Today is our next-to-last exploration of different forms of energy and ways to balance our exhales with inhales so the ecosystems of our lives remain sustainable.
The series so far…
- Time Without Energy Is Useless
- First Things First: Your Physical Energy
- Is your cognitive well full or empty?
- Through You, Not From You
- What tools are in your emotional toolbox?
The Flow of Money Through Your Life
Financial energy is about the flow of money through your life and your ability to meet your more material needs and wants.
Financial energy is also something of a proxy energy that allows you to turn one form of energy into another. In getting paid for the work of your mind, for instance, you can turn that financial energy into food that fuels your body, which in turn fuels the work of your mind.
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As you look back on the month, quarter or year just past and make plans for the month, quarter or year ahead, ask yourself…
What is the current state of my financial energy?
- If you are financially depleted, what is draining you and what would help you heal and refuel?
- If you are at least minimally energized, are there ways you could amplify that and create deeper reserves?
- How is your financial energy supported by your physical energy?
Some questions to start your thinking…
Unlike other forms of energy which are less tangible, finding ways to improve your financial energy and deepen your reserves tends to be more straightforward since it can be more easily observed and measured.
That said, creatives tend to prefer reading between the lines over reading the actual lines, so making those observations often isn’t a priority. Which means many creatives manage their financial energy by intuition and instinct – which would be fine except our gut feelings about our money are often wrong.
So, when evaluating your financial energy, be specific. And by specific, I mean crunch the actual numbers. Where necessary, open up a spreadsheet, enter some hard data, and do the math.
- Do you have a way of tracking what you earn and what you spend? If you had but abandoned such a system, what would help you resume using it?
- How do you avoid spending more than your earn? That is, do you have and use a budget?
- Do you need to streamline or automate your systems for paying bills? For bookkeeping?
- Do you know which of your professional activities generate the most income? Are you trading your time and energy for money in efficient and effective ways?
- Do you have a reasonably reliable way of predicting what you will earn from new projects or services given the size of your audience and other factors?
- If you need to increase your income, do you have the marketing skills and information to bring that about?
- Are you being miserly where you should be investing in yourself and your business and leaving yourself poorly supported?
- Are you being wasteful and spending on goods and services – personal or professional – that you rarely use or offer little energy in return?
- Is there a relationship between the areas of your life that feel overwhelming or cluttered and the state of your finances? Where would simplification improve your financial energy?
- Do you have sufficient financial reserves to roll with the unexpected?
- Do you need training or assistance – and to shift out of a DIY/Lone Ranger habit – to make any of the above happen?
Remember: the changes you want to make don’t need to be radical, sweeping or ambitious to make a difference. It’s often the small, simple shifts that are the most transformative.