I am at a seminar right now, where I get to connect with like minded business professionals in the area of health and wellness psychology. I was very much looking forward to this training for the new skills I will be getting, for being a participant vs. as usual being the trainer but mostly I was so excited to connect with my peers. Being a Solopreneur can get lonely. So we ended up talking shop – about business, taxes and money on day one. What I noticed was that most of my colleagues in the sphere of “helping people” (physicians, social workers, psychologists) did not have a healthy money mind set. What is a healthy money mind set anyway?
We talk a lot about the importance of self-care in this health psychology training, seeing that stress, disease and burn out are hot topics right now. Especially as self employed business owners or solopreneurs, we are constantly between the two chairs: time and money. As of right now I do not get paid unless I work – I know silly me is still on the ancient frame of trading time for money – but let’s be honest, most people on this planet are.
A healthy money mind set takes your time and the space needed for self-care, time for relaxation and re-energizing into account. Below are the key stones of a healthy mindset around money that does the regular swing between action (money) and rest (time for self-care).
Key #1: Protect your time!
This key starts with roughly planning chunks of free time at the beginning of each new year. I have blocked certain weeks and months way in advance where I would not be scheduling any work. The key continues with the ability to say no to work when it comes in at the times you had blocked for yourself. The last two weeks of May my kids were on break and I had scheduled free time for the family. Many request and offers for work came in, but I said no. Protecting your time is protecting yourself. And to me that also means I have to let calm weeks/months follow after busy ones.
Key #2: Charging fees in accordance with the value you add
Now much has been said about how much to charge and how to figure out that number. One reminder I want to bring up that I have internalized thanks to Franoosh Torabi is the decoupling of your work’s value from your worth as a person. Each and every one of us are priceless. I am reminded of that each time one of my little girls sits in the shopping cart at the grocery store and after the check out lady has scanned everything, I jokingly say “and this cute little girl please”, they always say “this little one is priceless” and she is right! Now, the value your work brings to the client or the organization is a different story, you can put a price tag on it and you should. Taking into consideration what the client can afford.
Key #3: Saying no to unprofitable work
This is a tough one and a very important point. Especially in the beginning of your of self-employed life you will feel inclined to say “yes” to any work that comes your way. Saying “yes” to anything is not a smart use of your energy for one and secondly not a good way to make money. Don’t get into the scarcity mind set thinking “who knows if there will be more work after that one?”. There will always be more work for you. Trust me. Saying no to work that doesn’t pay you in alignment with your goals and purpose also threatens to undercut the professional field you are working in and ruining prices for your profession as a whole. I can hear graphics designers cry over sites like Fivrr from here!
Here are a few simple steps to figure out if a job is worth your while:
- Is the job offer in alignment with your professional goals? Does it get you closer to becoming the expert you want to be?
If the answer is no, say no.
- Is the job offer in alignment with your personal purpose? i.e. Does the organization serve a purpose you hold in high regard?
If the answer is yes, say yes, even if the money is not up to par, especially when we are talking about small Non-Profits.
- Are you being promised exposure and practice for your free work? i.e. a request comes for a large website for you to write an article for free.
If the answer is yes, you have to say no, actually you have to say “hell no”. This goes back to protecting your time, your energy and your pride. Don’t fall for narcissistic traps like that. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
- Does the hourly/daily rate cover your cost, the time you will need to complete the job and make a profit for you?
If the answer to this basic math question is no, say no.
Key #4: Make your money work for you
This can be classically tied to passive income, which is definitely a way of self-care. I would like to add two more perspectives to that. First, money works for you if you use it to add to your health and well-being. Whether that is the massage you get on a regular basis or the outings with your girlfriends. Use your money to make you body and soul resilient. Second, use your money to invest in yourself. Go to seminars, classes, get a degree and make that money help you project yourself forward.
So which connections between your self-care and your money have you discovered? I’m curious to hear!
Your Miss Money Mind