What is it that makes money so emotional? Is it having it that scares us so much? After all, not too many things in life are described as being “filthy” when present in abundance such as the term “filthy rich.” Instead, it’s more common to be scared of not having enough of it.
How far does that fear go? Is it so extensive that you fear you’ll be unable to keep up with the Jones’? Is it deeper than that and you fear the lifestyle to which you’ve grown accustomed would be jeapordized? Or is it less superficial and more primal?
Maslow’s heirarchy of needs is based on the psychology of human motivation. He starts at the bottom of the pyramid with the primal needs – things like food, water and sleep. These are the most basic needs that in our modern society are satisfied with money. We no longer live in the B.C. era where we can throw on a loin cloth, grab a spear and be just hunters and gatherers. The bulk of what sustains us is derived by our exchange of money for our basic needs. So, damn right, there’s fear in not having enough money to provide these things.
After that, the levels get more complicated. Not because the content of the pyramid doesn’t make sense. Of course, we understand the higher levels of safety, love/belonging, esteem and sometimes self actualization. Many would argue that the higher levels have varying degrees of direct and inverse relationships with money. But the reality is, many of the aspects of these higher levels also often are obtained with money. It doesn’t matter if your definition of a lot of money is ”private jet” money or “hiking through Nepal” money, it all takes money.
Look at your business. As an entrpereneur, you’ve had ebbs and flows in your cash position. Some of the ebbs may have threatened satisfaction of your basic, bottom of the pyramid needs. How many entrepreneurs can you think of that lost it all when they closed their doors? On the other hand, the flows provided the luxury of being able to focus on the higher level needs. After all, when you aren’t in a panic about paying bills, aren’t you automatically more confident, creative and spontaneous?
Take a closer look at your relationship with money. Think of it as positive, not negative. You love your company and you love what you do. But, chances are, that if it did not pay you and satisfy the various needs of your family, you would not or could not continue to do it. And that’s okay. Embrace your and your company’s ability to profit and thrive!