Numbers are a funny thing. We’re taught growing up that math is either right or wrong. Don’t try to imply some gray area in your answer or you’re going to fail the test. That is…unless you’re in politics.
Politics is a serious matter but some view it as a game. The game of President, Senator, Congressman, Mayor,et al. (You fill in what ever fits your fancy) to many is only to get their guy or gal elected to win the game. Numbers and statistics are looked on with the same reverence as fresh clay on a potters wheel to be molded and crafted into whatever vessel desired. But, and this is a very big BUT, not all will hold water.
In the world of business 1+1=2…..period! You are either making a profit or you’re not…..period! Only in the world of politics can you lose money, but make it up on volume. So what does it all mean?
In politics….Mr. Politician can bloviate on how he has created this, saved that, told those dastardly businessmen to do this, and the crowds cheer him on. But as time goes on you find yourself unemployed. You’re told not to worry, but the Bank or Landlord doesn’t accept that as payment. You hear the stock market is up over 50% this year….you think.. Great I’m back to even!….Not so fast….You’re still down 25% ( Funny thing that math stuff.) You hear the price of housing rose this month making a short term bottom…Once again not so fast….It fell 17.3% as opposed to an estimated 17.8…That’s a whopping .5% less. If your counting on selling your home as a retirement asset that equates on a $250K home to around …Drum Roll Please!….$406.00. I feel richer already. Wait you say…They said a 3% rise!…Oh yes, that’s correct….but it was 3% in the rate of change…NOT, your total asset price. Once again, funny how that math stuff works.
Years back there was a great analogy made in all the marketing circles that always brought things in perspective. To some it maybe tired, but some need to be reminded. It goes something like this…….
Company X calls an all hands on deck meeting to figure out why sales are in the hopper, and cash is bleeding from the coffers at an unsustainable rate. The CEO screams and demands answers. The best marketing has been put on TV, Radio, Print, and others. Huge amounts of money in free give a ways and product samples. Buyers and vendor liaisons have been wined and dined at some of the finest restaurants and venues to court sales. The finest research teams, and consultants to formulate and implement the sales strategy. But low and behold……No Takers…No Buyers…..Why?
As all the so called experts scratch their heads for an answer, a poor beleaguered average employee not invited to the original meeting of the minds says in a very low voice that resonates like the sound of thunder……..
The product tastes so bad…Even my dogs wont eat it….and they’ll eat anything!
Remember business and money is a 1+1=2 game. You have to break through the static to read the numbers. It’s up to you, and you alone to find information to back up the claims spewed everywhere throughout the media. Opinions are free…but more often than not…useless.
Relevant, reliable, actionable information is usually costly….but when used effectively……..It’s Priceless!