For many, this time of year is a mixed bag of emotions. Yes, it’s wonderful to spend quality time with friends and family. Yet, there is a lot of pressure, too. Making sure the gifts and the food and the decorations are just right. Trying to uphold traditions, even those that may have outlived their moment. Missing people who are no longer in your life, for a miriad of reasons.
That kind of pressure can cause us to behave poorly. We can snap, and lash out with little provocation. And we can over-spend. I have spent many a holiday spending every last minute, and way too much money, trying to meet some vague and unrealistic expecations. It’s stressful, and I can feel my hard-earned mental health slip away, replaced by anxiety and desperation.
All that…can lead to lying. First of all, we can lie to ourselves. We can ignore the credit card balance, and claim ignorance of our financial situation. If we don’t confront it, we don’t have to share it, right? We can say, “The accounting is a mess. I’ll get to it after the holidays. I’ll deal with it later.”
For me, this is the time of year I need to double down on my commitments to meditate, to go for a run (even if it’s cold outside!) and to stick to a morning ritual. These are the tools that help me stay mentally, emotionally and physically fit. Also, I need to practice “rigorous honesty”. When it comes to the financials, we keep the accounting up to date (Thanks, Gail!), running reports weekly, and closing each month by the 15th of the following month. Hotrod and I tell each other the truth, and confront our financial situation formally, by reviewing the reports, and meeting with our “Bean Team.” Gone are the days where I was in denial (and, let’s face it – lying!) about my financial position. AND IT FEELS SOOOO MUCH BETTER to tell the truth!
Is this blog hitting you? Are you in denial about the money? Are you convinced that you’re not not lying because you don’t really know what the situation is? My friend, it is your money and your responsibility to know. To know where the money is, where it goes…and how much you owe.
No matter what your financial situation is, it can be improved. You may be able to fix it, and turn debt into prosperity! But ONLY if you are willing to stop lying. To yourself, and to your spouse/significant other/business partners. I know this sounds harsh, but I am feeling compelled to dish out the “tough love” this holiday season.
Gulp. Is it time for you to get real about your financial situation? This can be scary. And you may need some help, getting to a Known Financial Position (KFP). Really, if you could do this on your own, you probably would have by now. You may need to sit down with your spouse/significant other/business partenrs and have a difficult conversation. Sometimes it helps to start the conversation with a safe person and in a safe place.
That’s why I’m hosting my newest Webinar – The Phenomenal Financial Blast – Let’s Get Real About the Money! (My friend, Howard Partridge and his phenomenal team will be hosting this FREE event!)
I always approach financial management from a place of NO judgement and only love. There are lots of legitimate reasons why you may find yourself in a financial fog. Daddy was a bad money manager. You never learned financial basics in school. (I didn’t, and I have a pricey degree in Business Administration!) The previous bookkeeper left a mess and you can’t make sense of it. You are in the habit of not looking. No matter how or why you got into a tight financial situation, you can fix it if you are willing to confront it. And start telling the truth.
One of my clients, and BFFs, was in a really tight financial situation. Instead of confronting it, he hired an accounting “expert” – a CPA who really did a number on his books. While my friend had is head in the sand, his accountant started all kinds of fraudulent behavior that could have ended in disaster (including prison!) Why did he let the situation get so far out of control? He was afraid. Afraid of what he would find if he dug into the numbers. Afraid he wouldn’t be able to recover. He reached out to me knowing that I would give him a reality check, and some “tough love”. He decided to get to the truth, no matter the consequences. Fear fades when you expose it to the light. Once he made the commitment, all manner of good things unfolded for him. Serendipitous help from every direction appeared. Now, he is a humble, and uber successful businessman, who never takes his eyes off the score. He insists on transparency and accountability at every level of the company. So good!
I have LOTS of turnaround stories. However, I have many more stories of people who reached out, but never did anything to correct their situation.Most of the time, the accountant or bookkeeper isn’t a criminal! Most of the time the person in charge of the money (maybe you?) isn’t properly trained. Or, doesn’t have the time or interest. Or holds on the myth that, “If we do what we love the money will follow.” And then the weeks, months and years go by…and the mess becomes just too much.
What about you? What will it take to turn your financial situation around, and perhaps your life?
“Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming.”
Being a good financial steward. Having “cause” over your financial situation. Becoming financially free. Are these things you aspire to becoming?
If so, seek, and tell, the truth. All manner of good things lie ahead when you commit to that path. The financial area represents only one portion of your life. But it is often a hotbed of emotion and resistance. Handling this part of your life can have some many positive effects on other areas, too. That’s what I’ve found (in myself and with some many colleagues and clients!)
Wishing you a holiday filled with peace, love, joy, happiness…and prosperity!
PS…Just sayin’, you may need a little help getting to a current, known, and understood financial position. If you could do it on your own, you probably would have. You’ll find help (and love and support and humor!) on my FREE Webinar!