Getting Ready Emotionally
Financial nuts and bolts, like learning how to do a profit-and-loss
statement or devising a marketing strategy, are challenging. But
the really hard stuff is inside. Like fears of failing. Or feeling
you are totally alone and nobody can understand the pressure you're
under. Or a perfectionistic streak that tells you if you can't get
the perfect money deal, you won't take anything.
One of the most imporant things to understand is your relationship
to money. Intensely symbolic, money can represent four basic human
needs: love, security, power and freedom, says Linda Barbanel, a
New York psychotherapist who's often called the "Dr. Ruth" of money.
In her book, Sex, Money and Power: Smart Ways to Resolve Money
Conflicts and Keep Them From Sabotaging Your Close Relationships
(Macmillan Spectrum, $14.95), Barbanel has defined four major money
personality types: "love buyers," "keepers," "power seekers" and
"freedom searchers." Most people are a blend of several types. Applying
Barbanel's principles to financing a business can help you figure
out which "you" is really conducting your money negotiations.
1. Self-Exam: Your Relationship to Money
2. Idea Cafe Tips
3. Web Links
When money talks, what does it say about you?
1. Do your fancy offices, $1,000 suits and expensive stationery
fairly shout your status?
2. Do you almost always pay full price?
3. Have you invested in risky deals, losing more than 15% of your
4. Do you rarely listen to financial experts?
If the answer is yes to most questions, you're a "power seeker."
Power and status compensate for feelings of powerlessness and humiliation
in childhood. You may use money to control other people.
5. Do you find it hard to spend money on your business?
6. Do you pay your bills on time, or early, by check or cash?
7. Does the thought of paying interest to borrow money make you
8. Do you feel unduly alarmed at the thought of investing for 5
years or more?
If the answer is "yes" to most questions, you're a "keeper."
Money is security, and you hate to part with it. It's your hedge
against a tough world, and you're driven to compensate for a childhood
marked by financial and/or emotional insecurity.
9. Do you tend to overspend on credit cards?
10. Do you cheer yourself up when you feel depressed by making a
11. Do you over-tip?
12. Do you think you can "buy" people by doing favors for them?
If the answer is "yes" to most questions, you're a "love buyer."
Money is love, and you probably had a lot more of the former than
the latter growing up. You've confused the two ever since.
13. Do you have trouble committing to leases, furnishings, long-term
14. Do you make your investments without a broker?
15. Do you work hard for a long time, then take off and loaf for
a few months?
16. Do you want no partners?
If the answer is "yes" to most questions, you're a "freedom
searcher." Money equals independence. You refuse to be tied
down by anything or anybody, and hate to feel you owe anybody--emotionally
2. Idea Cafe Tips
Stock up on good coffee, your favorite chocolate, as much money
as you can find to put under your mattress, and some cheap old comedy
movies (the kind you can't help but laugh at).
The process of getting money is sure to test your stamina, your
sense of humor, and your self-confidence, so you'll need all the
little comforts you can accumulate to sooth your ego and support
If you're courting investors, you can count on your patience being
tested beyond belief. They're in no hurry, but you're eyeing your
dwindling funds, and wondering whether to bug them with another
call, or wait another few days more.
If you're going after loans, you may get answers quicker, but
they may not be the answers you wanted -- like they won't lend you
as much as you asked for or their fees are higher than you expected.
And it could get a little tough to deal with those family dinners,
knowing your spouse just wishes you'd just get a "real job" and
forget this pie-in-the-sky dreaming, and your father-in-law subtly
expresses that your delay in getting funds confirms what he always
thought of you anyway.
But, take heart -- this process may put your psyche through the
coffee grinder -- but it won't last forever. And soon you'll forget
how endless it seemed because you'll be too busy making your business
take wing. And you'll get the proud satisfaction of seeing previous
doubters become admiring fans.
3. Web Links
Association for the Self-Employed
Lobbying organization which offers discounts on products and services,
resources and educational opportunities for members.
Barbanel, Linda. Sex, Money and Power: Smart Ways to
Resolve Money Conflicts and Keep Them From Sabotaging Your Close
Relationships. (Macmillan Spectrum, $14.95)
Maddox, Rebecca. Inc. Your Dreams: For Any Woman Who
Is Thinking About Her Own Business. (Penguin: $11.95)
Mellan, Olivia. Overcoming Overspending. (Walker,