Episode #5 - Money Beliefs and Making Money
Hey Rebels! Welcome back to the podcast!!
I've had my mind on my money and my money on my mind for a while now. I think it's because we're moving to the end of the year, and I have taxes on the brain; I'm reviewing my financial goals and setting new ones for the new year. And while going through this process and making my plans, it struck me that I've not had a great relationship with money. In fact, I discovered over the years that I have some blocks and limits around money. It's been one of the things I've been working on over the last couple of years in particular. Reading books like Profit First, Get Rich Lucky Bitch, The 30-Day Money Cleanse, Tapping into Wealth, and re-reading others like Think and Grow Rich helped me realize that I had been doing the money thing all wrong. In fact, my relationship with money was pretty shitty.
Now you may be wondering what do I mean by 'relationship with your money,' and I would say my dear sister, that's a phrase I had to develop an understanding of myself. I mean, in my mind, you either had it, or you didn't; you either saved it or spent it (or some combo of both), or you either made "good" money, or you were just getting by. I mean, there was no relationship to be had; it just was what it was. But when I started noticing my uneasiness, doubts, or resistance to hitting specific money goals, I knew I had to dig in and explore what that was all about.
And listen, if you think this episode doesn't apply to you because you're not an entrepreneur, or you earn a salary, or money just is what it is, then you, my dear sister, need to pull up a chair, get out some paper and a pen, and listen intently. What I'm going to share with you today will hopefully change ALL of that crazy thinking for you.
Today on the podcast, we will talk about money beliefs, money goals, and what's keeping you from getting what you want.
Let's start with what I mean about money relationships and money stories. A money story is a personal narrative you have about money. It makes up your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about money; it affects your financial behaviors and, ultimately, your financial outcomes.
Our relationship with money is probably the most complicated relationship we have. Our stories around money are grounded in how we grew up with money, what we heard or were told about money, and how we watched the people around us use and spend it. For example, I was relatively indifferent around money for many years and assumed it would always be there because we never talked about it in my family. It never seemed to be an issue, and I can remember pretty much getting whatever I wanted. But when my parents divorced, and I watched my mother, a divorced 40+-year-old black woman in the mid-70s at a time when women had no financial rights or freedoms, struggle with making money, my money story shifted from it's always available to money's not easy to come by. And that story, that narrative had been playing in the background of my mind for decades and impacted what I believed was possible for me around earning and making money.
And listen, our stories around money exist whether we're "good" with money or not. For example, those who are "good" with money may have a story that they need to save it all or as much as possible, and if they don't, it will be gone, or they'll lose it all. So you see, it's usually our stories around money that dictate our feelings and actions around it. And if you're not honest with yourself about these stories, you'll create a money pattern for yourself that will be very challenging to overcome.
The other thing is our money stories, and our career decisions are definitely intertwined. Maybe your money story has caused you to stay where you are longer than you've wanted, or perhaps you took a position based solely on your money story, or you rejected your ideal job because of money?! All of those decisions are based on a belief system around money.
When it comes to money and our careers, our money stories are also tied to our beliefs around our values and worth. So if you heard your parents always say things like "you've got to work twice hard (or be twice as good) as everyone else to be successful," or "you have to work hard for your money," or "you have to fight for everything you have," or similar stories, this may cause you to unconsciously believe that you have to work long hours, weekends, overtime, even to the point of burnout, or missing time with your family, all because if you don't work to the point of exhaustion and overwhelm, it somehow means you're failing, you're not doing as good of a job, or you're unsuccessful and therefore, don't deserve your title, your job or even what you're earning.
And there's a lot of misogyny, racism, and sexism around money. After all, look at the inequity in pay between men and women and even the disparity between white women and women of color. I mean, it's no wonder we struggle with our thoughts and beliefs around what's possible when it comes to earning and making money.
Also, when you look across class and generations, the gender narratives baby boomers heard are different from those of a latch-key kid of the 80s and the millennial and gen z generation today. Midlife women probably heard things like, "women aren't good with money," or "don't out-earn then your man or you won't get a husband," or "find someone with a good job to take care of you?" Many midlife women, like me, were fed these narratives growing up mainly because our mom's, and sometimes our dad's, had minimal socio-economic options. And because their options were limited, they passed that limiting belief on to us. As a result, I've seen so many smart, successful women who have inherited this idea that they don't have many options and should be grateful for whatever options come their way. Instead, they feel trapped, like they have nowhere else to go.
Now, most people will argue that the job description sets their salary and potential income. But if you believe your value is low, that this is all you can have or get, your income will match. This is why women statistically do NOT negotiate for more significant salaries or raise. This misogynistic feeling of guilt about asking for more money and believing they should be grateful for what they get seems to get in the way. And yes, while outside factors like your experience and education play a factor in your income, the truth is it's your money beliefs that play a much more significant role.
I often coach my clients to stop giving 120%. To know that their B- work is probably more valuable than someone else's A+ work. But when I say that, they often look at me like I have two heads. In fact, as you hear that, how does it even sound to you? Are you shuttering at the thought? Would you feel it's fair to get paid more without hard work and doing A+ work? But why is your B- work any less valuable?
And listen, I'm not trying to say money needs to be your single motivator in life, but as Zig Ziglar said, "Money isn't everything, but it ranks right up there with oxygen." Even if money isn't your number one motivator, it's certainly not mine; it doesn't mean you can't be honest and real about what you want and unapologetic about going after it.
We have also been conditioned to use terms like abundance and prosperity when we talk about money because they're generic and safe terms. The problem is when we're not clear about what we want; it's easy to settle for "good enough" or have an "I just need enough" mentality. But we need to start talking dollars and cents. To try and go beyond your unconscious limits or any resistance you're experiencing.
So, I want to do something with you, right. And think about it, and answer honestly. Take a moment and think of a specific dollar amount that you would absolutely LOVE to make. Then, when you come up with that number, I want you to write it down and say it out loud, "I want to make __________." Now, as you thought about that number and said it aloud, how did it feel? Did you feel some stress, anxiety, guilt, fear, butterflies in your stomach, or other negative self-talk, like "please, like that's ever gonna happen?"
If you felt some kind of way about the number you wrote down, then you definitely have a money story that you've got to uncover. Why? Because your subconscious mind will resist any goal or ambition to make more than what you've trained it to believe is possible. You'll make excuses for not applying for better jobs, or you'll procrastinate doing the things that could advance your career, or do hundreds of other things that will self-sabotage your efforts to get what you want. While the idea of doing more, making more, having more may feel fantastic, doubts creep in and get overshadowed by your money stories. And in the end, you'll find yourself wondering if you'll ever be able to have a career you love with the money to match.
These internal conflicts can cause a tug of war in your mind, which can fuel things like imposter syndrome. And listen, you have a good level of success and still be held back by your thoughts and feelings around making more money.
So I encourage you to spend some time exploring what your stories are around money and how it's impacting your financial behaviors. For example, do you cling to money in unhealthy ways because you fear losing it or not having it? When you can have a healthy relationship with money, you'll always be able to create it and have it, no matter what you do.
Hopefully, you can see how your stories and relationship with money are crucial to unlocking your ability to achieve your income goals. Understanding these dynamics will give you the power to change them.
To help you on this journey, I've included a free handout for you that you can download in the show notes. I want you to find a quiet space to work through these worksheets. The first step to making any change in our lives is awareness. And to find those hidden beliefs and self-sabotaging habits buried in our unconscious mind, we have to bring them to the forefront, so we can begin unraveling them and ultimately get on the path to do incredible things. We use the container created in the Career Rebel Academy to do this work, so the women step into what's possible in their life and career.
Alright, Rebels, that's it for me today! By the way, this won't be the last time we talk about money on the podcast. There's a lot to discuss, but none of it would matter if you didn't first get clear on where your blocks are around money so you can make room for more.
Thanks for tuning in, and I'll see you next week. Until next time have an amazingly rebellious week.