Recently my household income needs have changed. Everything has gone up in price for us: utilities, fuel, food, taxes, etc., etc. You name it, and it has gone up. And we also have new must-have expenses, such as healthcare, dental care, insurances, and pet care.
I’m not happy about our new must-have expenses. I feel they are forced upon us regardless of whether or not I want them. They are misaligning our money balance and tipping heavy to basic needs. This means less savings and less “fun money.”
But here I am stuck with them. I’m faced with three choices to get back into health and balance: 1) cut my expenses as much as I can, 2) raise my income, or 3) do both.
Our Nichole (my wife) and I have already done a magnificent job of living within our means. We don’t overspend on anything, and our expenses are managed, monitored, and trimmed to our liken. These three questions are the foundation for our must-have expenses:
- Could you live in safety and dignity without this purchase?
- If you lost your job or biz, would you keep spending money on this?
- Could you live without this purchase for six months?
I’m talking about must-have expenses, not wants–that’s a different subject. I use a program called YNAB to track our expenses and I follow the financial strategies from the book All Your Worth. If you want to cultivate a healthy relationship with money, get it under control, and have more consistency with your income, those two resources are a must have and must read. There are other things I do, too, when it comes to finances, but those two resources are part of the foundation.
There’s nothing more we can do with our expenses other than pay off two forms of debt, which we are already doing. Our wants are in check, too. We don’t splurge for things, but we are not tight-asses, either. We have some money for fun–as you should!
So that leaves us with raising our income.
What usually comes to mind when you want to raise your income? It’s time to set income goals. You know the approach: decide what you want, figure out a dollar amount that you desire, visualize as-if you already have it, believe that you have received it, and the Universe will send money your way. I cringe when I hear the presto-chango-law-of-attraction-manifesting-money-approach.
Am I pressing anyone’s buttons here? ;)
Then the other thing you hear is what gets measured gets managed. So you have to become this left brained analytic numbers person and measure every little penny that comes in and out. We’re not building a bridge here; and were are certainly not a pack of goblins from Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
But…I guess that works for some people. Or maybe it’s so popular people just believe it and pass along the advice without trying it for themselves.
Here’s one thing I do know: that approach has never worked for me. Boy oh boy have I tried and tried for about a decade to make it work, but I can’t seem to manifest money that way. How about you?
For simplicity’s sake, let’s refer to the income approach above as manifesting money approach. If this approach has worked for you, then there’s no need for you to read the rest of this article :)
How to Be a Slave to Money
If the manifesting money approach doesn’t work for you, be thankful. Because that approach teaches you how to be a slave to money, among almost every other approach, too. Basically, the manifesting money approach says this, “I need money to fulfill my wants, needs, and desires. And it’s up to you, money, to flow my way.”
There’s an inherent problem with this approach: money becomes an idol and a power source. But this is conventional wisdom, right? Everything cost money so it makes sense that money is the power source for your wants and needs, right?
That’s where we go wrong. We fail to understand the truth to money that we all know: it’s an agreement and a medium for exchange. In other words, money is not the direct solution; it’s not A to B.
Missing this truth makes money the power source. You become a slave to money. It controls your creativity, your true desires, your time, your love, your relationships, your attitude and ethics, and your health. You become a person who can’t function without money.
Money as a power source is much like playing golf and obsessing over your score. Every golf stroke you take is a fierce competitive battle. If the ball goes anywhere but straight, you get angry and slam the club to the ground. When no one is looking and you’re ball is lying in the woods, maybe you give the golf ball a nonchalant kick for a better position. When the ball goes in the water, you fuss about a lost ball. If you don’t have the best score at the end of the game, your whole night is ruined, and you need the pity of your friends to feel better.
I’ve played a lot of golf in my day, and this is the attitude of most golfers. The score has complete power over them. It’s not fun. Who wants to be around this type of person? And let’s say that this type of golfer does win often. Is it worth it? The emotional trauma and dysfunction inflicted on one’s self and others, is it worth? The hard, angry, and laborious work to be skilled at golf, is it worth it?
If it earns you money, most people would say “yes.” But that comes from the perspective of those who envy and worship money thinking it will solve all problems. But the truth is, if money is a power source for you, the more you have the worse off you’ll be.
Because now you have to deal with the insecurities and fear of losing all your money. You have to protect your assets. You have to make profitable decisions. You have to worry about the relationships you have and wonder if they are using you for your wealth. You have to protect and keep up with social status and position. You feel forced to give money, and if you don’t, then you’re a greedy and bad person. What a burden. If you feel money has power over you, you’re better off staying financially poor.
This is why the manifesting money approach doesn’t work for conscious, heart based entrepreneurs. We know in our soul that allowing money to covet our heart and have power over us leads to suffering.
How Not to Give Your Power to Money
Do everything at all cost to not give your power away to money. Money might be involved in your matters, but it’s not the direct solution to your true desires in life–including your business.
The golf story I told you earlier was me in my early twenties. I’ve learned to appreciate golf in a new way and let go of the attachment to my score. The direct solution I wanted from golf was not the best and lowest score, but to enjoy the spaciousness of nature, the playfulness and fun of the game, and the bonding with my fellow foursome.
I gave it my best with every golf stroke, but it wasn’t hard competition. I played my best because it was fun and because I’m capable. I still kept score, but it was secondary. The score is just a number. We acknowledged and congratulated the winner (even when it was me), but no one made a story out of it.
What a different vibe, huh?
This is the same vibe I take when it comes to raising our income. Nichole and I make money a game. We bring a playful, joking, and loving vibe to our relationship with money. We treat it like a video game score: it’s fun to rack up the points but enjoying the journey is more important and our focus.
If we want or need something, money is our last thought. If we’re making decisions in our business, money is last to consider. Money might be involved, but we focus on going after our true desires regardless of our money situation. In other words, we don’t allow money to dictate our experience of life.
Here’s the irony: the less we focused on money, and the more attention we gave to playfulness and joy, the more money we accumulate. That goes against everything you learn about earning money. I guess that’s the difference: you can earn money or you can accumulate money. Which do you want?
Give money no power.
When you think about what money really is, it’s silly how much power we give money. There are a ton of better candidates to give our power to. Things like the grass, plants, sun, animals, air, water, and so on. At least those things support and nourish our lives.
There were many times when we didn’t “have the money” and still attracted our true desires. One such desire was where we live. About a year into my relationship with Nichole, we felt it was time to grow and move into a house together. We wanted to live on the Seacoast near Portsmouth, NH. She was in college and I was teaching different personal growth modalities in Hudson, NH.
There was a glaring problem, however. We didn’t have any money to afford $1,000 rental. We knew that truth because it showed in our bank account, but it didn’t stop us. We drove up to the seacoast, about an hour trip, every weekend to participate and make friends in the community. We drove around looking for rentals. We scheduled appointments to meet landlords. You would have thought that we already lived there.
We brought a playful vibe to our desire, and we made raising our income into a fun game. Can you see the difference? Can you see how we didn’t give power to money? If we were to give power to money it would have sounded something like this, “I love this community and this is the town we need to be in, but we don’t have the money. We can’t afford it.” Then we would be lost in the attitude of oh poor me and I’m such a victim; I’m powerless.
It took us a year to move into our ideal location and house together. I never lost the playful, fun vibe during that year. I was patient. And a nice side-affect was that our income grew.
Change Your Vibe
Free download: Power Over Money Checklist. Get the checklist that compliments this article so you stay on track to changing your vibe and turning on your power.
Assess if Money Has Power Over You
What’s your attitude and relationship with money right now? Do you feel it holds power over you? Here’s how you can tell. Answer this question as truthfully as you can: What relationship and experience do I truly desire with money? I suggest doing a mind map like I did below.
What are your answers reflecting? Are they things like, I want to experience a new house, car, more money, and vacations? If your answers a filled with physical desires, then money has power over you. Because what you’re saying is that those things are only possible with money; therefore, you are giving your power away.
Money might be involved, but it doesn’t dictate your experience of life. You can receive what you truly desire and need with or without the house. Maybe getting a new house would give you a sense of safety. How can you directly go for safety, while exercising your power to get your new home?
Cultivate the Right Attitude
Shift into a playful and joyful attitude towards money. Be like a 5-year old kid. Adopt a wonder and amazement like state. Bring back the magical, dreamlike inner child. Be curious and humble with your approach to money.
This playful and joyful attitude is a state of being. You already do this in your life. For example, I always have a playful and joyful attitude when I golf. It’s so much fun and I have a blast each time. What I do is make that experience conscious. I recognize the state of being I’m in when I’m golfing. Then I bring that state to the game of money.
So where in your life do you bring a playful and joyful state of being? How can you translate that into the game of money?
Make Money a Game
Make the accumulation of money into a game. Do some playful competition with your spouse or a friend. Nichole and I have weekly bets with each other. The winner gets some yumminess and acknowledgment that the loser has to provide. It’s fun and enjoyable.
Who can you playfully compete with? How soon can you ask them? Have them read this post :)
Do No Financial Harm
Be ethical and do no financial harm. Make sure you respect the game. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal. Bring your full heart and ethics into the game. There’s no point in raising your income when you have to compromise your heart. Take your skills and knowledge and help someone. Make sure it delights and benefits them. Then ask for payment.
The key point to remember is your attitude towards money. Are you working hard, being a victim, and needing money for your desires and happiness? Or are you being in service, delighting, treating money like a game, and being playful towards money? Shift your vibe and you’ll have a much better experience with money. Do everything you can to not give money power. Minimize the role of money in your life.
What are your thoughts about this article? What’s your experience and relationship with money? Leave a comment below or friend me on Facebook.
p.s. I’m beating my wife by $500 this week :)
Do You Feel Like Your Business Has Hit a Plateau?
Here’s the situation: you don’t know what to do next in your business or what priorities are important and the right ones to implement. You feel like you have hit a ceiling of overwhelm, and you’re not sure how to breakthrough to the next level (or what the next level looks like).
If this sounds the slightest bit like you, I recommend that you take my free Road Mapping Session. This is session will help you understand the business development stage you are in along with teaching you what your business needs to grow.