Table of Contents
From Dollar One — Chapter 2: Mind Over Money
Mind Over Money
We get it, starting and running a business is hard. Are you feeling stressed out? Anxious? Overwhelmed? That's totally normal.
The truth is, the grind is real, and so is the risk of burnout.
Listen to this chapter on SoundCloud
Finding the right balance between boosting your profit margins and taking care of yourself is a constant balancing act.
The key is to stay positive, empowered and in charge.
So welcome to this chapter... specifically designed to help you find balance so you can:
1.Work through the emotional side of money
2.Bring confidence to your hustle
3.Stay in charge
4.Access a free mindfulness learning course for entrepreneurs
1. The emotional side of money
As you start out, the number of hats you wear can throw you off balance. Running your own business often means you’re one of the few people you can count on to complete your ever-growing task list.
From promoting your services and driving sales to answering emails and managing your bookkeeping and accounting, there’s no shortage of tasks that you likely handle no problem—and you might even enjoy doing them. But there are some tasks that you might not feel as confident or comfortable with.
So, let’s start with the most challenging of all—the money.
There are two sides to money: The checks, balances and bottom line, and the emotional side.
As a solopreneur or as part of a very small team, emotions can become overly intertwined with your day-to-day tasks. And that makes sense because you've invested so much of yourself into achieving your business goals.
2. Check your emotional balance
Yes, you’re trying to “do it all,” but you’re not a machine. You’re human and tending to the human side of yourself first can let you tap into being a machine when you need to.
“Prioritizing your own well-being can enhance your productivity when it’s time to tackle tasks efficiently” says Aseel El-Baba, financial therapist for Conscious Economics, a Canadian not-for-profit focused on financial education. Together with Interac, they have collaborated in building community-led programs such as Mindfulness & Money. Informed by real lived experiences and anchored in financial therapy, the programs are designed to educate and inspire today’s small business owners in the new economy.
Aseel, who specializes in helping people change how they think, feel, behave and communicate about money, advises taking a minute to unpack your relationship with money and the stress it might be causing you. That way, you can clear your head and can get down to business.
“So many emotions can surface when we think about finances,” says Aseel. “What we normally hear when people talk about money is stress, anxiety, depression, confusion and a lack of clarity about what the future holds.”
She says that learning how to manage the feelings surrounding your relationship with money is more than worth it. After all, it can help you get your stress in check, avoid burnout and feel better all around.
“The first step is to explore and understand how our emotions impact our body,” says Aseel. “Once we get curious and do that, we can approach thinking about money and business more calmly and rationally.”
Need some inspiration? Here are some ways to pause and check your emotional balance:
Try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to engage all five senses to boost awareness and stay present. Acknowledge FIVE things you can see, FOUR things you can touch, THREE things you can hear, TWO things you can smell and ONE thing you can taste.
Breathe in 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, breathe out 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, repeat.
Reflect and reframe
Turn those limiting negative thoughts into positive opportunities for growth. Keep a thought journal to place the negative thoughts and list the facts that support it and the facts that don’t. That will kickstart you into finding a more healthy and balanced thought between them.
Talk it out
Reach out to a friend or loved one for support. You don’t have to go it alone.
Think about your current goals, the progress you’ve made so far, and what’s providing value to you by creating a vision board to represent them. Be sure to put it somewhere you’ll see it often to help track—and celebrate! —each milestone.
Download templates to get started
Check out the free Mindfulness & Money: For Entrepreneurs course from Conscious Economics sponsored by Interac to learn tips from venture capitalist and entrepreneur Melissa Allen and professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, Dr. Jeffrey Overall, on how to make it in business without burning out.
3. Bring confidence to your hustle
Now that we’ve tackled some of the emotional barriers when running a business, we can focus on building your confidence (and sustaining it!)–no matter what life throws at you.
Working independently can be incredibly liberating, but it also comes with a fair amount of responsibility and uncertainty that can rattle your morale.
When that happens, remember why you started this.
You have a vision.
You have grit.
Be confident in what you're doing and why you're doing it.
But when in doubt here are a few science-backed techniques that you can use to boost your confidence:
Break your negative habit loop
Research on neural plasticity shows that we can rewire our brains, regardless of our age. You really do have the power to change your thoughts and behaviors, even on the hard days. To build that confidence, deliberately shut down your inner critic, and make positive, self-affirming statements to activate reward centres in your brain. Tell yourself you can do something instead of thinking of all the reasons you can’t. Doing this continuously can make changes at the cellular level and rewire your brain for the better.
Visualize your potential
Using visualization can be a powerful way to reduce stress and achieve success, according to neuroscientist and executive coach Dr. Tara Swart. Visualizing yourself achieving a goal or overcoming a challenge is a repetitive exercise. Because new things can sometimes feel a little scary or outside of your comfort zone, repeatedly looking at images related to your goals can help your brain no longer see your goals as “new”. This can alleviate some of the anxiety associated with uncertainty and help you take more action.
Play back the wins
According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, up to 82% of people face feelings of the “impostor” phenomenon (you might have heard it referred to as impostor syndrome). This is especially common among high-performing, overachievers who are quick to overlook their successes. They set a bar so high no one can reach it. And when they come close, they move the bar even higher. Sound familiar? Take some time and make a list of your top 10 greatest hits moments. This forces you to spend time thinking about your achievements giving you something to come back to when “impostor” feelings creep in.
4. Stay in charge of your small business
Picture this… your bills are paid. Your invoices are squared up. You have zero outstanding payments from your clients. You even know how much revenue to expect next month.
You know you want that feeling. But the heavy lift it takes to get there is likely your least favourite part of running your own gig. After all, managing finances is probably not why you started your business— but it’s a critical part of making it succeed.
One way to stay in charge is to make the most of what you already have. Tracking your payments and using your own money with Interac Debit or Interac e-Transfer can help you avoid any surprises at the end of the month, from extra fees or forgotten purchases. It can also help you stay in control of your budget as you’re only spending money you already have.
Your customers want that feeling too! With inflationary pressures, consumers want to make conscious, smart choices for their wallets. And, using their own money with Interac solutions is just another way to help them do that.
Set up Interac e-Transfer Autodeposit, so when you get paid, there's no extra work required, and funds are deposited securely into your account.
Next up…good financial hygiene. This will save you from stress later on. By baking these tasks into your regularly scheduled programming, you will be more efficient and have more time to seek out additional opportunities you’re excited about.
5. Good financial hygiene means...
6. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready
Being in charge means you’re making confident, informed decisions for yourself and your business and know where you stand at any given time.
But when you leave things to the last minute, they become harder, more time-consuming and more stressful. You have to go into detective mode, spending time trying to retrace your steps instead of taking steps to move forward.
Healthy habits for your mind and your money can help you find the balance between doing what you need, doing what you love and getting the most out of life.
Side hustles fuel passion, freedom and fulfilment
Said their side hustle turned out to be more fulfilling than they expected.
Said they felt confident managing their business finances from day one.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as financial, legal or other professional advice. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subject matter discussed. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Interac Corp.