Speaking of Money

Speaking of Money…

Why don’t we?

We all tend to agree that we need Money to do certain things, but is has become a secretive endeavor.

Sometimes the opportunities present themselves, but we have been trained, conditioned, or accustomed that Speaking of Money is not polite, appropriate, or “right.”

I was reflecting on two recent opportunities.

Opportunity #1: The back porch.

While vacationing with family recently we tended to sit on the back porch and have conversations that ranged from the silly to the sacred (A shout out to Iain for that riff.) Conversations included the weather, our plans for that day, what we liked about the previous day, what to eat, what to eat, and sometimes where to eat.

But it was the questions that came from the youngest ones that were the most fun.

“So you are my dad’s older brother?”

“Yes.”

“Really, so you grew up together?”

“Yes.”

“So you are saying that Grammie was your mom, and my dad’s mom?”

“Yes.”

This went on for quite sometime. But then there was another question.

“So, this place we rented to all get together is pretty nice, how much did it cost?”

“Um, Uh, Hmmmm, Not too much.”

“No really, I was wondering what it cost, like how much money?”

“Hey, what was your favorite part of yesterday?”

Opportunity #2: The Menu.

Recently we decided to go away for holiday and instead of the traditional making of a big meal with all the prep, serving, hosting, and cleaning, we just wanted the simplicity of showing up, eating, and leaving.

To help those involved know what we were having for dinner, I shared the menu. But instead of sharing the whole menu, I folded over the part with the pricing and shared the folded version instead.

Unsurprisingly, most people who took the menu, immediately unfolded the piece of paper.

It was my youngest who asked the questions this time.

“So this food seems good, but how much does it cost?”

“Well you know, not too much.”

“Why did you fold over the menu and the pricing?”

“Hey, did you pack an extra jacket in case it is cold?”

Two opportunities. Two total misses.

The conditioning, training, or whatever it was overrode the opportunity in the moment.

Speaking of Money shouldn’t be so awkward.

Speaking of Money shouldn’t be something that freezes us.

We should look for opportunities where Speaking of Money helps provide perspective, insight, or understanding of how things work.

We may need to embrace this awkwardness and start Speaking of Money when the opportunities come this way.

We want to convey why we spent the money on vacation because connecting with family was that important.

We want to convey why we spent the money on a holiday meal so that we would not have the typical stress associated with holiday preparation.

We want to convey a healthy understanding of the costs, the sacrifices, the choices, and the reasons.

In order to do that, we are going to have to start Speaking of Money a little more often.

 

What is in it for you?

We all need to earn a living right? There is work to be done and bills to be paid. Unless you are the heir to some fortune; we get up each day and head to work.

But money is not always the primary motivator.

A sense of accomplishment, making a difference, helping others, learning a new task, leading a project, or creative expression tend to be higher on the list for many people.

While coaching someone recently, they paused and asked a direct question.

“What is in it for you?”

Their question made me think about my own motivation and why I do what I do.  I thought about my sentence, or the guiding articulated reason behind a lot of my actions. It helped me develop a reply.

“Helping talented people find the right position that fits who they are.”

But their question was more profound than they perhaps imagined. It remained with me long after our time together. The question spurred others.

Why do we blog?

Why do we consult?

Why do we coach others?

Why do we create?

Sure sometimes it is to make a living, but not all of our hard work generates income. Except for a few rare cases, blogging doesn’t create cash-flow. Not all consulting is on the clock and billable. Not all coaching arrangements come with an invoice. Creativity is not always for the pursuit of an immediate reward.

If you are interested, Dan Pink does a great job of explaining some insight into what motivates us in his book Drive, and below is a 10 minute video summary of the book.

As you contemplate “What is in it for you?” Understanding your motivations and even your sentence may be a good place to start.