Money makes your world go ’round…sometimes…
With my partner-in-crime, Marie Segares, yesterday witnessed the launching of the first of our No Frills Small Business podcasts. In Monday’s show, we talked about budgeting and financial planning for small business owners. Well, I say “budgeting,” but given the fact that we’re both entrepreneurs who started our respective businesses with a lot of ideas and very little money, the show wasn’t as much about budgeting, as it was understanding the role of money in our lives.
Let’s face it: many of us use money to give us emotional value, to give our dreams value, to give us confidence, and sex appeal and joy. Many of us use money for all the kinds of things it wasn’t intended for. We use money as a reason for why we can’t chase our dreams, or why our dreams aren’t “worthy” of being chased. I myself, delayed launching this business for years because I didn’t have enough money… I was afraid of being broke… I was afraid. I currently have clients who have served in combat, for example, but have held off on committing to their great business ideas, because the idea of asking people to pay for their services makes them sick to their stomach. They feel unworthy.
Money can become a way of gauging our value, far beyond anything monetary. I’ve seen people refuse to do the work necessary to allow their business to succeed, and so they’re always broke. They see their (manufactured) poverty as a judgment on themselves, and their ambitions. If you’re busy existing in survival mode, and scrimping and saving so that you don’t have to the time to create a realistic business plan…well, in a perverse way, that can be wonderful. That way, it’s not your fault you weren’t able to write that book, or launch your food truck, or become the consultant you dreamed of. After all, you don’t have enough money, so guess you’re stuck in that miserable day job. Sigh.
Listen, it’s your money; you do what you think is best. I’m just suggesting, that if you want to succeed, you have to be honest with yourself. Is your failing business suffering from your inability to budget…or your inability to stop buying crap to make you feel, temporarily, better…before you feel guilty for spending your entire business budget on non-business crap?
I’m someone who got heavily, horribly into law school debt–talk about a worthless purchase–because I didn’t have the courage, at the time, to commit my resources, emotional and financial, to my business. I learned a horrible but very useful lesson. A better lesson, obviously, would have been to join my local chamber of commerce, contact my local Small Business Administration, start networking…and, hey, you know the rest.
Anyway, not to be a total buzzkill, we had a great show, and we’ll have many more. But if you’re broke, and feeling that you have no options, no ability, to create the small business in your heart, just realize how wrong you are. Once you allow yourself to stop worrying, to have confidence in the value of what you’re offering (i.e. yourself), you can get your value from something a lot more interesting than just money…
Here’s the real deal for all you kids playing along at home: