For those of you that haven’t read my last post, I have chosen five words to focus on this year instead of resolutions. The first of those words is prosperity. Sounds simple doesn’t it? We all want prosperity don’t we? We all see things in the world we want. Why does it seem to come so much more naturally to some people? My husband Chris is one of those people. He dropped out of college after three years and went to work at a factory so he could build a race car. He then went to work at an equipment rental company a couple of years before we got married. He started out as what they called the “Wash boy.” Within about three and a half years he had made outside salesman. He makes about three times what I made at my highest paying accounting job. I’m the one with the college degree. I’m the one that always obsessed about grades, and yet Chris has always excelled far above me. A fact that has often left me wondering why.
Despite Chris’s stellar income, It always feels like money is tight. For years I attributed this to Chris’s love of man toys. You know, cars, performance parts, expensive trucks despite having a company truck, a big house etc, etc. etc. Chris’s attitude towards money has always been to just get what you want and if you need more money than you go make more. I attribute this to his growing up in a financially comfortable environment. His parents weren’t rich, but they were never lacking for anything. They didn’t worry about tires going flat or furnaces going out.
I, did not grow up in such an environment. When I was five we lived in a crude shelter that my father made out of plywood that I’m pretty sure he “borrowed” from the job-sites he worked on. We had no running water and our only source of electricity was an extension cord running from my grandparents single-wide next door. I was too young at the time to realize how poor we were, but by age nine, I had started worrying about money. It’s no wonder that I have issues in this area.
I used to attribute our tight finances to the fact that Chris spends too much. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I have it wrong. I can’t believe I just put that in writing. Thank God Chris doesn’t read my blog. I can promise you I would never live that one down. Seriously though, I’ve been questioning some of my beliefs and my belief that responsibility for our money issue belonged on Chris’s shoulders was a strong one. But now I’m thinking it’s possible that it may be mine. What if the fact that I always approach our finances from a lack mentality has something to do with it? Every time we get a little extra, I tend to spend it on things the kids are going to need, but don’t necessarily need yet. I’m afraid we won’t have the money when they do need it. I always approach paying the bills from a place of fear.
When the twins started kindergarten last fall Chris wanted me to go back to work and yet I’m still home. I want to make money doing what I love and I don’t love accounting. Fear again. There are other jobs out there that don’t require accounting, but I told myself I can’t have any of them because I lack the experience, the education etc. The truth is I look at the world as if the possibility of failure lurks around every corner. I spent months setting up a membership site and as of yet not one person has joined. It’s not that it couldn’t be an awesome space for writers to come together. I have trouble with the ask. I have trouble feeling worthy of the ask. It’s only fifteen dollars a month. Most people spend more on Starbucks. I definitely spend more on Starbucks. After a week of being snowed in, a Cinnamon Almond Milk Macchiato would be really good right about now. In spite of this fact, it’s still hard. This is a big thing I’m going to have to defeat in order to bring the prosperity I desire.
Brooke Castillo talks about how people worry about money because they believe that it comes from outside of themselves when actually it comes from within. The first time I heard her say it, it scared the shit out of me. I knew that it meant actually going out and showing up in the world and putting myself out there. I’m going to be honest. Just the idea makes me want to curl up in the fetal position on my office floor and hide.
If you don’t have customers, it’s because you need to ask people to be your customers and not get discouraged when people say no. That is the wisdom I am faced with. Sounds terrible doesn’t it. It’s really just a matter of math. If you ask 100 people to be your customers, about 10% will say yes and 90% will say no. I haven’t personally asked one person. I’ve ran Facebook ads that didn’t work and then promptly gave up. I know I’m not the only one. Just a tiny taste of rejection is enough to send most people running. The primal fears kick in. If I do the math, I need about 150 people to say yes. That means I would have to ask 1500 people. Holy shit. That sounds excruciating. I’m going to have to do it anyway if I want this year to be different.
So here’s what I’ve been doing in January. I’m running a Kickstarter campaign and I’ve reached out to someone about ghostwriting a book. I’m also in the process of re-branding my other book. I knew at the time I first put it out that the title wasn’t right for the book. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I ignored it. It’s almost like I wanted to fail. My brain wanted to prove it to myself that my lack of worth was well founded. I refuse to do it anymore. I’m developing an actual marketing campaign and I’m going to reach out to influencers before I relaunch my book. I’m going to do it right this time instead of the proverbial pissing in the wind that felt much safer last year.
If you too have been living in fear, it’s time to stop. Otherwise we are going to wake up in a nursing home one day and wish we had done things differently. I don’t want the regrets so I have to conquer the fears. Don’t wait friends. We only get this one chance. I want to finish my book, Stealing The Amber Room this year. I’d like to go to Europe to do research. I’d like to write a bunch more books and go on trips doing research for those. Doesn’t that sound awesome? I’d like to ghostwrite books for people about topics that interest me and I’d like to make a bunch of awesome writer friends on my membership site. That’s the goal. That’s why I chose prosperity.
What do you want today and what’s holding you back? What will you choose?