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Woman entrepreneur and money

Are Your Beliefs About Money Holding You Back in Your Business?

Do you want to be rich? Stop buying lottery tickets and work instead on your money mindset.

If you’re anything like me, that first question might even make you feel a little uncomfortable. Wanting to be rich seems like something that only greedy, selfish, or evil people should admit to. This view is especially common in women. Ambition and desire for money or power is common, if not expected, in men. But for women, ambition is usually seen as a negative characteristic.

In Reese Witherspoon’s speech at Glamour’s 2015 Women of the Year Awards, she said,

I just kind of started wondering lately why female ambition is a trait that people are so afraid of. Why do people have prejudiced opinions about women who accomplish things? Why is that perceived as a negative?

In a study by Georgetown University in 2005, a group of professors asked candidates to evaluate male efficient versus female efficient in politicians. Respondents were less likely to vote for power-seeking women than power-seeking men. They also perceived ambitious women as looking out for themselves. They even reported ambitious women as provoking feelings of disgust.

If you believe that people who have money are greedy, self-centered or evil, how do you ever expect to feel okay with the idea of having money yourself?

Having money can also trigger negative reactions in other people, such as jealousy. We don’t like to trigger these negative reactions in others (especially true for women who are conditioned to be get along with others and not rock the boat).

How would your friends and family react if you suddenly came into wealth? If that thought makes you uncomfortable, then you have some work to do around why.

Cognitive dissonance is the psychological term for when your actions and your beliefs are incongruent with each other. Our minds do not like cognitive dissonance and will usually modify our actions to be in line with our beliefs. We will sabotage our efforts to have and make money if we do not have a healthy mindset around money.

People also tend to have a lot of fear when it comes to success. If you’ve spent a long time working towards a particular goal, what happens when you reach it? What will you work towards then? Will you be a different person? How will people’s perceptions of you or relationships with you change? Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

So, even though you may want to have money, there are often a lot of underlying psychological factors that could be preventing you from being able to achieve your money goals. 

As an entrepreneur, you are more in control of your income than most people with a “regular” job. What you earn in your business is totally up to you and your talents, abilities, beliefs, and the work you put in. That makes your money mindset even more crucial and makes self-sabotages even more deadly to your income.

Some common self-sabotages include:

  • Spending any extra income immediately. Often you hear the story of people who unexpectedly come into a lot of money and blow it all right away. How many times have you experienced receiving an unexpected chunk of change only to spend it right away and be right back where you were before?
  • Believing that you are “just not good with money”. This belief is dangerous because it acts as an excuse to not take charge of your finances and manage your money properly. Being on top of managing your money properly is a great start to a healthy money mindset.
  • Believing that money is not important because you just want to help others. Don’t get me wrong: helping others is important and one of the best reasons to go into business. But, if you don’t make any money in your business, it’s not going to be sustainable. You can’t help very many people if you go out of business. Make money first, and then you will be able to help a TON more people along the way. When good people become rich, they can do a lot of good with their money.
  • Undercharging for your services. Like a lot of money issues, this one is especially bad for women. Know your worth and charge well for it, and people will respect you more and want to hire you.

At my former job at a marketing agency, we hired a photographer to help with one of our projects. The photographer was relatively new to business, and when she sent us her estimate for the work, I knew that she was undercharging and not valuing herself and her work enough. That was sabotage number one.

She produced great photos for us and the client was very happy. When the time came for us to pay her, she never sent us her invoice. Months went by and I sent her many reminder emails and left voice messages and heard nothing from her. She never ended up getting paid for the hours of hard work she put into that project, simply because she didn’t take 5 minutes to send an invoice. She completely sabotaged herself out of earning money from her business.

Getting Over Your Negative Money Mindset

So how can we get over a negative money mindset and start to change our beliefs so that we can make and keep more money in our lives? Being aware of your money beliefs is a good first step.

Look at your experiences with money in the past and how you were taught to perceive money as a child. What kind of relationships did your parents have with money?

From there you can determine what beliefs need to go and what new beliefs you can work on to have a healthier relationship with money.

Being aware of the ways that you sabotage yourself will go a long way to preventing them. Make a list of your most common sabotages and ideas for how to get rid of them. Sabotages can include anything from procrastinating on projects to being a poor communicator. Anything that prevents work from getting done and prevents you from getting paid.

If you want to make a radical change to your money mindset this year, I highly recommend Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp (affiliate link). I purchased the bootcamp in July 2015 and had my best month ever right after. It helped me gain a lot of clarity around money and my business and the beliefs that I have. I would even go so far as to say it is the thing that has had the most impact on my business income to date. 

It is okay to be rich and successful and it’s okay to want to be. Develop a healthy relationship with money and you will be much closer to achieving your income goals.

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