As an entrepreneur, you’re faced with money on a daily basis. You have to earn it, spend it, move it, use it, collect it, and otherwise manipulate it every single day.
There’s just no getting away from money. That means there’s also no getting away from your attitudes about money.
While some money mindsets serve you well, there are others that could be sabotaging your business.
Let’s tackle five common saboteurs that I see in play often — and let’s talk about the one I struggle with most.
No money mindset #1: “Someday…when I win the lottery…”
In a recent survey of my peeps, lots of ’em joked about this. They said the only thing stopping them from pursuing a world-changing project was winning the lottery. It was said in jest, I know. But that mentality allows you to play the victim. It’s as if you’re not responsible for what you do with your money — rather, the universe is playing you for a victim because you haven’t won the lottery yet.
Baby steps. To get to the bottom of this, consider what you really want from winning the lottery. Do you want to breathe easier about money? Do you want to travel the world for a month? Do you want to feel like something can go wrong without your family ending up on the street? Do you just want to make your mother-in-law jealous?
When you figure out what it is you REALLY want the lottery to bring, you can start working toward that single goal instead of hoping for more cash.
No money mindset #2: “That’s overpriced.”
As a business owner, you might think this cheaper-than-dirt mentality would be good for you, right? It means you get bargains, you use coupons, and you’re willing to negotiate for better rates at the drop of a hat.
Frugality can do wonders for your business, but it can also hurt you. How? Take a look at your recent clients. Are they trying to get bargains or use coupons? Are they trying to negotiate for better rates? Their attitudes are a direct result of your attitudes. When you’re willing to pay the full value of the items around you, their attitude will start to shift as well.
Baby steps. Refrain from complaining about pricing or using coupons for a week. I’m not trying to throw your budget off track, I’m trying to get you out of the habit of judging everything as “too expensive” or “overpriced” to keep your clients from doing the same to you. I bet you’ll be surprised at how quickly your new attitude bears fruit. Goodbye, penny pinchers!
No money mindset #3: “I can do that myself!”
When you see a photograph or find a craft project or try a recipe, you immediately think, “I can do that!” This is true of the DIY culture, and I’ll bet you have an amazing home and workspace! This attitude falls down when you’re in business by yourself. Because you’re so used to doing everything yourself, you’re unwilling to hire or to outsource when the time comes.
Baby steps. Outsource a single item you despise this week — and only for a week, if it makes you nervous. When you come home to a clean house, download your perfectly-edited photos, or reduce your e-mail workload by 80% because you’ve hired a virtual assistant, you might just reconsider your DIY ways.
No money mindset #4: “It’s so bad…that I’ll ignore it.”
When you’re going through a tough spot, it’s easy to become an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Maybe the bills will disappear? The rent will pay itself? Your fairy godmother will descend from her magical perch with a cold six-pack and a check for ten grand?
I’ve been there — I once had over $20,000 in credit card debt — and I know how hard it can be to face the music. Thing is, the only way for this situation to get better is for you to…you know, face the music.
Baby steps. Open the bills and figure out exactly what you owe and to whom. I know this is hard — my bills were once stacked a foot high — but this first step allows change to happen. When you have a solid number to work with, you can begin to work backwards and devise a plan for paying off debt.
If you’re too afraid to look, ask a trusted friend or loved one to bust out the calculator and help with this task. Sometimes a bit of support is all you need.
No money mindset #5: “There’s more where that came from.”
This is where I fall down. My bank account can be sky-high one month and nearly empty the next. Because my income is highly variable, I tend to spend like it’s been a good month all the time. This leads to anxiety about covering expenses and self-loathing like you wouldn’t believe.
Baby steps. A basic budget can help to keep spending in check, while saving apps that are fun help to keep money around for when it’s truly needed. I accidentally saved over $1,700 for a trip to the beach using saving apps last year!