You may be wondering what a money story is. And if you don’t know what a money story is, then how could it affect your business or future Nursing business?
You may be wondering what a money story is. And if you don’t know what a money story is, then how could it affect your business or future nursing business?
Your money story is your lifelong relationship with money. There is a pretty good chance you haven’t thought about your relationship with money and if you have you may not understand how it influences your decisions and your life. In this post, I want to acquaint you with what a money story is and how it relates to any Nursing business you have started or are thinking about starting.
All of us have a money story. Some of us horde money, some of us spend every penny we get, oftentimes before we get it, i.e. have lots of debt. And then there is everyone in between. No matter if you are homeless and penniless or a multi-million-billionaire, you have a deeply rooted relationship with money. There is a particular sense of shame associated with money that affects us in different ways. The shame of having money, the shame of spending money, the shame of debt or out of control spending, the shame of not having money.
No matter what your money story is, you can change your relationship and your experience, but the first step is that of awareness. You need to become aware that you have a money story before you can change anything.
How to get in touch with your money story
In order to get in touch with your money story, you need to start by going somewhere quiet and peaceful. This will allow you to reflect uninterrupted about your past experiences. Think about your earliest memories of money.
Do you remember your parents arguing about money or getting a weekly allowance? What did you do with that weekly allowance and why? Were you aware of the role money played in your family life? Were times tough? Did you struggle to eat? Were you left out because your family couldn’t afford to buy sports gear or pay for school ski trips? Or maybe you were on the other spectrum where you left your best friend behind because she didn’t have enough money, but your family did.
Consider what life was like for you growing up, how you used money and how much it impacted your life as a child.
How has this story evolved over time?
From your earliest memories, you should start seeing a pattern of behavior with money that is repeated over and over. Were you controlled by a parent or family member who made all your decisions for you based on finances? Maybe fear of that control has led you to avoid risk or avoid asking other people/banks/credit card companies for a loan. Debt isn’t always a bad thing if you are going to grow a company you will need to invest money.
Think about your money secrets as well. These are secrets that only you know about. We all have money secrets–how much something really cost, how many pairs of shoes you have, how many credit cards are maxed out, how much house you can’t really afford. Whether it’s about exaggerating a great deal, losing an inheritance or spending habits that no one else knows about, your money secrets are the key to understanding your relationship with money.
In order to confront your money story, you have to acknowledge it—the good, the bad and the ugly.
Don’t be afraid of your money story. You don’t have to tell anyone your money story if you don’t want to, but you do need to be absolutely honest with yourself.
After you have identified your earliest memories, try to evaluate patterns of your behavior. You can probably explain a lot of behaviors by reflecting on past experiences. Once you have acknowledged your money story, you can finally piece it together and attach meaning to it.
Back to the Future
Moving forward is up to you. Now that you have your money story, you can make changes in the way it plays out in your life.
One of my memories of money is that it makes people so happy. I have taken this memory and love of this feeling to extremes. I literally have to avoid all sales people, because I will buy things just to make that person happy. My most embarrassing and humiliating memory is spending ten thousand (yes, that is four, zeros) on a sales pitch to earn money on the web through sales, because
1. I wanted the guy to feel like he did a good job,
2. I didn’t want him to think he wasted his time with me (even though he called me) and
3. Because I wanted to believe that as a single female, I was financially independent and could prove it with large item purchases.
Of course, this very large and ridiculous purchase was a scam. I did get my money back, but I never did tell anyone (except now—it’s far enough behind that I like to think it wouldn’t happen again). It’s really embarrassing on so many levels. But in order for me to move forward and not make the same mistake again, I have to understand my motivation for forking over $10,000 in the first place.
When I discovered the concept of the money story, it all started to come together for me. Yes, I have self-esteem issues, yes I want people to like me too much, yes, I am financially solvent. But I don’t need to announce this to every sales person I meet. What I discovered through learning my money story is what motivates me to make purchases. This was the very first step, and it’s why you have to do it alone.
The next step is to make an intention around money. Once you understand your story and are made aware of it, you can make a conscious and rational decision on how to respond.
For me, that means a 24-hour rule. I will not purchase anything over $500 without sleeping on it. I get excited easily about last-minute deals, urgent sales, scarcity in marketing and I get caught up in the fantasy of what a product or service can actually do for me. By removing myself from the situation, I can take a deep breath and consider whether the product or service will change my life, enhance my life or if I can do without it.
Think about yourself. Do you spend your paycheck before you get it? Maybe you have spent your paychecks for the whole year already. Why? Are you living beyond your means? Are you trying to prove something? What part of your money story has led you to believe that you can have whatever you want whenever you want it?
I have had issues in the past with impulse buying. For some reason, I feel entitled to whatever I want when it so pleases me. My friend Visa facilitates this desire. Again, I had already established the $500 rule, but a bunch of $100–200 purchases add up rapidly as well.
Now, when I tempted to buy anything, I take a deep breath. The deep breath allows you to center yourself and it allows me to indulge my inner girl who wants and wants and wants to no end. Once I have indulged the inner childhood needs for everything, my adult self needs to take over and make a rational decision. If I ignore my desires for everything, they sneak up on me and I binge buy whatever I want.
The imagination is very powerful and it’s the essence of marketing. Your imagination can take you on a fantasy journey that is exciting, riveting and quite simply seemingly better and preferably to whatever you are doing at the moment. A gorgeous party dress and matching diamonds earrings would make me simply stunning at an upscale cocktail party, but first is there even a cocktail party in my future? And who am I trying to impress so intently for $400–500? If I acknowledge the fantasy of having a wild social life where I am the star, but buy clothes that are practical for work, then I have succeeded in changing my money story.
I am able to enjoy the fantasy of what my life could be like if only I had that dress and those shoes! But then I can make a rational decision as I need to.
Your Money Story in Business
Learning your money story is a must-do to have a successful and thriving Nursing Business. Your personal story with money will not change in your business story of money unless you address it.
If you overspend and amass debt in your personal life you will do the same in business. If you horde money and refuse to spend any of it, you will not allow your business to grow and become successful.
Before you start any entrepreneurial endeavor you have to clean your own house first. Identify and acknowledge your money story first. Let go of the shame and remorse you have of money and past behaviors. This is not a pass to forgive and forget your past money behaviors.
This is a way to forgive and remember how your money story unfolds. Once you are ready to forgive past behavior you have to make conscious efforts not to repeat it.
How to control spending
Establish incremental and achievable goals for your money and decide how you want to use it.
It is helpful to categorize your income and expenses into piles. The first pile should be what you consider the absolute bare necessities you must have to live on a day-to-day basis, such as rent, utilities, food, even internet, and cable TV if you consider those things essential. The essential category should include items that you would keep if you lost your job and only had 6 months of savings to live from. What would you put in this category under these circumstances?
The second pile you create should include things that are important to you without being essential. This may include gym memberships, housecleaning, maybe cable TV goes in this category.
The third pile should be a luxury stash. What are the things that illuminate your imagination? New clothes, travel, new pots, and pans, redecorating the house, eating out frequently?
Finally, the last pile should be savings. While it’s not good to hoard every last cent, you must have a cash reserve pile. A good rule of thumb (that my dad taught me) is to stash away 10% of earnings. If you pay yourself 10% like any other bill, you will be surprised how quickly that adds up and how little you actually miss it!
That leaves 90% of your income to decide how to arrange your piles. Clearly, your income will dictate many items in each pile, but generally, most people spend about 50% of their income on the first pile. Then maybe you spend 20% on the second pile and 20% on the third pile. This mathematical formula can help you ration out your income and help you to get out of debt. You may need to sacrifice some luxury items to pay off current debt, but at least now, you have an understanding of where it all goes.
In the end, nothing in your life will change if you don’t first acknowledge your money story and gain control of it. You will continue with the same patterns of behavior you have exhibited up until now.
If you want more specialized assistance in understanding your money story or how to cope with it, consider reading the book Loaded by Sarah Newcomb or try Bari Tessler’s free email course on the money story. Both are great resources!
I would love to hear your money stories and how you are coping with acknowledging them! Leave a comment and let me know!