When I think about where to find money for your business, there are a few things that come to mind immediately. A lot of people are afraid of money; maybe I should say that a lot of people are in awe of money. They are controlled by their feelings about it. At the same time, there are so many lies about money. That it will make you happy. That people with money don’t have problems. Lies, all lies. The one truth that I know for sure about money came from my mom. She said, “Money is a like a hammer. It is a tool. You can use it to build something, or you can bang a hole in the wall.”
Never talk about money. This isn’t what it seems on the face of it. I do believe in the saying that if you want money, you should ask for advice. I don’t think this because it’s a good way to get someone into the conversation, but because it’s a good way to learn more about how they really think. And you NEED TO KNOW HOW PEOPLE THINK if you are going to take their money.
So, ask for their advice. Listen carefully. Take notes. Go back and unpack what they say to you. See if you are on the same page – values, integrity, community, or whatever might be important to you. If you are, go back and ask for money. When you ask for the money, really do it. Be direct. Be clear. Make sure you use numbers and understand the value exchanged. Know what it means to you to ask this person. Make sure to do what you did before – listen carefully.
Ask, always ask. This is a truism about money of any kind. As a kid when I sold Girl Scout cookies, this was the key. Pick up the phone. Go to their office. Send an email, if you must; but follow up with more direct contact. Ask people. Don’t be afraid. Someone out there is waiting for just the opportunity that you are presenting.
Always stay in the conversation. Often people are so nervous about talking to someone with money or about the fact that they are asking for money that they kind of black out when they ask. They are listening for a yes or a no, but often what we really get are questions. The person wants to know more. The other time this benefits us is when it This is especially comes to debt you owe or owed to you. People want to pay back what they owe, but when they can’t they will avoid the conversation – mostly out of fear and anxiety. Instead, stay in the conversation. Do what you can. Be honest.
The only thing that is a no, is NO. After you have asked and they have asked their questions, after you have listened closely, there is more listening. A lot of people are looking for rejection and so they are listening for a YES because that is clearly not what they are expecting. But there are a lot of answers that are not a yes and are also not a no. “Let me think about it. I need to talk to my spouse. This is something to consider. I’m not quite ready.” These are all things I have heard and in my inexperience, I interpreted them as a polite way of saying No. They were not. The only thing that is really a no, is when someone says, “No.”
On that note, I want to give you a little new age-y concept to take with you into the world as we prepare to talk about how to find the money you need to grow your business. Most systems in the world are based on a Theory of Scarcity. This means that there is only so much to go around. This is a law of the physical world. For some things that might hold true. . . when someone takes the last brownie, well, you know. But in the creation of value, we’ve seen some amazing things in the history of the world. The pie is always growing. We can create value in a place and a way that did not exist yesterday. It’s quite amazing. This is a Theory of Abundance. The world is awash in value AND money. Each of us only has to connect with what is right and beneficial to each of us.