You may not think you have a money story. But the truth is, we all have one – sometimes, we have many. And they can have a huge impact on the way we treat our finances, the way we run our businesses and the success we’re able to achieve.
I find myself constantly surprised at the money stories that show up for me. There’s an extra layer to it for me, because this is what I do for a living: I’m a money mentor and a qualified accountant. Shouldn’t I know all there is to know about this by now?!
Well, that’s the thing about money stories. They are always there, always shifting, and they always need attention.
Where do money stories come from?
Money stories are born out of protection. We build them throughout our childhood and our adulthood, based on the different experiences we have, and we develop lots of different coping strategies as a result.
For instance: if your family struggled to pay the household bills growing up and you went through periods of the power being shut off or being behind on the rent or mortgage, you might now have a money story that says: Household bills are a source of stress.
If you grew up in a household that was financially doing okay, but without much to spare to spend on non-essentials, you might have developed a money story that sees you splurge on life’s little luxuries that you feel you were deprived of as a kid.
Perhaps your experiences as a child have made you more cautious as an adult and you have a subconscious fear of ‘not having enough’, so you hoard money.
Or, if you grew up with wealth and never really experienced any financial insecurity at all, your money stories might see you spend a little more recklessly as an adult.
Money stories in and of themselves are just that – stories. But they can become a problem if they hold us back or prevent us from achieving our goals and doing what we really want in life.
The good news: you can work through them and adopt new, better, clearer and more positive money stories.
For instance, your money story can impact your approach to your finances. If you grew up without enough, you might:
- Hold on to every cent for fear of not paying your bills on time
- Fail to invest in your business, as the money is safer in your bank
- Let repairs and maintenance slide, because you’re worried about the cost
- Don’t invest in growth drivers, because you only spend on “essentials”
Or if you grew up with too much, you might:
- Spend too freely, without measuring the ROI
- Fail to balance the books, as you’ve never had to before (there’s always more money!)
- Invest in growth drivers that don’t actually pay off, as you’re not tracking results
Either way, the end result is that you don’t have a strong handle on your finances. Time and time again with my clients, I’ve seen this play out in a way that limits growth and profits.
This is because you need to be really clear on both the actual profit, and the profit potential, within your business.
Without this foundation, you can’t create a strong and effective plan for your growth. You can’t accurately measure ROI on the investments you are making. And you can’t conquer any limiting beliefs you have around money, which are potentially holding you back.
Your money mindset is often subconscious and it can seriously sabotage your growth and success. Working through your money stories and developing an intentional profit mindset can have a positive and lasting effect on the way you treat your finances, and set you up for better outcomes in your business and in your life.
If you’re wondering what your money stories are and how they might be impacting your financial results both at work and at play, I recommend you spend some time reflecting. Ask yourself: What are my beliefs about money? Where has this belief come from? Does it serve me or hinder me?
The pieces of the puzzle then start to fit together, and you realise you have ABC belief because of something that happened in your past. From there, you can get intentional by brainstorming and writing a list of things you could do differently to break through those blocks. Small but powerful shifts will help you nudge your mindset in the right direction.
Written by Clare Wood.
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