If you're a woman in business and you've been in business 3 years or more January is a great time to assess how it's going. You're hitting the crucial 3 to 5 year mark where, I'm sorry to say this, most businesses fail. Or, your business may bump along, more in the way of a hobby than a real business.Read More
Winter Money Blues? Zip Right Out of Them! Whether you're business women, or stay at home moms, it's the third dreary, cold, gray week of January. Christmas bills are coming in, the budget was blown, the spending high of December long forgotten and tax time is right around the corner. No wonder January is the longest month of the year.
Remember, we nearly always survive January anyway, but here's how to speed up the financial peace process.
1) Give yourself 1 hour or 1 day (depending on your needs) to REALLY feel the sadness, depression, angst of your situation. Moan, groan, complain, vent, cry, yell. Go into it and when that allotted time is complete - move on.
2) Financially Assess where you're at: Pull your ostrich head out of wherever it's been and take stock. Look at all the bills, count up the money owed, make a list of what's due, when.
3) Make decisions. You've got the list of money coming in and bills due. What's the loudest bill? What can you pay on it. Go down the list. Prioritize.
4) Send the payments. No matter how few or how small, actually sending the payments out feels good.
5) Congratulate yourself - Ta-Dah. "I did it." Call a friend and share. Feel good about the progress rather than always striving for perfection. There now - it's nearly February!
As a woman in business, who is also a Certified Money Coach, I know what it's like to struggle with money and how good it feels to take charge. Financial peace and health come with focus, prioritizing and persistence. Here's to you!
A friend of mine has a saying, “If you want to know what you believe, look at what you’re experiencing.” So true. But many of us don’t want to look at what we believe or how we behave with money because we’re afraid of what we might find. And, we often don’t have a safe way of doing so. That’s where money coaching is helpful.
What we believe affects how much money we make, manage or or build for the future. For example, the overspender justifies her purchases with excuses - “Well, I’m not spending that much, I only shop at the dollar store.” The avoider doesn’t look at his bank account balance, or save for retirement because it’s too far away to feel real.
Our core money beliefs are ingrained deeply within. We have we’ve stopped asking WHY we need to work so hard or acquire money. But what money means to us is a key question to understand. Kansas State University and the Klontz Consulting Group show that How much money is enough for you? That’s a question I ask when giving presentations and the answer tends to be twice what they’re currently earning. When they reach that next goal? The new goal is – you see where we’re going here – twice again.
Take the Quiz by clicking on this link and find out if the beliefs that run your money bus are: Money Worship, Money Vigilance, Money Avoidance, or Money Status and you’ll find there are recommended steps to deal with each type. Then call or email me and we’ll talk about the results in a 15 minute complimentary conversation.
If you're self-employed, an entrepreneur or career oriented you've got to get your money house in order. I know, I know, it's nearly Christmas and you're crazy busy. But, I want to plant an important business seed for 2012 because it'll be here in ten seconds.
In order to make the most money, have less stress, and achieve your full potential (financial is part of that) and have fun along the way, here are 5 Money things you need to do in 2012.*
1) Get Your Money House in Order: Assess what's working well financially and what the challenges are. For example, let's start with the basics. Are you making enough money? No? What do you think/feel are the 3 main reasons for this? Be careful about blaming the economy. I know it's a factor, but I also know many businesses that are booming - mine included.
2) Know your Money Story: Especially if you're struggling to get to the next level financially and you keep bumping up against the same obstacle or stuck place. I can guarantee you that there's a hidden emotional piece in your history. Yesterday, while going through The Money History with a client, she realized that her "make do and settle" pattern came from resistance to becoming like her mother. A huge ah-ha.
3) Write down your goals for 2012. If you're self-employed and you have a goal of earning $25,000 or $50,000 net income a year, how many clients will it take each week and month to bring in that amount of money. The more specific you are (a spreadsheet is handy) the easier it will be to achieve. Look at your goals each day, visualize the end result as if it's already happened. Then take action each and every day.
4) Realize that you have a RELATIONSHIP with money. As Suze Orman says and I'm paraphrasing: "Women don't show the same care to their relationship with money, as with other relationships, because they have a dysfunctional relationship with money. What are your money dysfunctions: Overspending, debt, avoiding, underearning, not respecting your money so you don't take good care of it? Identify THE major dysfunction and conquor it this year.
5) Grow your Wealth: One of the biggest money mistakes I see women make (and I used to also) is to not grow their wealth. Women give too much time, energy and MONEY away to others - primarily children. If they don't they feel guilty. More money comes to us as we learn to respect it, take care of it, grow it. If you haven't started a retirement account or savings account (for emergencies - $1,000 minimum) make it a goal to start this year.
*If you're in Modesto or close by check out my 2012 4 hour Business Strategy Session for Women). I do this workshop every year and at the end we do a Vision Board with your Goals and Action Steps for 2012)
Are You a Compulsive Spender?
Take this short quiz to see if you are a compulsive spender:
1) Do you shop, (in stores or on the net) to escape feeling stressed**, bored, lonely, empty, defeated, angry or scared?
2) After a setback or disappointment, does it feel like spending money will help you feel better? (It does, temporarily.)
3) Does your shopping or spending create conflicts for you, or between you and others?
4) When you shop or buy something, does your mood change?
5) Are you unable to enjoy your purchases because you feel guilty or bad?
If you answered YES to any of these you may be using money or shopping as a way to regulate your feelings or self-esteem.
First of all, good for you for taking time to get honest. Have you tried any of these to change your behavior? Promised to never overspend again to a spouse or yourself? Cut up your credit cards? One woman froze hers. That’s a pretty good in-between strategy and works similarly to not keeping sweets in the house when dieting. This slows down or creates a pause for that impulsive feeling of "gotta have it" and I mean right now!
But creating superficial limitations are bandaids on spending problems. The real solution comes from dealing with the feelings that are driving the behavior and by being willing to explore your relationship with money.
Try this: Next time you want to shop put the PAUSE BUTTON** into effect and check in with yourself before you go shopping. Ask: Am I stressed, bored, or anxious? If so, about what? Notice where the feelings are – belly, head, heart? Then take 10 deep breaths and with each exhale imagine breathing out the uncomfortable feelings, and decide if you want to shop or not, and try to stay conscious of how much your budget allows. Next Step: Learn how your early money story helps to create your money mindset with a Free chapter from my eCourse: Prosperity Power and Peace Click Here
Do you stick your head in the sand when it comes to your money problems? It's a common tendency. We think we can make something go away if we don't think about it. This is magical thinking which is how children operate. It's sad to say that sometimes we grown ups are so afraid of our financial circumstanceswe treat our money like a child would. I get it - I have been there done that. But, it's time to put your big girl money pants on and look at exactly what's happening with your financial situation.
First, face the fact that your money problems will not get any better until you start dealing with them. Second, look at exactly what your bills are and your income. Then define your options. For example, a woman I spoke with this week has overwhelming credit card debt - not unusual these days. I advised her to see a bankruptcy attorney to get advice about whether filing is in her best interest. Another women I spoke with is just barely putting food on the table and she has teenagers that want new clothes. Understandable, but.... Teenagers can be part of their own solution. Don't give them all the gory financial details but let them know there isn't money for extras and if they want new clothes they can babysit, (I printed out flyers and distributed them in my neighborhood when I was 15), or yes, even work at a fast food restaurant.
Women are smart, creative and full of incredible potential. If you know of a woman that's really good with her money, ask her to give you some mentoring help or support. Read to increase your awareness about how you feel about money, what your behavior patterns and beliefs are that support or limit you, and to know how to manage your money. Books I recommend include Suze Orman's Women & Money, Lynne Twist's, The Soul of Money, Deborah Price's Money Magic and Chellie Campbell's The Wealthy Spirit. We women have got to take care of ourselves and taking control of our money is an important way to put those big girl pants on!!