If I were to channel Oprah (and why not!), here would be a few things I know for sure:
- Everyone is good at business when they learn how to do it their way
- Money is good, and abundance is everyone’s right
- Most of the limitations we experience are self-created and maintained (I know, ouch!)
- Life and business aren’t as hard as we make them out to be
- We have the ability and power to change our story, our actions, and our life this very instant
I speak and work with creative professionals and business owners all day every day and if there’s ONE thing they/we make a big hairy deal about it’s this:
Asking for money
And on it goes….
Somewhere along the way, money became the ultimate yardstick by which we measure our worth, our value, and our potential. Now, that’s all well and good if you have a totally functional relationship with money and have no problem attracting abundance. But if you, like the majority of creative professionals, have any baggage or reservations around profiting from your creative talent, you may unwittingly be keeping all the lovely income from coming your way and keeping yourself in a cycle of just getting by.
Is any of this resonating? If it is, I have GOOD NEWS! You can choose to have a different relationship to money at any time, and as a result, build a business that enables you to generate more of it.
In the month of March, I’ll be addressing all things money with you, my lovely creative friends. I’ll be walking you through creative-friendly strategies to shift your mindset, get friendly with your numbers (whatever they may be), and chart a path to profiting handsomely from your creative business.
Part one of this series is all about getting to the root of the problem, so let me ask you this….
- make just enough to pay your bills
- have a hard time asking for what you’re worth (because secretly you’re not sure you’re really worth the big bucks)
- delay invoicing clients and/or have a chaotic billing and collections process
- leave money on the table all the time
- freak out around tax time because you have NO idea what you owe (and you daren’t even think about it?)
If any of this is true for you, it’s likely that the chaos around your asking for and collecting money is the result of a fixed mindset around money. Which is totally normal and nothing to beat yourself up about. But, if you want the results you say you want (more freedom, fulfillment, and more steady income), it IS something you need to address.
Here are 6 ways to do that:
Describe what your life is like regarding money right now
Be as specific as you can and tell the truth. If you’re just scraping by, write that down. If your spouse is supporting you and it’s putting a strain on your marriage, write that down. If you feel like a failure because you’re not paying yourself, write that down. Now I know this isn’t pleasant, but the only way out of this cycle is to clear the muck out of the way first.
Write down your beliefs around money
Do you believe creativity and money don’t mix? What do you think about rich people? Do you think of money as a force of good or a necessary evil? What would your family and friends think of you if you became richer than your wildest dreams? What would YOU think of you? Write it all down.
Identify where you learned these beliefs
Beliefs are simply our ideas about how the world works and are not actually based on anything fixed or real (I know, mind-blowing!). This is good news and bad news; good because we can change our belief at any time, bad because we can live our entire life based upon mistaken beliefs that aren’t even our own! Tracing where you got your money story is a great first step to letting it go. Think about your upbringing. Did you grow up wealthy or struggling? What conversations did your parents have about money; did they fight about it? What did they say about others who had money e.g. the neighbor who bought the fancy new car? Write it all down. Forgive whoever unwittingly passed on a belief that may not be serving you. Commit to letting it go.
Describe the rituals that have contributed to your current financial situation
Oooh, this is a good one because now you’re going to shine the light on stuff you can actually change! For example, yours might include:
- Not raising your rates in a million years
- Not invoicing clients on time
- Not having a bookkeeping software to track your income and expenses
- Not having separate business and personal bank accounts
- Spending above your means
- Not opening the credit card statements and incurring needless late fees
List ‘em all. Where there is awareness there is freedom.
List all the things you want
Be specific. Do you want to send your kids to private school? Do you want to go on one really nice vacation a year? Do you want to build a 3-month buffer in savings? Do you want to pay off your credit card by a certain date? Go to town!
Describe the rituals that will help get you there
Congratulations, you’re now in the driver’s seat! You are now in the position to list all the things you could do to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. Could you:
- Meet with a financial planner
- Ask five colleagues what they charge and review your pricing
- Get set up in a bookkeeping system (I use Freshbooks and love it.)
- Get a referral for an accountant to understands creative businesses
- Double the amount you pay to your credit card debt each month
Here’s the amazing thing about this exercise and in writing down all your answers. You have just identified and challenged your limiting beliefs, you’ve created a plan, and you’ve launched a whole bunch of clear expectations into the universe which must be granted if you hold true to that vision.
Are you feeling excited? I am!
And because I know this is a sticky subject that takes more than one blog post to get over, I’m going to be supporting you with more business and personal strategies throughout the month of March around how to set your business up to MAKE MORE!
And if you’d like to talk to me about how we could work together to create a plan for your thriving creative business, click here to get started. I can’t wait to hear more about your vision and goals!