Part of being a leader – or at least an authentic one – is being fairly transparent. I see so many leaders keeping themselves hidden because they worry if they aren’t “perfect” that they aren’t REALLY leading in the way they “should” be.

This struggle especially creeps up around transparency with MONEY. Revenue, Profit, Income, Expenses… the whole shebang.

In my industry we see a TON of money marketing going on and that’s super intimidating for someone who doesn’t necessarily want to work their income into part of their messaging.

I know how that intimidation feels.

When I first started, I hadn’t made the type of money you’d want to brag about (aka zero dollars.) I also had a ton of money mindset shit to work through.

In working with other leaders on their personal growth I noticed just how much MONEY TRAUMAS and MONEY DRAMAS are completely sabotaging them.

Is this speaking to you at all? Are you thinking about the money shit that you’ve experienced as you read this?

You’re not alone.

I see brilliant, respected, motivated leaders like you sabotaging themselves with money ALL of the time by doing things like:

  • Overspending to impress others
  • Being overgenerous with your friends or family
  • Spending on things you don’t need (or worse don’t even really want) to make yourself feel good
  • Spending because they feel like they have to (ex. Chipping in for gifts or agreeing to take trips you would rather not)
  • Trying to help other people with their own money issues
  • Buying ‘all the equipment’, ‘all of the courses’, ‘all of the gadgets’ they feel they need to work towards their goals
  • Dwindling their bank accounts to zero as soon as some money comes in
  • Giving up control of their money either to someone else, an accountant or even to money itself

Do any of these sound familiar?

AWARENESS IS YOUR BEST WEAPON on your path to stepping up as the leader you can be. Your money and how you feel about your money is a key component to getting to not only the next income level but also in getting to the belief that you are WORTHY of having a positive relationship with your finances. 

“Well Nickey if I get to a place where I’m having success with my income then obviously I’ll feel positive about my finances. ” 

“YA. I’m sure I’ll feel positive about my finances once I’m making the level of money that makes me feel secure. I just have to make it.” 

WRONG-O! I’m sorry, but I’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t work like that.

If this is what you are thinking then let me spare you the time, energy and money you are going to spend in discovering the truth.

If you’re not at the financial level you want to be at it’s because you’ve got some blocks in the way and they are going to stay put (as are you) if you don’t do some work to clear them. You can work an 18hr day, you can take every course, you can meet with a financial planner but without getting rid of the negative experiences that shaped the way you handle money you are not going to get very far.

I bet you still beat yourself up over…
That time you took out a loan and couldn’t make the payments on time.
That time you ‘forgot’ your wallet at home and couldn’t pay for your dinner or drinks.
That time you splurged and went on a trip with your friends instead of putting that money into your debts.
That time you couldn’t get a credit limit increase.
That time you needed a credit limit increase.
That time your friends or family found out you aren’t debt free.
That time you really wanted to sign up for something but couldn’t because your bank account was close to zero or in the red.
That time you ignored the collection agency calls.
That time you had to ask a loved one to cosign on your line of credit, mortgage or car loan.
That time you bought an expensive outfit for an event with the intent of returning it but never did.
That time you had to call a loved one and ask them if you could ‘borrow’ a couple hundred until payday.
That time you spent more than you had on something and it didn’t bring you the joy or return you expected.

Even if these events were 5, 10, 15 years ago… I bet thinking about brings up those feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment in the pit of your stomach, doesn’t it?

I totally get it!

I want to point out too that not every money trauma or drama story necessarily revolves around money mishaps or something that stemmed from a problem.

I’ve seen all types of money situations really hold people back from their leadership transformations.

Even things like…
Having frugal parents who were always buying knock off brands even though they could afford the real stuff.
Having to get a job at a young age even though your parents were comfortable financially and being bitter about it.
Having wealthy parents whose net worth was known all throughout the community.
Having money left in an inheritance: guilty feelings knowing the financial gain is due to the loss of a life.
Having money being allocated by the courts – like alimony or child support – from a relationship that didn’t work out.
Having a big bonus arrive that didn’t feel deserved.
Having something paid for by someone else.
Having a single income be enough to support the whole family while watching a friend’s family struggle with two incomes.

Even though many of these situations could be considered positive by some, for others these stories act as blockers just as much as the no money and debt stuff.

No matter which end of the spectrum you are on, your experiences have shaped you into who you are today and these money traumas or dramas may be holding you back from becoming your best and wealthiest self.

If you want to earn more money you need to get over ANY negative feelings you have towards money: no matter how small or how long along that shameful, upsetting or embarrassing situation happened.

You have to be willing to look at any memories from your past that have an attachment to money; any memories of not having enough, resentments or guilt that may explain why you see a certain pattern when it comes to yourself, your life and money.

When I first did this exercise, a lot crap come up for me.

A huge block for me was resentment towards the fact that my parents are quite financially savvy for themselves but never spent time explaining certain aspects of finance to us. Plus a ton more..

We are talking bitterness that I’ve had to buy my own clothes since I was 14, anger that I wasn’t taught about credit properly, a lot of self-worth emotions, guilt over putting myself in debt, shame about having to climb out of it, oh goodness I could GO ON!

Clearing all of this out after years of carrying it around was the thing that really gave me permission to start earning the kind of money in my business I’ve been thinking about ever since I was stuck at my 9-5.

Holding on to the baggage of money drama or trauma can be so subconscious. It’s one of the reasons people tend to get super emotional around this topic because it often drudges up things we had no idea we were thinking or feeling.

It’s such a powerful and liberating experience.

So today my challenge for you is to go through your life chronologically and ask yourself: WHAT DO I REMEMBER ABOUT MONEY?

Here are some prompts to help you with this process:
What is your earliest memory about money?
Has someone ever stolen from you? How did that feel?
Have you ever stolen from someone? Why? How do you think that is impacting you today?
When have you felt most shameful about money?
When have you felt most helpless when it came to money?
Have you ever felt poor or inferior because of money?
How have other people’s money situations impacted you? (ex. Having a friend who always expected you to pay for dinner, having parents who relied on you to help with the bills, etc.) How do you think other people’s money situations have impacted you in your current day to day?
When did you feel embarrassed about money?
Were you ever unfairly denied a pay raise at work? Or afraid to ask for a raise? Why? How did this impact your overall performance?
What about your spouse or past relationships? How has money played a role (for the better or worse) in your current and/or past relationships? Were you always paying for everything? Was there a time when you wished they had stepped up more? Was there a time when you wish you had stepped up more? How has holding onto these thoughts impacted your view of this person and/or their contributions to the relationship?

There are NO BOUNDARIES here. No matter the memory – big or small – if you still remember it with ANY kind of emotion, it needs to go on the list!

For example, when I did this exercise I remembered a situation in high school where I owed a girl $60 and gave it to her best friend to deliver for me. The best friend kept the money, lied about me giving it to her, and everyone believed her over me. What made it worse is that I know she used it to buy herself a jacket. I had to see her wearing this jacket every day, deal with seeming like a liar and ALSO had to ask my parents for $60 to pay back the original girl.

Something so silly from so long ago but when that popped into my memories I was shocked about how many emotions came up: stupidity, betrayal, anger, embarrassment, bitterness, shame.

Creating your list can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 hours and beyond.

Today I want you to focus on creating this list because tomorrow I’m going to let you know how to FORGIVE and set yourself FREE. You won’t want to miss it, so make sure to check your inbox!

I’d love to hear what kind of stuff popped up on your list while you were going through this exercise. Anything that surprised you?

Talk Soon!