Birthing The Elephant Part 4

Posted by Chrys on May 28th, 2008

Have you seen Loving Heart Mommy?
A lil’ bit of this & a big tad of that..

Click here for Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 – or you can visit this post to learn more about Crystal’s Book Club.

Chapter Three: Substituting Brains for Bucks

In Chapter Three, we started looking at one of the scarier aspects of starting and running a new business – money. There was so much insight and invaluable advice in this chapter that it was VERY hard to pick a nugget to share, but I thought I would start with the basics. You can pick up your own copy for $10, and it is worth EVERY penny!

At the beginning of the chapter, they looked at the different stages of we go through when learning how to view money as we grow our businesses.

Stage One: Money as an Emotional Scorecard

…money is closely tied to self-esteem and seen as an indicator of success and self-worth.

Stage one is where most of us start off. It’s how we’re trained to view money. The better you do, the more you make. Great job performance is reward with raises and bonuses. How much we make indicated how well we have done in the workplace. It’s only natural that when you try and shift from a workplace to starting a business, that you would at first gauge your success by the amount of money you have. The problem with this is that no one has money when they are starting a business – and as your start up money is slowly eaten up, it can eat at your self-esteem and emotional well being as well.

Stage Two: Money As The Enemy

Though you once envisioned the money you’d be making in your new venture as your ticket to a more rewarding lifestyle, it’s become the enemy – a barrier to your business goals.

In stage one, money controls you. It controls how you see yourself, how you run your business, how you feel, etc. Business start ups ALWAYS have financial hiccups to deal with, and inevitably, you begin to see money as the enemy that is keeping you from success, rather then a tool you can use to succeed. In the book, they say the key to surviving this stage is to realize that money is NOT the cause of all your problems, nor is it the solution. It helps, but as some of the real start examples in this chapter show – having TO MUCH money can be just as dangerous to business as having not enough. Having less forces you to be more creative which can have long term benefits in other areas of business as welln.

Stage Three: Money As Protection

Appreciating the protective nature of money is a major step towards thinking about it rationally rather then purely emotionally. … As you learn to manage cash flow more effectively, the balance subtly shifts – money is no longer your enemy, but your friend. You also see it’s role more clearly…

At this point, you are starting to take control. You are beginning to see money with a less emotional view, and are learning to treat money as a tool.

Stage Four: Money As A Tool

Money is no longer emotionally charged for you:… You view it objectively as fuel for moving your business in the direction you want it to go, not as a measure of your personal or professional success.

Have you ever heard a successful business person say “It’s not about the money” and though, ‘Yeah right!”? Well, the truth is, for many of them it isn’t. Money is just a tool, one of the many tools they have at their disposal to use to reach the goals they have success. Because they don’t have an emotional connection to money, they are able to make much clearer decisions and take all things into consideration. This stage isn’t about NOT CARING about the money. You will always need to budget, plan and watch finances no matter how successful you become – but it’s no longer an emotional process.

The authors call this process “Giving Up The Paycheck Mentality”

Separating money from your emotions and seeing it as an instrument is critical to successfully making the mental shift from employee to entrepreneur.

So where do you sit in those four stages? Answering that question honestly helps you to determine what you need to move forward. For me, I am probably in stage two – where I need to learn to detach myself from money and see it more as a tool, rather then an enemy.

You can pick up your own copy of Birthing An Elephant for $10 in the ChrysAnTheMoms Book Store.

Written By:
Crystal is the founder of Chrysanthemoms, and a mother of 3. She is a graphic designer, specializing in wedding invitations, baby announcements and photo greeting cards. She is also an avid blogger and loves to write.Visit Crystal’s Website

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