I want to let you in on an important secret. If you want to feel more financial abundance, try taking control of your money. Wait, before you bounce, hear me out….
To explain, I’ll use the analogy of water in place of money. Imagine how difficult managing water would be if we didn’t have something to put it in, for example a container. It would constantly run through our fingers. We couldn’t work with it or manage it. It would simply leak and drain away.
Switching back to money, when money leaks and drains away, the tendency is to plug the gaps with debt. Truth be told, at some level, we know that debt isn’t the real solution. We think the real solution is to make more money!
This is a convenient rational but it’s flawed. Switching back to water, if I were to pour water into your cupped hands, together we’d watch most of it slip away. Would pouring on more water solve the problem?
Yet, for money troubled folks, more money is often the first solution that comes to mind. I’m totally in favour of increased income, but in practice, it’s a difficult thing to produce. There are a number of reasons for that:
- It’s not entirely within our control
- There’s often a lag between effort in and money received
- The government will take their share in the form of income tax
- For “side gigs” there can be initial investments needed for things like inventory, subscription fees, training costs, etc. In other words, we have to put our scarce dollars in before there’s any prospect of money out. Ugh
- Related to the last point…there’s no guarantee we’ll earn a return on our investment
I’ve learned from my coaching clients, money is not the only scarcity in their lives. It’s very common for them to report being time challenged and energy drained as well. Under those circumstances, is starting a new income-earning enterprise feasible? How about a second job or putting in more hours at the current one?
I’m not sensing abundance here.
Before going too far down the “earn more money road”, is it worth considering whether existing income could be managed more thoughtfully? If nothing else it:
- Is entirely within our control
- Pays “dividends” immediately
- Requires little or no investment
- Is tax free! (Is there anything more satisfying than beating the tax collector?).
- Is completely legal!
Here’ the paradox: People resist taking control of money, because they believe it will involve shrinking their standard of living. For those who push through their resistance, there’s a surprise in store – they find the opposite to be true. Bringing attention to their money instead of leading to constraint leads to abundance! It’s what I call – The Money Clarity Paradox.
It seems then that if we build a suitable container for our money (i.e. take control), some mysterious force fills it for us. This shouldn’t be a mystery though. It’s no secret that what we bring our attention to expands. Whether it’s school work, raising children or athletic performance, we’ve all experienced the benefits of focused attention. Why should it be different when it comes to money? By contrast, the places we deny attention (Note – by attention I don’t mean worry) shrink. This too applies to money.
Steve Demaray is the founder of the Personal Money Coach Money and an advocate for money clarity. Steve guides growth-minded people through a money life shift that transforms stress and frustration into simplicity and freedom. He has successfully coached people from Vancouver, Canada to Sydney, Australia and countless places in between.