Something I know first-hand is that financial well-being wasn’t as pervasive and integral to the wellness initiatives of corporations and AM Law 200 firms as they are today.

I delivered my first workshop for a national non-profit organization in 1996. Unbeknownst to me then, that speaking engagement contributed to the path I’ve been on ever since. In 2000, I had the awesome privilege to conduct workshops for ATT – my first Fortune 100 client. About eleven years later, I delivered a workshop for my first law firm client. 

One of the many reasons I was always grateful for these opportunities is because I was fully aware of the risk these entities were taking. Because back then, financial workshops beyond how to invest in the sponsored 401k or 403b plan were extremely rare. So, that they’d bring me in with my “relationship with money” angle – when it wasn’t as highly embraced as it is today – was definitely unusual. Dare I say progressive, even.

For the longest time, well-being initiatives at many corporations (large and small), AM Law 200 firms, and even some well-known non-profits were considered “soft skills.” As a result, this type of training wasn’t considered a key component of professional development and there wasn’t much of a budget allocated toward it.

The Tipping Point

Thankfully, things have changed. Though I can’t pinpoint when the cultural shift happened, I sure do LOVE it! 

I am really digging that financial well-being is now integrated into the wellness initiatives sponsored by those in the C-Suite – giving HR, professional development teams, and affinity/employee resource groups the budget they need to bring in folks like me. 

I appreciate that employers – of whatever stripe – are recognizing that their employees are human beings…not robots. People who don’t leave parts of themselves at the proverbial door. 

I appreciate that employers now see this particular “soft” skill as one that contributes to an employee’s degree of engagement, productivity, retention, and…happiness. Just like helping them with other “soft” skills, like meditating, or a tangible skill can.

Interestingly, now that more employers see financial wellness initiatives as strategic imperatives, the challenge is to get employees to do the same. Yep, you read that right. 

While there are certainly more folks today that understand there’s more to personal finance than just focusing on the numbers, there’s still a camp of folks who haven’t quite gotten on the bandwagon yet. According to their perspective, financial wellness has nothing to do with one’s relationship with money.

But, before I (or anyone else) can get them to see the importance of working on their relationship with money, they first have to acknowledge one exists. Which is kinda hard if you’re unable to fathom having a relationship with something like money.

Yet, there’s something I know for sure and will proclaim it at every chance I get (as you are likely well aware): 

You have a relationship with money. 

We all do.

And it matters not where you are on the spectrum of income and wealth – not where you were, not where you are currently, not where you may be in the future. 

However, I’ve learned not to try and convince folks of this. I do something else instead…

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

There’s an exercise I walk my coaching clients and pricing masterclass guests through, because it helps them to draw parallels between other relationships in their life and business and their relationship with money. I call it “5/5.” 

Let’s talk about the first half – the first “5. Think about the five people you spend the most time with and make note of the following: 

  • Who are they? 
  • What’s the nature of your relationship? 
  • What are the ways in which they energize you? 
  • What are the ways in which they deplete you of energy?

Now, when you think about your current relationship with money, which of the first “5” would it most reflect?

So much is illuminated by your answer – whether it mirrors one or aspects of several of your relationships. Especially when you include additional questions, like:

  • Would you describe the relationship that money mirrors as healthy?
  • How do you define healthy? How is today’s definition different from how you’ve defined “healthy” in the past?
  • Do you feel supported by that relationship; do you feel supported by your relationship with money?
  • What emotions stand out when you think about the relationship/s that money mirrors? What emotions are dominant when you think about money?

I could go on, and I will. I’ll be back next week with much more to say about the power of drawing insight about your relationship with money from other key relationships in your life and business. 

For today though, I simply wanted to get you thinking not just about your relationship with money…but the health of your relationship with money

That’s why I hope you’ll view the questions herein not just as “food for thought.” I hope you’ll invest the time to answer them.

After all, you take a pulse check to make certain other key relationships in your life are in good shape, right? You do this proactively when things are going well, as well as reactively when challengers emerge and you want to get back on track, right?

Well, let’s make sure you’re doing the same with the thing that affects almost every aspect of your life and business, too.

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