Is your money story derailing your income?
If you are a woman and you run your own business, you will sooner or later encounter your stories about money.
And these money stories, typically forged in childhood, will deeply shape how you attract, spend and manage cash in your life and business.
I come from a long line of economists and economizers.
My father was an economics professor. Our dinner table talk often hovered around such stimulating topics as The Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns, the Law of Supply and Demand, and money not growing on trees.
In this childhood environment of economic laws, marginal returns and the overriding belief that thriftiness was next to Godliness, I followed such household rules as:
- Turning off the shower while shampooing and conditioning my hair, and then turning it on to rinse off the suds, because lathering my hair with the hot water running was a waste.
- Hanging out the laundry in the dead of the Canadian winter because the clothes freeze dried, and thus took a quarter of the time in the dryer.
- Living in a tent for the entire month of July one summer because our old house sold and our new house was still under construction and my parents didn’t want to spend money renting when camping was FREE!
And while I look back on the majority of my childhood experiences with affection, I cannot escape this truth:
I shivered in the shower, I shivered hanging out the clothes.
It was fun and also so, so embarrassing, to live in a tent with my hippy parents. All to save a bit of money.
I grew up with a bone deep belief that money was a scarce and terrifying commodity that would never show up in enough supply.
I also grew up linking the rules that governed money (i.e. Don’t forget to turn off the hot water when lathering your hair, Eleanor) to my personal discomfort.
And I also grew up believing that a lack of money was something to be embarrassed about.
Money = never enough.
Money = rules = shivering/uncomfortable
Money = embarrassing.
Your money stories exert a powerful influence on how you run your business and live your life.
For instance, I recently spoke with a very wealthy entrepreneur who has a hard time enjoying her *copious amounts of dough* because as a small girl being raised by her business manager father, she was taught to “never take a salary out of her business.”
So after working for many years to build a truly spectacular business, she denies herself simple pleasures she can easily afford because of a money story that has long outlived its purpose. And she drives herself HARD because she can’t truly afford to take a healthy salary out of her company until, until, until.
Have you got any stories like that, fierce one?
And more importantly:
Do your money stories set you free, or do they prevent you from manifesting income?
Here are some of the most common symptoms of blocks that prevent people from earning money:
- Complaining about the business practices of other people.
- Expressing disgust at people and companies who charge premium fees because they “must be a rip off.”
- Insisting that people will “never pay money for that.”
- Feeling superior to people who are “all about the money.”
In short: any story or belief that causes pain, discomfort, anger or avoidance around money is likely holding you back from earning, enjoying or managing it.
My money stories were useful when I was a young immigrant girl and my parents were economizing in order to build a future for our family.
The stories had a neutral effect when I had no money of my own to manage because my parents still took care of everything.
But then I went and opened myself a business.
And in short order, my money stories and rules smacked me in the face like a glass door I hadn’t seen before.
Because I was addicted to the story that there was never enough money and that money was in a dwindling supply always, I often found myself tempted to spend money as soon as it entered my bank account.
That way, I proved my “law” that money was a scarce and dwindling commodity.
Because I believed that the world’s rules about money were oppressive and uncomfortable, I avoided looking at my money. This meant my books were usually behind, I didn’t review my financial statements regularly and therefore made business decisions based on what I *thought* was going on in my business versus what was actually happening.
And finally, because I had equated money with something a person should be embarrassed about, I always felt somewhat ashamed of my business income, even as it grew well into six figures.
I wish I could tell you that my harmful money stories are a thing of the past. They are not. We recently had the most successful financial month in my business ever — blowing well past the ambitious income target I had set.
At first I celebrated, and then I found myself toppling into a state of weepiness, overwhelm and fear.
My old money blocks were back to pay me a visit.
What’s different today is that I’m aware of my money blocks, and when they arise, I have developed a simple tool to face them.
Money makes many people uncomfortable. And what do we do when things makes us uncomfortable? We avoid them.
Every day I work with women who have launched or are growing wonderful new businesses. And very often, generating revenue is the biggest challenge.
And while building your business muscles is critical, your business skills cannot outpace your money mindset.
I will repeat: your business skills cannot outpace your money mindset.
And this explains why so many of these women spend inordinate amounts of time in their businesses doing everything OTHER than income generating activities.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking:
Sales are scary. I’ll make some beautiful social media posts instead.
Asking for more money makes me uncomfortable. I’ll design (yet another) free training/blog post/workbook instead.
My money story changed when I forced myself to face money. Rather than setting ambitious annual targets and forgetting about them, I began planning for my money each and every month.
I got serious about figuring out EXACTLY how I’d generate the income I needed for myself and my family.
I stopped avoiding money. I made time for money. I planned for her, reminded myself not to panic when she showed up, and I did the inner work I needed to do so that I didn’t feel like I needed to get rid of her the moment she entered my bank account.
In time, she befriended me.
My relationship with money is a powerful work in progress. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I had the courage to face my money stories, and how they were impacting my earning potential.
I’m proud that I prioritize keeping sound financial records so that I can manage my business like the true CEO that I am.
I’m proud that I’m doing the inner work I need to do to continue unlocking new levels of earning power and impact.
And the irony is that it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. In truth, it comes down to paying close attention to the number, planning for money, and making the emotional room to receive abundance when it arrives.
Here’s the tool that I use each month to help me plan for abundant income. I hope it will prove useful to you as well.
PS. Don’t forget to download the Monthly Cash Calculator. It’s free, and could be the start to a life-changing transformation around how you relate to money.
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