Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your passion for your business? Everyone knows that businesses exist to make money. After all, what’s the point of a business otherwise? But sometimes pursuing money can get in the way of what motivated you to start your business or freelancing venture in the first place!
Your business doesn’t have to be all about that cold hard cash. There are a lot of other reasons that we get into entrepreneurship and money is often just one aspect and many times more of an end to a means than the final goal. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re in the thick of it, though. If you’re feeling stuck, it may be time to re-evaluate your business’ purpose.
Money isn’t always the biggest motivator for entrepreneurs
I don’t know about you, but I started my business to find freedom from the daily grind of a ‘traditional’ job, to provide opportunities for my family, and to make a difference in the world. I’ll admit, money is a big part of all of those things. After all, I need to make money to stay out of the rat race, money provides choices and opportunities for me and my family, and money can change the lives of those around me when I make enough in my business to give it away. But money doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all.
When you focus on money, you may lose out on other things
If your main goal is to make more and more money, you may miss out on important things in your life, both big and small. You may skip a date night with your significant other so that you can work late. Maybe you go to a networking meeting instead of watching your kid’s first starring role in the school play. Sometimes those things are necessary, but when it becomes the norm, it can be dangerous.
Set reasonable goals for your business income and stick with them. Don’t always be chasing more more more. Learn how to be content while still pushing yourself to grow.
What else excites you about your business?
When you feel stuck in your business and it isn’t fulfilling anymore, it’s time to take a step back. Give yourself a gut check: “Do I really enjoy the work I’m doing? If not, what can I change?” Think about what else you might get excited about doing and see if you can integrate it into your business model.
Go beyond your business, too! Find things that will motivate you to grow your business. Maybe you really want to take a special vacation this year. Maybe you want to afford to adopt a rescue dog. Maybe there’s a favorite charity that you want to support but don’t have it in the budget right now. Find those things that will drive you and focus on THAT rather than just on the money.
When you’re not focused on money, you’ll be able to better serve people
Have you ever met a service provider or gone into a retail shop and immediately gotten the vibe that they’re seeing you as dollar signs instead of a person that they can help? Don’t let that be you. While you do need to charge what your time is worth and make a living from your work, you also need to remind yourself of how you’re making a difference in your clients’ or customers’ lives.
Maybe you’re a health coach. You’re enabling people to pursue their dreams (it’s hard being out of shape!), feel more alive, and live longer. Are you an artist? Your work brings joy and other emotions that might otherwise be bottled up and left unexpressed, but your art can communicate that to those who view it in your client’s house. Whenever you’re feeling low, remember the difference you’re making.
You’ll also be able to focus on the things that REALLY matter in your life
If you’re less zoned in on the money, you’ll be able to take time out for the things that matter. Got dogs or kids? If money isn’t the main object, it’s a lot easier to feel good about stopping work to go play with them! Or maybe your friends have stopped inviting you to things because you always turn them down so you can keep working. By changing your focus, you can get back to the things that will fill up your tank and have even more energy for your business.
If you’re focused solely on making money, enough will probably never be enough
You set an income goal for yourself. You work your butt off and hit that goal. Hooray! …But now what...?
If your goals are focused solely on income, it’s easy to never be satisfied. As soon as you hit a goal, you need to set a new goal, and the logical next step is to set an even bigger monetary goal. That can drain you and suck the life out of your business before you even realize what’s happening.
Your lifestyle often increases to match your earning, even though you don’t NEED it all
As your income grows, your lifestyle costs may grow with it. Didn’t eat out much during the lean years of your business? Hey, you’re making a lot more money now, so you deserve to not have to cook anymore! (Annnd now you need a personal trainer too because you’re not eating as healthy. Oops.) Or maybe you cut cable when the budget was tight, but you’ve added it back in – and now you’re wasting time on Netflix, time that could be spent on your business or family.
Now, I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life and spend your money (honestly, a housecleaner is high on my list of services I’ll be hiring for once I increase my budget!). What I’m trying to say is that if you keep a lean financial mindset, you’ll likely not only feel better and make the most of your time but if you need to cut back on business due to health or any other reason, it won’t hit your wallet quite as hard.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re not earning ‘enough’
When you keep setting monetary goals for your business, it’s easy to beat yourself up when it takes a while to reach them. This can cause a downward spiral that can be just as dangerous as the upward spiral of ever-increasing monetary business goals. For many of us, the more we feel like we’ve failed, the less we want to put in more effort, so we feel like even more of a failure, and on and on and on.
Hop off that carousel of self-imposed failure and set some non-monetary goals alongside those income goals. If one of your goals as a health coach, for example, is to help 25 people lose 50 pounds each over the next year, the money will follow, but you’ll have a much more exciting goal than “make $40k over the next year from client work.”
All right, so it’s time to shift your business money mindset! Make a list of the things about your business that REALLY motivate you. Make a list of the ways that you and your business make a difference in the world. Incorporate those things into your business strategy and see what kind of changes happen!
Leave a comment about your own business money mindset! Here are some ideas:
What kind of non-monetary goals are you going to set for your business?
Are there any negative money mindsets that you know you need to overcome?
What’s your most positive money mindset in regards to your business?