Stories of our lives
We all have stories of our lives that follow us around like rule books setting the stage for how we will respond in life. We have a story about how to handle relationships, conflict resolution, eating, what we wear, how we talk, where we live, our manners, our values and we all have stories about money. These stories are our inner voices; the critic or the parent, telling us how we SHOULD handle just about everything in life. These stories are dictators. When your story changes your life changes. Changing your story will alter your expectation. Expectations are the measuring stick of life. Each and everyone of us has a money story. Does money come easily? Does it stay, or make wings and fly away? Is it hard to come by or difficult to keep? Does having money make you bad or does not having money make you bad? Is money a secret? Something to never be spoken of or is it public knowledge? Is money something to be feared, honored, hated, loved? Does wanting money make you bad? Does having little to no money make you holy or a hypocrite, lovable or unlovable? We often walk through life, day by day never fully processing our motivations or beliefs around money. We all need money, but how many of us know why we have too little or just enough?
Understand your relationship with money
This topic came to the forefront this week. When I work with people, money is always a topic of discussion. As business owners or prospective business owners, it’s important to understand your relationship with money. If you’ve never fully processed your relationship with money I’d encourage you to take sometime to write down all your feelings, beliefs and aspirations with money. Getting clear on your perspective of money will allow you to evaluate your circumstances. First, start with your beliefs. What do you believe about money? Spend sometime really thinking about this. Next, write down how you feel when you have money, when you don’t. When you have enough or more than enough. How do each of these circumstances make you feel? Write down how you feel about the method you used to get the money you have. Was it worked for? Did you receive it from a job, a parent, a relative or friend? Was it money that you made yourself from a business that you create?
Look at your current money situation
Do you have a savings account? How much money is in that savings account? Do you pay yourself first? When you receive money do you pay all of your bills and live on what’s left or do you always take money to “save” for yourself first? Do you live within your means or beyond your means? Do you have a retirement account? How much money have you made in your lifetime? How much of that money have you kept? What would your life be like if you’d kept more of that money?
Change how you think about making money
I’ve had several clients this week who have talked about a need to modify their money stories. One client mentioned she had a fear of making money. As a faithful Christian she was concerned that her desire to make money wasn’t biblical. Her desire to follow the will of God was a big motivator. We discussed how these feelings were having a direct impact on her ability to make money and were also not necessarily God’s path for her life.
Another client expressed concerns about the avenue of making money from a business. He felt that it was perfectly fine to make money in a job and have high expectations for pay at his job, but when that translated into making money for himself from his own business he felt differently. He knew that in order to make a good deal of money, the amount he was accustomed to making he would need to focus a lot of attention around the creation of money. This made him uncomfortable. While employed he knew he would get a regular paycheck. He would get his pay so there was no need to focus on money. The money focus that came with running a businesses clouded his picture of money. It made him feel as though he were obsessed with money.
And yet another client expressed her fear of money and how money was made. She spoke of her childhood and how as she was growing up she watched her parents make poor financial decisions while following their passions. As an adult she’s chosen not to follow her passion and stick with a predictable steady job to insulate her from the fear of not making money. Her story is telling her that if she follows her passion she will end up penniless.
Everyone has a different story, but one thing is consistent, we all have strong feelings when it comes to money.
We are all given a certain amount of life energy, a specific number of days that we’ll be here on this planet. What are you trading your life energy for? Is the money worth that life energy? Or is following your passion the path for you? Are you using money as a tool and keeping it in its place or are you allowing it to dominate your life. This weekend I listened to T. Harv Eker the author of Secrets of a Millionaire Mind. He commented that when we focus on money we are focusing on the wrong thing. If we’re truly interested in making money we need to solve a problem. Money comes from people. People will only give you their money if you are solving a problem for them. Instead of focusing on the money he recommends focusing on the service or product you offer. How are you helping others. Help enough people and you’ll have the money you desire. Examine your money story. Is it serving you? Is it allowing you to live your best life? If it’s not, its time to change that story.
If you are interested in what it would be like to have a coach visit www.howtoquitworking.com/coach to sign up for your free 30 minute strategy session. In this session we’ll discuss your goals and how I can help you reach them.