May 16, 2024

Everybody likes money, but do you think money likes you?

We’ve all followed different paths to the freelance life. Maybe you made an intentional choice to pursue self-employment because of the freedom that it offers. Maybe it was an interim solution to close the financial gap created by an unexpected layoff. Whether you’re building an empire or testing the waters, we all have one thing in common: we need to make money, and sometimes that’s, well, hard. 

Even if you didn’t feel that your relationship with money was complex or tumultuous before, self-employment has a way of turning the volume of our internal dialogs about money way, way up

The fears and insecurities you feel around your financial life have a direct impact on your decisions as a business owner, and emerging neuroscience suggests that it’s not enough to simply endure our money anxiety. The outcomes that we focus on can and do become our realities. 

The extra attention that we give to the worst-case scenario doesn’t keep us from making bad investments — it causes us to miss good opportunities. 

If you want 2024 to be a year of growth, personally and professionally, it’s time to deconstruct your money mindset.  


What Is My Money Mindset?

Simply put, your money mindset is your core beliefs around money. That’s a lot to unpack, so think of it this way:

  • Do you feel that money comes to you easily, or is finding money a struggle?
  • Do you enjoy the way that you earn money, or do you resent it?
  • Do you know that you deserve financial security, or does success make you feel guilty?
  • Do you feel that your needs are met, or do you worry about the future?
  • What do you believe is the purpose of money?
  • How do you think your earning capacity relates to your personal worth?

If you’re ready to jump in, download our free Money Mindset Assessment and see where you stand.




Where Did My Beliefs About Money Come From?

Like politics and religion, money talk is taboo. A shocking 62% of Americans say that they refrain from discussing finances, and sometimes this awkward silence extends to even our closest relationships. 

Your earliest lessons about the value and purpose of money probably came from your family. Even if they said nothing at all, they said a lot. As a child, you were a silent witness to your parents’ financial decisions, as well as their disagreements. Whether you had a childhood of generic cereal and off-brand sneakers or you watched your caregivers make lavish purchases anytime there was a windfall, you were already writing your money story. 

No matter how much education, experience, and business acumen we collect in adulthood, if we don’t take time to examine our core beliefs around money, they aren’t likely to change. 

Have you identified some unhelpful (or just untrue) money beliefs? Great! Everyone has them. 

Let’s talk about how to kick out the thoughts that no longer serve us and replace them with ones that do.  


Shifting Your Money Mindset

Ready to rewrite the script? Here are a few practical steps towards adopting a mindset of growth and positivity (that actually pays off).  

1. Name Your Limiting Beliefs 

This isn’t about magically manifesting good outcomes. Your beliefs influence your behaviors, which determine your results. If you believe that you’re destined to have a strained relationship with money, it’s almost impossible to make growth-minded financial decisions. 

Try to list out your negative money beliefs, and keep in mind that a lot of them will sound totally irrational on paper. You may realize that, subconsciously, you’ve decided that financial security just isn’t part of your story. You may be convinced that a crisis is around the corner. You may find you have a lot of resentment toward wealthy people.

Identifying these limiting beliefs is the first step to unpacking them. 

2. Develop a Gratitude Practice 

Your best weapon against negativity is gratitude. We tend to think of it as a feeling, but when it comes to your money mindset, gratitude is a skill.

Create a daily habit of acknowledging your financial blessings, and, if you’re able to, pass some on to others. Donating to worthy causes helps remind us that money is a tool for good, not a source of stress or a status symbol. What’s more — research shows that people who donate (be it cash, time, blood, or possessions) do better financially than those who don’t.

3. Continue Your Financial Education

Whether you’re brand new to freelancing or a seasoned pro, there’s always something new to learn about financial management.

You’ve probably put a lot of effort into creating a network of knowledgeable and curious folks — don’t be afraid to turn to them for advice and recommendations. Circulating helpful books, podcasts, and planning tools around our freelance community makes it easier to start those sensitive (but VERY important) money conversations.

4. Set SMART Goals

We like the energy of sayings like If you can believe it, you can achieve it! but they definitely skip some steps. 

If you can visualize yourself at the center of a multimillion dollar one-person company — that’s fantastic! Let’s talk about how you got there. 

SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals are a great way to map out the checkpoints you’ll need to hit on the way to a larger, long-term objective. Think about how you want to scale this year, and then think about what needs to happen each quarter, month, and week to make that possible. Check out our free Goal Planning Checklist to get yourself started.

Commit to your goals, but stay agile in your processes. It’s normal and expected to need to make changes in order to stay on track.

5. Abundance Over Scarcity

Scaling a business almost always involves some calculated risks. As much as our culture romanticizes the stories of people who pour their life savings into a venture and go for broke, most true success cases involve careful planning, strategy testing, and mitigation. 

An attitude of abundance doesn’t mean recklessness — it’s acknowledging that you have the tools, resources, and support on deck to pursue sustainable growth. If you see that your business would benefit from outsourcing administrative tasks or hiring subcontractors, ask yourself if a mindset of scarcity is holding you back.

Release the fear that every check you cash may be your last. Experience proves that’s simply not true. 

6. Know Your Numbers 

If we’re talking about growth strategies, this is step one; but when it comes to shifting your money mindset, it’s best saved for last. 

Why? Because a healthy money mindset is absolutely necessary for evaluating your business finances and making sound decisions. You can’t know whether or not you’re on track if you don’t know where you’re headed. 

Once you have a clear picture of your ideal financial situation, the belief that it’s possible, and a plan for making it happen, your numbers take on a new meaning. Do you have the margins you need to hit your earnings goals? Is the dollars-for-hours business model still serving you? A healthy relationship with money lessens the guilt, fear, angst, and awkwardness that make otherwise clear answers feel so convoluted.

Breaking old patterns and challenging core beliefs takes courage — and a lot of patience. With practice, you’ll see your positive money mindset reflected back to you in your relationships with clients, your attitude toward financial management, and in your bottom line. 

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