Growing up, my mom used to cash my dad’s paycheck and fill envelopes labeled with things like “gas money,” “Christmas,” and “house repairs” with dollar bills. Budgeting, she called it. And there was always just enough to go around.
I started working at age 15, waitressing at the local pizzeria after cheerleading practice — the other girls sipping sodas with their boyfriends while I cleaned their tables.
I was determined, putting dollar bills in an envelope called “college” every week.
Years later, after graduating from university on a full ride and landing a corporate job making more money than I could have conceived of at age 21, I didn’t need to do the envelope practice, but mentally I still did.
While I had learned the value of money and worked hard, I had a limiting belief that “there would always be just enough” because that’s what I learned as a child.
As an adult (and one who quickly got off the paycheck model and became an entrepreneur), I needed to get beyond the paradigm of saving and getting by to consistently generate well beyond what I needed so I could thrive.
Today I’ve changed my money mindset, taking the good values from my childhood and upgrading my capacity to generate and receive larger amounts of money, now thriving with regular 5-figure months in my coaching business.
As spiritual as I am, I actually didn’t use journaling and manifestation type things to create this shift, but more practical action-oriented steps.
Here is my 3-step process that gets results if you’re trying to improve your money mindset.
1. Always keep a detailed budget and financial plan.
A common money mindset block is to not be managing your accounts down to the cent, sometimes not even looking at your bank statements for months because it’s too scary.
If you track your personal and business expenses meticulously, you get a very good picture of what financial reality looks like and can make practical decisions like: how much money do I need to start earning every month in order to break even? To save $500 or $5000 dollars?
That helps you plan your targets in your business: How many clients do I need to meet that break-even point? How many products do I need to sell to save $1000 per month? $5000 per month?
Usually what happens is that it all becomes less intimidating. You can raise your rates, find two new clients, launch a new product, or reduce the hours you spend on your lower-tiered services.
2. Surround yourself with people who think about money differently.
If you think spending $100 is a huge deal but you’d like to be earning a multiple 6-figure salary with your own business, you’ll need to get enough exposure to people who operate in more expansive financial terms.
In the past, I hired a mentor who charged $15,000 for her services! When I was nervous about charging $1,500 for my own, spending time around her and learning how she approached her own worth and valued her suite of products was a game-changer. Now I’ll have a $20,000 week in my one-woman business and it’s not such a big deal. I’m grateful, but it’s become the norm.
I’ve also previously enrolled in business masterminds and group programs where the person leading it simply had people in her network running multiple 6-figure and 7-figure businesses in my industry. Hearing what they were doing strategically and how they talked about money was what changed my own mindset over time.
3. Make (smart) powerful investments and allow yourself to feel the discomfort that comes up — and the results!
This is really the crux of the matter. You need to allow yourself to have a different experience of money — and you do that through bold action.
Not irresponsible action (remember your budget from step one), but bold action.
If there’s something you really want or require to operate at the next level of your life or business — maybe it’s hiring another team member, getting a coach, enrolling in a personal development program, increasing ad spend, or buying a new dress for an event — then you don’t let fear or discomfort stop you.
Vulnerable share: I grew up in a very modest and hard-working household in America’s rust belt and then lived over 7 years in developing countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Mongolia. To this day, I experience a huge feeling of guilt when I purchase new clothing, for example.
It goes against everything I learned about money, which was to meet our basic needs. Because fancy jeans and brand-name dresses challenge my old mindset, I still feel overwhelming guilt when I buy them.
But as a 30-year old entrepreneur, I don’t let my old programs keep me from making bold money decisions that move me forward, whether that be new jeans or a $15,000 mentorship program that helps me learn new skills I want to learn.
I simply use mindfulness to allow myself to experience the emotional response to the action (fear, guilt, sadness) and stay the course so I also get to experience the logical benefit of my actions for my personal and business growth.
Give yourself the gift of making powerful decisions that challenge your old ways of thinking in all areas of your life, especially with money.
If you have the privilege to even consider a term like “money mindset,” then with even more savvy, you’ll be in a position to invest wisely and amplify your impact on those who can’t yet.