17 Aug What’s Your Money Story?
Thanks for being here. I appreciate that you’re taking time from your busy schedule to read this, and I always want to make that time worthwhile for you.
This week we look at your Money Story. It’s part of your relationship with money. Everyone has a relationship with money: we love it, hate it, can’t live with it or live without it, and always underneath it all, we know that this relationship is here to stay. Sounds like any “human” relationship, doesn’t it? And, like any relationship, it is helpful if we’re mindful and even grateful to have it in our lives.
I invite you to spend some time looking at your relationship with money. This could be your first foray into uncharted territory. However, be willing to do what’s suggested to have a more conscious and powerful relationship with this energy. And remember: money is simply energy: we can lose it, waste it, leak it, or use it to fuel our goals and dreams.
Here are some questions that will help you discover your Money Story. Your experience with money’s energy began when you were young, shaping how you handle money today. For example, when do you remember first hearing about money? Who did you hear it from? What was the emotional climate like at that time? When did you first earn money? When did you lose it? The answers to these and other questions will give you a clear picture of the associations you bring to any discussion of your personal finances.
Get out a journal, something that’s easy to write in. You can do this on your computer, but pen and paper are best. In talking with the hundreds of people who’ve done this, they feel it’s even more personal when they write their answers down rather than typing them. Give yourself at least forty minutes to complete this task. You may want to divide the time into ten-minute segments. That way, your thoughts remain fresh, making the task seem more “doable.”
Begin by telling the story of your life using money as the theme. Start with your earliest childhood memories and continue right up to the present. Write in narrative form, like this: “I first learned about money when I was…”
Let the following questions spark your recollections. You do not need to answer them all in your Money Story. I’m listing them to make your task easier. However, remember that when you have a strong urge to avoid a question or label it as “insignificant,” it’s probably worth answering!
Before you begin, you may think that you don’t have enough time to do this. I’ve heard that from hundreds and hundreds of people over the years!
Ann: I’m a busy entrepreneur. I sell jewelry online that comes from all over the world. I don’t have ten minutes in the day to sit and do this.
Mike: Ten minutes? No way! It takes at least ten minutes to log off what I’m doing at my computer repair shop. That’s 20 minutes right there! Then, another ten minutes to log back onto what I’m working on. That’s a total of thirty minutes!
Let me coach you for a moment. Look at it this way: what if you discovered that four to six ten-minute sessions devoted to this self-discovery about money significantly shifted your relationship with it? Wouldn’t that outlay of time be a “small price to pay”? And how could you engineer it so that these ten minutes came at the most convenient time for you?
All it takes is for you to be willing. If you’ve read some of my past articles, you probably heard about “being willing.” Being willing is your capacity to say “yes,” no matter what you think or feel. It’s your most significant personal power. You may not want to do something. You may think there’s no way you can do something. You may be afraid to do something.
All you have to do is say, “Nevertheless, I am willing,” and doors will open for you where you thought there were none. Opportunities will present themselves. And, especially regarding your relationship with money, you will wake up to what’s true about you: that you’re here to contribute to the world, using money as your ally. Isn’t that the truth?
So: are you willing? Let’s do this!
- What were your family’s financial circumstances when you were born?
- When did you first learn about money? Was it from your parents or other family members? How old were you? What was happening at that time?
- Did you have an allowance? Did you have to work for it, or was it given to you, whether or even if you didn’t do chores to earn it? If you have children, does this affect how you handle allowances with them?
- When was the first time you bought something with money you had saved? What did you buy?
- Do you remember ever losing money? When was the earliest time? What happened? Has this happened with your children? How did you handle it?
Breathe! You are unearthing the very circumstances that have contributed to your Money Story. You are doing something that very few people have accomplished. I know how much courage this takes. I’ve done it myself. You’ll wake up to how your relationship with money has affected your financial decisions in virtually every aspect of your life.
- Did you dream of having a particular job or career one day? Have you achieved this? Why or why not? Was the amount of money you could earn a factor in your choice of careers?
- If your relationship with money were a personal relationship, how would you describe it? Do you fear, love, hate, depend upon, feel possessive of, or generous with money? Just write down whatever comes to mind about this.
- How do you relate to people with less money than you? More money?
- Have you ever accomplished an important task or project involving money? What was it? What did you do that made you successful?
- Was there a time when you tried but did not accomplish a task regarding money? What was it? What did you do that made you unsuccessful?
- Have you ever given or received gifts of money? If yes, how much? For what reason(s)? How did you feel about this?
- How would you describe your brand of “money craziness” if you were to characterize it?
- Regarding money, for what do you want to be known? In other words, if people were to talk about you and your relationship with money, what would you want them to say?
- Are you worried that money isn’t spiritual enough or that your spiritual path isn’t compatible with financial success?
- What do you spend money on?
- What do you not spend money on?
Ok: if you completed even a small part of this task, you can probably sense the title of your Money Story up until now! So, do two things:
- First, give your Money Story a title that pinpoints what you’ve discovered about your relationship with money up until now. It could sound like: “I Didn’t Have a Clue” or “It was Hard, but I’m Still Standing!”
- Second, create a Money Story title that embodies what you want it to say from this time forward. It could sound like: “ I am Free to Create the Life I Want!”
Congratulations for even doing a small part of this work! I would love to hear from you what you find!
Until next time,