This article is the first of three in a series exploring some common misconceptions about money, and how they can so often hold us back as women entrepreneurs.
Myth 1 – It’s impossible to escape from my financial past
I’ve been working with a wonderful group of women over the last six months, empowering them to break free from negative thoughts and feelings about money that have held them back. The process culminated in a workshop featuring a particularly enlightening session on ‘Cultivating a positive money mindset’, led by Sandra Boekhoudt, founder of wealthywisewomen.com.
Emotional financial baggage
We all carry emotional baggage – and in the world of entrepreneurs, much of it can be related to money.
Do I deserve success and financial independence? Shouldn’t I focus more on my family role? This was certainly a hurdle that was candidly shared during our session.
Uncovering my own emotional block was a surprise, even to me – that perhaps somehow the success pot was full, with little room for more. But I am my own person, following a very different path from my parents, and in a world that looks very different than it did in the early eighties. I don’t even own a ping-pong table. Trust me I didn’t even realise I had a block towards my success goals.
Emptying the backpack
Such self-limiting beliefs can hinder your growth journey, or stop you from even setting off. There’s a much-quoted, but very helpful, analogy about carrying large rocks around in your backpack. The rocks represent the big things in your life that you’ve never questioned the need to carry around. They’ve always been in there, so you keep taking them everywhere with you, but they slow you down. If we stop and think about what we actually need to carry with us, much of the heavy load can be discarded – it’s only there through habit. So I’d encourage you to think about what’s in your own backpack right now. Do you have rocks that you carry surrounding the notion of money and success, weighing you down and holding you back?
Expanding the analogy further, it’s not about emptying the backpack completely – some of those big rocks are useful. They represent your priorities, for work and life. But only by putting them in first can you fit the pebbles and sand and water around them that represent the other things you need to carry. These may be smaller, but they are equally vital for personal and professional fulfilment and success.
Overcoming limiting emotions about money
I recently came across a great Forbes article that shares practical tips for ridding yourself of unhelpful and limiting beliefs about money, and your relationship with it. By reframing how we think about making, spending and investing money as entrepreneurs, we can remove many of the barriers that may be blocking our growth journey:
- Look at your childhood money culture. We can’t change the past, but we can learn from it
- Use your head, not your heart, when making financial decisions
- Think about where your money blind spots are. Fear of failure and self-doubt may be making you overly cautious
- Rewrite your story. Stay focused on your purpose and success will follow
- Create personal accountability
Your past is not your future
It’s important to shift your mindset from one of, “well I’ve always been like that with money, so that’s how I will always be” so that we can dump the emotional money baggage that’s getting in the way of reality. For example, one of our Money Mindset students discovered that being a single parent was distorting her view of making money. Her feelings were real, but not based in reality, so essentially acting as a money block. Giving herself permission to look at things differently is now driving her towards a more positive path.
“ I deserve the success I wish for its OK to achieve this vision“
“Its Ok that I earn more than my partner”
You can have it all
Much as we need to invest money to grow our businesses, it does not equate solely to success. And vice versa – success shouldn’t just be measured in monetary terms. Fulfilling your purpose, supporting others, making a difference to your community – these are all real and important measures of success too.
When you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work.
When you do it with purpose and confidence, free from self-limiting beliefs, success will follow.
The inspiring women we work with at Wyseminds are overturning unhelpful money myths and reclaiming their relationships with their business’ finances. Why not book a virtual coffee with our founder Julie to find out how we can support you to do the same?
In the next article in this series, we’ll explore the widely-held belief amongst many female entrepreneurs that it’s not acceptable to talk openly and in detail about money. Ambition is not greed. Success is best when it’s shared.