I want to share with you the six most common behaviours around money that you may be operating from, what impact that has on our relationship with money, and how that actually impacts on the decisions that we make towards money. When it comes to making financial decisions the important thing to think about is where are our beliefs and behaviours come from and some of the practical steps to actually manage money, grow wealth, grow your businesses and feel financially secure during financial crisis.
So I’m going to talk you through six of the common behaviours around money, and I want to get you thinking about which of those six you might be coming from in your everyday life, how they’re showing up for you and your business, how they may be preventing you from doing certain things, and then what you can start to do in terms of behaving differently.
I’m also going to cover how to start to think and feel differently about money. Then I’ll go on to some of the practical steps that you can start to implement as to how to set up your finances so that you feel financially secure.
There’s a big connection between our self worth and our net worth and how we feel about money. How we are around money is actually a representation of how we are and how we feel about ourselves. So if you’re not feeling worthy of wealth, it’s because you’re not feeling worthy of yourself. There’s a big psychological connection between wealth and self worth. Maybe you feel you’re not doing enough. You’re not producing enough content. You’re not helping enough people. You’re not getting visible enough. All of these things that sit in our subconscious belief system that actually prevents us from taking action because we’re always comparing ourselves to everybody else.
Emotions serve to protect us, but they also serve to self sabotage us and to hold us back. Behind every single financial situation there’s a set of thoughts. There’s a set of beliefs, and there’s a set of emotions.
Where do our beliefs, emotions, and behaviours come from?
What’s around us. So religion, society, what country we were born in potentially, social media, films that we’re exposed to, books that we read growing up. All of that forms part of our cultural influences.
Personal beliefs and personal experiences.
Freud actually reckoned that 99% of the decisions that we make come from subconscious beliefs – beliefs that we have carried with us since the age of six and seven. Modern day psychologists actually believe it’s more like 90% but that’s still a really high percentage of the decisions that you make in your personal life, in your business.
Now, if you think about the films that we watched growing up; I’m a 1980’s girl so I was brought up on lots of Disney films, Mary Poppins, Annie, The Devil Wears Prada, Clueless, Dirty dancing, Pretty Women. And there’s lots of really great messages in those movies, but also lots of messages that we have to be rescued and that there’s this happily ever after story, and if you think about the messages around money in those films it’s really quite interesting. The Devil Wears Prada is a really good example. It actually tells us that rich people are greedy, that rich people are powerful. They hold power. It doesn’t depict wealthy women as being particularly positive. We don’t really have that many positive role models around wealth.
If you layer that onto your own beliefs about money – because what your parents did or didn’t say to you about money is really powerful.
Identifying your core beliefs
Maybe that money doesn’t grow on trees or you have to work hard for money. Think about what impact that had on you? If you heard that money doesn’t grow on trees or rich people are greedy and selfish, do you think you’re not going to hold on to money or possibly get rid of it as quickly as you receive it? You always find somewhere to spend it, and maybe you find it difficult to get into that savings habit.
You’re always going to act and behave in a way that is familiar to you because that’s what the brain likes. The brain likes to look for evidence to support belief. So if that belief is scarcity, then your financial comfort zone is going to be limited. The only way to stop believing that you’re not worthy to attract wealth is to learn how to stretch that comfort zone.
What things did you hear about money growing up?
If you don’t remember what you heard about money, what things did you feel about money? Did you feel not enough-ness?
What are you gaining from holding on to that belief?
There’s always going to be a positive as well as a negative. For example, if you grew up always relating money to working into the point of burnout and being highly stressed – this is about this concept of having to work hard. Maybe money is not easily available. It’s not easy to create, it’s hard to create. So therefore, we believe we have to work harder and harder. We get really stressed and burned out. But the benefit of you holding onto that belief is that you’re a hard worker. You’re a hard grafter. You’re going to probably take more action than somebody who doesn’t have that belief around money. Always recognise that there is a positive belief around that subconscious belief that you’re holding on to.
Is this belief really true?
Where is the evidence to support this belief? Is it true you have to work hard to earn money? In some instances, yes, but not always. List out all the things that you’ve ever done that support that belief, that you have to work hard to earn money and you will come up with lots of ways to support that evidence but lots that don’t.
What are the challenges about holding on to this belief?
So one of challenges may be that you may find that your behaviour is then looking for ways to support that belief. Therefore, if an easy opportunity lands on your plate, you think that’s too easy. It’s not challenging enough so you won’t do it. And maybe that way you self sabotage yourself.
What we think governs how we feel, what we feel governs how we behave. If you want to change the behaviour, you’ve got to change the thinking. But it is difficult to change how we feel. Much of this is all deep rooted in our subconscious beliefs. This is where working on your own well being is as important as the practical steps.
What would happen if you now start to think the complete opposite of that core belief?
If that core belief was you’ve got to work hard for money, what would happen if you no longer believed that? Maybe you start believing that it’s about working smarter rather than harder, or just finding a way to monetise your business without having to work every hour under the sun. You’d have more time and more freedom. A lot of those positive things that you’d be able to do by letting that go.
You might want to think about creating a mantra for yourself, or a new positive statement or affirmation that every morning you say to yourself. Save it as a screensaver on your phone, write it on your mirror, have it as an alarm that comes up on your phone when you’re brushing your teeth. It takes a while, because if you’ve been hearing these beliefs since you were six years old that’s a long time, so changing those habits is something we have to work on every single day.
The 6 Money Habitudes
When you receive money, the first thing you think about is how you can use it to help others feel good about themselves. How many of you are in business right now want to do good and want to help other people? Maybe you have charitable direct debits set up. Maybe you’re finding it really hard right now to charge for your services because your underlying main dominant relationship with money is about giving to others rather than to yourself.
It’s more important than ever right now to be charging for your services; I am giving you permission to charge for your services. We need to do that because if we give our services away for free right now because we want to help everybody, then the economy is not going to have any more money flowing. Don’t do everything for free because you’re actually undervaluing yourself and you can’t look after anybody else until you look after yourself.
So this is for people who maybe feel that I don’t want to take responsibility for money in my house. If you feel carefree about money you’re probably going to bury your head in the sand a bit more than somebody who doesn’t have a carefree dominance. Carefree is somebody who perhaps lives for the moment, doesn’t really care about the future.
This may be relevant for your partner. Maybe you control money in the household and your partner doesn’t want to know anything about the finances. That’s a great relationship with money to have, but again think about the positive and the negative of each of these. So the challenge for that is that maybe you believe that you don’t need to know about the numbers in the household because your partner deals with it. But you do need to be aware of the financial numbers even if you’re not the one to take responsibility, because without that awareness, you can’t make any decisions. And even if you’re not making decisions right now you are going to have to at some point in the future, so put yourself into a position of empowerment.
This was me in my twenties. This is where money is about enjoying the moment. It was about making quite quick decisions, and I think it’s actually great to have in business because it means I’m a do-er. I get an idea and I do it. I just go and do it, then I learn a lesson about it and I go and do it better next time. Now, many of you will struggle with this concept, because maybe you have more of a planning relationship with money.
You’ve got all good intentions. You’ve got spreadsheets, you’ve got work flows, you’ve got systems, you have everything planned out. But it’s the actions the implementation of that you struggle with. It’s the follow through. Often a planner and a spontaneous person work really well together in business.
So if you’re acting from a dominant planning relationship with money then this is thinking about how you can take those next steps? How can you put that spontaneous hat on when you need to in order to make that next step to grow your business? One of the things that you could do if you’re spontaneous is to think about what a planner would do. A planner might automate their savings or their investments. They might set up a direct debit for an investment. They might plug in a little app like Plum or Cleo to automatically start to shimmy money into a savings, pot so you haven’t even really got to think about it. So can you see how your relationship with money can actually affect the way that you manage money? There isn’t like a one rule fits everybody.
Money helping you to present a positive image. This is often one that comes up very high in men more than with women. Status is all about making a good impression, so that that is very linked to spontaneous as well. So I used my relationship with money to buy more clothes, nice houses, and nice cars because I thought more people would like me if I had these things in my life.
Security is about feeling safe and in control; feeling secure. Now we all want to be safe and feel in control and secure around money. But sometimes we can do that in a way that doesn’t actually even involve money. Sometimes we can create that feeling of safety and security that doesn’t directly relate to money. So think about how you can create that for yourself. There’s two parts of the brain that are operating when you’re making decisions; the irrational side, and the emotional side. If you act more emotionally, give yourself time. That’s all you need to do. Give yourself a 48 hour rule before you make any decisions. Let it sink in and then make that decision from a rational perspective.
Get Financially Naked
I have a 4 step process, and the first step is what I call getting financially naked. It is about stripping everything back, getting underneath what we layer up upon ourselves, all the judgement. All those emotions, judgement, fear, anxiety, stress.
Giving every pound a purpose
Think of your money that you have coming in, to your personal account or your business account, as needing a purpose, It’s an employee walking up to your desk right now and it’s waiting for you to give it a job. What job are you going to give it to do? What purpose are you going to give it? Is it going to pay your bills, buy some food, buy clothes, buy some books and invest in some courses?
It’s about bringing awareness and consciousness and making conscious decisions. Now, this may feel super scary for a lot of people, but fear is often worse than the actual reality. It’s really important to open up your bank statement on a regular basis and look at what you’re spending BUT not to create a budget and not to restrict your money. I can’t stand budget plans. Who wants to restrict money? You worked hard for this, right? It’s about bringing consciousness and awareness to what you’re spending, your habits, your behaviours, and your return on investment from a business perspective. Plugging any leaks, getting rid of things that aren’t adding value.
Every single month I always look at my expenses and I always question is it a good return on investment? Am I getting good value for this? And if I’m not then I ditch it, switch it, or replace it with something else. Nobody has the right to tell you what you should be spending what you shouldn’t be spending. This is about you giving every pound of purpose for what creates you happiness in your life and in your business. And then creating a spending plan around that.
Many of you will be familiar with the Profit First model. I’ve done some training on this in my Money Circle membership. The Profit First model is essentially creating pots; tax, expenses, and profit etc. So again, bringing a lot of awareness and clarity to your numbers so you can actually pay yourself more in your business, and you could do exactly the same on your personal spending again.
Dig out your last bank statement and for every transaction that comes out write it into a column that’s relative to whatever category that relates to; subscriptions, bills, food, variable spending, non variable spending, all of those sorts of things. When you’ve done that, think about creating money pots so you can start to give every single pound a purpose. Some of these things will be the mortgage, bills, food, petrol. But then you’ll have other money pots, so things like a treat pot taking away that guilt of spending money on yourself if you’re a giver.
In terms of the actual technicalities of how to create the pots, you can do this a number of different ways. You can do it through just opening up separate savings accounts, or using the likes of Starling Bank, Monzo, or Tide Bank that enable you to set up all these different pots. And I’ve done some training around this in my Money Circle membership around exactly how you create those pots, how much goes into each pot, and it really is incredible the difference it makes to your life!
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