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June 11, 2017

Like Love, Money is an Intimate Relationship.


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We have been trained to never talk about money from a meaningful, vulnerable place.

Money is something we try to earn, save, and invest. It is a vital part of who we are, what we believe, and how feel about our desires. Often however, it is not openly discussed.

When we are earning and organizing our money stories (what we tell ourselves about money) well, we create a deep level of security to build powerful relationships, memories, and experiences. When we are stressed, under-earning, and just surviving, our money story feels chaotic, unhappy, and deeply unsatisfying.

Most people are completely disconnected with their own money story. Personally, having been stuck in an abusive under-earning money story for decades, I have discovered three helpful ways to reorganize this relationship to increase earning power.

1. Money is an intimate relationship.

Money is a relationship. Learning to see it this way is powerful and vulnerable. It is a relationship which needs massive curiosity, exploration, and deep understanding. Everyone has a unique relationship with money, yet most people are disconnected.

When we are disconnected, we become disempowered. We can easily fail to realize the power we have in designing a new relationship with money. If people cared about their money relationship as much as their romantic relationships, their lives would organize in more fulfilling, satisfying ways.

To investigate your money story, answer the following questions:

>> If money was your intimate lover, what would it say to you?

>> What would you say to it?

>> What does it make you feel, think, and believe about yourself?

Once I got curious with how money spoke to me, I heard money in a new way and believe me, it was not pleasurable. It was excruciating!

Money whispered to me, “Your desires are dirty, and you should suffer for the rest of your life!” It had me thinking I had no value to offer the world. The road of suffering poverty was my destiny.

No wonder I lived in constant traumatic states with money and life. We can’t earn money and have healthy relationships when we are so deeply enslaved to a broken money story.

An important note: I do have a finance background. I was a registered investment advisor who worked as a wealth manager, yet I was still poor! Knowledge is nothing when our core insides are disorganized.

Getting vulnerable and waking up to our powerful money story is magical. Once we have gathered our money story, claim a new relationship. Make it meaningful. It is empowering to build a meaningful relationship with yourself and your true value.

2. Create a weekly money date.

We know the importance of keeping things fresh in a marriage with a weekly date, so now do it with money. Make the time weekly to dive deeply into your money story and explore your talents and skills in innovative ways.

Make this weekly time pleasurable and sacred. Ritualize your date to make it more meaningful by lighting candles or going to your favorite park or coffee shop.

Give yourself weekly goals, actionable steps, and income desires. Gathering clarity on what ways to expand earning capacity takes precious time and builds intimacy. People underestimate the time needed to gather clarity. Having a weekly date helps build accountability and consistency.

3. Leverage your talents and life experiences.

As you design and build a new dynamic relationship with money, investigate how to leverage your interests, talents, and life experiences in exciting ways. Leverage is critical if you desire to increase your earning power.

Start to see all your experiences as unique ways to serve that leverage. Go through your life and find credibility sources which you can build into potential income streams.

Organize a detailed background check. List your education, skills and volunteering experience. Identify any traumatic obstacles you have had to overcome. Embrace everything you have ever studied or been inspired by.

Scan your life deeply to gather this precious data. This exercise is critical and will strengthen your money relationship as well as build a new creative earning story.

For example: I was barely surviving as a financial advisor when I cracked open my broken money story. My life was in turmoil and I found my circumstances unbearable. I was sick and tired of being money sick.

I got curious with seeing my experience, training, and credibility in new ways. I could see my unique experience over the last 20 years as a powerful asset.

For me, helping people with complex recovery issues and traumatic circumstances was as easy as breathing air. I had been doing it free for decades. After I got sober 22 years ago, I went back to school to become a therapist but diverted midway to do financial advising.

My money sickness told me I should never charge people to help them overcome complex problems. I should do this work for free and suffer with work I hate. My grand idea was to go make money suffering on Wall Street!

Once I untangled this money story, I began to leverage my recovery experience, psychological training, and financial knowledge to build a meaningful career. I immediately increased my earning impact. I was generating more income in one month with my new business than I made in years of financial consulting.

Money holds a powerful desire state which can either wake us up to discover sources of tremendous value or it can completely swallow us up from ever seeing our worth.

Applying these three steps into your life will help you wake up, see your value, and put them to beneficial use.

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Author: Angela McKinney
Image: Steven Depolo/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell

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