“Money is the root of all evils” is a well-known, but misquoted verse from the Bible.
“The love of money is the root of all evil” is the actual verse.
This of course refers to greed, the insatiable desire for more.
By itself, money is neutral. It’s our relationship with it that needs to be revised now that we run our small businesses. Our relationship with money reflects our values and priorities.
While greed is common, I’d like to address a different emotion connected with money management that most of online teachers and coaches face.
The emotion is fear, and in this post I’d like to explore a few areas that will help you start the journey towards overcoming your fear of money management in your online business.
I must give a disclaimer that we will never be able to get rid of our fears, but we need to learn to look at them differently, re-frame, not avoid them, and learn to conquer them as we grow into the business we’ve mapped out for ourselves.
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Step 1: Do what you can control.
Fear is the unpleasant emotional state consisting of psychological and psychophysiological responses to a real external threat or danger. Fear is common for animals and humans.
The fear I’m describing here though has little to do with the actual threat, but rather a perceived one. We are afraid not because there’s a hungry bear in front of us, but because we’ve imagined one and can’t move.
What are our imaginary “hungry bears” when it comes to money management?
- The business goes bankrupt
- There’s no money to pay oneself or the team.
- There’s no money to pay for overhead expenses.
- There’re no clients
- The engagement with whatever we do is low, so we’re losing business.
- There’re few/no sales.
The unhealthy response is to start worrying about those things until we can’t function. The irony is we can’t really do anything about these threats. This is all outside of our control.
The healthy response is to focus on what I can control. I can’t control my future clients’ money situation. I can’t control their budgets or priorities. I can’t control what happens in a given country that’s the source of my revenue (this is what happened with my first business, as I wrote here).
But I can control a few things:
- I can repackage my product and offer it again.
- I can follow-up on the former clients and check if they need help.
- I can write a newsletter and share what I know (those usually bring about sales even when I have no intention).
- I can engage with communities online and answer their questions (yes, for free)
- Instead of hoarding, I support a charity and encourage my followers to do the same (You should do it, too. You’ll feel great).
- Instead of waiting for a paid client, I can give free sessions, with no strings attached.
At the time when money anxiety seems to be taking over I choose to reflect on things I already have and the things I’ve achieved. Here’re some reflection questions for you.
Step 2: Set up boundaries.
The 1-people businesses are tricky because for the most part we treat ourselves as an employee, not an employer. But the thing is … we’re both. In fact, we’re more of an employer/business owner than an employee, and it means that:
- Our business vision takes precedence over our personal needs.
- Our business has a budget with set and variable expenses, and our own salary is just an item in the budget.
- Our business needs to grow, not just survive, and we need to invest time and money to learn, interact with people who have achieved what we want to achieve and discover the practices that will allow us to grow through difficult times.
So what does it mean in practical terms?
- Set up a separate business account
- Set up a separate paypal account
- Decide on the salary amount and pay the same amount consistently (start low).
- Develop a budget for your business.
- Know how much money it takes to run your business.
- Know the difference between overhead expenses, payroll expenses and investment.
I’ve prepared a sheet for you with business categories that you can use as a template for your business. You may not have all the categories yet, but you will have the major ones.
Step 3: Plan and Track.
Assessment shows us where we are. If we don’t know where we are, we can’t journey to the place we want to be.
That’s why we need to do 2 important things:
- Track our finances
- Plan our finances
Tracking shows us growth patterns that we can apply for planning. It also shows the products/services that are in demand so we work smarter and focus more of our efforts on that which works instead of coming up with something brand new.
The tracking is no longer as scary as it used to be thanks to the software you can use (with sexy and clickable charts and graphs, see below):
Here’s how I track my finances:
- I have a spreadsheet where I record daily sales (just for me).
- I have an account with QuickBooks Online that syncs my bank account and my paypal and records every transaction automatically (the link above is affiliate, and you’ll get a 30% discount for 6 months if you sign up).
- I use our Opted Out Planner to help me plan my month (i.e., decide what I want to focus on to make money each month, what launches and sales I want to run).
I like QuickBooks Online (aff) because it does something that would be a pain to do manually:
- Deduct paypal fees and record them as “fees,” not “income” (which means I don’t have to pay taxes on them).
- Automatically recognize and categorize similar recurring payments (like monthly dues and subscriptions)
- Create any report (cash flow, profit and loss, comparative reports)
- Make changes to a transaction by clicking on it
- Create gorgeous graphs that show you where your money is going.
Your action steps:
- Incorporate reflection and meditation into your daily practice. Fears should not run your life. Overcoming the imaginary threats is a mindset change that will lead to healthier money management. Download our reflection questions to reduce your stress levels.
- Join our Smart Teacher’s Library to get support and guidance for your business. You can’t do it alone, and the Library is an affordable expense for you.
- Create a separate “business” folder in your google drive, download and customize the following templates: a) business budget template; b) daily cash flow template.
- Our Opted Out Planner will help you with your money management, especially when it comes to deciding what to concentrate on (getting clients, selling products, programs or services).
- If you struggle to make money, here’re 2 amazing resources from our Library: a) Make your First $1k; b) How to Find Clients in 2 Weeks.
How do you deal with your money fears? Please share in the comments. Also, if you found this post helpful, would you please share it on your favorite social media?