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The Times recently reported the highest percentage of people self-employed in 40 years. This is for a mix of reasons – redundancy, firms relying on freelancers and other low cost options, people choosing the flexibility and control that freelancing offers, parents working around childcare and school hours to name a few. The world of work is changing and more and more people are becoming self-employed.

But many of us fear the idea of going it alone, for one main reason… MONEY. We believe that having a job provides financial security and we become trapped in survival mode.

Following a dream

Alex is a great example of how sorting out money has created the freedom to pursue her dreams.

After 20 years of working in marketing, Alex unveiled her secret passion – to set up her own French bakery using authentic French recipes.

She’s now put together a business plan, is looking into finance and partnerships and working towards making this dream a reality.

Her dream would have remained locked away, had it not been for one fundamental shift that’s happened in the last six months. Alex has been working on her relationship with money.

A change of perspective

Prior to this, Alex had a tendency to ignore her finances, stack up debt, spending money on herself, and others, in pursuit of a positive self image. She consistently spent more than she earned, and made decisions that she later regretted.

Six months on, she’s set up a payment plan to repay her debts over a manageable time frame, is saving money every month, building a back-up for emergencies, and has changed her lifestyle choices, managing to significantly reduce her outgoings.

She invested in coaching sessions to help get her over the guilt she had about past decisions, getting support to set up systems to manage her money and feel organised and in control. And most importantly, to feel good about herself having overcome some deep rooted self limiting beliefs.

A new horizon

This trust in herself has opened up the potential to think in a way she would never have thought possible. No longer experiencing the pressure of constant shame and anxiety has freed up her capacity to think big.

Many of us feel trapped in careers that don’t fulfil us, unable to contemplate a change that would fulfil our lifelong ambitions.

The path to start believing you can have the freedom to pursue the work you would love to do, is to gain control of your personal finances.

While running your own business isn’t for everyone, don’t squash your dreams because of your relationship with money. By improving the way you handle your personal finances, more options open up for you.

First Steps

The simple approach to getting started is to know where you are.  We suggest that you create a statement as a way to capture a snapshot of your personal finances.

You can either create your own spreadsheet or use our ‘my-money-fitness’ spreadsheet when you sign up for our newsletter. Detail all of your monthly income and outgoings. Don’t forget to include all your standing orders/direct debits as well as other day-to-day and occasional spends.

On a separate sheet, add details of any assets you own (bank accounts, property, pensions, savings & investments) as well as any debt you have (mortgage, loans, overdraft, credit cards & overdrafts). The total of your assets less your debt is called your Net Worth.

These two documents represent your current reality.

Once you have these, you’ll see patterns or gaps. You can then start planning your next steps – ways to reduce spending perhaps or repay debt. Or ways to build a vision of where you want to be, which we cover in our next post ‘Does your money fit with your life plan‘.

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