I forgive myself for…
- buying expensive shit that I ended up hating
- taking that huge business loan
- being so bad at managing costs with our old business
- being too scared to talk to our creditors about not being able to make loan payments
- failing to make the business survive beyond the two years it did work
- all those debts passing over to debt collection
- asking for help from the wrong people when things got tight
- not being born into a rich family and having an easier start in life
- being bad with money when I was young and being naive about how much things cost
- teaching myself that I can’t make a lot of money
- thinking that I’m not worthy of making a lot of money
- comparing myself to my friends who were rich and thinking that I was shit by comparison
- quitting my job to start a business and putting financial strain on us
- thinking I’m not worth more
- not standing up for myself when my father-in-law stole my wedding gifts to hawk off for his own use or when my savings went to pay for some fucking voodoo scam shit
- thinking that people giving you money is a direct display of how much you matter to them and being bitter when I wasn’t given “enough” money
- staying at that shit job for longer than I’d intended and quitting that same job before I had a viable business
Ah, shit. I forgive you for it all. Me. I forgive me. Ouch.
Some of the most painful mistakes I’ve made with money were that I took a business load and the business owed more than it made – I managed negotiating with creditors poorly, and eventually the business didn’t survive. Now, I know that this whole thing hinged on one deranged creditor who one day showed up and started yelling profanities in the shop and refused to negotiate. He wanted his whole share in one payment – he wasn’t even the original creditor but had bought the loan off someone and was more like a loan shark.
And it’s not that we didn’t try to negotiate, we did, but we had very little room to negotiate because of that one creditor and because our brick-and-mortar store was hit with the coldest winter in 50 years that stole all the foot traffic from us. And yet, we survived! Only to be tumbled by that one creditor who refused to negotiate. That one has to be one of my biggest regrets.
So, what did I learn from all that? I learned that I was really scared of money and having money conversations. My fear of failing was a huge part of why I mad choices that eventually lead us down to road to failure. Thinking about large sums of money was terrifying and I kept taking responsibility for money yet still kept it at arm’s length.
I learned that I went into the wrong business for the right reasons. I thought that doing that would make me happy. Because ever since I was young I’ve wanted to have a business. Maybe because I saw my father have one, though his was ultimately a failure and I may have locked myself into repeating that same pattern I’d seen him go through.
I don’t know what about having a business first made me think I’d like to do that. After having been an employee though, the conviction that I want my own business has only grown stronger. I guess now my struggle is breaking out of the thought pattern that my business is doomed to fail.
I learned that I wanted a business so badly that I’d say yes to any chance to start one. I wanted a business, and now I have one. Though not the one I started with.
I have to work on believing that it can be – and will be and is – a success. Immediately I hear, “But it won’t be”, and the thought pops up that it’ll take a very long time – years and decades – even if I eventually see some success.
But why should I not be successful?
Out of all the businesses I’ve had and been a part of (the guido fashion, the laundromat, the making websites, the writing copy – this business is the most aligned with me, with who I am, with what I love and feel passionate about. And really, what I want is to build a business that looks and sounds like me. I want to create t-shirts that are cooler than anyone else’s and better designed, posters with quotes and lettering that uplift you and cheer you on. And write in a way that is informative and entertaining, useful as well as relatable. And create courses to help you make the most of your life and become the most fulfilled version of yourself possible.
I don’t want to repeat the past. I don’t want to dig myself into a money hole again with only bad ways out. I want to rewrite this belief that I can only be a failure. I want to detach money from my own sense of personal value as a human being. I want to be able to see money as the tool that it is because I can never wiled that kind of power wisely or effectively if I attache the amount of money I make to what I’m worth as a person.
Redefine how you value yourself.
As a creative, it’s easy to make the mistake of equating your worth as a person to the success of your work.
It doesn’t help that you probably weren’t taught how to handle money and see value in a productive manner.
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