Coaching for Creatives | Money, Money, Money

July 17, 2013

MoneyCoaching

I’m going through 8 months of extensive life coach training with Martha Beck. My decision to become a life coach for creatives came from my own adventure in discovering the power of writing our own narrative and designing our own lives. But sometimes the stories we tell ourselves can hold us back or keep us feeling stuck. This column on & Kathleen will be exploring the lessons and concepts I am learning as I become a coach.

As of today, I’ve been hired by exactly 21 creatives as a part of my Martha Beck life coach training – and all but one of them had anxiety, fear, or other negative emotions around the topic of money. I can relate. I’m guessing you can too.

Here are a few specific soundbites that have come up during these coaching sessions:
• I’m not making enough money
• I’m afraid the money will run out
• Money is a necessary evil
• I’m uncomfortable talking about money with clients
• I don’t want to be a millionaire
• I can’t afford to do what I love
• I hate money

Yowsa. No wonder these creatives have a bad relationship with their finances. I mean, replace the word “money” with that of your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, and you’d have a pretty lousy relationship, right?

So how do you get right with your money? It starts with attitude (as do most things in life). Here are a few things I’ve learned so far that help:

1. Run your numbers. 
Before I married Jeremy I practiced what I liked to call “intuitive banking”. This is where I would feel if I could spend money or not. I had no idea what my income or expenses were like. I was never in debt but I was living paycheck to paycheck and felt anything but abundant and easy around money. Jeremy taught me that knowledge is power when it comes to money. It seems like “duh” kind of advice now but getting clear on your budget, income, and expenses gives you a good foundation for getting right around money.

2. Imagine your worst case scenario. 
What’s the worst that could happen if you went completely broke? My worst-case scenario looks something like going back to a day job or moving back in with my parents. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t so bad.

3. Okay, so you don’t want to be a millionaire. But what’s your number?
Lots of creatives say “I don’t want to be a millionaire – I just want to be comfortable”. Then when I make them tell me what salary comfortable looks like. Is it $35,000 a year? $70,000 a year? Pick a number and write it down. Put it in a drawer and celebrate when you hit it (and if you write it down, chances are you’ll probably hit it).

4. Money flows. 
I’ve learned that money grows when it flows. Here’s an example: one of my coaching clients had lots of paying jobs but told me she wasn’t making any money. I was super confused so when I asked for clarification I uncovered that she wasn’t actually paying herself. She was hoarding money in her business account. I promptly instructed her to start paying herself. I have a hunch that by moving money from her business account to her personal account she’ll start earning more.

One of our Braid clients shared in a mastermind group we’re facilitating that every time she invests in her business – whether it’s a faster computer or going to a design conference – she always sees a boost in her income. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

5.  Stop thinking about money. Instead meditate on what you really want.
I just learned this new way of dreaming about your ideal day from Martha Beck that I’m going to share with you now to help you figure out what you want:
Take yourself 5 years in the future. You are your most perfect self and there are no rules. Wake up and describe where you are. Who’s in bed with you? What sounds do you hear? What can you smell? Get up and go look in a mirror. What do you look like? What’s your hair like? What’s your body like? Now go eat something – what are you eating? Now go to your closet – describe your wardrobe. Pay special attention to your shoes – they might give us clues as to what you do with your days. Now describe the rest of your day using all your senses. What kinds of conversations are you having? Where are you going? What’s the mood like? What’s the weather like? What are you doing in the evening? Who are you with? What do you feel? 

This paints the picture of your ideal day. Now make 3 wildly exciting and improbable goals based on this future ideal day. Write them down. 

I seriously doubt you were worried or even thinking about money on your ideal day. You may have been imagining your dream job (that will make you money) or your dream surroundings (that you might spend money on) but that has very little to do with green dollar bills and a lot more to do with your core genius and desires. Act and make decisions from that place and the money will follow (as will those three wildly exciting and improbably goals – probably sooner than you think).

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Want to talk even more money? Check it out: 
• Manifesting Money – our secret weapon for attracting dream clients with cash over at Braid Creative
• The Art of Growth – Tara Gentile is a money genius. Seriously, read her stuff. She knows what she’s talking about.
• Money is Energy – In one of our exclusive Braid Letters for Creatives I describe how I got over my money issues by recognizing that money is energy.

Also! I want to mention that tomorrow, Thursday, July 18th, is the last day to register for our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. We’ve developed this online course for creative entrepreneurs – from freelance creative professionals to small independent creative businesses – who struggle with an overabundance of ideas, messages, and content (visual or verbal) on their site, their blog, their materials and even in their conversations – not to mention, analysis paralysis of what to do with them. We help you chunk down your ideas, recognize the ones with the most potential, and the ones that are just distractions in disguise. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can go from content chaos to a concise (yet still creative) message. You can watch our video to see if this course is a good fit for you and register here. Use the code ANDKATHLEEN50 to take this $75 course for $50.

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