Money is an interesting thing.
The world has a love/hate relationship with it. Kinda like sex. Privately, we crave it and want more of it. Publicly, we demonize it and blame it for all our world’s problems.
But it’s just a thing. It’s a commodity we’ve assigned value to, and for as long as that remains the case, it will be something we always need to provide both our basic and elevated needs.
As entrepreneurs, sometimes it’s difficult to remember that we need money, for ourselves.
Maybe this affliction is unique to gym owners who are especially known for their self-sacrificial nature.
Or maybe all entrepreneurs fall prey to this misstep; not knowing how to be the best boss for themselves, how can entrepreneurs be expected to pay themselves a decent salary?
Without question, we confuse passion and money. We figure passion is all the “money” we need to keep ourselves going, and we proudly claim, “I don’t really care about money,” as if those who care about money are base, greedy, money-grubbing animals.
I also made that mistake. And I won’t make it again.
Because when a steady paycheck became questionable for me, so did everything else.
When I decided to make less to give more elsewhere, to invest in our gym’s future, I lost the will to give, period.
I lost interest in life. I lost interest in travel, learning, photography, being outside, and my relationships – all things I love and cherish the most.
It sounds dramatic, because it is.
Money helps us breathe easy.
Money offers us mobility in life and the assurance that, no matter what, we have options.
Money is freedom.
A trapped animal is ill-equipped to create beautiful things for the world around him. And an animal without money is trapped.
Fortunately, I caught myself. I promised myself from that point forward, I would never sacrifice my paycheck for anything.
But… what took me so long?
I prided myself on beating the learning curve in so many other aspects of running a business. We took a failing business and turned it around in the first month of ownership. But after all these years, I felt like I was back in 101.
I had even read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
My jaw dropped as I learned I had the formula all wrong from the beginning. We must pay ourselves FIRST, and only then figure out how to budget for expenses (by either increasing revenue or cutting expenses).
I even organized our accounts the way Michalowicz suggested. For the first time since becoming business owners, I felt like I had a real grasp on our finances.
So when I made the decision to forego a paycheck (just one, right?) to support the rest of our goals at the gym, it’s like I had forgotten everything I had read.
It wasn’t until I took a hard look at myself some time later that I realized how and why I was so close to burn out.
It wasn’t from too much work. It was from too little money.
Only when we come full circle can we fully feel the impact of lessons that will serve to be the most important ones we learn.
I left a string of 9-to-5 jobs for this “idyllic” life of entrepreneurship, a life I hoped would provide me with the opportunity to fulfill my potential and purpose on a daily basis.
I wasn’t wrong.
But I did learn that it was money, before anything else, that allowed me to uncover the passion, creativity, and joy I yearned for all along.
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Latest posts by Chelsea (see all)
- Money or Passion: Which Came First? - October 8, 2019
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