money-finance-bills-bank-notesWE SEEM TO MEASURE EVERYTHING in terms of money.

And that’s useful, for sure.  It gives us an easy way to compare value, to exchange value, and to measure things.

Too easy.

We have to be conscious that money is not the value itself.

For example, you want to have a sustainable business.  That means profitable on regular basis.  But sustainability really means that you are reliably delivering value to customers, and that they appreciate that so much that they’re willing to give you something in return.

Usually that’s money, but not always.

In a partnership, for instance, two businesses may be delivering services or products to each other.  You help bring customers to me, I help bring customers to you, and we’re both happy.  With no money specifically changing hands.

Sometimes business owners struggle with giving a deep discount to a particular customer in exchange for something intangible.  So we can try to translate that intangible value into monetary terms, and often that helps assess what kind of discount might be appropriate.

But sometimes that still doesn’t work, and you have to live with the fact that intangibles are sometimes … unmeasurable.  That’s where your values and principles can help guide a decision.

And that ends up feeling like “do the right thing, just because it’s the right thing to do.”  Refund that purchase just because it’s the way you want to be treating your customers.  Share information because you’re driven by generosity.

Not everything needs to be measured in money.