Limiting Beliefs About Money Can Kill Your Progress

Sometimes, it’s important to be money motivated.

Limiting beliefs about money are a big weakness for some people. They don’t want to talk about money. They avoid thinking about it. They don’t want to seem too eager to get it. Some even believe that wanting it makes you a bad person.

During tax season, when we are all focused on money anyway, let me say this: One of the best things you can do to achieve more of what you want in your life is to attack these beliefs—right now.

Winners win by staying focused on the right things. Sometimes the right thing is money. Click To Tweet

I learned this lesson the hard way. Without coaching from Art Williams decades ago, I might never have learned it. I was struggling to grow my business. I wasn’t even making enough each month to cover my business expenses and have enough left to support my family.

In a meeting designed to help me straighten up, Art said to me, “Larry, you are not money motivated.”

Now, I thought I’d just gotten the greatest compliment of my life. I had been raised in the church. I wanted to live a life of service, to help people. My belief was you do the right things long enough, and surely goodness and mercy will follow—and money would rain down from the sky.

When Art said I wasn’t money motivated, it was like I had won an Academy Award or something. I said, “Well, thank you, Art, I’ve always tried to approach things that way.”

What I heard next surprised me: “No, stupid, you’re supposed to be money motivated.” Now, Art wasn’t that crude, but that’s how I interpreted what he said.

He then explained that the purpose of business is to produce revenue and profit, and the number-one reason people follow you or work for you is to earn an income. If you’re not money motivated, their greatest priority isn’t a priority for you. “The last thing they need from you is training on how to starve to death,” he said.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that when you are not focused on the bottom line—whatever the result is you need to win—you aren’t focused on the things that will produce the right result.

After I met with Art that weekend, I got our team organized around numbers. We established specific targets for every person on the team. I stopped asking, “How are things going?” (To which the best producers and the worst producers always replied “Great!”) Instead, I asked, “What are your numbers for the month?”

As we transformed into a team that worked with purpose, our office changed from a clubhouse into a real business. We immediately saw greater success at all levels. It saved my business.

The meeting with Art was at the end of April. Over the next 3 months, my monthly income jumped dramatically from an average of $3,000 to $4,000 per month to $6000, to $11,000, to $22,000. Obviously, on a personal level, this was great. I was finally producing results for the company, achieving my own goals for building a successful business, and providing a good life for my family.

The results for the team were equally meaningful. I was able to create an environment in which great things were happening. Six months after that meeting, our top person opened his own office and earned $25,000 his first month out.

We had overcome our limiting beliefs about money and established an environment in which people understood that being properly money motivated was an honorable and necessary thing. It added integrity and structure to our activity. Since then, hundreds of team members have built successful, six-figure businesses of their own that have stood the test of time.

What about you? Are you appropriately money motivated?

Here are some of the most important times to overcome limiting beliefs about money and instead use it as a point of focus and leverage.

When you are launching or growing a company.

My story highlights this lesson: If you aren’t making money, you aren’t a business. You need revenue. You need positive cash flow. You need profit (unless you’re Amazon, apparently).

You also need a way to reward people for their hard work. Yes, people are motivated by many different things: status, autonomy, etc. But according to this study and others, if you can’t pay them a fair wage, the other things start to fade into the background.

If you’re in sales or are an entrepreneur or business leader, being money motivated is a requirement of doing your job well.

When you are facing financial troubles. 

For a lot of people who fall into financial troubles, one big reason is simply that they avoid thinking about or dealing with their money. One of the big limiting beliefs about money is that you can neglect it and still grow your wealth. For some people it starts with a particular problem that seems overwhelming, but it quickly becomes a habit.

First, do everything you can to avoid financial troubles in the first place! Know your bank balances. Know your assets. Know your expenses. Pay attention to your income. Pay attention to your savings. You can be sloppy about some things in life, but not your money.

If you do face financial problems, the best thing you can do is to become even more focused on your money—in a positive, proactive way—rather than avoid it. Be bold, make the tough decisions, and take whatever steps necessary to gain control. Take a deep breath and deal with the problem. You’ll feel a lot better and be proud of yourself that you did.

When you are saving up to pursue a big goal or passion project.

Fact: The things you want to do for yourself, your family, your friends, your church, and your charity interests cost money. The bigger things you want to do cost more money.

I’ve shared this before, but 46% of people who have taken the Serial Winner Assessment said that time and money are big reasons they don’t achieve their goals. I don’t believe that is true in a lot of cases, because there is usually a way around or through those obstacles. But, for some goals—going to graduate school, buying a vacation home, paying your kids’ college expenses, starting a new, expensive hobby—it is true. And money makes it possible for us to achieve most goals faster.

. . .

You won’t create the life you want if you let yourself timidly tiptoe around the elephant in the room—your money. Take the time to consider what limiting beliefs about money exist in your mind. Tackle them now before they limit what you achieve in your life.

And hey, if you earn more than you need, you can always make like Warren Buffet and give the rest away!

Do you have ideas about other times when it’s important to be money motivated? Share them in the comments below.

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