I’ve never understood why money was a taboo topic.

I’ve never been ashamed of how little or how much money I’ve had in my bank account.

And perhaps this is because

  • I grew up in a low-socioeconomic household, so I learnt quickly to base my self-worth on other things and
  • I worked as a bank teller and realised that just because you look rich, well-off, or comfortable financially doesn’t mean you are.

So when I started my business nearly 8-years-ago, I found it strange that no one wanted to talk about how much they earned or what their hourly rate was.

Everyone tiptoed around the subject and talked in loose terms (6-figure salary I’m looking at you).

But I’ve noticed a change recently, business owners are starting to share their monthly income reports.

At first I was like this is great; finally some transparency in the sector. Now I’m not so sure.

Here’s why I think we’ve started down a dangerous slope.

If you’re not making over $100k then the assumption is that your business is not doing well. Too bad if you only want to work part-time or if your sweet spot is $75k. We’re hooked on this idea that growth and making more money should be our number one goal and measure of success.

It’s easy to throw around dollar amounts and let people fill in the blanks. Sure, you had a successful 5-figure launch, but does that mean $10k or $99k? There’s a big difference. And how much of that was profit vs gross income?

How much energy, resources and income did you need to invest to make said amount? I’d argue that if a business owner nearly killed themselves to make $5k one month while another person only needed to bring on one new client and did so with a single Insta post that you can’t really compare them. Yet, we are starting to compare businesses based on how much money they say they make.

Only people who are what society deems ‘financially successful’ are sharing and this isn’t a true representation of the industry. When the idea is to use your income as a selling point, a way to create credibility and trust, it doesn’t make sense to talk about that one month when you made $0 or how most business owner’s income fluctuates month on month.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share how much you make or be transparent about what it costs to run a business. But I do think we need to be mindful of why we are sharing and the way we are sharing our income statements.

If you’re sharing your salary to connect with your community then make sure you’re being open, honest and transparent. And if you’re comparing businesses based on their monthly income statements, don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper and ask the hard questions.

Now over to you.

I’d love to know:

  • Does knowing a person’s income increase the likelihood that you’d work with them?
  • OR and let’s be honest here, do you like knowing monthly profit info so you can gauge how your own business is doing compared to others?

Let me know in the comments.

Featured image from Unsplash.

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