Money is Symbolic

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Are you one of those people who always seem to be putting off tasks?

It makes sense. Life is hectic. Schedules are full. Sometimes, it seems like you hardly have a second to brush your teeth or have a real conversation. And so important decisions get pushed further and further into the future.

That’s fine in some cases. Do you need to decide how to organize your garage right now, at this very moment? No.

But with your finances, procrastination can cause disaster. Why? Because time is the secret ingredient for building wealth. The sooner you start saving, the greater your money’s growth potential. Likewise, the sooner you get your debt under control, the more manageable it becomes.

And with your money, the stakes couldn’t be higher. After all, it’s your future prosperity and well-being that’s at stake. Procrastination is downright dangerous.

That urgency, however, doesn’t make it easier to start saving. In fact, you may have noticed that finances suffer more from procrastination than anything else.

There’s a very good reason for that. Procrastination is driven, above all else, by perfectionism. Failing feels awful, especially when you know the stakes are high. Your brain sees the discomfort of trying to master your finances and failing, and decides that it would feel safer to not try at all.

It’s a critical miscalculation. Attempting to master your finances at least moves you closer to your goals. Procrastinating doesn’t.

Think of it like this—50% success is infinitely better than 0% success.

The key to beating procrastinating, then, is to conquer the perfectionist mindset and fear of failure. It’s no small feat. Those habits of mind are often deeply ingrained. They won’t vanish overnight. But there are some simple steps you can take, like…

Break big goals down into tiny steps. This relieves the overwhelm that many feel when facing important tasks. As you knock out those small steps, you’ll feel empowered to keep moving forward.

Don’t go it alone. Procrastination thrives in isolation. Seek out a friend, loved one, or co-worker to hold you accountable and share the load—even if it’s just a weekly check-in to see how each other are doing.

Work in short, uninterrupted bursts. Set a timer. Put down the phone. Work. After about 15 minutes, you’ll notice something strange happening. Time starts to either speed up or slow down. Distracting thoughts vanish. The lines between you, your focus, and the task at hand start to evaporate. You feel awesome. This is called a flow state, and it’s the key to productivity. Make it your friend, and you’ll notice that procrastination becomes rarer and rarer.

Now that you know the cause of procrastination, try these tips for yourself. Set a 30 minute timer. Then, break your finances into tiny action steps like checking your bank account, automating saving, and budgeting. Work on each item in a quick burst until you’ve made some progress. Then, talk to a friend about your results!

Just like that, you’ve made serious headway towards beating procrastination and building wealth. Look at you go!

How to Stop Procrastinating

You’ve probably heard the phrase “knowledge is power” before. In fact, you may have even said it yourself from time to time.

And it’s true. Knowledge is power because it shows you how to act. The more informed your actions, the more likely they are to be fruitful and effective.

Here’s another quote you’ve probably heard and said a few times—“Know thyself.”

Why? Because there’s no greater power than power over yourself. The more you know yourself, the more able you’ll be to shape your actions, your habits, and your destiny.

This couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to financial matters. The more you know about your financial habits and tendencies, the better equipped you’ll be to control your financial future.

Here are some ways to know thy financial self.

Notice your emotions.

Like any other part of your personality, emotions can affect money. They’re especially important because they can cause you to act in ways that are counterproductive financially.

For example, have you ever felt anxious about checking your bank account?

Or felt a craving to blow money to destress?

Or swelled with pride when you see how much you’ve saved?

Those are all emotions, and they’re all related to money.

So the next time you’re spending money, or checking your bank account, or pinching pennies, take a moment. Breath. Notice how you’re feeling. Those emotions can give you valuable information that will help you make better financial decisions in the future.

Notice your thoughts. Feelings almost always lead to thoughts. For instance, anxiety about looking at your bank account could lead to thoughts like this…

“Can I afford that? Oh, I bet I can’t. I WAY overspent the other day at… whatever, I never have enough money. I keep meaning to spend less, but I just can’t stop myself. Why do I even bother?”

See what happened? A feeling of anxiety led to a negative thought—that you can’t control your finances.

So what do you think about money? And that doesn’t mean the “opinions” about money that you share when you’re chatting with friends. It means the thoughts that flow through your mind when ever you encounter money in daily life.

Take a few moments right now and notice those thoughts. Are they positive? Are they negative? Are they just neutral?

Notice your actions. Just like feelings almost always lead to thoughts, so do thoughts almost always lead to action.

Those actions might be to ignore, or repress, or get angry, or give in. But one way or another, thoughts will result in actions.

This is where budgeting helps. It’s like creating a journal of your actions, which are a window into your thoughts, your feelings, and who you are.

Notice lots of stress spending, snack buying, or binge shopping? That can reveal a facet of your financial self—maybe you think that spending will relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.

Or maybe you notice lots of thrifting and penny-pinching. That could reveal either a resourcefulness in hard times, or worry about going without.

Or maybe you notice wild, untamed spending. Perhaps this shows that you don’t prioritize money, and think of it as a tool to make you feel good.

The more you know about your financial self, the better equipped you’ll be to control your finances. You’ll see habits that you need to curb, and habits you need to cultivate.

Simple advice, but it goes a long way. Knowledge is power!

Know Thy (Financial) Self

Failure is the greatest teacher.

That’s because nothing seizes your attention like failure. It’s hard to look away from a trainwreck. It’s even harder when you’re the one driving the train.

Failure leaves you reeling. It forces you to ask a critical question—”what went wrong?”

And that question can reveal powerful truths.

It reveals truths about your process.

Maybe your strategy for carrying about business is flawed and needs to be retooled.

It reveals truths about your assumptions.

Flawed strategies stem from faulty assumptions. What are you assuming about people or the world that led to your failure?

It reveals truths about your character.

Assumptions don’t appear from nowhere. They’re shaped by experiences and core beliefs about what’s right, wrong, and how the world works. Failure exposes those character forming beliefs like nothing else.

Simply put, failure cuts right to the core of who you are. And that’s a powerful experience, if you’ll listen to it.

So get out there. Drop the ball. Spill some milk. Botch something.

And be afraid to call it like it is—when it’s clear that you’re failing, acknowledge it and jump ship.

Then, ask yourself “what went wrong.” Be brutally honest. Take notes. Adjust as needed. And then get back out there.

You’ll find that you’re far stronger than you’ve been led to believe, and that you grow more resilient the more you attempt.

So here’s to failure. May you have enough that they pave the way to your greatest success.

In Praise of Failure

It’s official—Americans aren’t going back to work.

Even though there were 10 million job openings in June of 2021.¹

If you’ve been out and about, you’ve seen firsthand that jobs aren’t getting filled.

You may have noticed the signs at your local grocery store. Or the longer wait at your favorite restaurant. Or slower service from businesses you depend on.

They all stem from the same source. Americans aren’t rushing back to work.

But why? The COVID-19 pandemic caused mass unemployment and havoc for millions of American families. Wouldn’t they want to start earning money again, ASAP?

It’s not the unemployment benefits holding them back. For many, those dried up months ago, and the numbers still haven’t budged.²

And again, it’s not that there aren’t jobs. There are millions of opportunities out there!

Here’s an idea—many people have woken up to the fact that most jobs suck.

Most jobs leave you completely at the mercy of your boss. If they mismanage the business, your job’s in danger. If you want a bigger bonus, your job’s in danger. If another pandemic breaks out, your job’s in danger.

They give you no control over your hours, your income, your location, or your future.

Who would want to go back to that?

Instead, Americans are looking for a better opportunity. They want control of their future, their wealth, and their hours. They want to replace the insecurity of a 9 to 5 with more reliable sources of income.

If they see an opportunity that checks those boxes, they’ll be willing to re-enter the workforce.

Americans are looking for a better path. The million dollar question is, who will provide it for them?


¹ “Many Americans aren’t going back to work, but it’s not for the reason you might expect,” Paul Brandus, MarketWatch, Aug 14, 2021, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/many-americans-arent-going-back-to-work-but-its-not-for-the-reason-you-might-expect-11628772985

² “What states are ending federal unemployment benefits early? See who has cut the extra $300 a week,” Charisse Jones, USA Today, Jul 1, 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/07/01/unemployment-benefits-covid-federal-aid-ending-early-many-states/7815341002/

Why People Aren't Going Back to Work

Starting your own business can be a challenge.

It will test your talents, your mental toughness, and your ability to adapt. And those tests—if you pass them—can spark extraordinary growth.

Here are four ways entrepreneurship will change you.

You’ll develop self reliance.

Entrepreneurs need to learn to solve their own problems, or fail. They don’t have a team to handle the daily grind of running a business.

Instead, new entrepreneurs handle everything from product development to accounting. It’s a stressful and high stakes juggling game.

But it can teach you a critical lesson: You’re far more resourceful than you thought. You’ll learn to stop waiting for help and start looking for solutions.

You’ll discover loyal friends.

One of the downsides of entrepreneurship is that it may expose toxic people in your circle. They’re the ones who might…

▪ Mock your new career

▪ Feel threatened by your success

▪ Try to one-up you when you share struggles

As you and your business grow, you may need to limit your interactions with them. They might be too draining on your emotional resources to justify long-term relationships.

Rather, your circle should reflect values like positivity, encouragement, and inspiration. Those new friends will support you through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

You’ll learn how to manage stress.

Late nights, hard deadlines, and high stakes are the realities for entrepreneurs.

To cope, you must build a toolkit of skills that can carry you through the hardest times. Otherwise, you may crack under the pressure and lose any progress you’ve made.

It comes down to one key question: Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?

Are you driven by insecurity? Or by vision?

If you’re trying to prove a point to yourself or others with your business, you may fall apart at the first hint of failure.

If you’re driven by vision, you’ll see failure as part of the process.

Examine your motivations. Over time, you’ll grow more aware of your insecurities. Talk about them with your friends, families, and mentors. As you bring them into the light, you may find they have less and less power.

Entrepreneurship can spark an explosion of professional personal growth. You’ll grow up. You may start with an employee mindset, but you’ll mature into a leader. That’s how entrepreneurship will change you.

P.S. If this seems daunting, start with a side hustle. It can ease you into the role of entrepreneurship without throwing you into the deep end too soon!

Entrepreneurship Will Change You