Friday #4A: What You Focus On, You Create More OF
Today we're continuing our money talk from last Friday, but this time with a little more of an abstract look at things. Where last week was all about practical numbers and math *cringe*, I want to dig a little deeper and touch on one of the biggest roadblocks to making what we deserve to make in our business: Our relationship with money.
The title of today’s topic came from a book I read at the end of last year entitled You Are A Badass at Making Money. It literally changed my life. It called into question my personal views about my earning potential, and challenged me to examine the way I’ve spoken about money up until now. Before, I’d look at people who make millions and couldn’t fathom that it'd ever be me. I remember accidentally (*wink*) seeing an executive at a company I worked for type in her salary while calculating her bonus. My jaw dropped when I saw the number, and I immediately slipped into a state of misery while thinking about my own career trajectory. As a young 20-something I was nowhere near where she was, and I didn’t see how I’d ever climb high enough to earn that much. I made being an under-earner my story, and called myself “severely underpaid” every chance I got.
And guess what happened? I stayed underpaid.
What I love so much about You Are A Badass at Making Money is that it focuses on the Law of Attraction, which I am a firm believer in. Jen Sincero provides affirmations throughout the book, affirmations such as “I love money because…”. You fill in the blank with the reasons you love money, which is a radical act within itself because we (or maybe just I) have been taught not to love money. The Bible says “The love of money is the root of all evil,” so we put our faith in external factors to help us achieve the life we want. And while I am a believer, I am no longer afraid to love money.
At the end of each chapter, Jen challenges you to state a reason why you love money. Mine sounded something like:
“I love money because it allows me the freedom to create the life I want.”
“I love money because it allows me the means to bless others.”
“I love money because it allows me to support other small businesses and freelancers, and that support will come back to me.”
Jen also ended each chapter with, “What you focus on, you create more of.” So, I shifted my focus to money, and developed my own affirmations that I read every morning. I’ll share an affirmation with you at the end of this email.
What you focus on, you create more of.
Is your focus positive and healthy, or negative and destructive? (That doesn’t just apply to money.) The truth is, we will never make money until we truly believe that we deserve to make it. We’ll never make money until we become audacious enough to know our value and then add tax to it.
More importantly, we’ll never make money until we surround ourselves with people whose views of money push us to step our game up.
Quick story: A friend and mentor of mine reached out for some personal branding work, coincidentally around the same time I’d decided to raise my rates. Of course, my newfound confidence was immediately tested (God is petty like that). I drafted my proposal, included my new 4-figure monthly retainer rate at the bottom, and held my breath as I pressed send. A few days later she called to discuss the proposal, but never mentioned my monthly rate.
As she wrapped up the call, I pushed through the pit in my stomach and asked her about it.
“Oh! Um…did you see the proposed rate at the bottom? What are your thoughts?”
“Oh yeah I did; it looks good, in line with what I expected. Is PayPal okay? I can do two payments a month or one lump payment, whatever works for you! OkaythekidsandIaretakingtheboatoutfor4thofJulyI’lltalktoyoulaterhavefuninNewOrleans!”
I had been stressed about that rate, y'all. Nauseous. Anxious. And all she could think about was dropping the payment in my PayPal and hopping on a boat for the 4th of July. Her relationship with money was totally different from mine.
Since then, she’s been my go-to person for checking me on my ass-backwards views about money and fear of asking for what I deserve, even if it’s the industry standard. When we worked together on a major 3-month client project, I was content with accepting scraps for the sake of experience while she said “f*ck that,” and slapped the client with a $5,000/month price tag. I feared she’d lost us the account, but I quickly learned that people will pay for what they value. And if they say they truly value you, make them put their money where their mouth is. Needless to say, we got the account.
I have a great deal of friends who are Funemployed and while they’re excellent encouragers and motivators in other areas, only a select few can help me push beyond my comfort zone and change how I think about money.
FIND PEOPLE WHO AREN’T AFRAID OF MONEY. THEY’LL HELP YOU LOSE YOUR FEAR, TOO.
Drake was real nice and cute when he made the song about starting from the bottom, but the reality is, not everyone at the bottom has the vision to help raise you to the top. You have to understand their place in your life, and understand where their strengths lie.
Your creative friend might not be business-minded enough to understand the difference between “that’s too expensive” and “that’s the industry standard.”
Your Day One, ride-or-die friend might encourage you to give your services away for free in the name of “you do them a favor now, they’ll pay you for your services later.” (ProTip: People don’t value what they get for free. You give it for free now, they won’t want to pay later.)
Find people whose views of money differ from yours and people who will push you to feel entitled to the money you want to make.
Lastly, as your relationship with money changes, you’ll find that it’s easier to ask for more.
When I started Leap Innovative Group, I charged my very first client $100/month. Now, I’m drafting 4 & 5-figure proposals without flinching. It’s a gradual climb, but you have to be committed to climbing.
Jen Sincero used the example of climbing Mount Everest: you can’t start down at Base Camp and have your sights set at the top. You have to start at Base Camp and set your sights on Camp 1. Then Camp 2. Then 3, 4, …….and eventually you get to the summit.
Each Camp at Mt. Everest has a different altitude, so it takes time for your body to adjust. That’s why climbing Mt. Everest takes about 7-9 weeks. It’s a process, and each level is necessary. Trust your process. Raise your prices gradually, get used to saying your new rate out loud and charging clients more. Then, head to Camp 2 with your newest rate.
Last thing (I promise).
Make no mistakes—you will hear “No.” And maybe a lot at first. But “no" doesn’t mean you need to lower your prices, or that you’re batshit crazy for thinking anyone would dare pay that price. “No" doesn’t diminish your value.
"No" simply means they don’t want to pay it. That’s it. It’s either out of their budget, or not something they value enough to pay for. But it’s not an indictment of your worth.
The first time I confidently proposed $6,000/month, the client came back with “That’s way too high; that’s even higher than industry standard (it wasn’t). We’re willing to pay about half of that.”
I could’ve taken the $3,000, but what message would I be sending myself? Would my views of money have truly changed if I folded at the first sign of pushback? Am I letting others decide my worth, or am I setting my rate and standing firm?
I thanked him for his time, and respectfully declined. I was worth every penny, but he didn't value my services enough to pay what it costs. Or he didn’t have it in the budget. I’ll never know. I just know that I have to be willing to walk away from clients (and people) who don’t value me as much as I value myself.
Change your relationship with money. Change how you view it. Change what it means to you.
What you focus on, you create more of.
My Daily Affirmation.
"I am ABUNDANT in every GOOD way.
Money is mine to MAKE,
To EXPONENTIALLY MULTIPLY...
To GIVE, and
I use my ABUNDANCE to BLESS OTHERS.
I embrace ABUNDANCE and ABUNDANCE embraces ME."
-excerpt from The One Minute Millionaire
Perform an honest evaluation of yourself. Answer the question "I love money because..." and think about the "why" behind your want, need, and love of money. Are your intentions pure, or are they rooted in the superficial? Once you've written it down, find an affirmation (or 2) that you'll commit to saying daily. It can be the one I shared above, or another one you create. Keep the affirmation close to you and speak increase over your life every single day.
Until next week,
-Janna M. Hall