5 Money Barriers to Break NOW

by Barbara Saunders

We’re all in business to make money. That’s a given. The thing that may be holding you back is not so much the economy as the barriers that your own mind is giving you.

Our beliefs – or mindsets – are like the software that runs our actions. Like all software, we need to make sure that we keep them updated and free of ‘bugs’. If you don’t, you could be unconsciously sabotaging yourself in your income-earning capacity. Women -especially – struggle with a lot of these since we’re programmed from an early age that our work is of less value – so heads up, Ladies! Here’s a quick action plan to breakthrough the 5 most common money barriers:

   1. The Belief: “You can’t make more than your past job”

Many solo pros get programmed into thinking they have to earn a set amount.Fact: Entrepreneurs have NO earning limits. Most people concentrate on ‘replacing’ the income from their past job. That places an unconscious limit on how much you focus on earning. The energy you bring to your business is focused on trying to reach that ‘replacement income’ number – which can cause stress. Here’s a reality check: Employers pay as little as possible to their employees. Why set that as your standard for your own business? Your ‘job’ as CEO is to value your services more than your previous employer.

Try this: Ask yourself “How much money do I want to earn? Focusing on this amount will change the energy from stress to excitement. It creates a willingness to try new things and brings an element of fun to your business.  

AVOID: Comparing yourself to others in your field. Concentrate on delivering the very best you have to offer and charge what you are worth.

   2. The Belief: “My clients won’t pay more.”

Many solo pros short circuit their earning potential by deciding in advance what their clients can or will pay.

Fact: Clients take you more seriously when they’re charged according to the true value you deliver. It’s not your job to decide what your clients can afford. It’s a boundary issue. You must hold your clients responsible – no matter what – for stepping up. If they understand the value of working with you, they will find a way to fund the investment. The more clients pay, the more they commit and the more they take you seriously. When you reduce your fees, you also limit your clients. It’s part of your job t0 effectively communicate the value you provide.

Tip: Your clients think they’re investing in you, but they’re really investing in their businesses through you.

Niche Note: Some niches have a poverty mentality. You cannot change their culture, but you can change your niche.  Here are a few warning signs:
         1. They are not decisive, they waffle and can’t make up their minds
         2. The make excuses instead of take action
         3. They have lived with their ‘problem’ for some time and have no progress
         4. They ask for ‘special’ payment arrangements (serious people in business understand paying for professional services and don’t expect ‘favors’)
         5. They constantly tell you that they have no money (then why are they looking for services???)
         6. They tend to be high drama, need lots of hand holding or are never satisfied
         7. They tend to not know what they want – the ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ syndrome

   3. The Belief: “Helping people is more important than making money”

This faulty programming makes you choose between helping people with your services (which you’ve invested tons in!) and making money (Heads up, Women! this is you.) 

Fact: You need to reprogram this belief now. You must – and deserve – to earn abundantly so that you can help more people. Think of the safety rule you’re given on an airplane: Put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before helping someone else. You’ve got to be fed in order to help others. A starving person cannot feed anyone else. 

Try this: Think of the costs of NOT working with you and determine your fees from there. For example, if a client’s web content does not properly convey their marketing message to their ideal client, they will make no money and be out of business. Now, doesn’t working with YOU seem like a bargain at any price?

   4. The Belief: “Women are not supposed to make more than men.

Can you believe that we’re still getting this???!! It’s the old ‘let the boy win’ nonsense we learned as little girls. We’re still being told that men need to earn more because they’re providing for a family – when the latest census showed that nearly 80% of the households in the US are supported by women! Let’s reprogram this one today.

Try this: Think how we’re doing a disservice to the men. Everyone performing at their best encourages the best from everyone. Let’s give our men the credit that they can handle a well-paid woman. Our job is to empower others – including ourselves, ladies! It’s not a fight for power. Power is not limited. There’s plenty to go around.

   5. The Belief: “How can I charge for something that I enjoy doing so much?”

Your work may come easily to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not of value. There’s a weird mentality out there that says that ‘work’ is supposed to be unpleasant.Try this: Always ask yourself what the cost would be for the client NOT to hire you. Your expertise is invaluable to someone who does not have your skills. Love what you enjoy doing enough to honor its value by charging for it.

I’d love to hear your experiences with dealing with self-defeating money barriers. Especially, you guys. Men tend to have less ‘mental’ hang ups around money, so we could really benefit from your spin. Share your comments below.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. It's our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.

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