Who do you use as a sounding board? Jack Ganssle sees the value in having the right person to tell your troubles to -- if only just for a brain tune-up.
Many years ago, I dated a very successful lady of colorful character who, to my initial puzzlement, saw a shrink once a month.
Her reasoning was intriguing. She took her car in for a tuneup from time to time, and she had an accountant make sure her business's books were in order. She applied the logic of being proactive to avoid problems to her emotional health, as well. The monthly 50-minute sessions weren't to fix a problem; they were tuneup sessions where the shrink was an advocatus diaboli, asking the hard questions and questioning assumptions to keep her on track in life.
Unfortunately, I lost touch with her, though I heard she later married. Does she still keep those sessions? Many of us rely on our spouse to fill that role, though I can see some value in using an independent third party.
In the 1980s, I started a tools business with $400 in the bank. We expanded quickly, which meant cash was always in short supply. Sometimes really short supply. If you've ever had employees, you know that cash is the very grease of business; with money in the bank, you have options. Sans bucks, nothing works. Previously I had worked for a business that was woefully underfunded. Bob, the president, went through heroics to keep the doors open. The company went public; one auditor told me, "I have seen every trick this company has pulled before. But never all by one outfit." Bob tells of how, for 69 weeks in a row, there wasn't enough money the day before payday to make payroll for his 100 or so employees, but something always happened to make the checks good the day they were disbursed.
To say he was a creative financier would be a woeful understatement.
When things in my tool business would get tough, I'd call on Bob. With no notice, he'd generously give me a couple of hours to talk out the problems and explore solutions. I have no formal training in finance or business, but I got a degree in those subjects from the University of Bob. At 82, he's still a font of wisdom and a good friend, but, sadly, that generation is failing.
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