The Thrilling Power of… Discipline?

Today, I had an inspiring meeting with my financial planner. We had a very stimulating conversation that helped me make some important (and exciting!) decisions about the future of Relish. Six years ago, my primary focus was on delivering superior work for my clients and fostering great relationships along the way – both with clients and with the professionals I worked with. I certainly didn’t imagine myself being as engaged as I am by things like investments, cash flow and P&L statements.

Okay, it’s not those specific business components that have me so energized. It’s the discipline of financial planning – and what a powerful force it can be for the business. In the beginning my financial objectives were pretty simple: don’t spend more money than was necessary to get the work done. Pretty soon, I began to think ahead three months, six months, then a year. And, I started to consider how resources – like staff and vendor relationships – aligned with the business goals. All the while, I measured the financial distance between where we were and where we wanted to be.

Actually, the discipline of financial planning is a lot like the discipline of brand development. You start with specific objectives – what does your brand need to communicate, reinforce and do for your business? Where, how and under what circumstances will people experience your brand (online, in print, in person)? And, of course, how far are you from where you want to be? From there, you work with a professional to establish guidelines and metrics to take your business forward toward your goals.

In both cases, it’s all about the same things: Defining what you want to achieve. Developing the strategies and ideas that will help you get there. Measuring impact against objectives. And, partnering with right professionals who can help you get where you want to go.