By Molly Gordon
It’s the time of year when we traditionally think about the past 12 months and look to the future.
Time to review what worked and didn’t work about 2011 and to plan for 2012.
Time for Accidental Entrepreneurs to be clear and specific about lots of things, including money.
Because money matters, even–or especially–when you don’t want your work to be about the money.
Money, or the lack of it, affects your confidence.
Money determines how much you can invest in yourself and your work.
Finally, if you exist in a money fog, it’s hard to navigate everything from pricing to equipment purchases to paying taxes.
That’s stressful and distracting.
So money matters.
Making money is a creative act
You may not have thought about it this way, but making money is a creative act, like making cookies, a sweater, or a painting.
Making money involves starting with raw materials (your knowledge, skills, passion, experience) and transforming them into income through the medium of serving others.
Creating begins with a vision
Creating money begins with defining specific financial goals. When you establish goals, you declare to your conscious and unconscious mind that you intend to create that result.
Setting financial goals is an inside and outside job
Setting and reaching financial goals requires inner and outer work.
The inner work includes aligning your goals with your values, dreams, and self-concept. That means setting goals that are meaningful.
It means working on your money issues. (And hello, who doesn’t have money issues?)
I’m betting you know or can guess quite a bit about the issues keeping you from setting and reaching juicy financial goals.
(Can it be okay with you to have a juicy financial goal?)
But you may have become resigned or complacent about those issues. You may be so used to having them around that you’re not gently and persistently unraveling them.
Inner work takes form in outer work
Actually, there’s only one kind of work: the work of being self-aware, self-realized, and self-actuating. You wake up (or you don’t) and you take one humble action at a time.
When it comes to setting and reaching financial goals, the equivalent of chopping wood and carrying water is doing the numbers. Getting down and dirty with what you are earning now and what a really good living would look like.
Start with what you need and want to spend
In Profit Alchemy, I teach participants to begin the goal-setting process by getting specific about their expenses. That’s because knowing what you need to earn will make your goals much more grounded and focused.
Otherwise it’s easy to be dreamy and vague, to over- or under-reach.
Start by making a list of your expenses.
Next, dream. What things are you not currently paying for that you need in order to be truly comfortable? Include things like insurance, self care (massage, anyone?), and holidays. Add these to your list.
How about an allowance for replacing your computer and other equipment when the time comes?
(Yes, you can plan for this. You can’t control it, but you can sure as heck plan for it.)
Now, account for contingencies, profit, savings, and taxes.
Contingencies are unexpected expenses.
Profit lets you reinvest in yourself and your business.
Savings and taxes are self-explanatory (though often Accidental Entrepreneurs forget to plan for them).
I suggest you add at least 30% to the total for contingencies, profit, savings, and taxes.
(Sound like work? Chop wood. Carry water!)
Define your starting point
Do you know, really, how much money you made this month? This year?
Lots of my students don’t, at least not in the beginning. Like them, you may have a vague sense of what you’re earning. But to be a creator, you need a firm foundation in current reality.
Run the numbers. (You can do it!)
Play with the possibilities
This part is more fun. (But please, do the other pieces first.)
Think of all the ways you might bring in money.
Remember, you are creating here, so be creative.
Look around at what other people in your field and beyond are doing. How could you do a version of the same things?
Play with the amounts of money you might charge for different products and services.
Work out how much you would earn by selling different products and services at different price points.
How many hours of massage at $120/hour would you need to deliver in order to pay your mortgage or rent? How would that change if you raised or lowered your fees?
What if you taught a class? Again, play with different scenarios. 10 people at $300; 30 people at $150. Get a feel for the various ways you can build toward your goal.
Creating is an iterative process
That’s a fancy way of saying, “Review your goals and revise your plans.”
In the Profit Alchemy course, students revisit their goals and plans every month. They have a daily “chop wood, carry water” practice to keep them in action. They learn to become creators (also known as profit alchemists).
Starting in January a new group will come together. They’ll be shifting beliefs, while taking daily action to achieve their financial goals. Along the way, they will develop confidence in their ability to thrive at self-employment. They are going to know that they can rely on themselves to earn a good living at the work they love.
It’s a powerful program, and I would love to have you in it.
You can learn more and apply here [only 10 places left, as of Dec. 27]:
Profit Alchemy course.
Article original title: Creating money: The inner and outer work of setting and reaching financial goals – from Authentic Promotion newsletter by Molly Gordon, MCC. Copyright (c) Shaboom Inc.(r) 2011.
See Molly’s blog to sign up.
She is also a contributor to the book 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, edited by David Riklan of SelfGrowth.com
Molly Gordon is president of Shaboom Inc., a “coaching and training company that delivers hope, help, and hilarity to Accidental Entrepreneurs so that they can build a business that fits just-right.”
She says, “Thanks to my checkered past, I’m able to draw road maps for other accidental entrepreneurs – people who love their work enough to risk working for themselves but who aren’t particularly business oriented and who have a deep commitment to personal growth.
“I love that everything I learn (and every mistake I make) serves this audience. From The Work of Byron Katie to Embodied Intelligence, ontological coaching to Process Work to integral theory and methodology, there is delicious synergy among my vocation and avocations.”
Visit her site: Accidental Entrepreneur’s Guide to Self-Employment Success and sign up to receive
her free 31-page guide, Principles of Authentic Promotion.
She explains that her business name Shaboom refers to how “business success and personal growth are intertwined. The more you grow and develop personally, the more you achieve the emotional, physical, and spiritual well being you want, the more successful you will be at building a business where the person you have always wanted to be can do work you have always wanted to do. And that’s very cool, indeed.”
Her programs include:
The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur, The Practical Path to a Business that Fits Just-Right.
A testimonial: “Before I bought the program, I assumed you were pretty touchy-feely, “think positive” kind of coach, not much real world application stuff. What I discovered is that you have really amazing insights into the issues that I personally have as a single-person business, and I’ve been doing this off and on for over 30 years…I’d recommend The Way of the Accidental Entrepreneur to anyone who went into business because they loved what they do. Selling yourself and your skills is exhausting, demeaning, and often sucks the passion out of what used to feed your creativity and happiness. I’m thinking about my work in a completely different way and am excited to tell people my story once again.” – Dick Carlson, Columbia, SC, USA.
The Self-Employment Telesummit
Transform under-earning into the joyful creation of meaningful wealth. Hear presentations by 18 of the world’s top heart-centered teachers. “Many accidental entrepreneurs are skilled in their areas of genius, but they need to get quickly up to speed on all other areas so they can be successful at making money when they need it, which is now,” explains event creator Molly Gordon. “Meeting this need is what the Self Employment Telesummit is all about.”
Video: Inner and outer transformation are keys to self-employment profits – “You need both inner and outer transformation to profit when you love your work but don’t much love the business part. Profit Alchemy is a nine-month program that provides both.”
Home office photo from post: Just Like Martha: Find a Home Office Organization Method That Works, by ML Broxton.
Checkbook image from post: The Flow of Money Into Your Business