, you would follow through and ensure that occurred. Not only would you deliver what you promised, you would ensure this all occurred in a timely manner with sufficient communication so that your customers or clients felt fully cared for and understood.
Producing and delivering what is promised will result in happy customers or clients. It will also fully set the tone, morale, and standards for your whole organization. A major aspect of management is to insist and ensure that what is promised is delivered on a routine basis.
Be honest in all that you do.
A definition of “honesty” in the dictionary states:
“The quality, condition or characteristic of being fair, just and truthful.”
Keep it simple. Be honest. Do all of the above that we talked about but do it in a straightforward, truthful manner. Your honesty will be observed by your customers or clients and will result in repeat business and goodwill. It will also be observed and emulated by those you work with and who follow your vision. You are the leader and are the example for those you are leading – whether it is 1 employee or a crew of 1,000. Your honesty and integrity are two of your most valuable attributes.
Financial stability is essential for any individual or activity. Without it, there is stress and uncertainty and attention fixed on the past as opposed to planning and building a future. There are many more things that go into success. But the above four points constitute a solid foundation on which you can build. Applying these with foresight and intelligence will help you on your way to financial stability and viability.