I think it was James Clear who tweeted, only people who have money say it’s not about the money. Makes me laugh every time I say that out loud.
Of course, it’s about money.
But life and leadership is not ALL about money.
In business, it’s about value, trust and engagement.
In marriage, it’s about honour and partnership.
As a parent, it’s about opportunities and memories. Disneyland at midnight when you’re 6 years old is pretty cool.
For our future, it’s about ‘making our coins work for us’ as George S Clayson says in his book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon.’ At its core, I believe money is about stewardship. The proper use of a fair value exchange. The better you steward something the more life and leverage you get out of it.
A money mindset has these three ideas as a foundation:
Your relationship with money matters a lot.
Money has a family of origin. Just like identity, communication, conflict and your deep commitment to unspoken rules that may not matter as much as you think #justsayin 😉
Consider these questions:
- How did you learn to relate to money?
- What does that look like in your management of money?
- Are you a saver or a spender?
- Was your education intentional or accidental?
- Are you able to live on 70% of your income?
- What is your current level of personal debt?
- Do you have a savings/future/investment plan?
Just these thoughts will give you a sense of the relationship you have with money and what you could do to make it even healthier. The key is starting where you are at with a clear financial future in mind.
Jim Rohn shares his story of his mentor Earl Shoaff where he realised his view of the financial world when Rohn bemoaned his current incoming saying “That’s all they pay.” And Mr Shoaff says, “No Jim, that’s all they pay YOU.” Earl Shoaff went on to say “To have more means you must become more.”
Money management is a reflection of life management.
Money acts like a mirror in so many ways. The old school “Show me your calendar and your bank account and I will show you your priorities” is as true then as it is now.
We invest time. We invest money. We invest attention. We invest energy. They all have an ROI for life, they all give us a compound return, in positive and less than positive ways.
I’m notoriously bad at margin. On the upside, it means I would attempt things that we might otherwise not do. On the downside, it means I run too tight on a number of fronts and commit to too many things. Knowing that means I must be more disciplined with time. More diligent with spending and more responsible with the most value add activities in life and leadership.
Behaviours can change. You can eat better, exercise more, love more deeply, contribute more generously and manage money more diligently. It’s amazing what you can live without. It’s incredible how you can reduce expenses, clear debt, save and invest when you have a clear and disciplined way of managing the little things. Money attracts money, it’s uncanny, but it works.
Having money creates options – for now and for the future.
My colleague Peter talks about ‘having a magic wand’ and leverages that metaphor as a way of thinking about a preferred future. I often contemplate and plan for what a financially healthy future looks like. It creates options and possibilities that are just not viable until you have a financial plan working for you, and working well.
So, how is your relationship with money? How healthy is it? Do you want to be part of it long term or would some counselling help? What small but significant changes can you make now that will radially serve you next?
Leading expert and author Dave Ramsey says, “Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.
I want you to win with money.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.