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Entrepreneurial Poverty


I will never forget the day that I had to put my beloved horse, Norman, on a trailer to send him away as I couldn’t afford to keep him with all the health implications he was having. I led him into the trailer, tied him up and quickly got out. He turned his head to look at me as if to ask me, “why”? And I shattered into a million pieces.  

The drive home for me was not a pretty one. With mascara bleeding down my face I promised myself it was time to face my issues with money and the lack of value I carried around with me like a box of rocks I was forever burdened with.  I will always remember questioning how other people were making it work who were charging so much less than me.  Little did I know there were a lot of hidden truths about business and life that I was completely unaware of.

“They” often say that you feel compelled to teach/be an advocate for, areas of your own life that have been the most challenging. Overcoming what Mike Michalowicz has termed, “Entrepreneurial Poverty” – entrepreneurs living at poverty level financial conditions to keep the dream alive/feed the “beast”, that is the business, has been one of the greatest challenges of my life.  Helping other entrepreneurs, especially women in business, to truly identify their issues with value and their relationship to money in general, has become a leading passion of mine.

Many entrepreneurs don’t feel the effects of entrepreneurial poverty as they have another source of income (be it another job, a partner, a family member, investments etc) keeping them in a state of complete unawareness or avoidance.  

Factors like hearing a friend or neighbour call someone “too expensive” sends many people, women especially, into a further state of unaware poverty – to remain liked, to be spoken well of when we are not in the room, to be a giver and not a taker, are root cause issues holding many back from charging enough to even keep the lights on.

It is often a slow and painful realization as arguments around the dinner table about money, or the latest purchases start to arise. Or life changes, someone loses a job or takes a pay cut, has health implications, your horse has to be taken away etc, and suddenly the business is called on to provide and there was nothing there to begin with. It’s painful, unsettling, uncomfortable, and digs into the roots of lifelong, often unconsciously learned behaviours.

Image by Jordan Voth

Are you relating to anything above? The good news is that entrepreneurial poverty is fixable. It won’t happen overnight, it will be a slow and unravelling process as you learn what behaviours and stories have been getting in your way as well as the true value of the services/products you deliver – I still deal with a lot of these deep roots that pull me back under but the real key to change is AWARENESS.  Be aware of what the reactions happening inside you and from there is where we start the work.

Each month I hope to provide you with more insight in this area but a piece of advice I can give you now that a mentor of mine once gave me – start a study of wealth. Become so comfortable with talking about money that it becomes an element in your life just like nutrition or exercise – it’s combatted daily, and respected for the health of your life and relationships.  

PS. Norman found his way home to my family. It’s funny how life will sometimes reward you once the lesson has been learned. 

Here are two books I highly recommend to start your study of value and wealth, happy reading! 

 “Profit First” – Mike Michalowicz

“Think and Grow Rich for Women” – Sharon Lechter, Authorized by the Napoleon Hill Foundation

Entrepreneurial Poverty

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Meet Emily

I’m a small-town girl with big dreams and a passion for empowering women to create businesses that support the life they deserve. Pursuing your calling should never be an isolating endeavor, so I’m here to provide you with all the encouragement, guidance, tools and reassurance you desire on your path to success. From impactful biz tips and inspiring stories of success to favourite sweats to rock in the home office, I’m grateful for this SHE community, and invite you to join us!