Welcome to the first edition of my Weekly Journal where I'll be sharing a bit about jewelry, and a lot about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. I get so many questions about career change, starting a business, and finding your passion that I wanted to start writing it down and sharing it regularly. So once a week, I'll use this space to talk a little about business advice, career advice, dream advice, what I'm currently working on (this month I've been focusing on money mindset), books that have helped me, daily rituals I find useful, and experiences I've had along the way. If you're longing for a career with purpose or if you're longing to start your own business (or both!), having just one example of someone who's gone before you and made it happen is a powerful thing. I hope you'll take away something valuable from my journey (and my mistakes) and be inspired to make the changes you've been dreaming about. So let's get right to it!
This month, I've been focusing on money mindset. No matter where you are in your journey, money mindset is something you can begin to work on RIGHT NOW. The sooner, the better. Why? Money is the number one block to turning your passion into a career. But I've got good news for you! I've found that the most effective thing we can do to get rid of the fears, doubts, and obstacles around money is easier than you think and will cost you nothing: work on your money mindset. The way you think about money is more powerful (and certainly more long-lasting) than hitting the lottery or scoring a generous business loan. The negative beliefs and stories we tell ourselves about money will keep us from pursuing a job that lights us up and gives us purpose (but is a little less secure financially) unless we uncover them and replace them with more positive beliefs and stories about money.
So, tell me, how do you feel about money? Is it a taboo topic? Yucky? Does it make you feel vulnerable or give rise to shame or guilt? Is money usually something that leads to arguments? Or do words like awesome, a source of power, and easy to manage come to mind when thinking about your relationship with money? I'd bet it's the former. 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.
Most of us are not even aware that negative beliefs and stories about money are lurking in the shadows, sabotaging our desire to pursue our passions. Awareness is key. If we're aware of the things that are holding us back, we can change them. So 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. 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 you to challenge it?
- "You work hard, then you die." Most of us have a relative or friend who prescribes to this theory on life, yeah? 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. Isn't that a quote from the Bible? If your parents fought about money, you probably grew up with the belief that money is dangerous or evil. Oh and God says it's bad, 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 just stay right here earning my middle of the road salary, thank you very much.
- 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 was like this and he 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 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. For example, the next time you're justifying to your best friend why another year has gone by and you are still at a job you hate, alarm bells will start to go off in your head. Ask yourself, do I really believe these excuses that I'm telling my best friend? Or do these excuses sound like story lines about money? As another example, if you don't believe you'll ever make as much money selling [insert your passion] as you do in your current job, you can begin a daily mantra - take it to yoga class or repeat it on the walk to work: "I can make more money following my passion than I ever did in my current job." 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. As another example, if you believe most rich women are bitc*y, make it a habit to look out for kind, awesome, rich women. How about Reese Witherspoon, or Ellen DeGeneres, or Michelle Obama?
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. 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. Some of the mantras I pull out on a daily basis include: "I deserve to do work I love and get paid for it"; "I believe it's possible to make more money selling jewelry than I ever did as an attorney"; "I believe that money is a GOOD thing that allows me to experience things I love, invest in my business ideas, and be generous to others." Money is one of my biggest blocks, but over the last 1 1/2 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?).
There are two books in particular that I've found invaluable to changing my money mindset. 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! I don't think I've ever seen the words light-hearted and money in the same sentence before. 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. Once you clear these 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! xo