Do you have a positive or a negative attitude toward money?
The answer to this question will play a big part in how successful you are in your business. How you perceive money is known as your money mindset and drives the decisions you make about your general finances and the fees you charge clients.
For many creative professionals, money is a source of friction. It can cause fear due to past money difficulties, confusion when faced with complicated financial requirements, and an aversion based on the ‘money being the root of all evil’ association.
You may seek more money but also feel a sense of guilt or greed for doing so. Talking money feels icky. Yet this way of thinking is a barrier. A negative money mindset – or money anxiety – needlessly hampers many solo-professionals trying to grow their business.
The benefit of a positive money mindset
Cultivating a positive money mindset switches your outlook about your finances from scarcity to abundance. Instead of perceiving money to be frightening or something confined to a lucky few, an abundance mindset opens you up to the possibility you can genuinely earn a ton of money and, better still, deserve it.
The vast majority of successful millionaires believed they could become millionaires. This mindset gave them the focus, energy, and self-belief to strive for what they believed to be their destiny.
You can believe the same with a switch to your perception of money.
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” – Henry Ford.
Ways to develop a positive mindset about money
There are several ways to turn the tables on your negative money mindset. For example, you can:
See money as a tool for good
Money is inherently neutral. It is a tool. It can be used for good and for bad, but in itself, it is neither. When you think of money as merely a tool, it’s easier to imagine all the good things you can bring about through the wise use of your finances.
Good people use money for good, and if you perceive yourself to be a good person, then earning more money will surely benefit the world as a whole.
Forgive past money mistakes
Everyone has made mistakes when it comes to their finances. From the poorest person to the wealthiest, we all have tales of monetary misuse and costly decisions. These mistakes can leave an emotional scar that influences our future choices, leaving us fearful or hesitant when handling our finances.
A positive money mindset moves past historical money mistakes. Whether you have been in deep debt, depleted your savings accounts, or overspent, self-forgiveness for your errors is essential when moving forward.
Discover the reasons for negative money self-talk
As well as money mistakes from the past, a negative money mindset also springs from the thinking habits of those closest to you. Take some time to delve into how loved ones perceive money.
What did you hear about money when growing up? How did your parents deal with money issues? Did your friends and family attach positivity or negativity to the concept of wealth and sound money management? You might find clues hidden in your past that currently influence your present.
Once you bring these connections out into the light of day, it’s easier to recognize your emotional reactions to money and modify accordingly.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
In this age of social media, reality TV, and the ever-growing number of people making fortunes online, it’s easy to feel anxious about your earnings. Money becomes a status symbol, and a lack thereof can dent your self-esteem, drive, and focus.
In order to cultivate a positive money mindset, it’s imperative to stop comparing yourself to other people. Create attainable goals for yourself based on what you deem you need to make a good living and feel comfortable. You also never know the true health of other peoples’ finances that can often be worse than they appear on the surface.
Set financial goals and targets
If you don’t know where you need to get, it’s challenging to move forward in any meaningful way. Goal setting is an integral part of reaching an improved level of business success and financial wellbeing.
Decide today what you want to achieve in life and how money can help you reach these targets. For example, if you’re in debt, then a goal might be to get back into the black. A new goal can then be set once this target has been achieved.
Other goals might be to buy a house, save a certain amount for retirement, or earn enough money to fund a treasured cause. Whatever your goals, write them down and calculate what success will look like.
Develop good financial habits
As with anything in life, it’s always best to plan well and have the right tools at your disposal. Establishing sound habits and preparing well improves your workflow, cash flow, and your overall money mindset.
A sensible habit to develop is setting aside time each week to work on your finances. This time can be devoted to activities such as bookkeeping and reviewing your financial progress. You can also benefit from taking courses or reading books on how to manage your finances better.
Good financial habits also include finding ways to streamline your financial processes, such as invoicing and payments. Look for the best tools to help you automate as many tasks as possible. You might even consider hiring an accountant.
Developing a positive money mindset
“Our self-image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become.” – Maxwell Maltz.
To develop a positive mindset about money is to mentally invest in your future success. What you believe to be true essentially predicts what is most likely to come about.
If you see money as a negative in life, it’s unlikely you will meet with the financial success you might secretly crave. But if you develop an abundance mindset, life has a way of delivering what you believe to be true – with hard work mixed in.
Building and focusing on wealth as a creative professional should never be seen as something greedy or icky. Money is a neutral tool. In the right hands – your hands – this tool can be a force for good.