Is Your Mindset Killing Your Money?
The key to changing our lives is to change our thinking. The way to change our thinking is to take in new information. We must do the work of transforming our minds if we want to transform our lives. Black Women Build Wealth is about just that. I share the dismal statistics about Black women and wealth with the hopes that as my sisters read them, they will join me in saying, "Enough is enough!"
It's not enough to get mad about pay inequality and negative net worth, we must be intentional about renewing our minds and taking new actions that will shift the statistics. I get it, learning about money is hard. It's overwhelming and it's frustrating, but it's still necessary. After all we are spending hours each week working for money, shouldn't we invest our time learning to make money work for us?
Last year, I wrote a workbook that focused specifically on helping Black women develop a wealthy mindset. I did that because I am a Black woman, I have Black daughters, I pastor a lot of Black women and most of my coaching clients are Black women. As a result of spending so much time with Black women, I noticed there were some common patterns of thinking that impacted our money. My goal in writing the workbook was to help us to become aware of the patterns in our thinking that we need to change and to identify some steps we can all take to move forward.
Here are top three negative mindsets that I believe keep Black women from creating wealth.
We don't think we have the power
Power simply means ability. Wanting to break the cycle of poverty and build wealth isn't the same as believing you have the power to do it. Some of the challenge is that we underestimate our own genius. Everyone of us knows a Black women who can fry the best chicken or bake the best cakes. We have grown up with women who can decorate on a dime, dress to the nines on on a budget or make crafts that outshine anything on Pinterest. We have seen it so much that we think it's common. When we devalue our gifts, we don't understand they power they have to help us build wealth. We minimize them. We do them for free. We simply don't use them to create a shift in our financial status. A huge part of break poverty is identifying, cultivating and using your gifts. I challenge you to do just that. You might discover that your power to create wealth is hidden in the very gifts and talents you take for granted.
We don't have a clear vision
"Where there is no vision the people perish." If you go to church, you've probably heard that a lot. But, what does it actually mean? It means that when you don't have a clear vision, you don't go anywhere. Most of heard that we should go to school, get good grades and work hard. We also heard that we should pay our bills and be responsible. Few of us heard that we should learn to take the money we work for and make it work for us. We didn't hear about investing, life insurance and creating streams of income. If we haven't heard of them how can we have a vision for them? We can't. The other challenge is that most of us don't know what would make us wealthy. We know we want more money, but how much more?
What would it take to pay off all your debt?
What would it take to make you financially free?
How much would it take to allow you to live the lifestyle you dream of?
If you don't have the answer to these questions, you don't have a vision for wealth. Just like a builder needs plans to build a home, you need plans (vision) for your money. I encourage you to take some time to develop your vision.
We help others to our detriment
I have lost track of the number of Black women who have told me how they gave away their rent/mortgage, bill money or retirement helping someone else. The truth is that it a part of Black culture. Big Mama helps everyone even those who make more than she does. We have watched our grandmothers, mothers and aunts sacrifice to help everyone else. We've also watched them struggle because of it, but somehow we end up repeating the cycle. This is the perfect example of the power of a mindset. We know what they did isn't healthy, but yet, we find ourselves doing it too. It's time to change our mindsets. I'm not advocating that we don't help others, I'm advocating that we stop helping them at our own detriment. I'm advocating that we stop loaning out money we can't afford to loan. I'm advocating that we stop carrying the burden of being the bank for our families. I'm advocating that we break up with the guilt we carry from doing a little better than our siblings and our cousins. I'm advocating that we free ourselves!
This isn't an easy task but it's doable. Here's what I learned to do: I have a certain amount of money I can afford to give away each quarter. When it's gone - IT'S GONE! I had to break up with the unhealthy mindset that made me responsible for other people's financial problems and learn to give what I could afford to give without damaging my family and my credit. Yes, it was hard, but not it's normal. If I did it, you can too.
If you can see yourself in any of the three mindsets above, I invite you to get your copy of "Arise and Shine, The Black Woman's Guide To A Wealthy Mindset" in the Resource section and invest in changing your mind and your money. Remember, You Are Worth It!