Let’s Talk Money.

Abstractly, it seems like a good thing to have.
But talk to most wordsmith entrepreneurs about doing one of the central things that will open the door to more of it appearing in their lives?
Stunned silence and complete emotional shutdown.
Money contains the element of fraught for everyone in this culture. We’ve all done things with money we regret. We’ve all had people use money against us in ways that didn’t feel good.
Like negotiating project rates with a troll.
Not fun.
It’s part of business and still, leaves you with that icky feeling and a longing for a year-long sabbatical.
To be honest, contemplating money, I used to feel ready to breathe into a paper bag for a little while.

Seriously, though, worse than the dreaded money talk?

Working your days away without a clear vision of what you want your business to look like, what you want your bottom line, your bank statements to say one, two, five, ten years from now.
Because, love, I wish upon you to live your purpose, to build a business and a life based on your passions, your talent, with dream clients that make you come ALIVE.
And there’s only exactly ONE way to make that wish come true:
With the value you bring to the table, you MUST charge your worth.
Your business MUST evolve into doing both: feed you today and nourish you, body and soul, long-term.
It’s a path. It’s a career. It’s a STEEP learning curve.

Now, let’s look at options

  1. Spending(!) your hard-earned expertise, experience, your talent, and well-honed skills on project after project
  2. Investing(!) your days and dividing up your assets between making a living now and building a life long-term
As small business owners, we live in a mad culture.
It’s a culture of hyper-individualism where village-making is sorely needed.
In theory, “A rising tide lifts all ships”, but fending on our own, the feeling of being but a small sailboat in a whirlwind that leads towards the drain can get overwhelming.
You are unlikely to solve the current misconceptions about talking pricing versus talking prices.
And yet you want to make money work for you, not lust after it. And yet the bills. And yet and yet.

Action Plan

We need to talk honestly about money and what it takes to sustain us.
With each other. But also in self-reflection.
What has enabled me to paint a crystal clear picture of where I stand, what my financial goals look like, and what I am prepared to invest to get there: Diving into the topic head-first, and starting to measure all aspects of my biz.
Seek out a colleague who’s made it in all the ways you want to make it, who works the way you want to work, with the bottom line you aspire to –  and a mindset to practice gratitude, kindness, and generosity. Invite them to coffee (cake is ALWAYS a great option) and ask them for a half an hour of their time to mentor you.
Join a healthy, support-driven group of fellow wordsmiths, like Marketing for Translators and Interpreters on Facebook.
Ask for help and support instead of trying to get by all by your lonesome.
We’re all in this together and we grow as a profession when we grow as individuals.
Put it in writing. Don’t shy away from numbers.
Instead, dive deep into your business and scale, measure, draw up a clear path, starting with your yearly goal.
Put in writing what you need to survive, to thrive, to evolve towards financial freedom.

Develop a Money Mindset

The cool thing about money matters: once the penny (quite literally) drops, you don’t have to spend continuous hours on CPD other than the occasional nudge to get back into your most productive mindset.
To get you started: Check out amazing resources on Coursera, free online training with exceptional value.
Or find Denise Duffield-Thomas extensive Facebook page. Her books are a joy to read, and teach you a thing or twenty about money, guaranteed!
You’re more of a bibliophile? There’s an abundance of books on money mindset and practical money keeping.
Three of my favorites:
If you prefer a more universal approach, check out Entrepreneur Magazine’s Facebook page. Their “a grand a day” video series is an eye-opener.
May the space between where you are and where you want to be inspire you.
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