Money Medicine: I Think I’m Sooo Special. Really, I do…
…when it comes to money.
(And many other things.)
I am privileged.
I am white.
I come from an educated family.
I live an upper middle class lifestyle.
I have my own car. (Also, I can drive in the first place.)
My husband’s income is more than enough to support us.
I own my own time and owe none of it to anyone (that I don’t want to).
I live in a large home.
My child and his family are (mostly) self-supporting.
Our parents are all self-supporting (as are our siblings).
I have control over my own money.
I have disposable income.
When I want more money I can make it.
All of my primary needs are met (and exceeded) on a daily basis. I never have to wonder how I’ll make something (essential to living) happen.
I can easily access medical care as well as alternative health care.
I have my own space in which to do my work.
I can easily access education and resources to further my business training.
It is essential that before you and I began to talk about money (and business) that I first gave you an accounting of my privilege.
Privilege is something that is almost never earned. There are exceptions to this rule, but most of the time even the privilege you earn is built on the back of an invisible (to you) privilege you already had: family of origin, community, education, a home, etc… People do break out of unprivileged situations (and we like to talk about those stories) but most of us with privilege now were born into at least some, if not all, of it.
I myself didn’t grow up like this, but I don’t want to begin our conversations with what I once didn’t have. That feels disingenuous. Instead, it feels important to me that we begin with what I do have now, and especially what I have that I didn’t earn.
This conversation is essential because my privilege colours my every experience and way of thinking. (And yours does too, btw.)
I don’t know what it is to be a single person trying to make ends meet and earn a living off my business. If you do then to be able to support and communicate with you means that I must make an effort to think outside of experiences of what has worked for me and where I am comfortable.
And I might still be wrong.
This doesn’t mean that you and I must be in an equivalent lifestyle to work together. Of course not. Neither I nor my work is like that. But you do deserve to know. You deserve to know the tone of the glasses through which I usually see the world. And you most especially deserve to know that I know I am privileged.
I Am Passionate About You + Money
I want you to make it. I want you to have choice and freedom and adventure. I want you to know abundance. I believe that everyone has a right to living abundantly.
But one of my core values around money is that all of this must be defined only by what is right for you.
To talk to you about how you should be running a six figure business, or charging $200 an hour, or be hiring a VA and a house cleaner is to set goals for you that are based on my experience and privilege. I want you to have all of those things – and in particular to know that it is possible to have them – but only if you actually want them for yourself.
My goals and values are not yours and should never be placed on you as some sort of expectation – and especially never as a measure of your success.
To be sure that I am honouring this value we needed to begin with where I come from; with an acknowledgement of my privilege. And I believe it would serve you to examine yours too. What do you have and take for granted (I know you have them because I added to my list between writing this up and typing it here) that others do not? What are the tools and resources that you can use to leverage your finances that someone not lucky enough to be born you can not?
There are many privileges in life. And there are some that I don’t have:
- I do not have an under-graduate degree
- I am not Christian (nor am I willing to “pass” as one/let others assume I am)
- I could have an income that outpaces my expenses even more than I do
- I do not come from a family with money
- I am not a man
But that I can afford to have a graphic designer work on all my projects, I can get the best equipment for the work I’m doing, I no longer have a child I need to take care of (or find care for), that I have time to even write this… all of these are privileges that I use to serve my business in ways others can not. For this I am grateful and I intend to continue to seek how I can share the power that this privilege gives to me with those who don’t have it – beginning with this post.
What do you think? Should the very real and influential fact of privilege be something that those who serve and teach other businesses should be acknowledging and talking about? Is their privilege something you take into consideration when you apply the lessons of another teacher or coach? Should you?