I have never had a very honest relationship with money. So you know, confession. I believe that authenticity means to just be myself and owning this has been one of the things that changed more things than anything else for me. When this first happened I told it to many people, including the people doing the “Money Module” in my 8 week course (that they had invested well into being a part of) and my very new boyfriend. And for the first time my honesty brought me what I wanted, which was helping me get back into integrity with myself and my high value for truth and allowed me to teach people through example. My best teachings have come from my most messy examples! So here you have it.
Twenty bucks would be heaps of money for some people. Depending, of course, on the circumstance. My girls would be pretty pumped with a $20 note for a present or to spend at the markets (especially because I am the queen of $2 coins for any kind of shopping expedition with them). But this time not so long ago when all I had was twenty bucks to access in any form of cash or credit, was the final time for me that only having twenty bucks was going to be OK. After that time I was determined to never be in that position again. But if I’d never ended up with only twenty bucks I would not have realised what I had to do.
I didn’t know money was such a THING for me. I didn’t want money to be a THING for me. But it is a thing. It’s a thing for everyone; you just have to unwind your own money story to understand your version of the money thing. Here is mine.
I came from a farming family where money was tightly guarded and not spoken about but we always had it, and when the bills arrived on Friday they were all paid in full by cheque and back in the mail by Saturday morning. Real, actual money was probably harder to get your paws on, but we had accounts at just about ever shop known in town, which meant as far as purchasing things you could just ‘book it up’ – at the supermarket, the newsagent, the pharmacy, the bookstore, and the shop that had everything from shoes to clothes, to linen, to handbags and the floor creaked in a really satisfying way when you walked in as though sighing under the weight of the wicked stuff in there that you could just pop on your account and pay later. The farm supported our family well, and our University education and I always had a sense that money would not be something I would ever have to worry about. I’m not sure when I realised that this faith was not formed of my own capacity, money smarts or independent ability to earn, but rather wound up in knowing that if I needed it there was a back-up system to support me. And support me it did, more than any of my siblings and conducted in the undercurrent way only a golden child will understand. It wasn’t that I did this with any evil intent, it’s just I didn’t even realise consciously that this was what I was doing. Until the day I did, and realised I would never have any money unless I didn’t do that anymore, and I would really have to test if I believed for real and true that money would never be something I would have to worry about. And as it turns out I do need to worry about it (or really, not worry about it, but focus on it and look after it and be grateful for it). As much as anyone else.
For most of my life I have not had an honest relationship with money. I found out one day on the school bus in primary school that we were considered “rich and spoilt” by some of the other kids. I did not know where this came from (I suspect their own parents’ relationship to money), but I did decide that I would not talk about money, or about the support I got from my family. Funnily enough or not, the same comments were made to me at high school and during University, which just further validated the need for secrecy. There was an unfairness I sensed about the world and money and so it seemed better if I just toned down what I knew. I’m pretty sure at times when we were behaving like selfish and spoilt brats our parent told us we were spoilt too (the same way I have told my children when they are pissing me off). I know my Mum had to justify every cent she spent, but major expenses for the farm were just a given. As though some things were more valuable than other things. And so I was determined not be branded as a spoilt brat and instead of cultivating gratitude for the support we had I decided it was best that I didn’t talk about it. And the underhand way of relating to money was borne in me. And so for most of my life I have leant pretty heavily on the money back-up plan, instead of working out ways to become independently wealthy or creating a financial foundation in a relationship. It seems I chose men who were also completely incapable of financial partnership (I blamed them at the time, whilst I hid my spending from them, got money from other sources, told them things cost less than they did, and ‘booked things up’ on the farm accounts when our own cash flow couldn’t cover a trip to Bunnings and hid purchases until it seemed like a reasonable time for them to appear. The worst thing I hid was a knife block under my marital bed for at least 6 months. Imagine the feng shui?).
I honestly had no idea that my mixed up relationship with money and my Dad and the farm was stopping the possibility of money/abundance/wealth (whatever you like to call it) to flow to me. Until one day, after the demise of yet another relationship as I sat hyperventilating in the pool yard staring at the latest man to tell me he couldn’t stay but he would talk to my Dad about helping me with the mortgage (that had only very recently become a joint debt). And I said ‘Don’t you dare, don’t you dare try to hand me back to my Dad’ whilst all the time screaming inside because it was happening again. And yes, my Dad and our family farm did help me, and has helped me every time the world fell down, but that would be the last time. That was the last time.
When I made the decision to make my business work I had found the thing I was incredibly good at (coaching people, crafting dreams) but had not found a way to make it work for me financially. Unless I worked more hours, which seemed impossible with the amount I put into a coaching session, and my desire to write, and the coaching model I was working in. I really honestly believed that people could make money doing their passion with the right intent, but I COULD NOT PROVE IT. And I knew I was capable of more, but how would I figure out how to do it? INSERT HERE my business mentor. Found whilst helplessly scrolling Facebook one night hiding from children at 5.30pm in a room full of unfolded, clean washing, with no support system in place, four children at home, and enough clients to fill my week (and my heart) but not in way that was bringing in enough money to support us. I was doing the accounts for our family farm business, for a regular payment, which would cover our necessities, but it would take 3-4 hours week, it made my brain fry and was not my best (most magical and important) work. I responded to a Facebook ad aimed at coaches and wanting to make more money from my business through more clients, and then next thing I had paid thousands of dollars to do a course that would help me. Next minute I found myself at the Gold Coast staying in a mansion with about seven other ‘entrepreneurs’ (I didn’t even know I was one) and had recreated my business model, invested another big chunk of money in working with this mentor and made more money that week than I would normally make in two months. I’d created a high value program, she told me to sell it, I sold it, then I wrote it, then I delivered it and it was so amazing and I got so excited that after the initial burst of sales I stopped selling (which really means I stopped having conversations with people about what I had to offer, their choice is always to buy or not).
In the meantime I had begun the unwinding process with my Dad and managed to refinance my mortgage in my own name (on a wing and prayer and with a really ace mortgage broker and some tenacity) and had stopped doing the bookwork and getting regular money from the farm. Liberating and terrifying. But the more I unwound it, the more money seemed to flow from other sources. Except of course when I wasn’t selling.
So when the next entrepreneurial retreat rolled around four months later, and I had paid $1500 for flights and arrived at the Gold Coast hotel in my cab, and paid using the last $50 on my credit card, all I had left ANYWHERE was twenty bucks. Twenty fucking dollars. I had to check into my room (a beach front apartment no less), which I was sharing with two other entrepreneurial women who I had not yet met in person, but had seen in our coaching group and who seemed to have it together. The deal was upon check-in we would each pay our share (about $500) for the room for the week. I was about 6 hours earlier than either of my roomies and had flown across Australia on a red eye, had had very little sleep, was travel dirty and exhausted and wanted nothing more than that room and that bed in the room. So I pulled a swiftie on the reception (I’m good at half-truths about money remember) with a tale of how we were all going to split it up when they arrived, and somehow I managed to get the key without having to hand over my maxed-out credit card. Then I had to message my new (entrepreneurial women) roommates and tell them I had a ‘money’ thing and once they got there could we discuss it. The next one to arrive paid for the whole room on her card making me believe she was totally flush – she has since told me a story about that which is all about the boom and bust of money in her accounts, but that day she was boom. Two days later I was boom and I paid her back.
So later, when we had our first check-in with the group (of amazing entrepreneurial women in the Penthouse of a fabulous Gold Coast hotel) and we were asked what we wanted to get out of the week, I just straight away ‘fessed up that I had “twenty bucks”. It was the hardest and the most liberating truth I have ever told about money, and although I had started the process before the trip of unwinding the money stuff, it changed everything.
Because there are certain things you have to do to make money, especially when the thing that you sell is you or your services. You have to offer that stuff to people for one. You have to learn your own value and do certain processes to find people to talk to about it, and give them opportunities to invest in you. And it does not mean that suddenly you are rich and you don’t have to worry about money ever again, but it does mean that there is another way to let money flow to you.
But the most important thing? You have to believe the shit out of what you offer. It’s worth (the actual dollar figure you place on it) is purely conceptual and open to interpretation. Yet somehow, I created something that is worth something and I KNOW for sure that if people do the things I ask and commit and are consistent, and open to learning and changing, they will get what they want and need.
But first THEY WILL HAVE TO TELL THE TRUTH. About everything. Especially money.
PS How do you make money? When your business isn’t making enough money to invest in someone or something that might help you to make money, what do you do?
Do you need to work out how to make your business work? Because it’s too important NOT to work?
If you want to do a session with me to see if we fit and if I can help you, pop your details in here and we can chat: http://bit.ly/1OhnF8v
If nothing changes nothing changes right? Is it time?