On of the various things I do for ventures I work with is build out financial models for them.
Stay with me…
Building a financial model is a highly creative art, I think, it is an exercise that requires one to be able to think holistically as well as in detail, to paint a picture with numbers and to make sure that it is pleasing to the eye, easy for the most simple of minds to see the message and complicated enough to create ‘aha’ moments for those who may be slightly more nuanced connoisseur of the dark art of financial modelling.
It is something that takes a lot out of me, not least because (even now) I feel the intensity of a migraine developing from the endless time squinting at the screen, trying to pick through a formula I may have written whilst either half asleep — or worse — in a moment of passionate inspiration that the great ones are prone to in the twilight hours but which, in the cold, steely light of day are so many blotches on the canvas of the spreadsheet.
To build a financial model, one must commune with the muses, to describe a whole business, the sweat and slog of it, the pain and thrill of it armed with no more than zeros, ones and a blank slate requires not just discipline but something that eats at your soul, the need for the numbers to kiss and draw from each other, to delight in their connection and to surprise in their versatility.
And to do it well requires the artist to hide away, to withdraw from those around them and to immerse themselves in the deepest of deep work, the sublime darkness of intensity when time is no longer meaningful, no longer present.
The delight and release as it comes together is nothing if not emphatic, but it leaves one drained, a shell of what they used to be, limp and bedraggled, red eyed and sallow.
Until the inspiration is upon you again, and with it, the joyful abandon that comes to all those that have the privilege to look at the world as an artist and bend it to their will.