The universal truths within great businesses – financial planning expert Simon Yates looks at some of the thinking and attitudes behind success
23rd November 2011
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In my lifestyle financial planning work, I’m privileged to be able to help clients – many of them business owners - to focus on what matters to them. In helping them to focus on what their money is for, I learn a lot too. Based on these day-to-day experiences - and with the help of some background research - there seem to be some Universal truths within great businesses. Here are some of them...

1. Positive or Negative?
There is a lot of negative news around. However, you’ll also see positive news if you choose to look for it. Focusing on the positive creates positive energy. My experience is that many successful people in business have positive energy. They have charisma. We want to associate with them because it makes us feel good. On the other hand, we don’t want to associate with people in business who are negative. They radiate the ‘wrong’ type of energy.

Scientists tell us everything is energy. Believe it or not, there have been scientific studies into the energy fields given off by human consciousness. One study measures the energy we give out on a scale of 1 to 1,000 (where 1 is ‘bad’ and 1,000 is ‘good’). Anything scoring below 200 is deemed as “destructive of life in both the individual and society...”  Anything over 200 is constructive rather than destructive. Apathy scores 50, Fear; 100, Anger; 150. Higher up the scale – over the ‘magic’ threshold of 200 - Acceptance scores 350, Love; 500, Peace; 600, Enlightenment; 700 - 1,000.
So, how can we use this knowledge of energy in business? It might be worth asking ourselves what type of energy we are giving out. Is it positive or negative? Where are we on the ‘energy’ scale? Our thoughts and the words created by those thoughts will attract or repel people. They attract or repel circumstances. They impact on our businesses. What we read, who we listen to, what we think, all impact on these energy levels.

How does this relate to money and financial planning? Well, step one is to be mindful of what we think about and what we focus our attention on. Having a financial plan based on our desired lifestyle is one way to focus our thoughts and create what we want based on those thoughts.

2. Love or Fear?
Most of the successful business owners I work with love what they do. They know that doing something out of love feels better than doing something out of fear. It’s not all about the money. They understand that going to work and focusing on what they love has more power than just going to work because of the fear of having no money. Looking at the ‘energy’ scale mentioned above, this seems to explain why this attitude creates more success than an attitude based on fear.

3. Service or Money?
I’ve spotted a paradox about money. The more we want it, the more elusive it seems to be. Conclusion: it’s not about the money. Just focusing on the money doesn’t seem to work.

So, if it’s not just about the money, what IS it about?

Money is an energy that we receive in exchange for what we bring to the world. In other words, when we are ‘in service’ for somebody else, focusing solely on what they want, rather than the money we will earn, paradoxically the money seems to appear. Whilst my business-owner clients know what is happening with the money, this often isn’t the primary driver in the business.

Don’t just take my word for it. Steve Jobs is quoted as saying: “I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”

Maybe a good question we should ask ourselves is: “If our business is not just about the money, what IS it about? What difference are we making in the lives of our clients or customers? What difference are we making in the world?”

4. Dictate or Encourage?
Another successful trait I’ve noticed with successful business owners is their ability to surround themselves with the right people. They have a team around them who share in that success.

In teams, nobody wants to be dictated to. Nobody wants to be ‘managed.’ According to the business book Be Your Own Guru, “successful companies employ successful individuals.”

What this appears to mean is that we all have internal motivation – if we can find it. The key to unlocking the potential within teams and companies is to unlock the potential within individuals.

Successful companies don’t just employ the best people. They understand that companies are really just places where human relationships operate at their best. They help their people to unlock their potential and encourage them to become the best they can be. They encourage rather than dictate.

I’ve started to bring some of these skills into the services we offer at Yates & Co.

5. Intuition or Logic?
Also referred to as ‘right brain’ or ‘left brain’ thinking.

From my experience, the best businesses have a head and a heart; they blend intuition and logic. It is sometimes described as ‘whole brain thinking.’ Some books even describe it as masculine and feminine energy. That might encourage some debate!

Harnessing the power of your ‘right brain’ and following your heart and intuition seems to be the best way to create something great in your life or your business. ‘Left brain’ logic is really useful for checking that the numbers add up and for getting the right processes in place.

To quote Steve Jobs again: “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly; have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What blend of thinking styles do you have in your business? The best businesses blend different thinking styles together.

6. Life or Money?
Life isn’t about money. Life is about living. Money merely helps us to do what we feel is important.

So, what is important to you? Even Steve Jobs couldn’t take the money with him when he moved on. Successful business owners seem to understand this principle. They somehow realise that it’s not all about the money. In our work with clients, we remind them that the game of life isn’t just about filling your financial bucket so that you die rich. True wealth comes from living richly. On your last day here, before you die, when you look backwards, what will you regret NOT doing?

The freedom created by real wealth management comes from knowing what is available in your financial bucket and knowing what you can spend on living life fully, free from the fear of running out of money.


Go to download the E-booklet “Discover The 7 Questions You’ve Probably Never Asked Yourself About Money” and find out why those people who can answer them have more freedom to spend than everyone else.

Simon Yates is a lifestyle financial planner at Yates & Co Financial Planners based in Grey Friars in Chester. Contact him at

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