N is for Net Worth

This is both an interesting and a challenging prompt from Joan for The Eight Days of New Year BALANCE exercise: net worth.

Conventionally, we think of net worth as our financial position when our liabilities are subtracted from our assets. However, I agree with Joan that money is not the only thing that determines our net worth.

To me, money is a tool, one that allows us to live in a world of exchanges of value. We use money in exchange for food to sustain our health, safety from the elements in the form of a roof over our heads and clothes on our bodies, services provided by others to make our lives easier, and so on. To me, money has never been an end in itself.

In a society that has you counting money, pounds, calories, and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings instead.

Lisa Heckman

Among my assets I count not only what’s in our bank accounts and our modest material possessions. I also count

  • my cognitive abilities
  • my sunny and calm disposition
  • my history and experience
  • my education and skills learned
  • my good reputation
  • my deeply loving relationship with my soulmate
  • my extensive and kind network of family, friends and friendly contacts
  • my continued ability and potential to earn
  • my generosity and profound sense of enoughness, and
  • my faith in humanity and our future (at least in the medium-term)

Self-worth takes you further than net worth.

Matshona Dhliwayo

From a financial perspective, I have few liabilities, as we owe no debts to anyone or any bank. And yet, I can count my current state of medical needs as a major liability—the cost of my medical care is horrendous, piling up fast, and is sapping our meager savings that were earmarked for a major move and to cushion eventual retirement.

As well, the on-going pandemic lockdown (soon starting our 22nd month) I see as a partial liability. At least it’s a hindrance to doing what I’d rather be doing. This even as I continue to appreciate that otherwise not being free to move around much has been a silver lining. The pandemic itself reduces my safety while my immune-system is vulnerable and compromised.

How do I truly feel about where I stand with my net worth, subtracting the few but significant liabilities from my self-declared rich assets as we close out 2021?

I’m feeling a bit apprehensive going into 2022. Not the “keep me awake at night” kind of apprehension. Just enough jitters knowing we somehow need to raise funds to continue paying for my expensive treatments.

When I put marketing my consulting work on pause in order to focus on self-care, I knew this day would come. Yet I hold the confidence that with effort on my part, the universe will provide. New clients seeking my guidance have come in through referrals. We own artworks and crafts and other useful things we can offer for sale. I’m counting on other ideas to come forth in the months ahead.

A couple of lovely dear friends have generously stepped up (without my asking) to contribute funds to a “make Francisca healthy kitty.” Perhaps needless to say, and this heroine can’t afford to be too proud to ask, I’d thankfully welcome others to do so. I’d be grateful for any outright gift or an offer in an exchange for a service I can provide. If inspired to help me, connect with me privately.

And please, if you are a friend reading this, let there be no guilt associated with my ask: I know these are especially difficult times and so many have their own financial troubles. I completely respect that. Your love and support are precious to me.

Our net worth is ultimately defined not by dollars but rather by how well we serve others.

Paul Allen

What comes up for you when you consider your net worth? Has my perspective in any way altered how you think of it?

PS. Just reminding you that comments are moderated (I get a fair bit of spam comments) but after approved, I always reply, so do return to read it.


  • I am most struck by the following:
    Self-worth takes you further than net worth. Matshona Dhliwayo

    If your net worth is in the high negative range, you may be able to handle it if your self-worth is solid. So long as the self-worth not tipping over into delusion, arrogance, narcissism, and the like.

    May 2022 be a time of nurturing and nourishing the self-worth

    • Jill, I’d go so far as to say that true self-worth, like self-love, is the antithesis to delusion, arrogance, etc, as the latter stem from personality disorders (to whatever degree). They are not, to my mind, on the same continuum or spectrum. 🌸🙏🌸

  • Francisca, your ‘ask’ for support is so tender…and only a win-win for any of us who choose to respond. Certainly to offer you a hand is no trade-off at all, given the gifts you give in return as demonstrated by these blogs, your work, and leadership. We need more like you in the world and hope many ‘seed’ your kitty and reach out to get your help…you indeed support the joy in business!

    On to the prompt: I’m so glad to see how robustly you covered your take on this domain of the 8 day experience! It is mentioned in the content of the prompt to go into the 8 day experience and the workshop for Net Worth with only observation and no fear. You and these blog posts exemplify that, and in your mention of the ‘use’ of money, a net worth’s essential link to safety and more are the brilliant insights into the calm and confidence that is so possible and needed in ones world or the world…even where hopes are feeling tarnished.

    • Thank you for seeing me, dear Joan, and for your unwavering validation. So lovely to be in sync with you in this exercise. 🌸🙏🌸

  • I love this post Francisca. Thank you. Our ‘net worth’ is so vast and is many things. It brings meaning to our life. It is what spurs us on to continue when there are challenges. I wrote in my book that nourishing others with a smile or a tasty meal or listening and offering advice is what I will appreciate read in my eulogy. “Shared moments”

    • Ooooh, that’s music to my ears, Alison. And yessSS, how precious to be recognized for what we have given, not what we’ve taken. I appreciate you. 🌸🙏🌸

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