Let's talk about money!
...did you just cringe? A year ago, I probably would have. Or at least given a reluctant sigh.
However, over the past year, I've been diving deep into my relationship with money, the financial side of my business, learning to love profit margins and paying myself a salary. Since practicing some very specific things over the past year, I have noticed a very significant change in my finances:
So far in 2018, I have grossed an equivalent income to the entire year of 2017, and I have netted almost triple what I netted by the end of last year.
I feel like I can't overemphasize this. Let me say it a different way. So far, in 4 months, I have grossed the SAME amount of money and netted almost 3X the amount of money as I did during 12 months last year. This means I'm on track to triple my income.
Why am I sharing all of this? After all, talking about money is generally taboo. However, I have a few very specific reasons for speaking so openly about a crunchy topic:
- I believe that the more we avoid discussing something uncomfortable, the more power we give it. Every time we avoid talking about money, we become more afraid of it. Therefore, by bringing it out into the open, we can become more comfortable with it.
- Healers and people working in the spiritual/personal development field especially tend to have wounds around money. "I don't deserve to be paid for what comes naturally to me." "How is it fair for me to charge someone to help them?" "My teacher didn't charge for healing work so neither should I." Sound familiar? All of these block us from owning our prosperity.
- Finally, if there is anything that I did to help myself that might support you on your path, I want to share that with you! It is my mission to empower other people through my own life and choices. If some of these tools, techniques and resources might be helpful, I want you to have them.
In no particular order, here are some of the things that I have done in the past year to come into right relationship with money: (All of this is to the best of my memory... honestly, there's a lot of this that has been happening over the past few years in my internal work.)
- I consciously claimed that I wasn't happy with my current financial situation. (This might seem too obvious, but it's an important step. If we're settled into complacency, or a belief that we're "getting along okay," nothing will change.)
- I talked to money. I treated it like an entity with a unique consciousness, had conversations with it, wrote letters to it, and got to know it as a specific frequency, rather than an abstract.
- I took $3500 in hundreds out of the bank and meditated with a stack of cash. I held it in my hands, went through the stack and thanked every bill, set them out on an altar and acknowledged them every day for a month (read more about that here).
- I journaled about money. A LOT. I wrote about my beliefs around money, my relationship to receiving, my understanding of my own worthiness, and my place in the global economy.
- I moved to a new space that enables me to comfortably work from home. I now have a gorgeous office that is a 20-second commute.
- I made a living prosperity altar. I asked the tree outside my office window to be my "Prosperitree." I placed crystals around the base, hung a beautiful bird (squirrel) feeder to bring traffic to the Prosperitree, and I water it regularly with prayers and nutrients.
- I listened to Fredric Lehrman's Prosperity Consciousness. Repeatedly.
- I quit my part-time job as a substitute high school teacher and tutor. This job was barely bringing in any money, but I kept it around as a subconscious safety net. As long as I had it on the side, it meant that I had a fallback in case my business wasn't thriving (read more about that here).
- I released parts of my work and my offerings that were no longer lighting me up. It meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant disengaging with old energies to make room for the new.
- I got very clear about who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to do that. This also meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant that the clients who I did choose to take on were far more aligned with my work and my practice.
- I started looking at the longevity of my business, and building in practices that would allow me to do less, but be more effective in what I was producing.
- I got over my fear of selling people into my work by practicing it a bajillion times.
- I started working with a new mentor who has a healthy relationship with business.
- I started tracking and paying attention to all the nitty-gritty financial parts of my business, rather than just the big picture of income/expenses.
- I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Repeatedly.
- I shifted from my bank to a credit union. This served to work with a financial institution that was way more in alignment with my values, but also enabled me to actually practice the techniques in Profit First and Prosperity Consciousness.
- I practiced seeing my business as the thing that would fuel and fund my lifestyle, rather than my life fueling and funding my business.
- I started honoring the actual value of my time, and asking for that level of compensation.
- I started budgeting for travel, for self-care and for financial independence.
- I got really good at being uncomfortable. ***This process started way more than a year ago, but it has served me so much in my financial work that it deserves a place on this list. The better you can get at being okay with being uncomfortable, the easier it will be for you to sort through your finances.
My best advice to you (if you want to come into better relationship with your finances) is to steel yourself, sit down and actually start looking at this stuff. Looking at your financial situation won't make it any worse, I promise! But it WILL help you feel more empowered to actually know what's going on with your money.
Here are some of my favorite exercises I did that I invite you to practice:
- Talk to money. There is no particular quantity required for this. Get a dollar bill out of your wallet and hold a conversation with it. Ask it questions.
- Journal prompt: "What beliefs do I have about money? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about money?"
- Make a prosperity altar. It can be a living altar like mine (a tree or plant that feels especially abundant), or an interior altar of your choosing.
Here's to our prosperity!