I was feeling a bit bleh after the weekend. I pulled together all of our tax information, which always makes me grumpy. And I gathered passport information. Plus, my knee has been bugging me so I missed my Monday step class.
Things got so grim that this is how I spent my Monday morning.
Ah, yes, the classic film: Lifetime’s Sorority Murder. Time well spent, my friends.
Whenever things get this low, it kicks me into action. I pulled out my favourite crystal (Lepidolite), turned on some motivating podcasts (Carrie Green), and got to work.
One of the things I’ve been researching is the story we tell ourselves about money. In Stepford, money is talked about incessantly. Who had lots. Who doesn’t have enough. Who is selling their home due to the lack of it.
I was always one of those people for whom money was never a concern. I know it’s unpopular to say since complaining about money is always a nice bonding experience, but I just always seemed to have enough. Starting in university, whenever I needed money for something (read: clothes), I would get some weird scholarship for right-handed blonde English-Classics double majors or what have you. Then, I went from travel agent to management consultant to investment banker, even though I dropped math in grade 11 (to do this, I completed my MBA and got a scholarship for that too.)
After my divorce, I started thinking about scarcity for the first time. Having divorce lawyers warn you about divorced-women-poverty-statistics will do that to you! When I became a single mom, there was so much talk of scarcity around me, I started to believe it. And yet, somehow, I still had enough. I lost money on the matrimonial home but then made money on the home I bought shortly thereafter. I lost money paying a lawyer to untangle me from Satan’s less-nice-cousin (I think almost everyone runs into Satan’s less-nice-cousin after divorce) but then found a house that was cheaper than my previous house by exactly the cost of the legal fees. In other words, there has always been enough: I’ve just forgotten to trust it.
Now that I’m transitioning from stay-at-home mom to freelancer, I’ve forgotten how to ask for compensation. I do far too much work without being paid fairly. It’s a problem for a lot of stay-at-home moms returning to the workforce. I did one of those rejoining the workforce programs and the messaging was terrible. It was all “be happy we are paying you anything” rather than helping us get paid for what our work is worth.
I started to develop a mindset of scarcity rather than abundance, so I’ve been doing a ton of research into overcoming money blocks as I think it’s something that affects a lot of women in midlife.
I had a chance to ask coach Cheryl Richardson how to overcome money blocks on Facebook and she said, in a nutshell: decide what you want to be paid, make the offer, make no excuses, and, if need be, walk away: perhaps this is not the client for you. She said that once you do it once or twice, you will feel so much better for it. And she was right!
I think, as middle-aged women, many of us have been used to subverting our needs and have trouble asking for what we want. Plus, whenever anyone breaks out of the pack, there is some level of criticism in some circles. I think part of the problem is that a lot of moms run these side hustles involving selling things at parties to their friends. As a new girl to town, I hated being asked out for coffee and then receiving a pitch for diet drinks or youthifying creams. If you want to sell me something, ask! I think it’s put a bit of a taint around the whole entrepreneurship thing that I’m mentally trying to overcome.
Have you run into money blocks? Do you find yourself selling yourself short or undervaluing your skills? What has worked for you in overcoming this?