We’ve all seen it in the cartoons. Someone steps on innocent looking ground and gets caught in a trap. We do that all the time around money. We are going along in life, thinking we are spending our money on things that are important to us, and not realizing that there are traps, money traps, all around us. The problem is that these traps distract us from what is important to us. They take us off course. Sometimes they are little things, sometimes they are big things, sometimes they are things we haven’t noticed, and sometimes they are things we are avoiding.
As we look at some of the most common traps, especially for sole-proprietors and entrepreneurs, please know that there are as many possible traps as there are people. We each have our own distractions, and a trap for me may not be one for you.
All that having been said, what are some of these traps?
Habit: This shows up when we do things on auto pilot, and thus stop actually making conscious choices. Do you buy a latte everyday? Do you always buy popcorn at the movies? The cost of a habit can take both money and possibility away from having a bigger dream. Sure, sometimes we just want that thing, and that’s fine – when we are truly choosing it, and not just doing it out of habit.
Convenience: The best example of convenience is fast food. We are tired and hungry. We don’t have the energy to shop, let alone cook, so we get fast food, or go out to dinner. The problem is that when we do this, we usually spend an amount that is a large chunk of what the purposeful, fun, going out to dinner would be. The “just feed me” dinner out is taking some of the resources for the truly fun dinner out. Hmmm.
Money in the 1st Position: This is when you let price be your first, and thus the ruling factor, in a decision. By dismissing things based solely on price you severely narrow your options, and you miss things. Yes, the expensive blouse may cost three times what the cheap one does. But if you love the expensive one, then you are much more likely to wear it!
Ignoring the Business Side of Your Business: We love what we do, we are good at it, it’s satisfying. AND, if we are going to succeed we have to put energy and enthusiasm into running the business side as well. It’s a bit of a trap to think that you can just do the work and people will magically come to you, or the taxes will get paid without effort. You are the one who either does all these things, or makes sure someone else does them for you. Your business will not succeed unless the sales, marketing, accounting, and other administrivia are all handled.
Playing Ostrich: In general, this one is a great left over from when we were very young. Ignoring things or avidly avoiding them is about as effective as when my cat thinks that, since she can’t see me, I can’t see her. She doesn’t notice that rear end and tail that are exposed while her head is hidden. When you try and hide, you tend to expose your rear end. The irony here is that, whatever the thing is that you are avoiding, the odds are extremely high that’s it’s not nearly as bad as you imagine it to be. Knowing is better, clarity is better. Things rarely fix themselves.
Like most things, this is all about noticing and choosing. If you don’t notice you are doing something, then it’s hard to choose differently. Think about your own money traps and notice where you wish to choose differently. If you need some help I’d be happy to do some untangling of these traps.
If you’d like to explore more about these traps, join in and listen to Connie Vanderzanden and I on February 17th as we chat about these five specific traps.
To register: click here