Ep. 141: Thoughts About Money

    This week we're going to dive into your money mindset. One of the biggest blocks for people from changing careers is finances. But they don't realize that most of their problems arise from how they think about money and not how much money they actually have. Before we get into how to actually plan your finances to quit, we have to deal with all of your limitations around money. So let's talk about all the thoughts you have about money.
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    Show Transcript:
    Welcome to another episode of lessons from a quitter. I'm so excited to have you here. The next two episodes, I'm going to dive into finances, which is not what I talk about on this podcast, but because it's like the number one, objection, I get from people about why they can't quit, why they can't start over, why they can't do anything on their dream list. The number one thing that stops people is finances. And so we're going to talk about it over the next two episodes. Today's episode is just about your money mindset. And what I mean by that is your thoughts about money because so many of the people's excuses that come to me doesn't even actually have to do anything with the money. And I'll explain what I mean in a minute. And so I'm sure you've heard this. A lot of people talk about it, but I think we hear it and then don't actually relate it to what we're going through.
    So I want you to start thinking about the way that you think about money and really evaluating if that's what you want to keep. If those are the thoughts that are going to serve you, or if they're just going to kind of keep you scared and frustrated. So here's the thing. Money is completely neutral. I mean, we already know this. People already have said it like, it's just a piece of paper, right? And it can't make you feel anything. It doesn't have that much power. Okay. It's a piece of paper, but your thoughts about money is what makes you feel the way that you do. Okay. Now, a lot of that obviously comes from society and programming, right? You didn't just like wake up and decide all of your own thoughts about money. It was programmed into you over decades of your life from many, many different sources that we'll talk about.
And so it's not a wonder that so many of us have different opinions of money because we have different experiences. And so I just want you to know though that like, it cannot be money that causes you how to feel a certain way. It is your thoughts. And so we're going to do a little experiment, just so drive this point home. I want you to, you can close your eyes if you're not driving, or if you're at home and you don't have to, if you don't want to, but I want you to think about the amount of money and the number that you have in your bank account right now. Okay. I just want you to think about the ballpark. If you haven't checked your account, we'll talk about that later, but let's say you don't know exactly how much you have. I don't care. Think about the general amount that you typically have in your bank account.
    Okay? Yeah. That number. Okay. I want you to think about it. How does that number make you feel? Does it make you happy, excited, secure? Does it make you scared? Stressed, anxious, worried. What is it? Pick a feeling. Okay. You got your feeling. I want you to think about this for a second. Nothing actually happened right now, besides you thinking about money, right? You don't have the money in your hands. You didn't see the money. It's not anywhere near you. No, one's taking it from you. You're not spending it on anything. Nothing is going on with them, right? You are just thinking about a number and then you're feeling either happy and excited or anxious and worried, right? So it has nothing to do with what that number is, has everything to do with how you think about it. If you think it's enough if you think it's not enough if you're stressed that it's going to go away, you're not going to get more.
    If it's really hard to get for you, if you have certain thoughts about it, it's going to make you feel a certain way about that night. And so it's just good to know that that money is just a number in that bank account. Okay. And in order to know, so what your mindset is, what your thoughts are about money. You have to uncover those thoughts. It's a lot of them are hidden and not just out and about. So you have to ask yourself, like, what do you think about money? What are your beliefs that you were raised with? Maybe you heard things like money doesn't grow on trees. You have to work hard to make money. Money is the root of all evil. I mean, think about that. Like, if that's something that you heard, which a lot of us here have from our family, from our religions think about the relationship that you're going to have with money.
    If you think that it is the root of it, of all evil money is just a value exchange, right? Like somebody has something of value we have given and some, you know, made up value to money and you just exchange it. It's like, yeah, I think that is worth this much. So I'm going to pay for it. It's the same thing as like what bartering would be. But instead of bartering, we use pieces of paper. Okay. So you have to understand, like, what is my thoughts about those pieces of paper? Like, what am I making those mean? Do I think that magically, when somebody has that piece of paper in their hand, all of a sudden they become evil and greedy and you know, mean, are we gonna ask yourself, what are your beliefs about rich people? What are you beliefs about? Poor people, both are really interesting things to explore.
    Write down all of your thoughts about them. We've been kind of fed this narrative, right? That rich people are evil and that they're greedy. And that they're kind of exploiting people that they care about their families that they're not loving or whatever. And that's why so many of us justify wanting to be poor. And the reason I say not poor, maybe, but like not making money. And this is why I think it's so important to uncover these thoughts because you will sabotage yourself, right? If you think money is the root of all evil, how do you think you feel, if you all of a sudden get a high paying job or your bank account starts going up, you know, in digits. And this is a really messed up thing that I want people to really kind of understand is the way that we've been raised in America is really just does a toll on the mind.
    And even if you're not raised in America, I think the American dream, and I think just capitalism in a lot of countries, this is what sort of really messes. So many of us up is on the one hand, we are constantly drilled with the American dream, right. And the possibility and working hard to like make it and make more and have more and buy more. Right? And so like whether we intrinsically want that, which like humans do constantly want to strive. And you know, it's within our, our mind is a certain way that we do not settle, which is what evolutionarily has kept us alive. Right? If you were just happy with what you had, you wouldn't leave the cave to look for more food. I'm like, this is fine. And then you die. So like, it's a good thing that like, we tend to never be satisfied.
    Even when we get to something we want more and we want more, it's the way that our brains are evolved. And so capitalism kind of puts that on steroids and we are sold this thing of like wanting more and wanting to experience things. We see these like rags to riches stories that we love, right? We're like all about that in this country. We love seeing people make it. We love the idea of being able to have these really incredible experiences. But then we also are a country based on like the Puritan religious beliefs that it was founded on in Christianity. And most religions, not just Christianity, but I think this country is kind of founded on that. But again, most religions have this idea that money is the root of evil. And so you have these two conflicting things. And it's so fascinating for me when I started realizing this and watching other people it's like, so many of us are hustling to make more money, right.
    To get the job, like, why did so many of us go to become lawyers or doctors or whatever the degree was that you thought was going to give you like a six-figure salary or a multiple six-figure salary or whatever. And then when we get it, so many of us are ashamed of it. Like how many people are ashamed to talk about how much they make, why is that? Like, why is it taboo in our culture to talk about the money that we have? Like we're taught to hide it. We're taught to be ashamed of it. We're taught that it's like rude and unbecoming to be happy about it. And these two different ideas are at odds in our brain always. And so it causes a lot of problems. It causes a lot of problems. For me. It causes a lot of problems with the people that I coach.
    I see this all the time. I recently had a person in my group coaching program and she is a lawyer. And she had come to the program wanting to quit her law firm job. She had been in law for about nine or 10 years, and she'd always been at a law firm. And she had gone to law school thinking she was going to go into nonprofit, work into public interest, work, helping a cause that she felt strongly about. And then she got into the law firm. And you know, when she admitted herself, she actually liked the practice area. She liked the law firm. She liked the money she was making. She liked the security, like paid off her loans and she liked making that money. And so she came to me thinking that she wanted to jump to becoming a nonprofit lawyer or even leaving the law because she was so unhappy.
    And when we worked on a lot of the thoughts, what had come up was the fact that she had shamed herself for the entire nine years. That like, she was some kind of a sellout that she had gone to law school to help people. And she was now just making money, you know, quote unquote, just making rich people richer and that she was part of this problem. Right. And she sabotaged herself. Like she didn't allow herself to get high up in the firm. Like she didn't let herself really go for partner. She constantly had one foot in one foot out. She kept trying to tell herself like, no, I'm going to quit and go work at a nonprofit, but deep down, she wanted to make that salary. And it was at such, at odds within her that it really was not only making her miserable, but it was sabotaging her career.
    And when we worked a lot on just like that thought of like, why is it wrong to want to make money? Right. This is like entirely what our kind of system is set up on. And when she cleaned up a lot of the thoughts of like how she can give back and what she wants to do, she started realizing she actually liked doing the work she was doing and she wanted to go for it. And so I just say this to say, like, it's so important to understand how we view that money and what we think about money. Because so many of us have bought into that dream, that American dream. And we want that, right? We want the stability. We want to make more money. We want to be able to have experiences and go on vacations and do fun things. We want to give back to the organizations that we care about.
    But then we think like I'm a shallow person. I'm a bad person for wanting money. I'm greedy. Right. When I was talking about like, what are your beliefs? Our outreach people are poor people. It's really interesting when you dive into this. So many of us think that rich people are exploitive, right? And that's not to say there aren't tons of problems with our system with capitalism that need to be addressed. Right. And you can be for change and for wanting more of a safety net and for wanting more fair taxes and distribution and that kind of stuff, a hundred percent. Right. And what we're talking about, what's interesting is again, like there are the billionaires, there are people that are making hundreds of millions of dollars a year. And there's a lot of question of like, just as a society. Again, the money is not the problem it's like as a society, what do we value?
    Do we want someone to be able to hoard all of that cash, but how do we want to structure our society? That's a different question. What's interesting is then seeing people apply that to someone that's making $300,000 or $500,000 or a million or 5 million, like that's not the problem. Again, I'm not saying that we don't increase taxes or we don't figure out like, how do we have a safety net or how do we create more opportunities for other people and, you know, free healthcare and free education. All of those things need to be addressed. I'm just saying like in this society that we are in and your role in it, how has your personal relationship with your money? Do you think that rich people are unhappy and don't love their children? I promise this is like stories that people have. I had this, and I'll tell you about my money mindset.
    People have these thoughts and that thought is going to create your result. Okay? If you have the thought that rich people only care about money and they're greedy and they don't have loving relationship with their kids, they only have nannies. They don't spend the time with whatever you have then like you obviously aren't going to want to make money. So like, even if you're working really hard to try to make money, there's something underlying you. That's going to be sabotaging that because you don't want to be that person. If we have these beliefs that like, yes, people that don't have money, like surely they don't have it, but they have lots of love and they have, you know, their family, they, you know, have more time or whatever to, to be with their families. And if that's the thought that you have, then again, it's going to impact how you're approaching your life and your business and your, you know, career.
    And the truth is, is again, there are rich people who are exploitive and terrible and greedy, and don't spend time with their kids and are unhappy. And there was people that are wonderful and generous and kind and love their kids and spend tons of times with their kids. And the opposite is true with poor people, right? There's lots of poor people that have great family values, who are very happy, who don't really look to a lot of material things, or maybe don't want it as much or whatever. I've found a place of happiness and spend a lot of times with their kids. There's also poor people that are terrible people that are angry and, you know, don't spend time with their children and stress and all this other stuff. None of that has to do with money. It has to do with the thoughts about money.
    It has to do with the way that you're approaching your life. And so I just want to ask you, like, do you view your money as an ally or an enemy? Like if you are in a constant battle with money, if you hate it and you feel like it's like a necessary evil that will show up in your life. And most of us look at it that way, like, Ugh, I just, I have to have money to live. So I'm just gonna, you know, complain, bury my head in the sand. I don't even want to look at my bank accounts. I don't want to budget. I don't want to think about, cause I don't want to even think about making more money because then that makes me feel like I'm giving into hustle, culture and productivity. And all of those are just thoughts. It doesn't have to be that way.
    And I just want you to use this episode to start thinking about it. I want to ask you another question. Do you believe that you are wealthy? Why or why not? I mean to answer that question for yourself, if you don't think that you're wealthy, tell me why you don't think you're wealthy. This is just a really great thing to think about because obviously it's extremely subjective. What we consider wealth, like what is rich, right. And what's been amazing for me to watch for myself as well as other people that I coach is we think there is a number that we will feel wealthy or we will feel rich. And I promise you that as soon as you start making that, or you start making up to that, or you start saving, you start moving that goalpost. Cause you still don't feel quote unquote secure because security doesn't come from that number.
    It comes from your thoughts about that number. So if you always told yourself, there's not enough money, I don't have enough. I can't get more. It's hard to get. Even when you start getting it, you still feel like, well, it's still not enough. I can tell you this from my own experience. And a lot of the people that I coach, even within my business, I remember thinking like once I hit six figures, I will feel like so secure in this business. I will feel like I know what I'm doing. I feel like it's going to just come. And money is easy. Let me tell you, I hit six figures. Did not feel that way. If anything, I felt more panicked. I've had clients who will give me a number. I forced them to give me a number of when they're going to quit. Like how much money do they have to have saved because I know what's going to happen.
    And we'll talk about this on the next episode, but they'll create a plan. They'll have a savings amount. They'll say like, I want to have this much in my bank account. I want to have this much like runway. They know their expenses are paid. They know everything is taken care of. And then they hit the number and it's like, no, you know, I need a couple more months of savings to feel really secure. Like in case there's any like unexpected accidents or whatever. So we wait a couple more months and they save and then it's like, you know, I really feel like having this income is going to like, help me build this. I'm gonna build it on the side. If you're constantly telling yourself that like, I need this to be secure and then you're changing it. It doesn't have to do with the money anymore.
    Right. Some of it is math. And we're going to talk about that on the next episode, how do you set yourself up for quitting? And a lot of it is figuring out your expenses and how much you make and how much you need and what do you want to do. Right. And I think part of the reason that's so important is so that, you know, when is it fear and when is it actually the math, like the finances, because oftentimes you will get there. And then I still have clients who year after year staying jobs that they're miserable in. Cause they still think they don't have enough. It still isn't enough because it will never be enough to get rid of that thought of feeling insecure. Right. And so they have to work on that thought. So when I asked you, like, if you're wealthy, I remember somebody saying this and it blew my mind because I'm assuming that most of you are going to answer.
    No. Like I don't think I'm wealthy. And I want you to understand that compared to 70% of the world, you are wealthy, right? You have more wealth or you are considered wealthy by 70% of the world compared to, and I don't mean that if you took your salary and you took it to like, you know, India or some other country, then that salary would mean you were wealthy there. I mean, having a house that has running water and electricity and plumbing is considered wealthy. Having a car is considered wealthy, having enough food and money for food and to go out, to eat and to go on a vacation and to buy new clothes. Right. Having a computer, having internet in a lot of places, just having that stuff. Like if somebody walked into your home, they would think, Oh my God, we've made it right.
    This is incredible. And so it's really interesting to think. How do I think about it? Am I constantly stuck in, I don't have enough. It's never enough. Money is stressful, right? Like, let's think about a situation. Let's say you have always barely met, ends meet. Okay. That's it like, you're kind of living paycheck to paycheck. You're paying your bills. But your thought is, this is so stressful. I never have enough money. Money is so hard to make. It's so hard to keep I'm terrible with money. I want you to think about what your results are in your life. There. The amount of stress, the amount of anxiety, the amount of pressure, the amount of kind of shame and guilt that you might feel that same situation your thought could be. I always take care of myself. I always managed to have enough money to pay my bills and feed myself and to give myself the needs I have or my family.
    I'm so impressed by the fact that I can always manage to take care of myself, go me. Money's easy. I use it for what I need and I always get it done. I want you to just think about how differently you would feel and how you'd show up in your life. Both. Those are true. Like if you are able to make ends meet, if you have a roof over your head and you're giving yourself food and you know, have clothes and you, you are not struggling in the sense where like you are going to be kicked out on the street, you've taken care of yourself. And you can look at that as a source of pride, you can look at like, how have I done that? Wow. Look at me. I always managed to find a way that's pretty impressive, how resourceful I am. Look how great I am with money.
    Because when you think I'm terrible with money, you feel ashamed. And when you feel ashamed, what do you do? You bury your head in the sand. You don't check your balance. You don't learn about budgeting. You don't save. If you don't go out and try to like make extra money in certain ways, right. To learn about investing or whatever, because you've told yourself you're terrible with money. And so then you just repeat that cycle. But if you tell yourself I'm wonderful at handling money, I always find a way you feel empowered. And what do you do from a place of empowerment? You research other ways that you can invest or use your money better. You make sure you're on top of your money. And you set, you know, like, you know, your bank accounts, you know, your expenses, you know how much you're going to get every month you start saving more, you start paying off your debt.
    All of it comes from your thoughts about that money. And so I just want you to be very aware so that you're picking thoughts that serve you. I want to tell you about my relationship with money and how my money mindset has changed. I wasn't a person that really was in scarcity a lot in the sense that I didn't think there was enough money. What's interesting is even though we came here with nothing and we lived in it 800 square foot apartment with eight people. And we grew up the first couple of years. I mean, we clearly, we were, I wouldn't say poor, lower middle class. And then my parents kind of moved us up to middle class throughout like my childhood. I never felt like we didn't have enough because we, there never was a time that we didn't have enough. Like, luckily my parents weren't in a situation where like there wasn't food on the table or like the lights got turned off.
    So I never felt that. And honestly, until I looked back at my childhood, I didn't even realize that we were lower middle class or poor. I always thought we had like had plenty of money. Right. We always had what we needed that has served me a lot in my life. In that sense with money. I don't have that kind of attachment where like, I'm not scared of it not being there. I've always felt like I can make the money I need. So that puts me at ease where my money mindset has been a real trip and really horrible is I thought money really was the root of all evil. My husband makes fun of me because I used to give him like lectures about how evil business was and how you couldn't be rich and be a good person. I mean, I literally would say these things because that is what I was taught.
    That is what I saw. I thought that rich people have horrible lives filled with like infidelity and depression and drugs and like hated their lives. And it was all because of money and money, tore families apart. And parents weren't with their children. I mean, like this is, I was so deeply ingrained and like good people didn't want money. And if you want it to be good, you end to help you didn't care about money. And so I used to always say that, like, I really just didn't care about money. And I prided myself on that. And I went to law school to, in order to like help, you know, in nonprofit world. And I decided like was going to be my path. And I didn't realize how much of that was really set to like a fear of money that I had. And what was interesting too, is that like I kept thinking that if I go into business, that I am adding to all of the problems in the world.
    If I am making money, then I am adding to income inequality, and I'm adding to other people not having enough. And so I want it to stay as far away from it as possible. I realize now how, I mean just obviously wrong, but how harmful that thinking was before I decided to jump into entrepreneurship, which when I tell you it is the last thing I would have ever said that I was going to do because of all of these beliefs that I had about money. I remember thinking like good people don't care about money and I want you to like play that out and let's think about it for a second. Like if that was true, right? If it's true that only the people that are greedy and evil and only care about money are the ones that are going to go into business. We just perpetuate the same cycle, right?
    It's the same people running the same corporations that are exploiting people and taking advantage of them and not showing that there can be a really wonderful relationship between business and their consumers and like having real values. It only left room for the people that were evil. Like if all the good people didn't go into business, then it would only be people that are trying to screw over other people. Right. That was like what my logic meant. And I wasn't until I started seeing the rise in B corporations, and there was like the Tom's shoes that started like kind of using the for-profit model in order to give back. And I started seeing that like business really can be used to help people and it can be used as an example, right. There can be companies, I can start a company and I can pay people, good wages and I can give them good benefits and I can instill actual parental leave and like, let people have time with their families.
    And I can not be all about the bottom line and still show that you can still turn a profit. Right. It wasn't until I started really understanding that and realizing that like money was just the vehicle. Yes. If my main focus was always the bottom line, like squeeze out every penny from the business, then that would create a certain result. But if my idea was like, I want to do something I love and make money and also help people, then I could do it in a different way. I also started realizing how faulty my thinking was in that it's not a pie. Right. So like, if I don't make money, it doesn't mean that that goes to the homeless person who needs it. That's where my thinking was, was like, I don't want to take more than my fair share because then somebody else isn't getting it and that's wrong.
    First of all, they just like literally print money. So like, what is it like 400 new, more than that. It's like, I don't know how many new millionaires are created every year. How much money there actually is. But even beyond like, thinking about how that's great, it's like, if I don't make them money, it doesn't naturally go to people that need it. It just makes more room for the people that are out there being greedy and taking advantage of people. Right. And so when I started actually looking, I started seeing like, it's my obligation. I have a lot of skills. I have so many privileges. I'm, able-bodied, I'm intelligent. I have the support of my family. I have all of these things that allow me to thrive. So it sort of becomes an obligation to make money so that I can help other people. Right.
    So that I can create more jobs so I can show what is possible out there. When I started looking at it that way, I started seeing so much more possibility. Now I want to give a caveat here. I don't actually think you have to make money in order to give back either. I don't even want that to be that sentence. Because I think a lot of times we then fool ourselves into thinking like, okay, I'll make money so that I give it back. And then I feel guilty of like, I haven't have I given enough back. I don't need all of this. Should I give more back? You can want money just to want it. You can want it because you want experiences. And it wasn't until I started hearing my teacher and I started hearing other people, just unequivocally say, I love money. I love it.
    It solves so much of my problems. It makes my life easier. It lets me do what I want to do. It allows me to have experiences that I want to have. It takes away a lot of worries. Obviously it doesn't make me happy. It can't, I still have negative emotions all the time. It won't solve everything, but I want to make as much money as possible. So I can prove that you can do it and I can live a life that's easy and I can change generational wealth for my family. And as a woman, I can have more power and I can, you know, give to political organization so that what I want to happen in my community starts happening. There's so much I can do with money. Why wouldn't I want it? And it wasn't until I started hearing that, I was like, yeah, why wouldn't I, I mean, this is the system we have right now, right?
    Like again, I think there needs to be tons of regulation. But if this is the system and me sitting on the sidelines and thinking that everybody has money is evil, is not helping my situation in any way. It's also not giving my portion to people that need it. So why wouldn't I go after as much money as I possibly can get and then decide what I want to do with it and be a steward of that money. Decide if I want to give it back, decide if I want to play with it, decide if I want to keep it for my children, right? We can all then make those decisions. And those are based on our, each of our own values, but it starts with really understanding how you think about money, how you let yourself view money and want money. And you know, the stress that it brings or the happiness that it brings or whatever it is that it brings for you.
    This is the starting point. The next episode, we'll talk about what should you do with your money in order to prepare yourself to quit. But I don't think you can even get there until you really start understanding. What are your thoughts about your money? How much do you want to make? Have you thought about that? Like how much money do you want to make in a year? And I hear this so often when I talk to people and they're like, I don't even want to make that much. It doesn't have to be that much. Like, honestly, I'll be happy with X, catch yourself when you're doing that. Like, why do you feel the need to explain that? Why do you feel the need to limit it? Why do you feel the need to tell yourself, like, I'll just be happy with this. Like you just trying to protect yourself.
    Because if you can't get that, you don't want to feel disappointed. But the thing is, you're also limiting yourself in what you're capable of in what you can accomplish in what you can go after. Cause if you don't ever admit to yourself, I want to make a lot of money. I want to have a lot where I don't worry about it anymore. I want to have it. So my kids don't have to worry. I want to have it. So I can go on an incredible vacations and create amazing experiences. I want to have it so that I can help causes that I feel really excited about. And really I feel are really important. I want to have it so I can start changing the way things are in this world. So it's in a better way. You can have it for a million reasons. You get to have it for whatever reason you want.
    You can have it just to blow it out, just a wasted because you think it'll be fine. There should be no morality attached to it. And when you start looking at like, what I'm doing is bad. If I want this as bad, it's going to start showing up in what you go after and what you think you're capable of and what you think is possible for you. And it will limit the way that you dream. It will limit the things that you do. It will limit the jobs you go after. And even when you are in them, I promise you, it will show up in self-sabotage. It will show up in the way that you are guilting and shaming yourself. It will create so much unnecessary suffering, all because of a piece of paper. And so I want you to think about that paper. And I want you to think about what your thoughts are about it. And I want you to decide what you want to think about it, and I will be back next week and we will talk about how you can start preparing yourself for your finances.
    Once you clear out all the thoughts about money, how do you actually get your money ready in order to make that big jump? All right, you guys have a wonderful week and they will see you next. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcasts, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.