A big challenge for many people is feeling as though they don’t have the money to fund their dreams.
- How can I start working on my dream without any money?
- I've got bills to pay, it'll take me years to save!
- I have a million ideas, I can't fund all of them!
It’s especially challenging if you aren’t clear on what you want to do or have a million ideas but can’t choose which one.
Over the last few years, I’ve learnt these three wonderful pieces of advice!
1. ALIGN YOUR MONEY WITH YOUR VALUES.
When we spend money on activities that don’t matter to us (maybe meeting up with people who leave us feeling drained) or commitments we’ve outgrown, they become expensive (in time often as well as money).
Yet when we align our finances with our values, we live in better integrity with ourselves. When we spend money on the things we value (examples of my values are peace, beauty, freedom) we are putting energy into objects and experiences that gives back to us (the return). Do not underestimate the power of this! It might be through inspiration for what to do next or just feeling better, motivated again to take the next step.
I was so worried about spending money on dance lessons, I thought to myself: shouldn’t I be saving for when I left my job? It was about £100 for 2 months of weekly lessons, easily within my reach with my disposable income.
I decided I would give it a try and, if it wasn’t worth it, I wouldn’t sign up for any more lessons. But of course, that weekly lesson was what kept me going through days of work that seemed to drag on, made me feel alive again and even resulted in friendship and support form my fellow dancers in our lesson one week, when I joined them straight after I gave my first talk and workshop.
I realised that that when I got to my ‘dream’ life, I wanted to be dancing regularly. If that was the case, then why was I not starting now?
2. FIND A DIFFERENT WAY TO LOOK AT IT.
We’re so worried we’re going to ‘waste’ money by spending it on the ‘wrong’ thing. But actually everything we invest into our dreams is an investment in ourselves. And our souls respond to that.
When I first spent money on my own coach I was fearful that the investment wouldn’t be good value. I mean, just the time talking to someone? How does that work?! But I’ve got back far more in terms of tools to help me move forward when I’m stuck, encouragement and reminders and strategies for an adventurous journey. Not to mention the time I saved going round in circles by myself.
We learn through our mistakes and our good choices, and these come from taking action, not sitting around hoping something will fall out of the sky. Not everyone will agree with your choices but you are your own person and it’s your life (and dream!). If you’re balking at the idea of spending money on yourself, ask yourself why? Do you feel you don’t deserve it? What are you investing in, if not yourself? Why?
Yes, we must spend money on food and rent, but even that we can look at another way. When we start realising that food we eat is a wonderful fuel to give us energy to create and play, the internet bill we pay allows us access to so many free resources, we can see how those basic necessities are all helping us along, giving us the space to work on our dreams.
3. START SMALL.
If we want to create a global brand or a big business, it’s easy to be overwhelmed thinking of all the parts that put it together. If you're like I was and have lots ideas about what we’d like to do, experimenting with each idea in a small way can help you try it on for size without expending lots of money (and time) in the process.
When we ask ourselves, what is the nucleus of our dream, we can break it down to a manageable step financially.
One of my clients wanted to set up a network of like-minded creatives but was worrying about how much to charge and where to hold it. Through coaching, he realised he just need ONE interested group of people to see how they liked the concept, and they didn’t mind that the first meeting wasn’t in a swanky venue, it could just happen in a bar, without having to worry about recouping a hire cost.
By getting down to the core idea, he got out of stuck and made it happen. After the first few meetings, he had found a venue, worked out the charging and now the groups are thriving. (Take a look at the case study here).
The best way to create more money flowing into our lives is by paying attention to how our finances are doing. A suggested first step is looking at your bank balance and checking through your standing orders and direct debits. Knowing how much you’re earning and what you’re spending it on can give you the clarity and empowerment you need to know you're taking steps in the right direction.
Which bit of advice do you resonate with the most? What are you going to do next? If you'd like to, please share in the comments below.