Do you feel sick to the stomach when it comes to reviewing your business financials? Or have knots in your stomach talking to an accountant? In today’s episode, I chat about how to stop your anxiety around finances.
If you are someone who feels sick in the stomach when it comes to reviewing your business finances. Or maybe you get off a call with your accountant feeling overwhelmed with knots in your stomach…. This episode is for you. In today’s episode, I’m going to chat to you about how to stop your financial anxiety.
My fears and phobias (and how I have overcame them)
I’m someone who’s experienced anxiety quite a few times in my life.
I’ve spoken about it here before on the podcast. And we’re going to be talking about. It again a. Bit more today because it is very relevant to today’s topic. Now one of my biggest phobias is public speaking. Might sound kind of funny. If you’re here listening to my podcast but trust. Me, this is something that. I really struggled. With up until a few years ago, I. Was even scared to. Show up live on my social media or even post videos or pictures of my face on social media. Now, as I said, this is something that I’ve really been able to navigate through these last. Couple of years. And lately, I really enjoy speaking. I’ve been running my book launch events. I’ve called them the profit parties lately and I have to say I’m actually loving getting up on a microphone and speaking. And trust me, I never thought I would say that.
Let me share a little bit about my journey and the reason this is relevant, because we’re talking about anxiety.
So I want to share this because you might think well, Clare is an accountant, I’m sure she doesn’t get overwhelmed when it comes to spreadsheets and numbers and things, but I have experienced anxiety so I want to talk about that and I’ll bring it all together to share how this is relevant and helpful to you in overcoming the fear of finances.
In the space of public speaking, trust me, I have tried almost everything. I’ve done therapy, seen psychologists, I’ve done hypnosis multiple times, I’ve done more rounds of Toastmasters than I care to think about and I have even taken Valium. I’ve also used natural remedies and herbs. I want to be super clear – I don’t wanna take away from any of these tools because all of these can really changes someones whole position around something. But what I do want to say is this – You can’t get over a phobia unless you are actually facing it.
For example, if you’ve got a phobia of flying, you can sit and meditate all you want and do the hypnosis and do the therapy but you actually need to get on a plane to confront the fear and to move through it. Let me repeat that again. You have to actually face the fear so that you can navigate and shift through it.
How to move through feelings of anxiety and face your fears
How do you actually get to your anxiety? As I shared with you, I’ve used a lot of different tools but I will say that the best technique is to do something again and again and again. Until it’s not overwhelming anymore. I truly believe this is.
The reason why I’ve suddenly had the breakthrough in the space of speaking is because I’ve been doing so much of it. And I’m doing it over and over again. That it’s not this big, overwhelming thing anymore. And yes, of course, all of the tools and strategies and techniques I have learned over the years have absolutely been foundational in helping me when I am going through the process. But the real key is by doing the thing again and again and again.
So if something is terrifying to you, whether it’s public speaking or business, finances and accounting, why on earth would you want to do something that is overwhelming?
Let me share why I continually face my fears, there’s a number of reasons.
Number one – It makes me feel so bloody powerful afterwards.
Have you ever done something that’s really scary? How good is the feeling afterwards when you’ve done it? I’ll share some of my recent examples, but it feels rally bloody powerful to move through something that’s terrifying and come out the other side.
I haven’t jumped out of an aeroplane, but people tell me the feeling of exhilaration afterwards is just absolutely incredible and I know that I personally have experienced that in a number of different areas. They say that true happiness doesn’t come from hitting your goals – It actually comes from growth. One of the best ways that you can grow is to do things that make you scared. To be able to navigate through something challenging.
Number Two – There’s something that I desire on the other side.
For me the reason why I kept doing public speaking again and again and again is because I knew that I needed to master this skill to be able to confidently share the message around profit and about money and about mindset and all of these things that I love to teach about to a wider audience. And I knew that it would be really challenging to do that if I wasn’t able to speak up and share the message with more people.
So maybe if you’re feeling scared about tackling your numbers? You can think about what’s on the other side. How good would it feel to be right across your finances? Think about what is on the other side.
Number three – I want to be modelling the behaviour to others.
I’m modelling that behaviour to my friends, my family my clients and even my kids. If I am teaching about navigating through fear about doing things that feel scary, but I’m not doing the work myself, well, it’s kind of going to feel a little bit out of alignment.
This is one of the big reasons why I love to stretch myself. I know with my kids when they’re scared, one thing I don’t say to them is, OK, well, don’t do it then – I’m like, (well, it depends what it is if they want to do something super dangerous, I’m like, yeah, no, don’t do that) if it’s something like talking in front of the class, for example, I say to them, it’s OK, feel scared and nervous about this, but you can still do scary things.
There’s a couple of ways that I’ve been facing my fears lately. I’ve spoken about the public speaking one but another couple of things that I’ve done recently. One was that I was on a family holiday we recently went to New Zealand Queenstown in New Zealand. We were in Queenstown and there’s this gondola, obviously it goes up really, really high up this mountain. I was like, why don’t y u guys just go ahead and do it. And my husband gave me some encouragement and I thought imagine what kind of message this is sending to my kids. I’m scared of something and I’m doing it anyway. So anyway, I got in this bloody gondola. And it was so scary.
Another example is that a friend of mine recently asked me to do an ice bath. Now I’ve heard all these great things on social media about, you know, immersing yourself in freezing cold water and ice. I wasn’t 100% if I would do it, but of course I got there and knew that I needed to face my fears and do it. The actual process of jumping in was worse than I imagined. It felt so incredibly painful. I was struggling to breathe. My body literally went into shock, which is what your body does when it’s immersed in freezing cold ice. But the feeling on the other side it’s pretty bloody powerful.
I wanted to set the scene for today’s episode about fear, about anxiety around finances by sharing a little bit about my experiences, the fear of navigating through fear. Like how great it feels when you overcome something.
Overcoming the fear around money and knowing your finances
So let’s talk about money. What is the reason that you would want to be right across your finances?
Firstly, because you can’t just outsource it to your bookkeeper or accountant because it, they can make mistakes. Trust me, I used to be an accountant and I used to make mistakes. And I’ve picked up multiple really big mistakes that accountants working on my business, have made. It’s normal that sometimes people get things wrong and you need to be savvy enough to pick these things up. I should add to that as well sometimes it’s not even a mistake. Sometimes accountants deliberately do things wrong. There are multiple instances of accountants ripping off their clients and stealing money and the best safeguard that you have against these is to be a master of your money.
The next reason is because you are responsible for the financial obligations of your business. Such as paying suppliers, saying your team members , your tax, working out if you don’t have enough cash to pay people and your business goes bankrupt. You can’t go well, my accountant never told me about it. It is your obligation. Same with your tax. Do you get to the end of the year on your accountant says you owe this much tax and you say I didn’t know, that’s not their problem. That’s your problem.
The next reason is because you started your business to make a profit. Now we can have bigger reasons for being in business. I certainly have mine because I want to help and empower people around their finances. But at the end of the day if you’re not making a profit, it’s just a hobby. You started a business to make a profit. And more profit means more money for you, which equals more freedom.
And also it’s really empowering to understand your finances. People who come through my course say to me all the time I used to be so scared of money and now I actually really enjoy doing this work.
Now, mastering your fear of finances is more than just getting across the numbers. It’s not just the practical side of money, but it’s also the mindset side of money. When things go wrong in your business and you’ve done this work, you’ve navigated through the field, you know how to manage your mindset around, you don’t freak out.
Some examples of this…
The first time that you lose a client, or if you hire a team member and it doesn’t go to plan, if you make an investment and it fails. When you have this skill set for navigating through fear, you don’t freak out as much anymore. For me the first time I made a bad hire, it was such an overwhelming feeling. And you know as somebody who has hired and fired quite a few times over the years now, it doesn’t become such a big, overwhelming thing because I’ve done it so many times. Now when it comes to managing your money if you get overwhelmed, fearful, anxious, if you just keep avoiding it.
So how do you get over your financial anxiety? The best way to move through your fear is to confront it. Now one of the tools that I learned on my journey of overcoming my public speaking fear is called exposure therapy. Basically, the way that this works is that you do things bit by bit rather than just suddenly go do everything. In my course, the Profit Academy Foundations I teach you about business finances in easy phases, so you can start by overcoming one part by learning one skill set in the space of finances until you become confident. And you then gradually do this in more and more areas of your business finances, rather than just jumping right in the deep end.
I’m going to be opening the doors to my course for the Profit Academy Foundations again soon but a great first step if you’re ready to start to overcome your anxiety around finances is to join my challenge. It’s called the spend versus save challenge. Inside, you’ll learn where to invest in your business and where to cut back. This challenge is over three days. There’s two different time slots, so hopefully there’s a time that’s convenient for you. These trainings are done live with me so as you navigate through the challenge, you’ll be able to ask any of your questions about how to get across your business finances. Don’t let the fear of finances hold the power over you because as a business owner, it is absolutely essential that you understand your numbers. And the key to growing your numbers? Is knowing your numbers.
Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode and hopefully I’ll see you live inside the spend versus save challenge.