Frameworks & Finance

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The path to mastery

frameworks Aug 25, 2022

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Earlier this year I reread the book Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

This book details his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and his approach to psychology known as logotherapy.

Logotherapy is defined by as a therapeutic approach that helps people find personal meaning in life.

While in the concentration camps, Dr. Frankl observed the other prisoners and their response to suffering.

Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.

While I don’t agree with everything in the book, there was something that hit me really hard.

Those that lost hope died.

But those that found something to strive for, found something to hope for, lived.

Man doesn’t need balance, but a struggle towards a worthwhile, and freely chosen, goal.

It’s through the struggle that they found meaning and found a reason to continue to live on.

In the same way, when we’re struggling to find direction, we often watch other people go about their lives and think “Well they have it all together, why can’t I get that clarity?”

It’s easy to self-pity and self-sabotage.

By reacting this way, we’re almost assuring we won’t get the success we desire.

It’s only through identifying your “why” and then taking action that you’ll be able to pull yourself out of that rut.

What Frankl saw in them was this deep desire (that can be applied in any area of life) to have a goal… to know their “why.” That desire is in all of us.

But the thing is, we think that the why will just reveal itself. It doesn’t, though.

The why is revealed through action.

Take one step, learn a little something, then iterate and take the next.

It’s through this process that we find our passion and our path.

This desire for meaning, for doing well, is something that actually gets revealed as we get better. That’s because it’s in mastery that we start to find passion.

I like the way Jordan Rayner said it in his book Master of One:

There is no end to the path of mastery. Mastery is not a destination, but a life-long journey of continually honing our crafts in order to more effectively declare the excellence of our creator and serve those around us. Always believing that better is possible.

So, how do we get to mastery? We get to mastery through intentional practice.

We do this through:

  • Setting specific goals

  • An intense focus

  • Getting rapid feedback

  • Being comfortable with discomfort

This process refines us.

It reveals what our desires are and then opens up the path for us to chase it.

So, next time you’re struggling and not sure what to do, just take one step. Then another, then another.

As you start down a path, you’ll find just enough clarity for the next step, then the next.

Eventually, you’ll realize you’re way down the path towards your original goal or a new one you found that suites you better.

Happy “hunting” and embrace the process.



Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

What a boring topic, you say. Well, yes… but just stick with me for a minute.

GAAP is the standards, rules, and procedures issued by FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) that must be followed by public companies.

This is mainly used in the US and IFRS (or International Financial Reporting Standards) is used all around the world. While there are key differences, we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about the why of accounting standards.

GAAP consists of 10 Principles (source):

  1. Principle of Regularity: GAAP-compliant accountants strictly adhere to established rules and regulations.

  2. Principle of Consistency: Consistent standards are applied throughout the financial reporting process.

  3. Principle of Sincerity: GAAP-compliant accountants are committed to accuracy and impartiality.

  4. Principle of Permanence of Methods: Consistent procedures are used in the preparation of all financial reports.

  5. Principle of Non-Compensation: All aspects of an organization’s performance, whether positive or negative, are fully reported with no prospect of debt compensation.

  6. Principle of Prudence: Speculation does not influence the reporting of financial data.

  7. Principle of Continuity: Asset valuations assume the organization’s operations will continue.

  8. Principle of Periodicity: Reporting of revenues is divided by standard accounting periods, such as fiscal quarters or fiscal years.

  9. Principle of Materiality: Financial reports fully disclose the organization’s monetary situation.

  10. Principle of Utmost Good Faith: All involved parties are assumed to be acting honestly.

So why does this matter to you?

First, creditors and lenders often ask for GAAP financials.

Second, they provide consistent, clear, and comparable financials.

This helps you, as a business owner or leader, as you make decisions.

Without consistency, you’ll always second guess them.

Without clarity, you’ll never be able to draw out any value.

Without comparability, you won’t know “the story” of your numbers.

While you may never understand all the principles and rules, you should understand what type of financials you’re looking at and why that’s important.




Thank you for reading--see you again next week.

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