There’s been one major fear in my life every single day since I first decided I wanted to quit my job in 2006 to work for myself full-time: The fear of not having enough money.
Money. Dollars. The Green Stuff. Who would have thought that something I so easily took for granted at my 9-to-5 job could occupy so much of my time and brain space?
The truth is, not a day goes by when a worry about money doesn’t crop up in my mind. When things in my business are going well and money is flowing in the door, this worry is quietly simmering on the backburner. Other times when things aren’t going as smoothly, it can be a full-on raging fire that only gets exhausted through the mini breakdowns I have when the shear panic and stress of it all gets to be too much. But no matter what, that worry is always present.
When I say “worry about money” I do mean “worry” as opposed “trouble” or “problem” with money. There is a distinction. Money troubles or problems are remedied through growing your business and working on the tasks that make you money (check out my posts Inexpensive Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses and Passive Income Ideas for Your Small Business). Worry about money is a fear (typically of a fear of not having enough…check out my post 3 Steps to Overcoming Stagnant Fears). Fears are ONLY in your mind. And because your mind is malleable, you can take strides to diminish your fears and spend less time worrying.
Whether you’re running your business on the side of a full-time job or you’re entirely self-employed, it’s difficult to escape all the worry and fears associated with money. At the same time, it’s absolutely critical to focus on the positive things when you’re an entrepreneur. When you travel down the tempting roads of worries, fears and doubts in your mind, you will not arrive at success and prosperity. In other words, if you spend your days (or years in my case) worrying about money, this is going to ultimately hold you back from reaching your goals and keep you stuck right where you are.
That’s why it’s time to break free of the worry and MOVE ON with your life and use your brain space for something more productive. So here are 3 ways that you can start to lessen your worries about money starting right now…
#1: Practice acceptance (instead of resistance)
Worrying about money doesn’t increase the number of zeros behind the figure in your bank account. If it did, I would have at least 7- or 8-figures to my name right now, and the zeros would keep piling on. Alas, this is not the case. In fact, worrying about money doesn’t positively affect your money situation in any way, shape or form, yet we all continue to do it—daily.
Say, for instance, you have $100 in your bank account right now and you’re wondering how you’re going to pay all your bills this month. There are two approaches you could take…
- You could stress out and go into panic mode worrying, freaking out, and crying while desperately trying to find a solution
- You could try to find a solution
Neither approach changes the fact that you have $100 in your bank account, but I’d bet that method #2 will feel a whole lot better. If worrying about money helped, I would be the first one to recommend it to you as an effective approach, but it doesn’t assist you in the least.
My favorite mantra is “It is this now” (or “it is what it is”). I tell myself this when I’m sitting in dead-stopped traffic, waiting in line, or when I look at my bank statement. It is this now. No amount of worry, panic or stress will change it.
Next time you find yourself worrying about money, use this mantra. Make a choice to accept the current situation as it is instead of resisting it. (Yes, you can choose not to worry.) I guarantee it’s a lot easier to find a solution to your problems from a place of calm acceptance than shear overwhelm and panic.
#2: Focus on growing your human capital
When the financial capital in your life or business is running on empty, use that time to focus on growing your Human Capital (instead of worrying about money non-stop). Your Human Capital is your knowledge, business education, and your network. It’s everything that you learn and discover as a business owner…the good, the bad and the ugly.
Developing your human capital is the key to success when you’re bootstrapping your business. You are your biggest asset, so the more you learn, grow and develop your mind and your talent, the more successful you will become.
How do you grow your Human Capital?
Learn stuff. Do stuff. Meet people. For instance—read books, take workshops/training programs/courses, grow your network, attend conferences/expos/tradeshows/Meetups/retreats, and listen to podcasts. Many of these things are free (or close to free) and they will greatly contribute to your long-term success far more than if someone handed you $100k this instant.
#3: Do things that make you happy
Chances are that if you’re distracted in your daily life by doing the things that make you truly happy, you won’t have the time or the brain space to worry about money.
Think back to the last time you were doing something you truly enjoyed. Something when time just seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye. Were you thinking about money then? Probably not. Now it’s time to do more of that.
In my opinion, you’re not put on this earth to worry about money all the time. Instead, I do believe you are meant to be happy. I recently watched the documentary Happy (which I highly recommend) and it discussed the 3 intrinsic factors that make people happy (and guess what—money isn’t one of them)…
- Spending time with loved ones
- Moving your body in dynamic ways (exercising, sports, outdoor activities, etc)
- Feeling like you’re part of something larger than yourself by participant in the community
These are the things that bring you LONG-TERM happiness (as opposed to something like winning the lottery which only provides short-term happiness that typically ends up in bankruptcy and distress). Plus, they are all totally free, so you don’t need money to buy you happiness.
Next time you find yourself worrying about money, do something that fits into one of these categories. Or better yet, create a consistent routine of activities that are dedicated to cultivating a life of happiness. Instead of trying to rid yourself of the constant worries swimming in your brain, sometimes if more effective to fill your life to the brim with positive things so that the worry get crowded out.