Day 7: The Free Spirit vs The Nerd

Where I rather be.

Where I rather be.

When I was over 30k in debt several years ago, I didn’t know the first thing about managing money. All I knew was that I didn’t like the feeling of being out of control. One day I was aimlessly browsing the shelves at my library and found “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. This book was the gateway drug to my now full blown self-help addiction. I read it in a day and signed up for his live course. The course was a 9-week program that met up in a random church. Everyone in the course was in debt and it really felt like we were all in AA together. We would scream and clap if someone cut their credit cards in front of us. LOLZ. That class was so weird, but I loved it.

We were also tasked to take a personality quiz to figure out if you were a “free spirit” or a “nerd”. I got free spirit by 90%. The free spirit did not want to think about money, wanted to have fun, enjoy life, live in the moment! Yes, that’s 90% me. With this knowledge, I had to learn to cultivate the inner nerd in me. The one who found joy in making a budget. Who reserved resources so that they could have fun later. It sucked. But within 2 years, I had paid off all my student loans and now I think I converted to be 75% nerd when it comes to money. I know because I get very excited every time I open my budgeting software now, go YNAB!

Fast forward to my month of dread, I mean my month of business.

I went to a business development workshop with Dr. Michael Hartley this week. I was extremely resistant to going because who wants to sit around and listen to a dude talk about ROIs and CRMs through the pipeline onto a deck to close a deal? I don’t know what any of these acronyms mean! But Allegra, a fabulous dog trainer, business owner, and fellow experimenter invited me along so I forced myself to go.

Dr. Hartley asked very straightforward questions, like “How many clients reach out to you in a month, a week, a year?” No idea. “What about clients you close?” hmm? “What is your referral process?” “What about your marketing strategy?” By the end I felt like he was screaming in his head “HOW DO YOU EVEN OWN A BUSINESS!?” But probably not, because he was really awesome, that’s what I was screaming in my head.

At that moment a flashback from my money workshop came to me with an obvious ah ha moment; Damn it, I’m a free spirit in business! I don’t want to be a total downer on myself because being this way is obvy so fun and my business is actually growing every year. But there really is a dark side to being so floaty. Not knowing your numbers actually adds more stress and less freedom. It also leaves you at the whim of chance and you don’t have total control over all of your hard work. I know it’s true because I’m a recovering free spirit of the financial realm and the sweet nectar of nerdsville tastes so bland but so healthy! Sigh. Farewell free spirit, it’s time for a change. I will see you outside of work hours where we can party and play foreverz. LYLAS.