It was 2006 and I was totally miserable. I was working as a Certified Financial Planner at a big financial services firm, and although I loved working with my clients and helping them to understand how to best save and invest to reach their financial goals, I couldn’t stomach the environment. If you think back to the crash that started in March 2007, I’m sure you can imagine the shenanigans I saw going on behind the scenes in the financial world.
Although I wanted out, what kept me from leaving for a long time was that I was making good money. In fact, I was making the most I’d ever made. But I was letting fear keep me stuck in a job I hated, plain and simple. What I didn’t realize at the time was that by staying in that stomach-churning environment that had me white-knuckling through each day, I was keeping myself from earning even more money doing something I actually loved (which came shortly after I quit).
Right now if you’re not really earning the money that you wish you were earning or you feel stuck doing work that makes you want to poke your eyes out, I totally get where you are. There’s something really awful about not being in the place that you want to be, and the amount of money you’re earning (or not) is a huge part of that. We all have dreams and ideas and big desires we want to see happen, and, unsurprisingly, a lot of them involve money because in our society, money represents freedom… and who doesn’t want more of that?
So, of course, when you’re not in the financial position that you want to be in, you may feel unsettled. You may even feel as if you’re not living up to your potential. It can make you feel stuck and unhappy. But the great news is that you can change your situation more easily than you may think and it all starts with taking a look at what’s getting in your way.
Maybe the reason is time? Do you feel as if you just don’t have the time to earn more? Whether it’s that you’re a mompreneur juggling carpools, kids and school holidays, you’re trying to launch your entrepreneurial business as a side-hustle to a full-time joy, or you simply don’t have the time to put into yourself and your growth to get a promotion at work, a lack of time is the number one reason most people give for not launching a new product, succeeding in business or reaching their goals.
The truth is that people make time for what’s most important to them… and how you’re spending your time will tell you what you feel is most important to you right now. (Side note: this also applies to how people spend their money.) So if earning more money is truly important to you, then you’ll make the time to do it. “Easier said than done, Christine,” I hear you saying. Look, I know if you’re reading this blog, it’s not likely that you’re spending your time watching three hours of TV in the evenings. You’ve already got way too much on your plate to do that and you’re probably searching for a way to find more time and conquer your overwhelming to-do list.
Here’s a simple formula to get you started:
Get clear on your priorities. What’s truly important to you? Schedule those things into your calendar first.
Look at where else you have time commitments. Where do those rank in importance? What can you let go of or hand off to someone else in order to find more time for your true priorities?
Go easy on yourself. While it’s awesome to have big dreams and goals, sometimes we can become prisoners of our own ambitions and instead of being more fulfilled, we end up a hot mess of stress and self-neglect.
Start with these and I’m confident you’ll be surprised at how much time you suddenly “magically” have to focus on bettering your financial situation.
Sometimes a lack of know-how is indeed what’s holding someone back, but with billions of articles, courses and tutorials at your fingertips, this is hardly an excuse for anyone who has access to the internet. When it comes to growing your income, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s not lack of knowledge that’s standing in your way… rather, it’s implementing that knowledge in a way that leads to more money in your pocket.
When I first started my business, I went crazy with taking course after course, investing in programs and reading blog posts until I felt my eyeballs were going to fall out. Even though I got a lot of value from doing these things and grew my skillset immensely, I never felt like I knew enough… and if I didn’t know enough, then I’d fail. I’m a huge advocate of continuing to invest in yourself in various ways throughout your life because that’s what’s led to my biggest leaps forward, but when it stems from a lack of self-confidence or fear of failure, you’ll never feel like you know enough.
So how can you tell if you’re truly lacking know-how or a certain skill and that’s what’s keeping you from earning more, or if it’s really fear getting in your way? Ask yourself these questions:
Given my big dreams and goals, do I personally need to learn something new right now in order to earn more? If the answer is yes, then specifically identify what that next step or piece is, create a plan of action and then do it.
If you have the intuition that it’s really fear that’s holding you back because you’ve already taken a gazillion courses or you’re well established in your field, what are the fears and what are they about? What are the consequences (as evidenced in your life) of continuing to let those fears get in the way? When you list out what fear is costing you, you’ll probably be far more motivated to find a way to quickly move past what’s holding you back from greater abundance.
Once you’ve moved past the first two hurdles, you may feel as if you just don’t have the resources to do it. If you’re looking at entrepreneurship as a way to bounce back from losing a job - maybe even a situation where you were unfairly terminated and might want to hire an employment lawyer - you may be rather short on cash to invest in a new startup or the manpower to make it happen. Or maybe you launched your solopreneur gig awhile ago and have just been making ends meet.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is feeling like they need tons of fancy or complicated tech to make money, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that you probably don’t need a lot of capital to start you’re business (unless you’re some fancy high-tech startup) and you can use a multitude of free methods to get clients or sell your product. Inside my Passion, Launch, Profits! program, I show service-based entrepreneurs, like coaches, creatives and consultants, how to use highly-effective marketing and visibility strategies that don’t cost a dime and some simple, affordable online tools to sell more and even land high-dollar clients. Because what matters most isn’t how much money you pour into your business, or what tools you’re using, or even if you have the best looking website. What matters is that you get in front of your potential clients consistently, genuinely connect with them and offer a solution they want or need in a way they find virtually irresistible.
But if you’re really convinced you need more cash to get started, what’s a resource-strapped go-getter to do?
Make a list of all the resources you really need. Look at areas like time, money, people, and knowledge.
Next, think about who you already know or who you could approach who could potentially help you or point you in the right direction? This is where past networking efforts really pay off.
Or, given your business or idea, is crowdfunding a viable option? Launching your dream into reality with the help of hundreds or thousands of people is becoming more and more popular, but be sure to read up on the pros and cons involved with using something like a Kickstarter campaign to fund your project.
This can be the hardest one to swallow. More often than we’d care to admit, it’s not someone “out there” who’s keeping us from being successful, earning more money or living our dreams… it’s ourselves. I speak from experience here. I felt like I was drifting through life for years without any real direction. You may be feeling that way, too. It could be that what’s keeping you from earning more isn’t time, knowledge or resources, but something far more personal that looks like not knowing what gifts you’re meant to share with the world or a deep-seated fear of failing that stems from childhood.
No one gets through this life without going through at least a few experiences that mess with your head and your heart. And those experiences and the resulting beliefs and ways of being can really cause you to get in your own way. That can show up in all kinds of ways, such as self-doubt, procrastinating about taking the necessary steps to improve your situation or prioritizing the wrong things. Ultimately, your success or failure comes down to you taking full responsibility for yourself, your decisions and the resulting outcomes in your life.
This is where tuning into your inner guidance, becoming incredibly self-aware, or even taking a more spiritual approach by accessing your soul records can give you insight into what needs to change. But, the cool thing is that you are in control through the decisions you make from here on out. You get to decide how long you allow past experiences, unsupportive ways of being or your fears to get in the way of what you want to create for yourself.
Because if you really do want to move forward and make the kind of money you want, you have to allow yourself to believe you can, change what you need to and then consistently put yourself out there in all your unique awesomeness. That’s when you’ll start to see the money you want roll in.