Many people are travelling different roads on their journeys to next year's independence referendum.

Mine started when I decided to look for myself at the financial numbers in the debate.

As an international businessman of 30 years' experience, I've come to understand the importance of getting the numbers right. They tell their own stories. Before I get involved in any new business I always have a good look at the numbers. Making a decision about whether Scotland would be better off outside UK plc is no different.

All the data shows clearly that financially Scotland contributes significantly more to the UK than it takes out. Scotland's asset base in natural resources also puts us in a much better position to weather any future economic storms than being tied to a UK economy on casino-style financial services.

I am not a Nationalist. I have no allegiance or affiliation to any political party. One of the advantages of the Yes movement is that it brings together people from all walks of life and different political persuasions.

My background is in manufacturing. I run a number of businesses in Scotland, England and across Eastern Europe that have been built up over the past decade.

Businesses succeed or fail based on the numbers. So getting them right is critical. When you forget this, it hits you where it hurts - in the pocket.

When I did my own research on what the finances of an independent Scotland would look like two things struck me. First, was the strength of the Scottish finances in comparison to the rest of the UK - a strength that has been consistent for each of the last 30 years.

The second was the spin and obfuscation that went into trying to disguise that fact from us - the people who are to going to decide the referendum result next year.

Business people are often sceptical of politicians, but I was shocked at the extent to which people who should know better constantly twisted and downplayed the reality of Scotland's economic strengths for their own political ends.

Then you remember who these people largely are, and what they stand to personally lose in the event of a Yes vote next September. Westminster MPs pick up tidy salaries, not forgetting expenses.

As Al Gore said in a different context - it's difficult to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it.

But these are people who should, and in many cases do, know better,

When Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor and now head of the No campaign, tells us that an independent Scotland couldn't have bailed out the banks, he does it in the full knowledge that international banks are rescued on the basis of where they do business - not where their head offices are.

You would think that he, above most, would surely know the numbers. He was in charge of the UK economy and financial regulation before the banking crash in 2008. So he will know that the US Federal Reserve contributed £640 billion - a trillion dollars - to the bailout of the British banks. They did that based on the extent of their operations in the US, not on where their head offices were located.

Had Scotland been an independent country when the banks collapsed, the Edinburgh Exchequer would have contributed roughly the same 10% to the bailout as we contributed in any event as part of the UK.

When Mr Darling raises scare stories about pensions he knows full well that the UK's debt to GDP ratio is one of the worst in the industrialised world - worse even than Spain. He knows that the deficit to GDP ratio in Scotland is 5% compared to 8% in the rest of the UK. Even Mr Darling knows that 5% is a smaller number than 8%.

Pensions would be far more affordable in an independent Scotland than they are in the current UK.

Now Mr Darling never hesitates to remind us that public spending in Scotland is £1200 a head higher than the UK average. But he conveniently forgets to add that tax take per head in Scotland is £1700 higher than the UK average. Again, he must know that £1700 is more than £1200.

Of course, it goes without saying that Alistair Darling knows how to count. We know he trained as a lawyer, but he must have demonstrated some numerical ability to have been allowed to occupy Number 11 Downing Street.

But he routinely states that the population of Scotland is six million - inflating reality by some 700,000 or the equivalent to the population of the City of Glasgow, for no apparent reason.

He has said that industry estimates of 24 billion barrels of oil left in the Scottish sector of the North Sea were overstated by a factor of 12. He seems to think that there are only two billion barrels of oil left. Around half a billion barrels were pumped out last year. So according to Mr Darling's calculator the oil will run out some time in 2017.

Alistair Darling is the No campaign's own WMD - Weapon of Maths Destruction.

My journey to Yes led me to get involved with Business for Scotland, the non-party group of business people who have come together to put the financial and economic case for independence.

That case is powerful, and it needs to be communicated as widely as possible to demonstrate to the people of Scotland that we have the economic strengths to be a successful country.

The most common refrain heard on the doorsteps is: 'Yes, but……Yes, but can we afford it?'

Challenging the myths, disinformation and opinion masquerading as fact that routinely emanates from the No campaign and its UK treasury support team is a time-consuming but crucial part of Business for Scotland's role. After independence there is no doubt that Scotland will continue to enjoy close trading relationships with the rest of the UK, as well as with other countries in Europe. Worries about trade barriers are a smokescreen which prevent us from taking advantage of the significant opportunities and higher global profile that comes with managing our own affairs.

No one denies that Scotland is a rich country, with natural and human resources most countries can only dream of. I've worked in many countries around the world, including Norway which is often held up as an example of what Scotland could become.

If you compare the advantages in resources that Scotland enjoys over Norway - better location, easier access to market, world-class technology across a range of sectors, a whisky industry with world renowned premium brands, top universities, easier geography, a huge global diaspora willing us to do well and a great global brand - we should be considering Norway as our start point, not our end point. The fact that our aspirations are so low is a sad indictment of what the Union has done for Scotland.

There exists the opportunity to build something special here. The alternative is to spend the rest of our lives explaining to our children and grandchildren how we had the winning lottery ticket in our hands and decided not to bother cashing it in.

Ivan McKee is a shareholder and director of Greenfold Partners Limited, an investment business specialising in manufacturing companies. He is also a director of the pro-independence think tank and networking group Business for Scotland.