Breaking Through Mental Money Barriers as a Solopreneur

There’s a lot to learn when getting started as a solopreneur. But with so many great resources that can help you, step-by-step, to start and grow your business, it should all just be easy breezy, right?

Not so much. So often, when it comes to actually putting what we’ve learned into action, we just get stuck. For solopreneurs, money is often one of those places where we feel ourselves trudging through mud.

What’s keeping you from moving forward to earn what you deserve? You may think lack of time, or maybe lack of knowledge. But so often, it’s the mental money barriers we unintentionally put up. Yep, mental money barriers are real and they’re keeping you from becoming the awesome business person you’ve dreamt of becoming.

So what’s an ambitious business owner like you to do? Identify your mental money barriers and create a strategy to get past them. Read on to see how you can move past four common mental money barriers — because earning money as a business owner is as much about mentally getting into the game as it is learning the skills to run your business.

Money barrier #1: Don’t like the idea of charging? Create an epic value proposition.

Do any of these quotes sound familiar?

  • “I struggle with the idea of charging my customers for this product/service.”
  • “I don’t want to seem like I’m selling all the time.”
  • “It’s okay to give a friend (or a friend of a friend of a friend) a discount.”

For most people, myself included, the actual act of selling products or services makes their skin crawl. We picture pushy salespeople and disappointed customers. The concept of selling is intimidating, often leaving entrepreneurs significantly undercharging for their services.

It’s time to bury that barrier by creating an epic value proposition: a statement that clearly lays out what value you are providing to your customer with your product or service.

While many people use their value proposition to attract their customers’ attention, another way to use this is to get over your money barrier. When you focus on the value you are delivering your customer, you are mentally taking the emphasis off charging people and replacing it with the value you are delivering.

There no one way to create a value proposition, but author Geoffrey Moore provides this easy template to start with:

For (target customer) who (statement of need) our (product/service name) is (product category) that (statement of benefit).

A nutritional coach might frame their value proposition as: for busy working mothers who don’t have time to eat a healthy breakfast, my product is a book of 3-minute breakfast recipes that make eating a nutritional breakfast easy to work into their morning routine, giving them the great start to their day that they deserve.

Writing a value proposition is not an exact science, but the key is to focus on the amazing value you are creating for your customer.

Money barrier #2: Struggle spending money to invest in yourself and your business? Adopt an abundance mindset.

As entrepreneurs, most of us know what it’s like to pinch pennies and debate spending money as we work to get our business off the ground. While that’s not a bad thing, it can lead to a scarcity mindset, creating a money barrier that stands between you and the leveling up you deserve.

In the scarcity mindset, we focus on short term results and only having a limited set of resources. In contrast, the abundance mindset is focused on long-term growth and endless opportunities to grow.

To move into an abundance mindset in your business, stop looking at money spent on your business solely as expenses, and consider them as investments.

To be clear, moving out of a scarcity mindset and into an abundance mindset isn’t about spending recklessly and viewing everything as an investment. It’s about carefully considering the expense and measuring whether it is a true investment that is going to grow you or your business.

The next time you are considering spending money on something and you begin looking at the cost, take a minute to think about what it could potentially bring you. Will an improved inventory system help you ship more products? Will that course or mastermind help you move past a business plateau? It’s these important distinctions that can help break the scarcity money barrier.

Money barrier #3: Feel uncomfortable with the idea of becoming wealthy? Define your goals with a purpose.

Money gets a bad rap. There are so many bad examples of wealth and greed, that many of us unconsciously put up money barriers to keep ourselves from becoming wealthy. You might think this barrier doesn’t apply to you, but before you dismiss it, fill in the blank below to reflect on what wealth means to you.

Being rich/wealthy looks like ______________.

If the image that you come up with is primarily negative, you might have a money barrier related to becoming wealthy.

To move past the negative image, work on defining goals with a purpose. While most of us will set goals for our business related to how much money we want to make, try adding a purpose to create a new image of wealth.

For example, if you want to grow your business to have profit of $150,000 per year, what does that amount mean to you? Does it mean that your partner is able to quit their job? Or perhaps it’s that you’ll be able to spend more time with your family or contribute to a cause you love.

Spend time defining that purpose to create your new image of wealth. Write it down and keep it somewhere you’ll be able to see regularly.

Money barrier #4: Avoid mundane (but necessary) money tasks? Create a powerful habit.

When I started my first business, I was a pro at avoiding the mundane money tasks like invoicing, logging expenses, and just keeping things generally organized. I would procrastinate for as long as possible, making up excuses that it wasn’t as important as other things on my list, or that I wasn’t in the mood to do it.

And the longer I put it off, the larger these mundane tasks became. I had created a horrible mental money barrier with all of my excuses, which ended losing me quite a bit of money.

To break this, I created a weekly money habit. I know that a weakness of mine is logging receipts and sitting down regularly to go through my books. I also know that Friday afternoons I’m not up for anything requiring much brainpower. So I decided to create a money checklist and go through it for 20 minutes every Friday after lunch. The first few weeks of sitting down to do it were tough, but after a month these actions clicked and I began automatically doing them right after lunch every Friday — no excuses.

To stop avoiding your necessary money tasks, create a checklist of the items you want to complete weekly and set a time do it. I recommend creating a list of items that will take 15-30 minutes to complete to start. To create an actual habit, tie it to something specific that you do every week. When you do that first action (for me, Friday lunch) it triggers my habit of completing my money checklist.

Break past the mental money barriers to grow your business

There may be other money barriers that are standing in your way (shout them out in the comments!), but the key to not letting them hold you back is to recognize that they exist and create a plan to move past them.

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Erica Gellerman is a small business strategist who helps ambitious entrepreneurs grow their business faster, more confidently, and more profitably. She has her MBA from Duke University and her CPA and spent her corporate career working in brand management for P&G and financial services for PwC. Frustrated with the corporate world, she started a bridesmaid dress rental business in 2012 and ran it until moving to London in late 2014. She now works with ambitious women helping them figure out how to create products and services their customers love, master the perfect positioning, price profitably, and create businesses that scale quickly.

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2 Comments on Breaking Through Mental Money Barriers as a Solopreneur

  1. Krystal
    November 3, 2015 at 5:18 am (1 year ago)

    #1 is seriously my biggest money block at the moment. I spent years selling products to people and had no issues – but selling my own products is another story. So much so I just gave away over 50 copies of my brand new eBook!! Finding the balance between generosity and earning money is something I’m working on. Love this post. xo

    Reply
    • Erica Gellerman
      November 4, 2015 at 4:00 am (1 year ago)

      I’m so glad you liked the post Krystal! Writing down my value proposition has really helped me with #1 and I hope it helps you too. Good luck finding the right balance – it really is key to building your awesome business! xx

      Reply

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