As much as you may hate it, caring for the financial side of your design business is critical to your short- and long-term success; both professional and personal. No matter how much you may WISH you could focus exclusively on working with clients, cash flow projections, budgets, and the development your business model will determine whether you make it, or fold. Without these things, you will NOT have the freedom you dream of! But there's more:
- What is your relationship to money?
- How does that hold you back?
- How do you earn more without compromising your values and principles?
- How can you earn more – and still have a life?
- Imagine healing old bad habits and old beliefs; imagine working less and earning more; both of which will lead to the success of you’ve been dreaming of.
In short, you can either learn it or outsource it but, figuring out your finances is integral to the success of your business. Once you Accept this as a fact of your business life, much of the stress and anxiety you're feeling about money and your financial future will disappear. Then, you can either take some classes or hire someone to help you set up a strategy that gives you control of your finances and ensures your long-term freedom.
Your relationship to money
What would be possible for you if you could let go of old money paradigms that have been holding you back? Those old paradigms are just limiting beliefs about money that you’ve developed and held from your past, often since childhood. But today is a new day, and it is possible to create the wealth you’ve always dreamed of.
Being an entrepreneur, you tend to run solo, relying on your energy and intuition to get everything done. However, your thoughts and feelings about money and wealth may be limiting your ability to care for the financial needs of your business. Overcoming this requires a new belief system that enables you to step into your personal integrity surrounding your business, your relationship to money, and your desire to help others.
Being in integrity means being on a track of taking consistent action, based on your values and the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business. Here are three empowering steps to move you out of old actions or habits that have held you back, so you can more easily start transforming your design business.
- The first step to your personal integrity is to write down two negative core feelings you have around money. Don’t say you don’t have any! That’s just taking you out because this isn’t a fun exercise and is uncomfortable.
Examples might be guilt, shame, fear – or the lack of any shame, guilt or fear of money. If you grew up in a household with little money to spare, and we’re repeatedly told “We can’t afford it,” it’s relatively easy to understand how you may be placing too much value on money, and acquiring it at the expense of other, more important, values.
On the other hand, if money was not an issue in your early life, you may be inclined to devalue the effort and energy required to acquire and build wealth. Either way, to at least some extent, your relationship to money was implanted by the beliefs and feelings that others have held about money and wealth in the past. As an entrepreneur, it’s time to overcome those limiting beliefs and create a new paradigm around money and your relationship to it.
- The next step is to write down at least two actions you take that re-creates these feelings in you. These feelings might be triggered by something other than money, but it leads to HOW you feel about it.
One example might be that you spend money even when you feel you don’t have it to spend. You know; you go shopping and find the perfect pair of shoes. You don’t need them, and you certainly can’t afford them. But, you imagine it will make you feel better if you get them. So, you go ahead and buy them, then when you get home you feel guilty, so you hide them. Your partner won’t notice, and he manages the money, so you're home free, right? Except for that ongoing guilt thing, yeah, you're just fine!
- The third step is to come up with at least two PRACTICAL and SPECIFIC actions you’ll take to break these old feelings surrounding money. For example, those feelings of secrecy or guilt when you bought those shoes.
A few of the actions you can implement might be telling someone you trust, or a few people, what is going on, rather than hiding it. Another might be to track your daily spending habits. That really can help you feel in control, rather than afraid all the time. Finally, you can develop a budget – and commit to living and spending within it. You’ll be surprised at the sense of freedom you can experience when you take actions like these to alter your relationship to money.
Of course, once you’ve done this preliminary work, you must ACT to protect the financial side of your design business. But, if you do, you could very well break some old, negative, disempowering habits that have kept you from your new possibility paradigm.
Looking for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.