Playing a Different Kind of Money Game

I get asked to write about money a lot. I’ve written plenty of posts, guest posts, and a whole ebook. And when I sat down (multiple times) to write a new post about money for the Declaration of You blog tour, I was stumped.

I had one of those “What more can I say about this that I haven’t already said?” moments. Then I asked around, talked to Brigitte, and decided to write what’s been on my heart & mind for the last year.

When you’re known as the girl to go to for a money/earning/pricing smack-down, you have a reputation to take care of. And what is that reputation if it’s not about how much you earn? I learned that my money wake-up was just the beginning of an evolution of understanding around money and earning that has led me to build my business differently over the last 12 months.

After I got over my personal hang ups and misconceptions about my earning power, money for me was like a game. What product can I create, what conversion rate can I adjust, what marketing campaign can I invent that will make more, more, more? It wasn’t that I was greedy but that I was having fun.

I’m playing a different game now. I know how I could make a lot more money. I have the business model constructed. I largely have the platform and network in place.

But I choose to do something a little different.

The game I’ve been playing with money lately has only has two rules:

  1. Put as little time into the business as possible so that I can live a rich life outside the office.
  2. Do the work that will allow for the greatest returns in the future with as little hustle as possible.

I’ve concentrated the work that I do into short bursts of energy that have more impact on clients than I’ve ever had before. While I’m making about the same annually, I’m doing so with extraordinarily less effort.

But it’s not just about working less. It’s really about the set-up, the long game.

Just wait til you see what’s coming.

Because financial reward is one [of many] outward symbol of greater impact, choosing to dial back on earnings comes with mixed feelings and plenty of impostor complex questions. Can I be an effective business strategist if I’m not maxing out my earnings? Will I lose potential clients because I choose not to pursue the million-dollar launch strategy? What will happen to my reputation?

The truth is I am an effective strategist–many of my clients are generating much more revenue than I am. The truth is that any clients I lose weren’t the right clients for me. And the truth is that my reputation is stronger than ever–as far as I can tell!

Your net worth is not your self-worth. Your hourly rate isn’t your reputation. Your sales target isn’t your impact.

Right now, I choose to make decisions that bolster my self-worth, shore up my reputation, and maximize my impact–now and into the future. Those decisions result in leaving money on the table. But I believe that the decisions I’m making today will lead to greater return–both in profit & in impact–than trying to scrape up every last penny or find the gold at the end of the rainbow.

I also enjoy mixed metaphors.

There’s a time and a place to play the just-how-much-can-I-earn game. And I hope you play it, and play it hard. But I also hope that you take time to readjust every so often and look to the long game. What are you setting up today that will take care of you–and your customers–in the future?

Are you going after a bigger piece of the pie? Or are you baking a new pie that will make others lives meaningfully better?

Are you going after financial reward at the cost of relationships, peace of mind, or reputation? Or are you creating something that is in alignment with your values and preferred modus operandi?

Today, my declaration of money is that the choice to make less is often a choice about making more later, an investment in future impact.

What are you investing in? What game are you playing?

The Declaration of You, authored by my brilliant friends Michelle Ward & Jessica Swift, gives readers all the permission they crave to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique, and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.

from passion to profit: how to find the “we” in earning more

day in the life: lunch money

I started my business with about $80 that I put on my personal credit card so that my husband wouldn’t see the bill.

That was what it cost for my first web hosting plan. I don’t think I spent another dime on the business for a few months. Nothing more substantial than a fiver here or a ten spot there, that’s for sure.

By necessity, I did everything myself. What I didn’t know how to do, I learned or ignored. It was about 5 months until I started to bring in more that a few dollars per week.

That was the summer I bought Scoutie Girl with a loan from our local credit union. The 2 block walk with the check from my house to Jan‘s was exhilarating. I felt like I walked there a wannabe and walked back a real business owner.

That very real exchange of money kick-started my drive to grow the business. This wasn’t about some cash on the side anymore. It was about profit. Passion-driven, profit-earning business building.

The very first month the site was under my management, I brought in more ad revenue than ever before. I also created a fall advertising package that earned more in a month than I had at my previous full-time job. I was making a profit!

Of course, that was the first time I felt uneasy about the money appearing in my PayPal account. It was the first time I really questioned whether it was okay for me to be pulling in a profit in a way that was just so much fun! I got really uneasy about “me” and my skills.

That initial exchange was also a dive into the deep end of collaborative business relationships. You see, my business is not an island. Nor is yours.

Over time, I came to understand that making a hefty profit isn’t about “me,” it’s really about the “we.”

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.

There is no room in microbusiness for a business that is not part of the greater whole.

You’ve heard it said that “you gotta spend money to make money.” I would argue that the flip side is true as well:

You gotta spend money because you make money.

The more money I make, the more I can let flow back out to other businesses that support me: my assistant, my coaches, my technologies, my designers. The more I profit the more sustainable those other businesses are.

I increase my expenses as my profit increases because, each time I do, I gain freedom, security, and support. My business no longer relies upon my ability to get stuff done – now I have a team to fall back on, to trust.

Without profit, there is no team. Without the team, I can’t profit.

If I try to hoard my profits, I end up becoming overwhelmed & disillusioned. And I owe a ridiculous tax bill.

You can’t DIY yourself to sustainability. And you can’t DIY yourself to freedom.

The road between passion & profit can feel like a greedy one.

Who am I to earn money from something that comes so naturally?

Yet, earning a substantial living from your passion allows you to support others in their own passions. The cycle is generous and unending.

Profit isn’t only about “me” – profit works best when you consider the “we.”

This post is part of the Passion to Profit series hosted by Laura of Create as Folk. You can grab the entire series in a fab little ebook Laura put together. Click here to download immediately! (right-click & save as, if necessary)/em>

{image credit: emdot}