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Episode 117: Two Types of Business Person

This episode is for you if you are starting out in your business and you really want to make it work, and you are getting ready for success but you are not sure how to make it happen.

In this episode I will give you a couple of idea on how to get it right from the get-go so you don’t compare yourself with others or beat yourself up, or feel frustrated by your blocks. There are reasons you feel like this and have these blocks. What I cover today will help you get really clear on this.

In my experience, there are two main types of business people, and therefore two types of ways to run a business.

When you know which type of person you are you are more easily going to find your best way of doing business, and follow a straight line to getting there.

Imagine yourself realising that you are a certain type of person, and a certain way of doing business is going to work best  for you and you can just follow that path instead of wishing you were like somebody else. Imagine what that would be like.

The Concept Of Knowing Yourself

As a coach, you need to develop and consistently work on self awareness. You need to know yourself. This is really important in the context of running a business – what you offer your clients you need to be doing for yourself.

Two Types of Business People

As I discuss these, you might start to identify traits and decide that you are more one than the other, or you might be a blend of the two. You might start to get some clues about what you need to do to succeed in your business.

If you’re interested in learning more, take my free quiz on business personality types.https://melaniejwhite.com/business-personality-quiz/

Or, Gretchin Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz:  https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/four-tendencies-quiz/ 

Type 1: Influencer, Self Starter, Entrepreneur, and a Questioner

This type of person is self motivated, and intrinsically motivated. Their motivation to do do business comes from within themselves.

These people are often extroverted, well networked, and often leaders. They love being in contact will lots of people and being the driving force for groups and movements, even if they are on the introverted side.

These types of personality traits tend to be very successful in their own right, and rarely rely on others to get things done. They do get help – they are the type to build a team around them. Importantly, they have that internal drive, they are driven to bring their idea to the world.

Understanding who you are is the first step to understanding what you need to do to succeed in your business.

The main challenges that these people face might be a lack of structure, or booking keeping, or being bogged down in over-analytical thinking. But they know they need to hire or involve people to do things for them. They may actively seek out a coach as a vehicle to overcoming the obstacles to their success.

If this sounds like you, you probably have a good chance of succeeding, assuming you have a valid business idea.  You may need to get some people to support you, but know that you are master of positioning promoting and being seen.

The great thing about you is that and your personality type and traits is you have a captive audience, and it’s easy for you get to know people you want to work with.

Type 2: Supporter, Manager, Obligor

The manager type may be a little more introverted and is typically quite organised. They don’t like being in the limelight or being seen in a leadership role. The may feel exhausted about networking or connecting with people/

If you are this type of person you may not be intrinsically motivated, you may not be as much of a strategic thinker, which means that you may struggle with a business vision that excites you.

If you are an Obligor type, your ability to make change or pick up habits, probably hinges on being able to do things for the benefit of others. If you are this type, you may need accountability to get ahead and succeed in your business.

This type is often not willing to ask for help or feel as though they should be able to do it on your own.

If you aren’t intrinsically motivated or can’t create a strategic vision for your business, then your success might be more difficult or might take you longer to achieve. But don’t worry – you might just need to learn to ask for help – especially when it comes to marketing.

I’ve seen this time and time again, and the ones who do succeed have often done well in a collaborative environment.

 

What does this look like in the real world?

I know someone who is a Type 1 person, and once she understands the process of how to do specific tasks or functions, she simply schedules these things and gets on with it.

Sure she has a bit of fear in the beginning, but she just gets on to get over those initial uncomfortable first steps.

She promotes herself, she challenges herself to get uncomfortable, she puts herself out there in person and online, she meets people.

She’s such a self starter, and she’s super determined to do what it takes to succeed.

She’ll ask for help for specific things along the way but is generally very self motivated and self accountable.

Now compare that to a Type 2 person, which is probably a bit more like me. I’ve been able to build my own program and run a successful business. I do all of my own research on my target market  and get very clear on how to meet the needs of my clients while working on my pilot program.

But I will say that my success in all areas of business over the years  has happened because I’ve been in partnerships and collaborations.

I’m not always a self starter. I do have a lot of internal drive, but its not as strong as a Type 1 sort of person.

And I’m ok with that.

The great thing is that because I know myself and I know my strengths, I play to those strengths. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to find partners to leverage my strengths. I may have been able to succeed on my own, but it might have taken twice as long.

I don’t need a team, but I do like bouncing ideas off people. I like reality checking my ideas, I like peer review, and I prefer to work with someone than delegating. I prefer to work alongside with someone to make sure the work suits my needs.

You’ve identified which type you are, what next?

If you are one of these kinds of people, I want you to think carefully about what your business is going to need from here.  

Who would be on your support team?

What might you need to outsource?

Which areas are you good at, and where do you need help?

If you are a Type 1 you’re more likely to be intrinsically motivated and the way you work with people and run your business is probably going to be different to if you are a Type 2.

Importantly, you need to stop comparing yourself to others.

I invite you to settle on who you are as a person, and make peace with that. Love your unique self.

 I invite you to settle on who you are as a person, and make peace with that. Love your unique self.

Identify your strengths, work on those things. Figure out what you are good at and how you can amplify those strengths and build your business in line with that.

Find the right people to support you along the way.

All you need to do is start.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 107: Just-ification

What you say to yourself matters. It has consequences. Learn how to rewire your reticular activating system in this episode for a calmer, less rushed, more grounded way of living.

How are you going right now? How are you feeling?

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately and it seems to be the same for a lot of people I’ve spoken to.

Today I want to talk about a topic related to hard times, but that is also relevant at ANY time. 

I want to help you to identify when you’re telling yourself some fibs, playing small and talking yourself into overwhelm, so you can quickly back out of that rabbithole and get back on track.

Sound ok?

What is Just-ification?

A few years ago, I remember a point in the year and in my life where I was feeling low, harried, and overwhelmed.

For a little while, everything felt hard.

I felt swamped by urgent deadlines.

I felt like I had to push through things and rush to get things done and meet targets.

I was rushing from one appointment to the next, doing some things at the last minute, and racing out the door to simply meet friends for coffee!

Yes, as you can see, the key theme here was feeling pressured and rushed.

Of course, if you’ve listened to my previous episodes, you know that this stuff that we ‘feel’ happens because of what we tell ourselves.

And this is where I noticed something interesting about my language – when I felt like this, I was always using the word ‘just’. 

I was saying things to myself and others, like:

  • I just need to finish this document (to justify my working late)
  • I just have to do this job, then I can come out and meet you for coffee
  • I will just squeeze in some quick emails in this 5-minute break before I have to leave for an appointment
  • I just need one more minute

This pattern in my language, and variations on it, made me realise that they were metaphors for how I was living. 

With most of the ‘just’ statements that I thought or verbalised, I was unwittingly loading myself up with JUST one more thing.

And I was justifying behaviours that were causing me to rush through life and become overwhelmed and overloaded!

I’m sure you can see the pattern.

Do you do this too?

Is your language full of just-ifications that are creating stress, unnecessary busy-ness, a sense of being rushed and pressured?

Your Words Are Instructions

Just-ification is a real thing (to me at least), and it has me wondering what other language clues there are to indicate when we are talking ourselves into stress, strain, drama or heaviness.

What are you telling yourself about your business or your life?

What are the words that you use regularly, and what do they mean to you?

“Be careful of what you say, because your body will hear you and obey.”

If you say openly that you are playing small, procrastinating, ‘not ready yet’, I can’t do that, I’m no good at that, or any version of this kind of self-talk, please be aware of the implications.

When you say things to yourself, I believe you are giving your body and mind instructions on how to behave.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let’s say you describe yourself as a chocoholic, or a workaholic, a sweet tooth or an insomniac. At that moment, what kind of instruction are you giving your body and mind?

What kind of information is getting plugged into the reticular activating system in your brain – your brain’s GPS?

When you make any sort of written or verbal assertion, your RAS takes note and filters in everything that fits with that assertion, and at the same time, filters out anything that doesn’t fit that paradigm.

On that basis, let me ask you this – what kind of behaviour are you condoning or even actively promoting for yourself?

What kind of claim are you making about yourself as a person, and what does that say about your identity?

Lots of questions from me today, but I have to say how important this is.

 Summary

By virtue of the way our brains work, specifically, your reticular activating system, when you think or say something about yourself, your body responds in a way that reinforces that statement.

I coined a phrase years ago while teaching a bellydancing class, that sums it up.

“Be careful of what you say, because your body will hear you and obey.”

Ready to have better self-talk?

What you tell yourself matters. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 68: Cultivating Self Discipline & Self Regulation

How to develop two important skills that will help you achieve results in any area of life!

I really wanted to do an episode on self-discipline because it’s an interesting topic and it really conjures up mixed feelings. 

In over 4,000 coaching hours, one of the most common wishes my clients have is to have more self-discipline or self-control, so they can be consistent with healthy habits and achieve their goals.

Have you had that thought, yourself?

If so, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about what self-discipline is, how it relates to self-regulation, and the key steps you need to build both of these skills.

 

Let’s start with a question

When you hear the word self discipline – how do you feel?

A lot of people hear the word self discipline and immediately feel uncomfortable or a sense of dread, or that hard work or punishment is ahead. 

I believe that attaching negative thoughts and feelings to words is a big part of the reason we find it hard. We’re making self-discipline into something to be disliked, feared or avoided.

But in reality, discipline is something that we need in order to persist for long enough to achieve anything in life.

You know that if you are disciplined with exercise then you will have a fit and healthy body and a lower risk of disease. 

If you’re disciplined with food then you’ll maintain a healthy weight and your energy levels. 

If you’re disciplined in your business or at work then you’ll be productive, you’ll get a lot done and you’ll achieve things – and probably make more money. 

If you’re disciplined with budgeting and saving then you will accumulate wealth.

Having heard all of that, how do you feel about the word self-discipline, now?

To me, reflecting on the benefits makes it seem more attractive, and something worth cultivating.

I think it gives you a better understanding of your relationship with self-discipline.

That will allow you to unlock your personal secrets to cultivating self-discipline so you can do, be and achieve more in your life.

Along the way, I invite you to reflect on your own thoughts and feelings to see where the truth lies.

Self-discipline versus self-regulation

To define self-discipline we must also look at the word self-regulation. 

They are two different things that work together, but come from different parts of your brain.

In reality, discipline is something that we need in order to persist for long enough to achieve anything in life.

Self-discipline is the ability to control your feelings and overcome urges. It is more about making decisions and taking actions in the moment.

Strong emotional impulses happen in your limbic system, which is the primitive, reactive part of your brain.

On the other hand, self-regulation is about reducing the frequency and intensity of those urges by managing stress-load and recovery. It is a longer-term, more automatic thing.

The longer term process of self-regulation is what makes self-control possible, or even unnecessary!

Your prefrontal cortex – the rational, reflective part of your brain – is the part that processes thoughts, makes decisions and takes control and that is where self-regulation happens.

Consider how this works in an example.

The Smell of Doughnuts

Let’s say you’re walking through a shopping mall on a mission to buy something, and then you smell the strong, heady aroma of spicy cinnamon doughnuts.

Your mouth waters.

You look around for the source of that amazing smell.

You see the hot doughnuts travelling on the conveyor belt, people closing their eyes with delight as they sink their teeth into the hot, fluffy dough.

Your brain screams – I WANT SOME!

But suddenly your self-discipline kicks in and you tell yourself – HEY – I am going to say NO.

Your self-regulation then kicks in – that is, your pre-determined beliefs, rationale and coping strategies. 

You rationalise the doughnut decision by thinking about your longer term goals – I want to be consistent with healthy eating. I have just had a healthy lunch, why would I want to spoil that with a sugary fat-sponge?

And although you’re tempted in the moment, you use these thoughts and also perhaps a strategy of distraction to refocus on your shopping mission and walk away from the doughnut.

This is an example of self-discipline and self-regulation in action.

So there are two skills to master here:

  1. Resisting an urge in the moment (self-discipline), and
  2. Defining your beliefs, standards, goals and how to monitor and uphold them.

The Benefits of Self-Regulation

If you have good self regulation then you have the ability to keep your emotions and behaviours in check.

It means you have the ability to resist impulsive behaviours so that you don’t need to keep relying on willpower, which is a finite resource.

Good self-regulation means that you are able to cheer yourself up, and find motivation to do everything that you need to do.

There are two parts of self-regulation – behavioural and emotional self regulation.

Behavioural self-regulation means that you’re able to consistently act in line with your values and for your best long-term interests. 

Even if you don’t feel like doing something you will do it anyway. 

For example you might wake up on a Friday morning and not feel like going to work, but you still do it anyway because you know that it’s going to bring you the money that you need to live a healthy and productive life.

Emotional regulation is being able to influence or control your emotions. 

It means that you’re able to talk yourself down from catastrophe, or that you can calm yourself down after being angry, get yourself out of a bad mood or avoid emotional outbursts at other people. It means that you’re not overly reactive to the situations around you.

Why are we disciplined in some areas and not others?

Let’s explore this conundrum.

I bet that you show up to work every day. 

You probably don’t eat lollies for breakfast. 

It makes sense that brushing your teeth is 100% not negotiable.

All of these things show that you are using self-discipline, but more broadly – self-regulation. 

Even if you want to lie in bed all day, eat lollies for breakfast or stop brushing your teeth, you simply don’t give in.

As you can tell, self discipline and self-regulation are really important parts of wellbeing.

Then why, oh why, can’t we be like this in ALL areas?

You’d be surprised how many thousands of unconscious thoughts you have running through your mind; so well practised and ingrained that you barely notice them. 

If you are mindful and watching your thoughts then you’re able to catch those thoughts before they lead to automatic actions. 

Maybe you have trained your brain to give into urges – that is, to reward those urges – so they keep getting stronger.

Maybe you haven’t made decisions about what is appropriate behaviour and what isn’t. 

You might be starting a new habit that you’ve never done before, and you haven’t sorted out your standards, reasons for change, motivators, and how to monitor and get back on track, so you are relying solely on willpower which research shows, is a finite resource.

These are skills gap for a lot of people. And that certainly explains why so many people fail to stick to new habits; they simply aren’t aware of what’s required to develop self-discipline and self-regulation.

It’s one of the reasons why working with a coach is so important – to learn the process of managing urges and developing self-regulation, and to get accountability and support to work through both.

Cultivating Self-Discipline / Managing Urges

The process of managing urges is simple, and it draws on three things:

  1.     self-awareness,
  2.     mindfulness and
  3.     self-compassion.

Here are the steps to manage an urge when you feel tempted.

Step 1 – watch your thoughts and feelings through the day

Step 2 – notice when you are tempted to do something e.g. work late, or give in to doughnuts.

Step 3 – allow the urge – sit with it the moment and notice that you have it. DON’T resist it – feel it. Be uncomfortable for a moment without judgement.

Step 4 – notice when the urge decreases.

Step 5 – reward yourself with something positive.

It’s a really simple process that simply requires practice. You will build an incredible amount of self-discipline if you follow this process.

Developing Self-Regulation 

Now let’s talk about developing self-regulation. 

Building self-regulation is more of a process of deciding in advance what you truly want and what feels aligned with your values, how you want to act, and how you will monitor and stay on track with that.

For any area you want to change, you could simply ask yourself these questions for any ONE area that you want to change:

  1. Why is that important to me/what will I get if I do?
  2. What would a realistic (and enjoyable) standard look like?
  3. How will I monitor myself?
  4. What are my triggers for falling off track?
  5. What are some strategies I can use to stay on track when I notice those triggers?

These questions will allow you to discover what you truly want and why, and to arm yourself with ways to check in with yourself and manage urges.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that health is a really strong value of yours because you want to remain active and avoid disease as you age.

You know that exercising three to four days per week would be both realistic, and about the right standard for you. 

You decide that an exercise schedule in your diary will be your best way of monitoring your exercise.

You also choose to monitor your thoughts about the exercise on those days so you can work out your triggers for doing it or not doing it.

During that monitoring, you might notice yourself sometimes trying to get out of the workouts:

  • You have a busy day so you tell yourself you’re too tired or it’s too cold. 
  • You are feeling emotional so you tell yourself that you don’t feel up to it, or you feel too fragile

It’s your ability to notice that sort of mental chatter and then to do the work out anyway that defines self-regulation.

That’s where your strategies come in.

Perhaps you decide that after a busy day you will do a different kind of workout, or call a friend for accountability.

Maybe you decide that on emotional days, you will go to a PLAN B session time that you have penciled in just in case that happens.

These are just examples, but you can see how the thinking work right at the beginning can determine your success or failure.

A Word on Standards

Something that really stands out for me in that model of self-regulation is that we often try to live up to other people’s standards instead of our own. 

Or we may have unrealistic standards for ourselves because we haven’t really reflected on what’s realistic and achievable given everything else going on in our lives. 

So if you want to become better at self-regulation and self-discipline, the first thing to do would be to get really clear on what your standards are what’s in what’s achievable and realistic.

This can also be hard for some people. It means you really need to step up and take responsibility for your own actions – including any win, loss, pass or fail. That can feel a little scary, but that is way better than the disappointment of inaction!

Summary

Self-discipline is your ability to control urges as they come up, whereas self-regulation is your ability to control your emotional and physical behaviour in line with your beliefs and moral compass.

Although you may have a negative view of the word discipline, combined with self-regulation, it is really important for your well-being. 

People who are stronger in the area of self-regulation are more self-confident, they have greater life satisfaction, supported and are able to deal with stressful situations or difficult people more easily. They are more likely to persist and achieve goals.

Building self-regulation is more of a process of deciding in advance what you truly want and what feels aligned with your values.

Cultivating self-discipline requires self awareness and an ability to say no to urges and temptation so you can uphold your own personal standards for behaviour or emotions.

Cultivating self-responsibility means taking the time to set those standards, monitor them, and develop strategies to uphold them.

It can be super helpful to work with a coach to help you cultivate these two important skills for greater wellbeing and a more fulfilling and successful life – especially if you are someone who typically expects a lot of yourself, consider yourself to be a perfectionist, or lack confidence in your ability to stay on track.

Ready to develop better self discipline and self regulation?

These skills will increase your confidence, give you greater life satisfaction and help you achieve your goals! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 60: Mind Seeding

A simple practice to help you become your future self that’s quick, easy and painless.

This episode is for you if you want to change your beliefs and become your future self, you will probably need some help to step outside your current paradigms.

If you listened to episode 59 of this podcast you will probably understand what I’m talking about. 

To recap briefly, most of us have entrenched habits – both thinking and doing habits – that happen automatically, unconsciously. And as you can imagine, those entrenched, automatic habits can be very hard to see, let alone to change.

When you achieve this clarity and awareness, there is one more thing to navigate – the fact that your brain is naturally wired to find evidence to support your current beliefs rather than your future beliefs.

In other words, if you want to become your future self, you need to uncover the hidden beliefs and then, convince yourself that behaving differently is a good idea.

As you can see there’s a little bit to navigate in order to become a better and more powerful version of you! 

To summarise, becoming your future self involves three things:

  1. Uncovering your unconscious beliefs about yourself that shape who you are
  2. Challenging and changing those beliefs and
  3. Being consistent with this until you start thinking and acting differently.

Most of us don’t have the time or space to do this in our lives.

You’re busy with your kids, making lunches, getting them to school and then yourself off to work.

Most of us are lucky to snatch 5 minutes to ourselves, so it can be really difficult to cut out all the noise and stress of modern life and to start changing our thinking and doing patterns.

That’s why I want to walk you through a simple process to help you move more quickly toward your future self. 

I call it MIND SEEDING.

I highly recommend listening to episode first 59 FIRST so this all makes more sense.

Mind Seeding

I find it so fascinating that we are able to run so much of our lives on autopilot – around 90% of what we do, in fact.

So if you think about it, our thoughts and beliefs are the instruction manual that we automatically follow each day to get things done.

It leverages off the fact that we run on autopilot and that our brains are highly suggestible.

I propose that we can use this to our advantage, and ‘seed’ our minds with the thoughts of our future self.

Want to give it a go?

Mind Seeding 101

There are so many things in life I struggle to remember, but for some reason I can easily sing the jingle from the 1981 Swatch watch commercial.

Can you relate?

This is a great illustration of the first part of mind seeding – telling yourself something short and simple, repeatedly, will cause it to stick in your head.

And as you know, if you listen to my podcast regularly, the things that you say to yourself repeatedly become your beliefs.

Here are two simple examples from my own life.

When plastic debit banking cards arrived in Australia in the 80’s (yes, I’m that old!), I realised how easy it was to start spending money. And like any normal teenager, I had started spending with my new card!

Yet I wanted my future self to be a proactive saver and accumulating wealth, rather than debt. I needed to find a way to do this.

As a measure to curb spending, I started to tell myself that I if I didn’t have cash in my purse, then I didn’t have any money.

It’s amazing how this halted my spending. I would withdraw $20 each week and this was my spending money and once it was gone, it was gone.

By the time I was 15, I had saved $1,000 and had put it into a term deposit. This one simple mind seed got me closer to my goal and up to Level 3 in my Four Levels of Money.

A year later, I was struggling with anxiety and insomnia as exams and the question of my future became more pressing.

When you are feeling stressed or a sense of lack, it’s moving away from your future self. 

I had started working a casual job in an aquarium shop, and they had a coffee machine there. It was a machine that turned instant coffee into a hot milky drink, not like the fancy barista models we get today. 

I had never really been a coffee drinker, but that machine was a lure and I found myself drinking 2 – 3 coffees on my Saturday shift. I realised that coffee had a grip on me. I found myself looking forward to the shift so I could drink coffee, and then feeling wired and jittery after it. But it felt SOO good to drink coffee.

Within a few weeks I realised that coffee was bad for me at that stage of life and I decided I wanted to stop drinking it. It was making my anxiety worse and disrupting my sleep on the day or days that I drank it.

So I seeded my mind with the concept that “I don’t want coffee to control me!”

Thinking that way about coffee was really assertive and positive for me because it spoke to me about what I wanted, not what I was missing out on. This really helped me to be disciplined with a simple habit and it made a huge difference to my state of mind.

Notice that in both examples, I was seeding my mind with thoughts that felt strong and powerful, rather than judgemental or fearful. 

This is the key to getting your new seed thoughts right.

So right now, think about ONE activity that your future self is doing or not doing, for example, not drinking coffee, or not drinking alcohol, or exercising regularly, or speaking in front of people – and create a powerful, positive statement about it.

This is one of your mind seeds that will grow into a habit that aligns with your values.

Step 2

The second part of mind seeding is to open yourself up to new ideas and opportunities. 

Think about it – it’s easy to get so caught up in life that you forget who you are and what you want to achieve; you can lose focus on your goals and clarity on your vision.

You can fall into a scarcity mentality and get lost in it.

This can cause you to lapse into negative thinking, and to lose focus and hope.

And when you are feeling stressed or a sense of lack, it’s moving away from your future self.

You can reverse things by putting a wedge in place to get your inspiration back and reinvigorate some creative thinking.

Here are some ways of doing that.

  1. Read a book on a topic you’re interested in, whether it’s related to your business, industry or a personal goal. 
  2. Take a free online course into an area of interest and learn something new.
  3. Take up a hobby that engages you and gives you a sense of flow.
  4. Block out a whole weekend with no responsibilities or commitments, to just meander and do what you want and need.
  5. Do something that will give you a quick win and is easy to do without any brain strain – like an exercise session, or cleaning out a drawer.

Seed your mind with thoughts that felt strong and powerful, rather than judgemental or fearful. 

Any of these can be enough to give you a brain break and switch things around to get your ideas flowing again.

I find that when I am feeling low, flat or defeated, I am instantly revived and excited again by listening to something inspirational or something that creates awe, curiosity or a sense of achievement.

This is positive psychology in action.

Ready to change your beliefs and become your future self?

Step outside your current paradigm and find out who you can be! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 43: Changing Beliefs About Money

Episode 43: Changing Beliefs About Money

Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to earn more? Or do you ever wish you could find a way to earn enough money, some day, somehow?

Our society places a strong focus on money and the perceived benefits it gives us. We’ve been socialised to adopt certain beliefs and judgements about money and how much people have.

Today, I want to invite you to blow all that BS out of your paradigm so you can get on with creating the money you want.

And when I say that, I mean that how much you want and what you earn is totally, 100% up to you. Maybe you WANT to create $25K per year and that’s enough. Maybe you WANT to create $200K per year and that’s enough. Whatever your situation, the most important thing is that you feel confident and capable of creating exactly what you need, and you enjoy the experience of money regardless of how much you make.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

I want to explore with you how to start changing your beliefs about money so you can develop a healthier relationship with money and start giving and receiving it in a balanced and healthy way.

First let’s consider what defines your experience with money, then your values around money, some examples of beliefs that might prevent you from earning more, and finally, a simple method to shift your beliefs.

n?

What Defines Your Experience With Money?

Have you ever wondered how some people can be thoroughly content and happy, even when they have little money? Or why others, who have all the money in the world, are stressed and miserable?

The idea that money can’t buy happiness is certainly true. But that doesn’t stop us from having a fixation about money, whether it’s how to get it, having enough, or wanting more.

I think it’s so interesting that money itself is a benign object. It’s just paper and metal, and in the examples I’ve just given you, it’s pretty clear that it’s our beliefs about money that affect the value we place on it and therefore, our experience of money and how much we create for ourselves. 

Remember that a belief is a sentence that you tell yourself repeatedly until you are convinced. So when you have a certain belief about money – and a mantra that you repeat regularly – it will shape the actions you take and the results you get.

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. And the beliefs you have right now are often shaped by your long-standing beliefs which are also known as values.

Values Around Spending Money

Think about that for a moment in the context of spending money – and what something is worth to you.  

Let’s say that you are in a shop and you see a shirt that you like the look of. You check the price tag and then make an instant value judgement on whether that thing is ‘worth it’ or not. If you say to yourself – “That’s too expensive” – then your feeling will be disinterested and you will walk away. The result is that you won’t buy the shirt.

What about a different belief?

What if you felt that looking good and dressing smartly could make or break your business because it affected people’s perception of you? That $100 shirt would be a no-brainer for you in that case.

And so what we are looking at here is not the cost of the item, but the perceived value attached to it.

I believe that our personal values have a strong influence on our relationship with money. For example, if community and fairness were strong values for you, you might have no hesitation in sponsoring a child in a third world country. To you, this is an important contribution that you want to make.

Or, if health and wellbeing were strong values for you, you might want to have the best dentist, the best specialist and the best doctor working with you and spend money on regular checkups with these professionals.

If wealth and security are strong values for you, you might live very frugally and work hard to earn more income.

As you can see, what we value and believe has a massive influence on how we spend money, but also, how we make it.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Values Around Receiving Money 

What happens when you put yourself on the receiving end?

If someone gave you a pile of money – say a prize winning or an inheritance – how would you feel about receiving that?

What if you were given money as a salary in exchange for work that you did for an employer? How do you feel about that?

What if the money came as a result of a service you personally delivered to someone in your own business?

What if the money came from something you created, like an artwork?

As I go through this list, notice that the method of earning becomes more and more personal. Some of you might notice that you started feeling more and more squeamish as I progressed. To me, that simply illustrates that, just like spending money, receiving money has it’s own set of values and emotions.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Whether or not you are aware of your thoughts and beliefs around money, you can look to your body for clues about what’s going on in your brain.

When I work with coaches around price-setting, I ask them to start with their physical reactions to money to get their pricing right.

  • If your pricing is too high, you will feel squeamish and uncomfortable; it will be VERY difficult to ask your potential customers for money and it will impact your sales process.
  • If your pricing is too low, you may feel resentful and frustrated; your attention to detail and ability to deliver value to your clients will be low and it will impact your customer experience and therefore, your sales process.

This is a really simple way to work out how you feel about giving or receiving money. The values or long-held beliefs you have strongly influence what you believe right now about money. Your values form your ‘starting position’, if you like, and then you tend to build beliefs around those values that are aligned with them. 

You may like to complete the VIA character strengths test to work out your top 5 signature strengths and reflect on how they influence your spending and earning beliefs. 

Money beliefs

A belief is simply a sentence that we have said to ourselves repeatedly. It’s something we are convinced is true.

And what you believe about money and your relationship with it is the key to unlocking wealth.

My first real experience with money beliefs was in the 90’s and naughties when I was the GM and director of an environmental consulting company. Our company paid staff slightly above market rates with plenty of time and flexibility benefits, shareholding opportunities, extra earning opportunities and a bonus system. And we had 40 staff and we completed performance reviews every six months, where staff self-rated performance and growth, and we talked about progression and salary. Out of those reviews came some very interesting conversations about money based on totally different values and belief systems. Some staff member would walk into the review every six months with a well-prepared case as to why they should be given a pay rise and they pursued that assertively. 

Some staff members flustered and anxious about their pay rises because they felt they weren’t worth that much money, and they made it mean that they would have to work harder and stay back on weekends to be good enough to earn that much money. One of them came and said they’d prefer a pay cut!

Since consulting is a leverage model, we were rewarding their ability to build teams and deliver exceptional service to clients which bought integrity, reputation and greater earning capacity to the business as a whole.

They saw it as something else.

What does that tell you about money beliefs?

Limiting Beliefs about Money

The common beliefs that hold people back from earning what they’re worth, in a job or a business include things like:

  • I’m not good enough or I’m not worth that much
  • I don’t deserve it
  • I have to work hard to earn that much money
  • I’ll have to give up my personal life for that
  • People won’t pay that
  • People will think I’m greedy
  • People will compare me with X, and they’re better than me.
  • I can’t afford it.
  • I can’t earn any more, I’m at capacity.
  • I need someone to support me financially – I can’t do it on my own.
  • It’ll raise the bar and then I’ll have to maintain that.

What results do you think those sorts of thoughts create? They keep you stuck in a lack mentality, and what I call a pattern of pursuit. You keep doing the same thing over and over again, afraid of taking a risk or challenging your beliefs. So it’s pretty hard to reach the outcome you want.

One of my favourites that I’ve heard time and again from small business owners – “Oh, I’m not doing this to make money!”

What?

I have to call that out as total BS. The reason you run a business is to earn money. Sure you want to help people but you are also aiming to earn an income, right?

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. 

Affirming Beliefs about Money

So what WOULD you need to believe in order to create more money?

More affirming beliefs are things like:

  • I love money
  • There are lots of ways I can make money
  • I am learning to manage money
  • Money is paid where value is offered
  • I am worth it
  • I can learn skills that will add value to what I offer
  • I am good enough
  • What I do truly helps people
  • Money is just a numbers game
  • Money makes it possible to help more people.
  • Money is not about me.

Someone I know has gone from broke to millionaire about three times in her life already.

I find it very interesting to hear her beliefs around money. I have heard her say with confidence, ‘making money is EASY.’ I have also heard her say, ‘I’m not good with managing money.’

Can you see how those two beliefs link to her results?

She is always on the move, meeting people working out how to bring her products into the world, doing research and investing in her ideas. She believes that what she is doing will help people, and that it will be easy to sell.

And so far, she has proven herself right.

Then fears set in, things go wrong and the business folds; nothing do to with what is being sold, but always about how the money is managed.

Changing Beliefs About Money

If you want to create more money, you will need to start changing your beliefs about money.

You can also look at the four levels of money and from a logical perspective, get a handle on how to tweak your personal financial situation.

Then you need to look at ALL the things you are saying to yourself and rewire those mantras.

The easiest way to do this is a three step process.

First, you can journal an experience you have around money each day.

Second, you can write down the limiting beliefs that come up around the experience.

Third, you can challenge and question those beliefs, and re-write them in a more factual way.

Writing them down by hand makes it quicker and easier for your brain to ‘see’ what you want and to plug that into the reticular activating system – your brain’s GPS.

It’s essential that you truly believe your re-written statements. Otherwise you won’t adopt them.

Doing this as a daily process will subtly shift your perspective over time and open up new opportunities to create wealth.

Just like brushing your teeth, the rewards are not immediate and obvious, but over time, they will have a massive impact on what you think, feel, act and achieve.

 

Ready to change your beliefs about money?

You too could earn as much as you want! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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The Four Tendencies – Obligers in Business

Four Tendencies Obligers in Business
Four Tendencies Obligers in Business

Before you read this post about Obligers in business – check out this quiz and Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies which will describe the principles I’m discussing.

The Four Tendencies tell a LOT about how you operate in the world – and in your business.

Obligers make up the largest percentage of the population, so it’s worth looking at how to optimise your business as an Obliger business owner, and to understand your Obliger customers.

This is the second article in a series of four – here’s the first article, about Questioners.

This blog outlines what makes Obligers tick, and how they can get the best out of this tendency when running their business.

The Obliger

Let’s start with an overview of the type.

Gretchen defines an Obliger as someone who:

“accepts outside rules, but doesn’t like to adopt self-imposed rules.”

In a nutshell, this is the person lives to please, support and help other people – usually at their own expense.

The Obliger may lack confidence in themselves, or may simply place a higher value on helping other people or meeting their responsibilities to others, ahead of their own needs and wants.

Obligers are externally-motivated, so they are driven to do, purchase or engage in something based on what other people think, or want them to do.

They often operate from a position of serving others and wanting to be liked, and/or appreciated.

They are (usually) not very accountable to themselves because they put others first.

They feel that in business, good service and low pricing are the most important things.

Does this sound like you, or someone you know?

The Obligers’ downfall is that they may give too much of themselves, until one day they snap and lash out (in their own gentle way).

Obligers in Business

Effective Relationship Builders

My opinion is that Obligers are usually very successful in building connection within customers, suppliers, partners and staff their business.

That’s because Obligers usually get a whiff of someone else’s unrest or pain before that person even realises they’re suffering.

Then, they reaches out with compassion, a soothing voice and the offer of help so that the recipient feels better.

This means that the people who work with Obligers feel supported, valued, trusted and nurtured.

But things may not go smoothly for all Obligers.

Because they give so much of their time and energy to others, Obligers often find themselves working long hours for little money, and with no time for themselves – overwhelmed and anxious.

And then there is the breaking point – Obliger Rebellion.

Obliger Rebellion

The thing with Obligers is that they eventually get fed up with “all work, no respect” or no recognition – and they snap.

This can happen to both business owners AND employees who are Obligers.

Here’s an example of how that could play out for an Obliger business owner:

Tanya has done EVERYTHING for her customer.

She cancelled a netball game to field the customer’s enquiry at a time to suit the customer.

Tanya gave her customer an extra long first session, and then cut her lunch meeting short to post out a hand written message with a welcome freebie.

Her prices were already low (fair, she thought), but she also discounted the price for this customer who didn’t seem to have much money.

When her customer had to cancel her second session at the last minute, Tanya understood….or…maybe there was something wrong with the first session?

Tanya spent the next hour writing her customer a carefully-worded email, saying it was ok, and things happen, and let’s reschedule.

She wanted to make sure the customer liked Tanya and felt supported enough.

That’s important.

Three days later, Tanya’s client cancelled again, this time with even LESS notice.

Tanya was so fed up – all her efforts were going unnoticed – AND – she had discounted her already-cheap session.

“What does this woman want?” thinks Tanya. “What am I, a doormat?”

She’d spent so much time giving her all, yet felt unappreciated, and a bit hard done by.

It tipped her into Obliger Rebellion.

Beyond the normal sleepless night worrying about her customers, Tanya felt angry this time.

She ruminated on the situation for two days, then eventually called the customer – defensive and angry.

An argument ensued and Tanya hung up feeling intimidated and let down….resolving NEVER again to take on THAT kind of client.

Does this sound familiar?

Despite the tendency to give too much, Tanya is very empathetic, compassionate and a good listener, which makes for engaging customer service.

She also knows that running a business requires her to be clear and confident about her offering and pricing, knowing that her customers’ engagement is not so much about her, it’s more about how ready they are to buy and/or engage.

With a little bit of help, Tanya could move forward in leaps and bounds.

In this case, Tanya could make big improvements by:

  • setting clearer personal boundaries and working on being firmer on these
  • developing a clear business plan with non-negotiable business parameters and boundaries
  • outsourcing tasks that feel ‘difficult’ or ‘pushy’,
  • getting enough time for herself so she doesn’t fall into Rebellion
  • working on a ‘sales conversation’ that feels comfortable and un-salesy, and
  • getting a business mentor or coach to help her stick to a business schedule which achieves her personal AND business goals, while still supporting her customers.

Obligers Bosses

Obligers are wonderful bosses (and coaches) in terms of their human interaction and nurturing.

While can be great with people, they might struggle with business systems and/or management.

Because they put others first, other areas of their business suffer.

They may end up slashing prices, creating a pile of ‘personalised’ (= different) agreements or services that are unwieldy and inconsistent, not following procedures.

They tend to get on best with customers or staff who are like them – giving, reasonable, people-focused and flexible.

Obligers can be wonderful listeners and cheerleaders.

However, staff members or clients who are assertive and/or are Questioners or Rebels might feel very frustrated with the Obliger, who appears clingy or subservient in comparison to themselves.

In a coaching sense, a Obliger coach can build great rapport and relationship but might ‘judge’ or smother their client with sympathy (careful!) or compassion.

An Obliger coach might also leave the client unsatisfied through coaching without courage (e.g. unclear boundaries and goals, letting them off the hook, not enough exploratory questions).

Here’s an example of how an Obliger coach might feel when they run a coaching session.

Toni was worried about whether she would ask good coaching questions and give the client real value in the coaching session.

She spent the session alternating between listening, and working out where to use the questions she practiced.

She didn’t want to pressure the client to be specific with behavioural goals, so left them as fairly general.

At the end of the session, Toni wondered if it had been value for money for her client, who was still unmotivated.

What was the real outcome of that session, anyway? What had she really DONE for that client?

In a nutshell, overextending yourself for others is actually more about you (and your performance/worth) than about your client, and it makes for unclear boundaries and intangible outcomes.

The successful Obliger is the one who can set fair boundaries and focus on the client’s needs in a healthy (objective) way – by stepping back and acknowledging that the client is in charge of their own actions, decisions and outcomes.

Obliger Clients

Go gently

The greatest consideration for business owners is that they meet the needs of their Obliger clients in a healthy way.

Obligers will rarely complain – to your face.

They will more likely get upset (eventually) and then tell everyone else behind your back.

If you have Obliger clients, it’s important to notice them, listen carefully and reflect what you hear so that your customers feel heard, supported and cared for.

It was the start of another busy day and Jody noticed a new customer walk into her office, looking timid.

She buzzed around as she normally would called out ‘be with you soon!’

Then the phone rang, and Jody grabbed it, putting a finger up to the customer to wait a minute and she’d be there.

A moment later, Jody turned around and heard the door bells jingle as the lady left her office – who didn’t want to be any trouble to Jody who was obviously busy!

In the end,  Jody lost a customer who didn’t want to bother her or get in her way.

In this case, Jody could have walked over immediately and ignored the phone to make time for a genuine connection with this lady and ask a few questions about her needs.

Luckily, it takes a lot for Obligers to truly walk out on you – they will forgive you for many things before they reach Rebellion stage!

But expressing empathy and giving undivided attention will win the heart of your Obliger customer, and the little special touches will be very much valued and appreciated.

After all, it takes one to know one.

Do you have Questions?

Got questions about tendencies in business?

Want to know how to boost your business and overcome the  hurdles of an Obliger?

Get in touch and find out how you can optimise the way you work and get the most out of your tendency.

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The Four Tendencies – Questioners in Business

Questioners in Business | Melanie J White
Questioners in Business | Melanie J White

Before you read this post about Questioners in business – if haven’t yet heard of the Four Tendencies, I suggest you check out this quiz and Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Four Tendencies.

I love the Four Tendencies because I am curious about people, behaviour, and how different tendencies operate in different situations.

Recently, I’ve seen some interesting scenarios unfold with different tendencies in business, and that has prompted to write a series of articles – starting with Questioners in Business.

This blog outlines what makes questioners tick, and how they can get the best out of this tendency when running their business.

The Questioner

Let’s start with an overview of the type.

Gretchen defines a questioner as someone who:

questions rules and accepts them only if they make sense. They may choose to follow rules, or not, according to their judgment.”

In a nutshell, this is the person that always asks WHY. And then they want more information, so they as WHY again.

The questioner drills deeper and deeper into the why – how things work, why things work, and whether things are worthwhile.

In fact, the last point is the most important.

Questioners are internally-motivated, so they will only do, purchase or engage in something that seems justifiable, logical and reasonable to them.

They often operate from a value-based, integrity-based position, and value quality and high standards.

They are (usually) highly accountable to themselves and others.

They feel that in business, being transparent is a sign of honesty.

Does this sound like you, or someone you know?

The Questioners’ downfall is that they may question things so much – including themselves – that they get into analysis paralysis.

Questioners in Business

Efficient Systems Management

My opinion is that questioners may be the most successful of all types in the mechanics of running a business.

The questioner is someone who asks why they need each element of their business, resulting in ONLY practical, reasonable and effective policies, procedures and systems.

This means that daily operation of a business is quick, easy, simple and practical, with no time wasted on frivolous or useless things.

But things may not go smoothly for all Questioners.

Over-analysis

Here’s a Questioner who gets bogged down in analysis paralysis, and it prevents her from growing her business:

Sue is sure that her business will be amazing once she has everything perfect.

She wants to set up some useful systems, but not being very tech-savvy, Sue questions every decision she makes.

That’s a long, laborious process.

So rather than move ahead in business, Sue often gets stuck in a quagmire of questions about software, whether to make videos or write blogs, which Facebook groups to be in.

She also gets side-tracked when writing and researching blogs, taking days to look up all sorts of references before finally condensing her blog into 6 pages of deep explanation.

Sue makes elaborate plans that are too overwhelming and detailed to action.

She struggles to write short, punchy marketing copy.

However, she’s very good at understanding her ideal client, because of her probing, curious and inquisitive nature.

She also understands that running a business can be multifaceted and complex.

With a little bit of help, Sue could move forward in leaps and bounds.

In this case, Sue could make big improvements by:

  • working on her perfectionist streak
  • developing a clear business plan with single, specific targets and due dates
  • deciding whether to do some training or to outsource certain tasks in her business, and
  • getting a business mentor or coach to keep her focused, on track and to help her make decisions.

Questioner Bosses

In many ways, Questioners make great leaders because they aren’t afraid to take risks and make tough decisions.

While can be great with business management and systems, they might struggle in their dealings with staff and/or clients.

Questioners are people who value integrity, quality, and are generally direct and fair.

They tend to get on best with customers or staff who value a “no-BS” approach with clear, non-negotiable boundaries.

However, staff members or clients who lacks self-confidence and/or are Obligers might really struggle with their direct, probing nature.

In a coaching sense, a Questioner coach might overwhelm and confront their client with too many questions, or too much deep probing.

Jade had a nervous tummy at the thought of attending her weekly meeting with her Questioner boss.

His questions made her feel like she’d done something wrong, or like he was watching her every move to catch her making a mistake.

Jade often prepared for these meetings by imagining all the possible scenarios that might come up, so she would be able to answer all those questions about her work.

In a nutshell, certain types of people might feel personally challenged by all those questions.

But really, those questions aren’t about them – it’s simply the Questioner seeking clarity, truth, continuous improvement, practicality and efficiency.

Questioner Clients

It’s not about you

As above, being questioned can be confronting or threatening for some business owners.

A Questioner customer who keeps asking ‘but why’ is simply attempting to understand something, or decide whether they should buy it, or understand something that isn’t working.

If you’re a sensitive business owner, or if you lack self-confidence, you might feel that your integrity or authority is being challenged by all those questions.

Sam was busy fixing Peter’s car and had put lots of effort into getting things just right.

So he felt pretty confronted when Peter started asking why he had done things a certain way, and why he had put certain parts in.

Same felt like he was being made to justify everything he’d done, and that Peter didn’t trust him.

To top it all off, Peter got upset when he found out that Sam hadn’t rotated the tyres.

Sam had felt it wasn’t necessary and wanted to save Peter some money, so he didn’t do it.

In the end,  Peter was irritated because he felt he was being fobbed off, and treated like an idiot.

In this case, Sam could have diverted a bunch of angst by calling Peter to talk about the need for tyre rotation or not, and to simply and patiently answer Sam’s questions.

Luckily, most of the time, all those Questions are NOT about you.

It’s simply the Questioner trying to satisfy their own curiosity about something!

You can simply relax and let the person know you will do all you can to help them and/or understand their queries.

That sort of approach will build far better relationships with Questioner customers, than becoming reactive and defensive.

Or, you can simply make a decision not to have a Questioner as a client.

 

Do YOU have Questions?

Got questions about tendencies in business?

Get in touch and find out how you can optimise the way you work and get the most out of your tendency.