Daily I’m asking people about their business numbers and what their financial business targets are, often I would feel myself in despair as very few people would know their numbers, let alone are setting financial targets.

The common thread I’m noticing is, people are in overwhelm and fixated on filling a schedule with content. I repeatedly get the image of a factory churning out sweets with not enough staff to pack them in boxes. End result, complete overload and waste.


Why churn out content without consideration of what you want to achieve?

I’ve quickly learned, people don’t value marketing if they don’t attach business numbers to their Social Media and marketing efforts.

Serena Dot Ryan

There’s a reason I fixate on numbers. If we haven’t set a baseline in the beginning we don’t know where we are starting from. If we haven’t tracked the numbers in the beginning, we don’t know what impact (positive or not) has been made.

This leads me to share my challenges, successes and failures with numbers. I truly want others to learn from my experience and ensure they are not spending money on what they don’t need. I want people to have the ability to make informed choices.

Failing Accounting at University 3 means I had a shaky start to my own financial education. The fact is I want to demonstrate, the future can be re-written. When we focus and commit to changing it.

I have immersed myself in numbers personally and professionally. This has led to some interesting situations, including going to Accounting Conferences, listening to Personal Finance and Cloud Accounting Podcasts, reading and listening to books on finance and financial education, working with Accountants and Bookkeepers and even creating a Personal Finance Podcast.



A defining book for me is called ‘Thou Shall Prosper’ by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. 

One of the principles Rabbi Lapin talks about as key to success is being comfortable talking numbers in all aspects of personal and professional life.

Rabbi Lapin emphasizes ‘the more you talk about numbers, they become second nature and increase your ability to become more successful.’ This has inspired me to live and breathe numbers, personally and professionally.

I found myself talking at any given opportunity about my numbers. It was a chance encounter with someone having financial distress that led me to create ‘Adding Up,’ the podcast to document and talk about my numbers (my failures and experiences).

I know how valuable it is to learn from others and their experiences. We all shouldn’t have to feel like we are reinventing the wheel individually.

Serena Dot Ryan with Cliff Ravenscraft
Serena Ryan with Cliff Ravenscraft at Social Media Marketing World

When the opportunity came up to interview Cliff Ravenscraft about his debt journey I jumped at it. Whilst I have mentioned on each of the first seven episodes of the Adding Up Podcast that I would from time to time interview guests about their financial experience and/or expertise, I was excited at the thought Cliff Ravenscraft would be the first guest.

When it comes to educating others on their numbers I have created a series of videos explaining the foundations of digital marketing numbers.


Whilst not everyone needs to know their numbers if they want to work with me, they do need to be willing to learn and set their baseline numbers so success can be measured.

When the opportunity to be a budgeting case study for The Sydney Morning Herald came up, I said YES. It’s important to look at numbers in context, not just as making money. Talking about my personal budget was the opportunity to demonstrate talking about numbers in context.

Saving money, reducing overheads and being creative with what you have can call contribute to success. If you only focus on making money, you miss opportunities.

Serena Dot Ryan

At a glance, in the article ‘How Different Generations Plan To Spend Their Tax Refunds‘ seeing the budget break downs by each of the 4 generations I could see my debt and my lifestyle decisions that have led me to be where I am. Seeing how much is going on debt doesn’t necessarily look good. Or does it?

On reflection now, I see it is not good or bad, but rather, knowledge is power. Knowing my numbers I have an active choice to maintain or change my situation. Personally I’m become debt free through knowing my numbers. 

This is no different in business. Professionally because I know my numbers, I’m increasing my efficiency and growing my business and enabling others to do the same through my services.

It may be hard for some to talk numbers, but if you don’t have the clarity around them, how can I help you make informed decisions on where and how to allocate your marketing budget?

We have to talk numbers right from the beginning for the best opportunity of achieving your business goals. Creating content is a waste if the expectation is not set up front.

How can I expect others to be educated on and talk numbers if I don’t?

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