If Words Were Money (How would you spend them?)

If we thought about our words in the same way we think about our money, what would change? 

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately with people reading ‘The Barefoot Investor’. One consistent theme I am hearing is that this book has caused them to think deeper about what they are doing with their money. The popularity and success of the book would suggest it is having a similar impact on many others. 

It caused me to reflect

‘What would it be like if every word that left my mouth was assigned a dollar value?’.

How would this simple thought affect the way I communicate as a leader? 

If every word that left my mouth had financial value attached to it, I would likely:

1. Invest More Intentionally

When you invest money, it is for the purpose of seeing a return. You don’t need to be a financial wizard to recognise that when you are pouring money into an investment that has no return, it’s time to change your approach. The same is true with our words, if you find yourself having the same conversations, saying the same things without seeing a positive return, without seeing progress or change, maybe it is time to think about where and in who your words are being invested. 

2. Spend More Wisely 

We don’t spend all our valuable money on junk items. In the same way we shouldn’t spend all of our valuable words in cheap conversations. By cheap conversations I refer to the type of conversations that have no lasting impact and serve no real purpose e.g divisive, slandering, gossiping, degrading or inconsequential conversations.

3. Give More Generously

Just like giving someone the gift of money can make a huge difference, so too can the gift of words. Meaningful words can take only a moment of our time but can have a lasting impact for those we share them with. Take the time to acknowledge the success of others, inspire, show value or express gratitude. Be generous with your words. 

4. Save More Regularly

We save our money for important moments. If we did the same with our words, it would look like – listening more than we speak. It would mean holding your tongue when you feel the urge to splurge. Then it would look like speaking because you have something valuable to say, not just because you need to say something. 

Our words might not have a dollar figure attached to them, but a word never leaves our mouth without consequence. What are the consequences of your words? Perhaps these consequences would be easier to think about if we attached financial value to them. Regardless, we should never underestimate the impact and weight of our words.

What are some of the things you would change or do more of? Has this got you thinking? I’d love to hear your thoughts.