Building Wealth Has Nothing To Do With Money

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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.