Staying Up At Night Worrying About Money
It was 2:00 in the morning and I my head was pounding. I was on the phone with my dad, who lives in a timezone three hours earlier than the one I live in. We’d been on the phone for about 45 minutes, and although it was only 11:00pm where he was, I was starting to feel guilty.
It was time to get off the phone.
“I’m sorry Dad. I shouldn’t be upset. I’m lucky, I know. I just hate this. I’m miserable. I want my kids. I just don’t know what to do.”
That day had started out like every other day. I was upstairs getting ready for work, work that I enjoyed sometimes, while my husband made the kids breakfast, had coffee and breakfast ready for me to go as I ran out the door and kissed the kids good-bye. I headed out for my 45 minute commute, listening to the radio and fielding calls from my team and my boss on the way in. I met the daily challenges, the quick meetings, the long meetings and the instant messages that make it near impossible to get anything done. I tried not to order chips with my lunch, and then gave in and bought them. Played referee for a few members on my team who were disagreeing, picked up the leaves on the dying fica tree in my office and did my best to wave and smile at everyone who passed by the huge glass window in my corner office. Then I ran out for my 45 minute drive home. I was in a rush to see my kids before they went to bed. I remember thinking things like, “Is this what my life is for? Speeding home and avoiding speed traps?” and “Why am I doing this?” and “I wonder what the kids did today. I hope they had fun.”
But by the end of the day, as I was trying to fall asleep, the marathon minding began.
Where the hell does all my money go every month?
Why didn’t I save more when I was younger?
Why am I working this hard?
I’ve missed the first six years of my son’s life. What if I miss all of his life? And for what?
I swear I don’t care if we live in a shack, I just can’t keep doing this.
Why didn’t I save more, again?
Did I answer that already?
Shouldn’t I be happier by now?
Am I the only person in the world who feels like this?
Before long, I was completely worked up. I quietly sneaked out of my bedroom, grabbed my phone and went into the basement where I wouldn’t wake up my family while I cried. I called the one person who can usually calm me down: My dad.
He has a way of explaining psychology and behavior that can make me feel better. But he couldn’t make mountains of money appear in front of me, and quite frankly, that’s what I wanted.
I thought that would fix everything.
“All I need is just more money. That’s all. Then I’ll be fine.”
But as I sat there talking to my dad in the middle of the night about how furious I was at myself, how much I missed my babies during the day, how mad I was that after all of this hard work I still didn’t have enough money to relax a little bit, I realized that it was going to keep going like this unless I changed. I needed to understand money better. But more than that, I needed to understand my relationship to it.
I made enough of it, I just never kept any of it. So even if I had a mountain of it, I’d burn right through it. I knew that in my bones. I was 100% responsible for the mess I was in. I was the reason that no matter how much I made, and I was making quite a bit, it didn’t matter. I’d find ways to spend it until it was gone.
That night changed me.
After I hung up the phone and let the hot tears stream down my cheeks, I knew that was it. I wasn’t going to go through life like this any more. I started ravenously studying different theories of money. I read Tony Robbin’s bible, Money: Master the Game (Which I highly recommend, by the way), I read all of Mike Michalowicz’s books, I devoured all of David Ramsey’s books (and it’s true Smart Women do Finish Rich!), all of the classics, I took courses on money management, and I filtered everything I was learning through my “are you kidding me?” radar and started playing with what really worked, what was insane, what was sort of a good idea that I had to tweak and what was golden.
I quit my job to start supporting other moms who were looking for Better Ways to get things done and I kept on studying money and why we use it the way we do.
Cut to: Four years after I hung up the phone with my dad in the basement in the middle of the night, I found myself in a cozy cottage in The Poconos at one of my retreats where we were focusing on women in business. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I was relishing the rare moment of quiet time. I decided to use the time to rehearse my talk on women and money. As I was practicing, I stopped suddenly. I had just said the word “abundance” in my talk and it wasn’t landing for me. It didn’t seem right, but I didn’t know why. Whatever it was, it was enough to stop me and grab my attention.
I looked around the room and noticed all the beauty that surrounded me: the lovely four-post bed, the pretty wild flowers in small vases, the comfortable couch and the big closet. I thought, “Of course we’re abundant. Look at this! It’s gorgeous.” I walked to the back door of my cottage. It opened up onto a lovely private deck, surrounded by lush trees and exquisite mountains.
I stepped out onto the deck and kept thinking. “C’mon, we are abundant. Why is this bugging me so much?” I stood there soaking up the perfection of nature. I listened to the birds chirp and I felt the sun on my face. I started to think through all the times I’d heard “abundance and scarcity” or “scarcity mindset”, and it just didn’t ring true for me. Yes, allowing ourselves to believe there’s “not enough” can cause pain in our lives, much like the pain I’d experienced in my basement that night four years earlier. It doesn’t serve any of us to think that way, but that wasn’t quite it. Something was missing.
I closed my eyes and took in slow, deep breaths of the clean, crisp air, all the while allowing these thoughts to play out. Then it hit me. The basis for this entire course, and my own transformation around money, hit me. My eyes ew open and I stood there blinking slowly as my breath quickened just a bit.
All experiences come from just two sources: love or fear. Abundance would stem from love, and scarcity from fear. Suddenly it made sense. Money isn’t about abundance and scarcity, it’s love and fear!
That was the core of our relationship to money. Of course! It’s so simple! We’re not talking about scarcity and abundance. Of course we’re abundant, but that doesn’t help us get to the bottom of scarcity. That’s why it never worked for me. By talking about abundance and scarcity, we weren’t dealing with the real root of our experiences with money.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment on that deck was the birth place of The Money Mindset Course. It’s all about how we view our relationship with money. That’s what will dictate how we interact with it and how much anxiety, fear and pain it will bring us, or how much joy, energy and peace we feel around it. I dedicated almost two years to continued research, interviews with financial planners and my clients to create the outline and content of the course.
I hope you’ll join me and the many other women who’ve taken this course, and start to actively, consciously, design your relationship with money. It is the most powerful tool we have access to, but if you don’t take control and investigate your emotions around it, it will control you – just as it did me – for the rest of your life.
Come learn more about the course and I’ll see you inside!