What is your money mindset (without the airy fairy stuff) and how it can be helping or hindering your start-ups success.
Money Mindset: What money mindset actually is (without the airy fairy approach) and how to get a positive relationship with money as a female entrepreneur.
It seems as though recently I’ve been talking big purchases through with most of my friends and clients.
Whether it’s a new car, new house or even an eye-wateringly expensive pedigree cat, there seems to be one common theme – “but do I really want to spend all this money?”
Over the last twelve months owning my business, I’ve worked hard to improve my money mindset. A theoretical concept that I originally classed as “a bit woo woo”, has actually become one of the key tools to manifesting my own success and I wanted to share how I went from money mindset cynic to convert in a year.
What is it?
When I first heard about money mindset, I just assumed that it was one of those things that other people do to convince themselves that they’ll be successful – if they just rely on the universe to support them … it all sounded a bit far fetched for my liking. I’m not a girl who’s particularly interested in waking up each morning, having to contort myself into an awkward position and start chanting about my relationship with money. Surprisingly however, I found that it was less about chanting and more about realistic goal setting and releasing the fears that I had come to associate with attaining wealth.
In fact, working on your money mindset is much more about analysing your beliefs around finances; understanding where your core beliefs around money come from and challenging your own thoughts to create a positive mindset to invite more cash into your business.
What can I do to fix it?
So how does that actually work when chanting isn’t on the agenda? Creating a positive relationship with money is all about understanding your fears around how money is attained. Some of the more common beliefs that my clients have are; “Money is difficult to get”, “I have to work really hard to get money” or even, “only thin, pretty women can be rich”. Understanding where these beliefs come from is hugely important to challenge them.
For example; when I first started my coaching business, I realised that one of my fears was of a lack of money. I believed that money was something that only “successful people” had – and that those successful people were the ones willing to stamp on everybody else to get to the top. Realistically, I knew deep down that wasn’t true – but it had come from a lifetime of watching my family and friends work incredibly long hours to “just get by”, and so I believed that I too had to work 70+ hour weeks for very low return in terms of salary, holidays and freedom.
Understanding this belief around money – and why I felt that way – made it easier to challenge. When I looked around me at other successful coaches, they certainly weren’t worrying about money, despite solely relying on themselves to generate income. They were travelling 4-6 months of the year, working from anywhere in the world and actually spending their hard earned funds on things they actually wanted; new cars, amazing holidays or the latest Kate Spade handbag!
I wanted to be like that – and not have the gut-wrenching guilt every time I accidentally splurged in Victorias Secrets! So I took control of my money mindset, challenging negative thoughts when they entered my head by turning them around on themselves.
Post-It notes were handy during this time; I had them stuck on the fridge, the mirror and even my computer screen. All of them saying things like “There are enough clients for everyone”, “I attain wealth by providing a valuable service to my clients”, “My clients have more than enough money to pay me” and my personal favourite, “I have enough money for all of my desires”.
I didn’t become a millionaire overnight – but it taught me a valuable lesson about my beliefs and how it was those beliefs, not my skills, that were limiting the growth of my business. Those beliefs were encouraging me to skip precious sales conversations, made me nervous about charging the right prices for my programmes and were setting me up to fail; if I didn’t believe in the valuable services that I charged for, who else would?
Challenging that money mindset was tough but it made me feel more deserving of the wealth that I was attracting. Instead of putting all of my revenue into a high interest savings account for a rainy day, I bought a flat (and instinctively knew that I would always be able to pay the mortgage.) There have definitely been months that have been quieter than others, but through improving my relationship with money, I’m now much more open about promoting my business. I’m more prepared to invest in awesome coaching programmes that allow me to grow and develop (and further help my clients) and most of all? I’m more accepting of the money that comes into my life and spending it on fun things that I actually want to do. Which is why this summer, I’m going to be taking a month off to eat ice-cream in Milan and practice my Italian!
Top Tips to Challenge your money mindset:
So if you are looking to improve your money mindset and develop a positive relationship with your finances, my top three tips woYou buy products and services you want and/or need, right?
You buy things that are relevant to your life right now. You part with your hard-earned cash, only when something promises to get you from where you are in this very moment, to where you want to be. Make sense? However frivolous, necessary, mundane, materialistic or irrelevant your choices may seem to others, you buy things that provide a solution to your own unique problems.
Now turn it around.
As business owners, the same concept applies. People buy things from us that promise to help them solve their problems.
But heres the thing:
When promoting our products or services, we tend to focus on the benefits. We’re great at communicating all the good stuff clients get out of working with us. We promote how much better their lives would be if only they bought our products. Were also super talented and fairly adept at talking about what we do and how we do it (because we’re in love with our businesses, right?) We’ve been conditioned to believe that benefits sell – so that’s where our mind goes to when we’re writing copy for our websites, headings for our flyers, the strapline on our business cards.
If this sounds like you, let me start by saying this: You are entirely normal. You are not alone. Hey, you’ve poured heart, soul and savings into getting this business off the ground so it’s understandable that you’re passionate about the positives, the benefits it delivers. After all, you’re a positive woman, right?
But until we are able to talk directly to the problems our ideal clients are experiencing, until we demonstrate an understanding of where they are right now – (literally, physically, emotionally and in jargon-free lingo), then no amount of tweeting, liking, sharing, networking, promoting will inspire them to buy.
The bottom line is this:
You need to be really clear about the very specific problems your product or service solves. You need to be really clear about how these problems affect your potential clients. And then go forth and speak directly about these problems in your marketing.
Dont be afraid to go there. You need to make it relevant. I want a potential client to visit your website or meet you in person and think, Oh my goodness, how did she know? She’s actually talking about me.
To put it another way, the only reason clients are attracted to your business or your process is if it promises to help them solve their problem.
To put it another way, if your business doesnt solve a specific problem youre setting yourself up for a struggle.
“Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem.” Laura Fitton, HubSpot
And this is where I see business owners tripping themselves up.
They channel all their energy and efforts into trying really hard to sell people something that they don’t yet know they need. Similarly, prevention doesn’t sell. So if it’s a prominent feature of your offering, you have to focus on selling to the problems people are having ~ right now. What are they likely to be thinking, feeling, experiencing, saying, and doing in this very moment?
Consider these two scenarios:
Maybe you really dislike visiting the dentist and youve left a larger gap between check-ups than you know is good for you. Sound familiar? But you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as you get a throbbing toothache, youll be pleading for an appointment (and potentially regardless of cost).
And it’s the same with healthy eating or exercise (for me anyway). Of course I love the ‘idea’ of eating healthily, exercising regularly. I know it’s good for me, necessary, important even. But real life just gets in the way sometimes. I make my excuses. But give me a pain, a purpose or serve me up a problem and I’m cutting back on the carbs and the coffee, all over the juicing and aerobics again. Even then, I still don’t really want to ‘do exercise’ and ‘eat healthily’ as much as Ive had enough of ‘feeling too lethargic’, or ‘not being able fit into my jeans.’ Make sense?
It’s just the way we are.
The important bit:
Your perfect-for-you people do actually need what you’re offering (even if you’re selling them something preventative like check-ups or aerobics). If you’ve done your research or you’re following your intuition, rest assured it’s not that this business idea of yours is totally flawed. It’s more likely that your ideal people simply aren’t thinking about it in the same way as you.
If I want them to buy from you, to feel that they’re absolutely in the right place, then you need to talk your clients’ language and solve the problems they think they have. It’s a question of using their exact words on your website, flyers, business cards so they can clearly see they are ‘got’, that you understand their inner dialogue their problems. It’s a matter of using empathy in marketing before education. Make sense?
Let’s look at four examples:
An accountant whose clients just want to get their “tax returns done before the deadline” but sells “online accounting solutions to reconcile your transactions and help you monitor relevant Key Performance Indicators.”
A marketing consultant whose clients want to know “what needs to go on a website” but who sells “online strategy and SEO support.”
A health coach whose clients want to “leave the house without makeup”, “hit the beach in a bikini next summer” but who sells “be your best, truly authentic self.”
A sales coach whose perfect-fit people want to “get more clients and make more money” but who sells them “client attraction and retention techniques.”
Can you feel it?
When there’s a disconnect between what your ideal-for-you people are saying that they want, and the way that your business describes what it does, the results may well be the same but the communications piece is all out of alignment.
Which all adds up to heart-breaking nothing in sales.
Over to you
Could you be guilty of distancing clients with business jargon? Or perhaps a disconnect in someone else’s marketing has stopped you from reaching out to them for support in the past? Your voice is the only thing missing from this post. Please do leave a comment. Let me know.
Read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s one of the best books on the market to help you create a positive relationship with money (without the airy fairy stuff!)
Take time to actually assess your finances – and your beliefs around money and how the two correspond. Are you naturally a worrier? Do your finances fluctuate with your emotions? Where have you learnt this behaviour and how can you challenge it?
Be kind to yourself. Despite all the hype, fixing your money mindset will not give Sheryl Sandberg finances overnight. If you are in debt, create a repayment plan that gives you a positive goal to work towards, if you are scared about setting up your own business because you might not make money instantly, go out and promote yourself and start generating revenue quickly – or if you need additional support to work through multiple finance issues, talk! Find a Business Coach that can help you work past your money blocks and stop you sabotaging your own business before it’s even begun.
So there you have it – what money mindset is and how you can use it to sabotage or strengthen your start-up business. My advice? Make it as simple as possible, with smart goals – leave the woo woo’s to the cocktail bar next weekend.