Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! If you're new to grace + hudson, I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I am writing about money. Why? Money is the number one block to turning your passion into a career.
So...how do you feel about money? Is it a taboo topic? Yucky? Is money usually something that leads to arguments? When you think of your feelings around money, do words like "awesome", "a source of power", and "easy to manage" come to mind? I'm willing to bet not. This is no surprise! For one, we're taught ZERO about money in school and most of us grew up around parents that fought (at least occasionally) about money. This means that we grew up thinking money is something you (a) don't talk about and (b) when you do talk about it, it's likely to lead to a fight. No wonder our society grows up with negative beliefs and stories surrounding money. I believe this is the reason that money is the number one block to turning your passion into a paying career. But I've got good news for you! I've found that the most effective thing we can do to bust through our money blocks is easier than you think and will cost you nothing. It's this: you have to work on your money mindset - which is your feelings and beliefs around money - and turn off the negative stories you've been telling yourself about money and replace them with more positive, empowering money stories. Changing the way you think about money is more powerful (and certainly more long-lasting) than hitting the lottery or scoring a generous business loan. Those things are fleeting. If you don't have a healthy mindset around money, those things will leave as fast as they came. That's why so many lottery winners end up bankrupt in a couple of years. They don't know how to hold onto money, nor do they really, truly believe they deserve an abundance of it.
How do you start working on your money mindset? Awareness is key. Most of us are not even aware that negative beliefs and stories about money are sabotaging our desire to pursue our passion. If we're aware of the things that are holding us back, we can change them. Let's start here: what kinds of beliefs and stories do you hold about money? Think about how your dad handled money. Think about how your mom did. What kinds of jobs did your mother and father and other relatives hold? Did you get an allowance? Were you told that you could only spend money on certain things? Was money a secretive topic in your home growing up? How did your parents respond when you needed to ask for money? Here are some examples of beliefs and story lines that you might identify with (spoiler alert: these are all taken from my own life):
- A lucrative career and a meaningful career are mutually exclusive. I can either be rich or happy, not both. Most of us grew up learning that you need to decide between the two. A job that you enjoy, that gives you purpose, and pays the bills? No way!
- I'll never be able to make enough money doing XYZ. We're continually told by our parents, "You'll never make enough money to pay your rent doing [insert your passion project]." But that's because our parents' generation, for the most part, sought out stable, secure jobs because their parents lived through the Great Depression. There was usually no joy, purpose, or meaning in these jobs but the pay was good and the pension was even better, and that was of utmost concern. The Great Depression has long since ended, but we are still prioritizing the stability of an office job with a good 401(k) at the expense of joy, purpose and meaning.
- I don't deserve to earn a lot of money doing something I love. This is a sneaky one, but chances are this resonates with you at least a little bit. Similar to this is "I'd feel guilty if I earned a lot of money doing something I love, while others struggle with their 9-5 jobs." This is the way our 9-5, TGIF, live-for-the-weekend American culture is set up, so who are we to challenge it?
- "You work hard, then you die." Most of us have a relative or friend who prescribes to this theory on life. They work long hours, live paycheck to paycheck, and there's just no end in sight (except retirement or, you know, death).
- Money is the root of all evil. If your parents fought about money, you probably grew up with the belief that money is dangerous or evil. And I'm pretty sure the Bible says money is evil, too!
- Rich people are snobs. What does a wealthy woman look like to you? Many of us think that rich women are bitc*y. Do you want to turn into a bitc*? Heck no!
- I'll start truly living when I retire. Did your parents save, save, save into that 401(k) or pension plan, and teach you that life begins at age 65, when you can retire from your dreadful job? That doesn't even make sense! Some of us won't even see age 65 (unfortunately, my father passed away one month after he turned 65). Plus, it's a lot more fun to travel and live near the beach before you turn 65 and start acquiring various illnesses and ailments.
You get the idea. Once you identify the money beliefs that might be holding you back, you can call them out when they show up. This isn't easy, but it can be accomplished with some practice. When you see it happening, turn that negative money story around. For example, if you notice yourself thinking, "If I do what I love for work, I might be happy but I'll probably be poor" turn it around in the moment and say, "I can be happy and wealthy at the same time. I deserve to make an abundance of money doing what I love."
Here's another way to practice a better money mindset. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love a daily mantra. So take your money mindset practice to yoga or bring it into your meditation or morning drive! During this time, silently repeat to yourself, "I can make more money following my passion than I ever have in my current job." Chances are, you won't believe it at first, but give it a few weeks or months, and you'll see the pathways in your mind start to open up to the possibility of making more money doing something you love.
Another way to practice a better money mindset is to make a habit of looking out for kind, awesome, rich women. How about one of your favorite authors, singers, or actresses? This practice is especially good if you believe most rich women are bitc*y.
You can also read books on the topic. There are two books in particular that I've found invaluable. The first is You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (you can find it here on Amazon) and the second is Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks by Denise Duffield-Thomas (here on Amazon). I know, I know - the titles! Please do not be offended by the curse words, they are simply there to emphasize the light-hearted approach that both of these books take towards money. And boy is that a breath of fresh air! Both of these women are hilarious, so I highly recommend listening to these books on Audible. Play them over and over again until things start to click. I promised you'll have some "ah-ha!" moments that bring you new clarity and a new perspective on your relationship with money.
If I can do it, you can do it. I've had to overcome some serious mental money strongholds on my journey from type A-perfectionist-attorney to free-spirited jewelry business owner (it was quite a leap!). I've had to battle every single one of the examples in the bullet point list above plus more, and I'll tell you what: it's a daily choice to live with an abundance mentality. It doesn't happen overnight, but gradually the shifts will come. Some beliefs are easy to acknowledge and dispose of, while others show up time and time again and take a lot more work to get rid of. Money beliefs were one of my biggest blocks, but over the last few years I've transformed the way I think about it through reading books on the topic, journaling about my blockages, using daily mantras, and just plain being curious about the money fears that show up for me (I'm always asking myself, where did I learn this? Who taught me to think this way? Do I actually believe this, or can I disagree with it?).
Once you clear your fears and doubts around money, you'll be so much more capable of turning your passion project into a full-time paying gig. Cheers to making money doing something you enjoy!
If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my business journey and my experiences!
P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I created a Weekly Journal board so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!