“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~James Allen
I was one of those who used to say, “Money isn’t taboo for me! Not in a million years!” That’s until I became aware of the knot in my stomach during a phone conversation with a potential business partner.
I intended to explain how I award commissions for client referrals.
“Well,” I said, “I offer a…gift to friends and colleagues who refer potential clients to me.”
“A gift?” he asked on the other side of the line.
“The gift is…uh…” My mind searched in vain for a synonym of “commission.” I cringed as the word left my mouth.
I realized that wasn’t the first time I had felt my stomach clench during money-related conversations. I had experienced a similar feeling at the time to discuss my fees, or even at the time to bill current clients.
That’s when it really hit me. I was uncomfortable talking about money.
I was taught it was “bad manners” to ask people how much money they earned or how much they paid for something.
When I was growing up, focusing on wealth or having a large fortune was also negatively seen. You might have been raised in a similar environment. “Filthy rich” is cliché for a reason…
And this money taboo can cause big problems.
Why? Because the result of the subconscious messages you’ve received about what is and isn’t socially unacceptable might be driving you away from the income you need to care for yourself and those around you.
You might be subconsciously choosing to be underpaid for what you do.
Unknowingly, you might be devaluing your contribution to the world, and by doing so, struggling to make ends meet. On top of that, the financial strain you experience might be preventing you from helping others as much as you would like to.
Do you tend to:
- Avoid talking about how much you charge until you absolutely have to?
- Avoid revealing how much money you make?
- Dread asking for a raise?
If you can relate to any of those situations, it’s time for you to stop the subconscious money taboo. The five steps below helped me, and they might help you, too.
Perform a value inventory.
Money flows were value resides. It’s as simple as that. To feel that it’s okay for you to make money, you must feel that you’re delivering value.
I felt a positive shift in my attitude toward money when I listed everything I do for those around me. The list also helped me realize I needed to make changes to some of my offerings so they would be more valuable.
Starting today, create an inventory of the ways you contribute your skills and abilities to the world. Go beyond listing projects or services. Instead, ask yourself, “What results do I get for people? How is the planet a better place because of me?”
If you conclude that you’re not delivering a lot of value, it’s time to change what you offer.
You’ll be able to create massive value when you design a comprehensive solution to address a problem or meet a need.
Assess your confidence level.
Here is a question I always ask myself before I spend time and effort creating and selling new programs: “Would I buy this?”
My answer must be yes before I start to work.
Doubt is a clear sign that either your offer isn’t as good as it could be or you’re lacking self-confidence.
Set aside some time to closely study your daily work. If you conclude that you deliver true value but still feel as though you wouldn’t pay for it, then you’ll know it’s time to do some inner work to quiet your negative inner voice.
Any time a defeatist thought pops up in your mind, replace it with a thought that feels slightly better. For example, instead of saying, “I will never be able to pull this off,” proclaim, “I have a small chance to succeed.”
This inner work might take some time. Be patient.
It’s only when you feel confident about your contribution that you’ll be able to open the door to a higher income.
Rehearse money conversations.
One of the first public speaking tips that I learned in Toastmasters is, “Practice, practice, practice!” I decided to apply this tactic to master the skill of talking about money.
Stand in front of the mirror and rehearse the conversation you would have with your manager or a customer. First, clearly state the value you deliver, and then communicate how much money you deserve for your contribution.
The first few times you do this might feel uncomfortable or even silly. Keep going.
In time, money conversations will become natural to you, and when people sense how natural the money talk feels to you, they will relax and be more willing to say yes to your proposal.
Test money conversations.
It’s time to test your new money conversation skills. Don’t lose hope if the first few times you ask for payment/more money aren’t perfect.
I still felt slightly uncomfortable during my next commission conversation, but I got through it! This motivated me to continue testing and practicing.
What matters most is that you learn from your mistakes. Make tweaks to your delivery until you see the results you desire.
And remember, not everyone will say yes. You will be rejected, but you can turn rejections into useful feedback for the future.
If possible, ask the people who rejected you what you could have done better. Ask what else you could offer to help them say yes, and take prompt action.
Celebrate your success.
If you focus on what you’ve done right, you’ll feel empowered to continue on your road to financial success.
Share your accomplishments with close friends and family. Treat yourself to your favorite activity to celebrate.
With the right focus and positive attitude, you’ll see how success builds upon success.
And remember, the more value you deliver, the more money will be available to you, and the larger impact you will be able to make in the world.
In the comments section below, tell me what kind of value you deliver to those around you. This is the first step to attract more money into your life so that you can take care of yourself and make a difference in the world.
Money taboo image via Shutterstock