Over the weekend, I posted a video on my social media channels asking the question, “What makes someone good with money?”

It’s a question I’ve been noodling on as I navigate a tricky financial period in my business. Or, as a dear friend describes it – “when money is funny.” 

What prompted the question was the frustration and disappointment I have regarding a few deals that recently fell through. 

No, I don’t have the expectation that I’ll get every opportunity I want. 

But, these recent “no’s” hit a little differently. 

You see, I had plans for these monies once they hit my account. However, the “no’s” brought about a change in plans. As a result, I had to press pause on moving forward with two folks I was excited to work with regarding my professional development. 

And frankly, I was embarrassed and had a lot of head trash with having to say to them, “Yes, I really want to work with you, but I’m unable to move forward right now.”

It sucked…big time!

Maintaining Discipline

I spend five figures each year working with different professionals to help me get better at my craft and to help me run my business better, too. 

That said, I have a rule: I don’t finance my professional development. 

I make these investments from my cashflow. When I use a credit card, it is because I already have the cash on hand. 

It’s a rule I put into place to protect my cash reserves and bottom-line. This is a lesson learned from the past when I did put both at risk, which is not something I’m willing to intentionally do again.

Little, Strategic Choices

Every day, in some form or another, I help others manage the intricacies of the intersection of money, business, and life. One of the ways I do this is by sharing how I am doing the same – especially when money is “funny.” 

I hope my doing so contributes to people (perhaps you?) feeling less alone and less judged. I hope you feel the empathy I have for each person’s unique experience with money.

Especially if this is hitting your screen at a time when you, too, are navigating a challenging time with your finances.

So, here are a few suggested, what I call, “little, strategic choices,” to make as you go through this moment to get to the other side: 

Tune into your relationship with money
Take a moment to check in on your connection with money. Does it feel positive and intentional? Or, are you feeling more stressed and angry? 

Don’t label your feelings as “good” or “bad.” Just simply notice what you are feeling. 

In my case, I confirmed that my intimacy and connection around money is more important than the head trash I had about being unable to do what I wanted to do. 

Have and honor your money rules
If you work with me 1:1 or have attended any of my speaking engagements, you know I’m a huge fan of having money rules. They are what help you to know what you’re going to do, in advance of when you must do something. 

However, it’s not enough to have rules. You must respect and follow them. Or, purposefully change them when necessary.

In my case, my choice to prioritize a healthy cash reserve and bottom line is an example of following my cashflow rule. 

Plus, it helped me to shift my initial feelings from being angry for having to make a choice I didn’t want to make to feeling grateful that I even could. 

Focus on the long game
Everything changes and fluctuates. So, the ups and downs and ebbs and flows of money and business are a natural part of the journey. 

For many, the hard part is learning to embrace the ebb as much as you do the flow. Interestingly, it is often the case that during the slow period is when you discover just how resilient, adaptable, and creative you are. 

In my case, I had to remember that, with almost 30-years of entrepreneurship under my belt, this is not the first time I’ve had to navigate a season of slower sales than I’d like. Or, be more mindful about my cashflow. Fortunately for me I have evidence of (a) having done it before, and (b) being in a better position this time around. 

(And it must be said: Only a lucky few get to choose when their entrepreneurial/small business journey comes to an end.) 

Seek out the lesson/insight
When things aren’t going your way, it can be hard to be on the lookout for the lesson or insight the experience has for you. 

Yet, doing so is a sign of curiosity, growth, and self-awareness. It’s how you can, with self-compassion, reflect on where you are and what got you here. It is what can become the inspiration to turn your setback/challenge into a comeback/opportunity for the future. 

In my case, my aha (or insight) was acknowledging the extent to which I was judging myself and thought I was being judged by others. 

After all, does a financial behaviorist with my particular area of focus experience business and money challenges? Well, since I am human and not in absolute control of everything that does and doesn’t happen, the answer is a resounding – YES!

The key is not so much what happens, but rather how I respond and engage with what happens. Same is true for you.

Focus on abundance
It might seem odd to suggest this. But I find that “when money is funny” is precisely when you need to be (more) generous. At least this has been my experience. 

In my case, I tend to tip more. Or, buy books authored by friends and colleagues. 

“Small” acts like these help me to see beyond my current constraints, which if I focus on exclusively tends to foster a mindset of scarcity when it comes to money. 

However, if I want (more) money to flow to me I need to create the space for that to happen. This is my way of doing that; this is my version of having an abundance mindset. 

What’s Your Answer?

So, what’s your answer to the question I posed in the title of this piece or in the video I posted? 

Is your answer connected to metrics like how much someone earns; how much they save; how or in what they invest; how or on what they spend? All of these; a combination of these? Or, something else entirely? 

However you answer, I hope you’ll keep in mind that it is a journey filled with a series of “little, strategic choices.” And I hope what I’ve shared helps you to make them!

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