There is a topic we don’t discuss often with friends, family and even our partners. It reveals some of our deep-seated fears, needs and desires. It affects what we do each day and how we see the future. It starts in our childhood but we are largely unaware of its power over us.
As children, we learned the meaning of money from our parents. Was it scarce or in abundance? Was it used as a reward or punishment? Was it seen as ’’good’’ or ‘’evil’’?
These messages have shaped how we use money to meet our needs.
On a superficial level, money is used to buy goods and services. At the deeper level, it’s to meet four basic needs:
We invest ourselves in what we do with money. It means some of what we do with money doesn’t help.
Money becomes a pastime
A lot of people pass the time thinking and talking about money. They search the web and consume advice and commentary about investments. They debate with friends.
Money becomes a conversation starter.
Money is an emotional minefield.
Some people stay on the emotional rollercoaster of hope and fear about money. It’s exhausting and achieves nothing.
Money becomes a worry.
Money is avoided.
Some avoid thinking about it altogether. They don’t review their savings and investments. They don’t prepare their wills and estates. They don’t seek information or education.
Money is a black spot in their viewfinder.
If you are doing any of this, money has become a handicap.
You need to take charge and neutralize the negative power of money.
Treat your savings like you do your health.
Then, focus on how to use your savings to build confidence and ability. They are the keys to moving forward.
Dave a software developer, had made the move from employee to a contract consultant. But he was stressed with the lull in his contract work. So to take his mind off the worry, he used the free time to do midweek classes at a local adult education college.
‘I just picked a few titles at random. The one I knew least about was ikebana. It was fascinating. The simplicity and artistry of Japanese flower arrangement apply to good programming. And it was fun. I was the only man in the group. At first it felt weird. They thought I was weird too. Now I have a new bunch of friends, a new way of looking at art.”
Most importantly it gave him more confidence and focus in building his new consultancy.
“Most surprising of all, I have simplified my workflow, improved my programming speed and found a new way to get more clients.”
George Palmer, an Australian Supreme Court Judge, wrote music scores for pleasure but they were never performed. His desire for his dying father to hear his music led him to invest in a concert of his works.
The exposure led to him being offered commissions – even a Papal Mass for a visit by the Pope.
He continued balancing his demanding legal role and accepting various music commissions until he was offered an opera.
Then he left the law.
A small investment to showcase his work to his father, led to a totally new career.
“To find myself at the age of 68 with a totally absorbing, challenging, stimulating and scary new career as a composer is something I never have dreamt could happen”.
Whether it’s to develop a new skill, showcase your abilities, make contacts or build a new venture it all takes money.
It doesn’t matter if your savings are small or large. What matters is how you use them.
Be honest. Are your views about money stopping you investing in yourself and creating opportunities?