Money maven Patrice C. Washington wants people to keep their priorities straight. She urges everyone to chase purpose, not money.
“Live your life’s purpose, find fulfillment and earn more without chasing money,” she said, redefining common thinking about wealth.
Washington joined millennial marketing strategist, coach and LinkedIn instructor Chelsea Krost to talk about money, mindset and tips and tricks to “make your money work for you.”
A common money misnomer is that you have to sacrifice lifestyle to save for retirement. With a good plan, you can save without suffering.
“The biggest misconception is that money behavior is based on logic,” Washington said. “Like, ‘If I knew better, I’d do better.’ That’s not true because most people don’t do what they do know. It’s emotional — not logical.
“I’ve been self-employed 90 percent of my adult life and have always saved for retirement,” she said. “It’s actually what prevented my biz from going under sooner during the recession.”
Krost also sees procrastination used as a financial crutch.
“I hear this one all the time: It’s never too late to start saving,” she said. “But, the truth is that the sooner you start saving, the better. It’s hard to think about things like retirement in your 20s and 30s, but it should be a priority.”
Mindset affects money in many ways.
“Whether you have a lot of money or very little money, your mindset can determine how much that amount will grow or diminish,” Krost said.
“It is important that people who have some money in the bank are smart about how they spend it and don’t tap into their cash flow,” she said. “Unfortunately, people can become frivolous with their spending, which leads to debt and other financial hardships.”
A wish is not a plan
On the other hand, merely hoping will not make financial success come true.
“Don’t have a lot of money, but wish you did?” Krost said. “Your mindset can change that. Ask yourself: What can I do to earn more money? Stay positive, and work hard to build your income.”
Washington favors taking big steps from the start.
“That’s my preferred approach,” she said. “Yes, you can spend hours cutting coupons — which I’m not knocking — but you can also put the same mental power into figuring out how to earn more, which is limitless.
“Mindset is everything, and the sad part is most of us don’t even know why we make the choices we make with money despite saying, ‘This is my year to go for it.’”
Much like old clothing, money traits are hand-me-downs.
“So many of us are on autopilot with mindsets we inherited from parents either directly or indirectly,” Washington said. “Either through verbal influences, modeling or a specific incident our childhood brain couldn’t make sense of, we attach certain meanings to finances.
“Verbal Influences include stuff like, ‘Everyone has debt’ or ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees,’” she said. “If that’s what’s deeply rooted in your subconscious, of course, you make choices contrary to what you say you want. Our brains help us self-sabotage.”
These are the lessons Washington carries over to her business.
“I always ask my clients if they’d hand over their wallets to their 8-year-old to manage bills,” she said. “When they say, ‘No!’ I remind them that’s what they do every paycheck if these childhood stories go unchecked.”
Krost and Washington share a common attitude toward finance.
“I treat my money with respect and appreciation,” Krost said. “I work hard for my money, and it is only right that I am responsible for it. This includes paying my bills on time, putting some away for savings, creating budgets and making smart investments.”
Finance is about relationships
Washington makes sure to stay aware of circumstances.
“I believe what we have with money is a relationship,” she said. “Any relationship that you nurture grows. You check in with your money. Seek wise counsel. Always know your numbers.
“I hear a lot of millennials use cute excuses to disguise a lack of discipline with their finances,” she said. “Ignoring money under the banner ‘I’m a creative’ or ‘Not my thing’ will be to your detriment later.”
Krost has simple steps to make money work for you: Make money, use that money to make more money, think short-term versus long-term investments and repeat.¶
“On the one hand, I believe it’s about making sound investments,” Washington said. “On the other hand, I believe making my money work for me has also come in the form of delegating — paying others — to do tasks personally or professionally that aren’t worth my billable time.”
Making money work for you takes several forms.
“In the world of social media and entrepreneurship, many business owners are investing their money into building online courses set up to work on autopilot,” Krost said. “It’s all about that passive income.
“Other ways to make your money work for you are through investment opportunities such as real estate, stocks and mutual funds,” she said.
Good financial practices feed on themselves.
“Money has helped me hire efficient team members to support me so I can earn more, give more and truly focus on pursuing my purpose,” Washington said.
“The other ways are funding a SEP IRA for retirement, a 529 plan for college savings for my daughter, investing in multi-unit apartment buildings and funding the various business hubs I now own,” she said.
Move forward with answers
Investing in new projects and opportunities is enticing, but go there with eyes open. Krost recommends asking these questions first:
- What’s my current money status?
- What revenue do I have in the pipeline?
- Are there any opportunities that pique my interest?
- Do I have enough money in savings?
- What’s the current state of the economy?
“Be consistent with what you’re already working on,” Washington said. “The worst thing you can do is hop from thing to thing without optimizing what you already have in front of you.
“The trend is for entrepreneurs to launch courses,” she said. “What kills people is launching, getting upset about the results and quitting to go start something else from scratch. You should launch, measure, tweak and launch again. Don’t quit.”
With experience comes confidence.
“Once you’ve maximized the potential on a current project or opportunity and it can run on autopilot without you hovering over it, then move on to what’s next,” Washington said.
Krost noted these key foundations to building wealth:
- Desire to learn and grow
Washington offered her own tips:
- Understanding that wealth is more than money and material possessions.
- Being vulnerable enough to ask for help.
- Taking the first step and being consistent.
“What you’re building is a muscle,” Washington said. “Do what you can, and don’t be intimidated by others.”
What wealth means
Krost added that “money is great and all, but so is being a good person.” That prompted Washington to explain her six pillars for redefining wealth:
- Fit: Becoming your best self. Saving for retirement takes great vision, but if you aren’t going to protect the vessel needed to execute that vision mentally and physically, then what’s it all for?
- People: Create relationships that matter. Start putting yourself around people who make these conversations the norm. You can only become fluent in the language of money if you’re around others who speak it as well.
- Space: Set up your life to support you. If you believe “time is money,” then you have to stop wasting time by using organization techniques, clearing clutter and delegating like nobody’s business.
- Faith: Believe in something greater. Most people quit too soon and never realize the potential of what’s possible for them. I believe faith builds resilience. So, no matter what you believe in, make time to practice it so you’re ready when life happens.
- Work: Live your life’s purpose. When you don’t have a purpose, you struggle to set priorities. Lack of fulfillment contributes more to financial mismanagement than anything else.
- Money: Manage what money you do have wisely. Once you have clarity and peace with the other pillars, you gain the mental capacity to follow through on the things you’ve heard before but felt stuck on and couldn’t put your finger on.
“I’m not your traditional ‘finance expert,’ but I see it over and over again where people will clean up one of these areas and ‘magically’ their finances begin to improve, as well,” Washington said.
She then added these essentials:
- Everyone should have a home.
- Make your home paperless, and shred documents once scanned.
- Tidy up every night so you can wake up to a fresh start.
Networking in any industry also has financial impact.
“Want to grow and learn?” Krost said. “Surround yourself with people who have experience in that field.”
Several obstacles and challenges often hold people back from making more money.
“Fear is a big factor,” Krost said. “It can be scary when investing your money into something with no guarantee for success, but you have to weigh the risks.
“Time is another big obstacle,” she said. “Many people find it difficult to carve out time to dedicate to side hustle when they are already working a full-time job.”
Washington and Krost agreed that overcoming fear and perceived lack of time — along with having a purpose — will make wealth a reality.