Shift Your Perspective Before Your Bank Account (Episode 186)
Before you move forward with finding that perfect job or getting that perfect amount in the bank account, we have to first and foremost look at what money really means to us.
What word can replace "money" in your mindset?
What is money?
Money is an energy exchange. If we really look at what our purpose for money is, what does that look like in your world?
A while back, comedian Whitney Cummings wrote a brilliant little article about her own financial illiteracy, and how one simple word change shifted everything for her. In it, she stated:
"Until that point, I didn’t know the way I managed my net worth was a reflection of my self-worth. What I spent my money on was either a positive or negative contribution to my future safety, sanity, and ability to feel free."
She did one simple word shift. She changed the word “money” to “freedom”.
No, money isn’t the root to all freedom. Like I mentioned above, money can make you feel like a slave to it, where you are constantly working for one more dollar amount.
For Cummings, she recognized that money contributed to her having less worry and stress, which created space to bring in other emotions – like security, sanity, and feeling free.
What gives you freedom? What do you want your life to really be about? What feelings do you thrive in – ease, adventure?
The Prostitute Archetype
Caroline Myss talks about the Prostitute archetype. She explains it as this:
The mission of the prostitute, your guardian of faith, is to integrate the whole of you: mind, body, and soul.
While the word “prostitute” may invoke an image of a woman selling her body (and soul) for money, it can have a whole other connotation.
The field of archetypes is a universal pattern of power - we inherently know our archetypes at our core, because these are parts of who we all are. And the labels of the archetype can give us very clear indicators about what that role is for us. The mother archetype, child archetype, prostitute archetype...this helps us know who we are.
However, the negative connotation of a prostitute forces this archetype in the shadow. Yet there is a beautiful light. It’s not simply about what you may be sacrificing in exchange for something else, but also a deeper complexity of faith and light, and moving forward with give and take in life.
The word “prostitute” simply helps you understand the deeper field of the archetype and gets your understanding of this energy exchange and deeper sacrifice that is involved here. We all have our own image/idea/experience/impression of what the prostitute archetype is like. At the most basic level, however, it’s an understanding that our life - and what we do, is an exchange - of what we choose to give of ourselves vs. take. (Learn more about this archetype here)
What Have you Sacrificed for Money?
Nathan saw this played out in the real estate world as he saw real estate moguls with their fancy cars and big bank accounts...who had houses full of stuff, dysfunctional or failing marriages, not talking to their children, frustrated, and feeling stuck because they’ve created the “Golden Handcuffs” of a life where they are tied to their work to pay for the extravagant lifestyle they’ve created.
You can chase your tail all day long for money, but at the end of the day, if you want a relationship with your kids...you don’t get to buy that.
Money Quotes To Make You Think
Here are the quotes we discuss on the podcast and share what they mean to us:
1. Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. –Ayn Rand
2. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. –Seneca
3. Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant. –P.T. Barnum
4. Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” –Joe Biden
5. If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough. –Vicki Robin
6. Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. –William A. Ward
7. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. –Albert Einstein
8. Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present. –Roger Babson
9. It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. –Eleanor Roosevelt
10. If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. –Edmund Burke
11. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Henry David Thoreau
What is Your Currency For Life?
Really look at what type of life you want to live. You can chase your tail all day long for money. Think about the relationships around you - how much time are you investing in that...or is it just about the money to add things to the relationship?
How is money working for you? What is it providing for you in your life? Is it giving you more than the quest for it takes you away?
It's Okay TO Hustle
Sometimes we have to hustle and make the money we need to pay the bills. We hustled, and there were some stretches where we paid a lot more for a babysitter to be with the kids while we were working hard. It wasn’t what we wanted for our family, so the key was that we put a parameter around it - a little bit of hustle to pay off in the long term.
We didn't let that define how the rest of our life was going to be. That was because we chose to drive money to a certain path to create that nest egg so that we could have a little bit more stability for a foundation.
It's okay to make money. Yet pay attention to how you are a steward of it. Recognize that money is simply a tool to live the life you thrive in. So how are you thriving?
Listen to the Mexican Fisherman
Listen here, to the story of the Mexican Fisherman:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.
Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
What else is there to say? Are you busting your butt for MORE when you can thrive with little?
When you are working "at the grindstone" for so long, working for the money yet hoping to enjoy it later, how long can you go? How long before you burn out - can you hold out until then?
Look at your relationships and the way you approach the world.
How this may leave an impact even after you're gone.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Do a budget inventory as to where your money is going in your home
What does that say about you and what you value?
What does an ideal world look like for you and your family?
What do you need as a baseline for your budget to sustain where you’re at, and what do you need beyond that (to get out of debt, move toward that goal, etc).
Don't look at money as the end-all-be-all. Money is a tool for what you want, period. What do you really want to make you happy? And, on that note, in the podcast Nathan references Seth Godin, and what he said in a powerful interview with Marie Forleo:
“It’s just so much easier to decide to find meaning in what we do than it is to go shopping around in things to do, hoping we find something that gives us meaning.”
Instead of searching for a life that is meaningful, find meaning in your life! Instead of buying things for your life that give you meaning, find that substance in the life you’ve already created.
It's okay to hustle. It's okay to make money. Just pay attention to your WHY, and what this says about what you value. Pay attention to what has true meaning for you and how you are adding that into your life - and noticing what you already have.
What does an ideal world look like for you? What is your baseline budget, and how can money be an assistant to the life you want versus your master?
Money is a terrible master - let it serve you and your family well by taking the reins of what it means for you.
Some additional resources for you
- Money Can't Buy...
- What Is Your Purpose for Money?
- Can You Have a No-Spend Month?
- Money, marriage and mountain lions (episode 58)
- How Are You Going To Pay For Your Party? (Episode 53)
- Which Wolf Do You Feed? Work & Finances (Episode 23)
- What does freedom look like? (Episode 119)
- Money, Love...or Both? (Episode 143)