As entrepreneurs, we all want to see the time and money we spend building our company pay off. But feeling confident in business isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s your own thoughts or beliefs about making money – your money mindset – that cause the most trouble.
I have been there. Starting out, all my beliefs about money showed up in my business. Some of these beliefs helped my company grow. Others were negative beliefs about myself that held me back. They are often referred to as limiting beliefs, and I can see them in other entrepreneurs, too.
What are your limiting beliefs?
Maybe you were taught long ago that people who have money are greedy. You might have started to think that wanting more money is selfish. After all, money doesn’t buy happiness, right? All of these are blanket statements that rarely apply to everyone but that many believe to be true. They can create distrust, and maybe even fear, of making money that can hurt your chances at success.
Improving my money mindset is something that I made a conscious decision to do. Changing my limiting beliefs hasn’t been a quick fix. But the work I’ve done so far to get out of the way of my own success has been the best investment I’ve made in my company outside of the financial support behind it. Other entrepreneurs have told me they feel the same way about the progress they’ve made toward changing their ideas about money.
In this post I’ve shared seven tips you can use to switch to a money mindset that will allow your business to grow. I say “tips” because these aren’t steps. Only you know which suggestions fit your circumstances. But it can still be hard to know where to start. Sometimes the best way forward is to examine what limiting beliefs might apply to you.
Change How You Think About Money (Your Money Mindset)
Even the most focused entrepreneur can struggle with self-doubt. Starting a business is a risk, after all. Wanting to see your investment pay off is only natural.
Self-doubts are not the same as limiting beliefs. Self-doubt can help you make wiser decisions, whereas limiting beliefs discourage you from taking any risk at all. Limiting beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies that keep you from succeeding.
A handful of limiting beliefs that come to mind are:
- I’m not good with money
- Having money is selfish
- Money is the root of all evil
- I am not worthy of having money or being wealthy
- Following my passion and making money are two different things
I like to call these broken-record thoughts because they play over and over in your head. If you have ever had a broken-record thought, you know that they are almost always negative and usually false. None of them will help you improve your money mindset.
A good course of action might be to write down any beliefs that are holding you back, and honestly ask yourself if they are true. If they aren’t true, you will need to make a conscious choice to set these beliefs aside if you want to change your perspective.
Remind Yourself Why You Are In Business
The negative beliefs I had about money when I started Crème de Mint began to change when I focused on my reason for starting my company: empowering people to create the life they want and share their ideas with the world through entrepreneurship.
Years in the graphic design industry had taught me that in order to succeed, brands needed to create meaningful connections with their customers through design, and I knew Crème de Mint could help them do that. The only thing standing in my way was a mindset focused more on my limits than growth. Remembering why I was making money helped me to change my money mindset.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Health Psychology found that having a sense of purpose was a positive predictor of financial success. People who understand their “why” are more likely to plan ahead and invest resources toward their future goals, rather than make impulsive financial decisions. Remembering why you started your company helps to reframe money as a tool to accomplish the things that matter to you.
Overcoming Your Fears
Let’s say that you have a fear that you won’t be able to make enough money in business to support yourself. Maybe you’ve run up credit card debt that you think you’ll never be able to pay off. We all are afraid of something – especially when it comes to our financial security. But being anxious or afraid doesn’t have to paralyze you or your goals.
One way to get past fears around money is to remember how well you have handled money in the past. Maybe you put aside some money for a trip. Or maybe you paid off your monthly credit card balance. No success is too small when it comes to handling money well.
Thinking back on your accomplishments will give you the confidence you need to take the next step in business. Just keep reminding yourself that “you can do this.” Soon you’ll start to believe it’s true.
Have you ever seen a plastic grocery bag whipping around in the wind? They zip all over the place but get nowhere. Being stuck in a pattern of limiting beliefs when it comes to money is kind of like being a wind-tossed bag. The beauty of being human is we can think our way out of these nowhere moments.
Being forward-thinking means moving past failures and hurts and on to our next challenge. Go for that grant that you doubt you will get based on your past experience. Or if you are in business now, decide to set bigger goals for yourself instead of staying stuck in a risk-averse mindset.
Keep a running list of your business accomplishments, no matter how small. A psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias leads people to have stronger memories of bad experiences. Refer to your list of accomplishments to remind yourself that YOU CAN DO THIS. Each time you succeed, you move closer toward your goal and further away from beliefs that limit you.
Thinking about our mistakes isn’t bad. It’s normal to want to do better than we have in the past. This is true when it comes to money, too. Let’s say you’ve made a few financial mistakes – maybe too much credit card debt left you with a bad credit rating, or you defaulted on a loan. Everyone’s mistakes are different. But we all make them. Keeping perspective about money, and learning from past mistakes, can make all the difference when it comes to life and business.
Once you know what not to do, you can reevaluate your goals and improve your performance the next time around.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This is a big one. After all, it can be tempting to hold ourselves up to someone else and ask who has more of this or more of that. Maybe you are comparing wealth, or style, or how many high-profile clients you have.
Comparing yourself or your business to another will not help your money mindset, however. It might even hurt. You want to build your confidence with money – not be intimidated by someone else’s ability to make more money than you. Focus on your goals instead.
In several of her talks, author Brené Brown has suggested keeping a gratitude jar to track good things that happen to us throughout the day. It’s a neat little trick to focus on what’s going right instead of what’s going wrong. Maybe you got kudos from a client on a recent project. Or you had a fabulous hair day. The idea is to write a little note of thanks and drop it in the jar. Anytime you need a boost in confidence or joy, you can go back and read these notes to remember all the good things in your life.
Your money mindset can be a type of gratitude jar, too. Every time you meet a budget or make a payment on time, you will become more confident in how you think about money. If you need a little help staying positive as you fill your jar, you might try using daily affirmations like these:
Money mindset affirmations
- Money is a tool that can change my life for the better.
- I control money, money doesn’t control me.
- I can use money to create a better life.
- My finances don’t scare me because I have a plan.
A Final World About Improving Your Money Mindset
Improving your money mindset is not going to happen overnight. My work to change my limiting beliefs about money is ongoing – success is a work in progress. But making a conscious effort to believe in my ability to handle money, instead of limiting beliefs that keep me stuck, has made all the difference in my company. I have seen it work for other entrepreneurs, too.
The money mindset tips and affirmations in this post are a good place to start if you are trying to improve your thinking about money and success. Try committing yourself to trying one or two and see if you can start to see your thinking shift. Changing your money mindset will bring you more success than you thought possible.