How many times a day are you smacked in the face with those Facebook ads and emails that promise to teach you to make a 6-figure income doing what you love? How many webinars have you attended in an attempt to learn some secret to skyrocketing your income? (Guilty!)
Don’t get me wrong – I think working on money mindset is important. My upbringing was pretty typical upper middle class and while we weren’t private jet rich, some of my parents’ friends were. And some of them were sleazeballs and assholes. Knowing rich people who sucked really made me believe that having money made people suck.
We all have money blocks, but that’s for another post. (If you’re struggling with this, see You Are a Badass – affiliate link, btw.)
Today I’m talking about why it’s OK not to be solely motivated by money in your business.
Wait, wait, wait…
One step back…money is the goal of running a business. In fact, if you never make any money, you legally have a hobby. I get that we have businesses because we want to earn money, preferably doing something we don’t hate. We have to eat. We have to put gas in the car. The kids need dance lessons or, in my case, my dog is not going to be happy if I can’t feed him and pay for his allergy medication. We need money.
But this subject keeps coming up in my business circles because some of my business besties are AFRAID to admit to other entrepreneurs that money isn’t their #1 motivator as a business person. They’re worried if they dare open their mouths, all the 6-figure achievers and multimillionaire wannabes are going to bite their heads off. It happens.
When I left condo and country club life, I rolled right into being like every other struggling millenial. I was on food stamps when I started my first business.We lived in a slummy apartment that wasn’t up to code and ate eggs and pasta for weeks on end because we didn’t have a vehicle to go to a real grocery store.
Here’s the secret:
I didn’t become an entrepreneur for the money.
Despite the less-than-glamorous lifestyle, I didn’t quit my job with dreams of 6-figure life and vacations to Fiji. I quit my job and started a business because I HATED working for someone else. I worked at a dollar store for $7.25 an hour while I started my business so that someday I could stop working minimum wage jobs. We stayed in our shitty apartment. We still didn’t have a car.
This was no get-rich-quick scenario. I had an idea that it wouldn’t be going into it and it was even more shockingly underwhelming once I actually started running the business. It was my first business and I had no idea how to market or hustle my butt off to get clients. Even if I had done it for the money, the money wasn’t there.
It didn’t matter. I knew I was going to be free from bosses and punching a clock. I knew my success was mine – no one else was going to take credit for it. If I failed, that was on me too. I was going to control my time, my effort, my income, and my direction. I was going to create a life I loved.
Eventually, I got off food stamps. My husband and I bought a car. We moved to a nicer apartment. All bonuses to having more money.
You know what? The freedom was just as valuable as the money.
Being motivated by money is a bad reason to start a business.
Don’t let it be your only reason. Money in the entrepreneur world is as, if not more, unstable than having an income as an employee. It takes time for a business to get off the ground. There are bad months, even when you’re established. There are more expenses involved. This is not the easy road.
Money is a motivator. Money is not evil. But money is not the only thing in life that has value.
Being motivated by money is going to cause you to burn out on your business before it even gains momentum because seldom is the money there in the beginning.
Stop being afraid.
Stop being afraid to admit you became an entrepreneur to:
- stay home with your kids.
- become location-independent.
- do something you enjoyed for a living.
- utilize your skills better.
- try something new.
- explore your passions.
- stop answering to other people.
- get credit for your success.
- be more creative at work.
- provide people with an amazing service or product.
“I want to be comfortable,” said like 5 people in my business network. Me too.
I want an income that sustains my family and allows us to save for bigger goals. I want to be able to send my own kids to dance lessons someday and to keep my dog’s allergies to a reasonably low level of itchiness. I want to make money, but do I need $200,000 per year? No. If that happens, I’m going to be crazy grateful. If the bills are paid and we have a little leftover, I’m OK with that too.
Let yourself love your ‘why’ for becoming an entrepreneur, even if it doesn’t have a dollar sign behind it.