In a recent webinar (Mid-Year Financial Check-up), I shared the story of a friend and collaborator who had recently been talking about how her money was making her miserable. Our coach asked her to consider it this way: if your money were an animal, what would it be? The goal of this question is to find a way to, if not befriend the thing that’s bothering you so much, then at least to get curious about it. To find a way to work with it.
A nanosecond after the question was asked, my friend answered that if her money were an animal, it’d be a dirty, hairy rat. Imagine her saying it, on this call we were on, the very word “rat” pronounced with just so much loathing. Rat.
My money is a dirty, hairy rat.
Now, I’m lucky. I happen to love rats. Our first pet rat, Boomer, was a gorgeous, affectionate dark gray fancy rat like the one in the photo above. And there have been others since then, riding around in the hoodies of our sweatshirts and up our sleeves. This is me, though. It strikes me that I’m the same way about money – not repelled, just curious.
It’s possible your money is a rat to you, too. Or something that fills you with just as much despair and unhappiness.
Which is why it matters so much to make peace with the rat.
This is such a big part of the work I do with my clients. Each time we review their financials on a monthly basis, that’s what we’re doing: cozying up to their rat, helping them see the cuteness that I see there, helping them to discover how smart and resourceful all that data really is.
Not dirty, not scary. Quite the opposite.
What ends up happening, little by little, a month at a time, as we make peace with the rat through regular contact with the numbers, is that the client — maybe you, too — begins to see that that rat, rather than loathsome, is actually immensely powerful. The rat becomes an ally.
A transformation takes place before my eyes, every single time. And that’s what it’s all about for me: to nurture that transformation, so that the rat goes from loathsome straight through to Spirit Animal.
That’s right: Spirit Animal.
That’s what looking at your numbers regularly, with curiosity, can do for you: it can transform something that makes you anxious, that makes you feel bad, into something altogether different. Something, dare I say it, uplifting. Something that can actually empower you to make better and clearer decisions about where you and your fabulous business are headed.
All that’s required is curiosity. And sometimes a good guide helps, too.
If your numbers bug you, if you find you avoid them because they make you sweat, try it: try establishing a regular practice of curious review, monthly is great. Just look at what your numbers say. i promise you it gets better, like everything does, with practice. After all, wouldn’t it be better to have a Spirit Animal in your corner, than something loathsome underfoot. ;>