Category Archives: money beliefs

How I Learned About Money

First, let me say that this is a blog I’m writing particularly for Adam Naor to share on Pennybox.com.  Pennybox is an app for kids to learn about earning and using money in a practical and fun way. I was delighted to find out Pennybox is doing something directed specifically to kids around money.  Adam asked me for a blog to use on Pennybox—about myself and how I learned about money—so I, of course thought I should share it with you.  Here goes!

The story is all about me and my dad, A. C. Royden Stone, known as Stoney.  A little bit of context about Dad and money.  My dad was 1957 Dad and Meborn in Oklahoma in 1925, he lived through the dust bowl as a little kid.  My grandparents moved to Wyoming in the 30’s and opened a ‘lunch room’ which was run by the family.  Dad served in WWII and was a POW held in a German prison camp.   When my parents first met he was riding the rodeo circuit and dealing poker for a living.  By the time I was five he had sold insurance, had ‘made it rain’ for farmers in Washington by selling ‘seeding clouds’ and was managing a Pepsi plant in Minnesota.

He was what one calls a ‘self-made’ man.  Later in life he went on to become a TV producer, manage cable TV systems, and—even later—motels.  This background sets the stage for his relationship with money.  He always had a bunch of cash, and was likely to buy a round for the bar.  I don’t think he ever really tracked it or accounted for it—which makes his earnest and engaging methods of getting me both comfortable and savvy with it all the more remarkable.  I was an only child, born in the early 50’s, and a girl.  He wanted to make sure I was smart and self sufficient when it came to money.

He started me early, and he made it engaging, fun, and emotionally rewarding.   When I was really young it was more about numbers than money.  The tool he used then was to teach me how to play poker.  Important life lessons were learned through learning old gambling terms—about “breasting your cards” (not flapping them around), and “not betting on the cards to come” (assuming the right cards will show in the next deal).   Really good things to know in addition to the numbers piece.

When I started getting an allowance part of the deal was that in order to get the allowance I had to keep a ledger of my spending.  It had two columns:  Income and Outgo.  If it was up to date and balanced, I got my allowance.  The brilliant part here was that he had no judgement around what I spent, he just wanted me to account for it.  Trust me, if this had been my Mother, she would have had judgement about every entry, and I would have not been able to succeed.  I think that was an inherent part of his strategy, he wanted me to feel good about this money stuff, so he framed it in a way that I would.

Amazingly it was only a couple of years ago while talking to a client about my dad’s ‘money training’ that I had a clear insight about this one thing he did.  He would borrow money from me on a Friday night in order to take my mother out.  This started when I was about nine.  I was delighted to help my dad!  I felt so ‘grown up’.  And he would always pay me back on Monday with interest, so there was that cool idea of ‘investing’ thrown in there.  What I didn’t realize, but am now sure of is that he never actually needed to borrow the money!  He ALWAYS had a wad of cash.  He was doing this so I would learn about money.  Yay, Dad!

There were other examples and the last one I’ll share is no doubt his favorite!  I was about 13 and wanted a sewing machine.  My dad said that if I saved half the money he’d give me the other half.  I saved and saved money from baby sitting for quite awhile—in those days baby sitting was 50 cents to a dollar an hour!  When I had the money together I went to Dad and he asked how much the machine I wanted was.  I said: “$125.00”, and he said: “Okay, then I’ll give you $62.50” to which I said: “No, just give me $60.00.  I want owning interest.”  In that moment he was the happiest man on earth.  He had successfully taught me about money!

It is no wonder that I ended up an accountant.  The actual magic is that I ended up a Money Coach.  See, my deeper nature is not about crunching the numbers but about understanding why people do what they do.  So with the great relationship that my dad helped me create with money, I was not only able to manage and understand money, but to notice when others were bewildered by it.  When another executive I worked with came into my office one day and, after closing the door, sat down and said: “Shell, I need your help, I can’t balance my checkbook!”, I knew that this was not a skill set issue.  It was deeper than a method—it was in his head.  That was just another event that led me to my current career of helping people untangle their money knots…and fundamentally, without my dad and his loving care in helping me be at ease with money, that would never have happened.  I’ll love him forever, for that, and so much more.

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Other People’s Money… Knots

This week I have invited my friend, Arthur Breur, to be a ‘guest blogger’.  He came up against a very interesting “money knot” while asking for contributions to support an overture he composed for the Tualatin Valley Symphony.  And it you want to come see its debut performance here’s where to get your tickets for the May 21st, 7:00 p.m. concert. Take it away, Arthur!

Tualatin Overture by Arthur BreurI recently experienced an interesting “money knot” situation that Shell and I thought you might find value in.

First, a little bit of my own history.

I have composed music my entire life, and I consider it my best talent and skill. But I have never worked “full time” as a composer. I have worked in print, graphic design, and website design, and many years ago started my own “multimedia” business that currently focuses on web development.

Around my 40th birthday, as many people do, I started to think about my life and what I really wanted to accomplish. Where had my dreams gone of composing? I still thought of myself as being a composer, but I had barely composed anything for years.

I pulled out the old sheet music from my various compositions, in every state of completion, and started working on them again. That was about nine years ago, and in those nine years I have easily composed as much music as I had over the twenty-some years before that.

A few years ago, I took these efforts one step farther and joined the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce as a composer. I have always made sure my company belonged to the local chamber, but I wanted to make it official that I was now also “in the business” of composing music.  It was a first step toward getting paid for writing music, and therefore being considered as a “professional” composer!

Then, through an event put on by the Chamber of Commerce I was introduced to the Tualatin Valley Symphony. That’s right: a symphony orchestra performs practically in my own back yard! Well, to make what could be a very long story very short, in late October 2016, I met the orchestra’s Conductor & Music Director, Mark Perlman, and he offered that if I composed a piece for the orchestra’s May 2017 concert, they would perform it—which was the moment of inception for my new work, the Tualatin Overture.  Through all this  I was deftly stepping over the idea of my composing actually generating income!

Enter the Chamber of Commerce “AM Networking” events.

When I first conceived of the Tualatin Overture, I did not spend any time imagining that it was a commission. It was an offer from the conductor of a non-profit community orchestra to perform a work, but it was not the offer to pay me for it. I was eager to create a piece of music that would be performed by an orchestra, and I strategically planned that it would be something I did for the City of Tualatin, hoping that doing so might give the work extra “legs” beyond a single performance—but I was not expecting that I would be compensated financially by the orchestra or by the city.

At some point it occurred to me that, even though this was not a commissioned work, I need not be entirely on my own spending so much of my own time and money (sheet music needs to be printed out, copyrights need to be filed, etc.) on the project. While I was the only person who would be creating the music, surely members of the Tualatin community—businesses and individuals both—would feel that this project was something that they could support. So I came up with the plan to appeal for patrons of the work, and I planned that the first group I would reach out to would be local businesses. The perfect opportunity for this kind of request was the Chamber’s weekly AM Networking event, which includes the opportunity to pay $5.00 for one minute of time in front of the members of the Chamber—usually more than 50 business owners and representatives.

So I stood in front of the Tualatin Chamber and reminded them that I was composing the Tualatin Overture, and announced that I was looking for patrons whose names and businesses would be included on the score and in the program notes I would be creating for the composition. I had come up with the initial target of getting total commitments of $1,000 that day, and asked for five or more contributions of $200 each.

And here comes the “money knot”—and the surprising outcome.

After the AM Networking ended that day and people were milling around chatting, a member of the Chamber—who happens to also be a fan of my music—very forthrightly, and with every intention of helping, suggested that asking for contributions of $200 was just too much, and I should have asked for contributions of, say, $20 instead. Yes, it would take more contributions, but I would get more people contributing at a more “manageable” cost.  (I immediately noticed that this person’s perspective was influenced by a money knot, of not ‘asking for too much’ and that my situation was an example of what Shell refers to as others dumping their ‘money stuff’ on us.)

Then, right as I was having that conversation, another chamber member walked up and said they wanted to be a patron for the overture, and offered a contribution for $500 on the spot. They certainly had a different money perspective of how much was ‘enough’ or ‘too much’, and suddenly with just a single patron, I was halfway to my starting goal!

Later that same day I reached out to another chamber member who had not been able to be at the AM Networking. This was someone who is a long-time fan and who had previously commissioned me to compose a song as a birthday gift for a relative. Without my mentioning a number, they offered to write a check for $500.

So within the day I had achieved my initial target of $1,000 from just two eager patrons. I have continued pursuing more patrons and will so until I have to print the “final” score and program notes for the premiere performance.

I can’t help but wonder how the day might have turned out if I had asked for $20 contributions—or if I had asked for $500 contributions.  It’s very interesting to look at how our thinking about money can either limit or expand our possibilities.

And now here I am, a working composer, making money at my craft.

— Arthur Breur

Thanks, Arthur!

Shell Tain, The Untangler

If you’d a bit more conversation about how money thinking effects your money results, give me  a call at  503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.shelltain.com.

 

The Values Behind the Actions

Frankly, whatever we do, it reflects who we are.  Money is a place where that reflection of values is very clear.  As you’ve heard me say before it’s a great place to look at to see just what we are up to.  Recently I had a really positive experience of that at—of all places—a Hyundai car dealership.

car-windshield-wipers-in-the-rainI have a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe (you may have seen the post “Perfect Bandage Fix” about it earlier this year).  Anyway the little do-hickey that squirts the cleaning fluid on the windshield was clogged on the drivers side.  And as people are want to say in these here parts, “It rains in Oregon.”  After trying the “pin poke” method, I made an appointment with the dealership to take it in to have the offending do-hickey fixed—and yes, it was raining that day.

When I got there they discovered that I wasn’t in their database.  I had never been there before.  As I went into the waiting area to do the magazine hunt while they fixed the car, I noticed one of the mechanics and a female customer over to the side talking.  It appeared that there were a bunch of things wrong with her car, and he was going over a game plan with her on how to get it back in shape.  I was frankly impressed with how the mechanic was handling the situation.  The woman appeared to be a bit flustered and worried.  He was empathetic, clear, patient, and relaxed, without a hint of being patronizing.

Frankly in my experience that’s hard to find in a mechanic.  I remember once long ago when a mechanic at a gas station asked me if I wanted to have him fill the radiator on my VW bug.  My response was “No thanks, I had my boyfriend do that this morning!”  (For those who don’t know, the classic VW Bugs are air cooled—no radiator.  But I digress.)

Back to the waiting room.  At this point I’m impressed with the dealership based on the conversation I’m listening to.  Now a guy with a clip board comes in and calls my name.  He tells me that the little hose that takes the soapy water to the actual squirter do-hickey was clogged and he’s cleared it.  I say “Wonderful, how much do I owe you?” and he says:  “It’s no charge, it’s just a little thing.”

As I got into my car, I was smiling.  In general I have always had that, “Don’t go to the dealership!  They charge way more!”  thing in my head.  I based it on previous experience, and it was firmly there.  It’s now changed.

Although this may sound like a plug for Beaverton Hyundai, which it certainly is, it is also very much about Customer Service.  And Customer Service is about building trust and aligning with your values, yes?

Sure they could have charged me to clear the clog.  I would have happily paid it.  It would have been fine.  What they did instead was create a relationship with me by being generous in a small way.  The value of caring and consideration reflected in their actions.

Guess where I’ll go when the car needs fixing?

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Want to explore how you might build more trust in little ways with your clients? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website: www.sensiblecoaching.com

Truth, Love and Money

My friend, Chris Venn (http://www.chrisvenn.com) and I were talking awhile back about his idea that what we really need in life is Truth and Love.  I’m sure he’s been having this conversation with others, and it’s one that is well worth exploring.  The idea rang true to me.  When either or both Truth and Love are missing we are in trouble. Like a lot of things that I really get engaged in, this is an idea this is simple and elegant at first glance that cascades into a deeper concept. Allow me to delve into it a bit more before I add money to the mix:

truth-and-loveTruth: for me truth usually means something that is always the same, as opposed to belief which can be mostly the same.  In what Chris and I were discussing, I think truth is more about the absence of fantasy or illusion.  I’d hate to have to admit how many time in life I held out hoping something would be different than it was—I chose to believe my dreams instead of the reality in front of me (and yes, that does have to do with relationships with others). So truth is what we really know for sure, right?

Love: My interpretation here is that Chris and I were talking about compassion, caring, thoughtfulness, generosity, etc.  Loving as a way of being with oneself and with others, not so much the romantic thang!  And for me, love and being loving have something to do with living in my values.  Treating others and myself with respect, compassion, and caring.

Okay, now with definitions in place, what’s this got to do with money?  Everything!

Money just tells the truth.  It can’t help it.  If it was an actual person, that person would be incapable of lying.  Now, I don’t mean that we can’t use or spend money chasing illusions, we do that all the time!  But Money itself doesn’t lie.  It tells us we are chasing an illusion.  Well, actually it doesn’t come out and say, “Hey there you!  You are chasing an illusion!” Instead it says, “You just spent this much money on that item.”

joe-friday-just-the-factsFor those of you who are as old as I am, Money is like Sgt. Friday in Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.” Now I’ll admit he was grumpy, and terse—check this out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMIZGrgWOO4) —but, he’s also all business (and pretty funny to me).

So that brings us to the emotional part, doesn’t it?  Love is certainly an emotion, and Money doesn’t actually have emotion, in and of itself.  So how does Money help with that? It will reflect your emotion, by showing you how you choose to use it.

It’s actually one of the gifts of Money.  There is no ‘spin’ on Money, except what we put on it.  It’s the most neutral source for us to see what we are up to.  That parental voice in your head that says you shouldn’t spend money on THAT, whatever ‘that’ is, isn’t your Money, it’s your inner critic!  Money, unlike your mother, or your spouse, or your friends, doesn’t actually have an opinion about what you are up to.  All it does it tell you what you are doing—without judgement.

That’s a really good thing to know, and use.  It’s a source of information, right there, under your nose.  If life is not rolling along well for you, Money can will tell you where things are wonky.  You have to do the interpreting.  Money says you bought yourself a new car.  You need to notice what the car means to you, what it is reflecting.  Do you love it?  Is it about status?  Did you somehow settle for a car you don’t like?  What’s going on?  All that is your part, the application of Love and Truth—Money’s job is that Joe Friday gig of “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Want to explore what Money is telling you about Truth and Love in your life? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website: www.sensiblecoaching.com

Who’s In the Director’s Chair?

Recently I was watching an interview with my friend and colleague, David Darst and he brought up the classic Hollywood actor’s desire: “What I really want to do is direct!”  Directing is what we all want to do on some level.  Even Barbie wants to direct as exemplified by the “Film Director Barbie”—I know, I was astounded too!

Barbie Film Director

David was talking about how we want to be in the Director’s Chair in our relationships.  You know how that works—we want to  have everyone do things the way we want them.  Of course since our partners want to also direct, such a desire gets pretty messy.

I loved the analogy and started thinking about it on a personal level. For many years my title was Controller, which seems to me to be a money version of Director, so I too like to be ‘in-charge’.  I truly think we all do.

And yet, what I notice is that many people think that when it comes to money, they aren’t the Director, Money is.  For that to be true Money would have to dictate and direct what is happening, and it doesn’t do that.  What it does, as you’ve no doubt heard me say before, is reflect your choices.  Using our film analogy, Money is more like the “Director’s Cut” of the film—a reflection of what you the Director created.

So the problem really is, when you think Money is the Director you stop taking charge yourself.  You “let” things just happen.   You fall into what I call Money Traps, which are basically unconscious spending habits that don’t align with your values and goals.

Remember all those great Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland movies where the ‘kids’ put on a spontaneous musical in the barn?  They all had a Director.  It was Mickey.  He took the role, and coordinated the show.

Without someone directing we end up with chaos, yes? Or at least something unorganized and random!

Managing your money, taking the role of director regarding how you make it, spend it, save it actually isn’t as complicated as Directing all the aspects of an MGM 30’s musical.  It has to do with you being clear and purposeful with your money decisions.

If Mickey and Barbie can do it, so can you!  How about a major rewrite of the script you are following when it comes to your money?  How about making yourself not only the Director but the lead actor?  The one who moves the story and action along, instead of the person who is pulled through the plot by circumstances with no control?

This whole thing leads me to a great idea!  Why not write up the storyline of you and Money as it has unfolded in your life, and then, just for the fun of it do a re-write of how you’d like it to be?

You really are the Director of your money, so why not own and enjoy that?  After all, most of us do really want to direct!

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

How about a little help changing your storyline when it comes to money? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Rank, Revenge and Money

Recently I was reminded of the complexity of a crucial couple’s money knot: what happens when one partner “controls” the money?

I was asked by my friend, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury to be on her new Breaking Money Silence® Podcast Series.  She’s hosting conversations around money myths that we hold.  The one I chose to talk about was “I have to know everything about the money to feel safe”.  We had a really great conversation which covered many aspects of the myth.  Here’s the link to the podcast so you can check it out: http://www.kbkwealthconnection.com/podcasts/myth-money-feel-safe/powerstruggle

One of the things that’s really intriguing to me about this topic is the concept of Rank and Revenge around money.  Let’s dig more into that one, okay?

Frequently in a relationship money is the place where power struggles are uber visible.  We’ve all seen the dynamic where one partner controls the money and the other partner ‘acts out’.  It was in some ways the cultural norm before the sexual revolution, right?  The husband controlled the money, but the wife would then go out and splurge.  In that instance the husband holds the “rank” in the form of control, and the wife practices the “revenge” in the form of spending extravagantly.  It’s a game or dance we have all seen in our families, in novels or in film.

If one person holds power in a negative way, the other person is likely to find a way to exert some revenge.  What’s really going on is an attempt to find some equilibrium.  The power in the relationship has become one sided.  It’s no longer a partnership, it’s a tug of war.

Struggle is a normal phase in a romantic relationship.  It’s that time when the ways you are different no longer seem cute and amusing.  Why can’t your partner just be more like you?  Why can’t you be right?  Why can’t you be the top dog?  Money is a place where this often plays out. Unfortunately some couples never move out of the struggle place around money—or other things, for that matter—and keep tugging on the ropes.

At the end of one talk I gave, a women came up to me and said: “You need to FIX my husband.  He’s driving me crazy.  He has these spreadsheets.  He’s always fiddling with the numbers and it’s just crazy.”   Seems ironic, in a way, doesn’t it?  This husband was being the number cruncher and his wife, being of the opposite view, thought it was crazy.  Mostly we think the less number crunchy person is the wrong one…the truth is that neither one is right or wrong, they just have different strengths and talents.

We all know opposites attract!  This issue is how have money effectively managed while NOT stimulating rank and revenge in your relationship.

One that often works is for the more natural number cruncher to translate the information into pie charts or bar graphs.  It’s likely that the opposite of the cruncher will be able to grasp proportions at a glance while numbers may just baffle them

One of the things Kathleen brought up in our conversation that I just loved was that as we share in the management of our finances with our partner the intimacy between us increases.  I think one of the reasons that is true is that when we finding a way to share this crucial area we have to honor and respect each other and our differences, and that makes for a closer connection.

Money, and the day-to-day management of it, is a crucial thing in our lives.  How can you facilitate a better way of sharing the money responsibilities in your relationship?

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Want to talk more about rank, revenge and money, give me a call 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Sometimes Crunching the Numbers Helps

Yes, I’m known for touting that you don’t need to be a number cruncher to be in a good relationship with your money, which is true.  What is also true is that sometimes crunching the numbers actually helps.

CalculatorWhen it really helps is when you “make things up”, when you decide that something is true without checking the numbers.  We often decide that money stuff is worse than it really is.  It’s another one of those places where our little kid brain is running the money.  A place where you get stuck, sometimes for years, assuming a situation that just doesn’t add up.

Ironically there are often two almost opposite reasons people shun crunching numbers, both of which are motivated by fear.

One reason is waiting to make a move until something feels uber safe.  One example of this is that you can’t quit the “day job” you hate for the “dream job” you love until you have bunches of money saved.  The pivot point here is, “How much is a bunch?”  What amount will have you feel safe?  Hard questions often made harder by not actually crunching the numbers.

For example: recently a client had the idea that she needed $30K in savings before she could make the shift from a job she hates to her budding career in Real Estate: $18K for living expenses and $12K for business expenses.  There was a crunching error in here in here that was making her goal seem doubly hard to attain.  The real number that she needed for a 6 month “Back-Up Fund” in her situation was $12K for living expenses and $3K for business expenses.  Her fear has caused her to push up the living costs and to way over estimate the business costs of the new job.  Now she’s going after a number of $15K, which is much more attainable.

Often the other reason to shun the crunching is the “Ostrich Effect”.  You know that one, right?  The “stick my head in the sand and pretend” idea.  This one usually is about overspending.  It’s driven by the little kid part of us not wanting to have to “stop playing and do our chores”. This part of the little kid is often coupled with another part: “the monsters under the bed” part—the fear that once the truth is known it will be so awful you will not be able to tolerate it.  The truth is that once we know what is really going on we feel better.  There is something about knowing what is going on that has us dig in, make plans, and focus on what is really important to us. I’ve seen this happen many times over the years.

What both “seeking safety” and the “ostrich effect” have behind them is fear.  Fear that it will be insurmountable—it isn’t.  Fear that if you look it will get worse—it doesn’t.  Fear that you can’t ever get this money knot untangled—you can.

See, the problem is not actually the money or the number crunching.  It the fear.  FDR said it best: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Why not see if crunching a few numbers can help you realize what really is possible and set the fear aside?

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Need a bit of support around the crunching? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

In Spite Of, Not Because Of!

One of the great falsehoods most of us live with is believing that worrying, fretting, obsessing, and other such behaviors really help us be more effective.  I think the truth is that it’s not because of those tendencies, it’s actually in spite of them that we succeed.  Money is one the places that we all do this!

Fretting cropIt’s a learned behavior.  Our parents worried, their parents fretted, everybody spent time wringing their hands.  Okay, maybe there was that crazy uncle that spent money “like it was water.”  He never worried.  He just spent and spent.  I’m not talking about that.  I’m not talking about that.

What I’m talking about is the nattering, the checking the numbers four times, the waking up in the night worrying.  What’s that all about?

It’s really a function of our clever human brains making patterns.  We do an amazing job of pattern making.  We sort things into piles and categories in our head.  We link them together.  We make up conditional statements it like “if A, then B.”  It all comes from the wonderful pattern making than frankly gives us more ‘thought space’ for new things.   We don’t have to look at each new thing and figure it out from scratch.  We find something in our brain database that is similar and sort the new thing into that category.  Very clever, very useful… except when it’s not.

Worrying, fretting, nattering, running numbers over and over… those patterns aren’t helpful.  They are there because that’s what we’ve done.  We’ve worried, spun, and fretted and things turned out okay, so in our brains we have conflated the two together.  “If I worry and obsess money will work out”, is the pattern and thus the conclusion—but what if that’s wrong?  What if the fretting actually is distracting?  What if instead of truly helping it slows you  down?

That’s what I think is more often the truth.  That we succeed not because of all that tail chasing but in spite of it!

I’m not saying don’t look at your money.  I’m not saying don’t spend time with it.  I am saying don’t obsess over it.  What is the reason you check your bank balance several times a day?  Is there really a business reason for that, or is it this fret/obsess thing?

Like most things it’s about balance and moderation.  Spend some time with your money, absolutely.  Plan, look at the big picture, by all means have a cash flow spreadsheet and use it—all really good things to do.  However, when you do them over and over and over they become a distraction that increases rather than reduces stress.

See if you can’t stop in the middle of your stress fest and ask yourself: “Is this helpful? Does this actually make me more effective?” If not, how about doing something else that might get you focused on improving relationships with your clients, getting new business, doing your work in a better way, etc.

How about turning the Fret-O-Meter way down so you have more brain space for being effective?

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Want some help to stop nattering about money and start being more effecitive with it? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

Two Money Mindsets

Most of us have at least two distinct ways of managing money: the business one and the personal one.  The interesting thing in this to me is that the Money Mindsets for these two different arenas are often really, really different.Money mindset

As you know, my clients are often small business owners and recently I’ve come across a couple of people who had similar issues with the difference between their business money and the personal money.  In both cases we had been chatting about personal money things that were messy and frustrating.  Things like bounced checks and credit card debt.  You know, those nasty, often scary things that happen around money.

The conversations both became even more intriguing to me when I asked about their business money.  Any bounced checks there?  Any credit card debt?  Guess what?  The answer to both those questions from both people was “No”.

Here’s the fun part of this:  We make up that we are just stuck with the way we manage money.  We have a certain mindset around it that we’ve had forever and it would be really hard to change that.  Yep, that’s the belief.  And yet…

Here we are with not one but two people with small businesses that are run on a sound money mindset and personal lives with messy money mindsets.  Now, that’s interesting!

Here’s what I think is going on.  Our personal money mindset is being run by our five year old selves (see this blog for more on that: https://shelltain.com/2015/04/jobs-for-the-kid-in-you/ ) and the business money mindset was set up and is being operated by your adult self.  Thus, there are two different behaviors around money.

When I asked one of these people what was behind him about being more effective with his money in his business he said that there were three motivating factors for him in his business.  First was the reputation of his business, second was that the company be seen as reliable and third was that he took good care of his employees.  Those are truly great values and standards for any business.

When I asked what the process with his personal money was he said that he really only looks at or pays attention to his money when there is trouble.  Very different values and standards.

What you and I now know about these folks is that they can absolutely be effective with money.  It’s not a skill set issue, it’s a mindset issue.  And they are “making up” something that isn’t working about the difference between personal and business money mindsets.

What I suggested to him (and would like to see with many more people) is that he treat himself the way he treats his company:

  • That he honors and protects his reputation
  • That he is reliable
  • That he takes good care of himself

After all, his company is a reflection of him, just like the way he is handling his money is a reflection of him.  His company reflects his “grown up” money mindset and his personal life reflects a “little kid” money mindset — a little kid that is stuck with a job he’s not good at.

How does this show up for you?  Do you handle your business money differently than your personal money?  How about handling both your business and personal money from the grown-up side and in a way that supports you?

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Need a bit of help teasing the business and personal mindsets apart?  Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at www.sensiblecoaching.com

 

The Width of an Eyelash

The width of an eyelash is a pretty thin thing in our world, isn’t it?  Around .07 mm.  Really tiny. And yet there is a great quote by Jay McInerney: “The difference between what we want and what we fear is the width of an eyelash.”

eyelashWhen I heard this it struck me – the idea that our desire is right there just waiting is not a new one.  A favorite mythologist/philosopher of mine, Michael Meade, speaks of how the “gift” is right next to the “wound”.  There is an old story about maggots cleaning away the rot to find the gold underneath.  There are “double edged swords” and “good news/bad news” adages. We’ve been up against this, as humans, for many years in many ways.

And here’s the rub:  It’s our fear that holds us back.  Fear isn’t tangible, it has no actual weight or body in the world.  It’s not even as wide an as an eyelash because it’s in our head.

It has great power because, and only because, we give it that power.  I know we all have fears, I know they rule us, torture us and belittle us.  And we have a choice about them, don’t we?

They aren’t the truth, they are beliefs.  The truth would be something that is always, 100% of the time, the same.  A belief is something we hold in our thoughts as if it were the truth.  It may be something we have had experience with so we believe it…and yet…it is not the only possibility.  The other possibilities may be ones that seem unlikely to us but they are there.

Very few things in life are absolute truth, most are beliefs.  Things we have a choice about.  How we are with money is one of those choice places.  I’m not saying it’s easy (although it could be) to change your beliefs and thinking about money…but it is absolutely possible because your thoughts about money aren’t the truth, they are beliefs.

More often than not the money stuff we believe is based on confusing the role and purpose of money with our feelings about money.  Those feelings that we developed really early, that weren’t actually about money, but were about things too scary and confusing for our little kid selves to face.  We dumped the angst, worry and fear on money.  Over the years we have built on that belief.

And now there it is, just the width of an eyelash away – what we want.  We will have to give up the fear, move through it and leave it behind to get there.

Give it a shot…just the width of an eyelash…ahhh.

Ka-ching

Shell Tain, The Untangler

Struggling with change the belief? Give me a call at 503-258-1630 or check out my website at