What’s a money story? And how to find yours

Aug 26

We’ve all made the excuse of “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have enough money” to grow our online business, but what we often don’t realize is that it’s our “money story” that is actually holding us back from investing in our business (or anything really). So what’s a money story and how do you find yours? Let’s talk about it.

What is a money story?

It’s basically a story or narrative you’ve made up throughout your life about how money should be handled, your core beliefs about it, and the series of events or thought patterns that drive your day-to-day decisions and feelings about money.

The first time I knew that I could not grow my business to the vision God-laid on my heart without investment, was also the first time I simultaneously felt SUCH paralyzing guilt and shame for wanting to even spend said money on my business…which then of course just led to more fear and doubt about my business in general 🤦‍♀️

You see, I grew up with parents (and ultimately step-parents) who had completely different views and ways of handling money.

My mom was more of a “I work hard for this and you can’t take it with you when you die so why not enjoy it now?” kind of woman.

And my dad was more of a “You should not have a house mortgage, and save every penny for your children’s education and retirement first, and then you can enjoy it” kind of man.

I ended up living with my dad and grew up working since the day I could. My family has always joked that I’m “just like my dad”, a real “penny pincher”, and “so tight I squeak when I walk”. 

Those were some surface-level “money stories” if you will, that I was told about myself and actually believed for the longest time. In other words, I believed that I would “always be that way” or that it was “the right way” to handle money because I grew up around those kinds of messages.

But your money story is even deeper than those labels and list of “shoulds” or “should nots”, it’s:

  • Why you feel tension at the check out line…
  • Why you feel guilty about buying yourself anything
  • Why you probably fight with your spouse over finances…

And it’s more than likely exactly why you’re petrified to invest in your business whether big or small. So let’s go there.

How to find your money story

So then what’s your money story? Why do you feel those things and why on earth does it always feel so dang intimidating or shameful to want to invest in your business to take it to the next level?

Step 1 to find your money story: Revisit your childhood and adolescent money memories

Think back to all the underlying messages that stemmed from how you grew up around money and write them down. Think about how your parents, peers, and spouse have sent messages like “Just charge it” or “You don’t need to save”, etc. They may not have said these things out loud, but I’m willing to bet you understand their values and beliefs based on their behaviors so identify the behaviors first and then the message that those behaviors conveyed.

Step 2 to find your money story: Evaluate your current money beliefs.

Referencing the childhood and adolescent money memories above, write out a list of statements about what you believe about money as of today and how you “should” be handling it. If you’re considering an investment, write out what you believe about investing.

Step 3 to find your money story: Consider what beliefs need to change to “rewrite your money story”.

In a column next to your current money beliefs, identify what scriptural proof you have to continue to believe (or rebuke) your belief. Once you identify what’s true you can begin to “rewrite your money story” by acting on what you believe to be (and actually is) true.

If you’re still on the fence I would share your thoughts with friends, family, or church members you can trust or seek additional counsel from your pastor if you can.

My money story (err, one of the many)

In 2017 I went from proudly Dave Ramsey-ing everything I possibly could to being called full time to entrepreneurship and it was at a time that made zero financial sense for me to do so.

I answered the call to entrepreneurship and left a 6 figure lifestyle and being the breadwinner of my family of 5 when it made zero logical or financial sense to do so…as in, we had more bills to pay than the income coming in.

So you can imagine growing up as a “penny pincher” my whole life and believing “debt is bad” how shameful and guilty I felt not only pursuing something risky like entrepreneurship in general, but then wanting (and needing) to invest in my business.

BUT, I finally did things like tapped into my savings instead of saving it for “just incase my biz fails and we need to survive”, ran up my first biz credit card, and at one point I even paid $1200 a month for 6 months for one-on-one coaching. (read about the outcome and thoughts that led to this at the end)

It took me a long time and lots of biblical counsel and therapy to realize that my fear of debt or “irresponsible spending” was actually just fear of not making my money back. 

My counselor challenged me with “If this is an “investment”, you prayed about it, and you’re choosing people to work with who share your values, then how is this an irresponsible decision? Why are you fearing debt?”

My answer? Because I have a family to provide for and what if I don’t make my money back?

She very lovingly responded with, “So you fear debt because you believe that you won’t make your money back? That it’ll somehow be a waste? That the people you want to invest with won’t deliver on their results? Or that God won’t do what He’s told you He would do?” and that’s when I learned:

  • There was a difference between debt and investment. (And that’s also when I worked through how I could justify a mortgage payment but not an investment in my call to entrepreneurship.)
  • That’s when I learned investment is totally encouraged, rewarded,  and a form of good stewardship. (See the parable of the talents)
  • That’s when I learned even more about what He tells us about money and how the enemy will use some truths to keep us right where we are settling for the status quo instead of pursuing the bigger dreams laid on our heart.
    (See how the Devil tempts the Lord with the written word)

And you know what happened after I rewrote my money story and ACTED like I believed the things that were true??

I hit my first $5k sales goal in the first 30 days of being a full-time entrepreneur.

I mustered up the courage to run my first $500 paid ad campaign and webinar and saw more than 6x that in return.

And even greater than any list of positive ROI stats I can list right here is that I more than quadrupled my ROI on my faith. #PTL

We’re some of those ROI results because of smart strategies. Yep… but really God, Amen?

Sometimes I don’t think it’s a finance matter we’re struggling with so much as it is a faith matter:

  • Faith knowing if you feel led to invest in your online business that His promises are still true for you… and that nothing you do for Him will be labored in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58) …
  • Faith believing that with help and wise counsel His plans will succeed (Proverbs 11:14) …
  • Faith investing in your talents instead of burying them (Matthew 25:14-30) …
  • Faith that even if you don’t have much, it’s worth investing and will be rewarded (Matthew 25:23) …
  • Faith trusting that your savings account (and any money for that matter) is His to begin with (1 Corinthians 10:26)…

…Or at least, that’s my money story and testimony so far. 🤷

Again, I’m not here to condone or suggest debt today, but rather to encourage you to check your faith and beliefs when it comes to investments and what really may be holding you back.

So whether you need to learn what your money story is because you’re on the fence about an investment or you want to overcome some other financial hurdle like indecisiveness, guilt, shame, etc. that this helps and points to you to the truth so you can begin to rewrite your money story today.

PS. If you haven’t joined our official membership community yet, you totally should so you can get workbooks and exercises for all sorts of conversations just like this to help you grow and scale your online business even faster– like the “Tough money questions to ask yourself and uncover your money story” worksheets.🤗 

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