The Most Powerful Question to Ask Yourself When Spending Money

June 19, 2015

most powerful question around money photo by tax credits


Just over three years ago, in 2012, I was living with 5 people in a small home in Los Angeles that I would have been embarrassed to invite you into. I was 38 and sleeping on an air mattress in a tiny upstairs bedroom surrounded by Goodwill furniture and scratched up walls.

I was unsure what to do with my life, staring at broke.

A year earlier, the music band I had been managing for 4 years, which essentially drained me of my life savings, broke up before achieving any meaningful financial success. Desperate to figure out a new professional direction, I was doing a lot of charity work in the entertainment industry.

By “charity work in the entertainment industry” I do not mean I was selling my body for roles in films. No, I just couldn’t find gigs that would pay me a living wage; I found plenty that would let me work for free, though! Thus, charity work.

Fortunately, I still had a few thousand dollars left when I moved into that hostel disguised as home.

But I was afraid … afraid of running out of money and going homeless; of being deemed an irretrievable failure; of not being worthy of a woman’s love.

So I held tightly to the last of my savings, gripping my shrinking wallet like a life preserver. I would spend only on what I felt I needed to just maintain survival.

My life felt small. And I was lost.

I was also discovering that money makes a terrible life preserver – hold too tightly and you just sink. I was sinking.

Like a smothered lover, my money was heading out the door!


Then one day I had a huge epiphany.

I was at a bookstore in LA when I picked up Marianne Williamson’s book, “The Law of Divine Compensation.”

It cost $24.

As I held it in my hands, I heard that all-too-familiar voice in my head say, “I can’t afford this.

It was the same voice that said I can’t afford a better place to live, that I can’t get on a plane and visit mom even once in two years, that I can’t go to that great concert at the Bowl with friends or attend that workshop I really wanted to attend, etcetera.

Like kudzu vine smothering a dying tree, “I can’t afford this” was strangling my enthusiasm for life.

Marianne’s $24 book is about all the myriad ways life rewards and takes care of us for simply showing up everyday and offering our unique gifts to the world around us.

But I couldn’t afford it. Even with a few thousand still in the bank.

Yeah … suddenly, I saw the Insanity.

In that moment, life stabbed my crown chakra with an acupuncture needle and injected this thought into my brain:

I can’t afford NOT to buy this book!

So I bought that book, went straight to the beach and read the entire thing.

With financial ruin and homelessness weighing on my mind, these words popped into my brain and suddenly added fuel to my fire:

“Go Big or Go Homeless!”

I immediately stopped treating money like a life-preserver and started treating it as rocket fuel for my dreams.

I rented a mountain cabin for 30 days and wrote the first draft of my first book. I also resolved to move into a better home when I came down from the mountain.

I started investing my resources into experiences that I knew would put me in the same room with inspired people committed to playing big in their own lives. I knew that being around inspired people was the only way I would launch myself out of this psychological sink hole I was in.

So I traveled to Dominican Republic to mingle among other visionary entrepreneurs doing grounded big-dream work to push humanity forward. I attended a 4-day workshop in LA that would lay a solid new foundation for my current relationship coaching business. I kept going. I started coaching, offering others the gift of my insight, and my ability to ask introspective life-changing questions.

Money started coming into my life again.

Within 6 months I had made more money doing work I love than I made in my entire best year managing artists. Then I did the same in only 3 months.

I’ve discovered that my best business plan is to put myself in the same room with inspiring people over and over and over.

Like The Zen Cruise in March 2016.

While I’m thrilled to be a featured presenter, I’m even more thrilled to simply float for 5 days in luscious Caribbean waters with a beautiful tribe of 300+ visionary, heart-centered people dedicated to creating a bigger world for us all.

Maybe you should be with me on that ship.

Imagine spending 5 days with inspired artists … like Trevor Hall … wow! … yoga teachers, workshop leaders, authors, entrepreneurs and me! (hopefully 5 days with me in the Caribbean sounds at least somewhat intriguing to you)

If you’ve been yearning to connect with a tribe of heart-centered visionary people, here’s a brilliant opportunity to create deep new friendships and maybe even spark new professional pathways. And hang out with me!

** Learn more about The Zen Cruise below.


Do you ever hear a voice saying, I can’t afford it.

Maybe money isn’t the thing you struggle with spending – maybe it’s time, energy, kindness, affection or love, that you too often hear yourself saying, “I can’t afford to give that.”

Wherever scarcity occurs for you, rather than merely affirm that you simply can’t, instead ask yourself this far more empowering question:

“Can I afford NOT to?”

Perhaps you CAN afford not to be on that ship with me … or do, buy, give whatever the thing you feel scarcity around.

But at least you’re asking an empowering question rather than merely affirming a disempowering belief.

Whatever you do, it’s essential you routinely put yourself in the midst of people who inspire you.

Don’t treat your money like a life preserver. Use your money to fuel your dreams.

In my case, living inside of “I can’t afford it” made my life feel small and uninspiring. It made me scared. And nothing good was coming from living scared.

That single question is like medicine that always helps me see bigger possibilities, beyond the fear-based paradigm of imagined scarcity.

In fact, this question, “Can I afford NOT to?” is directly responsible for my reality today: owning my own schedule, my own business, doing work I love that makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives all over the world.

So I invite you to turn any fear-based “I can’t afford it” belief into the question, “Can I afford not to?”

It’s a powerful way past any shady stories of scarcity – like being unable to afford a $24 book with the exact message you need to hear now, or 5 days floating in the Caribbean with extraordinary people who just might change your life.

Truly … this one question might even propel you to your rightful place among those who inspire us all.


P.S. Download “Love, Sex, Relationship Magic” …  an empowering 10-hour audio program created by Bryan Reeves to unlock and share the secrets of extraordinary relationships. Get “Love, Sex & Relationship Magic”

Related Posts

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts.

Send this to a friend