Your money story. It’s the land upon which your money house sits. It’s the very beginning of your relationship with money. It’s not just about your business, it’s part of you and your story, and it’s been around for a long time.
Back to the Future
There’s nothing like hearing “Mom, you’re driving me nuts!” come out of your little girl’s mouth during a frustrating hand-washing episode at home. Now that Amanda, almost 3, is highly interactive and conversational, I have to keep a lid on all my bad habits. If I don’t, I’ll just see (or hear) it come back to me in a matter of days.
Recently I learned that up to 7 years old, kids are highly impressionable, and will absorb whatever you tell them. This goes for daily habits (wash your hands before dinner) but also less obvious behaviors, like how you handle money, relationships, conflict, everything. They don't know anything to the contrary, so young children will absorb this information as the truth. These beliefs and behaviors are then reflected in their daily habits and interactions now (and for years to come). If they don’t consciously choose to change the behavior (good or bad) at some point in their life, odds are that that behavior will be passed to their kids.
So, my every move is being observed and can possibly repeated for generations? Gee, no pressure to be the perfect parent, huh?
That’s when I started looking into my own history. Looking for beliefs and behaviors that showed up so long ago, I didn’t realize they could be changed.
Sneak Preview of My Money Story
My dad is a workaholic and a frugal perfectionist who chose to build a house himself rather than buy one that somebody else had built. When I was three, rather than hire help to build our chimney, my dad sat me on the ground so I could string cinder blocks on a hook and rope while he hoisted them to the roof. As a mom now, that terrifies me. And now, thirty-five years later, the house is still not finished.
I was a lot like my dad when I entered the working world. Perfectionism was front and center as I became a CPA (passed it on the first try), got my masters in tax (graduating with honors) and quickly rose through the ranks while working with other people’s numbers day in and day out.
Then I had my daughter and my whole perspective shifted. I didn’t have enough time with my family, my work was unfulfilling, and my own inner perfectionist was hurting my family. Just like my dad, or anyone else for that matter, I didn’t have time to do it all.
This is obviously a highly abbreviated story, for a longer version, hop over to the about page on my website.
The Price of Perfection
I’m sharing this highly personal story to demonstrate how those early beliefs, like perfectionism, can impact your life in ways you never imagined.
Here’s just a sampling of how perfectionism, learned early on like I did, can impact your business.
Have experienced any of these?
- I can do it better. As a potential consumer of services for your business – services like bookkeeping, coaching, website or admin support – do you doubt that anybody could do “it” as well as you? However, whatever “it” is, unless it’s your zone of genius, you can find somebody to do it. It might be a bumpy ride at first, but you can get the support you need. The benefit? Less time on non-genius (and non-billable) work, more time to provide your service and get paid for it.
- Any client is a good client, right? Doubt, the other side of the coin, affects us as potential provider of services. If our ideal clients are perfectionists, like we are, why would they want to work with us if they could do it better than we could? So we offer price breaks, discounts, deal-sweeteners, to keep a client. Rather than charging what we’re worth, we undermine our value and work with anybody. Well, I disagree. In my upcoming teleclass, Charge Your Worth, you’ll learn some practical solutions to get the money you deserve from your business.
I am certain that I'm not the only entrepreneur who has fallen victim to these beliefs in my career, my business, and of course my home life as well.
How has your money story affected your business results? Please share your story or the impact it's had on your business.