Money Mindset: You’ll Have to Face Your Beliefs Before You Face Your Work
What Money Is And Isn’t
A good relationship with money is rarer than you might think. Especially among entrepreneurs. Most of the time, it’s where my business coaching has to begin.
After all, success is an uphill battle without a healthy money mindset.
Which brings us to you. How much do you think about money? And how does that inner monologue go?
Because until you get a handle on what money is and isn’t, what it does do and what it can’t do - building your business is going to be hard. Like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it.
You’ll never have enough. You’ll never truly move forward.
The whole issue tends to boil down to two basic beliefs. Two destructive ideas that echo over and over in my clients whenever we sketch out big goals or talk about pricing strategies.
The two basic mantras are - “money is scarce” and “money is evil.”
Money Is Scarce
Do you work and work and never seem to get anywhere? Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Are you hesitant to make any investment in your business? Do you feel broke no matter what your income? Do you do a lot of emotional spending?
That’s your “money is scarce” script in action.
It goes something like this:
I’m not good with money.
I can’t afford that.
There never seems to be enough.
I had to buy it. It was on sale.
I can make do with what I have.
Money is Evil
Then there's the “money is evil” idea.
That’s when you picture the “wealthy you” as sort of a Scrooge McDuck character. A cartoon villain that backstrokes his way through piles of gold, abandoning all goodness in the pursuit of wealth.
That script goes like this:
I’m not a money-grubber.
Rich people suck.
Money corrupts you.
I don’t care about money; I’m not like that.
It’s so tacky to talk about money.
In this blog, I want to address these beliefs.
We need to figure out what your money mindset is and where it’s leading you. I want you to see it so you can shape it more intentionally.
But first, where on earth did you get these ideas from?
Where Your Mindset Comes From
A lot of how we feel about money relates to what we learned as kids. Not much of a surprise there.
Basically, if you lived in a house that struggled with money or tied morality to income - bit by bit that built your money mantras.
The family mantra could have been “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “we’re not made of money.” Objectively true, but they set up the idea of a world steeped in scarcity.
And if Mr. Weber across the street were described as a “rich jerk” or if Uncle Max was always “a good soul without a penny” this can really nurture a wealth vs. virtue war in your head.
To figure out how your money mindset was cultivated, you’ll have to look backward.
“Think back to your relationship to money growing up,” Financial Thought Leader, Ramit Sethi, told Harvard Business Review, “What were some of the first money memories you have with your family? How did your parents or community talk (or not talk) about money? Do you remember the words and phrases they used?”
Follow that line of questioning, and you might be able to see the history of your current beliefs.
This isn’t about throwing your parents under the bus. But understanding your trajectory, and facing these toxic narratives is the first step toward shifting your money mindset.
This is a big one with people. And I always find it painful to watch. So many of my clients are great people who seem addicted to struggling.
When the idea of scarcity invades your money mindset it can hijack your ability to really progress.
It tells you to avoid risk and to play small. It puts you on the run from creditors and can slowly chip away at your self-esteem. It says that you don’t deserve to have money or status. It can even tell you to spend wildly, compulsively, NOW - because disaster is always just around the corner.
A money mindset built around this idea of “never enough” makes any investment in your future too much of a gamble.
“The mind is focused on present scarcity,” warns Psychology Today. “We overvalue immediate benefits at the expense of future ones … We only attend to urgent things and fail to make small investments even when future benefits can be substantial.”
Deprogramming Your Scarcity Mindset
Deprogramming this cycle doesn’t happen in a day. Journal as much as you can on the subject and start to slow down any thoughts that come up around money. Really look at them.
Be prepared with new scripts that emphasize abundance, progress, and satisfaction. Have statements of “enough” always handy.
Marie Forleo has one of these money mantras. Whenever she’s paying some bill or buying something for herself, she says, “There’s always more where that came from.”
That’s a great example of a money script that can answer anything and is actually true.
It can trigger a sense of financial wellness and calm - instead of scarcity and panic.
Enjoy tiny luxuries. Pop open a bottle of Prosecco before dinner on Friday. Buy the organic bananas. Go for the fancier lunch option once in a while. None of these things are going to break the bank - but they could help you see your relationship with money in a new light.
Lastly, give some money away. Yeah, you heard me.
Leave a big tip for that awesome server. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line. Pick up an extra box of Girl Scout cookies and give it to someone who looks like they need it.
You’ll make someone’s day, and start to see yourself as someone who, actually, has more than enough.
Evil, Nasty Money
I call this poverty pride - a money mindset that proclaims loudly, “MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.”
This is so frustrating to watch. But we all do it sometimes. I know I have.
The evil money mindset is a trap you set for yourself without even knowing it. With this belief you wind up with a terrible choice: success or being a good person.
What kind of choice is that?!
Of course you're going to flinch at earning more! Charging more! You’ve tied success to going over to the “Dark Side.”
Money Is Just More You
But the truth is money is neutral. Having it or not having it. Wanting it or not wanting it - doesn’t mean much. Not the way that you think it does.
Money just makes you more…YOU.
That means if you’re a jerk and you become wealthy…you will be suuuuuuuch a jerk.
But if you’re a compassionate person, one who is driven by purpose and generosity, that extra money is going to be a superpower that sends possibilities out into the world. It makes an economy possible. It makes charities flourish. It creates and sustains good ideas.
The world is depending on you. Why do you want to leave all the power to people who won’t use it for good?
Money is just a magnifier. So, choose what you want to magnify carefully. Then go out…and make a ton of money.
Money Is Your Tool
It’s a tool. That’s all. No biggie. Like a hammer. You can build a home with a hammer. You can also really hurt someone with it.
It all comes down to what you decide to believe in.
Your current money mindset is having an impact on what you achieve and what you make - in the world and in your life.
It’s creating you. Or it’s stopping you from growth.
So. It’s time to face it. Strip those old ideas and rebuild them into something useful. For you. For all of us.
HAVE WE CONNECTED ON LINKEDIN YET? NO?
I'M A HOOT - IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF!
Harvard Business Review, Why Are We So Emotional about Money?, Rakshitha Arni Ravishankar
Psychology Today, The Scarcity Mindset, Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
Marie Forleo, 6 Little Money Mindset Shifts That Pay Off Huge