…And if you’re like many of the business owners I know, you’re running around a little frantic, pinging between looking ahead and looking behind you. Sometimes in that momentum, we can get lost, or a smidge off-track.
Which is why this is the time of year I love to focus on the first step in the Zen Money Map process. Something I call financial clarity.
What does that mean?
Financial clarity is fancy talk for goal setting and recalibration. It’s all about getting hyper clear on what you want, where you want to go, and (hopefully) how to get there.
Here’s the deal: financial success starts with your thoughts. Specifically, how you’re thinking about where you want to go.
We can talk about money mindset all day long, but if we’re not also taking direct action, we can easily get lost.
Hence, my penchant for starting the new year off with dreaming & scheming. Because when we’re hyper clear on what we want to accomplish and why, it’s far easier to slay that bear brain or mind dragons or whatever you like to call those naysaying voices in your head!
I took a group of biz owners through my strategic planning process a few weeks ago and the very first step is to get intimately clear on not only your biz goals, but your personal, relationship & community goals, as well.
We do this by looking at what you want to change in your life – what you want to stop doing and what you want to replace that with.
And then…here’s the Zen Money part…we put a value to it, so you know what you’re really working towards.
Want to fully fund your IRA this year instead of ignoring it? Let’s make it a goal and tack on the dollar value and the intrinsic value to you!
Want to hire a new VA so you’re not underwater work-wise? Let’s see what that would look like in terms of dollars and benefit to your mental health!
Want to grow the kind of biz that can sponsor charities in your local community? Let’s figure out how much you can afford now and what it would take to really swing the big needle!
I know not everyone is excited about creating a plan of attack.
It works well for strategy nerds like me, but some people simply shut down when faced with this kind of work.
As Tony Robbins said, “Shame. Fear. Guilt. Power… These are just a few of the common emotions we associate with money. We have trained our brains to react to financial circumstances with those emotions. We make these choices unconsciously, and therefore we often select emotions that do not serve us in a productive way.”
And those emotions crop up the minute we start looking at our big financial goals. Inner voices start clamoring that we shouldn’t want what we want. That success is too hard or simply for other people. Or that we have to work ourselves into an early grave to achieve some level of “making it”.
It can be hard to step away from the money mindset noise.
Which is why I actually prefer to think about creating goals as dreaming. Because that’s really what we’re talking about here. We’re taking a minute to stop the swirl about what we think we should want, and we’re checking in to see what would really, truly light you up.
And then we put some specific targets to those ideas. Some of them won’t be accomplished this year, but once you list them out, you can begin laying the groundwork.
Some of them will be surprisingly easy wins.
I take my private clients through this exercise at least once a year (usually more, because they’re moving and shaking, and things change quickly), and the best part is how surprised people are when they drill down on the details.
Something as simple as committing to upgrading a software package for a couple of hundred dollars has brought astounding peace of mind and financial results for one person. Profits went up immediately because of increased efficiency.
Another found that her resistance to saving for her taxes melted away when she wrote down her dream of not feeling completely stressed come April. She simply made it happen because the act of acknowledging the worry and strain allowed her to deal with it a different way. Brand spanking new, positive habit created!
We all want to feel a little more in control and a little better about ourselves and our money situation.
Figuring out what excites us, then breaking that down to manageable tasks is a great way to start.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re someone who gets the warm fuzzies knowing you have money in the bank or you thrive on earning & spending, knowing where you want to go and having a few ideas on how to get there – aka clarity – can do wonders in upping your biz management game.
Ready to dive in for yourself? I just created a new self-paced seminar series taking you through the six steps of the Zen Money Map process. Get started here!
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Liz Lajoie, Zen Money Strategist & CFO
Liz Lajoie, the “Zen Money CFO”, helps entrepreneurs master their finances and grow thriving businesses that support their passions and advance their big missions.