A Question for would-be entrepreneurs: Have you first considered your relationship with money?
April 8, 2018
By Hina Khan
Often times when I sit down with a client I ask the question, if money was a person, what would that person be like?
Is that person demanding? Controlling? All-consuming? Are they often absent? Do they arrive with a burst of enthusiasm, only to promptly exit stage right leaving only a sense of regret behind? Do we like that person? Are we serving money or is money serving us…Who is the master?
Before getting started, consider your relationship with money.
Prior to starting a business it behooves us to consider our money paradigms in order to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing, especially when the going gets tough.
As few entrepreneurs find a straight path towards success, the entrepreneur will find plenty of opportunities to consider whether or not her efforts are worth the sacrifice.
She may even long for the day when a regular pay-check was always guaranteed, even if such safety requires accepting frustrations that used to seem overwhelming now pale in comparison.
Behind these considerations rests the question: what is money for us? As cliché as it sounds, we should ask do we serve money or does money serve us?
Considering our relationship with money requires examining our inherited ideas around money.
Even if we’re adults before we start making our own money we already arrive at our first pay day with a number of inherited ideas around money.
Maybe we grew up in a house where money was tight and we saw the tension it created between our parents. Maybe we grew up with little and now choose to provide our kids with “all those things I never had.” Maybe our parents had lots of money but spent it unwisely, throwing the family into chaos from time to time. Maybe we were told time and time again that money is the root of all-evil. Regardless of which scenario defines you, it’s healthy for us to consider what ideas we’ve inherited around money, and what ideas are our own.
Money is neutral energy.
Despite what we may have been taught, the truth is that money is merely neutral energy, and it´s the significance we impose upon it that then influences our behavior.
One of the most common behaviours is to quantify our self-worth through the amount of money we make.
We earn money and then we spend it in such a way to impress upon the world an idea of who we are and what we value.
Sometimes we use money as the antidote to our problems and then get stuck in work-reward cycles.
We work to reward ourselves, and then the cost of our rewards require that we work more. Rather than seeking happiness in our current state, we chase after happiness as if it were something to be obtained through and not something to be conjured through a true valuation of what is most important to use.
And this is why the entrepreneur has to consider her relationship with money
The act of starting from scratch with a product or service usually begets a period of personal financial instability.
Often times entrepreneurs make the mistake of not paying themselves or factoring into their business all of the hidden costs of operations.
As a result our businesses may start to grow but that growth may be built on a subsidy to the client in the form of the business owner’s personal sacrifice. Such a scenario is neither scalable nor sustainable. As such, profit needs to be built into our business model from the beginning, and not treated as a nice-to-have after-thought.
Money in itself is neither good nor bad: it’s simply a choice multiplier. To have a healthy relationship with money, we need to be aware and in control of the decisions we are making as a result of our relationship with money.
When money works for us it extends our comfort and the good we can do while on the earth.
When money works against us it places us in a race in which we’re constantly falling behind.
To consider our relationship with money, therefore, we need to ask ourselves: What do I value? What choices would I like to have? How do I harvest my happiness independently of the availability or not of money? Finally, do I value who I am regardless of how much money I make?
Once we consider these questions we can enter into a more healthy relationship with money and ensure that, rather than a disagreeable force, money becomes an enabler of what is most important to us.
If you want to learn more about mind paradigms and how they affect your relationship with money sign up for this free online event to attend my talk.