Do you find yourself struggling to have money conversations in business? Conversations where you’re asked ‘how much is..?’ and before you know it you’re automatically applying a discount, or offering it for free even though you’re not charging enough? or someone offers to pay you and you say ‘don’t worry about it’ or ‘I’ll fix it up later’ and you never do. Do you find yourself receiving money and suddenly it’s disappeared?
Our money beliefs directly impact our thoughts and our behaviour.
To give some context around this, in our early years your subconscious mind1 (think of it as a kind of data bank which develops just before birth) absorbs beliefs and behaviours around money through what we see, what we hear, what we are taught and what we experience. At around age 7, the conscious mind develops (logical and critical thinking and what’s right and wrong) and at this point the beliefs we have instilled become hard to change. Over time we start to question and benchmark experiences which help to formulate what we chose as our beliefs today. These can be passed on from family, extended family, the community, previous jobs and even previous partners.
Why does this matter? Our subconscious mind makes up to 95%2 of our decisions with only 5% made from our conscious brain (critical and logical thinking). If your belief growing up was I have to work hard for my money, then you will likely be working harder for your money now and if making money starts to become easy, you may find yourself turning a relatively simple task into a complex task to meet this belief. If you’re finding it difficult to talk about your pricing without discounting or providing your service for free, what could be coming up for you is I don’t deserve this, I’m not worthy or even money is bad.
Not understanding your money story and where your beliefs come from can be disastrous for your business. Often, I see women start their business to have more time with their family only to find they undercharge or don’t charge at all and in turn work longer hours than when they were employed…and not by choice.
Uncovering your beliefs
Bringing curiosity to your beliefs and more mindfulness is a great place to start.
What is Mindfulness? It’s about encouraging you to think differently. Taking note of new things. Being present and more engaged in your thinking and never assuming.
The opposite of this is mindlessness where you travel through life not questioning or bringing curiosity to your thoughts, actions, beliefs.
Questions and tips to create a more mindful business
- Bring awareness to your thoughts, beliefs and behaviour around money. Who influenced you the most around money growing up? What were you taught around money? What was the experience that led to the event? What beliefs were you telling yourself?
- Accept any emotions this brings up. There is no right or wrong here, it’s about acknowledging what sensations you are experiencing so you can recognise these in the future. Were you feeling a lot of tension, angry, sad, fearful, surprised? Research has found sadness3 and boredom can be a trigger for overspending. It’s about being aware what emotion is attached to the event
- Take action in understanding why you are behaving this way. Is there a routine or pattern in your behaviour? Is your pricing reflective of the value you’re providing? Do you have an income cap in place?
This is a reluctance to earn or charge above a certain amount. This may come from not wanting to earn more than your partner, family or siblings or experiencing guilt with receiving money?
A quick way to test if you have an income cap is to say out loud the amount you feel comfortable charging e.g you have a service that is $150, I want you to say this amount out loud and keep increasing it by increments of $50 – $150, $200, $250, $300 – notice how your voice sounds, are you wavering at a certain figure? How do you feel? Wherever your voice wavers or you experience a noticeable change in your body, this is where you are starting to experience discomfort. The same principle can be applied for income.
Working with a financial coach can help you to uncover the beliefs holding you back and work through financial blocks include income caps. If you would like to explore this further, please book in for a free 30 minute chat.
1. Journal Psyche, Processing Information with Nonconscious Mind, http://journalpsyche.org/tag/subconscious-mind/
2. Cambridge Dictionary, Belief, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/belief
3. NCBI, Cryder, E, Lerner, J, Gross, J, Dahl, R, Misery is not Miserly:Sad and Self-Focused Individuals Spend More, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4142804/