Fantasizing About Money
By Erin Lozano
The first gift I ever asked for as a little girl was a cash register. My dad found one for me, and I added up values for everything I could find. Paper, pencils, pots and pans, anything within reach. Numbers were fun. I had a natural ability to think quickly with them, and math became my favorite subject in school.
But in college, when it was time to choose a career path, I got stuck on having to be a CPA. Preparing taxes? Is that what I have to do if I love numbers? I also loved being with people and having big conversations about growth and relationships. So I started to fantasize.
Lesson #1: When you’re stuck in a place or a habit or a state of mind, fantasy is the way out.
Out in the world, there was a positive conversation women could be having around money, that wasn’t happening. Instead, there was disparaging chatter that we didn’t know how to balance our checkbooks, or that we spend money irresponsibly. More alarming than the chit chat was the realization that it held some truth. College women were signing up for credit cards and getting into debt, myself included. We didn’t pay attention to how much things cost, or whether we had enough income to cover them.
I got excited. I could help! I zeroed in on my agility with numbers and my love of working with people and defined my own field. I decided to investigate people’s financial chaos, and counsel them to create financial clarity. I would help them to feel more empowered to make better decisions with their money, whether that was to get out of debt, or to get a handle on their monthly cash flow.
Enjoying myself outlandishly, I fantasized again about reaching thousands more women than I could reach one-on-one, and eventually, Green Sherpa was born, an online money management advice tool.
Lesson #2: Make an exercise of defining what you love and then dreaming it.
Maybe your fantasy is as simple as to get a job. Or to quit your job and to go back to baking. Maybe your fantasy seems absolutely unreasonable and silly to imagine. But wait! Fantasy opens doors. We can’t be creative if we’re living in fear of the creative process. If you gave yourself a moment to sneak in your unreasonable dreams, what would they look like? How would they sound? How would they affect your cash flow?
Lesson #3: Even when you’re not stuck, fantasy makes you grow.
I love my job, but when I was a kid, I wanted to be a professional tennis player. Recently I began to wonder, what if I still wanted that—today, at age thirty-something, to become a professional tennis player? I made a practice of imagining what that would be like, how fulfilling it would be. I found a great book on a playing professionally, and before long, a friend got in touch and asked if I wanted to join the local circuit. I’m not a professional tennis player. But if I hadn’t started toying with what seemed unrealistic, just for the fun of it, I never would have created that opening in my life, to re-engage in tennis on this level.
The assumption is that you can let your fantasy drive your reality. Want to make better money? Live your dream job every day? Play professional tennis at the age of 50? Get in touch with those ultra fantasies. Go for them like you believe they can occur. Then notice what starts to happen after a week. A month. Which fantasy will be the beginning of your next opportunity?
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