11 Creative Ways to Source More Money for a Happy, if Hectic, Holiday Season

With the holiday season barreling toward us, it’s easy to be trapped in the land of not enough. Instead, make clever choices that help you source the money for happy holidays.

Not enough money. Not enough resources. Not enough clients. Not enough… well, you get the picture. Sadly, what we focus on, grows, and so the not enough-ness becomes magnified, especially during the hectic holiday season.

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Even the Nutcracker might grind his teeth when he figures out Clara is worried about the number of nuts in her bank box. It’s like everything in the imaginary land of fear and money: we paste on a smile even as we cringe. The thought of travel expenses, gift-giving, and specialty menus threaten to destroy our budgets and fragile sense of self-worth.

Forget pictures of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Like misfit toys, we’re focused on worry. Not to say the problems with the economy are imaginary. Like all things government, the recent election has far-reaching implications on the mindset of everyone who spends and earns.

Comfort and joy? Bah, humbug. It’s as obvious as the midnight clear that present uncertainties suggest the wisdom of hoarding resources. Lack is on lots of minds. In actuality, hoarding money or dwelling on what one does not have makes it well nigh impossible to feel one iota of gratitude – or to create more of what you need.

If you don’t believe me, ask the Grinch. He’ll be around in a week or two for his annual visit.

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Hope Is Headed Your Way

Really, it’s time to call in a higher level of consciousness around our holiday experience, and around money. I’m calling in hope.

Hope is needed to save the holiday season.  Together, you and I are going to change our thinking about the way we can source abundantly throughout the holiday season. No lumps of coal in our stockings. In a non-literal sense, we’re holding space for silver and gold and presents under every single tree.

So please accept this holiday present from me to you, offered in love and trust and from a place of delight that’s merry and bright. You’ll be surprised how many monetary resources you actually have lying around. I know I am, every time I try this tactic to create that teeny bit of extra cash for special treats.

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Here is my faithful list of 11 tried and true ways to immediately create more money and positive energy all around during the holiday season (none of which require credit cards):

  1. Collect all the change from around your house. Then, take it to the bank and turn it into cash so you can carry it in your wallet and immediately feel richer.
  2. Take an inventory of all your unused gift cards. Those go in your wallet, too, along with my urging to go out and use them immediately to do something nice for yourself or someone you love.
  3. Take a look at your subscriptions and memberships. Is there anything there you can let go? Honestly, I find all those perfect women pictured in magazines with their perfect kids and immaculate homes a bit depressing, anyway.
  4. Close out unused accounts, and consolidate the money into one place. Often, bank or credit union accounts require a minimum balance, so those little chunks of money could add up.
  5. Collect outstanding loans from family and friends. This tactic feels a bit weird, but when you’ve addressed the matter, you’ll find you feel much better about breaking bread across from them at Grandma’s house.
  6. Sell things you no matter want or need. Craigslist, ebay, the classifieds, or an interested friend may help you clear space and source the resources you desire.
  7. Clip coupons for everything from gifts to groceries. If you don’t know this already, your favorite retailers often send great coupon deals in their email communications. It’s not unusual to get 50 percent off the already marked 50% off rack. So that $100 gift just magically became… $25.
  8. Cut out unnecessary expenditures. I confess, I’ve got a serious coffee habit. On busy days when I’m networking or meeting colleagues for work sessions, I can spend $30 easily on caffeinated beverages – and repeat the spending patter regularly. If I were my client, I’d suggest making this an exception, not a rule. So I’m cutting back on the café au lait, making a good pot of coffee at home, and socking those dollars into my bank account.
  9. Use buy now, pay later options. These types of options, popularized by PayPal, allow you to defer payment on gift items for up to 90 days. This tactic works great if you budget appropriately and pay on time.
  10. Take out a small signature loan. If you pay a small loan back over time, you can actually build your credit and get yourself out of a tight spot. A caution: don’t try this one if you’re out of work, or if your expenses always exceed your income.
  11. Don’t barter. Ask people to pay in cash so that you can source what you need from your own expenditures of energy.

May you enjoy an abundantly blessed holiday, and may you source more than you need.

Sherri L. McLendon, M.A., is owner-founder and managing director of Professional Moneta International, LLC, a marketing public relations consultancy. She also coaches feminine leaders who cultivate an abundance mindset when marketing their businesses at http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

An earlier version of this updated article appeared in WNC Woman Magazine.

Conscious Reciprocity in Principle & Action: Release to Receive

When offering our clients a gift of our making, whether paid or free, our goals are often framed in terms of “engagement” and “return on investment.” Given such parameters, it’s often easy to think of the marketing around that offer from the old, projective “masculine” view of marketing. If a conscious, holistic entrepreneurial woman forgets the sacred, divine feminine role of reciprocity in a fair transaction, she may find her objectives falling short, and her vision obscured.

In the emergent, receptive “feminine” view of marketing, we need an understanding of the cycle of related reciprocity – and ways we can actively initiate and activate this cycle to increase prosperity and abundance. The Principle of Reciprocity allows us to see giving to others as a gift we give ourselves.

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The Principle of Reciprocity allows us to see giving to others as a gift we give ourselves. 

One of the best discussions of reciprocity related to women, work. and money I’ve ever encountered is in a 1980s essay from the book Woman, Earth, and Spirit, by Helen Luke. She describes the feminine aspect of the flow of money as “free giving and free taking” in equal proportions. She writes: “In every money exchange, we both earn and pay, pay and earn, then our earning and paying become the free giving and free taking whereby whereby money enters the ‘temple’ once more…in the pure gold of the human heart.”

Heart-centered business leaders know that in order to give and take freely, ulterior motives and manipulation have no place in our exchange with our clients. We know to communicate authentically and honestly from our core essence and values. We know we must come from a sincere place of service, and offer an experience of transformation. We know that the body is a metaphor for the ‘temple’ of yore, and that the natural relationship model at the cellular level is one of reciprocal exchange. We draw our strength from this knowing – or, as the goddess Moneta would remind us, this re-membering.

Once we remember the feminine Principle of Reciprocity, we must determine how best to initiate and continue to activate our intention to increase the level at which we receive. The most direct way to engage these energies of reciprocity is to engage in Conscious Acts of Releasing.

The act of releasing makes new room to grow. Think of removing clutter from one’s house, money clutter from one’s financial life, or relationship clutter. Where there is clutter, there is inequity in the cycle of give and take. The removal of clutter in our mundane world frees up a lot of energy, increases flow and reciprocity, and creates space for the growth we desire to occur.

To increase abundance sustainably, it helps to re-member that when we release something not in alignment with our soul’s purpose, it also clears space for us to create abundance in our lives in the forms of increased happiness, love and joy. When we
re-member that money is a symbol for the divine flow of these qualities in our
lives, it becomes possible to increase our potential for manifestation by releasing those things we cling to not in service to our potentiality. When we re-member that what we focus on, grows, we release the outmoded, survival level ideas about denial and self-sacrifice as a source of strength we carry from the old paradigm, and instead receive permission from ourselves to answer our heart’s calling.

In the book Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests human be-ings release three things in order to follow a path of love and compassion, peace and joy: cravings, anger, and suffering. These guidelines may provide useful ways for individuals to identify their readiness to release those things which no longer serve their vision for the future.

1. Release cravings – what do you crave to fill an area of lack in your life?

Do you crave food? Alcohol? Things? We are told to “Look into the nature of what you think will bring you happiness and see if it is…causing you love to suffer.” Instead, we’re encouraged to move attention to the present moment and “the wonders of life available right now.” Paying attention to our physical existence allows us to fully experience the bounty life has to offer.

2. Release anger – What makes you angry?

Is it a situation? An inconsiderate boss or partner? The need to release a vengeance or vendetta? Punishing the other person usually just makes the situation worse. Instead, why not follow the advice of The Buddha and “send her a gift. Instead of punishing the person, offer him exactly what he needs. The practice of giving can bring you to the shore of well-being rather quickly.” Shifting from judgment to discernment enables us to be of service to the other person, instead of forcing them into a position of servitude.

3. Release suffering – instead, seek understanding.

A simple exercise to increase understanding is the antidote to suffering. “Focus your concentrated attention on one object, look deeply into it, and you’ll have insight and understanding. When you offer others understanding, they will stop suffering right away.” When we go deeply into our own truth, we are able to truly be of service to others and have something of inherent value to offer.

Sherri L. McLendon, MA, is a presence based marketing public relations pro, conscious business coach, and lead content strategist with Professional Moneta International, http://www.professionalmoneta.com.

(c) 2011, 2017 by Sherri L. McLendon, all rights reserved. Reprint with permission.

Two Masters on Reciprocity: Christ & The Buddha

As spirit-rich entrepreneurs, we already understand a heart-centered gift serves and empowers others through consciousness and love. That is, the offer is made with awareness and a genuine desire to be of service. The divine masculine masters, Christ and the Buddha, each reflect on the reciprocal nature relationship between individuals giving and receiving to one another.

Christ, or Jesus/Yeshua, spoke of the the universal debt of reciprocity in a system of giving in this oft-quoted phrase: “Owe no man anything but to love one another.” In business, often seen as a cycle of debt and repayment, we symbolically incur this debt with our clients, and symbolically pay it in every exchange. (Luke, Helen, Woman, Earth, and Spirit, 92). Love, then, from this perspective, becomes an ebb and flow of every transaction, personal and professional. The object of heart-centered exchange becomes the loving reciprocity between giver and receiver, not the money itself. The money is simply a symbol of the exchange, not the object of the transaction.

There’s one truth in particular that must be part of any loving exchange with our clients, and The Buddha speaks into the importance of our essence, or our true
presence, in interpersonal transactions.

He says, “The greatest gift we can offer anyone is our true presence. Our true presence is our essence. If you love someone, you have to produce your true presence for him or her, you share your essential being. When you gift that gift, you receive at the same time the gift of joy.”

Joy indicates we are in the presence of what we wish to receive. That means that our gifts to others needs to honor and acknowledge their worth. It is through the offer from our essence that we create joy for others, and open the pathway to our hearts so that we can receive it for ourselves.

Your Takeaway

Make decisions from a place of love and desire to be of service.

In the past, I’ve personally heard six figure marketing mentors Elizabeth Purvis and Kendall Summerhawk speak directly to the struggles women have with assigning value and creating reciprocity. For example, lot of women struggle with putting too much information in their offers, thinking it creates value. In coaching sessions, they – may – like me – run over on time commitments repeatedly. And what we need to come to  understand is that if we overgive, it’s usually out of a feeling of lack and fear of not-enough, as opposed to the love of abundant exchange.

Giving from a fear of lack instead of a love of abundant exchange stands to devalue the relationship between coach and client, mentor and mentee, merchant and purchaser, practitioner and client. That’s because it throws reciprocity off balance, which in turn, creates boundary issues. It’s not about information, and we’re no longer in an “Information Age.” We’ve entered the era of “Experience Economy,” and value is no longer measured in terms of dollars for hours, services rendered, or volume of goods.

We find that today, as in earlier times, spirit-rich individuals find value and wealth lies in the free flow of money as love between the spiritual realm and the material realm. The real value in every transaction lies with the loving transformation that becomes possible for the other person as a result of any exchange.

So the final decision is what to leave out of the package to leave room for movement to occur, not what to put in.

The concept & substance of FREE: gifts and offers

Gifting is an old, somewhat troubled concept.

When we look backward in time, we can gather clues to its problematic origins and nature. In its earliest incarnation, we find the word gift within the prehistoric Germanic root word, geb, the source from which English gets the verb, to give.
When the word finds its way into Old English, it means ‘bride price,’ a
usage which wanes in the Middle Ages, to be replaced by the similar word gift from Old Norse, possibly delivered to Brittania’s shores by conquering Vikings. And though today, the word gift generally has a positive connotation in modern English, a consideration of hundreds of possible synonyms and antonyms suggest a history of giving which moves from that which is freely given, to that which is required as payment for being conquered, subscripted, indentured, or ceded. In modern German, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch, the same word negatively connotes poison. So when I say that Gifting, in its most elegant form, is a source for the creation of abundance, we are talking about gifting as a form of blessing
we bestow upon one other freely. This type of gift is more consistent with the concept of an “offering.” Here’s what I mean.

The concept of offering comes to us from early Christian Rome, and came into old English meaning to offer up a sacrifice, something made holy by the act of giving. Not coincidentally, sacrifice and sacrum have the same root word, a reference to a time in ancient Greece when the bottom section of the spine, was used in sacrificial
ceremonies.  Most of us are aware that the sacral chakra is the seat of abundance, where we move from survive into thrive (usually associated with the second chakra), it’s where we feel supported in our mission and vision.

When we make a gift to our community, we are essentially crafting a sacred offering. We draw energetically from our own deep-seated abundance. The act of the offering becomes the energizing spark of a sacred relationship with another.

Andrea Adler notes the connection between a “free taste” as a gift to our ideal clients through our business and an offering. She writes:

“Find something that has value in your business that you know your audience will appreciate and give it away. Don’t worry about your initial investment, it will come back to you tenfold. Just remember, the offering from your inventory… must have enough substance and integrity to be worth stepping forward and giving away in the first place.” (emphasis mine, The Science of Spiritual Marketing).

In other words, the thing given away must not only have monetary value, it must be valued over and above any price placed upon it. A well-placed offer honors the recipient, and reflects the “substance and integrity” of the giver. The offer is not a bribe, does not guarantee the recipient will do what you wish. Instead, the offer must be freely given, from the heart, no strings attached.

Then, and only then, your heart has the space to open to receive.