Many of my blog posts speak directly to financial management. However, it’s only one tactic in my grand plan to live a more profitable life.
One definition of profit is “the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions.” A transaction can be anything really, couldn’t it? A friendship, a romance. If you “transact” with another human, you have the potential to profit.
However, for me, I’m far more interested in a profitable life; one where I receive more back than what I put in.
For fun, I’m going to extrapolate some classic financial techniques for profit into non-financial situations. (These are all off the top of my head so I’ll value your comments!)
How to Apply Profit Principles to a Profitable Life
Buy Low, Sell High
A classic way to make a profit to be sure. But do we ever apply this principle to our friendships? Our children?
For maximum profit, it would be wise to take another’s “lows” (their weaknesses, challenges, ignorances) and help grow them into their “highs.” This would mean spending more of our energy on helping others.
What to Do: Place more action verbs like bolster, educate, mentor, assist, and encourage in action in your life.
The “buy low, sell high” concept also speaks to an eventual release. Buying low and selling high implies a temporary arrangement. Not everything needs to be permanent.
What to Do: Do what you can to help and be willing to let them go out on their own.
Since the dawn of time, financial advisers tout the enormous benefits of compound interest.
Essentially, at the heart of compound interest is continual re-investment of profits into the principal.
Has anyone used this concept within a romantic relationship? What were the outcomes?
What to Do: Take every good feeling, sense of comfort, and moment of joy generated from your relationship and return it back into the pot? Reinvest your love into being a couple.
If the compound interest principle holds up, the relationship would grow larger and generate more positive returns.
In order to maximize profit, you need to minimize risk. Or so they say.
I think this is the concept behind balanced portfolios or stocks vs. bonds. Have you evaluated your social network with an eye to this “risk”? Do you have an unequal proportion of one type of friend over the others? Sure, it’s about helping your friends, but it’s also about being helped yourself.
What to Do: Ensure a well-rounded portfolio of friends.
I think entrepreneurial endeavors fall into this camp as well. Sure, take a risk. Start that business. Write that book. But ensure some safety net is in place to balance things out. j
Within the financial realm, appreciation is an increase in value. How can you grow your current relationship with others into a higher value to you?
One thought is a quantitative approach; simply increase the amount of transaction.
What to Do: Initiate and engage in more conversations, more phone calls, more coffee chats, more adventures with the people in your life.
Another way to increase the value of something is to assign it more importance. (A qualitative approach.)
What to Do: Move important things up in priority, put it on display, show it off. In short, practice gratitude. (By the way, this goes for humans just as easily as it does for possessions.)
I’m sure there are dozens of other financial management idioms that could be applied to real-life relationships, genuine human interactions. While making money is important, it’s who you spend with that is far more valuable.