Why it Matters: Living a Financially Authentic Life
One thing that intrigues many people that I meet is how I came up with the name of my company, Financially Authentic. It’s not exactly a common term, so I find myself having to explain it often. It’s an interesting story on how it came to me, and in a way it was divinely given to me in a “thought flash” early one morning (and the website domain just happened to be available too…how convenient!). As background, one of my lessons in life has been to find my way back to a place where I can be all of who I am meant to be, and I call this my journey to authenticity. It’s been a long journey (and it’s still ongoing) and it hasn’t always been easy, however it has always been worth it in the end. So my company name is a blend of my love for finances and my own personal journey of becoming more authentic.
Now that you know the personal story behind how I came up with my company name, would you like to know how I define it in the context of my work with others? As I started on this journey and before I started my own business, I found that when I used my money in a way that mattered to me (i.e. experiences, things, etc.) that the energy money had in my life decreased significantly – things felt lighter and more simplified. When I share what it means to be financially authentic, I explain that when you use your money in a way that is aligned with what is really important to you in your life that you can then use money as a tool to live your life with more confidence, ease, and grace. Essentially, building a stable financial foundation filled with clarity on what you want in your life is the beginning to bigger things.
So why does being financially authentic even matter, you might ask?
Well, it has to do with those “bigger things” I just mentioned. When you are financially authentic in your life and have gained financial clarity and stability, this then leads to space to be able to think, breathe and reflect because you’re not stressed about money. As you have time to think, you can consciously decide who you want to be and what you want to do…you get to have choice. With choice comes the ability to live in a more conscious way which usually leads to the question of “what am I here to really contribute?” And when everyone in this world is really making a powerful contribution, then this world will become a much more connected place. Because if you haven’t noticed lately, we’re in a bit of a dark place with a lot of negativity surrounding us and it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have clarity, choice, contribution, and connectedness….if you’re willing to be brave.
Ok, wow – that felt like a lot to get out all at once. It’s all part of my bigger mission beyond spreadsheets for cash flow and net worth – to help people make a bigger impact with their lives and contribute and connect. I’m not 100% sure how it’s all going to work, but it feels right…so I’m moving ahead and have faith that it will all work out!
Beth, this is all great, but how do I get started with being financially authentic – HELP?!?
This is a great question and don’t you worry…I wouldn’t leave you hanging without some practical tips to get started! Here are 3 key ways you can get started on your own journey to financial authenticity so that YOU can have more clarity, choice, contribution and connectedness:
Step #1: Know Your Numbers – It’s very difficult to be financially authentic if you have your head lodged firmly in the sand about your financial situation. It can be very painful and stressful to feel like you’re not in control of your money. There’s blame, shame, guilt and embarrassment that you don’t know how to handle your money as well as you would like to. STOP IT. Stop the blame, shame and guilt, and instead know that you’re not alone – almost 70% of people live paycheck to paycheck these days, and that includes really successful people too. Personal finance simply isn’t taught in our society, and it needs to be as a critical life skill. Be kind to yourself, be willing to look your financial situation in the eye, and ask for help. There are many compassionate and non-judgmental professionals out there willing to help.
Step #2: Consciously Decide How to Spend Your Money – In our fast-paced world where we’re always on the go, and we’re constantly bombarded by online advertising and social media, it’s hard to control the urge to buy and satisfy the desire to immediately reward ourselves with something for working hard. In my experience, it’s only when you consciously decide in advance how to use your money that the unconscious spending stops. I’m convinced from what I’ve seen in my own life and with my clients that when you take responsibility for how you use your money that you’ll be happier and that you’ll actually attract more money into your life as a result. (PS – this is that “financial alignment” I referred to earlier…decide to use money in ways that matter to you!)
Step #3: Always Be in the Financial Flow – Always being aware of your financial situation takes some routine and discipline, so I recommend to everyone to just start with a weekly money date. A weekly money date is like going to the financial gym, if you will. Once a week, sit down to pay your bills and handle any other financial matters that need to be addressed (i.e. follow-up phone calls, etc.). Having a plan to use your money intentionally and purposefully is important, however life is always changing and so our financial plans have to adapt with those changes as well.
In the end, be sure to remind yourself of this often (I know I need to)…financial authenticity is a journey, not necessarily a destination. So hop on the train wherever you’re at, and enjoy the ride to a more meaningful and impactful life, ok?