“The circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we're weak and sing with us when we're strong.” – SARK
There is great power in community. Being part of a group allows you to tap into the energy of a shared vision and a shared goal. It provides accountability and motivation and can be a powerful way to build new habits and achieve challenging goals. We can see evidence of the power of the group when it comes to fitness or weight loss goals and also in business, when teams are created to work on a specific project. We see it less often when it comes to money but whenever a group of people come together with the intention of improving their financial situation, increasing their knowledge and eliminating debt, it invariably leads to great success from what I call the money tribe..
Women are natural tribe builders. For millennia, women have found strength and solidarity in the company of other women. They draw on the strength, knowledge and energy of the group in order to amplify what they can achieve alone and expedite their route to success. Women, like the Smart Cookies for example, who have banded together in order to improve their financial health and understanding have seen incredible results. It seems to me that this concept of working alongside others as you travel towards your goal can be a great strategy for success, especially for women who have a natural tendency to band together for support and motivation.
So where do you start? Jim Rohn once said that “we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with.” And I’ve found this to be especially true when it comes to finances. Chances are, that if you are not content with your financial situation, your close friends aren’t either. They may be willing to team up with you to put an action plan in place that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. It’s important to remember that everyone has a comfort zone with money and that change is a scary thing, even when that change means moving from a negative situation into a positive one. Consequently, you may find that you have friends who say they want to change their situation but just aren’t in a space where they are motivated to take the steps necessary to make that change a reality. Don’t let this dissuade you; you will find like-minded people who want to collaborate with you in changing their situation and even if your money tribe starts out small; your success will inspire others to join and it will grow.
It’s not so much that people are born poor money managers; it’s more that they never learned how to be great money managers. There are a number of factors that influence how well we manage our finances and many of them are psychological. Take some time to learn and discuss with your money tribe how your own money personality, money thermostat and limiting beliefs have influenced your current situation and formulate a plan to adopt new habits and behaviours that will take you closer to your goal. Education is a great “fear neutralizer” so, within your tribe, make a commitment to learning more about money management, investing and saving. Whether you do this through books, blogs, online resources or podcasts really doesn’t matter; what does matter is that you share your learning within your tribe and use it to fuel your commitment to your goals. The more you understand, the more power you have over your financial future and the more effectively you can bring about the changes you desire.
One of the most powerful advantages of goal setting with a group is the accountability that comes along with committing to a goal and having to discuss your progress with others. No-one wants to feel as though they’re less committed than any other tribe member and so each person within the tribe pushes a little harder in order to “keep up”. This is especially true with finances because there are so many ways to get off track, lose focus and fall back into the old, familiar habits. Within your money tribe you need to have a consistent meeting schedule and a commitment from each member to show up, be present and to support each other. This means holding each other accountable for your goals and having the courage to call people out who are not living up to their potential. Knowing that your money tribe won’t let you off the hook when you get off track is often all it takes to help us resist temptation and make strong, smart financial decisions.
Finally, it’s important to take the time to recognize and celebrate successes – large and small. Both women and men have an uncanny ability to recognize success and strength in others that they don’t see in themselves and being part of a tribe means plenty of positive affirmation when it comes to recognizing the successes of tribe members. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small it may seem. Celebrating not only creates a great energy which inspires us to achieve more but it also keeps our focus on what we've achieved rather than the often daunting list of things we have yet to complete before we reach our goal. Celebrating and sharing successes keeps your tribe motivated and leads to even more success.
This week, why not spend some time thinking about how building a money tribe could take you closer to your goals and who you might invite to join your tribe. If you have stories of how tribe-building has helped you achieve your goals, i’d love to hear them!