Money, Your Subconscious, and Sustainable Business Success

“Make the money; don’t let the money make you. Change the Game; don’t let the game change you.”

If you have the idea that wealthy people involved in ‘Big Business’ are mostly arrogant, greedy, or otherwise dishonest, lacking in integrity, and have used underhanded tactics to get where they are, you certainly don’t want to be one of them – do you?

Are you planning on growing your business or making yours the best in the field? And if so, let me ask you: How do you define ‘Big Business’ or ‘wealthy’? What do the terms mean – to you? What companies does it include? Who does it include? Why? And when and where, with what information did you come to your conclusions about ‘big business’ and wealthy people?

If you have a negative reaction to ‘Big Business’, or the people who got wealthy growing them, you may have already subconsciously undermined your own future business success and financial well-being.

How? By holding conflicting, even competing ideas about money, wealth, or growing your business. With undiscovered strong feelings, you may have already placed your own business and your finances at a disadvantage.

Do not get me wrong. There are those who walk(ed) – or cross(ed) the line. But there are many who have sacrificed much, with a sense of responsibility towards those who work for them and those they serve. So I am not suggesting you do what you think the wealthy and Big Business owners do to get ‘big’ and ‘rich’ – if you think what they do is nefarious.

Most ‘Big Business’ owners start out small, just like you. They started out very small and struggled to stay afloat along the way. They made mistakes, bad decisions, or did stupid things and, occasionally when they ‘made it’ they flaunted what they had or have. But they each had a goal, a dream, clear ideas about where they were headed, and the value of money when they made it.

Pick out some wealthy people or big businesses: Oprah, Soros, Gates, Koch, Carrie Underwood, Lebron James, Mark Wahlberg, Felix Hernandez, Apple, Amazon, FaceBook, Garmin, IKEA, Walmart, KFC, Wendy’s. Do you mentally sneer, avoid them, cheer them on or give them a pass? Why? Based on what?

How do you know what you know? Are you sure about your facts? Or is your opinion a bias just based on yet another social meme, or information repeated from one source to another? Where do you go for your information? How far do you look?

If you are growing a business, how will you avoid joining the reviled? What will you pay your employees? How will you treat them on a daily basis? How will you train your supervisors? What kind of benefit plan will you give them? How much will you pay yourself? And what kind of gap will there be between what you take home and what your employees take home?

The point: check your assumptions and own your values. Do you know what your values are? Have you checked across a spectrum of information to discern assumptions from facts?

I now want you to think about what you believe, and how you came to believe it.

Your preconceived ideas and biases (positive or negative) about money, wealth, or big business impact how you plan, how much you respect or disrespect money, people, and process. The meaning you attach has an impact on what you do.

So heads up!

If you resent the 1% or the 10%, you might be in trouble as a business person. What are you going to aim for? The bottom? The middle? Do you not want your business to be the best in your field? If it begins to grow and demand is great and growing, are you going to draw an artificial  line about how much money it makes or how big it grows?

Or are you planning to keep it small? And what happens if you try to stay small when the competition is growing?

Your subconscious ideas about money and success can get in your way or be a clear benefit when it comes to starting or building a financially sound, sustainable business.

“Money comes to you when you are ready for it.”
Lewis Howes, (via Business Insider)

Is this quote saying a good thing or not? How can you get clear about whether internal conflicts are an issue for you and your business?

Plan of Action

First, set aside 30 minutes. Take a clean sheet of paper, think about your opinions and feelings about money and write down:

  • every instantaneous thought/word you have about money as it occurs to you
  • what comments your parents or grandparents or extended family have made about money, businesses, wealthy people, as you grew up?
  • any and all expressions you’ve heard regarding business, money or the people who have it, e.g. “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “a penny saved is a penny earned”, “rich as the devil”, “stinking rich” etc.
  • put your own dollar figure on ‘rich’ (be specific).

Think about:

  • lack of money and what your definition of being poor is (use specifics). Write it down.
  • put a dollar value on ‘poor’. Write it down.
  • draw a picture in words of what ‘poor’ means – put as much detail into this as possible – i.e. sights, sounds, smells, sensations, emotions, etc.

Write it down.

Then think about:

  • what constitutes an excess of money and what $$ figure you attach to being wealthy, really wealthy, unbelievably rich?
  • what is a little, big, or too big a house? (describe all 3 on paper)
  • what luxury car or designer clothing do you yearn for? Or do you? Would you refuse better quality than you can currently afford?
  • name a dollar figure that represents how much income and money is enough – for you; would you agree to develop a business that earns you more than that? Would you draw a line?
  • What do you think of people who are obviously extremely wealthy and exert influence over others (include people like Branson, Gates, Oprah, Buffett, Jordan, Lucas, Jack Ma – you get the idea.)

Write it down. 

Then leave it all for a day or two.

Let it all percolate. It will help uncover your feelings, prejudices, biases, and ideas (positive or negative) when it comes to money. It may also reveal a set of values you didn’t know you had.

Once you think you know the answers, what do you do with them? What would you change? What would happen – best outcomes and worst fears – if you changed or challenged your answers to some of these questions?

Write it down.

Next: Spend another 10 minutes.

  • Step back and take a look at your business, your life, and what is important to you. Write down whatever comes.
  • Decide if what you have is what you really want, if where you are is where you really want to be.

Then: Decide what decisions and actions you are willing to make if you want something different.

Know what you believe, think, and feel, the difference between them, and whether you and your values are co-existing in comfort.

Know what guides your decisions.

Clarify what drives what you do every day.

Move mountains.

A little reflection is always good.

Schedule appointment

Annette Hamm

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