Overcoming your mental blocks and pushing past your fears could be key, says bestselling author and success coach Jen Sincero. Here, she shares how shifting your mindset could pay dividends in the long-term

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About Jen: Jen’s journey to financial stability has been far from smooth. Having found herself broke, living in a converted garage in an alley and stuck in a ‘I Don’t Know What the Hell I Want to Do with My Life quagmire’ (her words) at the age of forty, she’d reached a turning point - either do nothing or learn to embrace change. Choosing the latter, she made the more uncomfortable decision to push past her fears and learn to turn her financial reality into something much more positive. 

Fast-forward to the present day, and Jen is now a bestselling author and success coach who travels the world helping numerous people transform their personal and professional lives. Knowing only too well how hard it can be to overcome your mental blocks, her new book, ‘You Are a BADASS at Making Money,’ seeks to help others trapped in the same negative cycles that she found herself in.

Thanks to our love of avoidance, the average person spends more time figuring out which is the perfect angle to take the hottest selfie from than she does figuring out what she really wants out of life, how much that will cost, and how to increase her income in order to make that happen. I personally bitched and moaned for decades about how broke I was, how frustrated I was, and how I couldn’t see a way out. But my attention span when it came to actually getting specific about the money I required, applying myself, committing to learning new skills, or taking big risks was literally nonexistent. I was Her Royal Highness of Denial. I had no idea what my monthly nut was or what I was bringing in every month; I just sort of squeezed my eyes shut, held on tight, and hoped I’d wake up at the end of the month with phone service. I, like many people, toiled away as a freelance writer because “that’s what I did” and “that’s all I knew how to do to make money.” Instead of scrambling to find more writing gigs, my time would have been much better spent stepping back, doing the math, and accepting that I was in a complete dead-end situation: Twenty-four hours in a day + just me writing + charging forty dollars an hour = I’m tired, grouchy, and a really bad tipper.

We’re taught that if we keep working harder, somehow the money will come. If this was true, all rich people would be bloodshot and gasping for air instead of sailing around on yachts. When we focus on the money instead of working ourselves to death, and get mighty clear about how much we desire to make and what we can do differently in order to make it happen, we open the door to new freedoms.

The number one thing that holds people back is resisting change. You have to be willing to change something if you want to change your financial situation. It’s that simple. You may have to put your ego aside and ask for help from a mentor or a coach, you may have to take a job that isn’t your dream job as a stepping-stone to get you where you’re going, you may have to triple your rates, make sales calls to people who’ve never heard of you, spend money you’re scared to spend, take a job where you feel like you have no idea what the hell you’re doing and figure it out as you go along. If you’re playing it safe and you want to be rich, you need to stop playing it safe. You need to shift your focus from where you’re at and what you stand to lose and become consumed by thoughts of where you desire to be and all you have to gain. You need to play to win instead of play not to lose.

For example, I know someone who’s got a steady, good-paying job that is the most boring job on the planet (in his words). He does media training on the side, which he loves, and the side business is booming with very little effort on his part – he’s so good, word of mouth has gotten him more work than he can handle. He actually has to turn people away because he doesn’t have the time to take on new clients and keep his day job at the same time.

He desperately wants to make more money and do what he loves but feels stuck – he’ll never get more than a three per cent raise a year at his day job and only has so much time to work with media training clients on the side. Of course, he could summon forth his mighty inner warrior, quit his day job, leap bravely into building his own business, and make millions doing media training. But he doesn’t even see this as a possibility because he’s buying into the fears and beliefs that only an idiot would quit a steady job for the unknown. He’s not ready, the economy could tank at any minute, what if he doesn’t make as much doing media training full time as he does at his day job, etc. Of course, there are no guarantees that he will flourish if he takes the leap, but he’s fairly guaranteed to spend the majority of his precious days on Earth waking up at his day job with his face on his desk and a keyboard imprint on his cheek if he doesn’t.

The story goes that when Columbus first came to the New World, the natives didn’t see his fleet of ships right away even though they were standing right there on the beach looking out at them. They’d never seen a ship before; people floating on water was a completely foreign concept to them and it took time for their brains to connect the dots and absorb what appeared before them. So, at first, they literally saw nothing but ocean.

This is where so many people get stuck when trying to figure out what to do to make money – they’re trying to change their lives from the perspective of their current reality. The new opportunities are so foreign to them that they can’t see them or they just don’t make any damn sense.

Extract taken from You Are a BADASS at Making Money, £12.99, John Murray Learning.  Buy online here .