I’m not trying to scam anyone. I realize that financial freedom is complicated and has a lot of different edges. The number of edges in order for wholeness may even be different for everyone. But, there is one secret to financial freedom that is often ignored in our formulas, number crunching and values defining:
The theme of these past few months for me has been community and accountability and I have been reminded of its importance in our journey to freedom. Whether it’s for my finances, or business, or personal development – surrounding myself with people who will fully support me is a total game changer.
Now, let me be clear and say this doesn’t mean people always saying “yes” to me. This means having people around me who will tell me the truth, good or bad. My work is to be in a place where I can accept that feedback and do something constructive with it!
I know I’ve talked a lot about my business mastermind group before, but that community has completely changed the way I see myself and my business. They’ve helped me to see the strength in myself and believe that I can actually do this whole entrepreneur thing.
GO FOR IT!
A few weekends ago I presented at the Wild Goose Festival. Now, this in itself is huge as I normally would NOT have even applied for something like this for fear of totally sucking it up if I got in! But, with support from people who believed in me, I went for it. And my proposal was accepted!
This festival is full of counter cultural thinkers and doers. Most of these people are working to change their world for the better. The energy on the festival grounds was exhilarating and positive.
Have you ever heard of a “camp high?” It’s that feeling you get when you’re at camp as a kid (or while working at a camp during college like I did) and the whole world just feels amazing, beautiful and inspiring. I remember feeling like I could accomplish anything and the whole world was open to me.
Well, that’s what Wild Goose felt like. All of these people gathered together to learn a new way of being in the world, in their communities and ultimately with themselves. It’s a really beautiful thing. Now, I’m not here to plug Wild Goose (although it’s cool), but what I am here to plug is community.
Like, real, solid relationships of people who truly want the best for you. Now, of course I want you to love your neighbor;
even especially the super grumpy one who is always scowling as you walk by. But what I’m really talking about is those people who are killing it at life. People who turn obstacles into opportunities. People who find joy in the mundane. Those people who are always trying to be better than they were yesterday.
There’s a saying by Jim Rohn that goes like this, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
How does that sit with you? The past few months, it has NOT sat well with me.
What I realized, nearly 6 months ago, was that I was spending the most time with women who never asked about me or my business. Women who tend to talk about all the “sh!t” in their life, rather than the beauty. Women who were often negative. Some who believed that I was crazy for starting an online business. And some who did NOT want me to rise up because then, it seemed, they would be left behind.
That realization has felt really crappy. But…obstacles into opportunities, right?!
What I noticed was that I was surrounding myself with these types of Low and Slow relationships and self-sabotaging other relationships that were more positive and encouraging.
If I’m honest, I didn’t feel like I was as awesome as those other awesome women were. So, I would say no to going out with them and say yes to the comfortable and known relationships. Even though they weren’t supporting me. Praise the Goose I realized this and did an about-face.
It all started with taking a hard look at myself and my choices.
Community, supportive relationships and accountability are crucial with any goal we’re trying to achieve. And never more so than when creating a personal finance plan! Whether you’re working on paying off debt (totally counter-cultural) or creating a budget that is in line with your Values (also counter-cultural) – we need people to support us, NOT tell us we’re crazy.
We ARE going to hit hardships and obstacles along our path towards our goals. It’s inevitable. And, honestly, I have finally come to understand that the hardships are actually what help snap us out of complacency and pivot to something else that is going to serve us better! Like living a debt-free life!
This past June I was in Seattle at my business accountability group. And, for the first time ever, I really melted into that weekend. I finally affirmed the belief that I belong with those other amazing, strong, brilliant, capable women. Actually, I am one of them. And it felt SOOOOOOOO good.
This is the juice, friend.
You are one of us. You are a person who can (or maybe already HAS – virtual high five, BTW) paid off debt. I’m sure you have spent intentional time defining the Values of your life. (If not, click the link, there’s nothing but time friend!) Then you’ve taken those Values and chosen to create a spending plan that reflects the things you treasure most in life. You are badass and you need badass people surrounding you!
Jordan Peterson, in his book The 12 Rules for Life, says it like this in rule number three: “Befriend people who want the best for you.”
Now, I’m still trying to navigate what this looks like practically. So, please don’t drop everyone you know and make all new friends all while saying “Nicole told me to!”
BUT…maybe we’re being called to make sure we’re intentionally surrounding ourselves with people who are pushing us forward – not trying to bring us back down.
At least I know this is what I’m being called to.
Dorothy Day says, “We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.”
If the secret to financial freedom really is accountability than I have some questions for you:
- Who is in your life right now that is supporting you to be the very best version of yourself?
- Do you have someone encouraging your drive to go after things that may be a bit outside of the box?
- Is there someone you can call when you’re starting to listen to that nasty self-talk that says “who are YOU to be pursuing a different life? You’re just like everyone else and don’t deserve a better life.”
The truth is we ALL deserve a better life. I’d love to hear how you’re finding accountability and community in achieving your goals!
Even if you don’t have anyone locally, you always have us here. Reach out. I would be HONORED if you shared your journey with me! Let’s talk soon, mmmkay?