I’ve done some remarkably crazy things in my life. At nineteen, I turned down a Hollywood acting agent who wanted to represent me because I didn’t want to move away from a boy I had fallen hard for. I left my first full-time job, in New York City, without a detailed plan for how I would replace my salary. (Fortunately, I more than doubled it as an entrepreneur within two years, but I still see the decision as crazy-pants!) I’ve also bought a house, renovated and sold my current house, and move into a rental house while the new house is being built – all within six weeks!
And, as I recently shared with one of my Spotlight Speakers Collective clients during a coaching call on money blocks, I’ve laid in my bed surrounded by $35,000.
Let me explain.
A few months before I gave birth to my daughter, I launched my first women’s leadership development group program. At the time, I didn’t run online programs and only accepted payment from companies and individual clients via check. The majority of the women participating in my program were sponsored by their employers and, as companies are wont to do, they all waited to pay me until the final week before the program started. Which meant I received $35,000 in the mail within a matter of a few days.
At the time, I had never made that much money in one-month. I knew myself well enough to know that receiving such a boost in income was going to be a significant chapter in my money story—and that chapter could go in a few different directions.
I could, A, unconsciously (and perhaps a little consciously) freak out. Start overspending, or worry that companies would change their minds and want their money back—in either scenario blocking off future abundance and business scaling.
Or B, on the flipside, I could see my new windfall as my new norm—rather than as an isolated event. I could do the mindset work and engage in practices that allowed me to see myself supported and catalyzed by the revenue I had created. And that’s what led me to lie in my bed surrounded by all of the checks I had received. I wanted to feel cozy with my money so that we’d keep shacking up together!
I see a lot of the women in my community at a similar crossroads a few months into our work together. They sign-on their first $5-$10K clients. Or book their first few keynotes or corporate trainings. And the abundance feels uncomfortable, so they self-sabotage—in thought and in behavior.
Can you relate?
Rewiring our brains, our bodies, and our behavior for ongoing financial success is vital if we want our speaking and business wins to propel us forward, rather than propel us backward. Here are three strategies I use whenever I’ve made a big leap that support my continued success.
- I use the mantra: Yes. Thank you. More please. I literally say this in my head to myself anytime my brain isn’t occupied by engaging with others or in work—for weeks, sometimes months, until any sensation from my up leveling has dissipated. In doing so I declare to myself and to the world that I’m grateful, and I’m ready for more—because I am!
- I use body language, and engage in stretching, that creates expansion so that I can energetically hold the abundance I’ve created. In yoga, I do heaps of upper body twists. When sitting at my desk, I check-in to make sure my chest is open and my legs aren’t crossed, and rather, hip-width apart. Taking up space is an important tool for amplifying our presence and the impact of our verbal communication; it also works swimmingly for staying rooted in our financial power.
- I strategically make use of the money I’ve created. This might sound obvious, but trust me, it isn’t. My natural tendency when I earn big is to do one (and sometimes both) of two things—quickly reinvest my bucks back into my business, or cling to it more tightly than a koala clings to a eucalyptus tree, fearful I’m going to run out of it. Now, self-actualized Lex does spend some of it (for I don’t want to be in mental or behavioral scarcity), and I ensure my spending is carefully calculated. Then, rather than simply stash away the rest, I wait a few days (so that the rush of the extra Benjamins has subsided a bit), and forecast my upcoming revenue and expenses so I’m clear on how my financial runway has evolved. Until a couple of years ago, I didn’t forecast ahead more than a few months. This left me frequently panicking, no matter how much money I had in the bank, because I was always guessing at how much would be coming in and going out. Now, I know, that what you measure usually grows!
Financial intimacy coach, Jacquette Timmons, who I’m grateful to call a friend and advisor, says that “every choice has a financial component.” I agree completely.
So, as you work toward your speaking and business goals, make decisions about when to launch a new offer, or court a corporate client for a speaking engagement, be sure that you also plan how you will behave with your money once you manifest it—so that your next win creates a chain reaction of more wins and anesthetizes you against future money blocks.