The power of "Enough" and why it's stressing you out.

Apr 07, 2022

April 15th is quickly approaching and as a CPA for a decade, this coming week can be really stressful for some people.  After all, we all hate to pay taxes.  After working with clients and their money for a decade I have observed several things I want to share with you to help you if you are feeling stressed about money.

First, it is not the amount of money that causes the stress, it is the thoughts we have about that amount that trigger our hearts to beat faster, tightness in our chest, irritability, and fear.  I know this to be true because I hand out all sorts of 'tax bills' to my clients.  If the amount of money was THE determining factor, that would mean that every client that got a 'big' tax bill would experience this sharp stress response.  The reality is that only a handful of clients in that situation feel that way.  On the other hand, there are plenty of clients that get the news that they owe $ 500 and they feel like the world is ending!  I am not joking! I once had a client storm out of my office after I told him that he owed $700.  Why?  Because he THOUGHT he was going to get huge refunds ( his friends had told him this without any working knowledge of how taxes are calculated). His friends got his hopes up and in his mind, I am sure he had dreamed of what he would buy with his large refund check.  Instead, I smashed his dream and basically was the reason he wouldn't be enjoying a new flat-screen TV ( or whatever).  On the other hand, I just delivered the news that someone owes $80,000 and they took it with grace because they were expecting to owe a chunk of change since they knew they sold some stock with gains.  Clearly expectations matter ( my wife reminds me of this all the time when I come home after the time she was expecting). 

Money is a sacred cow in our society.  We tend to bow down to it and worship it and let our desire for it trickle into almost everything we do.  I am not here to tell you that money is "evil" or bad.  I am here to tell you that the intense stress that most business owners have around money is avoidable and doesn't have to be so intense.  Having a healthy money mindset is absolutely critical as an entrepreneur. Deeply rooted in the concept of "enough".  99% of business owners don't know what their "enough" looks like.  Instead, their enough is "MORE".  I believe that is a dangerous and never-ending trap. Always striving for 'more' is like chasing the horizon in your car, you will never "arrive". 

It is time to define your ENOUGH.  As an entrepreneur, enough can be a dollar amount or a lifestyle situation, but you gotta have something that you can actually achieve and work towards, otherwise, you are in a race that never ends ( I would never sign up for a bike race that never had a clear objective).   It is stressful participating in a race where the finish line is moved whenever you get close.  That is what the default in society is if we don't take a little time and define our "enough".  

Here are some tips:

1. Get clear on what you actually have.  Put together a high-level personal net assets statement.  This will help you see what you truly have ( total assets minus total liabilities).  

2. Find your monthly cash burn rate in your personal life. (high-level analysis, don't get bogged down with the micro details).

3. See how much cash your business is creating for you after taxes.

4. compare your monthly cash in with the monthly cash out.  This is your 'safety' margin, chances are it's better than you thought. ( we tend to think negatively for some reason).

5. Define what 'Enough" looks like for you.  ( this will let your mind relax in ways you never thought possible).

After being a CPA for 10 years, I have expertise in money and helping people craft a plan that brings them more clarity, purpose, and peace. ( who wouldn't want more of that?)

For a free financial landscape, strategy call, click on the link below.  I promise it will help your stress levels to get an expert's perspective on things.

 

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