Money…Love…or Both? (Episode 143)
It’s time to talk money. And no, not from yet another data analyst, financial expert or business perspective. It’s time to talk about money and the role it plays in your whole life.
What is this energy around money, and how critical is it in our lives? Does our work define us? As we navigate big changes across the globe, and especially here in the US, where our whole economy is being disrupted and is shifting, maybe now is the time to go back to the bigger picture.
The picture beyond money, beyond work, beyond your to-dos, and take a step back. What does success really look like to you? How much impact do your finances have on your happiness?
How much impact do your finances have on your happiness?
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?
When you think of it, what thoughts come up? Does it bring to mind:
Yikes! If money is such a negative in our lives, why do we choose to revolve everything around it?
Money Isn't The Only Currency
There are actually still people who do not use money to this day. While these groups are getting smaller and smaller, there still are areas that appreciate bartering, living in community, and looking at other exchanges of energy:
"A community fair held over three days in India is based completely on a barter system, and has been since the fair started 600 years ago. The market consists of tribespeople coming down from the surrounding hillsides to sell local wares. It’s at this fair in Assam where there is evidence of the last remaining barter system in India." *
Is Money Simply Your Insecurity?
In the book Ask & It Is Given, this description is laid out:
When you do not have enough money, you want more. But, we want you to understand that the distance you will be traveling is not the distance between “not enough” money to “enough” money, but instead is the distance between a feeling of insecurity to a feeling of security.
The feelings and emotions we have around money, I feel, are a direct influence to our relationship to it and its impact in our lives. Maybe it’s not so much about the money in the bank or our investments – but so much more about the perceived security we feel by having it. And that’s just that – it’s perceived. If my bank account gives me security, but in the process I’ve sabotaged the marriage I had due to my neglect of the relationship…then maybe it didn’t really ensure my security at all. At least not my emotional security.
What Is The Magic Number To Make It All Okay?
I’ve found that people tend to live at or above their means – if you make $30,000/yr or $150,000/yr, unless you are intentionally setting money aside, you will live at what you have or stretch for more.
Oh, the Entrepreneurs
In our 48 Days Eagles community, I recently got a note from one of our Eagles members. She said,
Hey Ashley. I'm looking for a sounding board. I've been considering a business launch - a parenting coaching/consulting business for parents of autistic children (parents like me). But even as I go through the process of creating a business plan, I second guess myself and wonder if I should invest this time and energy into my writing dream.
How do you determine what path to follow and where to invest your time and energy? Is this about a path not taken seeming appealing? Is it fear/doubt/uncertainty? Should I listen to my gut (though I'm not sure I know what my gut is telling me right now).
I'm 53 and I'm starting to wonder what I should pursue and what I want my life/legacy to reflect.
I'd love some thoughts on how to break this down and consider my options. Thanks, Janet
We so go through this as entrepreneurs. When you lift any glass ceiling, you’re then looking at no limit on what you can make. So what are entrepreneurs super guilty of? Doing nothing but making more money…for what??
What are you making money for? What is driving that desire to make it – for what? For who? What does it fulfill for you?
The Prostitute Archetype
Now hear me out, this isn't about prostituting yourself. But think about this archetype. A prostitute will essentially sell their soul in exchange for money, right? They sacrifice something great, weighing the cons yet deciding the money exchange is worth it. There is a certain price they are willing to sell themselves for.
We all have an element of the prostitute archetype. There will always be elements of your life where you are picking at this - those things we don't necessarily want to do, but we do it anyway to reap the benefit of the reward. Like an entrepreneur that has to round up all their stuff for taxes even though they hate it, ultimately, it's a necessary element of their business even though it may drain them entirely to get it done.
Sometimes we hem and haw on this so much - am I giving too much of myself, am I not giving enough, am I being taken advantage of? And ultimately, part of the navigation is simply testing the waters.
Life is a balancing act through and through - and navigating "necessary evils" in your life - like maybe needing to hustle in a job you don't enjoy for a short bit for the longer reward of building a nest egg, doing that "one day" thing, etc. It may be you aren't sure where you're headed, but I guarantee you it'll require you starting. Remember, you are the driver for your life - and as you drive forward in life, pay attention to your inner voice.
Your intuition can be a powerful coach. Pay attention to how you're feeling in the process. We can typically tell when we're working too much in the prostitute archetype, or if we're going in the wrong direction, simply by paying attention to our own discontent. Are you feeling like something is off, you aren't quite getting it, or some element of unrest/unease? Sit with that and see if you can find the source of it.
If you are unsure on next steps, pay attention to your own hesitations and see if you can get to the root. Organic growth. Pay attention to this. Listen to the podcast episode above.
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.
Are You Getting Intentional With Where You Want To Go?
Warren Buffet said, "when the tide goes out you find out who has been skinny dipping." Ultimately, when shit hits the fan, you see quickly who has prepared and who hasn't. We're seeing that in light of today's current events, where the desperation and fear rising is coming often from those who didn't plan. Heck, no one planned for Pandemic 2020, but that's where we are.
Some people are thanking their lucky stars they have a nest egg.
Some people are seeing a huge upsurge in business and are navigating extra demand, not less.
Some people are fine financially, and are getting their eyes opened to the other areas of their life they may have been ignoring.
Some are seriously struggling, yet may have a chance to step up and find work right now in a crisis situation that, long-term, not only supports them, but maybe allows them to creep out of debt or gain enough of a foothold to then find or create work that really does fit them well.
Some are valuing the relationships around them in a whole new way, as priorities have shifted and our world has slowed down.
Your Weekly Challenge:
If you are feeling out of control or frazzled by lack of plans, start to look at what feelings will help you bring control back into your life, and start to create a plan to get to those feelings again.
Crisis or no crisis, there is a difference between moving forward with intention vs. simply reacting. Don't go backward. Don't wait for what is thrown at you. Create and take that step forward.
I'm not waiting around for us to "go back to normal". "Normal" has been tossed out the window, and we're creating a new season of humanity. We have had shifts before, and each one changes us.
We've had huge shifts in everything - think back to what "normal" was in the 1920s. We aren't back to 1920s normal; life is entirely different, and not what we could even comprehend then. I think about my precious grandmother trying to navigate an online business, being born in the 1920s and being raised Amish. That is so far beyond what she knew, or knew was possible.
We're not just talking shifts in business, healthcare or education. We're talking pulling back from our way of life and resetting. What do you want this life to be moving forward? What do you want to carry with you in this new season, and what is it time to let go of?
Where are you spending your money? Your time and energy? Do you really need - or want - what you had in your life before March 2020? What if you had the opportunity for a blank slate to create the life you want for the future?