The Real Reason You May Not be As Profitable As You Would Like
Everyone goes into business with the stated intention of being profitable. (Even nonprofits need to generate enough income to continue and expand their operations.) We are also flooded with information on what to do with our money – yet, so often we are don’t take the steps in our personal lives or in our businesses to ensure profitability. Perhaps our internal belief system around money has something to do with it.
We live in a culture that encourages debt and denies the lost art of delaying gratification. And, like color that fades on a cheap paint job, the repercussions of this lifestyle are beginning to show in both our economy and our personal lives.
Our current U.S. and global financial crisis is clearly the result of excess reliance on debt to fuel excessive growth of business regardless of whether the underlying economics could support it. Predicated on a model that requires consumers to spend more money than they have, our national economy has been crippled with the tightening of credit.
Regarding our personal lives, researchers at Ohio State University in Columbus have found that high levels of income-eating debt—especially big credit-card bills—may be related to high blood pressure, insomnia and even problems with physical mobility, vision and hearing. Additionally, a recent survey shows that the overall, number-one greatest source of stress is personal finances. And, what do couples and/or business partners report that they fight about most often? Money.
Money—the lack of it, the fear of losing it, and the dread of not having enough—tops the list of concerns of the majority of people these days. Everybody, it seems, has money issues.
While women may experience a debilitating lack of confidence about taking care of themselves, men have more concerns about providing adequately for their retirement.
Meanwhile, we are showered with seductive messages to Buy Now, Pay Later. Which many of us do. Then we have to work harder to keep up with payments, which causes even more stress. For both men and women.
While intellectually we know that giving in is not good for our businesses or our personal finances, we still do it. In fact, many of us will act in a manner that subtly sabotages our financial position in spite of what financial knowledge we have.
We all act in a way that is consistent with what we truly believe. When we engage in behaviors that don’t appear to make sense to us, it is best to work to uncover our hidden beliefs. The chances are, we are acting in a way that is consistent and logical with something that we current believe, consciously or unconsciously.
Often it is the early messages we received about money that influence our current beliefs. So, one of the first steps in dealing with money issues is to check out old ideas that continue to color behavior and attitudes.
Couples, or business partners, who may have grown up with different values about money, need to talk about their beliefs. Not who is right and who is wrong, but what the basic beliefs are. According to the Institute of Certified Financial Planners, by better understanding their attitudes and values toward money, individuals may be more able to gain control of money instead of it controlling them.
Many books on how to deal with financial issues are available, and advice from professionals such as banks, consumer financial agencies, financial planners and advisors, and accountants, is always a good idea.
But maybe the best place to start is with a healthy attitude toward money.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications
Forwarding the action is a coaching term that means gaining a commitment from the client to take an action in the short-term to make immediate use of newly gained information and to increase the probability of success.
To forward the action from what you learned in the feature article, answer the following coaching questions and DO the call-to-action.
- How is your financial situation currently affecting your health, relationships, and other areas in your life?
- How much control do you exhibit over your current financial situation?
Call to Action
Engage in a word association exercise to uncover some of your hidden beliefs about money. For each of the words listed below, write down as many thoughts as you can:
- The rich
- The poor
Review your list of associations and determine which are the top 3-5 that affect your behavior as it relates to money. Are these truthful/factual, positive and helpful?
If not, determine if there is another, more supportive association you can focus on to replace the negative one.