How would you characterize your relationship with money?
As an accountant, it’s critical that you bring more consciousness to your beliefs around money. Everyone develops conscious and unconscious views of money, and it’s essential to be aware of those views in order to make financially responsible decisions. You can improve your ability to grow your firm and advise clients by practicing consciousness and being aware of your money mindset.
Fortunately, Gusto, along with our partners at CPA Academy, presented a great webinar all about bringing awareness to your beliefs around money.
Our webinar titled “Becoming a Conscious Advisor: The Emotional Impact of Money,” featured the money mindset expertise of actualization coach and non-practicing CPA, Amber Setter, and CPA and consultant, Robina Bennion. You can watch the full webinar here.
In this article, you’re going to learn all about bringing awareness to your beliefs around money, shifting from fear to logical decision making, and the importance of addressing anxiety and depression.
Bringing awareness to your energy around money
As an accountant, you need to evaluate your relationship with money. You can improve your ability to assist your clients and strengthen your firm by understanding your money mindset and your relationship with money. Amber explained the benefits of bringing more awareness to your emotions around money:
“We’re going to elevate your awareness about how emotions come into money. Then we want to provide you with tools that you can use to create more consciousness in your client meetings … [so that] you have awareness of your own emotions, [and] you have awareness of what your client’s emotion might be. … ‘Consciousness’… [is] really the ability to see your own self and your clients in a deeper, more meaningful way.”– Amber Setter
When you bring more consciousness into your accounting practices, you can better understand your relationship with money, and you can develop a deeper understanding of your clients. You need to know your clients’ relationship with money to assist them in improving their small businesses. If your clients have an unhealthy relationship with money, you need to help them become more conscious of their unhelpful money mindset.
People develop their relationships and beliefs around money at an incredibly young age, and they carry their beliefs into adulthood:
“The information that we collected very early on is how our brain is wired relative to money. … We’re collecting that [data] from the world around us, whether it be events happening in our life, conversations that our parents are having around us [or] with us, [or] just the behaviors … that they have … [with] money. So all of this data, all of the conversations that are being had [or] even things that are happening in the news, that is being hardwired into our brain[s] and happening at an unconscious level when we’re making decisions about money.”– Robina Bennion
Both you and your clients develop beliefs around money from a young age, and many different factors can affect your conscious and unconscious views. You need to bring awareness to your relationship with money that developed from your beliefs, and you need to be aware of your clients’ money mindsets. Their beliefs around money that they developed throughout their lives directly impacts their financial decisions:
“All the other factors that happen in your life also play into the decisions that you make about money or [the decisions] your clients are making about money. … We’re really here talking about how best to serve our clients … and to be better advisors to our clients. … There are so many factors that play into the consciousness [and] the unconscious and how they show up making financial decisions.”– Robina Bennion
Various factors can negatively impact your relationship with money. Forming an unhealthy relationship with money can be detrimental to operating a business. You need to evaluate your own beliefs around money and improve your money mindset to better serve and advise your clients.
Shifting from fear to logical thinking
You and your clients need to make financial decisions from a place of competency and logic rather than fear and emotion. When people make financial decisions out of anxiety or fear, they often don’t make responsible or beneficial decisions for future financial success. During times of financial stress, you might think that you’re acting logically, but in reality, you could be engaging in fight-or-flight mode when making financial decisions:
“I could easily transition over into an emotional part of my brain, this fight-or-flight mode, and make decisions that are not logical, even though I may think that they are. … If I’m not aware of what is going on, … I may have a very emotional response to something. That can very well be happening with your clients right now.”– Robina Bennion
Bringing awareness to your emotions is critical for making logical decisions because you need to know if you’re engaging in fight-or-flight mode. When experiencing economic setbacks or a financial recession, your clients’ negative energy around money can become apparent and impact their decision-making abilities:
“Things that are getting triggered and brought up, … it’s a fight or flight [response]. What happens is, you’re being pulled in these different directions, and things can be brought up potentially with your clients that have been there for a long time. … Their energy relative to money is shifted because they’re in this fight-or-flight moment. … Provide some tools and help them maybe shift to a more logical place.”– Robina Bennion
Your clients’ underlying beliefs around money become more evident when they engage in panic mode. They may not even be aware of some of their unconscious views towards money, so you need to help them become more aware of their beliefs and make logical financial decisions in times of financial difficulty. Robina Bennion described the underlying beliefs you have around money as an “unconscious agreement.” It’s critical that you shift your unconscious agreement to improve your energy with money:
“There is an unconscious agreement that you make with yourself, and it actually sticks, and we keep that agreement with ourselves. … The rhetoric that we repeat over and over in our mind, we keep that agreement with ourselves, and it plays out in our money, … our business, … [and] in our career. … Have that awareness of what it is that you’re saying and how you’re saying it.”– Robina Bennion
The narrative you tell yourself about money affects your financial, business, and career decisions. You may not even be aware of your underlying beliefs around money, but they manifest when you engage in fight or flight mode. You can change your unconscious agreement by bringing more awareness to your beliefs and by shifting the narrative that you repeat in your mind daily. You need to improve your unconscious agreement around money to be more logical in dealing with your finances and advising your clients.
Addressing anxiety and depression
In addition to changing your narrative around money and shifting into logical thinking, it’s also essential to understand the role that mental illness plays in our ability to make rational decisions. Amber observed that anxiety is an incredibly common mental illness:
“[Anxiety is] the most common mental illness, and about 30% of humans are destined to be impaired with anxiety. … Your clients might very well be filled with fear, filled with distress, and filled with anxiety.”– Amber Setter
Amber and Robina noted that anxiety is primarily a survival trait for addressing threats, but we now feel anxiety towards non-life-threatening sources of stress, such as our finances. Finances may play a critical role in contemporary life, but it’s important to note that financial concerns are not matters of life and death. The anxiety survival trait is for facing immediate threats and is not helpful towards improving your financial situation. Your clients may be feeling a great deal of anxiety around the financial situations of their businesses, and members of your firm might be experiencing anxiety over deadlines and the firm’s financial wellbeing.
Depression is also an incredibly common mental illness, especially within the accounting profession. You need to be aware of how mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, affect you and those around you so that you can be sensitive to their struggles and help people through it:
“Our society glorifies workaholism. … People oftentimes will use work so as to avoid their darker feelings that they don’t want to be with. … I wanted … [to tell you that] not to put more fear in this space, but to partly normalize your experience if you’re feeling anxiety, or [if] you’ve ever had depression, and then also to elevate your awareness. … The more we are honest about what goes on, the more we can really support other people and be of service to them.”– Amber Setter
People sometimes overwork and ignore their mental illnesses, but the tendency to overwork can actually further contribute to anxiety and depression because it can result in burnout. Rather than ignore symptoms of anxiety and depression, you should bring awareness to your struggles and help others with their mental illnesses. Practicing consciousness and bringing awareness to mental illnesses plays a critical role in normalizing mental illness and helping those who struggle with it.
Learn more about the energetics of money
Bringing awareness to your beliefs around money is critical for your firm and your clients. When you practice consciousness and help others address their money mindsets, you can strengthen your ability to make logical financial decisions.
If you’re ready to learn even more about the energy of money and how you can become a better advisor to your clients, check out Part Two of this webinar article series. You can also watch the full webinar here.
If you’re looking to improve your ability to serve your clients, consider signing up for Gusto. We are a people-based platform that takes the headache out of health insurance, HR, and benefits. We also automatically file and send local, state, and federal payroll taxes for businesses up to 100 employees. With Gusto, you’ll gain access to all the tools you need for expanding your accounting firm.