The fear of investing in your business is a common form of resistance that comes up for entrepreneurs. The idea of spending money to grow your business, develop a new skill, or uplevel your systems can be highly triggering.
In this post, I’ll delve into the different ways that we experience this fear, what it really represents, and how you can begin to move beyond it.
What does the fear of investing in your business really represent?
Essentially, if you’re a spiritual entrepreneur, your business is an extension of yourself.
So, your business = yourself.
The fear of investing in your business represents the fear of investing in yourself.
This can include a bunch of related fears:
- the fear of putting yourself first
- the fear of drawing a boundary (by speaking up and saying, “this is my money – I will decide how to spend it”)
- the fear of being perceived as selfish or irresponsible
- the fear of allowing yourself to have what you want
- the fear of how others will respond to your investment in yourself
- the fear that you’re not good enough and that your investment will go to waste (cause you won’t be able to properly implement the new skill or tool you’re learning)
- the fear that you’ll make a mistake
- the fear of scarcity (i.e., the idea that if you spend this money now, you will “lose” it forever)
- the fear that you’re NOT WORTH IT (this is a big one!)
As this list of fears illustrates, many of these are wrapped up in issues of self-worth, self-confidence, and your belief in yourself.
If you don’t believe that you’re a competent, resourceful, and abundant being, then investing in yourself can feel extremely uncomfortable.
It’s also important to be mindful of how others’ mindset and perceptions can influence your decision-making when it comes to your business.
Are you surrounded by people who operate from a scarcity mindset? Or people who were taught that they must work a 9-to-5 job for 30 years, save up as much as they can, and then retire? Or people who find it difficult to put themselves first and allow themselves to have what they want? If so, you want to be careful about internalizing these people’s belief systems and allowing those beliefs to stop you.
Journaling prompts to work through the fear
Journaling is such a powerful tool to explore, understand, and move through the fear of investing in your business (or any other fear that comes up on your entrepreneurial journey!).
I’ve put together a few journaling prompts to help you do this.
Feel free to answer all of these or just the ones that most resonate with you. As a caveat, though: if a question on this list makes you feel uncomfortable, I invite you to explore that question FIRST. Discomfort often indicates that there’s an important insight trying to break through the surface.
- What does the fear of investing in my business represent for me? What issues, patterns, or old wounds are coming to the surface? (i.e., the pattern of putting yourself last or never spending money on yourself or avoiding risk, or perhaps an old wound related to your self-worth and the messaging about money you received growing up)
- Do I allow myself to have what I really want? Do I allow myself to dream BIG and honor my desire for expansion and abundance?
- Where am I judging myself about this potential investment? Am I labeling myself as “selfish” or “greedy” or “irresponsible”? Are those labels really true?
- Whose beliefs or story are fueling my fear? Am I replicating the fear or scarcity mindset of my mother/father/sister/friend/spouse/etc.?
- Who do I believe will be upset or offended if I invest in my business? (Typically, the first person that comes to mind is the right answer!) How can I be ok with them being upset or offended, since their response to my behavior is NOT my business?
- What am I trying to accomplish through this investment? (i.e., is the investment about learning a new skill or tool, getting certified in a new modality, redesigning your website, working with a coach, etc?)
- What will I GAIN by investing in this now? (things you might gain: a certification, a new skill or tool, working with a coach to resolve an issue, learning how to get more clients, etc)
- What will I LOSE if I don’t invest in this now? (things you might lose: time, the opportunity to develop a new skill, the opportunity to resolve a long-standing issue, the money you would have earned by attracting more clients, etc)
- What does my Higher Self have to say about me investing in myself?
Working through some – or all! – of these questions will give you a clearer picture of where the fear is coming from and how to move through it.
Of course, when it comes to investing in your business, you must also consider a set of practical questions.
As a risk-averse person, I’m not a proponent of going into debt to invest in yourself (unless it feels extremely aligned and you don’t have any issues with it). I believe it’s important to consider questions like:
- Do I have the resources to invest in this? If not, can I save up intentionally until I do?
- What tools, skills, modality, or approach will investing in this help me learn?
- What old pattern or issue will be resolved as a result of investing in this?
- Does this program, course, product, or service feel fully aligned with me and my goals?
- Do I have any questions about the program, course, product, or service that I can ask before making a decision?
- Is my desire to invest in this coming from a place of alignment and synchronicity, or am I driven by “shoulds” and external pressure? (i.e., “you SHOULD take an online business course to be successful in business”)
When the ACT of investing matters most
If you’ve experienced a pattern of always putting yourself last, not spending any money on yourself, feeling guilty when you do spend money on yourself, or operating from a place of scarcity, then the very act of investing is really important.
Even more important than what you’re investing in.
Let me go deeper into this with a personal story.
When I first started my spiritual business a few years ago, the idea of investing money into it terrified me.
I was hounded internally by questions like:
What if I don’t make that money back? What if that money is lost forever? What if I don’t have what it takes to make that investment count?
The very idea of having to “spend money to make money” (as they say) seemed backwards to me. Shouldn’t I wait until I had a client base and a steady source of income to invest in myself??
So I struggled and worked my ass off for six months, doing everything I thought I “should” do to grow a business.
I took out an expensive – and tiny – ad in a local holistic magazine (one of my first mistakes, but it taught me never to do that again!).
I created my own (amateur) website where I mostly talked about myself, cause I hadn’t yet learned that my website had to speak directly to my ideal client and tell compelling stories that would resonate with that client. (I learned this later by investing in business coaching and marketing courses.)
I got barely any clients for those first six months — maybe one or two per month.
At the end of those six months, I realized that something needed to change. I had to confront the REALITY that I didn’t have the necessary tools, confidence, or clarity to grow my business.
The frustration of where I was eventually became BIGGER than the fear of investing in myself.
I also realized that I didn’t want to build my business alone, in a vacuum. It felt really lonely and isolating.
So I made the decision, finally, that investing in myself would be worth it. That I was worth it. (My husband Garrett gave me lots of pep talks and encouragement during this time – thank God for him!)
I invested in my first online business program with a well-known teacher in the Tarot world, and I got a LOT out of it. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
Here’s how investing in that program helped me:
- it made me get serious about my business, because investing thousands of dollars isn’t something I took lightly – so I made sure to make it count by doing ALL the homework, showing up, pushing through my resistance, asking questions, and trying new things
- it made me FEEL like a real entrepreneur who took herself seriously
- it helped me develop self-respect, self-worth, and self-confidence
- it helped me develop a real business model and vision (including my first “ideal client avatar”!)
- it taught me practical tools and skills that I could apply to grow my business (I still use some of them)
- it made me realize that I could make that money back fairly quickly by implementing everything I learned
- it helped me dissolve the pattern of never investing in myself and never taking a risk
As I type out this list, I know that there are many other things I could add to it.
But the most important thing is that investing in that program was a powerful pattern-interrupt for me, opening the door to expansion, abundance, and the ability to make choices from an intentional place instead of a place of fear.
Since then, I’ve continually invested in my business. I take at least 2 courses per year and work with a coach or mentor consistently.
And I’ve noticed a new pattern: whenever I make the decision to invest in my business from an aligned place, I experience massive breakthroughs and upleveling.
So, all of this to say:
Dear friend, I’ve been where you are. I know how scary it can feel to invest in your business, which means investing in yourself.
But what will you lose by NOT investing in yourself, by playing small, by not believing in your talents and resourcefulness? What’s the cost of that, in the short-term and the long-term?
Please let me know in the comments below if this post resonated with you or if you want to share any stories or questions about investing in yourself. I’d love to continue the conversation!
Josephine Hardman, PhD is an intuitive healer and business coach for spiritual entrepreneurs. If you’re ready to develop greater confidence in your gifts and attract more of your soulmate clients without stress or burn out, you can schedule a free discovery call.