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Money Tolerance And The Games We Play

Money Tolerance is a topic I'm surprised to find I haven't written much about here, given that it is such a central concept not only to the sales training I deliver but also to life. Your life.

If we look at the 80/20 Rule aka Pareto's Law, and apply it to your life, we find this: a small number of beliefs and their resulting decisions turn into the majority of what you experience in life.

The purpose of thinking is to stop thinking. The vast majority of our decisions are made on autopilot, drawing on what we've done before, consistency, identity. The maintenance of identity is key, whether you're conscious of this or not.

money tolerance, dollar, eye, bill

Photo by Vladislav Reshetnyak from Pexels

The Consistency of Money Tolerance

Money Tolerance is a two-parter. It's a limiting belief to imagine as two goalposts: one lower, and one upper. The upper limit is easy to spot, at least when we're being truthful with ourselves (and we often are not). This is the number at which you start saying, "That's a lot of money".

This is a game we play. We play it first with ourselves, then with others.

You see, that number is a BS story. It's nonsense. One number isn't any bigger than another: compare your number to infinity. It's all a game. Why this number and not another? You probably heard your parents say it. "This washing machine is a lot of money." OK, $500 or $1000 gets locked into your mind as "a lot of money".

But it's not the same number for other people, and this is where many folks get stuck in the game they're playing.

"This car is a lot of money," Dad said about the Mercedes station wagon priced at $87,500 because he wanted the nice trim package. So for you, $1000 is peanuts; "a lot of money" starts at $80,000.

How This Key Limiting Belief Affects Your Sales Conversations

Different people are walking around with different money tolerance levels... but they don't know it.

So as a prospective customer, you can bump into somebody who has an extremely different belief in what the cost and value of what you offer as a business owner or salesperson represents.

If you grew up being imprinted upon that "$80,000 is a lot of money", but this prospect in front of you right now believes that "$500 is a lot of money"... can you predict what's going to happen?

That prospect is going to collapse. They're going to fall into themselves, because their belief doesn't support your price tag, and they're going to leave. They literally cannot stand being around the mere idea.

Take this in.

You can also use Money Tolerance as a qualifying tool: I certainly do.

I've explained for years how you choose your customers.

One of the levers you've got available to work with here is Money Tolerance. What if you were to use it to set a bar? So that only those people who already believed—were playing the game that the money number level of where you believe value begins is what they already agree with—were allowed past the velvet rope?

What if you only let people with a pricing-value belief matching your own see the offer?

A big part of positioning works this way. Consider Mercedes again. They're happy to give away whatever info is on their website to whoever wants to look: they know the vast majority of visitors are dreamers who will never qualify to buy. Only those who come into the dealership, and pass the test of answering some qualifying questions correctly, will get the chance to receive an offer to buy. Remember, those are the prospects who can stand there and participate with the idea of this investment as not being "too much money".

How can you take this concept to your own business and apply it?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and coach. If you're ready to book a session with Jason, click here <<

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Importance of the Low Money Tolerance Limit

The low money tolerance limit is one of the two goalposts of your idea of "a lot of money".

Spotting the high money tolerance limit is easy. How much is "too much"? (This is a BS story you're telling yourself, installed by parents, family, friends and other authority figures, and reinforced over the years). The high limit of your money tolerance has far-reaching effects: if $4000/month in apartment rent is "too much", it's unlikely you'll ever live in certain places like stylish Manhattan—and it's unlikely you'll ever qualify for the jobs that would pay for it. You wouldn't let yourself in.

But the low money tolerance limit will mess things up for you, too.

goalpost goalposts money tolerance soccer football game playing sales target

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

Money Tolerance Frames Your Life

In my case, for example, anything under around $1200 is "dumb". A "waste of my time". Difficult for me to get excited about.

This means I am not your guy to sell candied apples.

I don't see myself as a fit for that role...and my money tolerance as an indicator has a lower limit to demonstrate it.

I have a tough time selling things at what I consider low prices.

You do, too.

Awareness of this criteria is really important if you want to do well in sales. Without awareness, you'll continue to be bumped around like a pinball, bouncing off things emotionally and neither knowing nor caring why.

But you ought to care.

Work On Your Awareness of Your Money Tolerance "Goalposts"

Let me ask you this:

Wouldn't knowing what your money tolerance goalposts are immensely help you with understanding why you do the things you do? And don't do the things you don't do?

Why living in a particular place is "impossible", or meeting a specific person "could never happen", or selling an individual item is "dumb"?

Knowing what game you're playing is a big key to success.

Awareness of where those goalposts are is even more important.

>> Want to discuss your money tolerance with Jason Kanigan? Book a consultation here <<

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Head Trash and Why It Is So Important

Head Trash is the limiting beliefs you have. I have them, too. They're different from yours, but the effects are similar and bad, so we should talk about them.

A limiting belief is, foremost, an unconscious belief. You are not aware of it. If you were, it would not stick around very long: like fog in the sunshine, it'd "burn off" and you would be free of it.

And the worst thing about head trash is this: you don't suspect you could be a victim of it.

You're walking around with your point of view of the world...and you think it's 'normal,' the only way anyone could possibly see things.

"It ain't."

Head Trash and Your Point of View

The point of view you have at the moment is weird...individual..."site specific" if you will.

head trash man throwing liquor bottle away bad idea

We all have limiting beliefs. When you find one, and clear it, another takes its place higher up the perception spiral. I'm not sure we'll ever be free of them.

But we can definitely identify and clear out the limiting beliefs most weighing us down right now!

Imagine Pareto's Law, aka the 80/20 Rule, applied to your life:

A small number of decisions have the majority of the effect upon your life.

A small number of perceptive filters have a big effect upon your business.

The decisions are driven by the filters.

You act on what you believe to be true.

What you believe to be true is what you think is possible.

If you view yourself as "the janitor," you're not going to walk up to the CEO and propose a deal, are you.

Your perception of that role would be a limiting belief.

It's possible for someone to take on the job of janitor, but not identify with the role of janitor as their personality, you understand. But for nearly everyone, they'd get sucked into that view of themselves because of the role they took on.

And that would block them from doing this or that action because "janitors don't do that."

Are you starting to see what I'm demonstrating here?

Head Trash is a collection of limiting beliefs that stop you from doing what you'd really like to do.

How do you identify you've got head trash?

When you find yourself saying, "I can't do that"—usually to yourself—stop and ask yourself, "Why not?" Write the answers down. Review them: there's your head trash.

The Granddaddy of Head Trash: Money Tolerance

Money Tolerance is a critical limiting belief. It's a highly effective thermometer to tell you exactly how you're feeling about yourself at this very moment.

How much is "a lot of money" for you? Who told you that number? Where'd it come from? Because it's a BS story: thousands of people out there, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, believe whatever number you said is a tiny amount. (The typical range for the garden variety human is $500 - $2500, by the way.) If you believe the BS story that $2500 is "a lot of money," how on Earth will you ever invest in a $5000 program to help yourself or your business? And how will you ever sell a $5000 offer? You can't! You'll find ways to screw the sale up.

Fortunately, Money Tolerance is a head trash limiting belief, and the goal posts can be moved. Yes, there is a lower limit to Money Tolerance as well as the more visible high figure...I won't bother to sell $50 items, for example, because it's a "waste of my time and energy." (How many good money-making opportunities am I cutting myself off from because of that 'truth'? I well know making money is only about Traffic and Conversion, and if we can get those numbers high enough we can make plenty of money on a $50 offer. But somehow it's still a "waste of my time." Exploring this belief would open up possibilities to me that exist now, but I have cut off from my perception. See?)

When you find yourself blocked, self-painted into a corner, unable to proceed...ask yourself, "Why? What do I believe about this situation?"

Why can't you move to another city?

Why can't you start that business?

Why can't you approach this prospect?

I'll give you another example of head trash before we finish.

A Personal Example of Head Trash In Action

In the past year or so I've been working on getting into the Space field. To do that, I've been meeting, engaging with, and doing interviews with Space experts.

There's a guy who runs what I consider to be the best explainer channel on YouTube for Space, and the rapidly rising subscriber count echos that statement. But for a year, though I connected with him on Facebook, I didn't "feel right" about approaching him to be an interview guest.

Some limiting beliefs held me back.

I was only able to ask him a couple months back, and then had to wait around 45 days for the actual interview date to come around after we booked. I had to get another Space expert on my show before I could ask this person to be a guest.

Would he have been a guest much sooner if I had just asked outright? If I had simply been comfortable with asking him a year ago? Probably (we'll never truly know, but I strongly suspect so)!

But I felt I needed "credibility" first in this situation.

See how that held me back for at least six months from proceeding in the direction I wanted to move in?

That I needed "Space" credibility was my limiting belief. There's something about self-worth in this field, a gap that I believed I needed to make up before moving forward.

These things are not rational.

You may have a low money tolerance because as a small child you heard your parents arguing about a $600 washing machine purchase in one of those "listening at the top of the stairs" moments. That number got installed for you, as most head trash is. And for decades you've been walking around with this unconscious belief fueling the voice in your head that says, "That's a lot of money!" whenever you encounter a price at or above it. "Yeah," you reply to yourself unconsciously. "It sure is." And this drives your emotions and actions.

Identify that moment, clear it, replace it with something else (note that it'll be a NEW limiting belief: a higher figure of "That's a lot of money," but still a fake story you're telling yourself!), and your range of possibilities will expand.

Few things are more exciting than getting rid of head trash, and observing what you or someone you like can now imagine as possible.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. Book a call to discuss your situation with Jason using this link. <<