Just mention the word money and it arouses strong emotions in most of us. Talking about money is still one of the last remaining taboos. We certainly don’t discuss it freely with our friends, family or colleagues in the same way as we discuss other major subjects in our lives, like relationships or health. We’re much more likely to talk about our sex lives than about money.
How do you feel when you think or talk about money?
Here’s a sample of the most common words that we hear when we ask people:
How many of those words resonate with you? Do you notice how many of them are negative?
The emotions we attach to money can bring up feelings of guilt, shame, disgust, anger and fear. As business owners, you can’t hide from money in the way that employees can when they receive a regular pay cheque. You have to deal with it through your business life, as well as your personal life. If you work in the service industry and charge for your skills and experience, dealing with fees carries an added degree of emotional charge. It can feel very personal when it comes to deciding on the right level of fees – like it’s an exterior measure of how others rate our talent.
As the subject of money so often raises such negative emotions, it’s no wonder we don’t want to look at it.
It’s far easier to hide away from shame and fear than to deal with it. Especially so when there’s no-one holding you to account on what you spend, earn, save or invest. Solopreneurs, in particular, may not share their earnings or income targets with anyone.
Your emotional response to money may be limiting the way you run your business.
If you’re like most people, you probably put off doing your accounts until it becomes absolutely essential. This delay often means that you don’t know how much profit you’ve made until maybe 8 or 9 months after the end of the tax or accounting year!
How can you expect to expand your business and earn your potential when you’re not looking at one of the major performance indicators?
What money means to each one of us individually is always just under the surface. It shapes the way we run our businesses and our personal lives. It determines how much we earn, impacts on our spending, our savings and our investment decisions.
A rising tide lifts all boats
If you struggle to find the motivation to gain emotional control over money, consider all the others it will benefit. Not just you. But also your friends, your family, your customers, your co-workers, your employees, your business and your industry. If you have a positive emotional experience, they too will be richly rewarded.
Take emotional control
Although it often doesn’t feel this way, emotions aren’t fixed – they’re flexible.
Remember, our worries, fear and doubts are nothing more than memories from the past projected onto now, and the future. They’re not real.
Tell yourself a different story and your emotional response changes.
What question can you ask yourself, which when answered, will create a different story?
Here’s some ideas to get you started. Don’t just rely on these ideas though. See if you can come up with your own question to counteract emotions that are specific to you.
“Is it really true that I will run out of money during my lifetime?”
“What do I need to do/earn/save to make me feel financially secure?”
“What am I grateful for in life?”
“What could I achieve if I believed that I deserve financial success?”
“How would my behaviour change if I accepted my past financial decisions as having made the best decisions I could at the time?”
A powerful question like this can help you change perspective and change your emotional response.