fbpx
  • In my neighbourhood

    I loved Kristen’s post about the pros and cons of her neighbourhood so much, I was inspired to do my own!

    Let’s start with the bad.

    • I  live on a somewhat busy road.
    • There are often loud cars disturbing the vibe.
    • The neighbours on one side have a lot of drama.
    • There’s rubbish always blowing onto the front yard somehow.
    • At the park around the corner, there’s often broken glass, and people in the bordering houses throw bones and other food scraps onto the ground pretty frequently.

    On the plus side, the good things include proximity to sooo many amenities:

    • A park right around the corner, a couple others within walking distance, and several more within 5 minutes’ drive
    • Close to a bike path and walking paths/bush trails
    • Close to petrol stations and shops
    • Close to multiple supermarkets
    • Close to bakeries
    • Close to a pony club, so we often see horses grazing there in the fields
    • Close to the library
    • Close to the pool
    • Close to the mall
    • Close to daycare
    • Close to the doctor
    • Close to the vet
    • Close to the hospital

    The benefits are plenty!

    For several reasons, I don’t see us living here forever any longer.

    But we can appreciate what we have already while still working towards what we want.

  • Become a money boss with these 5 podcasts (there’s something for everyone here)

    This is not a list of your typical financial gurus. Rather, it’s a list of podcasts that will expand, educate, and even entertain you on your financial journey. All by badass broads. I’ve learned so much from women like them. Enjoy!

    Bitches Get Riches

    I can only ever hope to be a fraction as badass as Piggy and Kitty. Their podcast is packed with real talk and practical advice with plenty of sass, humour, and pop culture references.

    Art of Money

    I remember really struggling to grasp the concept of the ‘body check in’ from Bari Tessler’s book The Art of Money. These days of course, nervous system regulation and somatic work is just BAU for me.  

    Her podcast, like her book, embodies her gentle approach to personal finance. She’s a financial therapist, and the practices and rituals and stories she shares are so compassionate. No matter where you are on your financial journey, you will feel welcomed and safe.

    Get Paid

    We’ve all seen the gurus touting how much they make online and how you can too.

    Claire Pelletreau digs into the back end, interviewing online entrepreneurs about money and mindset. Lots of real numbers and a real, honest look at how people make money online today.

    Hello Seven

    I first heard Rachel Rodgers on the Get Paid podcast (as far as I can remember) and followed her off and on for a bit. I remember my mind exploding a bit when she and Emma Pattee (a name you might remember from the old PF blog days) teamed up on something – worlds colliding!

    Her belief that we should all be millionaires is everything and her podcast is full of motivation and coaching, strategies and systems to support you on that mission. Plus, being a member of The Club has helped me level up in so many ways.

    LITerally

    I really don’t know how I first came across business coach Lacey Sites, but I’ve been following her for a few years now. I love her framework (Mindset, Strategy, Execution), and her innovative podcast that gives you an intimate look at a 1:1 coaching relationship.

  • Stop looking for the silver bullet – the answers are already within

     

    Maybe you want to make more money. You’ve followed the gurus, bought the courses, done the work to uplevel your career or business.

    Maybe you want to do a better job of this whole parenting thing. It’s a constant struggle, battling with your past, as your kids and partner constantly trigger you from minute to minute.

    Maybe you want a better relationship. You’ve listened to podcasts and read blogs, tried a million techniques, but nothing sticks. Maybe things change for a few days, but it never lasts.

    You’ve been searching high and low for the strategies and tactics that are finally gonna make a difference. But at some point, it’s time to change tack. Call it quits. You’re exhausted. It’s all the same stuff, regurgitated info over and over in different guises.

    The truth? Success in whatever you are seeking isn’t found outside of you. 

    Beyond a certain point, the real solution lies within

    What you need is already inside you. 

    All the tactics in the world won’t do much until you sort out your inner stuff.

    The deeper work is the real work. 

    Your brain is used to dealing with people/conflict/setbacks in a certain way. It goes back to what it knows when thrown into those situations, even if those techniques aren’t necessarily helpful.

    The brain is a funny thing, resisting change with all its might. It falls back on what feels safe, and what it knows. Back into well worn patterns, comfortably trodden ground. Autopilot is so powerful. Like when you move house and find yourself taking the route to your old place after work, even though your new place is in the other direction. When you reach to adjust your glasses instinctively, even though you’ve got your contacts in. When you find yourself pulling your hairbrush through empty air, because you chopped most of it off just yesterday.

    It takes time to learn to gravitate towards new actions. To build that muscle memory (remember, the brain is a muscle!) and develop different reactions, physical or otherwise.

    You are more powerful than you know

    I feel as though there’s a tension in this space. For all the empowering talk about creating our own reality, there are so many outside factors – systemic, societal, physical – that shape our reality. Like it or not, there are some things we just can’t control.

    If we can’t control these external elements and we can’t control other people, what’s left?

    Only ourselves. Therapy and coaching will always focus on YOU. We can keep fighting for more equality, system change, justice, influencing bigger things beyond us. But ultimately, the only thing within your guaranteed sphere of influence is you.

    That might feel small. Depressing. But actually, going deeper and committing carries immense power. It changes everything. How you think. How you feel. Then, subsequently, what you do and how you do it.

    It’s hard to articulate and pin down. What they say, though, is true. How you show up makes all the difference. Your energy is palpable, and shifting your energy genuinely does influence the results you get back once you start taking action.

    And it starts within you.

  • Feeling stuck on your healing path? You might be missing the mind-body connection

    the power of the mind-body connection

    I remember the first time I realised the power of the mind-body connection.

    Years ago, I was listening to a guided meditation on the train. As I followed along, I literally felt the pressure and tension around my heart loosen and lighten. The stress and worry that had been weighing on my chest dissipated.

    About a year ago, I heard about somatic therapy on the Over It and On With It podcast. That’s it, I thought. That’s what I need. 

    I found a somatic therapist in the city, a few minutes from my office, and booked a session. It was incredibly awkward. I sat on the couch. I talked and talked and talked. I filled all the silence. She barely said anything.

    And then I felt something within me. Coalescing. Shifting. I felt tingles. I felt hot and cold. I felt this ball, this mass of energy, manifesting inside my body, moving around, and eventually, worm its way toward my right arm, down to my hand, and out of me.

    It sounds batshit crazy, but that is the best explanation I can give you, and that is exactly what happened on that sofa in that hour.

    All I did was sit and speak my truth in this woman’s presence, and that is what happened.

    Later that year, I did a short Zoom session in which the practitioner helped me work through a sticky situation. I identified a person who was the source of my stress, focused on my body, and located her around my heart/chest. She was so stuck there, I couldn’t even get her to turn around 180 degrees.

    We worked on visualising her going down a golden path, and eventually we went our separate ways. She left my body, and I felt immensely relieved.

    I went on to write a boundary-setting email back to that person and felt great about it. (And perhaps amazingly, she responded well to it.)

    What to make of all this?

    I’m a pretty damn practical person. Pragmatic. Realistic. Sceptical. I take a pretty scientific approach to lots of things. I believe what I see. And I also believe what I experience.

    I believe there’s probably a lot that science hasn’t caught up and maybe never will be able to. In invisible planes and dimensions. Even if it weren’t for that… well, as a friend in the social sciences says… this stuff doesn’t really interest white dudes, generally.

    These days I would say I identify as somewhat spiritual; somewhat woo.

    I once worked with a couple of healers (that’s what they called themselves) and did a bunch of research into non-western/alternative medicine to support the course material they were creating. I stepped into a whole new world. Muscle testing. Chakras. I quietly scoffed at it all, but in hindsight… I gotta admit, emotions and trauma most certainly live in the body, and doesn’t it make sense that certain emotions are stored in/associated with certain body parts?

    If we think of emotions as energy in motion … they need to move; they need somewhere to go. That’s why movement and motion is part of completing the stress cycle.

    Instinctively, I realise I’ve always known this. I used to physically shake it off after a stressful interaction, like a dog does (or even when they dry themselves). I’d even meow aloud … that somehow just felt like a good release mechanism, a steam valve of sorts, letting it all move on through and out of me.

    Connecting to the body’s wisdom

    What are your happiest memories? When did you feel you were living and experiencing life to the fullest? When did you feel most alive? Were your senses really engaged? Were you caught up in thoughts, or enjoying the moment – engrossed and engaged in your surroundings, what you felt, sensed, saw, heard, tasted, smelled?

    We often spend our days living in our heads, our minds, and not in our bodies. I know that for me, that disconnection has certainly spawned troubles. The body will tell you when you’ve had enough. It breaks down. Depending how out of touch you are, it might take a few alarm bells. Your body compass will always, however, point you in the right direction.

    I’ve learned to start dropping down into my body and seeing how she feels about any choice I face.

    Does it feel light, expansive, open? Or does thinking about it feel small and constricted? That is a strong indicator of which way to go. Think about how you’ve physically felt when making decisions in the past, and how they turned out. Did you feel heavy, burning, tingling, cold? Use those as a guide to calibrate your body compass. These are all clues pointing you toward or away from something.

    As adults, we tend to detach from our bodies. Reconnecting is an integral part of healing, and the integrated healing that follows can be so powerful.

    Intuition and the inner voice

    I think back to when I was very young. To times my instincts, nudges, intuition were very strong. Times they turned out to be right. It would sound silly to describe those instances, which were hardly consequential, but very powerful and that I’ve never forgotten.

    The older we get, the more we learn to tune out our inner voice. To stifle it with logic. And sometimes we return and learn to listen once again.

    If you feel called to, later in life, you may want to dial back into that internal voice. Because we tend to regret not trusting ourselves.

    And if talk therapy isn’t cutting it anymore for you, like me, I so encourage you to explore somatic options. At that stage, continually mining the same old ground wasn’t helping. There was nothing useful to extract. I had to heal on the physical level, without necessarily having to go back into the experiences and rehash them.

  • 3 ways to feel better about your money NOW

    3 WAYS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MONEY NOW

    For so many years, I had mostly negative feelings about money. There was never enough. Progress was always so slow. Stuff always cropped up. I had so much fear, scarcity, and resentment. Basically all my thoughts about money fell into one of those buckets.

    And all my interactions with money were basically the same. I’d get paid once or twice a month, but have to spend money on many more days per month. It’s hard to feel positive and abundant when you’re mostly focused on the money constantly leaving.

    Making more has given me breathing room. Space to step back, rethink and re-examine my relationship with money and how I handle it. I can see now that I could have changed a few things back then that would have helped. It wouldn’t have changed the bottom line, but it would have done wonders for my mental wellness. (I do credit myself for stepping back from the PF world years ago when things were super tight and I knew that reading and obsessing about money was doing me no good.)

    There are always things we can do to start feeling better about money right now, though.

    When paying bills…

    Imagine that money coming in instead. Landing in your account.

    (The power company is gonna get its due. That’s not changing. But what if you played around with how you think about this?)

    I used to resent paying bills. Now I try to flip that around, and feel grateful for having the money to easily pay the bills. I have that luxury now. That might be a stretch for you. Just try imagining that money coming to you instead.

    Hat tip to Denise Duffield Thomas for inspiring this one. I heard her hack for filling up at the petrol station  – as the number ticks up on screen, imagine that is your bank balance going up – and then adapted this to use anytime I paid bills

    Transfer money to savings as often as possible

    Sometimes quantity does reign supreme. It’s the psychological effect (like debt snowball vs avalanche). Lots of small wins = a big mental boost.

    Especially if things are tight. Transferring just $5 can be really meaningful.

    We’re always telling ourselves stories. This is one way to start changing your story to one where you CAN and DO save money. You’re a saver. Even if $5 or $10 doesn’t feel like much and might not feel worthwhile, it’s symbolic.

    That’s how habits are built. We start small. We stay consistent.

    Give when you can

    It feels amazing to give. Truly. I used to be sceptical. Having beats giving any day! Why would I want to do that?

    Then I started doing it. Being someone who’s generous is not an identity I ever aspired to or related to. I just never saw myself that way. But as I’ve become more able to, I’ve increased my giving back. Turns out I like it. It makes me feel amazing about money.

    I’d bet that the same would be true for you. Make a donation next time you’re feeling blah about money and see how you feel afterwards.

    If you liked this, you’ll probably love Money Groove, my self-paced digital course all about finding your own financial groove – it’ll be right up your alley.

     

     

  • Cryptocurrency: Why consider it now and how to get started safely?

    I recently received a request to write about crypto. Not my zone of genius! So when BitPrime, a crypto trading platform, got in touch, it seemed like a good time to team up on this topic. 

    What is cryptocurrency and how does it work?

    ‘Cryptocurrency’ – let’s break it down. Crypto is derived from words like cryptogram, cryptography etc. and means hidden/concealed. Currency is a unit of measure for money. Cryptocurrency is “concealed money”.

    The first true cryptocurrency was bitcoin; created by an anonymous entity, Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi described bitcoin as a “purely peer-to-peer version” of electronic money.

    Many cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “created” by mining. Mining is the collection of resources like coal, metals etc., hence, the application of the term to cryptocurrency. 

    Crypto miners run powerful computers solving complex mathematical puzzles called cryptographic hashes. The purpose is to verify transactions and add them to a distributed ledger – a blockchain. The incentive for solving this puzzle is newly released “cryptocurrency”; essentially, a unique piece of code that can’t be duplicated or altered.


    But, how does cryptocurrency have value? This part’s simple:

    Choosing which cryptocurrency to buy

    There are more than 16,000 out there – know what you’re buying first. Research the crypto company/developers, read whitepapers on new coins and follow trusted industry news sources like CoinDesk and CoinTelegraph.

    Familiarise yourself with key industry jargon. Altcoins refer to any coin that isn’t Bitcoin. Stablecoins are those whose value is fixed to something tangible, e.g. USDT is pegged to USD. Investing in altcoins could yield an explosive return or perhaps not. Stablecoins might appeal to those with a lower risk appetite. 

    Bitcoin has the highest market cap while Ethereum ranks #2. 

    Market Cap = Current Price x Circulating Supply

    Due to its extreme volatility, cryptocurrency is considered high-risk, so ‘don’t invest more than you can afford to lose’ definitely applies here.

    At the end of the day, the best choice for you comes down to your comfort within the market, and your risk management, trading goals and strategies.

    Whichever you choose, learn how to track performance to know whether to sell or buy more. CoinMarketCap has a wealth of tools and information, including a free portfolio tracker. CoinStats is a paid portfolio tracker that connects to your existing crypto wallets, provides daily market updates and news.

    How can I buy, sell and trade crypto safely?

    Retailers and brokers offer the most suitable environment for beginner-intermediate users or professionals/institutions short of time. A fiat-crypto or crypto-fiat transaction occurs between the two parties. A broker is essentially the middle man between you and the buyer/seller, whereas you deal directly with a retailer like BitPrime, who have their own crypto supplies.

    With exchanges, you’re dealing with all other buyers/sellers listing on the said exchange. Pricing follows current market spot prices with multiple options to set the price you want to enter or exit. Exchanges are for more experienced investors or those who have the time to learn how trading exchanges work!

    Regardless of how you buy, you need to store your crypto in wallets. Crypto wallets come in two forms, hot or cold. Both hold the cryptographic keys that unlock your coins stored on the blockchain.

    Cold wallets are primarily offline until you’re sending crypto from them and include paper or hardware wallets. Hot wallets maintain an active internet connection and include software and exchange wallets. 

    BitPrime’s beginner’s guide to crypto wallets covers all of this in great detail.

    There are many safeguards you can put in place to ensure your crypto stays safe. The most crucial is ensuring you create a backup, write it down and store it in multiple, safe locations. 

    Familiarise yourself with the latest scams, learn the signs to be wary of and what to do if you’ve been an unfortunate victim in BitPrime’s detailed Scam Guide

    Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t believe someone who cold calls you or starts a random instant messaging chat promising the latest, greatest trading platform guaranteeing returns of 150% in two days – no one can guarantee returns.

    Is now a good time to consider cryptocurrency?

    In general, due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency, it can be hard to know exactly when the best time to buy and sell is. A study conducted by The Motley Fool stated, “looking at data from October and November, the very best time of day to purchase these popular cryptocurrencies generally was in the morning, and the earlier, the better.” However, it is important to note that analysis of historical data doesn’t dictate future markets.

    Crypto is evolving rapidly but it’s not too late to consider it as part of your portfolio diversification. Still, it’s essential to always seek professional investment advice tailored to your specific situation.Always be sure to purchase from a reputable platform, keep yourself up to date on industry news, learn how to detect and avoid scams, and most importantly protect your wallet and its backup phrases! 

    Disclaimer: 

    The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. Do not take this as personalised financial advice or investment advice. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent the opinion of BitPrime or NZMuse.

  • 3 ways I’ve transformed my relationship with money

    My word of the year for 2021 was UPGRADE. And truly, it resonated in so many ways. Internally – I feel like an entirely new person. Externally, 2021 was a game-changing year financially.

    I invested in myself and for next year – which is a major reason I was able to grow my income about 50%. I bought a car, paid down a bunch of debt, donated more than ever, and cashflowed some major unexpected expenses like paying for elective surgery for Spud, urgent surgery for one dog, and one very expensive fridge repair. I’ve also finally been able to take care of some long overdue things after some very tight years, like get a heat pump, dryer, replace the HRV filter, get the gutters cleaned and roof fixed. Yep, it was a spendy year.

    And I have really started to anchor in a new relationship with money. How I think about it, feel about it, and what I do with it is so different these days.

    I don’t resent spending money

    This is a huge privilege, and it’s largely a result of #2 below. But I think it’s a mindset shift you start practising at any point on your journey.

    We all have to spend money to live. To accept, acknowledge, even embrace that fact where possible is way better for our emotional wellbeing. (Here’s one simple tip you can adopt and start implementing now!)

    I really try to treat my relationship with money like I would a relationship with a person. I bring my best self if I can, my best energy, my gratitude. If I want money to do good things for me, to feel fun and pleasurable, I gotta do my part.

    I focus on expansion, not contraction

    I’ve always been a hustler, almost always had multiple streams of income going, although the exact sources and amounts have changed over time.

    The past couple years have been some dark times. I should have tightened the belt to corset level, squeezed every last cent. And yes, I was frugal – always have been and remained so. But I expanded and I rose. It was the only way to get real traction and make real change. And so, I did.

    I think less about it and trust all will be well

    Again, dripping with privilege here. It’s easy to think less about money with a cash buffer in the bank, stuff on auto pay, etc. I have a track record of things always working out somehow, one way or another, even if not the way I thought. I have the evidence, and I have the receipts. So, it’s easier to stop the spiralling in its tracks than it used to be.

    That said, I first started to embrace this way back when I was a very broke student. I distinctly remember how crappy I felt. The constant focus on lack of money, the endless stressing day in day out, did nothing for me. It didn’t change the numbers. I couldn’t DO anything about the situation. I was working as many hours as I could and living as cheaply as I could. It was just a phase of life. So I stopped reading the blogs and the forums. I stepped back from consuming all that content. And my mental health benefited hugely.

    Dwelling TOO much on the negative that’s beyond your control takes a toll. And when your emotional state is not great already, assuming you’re doing all you can to improve your finances, why put yourself under more strain? You’re not burying your head at that point. You’re just showing yourself kindness.

    These are all ongoing practices.

    Some days they’re easier than others. I still have ups and downs, fears and struggles. But my baseline is so much higher now. That means feeling lighter, brighter, bigger, more hopeful. It’s a nice place to be.

    And they’re just a few of the practices that make up Money Groove.

    It’s a roadmap to finding your own financial groove: to face, heal and make peace with the past; make the most of what you have right now; and then shift your future path and trajectory. Whatever your goals, this is what will help you go further, faster, and have more fun along the way.

    It starts with the inside out, so that whatever you DO from there actually sticks. At the cognitive level with your brain; at the deeper emotional levels. I’ve poured everything I know into this – all I’ve taken on from the world of self-development and growth as well as more therapeutic modalities.

    It’s all synthesised and channeled here. The stuff that’s gotten me through hell and back. The beauty about creating a body of work is the process of crystallising your own learnings in the process. It’s healing. You surprise yourself with just how far you’ve come. And the same can be just as true for you.

    Get all the info here.

  • 5 steps to crush your money goals this year

    5 steps to crush your money goals

    Looking back over my adult life, especially in the past few years, I’ve pulled off a few things that just didn’t ever seem within reach. Mostly financial, to be fair, but I’ve come to see that the process has always been the same – and I believe can apply to any type of goal.

    (One in the realm of theoretical possibility, that is. I’ll never be a pilot as I’m never getting back to 20/20 vision. Well, some might think it’s possible to heal one’s eyesight if one just believes enough; I’m not there. Nor will I ever be a pro athlete or musician. I’m not going to pretend that literally anything is possible for anyone.)

    So if you have big money goals, or other types of goals, here’s my best advice:

    Tap into your WHY

    Money needs a purpose. What is yours? Connect with the reason you want this money and build a laser clear vision of that goal. What will you do with it once it arrives?

    Decide that it’s a done deal

    There is a big difference between logically, cognitively knowing something vs deeply knowing and feeling it, all through your body and mind.

    You need to be 100 percent behind it. Locked and loaded at a bone, soul, deep level – knowing this is happening. If you can’t quite get behind it yet, adjust your goal to something that feels more aligned.

    You can feel that perceptible shift once it actually happens. Let go of the doubts and embrace your new commitment, trusting that success is inevitable.

    See it

    You need proof that it’s possible to keep you going. Find examples!

    Treat envy as evidence. If it can be done by someone else, you can probably have it too. Maybe not in the exact same way, but in another shape or form.

    Envy is often a signpost, signalling what you’re capable of and haven’t been tapping into.

    Feel it

    What if it was already yours?

    Let that certainty and knowing spread throughout you, cascading into every cell and permeating every corner of your mind.

    Imagine how great it would feel.

    Imagine how that version of you would go about things – how they’d think and act.

    Act!

    Probably the part you’ve been waiting for, right? Stop dithering and take the damn action.

    I recently took part in a money making challenge. In that time, I focused on income generating activities, like warm outreach to former clients, putting together proposals in response to project listings, and engaging in select Facebook groups (giving value while also communicating what I offered).

    None of these actions yielded any direct results.

    But suddenly things picked up pace elsewhere. Referrals started coming in fast – and for bigger pieces of work with awesome clients.

    The universe conspires to help you when you start making moves. Take steps towards your goal and even if those don’t pan out, you’re moving in the right direction. Other opportunities have a way of cropping up, crossing your path in the most surprising ways. The payoff will come.

    But don’t rush it. Getting those foundational steps in first makes all the difference.

    Most of this is about intention and energy.

    You might hear “Money is just energy.” This refrain is a common catch cry in certain spheres. Not sure I buy into that. But for sure, the energy behind our money stuff counts.

    Years ago when blogs were at their peak, I made a fair chunk of money off blogging. Sponsored posts helped fund a not insignificant part of my RTW trip. Yet it hardly ever felt all that good to me. I often felt like I was cheating the advertiser in terms of value exchange (sense of unworthiness/not enoughness). This also carried over into freelance stuff – not feeling like I deserved the pay.

    In comparison, these days I feel rock solid when I get paid for freelance work. I no longer feel a little electric jolt when I get a payment notification – a physical manifestation of the surprise “they like me, they must really like me, they actually paid me for my work!” Instead I see those invoices paid and think “yup, that’s about right.” I’m grateful and joyful but not shocked.

    Another example…

    I’ve given away a lot of money in my life. Most of it, reluctantly, to people I know. Begrudgingly. And most never repaid.

    A small portion of that I have donated to causes that spoke to me. And that has been an entirely different experience. I loved giving that money. And I have found that the more I donate, the more comes back into my life in unexpected ways. Every time, not long after, something good follows. The universe is mysterious that way. But perhaps opening up your hands to give also opens them to receive.

    Be generous if you can, act from abundance, as your richest self. It feels good in the moment – and it pays off in the long run.

    And outside of the financial realm, energy absolutely counts.

    As a parent, I live this every day. How I show up directly impacts how any given interaction or situation plays out. Deliberately choosing playfulness over frustration and control, whenever I can, shifts the vibe and the outcome. Kids are incredibly intuitive and they know, they sense, what’s under the surface.

  • “Money doesn’t buy happiness” – GTFO with your BS!

     

    Only two types of people say this. Those who have more than enough money, or those who don’t have it and never will.

    This is what I’ve observed, over and over.

    I remember engaging in discussion once with someone who has been broke as hell and now does very well for themselves. She busted out this BS line – and threw something in about health (they always do, don’t they?!).

    Come on. Really. She totally failed to acknowledge how different it would have been if she had been struck down with that health situation in her younger, poorer days.

    It’s not just about the direct costs of care. It’s also about the fact that when you’re in lower paying, less stable jobs, you don’t tend to have as much leave, you might not get paid leave or have the option to take an extended absence, you might not have trauma/income insurance, you might not be able to work flexibly, all those surrounding factors play into your health experience.

    Clearly, this line drives me batshit crazy.

    Let’s be real. All things being equal, anyone would rather have the money.

    But why? What makes people spout this line that is so out of touch with reality? Have they truly forgotten what it’s like (obviously the silver spoon rich may never have known anything but privilege)? And more importantly, what’s the underlying emotion driving it?

    I suspect it might be guilt. For being comfortable, having more than others. Downplaying the status they’ve achieved (heck, it’s easy enough to get rid of money if you REALLY don’t want it!)

    At the other end of the spectrum, the motivation is probably clearer. Defensiveness, defeatism, despair. If you know you’re never going to have money, why even think about what it would be like? Why aspire to it? I don’t want it anyway. It wouldn’t make a difference. Reverse psyching yourself out, driven by envy. Proactively adapting your expectations or downgrading your desires to compensate.

    As someone in the middle – not broke, not rich – I struggle with both. Absolutely I experience envy of those with more. I also feel guilt about being better off than many (especially during pandemic times – the exacerbation of inequality is just terrifying).

    Nonetheless. Ultimately, neither serves me. Getting mired in either of those states just holds me back from my full potential.

    The truth is, the more I make the more good I can do and the more I can give back. The more I AM doing and giving back. Making bigger and bigger donations as time goes on feels freaking amazing. Hell, I can see why people might even aspire to become VCs.

  • 3 steps to getting what you want

    3 steps to get what you want

    (NB: I don’t subscribe to the ‘you can do anything!’ school of thought. There are the realities of the bodies we live in and the societies in which we exist, that we have to work around. But I do believe most of us, if we want to, can achieve way bigger goals than we think we are capable of.)

    Hustle culture would have you believe that you just need to grind to reach your biggest goals. NOPE. It starts with cultivating unshakeable belief in yourself. if you don’t believe in you, nobody else will either. Those vibes are contagious, like it or not.

    You gotta get your head right. That is where it all begins. When you are laser focused on a goal and your motivation is rock solid, things have a way of unfolding from there. Especially when it comes to financial goals. Money needs a purpose.

    1. Decide what the hell you want to do

    Clarify what it is you want and are going to work towards. The thing that’s burning you up. You’re about to start writing a brand new story for yourself.

    No, not a SMART goal.

    You don’t need to know the HOW yet.

    You just need to know the outcome you’re after, so you can imagine it in as much sharp and colourful detail as possible.

    You need to see it in your mind. You’ve got to be able to envision it before you have it.

    And then, go out and find evidence that it’s possible. You can’t be what you can’t see. All those people you’re secretly jealous of? Who have what you want and you feel wicked envy for? That’s evidence to bank right now and use as aspirational fuel.

    Lastly: write it down. I know – so corny. Just do it. There’s power in naming things and power in the written word. (I’m always amazed at what happens when I sit down and let things out on paper/screen.)

    Then keep doing it – reaffirming it every chance you get. I write out my main goal every day in my gratitude/journaling app and now I feel a sense of calm descend upon me every time I do. I also try to write out my secondary goals most days.

    I surround myself with reminders of my goal. I use my passwords. I have a vision board. These things help keep my goal front and centre, keep my mind focused and bring my attention back to it throughout the day. And I try to actively concentrate on thinking about it whenever I become aware of my thoughts throughout the day – I switch into a thought that’s going to help me get where I want to go. (Tip: keep it tight and focused on the positive, desired outcome. i.e what you want, not what you don’t want.) What we focus on magnifies since our brains work much like the FB algorithm – feed it accordingly.

    2. Feel and embody it right now

    This is about conviction. Committing to being the type of person who does that thing. If you achieved the result you want – who would you be? What would your next-level self be like? What would they think, say, do?

    When in doubt, tap into your bad bitch alter ego for guidance.

    You can’t be what you can’t feel. So, do what you can to get into the vibe of that feeling and anchor it in now. In a responsible way, naturally.

    Maybe you can’t take a yearlong sabbatical. But you can probably book a babysitter and take the night off. Or arrange a weekend away. A stretch of time devoted entirely to YOU goes a long way when you’ve been ignoring your needs for so long.

    For me, and my financial goals, this has been two-fold. Giving more generously, like my richer self would. And indulging myself more, which is not something that comes naturally to me.

    Every day, I also consciously work on this at a micro level – simply choosing to feel good whenever I can. Putting on my favourite songs. Actively appreciating the things around me.

    When I was in a real slump, I kept returning to a particular memory in my mind – lounging on the couch at my friend’s new house in the sun, snuggling with another friend, as we all relaxed and caught up with each other. At the time, I felt so warm and deliciously drunk with simple pleasure… I knew I had to file it away for reference. And sure enough, I came back to it multiple times a day, many, many times after that. Letting the pure joy I felt in that moment sink in and transport me away from difficult moments in the present, and giving myself a reset.

    Sometimes, there’s deep stuff that needs healing along the way. (Coming soon – thoughts on the mind-body connection!) Welcome all feelings and emotions, because stifling them doesn’t work in the long run. Only acceptance, and eventually healing release, does.

    Feeling good when the world feels like it’s falling apart could look like making a donation to a cause or signing a petition. Follow your gut and heart.

    Not convinced about the power of feeling it? Consider this. If you’ve ever been through a traumatic experience, you know what it’s like to get triggered. The body keeps score. It remembers and it relives it. Those same feelings arise and you react accordingly.

    Imagine that same power of feeling, applied with a positive lens. It’s stronger than you can imagine.

    3. Stick with your strategy

    All that prework you’ve put in during steps 1 and 2? Channel the hell out of it in this phase.

    This is the execution phase. You can’t have if you don’t do. Commit to seeing this story out.

    For me, that has ranged from researching the things I want (how much they cost, where to get them, etc – to get the ball rolling and make more of a commitment to myself) to setting up a practice simulated stock portfolio to actively doing potentially money-generating activities.

    Keep taking the next best step. Let go of exactly how and when the outcomes happen. Focus on the process. Track and celebrate the actions you take – the part in your control – not necessarily the results.

    Celebrate all along the way, even the stumbles. Every action you take is getting you closer. You are never failing, always learning. And track all those wins! They go into your bank of evidence and will help keep you flying high when you start to falter.

    Stay in the story. You’ve got to do a bit of a weird pivot here. Basically, it’s time to reverse psych yourself – and the universe.

    Maintain your focus, but at the same time, figure out how to detach. How not to be invested in the outcome. I know, it’s hard to be committed yet not attached – literally everyone struggles to keep faith and trust it’s working even when they can’t see anything happening yet. Just don’t make that mean anything. We’re always telling ourselves stories. But we never know what’s just around the corner. What if you gave up one step away from the metaphorical top of the mountain because it was shrouded in cloud?

    When doubts kick in, interrogate those beliefs. Is that really true? How do I know that? What evidence is there to prove it? What if the opposite was true? When resistance rears its head, dig deep to get to the bottom of what’s driving it. What’s the core belief underneath the block – what does it say about YOU? Get to that wound to tackle, heal,shift the root belief about yourself.

    Trust the process. Have faith that it’s working. That things are on their way; you just can’t see around the bend yet. You have to keep going around the corner to open up your frame of view. Even a few degrees makes a big difference in perspective and to the size of your horizon.

    They say that a watched pot never boils. Without fail, things have ALWAYS happened for me when I least expected them (often, when I’d given up entirely on them). And not always in the way I expected, either.

    So forget about timelines. Throw them out. Remember that we tend to overestimate what we can do in the short term and underestimate what we’re capable of over the long run.

    Why this works

    You can probably see that this all leads up to action, laying the groundwork for it. I think that manifesting brings opportunities your way. It’s then up to you to recognise and jump on them. Spot and seize them.

    You can probably also see that in the process we’re essentially … evolving. Becoming a different version of ourselves. Stepping into a new mould. Updating our identity and how we see ourselves. When you see yourself as someone who has/does/is X, it’s way easier to take action in accordance. And all this applies in the same way,

    First you start to see yourself differently. Maybe you need to borrow that belief from others. Harness the great external validation you’ve racked up over the years. Hold on to that (and let the rest go). I never saw myself as capable, incredible, a leader, until others told me so. They saw it first. Only then could I get on board with the idea.

    Then you start to feel different. To be that person now. To think in that vein.

    Then you start to do things differently – act in accordance with how you perceive yourself and how you feel.

    You can show up feeling like a rockstar or with trepidation, tiptoeing and second-guessing yourself. People will react accordingly. It changes how it all feels.

    How many times have you started off a day on the wrong foot? Everything bad that could possibly happen, happens. The shit keeps piling up. Cue the spiral. A self fulfilling prophecy.

    And have you ever had the opposite experience? Started off on a high and had that winning streak continue, everything coming up gold?

    What if you tried flipping it round, beginning from the perspective that it’s all working out, visualising it? (What is there to lose?)

    Here are a few examples of the difference that doing the groundwork makes. 

    I had a huge mental block around $60k. I really wanted to crack this figure when I left journalism. But when it came to writing down my desired salary on the application, I chickened out. I couldn’t put it down in black and white. The block was so strong. I just didn’t believe my skills were worth that much. I psyched myself out and wrote down $58k instead. I cut myself off at the knees! (This has a happy ending. They actually offered me $65k which I obviously jumped at and would never have dared to dream of asking for.)

    My next mental block was around $80k. Again, a figure I really wanted to crack. This time I’d done the work. Talked to people who were earning this much in comparable roles. Perused salary surveys, staring at the numbers on screen, burning them into my brain. Searched in this pay bracket on online job boards specifically. I had the proof it was possible, and possible for me. And when I was offered a role at $78k, I was able to ask them to round up to $80k without missing a beat. It was a small ask, and an easy yes.

    After that, $100k was the next stumbling block. A figure I never thought would be possible in my entire life. I remember telling my high school girlfriends I’d never make six figures. It just wasn’t realistic in my old industry. (They were all shocked – but they are all in high paying fields, mostly healthcare/medical – and I think their impression of media was TV anchors, the 1%.) Again, I did all the work that I’d done to shore myself up to get to $80k. It mostly worked. In an interview, I said I was looking for $100k without hesitating – though I didn’t get the gig. But when I got the call offering me another role I’d been interviewing for, I choked. I hadn’t been expecting it. I answered the phone, frazzled from wrangling my infant at home. It was great news but I was not in a mental place to negotiate! I rambled for far too long and asked for $98k.

    When caught off guard – it’s so easy to slip back into old patterns. This is an ongoing practice. We’re never done.

    TL;DR

    None of us have complete control. In fact I’d argue that logically most things in life are beyond our control. But we do all have SOME degree of autonomy (the degree varies, of course) and especially when it comes to what we think and do.

    It’s true: thoughts become things. Everything that ever was began with a thought. We do a thing first in our mind before repeating it for real out in the physical world.

    Embody a deliberate, focused mindset and pair it with deliberate, focused actions. Amazing things can happen from there. Start with  mindset and the actions naturally flow. You don’t have to try so hard. New ideas bloom. Next steps unfold. New opportunities reveal themselves.

    That’s been my experience – first accidentally, then deliberately.