The Hero Journey in Money: Who knows what chrematophobia means?

The fear of money is called chrematophobia, and it is a fact that fear limits how much you make. Afraid to ask for a raise. Afraid to ask for a referral. Afraid to raise rates. Afraid to leave a dead-end (but safe) job for a potentially better one. Fear of not having enough, fear of the unknown, fear of failure is what keeps many creative people from realizing their monetary dreams. Fear can paralyze you and take away any drive you may have had. All of a sudden you cannot focus, cannot create, and all you can do is make excuses. You are afraid to make that call that can land you a key interview. You are afraid to try out for that band that needs a new singer, so they get someone else, who goes on to become a star. Fear also causes you to stay in a job you HATE and work for less money because you are afraid if you quit, nothing else will come along.

Sometimes playing it too safe is a way of sabotaging success. In the movie You have Got Mail, Meg Ryan runs a children bookstore passed down from her mother. Then a large chain store moves in around the corner and she has a tough time deciding what to do – whether to close or keep losing money. I will not give it away but something her character says made sense to me: I live a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it , or because I have not been brave?

There is fear of making a decision about what to do with your money when it comes to investing. Should I or should I not buy that hot stock? You cannot decide, and you watch in dismay as it triples in value and then splits four-for-one. Damn! Or you own some stocks and you are afraid to sell them for fear they may go even higher, and to your horror they tumble in value until they are worthless.

There is the fear that you will end up on the streets. What if I cannot pay my bills? What if I cannot land that account? What if I lose my house? What if I am audited? What if I never work again? What if my book bombs? Most worries are about what may happen in the future. Most things are never as bad as they seem, and even if the worst comes to fruition, you will find a way to survive it. Right? What are you afraid of? Is it real? Can you control the outcome? What action can you take to ease your fears?

Not all fear is bad. The fear of being a bag lady may be just the motivation you need to work a little harder or save a little more. With the roller-coaster ride that is the creative career, these fears can be real, and if they help you get your act together, I say good. When you are hot it is hard to imagine that things could ever turn around, but, oh yes, they can.

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’ s Journey & The Hero’s  Journey


Peter is founder of the Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey project where worldwide thousands of professionals shared their story of making money doing what you love. He wrote 50+ books. Peter has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.

Almost ten years after launching the Hero’s & Heroine’s journey project Peter de Kuster remains an irreverent, forceful voice—inspiring people to follow their passion, create their own legend and change the face of business.

A Peter de Kuster keynote speech introduces audiences to important concepts that engage their intellect and challenge their thinking about business storytelling and their client’s story. Peter de Kuster has a rich and highly developed stage presence that complements and enhances his storytelling ideas and frameworks.

  • Speeches typically run 60-90 minutes but can be adjusted to client needsEach presentation is highly customized and reflects the industry and priorities of the clientExploratory conversations with key client executives prior to the speech, along with research into the company and its industry, help tailor contentPeter offers his thinking on the storytelling subject area and share the insightful exemplars that best suit the audienceInformal Q&A sessions supplementing the speech also help promote greater interaction and understanding.

All speech topics can also be adapted to either full or half-day breakout sessions or workshops with facilitated individual and group exercises. With a generous array of formats and topics, a custom experience reflecting your business needs is right within your grasp.

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