S2 EPISODE 01: What's your money story?

Bold Leadership Money Story Worksheet

Click the image to download the worksheet for this episode.

Hey, hey everyone! Welcome to Episode 1 of the Bold Leadership Revolution podcast and I am your host, Tara Newman.

If you have ever heard the term “money story” or “money mindset” and wondered what the heck is that, OR if you’re curious to learn more about it, this episode is for you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running your own business, leading in someone else’s or leading at home, this episode is CRITICAL if you want to live with more abundance and prosperity.

Today we are diving into our what and how we think about money.

Our beliefs, attitudes, past experiences, and our stories around money.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • What a money story is
  • How does knowing our money story help us?
  • How do we uncover them?
  • And then what do we do once we know what they are?

To facilitate this conversation and to bring some perspective to the topic, I’m going to share pieces of my money story and my money journey over the last decade. Yes, grab a cup of coffee but no, this won’t take all day. I’ll be picking out some highlights.

And as always, there will be some quick turn around actions you can take at the end of this episode to see an immediate result from the content here.

We will have a worksheet to help YOU go deeper with this topic if you want to.

 

And I HIGHLY suggest you do because understanding our habits, behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and stories around money is probably the single most important thing to do if you want to make or earn more money.

Regardless if you run your own business or you work in someone else’s business.

How you think about money directly impacts how much money you have. Yes, there are circumstances and situations. I learned ALL about that when our first business failed and we went bankrupt. However, I credit the work I have done on my MINDSET to what helped us recover and rebound as quickly as we did.

For those of you who haven’t heard the term mindset before, the dictionary defines it as an established set of attitudes held by someone. I add that it’s beliefs, attitudes and the stories we tell ourselves.

I have clients who refer to this as “stinkin’ thinkin’” or “head trash”.

So, let’s dive in…

For most of my life, I was unconscious about money. I knew it was a source of tension for my dad. He would come home every Friday and count out his money, put it in piles and then divy it up into envelopes for himself and my mom. He would do this thing where he snapped the bills to make sure they weren’t stuck together. I remember watching on and being intrigued but also cautious. This was NOT the time to interfere or interrupt Dad. This snapping of the bills was serious business and as an empath...it felt very intense. Although, my dad is just intense in general. It’s been said that he could make a cup of coffee nervous.

In direct conflict to the tension that came with snapping the bills, my dad had a belief or it was more of a saying that I’m fairly certain was emblazened on a shirt from a t-shirt shop…

It read “he who dies with the most toys, wins.”

So there was a boat, a high speed raft, and ski trips. However, nobody who worked for or with my dad was to know about this secret life we lived on the weekends. He didn’t want it to look like he had a lot of money.

He owned a corvette at some point which he rented a garage around the block from his office. We called it the bat cave. He would drive the corvette to the bat cave and then pick up the Ford truck to drive to work.

While I 100% understand why my dad did what he did and I appreciate his decision, the STORY that I picked up as a young child was that money was something to be ashamed of. People won’t like us if we have money. That was the story I told myself.

I worked since I was 15 years old. I would get paid on Friday, drive to the mall on the way home, spend all the money. Then I would have to borrow money from a cousin to make it to the next pay check. Pay cousin back, proceed to mall, back to the cousin for a loan. It was around this time that I learned the saying “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

I had no idea why I kept repeating this cycle and nobody seemed to keen to help a sister out

This produced a lot of feels around being out of control with money and not being responsible. It wasn’t much later in life that I was able to let this story go and realized, this is pretty par for the course as a teenager. No reason to judge or feel shame. I was doing the best I could with the knowledge I had (which was zero).

When I was 16, I went into the city with my aunt and uncle. They were taking my sister, my uncle (he’s actually younger than me -- long story) and me. My grandfather gave us all spending money.

Upon returning home my sister asks my grandfather and my mom if she could keep the left over spending money. Of course she could. My uncle said that he had no money left over. When it was my turn, I looked at my mom and told her she owed my aunt money.

Simultaneously (at least in my memory) everyone laughed at me. It then became the story that go told once a year as we sat around the holiday table. Everyone would have a good laugh but I was so embarrassed.

You see where we are going with this, right? From a very early age, money equaled tension, anxiousness, embarrassment, shame and feelings of being out of control or irresponsible.

It’s funny too because the things I never gave myself credit for was that I’ve earned my own money since I was 15, I took my bills over within 60 days of graduating college, I moved out when I was 23.

 

I quit a decent job to take a huge risk on an internship in grad school -- one that came with a significant decrease in pay and increased expenses due to a serious commute. I took the risk because everyone said that if you work with this woman, if you allow her to mentor you, you will get one of the higest paying jobs out of school. And I did. I more than doubled the income of the job I left in less than a year. .

I never look at how much money we saved to put a down payment on a house only how much I spent at JCrew.

Up until very recently, it was easier for me to say I went bankrupt than to say how fast we rebounded and were back to multiple 6 figure income.

Why and how exactly do these stories serve me?

Up until this point, I didn’t even know these beliefs were there. Maybe you don’t realize that you hold certain beliefs or stories around money because you just haven’t taken the time to think about it.


Maybe you weren’t aware that there was a thing called “money mindset.” You might not even realize how your beliefs, attitudes, stories inform the way you think.


And guess what?


The way you think, informs your actions! The actions you take are what gets you the results and outcomes.

Soooo, garbage in -- garbage out.

Now, my big A HA moment was when things were going south in our first business. Without this EPIC failure, I would NEVER be where I am today.

A client of mine asked me if I was present to that while I was going through the experience. Mind you, this experience took years. And YES, I was present to the fact that this was simultaneously the best and worst thing that had happened to me.

I would genuinely express gratitude regularly for the experience because I was learning SO much.

For example, during our first year in business, John didn’t take a paycheck for 10 months. We had beefed up our savings to aid in this type of situation. However, we were hopelessly naive in thinking he would replace his income directly so soon. So, while we cut our expenses during those first 10 months, it wasn’t nearly enough and we blew through our cushion pretty quickly.

We learned a whole new level of fiscal conservancy that we still have with us today. And now, being conservative doesn’t come from a place of lack or survival. It comes from a place of empowered choice, abundance and thriving.


The gratitude doesn’t negate the fear, terror, and anxiety I felt everyday. I believe that’s pretty normal when your safety and security is threatened. There were A LOT of face down moments.

I mean, I was raised Jewish am not particularly religious but found myself with a rosary saying the lord’s prayer multiple times. It’s safe to say my shit was broke.

Enter an angel. Well, actually it was my mother who told me to listen to the book The Secret on audio.

I know there is a TON of bad press around this book and the author but for me, it changed my life.

It opened the door for me to get present to what I was thinking, how what I thought attracted like things, and how I had way more control over my life than I thought.

Very quickly we started to experience a shift in our financial situation. BUT I want to be 100% clear -- even though what The Secret teaches is the Law of Attraction and “manifesting” this is NOT hoping and wishing.


You must follow through on your thinking with deliberate ACTION. Action is what brings results. It also brings clarity and courage.

While I’m not going to go into teaching the Law of Attraction here, today. I want to give you a practical example of how understanding my money story, beliefs, and attitudes allowed money to start flowing in again.

Prior to reading the law of attraction, I was firmly in a victim mindset. Things were happening TO US that were causing a negative result and affecting our livelihood. And of course these things were happening because I was irresponsible with money, was a spendthrift, and overall made poor money decisions. I continued those beliefs that money was outside my control. And so it was.

When I shifted my thinking to believe that money was in my control and that I made responsible decisions around money, things started to shift in that direction.

For me, there was no great system or process here. I simply chose a different thought. However, you have to be AWARE of what you are thinking!

Instead of seeing myself as helpless, I saw myself as someone who could take action -- any action. The first action I took was planning a garage sale. Sell stuff I no longer need and make some extra money for groceries and kid items.

People rolled their eyes at me when I told people about this plan. “Tara, people are going to negotiate with you for everything.” “Why are you going to sell your stuff for pennies on the dollar, where is that going to get you?”

So, I chose to think something else. I chose to think that I will have the most successful garage sale anyone has ever seen. I chose to focus on an amount of money I wanted to bring in. I planned how I would spend that money when I had it. What would I buy? When would I buy it?

Then instead of feeling scared and out of control, I chose to feel grateful. Grateful that I had things to sell. Grateful that my husband supported me in this idea and hung all the signs. Grateful that he hung the signs so well that tons of people were showing up. Grateful that I believed people would pay the prices I was asking. Grateful for the feel of money in my hands. Grateful that I wasn’t selling junk but high quality items. Grateful these items were finding a good second home.

One garage sell netted over $700.

And now I had EVIDENCE of what changing my thinking could do.

 

In full transparency, it wasn’t easy to change my thinking. It took dilligence and daily sometimes hourly attention.

So now, I’m going to give you a single action…

For the next week, capture your thoughts around money. Carry a notebook or the worksheet I’ve created for you around with you all day.

Every time a money thought or feeling pops up, write it down. Awareness is the first step to changing a thought or behavior.

SO, there you have it. At this point you have a better understanding of what a money story is and how it impacts our ability to create more wealth for ourselves. Hopefully by me sharing my story it has inspired you to dig into YOUR story or at least be curious. I hope it also shows you that there is nothing scary or complicated about taking a look at your thoughts, beliefs and feelings around money.

Now, I’ve created a worksheet to help you go deeper with your money thoughts and beliefs. If you go to theboldleadershiprevolution.com/moneystory I will link to the worksheet in the shownotes.

You will be able to download it and use it right away to get you started.

So, I’ll see you back here next week for Episode 2 of Season 2. Have a great week!