Host of the Make Meaning Podcast, Owner at Your People LLC PR/Marketing company, Founder of the Make Meaning Movement, Author of 8 Books.
In my experience, there are two reasons potential clients give for why they cannot move forward with an agency contract:
1. They can’t afford it.
2. They don’t have the time to make it work.
However, it seems that these are rarely the actual reasons that a client fails to sign on the dotted line. When we see the value of something, whether it’s hiring a marketing agency or paying for ads on social media or some other move-the-business-forward investment, we usually can find the money, and we make the time.
People are in business for a variety of reasons. Usually, the top one is they need to earn a living, and whatever type of product or service they’re peddling is a way to do that. But after mere need, other reasons motivate the long hours and emotional focus we pour into our work: A sense of purpose, love of competition, a belief that what you have to offer is better than anything else out there or a driving desire to amass as much money as you possibly can during your hardworking years.
And while we all need money to live, and may want money to enjoy our lives, money and our relationship to it can be the ultimate curse (or blessing) on business efforts.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “money”? We all have preconceptions and habits surrounding money, most of which come from early lessons we learned and behaviors we witnessed, often from parents or other role models in our young lives.
In his book, Money and the Meaning of Life, philosophy professor Jacob Needleman says money is actually about love and relationships — it has the power to bring people together or tear them apart.
Money doesn’t create or solve problems, he adds. Our problems exist with or without money.
What’s more, Needleman notes, there is an important difference between money and success. By looking for joy, struggle and challenge in work, and the happiness that can come from working hard for a meaningful goal, we build our spirit and our soul, if not our bank accounts.
When we hold back because something costs too much, I think what we’re often really saying is, “I’m not worth it,” or “The work I do does not deserve this investment.”
I believe money has energy. It needs to flow. It has to be allowed to come in and go out. If you hold too tightly to the money you have, you can stymie the process and prevent abundance. And likewise, if you don’t let it go responsibly, you can invite chaos and lack of focus.
To me, spending money consciously means you think about what will bring joy to you, and to others, with each expenditure, and how spending at this moment, on this contract, will move things along and allow you to reach greater heights — new customers, new audiences, new insights and perspectives shared with many more people. Releasing money sends possibilities out into the world.
So many of us hold limiting beliefs about money that we may not even realize, and those limiting beliefs often turn money into an evil entity — an enemy instead of a resource on your path toward growth. I believe we must look money in the eye, see it for what it is and realize the possibilities it can bring when we spend it.
When we budget, we often find that we have more to spend. When we invest, we are exhibiting trust, and the universe often rewards us for it. When we see ourselves as an investment, we are comfortable letting money flow in and out.
What lessons about money did you take from your childhood — whether explicit or subtle? If you’re a business owner who never wants to spend, it may be time to look at these unconscious biases and choose how you want to act and believe going forward.
When we use money for good, good things can happen. The act of spending can multiply our good fortune. Respecting the power that money has in our lives — not being afraid of that power or lack thereof — allows us to use it responsibly.
In business, we must reckon with the ever-present role of money to help us achieve our goals. A focused business with a mission driving its activities can harness the power of money to multiply its impact in the world.
When a business owner knows this deep down, it can be easy to decide to engage in marketing activities without holding too tightly to the money it costs to get your company out there. I believe we must trust that responsible spending will bring us closer to the place where we can truly make a difference.
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Author: Lynne Golodner, Forbes Councils Member