“Mom, do we have enough money to buy this?”
“This” was a $5 set of Pokemon cards. After sheepishly looking around Target to see who might have heard him, I grimaced at what I had been inadvertently teaching. Instead of my son asking, “How can I earn these cards?”, he asked, “Do we have enough?” The difference between the two questions is subtle, but significant. In the first question, the assumption is that money is a non-issue: it’s about HOW, an action that can be taken. The power is in action. The second question assumes that there is no action needed on the asker’s part; there either is or is not enough. The asker has no power.
Entrepreneurs do the same thing.
You may have watched Friend 1 join a direct sales company, ready to rocket to the top only to fail a few months later. You may have also seen Friend 2 join the same company and do well, perhaps even reach the top paying ranks for that same company.
What’s the difference between the two?
Friend 1 joins a direct sales business because she is short on money. This will help her pay off bills, own a fancy car, take a vacation. When someone joins her team, she talks of the money that this person will bring in. When she has a good sales day, she talks about the profits to anyone who will listen. Then, when the team is not selling enough, she feels like she has no power over the money she will make. (I have overheard, “If only my team would do something…” )
Friend 2 joins the same business and has stunning success. Her product is one part of her whole person. Maybe she sells essential oils, loves to talk on healthy living, and shares with others how to cook with whole foods. Or maybe her product, a cosmetics line, is part of her passion for the artistry of hair, fashion, and cosmetics. Whatever it is, people flock to her business because she isn’t “selling” anything. She is sharing from her heart. She posts educational information about her passion on her social media platforms. Her business is beautiful–and profitable–because she doesn’t worry about something so minor as how much one sale means to her paycheck; she instead wants people to make lifestyle changes that may or may not include her product. Money is a non-issue; it’s about HOW, an action that can be taken.
I’m your consumer, and I am watching you. Listening to you. Reading your Facebook posts. When you talk only about money, you will attract some…the ones that can’t see beyond that either. If you are stuck in the “money” part of your business, you will find that only those who also have money issues gravitate to you. I am not saying that it’s not important to feed your kids. It’s a great reason to start a business! But imagine that the bills are paid, the kids fed. You are comfortable. Are you still passionate enough about what you do to continue to do it, even if you won the lottery?
[tweetthis]Are you passionate enough about what you do to do it even if you won the lottery?[/tweetthis]
Because when you talk about your passion, I can see that, too. Whether you start a direct sales business, a restaurant, or a consulting firm, start it because you love it. Because cosmetics has been a passion since you were a child, or cooking for others comes so naturally for you, or helping others succeed brings you great joy (that’s mine!). If you start any of these ventures because of only the money you can earn, you will soon resent the business, dread working it, and, eventually, fail.
Ironically, knowing that it’s not about the money will often result in the abundance of money in your business.
Choose what you do from your interests. From your passion. From a “How can I?” perspective.
To your success.
My next post will be called “Raise Your Prices!” So, if it’s not about the money, how can I write such a post? Subscribe here to find out.
11 thoughts on “It’s Not About the Money”
Very insightful and thought provoking article. I loved the message of passion and helping others with similar interests. It’s so true!! I hope you envision sharing it broadly!!
Thank you for commenting! I hope everyone shares their own passions broadly. What a world we would live in if we all followed our true passions!
Great insight, Rebecca. While I can apply these principles to my own small business, what I found most fascinating was the personal application. I have recently been having a discussion with someone about the abdication of personal power (taken to the extreme of “I have no power therefore I must be rescued–perpetually”).
But, back to business. I’ve realized I could make a lot more money if I applied myself differently, but I also know my happiness won’t be found there. When I look at my more successful colleagues and friends, they are like you, working first from the heart. The tasks we dislike so much (and every job has them) become less miserable because the overall delight is there. Thanks so much for renewing my perspective this morning.
Thanks for sharing. When we abdicate our personal power, it’s a choice based in fear. We are afraid of failing/losing/hurting, but we create scenarios then that actually cause us to fail/lose/hurt again and again. Why? It’s a crazy comfort zone, but it is a comfort zone: “This is what I know (being rescued). This is what I am good at (being rescued). I am afraid of what might happen if I operate outside of this.” The sad truth is that anything is possible once we recognize our destructive patterns–and the break them. True power–and being our best selves–exists outside of the “way it has always been.”
You are right, every job has tasks that we dislike. Ideally, as we become more successful, we delegate those tasks to people who have a passion for, say, organizing. Then, it’s a win-win: we work within our powerful skill set, and someone else works within theirs! Until then, passion sees us through the menial tasks, which we know are a necessary part of living out our calling.
YES YES YES! It’s the difference between an abundance and a scarcity mindset…If we make business decisions out of fear, we’ll always appear desperate. If we make them out of trust and love, we’ll win…eventually.
Thanks for this; I needed the reminder today! 🙂
Trust and love for the win! Thanks for commenting!
This is applicable in so many ways. Even my ability to sing meaningfully in choir stems from my ability to place myself in the shoes of the composer, and the audience. The only way I can sing well and make my singing come aliveis to have a broad life experience. If I don’t, I may have a fantastic voice (which I really don’t), but people are fooled into thinking I sing well because I sing with meaning.
Love that–a broad life experience! That is truth. It is also truth that I cannot sing, but faked my way into a few musicals in high school (until the talent pool really caught up with my lack of talent!). I am sure, if you are in a choir, that you have an amazing talent. Singing is such a gift!
As I read this, I kept thinking about Brene Brown’s commentary on abundance vs. scarcity and how, when one perceives scarcity of the good things in every corner, one becomes grabby and fearful, but when one realizes that the universe abounds in resources and goodness, one can rest in that abundance and live with an open hand.
As a teacher, it’s always interesting to me to receive feedback from my students–usually the unsolicited variety–that reveals what they’ve gleaned rather than what I thought I was teaching or intended to teach. Those are very informative moments. 🙂
Thank you for this post! It’s always about the mindset, isn’t it?
I completely agree with you: it’s not about the money. My success in life has always been about loving a thing so much to do it without expectation of money. Seems the surest way to contentment and ironically, money too. Great post. Much enjoyed.
Fabulous insight, Rebecca. I love pondering “why” questions but especially anything related to passion and, dare I say it, calling. It makes such a difference when you can answer “Because I love what I do.”
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