Cash: King, Master or Servant?

By Chuck Sink | January 9, 2013

By Chuck Sink

money spigotWe all want to make money, earn money, save money. Make no mistake. If you want to design and build the physical manifestation of your dreams, all it takes is money.

So how do you view cash, the most liquid form of money? For any business, having sufficient cash on hand keeps operations running. Cash can be summoned to fix all kinds of problems. Having abundant cash on hand provides investment leverage to lift a business up to a higher level.

In business, what’s the bottom line really all about? Cutting to the chase it’s always about making more money and keeping more money, and there is nothing wrong with that. I’m striving to grow my business, primarily in revenues so I will have enough cash on hand to hire people and buy things that will better serve my clients. I want to help my clients grow their businesses because, should I repeatedly fail in that endeavor, I’m out of business!

But looking at cash reserves as an end rather than a means is a dangerous viewpoint. I used to set sales, revenue and personal income goals as my primary objectives to be reached. The question became, then what? The easy answer was, if I had enough cash, then I could purchase things to make life better. Make life better…  In truth I just want to make life easier!  My mother used to say, “Money isn’t everything but it sure can smooth over the rough edges.”

Cash is merely a tool and a powerful one indeed. People ask how high you want them to jump if you dangle enough cash over their heads. Everyone needs cash to survive economically, whether earned or gifted. It’s amazing how enterprising and industrious a sloth will become when his gifts run out and necessity beckons.

I’ve been musing about money and many thoughts came to mind about the positive things cash can help accomplish. The more I thought about it, a list began to form as to how an ethically centered business would view cash.

Cash is:

A tool | An enabler | A means | A replacement for work | A commodity of the wealthy | Grease | Wheels | Speed | Help | A gift | Proof | Influence | A substitute | Power | A yes answer | Security | Repair | Bailout | Incentive | Opportunity | Magnanimity in motion | A SERVANT… What else can you think of?

Cash is also very shy, elusive and discriminating. It only follows value – value in the eyes of the beholder.

There is a marketing lesson here! What of value do you give in exchange for cash? Define it! Communicate it with precise clarity to an audience treasureof beholders and you will unlock the vault. Customers will come to you. They will travel farther, wait longer and pay more for your product and service.

There is a moral to this essay. Remember this as you gratefully serve your customers and community: Any legacy you build with money stays right here when you go. Be mindful about what you really treasure within your heart.

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