Bye-bye Excel spreadsheets, hello mantras.
Bestselling author-slash-“success coach” Jen Sincero’s new get- rich guide, You Are a Badass at Making Money (Viking), mixes Goop-esque woo-woo with Suze Orman-style straight talk. Call it kooky-capitalism, but at least Sincero bypasses the obvious advice—know your monthly nut, take-home pay and spending—and zeroes in on what she believes to be the *real* obstacle to financial success. The problem, says Sincero, isn’t your budget, or willpower, or intelligence—it’s the negative way you think and feel about money, which is also often a barometer for how you think and feel about yourself.
According to Sincero, the journey from struggling money mope to badass bank-maker requires a worldview overhaul. You’ve got to lose the Debbie Downer mindset and tap into your inner Polly Positive, who knows that opportunities to enrich yourself are abundant and that money is there for the making.
You’ve got to make “I love money because I love myself” your new money mantra and behave accordingly.
(Told you it was a little woo-woo.)
Here are four top takeaways from Sincero’s book.
Stop thinking money = evil
Just like a bad relationship can sour us on love if we let it, chronic financial woes—alongside negative cultural associations—can make us think that money is the root of all evil and antithetical to a “good” life, says Sincero. If you view money as inherently bad, you’re probably not going to make much of it in your lifetime, and not because you can’t, but because you won’t allow yourself to go after it for fear of being called greedy.
Give yourself “permission” to get rich and start by emphasizing the positives—all the good that comes with financial freedom. More money means more time with loved ones, more time to help other people and more time for personal development.
“If you allow yourself to make all the money you need to flourish and live out your desires, it does not mean you are, or will become, a greedy, selfish, Earth-ruining bastard,” says Sincero. In fact, it may just let you “become more of who you truly are.”
Establish uber-specific goals
All the positive affirmations in the world won’t amount to a roll of quarters if you don’t know precisely what you want, says Sincero. Before you start your cash quest you need to figure out just how rich is “rich” in your books, and also exactly what you want to do with the money. If you aim to make $50K more this year, know the reasons why, and what you’re going to do with it, down to the last cent. If you want to use it to buy a condo, then stand in front of your dream building and visualize yourself fluffing pillows your future living room (the paint colours of which you’ve already selected). Fire your imagination to fuel your actions. “You want to feel so turned on by the thought of this money that you’re leaping out of bed in the morning,” says Sincero.
Once you’ve tuned your brain to a high-vibe frequency, you’ve got to manifest your new thinking with some real-world action. Big life changes require the taking of “huge, uncomfy risks.” If you hate your job, quit. If you don’t have a job then do embarrassing/scary things to get one: reach into your network for help, contact employers directly and talk up your amazingness. If you like your job but want to make more money, ask for a raise and be prepared to walk away if you don’t get it. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not doing it right. Spend money you don’t have to launch that startup you’ve been dreaming about. If the risk doesn’t make your heart race and your palms sweat, it’s not “uncomfy” enough to mean much. [Editor’s note: before making any bank-account-altering decisions, we recommend channelling your inner Gail Vaz-Oxlade to see if you can actually afford it.]
Have faith in your fortune
Faith is the part of you that dares to believe things will work out as they are supposed to in the end, says Sincero, and it’s the foundation for all risk-taking, the rock from which you leap into the unknown. “If you’re serious about creating a new reality, you must do different things and think different thoughts,” she says. “This shift raises your frequency, opens you up, and makes you aware of people and opportunities you weren’t seeing before.”
Don’t assume you need to turn into an overnight believer, though. Faith, just like pessimism, is a muscle. Make small leaps, and over time, you’ll be able to make big ones with greater ease. Take a course, invite a potential mentor out for coffee, join a startup community—do something that challenges your sense of self. Dip your toe into unfamiliar waters often enough and you’ll build up your confidence to risk pursuing what you really want.