In just a couple of days, we will be done with the year 2020 and hopefully any challenge it brought. But this year also brought a lot of lessons and gifts, to be honest. For me, it has been all about money. From finding a source of income, paying for school, paying for bills, etc. I have had to get creative and open my mind to possibilities. In the process, I have learned a lot about myself and money. By combining the teachings of my mentors and my own experiences, I have compiled 10 lessons about money that 2020 taught me.
1- START WITH THE END IN MIND
On my journey to improve my relationship with money, I came across a book recommended by my mentors, which taught a concept I think should be applied in every endeavor: starting with the end in mind. Applying it to wealth building is simple: decide the lifestyle you want to have, and work your way backwards. How much will your chosen lifestyle cost a year? How many weeks a year do you want to work? How many hours a month? What skills do you want to offer in exchange for the income you want to make? How much do you want to charge for those skills? And, if you don't have the skill yet, you can learn. There are many ways to learn new skills, but I digress.
2- YOU CONTROL HOW YOU UTILIZE YOUR TIME
You decide what you can handle, and believe it or not, you can handle more than you think. So, stop selling yourself short like I used to. Some people convinced me that having a job and running a business was going to ruin my life and I was going to regret it. Luckily, during the quarantine, I was confronted with situations that forced me to unlearn that. Quickly I adjusted my schedule to handle all of it, and that is when I learned that I could do more than I thought. Plus, it dawned on me that I was the one with the vision of thriving financially, and other people will never care about my vision more than I would. Furthermore, if I could handle multiple jobs for other people, I could certainly do the same for my dream.
3- MONEY or WEALTH IS NOT LIMITED BY GENDER, HEIGHT, AGE OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL CONSTRUCT
One of the parameters that affect our relationship with money is our upbringing and the beliefs they planted in us. Some of those beliefs for me were that a woman shouldn't pursue money aggressively because men didn't like ambitious women, and that talking about money was rude or indecent. You can imagine that I kept many of my dreams locked up in a far corner of my mind. But if those beliefs were true, women would not desire anything that requires money. But we do, don't we? Our hair, clothes, bodycare, healthcare, or independence requires money. And all we have to do to get it is to go after it. Money doesn’t care how society identifies or defines you; if you do the things required to attract it, money will come to your life and stay as long as all conditions are fulfilled.
4- THE MONEY GAME IS AN INFINITE GAME
I used to think that once someone loses money, their life will just keep going downhill. But that is not true. My mentor reminded me that if I can make $1, I can make $100 or $1,000,000. I have the "production capability" to make as much as I want. And, for that reason, a mistake that leads me to lose money is not the end of me. If I can make it, I can lose it. And if I can lose it, I can make it back. The game never ends.
5- IF YOU MAKE SPACE FOR MONEY, MONEY WILL FILL IT
The old me would get lost in my thoughts, and lose days , weeks and months. I would start a project and start doubting myself or get overwhelmed and quit. Thank God for my mentors. I learned that we don't fail because we are weak, but we fail because we don't have the right systems in place. So instead of letting my thoughts run my life, I started to design my days. The goal is to schedule time for money-making activities and be disciplined enough to protect those time slots. How you because more disciplined is a discussion for another time. Now, I schedule my "money time" and my fun time and I feel more in control.
6- IT IS OKAY TO GET HELP
For a long time, I thought I could depend only on myself. But this year , I learned to admit that I could not do everything all by myself. As smart as I am, I cannot be proficient in all disciplines. God made sure that no one person holds the knowledge of the entire world, and that is why we need one another. I learned to allow other people to help me and I realized that the way to grow businesses is through partnerships. The shocking part is that the more I opened up to help, the more help I received, whether it is in the form of knowledge, opportunities or cash.
7- IT IS MUCH MORE FUN TO MAKE MONEY USING YOUR UNIQUE TALENTS
I tried jobs that 'just pay the bills" and honestly it was torture. I realized that I was bringing to my workplace my frustration and sadness. My colleagues were decent people and they made it easier for me to be there. But it was not until I started to do something I was excited about that I felt joy. It might sound cliche but I could really see myself doing it for free. Now I can plan my finances around my "love" with a relaxed heart and no pressure to be someone or do something I don't want to
8- YOU ARE WORTHY OF MONEY AND ALL THE BLESSING IT BRINGS
Have you ever felt uncomfortable about asking for money? Even after you have completed a project? One of my negative beliefs surrounding money was that I would look needy and rude if I asked for payment after a job was done. Not really the best mindset if you are a freelancer or building a business. Even when I had a job, the walk to collect my paycheck always felt like a walk of shame. Luckily, I am putting that behind me: 2020 taught me that the skills I exchange for payment are actually values that I am adding to the world, and thee payment is the way the "world" adds value to my life.
9- YOU DECIDE YOUR WORTH
This year, I realized also that my work is worth more than what I was charging for it. Whether you are working as an employee or running your own business, your salary or prices are a reflection of how much you think you are worth. In other words, by accepting a measly pay, I am communicating that I don't think I am worth more. To take this a little further, the longer I stayed in that situation, the less confident I felt about my skills and ability to produce the life I dream of, and the less I wanted to share my skills. Now, the trick is to always offer as much value as you are being paid for and then some. So, if I ask for more money, I want to make sure that I deliver a lot of value too.
10- IF YOU KNOW SOMETHING, SHARE AND TEACH OTHERS
Every time I would hear someone share an information I already had, I would wonder why they were bothering with that. I thought since I could find the knowledge, everybody had access to it too. As if knowledge was in the air molecules. Then I realized that people came to my social media platform as much for the contents for the way I communicated. To me, it means that there are people out there waiting for me to share my knowledge the way only I can say it in order to "liberate" them. And, I learned that I can get paid for my knowledge.