PSU Insight

The Importance of "Running the Numbers"

Basic Arithmetic Skills Are All You Need

In future sessions you’ll consider “the obvious” answer to a question, and you'll see why the obvious answer is sometimes completely wrong. For example, my bio says that I’m an engineer by education and a computer geek by vocation. So the “obvious” conclusion is that I love math. Wrong. I hate math.

I never understood trig. Calculus was three challenging semesters of mumbo-jumbo. And a single semester of statistics almost caused me to flunk out of college altogether.

So, frankly, I hate numbers. But I respect them. And I’m not scared of them, as long as they stick to the basics — addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. (Percentages are OK too. Those are just numbers divided by 100.)

Fortunately, that’s all you need to manage your business and set your prices and fees — the basics. There’s almost nothing that you can’t do with the most basic of calculators.

And yet, armed with these basic arithmetic skills, you will soon discover something almost miraculous in its scope. Remember the “obvious” conclusion I just mentioned, about my loving math? You’ll explore numerous examples where the “obvious” answer — the answers that may be driving your decision-making process as you run your business — the “obvious” answer can be dead wrong.

Let me show you what I mean….