A shortened version of this post originally ran on The Daily Worth. Do yourself a favor, subscribe.
The number one thing that used to keep me from my earning potential? Fear of being greedy.
I had a knee jerk reaction to wanting to make more money – namely, that it made me greedy. And being greedy was the last thing I wanted to be.
Some months ago, MP suggested it might be time for a new definition of “wealth.” Time to rewire our knee jerk reactions to a word like “wealth.” Forget the assumption that “wealth” isn’t for ME.
What about greed? Could I, should I shift my definition of this nasty idea? My idea of greed was pretty simple: more for me means less for you!
In the first year of my business, my inner monologue went something like, “Better to get by with less – at whatever cost – than risk being greedy.” Every time I quoted a project or set a price, I felt queasy – and not a little bit greedy.
I lived in constant fear of greed.
Soon enough my business started to take off. My options were either charge more or go insane. I set greedy feelings aside and decided that charging more was better than insanity.
A funny thing happened when I started charging more, not only was I making more money, I could afford to get some help.
That’s when I realized that “greed” is a lonely problem!
Worrying about bringing in “too much” money kept me isolated, underutilized, and ineffective.
Being greedy isn’t about having more it’s about maintaining isolation at all costs.
Earning more money for my work meant that I had the money to pay someone for their help on a weekly basis, invest in non-DIY options, and improve my business platforms. In other words, the money I was making was helping other people too and keeping me connected to the wider world.
Instead of seeing bigger payouts as evidence of my greed, I could see them as evidence of my social responsibility.
Had I kept my business just crawling by out of fear that I might give in to some primal greed, I’d be stressed out, pissed off, and not very good for society. Earning more helps me stay plugged in to all the good I can do in the world.
My profit is part of the community’s profit. My growth is part of the community’s growth. My success is part of the community’s success.
My business just doesn’t work if I only consider “me” and my needs. Considering the “we” is how it all works.
When the switch flipped on that realization, it was like there was no amount of money I wouldn’t earn. Bring it on – I can use it.
Greed became a nonissue.
To make the break from equating “more” with “greed”, get a plan for how you’ll use the wealth as it comes in. Charity? Social investment? Employees? Business reinvestment? A weekly massage? Hey, massage therapists are independent business owners, too!
Certainly, it’s easier for me to carry out these strategies and see their outcomes directly as a self-employed person. But I suspect you may be holding out on asking for a raise or taking on side business for much the same fear of greed.
How will you rewire your knee jerk reaction to “greed” so that you can free yourself to be a steward of more money?
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