How would you describe your money mindset? Have you got hang-ups around earning and spending money? Want to know how to overcome your limiting beliefs? Then read on for advice from an expert.
This article is based on a conversation I had with Lesley Thomas on the Confident Live Marketing Show. Lesley is the money mastery business coach for service-based female entrepreneurs and is known for her holistic, whole-business approach to money make-overs.
She works with entrepreneurial women who undercharge and overdeliver to help them find their niche, create a new compass and crack their money code.
What You’ll Learn
[7:18] How Lesley started her business
[13:13] Why we struggle to be open about money
[17:50] How we can overcome our own challenges
[26:42] Why financial disparities can create resentment
[30:47] Common limiting beliefs
[38:32] How to deal with limiting beliefs
[49:32] The challenges female entrepreneurs face
[53:12] Quick tips to change our mindsets
How Lesley Started her Business
Listen at [07:18]
Lesley worked for 20 years in telecommunications for BT and Orange. She used to commute into London every day, leaving her husband, who had his own business, to look after their two small children.
Realising that she wasn’t living the life she wanted, she decided to join her husband’s property company, helping their clients to purchase properties overseas. She did this for a few years before she got itchy feet.
While it was nice to help people buy their dream homes, Lesley didn’t feel fulfilled, so during lockdown she retrained as a business coach. This gave her a framework to add to all of her previous experience and her natural coaching and business mentality.
Lesley decided to approach her business a different way and niche down beyond the usual business strategy support. She focuses on money mindset to help her clients be more successful.
She compares it to when people have worked with a personal trainer to help them on their fitness journey – sometimes their commitment slips when they’ve no longer got that accountability to the trainer.
Similarly in business, if people don’t price their offerings correctly or don’t value themselves, their business strategy is never going to work. Lesley explained that our self-value is strongly connected to our money mindset.
No matter what’s going on in a client’s business, Lesley starts with looking at their mindset and their money mindset in particular. She works with them to overcome any challenges and improve their relationship with money and their limiting beliefs.
After that, they can look together at the business strategy and make any changes that are needed. The client buys into the process because they see that by not making the changes they’re getting in their own way.
The business can’t grow and scale the way they want it to. There aren’t any external factors causing the problems, only the individual’s mindset about money.
How We Can Overcome Our Own Challenges
Listen at [17:50]
The first thing to do is to be aware of the negative conversations we’re having with ourselves. Lesley explains that our subconscious is there to keep us safe, but by doing so, it tries to hold us right where we are. If we carry on doing what we’re doing, we won’t put ourselves in harm’s way.
For instance, if we decide to leave a secure job and start our own business, our subconscious gets uncomfortable and comes up with reasons why we shouldn’t do this.
When we allow that self-talk to take hold, we come up with the worst-case scenarios and decide that setting up a business is a bad idea. We’re better off staying where we are.
Lesley says we have to create evidence for our subconscious that we actually know what we’re doing and we have a plan. We need to reassure our subconscious and take it on the journey with us. It starts to get used to the idea that we can do what we’re aiming towards.
The 5 “Limiting Beliefs” Technique
She also shared a technique that she uses with her clients. When the negative voice starts up, we need to retrain it. Write down five limiting beliefs that you know you have about money, your self-worth and self-value. Then, write five more.
The first five are easy to come up with because they’re surface level beliefs, but the next five are trickier. You have to dig deep to find them. Once you’ve got them, rewrite them in the positive. Every time you have a negative thought, you start to train yourself to turn it into a positive.
You can even draw an avatar and call it Positive Pete or Positive Polly. Give them positive attributes around money and values. Then, create a negative version. You can start to visualise the positive character overcoming the negative one and taking charge.
Having a persona that we associate with positivity acts as a pattern interrupt. It wakes us up and takes us out of that state of being negative. It’s an internal shake of the shoulder.
The more you start to recognise a negative thought, the quicker you can do something about it. You’ll eventually get to the point where a negative thought starts to form but you can turn it into a positive one.
Lesley also explained motivational speaker Mel Robbins’ Five Second Rule. Mel describes counting down from five to help you take action – instead of hitting snooze when the alarm goes off in the morning, you count to one and jump out of bed.
Lesley takes this further, because she says you’ve got five seconds to talk yourself out of something. Her version is ‘one and do it’. There’s no time to get out of whatever it is.
Common Limiting Beliefs
Listen at [30:47]
Lesley explained some of the common limiting beliefs that we might observe in ourselves. Money mindset isn’t just about our relationship with money, it can impact how we run our businesses.
#1 Low Pricing and Charging by the Hour
We might, for example, price our services low in order to win a client, and then over-deliver. Service-based businesses often charge by the hour, and rather than put their prices up will work more hours and then burn out.
#2 No Boundaries
They will also struggle to put boundaries in place, which leads to the clients taking advantage – expecting the service provider to be available outside of office hours, paying late and so on.
Putting firm boundaries in place helps a business owner to earn respect and keep their clients on track. The client needs to see the value in what the business does for them and to commit to a working relationship.
#3 Don’t Niche Down
Another issue Lesley’s clients have is that they haven’t niched down because they think they’ll have fewer opportunities to work. She helps them to see that they can be an expert in their field and attract their ideal clients.
#4 Losing Sight of Your Reasons
When you undercharge and overdeliver, it impacts your sense of worth and value. And it leads you to feel resentful about your business, so you lose sight of the reasons you set it up in the first place.When you undercharge and overdeliver, it impacts your sense of worth and value. And it leads you to feel resentful about your business, so you lose sight of the reasons you set it up in the first place.Click To Tweet
When your mindset isn’t right, you can end up moving away from those reasons and feeling that your business is holding you back rather than allowing you to grow and take charge of your life.
#5 Discounts and “Mates Rates”
Lesley says that another mistake people with a negative money mindset make is to discount their prices when they don’t need to, such as giving ‘mates rates.’ She says that our friends are our cheerleaders and our biggest supporters, so they should never ask us for discounts.
When you feel the need to discount, you don’t recognise your own value. You’re questioning yourself and how other people perceive your offerings and your value.
How to Deal with Limiting Beliefs
Listen at [38:32]
When you’re facing limiting beliefs around money, you need to think about what you’re giving to the other person, your client. How do you make them feel when they’ve bought from you?When you’re facing limiting beliefs around money, you need to think about what you’re giving to the other person, your client. How do you make them feel when they’ve bought from you?Click To Tweet
Lesley also shared a helpful affirmation:
"The more people I serve, the more money I earn; the more money I earn, the more people I serve."
If you help people, you get well-paid, and by being well-paid, you can help more people.
The same works for creative people too, who are often expected to charge less (or nothing) because they love what they do. They’re also more likely to undercharge for the same reason.
You need to disassociate from thinking that your offering is worth little and instead think about what it’s worth to the person to who you’re providing it to. The price should always reflect what you’re doing for your end-user.
Think about: What is the transformation you're providing for them? What is the experience and how are you making them feel as a result of that experience? Creative people should never feel guilty that they’re talented at singing or drawing or whatever their skill is. It’s just as important as anything else.
Too often people try to make excuses – "I love what I do and I shouldn’t expect to be well paid for it." But why shouldn’t you be paid for your service?
Look at those around you – are they getting well paid for something they’re good at? You should be well paid too. Think to yourself: "They’re good at maths so they’re a banker, but I’m good at singing and so I’m a performer and give people a great experience."
Don’t think of it in terms of lack – "I can only sing." You’re sharing something with the world. You’ve put in hard work to be able to sing well, so you should charge for your experience, not for how long it takes you to deliver your service.
Lesley says to her clients who are reluctant to increase their prices regularly, the longer they work and provide services, the more experience they’re getting.
They’re investing in development and training too, so they’re doing themselves a disservice by not reflecting their value in their prices. She added that this often flicks a switch for them and they’re able to see how much they’ve learned and developed themselves.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you might worry about overcharging, but undercharging can do you a disservice too. Everyone attaches a value to things.
Some potential clients might question your capability and experience if you’re not charging enough for what you do. There’s a danger of being perceived as not that good if you undercharge, even if you’re the best in the world.
The Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face
Listen at [49:32]
Lesley explains that while men and women both have money mindset challenges, they approach them in different ways. Women are nurturers by nature and tend to put themselves at the back of the queue when it comes to valuing and appreciating themselves.
The biggest difference is in ego. The women Lesley works with leave their egos at the door and can easily open up about what their personal struggles are. They can articulate how these things have affected them and they’re determined to break through those barriers and come out the other side.
Men find it harder to have an open conversation because they’re naturally perceived as the breadwinners and there to support the women. It can take longer for men to admit they have limiting beliefs and to work through them.
Lesley said she decided to niche down into service-based female entrepreneurs and walk her talk – she believes strongly that you should niche down and be confident about working with your ideal clients.
Quick Tips to Change Our Mindsets
Listen at [53:12]
Lesley shared a couple of tips to help us start to change our mindsets. She says that awareness is key, and suggests writing down what you think your limiting beliefs are, and then start to deal with them.
Lesley asks her clients to do an exercise she calls ‘meeting your future self’. Think about where you want to be in three years’ time. Add a lot of detail around where you want to be, how much you want to be earning, even what you’re wearing and experiencing.
What have you achieved over the last three years? What have you stopped doing because it wasn’t serving you, and what have you started doing? Put a lot of thought into that future self.
You might have stopped doing certain tasks or using particular tools that weren’t the best use of your time. You may give someone else your social media to free up time, or contact clients on your behalf, or even employ a cleaner for your home.
Lesley encourages her clients to write a letter to their future selves, which is something she does too: “On 1st January every year, I write a letter to my future self in 12 months’ time, congratulating myself on all the things that I have achieved in the previous 12 months. I basically put my goals out there.”
She also sends it to herself via a website called futureme.org and selects the dates to receive it. Knowing that the letter is arriving and what’s in it holds her accountable.
She recommends creating affirmations for yourself and has seen the powerful effect they can have for people. Choose five that you think will work for you, and put them in different places so you see them regularly, such as your phone screensaver.Creating affirmations for yourself can have such a powerful effect. Choose five that you think will work for you, and put them in different places so you see them regularly, such as your phone screensaver.Click To Tweet
Vision boards are also a good way to work out what you want and what you’d do with your money. You need a purpose, so don’t just say you want £1m; think about what you’d do with it.
Create a vision board with the purposes on it and display it where you’ll see it regularly. You can even have an app on your phone to carry your vision around with you.
We often get excited about our plans and feel committed at first, but as time goes by, we lose our motivation. We need to create discipline to keep us going, to have a positive mindset and to keep working towards our goals and visual reminders help to keep us on track.
Why Financial Disparities Can Create Resentment
Listen at [26:42]
Sometimes, those who’ve grown up in a situation where their family didn’t have a lot of money can look down on those who had more money growing up. And that doesn’t make sense, Lesley said.
That’s a limiting belief and it’s not helpful. Instead, we should look at someone who has what we want and think about how we could change our situation and do what they’ve done.
When you have a limiting belief, you need to look at what that limiting belief is doing – it’s holding you in the place you are now, it’s not helping you to move towards where you want to be.
Instead, look at someone else’s achievement and work out the steps to help you to do the same. If they can do it, you can do it. Most people weren’t just given a successful business – they’ve worked at it and grown it up from nothing.
Focus on what you want and start removing the limiting beliefs. Doing so allows you to build your life on your terms and empowers you. We all have the ability, if we choose, to move from where we are to where we want to go. We have to be very intentional in creating a plan and the action required to deliver on that.
Why we Struggle to be Open About Money
Listen at [13:13]
As children, we’re taught that it’s not polite to talk about money or ask people how much they have. This carries on into adulthood, says Lesley, and we feel that talking about money is a dirty thing.As children, we’re taught that it’s not polite to talk about money or ask people how much they have. This carries on into adulthood and we feel that talking about money is a dirty thing.Click To Tweet
And yet, sometimes it’s more acceptable to admit that someone doesn’t have money and they’re struggling to feed their family – society accepts that. But when someone says they’re doing well and have a lot of money, that’s frowned upon.
"This comes down to our own limiting beliefs. When we hear somebody talking about how well they're doing, we’re really saying ‘I want to do as well as that person, but I don't believe I have the ability to do as well’."
This leads us to say things like, "They might be rich, but they're not happy. They have to work long hours." This is justifying to ourselves that they might be doing well, but they don’t have a good life.
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Who is Lesley Thomas?
Lesly is The Money Mastery Business Coach for service-based female entrepreneurs. Known for her Holistic Whole Business approach to money make-overs - Lesley works with entrepreneurial women who under-charge and over-deliver - to help them find their niche, create a new compass and crack their money code!