Category Archives: enough

Money’s Job

Most of us have an odd idea of what money’s job is.  We treat it as if it was a sentient being.  It’s amazing how much this abstract construct has become a force that we presume acts on its own.  We wait for money to give us signals before we act.  We blame money for our not being where we want to be in life.  We refuse to look at our money because we are sure that it will lecture us or shame us.  Money is doing its job, it’s just different than what we expect.

Many of us are waiting for something from money.  Some sign that we are okay or have “arriveMoney-Talksd”.  I’ve talked with people who feel that they can’t actually pursue the life they “really” want until they have somehow earned enough money to deserve it.  At the same time others feel that not having amassed “enough” money is a fatal character flaw that they must hide.   Others tend to spend what they don’t have.

These and other similar ideas come from not really understanding what money’s job is.  All money is doing trying to tell you what you are doing.  Money doesn’t tell you what you wish you were doing, it tells you what you are actually doing.  It has no judgement, it just reports and reflects.  As a matter of fact, it reflects very clearly.

Remember that old thing about “Try to pick up a pencil?”  It was one of those things I experienced in a Personal Growth training years ago.  You can’t actually “try”… you either pick it up or you don’t.   There is similar way that we “try” with money.  We want money to be there before we take a step or make a choice but money can’t do that.  All money does is show what we are up to.  So what it shows is that we are “trying” to have money do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.

There is more truth than we know in the “Do what you love, the money will follow,” statement, because that’s all the money can do.  It follows or reflects what you are doing.  It shows that you are waiting.  It shows that you are accepting things that are contrary to your dreams, hopes and desires. It shows whether or not you are doing “what you love.”

Okay, I can feel your inner critic voice rising up and saying, “That’s nuts, I can’t just ignore all the responsibilities I have!”  That’s absolutely true.  And is it at all possible that you could honor your responsibilities in a way that has you also honoring your dreams and desires?  What if you stop waiting for money to tell you when? What if you changed to you telling money, by how you use and earn it, what is truly important to you?   It’s your job after all, not money’s.  Money is doing its job.  It’s reflecting what you are really up to.  It will show you if you look.   Money isn’t designed to generate something on its own.  It’s designed to convert your energy into your wishes.  That’s what it’s doing.   If you want something different it’s up to you to change your actions, then money will reflect those changes.

If you’d like to explore this tangle give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at  www.sensiblecoaching.com

Ka’ching,

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Time Travel

Most of us have spent some time pondering time travel. That idea of being able to go back and do something differently, or even just go back and relive some time in our past, is timetravelcaptivating. It’s also great fun to dream about and imagine the future. We think this is the stuff of science fiction novels, which it often is. And we do it all the time.

Yes, as humans we practice time travel. Many of us spend much more time time traveling than we do being in the present.

I’m sure that my dog, Decaf, used to dream. She would run in her sleep, just pedaling those back legs like crazy. That could certainly be considered time travel. But mostly dogs are in the present. “Ah, here, bone! Wow! Hey, over here, really good smells. Woof!” Many of us have experienced a similar phenomenon with cats. “Yes, you may rub me there, that is nice. Oh, I’m done now, meow!”

I hadn’t really considered this idea until I was on a call last week with Jim Smith (www.TheExecutiveHappinessCoach.com). He talked about the idea that we are all time travelers. This idea entranced me, and naturally (for me anyway) that lead me to thinking about how time travel effects how we think about money. It’s a money knot to untangle! Ha!

Most of the angst we have about money has little to do with where money is in the present. In this moment your money is what it is. It is dollars and cents. It is numbers. It is NOT emotion. The emotion in money comes from the past and the future. It comes from your time travel and the time travel of your parents. They worried about money, being afraid it would never be enough. You learned to worry about it, and not only did you time travel with it, but you agreed with theirs. If you travel back in time and consider your past, there has always been enough wasn’t there? Sometimes enough was less than at other times but there was enough, right?

And your worry about the future is that there won’t be enough. You travel ahead and fret about it. If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, then you will also have enough in the future, since you had enough in the past, right? Part of the problem is that deep down you probably believe that worrying about money actually helped you do better with it.

I’m going to disagree with that idea, and explore it in the present. So, think of something about money that is worrisome. Okay, now fret a bit about it. What are the thoughts you come up with? Most likely something about “I must save more. Who knows what might happen? What if I lose my job? What if the house catches fire?….” on and on. Notice that the worry actually takes you time traveling into the future. We can plan for the future, we can dream of the future but we can’t actually be there, can we? So worrying now just distracts you from the present and sends you time traveling. It gets you emotional and more importantly distracts you from being here now.

Here’s a revelation. All those choices that you made about money in the past are what created where you are today with money, right? And when you made most of them, you weren’t really conscious of them in the present moment. In that past place you were worrying about money in the future. You weren’t really and truly noticing what you were doing with your money in that now. You were making choices without clear thought or direction. That’s where the money mess started. Right there while you were distracted with time traveling.

There is only one place to fix your money…NOW! It’s not about the choices you made in the past or the ones you make in the future. It’s the ones you make now. We all may have some “clean up” to do around our money choices and thinking, and it starts now, right now.

How about practicing actually being in the present when you are dealing with money? What is that purchase you are making? What is it about? How does it support you? How does it really reflect what you want from your money? Be in the now with money…and know that doing that will change the future and the past from here on out!

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Ka’ching,

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Generosity With Boundaries

I’ve been practicing what I call “Generosity with boundaries” for ages. Frankly, it’s always seemed important to me. How can I help people stand in Plentyland if I’m generositycoming from scarcity? I need to walk my talk. Part of that is to be generous while taking good care of myself and thus, “Generosity with boundaries”. Of course, this idea, like money itself, isn’t just about money. It’s about using all of our assets in a way that is both generous and self-supporting. So ideally, it’s the notion that we help others with our time, energy and, sometimes, money. And we make sure that we help in ways that don’t jeopardize our own well being.

Let’s layer in the idea that money is reflective. What that means is that money doesn’t actually make things happen. Instead it reflects, or shows you, what you are choosing to do with it. It shows you if you are walking your talk, whatever that talk may be.

And I think there is also something in here about the idea of the Golden Rule: “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” Do I treat others the way I’d like to be treated? And do I use my money with others the way I’d like them to use it with me? I don’t think this concept, that is fostered by many religions and philosophies, is simply about being “‘nice”. I think it truly has to do with the idea that we get back what we put out.

We aren’t likely to gain respect by treating others with disdain. Being aloof isn’t likely to create friendliness in others. Sure, not everyone we are kind or generous to is going to be that way to us. However, our being kind will make the possibility of the kindness being returned more likely.

The real question is: Do you treat your money transactions the same way? Do you treat others around money the way you want to be treated? How do you want to be treated around money? For me, words like fairness and respect come to mind. I really want to come from a win/win place. I don’t want to be taken advantage of and I also don’t want to take advantage of others.

I’m not responsible for the choices others make around their money. I am responsible for how I use my money and how that reflects my ethics and values.

So what would “generosity with boundaries” look like for you and your money?

I’m here to help you untangle your money knots. Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Ka’ching,

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Extremes

Do you find that your money always shows up in extremes?  For example, you get a lump of it at the beginning of the month, spend it and then find there is none until the next month.

If so, you may very well be trapped in the scarcity place (feast or famine, binge or purge, black or white, all or nothing…all the same stuff).  It’s a concept of extremes, and it’s exhausting.  Your little kid part that I often speak about is still in charge of your money.  extremesWhen the money comes in, she spends it…all.  She doesn’t think past this moment.  It’s part of being a little kid.

It’s all about that tricky balance thing.  You need to wrap your head around it differently.  Think of the middle, instead of the ends.  After all, the colors are all in the middle between black and white.  Emotionally, you need to make it more valuable to take care of yourself all month than to splurge…not from a sense of boring duty, but from a sense of self love.  This is the inside work.

Consider some outside structures that might help:

          When you get the funds immediately put 30 – 40% aside

          Every time you spend money put 15% aside

          Save some amount every time you get money – this is the crucial one.

Our brain needs to know that we CAN save.  It doesn’t matter how much, even one dollar is fine.  Brainwise, it’s the action of saving that is important, not the amount.

If you are spending it all, and then find yourself lacking, you are doing what ‘poor’ people do.  Poverty creates an interesting concept of quickly exchanging money for stuff.  The belief and logic is that someone may take money from you, but it’s harder for them to take stuff away from you.  So spend it all now, so that no one can take it away.  The trick is to establish the idea and process of saving, taking action to believe that it’s not just about today, but self-care for tomorrow.

Practice this and you will change the behavior and the beliefs…at the same time.

Ka-ching

Shell

Your Porridge

Do you think your porridge is the perfect temperature?  That’s what you are betting on when the very first thing you tell someone is how much you charge.

It happens to us all the time.  We meet someone and, right after they ask what we do, they ask what we charge.  Don’t answer that question at that time.  It’s a trap.  What they are unconsciously doing is distracting themselves from actually finding out about you and your services.  And you are helping them succeed at the distraction.

Once you answer the question of what you charge they are no longer present.  They are in that part of their brain that is analyzing what you just said.  And what they are thinking is most likely either: “Wow, that’s a lot!” or “Gee, that seems too cheap”.  The likelihood of your number being perfect “porridge” is pretty slim.  Remember, unless it is perfect, in their mind, you have lost their attention by giving them the number.

Instead, wait until you know more about them, and they know more about you, before you talk price.   Here’s how that works.  By all means, acknowledge the question. If you don’t, they will be wondering why you skipped over it, and again be somewhere else other than with you.  But instead of giving them the number, steer them back to talking about what they might find valuable in what you do.  It could sound something like this:  “I get that you are interested in knowing how much working with me would cost…and…before we go there, tell me more about you.  How might I be able to help you?”

Create rapport and relationship.  Present to them some positives, be they actions that could be taken or results that could be achieved, so that when and if the money part gets stated, there is a context for it.  They will have value to judge the number by. The money won’t be the only thing they are thinking of. They will also be aware of what the result of the expense will really be. The will see the value they get for their money.

That way they much more likely to want your porridge!

Expats

In order to really live your dreams and find your life, most of us have to become “expats”.  I don’t mean you actually have to move to a foreign land.  However, you will have to understand that your dream land doesn’t match the dream lands of those around you.  Your family, your culture, your friends all have dreams and expectations for you.  Mostly they are their interpretations of what is best for you, or what is best in general.  They aren’t all bad, they just may not fulfill your inner desires.

Long ago I was doing a call with a young woman who wanted to become a coach.  She was enthused and dedicated to becoming a financial success.  Part of her dream was to improve the financial position of her family.  To bring them along with her, if you will.  I know I bursted her bubble when I said: “but they won’t want to come”.

Our families, clans and tribes have their internal cultures or “lands”.  They have their own mythology and mores.  A bunch of those concepts are around money.  Some come from struggles.  One that families that came from “depression era” people have is “we know how to get through the hard times.”  It becomes a badge of honor, a beloved quality of fortitude.  If someone comes along and says “well, that’s all well and good, but you can actually have money, comfort and ease.  You can stop struggling”, there is a way in which they don’t want to hear it.  It would fly in the face of truths they have held forever.  They might even feel that they had done it “wrong”.  That’s pretty jolting.  They may not really be ready for such a radical shift.

So if you have dreams that are different than those expected by your family or group, and you really want those dreams, you are going to have to become a kind of “expat”.

You may have to figure out how to live in the foreign country of ease and wealth.

Many of us have already done this “expat” thing in many ways.  We’ve moved across the country, we’ve married people that didn’t fit the prescribed pattern, we’ve made different choices.

I’m just pointing to the fact that in order to make those different choices around your money, you’ll have to strike out into foreign territory, and be more self reliant.  You’ll have to become an “expat”.

Plenty To Go Around

At some point long ago, the financial success of individuals was tied to scarcity and demand.  In medieval times, the guy with the castle had more food than the guy working his fields.  The nobleman took what he wanted, and whatever was left was divvied up amongst the rest.  They couldn’t just go to the store and buy some more.  There are still some commodities that work that way. Non-renewables like oil and gold come to mind.  But what about money?

Much of the media and many people are still thinking is this medieval way.  Let’s call it  “I don’t have it because they do”.  It’s based on resentment.  Somehow, to me, it’s also ties to worrying about my possibility of being employed  when there is 8% unemployment.  It is scarcity based, as if there was only so much to go around, and someone is keeping me from having it.  Remember, seven percent unemployment means that 93% of the people are employed…and I can be one of the 93%.  I’m not going to align myself with the scarcity thinking.  When more people that have money, then more of it is circulating around me, and thus the more I can have for my own.

 What’s true, based upon statistics about Gross National Product,  property values, etc, is that there is enough money in the United States  for every citizen to be a millionaire.  What’s true is that counting all the  money in the world would be like counting grains of sand…you could do  it, but why bother?  What’s true is that no matter how much money  Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey have, their wealth will have no effect  on how much you have.  There is plenty to go around.

What is most important to realize is that when you focus your personal money thinking based on the larger economic perspective, you distract yourself from being effective.  Your money is the “micro”, the close in part.  The wealthy not “sharing” more money is the “macro”, the big picture part.  Yes, it affects the economy.  Yes, it may feel unfair.  BUT, don’t confuse your concern about that big picture stuff with you and your personal money.  You can be part of the 93%.  You may have to be more diligent, but you can be part of the 93%.

Are you holding your success as something you can create, or something that you are just unable achieve?  Where are you giving away your power and your choice?  What if you took it back? Remember, 93% is the overwhelming majority.

Being Greedy

Are you afraid of being greedy?  Are you worried that there is a part of you that might want to take all the dolls?  Eat all the cake?  Cheat others out of their share?

Many clients have expressed that fear to me.  Here’s what I know to be true.  If you are worried about being greedy then you aren’t really capable of it.  The worry itself points to your awareness of the greed.  I think that people who are truly greedy don’t actually think of it as greed.  They think of it as their reward, what they have earned, what they have a right to.

Sure as young children we all may have been chastised about being greedy or selfish.  It’s was part of how we learned to share.  Sharing is a way of supporting the group as a whole, and not being selfish.  All well and good.

Greedy is defined as:  “Wanting or taking all that one can get, with NO THOUGHT of others needs.”  So by definition if you are worried about being greedy, and worried about taking from others, you don’t actually have greed.

Think of the greed warning as yet another tactic of that voice in your head.  You know the one, the inner critic that is always on you about being good enough?  Its job is to keep you worried and fretting so you are distracted from being effective.  If you weren’t worried about being greedy what would you do differently?  And what might that bring?  What new thoughts and experiences might letting go of that fear and fret give you?

Who knows, one possibility is that by not worrying about being greedy you might actually amass more that you could choose to share.  Hmmm…