“Intention is not the same as attention,” she said.
Susan, my bookkeeper, smiled at me, as we sat outside at a little cafe. I’d just told her an awful truth, that I was not managing money nearly the way I should be. I was smart enough to know better – and I felt like a fool.
Cringing, I confessed that I just didn’t care about money.
I really didn’t like to think about it at all. I’d rather just trust that what I needed would somehow show up. I didn’t have the patience to look at numbers and make strategic, deliberate decisions about where money went or what I did with it.
Besides, things always worked out, didn’t they?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I may have had just a l-i-t-t-l-e wishful thinking there.
But Susan has an uncanny ability to tap in to those pesky mindset issues so many of us have with money. And that day, she nailed it.
“I get that… But intention is not the same as attention.”
Her point? I can – and should – set clear and powerful intentions for the flow of money through my business. But I still have to pay ATTENTION to the numbers.
And that made me think.
In all the years I’ve run one business or another, money lessons keep showing up. Don’t get me wrong – I love making money, really good money. And I get as excited as anyone when those numbers rise.
But that’s never been what motivates me. (Tell me in the comments if you can relate!)
I am motivated by the thrill of exploration and discovery. I am motivated by the freedom to create my life and business the way I want it to be. I am motivated by the connection I feel with others, and the overwhelming joy of seeing my clients succeed.
But money? I just like having it.
Other than that, I’d rather not think about it.
And that, my friends, is no way to run a business,
OR create an abundant life.
You heard it here first. :)
And if, like me, you don’t care about money either – you, too are making a mistake.
1. No one cares about your business (or your money) the way you do.
For the first fifteen years or so that I ran a counseling practice, I continually searched for billing resources to handle the craziness that comes with insurance reimbursement. I lost thousands of dollars and tried seven different companies along the way.
And then I got it.
NO one cares about my business, or my money, more than I do. That meant I either had to handle that work myself, or hire someone in-house so I could monitor the work. I hired the right help, we created a system, and the bleeding stopped – because I started paying attention to accounts.
2. Where attention goes, energy grows.
And if you never look at your money, well…..
Truth is, I would rather do almost anything than sit down and look at those accounts.
Not because it’s painful (though I have those days too), but because it’s borrrring.
Checking accounts, paying bills, tracking investments, and following numbers lights me up about as much as getting my teeth cleaned or buying underwear. I have to do it, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it.
And yet, if I bring no focus, no attention, and no energy to money – then how could it ever grow?
3. If you treated anyone else like this, would they stick around?
This was another point my brilliant friend made that day; one that really hit home.
“You know, I just don’t care about you. I mean, don’t take it personally. I like having you in my life and all – but I don’t like to talk about you. I don’t want to think about you. I don’t want to worry about you. To tell you the truth, I don’t really even want to look at you.”
She asked me if I treated other relationships like that, did I think they’d last?
No. Of course not. And yet, when you say you don’t care about money, when you avoid facing the numbers in your business, or get careless with the money you make, you are saying exactly that.
And so was I.
I come from the world of therapists and healers who care deeply about their clients, and very little about their money. In fact, money is treated like a necessary evil. Everyone wants it – but no one wants to talk about it.
And then we wonder why we don’t have it.
Your relationship with money is every bit as sacred as any other relationship in your life. It brings you security, freedom, an ability to contribute to the world and provide for your family.
Shouldn’t you treat it with a little more respect?
That was certainly my take-away that day at lunch.
What about you? Do you care about money?
Be careful how you answer that. :)