Want To Be Good With Money? Practice!

March 1, 2018

“I’m not good with money,”

 

That was my client’s go-to line for explaining away anything that involved negative cash flow.

 

It was used to explain why she continued to struggle to pay her bills, max out her credit cards, and draw excessively from her now two lines of credit.

 

It was also used to explain why she sold her home in order to continue having money to operate her business.

 

By the way, my heart sank when I learned about her home. 

 

How did that happen? 

 

Was there really no other way?

 

She’s been in business for 11 years, so experience should have been on her side, right?

 

She has budgeting and accounting software. She has a life coach, business coach, fitness coach, and, recently, me as her financial coach and accountant. 

 

She listens to the Dave Ramsey show, has fallen in love with Profit First, and quotes Suze Orman often.     

 

Yet she still struggles to have cash to operate her business.

 

Sadly, her situation is not unique. 

 

Most small businesses struggle financially, even the $25 million ones. 

 

Yes, according to the Small Business Administration, $25 million in sales is still considered to be a small business! Who knew? ...I didn't.

 

Back on topic…

Selling assets, such as a home or car, to raise funds is also not unique.

 

But there are so many money hacks, tips, and tricks out there. 

 

There’s an abundance of software, podcasts, blogs, and YouTube videos that teach or speak about money management.

 

There are books like Think and Grow Rich and I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

 

And then there are the financial coaches, consultants, and gurus like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman.

 

All of the above have been proven to help businesses and individuals produce financial success time and time again.

 

… and yet, despite the tips, tricks, and hacks, many small businesses still struggle with the management of money.

 

With struggle often comes blame.

 

My client blamed the economy. She also put the blame on slow paying clients, the ex-husband for skipping child support, her assistant for forgetting to organize her receipts, and the downturn in the economy.

 

Perhaps some of you can identify with this. I know I can because I was once in my client’s shoes. 

 

Despite my accounting background, I was once terrible with managing my own money.

 

No, I was horrible with managing my own money.

 

I used to think one had to be born into money in order to be “good” with managing it. If it wasn’t birth, then surely luck played a role, and I never considered myself to be lucky.

 

And yes, I too blamed the economy.  

 

I blamed the banks for taking advantage of the “little guy” with their fees. I also blamed my boss, parents, gender, and my race. 

 

It was always someone else’s fault.

 

Here’s a fact: No one is born being "good" at any anything. However, you can always learn to be “good” at something. 

 

Start with these two ways:

  1. Change your mindset.

  2. Practice. 

 

 

The picture above is an example of how one does not just become "good" at something without shifting the mindset and good, old-fashioned practice. 

 

As an FYI, I’m a bit of a yogi. 

 

While the left and right photos are different, each represents the same pose. The pose is called Pincha Mayurasana.

 

In plain English, it’s balancing on your forearms.

 

The photo on the left shows the first time I managed to balance on my forearms.  

 

I thought because I was “fit” or “in shape” the pose would be super easy for me to get into. Well, I balanced for literally one second before crashing face first onto the floor.  

 

By the way, face planting does wonders for erasing arrogance.

 

But the process of erasing included having excuses for my inability to balance.

 

I blamed genetics. It was also my yoga mat’s fault because it was slippery. 

 

Oh, at the time I was 32, therefore I blamed age because “old” people are not supposed to do stuff like balance on their forearms. That’s for kids!

 

Fours years would pass before I would attempt the pose again.

 

In 2016, I changed my mindset. 

 

I wanted to be able balance on my forearms, let alone be “good” at it. Therefore, I shelved the excuses and committed to practicing.

 

I added it to my yoga routine and practiced multiple times a week, which eventually morphed into a frequency of daily.

 

I took pictures of my progress and studied my form while journaling how I felt. I also took to Instagram and Google to look at other yogis in the pose and take note of their alignment. 

 

When I fell, I made sure I understood why. Eventually I learned how to “fall” properly. 

 

I read articles, attended workshops, and received tips from strangers and friends.  Most important, I had incorporated all I had learned into my practice.

 

As my balance improved, I started to ask “better” questions, which led to more detailed answers, which further increased my ability and stability of balance. My research on the subject even improved. 

 

The result?  

 

I became “good” at Pincha Mayurasana.

 

Recalling my journey with a yoga pose also helped me to become “good” with money. 

 

I changed my mindset and practiced. 

 

And guess, what? I still practice everyday.

 

The same can happen for you! You too can become “good” with money…or sales…or playing the guitar…or anything you want, really.

 

Think of something you are "good" at and recall the journey of getting to that point.  Use that journey for inspiration.

 

And stop with the negative talk. Stop blaming the economy or your significant other or your life. Instead, change your mindset. Then practice. And fall. Yes, fall or face plant, like I did. Then get up, understand why you fell, and practice again. With practice you’ll get better.

 

Much better.

 

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