The night was moderated by a women's wealth coach and investor Terhi Majasalmi who explained that investing is 80% about mindset and 20% about strategy. It's like with anything in life, unless you know what you want and commit to learning all the details, no strategy will bring you results. Imagine if someone gives you a map and tells you to turn left at the next crossing. Unless you know where you want to go the stranger's advice is pretty pointless.
Maria had a good job and she managed her finances well, she thought. Surely paying off your credit card and bills every month was good enough! She felt she was missing out as other people seemed to be in a better position. Perhaps they were just lucky? Or greedy? Or they'd gotten to the property ladder earlier? Or... She had a feeling something might be holding her back and that she too could ask for more, but how?
This is how she uncovered her negative money mindset and a way to change it.
Step 1: Write down 20 beliefs about money
"Money is difficult." "Money is bad." "People with money are greedy." "Women who have money are superficial." "I'm more genuine if I don't have much money." " Women don't know how to handle money." ...
All women across the room wrote down their thoughts and beliefs about money. Maria was astonished how similar everyone's ideas were. It was like a negative force was pulling these women down. But she thought hers were at least quite neutral, until she did the next exercise.
Step 2. Asses your money beliefs
The next task was to evaluate if her beliefs were negative or positive (write them dow next to the beliefs) and then if they were facts or opinions.
This was a wakeup call!
From the 300 beliefs that got written down that night only about 20 were actual facts. Can you scientifically prove that people with money are greedy than people with less money? Or how about if women with money are all superficial?
What Maria realised was that she had labelled money with a lot of attributes that belonged to people, this is what some people did with their money. Yes, there are greedy people and yes some women are superficial. But she realised she could find those attributes in all levels of the wealth pyramid.
Money, in fact, was very neutral and democratic. Money didn't care if it was earned by a woman or a man, a black or a white person. She realised that her money mindset was mostly inherited from her parents and influenced by people she surrounded herself with.
Her mindset was very negative and it was blocking her from using money as an enabler, a substance that would let her do the things she loved and to protect the people she loved.
But now that she had discovered her mental barriers, what would be next. What could she do to get rid of her negative mindset about money?
Step 3: Do something different
Change is hard. It's wonderful to stay in the comfort zone, because as they say - better the devil you know. And many people are looking for easy answers, a magic bulled that would solve all their problems whilst allowing them to stay exactly where they are and not change anything.
Maria wanted to know what could she do to break her unhelpful beliefs about money. "What is the secret? How can I remove these barriers before I fall back to my old ways?" she was asking.
She'd go back to her job the next day, she'd receive her salary as usual and go shopping. She'd want to spend time with her family. And she would like all her peers to think of her as a successful woman. She'd like to keep her almost perfect life completely intact and keep on living her daily life without changing a thing.
But she'd heard another woman tell her story during the evening. This made her curious.
Jenny had come to the same workshop 18 months earlier with a similar mindset. "Ah, I can't understand money. I don't know the numbers. This is all too difficult. Why can't someone just tell me what I have to do!" Jenny, like Maria, wanted simply brush off the subject and and not take responsibility about it. And she wanted someone to give her all the answers how she could stay in her comfort zone (not change anything) but miraculously different results.
Then a lady called Jane told her: "Come on Jenny, you are a smart lady. Go and sort it out!"
This had been a wake up call for Jenny.
She realised that the secret to getting different results was not awaiting someone to give you the answers but to go out and find her own answers.
So Jenny had started learning everything about property investment. She also started saving money. She decided that instead of going on an expensive holiday that she so deserved, she'd spend the money on a high quality property investment course. Fast forward 18 months, she's now ready to buy her first investment property. Why? Because she decided to take control and do something different.
Maria was grateful for Jenny's story. She now realised that the only way to change her mindset permanently was to start doing something different. She realised she had to change her spending ways, she had to start saving and she had to start figuring out what she wanted for her future and her wealth. She set herself a clear goal of reaching financial independence in 10 years and she decided she'd try new ways to earn more and to create multiple income streams. She decided to something straight away to complement her regular monthly pay check and save all the extra income she'd generate.
I can't be happier for Maria and all the other wonderful women who joined the session. The journey to abundance starts from the inside, from a firm decision to make things better. We can't all become rich overnight, but we can all, regardless of our circumstances, improve our situation over time.
It's time to stop accepting a daily struggle as a standard and start small steps to wealth.
Wealthy Woman Workshop part II will run 19. September 2016 in London. Book your place here or sign up to our Newsletter to get updates on other DrivenWoman events.