Creating money: The inner and outer work of setting and reaching financial goals

It's the time of year when we
traditionally think about the past 12 months and look to the future.
Time to review what worked and didn't work about 2014 and to plan for
2015.

Time for Accidental Entrepreneurs to be clear and specific about lots of thing, including money.

Because money matters, even–or especially–when you don't want your work to be about the money.

Money, or the lack of it, affects your confidence.

Money determines how much you can invest in yourself and your work.

Finally,
if you exist in a money fog, it's hard to navigate everything from
pricing to equipment purchases to paying taxes. That's stressful and
distracting.

So money matters.

Making money is a creative act
You may not have thought about it this way, but making money is a creative act, like making cookies, a sweater, or a painting.

Making
money involves starting with raw materials (your knowledge, skills,
passion, experience) and transforming them into income through the
medium of serving others.

Creating begins with a vision
Creating
money begins with defining specific financial goals. When you establish
goals, you declare to your conscious and unconscious mind that you
intend to create that result.

Setting financial goals is an inside and outside job
Setting and reaching financial goals requires inner and outer work.

The
inner work includes aligning your goals with your values, dreams, and
self-concept. That means setting goals that are meaningful.

It means working on your money issues. (And hello, who doesn't have money issues?)

I'm
betting you know or can guess quite a bit about the issues keeping you
from setting and reaching juicy financial goals. (Can it be okay with
you to have a juicy financial goal?)

But you may have become
resigned or complacent about those issues. You may be so used to having
them around that you're not gently and persistently unraveling them.

Inner work takes form in outer work
Actually,
there's only one kind of work: the work of being self-aware,
self-realized, and self-actuating. You wake up (or you don't) and you
take one humble action at a time.

Chop wood.

Carry water.

When
it comes to setting and reaching financial goals, the equivalent of
chopping wood and carrying water is doing the numbers. Getting down and
dirty with what you are earning now and what a really good living would
look like.

Start with what you need and want to spend
In
Profit Alchemy, I teach participants to begin the goal-setting process
by getting specific about their expenses. That's because knowing what
you need to earn will make your goals much more grounded and focused.

Otherwise it's easy to be dreamy and vague, to over- or under-reach.

Start by making a list of your expenses.

Next,
dream. What things are you not currently paying for that you need in
order to be truly comfortable? Include things like insurance, self care
(massage, anyone?), and holidays. Add these to your list.

How
about an allowance for replacing your computer and other equipment when
the time comes? (Yes, you can plan for this. You can't control it, but
you can sure as heck plan for it.)

Now, account for contingencies, profit, savings, and taxes.

Contingencies
are unexpected expenses. Profit lets you reinvest in yourself and your
business. Savings and taxes are self-explanatory (though often
Accidental Entrepreneurs forget to plan for them).

I suggest you add *at least* 30% to the total for contingencies, profit, savings, and taxes.

(Sound like work? Chop wood. Carry water!)

Define your starting point
Do you know, really, how much money you made this month? This year?

Lots
of my students don't, at least not in the beginning. Like them, you may
have a vague sense of what you're earning. But to be a creator, you
need a firm foundation in current reality.

Run the numbers. (You can do it!)

Play with the possibilities
This part is more fun. (But please, do the other pieces first.)

Think
of all the ways you might bring in money. Remember, you are creating
here, so be creative. Look around at what other people  in your field
and beyond are doing. How could you do a version of the same things?

Play
with the amounts of money you might charge for different products and
services. Work out how much you would earn by selling different products
and services at different price points.

How many hours of
massage at $120/hour would you need to deliver in order to pay your
mortgage or rent? How would that change if you raised or lowered your
fees?

What if you taught a class? Again, play with different
scenarios.  10 people at $300; 30 people at $150. Get a feel for the
various ways you can build toward your goal.

Creating is an iterative process
That's a fancy way of saying, "Review your goals and revise your plans."

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