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I’m A Successful Entrepreneur And I’m Terrified Of Running Out Of Money

Im A Successful Entrepreneur And Im Terrified Of Running Out Of Money

I’ve had this blog post sitting in my heart for the past several months.

It’s been sitting so ever present in my body, blocking my creativity and holding me back in my business.

It kind of feels like a big nasty secret that I’ve been holding onto. Admitting it in a public forum feels a little like suicide considering the work that I do.

But it’s a conversation that I’ve been having recently with friends, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs so I know I’m not the only one.

And just like I’ve done over the past couple of years, I know that writing this blog post won’t kill me. Even though it kind of feels like it right now.

So here’s my confession:

I’m a “successful entrepreneur” and I’m terrified of running out of money.

Irrationally and sometimes overwhelmingly afraid of running out of money. It feels buried deep within my tissues, as if it’s been there all along.

And here’s why.

I’ve always taken pride in being very “good with my money.”

It’s not like I really wanted to be. But I had no other choice. Why?

Because I grew up in a family where I regularly heard “there’s not enough money.”

In reality though, my father had a steady job with the government and made above the median national income for his entire career. I never went to bed hungry and I always had shoes on my feet. In fact, I was really overweight from fourth to eighth grade, so I was definitely eating well. And somehow I managed to always get the Nintendo games that I wanted even though I could tell that it was pushing the limits of our family budget.

We even traveled every year, sometimes to my mother’s favorite city of San Diego, CA and sometimes to Japan or Florida to visit the grandparents. One summer we lived in Japan for a month with my grandparents, traveling all over the country with them.

But despite never living on the streets or begging for money, I heard these four words way too often…

“There’s not enough money.”

And when your parents say something when you’re young you believe it. They are your parents after all.

One painful memory that I have from growing up was watching my mother return her anniversary presents every year whether they were earrings or a necklace that my father bought. She’d always say, “We can use this money for groceries instead.”

I also remember sneaking into my father’s office one day and looking through all the piles of bills on his desk. I started doing some mental math and calculating all of the credit card debt that we had as a family.

Seeing that it totaled in the multiple five figures, in that moment I decided, “Shit, we need to file for bankruptcy!”

I think I was in high school then.

Growing up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I didn’t have any dreams of going to college. It wasn’t really the cool thing to do in my religion since the impending threat of Armageddon and the end of the world as I knew it was always around the corner.

But by getting really good at memorizing lots of useless facts and somehow learning to enjoy high pressure testing protocols, I ended up being our high school’s valedictorian and earned a National Merit Scholarship.

I actually ended up getting a full tuition scholarship plus $6000 a year to go to school. So I got paid $500 a month to go to college.

Even then with a full ride scholarship, I only went to school because it seemed more fun than starting work full time. That’s the only reason. My view of the world was pretty weird back then.

Growing up I never really viewed myself as “poor.” At least, until I went away to college.

And by “went away” I mean I lived at home with my parents all throughout my undergraduate studies. Even with a full ride and a $500 stipend every month, I knew that my family couldn’t afford for me to move out on my own. We just “didn’t have enough money.”

So I ended up living with my parents until I was 24. The whole time I managed to convince myself that living on my own would be “really expensive.”

Despite my less than normal childhood, I really never felt that much lack growing up. There was always food on the table, we played together as a family at the park constantly, and I had a simple, safe, and loving childhood.

Looking back I truly grew up rich with what mattered.

So much love, so much attention, and so much time with my parents. I am the product of thousands of hours of hands-on love from my mom and dad.

Yeah, I shopped at thrift stores and never had a pair of Air Jordans or Reebok Pumps, but neither did anyone else in my church.

So it just felt normal.

I really only started to feel poor when I started to learn about how the other kids from school lived.

Some of them drove new cars to school. My parents had never owned a new car, so how did these kids afford one? I drove an old silver Toyota minivan to school every day.

Some of them talked about their vacations and spring break trips. I could hardly comprehend how they could afford to travel all over the world and go wake boarding and snowboarding and blow a couple of thousand dollars in a week.

It almost didn’t seem possible.

I distinctly remember a moment in my junior year of college as I parked my silver minivan that overheated all the time in the parking lot next to a bunch of BMWs, Hondas, and Acuras by the business college.

I looked around at all the other cars and thought of my friends and their fancy lives and in that moment, I started to tell myself a lie.

“Wow, I guess I’m poor.”

So when I graduated college and started working full-time I wanted to do anything and everything to not be poor anymore.

I started working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car because in the interview process I learned that their Area Managers made six figures a year. At the time, that seemed like more money than I would ever know what to do with.

I made almost every promotion in the minimum time possible and by the age of 24 was running two offices, managing a P&L, and overseeing millions of dollars of inventory.

I also made sure to always pay myself first.

From day one I invested 10-15% off of the top of my paycheck and put it in a 401K. I learned what a Roth IRA was when I was 25. I maxed that out every year since, until I left corporate three years ago.  I don’t even know where I got the idea of paying myself first. Probably from one of the self-help books I was reading at the time.

I still didn’t really know a whole lot about money, but all I knew that I was going to keep working, saving, and investing until I was “rich.”

For the first eight years of my work experiences, I never once worried about money. When I was making $27,000 at Enterprise Rent-A-Car or $65,000 in advertising or just over $100,000 in my first year at Johnson & Johnson, I didn’t worry about money.

I lived simply, paid myself off of the top, and spent less than I made. I never spent a lot on designer clothes, going out to eat, or buying retail items.

I still regularly went out and bought friends drinks, spent money on experiences that made my happy, and somehow there was always enough.

And even though I didn’t know why or how, I was telling myself that I was on the path to becoming “rich.”

By the age of thirty I had a little over $100,000 saved for retirement in a mix of investment accounts. Things seemed to be perfectly on track.

Then my mom died.

Then I quit the six figure corporate job.

Then I spent all of 2012 doing volunteer work and pro-bono coaching.

Then I ended up somehow traveling the world for 31 months straight chasing the next adventure.

Despite knowing nothing about being an entrepreneur, I managed to build a “successful coaching practice” in my first year of business. Whatever the hell that means any way.

People were reaching out to me to have me coach them at rates of $250 to $750 an hour.

And the crazy thing was… it was actually working!

The breakthroughs were coming left and right. In three months they were literally different human beings then when they first reached out to me.

I was working a couple of hours a week, traveling full time to exotic locales, and actually helping people. Really, really helping people make deep, permanent life changes.

It seemed too good to be true. I felt like I had hit the sweet spot of life, where I would forever serve a small group of remarkable clients and live a life rooted in freedom and adventure.

Then I announced this little idea for a conference.

Then the downward spiral began.

And I sat in panic for months, terrified that no one was going to show up and I would go bankrupt. I signed a contract for hotel space and catering that was over $20,000 with only a tiny handful of ticket sales.

I wrote about it a bit here almost exactly a year ago.

But it was even darker than that.

I want to share with you a private note that I sent to all the speakers last year that almost ended the conference before it began, just to let you know how bad I was feeling then.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 4.18.40 PM

After sending that note, they all chimed in with some of the most amazing notes of support that I’ve ever received before.

They offered to jump on the phone with me to talk things out. They quoted my writing and videos and showed me where I wasn’t walking my talk. And a couple of them lovingly bitched slapped me into reminding myself that this is the path that I consciously chose.

Sometimes I still look back at that thread at what might be the most epic pep talk ever shared via collective Facebook comments.

So with the support of my team, I kept taking one shaky step after another.

Four months later, we delivered a weekend of transformation that many men said was the most important weekend of their life. One of the attendees who had been to almost every personal development event out there (Tony Robbins, Landmark, etc.) said that The Conference For Men was the most powerful weekend they had ever experienced.

Yes! We did it! Victory!

And after six months of pouring my heart and soul into the event, regularly being crippled from the stress, pulling off a miracle and giving it everything I had…

I didn’t make any money.

In fact, I might have even lost a little. That shows how detailed I was on my bookkeeping for the past couple of years.

All I know is that it cost around $40,000 to put on and I think I made around $40,000. So I broke even plus or minus a couple thousand dollars.

Talk about a disappointment. But lives were changed for the better and I was still alive.

Despite working my ass off for seemingly nothing, I still had some money in the bank. I wasn’t in debt. Like I said, I’ve always been really “good with my money.”

Because if there was one thing that I was never going to do, it was going into debt like my family.

I saw what it did to my father. I felt the stress in his body as he hunched over his office desk even as a child before I knew what debt was.

So I was determined to never go below zero.

Because that would be bad. And dangerous. And scary.

But then I started teetering towards zero in the past couple of months and all sorts of panic flags came up.

So like I always do, I started to talk to a few close friends about it.

As I started to have those conversations, I was shocked to find out that they had money fears too. Some of them were in debt already. Some of them were bankrolled by their parents. And some of them made way less than you would guess from their extravagant Facebook escapades.

As I had these conversations, the shame around money started to lift. With each story another layer peeled back and I felt more confident and less afraid of running out of money.

I also realized that going into debt really isn’t a bad thing. Most small businesses go into debt to get started.

Just think of any brick and mortar business. A gym, a cupcake shop, a nail salon. Most of those business owners either got a small business loan, used credit card debt or used their life savings to get it off the ground.

So why would I think I’d be any different?

At dinner a couple weeks ago, after talking about money and debt for an hour, one of my friends looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Mike, I think you just need to go into debt. Then you won’t be so damn scared of it anymore.”

So last month I decided that I would do the thing that I said I would never do.

I went into debt.

I threw $13,000 on a credit card and hired one of the best business coaches I know. That’s the one piece of my development that I haven’t really invested heavily in. So I decided to go all in.

And despite my cash reserves being less than my liabilities in this current moment, I’m still alive.

Negative Net Worth Yo!

Yes, in this moment I owe over forty thousand dollars in credit card debt. Most of it is on 0% APR credit cards.

But still, the guy who said he would never do it, consciously went into debt. And I didn’t die.

In fact, I’m wondering why I didn’t do it sooner.

Doing it felt a little like drinking my first beer or smoking a joint for the first time. It felt really bad and dangerous.

But really bad and dangerous things are only bad and dangerous when we keep them in the shadows.

And I like living in the light.

So where am I today?

In debt. Less afraid of running out of money, but still a little bit. But quickly realizing that everyone else is afraid too, from the conversations that I keep having.

So what’s the moral to this money story?

 

1. All Debt Isn’t Bad

Most businesses take on debt to get them off the ground.

I remember that from my finance classes in the MBA program, but I somehow forgot about it as a solopreneur.

If I can invest $30,000 now to make $300,000 a year later, then I should make that investment all day right?

It seems obvious when laid out like that, but “debt” has all sorts of emotional baggage tied to it. For me any debt was bad.

Which has kept me playing small for the past couple of years.

Despite my relative growth over the past two years, there are definitely times where I could have simply made an investment in myself, software, or support to move past a hurdle without even blinking.

But I’ve been so afraid of spending money, that some days I feel like I’m inching along.

I was talking to a friend about this and she said, “My debt has been the fuel for my dreams.”

That sure sounds a lot better than all the other associations we put on it.

 

2. Most Of What We Were Taught About Money Is Wrong

“Money is the root of all evil.”

“Rich people earn their living on the backs of others.”

“It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God.”

“They might be rich, but at least we’re happy.”

“Mo money, Mo problems.”

Do any of those sound familiar? You might have heard something like this when you were growing up and unsuspectingly taken that belief on, where it’s been keeping you poor for your entire adult life.

Here’s an exercise I’ve been doing with clients and friends lately. I seriously want you to try it out.

Write down twenty sentences on a piece of paper beginning with: “Money is…”

Whatever comes out are your current beliefs around money.

And you wonder why you’re not making more money?

No one wants to be bad. And if you believe rich people or having money is bad, of course you aren’t going to allow yourself to be rich.

 

3. You Become Truly Rich By Shifting Your Beliefs Around Money, Not By Having More Of It

I’ve been devouring resources on wealth consciousness lately. This has been the reading/listening list just in the past month.

Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny
Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup
Prosperity Consciousness by Fredric Lehrman
The Energy Of Money by Maria Nemeth

As I go through these books and do all of the exercises, I keep becoming more and more open to financial abundance.

Now I don’t believe in “manifesting” miracles by sitting on your ass and reading “The Secret” and praying for checks to come in your mailbox. But I do believe in inspired, authentic action. And I’ve recently come to realize that my beliefs around money have been holding me back in many areas, despite taking a whole lot of action over the past several years.

It’s like I’ve been driving a car with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brakes.

So with every book I read, audiobook I listen to, or courageous conversation around money that I have, little by little a space opens up to allow more in.

As I write these words today, I feel a hundred times more open to money, wealth, and abundance than I did a year ago.

And whether you believe it or not, wealth is an inside game.

Most lottery winners are back to their original levels of wealth within the first couple of years. Their internal thermostat just isn’t ready to handle the new level of wealth so they find a way to get rid of all of the money.

If you’re truly serious about making a dent in the universe, leaving a legacy behind, and having a ton of fun along the way then you need to clean up your beliefs around money ASAP.

Or you can just keep driving the car with one foot on the brakes.

How that’s working out for you lately?

 

4. I’ve Never Gone To Bed Hungry

I attended a conference called Archangel Academy the weekend after The Conference For Men.

I forgot who said it, but one of the speakers shared with us that any time he feels a little off centered around money, he just reminds himself this one very important truth:

“I’ve never gone to bed hungry.”

It was one of the best gems that I took that entire weekend.

I hope it resonates with you like it did with me.

 

5. This Was The Last Thing I Thought I’ve Ever Admit As A Coach

No one would hire a coach who is afraid of running out of money, right?

Wait, I’m afraid of running out of money AND I’m in debt now.

Now it’s certain that no one will hire me, right?

Maybe all of my clients will decide not to renew with me or maybe I’ll never be invited to speak anywhere ever again.

Or maybe I’ll just feel even clearer and cleaner around money than ever before.

Even as I write these words, there’s very little emotional heaviness around money left anymore. The headline that I wrote a couple of hours ago almost doesn’t seem true now. It did when I started this blog, but now it’s only partially true.

Yes, my name is Mike Hrostoski, I’m a successful entrepreneur and I’m terrified of running out of money (but only around 10% as much as when I started writing this blog post.)

Wow, it worked again.

Shame is some crazy stuff.

And it’s crazier how quickly it disappears when we pull it out from the shadows.

So… what’s YOUR money story? And what are you committed to doing about it?

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[Photo Credit]

  • http://www.datingforentrepreneurs.com/ David Hrostoski

    This is one of the most beautiful pieces of art you’ve ever created, Mike. I’m so proud to call you my brother and can’t wait to see your business take off to higher heights than either of us could have ever imagined in our many years of “being poor.”

    You continue to be an inspiration to thousands of real life human beings, and I can’t see that stopping any time soon. I know first-hand how crippling our childhood beliefs around money can be. Heck, I constantly struggle with slipping back into the decision of staying above zero at the expense of my health or happiness.

    But, I know the power of the work we do. I know the power of mindset and reprogramming. And, I know without a shadow of a doubt that we WILL break free from our self-imposed shackles.

    Just keep on moving: your belief work, your writing, and your radical honesty will get you far.

    I love you, brother.

  • Kendra Tanner

    Mike, I’ve been afraid of debt my whole life too. My dad accounted for every penny, had a budget for everything!!!! Like bagels in the deli next door, gas money etc. So I’ve always had a fear of running out of money as well. Almost a year ago my husband and I started living out of our overdraft. Forget zero, or new rock bottom was minus £4K (which strangely sounds better some how). We threw all our savings and investments into getting me started as a coach and him with a bricks and mortar biz. I had just started reading Kate’s book. We we close to maxing out our overdraft towards the end of summer and that is when I hired my own coach. We owe family, banks and my coach, cumulatively over £20k. I am still breathing, still alive, there is a roof over my head, I don’t go to bed hungry either. This world is abundant. And so long as we’re intentional with our money and how we use our time, we won’t run out. And even if we do, we won’t self-combust :) Thanks for writing this. I can totally relate and I’m sure others can too. And yes, talking about it gives shame a run for its money :)

  • Karol

    Hey Mike,

    I appreciate that you’re open with your thought processes and actions.

    I’ve made many terrible mistakes with money and feel like I have a lot of similar issues surrounding money as you. (Probably the smartest thing I ever did with money was open a corporate 401k and personal Roth IRA in my early 20s.)

    At the same time, I feel like I would be doing you a disservice as a reader and friend if I didn’t offer up a rebuttal, of sorts. Specifically, with this part: “Just think of any brick and mortar business. A gym, a cupcake shop, a nail salon. Most of those business owners either got a small business loan, used credit card debt or used their life savings to get it off the ground.”

    The issue here is that all of those businesses create low income jobs for their owners and sometimes create a lifetime of personal debt and stress. Not always, of course, because there are outliers. But generally, that seems to be the case. And that’s fine if that’s also what you want. But if it’s not what you want, are those good examples to follow?

    The issue might be the echo chamber effect. If you ask people in your own close circle who are also in debt then of course they’ll say, “just go into debt, big deal.” But if you ask people who aren’t in debt I find it hard to believe that that would be the advice. I’m not saying either action (debt or no debt) is inherently wrong. I’m saying it’s important to spend just as much time finding alternate possibilities for important decisions. Not just about money, but about nearly everything.

    Another way to look at debt. If you take a look at the most successful companies around, most of them were started with, or are currently in, debt. But debt in the way of VC capital is not the same as debt in the way of a personal guarantee on funds. If Jeff Bezos fucks Amazon into oblivion he’s going to be just fine. As will every other famous company CEO.

    I’ve been meaning to write about my own issues with all this stuff, but I haven’t been able to vocalize it properly just yet. So, thanks for giving me a bit of an avenue to do so.

    -Karol

    • http://www.hrostoski.com/ Mike Hrostoski

      Awesome. Thank you for always being the voice of reason. :)

      Yeah, I’m not saying to just go into debt for the fuck of it like skydiving or quitting your job.

      But debt is a TOOL that can be leveraged to increase the impact and profits of your business. For example, I financed The Conference For Men all on 0% APR credit cards.

      I wouldn’t have been able to do something as big without debt.

      The big thing I’m working with (and a lot of people who I talk to) is the emotional gunk that comes up around money, wealth, and debt.

      Those feelings of panic or judgment or jealousy or overwhelming terror.

      My goal is to get to a point where numbers are totally neutral. Where $100 and $100,000 are just things like a piece of bread or a glass of water.

      I’m getting a lot closer, but I’m not quite there yet.

  • http://www.livingambitiously.com/ Rachael

    This is really amazing – as are all of the posts that we feel might kill us after we press publish!

    Since I am currently in a space of planning on going off and “working for myself” it feels like the “dumb” thing to do with credit card debt and a wack of student loans. There is DEFINITELY a way that watching all of these entrepreneurs post on Facebook about their trips or breakthroughs, that it feels like everyone else has it together around money. I also want to start investing but feel like a moron that should have paid attention in business school because I understand nothing (which I know is not true and what they taught might not even be right!)

    Thank you for being vulnerable, for re-typing the post after it disappeared, and for screen-shotting your accounts! The more you take the emotional weight off, the more space there is for the good stuff, and you help us all in the process.

  • Peter Rubin

    Damn Mike, this is a powerful post. Kudos to you for sharing what the rest of us are feeling but not speaking out loud.

    I have a similar story about money and debt. I continue to refuse to go into debt. In my case, I think there’s some BS fear there and some wisdom. I’m learning to have sovereignty around money and not throw money toward personal & professional growth programs every time I feel insecure. I’m hiring some support and also finding my own way.

    The part I’m most ashamed of is that I’ve been living at my parents’ house for over a year now – the story I’ve been telling is that it’s been a bad year financially, I’ve taken some big career risks that haven’t panned out, and I still haven’t saved up enough money to move into my place and paying insane Bay Area rent. I think I’m still traumatized by the experience that led me back to mom & dad’s house – a bad breakup and financial stress.

    But at some point I just gotta do it… I’m gonna start looking for a place in January. I’m also gonna check out those money books you suggested.

  • Kate Brenton

    This is fantastic. Thank you. I had a similar – always made enough when working in corporate/public sector education – then I leapt into the life of transformation and with 24 months I carried my first balance on my credit card, ever. It’s year five, the money is better, and I am in debt, and I feel that I cannot be honest because I help people create change in THEIR life. Their. I am lifting a little shame. I live in Hawaii the magical life, and I have debt, and need to participate in a bigger vision. Thanks for the honesty. Kate Brenton http://www.wisdomofone.com

  • CHRIS MCLEOD

    Mike,

    Thanks for your candor around this topic. BTW, breaking even on this conference for the first time is awesome…Amazing, Really……Think of it as an opportunity to market/communicate your brand –and the chance to interact with all of these high profile speakers? You just created an awesome platform for yourself.

    When I started my business, I had to forget everything I ever learned from my parents about money. Money is a tool and a platform for expressing my values. There are many ways to feel rich….and having money is only one of them. Frankly few of the wealthy clients I work with truly feel rich…many feel burdened by their wealth and have the same fears, even those worth $20M+

    I had much the same experience – but our family had plenty of money, but the narrative was always ” cash flow is tight” we don’t have enough money….So I grew up feeling poor with this narrative of scarcity…I recently gave a TEDx talk about my experience growing up and my experience working with wealthy donors called. “Healing the Wounds of Wealth”

    The wounds of wealth are caused by the way money, or the pursuit of money negatively impacts our sense of self, the choices we make, and how we see the world.

    Rich or poor, we all have wounds of wealth.

    If you want to watch it (17:30) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaThQ-YkqKI

    If you would prefer to read it, here is a link to my blog: http://bit.ly/1w0MwXC

    Chris McLeod
    GIVING MATTERS INC

    • JenniferDawnSmith.com

      Chris, thank you so much for this talk; so great to hear about the “other side” of money. I have seen that some of the saddest people are very wealthy – sometimes because they feel alone, and sometimes because they are living a life that was expected of them, not the life they wanted. To me, living your truth and contributing where and how you want to in the world is REAL wealth.

  • Camilla Hellberg

    Hi there Mike,

    Thank you for this post. This is the first time that I “meet” you and it was very interesting to read your piece. It was a relief actually.

    I have also heard “there is not enough money” all my life and it has shaped my choices. I have worked on my beliefs around money and debt for some years and things have improved but it wasn’t until this week actually that I felt that I had reached my tipping point and gained the confidence around money that I never had before. I never understood or took the time to figure out my relationship to money before.

    The interesting thing is that I have gone the other way, meaning I’ve been “bad with money”. I went into debt quite early with great optimism to finance projects I believed in, business ideas, helping friends and family and I was 100% sure that it would be no problem whatsoever to earn the money and pay back the debt in no time. But the debts lingered. They are still here today. Putting some strain on the Christmas budget as a simple example. But it’s not eating my self-esteem anymore. And that’s a huge difference. I don’t feel defeated by it anymore. And more and more I realize: it’s not just me who have been “bad with my money”. Many people are. But they get better at it. As do I. And now I am at a point where the huge frustration around “when is this gonna end?” finally gave the energy boost that allowed for me to break through the last mental and emotional barrier around money. Now I can feel that I Know I can do this. Do what?

    Be in close dialogue with power and freedom, continuously. All aspects of them. Because that is what money ultimately represented for me. And as I was going through my beliefs I finally faced the fact that I too will have to meet with the darker aspects of myself as I generate more financial wealth. When I internally agree to embrace financial power and freedom, I also need to embrace the fact that greed will at some point try to get me to change my ways. And it is my responsibility to be available for that dialogue with myself. Not judging myself but simply stating: oh, look. greed came to visit. well. I am human like everyone else, it is no surprise. now, what do I want to do with you, you little bugger. And the do it.

    I think a big piece of the puzzle was to realize that there were things I could learn about money. I wasn’t sentenced to some “money state” that would dictate my mobility. I could actually learn. But it was shameful to admit that I didn’t know. I felt like people would think I am a complete loser to not KNOW this basic stuff. But I didn’t know the stuff other people knew about money. I realized that the whole thing about being bad with money wasn’t equal to that I was bad. I just had bad information. And I could change that.
    I am nerd about transformation so I wont quit until I really GET it and until things truly have changed at the core. I am also a nerd about finding the good in everything and daring to be vulnerable. So like your brother was mentioning in his comment, I am sure that you sharing this vulnerability will only increase your client base and influence. And it was a reminder about that for myself too.

    I was, as we speak, uploading material to my upcoming online coaching program when I was drawn into FB and saw the link to you blog. I was dealing with some resistance and procrastination due to my own fears about my program, but thanks to this detour in the cloud, I am reminded of that the things I myself feel vulnerable about bringing up in the coaching program – those things are pure gold. Why? Because they show our humanity. They become examples for others that we, you me and every other transformation nerd out there have Done The Work. We didn’t take the fast route, we explored the landscapes, we were curious, we were bold enough to go where no one had gone before. And then come back home all dirty and bruised and say: there’s a whole new world out there. Let’s go and explore.

    The freedom in that is what lifts my spirit. The freedom that in my work as a coach and as a professional perfomer, there are no life experiences that make me less credible. There is actually no “bad choice” I can do that will harm my reputation, when my own goal is to continue being curious, creative and courageous.

    I am sending you a warm embrace and I have a feeling we will be chatting again.

    Camilla

  • Shannon Lagasse

    Mike, this is just… wow. Unbelievable.

    First off, I want to thank you for your courage. The courage to share what’s going on for you and to shed some light on a topic that I think so many are struggling with but feel too ashamed to talk about.

    I’ve been embarrassed about being in debt, even though we could call it “good” debt, because it was all invested in programs, coaches, education, and my business. Nothing extravagant.

    Lately, though, I’ve been feeling a lot more at ease around it. I know that the money is coming to be, the in order to receive, I first have to be willing to invest in my results. There’s no doubt in my mind that I can pay off that debt, so no use worrying about it. :]

    Grateful for your willingness to share your own experience and open up this conversation. <3

  • http://boodaism.com/ Dave Booda

    1. The Conference for Men DEFINITELY was better than all those other conferences mentioned.
    2. You should post Michaela’s response to your post about wanting to quit, it was amazing.
    3. Money is fun.

  • Vanessa Petronelli

    Mike, this is ONE fantastic piece! I loved it! Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts so openly and authentically.

  • JenniferDawnSmith.com

    Mike, thanks for this totally honest story. I also used to be crippled by money fears. My family did lose everything when I was growing up, and it terrified me. I promised myself I’d never be in that situation, and so far, so good. BUT… awhile back, after being debt free, with savings, a business and paid off house, I realized something: I still didn’t feel safe. I asked myself: how much would I need to feel safe about money? The answer: it’ll never be enough. I knew then that I had a deep program inside of me that was about something much more than the money. I realized I’d never felt safe in my life. I was using money to try to feel safe. When I realized this, I had to go deep to the root of that and change it. I became a practitioner of the method I used (Faster EFT) to clear all of this out and I am now completely free of money fears. My business is doing better than ever, I feel good spending money on things I enjoy without fear or guilt, and I hardly think about money, even though it’s flowing into my life almost effortlessly. If you still feel overwhelmed in any way around your debt or money, I hope you’ll learn more about Faster EFT. It changes unconscious programming within just a handful of sessions. The people of the world need you to put this behind you so you can touch as many lives as you desire. :)

  • Melissa Maris

    This post made me really uncomfortable. And I liked it. Thanks. I’m totally going to write my 20 money lines now.

  • Sarah Andrews

    Thank you, again, for tackling a huge issue with complete transparency and courage. I, too, have been shedding my own dysfunctional money beliefs, and I’ve had so many conversations with fellow entrepreneurs battling their own money issues that it almost seems like a right of passage to entrepreneurial success. I’ve come to believe that cultivating a healthy relationship to money, along with living with gratitude and aligned with your life purpose, is the gateway to abundance, financial and otherwise.
    I’ll be sharing this post and referring back to it with clients and friends for a long time! Thank you!

  • Justin Cooke

    Great post, Mike!

    I’ve found that the scariest content to produce is usually the BEST pieces of content for your audience. The things nobody’s talking about because they’re scared that by mentioning it XXX will happen. (Loss of respect, that bad thing actually happening because you verbalized it, etc.)

    You’re right, man – we’re ALL fearful of losing it and having it come crashing down around us. It feels like this worry is closely related to “imposter syndrome”.

    • Vagabundo87

      sorry justin , im new at this, im 27 from Canada, planning to build a corporation here in Montreal and rent a house in Davao, go there with 2 canadian programmers and hire 2-3 filipinos there to help build our website, i was wondering about legalities,papers,visas etc..i was looking to private message you..but couldnt find..maraming salamt po! god bless

      • Justin Cooke

        Hmmm…

        Your best bet for setting up shop in Davao is to just go there. You’re much better off boots-on-the-ground with this type of thing.

        I did write a post for expat entrepreneurs in Davao you might find helpful:

        http://empireflippers.com/ultimate-guide-for-expat-entrepreneurs-in-davao-city/

        Quick disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, tax consultant, etc. Go see one if you’d like proper advice.

        That being said – don’t worry about legalities to start. Quickly get setup with a cheap/easy website and start hustling. Contact potential customers, partners, etc. and drum up some business. You can get all the legal/financial stuff sorted once you have some actual cash/deal flow.

        Many, many entrepreneurs get caught up with getting their website “just right”, setting up their corporate/legal structure before they’ve even validated their business, prepping their software for potential customers they don’t actually have, etc. Don’t be like them or you’re in for some heartache. Cashflow solves almost all of those problems pretty quickly/easily.

        • Vagabundo87

          Thank you very much for your reply Justin! all your forum posts are also much appreciated. Definitly makes it easier on me to select Davao over other places such as cebu where i heard its more expensive. Do you know if you can join samal to davao by road,bridge? I am thinking to bring my crew to a Samal house as they would prefer the beach then to Davao…and it seems its only 15 mins boat away..i suppose it would bring higher costs to bring goodies from the island, but probably not too much? we just hoping for a nice beach near the house and not only on week end beach kind of thing

          do you think internet service would be as good on samal island as in davao? aswell i saw you said electronics cost a bit more in Davao, such as computers etc? I need to do more research about Samal and suchs i saw its 95 000 people so i guess alot of the things i would need i would have to go to davao, also is the food more expensive because its on the island?

          thank you so so much for everything and im planning to arrive Pinas around january 20 hope to meet you then :) definitly its on me :)

          ps: just in case you may help with the following the basic we need is:
          1 big house 3-4-5 rooms near beach
          furnished would be preferable…also preferable if we dont need to do a 1 year contract
          then we need to be near some groceries where food isnt expensive
          ill probably buy a second hand motor and a dog (2 months or whatsoever)
          thank you very very much for your time Justin I hope to be able to assist you sometime as well

          kind regards,

          louis theriault from Montreal,Quebec,Canada

          • Justin Cooke

            Hey Louis!

            There’s no bridge to Samal, but there is a ferry you can drive a car on to cross. We’ve done this via a taxi and private vehicle before. :-)

            You can definitely get a beach house on Samal, but they’re not very resort-ish. You’ll have to check them out for yourself when you get there. (I haven’t looked…just my guess that they won’t be awesome)

            Whatever you do, absolutely do this – hire a maid. She’ll know where to go buy your food, cook for you, clean your place and clothes, etc. It’s an absolute imperative and makes life SO much easier there.

            You can find places on Samal. (My friend has a huge house at the top of the hill over there) Your options will be more limited, though, so you’ll have to shop around pretty heavily. There are smaller stores/markets there, but for specific things you can send your maid back to Davao – maybe once a week? Crossing over isn’t a big deal…easily done. How long will depend on how far away you are from where the ferries cross. If you want to be by a beach you could swim at, that would probably be further away…

            For housing that’s not by the beach but that is nice you have many more options. My personal preference would include either Woodridge or Ladislawa. Both are well-built communities with nice houses too. They’ll want a 1-year lease but all is usually negotiable.

            Best of luck!

  • http://hillaryrain.com/ Hillary Rain

    This is the best article I’ve ever read on this topic. I can’t thank you enough. The tears on my face are saying everything. Thank you.

  • http://www.loveandprofit.com David Papa

    Thanks so much for this post. It hit me at the perfect time as I struggle with so much of the same. I am definitely drawing inspiration and courage from reading this.

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  • http://www.magdabebenek.pl/ Magda Bebenek

    Love it, Mike! Amazing how our stories are so different, and yet so alike… !

    The differences: never walked the corporate path (plus, I’m a girl from Central Europe ;)).

    Similarities: I was raised with the belief that there wasn’t enough money in the family (though never lacked anything, got to travel a bit etc.); I’ve seen my mom work two jobs at a time for most of my life, seen my dad stress over his (government) job; I’ve always been good with my money, which has helped my save enough to go travel the world after I graduated (through tutoring English since I was in my early teens); going into debt was a huge no-no for me, until I decided to consciously break the pattern. I spent all my life’s savings and went $10k under (a huge amount of money where I come from and with the “professional” background & experiences I’d had) to attend a series of T.Robbins seminars across the globe.

    Going into debt, in a way, made me more fearless and I decided to earn those $10k in under 6 months by self-publishing an inspirational book for Polish women. And you know what? 10 weeks after the book’s launch, my debt was paid back and I was changing the lives of thousands of my readers (broke, but still ;)). Now I’ve two books out, did a TEDx speech, was named the Women Entrepreneurship Ambassador back home, I’m beginning to offer online 1on1 marketing & self-publishing mentoring – all that in a bit over a year.

    It was a crazy cool ride, but at the same time it was the most challenging and difficult time (physically, emotionally and mentally) I can remember. I got sick and depressed, was doubting myself and my relationships.

    In a way, the whole experience helped me in two different ways.

    Emotionally/spiritually: it made me take a closer look into who and how I am. The whole personal drama experience helped me snap out of being in my head (that I’ve dived into after T.Robbins events) and following the path that a big chunk of the self-development world steers us towards. instead, I started turning to tantra, body work, bioenergetics etc.

    Money wise: yet again, I realized how easy it is to make money if you put your mind into it; I was reassured that I have a number of very valuable skills to help me make a living. On the other hand, it created the space for all my money fears to resurface and caused a huge clash of the mind going into panic mode vs. the heart knowing that I’ll be just fine and there’s enough money to go around.

    While I know that the panic mode is not gonna go away overnight, I’m set on taming it – one moment at a time :)

    P.S.
    A short TEDxSalon that I did before the full TEDx speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvIsXBXENps

  • http://www.magdabebenek.pl/ Magda Bebenek

    Love it, Mike! Amazing how our stories are so different, and yet so alike… !

    The differences: never walked the corporate path (plus, I’m a girl from Central Europe ;)).

    Similarities: I was raised with the belief that there wasn’t enough money in the family (though never lacked anything, got to travel a bit etc.); I’ve seen my mom work two jobs at a time for most of my life, seen my dad stress over his (government) job; I’ve always been good with my money, which has helped my save enough to go travel the world after I graduated (through tutoring English since I was in my early teens); going into debt was a huge no-no for me, until I decided to consciously break the pattern. I spent all my life’s savings and went $10k under (a huge amount of money where I come from and with the “professional” background & experiences I’d had) to attend a series of T.Robbins seminars across the globe.

    Going into debt, in a way, made me more fearless and I decided to earn those $10k in under 6 months by self-publishing an inspirational book for Polish women. And you know what? 10 weeks after the book’s launch, my debt was paid back and I was changing the lives of thousands of my readers (broke, but still ;)). Now I’ve two books out, did a TEDx speech, was named the Women Entrepreneurship Ambassador back home, I’m beginning to offer online 1on1 marketing & self-publishing mentoring – all that in a bit over a year.

    It was a crazy cool ride, but at the same time it was the most challenging and difficult time (physically, emotionally and mentally) I can remember. I got sick and depressed, was doubting myself and my relationships.

    In a way, the whole experience helped me in two different ways.

    Emotionally/spiritually: it made me take a closer look into who and how I am. The whole personal drama experience helped me snap out of being in my head (that I’ve dived into after T.Robbins events) and following the path that a big chunk of the self-development world steers us towards. instead, I started turning to tantra, body work, bioenergetics etc.

    Money wise: yet again, I realized how easy it is to make money if you put your mind into it; I was reassured that I have a number of very valuable skills to help me make a living. On the other hand, it created the space for all my money fears to resurface and caused a huge clash of the mind going into panic mode vs. the heart knowing that I’ll be just fine and there’s enough money to go around.

    While I know that the panic mode is not gonna go away overnight, I’m set on taming it – one moment at a time :)

    P.S.
    A short TEDxSalon that I did before the full TEDx speech: http://bit.ly/1FAnXV3

  • http://www.consciouswebstudios.com Conscious WebStudios

    Hey Mike,

    Wow man, this was such a real and honest blog post. I appreciate you sharing.

    I definitely had many of these issues when I was starting out my marketing consulting business.

    I’m going to check out those resources you shared – they reminded of a recent Lewis Howes podcast with Kabir Seghal: http://lewishowes.com/podcast/kabir-sehgal/ ~ Definitely worth listening to.

    Keep doing your thing man.

    Cheers,
    Tim

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