Saturday, July 10, 2010

Financial Art~An Interactive Art Experience...


Thanks to everyone who came by and participated! By the end of the show, we had about 300 wishes/prayers/hopes fluttering in the wind. So, what does it all mean? Why the crayons? Why the overly simplified pie charts? Here’s the story:

Last year we launched our Financial Boot Camps. The results we’re seeing are phenomenal. In the Boot Camps we do brief, hopefully powerful, Money 101 trainings, teaching, or exercises. This January the crayon pie chart was the Money 101 topic.

The accountant in me questioned the exercise that the right side of my brain had created.

But the right side of my brain, the creative side that has been fed and nurtured by a lot of research into the psychological and emotional aspects of our relationship with our money said: Forge on!

The boot campers drew their pictures, first "How I spend my money," and then "How I want to spend my money."  As they were sharing their pictures and explaining what they’d drawn, one boot camper, "Chloe", had a rather large part of her "How I spend my money" going to her past. This surprised me. I know a lot about her financial situation, and I know that she has little, if any debt. So what was going to her past?

[caption id="attachment_167" align="alignleft" width="175" caption="Chloe's "How I Spend My Money""][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_166" align="alignright" width="175" caption="Chloe's "How I Want to Spend My Money ""][/caption]









She said was spending all this money (and time, and physical energy) on her rental properties every time one of them changed renters. She hated it. It was dragging on her. Most of her rental properties she had once lived in, and thus, she saw it as her past. The accountant in me wanted to tell her she’d done the drawing wrong. Rental properties are assets, investments, spending on your future. That portion should have gone into her "Future" section. But the creative in me sat on my hands and listened.

Then, rather amazingly, over the course of the next 4 months she:

  • discussed the drawing with the Boot Camp,

  • then her spouse, and

  • then their financial planner.

  • She made a decision to put one of the rental properties on the market.

  • They slowed the home improvements they were spending time and money on.

  • They got an offer; the buyer said stop ALL work immediately.

  • They went into escrow.

  • The house sold.

  • The money now sits in an investment that does not require time, or physical energy, or monthly reinvestment.

Most importantly, Chloe has peace of mind. She feels much happier and much more aligned with how she wants to be spending her money, her time, and her physical energy. She has her weekends back, and she has her money solidly invested.

All from a crayon drawing.

So why do I think that a crayon drawing so inspired Chloe? Sometimes we work so hard to make the perfect spending plan, and have the perfect financial plan, and we balance our checkbooks to the penny. Yet something still isn’t quite right. Sometimes, the calculations, and the financial advice, and the reports aren’t the answer. Sometimes, using a crayon, evoking the 5 year old within, creatively looking at how we “are” living our life, and how we say we “want” to live our life, provides the greatest inspiration to find financial clarity.

Stay tuned as we continue to tell the story of Financial Art ~ An Interactive Art Experience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Extraordinary Connection with Your Business’ Finances

I love financial tools! Excel, Quickbooks and Microsoft Money are just fun. Today’s software lets me fly creatively when I’m trying to help a client understand how their business is doing, what’s working, and what’s not.

But as with most things there is a flip side to the amazing software we have at our fingertips. Quickbooks, meant to bring simplicity to accounting, easily becomes a behemoth, spitting out 3 page reports that no one could understand or connect with. And that is the point, the goal, of accounting: to connect with your finances. It’s not all about filing your tax return at the end of the year. It’s about understanding your business and the financial impact of your decisions and activities. Your numbers should tell you a story, a story that you feel connected to.

My first experience with accounting was at 19, bookkeeping for my family’s business, the The Buz Buszek Fly Shop. I used ledger paper. I don’t feel old enough to be saying that, but I guess I am. Today, one of my tenets for those who are having a difficult time connecting with their finances  is to pull out the old ledger paper.

[caption id="attachment_135" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="The Old Fashioned Way"][/caption]

I’m not suggesting you literally do your accounting on ledger paper. What I do mean, though, is to get a pencil out, and a calculator, and a piece of paper. Write down, every single month, the 8 to 12 numbers that are really important to you. Not the 50 or 100 numbers that Quickbooks is telling you. Just the 8 to 12 numbers that help you feel connected to your business.

If you’d like to learn more about having an extraordinary connections with your finances, I’m being interviewed by Marcia Brixey on July 6th at 11:30am as a part of her Money Wise Women Get Smart Teleseminar Series. You can participate by signing up at:

You’ll also find a lot of great past teleseminars you can listen to. A personal favorite of mine is Mikelann Valterra’s interview  “Earn at Your Potential: Embracing the Seven Challenges.”

Happy learning!