The Missing Ingredient: Connecting Positive Money Mindset with Life-Work Balance
Whenever I take a client through money mindset coaching, there’s one realisation that always comes their way. They start to realise exactly how much they need to be earning to have the life-work balance they’re dreaming of.
You see, we all crave balance. This mystical thing we convince ourselves will bring order to our lives. And we all fall into the trap of thinking “when I achieve that, when I get there, then I’ll have the time/space/energy/freedom to do as I choose”.
But the thing is, there are a few hurdles standing in the way first. And one of them is money. Because if you don’t have the finances to fund your life-work balance, it’s going to continue being a dream rather than becoming a reality.
This is the opposite of balance
Let’s take a look at what happens when things go the other way. This is what a bad money mindset does to life-work balance.
To bring this example to life, we’ll use the story of Vera. Now, this story is entirely fictional but I’d hazard a guess that, no matter whether you’re an employee or self-employed, this might sound somewhat familiar…
Vera loves her work. She’s motivated, highly skilled, and determined to move up the corporate ladder. The only thing is… she doesn’t value herself. When it comes to negotiating her pay or asking for a raise, Vera goes quiet. She’ll happily work overtime or forgo her vacations to show her commitment to the company. But she never asks for anything in return.
When she does the sums, Vera realises that she’s barely making minimum wage. Despite the vast amount of time, effort and energy she’s putting in, she’s hardly getting anything in return. She’s exhausted and on the edge of burnout. Right now, that elusive life-work balance feels a million miles away.
Life-work balance over bank balance
Like most people, I place way more value on my life-work balance than I do on the number that’s sat inside my bank account. But unlike most people, I also know that those two things are intrinsically linked.
You need a certain amount of money in order to achieve the balance you crave. So the topic of money has to come into the conversation.
In simple terms, if you know what you want in terms of life and work, and you know how much money you need to fulfil those wants, then you can strategise how to earn the amount that you need.
If you don’t do these calculations, you will always have a made up number in your head. A number which may be way too little and wouldn’t cover the costs of what you want, or way too high, and extremely de-motivating and unattainable.
Positive money mindset
To achieve life-work balance you need to have a positive money mindset. But you also need a positive time mindset. You need to believe that you’re worthy of such freedom and space, without feeling the need to fill it with more productivity.
You’ll hear a lot of coaches talking about an abundance mindset. But it’s more than that.
It’s about removing the limits you place on these things in your mind.
Money can be made. Time can be earned back. That’s one of the biggest things to get your head around on this journey. And you deserve all of it (and if you don’t believe that yet, we need to talk).
Positive money mindset exercises to boost your life-work balance
Start with a life audit
It can be hard to know where to start when developing a positive money mindset. But, as with anything in life, getting clarity is always the best place to begin.
What does a good life mean to you?
When you have clarity on what you want to achieve and why, you’re then able to look at what you need in place in order to achieve that balance. The wheel of life can be a really helpful tool to aid with this process.
Coach’s tip: get your free wheel of life guide here.
Use your goal as your motivation
Just like any other goal, your target outcome of life-work balance can be used as your key motivator. This is your “why”.
Try to keep it close to mind whenever you’re going through the process of setting pricing for your business, negotiating your salary or your rates and scheduling how much time you’ll spend working throughout the year.
Calculate what your “enough” will cost
Now that you have clarity on what you want to achieve and why, it’s time to put a $ amount to those things.
What ingredients do you need in order to create balance in your life? How do you want to be spending the “life” portion of life-work balance? What will those ingredients cost?
Do your due diligence and start to create a target income around those numbers.
Begin the habit of tracking your expenditures
Take a look through your accounts and get really comfortable with your figures. This might seem scary at first. 65% of Americans have no idea what they spent last month, so you’re certainly not alone. But it’s an important part of the process.
You need to know where you stand right now before you can move forwards to where you want to be. Review your expenses and income from the last 6 months and identify the costs that occur monthly. Then, start creating a budget for future months.
This can be done for your personal expenses and income but also for your business expenses and income if you’re self-employed.
Create an income strategy that has balance at its core
Here’s how my income strategy works.
Each January, I set a budget for the whole year. I then calculate how much I need to earn to achieve my money goal for the year and this becomes “my number”. And then I create a plan to achieve it. That’s it.
Once you’ve set your “enough number” take a look at how you can achieve that. And whilst you’re creating that strategy, ensure that you place balance at its core.
Ask yourself: “what would I do, if I was prioritising my life-work balance?”
The answer might look like one of the following:
- Simplifying your business’s offerings – Denise Duffield Thomas talks about this at length, as she switched from multiple service options to one core offer for her business
- Choosing the role that has flexible working hours over the one that has a tempting paycheck but sacrifices everything else
- Looking at the benefits package as a whole, before getting dazzled by the salary
- Streamlining your marketing strategy to be more sustainable and less time consuming
- Giving yourself more time to prep your offer before you launch it
Consider money as a tool to give yourself more time
As you develop your positive money mindset, you’ll find that money is really a tool. A way to give yourself more time.
Here’s how to use it to reclaim your life-work balance:
- Hire help – this usually involves hiring someone who does the task better than you would but what about looking for someone who does it quicker than you?
- Delegate – this works in your personal life as well as your business. Look for cleaners, dog walkers, baby sitters, virtual assistants… anyone who will help you gain some valuable time back
- Make the most of the tools available to you – you can automate a slower pace of life if you think carefully about it. From meal planning services to robot vacuum cleaners and digital planning tools, there are plenty of options available
Recognise that the journey to a positive money mindset isn’t linear
Unfortunately, it might not be as simple as improving your money mindset and then achieving life-work balance.
You may find that you need some more balance (not perfect balance, but more balance) before you can make the money you need to achieve your goal. It might take you a little longer than you planned. You might go back and forth along the way.
The journey isn’t linear, but it’s still worth it.
How’s your money mindset?
Get a money mindset audit inside your (free) clarity call. And plan your path to life-work balance, with a Certified Money Breakthrough Business Coach by your side.
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About the author
Lisa is a mother, a business owner, a founder, and an executive leader. She's been through it all and has come out the other side to thrive. Now she's helping you to do the same! Learn how you can find clarity and support through her services for individuals and organisations.