Every so often I am asked some variation of the question, “Do you ever worry about money?” The truthful answer to that is, “Not anymore,” but getting free of the Money Dragon had little to do with earning more money and everything to do with challenging my belief system about money. Without realizing it, I had adopted many attitudes about money—and what I deserved to have—from people who dwelt in perpetual scarcity where there was never enough to go around. Changing those beliefs brought welcome relief from the Money Dragon that stood between me and prosperity.
As I learned, no one has to stay locked in financial despair. Allowing the Money Dragon to rule your world is a surefire invitation to sleepless nights and perpetual poverty. Banishing that monster starts by answering some important questions.
° Do you live in a world of scarcity or surplus? Many people create scarcity by focusing on everything they don’t have. Author Sondra Ray points out that if you have any money anywhere—even a few coins—you actually have a surplus. How many people give themselves credit for that?
Thinking abundantly comes from a healthy self-image, knowing you have options, and an understanding of the role that attitude plays in creating wealth. Most of us arrive at that state through conscious work, eliminating thoughts and words of poverty. Books such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Creating Money can help us get rid of our own blocks and limiting thoughts.
° What has goal setting got to do with it? Although more people are coming to understand the importance of the goal setting process, many fail to make the connection between setting goals and generating cash flow. “I’d like to travel,” they sigh, without giving any thought to making it happen.
Successful goal setters focus on what they want to create; then they figure out how to make that happen. People who fail to achieve their goals often get sidetracked by thinking they must know exactly how before starting out. That attitude is guaranteed to keep them stuck.
A great way to build your goal setting muscle is to invent a small project—one that really excites you—and create the funding for it in a totally new way. Then work up to a slightly larger project. Not only will you realize more of your dreams, you’ll build a larger Option Bank for yourself as well.
° Is it an expense or is it an investment? An entrepreneur needs to understand the difference between expense and investment. A successful friend of mine once totaled up all the money he and his wife had invested in stocks, real estate and personal growth. Their discovery? The money spent on self-improvement brought returns higher than any other investment.
As Sondra Ray points out, “When you say, ‘I can’t afford that self-improvement seminar,’ it’s like saying, ‘I’m not a good investment.” The trick here is to know when spending is actually an investment in your future and when it’s just frivolous. Which leads us to the next question.
° Is it ego or is it essential? People who leave corporate life often take with them a spendthrift attitude. Doing things to create a successful image may seem like a good idea, but you need to consider whether it’s the seductive siren song of your ego urging you to buy that luxury car or spend thousands for a fabulous brochure or whether it’s essential to running your business. Yes, it’s wonderful to have great toys and a successful image. It’s even better if you’ve earned them.
If it’s essential, it’s an investment; if it’s ego, it’s just debt.
° Is it anybody’s business? Several months ago, I was introduced to a man who was working frenetically to launch a business based on an innovative product he had designed. At our first meeting—and in every conversation after—he told me, “I’m absolutely broke.” In fact, he seemed to be wearing his impoverished state as a badge of honor.
Your finances are really not appropriate public knowledge. Besides your spouse and your accountant, nobody needs to know the contents of your bank account. This is also true, incidentally, when you’ve hit the jackpot.
° What have you given lately? Money is energy and needs to flow out as well as in. Make your own acts of generosity count by giving money to causes that you truly care about. Selfless giving benefits the giver by adding to feelings of abundance. A state of abundance is not the natural habitat of Money Dragons.
Hot Investment Tip: Join Alice Barry and me for Follow Through Camp, May 15 & 16, Dodge City, KS and banish the Money Dragon and other obstacles once and for all.