Talking about money doesn’t have to be scary. And it definitely doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, I believe that how you manage your money illustrates where your values lie. Having a solid financial understanding of your business and your own money habits, helps free up your brain space for running the artistic side of your business. After all, you will have a plan and therefore, won’t be stressing about your finances and how to pay your bills.
You probably started your business because you love the creative side of weddings and elopements. You may have even started off giving away services for free to build your portfolio just because you loved it so much. As you grow your business though, you need to set up a solid financial foundation so that you optimize your time, money, and energy. Your foundation will allow you to pay yourself enough to cover your personal bills and future investments, determine pricing, and help you attract and retain the right kind of clients for you.
Before you focus on building your business though, you need to know your own personal money mindset. There is no one size fits all business plan (despite what some educators out there might tell you…you know the ones “follow this full proof plan and you will find success!”). Your business plan will be unique to you and your own success will be determined by your values and how you run your business. And that starts with your mindset. Keep in mind that each of these mindsets has a neutral value. Every mindset brings both positives and negative traits- both of which will inform how you choose to run your business and the pitfalls you will need to watch out for.
Money Mindset Quiz
When it comes to working with entrepreneurs, I see 6 different personality types when it comes to money. Do you know what yours is? Take this quiz to discover a bit more about yourself and your relationship to money!
- You are:
- Someone who lives within their means, but that’s it.
- Someone who loves money, but doesn’t seem to keep it around long
- Someone who hates talking about money
- A diligent planner who prioritizes saving
- Someone who focuses on potential earnings rather than your current standing
- Someone who prioritizes living in the moment
- You’ve been in business for almost 5 years, but haven’t raised your prices much in the past 2 years, if at all. Why?
- You don’t need to earn more, there are plenty of people who make due with less
- I raised them…but nobody inquired, so I lowered them again.
- You have another job that pays your living costs- this is just for fun
- You think you need more expertise before raising your prices
- People will tip me if I do a good job
- You don’t think someone will pay a higher price for the same service, but it’s ok
- How do you handle unexpected expenses and monthly bills?
- I get anxious when I see a bill I need to pay, even though I think I’m fine.
- I often don’t have enough to pay my bills in the off season, so I pay them off when I get more clients.
- I don’t really budget, but things seem to work out. I don’t think about it much.
- I have budgeted for emergencies and feel comfortable should something arise
- I use my credit card to float me until I have enough money in my bank account.
- I have enough to pay for what I need. I don’t worry about the future.
- When friends and family ask you to photograph them, you…
- You charge them the minimum, but give them extra hours of coverage
- I do the whole thing for free, but let them know how much it would normally cost- I love them, how could I say no?
- Wow, I’m honored they want to work with me! I don’t even bring up the topic of money.
- I give them a mini session for free, but tell them they need to pay for anything more than that.
- Charge full price and give them the same service as a stranger
- You give them a friends/family discount
- What is your relationship to debt?
- I have a mortgage/car loan/student loan, but no consumer debt.
- Yep, my credit cards have balances. It’ll work out, I’m sure!
- I have no debt, but I don’t have much disposable income either.
- I try to be strategic about my debt. I use credit cards to accumulate points, but pay them off every month.
- I can’t live without accumulating debt, but I’m not worried about it. I’ll pay it off one day!
- I have debt and I don’t know how I’ll ever pay off my debt…so, I prefer to just ignore it.
- How often do you splurge on luxuries?
- Sometimes, but I usually feel guilty afterwards
- I love getting the newest! What is life without nice things?
- Sometimes, I guess? I don’t really think about what I consider a luxury versus just normal spending.
- I really don’t like spending money I don’t absolutely need to.
- Often- there will always be more money! But it’s not just for me, I love to spend on others too.
- Never. I prefer to spend time with family and friends in lieu of spending money.
- If I see something I like, I usually buy it.
- Are you financially investing in your future?
- No, the market is way too risky.
- I’m not quite sure what I’m doing, but I have some crypto and individual stocks.
- What is investing? What do you mean?
- Of course! I started investing early and put away everything I can into my future (even if I don’t have a lot left over)
- Investing = Vacation Spending! I’m investing in my happiness
- I’m barely getting by. I can barely afford my bills as it is, let alone afford to invest
- I don’t really think about investing. It hasn’t been important to me
- You pay your bills:
- Weekly. You like to know exactly where you stand.
- When you remember to do so. Sometimes, you pay them late, but it is what it is. Overdrafts aren’t foreign to you
- On the day they are due- in fact, you have them on auto pay!
- On the same day that you also transfer money into savings and into the market
- Usually on time. If you don’t have enough, you hustle to bring in more money so you aren’t too late with the payment.
- When you can. There might be times you have more than enough and pay on time, but other months, you skip payments.
- When it comes to variable spending, the things that aren’t a set amount each month, you…
- Really have trouble spending on things like groceries without feeling guilt, let alone anything that you don’t actually need.
- I love donating to charities and investing in my community, but I don’t really have a plan for it, and don’t know if I can afford it. I usually go for it anyways!
- I don’t know. I try to be mindful of my spending overall but don’t really think about the differences between fixed and variable spending.
- I don’t spend on things not already budgeted for.
- spend, spend, spend! I can always get more money.
- If it’s travel, dining out, or doing things with friends, I’m here for it!
- A trait you’ve noticed in your money situation is (choose what holds most true):
- I maximize the value out of everything I purchase. If it’s a dual-purpose item, I’m more likely to buy it.
- I vacillate between wanting to give away money and feeling bad for not having more money to myself.
- I have difficulty saving and have fear of making money decisions because I’m not confident when it comes to financial literacy.
- I’m a bit obsessed with saving money wherever and whenever I can.
- I believe that money is to be used for good and holds a lot of power. With effort, I believe that the opportunity to make money is everywhere.
- I prioritize living in the moment. I have fun…but I’ve also racked up some credit card debt.
Mostly A’s: Money Scarcity Mindset
Mostly B’s: Love-Hate Money Mindset
Mostly C’s: Money Avoidant Mindset
Mostly D’s: Frugal Money Mindset
Mostly E’s: Money Abundance Mindset
Mostly F’s: Carefree Money Mindset
Understanding Your Results
Why does your money mindset matter? And what does your specific money mindset actually look like?
Your money mindset combined with the financial story you grew up with and saw around you will inform how you treat money and finances today. And if you are like most people, you will have a dominant money mindset followed by one or two sitting right there by the side ready to step in.
Briefly, here is what each mindset might look like. Want to read more in depth about each mindset? Check out this blog post.
This money scarcity mindset means believing there will never be enough cash – whether you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or have millions in the bank. Those with this attitude can find it hard to enjoy expenses and get anxious when presented with unexpected bills or costs, thinking it’ll put them in debt. With this outlook on money, taking risks such as investing or starting a business usually isn’t an easy option; preferring the safety of a steady job for reliable income…though they may wish and want for more.
A love-hate relationship with money can be tricky – people may like the idea of having a lot but struggle to keep or manage it properly. They’ll often take chances for the chance of more cash, but then find themselves splurging and not making wise long-term decisions. This type of mindset can have bad consequences, from overspending and being in debt to experiencing total financial insecurity. The good part? It’s easy to rein in spending with this type of mindset and redirect it!
You’d rather avoid talking about money and never truly know where your finances stand. You might put off budgeting, investing, or saving, and feel overwhelmed by the idea of making a mistake or not understanding banking and investing lingo. This can make starting a new business more difficult and you may find yourself slipping into debt while chasing your dreams.
Folks with a frugal mindset are pros at budgeting and prioritizing savings. They’re focused on the future, not living in fear like people with a scarcity attitude. So, what’s the problem? Frugal folks sometimes need permission to step outside of the saving mentality in order to make smart business building decisions or allow themselves to outsource instead of DIYing everything and burning out.
Folks with a money abundance outlook have a positive take on finances. They look towards what they can achieve rather than an absence of resources, inspiring them to make bold moves like investing or launching their own biz. Risk-taking is also natural when it comes to discussing money matters or making big decisions – they get that if one thing doesn’t work out, there’s likely something else around the corner. People with this kind of mindset understand that with enough effort and creativity, more money, resources and opportunities can be made.
People with a carefree attitude to money often go big on living in the now – travel, eating out and trying out new hobbies come first. They might practice impulse shopping, don’t want to think about budgets or feel concerned about their financial future. It can be freeing not having to worry so much but there are risks involved – like not saving enough for later on down the line or emergency costs.
Money Mindset & Your Business
Now you know your mindset. And hopefully that means that you can build some more awareness around your financial habits when it comes to managing your business!
As an entrepreneur, understanding your money mindset is essential for building a successful business. Your relationship with money – goals, beliefs, and values – shapes the decisions that you make as you navigate growth. It’s key to understanding how to best use your resources based on what matters most to you and develop a strategy that works with those priorities in mind. And how to work around what you KNOW are your pitfalls (oooo, shiny thing over there! I’ll treat myself jussssst this once…)
With this awareness, you can create a realistic plan of action through which to reach success – one tailored specifically to what’s important to you that takes your short and long term goals into account. A professional money coach or financial planner can be invaluable in recognizing blind spots or areas of improvement in your mindset or strategy. They will also help maintain perspective so that all aspects of your business development remain in view when planning for the future. Moreover, having someone who understands the nuances of managing finances helps alleviate some of the stress associated with taking risks without sacrificing long-term success for quick wins. By getting clear about what drives your choices, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions and set yourself up for financial success.
Working with a professional can make all the difference when it comes to building your business and setting it up for success. A coach will have the technical knowledge and expertise to advise you on sound decisions, but they’ll also tailor their advice to meet your own individual money mindset. They can provide guidance on how to build a healthy relationship with money, as well as help you create and follow a strategy for achieving business success. Going it alone could leave you at risk of making missteps or neglecting any one aspect of your business development, but working with a coach ensures that all areas are taken into account and given the attention they need for maximum long-term success.
Working with a professional business coach is sure to give you an edge when it comes to building and growing your business – so why wouldn’t you?
Talking about money is hard. I make it easier.
I help small business owners have the freedom to live creative lives with a solid financial footing so that they can create their best work. With 20 years in the field, a career pivot, and building two successful businesses of my very own, I’ve got the know-how to help you when it comes to getting your personal and business finances in order. I’ve got the degree, certifications, and the client success stories to prove it!
From mapping out a budget tailored specifically for you, formulating an investment strategy, exploring income streams & identifying what income will bring true satisfaction in life— all the way down to building yourself a secure launchpad into entrepreneurship if it’s something on your radar— together we’ll create plans aligned with who YOU are. And don’t worry about slipping off track; I’ll be there along every step of the journey with personalized guidance, check-ins at regular intervals, plus valuable insight from my years as an experienced finance professional and business owner.
To learn more about working with Molly as your Financial Business Coach, visit MM Strategic Advising