The Corey Story

My random wanderings and things I find entertaining

The Money Knot – What If It Really Isn’t About The Money?

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 12, 2010

Our next teleclass is about our Money Trap Doors. This is a phrase I have coined for those money related beliefs that seem to magically open up beneath our feet, causing us to fall away. There are many of them. Some we have created for ourselves, others are cultural. There is one in particular that I thought deserved some extra special, individual attention, sort of like the kid that is acting out in school.

Let’s call this one Masquerading as Money. Let me give you a couple of examples and see if you can recognize it for yourself. A while back, I had a call with an attorney. He was seriously considering further discounting his fees based on an interaction he had with a potential client. He said he already was charging less than the going rate, and had made sure that the potential client knew that. The client had committed to work with him on some family oriented legal work that the attorney specialized in. The next morning the client called and canceled, saying that her brother had decided they should go with their general family attorney. Our attorney asked if money was a factor, and the potential client said yes, but it was mostly about using the family attorney. Our attorney felt this was a signal to further lower his fees. I felt it was much more about that the family was nervous about an unknown, and wanted to go with the person they knew and trusted, even if it wasn’t their specialty. Both our attorney and the client tried to make it about money, but I just don’t think so.

It’s true that money is part of the decision, but it’s not all of it. Perhaps a great way to identify this Money Trap Door is to ask this question:

“If this issue wasn’t about money, would the result still be the same?”

To be even clearer, if we took money out of the equation, would the client still have chosen the family attorney? If the answer is yes, then money isn’t really the deciding factor, is it?

So why would someone take a non-money problem and try to blame it on the money? It’s often easier to make things about money. It’s less emotional in some ways. We get less tangled up. I found myself confused once by something I was trying to make about money, when I knew it wasn’t. I’d been having regular massages by a particular masseuse (yes, lucky me!) I consider these massages as being necessary to my good health. Suddenly, one morning, I woke up and thought “I can’t afford those massages anymore.” I literally looked around to see who said that. I was actually astonished. I knew that nothing in my financial position had changed. I could afford the massages just as well this month as I had the prior six months. What was going on? As I sat and pondered this, I realized that I just didn’t like her technique any more. Somehow it wasn’t doing it for me. The real problem had nothing to do with money. Yet what were the first words out of my mouth?

We aren’t accustomed to being able to just change our minds about something. We have perhaps a cultural pressure to have a “good reason” for a change. It seems strange to just change our mind. We need to be angry, or have had bad service, or no longer be able to afford whatever it is. That last reason seems to be the easiest to put over, the easiest for people to accept. No one talks about money. So no one is going to question that excuse.

There is this magic thing, if you make it about money, no one asks any questions. Try it. Next time you don’t want to do something, just say “I can’t afford it.” It’s like magic. People will disappear. Talking about money on that level is so taboo, it’s a true conversation stopper. It can be a great excuse, if you are conscious of it as one.

However, if you use money as the excuse, or the Masquerader, without being conscious of it, you’ll just fall through a Money Trap Door, and find yourself somewhere you may not have wanted to go.

It’s good to sort it out and know what part is really about money, and what part really isn’t. I’ve got a client that did just that. Her ex-husband wanted to take their son on a vacation, and he wanted his ex-wife to give him money for the extra cost of feeding his son during the trip. She realized that this wasn’t really about money. It was about a bunch of other things, things like fairness and power and putting the son in the middle. The tangle that was building over the son being told that he wouldn’t be able to go on the trip unless him mom paid for his food wasn’t about money. It would have been easy in some ways to let it be about money, wouldn’t it? But the tangle of power and fairness is the real problem. Often the choices around these issues don’t have a nice and neat happy solution.

People make it about money to avoid pain or embarrassment. We make it about money to minimize pain, to eliminate scrutiny. We make it about money because we know that most of the time people won’t look beyond money for the cause. It’s easy to make it about money.

If the problem is not about money, then it costs us to make it seem so. It costs us by reinforcing the idea that money “makes” things happen. When you make money the “bad guy”, you end up hiding the actual cause, and thus make it impossible to stop or change.

What other costs can you see? Now that you know what happens when an issue Masquerades as Money, you have a choice. You can look to see what else is creating the issue, or you can continue to fall through the trap. Choices are like that.

If you are interested in identifying other Money Trap Doors you may fall through, join us on this month’s call.

Upcoming Teleclasses:

We have two events to talk about in this Money Knot. One is for April, and a special one for early May, for those of us with artistic and creative leanings.

Teleclass: What’s Your Money Trap?

Here’s how Money Trap Doors work. You are walking through life and suddenly this money place takes over. It’s like we just fall through a trap door. We are surrounded by Money Trap Doors all the time. Some we have created for ourselves and some are imposed by our culture and history. Identifying and exploring these trap doors will create both clarity and choice about whether or not you want to keep falling through them.

We’ll explore at least five Money Trap Doors. While exploring them, we will look both at their impact on you when you fall through one, and also how to avoid being drug into any trap doors that other people may try and pull you into.

Learn how to walk around, jump over, or at least climb back out of those money traps.

Date: Wednesday, April 21st

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)


Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.


Our second teleclass is a joint venture between Shell and Rebecca Coleman.

Teleclass: Can Artists Be Friends With Money?

As creatives, you just want to be creative! You are passionate about your art, and you want to spend all of your time doing that. You do not want to spend time thinking about how to pay the rent, how to market yourself, and how to create more income. If you want to survive, thrive, and even prosper as an artist, you need to get clear about your relationship with money.

$ Does it feel like money is some mysterious thing that no one ever really explained to you?

$ Do you sometimes wish that you never had to think about money again?

$ Does crunching numbers sound about as fun as a root canal?

Money coach Shell Tain will be with us to point out the money related road blocks that keep us stuck in the mindset of being starving artists. Shell has a no-number-crunching approach to money that helps us see it in new ways. You’ll leave this call with some new perspectives and ideas about you, money and about your relationship with it.

Rebecca Coleman a freelance theatre publicist in Vancouver, BC, Canada, will co-host the call, stirring up questions and ideas. She is passionate about helping artists to become better business people, and writes about the subject frequently on her blog, The Art of the Business, found at

Together, these two will lead you towards untangling some of the money thinking that keeps road blocking you on your way to being both a creative and a prosperous artist.

Date: Tuesday, May 4th

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)


Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

Shell Tain, pcc, cpcc

$ensible Coaching


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