I made myself go to yoga this week.
It wasn’t easy. I took a bad fall in the rain on a hike the week before, and had been hobbling around with a painful pulled muscle. I wasn’t at all sure what I’d actually be able to do.
But I’ve only been going for a few months. And as bad as I am at it (the whole thing feels like a game of Twister to me) I can tell it helps.
And I have to take care of myself, or I’ll never be able to keep up with my business – so I didn’t want to lose this new self-care ‘habit’.
Habits are the backbone of any business. Once established, they will keep you sane when things go crazy, and support you when your business grows and overwhelm threatens.
You need habits in every area of your business, but one of the most important is your money. So in no particular order, here’s a list of money habits worth cultivating for real financial success.
And some of them are a lot more about what’s in your head, than what’s in your wallet.
1. Set up separate accounts for your business – savings and checking – that are completely separate from your personal accounts, and never mix the two.
2. Set aside 20-25% of every dollar you make for taxes. You’ll never worry about making quarterly payments again.
3. Set another 10% or so aside for personal savings, and leave it alone. You’ll be surprised by how fast it grows.
4. Track your mileage (business mileage can shave thousands off your tax bill), and keep your business-related receipts. You never know when you’ll need them.
5. Know your numbers. What’s your gross income for the year? How about your net? How much do you have to keep coming in just to stay open? How does this year compare to last?
6. Pay yourself some kind of regular salary – no matter how small it may be at first.
7. Don’t be the bank for your clients. Set a limit on how much credit (if any) you’ll allow a customer to carry before they need to pay you, and arrange credit elsewhere.
8. Don’t offer discounts. Instead, add value (like a new bonus) when you want to encourage a buyer.
9. Whenever possible, get payment in advance, or at the time of service.
10. Add packages to your offers, and get away from dollars for hours.
11. Charge what you’re worth, for Pete’s sake. And charge for the difference it makes, not the time it takes.
12. Create a money mantra, like “I love money and money loves me!” (One of my faves from Jen Sincero’s new book.)
13. Say it out loud every time money comes or goes in your life. Someone pays you? Say it. You pay a bill? Say it. Find a quarter on the sidewalk? Say it. (And smile!)
14. Write powerful quotes on index cards and hide them everywhere so you’ll find them when you least expect it. Here’s one to get you started: “When the path reveals itself, follow it…” – Cheryl Strayed.
15. Watch movies that make you feel like anything is possible. Because it is. (Start with The Pursuit of Happiness, with Will Smith.)
17. Set a specific number you want to reach next in your business. Then, write a check to yourself for that amount, and post it somewhere that you’ll see it every day.
18. Put post it notes up all over your house with that number, and visualize it coming to you in surprising ways. Get in touch with the joy you’ll feel when it does.
19. When you get that amount (and you will), set a new number, and write a new check.
20. Carry a wad of bills in your wallet. Even a stack of ones will feel abundant every time you look in there, and that’s powerful energy.
21. Pick up the tab from time to time, even when you feel like you can’t. The energy rush you’ll feel from being able to “practice abundance” is powerful.
There are many more, but that’s a good list to get you started.
I did go to yoga, and it was hard. In fact, afterwards, I worried that I might have overdone it a bit – yet the next day, I felt better. Much better.
Habits (a practice) are like that. They build muscle, even restore it.
Build your financial muscles with each of these habits, then let out a little grin when your bank account begins to rise. Because it will.
Got a favorite money habit of your own? Tell me about it in the comments below!