“Cheap storytelling is a cheap pattern writing machine. If there’s something that violates the pattern, if you incorporate it into the story, often it makes the story even richer. It’s at first blush uncomfortable, because you had this neat story. Sometimes the better stories are messier.” – Michael Lewis, bestselling author
I was happy to stumble across this quote from one of my favourite authors. It seemed a great reintroduction of our blog because:
- it addresses something I hope I can do in my writing and
- it applies to how I think you should look at your financial results.
Often people look to their financials to validate their feelings about how things are going. In those cases, you usually get one of two reactions: “These numbers look great!” or “Are you sure these numbers are right?” That’s like judging a book solely on the ending.
Good or bad, your financial statements contain a story about how your business is doing. That story is a collection of many details. Your bottom line may look good, but the story might be one of rising costs and unpredictable revenue. Or maybe you had a bad period, but a closer read reveals there are reasons to be optimistic about the next chapter and actions you can take to get to your happy conclusion.
What story do your financials tell? Follow along with me, as I tell some stories of my own.