We form our impressions and beliefs about money at a very early age. Do you remember what your parents and grandparents told you about money? I do – my grandparents had to make ends meet through the American Great Depression, and my parents were young children at that time, too. Consequently, my parents often said to me “you think money grows on trees?” If you heard that expression, too, then you know you were taught a mindset that money has to be hard to make and hard to come by. Not a great mindset for a business owner, is it?
I remember as a little kid really feeling sad that my parents felt so anxious about money – even though my father, who literally was a rocket scientist at NASA, made a good living. Neither of them could ease up about money. One April Fool's Day, wanting to lighten up their frame of mind, I sneaked out early in the morning with some tape and 50 one dollar bills, and I taped them all to a scrawny little fruit tree my dad had planted in the front yard of our new home. Later that morning I waited until both my parents were in the front yard and watched as their eyes grew wide at the sight of dollar bills hanging from the tree. They never did ease up much on their fear of not having money, but they sure quit telling me and my brother that money doesn't grow on trees!
When I work with small business owners it's easy for me to quickly tell whether they have a limiting mindset about money. A limiting money mindset (which I have come to call money immaturity) means that every single time a decision has to be made by that person she will think small, box herself in, and choke off the big possibilities for her business. Money immaturity translates to being risk adverse, anxious, and fear-based – none of which will help you grow a business to the point that you can have the life you want for yourself and your family.
Sometimes I have to focus on building money maturity with my clients – and if they don't make this critical switch it almost always ends up that they slog along, barely making ends meet, always worrying about cash flow. Here's the thing – what we put our attention on grows. Money is no exception.
Are you money mature? Here's a quick self-assessment for you.
- You track your income and expenses weekly for your household and your business.
- You know what percentage of gross income your operating costs are for your household and your business.
- You have hired a bookkeeper for your business.
- You do not take money out of the business when cash comes in to squirrel away in your wallet or give to a kid.
- You have a written budget against which you measure how much you are spending for what.
- You pay bills each month well before the due date, no last minute panic.
- You are comfortable quoting prices for your products or services.
- You have a disciplined savings plan for your business.
- You have a plan to give back to your community from your business profits.
- You don't squirm away from writing down how much you really want to make in a year, just in case you don't make it or someone will see it and think you are too grabby.
- You are comfortable in a room with your peers talking about projected sales and profit margins for the remainder of this year.
Both women and men suffer from money immaturity, but I think women are the most hesitant to sit down and talk about the green stuff. As a business owner, you are the shepherd of your income, so I'm telling you that it's good to have an open mindset and a belief that you can create the income you need through using your skills and talents to help others solve their problems. It really is just that simple.
Because money immaturity for small business owners is so common, I've decided to host an interactive webinar on April 10th. I'd love to have you join me, or share this with anyone you know has money mindset issues. I'll be teaching about The ABC's of Money Maturity – How To Decrease Your Worries, Feel Less Guilt, and Change Your Feelings About Your Finances.
I'd love to help you change your mindset, start dealing with your income (no matter what the level) with ease, quit feeling lost or panicked, and create more income when you need it. It's such a relief to switch your mindset and your actions, releasing the worries and putting your energy into your life and your business, watching both change and grow. Money worries disappear because you take the guess work out of what you're doing. And magically enough, because you are watching and talking about the green stuff, more of it starts showing up for you. Click here to get a ticket to The ABC's of Money Maturity – you'll get a worksheet right away, and I'll see you on the webinar soon!