Your relationship with your money matters.
Why? Because money is like oxygen, you can’t live without it.
In this post I want to identify the kind of relationships and beliefs you can have with money, and how I think about money.
I believe we can group people into four categories of behaviors around money. Obsessed, Worrier, Admirer, and will call the last category Even Steven.
Extremism is not good in anything you do. Obsession is a disease, like a drug addict. Levels of dopamine rise and fall when you interact with money.
It rules your life. You get so upset when you lose money that you take your anger out on others. It affects everyone around you. It can also have the opposite effect of you being overly thrilled.
Mood swings around money are a warning sign that you could be in this category. Of course no one likes losing money and everyone loves earning it, but everything must be done in moderation. By everything I mean controlling your emotions.
You should not be possessed by money, and if you are than there are a few things you need to know.
Do not invest in anything that has considerable risk. Stay away from casinos, or any gambling dwellings. Do not go out with anyone that is a free spirited spender.
Now these three categories that I am mentioning are also sets of beliefs that people have about money.
In this category you hate money. You think negatively about it. You believe that people who have a lot of it sit on their high horse and are power driven. You would not be putting yourself in a position to be around people who have more than you do.
You avoid spending on material possessions. You spend on just the basic needs.
I don’t want to use words like envy or jealousy because it is much deeper than just these emerged feelings. It is a deep rooted belief that would have been ingrained into your psyche.
It can be untrained.
Here we have those who appreciate money. They put their emotions and ego to the side lines when dealing with money. They make calculated decisions and when things go sideways they maintain their composure by learning from what went wrong.
I place two of my mentors in this category. I have been in every category that I have mentioned. I believe I am now in this third category. It took a lot of observing to realize that money isn’t the end all be all.
Yet it plays a vital role in our lives.
There was one person whom I have met through a network meet-up, he said, “bring value to others first and foremost”.
Likewise, writer Gary Vaynerchuk said, “When they (customer) feel like they’ve gotten so much it would almost be rude to refuse to buy from you.”
Than there is this group of people.
4. Even Stevens
I have a few particular friends in mind, one of them is a business partner, which I probably should be worried. Their mentality is, whether they earn more or less money, they always come out the same in the end.
You have less money, so you live according to your means. When all of the sudden you earn more, you still live according to your means, however the means just got larger.
Why is that?
I used to think I was always Even Steven. When I thought this it always followed suit. Because that was my belief.
When you think like this, unconsciously you make poor decisions with your money.
You earn more, so you go buy some expensive jewelry, or do something extravagant like book a trip first class somewhere. You would never do this when you didn’t have the money to do it, so why do it now?
You do it because you feel that the money you make is there for you to spend. You become a chameleon, and you adapt.
Which category do you fall into?
You can only imagine what each person in the previous categories would do in this situation.
I am not suggesting to live a frugal life by never spending and always saving. We can actually put people into this category also, the Savers. They are boring, and you don’t see these people enjoying themselves very much.
Just be aware of your beliefs around money. Don’t change your habits because you earn more unless you decide that is in line with your beliefs.
I feel I have friends in every category, and I have also been in every category myself. When I understood my relationship with money is when I started growing exponentially. Of course I make mistakes sometimes in poor investment choices. It would be unusual not to.
The cheesy thing to say would be that failure is part of the road to become successful. Unfortunately this is true. We learn a great deal from our failures and it makes us more adept.