Why I Don’t Talk About Financial Metrics At Dinner

Posted by Rock LaManna

Why I Don’t Talk About Financial Metrics At Dinner resized 600

I was chatting with my marketing guy about what happens when I first meet clients.  He asked if I dive into the financial metrics of the business right from the get-go, but I told him I don’t like to work that way.

“The first night we go out to dinner, and I like to hear the client’s vision,” I said.  “I want to hear about their dreams.”  

Even though I base my strategies on a company’s financials, I sure as heck don’t want to ruin a nice dinner by reviewing their cost flow analysis.  The more I thought about it, however, the more it seemed less about ruining the dinner, and more about the time of the day.

Night is for Dreaming

You dream at night when you sleep, but the end of the day is also a good time to reflect.  

The workday is done, you’re relaxed.  Your mind has been focused for so many hours, and now it wants to wander.  And you’re happy to let it go.

You think back on what happened during the day, and you imagine something bigger, something better.  You start to dream about the future, and hopefully, you dream big.

That’s why a dinner out on the first night with the clients is a top priority.  I want to hear what they really want to do.  I want them to let their hair down, and think big.  Envision great things. 


And then, the next morning, when I meet them at their office, we measure those dreams up against reality.

Morning is for Doing

In the morning, we’re ready to match those big dreams of the previous night to the honest financial metrics of the company.

We don’t work from the financials to crush a person’s dreams.  We work from them to see how can we make it happen.  What’s realistic, based on the cash flow and the profit margins?   Based on the financials, how do we get from A to B?

Your financials are a reality check, yes, but they’re also a pathway to your dreams.  Use them wisely, but most importantly, make sure you use them.

Photo by: left-hand

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Topics: Lean Operations