Building Wealth Has Nothing To Do With Money

During a recent dinner out with my fellow speaker and copywriter buddy Maureen, the subject of money came up. 

I said to her, “Did you know that most people have a money set point?” She replied with a question in her voice, “We do? What is a money set point?”

I went on to say that your money set point is the amount of money you believe you deserve to earn or to make. Interestingly enough– it doesn’t matter if you’re a regular Joe or Joann working a 9 to 5 job or a seasoned business owner– we all have them. Let’s be clear– this isn’t a conscious decision. This limitation resides in our subconscious mind.

It’s not like we go around with a bubble over our heads– that screams “ HEY! I only believe that I am worth $100 for my services.” Or I only deserve to make $40,000 per year.

What’s interesting to note is that our money set-point is usually determined by what we see in our childhood or learn from our parents.

Can you remember your first “money” conversation? How did that conversation shape your experience with money? Did it take you to a place of lack or abundance? Did you tie your worth to that amount of money? What unspoken lessons did you learn around money and its value?

For as long as I can remember, my money set-point was $50,000. That’s because growing up I would hear my parents say, “ If you make $50,000, you can live high off the hog.” or “Man you’re making $50K, you are in there like swimwear.” (Hey– don’t judge my family has colorful sayings)

Having grown up hearing them say that, my value was tied to $50K. Having “arrived” meant earning 50K.

My very first job out of college, I made $46,500. For the life of me, I couldn’t get pass that elusive $50K mark.

Not soon after– I lost that job. And it would take me years to get back to anything close to that level. In retrospect, I’m not sure that I believed I deserved to earn that amount.

There is a book called, the Energy of Money. In the book, the author recounts her first “money” experience. She was 7 years old and her Uncle came over to visit. During his visit, he was telling his family about a new job. With a curious and inquisitive tone, the author asked, “Well, Uncle, how much do you make at this job?”

A hush fell over the room. She’d crossed a taboo line that she wasn’t aware existed. Before another word could be uttered, the author’s mother swooped in like an eagle pouncing on prey and said, “Oh, we don’t talk about those kind of things at the dinner table, dear. That isn’t polite.”

Polite. Polite? What does being polite have to do with money?  That was her first introduction to money. It was already a taboo subject.

Money is energy. Plain and simple. The actual paper that it’s printed on is worthless. It’s the value that we attach to it that makes it worth something.

What’s interesting is how we tie our worth to money. For many, the amount of money someone earns is automatically tied to their worth as a person.

We all have limiting beliefs around money that hold us back. Inner limitations that keep us stuck.

For example, My friend Mary can tie her “stuck” point back to childhood. When she was a little girl, her Dad worked a W-2 gig. In the evenings, he had a side handyman business, repairing odds and ends for people around the neighborhood. Mary came from a big family and she was the youngest and only girl. Often times, she would tag along with her Dad as he completed the side jobs. He offered hired Mary and her brothers as his gophers. They were responsible for carrying tools, setting up and cleaning up the site. He said to Mary and her brothers, “I will pay you 10 cents per hour for your work, and you must complete and turn in a time card in order to get paid.” Each time Mary would meticulously complete her time card outlining her duties and the amount of hours that she worked. And each time her father would “forget” to pay her. Yet, each time that one of her brothers went out he always remembered to pay them. This series of events shaped the way that Mary viewed money.

She felt that, as a woman, her time was not valued and she didn’t deserve to be paid. In her eyes, men were viewed as superior and their work, time, and efforts were more highly regarded. This subconscious belief worked in the background. She wasn’t aware of these beliefs until she saw the same patterns showing up in other places.

Mary owns a successful business. But it wasn’t always this way.

As a business owner, she had to really work on getting past this set-point. This mentality about her worth and value around money spilled over into her business. She would invoice clients and never receive payment. She never followed up. She wasn’t charging what she was truly worth and essentially would accept whatever people would give her.

Once she started working on inner talk around money things started to shift in her life and business in a BIG and positive way. She started working with more clients. She’d confidently give the price of her services without a sheepish look of anxiety. She learned how to unapologetically demand that she be paid for what she is worth.

Do you struggle in this area? Here is one tip to get you over that money set-point hump.

Start a new practice each day of spending 5-10 minutes just imagining how it would feel to earn a bigger income and have a bigger savings account. Keep increasing the amounts every couple of weeks. Within a few weeks. you should notice that you’re feeling much more comfortable with the idea of larger sums of money – to the point where they even seem quite small!

And over time you should notice that your own income and/or savings start increasing along with your money set-point. Again, it’s a gradual process, so take your time and enjoy it rather than trying to hurry anything to happen.

Keep me posted. I am always eager to hear how my tips are working for you. Comment below.

Are You Valuing Yourself?

Are you honoring your time, talents and skills?

It had been a crazy weekend. It seemed like Sunday came quicker than I expected. Like usual, I’d been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. When things finally settled down, I realized the very next day I’d be on TV as a member of the “What’s The Buzz?” panel on “Live In the D”.

“Ugh,” I thought to myself, “My hair is a hot mess. I can’t go on TV looking like this.” What made matters worse is that I completely forgot to schedule a hair appointment. So, I reached out to my hairdresser, only to find out that she was out of town. I was between a rock and a hard place.

I mentally when through my rolodex (okay, my contacts in my iPhone) and started to reach out to people who could help me out of this bind. Desperation set in.Things were looking bleak. I thought I’d have to cancel my appearance on the show or wear a clown wig.

After a few frustrating calls, Tara agreed to help out on short notice. A sense of relief rushed over my body.

I was beyond thankful for her ability to step-up at the last moment. When I got her on on the phone, I asked the usually run down of questions pertaining to the appointment. Where is your salon? She offered to come to my home. Yay for me! How much do you charge? She said, “$25.00. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “ That is super cheap. I usually pay almost double that.”

She arrived at my home promptly and was super friendly. She offered tips on how to keep my hair nice and healthy and even threw in a trim for free.

As she wrapped up my hair appointment, I asked her the fee just to confirm what she told me over the phone. She said with hesitation, “It’s $25– but I normally charge $35 but you only have to give me $25.” “Huh?” I replied, “I am so confused. Why would you quote me one price, when what you normally charge is something different?”

She said sheepishly, “ I didn’t want you to say ”No” and not hire me.”

I almost flipped my lid!

I couldn’t help myself, I went into coaching mode. I asked, “Why are you undervaluing yourself? Your price is your price. If people can’t respect that, they are not the customers for you. You have to believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities. If you don’t have confidence in the service you provide, then who will? Screw what anyone else thinks.”

I went on to say, I asked you at the last minute to come perform a service that I wouldn’t attempt to do myself. You offered to come over my house and you provided education how to keep my hair healthy. The least I could do is pay you what you’re worth.

I paid Tara the $35 plus I tipped her.

Surprisingly, this is not an uncommon situation. In my coaching practice, I find that so many people, women especially, don’t charge what they are worth. I think it comes from a fear of rejection, people pleasing, and in some cases just plain lack of knowledge.

Here are some tips if you find yourself in a situation similar to Tara or me:

Back-Up Plan: Always have a backup hair-dresser. I’m teasing but on a serious note. Think about the importance of having people in your network who you can call on in a bind.You never know when a circumstance will arise when you will need to call on them.

Know Your Worth:  Quote your price with confidence. Price yourself accordingly. Practice your pitch with a trusted friend, mentor, or advisor. It’s extremely important that you come across with confidence. In most cases, price is relative. It’s all about how you present yourself.

Say It Out loud:  Things can sound differently in your head. I encourage you to practice your pitch out loud. Here what your voice sounds like when you give your price. Does your voice shake? Do you rush through the pitch? Do you sound like you know what you’re talking about? Are you justifying the price? Typically, if you have to explain why something is priced at a certain amount, you’re indicating to the buyer that you’re unsure or doubt might set in. Give your price and shut-up.

I’m happy to say that Tara is now charging appropriately for her services. She has no qualms about quoting her price with confidence. She honors her business and her clients respect her for it. Her business is thriving and she has learned to place some boundaries in her life and business.

Have you had a situation similar to Tara’s? How did you get over that hump? Share your thoughts below.

3 Reasons You Should Start a Mastermind Group

Wow! It’s been a whirlwind week!

I am just coming back from a jam-packed weekend in San Francisco, California, where I attended the National Speakers Association’s Winter Conference. The focus of the conference was Business Symposium — pulling together 4 foundational pillars of a successful business: Legal, Finance, Operational, and Marketing. To say the least, my brain is full. Content is coming out of my ears.

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get a bit overwhelmed from everything I learn at conferences. Overwhelmed to the point where much of the good ideas that I want to implement never go beyond what’s written in my notebook.

This happens to me over and over again. So this year, I decided to change that with the help of my magnificent mastermind group. If you’re not familiar, a business mastermind group is designed to help you navigate through business challenges using the collective intelligence of others. Napoleon Hill introduced masterminds in his book, “Think and Grow Rich”.

Me and two of my master buddies at the NSA Winter Conference last week.

How does the mastermind concept work? A small group of like-minded people meet weekly, monthly or quarterly, whatever works best for the group. They work to support each other, tackle challenges and overcome problems. They provide direction and advice to enhance each other’s businesses.

My mastermind group met right after the conference. We wanted to continue the momentum from the conference– chat about our takeaways and create a level of accountability for the things we want to take action on following the conference.

This can be a game changer for you and your business. I know that it has been for me. I encourage you to consider starting your own mastermind. Here are the three things you will miss if you don’t have a mastermind.

Collaboration and Connection
Entrepreneurship is often a lonely endeavor. A mastermind group provides a forum for you to bounce ideas off other folks who might have experienced a similar struggle. They can offer perspective and insights on your situation. Sometimes we are so close to our business that we can’t see some obvious changes to adjustments that can take us to the next level.

Accountability For Your Goals
Your mastermind buddies want to see you be successful. Part of helping you achieve that success is holding you accountable for what you say you want to accomplish. A good practice is to do a roundtable at the end of each mastermind session focused on the actions you will take before your next meeting. For me, this has been an important benefit of being in a mastermind group. Typically, I only commit to what I know that I can accomplish in between sessions. I don’t want to be the only person during our next meeting that hasn’t achieved my goals from the previous session.

Expand Your Skills
Everyone in a mastermind group is unique in skill, experience and connections. Everyone is an expert at something and as you interact with each other you will always be picking up new skills and talents, working towards a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.

Connect with your business buddies, association colleagues or work pals to develop a mastermind group. Choose people you trust. Pick people based upon a skill-set you may lack or are weak in. Commit to a meeting at a designated time each week, fortnight, month or quarter. Mastermind your way to success!

Leave your comment below on your experience with masterminds.

Top 5 Business Networking Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s all about love. That is why I am spreading the love today.  My friend and colleague, the amazing Greg Peters, of the Reluctant Networker, is providing the guest blog today. Greg is a savvy networking expert and shares his 5 top business networking tips. You don’t want to miss this. 

Top Five Business Networking Tips

More than two decades ago I decided to start my own business as a Web developer. Yes, I decided to become…

…an Entrepreneur!

What I rapidly learned was aggressively waiting by the phone wasn’t sufficient to make it ring. I had to get off my chair and do some prospecting. The way I saw it, I had three options.

First, I could advertise. That seemed expensive. Skip it.

Second, I could make cold calls. I’m not big on rejection. I’ll pass.

I heard that networking was a pretty good way to go, so I thought I would give it a shot. Then, much to my shock, I discovered that my years of experience as a computer programmer hadn’t really prepared me with tremendous social skills.

Fortunately, I had some great teachers to point me in the right direction. I persisted through my early failures and finally found success in my first entrepreneurial adventures. So you don’t have to go through that same process of trial and error, here are 5 tips and tactics on creating your own entrepreneurial success through networking.

    1. Just do it. With due apologies to Nike’s marketing division, networking is not a spectator sport. You must be present to win. Email is a great support tool, as is social media in its various flavors. At its base, through, networking is meeting other people face-to-face. Get out there, shake some hands and say hello. If they don’t see you, they won’t know you.
    2. Leave your sales hat at the office. I know you are trying to grow your business. You need cash flow which means you need customers. This is not the time for that. The strength of networking is in developing strong relationships. Your connections are the ones who will find opportunities for you.
    3. Make it about them. You can’t make friends if all you are doing is talking about yourself — and networking is essentially making friends on purpose. Be interested. Be curious. Be fascinated. Ask questions not only to find out about them, but to discover how you can be of service.
    4. Follow-Up. Meeting new people is great, but not enough. Exchanging business cards is wonderful, but not enough. 95% of networkers fail at this step. They don’t follow up with those they meet. You can’t “aggressively wait” for them to reach out to you. If the person you met seems like a good connection, then you must reach out to them.
    5. Know what you need. What will you say when a networking partner asks, “How can I help you?”. Will you know what you need? Can you tell them in a way that allows them to help? Do you need customers? Can you describe them clearly? Do you need employees? With what skill sets? Are you looking for strategic partners? In which industries? Your network can do so much more than simply provide you with customers. Make sure you keep them in mind for any need you might have.

Entrepreneurs often get caught up in the “do it yourself” mindset. After all, if you wanted to depend on other people, you could still be simply an employee, right? To be successful, though, in any endeavor, you must have a team to support you. Employees, vendors, customers, mentors, coaches — without them our achievements will be inconsistent at best.

And that is what your networking is all about.

After twenty years of building powerful professional connections to support his own businesses, Greg Peters now works with other “Reluctant Networkers” in the financial, credit union, and banking industries. http://TheReluctantNetworker.com

The Secret to Creating a Powerful Vision Board

New Year, New You

January is a great time to get keenly focused on how to take your business to the next level–a time to reflect on your progress from the previous year and plan how you want your business to develop and succeed in the coming year.  To help achieve that goal, why not try Vision Boards, a fun and easy way to set you up for success?

 

What Is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a collection of images, pictures, words, and phrases that depict what you want to be, do, or have most. They are also referred to as treasure maps, creativity collages, dream boards, etc. Regardless of what you call it, a vision board provides a visual pathway to achieve your goals, get the most out of your life, and transform your business. Your vision board aids you in creating intention.

 

By surrounding yourself with pictures of who you want to become, what you want to have, and where you’d like to go, your life changes to match those images and desires.

 

A vision board allows you to get laser focused on a clear, compelling vision—creating an understanding of key priorities.

 

It’s so much more than plastering pictures from your favorite travel magazine onto a board— the process of creating a vision board gives you focused time and energy to reflect on specific elements, items, clients, situations, experiences, people that you want to attract in your present and future. It’s only when we are clear about what we want that we can move in the appropriate direction to fulfill our dreams.

 

There are countless people in the world who have used vision boards as a gateway to achieve massive success in their lives and business including, Oprah Winfrey, author and media mogul Steve Harvey,  actor Jim Carrey, Sara Blakey (founder of Spanx), superstar Lady Gaga, and famed athlete Muhammad Ali. These folks from all different walks of life, businesses, and disciplines have used the power of setting intention to usher in their success whether to achieve personal success or for business success

 

Having a vision board helps provide you direction.  You wouldn’t dream of jumping in your vehicle and driving without a destination in mind—you shouldn’t run your business without a clearly mapped out end result in mind.

 

Why Do Vision Boards work?

Instead of just thinking positively– wishing, hoping and thinking about the future—vision boards allow you to craft the visions of your goals and dreams today.  They enable you to create your future in a deliberative, intuitive fashion, working from the inside out, not the outside in. You are crafting from your own inspiration instead of the desires and motivations of others.

 

When your vision for your business is clear—your results will appear!

 

Visualization Is Proven To Work:

Top peak performance athletes have used the concept of visualization for success for years. According to Psychology Today, a study was conducted looking at the brain patterns of weightlifters.   The results found that the same synaptic connections were created when weightlifters physically lifted hundreds of pounds compared to their counterparts who only imagined (visualized) that they were lifting.

 

If you can see it in your mind’s eye—you can hold it in your hands.

 

Steps To Create A Business Vision Board That Rocks! (or Works)

There is only one rule when creating your vision board: There aren’t any rules! You create a vision board on your terms. You are literally using images and phrases to craft and mold the vision you have for your business.

 

There is no right or wrong way to make a vision board. The key is the believe you have in the items that you place on the board.

 

Here are some helpful guidelines on how to create your vision board masterpiece:

 

  • Create Your Personal Vision Statement:
    Before you clip out one magazine image or search on Google Images for that perfect picture, compose your personal vision statement. Your personal vision statement is designed to help you get more intentional about your direction and serves as a tool to help you focus on what’s important.  Answering the following questions will get you moving in the right direction:

– What are my greatest strengths/abilities/traits/things I do best?
– When am I at my best?
– What are at least three things I can start doing/more often that use my strengths and bring me joy?
– Where do I “SEE” my business in the next five years? (Use “I am” statements, instead of “I will”; it’s more powerful.)
– What power words best describe the future me?

 

  • Decide On The Type of Board You Will Make
    General Board
    Do you want to achieve general success in your business?  What do you want your business to be? What images represent that vision? Is it you standing on a stage in front of thousands or working one-on-one in a coaching relationship?

    Theme Board
    Do you have a special project coming up that could benefit from some specific attention? Do you want to focus on a certain area in your business (e.g. sales, marketing, keynotes, coaching clients, or product creation)?
  • Sift and Sort
    Go through the magazines and clip images and words that really speak to you. Have fun with it; don’t question why the picture is speaking you, just go with it. The goal is to get a big pile of pictures to choose from.  Next, start laying the pictures out on your board and arranging them. Discard any images that no longer resonate with you. Wait until you like the placement of all the images before gluing the items. You might want to designate each corner of the board with a different theme around it: one corner might be health, while the other corner might focus on future travel.
  • Clear out The Beliefs That Aren’t Serving You
    Is there a mindset shift that you need to make around your business?  Wishing or hoping for something is not enough. What habits or thoughts do you have that aren’t in alignment with your business and personal success? Examine the goals and dreams that you have put together and ask,” What beliefs do I need to have in place to support these visions coming true?” Address the fear. Dance with it. Then, push past it.
  • Buy Your Supplies
    Purchase a large poster board or core foam board (Target has a great matte finish 14 x21 board). Pick up some of your favorite magazines– choose magazines that are likely to contain images, quotes, inspirational phrases, etc. that will support your personal vision statement.
  • Set Yourself Up For Success
    Set the mood for your creativity to take shape. You may want to invite some like-minded friends or colleagues over to join in on the fun. Throw on your favorite soft soothing music, such as the Calm Mediation channel on Pandora or Liquid Music. Clear a space that will allow you to work and spread out.
  • Place It Where You Can See It Daily
    This is extremely important! A common mistake that people often make is not putting their board in a place where they can see it daily. Make sure you put it in a place where it will be a daily reminder of the goals and intentions you have set such as in your office, bedroom, or even the bathroom.
  • Celebrate
    As you see the reality of what you’ve depicted on your board, start to take inventory and get excited about it. Maybe you just signed on a new client or you received a prospect that might lead to a keynote opportunity. Whatever it happens to be, take note of the serendipitous moments—they likely are the result of the focus you put on your board. Continue to expand your focus on the things that matter most to you personally and professionally.
  • Affirm Your Vision
    Affirmations are positive powerful specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. Affirmations help you visualize and believe in what you’re capable of achieving and help you make positive changes to your life and business. They can anchor and support what you’ve placed on your vision board. It’s important to keep affirmations in the present tense and positive.  Here are a few affirmations to get you started:
    – 
    I am running a successful business which brings me financial freedom.
    – Good paying clients come to me easily and frequently.
    – I have more business than I know what to do with.
    – I attract success with all of my ideas.
    – Success and good fortune flow toward me in great abundance.
    – I am a person who people seek out personally and professionally.

(Check out media.visionboardparty.net/80Affirmations.pdf for more affirmations.)

Oprah once said, “Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”

Set that vision for your business in the coming weeks.

Challenge yourself to create a vision board for 2017 and see your success bloom!

Why New Years Resolutions Fail…How To Make Them Stick


Let me first say, I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. There, I said it. Now that I have that off my chest, I can move on.  New Year’s Resolutions simply don’t work.

The term “New Year’s Resolution” leaves a bad taste in most people’s mouths. It’s a trigger term for a lot of people who know the stats, 50 to 80 percent of people who set them will not achieve their desired outcome.

Many sociologists and psychologists conclude that New Year’s resolutions fail for a number of reasons. Based on my research, here are the reasons MOST people fail:

  • They set far too many goals that are too massive and too widespread.
  • It’s not something they really WANT to do. It feels more like a chore than positive change.
  • They underestimate the amount of time it takes to form new healthy habits. Let me tell you folks, it’s not the 21 days you hear about in popular culture. Forming a habit takes more work than that.
  • They don’t build up to the resolution. They make the decision in a vacuum. They haven’t made space for it to happen.
  • They create empty “positive affirmations” without digging into the problem that got them where they are in the first place. As Gabby Bernstein, author of “The Universe Has Your Back” says, people want to place affirmations on top of bullshit that they haven’t worked through yet.

Most people backslide after a few weeks. By the time that February rolls around, they are saying “What diet?” or “What resolution?.”  Since resolutions have such a bad connotation—I believe in setting intentions. Intentions are more powerful than resolutions.

Here are 11 ways to set powerful intentions and to get your new year off to a great start:

  1. Focus on one or two intentions at a time rather than several.
    It’s easier to manage one or two goals rather than a boat load of them!
  2. Get Clear and Get Specific. 
    Making more money or getting out of debt is not a specific goal. Increasing my business revenue by 10% by March 31 would be. Or paying off my lowest credit card by June is a step in the right direction.
  3. Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve to set intentions. 
    Break your goal into 90 day chunks. 90 days is enough time to see some progress but short enough to keep you motivated.
  4. Take bite size steps.
    The average person quits because the goal is too big requiring too big a step all at once;
  5. Sprinkle in some accountability. 
    Entice a friend to help you with this journey. Bring in someone close that you have to report to on your progress. Schedule daily or weekly check-ins.
  6. Celebrate small wins
    Did you go a week without having sweets? Did you make it to the gym for 5 days in a row? Rejoice over your success between milestones. Acknowledge when you had a really great day or moment in time.  Stop waiting until a goal is complete to celebrate.
  7. Live in the moment
    Sometimes we get so caught up in how audacious a goal appears to be. Focus on what you can do today, right now to get you closer to your goal.
  8. Shift your thinking.
    Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits.
  9. Practice mindfulness.
    Become emotionally, physically, and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future.
  10. Be kind To yourself.
    Mis-steps and slip-ups happen. Don’t dwell on the negative or beat yourself up. Give yourself permission to be human. Remember there is always tomorrow and you can always get yourself back on track.
  11. Meditate. Creating a meditation practice offers clarity and brings a higher level of consciousness. This will allow you to stay in tune with your goals.

What do you personally do to help you stay on track with your New Year’s Resolutions? Share your suggestions in the comments below.