Years ago, I would brag to anyone who listened (or not) that I was CHEAP AF.
I bootstrapped my first few businesses. I cruelly negotiated for the lowest paid employees and outsourced help at the cheapest price possible. I didn’t sign up for anything with a price tag, or get an office until it was embarrassingly necessary. I even started a co-working space simply to justify a desk.
I regretfully and painfully parted with every cent. I counted every penny that plopped into my bank account. But boy oh boy, was I on top of my money. I was smarter (and cheaper) than erryone.
And I was stressed AF. Turns out, my clever money management “system” was terrifying me, and everybody else was grossed out by my cost-cutting.
Then, I dipped my toes into the house flipping game, and game it is my friend. No conservative plays, no post-paid invoices, no cheap materials here - those bite you in the ass faster than an Australian Shepherd herding sheep. So you better be playing to win.
I learned to loosen my white-knuckled grip on money and started reaching towards trust. Trust in my budgets and timelines to get me through. Trust in the experts I paid (what they were worth), because … low and behold, well paid work got the job done on time and under budget.
I suddenly had Success and Profit slapping me upside the head saying, “Girl! You gotta spend money to make money!”
Now, with my immense experience and wisdom *I joke* I *sad face* reflect back on all the shitty decisions I made for my business because I was scared.
Some call this poverty mindset, and they blame their upbringing. Others admit their current situation is scary, and complain about being broke (all the time). You might identify with scarcity mode because you lived paycheck to paycheck or that separation really f'ed up your finances (or both). I was taught to penny-pinch every cent and that debt is the root of all evil. We each have a story and evidence to back it up.
And we each have an opportunity to create the reality and success we desire.
What Do You Do With Money?
First things first, you have to start changing the way you act around money. This means, you have to identify the thoughts and feelings that pop up when you consider different choices around money.
I wore my Cheap AF badge with pride and honor. Who doesn’t want to live in a house with 4 other people as a grown-ass adult to cover the cost of their mortgage!? Why wouldn’t you spend way-too-many hours a week managing a building to ensure your office space is paid for? Doesn’t everyone nickel and dime their employees and micromanage every minute of their day?
And in fact, think about the business owners who inspire you the most - are they checking their bank statements once an hour? Likely not because they’re running a successful business and they hired someone talented to do that for them!
Here’s some of my favorite “no’s” we say when we’re terrified of money and our business:
I can’t afford to hire help
My clients will bail if I raise my prices
We can’t justify that new printer, lets keep trying with the old POS we have even though it’s a migraine waiting to happen (nope, POS does not stand for point of sale …)
But on that note, no we can’t afford the POS system (that runs reports and gives us a deep understanding of cash flow)
Working from home is fine since I can also do the laundry, manage the kids, run errands and clean the house while I’m *ahem* working
No way I can fire EMPLOYEE X even though they make me crazy and do a shit job because hiring someone else will be a nightmare
No way I can hire EMPLOYEE Y because I can’t afford good help and training someone is too big a cost of my time
I don’t have time to do the admin, I have to X,Y, and Z all by myself
I can’t afford to advertise, and that facebook ad campaign I ran was a failure, so never again!
I have to move into this subpar location because my rent here just went up
Or I can’t move into a better location because my rent here is affordable (and moving is a fate worse than death)
PS. I have proof of all of the above, and it keeps happening, so there!
Wow. I am going to go throw up now, BRB
Yesterday I was working with a client on their digital strategy. One of the business partners called up and interrogated the store manager. The poor girl looked like a dear in headlights, but after the deer got hit - it wasn’t pretty. And she was about as effective as roadkill after that call.
Someone had shoplifted two days prior, and this business partner decided the employees were to blame, and the course of action was to watch them like a hawk via the security camera. Anytime she sensed (her own) fear, she swooped in for the kill.
I couldn’t help myself. I walked over to the manager with my most unimposing march (which was basically me lunging towards her, with open arms, bringing her in for an uncomfortably intimate mama bear hug).
Blame, resentment, greed, hoarding, anger, victimization, bullying, stress, paranoia, procrastination, avoidance, and everything you say or did (and didn't do) that you regret, all come from the same place - FEAR.
Your Fear Is Destroying Your Business
Some simple steps to overcome fear in your small business.
Capture your fears. Thoughts & feelings lead to action. Action creates results. Shitty headspace = shitty results. Write your fears down. Take notice.
Know your business values. What you focus on amplifies. The fastest way to change the world is to change your perspective. What do you want? Write it down. Counter every fearful thought with a desired result.
Get clear on your Why. Ask yourself "Why is this important to me," until you land on the ah! ha! realization, because this literally defines you and your business. It usually takes at least 5 Why's to get to discover your deepest motivations. *** Your Why is a positive statement. Here is an example, because this is the most important step, and it is always overlooked. Why do you want to hire better employees? I’m tired of baby sitting children (ouch). Why are you tired of baby-sitting? This is my business! I am paying them good money I kill myself to a work and they should just listen and do what I tell them. Why do your employees need to do what they’re told? Because, I am the boss, and if they just listened then there wouldn’t be problems. Why should they listen because you’re the boss? Thats what employees do, they get paid to listen and do their job! Why should they listen to you? Because this business is my dream and lifeblood and only means for survival and if they don’t start listening, I will fail. THE WHY: Respect is earned, and by getting and giving respect, we are successful.
Focus on your values to let go of your fears. Track and measure the values of your business. Let go of any thoughts, feelings, people, systems and practices that do not fully support your values.
Be success! Doing is work, being is effortless.
What you appreciate, appreciates.
Where your attention goes determines your reality.
What if there are no mistakes, only opportunities?