With Dr. Alice Rizzi, Clinical psychologist and founder of Together Mindful
Business In Between Podcast, Episode 09
What does financial freedom and security mean to you? A desire for both probably played a role in your decision to start your own business. In this episode, I’m speaking with Dr. Alice Rizzi, a clinical psychologist, mindfulness coach, and course creator. Dr. Rizzi joined me for episode 3 andepisode 8. In this episode, you’ll learn how you can take better care of yourself, your loved ones, and your community when you work toward financial security. You’ll also learn a few practical steps for how you can work toward the financial freedom that you want.
Meet Dr. Alice Rizzi
How to achieve financial freedom as a small business owner – Key points
What does financial freedom mean?
Objectively, the term financial freedom means having the financial cushion (savings, investments, and cash) to afford the lifestyle they want plus enough retirement savings or the freedom to pursue any career without the need to earn a certain salary.
What financial freedom and financial security look like is very subjective. To define it for yourself, focus on the values of safety and comfort. What does each one mean to you?
Generally, when you have more money you can feel safer and more comfortable. When you have less money, you’re more likely to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, and distressed.
Having a financial independence plan can help you set specific goals that are meaningful and motivating to you.
Money, in and of itself, is neutral.
Many of us are taught that money is bad. However, it’s just a neutral tool. It can enhance and provide opportunities. However, people can use it to make awful decisions.
Thinking of money as bad will limit the opportunities you pursue to earn, save, and invest.
If you approach money as neutral, you’ll discover more options and give yourself more freedom to explore them.
Does economic freedom boost growth for everyone?
When small business owners, especially women, create financial independence, they can:
- Have a greater level of freedom and independence in their personal and professional lives.
- They can work with people whose values and ideas align with their own. As a result, they can do more meaningful work and develop stronger relationships.
- Make a positive difference in their families and communities.
Having multiple income streams is an important part of achieving financial freedom.
The pandemic emphasized how quickly work can disappear. During lockdowns, some people were able to work online. However, so many others were not. Entire industries shut down. Many people realized that they never wanted to rely on one source of income again.
As a result, many people realized that starting your own business could be the way to achieving financial independence. Others have started side hustles to increase sources of cash flow and/or are looking for ways to build passive income.
Big mistake: Using our businesses as savings and retirement accounts.
Life circumstances and/or personal choices require a financial cushion. As business owners, we hear about having emergency funds set aside for the business. However, we’re not typically taught to think about having an emergency fund for ourselves.
We can’t rely on our businesses to be our emergency funds because that assumes the return from the business will always be enough. This is why careful financial planning, making sure to pay yourself, paying down credit card debt and student loans, and having enough retirement savings is crucial.
Business owners can view money as a tool to improve their own lives and the lives of others.
The older you get, you may want or have to work differently, financially support different people in your life, and/or contribute to causes that matter. Having financial independence and living financially free provide more opportunities to help people in a way that is personally meaningful.
Start following and learning about small businesses that emphasize giving back.
For example, many women-owned businesses are structured to give back to the community and/or people working in the business. Common examples include:
- Donating a percentage of profits to a charitable cause or organization.
- Profit sharing with employees throughout the company so that everyone benefits from contributing to the business.
Examine money blocks and limiting money beliefs.
We often develop these at a young age. These beliefs can significantly impact how people think about achieving financial freedom. Two people who helped Alice challenge her money stories and limiting beliefs:
- Denise Duffield Thomashas several books that helped Alice address limiting beliefs about money.
- Rachel Rodgersbook, We Should All Be Millionaires, focuses on gaining financial power and building wealth, especially among groups who have traditionally been left out of the mainstream money world such as disabled women, queer women, and women of color.
How people choose to work and live has changed.
Financial security positions you better when you need to make important decisions. Whether you have the luxury of choosing where and how you work or you have to respond to a crisis, having financial reserves will help you weather the storm.
Technology can help us achieve more financial security.
Thanks to technology, we have more opportunities to find work, start businesses, and find resources to help us become financially independent.
Someone can be kind and make money. One doesn’t preclude the other.
In certain fields, like therapy or the arts, the expectation is that people work for a lot less or even for free. It’s important that therapists and people in other professions remind themselves that their work matters. They deserve to make a good living.
Financial freedom involves consistently practicing certain habits.
Three key behaviors toward living financially free are:
- Setting money aside.
- Having a specific reason and goal for saving.
- Thinking about how to use the money to help others, whether it’s your family and/or other people.
Practical tips for small business owners working toward financial freedom:
Surround yourself with people who have similar money goals.
Once you surround yourself with those people, you can see the kind of impact they have with their money. It will give you ideas about how you can use your money differently.
Identify your money beliefs and money blocks.
Three common beliefs that hold people back are:
- Rich people, especially women, need to look polished and put together.
Reframe: If you don’t want to live like that, revamp your image of what a life with money looks like.
- Having money will make me a target. People won’t like me if I have money.
Reframe: If you’re worried about how the people in your life will treat you, work on setting and implementing good boundaries.
- I have to work hard and suffer in order to earn a lot of money. No pain, no gain.
Reframe: There are now ways to make money with greater ease thanks to technology.
Even people from less privileged backgrounds can change their money beliefs and make different decisions about money.
Challenge your limiting beliefs about money.
If you have any of these limiting beliefs about having financial freedom, challenge yourself with this question: How can you be compassionate, kind, and understanding and be wealthy?
Figure out: How much money do you need for financial freedom?
We are all going to have different definitions and standards of what it means to be wealthy. That’s completely okay.
- What feels financially secure will be different for everyone.
- For some people, the amount of money they need to be comfortable will be less than they thought.
- It’s important to identify what you want at each stage in life so you can set financial goals accordingly.
- Consider the possibility of moving somewhere your money will go farther so that you don’t have to work more. You might be able to work less and still have the lifestyle you want.
Note: This section contains some affiliate links. This means that, if you make a purchase, I will get a small commission. This is at no cost to you. Click here for the website’s Disclosure policy.
Books on building wealth, money beliefs, and financial freedom:
by Denise Duffield Thomas
by Rachel Rodgers
Dr. Alice Rizzi contact information:
Alice’s online mindfulness school where you can find her mindfulness course as well as a free mindfulness mini-course: www.togethermindful.com
As a clinical psychologist, Alice provides teletherapy services to people living in NY and FL who are struggling with OCD, Stress, or Anxiety. Her private practice website: https://www.dralicerizzi.com/
Alice’s Instagram: @dralicerizzi
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