Your Relationship with Money
By ActionCOACH Mark McNulty
Last month I wrote about the Identity Iceberg, and how understanding yourself in that context could unlock the keys to your personal success. One of the biggest areas of development for business owners I work with is their beliefs. Over the years, some of the most negative beliefs I have had to help business owners overcome relate to their relationship with money. There are entire industries that have developed to help (and take advantage of) people’s fear and loathing of money. The reality however, is that there is nothing about money to be feared, as the only problem with money is what we believe about money.
When conducting workshops on business finances, one of the first questions I ask is simply: “What are five beliefs you have about money”. We then go around the room and listen to people’s beliefs, and typically for every positive belief there are 2-3 negative ones. It is no wonder that people have a hard time charging what they should for their products and especially their services! It is time to confront your negative beliefs, understand them, and develop new positive and productive beliefs about money.
Two of the most common negative money beliefs I hear are that money is the root of all evil, and that there is never enough of it. In order to overcome these two beliefs simply requires that we understand what money really is. I define money in the following way – Money is an idea backed by confidence. Prior to the early 1970s, money was defined based on the amount of gold stored in government vaults. Since then, the value of money is simply the value that the financial systems assigns, and varies according to our confidence in these systems.
In your business as well, money is simply an idea backed by confidence, with the addition of action, as shared by Tom Palzewicz in his book Consistent Cash Flow. So if the second most common belief I mentioned – there is never enough money – is your belief, then the solution is easy. If you need more money in your business or life, you simply need to work on one of the three components of the definition. Do you need more ideas, more confidence, or do you need to take more action? I rarely run into the business owner who has truly run out of ideas. So which are you lacking – confidence or the courage and discipline to take action?
Money is simply one of the results of confidently implementing ideas in your business. Since you charge for your products and services, the result of your increased efforts is more money. For those with the belief that money is evil or dangerous, the real question to ask is not about money, but about the components of money. Are your ideas for how you intend to gain or use your money inappropriate? Are the actions you intend to take to either get money or what you intend to do with the money illegal, immoral, or unethical? If so, then money isn’t the problem, your plans for it are the problem. To put it another way, money is never the problem, the love of money is what can cause a problem.
The richest men in the world, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and others have ideas on how to spend their wealth to improve the world for today’s children and future generations. They have ideas, confidence in the people they have selected to implement their ideas and they are taking action all over the world for the benefit of millions of people.
So ask yourself what your money beliefs are, and evaluate any negative beliefs against this new definition. I believe that you will find new beliefs to use to build your life, your employee’s lives, and the lives of those in the communities in which you live and do business. Share your ideas, have confidence in those around you, and take decisive actions.