What's one of the top discussions in the startup world? Money. The lack of it, access to it, and the future potential for it.

Honestly? Investment money is not difficult to access at all. When a great idea is developed by a smart, ambitious team or individual and the timing is right, interested investors are plentiful. But one major issue that very few people consider when developing their plan is the founder's relationship with money. There are two sides to this relationship: how you handle money and what you think and believe about money.

Investors certainly look for patterns of fiscal responsibility in their future partners, that's just good practice. But what few entrepreneurs consider is that a savvy investor considers the founder's emotional patterns. If a venture capitalist detects that your emotions may hijack a money decision, they will walk the other way.

As an entrepreneur, it's likely that your emotions are inextricably entwined with money. You feel excited, confident, and joyful when cash is flowing. Conversely, you may experience fear and fall into a pattern of negativity when it is not.

How to identify your relationship with money.

A positive money mindset.

  • If you have a positive money mindset, you see the possibilities instead of limitations. You know you will get out of debt, rather than worry how you'll do it.
  • You accept that even small steps make a difference and get you closer to your financial goals.
  • You do not view those who are more prosperous than you as greedy.
  • And most significantly, you don't experience negative emotions, such as jealousy or resentment, when you have the occasion to experience others' wealth.

A negative money mindset.

What's your perception of wealthy people? If you resent them or cast them into a negative stereotype, it will damage your relationship with money. Who wants to accumulate wealth if it is going to turn them into a stereotypical snob? Your subconscious mind will do all it can to block your access to the fortune that you dream about.

Those who have a rocky relationship with money have the tendency to think and act from a place of lack. The old adage that money doesn't grow on trees describes how you think and act when dealing with your finances. There will never be enough.

How to develop a balanced, healthy relationship with money.

Change how you think and talk about money.

Words and thoughts have power, so choose them wisely. If you fall into thought patterns like these, do your best to turn them around by selecting more expansive thoughts.

  • I work so hard and I can't ever make ends meet.
  • I'll never be able to afford a vacation.
  • I'll take what I can get for this project, even if it's not my full rate.
  • Why do I constantly have to struggle? It's the story of my life!
  • There's always just enough. That's it, that's my limit--I will never have more than just barely enough money.

Appreciate your current wealth.

Learn to place more emphasis on what you do have, rather than what's missing. This will improve your mood and attitude. As your energy lifts, you will attract more of the good stuff, including money.

I'm pretty certain that Dave Ramsey would disagree with me on this one, but I believe it's important to occasionally treat yourself to things that make you feel wealthy. While it's never wise to repeatedly splurge on things that may be slightly out of reach, doing so every now and again helps to align us with wealth in a way that makes it feel real and present. The trick here is to do it without remorse and guilt.

Once you believe in your wealth, whether it's currently present or not, your actions and attitude will reflect your mindset. When my clients make this shift, wonderful things happen; clients appear out of nowhere, people pay more, and investors take an interest. Because when you believe you're worth more, you are.