To illustrate the way a new money message can forever change the way you work and the things you focus on, I want to tell you the stories of two people: Mike, who used his new money message to find a more lucrative career and work fewer hours; and Amanda, who learned to keep the money she earned and allow her wealth to support her creativity.
Whatever Mike did, in his father’s eyes it was never enough. He could never do enough to earn his dad’s love. When he got all A’s and two B’s, he was told, “You’ll have to work a little harder in Social Studies and Spanish.” His dad only saw what his son didn’t do and
only told him what he didn’t like.
Mike got a job delivering papers, and later bagging groceries. He became a hard worker. He worked his way all through high school and college.
A few years back Mike came to work for me forty hours a week and then took a second job working twenty hours more during the week and on the weekend. And despite all this hard work, he was also always in debt.
Mike’s money baggage is: I don’t make enough money because I never do enough to deserve it. As a child, Mike got money confused with love. What he truly wanted from his dad was love and recognition. He could never get it, so his young mind decided he wasn’t
good enough, that he just had to work harder. Without being aware of the reasons why, he threw himself into work to get love and recognition, to fill the void. But he never did fill it. He worked harder and still ended up continuously short of money (love).
He then implemented a new money message in his life: I earn more money than I will ever need and I share my abundance, love, and joy with all. He began to take actions to support his new money message. He met with a career counselor and decided to open his
own bookkeeping business. He wrote a business plan and discovered that he could support himself as a bookkeeper working a reasonable forty hours a week and not have to work two jobs. He started his bookkeeping business by telling everyone he knew he was looking for clients. In a very short period of time, he had enough clients and he quit working for me.
Today he works less and makes more than he ever has. He sets his own hours and he only works for clients he wants to work for. His life hasn’t gone from pizza to caviar, but the struggle is gone and he now feels in charge of his life.
The important lesson from Mike’s story is common to every money baggage/money message story: the possibilities are right in front of you—you just can’t see them. For Mike, the option for him to open his own business and make more money while working less
was there all the time—he just couldn’t see it because his money baggage was in the way. It was covering up the real reason he worked so hard and could not get ahead.
He was the same person with the same circumstances the moment after he came up with his new money message as he was before. His new money message simply opened up for him a world of new possibilities. He implemented actions in line with his new money message and then these new opportunities began to shape his life.
Another person whose new money message led to the transformation of her relationship to work was Amanda. Amanda grew up in the Midwest where she attended an exclusive private school with the daughters of multi-millionaires. While her family had a fine life and
she doesn’t ever remember wanting for things, her friends enjoyed a different life: they lived in big mansions; their budgets for clothes and activities were way beyond Amanda’s; and they were dropped off at school by chauffeurs.
She remembers fondly the pool parties and how she loved to spend the night at their mansions. What she remembers less fondly is how her friends’ parents treated her. It was as if she wasn’t even there, even when she was eating dinner with them. If other girls of
multi-millionaires were there, the parents would talk to them, but not to Amanda. She felt that because her family didn’t have as much money as they did, she didn’t belong at the same table. Her friends’ parents seemed to treat her as if she didn’t exist.
From these experiences, Amanda decided that rich people were mean and she was determined to never treat anyone as she had been treated. Amanda’s money baggage is: I’m not one of them and I don’t want to be one of them.
Amanda grew up to be a successful divorce attorney. She had plenty of clients and was well respected within the legal community. Her practice continued to grow, as did her revenue. But a funny thing happened—she always found a way to spend her increasing revenue on her business, and her take-home pay stayed the same. She would inevitably find something that needed to be fixed or purchased, or a new business venture that needed to be funded. Somehow, there just wasn’t much left over at the end of each month. And if there was money left over, she’d give it away to someone who needed it for a class or workshop.
This went on for years, and it frustrated her, but it wasn’t until Amanda identified her money baggage that she got a glimmer as to why she didn’t bring home more money. She realized that she was finding ways to spend money on her business ventures or give it
away so that she “didn’t become one of them.”
In working on her money baggage, she identified the multitude of ways she managed to get rid of her revenue so that she didn’t become like those mean rich people: moving to a bigger office; hiring more staff; not charging as much as other divorce attorneys charge;
creating a legal-advice business for the masses, and giving money away to nonprofits.
While Amanda’s husband was also working, the low level of her take-home pay didn’t affect their day-to-day life that much. But now that he was approaching retirement and she was going to be supporting them, she realized she had to turn the situation around.
She created her new money message: I freely express my creativity with ease and grace.
In a period of three short months she raised her rates, terminated an employee who really wasn’t getting the job done, and hired a replacement who was immediately able to bill clients for work that more than covered her salary. In addition, she created systems
and procedures to streamline the workflow so her firm could take on more clients and generate more revenue; collected old accounts payable that had been long overdue; and started requesting a retainer from clients before she would start working on their divorce,
something she’d always been afraid to do. Today her billings are up and she is on the road to taking home more than she ever has. She now knows that if she takes home more money, she won’t become “one of them.” For she can “freely express her creativity with ease and grace” and support her family, and her soul. As Amanda said to me, “When you say money baggage, you’re not kidding. It is such a relief to discover what has been holding me back. I’m excited about moving forward into my wide open future”.
Your money baggage will express the underlying attitudes and beliefs that have led you to your current work or your lack of it. Your new money message will guide you to the work and life you imagine yourself doing in the future, full of possibilities just waiting for you
to discover and explore. These possibilities are there, right now in your life. It’s up to you to dive into the process and discover the new relationship to work that awaits you, one that cares for your soul in matters of money.
Next time – Money Message Principle #20: Money Message and Finance