152: Money Mindset and How to Work Smart


Welcome friends to Episode #152 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. When you come into the stage in life where you search for financial independence and autonomy, you want to consider how money mindset and work ethic are part of the equation. It’s important for you to start to consider what limiting beliefs and factors are present in your life that keep you from having a better relationship with money and your work. Whether you come from an immigrant family or one where you’ve been established, certain beliefs and mindset are shared and passed down. Today we’re going to dive into the idea of money mindset and how to work smart.

All of us come from different backgrounds and circumstances. Many beliefs start from that place. If you have money, you’ll have more money. If you know people, they’ll help you get more opportunities. These are beliefs and we’ve also seen them play out in real life. 

Yet, you remember that there may have been a point where people didn’t have the money and didn’t know the people. Who was the first person that didn’t have the money? What did they do then? 

They broke the model that was given to them and created new mental models. They asked questions about how to have more money or meet more people. How to establish financial independence to have their basic needs met. Over time, generational wealth was created as each generation added a little more. 

We forget when we compare ourselves and our lives to other people that there were different circumstances and starting points. As someone who came from an immigrant family, I benefited from my parents and their parents’ hard work and luck. My parents paid for my education, which allowed me to have more money. Yet, we all know the stories where people have money and opportunities, but they don’t seem to make the most of their lives. They feel stressed and frustrated and lack a sense of purpose or fulfillment.

Yet, the ones that do take advantage of the opportunities are the same ones that can leverage whatever they do have and make the most of it. The immigrant mentality taught me about hard work but it was up to me to execute and actually do the work. My work ethic was my calling card and the reason for my success for the things I’m most proud of in life – including my relationships. I’ve seen how often the attitude of giving up doesn’t benefit us – we can change direction and act more intelligently, but I have a persevering, fighter’s attitude.

I actually realized that I have so much more to give within me when I played sports and did work. This served me well for much of my life, yet when I got into increasingly intense work and jobs where if I wanted to, I could work forever – the demands began to outstrip my capacity. Work ethic and intelligence can only go so far before you burnout because you don’t have the rituals, routines and energy management practices to support a more demanding lifestyle.

After getting sick frequently, I knew I didn’t want that life anymore but there was this feeling of the golden handcuffs. Seeing that I could do more and have progression in my career, but I knew something that saved me. I didn’t want to burn out constantly. The symptoms in my body were reflecting work that had to be done in my mind.

When I took my work ethic and coupled it with stress and frustration – and this was a deadly combination in an unhealthy way. If I were to redo my burn out periods all over again, I wouldn’t have worked much less – I would have had more perspective. I would have stressed less. I wouldn’t have tried to carry everything on my own shoulders and try to be the only person to solve the problem.


I would have focused more on leveraging what I had and who I knew. This is working smart. Most of us think that we need to trade time for money, but what we’re really trading is results for money. 

When we focus on results, we think about leverage and time differently. We think about hard work differently. The focus becomes on the objective and intention – not just how much you can pour into it. You ask better questions about what’s the most effective way and efficient way to do this. You think about the long-term results and the implications on relationships you have. Your professional and personal relationships will help you go further faster than you realize. They will support you more than you realize. 

Social isolation creates additional stress so this is another vantage point from which you can leverage and stop burning so much of your own energy. Find the places where you can land and be supported. You exit situations where you know you’re set up to fail and create new opportunities.

We may not know all these things as we start our careers as burnout or work ethic can be tied to a requirement for success. It is a critical component of success, but if we need to play the long game – we need it to be sustainable. You might work hard, and then rest but there is a need for you to continue on for as long as you can, especially if this work is really important to you. If you really need to make more money, you’ll have to be able to weather the storms and be able to continue.

It’s easy to work the plan and schedule when you have all the great results pouring in. Yet, what happens when you have rejection after rejection – or failure after failure? The struggle and managing of people and moving parts. You need to take care of yourself through all of it. When I see achievers that feel burned out and disillusioned, one of the number one factors is the feeling that they’re not supported.

Money mindset is really about seeing how supportive and supported you are in life. Do you feel that life is a gift and there are so many opportunities in front of you? Even if you had no money, do you honor what you have and feel gratitude for every small thing? Whether we have a lot or a little money, it’s all a relative perspective. What we know for sure is that humans don’t realize that money isn’t tied to happiness, but it is up to a certain amount of money – which is $75000. Obviously, this isn’t exact for every person but often we think we’re going to be really happy and fulfilled when we make a certain amount of money or have a certain amount of security, but we aren’t. We find new and different ways to want more. We start taking things for granted. We start to diminish what we do have. This is our human psyche and our awareness of this will help us have a healthier money mindset.

If we also consider why money mindset is related to working, we want to understand what work is required and we think about work. Everything we have in life is ever-changing, including our definition of success. How much do you want to work and for what reason? When we don’t know those things, it’s hard for us to ever feel fulfilled and that we have enough money. Even if you want to make more money, you’re not wasting the money you currently have because you’re so grateful for it and the work you do have. I walked down the street the other day and fully felt in my body how grateful I was to have the work I have, the business I have and be paid for this work. 

I don’t take it for granted, but it is active work to not take things for granted. This is a long-term approach. There is work that’s required to start new things, to invest and see your income drop or your savings dip. It’s not always easy to keep going despite that and find new and better ways to be profitable and keep money flowing in. What’s required of you to keep a healthy money mindset even when things don’t look the way you want and you’re working overtime is going to be very different if you think about the long-term versus the short-term.

Long-term thinking

When I started asking that question of what I’m doing for the long-term versus the short-term, it changed everything. It changed how I thought about running and my physical health. It changed how I think about my work and the ebbs and flows of the economy, companies I work with, the clients I have. It changed how I think about my network and social circles. It changed how I thought about my investments and how I make money. It’s all so dependent on your thinking and the mindset isn’t questioned often enough.

If we realized that we don’t actually need a lot more money to be happy, what would it actually be that makes us happy? What would be the real reason you make money and spend money? What would be the reason that you work? 

Go there, to those things and you’ll find yourself with a healthier sense of financial security because you know how to create it for yourself, no matter the circumstances. Even if you have a bigger hill to climb, you know that you’re in it for the long haul and you’re willing to do the work. What will keep you going is how you think about money, support and what working smarter means to you. 

This is so individual yet there are a lot of commonalities that we can learn from. I teach all of this in Spiritual Achiever™ coaching. How do we make money, do what matters most and figure out how to do it more intelligently and with a greater sense of purpose and exploration? To deeply live our lives and not waste another moment wishing we were somewhere else or someone else.

You can schedule a consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact  to learn more about working together and joining this community of like-minded, open and curious seekers. It is the powerful group and private coaching hybrid experience for achievers who want to expand their vision of what’s possible. 12 months of support, individualized guidance, community and retreats. We will help you build your confidence, trust your intuition and make decisions that you love.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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