In the world of coaching - and online business in general - there’s one topic that people can’t seem to stop talking about.
It’s a subject with endless questions, all of which seem crucial.
How can I make more money?
How can I earn X amount of money in Y amount of time?
How much should I charge my clients?
Money creates a conflict for many who are ready to take the plunge and start a business. On the one hand, it seems like starting a business has the potential to make you lots of money, while giving you full control over your life, schedule, and work/life balance. On the other, people are naturally inclined to seek stability and security, which is in direct opposition to becoming an entrepreneur.
There are so many who dream of starting their own business and escaping the nine-to-five grind, yet they hold themselves back, afraid of losing the stability of a regular salary.
Getting Over The Hump
Most people in this predicament find they can only get over this hump when the pain of staying in their current situation outweighs their fear of change.
That’s certainly how it was for me.
When I was a lawyer, I made good money, but I felt stuck. The world of litigation is fast-paced and challenging, and I learned a great deal.
But I dreaded Mondays.
Each week, as Sunday night rolled around, even the anticipation of a new episode of Game of Thrones couldn’t block out the familiar tightness in my chest, as I thought of the inevitable stress and overwhelm I’d have to face throughout the upcoming week.
The tipping point finally came when one of the partners at my firm yelled at me - for a mistake he had made.
At that point, I knew with certainty that it was time for a change.
Still, I didn’t take action.
Despite knowing change was needed and the pain of my situation, I had intense, constant fear about leaving behind a job that paid well. The truth is, I’d never have started my own business (certainly not a successful business) if I hadn’t first shifted my money consciousness. I’d have followed the safer path, remained a lawyer, and simply moved to another firm.
I’d have continued to struggle on, just under a different set of stresses.
Here are three concepts to support you in raising your money consciousness.
Your Fear Isn’t What You Think It Is
Here’s the thing: the majority of your concerns are rooted in a desire to avoid a particular feeling. When we are afraid of a negative event, we’re usually not scared of the event itself, but the feeling we would be left with should the event occur.
For example, I was recently speaking with my client, Carrie, who had a deep desire to start her own business. When I asked her what was holding her back, she said: “I’m afraid of failure.”
By itself, the fear of failure is meaningless. You can fail in any number of ways, large or small, at any time, and nothing bad will come of it.
When we dug a little deeper, it became clear that Carrie wasn’t afraid of failure alone, but of public failure. Carrie was afraid of what people would say about her if she were seen to fail. If she tried to start a business, and it didn’t work.
She was imagining people judging her for that failure, saying things like...
“Who did she think she was, to start her own business?”
“She made a huge mistake leaving her cushy job.”
Imagining those words coming from people she knew, liked, respected, or admired, and even people she didn’t like, left Carrie feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
Realistically, she knew that failure would not be the end of the world. She had enough support and resources in place that her situation would not be dire. Failure itself was not what she feared, but the thought of enduring the shame and embarrassment that would come with it was terrifying. The fear of judgment was holding her back, preventing her from pursuing her dream.
There Are Three Types of Business in the World
Carrie’s fears are typical. Indeed, the majority of fears concerning to how we might feel relate to other people. I learned two important things about fear from Byron Katie’s excellent book Loving What Is.
The first is that there are three types of “business” in the world:
The Universe’s Business
Things that are completely beyond your control, such as famine, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
Other People’s Business
This type of business relates to other people’s thoughts, beliefs, opinions, actions, or emotions, and is also totally out of your control.
The only kind of business over which you have control are your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, actions, and emotions. Concerning yourself with anything other than your business is what leads to much of our unhappiness. Moreover, if you’re preoccupied with someone else’s business, who is paying attention to and leading your life?
The second thing I learned from Byron Katie is that many of our thoughts related to other people are projections.
Your Thoughts About Others May Be Projections
If what you are thinking or feeling relates to other people, it’s likely you are projecting.
A projection is the belief that someone else is thinking something because you think it. You believe something to be true, and therefore assume other people believe it. Rather than accepting it is your own thought or belief and taking ownership of it, you attribute it to someone else and react to that person as if you genuinely know what they are thinking.
Here’s how you know it’s a projection: you’re attributing a particular thought, attitude, or line of thinking to someone else.
You can never know, with absolute certainty, what someone else is thinking. Even if someone tells you something, it may not be an accurate reflection of their thoughts and beliefs.
“I know she thinks that because that’s what she said!” is a response I frequently hear to this point. But it negates a fundamental truth about human nature: people lie. Not all the time, but often enough that you can never be entirely sure they are telling the whole truth. Often enough, people don’t even know they’re lying to you because they don’t know that they’re lying to themselves!
Your projections can tell you a great deal.
You may find the opposite of your projection is true, or it could be that your projection is how you truly feel about yourself.
For example, you’re upset with your friend, Sarah, because you think she’s disregarding your feelings. But when you dig a little deeper, you may find that’s not the truth of the situation.
Perhaps Sarah is not disregarding your feelings.
Perhaps you are disregarding Sarah’s feelings.
Perhaps you are disregarding your own feelings.
Teaching yourself to recognize when you are projecting will help you to move past the preconceptions and misunderstandings that are holding you back in your life and your work.
How To Raise Your Money Consciousness In Your New Business
The concept of projection is often vividly demonstrated by someone considering starting a new business because the desire to become an entrepreneur brings up so many fears relating to what other people may think.
People will think I’m greedy if I want to make more money doing work I love.
People will think I’m a failure if it doesn’t work out.
People will think I’m arrogant and presumptuous; who am I to start a business?
These are all projections.
For example, a common fear among people interested in starting their own businesses is that people will think they’re irresponsible if they leave their 9-5.
But is that genuinely true, or can you turn it around?
Will people think you’re irresponsible, or will they think you’re making a responsible choice by extricating yourself from a stressful situation?
Do you believe it’s irresponsible when other people leave their 9-5s? Are you harboring the thought that leaving the financial security of your 9-5 is an irresponsible thing to do?
When you’re willing to explore the possibility you are projecting you can make a powerful shift in your perceptions. It can allow you to take personal responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, and gain the self-awareness needed to correctly understand what you’re worried about.
Recognising Real Fear
Not all fears are projections; some are real. The trick is identifying the real ones and taking calculated risks.
If you are already struggling financially, now is not the best time to risk investing in something you can’t afford. When you’re struggling to make ends meet, leaving your day job to pursue a get rich quick story someone told you is a bad idea.
Be willing to take risks, but be smart about it. Don’t take action that will put your well being in jeopardy.
The Difference Between Effort and Struggle
There is an important distinction between effort and struggle. Effort is a natural aspect of our creative work. Making an effort is a wonderful thing!
Effort means you are putting your energy out into the world.
Humans are constantly exchanging energy. At its core, money is simply a form of energy. We ascribe it meaning and value; without that, it’s nothing more than a piece of paper or disk of metal, created by various governments.
Money is significant to us for one simple reason: we can exchange it for things and experiences we need and desire.
We all have some gift. Making an effort allows you to share that gift. Money allows you to exchange it for things you need and want while providing others with things they need and want. Effort enables you to do this.
Struggle is very different. Struggle is what happens when your efforts are infused with negative emotions. Struggle removes all the lightness, joy, and fun from your effort and makes it a burden.
You can either exert effort or you can struggle.
Either way, you are putting your energy out into the world in the form of work and creativity, and receive energy back from the world in the shape of money. But when you are struggling, the amount of money you receive in exchange for your work is out of balance with the energy you put into it. In fact, struggle can entirely cut off the flow of money or reduce it to a drip. This leaves you drained, and often prevents you from having the things you need and desire because you don’t have enough money to pay for them.
Making money through effort is far more fun (and abundant) that making money through struggle.
Are Your Struggling In Your Business?
If you’re creating something and find it a huge, horrible struggle, you may be heading down the wrong path.
One of the joys of launching your own business is that you have the freedom and flexibility to make your own choices.
You have the ability to create things in a way that is naturally aligned with your gifts, that feels good. It’s an effort, but not a struggle. Challenges are often a positive aspect of this, but if everything is negatively charged, causing you stress and struggle, and making you groan every step of the way, where’s the fun for you?
Where’s the freedom?
Worthy endeavors and great ideas won’t get you far if your heart isn’t in it. It’s easy to hold onto ideas even if they don’t inspire you, because you know they’re good and capable of helping people. You’re afraid to let go due to a sense that you (or the world) would be missing out on something. But whenever you’re creating something new, it’s important to know why you are doing it.
Why you are doing it for yourself, and why you are doing it for the world.
You need both.
It’s not enough that your idea is right for your audience or humanity in general, is also has to be right for you.
Finding Your Why
Why do you, personally, want to create this thing? How will it benefit you, how will it enrich your life?
For example, I started my business to create more fun, freedom, and flexibility in my life. I wanted to teach and help people, but in a way that felt positive and uplifting. Seeing other people reach their potential lights me up. I wanted to earn great money without feeling drained and exhausted at the end of the week. Instead, I wanted to feel inspired and proud.
Finding The World’s Why
There are people out there struggling with things that come naturally to me. When I started my business I knew there were women in the same situation I had been in: stuck in a draining job, or an even more challenging situation, searching for a way out. I knew that with my support their path could be easier, and they could find their own freedom.
A Belief Is a Thought You’ve Thought a Lot
As individuals we tend to put too much stock in thoughts. Our minds don’t stop. All day, every day, they’re buzzing with thoughts. We’re very attached to our thoughts, and our individual thought processes. We believe our thoughts define us.
I think, therefore I am.
More than that, however, we believe our thoughts are true.
When we have thought something repeatedly it ceases to be a mere notion and becomes a belief. A truth of our existence.
Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts we have thought a lot.
The problem with this is that repeatedly thinking something doesn’t make it true. When we think something and find evidence that supports the thought, or simply a lack of evidence that disproves it, we assume it’s true.
We think it again.
The more we think it, the more we believe it, and as soon as we believe it, it becomes true for us. It’s true for our world view.
It’s not necessarily true in a factual sense, but we believe it, and most people do not question their beliefs.
Once we have a belief, we continuously look for evidence of it’s truth. It’s just the way our brains work. They want to be right. Your brain processes information and thoughts and uses that data to affirm what you already believe. The world appears to be confirming your thoughts, so you think them even more often, and believe them even more thoroughly.
At the same time, your brain is (either consciously or unconsciously) filtering out anything that contradicts your belief. Anything that indicates what you believe is incorrect is filtered out. You ignore it, so much so that you’re often unaware it exists.
How to Be Successful: Upgrade Your Beliefs Around Work and Money
Even when our beliefs are not serving us, we find it very difficult to question them. This can be a huge block if you want to launch your own business and believe you won’t be able to earn enough money or make money easily.
In order to be successful, you need to upgrade your beliefs surrounding money and work. To do that, you first need to be willing to question them.
When you catch yourself thinking something negative or disempowering about money, pause and ask yourself, “Is that actually true?”
For example, you’re out shopping and see something you love. You want it, but when you check the price it’s higher than you expected. You immediately think, “I can’t afford that!”
Ask yourself, is that genuinely true?
The concept of what we can and can’t afford is frequently inaccurate, yet we throw the phrase around regularly. “I can’t afford it!” is, for many people, a mantra they live by and it’s very negative. It’s also frequently inaccurate.
The truth may actually be, “I can afford it, but it’s not the best way to spend my money right now.” Maybe you need the money to pay the rent, or buy food, or fix the car. The likelihood is you could, technically speaking, buy that thing you want, but if you do you won’t have money for something else.
Something you need or want more.
That’s not a lack, that’s a choice.
You don’t need to feel bad about choosing not to buy something. Instead you should feel positive that you are capable of making wise financial decisions, keeping a roof over your head, keeping yourself fed, or ensuring the car is running.
Shifting your mindset enables you to take yourself out of the role of victim, and empower yourself with the knowledge you are making a choice that best serves all of your interests.
By being discerning in your choices when it comes to money you are ensuring your financial security in the long run. When it comes to running a business, you will regularly have to decide where to invest your money. What are your priorities? What’s most likely to make you succeed. There will be many things you want (courses, flashy software, advertising campaigns, PR services, the list is endless) but you won’t always have the money to have everything.
If you are stuck in the “I can’t afford it!” mindset you will be easily demoralized and feel you are failing in your business, even if you’re doing well, simply because you can’t have it all.
Shifting to a more empowering perspective and recognizing you could afford things, but choose not to buy them right now, will likely ensure that (at some point) you will be able to have it all, without sacrificing something you need.
Start Raising Your Money Consciousness Now
A strong money consciousness is a necessity for running a successful business. Start raising the way you think about money now to ensure your success. To really help you action these concepts and take it all a step further, I’ve created a powerful in-depth workbook for you to download. Grab it now and let me know what you think.