Thinking about money got me thinking about toasters. You see, I’ve got a question for you: is money the root of all evil?
Aren’t people – people making choices, albeit poor one – are the root of evil? Yes, they use money to “express” their evil… just like guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
And this gets me thinking: if guns dont kill people, people kill people, does this mean that toasters dont toast toast, toast toast toast.
And this I think is absolutely funny. But money on the other hand, is not a funny topic, as you’ll see.
Why is it difficult to talk about money?
This problem is specific to people who are selling a product or a service… and more specifically to people who like me, want to and are selling to, their friends!
Asking money from friends is doubly challenging for me.
Here’s how I approached this:
I want to grow as a person. I feel you want to do the same (or you may want to be and remain to be the self-sabotaging evil person who delves in your uniquely exclusive and masochistic abilities of bringing immense harm to no one except your own self).
So let’s figure this problem out! inshAllah
Making It Easy to Talk About Money
What we tell ourselves about money, determines how we treat money. The stories about money, the behaviors, the scripts in our head… all these play a part in forming our attitude towards money.
The best news is that you can change the story, adjust it, make it better God willing.
Note: This problem is more pronounced if you do work that you love to do! If you are a ProHobbyist, then you may find it harder to ask for money… how can you charge money for something you would do for free! Because I operate as a ProHobbyist (alhumdulillah), it was more difficult to ask for money from clients, because I seriously felt I could do this for free.
Step 1: Attitude adjustment towards Money
So tell me:
- Is money the root of all evil, or…
- is it the gateway to a life of more freedoms, where you can help yourself and your friends get more from life?
As usual, the problem is with the extremes, right?
If one is too much in love with the money that he/she becomes greedy, that’s obviously bad… or on the other end of the spectrum, he/she considers money to be a problem, something that is intrinsically evil, that’s bad too.
It is also comforting to know that the phrase “money is the root of all evil” is actually incorrect. The correct adage is “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Anyways…
So how does this problem of extremes manifest itself?
I suspect a lot of people who are not rich, silently tell themselves that they are not rich because they were honest. This implies that to be rich and have money, you need to be greedy and dishonest.
And those who are willing to make money, have told themselves that “yes, I am greedy!”. And then you wonder why you feel like crap all the time!!
This is unacceptable if you want to grow as a person!!
It is in our control to change this script!
For example, I remind myself that money is, like everything else, a gift and therefore, a test. I use this verse from the Quran to remind myself of the positive nature of money… (you may find spiritual references in favor of this approach towards money in the Book of your choosing)
“This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.”
This verse – Quran 27:40 (full verse) – reminds me to balance my approach towards money, and be grateful and practice gratitude.
Step 2: Be Clear On Why You Charge Money
Charging money for your product or services is important for both parties. It motivates you as a seller to perform at a professional level, and as importantly, it gives the buyer more reasons to change.
In Psychology, you can test this: to bring about any change, you need more desire and hunger. Paying for the services helps your client actually pay more attention in using your product/service and paying due attention to it.
Getting paid helps both parties equally! Win/Win is what those folks in ties call this.
Step 3: Make the “Transaction” Easy
You will be amazed how “systems” can make it easy to ask for money, to talk about money.
For example, I provide an online platform for independent publishers, and the automated system handles all payments. Because it is a recurring payment, emails go out to remind the clients to pay, and the system automatically cuts off their subscription if the payment is overdue for more than a month!!
I make it a point to remind my friends that the “system” will cut off their subscription!!
This sounds familiar to the crude “business partner” lie people sometimes tell. You know that excuse: “please pay because you know my business partner/boss/uncle/wife/etc was really giving me a hard time because of your late payment!”
Well, don’t do that, because that’s a lie!! But have a system to “bounce off” from, and it makes it all that easier to ask for payments that are due to you in either case.
I have used the following SMS or email to great effect as well:
“Hey, just checked, your payment is due. Let me know when can I get the payment picked up?”
This gives the client an easy way to pay.
Step 4: Start Selling to Friends!
That’s the ultimate test for me: selling to friends. This is the best practice you can get!! 🙂
This selling “technique” is basically building off the “honest, ethical and very profitable way of selling” that I promote.
It takes effort on your part to set up this system, but once it is in place, you are then “always selling”. That’s the power of systems in place, where you are selling to friends.
Also, being friendly and straight-forward helps: recall the “Cant count money without offending” example. I always make it a point to first say, “you know how people get offended when counting money? But I am counting to ensure a mistake wasn’t made on your part. ” Also, I insist others count the money I give them, giving the exact same reason — if I had made a mistake in counting the money, it could be perceived in a very different light later on.
Step 5: Practice!
If you are not selling anything at the moment (that is, you want to start a business but haven’t started yet)… then these steps may sound good to you, but they really wont help.
You need to be out there, doing the work, applying these steps… and it does get easier trust me.
I have been blessed to be self employed since I was in college, and I have had plenty of “practice” in talking about money. It does get easier and less awkward for all parties involved.
But make no mistake: a lot of people “shy” away from learning things that make them uncomfortable. YOU are not that person.
Just the fact that you will tackle this, sets you apart from so many others.
I wish you the best!
P.S. Did you find this article useful? Share it with your friends on them social networks… drop me a line if you do share it, everybody likes a share and a like *high five*. Peace.