I should work out more.

I should wait to apply for that position until I’m more qualified.

I should want to get married and have children.

Sound familiar? If you ever find yourself making choices based on what others (parents, friends, religious leaders, co-workers, etc.) think you should do, rather than what your heart desires – then this column is for you. Each month we’ll feature questions from fabulous women like you who are ready to abandon the should’s and step into their most authentic life.

(Heather Strang, and co-author Brooke Emery, wrote the upcoming book Stop Shoulding On Yourself! A Woman’s Guide From Obligation to Inspiration. The book encourages women to live from an authentic and should-free space. So, grab a cup of tea and read on…who knows, you just might find some great ideas for your own life!)

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Hi Heather, 
I’m an independent contractor, and so money is tight as I begin my own business.

While I want to spend some money on advertising (like local mailers) I feel that I should be saving my money, not spending. However if I don’t invest in my business it could fail as a result. What SHOULD I do?

K.S.T.

Dear K.S.T.,

Thank you for the question! In business, it’s easy to get caught up in what we “should” do, as opposed to what resonates most with us. First, know there is never anything you should do; only what you want to do.

Mainly what holds us back in life, including with our money, is our perception of the situation at hand. There is always enough money, business and projects to go around for everyone. Keeping this in mind as you move forward in your business pursuits – particularly when you feel panic around not having enough – will allow you to grow your business in a way that is perfect for you.

Ideas to Consider (Remember, pursue only what feels best for you!):

  • Perform a detailed cost analysis of what mailers and other advertising avenues will cost. Create a list of each item you’d like to use, and then collect quotes on exactly how much it costs.
  • Put together a plan, based on the costs above, for implementing these advertising opportunities. Note: If it feels good to continue saving some cash (even if it’s only $20!) while moving forward with advertising your business, do that. Just be sure you’re saving because it’s important to you, not because someone else told you, you should do it.

From there, look at other cost-effective ways to promote your business. Possible ideas:

  • Partner with a print/mailing vendor to create a mutually beneficial arrangement that allows you to promote your business and promote theirs.
  • Join a networking group and become an integral member, using the power of referral/word of mouth to propel your business forward.
  • Donate your services to a non-profit you’re passionate about. Allow the positive exchange to bring you new, paying clients. And don’t forget to collect testimonials.
  • Pay attention to how you feel when engaged in this process. If an advertising method doesn’t feel authentic to you, honor that feeling until you find an avenue that does feel good. When you feel good about what you’re doing, nothing can stop you!

Money Resources:

  • The Soul of Money Institute www.soulofmoney.org
  • Chellie Campbell’s Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire and Financial Stress Reduction www.chellie.com(Chellie’s also a featured lady in Stop Shoulding On Yourself! and is an amazing     inspiration.)

Most of all, go easy on yourself. There is nothing you should do; only what you want to do.

Much love & blessings,
Heather