Money can be scary.

So scary, in fact, that some of us do a mighty fine ostrich imitation when it’s time to talk about it.

But this week in The Queen Sweep we’re looking into our wallets, and boy oh boy does it bring up our STUFF.

So this week I’ve got three things for you:

1) a great piece by my friend Kristin Kalp on our true currency

2) the bald-faced truth about MY true currency

3) a nitty-gritty interview for entrepreneurs on money with Mark Butler, the small-biz guru at YNAB (that’s You Need A Budget, and yes you really really do).  In the interview he talks about the 5 big mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making, and I cringe because I’ve made most of them.  It’s super useful, and it’s below.

The Bald-Faced Truth About My True Currency

Kristin Kalp wrote some beautiful things about our true currency– that when it comes to money, each one of us has something different that motivates us, moves us, and lights us up.

But my true currency isn’t in her list.

Because clearly, I am a shallow greedy materialist. 

Reader, brace yourself.

I love THINGS. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt bad about the fact that I love Things.  We’re not supposed to!  All the self-help people agree, and Suze Orman too.  We should value experiences, not things.  We should care about people, not things.  And we should take care of our money before buying things.

They’re right, of course.

But I really, really like things. 

China plates with Shelley Hesse’s flowers painted on them.

Chocolates that come wrapped with purple silk ribbon.

My AG jeans.

My bright orange Tory Burch wallet.

I love my silk rug and red Hunter boots and pink peonies and the green velvet paper on my desk and my cherry-red Jetta.

I love old wide floorboards and maple trees and houses on the beach and the moon and diamond rings and and fountain pens.

I mean, I REALLY love them.  I get beauty orgasms from them.  I’m not kidding.  I’d rather have a beautiful shirt than a great yoga session.  I’d rather have fresh flowers than put my money toward a vacation.

And I finally realized– my true currency is beauty. 

When I bought my car, the guy kept telling me how it was more expensive because it had the super-booster jet engine (or something like that) but I didn’t care.  I wanted that car because it was the most rollicking shade of shiny red I’d ever seen.  It turns out I really like the speedy turbo engine too, but I’d trade it in a red hot second for the red paint, because the red paint makes me happy literally EVERY TIME I see it.  I can see it outside my window right now as I type, and it makes my eyes smile.

I don’t like my wallet because it’s by Tory Burch, I like it because of the gleaming orange lacquered thingie on the front.  It’s so shiny and glimmery and ORANGE.

Beauty feeds my eyes and my soul and my body in a way that is deliciously sensual.  Gorgeous things give me a bliss high so rich it’s almost like good sex.

When I stop fighting this, I feel an immense sense of relief.  Oh my gosh I’m NOT a crass greedy shallow person who hates true soulful things and clubs harp seals for fun!!!!!!!

Nope.  I just love beauty.

Nothing wrong with that.

There’s nothing wrong with choosing to invest in a handbag that will last six years rather than buying expensive dinners.  Or paying more for good design, even if everyone else thinks it’s extravagant.  If our money is energy, it makes sense to send our energy toward creativity, toward simple and elegant solutions to daily life that make our days more lovely and efficient.

So tell me– what’s YOUR true currency?  

Maybe it’s beauty for you too, but it’s a slightly different flavor.  Maybe it’s beauty in the form of:

  • nature
  • laughter
  • architecture
  • flavors and scents
  • sounds (concerts, downloads, sound systems)
  • stories (plays, books, and films)
  • adventure
  • spiritual beauty

The list is endless.  And there’s a power in claiming your true currency and your true heart.  In not apologizing for what you love.  In lining up with your truest desires.

Because then you’re not fighting yourself.

Do this right now:  Find a post-it or a scrap of paper.  Write your true currency on it, and put it in your wallet.  Own it!  Declare it!  And go out and live and spend accordingly.

For me, when I acknowledge that my true currency is beauty, a whole bunch of inner arguments about where I should live, what I should spend on, etc etc etc just drop away.

Getting honest with your money– showing up as who you really are, and saying what you really want– is radical.  Rare.  And thrilling.

A little note to my fellow entrepreneurs… 

If you work for yourself, you may find that 99% of financial advice doesn’t apply to you.

I’m always looking for good information and guidance on this topic, and THE most powerful thing I’ve come across has been the YNAB system of thinking about money.  (YNAB stands for You Need A Budget, and believe me I rolled my eyes too.  I didn’t think budgets could be beautiful.  I was wrong.)

The YNAB system and software rocked my personal finances, but when it comes to my business, I need bigger guns.  So I’ve been working privately with Mark Butler, the small biz guru over at YNAB, on my business finances.  We talk every month, and he helps me with financial planning.  It sounds simple, but it’s been HUGE for me.

So I interviewed him about the biggest mistakes he sees entrepreneurs making.  Damn, it was good.  This information could have helped me SO much when I was getting started, or even a couple of years ago.  So download it right now; Mark’s advice can save you thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

You’ll hear me gush about YNAB; I just couldn’t help myself.  If you decide to hire Mark to help you with your numbers, two things will happen: 1, you’ll thank me forever, and 2, I will receive a small referral thank-you fee from the good folks at YNAB.  I actually offered to waive that, but being the good financial advisor that he is, Mark demurred.  Clearly, I’m not telling you about this for the small fee; I’m doing it because I want you to know about it.  I always thought I was ‘just bad’ at money but it turns out I just didn’t have the right tools or information.  This is really good news; money management isn’t an innate talent, but a learnable skill.  So there you go– click below, or right here.

Update on the Grand Cross…. 

I’m not nearly as cranky any more.  How about you?  It might be the sunshine, it might be the glorious trip up to Timberline I took last weekend, or it might be how jazzed I am about all the amazing work people are doing in The Queen Sweep.  Anyway, I’m signing off now and wishing you a wonderful week–

and a glllllorious and rrrrrich May!

much love, 


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