Remember that childhood rhyme song we’d sing when we liked a boy ? “Linda and Sammy sitting in a tree; k-i-s-s-i-n-g, 1st comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby sitting in a baby carriage.” Corny and ohhhh so out of date; but the point is that Money is a relationship, just like the one we have with a person. And, that relationship can either be just as dysfunctional or functional as we allow it to be. I haven’t always had a functional one and you’ll be very shocked when I share with you the most dysfunctional thing I ever did to earn money. Read about that at the end of this post…

Money plays a major role in all our relationships and yet most of us don’t take care of our relationship with money at all or at least nowhere near as much as we spend energy on managing the ups and downs of our personal relationships. A successful (functional) relationship with money brings many rewards including financial peace of mind, positive self-worth and improved personal relationships. I won’t go into the unending list of the negative consequences of a dysfunctional relationship because most of us have seen, heard or lived it ourselves. And, yet, just like that childhood rhyme promises, we think that having that first flush of money is like a new romance that will 1st give us a big delicious kiss, evolve itself into a long-lasting marriage and then give us a enchanting new life…magically all on its’ own. NOT reality at all.

Here is what I’ve learned along the road to transforming my relationship with money from dysfunctional to functional that allowed me to become a self made millionaire. A healthy happy money marriage is based on what I call the M&M’s of Money:

1. Money Messages (consciously carrying positive beliefs)
2. Manifestation Behaviors (consistently taking positive action)
3. Money Management (taking personal responsibility)

When I work with my clients, I can see, hear and feel where they are at with their M&M’s of money without going into rehashing of childhood experiences that may have root caused their dysfunctional relationship with money. It’s much easier than you believe to get out of a bad money relationship and into a new positive one.

Here are the Top Three Ways to Make Your Money Relationship a Success:

1. Identify the main money message you currently carry. Some common ones are:
. Money is hard to make
. Money is the root of all evil
. Rich people don’t care about people. They only care about themselves
. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer
. People won’t like me if I have more than they do
Now remake your money message into a new positive one. Write it down. Say it everyday.

2. Take a quick self-inventory of your Money behaviors — and be honest with yourself!
Do you avoid talking about money with your partner(s)? Do you hand the responsibility blindly over to someone else? Do you know what’s going on or not going on with your money? Do you overspend or under-spend? Essentially, do you have self-limiting or self-loving behaviors? Today, write down one self-loving behavior you will commit to take consistent action on to move you to greater self-worth, and consequently, net-worth.

3. Ask yourself what you are currently doing to manage your money in a way that will lead you to feel financially more secure. Functional money management isn’t about accumulating as much money as you possibly can. It’s about managing your money to attain financial peace of mind and a lifestyle of a balanced achievement of both wealth and well-being. Now, commit to taking charge of one new money management task. Write it down and share it with your partner or someone you trust. Saying it out loud and sharing it with another person makes it much more likely that you will follow through on your self-promise.

At the end of the day, I’ve learned that if you want something you haven’t yet got, then you have to do something new to get it. And, in the words of Bishop Beckwaith:

Plant a thought and reap a word;
plant a word and reap an action;
plant an action and reap a habit;
plant a habit and reap a character;
plant a character and reap a destiny.

OK, now go get yourself some really good M&M’s and have yourself a happy, prosperous money marriage! You’ll be amazed how quickly you can make it happen!

In closing, as promised, my shocking confession about the most dysfunctional thing I ever did to make money. I accepted a job as a undercover corporate spy for the owner/CEO of the most prominent dating service in the United States. At first, I thought — hey it can’t hurt to just go deep inside the major competition’s company and take a look around and report what I saw. I had a secret entrance and elevator up to the owner’s office. I would report my findings, he’d hand me a large amount of cash and then and I’d vanish before anyone could see me. Then one day, he asked me to start causing disharmony and to spread false rumors — I promptly quit, Johnny on the spot and never went back. I learned a valuable moral lesson that I carry forward with me to this day. Temptations will always exist to test our faith in ourselves and our moral character. But, it is when we have the courage to resist it and not give in to fear that otherwise we won’t be able to achieve what we want…we attain the power to achieved far greater success then we could have ever imagined.