I'm at a place in my life where I certainly should not be worrying about money. I am the founder/CEO of two businesses that make enough money to pay me well and support their teams and the clients. Often, we come close to not making payroll in one business or another, but we always make it and then grow to another level. I've seen this pattern throughout my 13 years of entrepreneurship, so it “shouldn't” scare me anymore.
I've already proven to myself how little I need: that I can let go of it all and be able to support my family in living a modest life without too much time on the computer. That's what moving to the farm was really all about and I not only did it, but I loved it. I could go back to a modest life, if necessary.
I have a beautiful home in the best neighborhood in Boulder, a late model car, an RV I can drive whenever I want, a house cleaner, and I sometimes even have someone cook for my family. If I needed to cut back, I could. There's plenty of excess being spent around here.
I've proven to myself again and again that I don't need to worry about money. I always have what I need. Money comes to me because I just love to provide value and help people get what they want (the secret to becoming wealthy in so many ways beyond mere money).
And yet, I can feel worry. It's subtle. In the background. But definitely there. And, if it's there, it's influencing my decisions. And if it's in shadow, it's influencing them in unhealthy ways.
I noticed it last night when I was walking with my honey for our ritual late night stroll around the neighborhood. My mind wasn't fully present with him. When I stopped for a minute to get clear on what was in the way, I became aware that my mind was doing that thing it does when it worries about money.
It calculates, solves, and schemes.
The mind is a professional problem solver. That's all it really wants to do – solve problems. Most of the time, it can't do it though because we haven't given it the right inputs or data. So it just spins.
So when I am worrying about money (even if I am not fully aware of it), my mind is hard at work, figuring it out. Worrying over it. Fretting. It may even start to scheme, if I don't stay really aware. That's when things could get ugly.
Now a days, there's not much risk of the scheming because I can feel the turbulence of my angst arise and I nip it in the bud with the 4-step process I'll share with you below. If I don't catch it immediately, I can at least see the scheming and call it out, truth-tell it into the light and remove its power. Scheming immediately creates a win/lose scenario and I am committed to win/win, all the time, or I don't want to play.
The worst though is when I don't even know I'm worrying; I just feel a low level malaise, a lack of motivation or a strong desire to procrastinate. When I get quiet and ask what that is, I generally find it's worry and angst. It's not always about money, but quite often, it is.
These days I don't worry about whether I'll have enough money to feed my kids; instead, I find my worries focused on whether I'll have the money (and time) to fully live my purpose. To live up to my full potential. To give my greatest gifts. And to have them received.
As we were walking tonight, and my mind was fretting in the background, it came to me that I could do my own work on myself and stop worrying about money and start creating what I need, instead.
It's kind of funny that it took as long as it did to come to me because truly this is the foundational message of the Money Map — stop worrying and start creating.
So I did.
Now, I want to share with you how. This is what I do to stop worrying about money, no matter how much (or little) I have. It's worked at every level of my financial life — when I was earning a million a year, two million a year and just five thousand a month. The steps are the same.
Step 1: Get clear.
Your mind is spinning. It's using two of your most valuable assets — energy and attention — in service of nothing of value. Your mind thinks it's being helpful (it wants to solve your problems), but it's really not, mainly because it can't. You haven't given your mind the tools, resources and information it needs to actually solve a problem.
At this point, it's just spinning. Looping around over the same things, questioning, wondering, trying to figure it all out. But it can't because it's muddled, fuzzy, and all around unclear. It's constantly running in the background of everything you are doing, sucking your energy.
The solution is to get clear. Clarity is the first step to freeing up the stuck energy and attention. When you get clear, your mind stops whirring and buzzing and starts downloading the answers you've been wishing you could find.
The answers are right in front of you; you just have to focus your mind on the right questions. You get clear by taking the next steps in this process to stop worrying about money.
Step 2: Ask the right questions.
Asking the right question has the effect of shifting your mind from spinning to solving. Your mind knows how to calculate, scheme, plan and devise. But if you aren't asking the right questions (“why me?” is probably the most common question that keeps your mind from reaching the solutions you so desire), but instead ask questions that simply reinforce the stuck, looping, fogginess, your mind is stuck in a low level of consciousness from which little is born.
The right questions are those that are framed positively and focus on what you want, rather than on what you don't have.
Here's an example, you might know well: we've been conditioned by popular television to ask “can I afford it?” This question is the worst possible question because your mind is equally focused on all the reasons you can't afford it. That's not going to stop the worry. But change the format of the question slightly and add in some focused positivity and you'll be asking “how can I afford it?” instead.
When you ask “how can I afford it”, suddenly your mind has a question it can come up with answers to. Now, instead of looping around “can I afford it” and repeatedly and incessantly calculating how much money you have and asking “is it enough/am I enough/will I have enough” constantly, your mind is ready to generate all the ideas you need to create exactly what you need. Clarity is king and queen.
Step 3: Get it of your head.
So what brings clarity?
First and foremost, clarity begins with you knowing what “it” is — what do you want to afford? How much money do you need? What's enough?
What will you do with it when you have it?
If you don't have enough clarity yet to ask “how can I afford it” it's very likely because you have not clearly identified “it” — what do you want? When you do, write it down. In as much detail as possible. How much you need, and what you'll do with it, exactly.
For example, I was “worrying” because there's a lot of big investments I “need” to make to carry my life forward in the way that I know is next. I just got a really great book agent and the writer helping me with my proposal and ultimately the book will require about $26,000 to hire, but not all at once.
I'm ready to rebuild my personal brand sites (alexisneely.com and alexismartinneely.com) and merge them into just one, now that I can see the integrated me, finally. That'll run me about $10,000.
It's time to get the RV wrapped, which was always the plan when we bought it so that as we travel, we can advertise the message of love and liberation, herald the story of a new economy, and awaken people who see it. Approximately $10,000.
It's going to be a minimum of $15,000 and maybe closer to $50,000 to launch the show, “Lessons From the Road Less Traveled.” We'll line up sponsors once we are rolling and have something to show sponsors, but at this point, we've got a vision and a team.
And I could invest another $25,000-$30,000 in upgrading the marketing funnels designed to reach more lawyers so we can be seen in the world and help them to understand what we can do for them in the best way possible.
Right now, my marketing materials to reach the lawyers are so-so, pretty much all created by me with the help of my team. I'm a B-level copywriter. I just had a campaign created by an A+ copywriter who really gets the power of what we do for lawyers and the families and small business owners they serve and it's a game-changer. Really powerful. And, the best part is 100% true! I was a little scared he'd use “tactics” or “strategies” based in manipulation and I'd have to push back, but he didn't.
Last, I want to invest in hiring someone to help me think through the best course of action regarding how to handle the people who are slandering me online. I think that'll be about $20,000 for the best guidance.
Anyway, that's a tangent. The point is on the high end, that's $146,000 above my current family/business expenses. And, while that's a big number, now that I know the number with absolute clarity, my mind can go to work on it in the most positive way possible.
How can I afford it? Sure, it's scary to ask that. I might not get what I want and then I would be disappointed. But you can be 100% guaranteed not to get it, if you don't know what “it” even is.
Once I have the clarity of what “it” is, I can create a plan and know exactly what my next step is, even if I have no idea if it will “succeed or fail.” The good news is that the real reward isn't success or failure, it's clarity in action, regardless of the outcome.
Step 4: Make a plan.
Now that you know what “it” is, whatever it is that you want or need next (which is what happens when you get “it” out of your spinning head), you'll make a plan to create it.
I recommend a strategic vision plan. When I did my first one in 2003, just opening the doors of my law practice, everything I put on that board to happen in 5 years, happened within 1 year. And it's not like I was an experienced entrepreneurial genius. I was a novice.
The amazing thing was that even things I had put on the strategic vision plan, then forgotten about and taken no conscious action to create also happened.
So, that's what I'll do next myself now. I'll take this clarity of what “it” is — in this case $146,000 and create a strategic vision plan to ask the question, what can I do to bring in what I need? I'll consider all the options. I'll weigh all the possibilities. I'll use what I have. I'll give bigger than I ever have before. And, I'll receive the resources when they come.
You can do this. You can stop worrying about money using these 4 steps I've laid out as well. And instead, don't push the worry away or bury the worry, but rather convert that worry energy (which is taking up a tremendous amount of your life and creative energy) into high vibration, powerful life force energy that brings to you everything you truly need, always.
It's alchemy and you can utilize it to stop worrying and start creating now.