There is a lot of Fear around dealing with Finances, especially business finances. This prevents otherwise smart and capable entrepreneurs from making smart decisions or from making decisions at all.
If you are amongst the small business owners that are stressed out by money, budgets and taxes, then this fear of finances probably existed already in your personal life and then swapped over into your business.
I am almost certain you have heard of a lot of the steps to take, either here on my blog and website or one of the other thousands of financial advice platforms. But you are still stuck and tell yourself ‘I can’t do it’, ‘It’s too complicated’, ‘It’s too daunting’ and as a result, you continue to procrastinate.
Unfortunately, nothing gets better when you ignore it and soon you might reach a point where your business is in real danger.
Tip #1: Start small
Congratulations, you motivated yourself to the point that you are ready to face the scary monster.
The biggest mistake you could make now is to want to do it all at once. It’s not a good idea to want to set up that entire financial track system you’ve heard you need. Just as you can’t run a marathon the week you start jogging, you can’t just do all that needs to be done for your business finances right of the get-go either.
This approach will most likely get you to crash and burn AND more importantly, it cements your fear of finances and gets you to fall back into the old habit of ignoring and procrastinating. So start small and give yourself some slack and time to adjust. Depending on where you are right now, good starting points could be for example:
- start opening your invoices and statements and really look at them
- start organizing your paper and digital files for 5-15 minutes a day
- start tracking your Sales on a weekly basis
- start tracking your expenses once a month
- and so on..
The key is to pick one task, really implement it into your schedule until it becomes a routine, only then go to the next one.
Tip #2: Go the route of least resistance
Don’t pick the task that scares you the most as your first task. Yes, I have heard of Brian Tracy’s concept of ‘eat that frog‘ and how it is wise to do the most dreaded task of the day right in the morning so the rest of the day you can focus on easier things to do. But when it comes to fear of finances I find that is not the right approach.
I suggest you pick the one task that you have the least resistance around. Sure, there might be something that is more important or more pressing but after ignoring and procrastinating for so long, you need to build up your brain muscle first a little, before you challenge it with the most difficult or daunting task.
Tip #3: Don’t try to be perfect
Another pitfall could be to try to do it perfect from the start, or try to find the perfect way to do it. And trust me, I am a perfectionist and I know all about how this can sabotage one’s progress when we try to do it ‘right the first time’
When you are at the beginning of overcoming your fear of finances, this can overwhelm you to the point that you give up before you started. Besides, you can’t really know yet what is perfect – perfect for you that is. You don’t have the knowledge or experience to know what works best for you. Don’t let anybody tell you that there is THE PERFECT Way, only ONE WAY, to deal with your files and finances, that is simply not true.
The more you actually do something, the more you will automatically come up if easier ways, better ways, more time saving ways to do it. But you need to start first, you need to be doing it to see what works best (for you) and what doesn’t.
So start with a small task, the one you have the least resistance around, and then just do it as good as you can – but do it. DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT – I do have to remind myself of this almost every day and so should you.