Let’s Talk About Debt, BabyOct 16, 2023
I've dedicated a significant amount of time to studying money and money mindset, particularly in the context of being a boutique owner. Before we dive into this conversation, I want to make it clear that I'm not a certified financial advisor or an accountant. The insights I'm sharing here are based on my personal experiences and what I've learned while coaching others. Take this advice with a grain of salt and consider connecting with a certified financial planner or accountant, especially for tax-related matters. Alright, let’s talk about Debt, baby!
Let’s Talk About Debt, Baby
Debunking the Shame Around Debt
Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room: debt. No one wants to discuss debt. That’s why I have titled this, “Let’s Talk About Debt, Baby”, like the TLC song! If you get it, you get it. In the United States and many other countries, there's often a stigma associated with it. We're taught that debt is a bad thing, and it's not something people openly discuss. Money, in general, is considered a taboo topic in society. We're told not to inquire about each other's incomes, and discussing numbers can make people uncomfortable.
But here's the thing – if we don't measure it, we can't manage it. As boutique owners, understanding our finances is crucial. Unfortunately, many women, especially, tend to relinquish their power when it comes to money. I've had extensive discussions about money with Levy Hess, and I'm passionate about continuing this conversation. It's because your financial well-being is a make-or-break factor for your business.
Redefining Debt as an Investment
Let's challenge the traditional narrative about debt, especially when it comes to boutique owners. The bottom line is that we all need to invest in ourselves and our businesses. So, I want to play with the term "debt." I want to offer you three transformative ideas that have resonated with me and many others when it comes to this topic. My primary goal is to remove the shame associated with debt.
The first step is to take the shame out of the debt equation. Let's be honest; nobody really wants to talk about debt. But we need to change that narrative. It's essential to acknowledge the shame and discomfort around the topic of debt and redefine it. Let's talk about it openly, address it, and eliminate the stigma. This step is crucial, as the shame around debt can hold us back from running our businesses effectively.
Debt vs. Investment
It's time to alter our perception of debt and start considering it as an investment. Whether it's a mortgage, a credit card debt used for inventory, or a loan for your business, it's essentially the same thing. However, there's an odd sense of shame, particularly surrounding credit card debt. It's vital to understand that the classification of debt varies, and it's not a reflection of your character or financial intelligence.
While real estate is often touted as a great investment, it's not always the case. Similarly, investing in your business through loans or credit card debt is also a form of investment. We need to shift our mindset and start referring to money used to fuel our businesses as investments rather than debt.
Taking Calculated Risks
Debt, in any form, represents a financial risk. Whether you're purchasing a house, a car, or investing in your business, it's a calculated risk. If you're comfortable taking that risk, that's perfectly fine. I recall a personal experience where I needed to borrow money from my parents to buy out my business partner. At first, they were hesitant, but after witnessing my dedication and hard work, they believed in me. In fact, my father told me that investing in me was a better return than the stock market. That was a huge vote of confidence, showing that trust is a significant component of borrowing.
Transforming Your Money Story
Lastly, we need to transform our money story. Your money story is your belief system and attitudes towards money, often influenced by your upbringing. It's time to take control of your money narrative and redefine it. Sit down and write out all your thoughts and beliefs about money. Some of these may be inherited from your family, and it's essential to distinguish between beliefs that serve you and those that don't.
Your money story can be rewritten. You have the power to decide what your relationship with money should be. It's time to shift your money story, allowing yourself to embrace the trust that comes with borrowing and viewing debt as an investment in yourself and your business. In doing so, you can build a thriving boutique business and ensure your financial well-being.
Changing the Way we Talk About Debt
As boutique owners, our financial mindset plays a significant role in our success. By redefining debt as an investment, eliminating the shame around it, and transforming our money story, we can unlock the true potential of our businesses. It's essential to remember that your financial journey is within your control, and it's time to approach it with confidence. Start by taking the shame out of debt, manage your finances wisely, and rewrite your money story to reflect your worth and aspirations. With this new mindset, your boutique business can achieve remarkable growth and success.