It’s all (not) about the money

I had a couple of conversations recently about psychological responses to the hours we work.  I was talking to small business owners, although the general ideas I’m talking about here apply more broadly.

A quick note: this post is written with middle class types in mind; they tend to be my audience.  If you are someone who earns very little, with no savings and insecure employment, then financial security really is an issue.

Compelled to work

I know when I became ready to launch Counselling West Bridgford, I was compelled to work.  I had been working on ideas for the business for months and suddenly I was unleashed.  Website design and build, social media pages, booking and payment systems, blog posts and website copy to name a few.

I worked 13 days straight, compelled to pick up the laptop and get research, or get onto the page whatever item I was excited about in that moment.

The day I realised it was 13 days straight, it occurred to me I probably needed a break… and I forced myself too, just aware that given I’d had the thought, it was probably best to follow it up.

Excitement, Creativity

When we are compelled to work, it’s important to understand what drives us.  I had a conversation with Jade at Koa Consulting, and we share the excitement and creativity that new ideas, new business bring.  We are both passionate about what we do, and if we pick up the laptop on a Friday evening after dinner, it’s up there with playing a computer game or other hobby.

Because we are excited, we are thriving, and it’s a positive, creative past-time.

It’s all about the money?

I had another conversation with a recent start-up, someone on an exciting journey of working out their passion, their place in the market. 

They are working long hours too, but added that they were driven because they feel guilty if they aren’t working.

Being a curious soul, I probed a bit more about the feelings of guilt.  Guilt is not an emotion we thrive on, and it’s an unwanted feeling. 

If I understood them correctly, it boiled down to a need to provide, and they were adamant that once they are earning a certain amount, they will feel better, even though they had no financial problems and were supported by their partner.

When I’ve known someone a while, and especially with my close friends, I will say

“you know it’s never really about money”.

Follow through

When I’m having a week when it all seems too difficult, I find myself fantasizing about going back into the world of employment, the Finance Director salary and the trappings that come with it.

I know that’s really only a signal.  For me the real issue is security, which has a tendency to translate into financial security, which for most middle-class, middle-aged, educated people is not really a worry.  Forgive me if I don’t go into the next level of root cause, other than to know I had the benefit of 4 years of therapy to understand it!

There are many possible psychological roots if you feel guilty or you aren’t thriving with work, but if you can understand what is at the root, it’s your ticket to improving how you feel about work and what you do.

Just know it’s NEVER about the money. 

If you’d like to find out more about how I can help you understand your motivations and what might be holding you back, and explore strategies that can help you thrive, please do get in touch.

You can book a free, initial consultation online via the booking page, email or call 07968767232

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