The meaning of the term “money” has definitely changed over the years.

As a business owner, we are constantly talking about money. Whether it’s about making money, losing money, bank financings, line of credit, working capital, or profit margins — I think you get the picture.

Money has so many meanings and connotations when used in the context of running your business. And I wanted to share some reflections about money — both personally and professionally.

Money has evolved a lot. When I was a child, I vividly remember my piggy bank that held all of my pennies, nickels, quarters. Every few months, I would wrap the coins in the special paper tubes to bring to the bank to receive my $5 dollar bill, if I were to be so lucky.

I remember traveling as a teenager and calling my parents collect several times and how relieved I was to hear them tell the operator “yes, we will accept the call” when I had no money to make a call from a pay phone. When was the last time you used a pay phone? At what age did your children get their first cell phone? As adults today, how naked do we feel if we forget our cell phones? We feel disconnected with the world. It’s a scary feeling.

Given the Lehman Brothers collapse, the Madoff scandal, the banking crisis, and the mortgage industry meltdown, do we ever really think about the safety of our money sitting in our local bank? Will it be there for our future? Do you really understand what it means that your money is FDIC Insured?

An old cliché about money asks, “Can money buy happiness?” What do you think? I would rather have it than not, but money doesn’t define me. Of course, I personally want enough money to afford me the things that are important in my life (shelter, food, college tuition, charity). I certainly don’t think I would be human if I did not mention a few luxuries like vacations, etc.

Is money a scorecard of your professional success? Do you think your life would really change if you made a lot more money? Would you live a different lifestyle – would you buy more things – would you be happier?

A few “money” quotes that I found interesting:

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

Yogi Berra

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.

Henry Ford

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.

Anonymous

We hear about the cashless society that is eventually going to define our future. Perhaps it’s actually now here with mobile payments, Google Wallet, and PayPal. There are so many other technologies that affirm that we as a population will no longer be carrying a physical wallet in the years to come (even family photos are now uploaded to our smart phones).

There’s no conclusion or aha moment to this article. I was just jotting down a few thoughts which hopefully will spark some additional thoughts for you. Amazing to think how in just a few short years, money has changed so much.

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