How serious are you about setting money goals in your business?
It might seem simplistic, but I’m always surprised by the number of women I meet who are totally OK with their business not making money. Or worse, they have no idea whether or not they’re making money.
If this is you, I don’t say this to insult or admonish you.
I say it because, for a long time in my last business, I thought I was alone in this behaviour.
When I realized how little effort I put into planning for revenue, ensuring I was working profitably, and treating my work as a business, I was really upset with myself. All the time and energy I put into my work wasn’t returning anything for me or my family. My photography clients were happy, and I adored my work, but I was working for less than if I had a part time fast food job. #RealTalk. So much for the financial freedom of self-employment.
Worse still? I have a business and marketing background. I knew better!
But it wasn’t a lack of business knowledge that was holding me back – it was the old money story I had been telling and re-telling to myself for my entire life:
- It’s greedy and selfish to care about making more money.
- I love what I do – it’s not about the money!
- Who did I think I was asking for those kinds of fees just to give people beautiful, lifetime memories of their children (even with that wording, I still couldn’t see it!)?
- What did it say about me if I had to raise my rates to turn a profit?
- I’ll have to work SO much harder to make enough money.
- My husband’s job pays our bills. This is just my “side hustle”. As long as I cover my expenses, it’s OK.
- What if my business actually gets bigger…how will I handle that?
- And the biggie…the visibility of running a well-known business and having people see and know me is too challenging for this introvert.
And on, and on it went.
If this is you, I want you to listen to today’s episode.
Episode #30 – How I learned to stop worrying and love money – is all about why women need to get comfortable with the idea of being in business to make money. It doesn’t make you a bad person to say that out loud, or to have that goal. It makes you a good business person. And how can you expect money to love you if you don’t love it back, anyway?
I believe financially empowered women will change the world. Full stop. There is abundant evidence to prove this is true, and that we already have more financial power than we realize or act on.
This is truly my business “WHY”. I love helping women recognize the power of their financial independence – how it helps them, their families and their communities. It’s the most important work I do.
To hear more about how you can align your money beliefs with a new, stronger money story, along with a primer on my Sacred Money Archetypes® program, click play on the media player below to listen:
Welcome to episode 30! Thanks for joining me. If you’re joining me for the first time, I’m so happy you’re giving me a little of your time today. I’m Janet Whalen and I’m a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women. I often interview other fascinating women entrepreneurs on the show, but today you’re hearing only from me and the topic is money. We’ve done a couple of episodes on money previously, but not from the perspective I’m going with today, and it’s such an important topic I feel it deserves some more love. So I thought we’d dive in deep on some money perspectives that you might not be familiar with unless you’re already one of my clients.
And at the end of this, you’re going to have an opportunity to take the money personality assessment my clients take. I don’t make the link available publicly because it’s a really high value assessment tool, and I don’t want to deal with the spam results that will come with making it public. So if, at the end of this, you are totally curious and want to know more about YOUR money personality, you can DM me on instagram @beambitiousforher OR email me at email@example.com and I’ll reply back with a link to the assessment for you.
First I want you to understand a little more about the WHY behind this work that I think is SO important.
The first thing you need to know and understand is the place I’m coming from when I talk to you about money. I’m a coach and consultant – not a financial advisor. So this is not an episode about saving or investing. It’s all about your beliefs about money, how deeply they affect you in your ability to work sustainably and effectively in your business, and the work that goes into changing those beliefs. It’s really true…you can change your beliefs. They don’t have to be static. And my bet is your beliefs aren’t even fully yours to begin with – they’re what your parents taught you, what you read in books, or what society taught you was appropriate for a women to believe about money generally. And it’s those beliefs that went into creating the story you tell yourself about money. Those beliefs have informed everything you’ve thought about money…making it, spending it, having it, sharing it…for your whole life.
How many of you have phrases like “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “money is the root of all evil” running through your mind right now just because I mentioned this? How many of you believe that there’s only so much money to go around, or that it probably wasn’t meant for you and that’s why you’re not already rich? Or worse, you believe having money makes you greedy, or shady, or shallow, or selfish…and none of those things sounds particularly attractive so you stay as far away from the idea of being a wealthy person as you can? Wealth is for other people, right? You’re not sure whom, but they’re not like you.
Well, I firmly believe money is a feminist issue. Gloria Steinem famously said, “Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom.” I truly believe this and that financially empowered women will change the world – So much so that I’ve made this my motto – and my business tagline. There’s data to prove this – it’s not just my musings on a Wednesday morning.
UN Women tells us economic freedom includes the ability to participate equally in the marketplace, to have control and power over our own time and how we spend it, and have a voice in economic decision making from the household level all the way up to international institutions. Economies grow when more women work. And while women are starting more businesses than any other group we’re still only receiving a small fraction of total investment dollars. And women invest more heavily in their communities and in social innovations and services than men do. My guest Karen Shulman Dupuis and I talked about this in episode 29 – that Canada alone could add $150 billion to our GDP just by fully engaging women in our workforce.
At the same time, you’ve probably heard that women control somewhere around 80% of household purchase decisions and closing in on half of all investable assets in North America and that number is growing. Some estimates have women controlling 60% of investable assets by the middle of this century – this number is in the multiple tens of TRILLIONS of dollars. And generationally, younger women are getting into the workforce sooner and staying longer as many millennials choose not to have children. And yet, somehow our conversations around money haven’t changed that much. We’re still fairly reluctant to talk about it, and even the young women I speak with about it are just as likely as Gen X-ers or boomers to say things like “I’ve just always thought of myself as bad with money.”
All of this leads me to the point that we need many more women creating wealth, and building on their investments – for our own good, the good of our families and our communities (both local and global). We are clearly the ones we’ve been waiting for. No one is coming to rescue us, so let’s get on it and use the power of all this wealth for good.
Sometimes when I bring up this topic, I hear this comment: Women in North America are already equal. They have the same rights as men. Why don’t you focus your work elsewhere in the world where it’s really needed? Well, there’s some truth to that, except that even amongst women in North America there is still stunning inequity. When women of colour make far less than white women, we still have a problem. When women are asked for their husband to co-sign for a business loan, we still have a problem. And I don’t believe we’re equal until we’re all equal.
I see women getting divorced in their 40’s and learning for the first time in their lives why it’s important to have a credit card in their own name. Suddenly, they find they haven’t built up a personal credit rating and can’t lease a car or rent an apartment on their own and so they remain dependent upon the husband they just left who was possibly abusive or controlling and it becomes harder to free themselves from that cycle of abuse. At one point, I too thought we were past this. But I think that’s only because money is a subject we don’t discuss in polite company. Some of these truths are only recently finding their way to the light, so to speak.
The number of times I still hear, “I have to ask my husband if I can invest in my business,” might surprise those of you who feel women are on completely equal footing. My guess is there are very few men in the US and Canada calling their wives in the middle of the day for permission to make a business expenditure. I’m all for partnership – it’s the permission slip we need to send back to the dark ages.
I also bristle at the idea that there should be a prescribed amount of money education that even a North American woman is entitled to before the rest of society gets to deem it “enough”. It highlights a belief that women who want more are getting too big for their britches. And why can’t they just be satisfied with what they already have, anyway? No matter how you look at it, it’s someone else getting to decide the limits of our autonomy, and our authority.
Instead, let’s talk even more about this. Openly, honestly and with conviction. This is no longer a topic for behind closed doors, or that polite company doesn’t engage in. We need to talk more about our salaries…our investment meetings…our experiences with bank managers…so that others who’ve been left in the dark and underpaid for decades or more can see the truth and learn the current rules of the game. So yes, this work is still needed. Here and around the world. The difference in scale of the problems shouldn’t determine whether or not we’re allowed to talk about our local, persistent inequities.
I also recognize that some of the information I’ll give you today might not be useful to those who aren’t in the privileged position to use it. It’s specifically intended for women running businesses. At no point in this episode will I suggest that “anyone” can use this advice or coaching, as if the answer to inequality is just a simple mindset shift. This episode presumes you’re listening because you’re in a position to use the information or that you hope to be soon and are preparing yourself for the work ahead of you. I’m actively working out ways to give less privileged women access to this work so keep listening for some announcements later this summer.
So…money is a women’s issue. And unless you’re running a not for profit, it’s also a business issue. There’s simply no way around it. Businesses are expected to make money and you can’t continue making no money in perpetuity without getting flagged for a tax audit eventually. So even if yours is a small business, I’d like you to think about how much time effort you dedicate to thinking about or strategizing about the money in your business. That includes what’s flowing in AND what’s flowing out, as well as what you’re paying yourself.
IF that was a tough question: meaning if you couldn’t answer it except to say that you WORRY about money, but maybe don’t plan for it, and you don’t regularly check in on how it’s functioning in your business, you should definitely keep listening. Or maybe you just said to yourself, “Yeah but my business is just a side thing for my family. It doesn’t pay the mortgage or grocery bills I just do it for fun” I especially encourage you to keep listening. And I’ll remind you…there are far easier ways to make no money than running a business. You might want to rethink that perspective.
About 8-10 months ago, after fully realizing the power of women making more money in the world and with a desire to confront some of my personal money blocks, I became certified to offer a coaching program by Kendall Summerhawk called “Sacred Money Archetypes®”. I went through this training myself as a prerequisite for becoming certified to offer it so I KNOW how well it worked to break down some significant money beliefs I was working with. Before I explain what it is, I’ll tell you what it’s not. And I’ll confirm for you that I’m not selling anything today…this isn’t a webinar. It’s just information and hopefully a little inspiration.
So…what this is not:
It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.
It’s not about magic or The Secret and it doesn’t imply that all you need to do is shift your mindset and BINGO – instant millionaire!
It’s also not about tactical tips for managing money in your business or investing for the future.
In fact, it’s so much deeper than most of the money mindset work that’s targeted at women business owners. It forces you to examine the hidden barriers you’ve put up that prevent you from seeing money as a tool, and you quickly realize you’re probably giving it power over you that really doesn’t exist. It helps you see that thinking about abundance has less to do with magical thinking than it does with the idea that we can support one another, grow together, and yes – create new money, and new wealth. It’s about baking more pies instead of trying to divide one pie into ever shrinking pieces so that no one feels they’re getting enough.
If those metaphors don’t resonate with you, think of it in these terms: by making more money yourself, you can create opportunities for employing other women…opportunities that didn’t exist before you came along. You might also realize that becoming financially successful has nothing to do with taking money that was somehow earmarked for someone else. We have a tendency to think that if we get something, there’s automatically less of that thing to go around. But that’s not how money works.
We definitely have a system of growing wealth inequality in the world today. And knowing this, or believing this can be enough to make any good person feel less inclined to go after financial success – it would automatically mean you’re one of those greedy, selfish rich people, right? Who would ever WANT to think of themselves in that way?
But I’d like you to take a step back from that judgment and realize…the millionaires and billionaires who are hoarding money at the moment, and not allowing it to flow back into the system so it can create new opportunities are the ones who have created this environment…the money itself didn’t do that. Money has a use – a purpose – and I like to think of it in animated form as energy that wants to keep flowing and being of service…that might sound a little woo woo, but stick with me here….it’s not the physical money or even the earning of it that’s causing inequality. It’s what certain people who have it are DOING (or not doing) with it that’s causing that. But you get to decide how your money behaves. The decision to use your money for good or for nefarious purpose is yours.
When a very wealthy person in your community donates enough cash to build an new addition to your local hospital, are you happy they put their money to good use in your community? Or do you call them a narcissist for putting their name on the wall? When people like Ted Turner or Warren Buffet, and Bill & Melinda Gates decided to pool a huge amount of their vast wealth and work together to solve some very large global problems, how does this make you feel about those wealthy people? It’s not the people themselves, or their money we don’t like. It’s the energy with which it’s used that brings out our judgments.
So what would it be like for you if you could lean into all the good you could do with your potential wealth, or even just the money you already have, and separate the bad feelings, judgments and perceptions from the money itself? You don’t have to think of this in huge, global terms. It could be as simple as funding your son or daughter’s post-secondary education without stress, support or loans. Or knowing your aging parent will have wonderful care and support because you can help fund the services they require. And without judgment, it can also mean you get to buy the house of your dreams and contribute financially to keeping a roof over your family’s heads. It’s even ok if that house is a dream house on a beach that you’ve longed for your whole life. Again, no judgments.
If you have some cash in your wallet right now, take it out and look at it. Quite literally…hit pause, go get your wallet and come back to me when you have it. OK so look at the bills you’ve taken out of your wallet. Does it have other people’s names written all over it? No? Ok does it have YOUR name written on it? No again? Right…because it’s not intended for anyone in particular. It can be yours if you allow it in, but it’s also open to working with someone else. It has zero preference because it’s just a tool – an inanimate object. We assign all kinds of personalities and values to these coins, pieces of paper or fabric (depending on where you live) to make it easier protect ourselves from judgement and, in so doing, we’re effectively pushing money out of our lives.
OK…I told you I was going to fill you in on the assessment tool and we’re finally at that part of the episode.
In this program, we all fit somewhere on a scale of 8 main money archetypes or personalities. And we’re all mostly an expression of our top three archetypes. So we’re all a combination of the Maverick, the Romantic, The Connector, The Ruler, The Accumulator, the Celebrity, The Nurturer and The Alchemist. I’ll tell you more about each one in a minute, but the most empowering thing about all of them is that there is a path to wealth and financial success with every single archetype. There is no good or bad archetype for making or managing money. They each have their particular weaknesses and strengths, and the goal is to have you working with the strengths of your top three and recognizing your weaknesses so you can leave them behind as often as possible.
It also really helps to identify where your archetype, or personality, conflicts with the money story you’ve been telling about yourself your whole life. And remember, your money story isn’t really yours – it’s a combination of what you’ve learned about how to think of money from OTHER PEOPLE. For women, a lot of our stories come from internalized misogyny. Being called a Rich Bitch comes to mind. Who wants to admit they’d like to be wealthy when that’s the label that’s going to be placed on us if we try? But extend that further…do you really want to play to THAT stereotype and allow internalized misogyny to hold you back and make that decision for you? By fearing that perception, you’re effectively giving it power. How about that for a mind bender?
OK…At this point, I’m going to give you a crash course on the Archetypes or money personalities today so that you can start to recognize some of your own strengths and maybe even walk away from this episode with a new perspective on how you could start to seek a new perspective with money. As I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, if you’re interested in knowing more about your own top archetypes, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on instagram @beambitiousforher and I promise to reply with a link to the assessment so you can find out for yourself which three influence YOU the most.
So to give you an idea, my top three archetypes are Alchemist, Accumulator and Ruler. In that order. And my top three interact in ways that support and conspire against each other…I’ll explain what that means in a minute. But first, I’ll admit that going through this training felt a little like standing in front of an xray machine. It’s a vulnerable feeling to have someone see you for your money personality when you realize always known it, deep down, but haven’t felt empowered to speak it out loud.
Let me explain….I could have told you I was an Accumulator without even seeing the questionnaire. The accumulator personality is like an inner banker. Accumulators are very responsible, methodical and organized and love structure and saving and predictability. Sounds like good characteristics when talking about money right? On the other hand, an Accumulator can also be frugal to a fault, find spending to be almost physically painful, and worry about investing in the “wrong” things. The Accumulator is often paralyzed from following up on opportunities that have any kind of risk. The Accumulator’s behavior is often based in a scarcity mindset and this archetype can have a real problem internalizing the idea of abundance…or what I just outlined for you a few minutes ago when I was talking about baking a bigger pie or more pies instead of dividing up the one in front of you – This is the idea that money expands and is not intended for just one person, or one purpose. As an Accumulator, I’ve always believed I am good with money because I find saving easy and spending harder, but the truth is I’ve spent a good amount of my adult life worrying over money issues that never actually materialized and avoided opportunities that could have served me. This was a huge mental and gut check for me and it’s probably the biggest negative hurdle I’ve worked on in my own money work over the past year.
As an Alchemist, I’m idealistic, great at coming up with new ideas and seeing possibilities where other people often don’t. But I also have a tendency toward seeing money as a corrupting force and have made lots of judgments about it in the past. This archetype has probably helped my accumulator side out a bit, as I’ve never really felt like a slave to money, but I’ve also not always been able to put my idealistic side TO the side in support of my own financial goals. For me, often the greater good wins over what’s good for me, and I needed to look into why I was judging my desire for financial success.
My third archetype, the Ruler, is courageous and visionary and wants to create an empire where everyone can thrive. This supports my Alchemist personality as far as coming up with big audacious ideas and goals, but it can also lead me to overwork and to fear ever taking money out of my business just for enjoyment. So that means I have two top archetypes that are uncomfortable spending money [because it feels like there is never enough, or I might not ever be able to create more) and one that sees tons of possibility but cares less about money than the good I could do in the world if only I had more of it.
I’ve had to work on the idea of what it would mean ABOUT me and FOR me if my business becomes more successful than it is. My top archetypes can struggle with issues around visibility as well, and fear of being judged that several of the other archetypes don’t really worry about AT ALL. In fact, the entire first half of this episode could be viewed as me justifying my own money beliefs so that I won’t be judged for speaking up about money and why women should feel ok to earn more of it. Are you starting to see how this works? The old me would go back and edit the whole first half of this episode out, but I now see it as instructive. If you, too, have a kind of love-hate relationship with money, or feel a need to justify your goals so they seem altruistic, you too may be an Alchemist.
It’s also interesting for me to know that Celebrity is my lowest scoring archetype. That can mean that in order to lean best into the strengths of my own top archetypes, I might want to add a few of the strengths of my lowest (least familiar or least resonant) archetype to help me get there. And interestingly, the Celebrity loves visibility! She loves bling and flash and being the center of attention. But don’t mistake that for narcissism. She truly loves using her gifts to help others make a great impression. There is a TON I can learn from her, even so far as how I market myself, my business and this podcast!! I don’t have to worry about the Celebrity’s darker or weaker side, because I already don’t engage in her challenges which include compulsive spending, valuing status above security and spending on appearances to avoid feeling criticized.
Every archetype has strengths and weaknesses. And EVERY single one can lead you to your path of success with money (whatever that means to you) if you’re open to doing the work.
To round out the archetype parade today, I’ll tell you about the other four and then you can decide if you’d like to know more about yours by emailing me for a link to the assessment.
If you’re a Romantic, you have a few similarities to the Celebrity, in that you have less trouble than other archetypes do with spending money. You might believe we only get one shot at life and so money and opportunities are meant to be spent and enjoyed in the moment! You very likely love spoiling people close to you and have a highly attuned sense of the sensory pleasure of, and appreciation for the finer things in life. Like the celebrity though, the Romantic archetype can get you in some trouble with overspending. If you’re a romantic, you’ve likely had people tell you “your money burns a hole in your pocket”. You’re very likely to say all of this is just because “you’ve never been good with money” when truthfully, you’ve probably avoided learning about good money habits like the plague for most of your life!
If you’re a Connector, you believe relationships and people are far more important than money. You probably care most about heart to heart connections and just wish someone else would handle ALL of your money concerns for you. You do enjoy a belief that money will always be there when you need it, but not because you plan it that way, it’s just that you are so detached from money generally that you don’t really think about it not being there for you either. All of this can mean you lack financial independence, and you probably feel really disempowered even manage the money you do have.
If you’re a Nurturer, you have a good appreciation for money. You don’t really have trouble with the idea of earning it, and your desire to be of service to others can help you set up great offerings or products for your clients and customers. You are selflessly generous, but this is where your archetypes strengths start to become challenges. You often give to the point of putting yourself in the hole, whether with money or your time, and can start to develop feelings of resentment when you give too much and get very little in return. Often this comes from seeing others as helpless or in need of constant support and by learning to set better boundaries for yourself, you empower others to solve their own problems – still nurturing them, but in a longer term and more impactful way.
The final archetype you might be is Maverick. You’re probably clever and charismatic and great at structuring deals – you can probably put together an amazing deal for everyone and not bat an eye – it’s that easy for you. Think of the sharks on Shark Tank as an example. You come up with all kinds of creative ways to structure complex financial deals and you’re very attracted to every get rich quick opportunity that comes your way. You’re probably more comfortable with risk than most of the people around you, but this can also burn you when one of your moves backfires. You end up having to live through extreme financial highs and lows because of this, and might use secrecy and deception to cover up a loss for fear of being judged.
So those are the archetypes in a nutshell. There’s so much more to this work than simply knowing yours, but it’s a good start. I do offer 1:1 coaching on this topic alone, or as part of other business coaching and it’s one of my favourite topics to work on with my clients. If you’d like to learn more about those, go to beambitiousforher.com/calendar to book a FREE 30-minute session so we can chat and you can learn more about this.
I hope you’re walking away from this with renewed conviction that money isn’t responsible for the good or bad that comes into our lives with it. WE are responsible for those results. Money is simply a tool and we all have responsibility for how it gets used and the energy and judgments we assign to it.
I’ll be talking a LOT more about this in future episodes, so stay tuned if you had any a-ha’s today or if you find this topic important.
Thanks again for joining me this week. I hope you all take a good honest look at how you’re perceiving and using money in your business!
Have a great few weeks. I hope you’ll join me again next time.