I Stopped Chasing Money

by Lisa Sears

In 2018 I stopped chasing money.

I remember when I started chasing it.

I used to have a career that paid for everything I could ever want or need. When I quit my job and started my own coaching and consulting business I was truly happy. It meant choosing whom I worked with and what I did. I remember feeling so relieved and free and excited about my business to really take off. It was certainly going to happen quickly with my background in business and leadership.

Once my savings were gone and I wasn’t (for some reason this was so surprising to me) making six figures in my first year the money chase was on. I know it takes a lot of perseverance to start your own business. I’ve always known that. I just assumed like everything else I had put my mind to my transition into entrepreneurship would be seamless.

Very few people get to shoot out of a cannon when they start their own business. I was no exception. Today, I am very grateful it wasn’t easy.  In order to be a good coach, to help others stop chasing money and all of the other things we do as small business owners:

I needed the challenge of uncertainty and to be scared.

You can’t help other people as a coach unless you have a similar experience. General goal setting and accountability, yes. But the coaching that is deep and raw and puts a magnifying glass on our vulnerabilities, no. You have to have gone there before them and come through on the other side. 

That’s when you start to get really good at creating transformation. Challenging people in a compassionate way to make breakthroughs is somewhat of an art form that requires practice. 

I certainly practiced, but not with another training or certification or gaining another new client. I practiced through my own experience. I hired a coach and looked at myself personally and professionally for an entire year.  We looked at stuff I never truly addressed with intermittent therapy. We also took a long look at my belief system and family money legacy. It was honest work that allowed me to process through all the reasons I was experiencing such anxiety during such a positive time in my life.

I also started doing some personal exploration on my own. I took courses outside of my business with my own well-being and growth in mind. It wasn’t just the stuff that would bring more money to my business. It was life skills and understanding. It was hard to focus on it sometimes. My anxiety was driving me to check off stuff I was sure would drive my business or make me feel more in control.  

This opened up room for me to be creative and think big. I started to take time to think about what I wanted to do not how I would earn more money. What would an ideal day look like? I loved to work, but there was no balance. What else was there to consider? 

I first realized something shifted when I turned down a few opportunities I didn’t want to do. Saying no was the advice and it felt scary and stupid to take it, but I did. There were only a few I turned down, but there were no hard feelings and everything was fine. I was finally one step away from the desperate work mode I found myself in and feeling the benefits.

I started saying yes to projects when it included an aspect of coaching. All of my commitments from June 2018 on included some type of coaching. I was moving away from being a consultant “doing” work towards being a facilitator and coach. I started to value myself as I saw others benefit from this shift in my work model. The more I did less, the stronger they became.

In December of 2018, I decided to say yes to the people instead of the work. This may seem logical, but it’s been a huge shift for me. 2019 is a year of joint ventures with people that understand my passion, strengths, and skills and want me to influence others by sharing my experience and wisdom.  I spent a lot of time in December not chasing money. In fact, I actually took some time off for myself and for my business planning. 

Not chasing money has already paid off in the new year. I’ve moved forward on two projects with some really wonderful people. I am spending January meeting with my other joint work partners in person; making sure I include some fun in the planning process. Out of the blue, this first week in January I was contacted by several organizations to facilitate workshops in exactly the way I enjoy lifting others. 

Maybe it’s just timing, but maybe everyone is feeling the shift in me too…

ASK YOURSELF:  What types of money mindsets did you learn when you were growing up? What money mindset do you want to practice?  If you have anxiety around money what effects is it having on your business? What will you do to stop chasing money in the new year?