Hilary Hendershott
Why People Fail Financially Hilary Hendershott


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Becoming the best financial version of yourself can be a lot harder than most people realize. According to a study by The University of Scranton, as many as 92 percent of Americans fail to reach goals they set for themselves (financial and otherwise). That is a huge percentage of people who fail to manifest the results they want for themselves.

So, what can you do to avoid financial failure? Perhaps the first step is identifying the obstacles that stand between you and your version of financial success. While I cite ten common reasons people fail financially based on my personal experience as a woman and fiduciary financial advisor, the most important reason is the one that impacts your ability to reach your financial potential.

Here are ten reasons you may not be achieving your financial goals and what you can do instead to overcome any pesky barriers.

A Limiting Money Mindset. How you think impacts how you behave. Sometimes our money beliefs are obvious to us, but in many instances, these money beliefs can be a subconscious force driving our financial decisions without us even realizing it.

Are you someone who doesn’t feel worthy of having more than enough money? Or you don’t think it’s possible to earn more because you don’t have time or the right skills?

If so, that alone can sabotage your ability to build wealth before you even start trying.

Related Content: How to Empower Your Money Mindset.

Non-Specific Goals. Too often, you can fall into the endless cycle of nonspecificity when it comes to your financial goals. Saying things like, “I want to make more money” or “I want to pay off debt” is a great starting point but is not specific enough to ignite the appropriate action to achieve real results. How much more money do you want to make — specifically? $100 more a month or $40,000 more a year? And why?

Getting clear on what your financial goals are and the purpose they serve in your life can create the necessary shift from “pie in the sky” dreams to attainable results.

Related content: What Your Financial Goals Reveal About You

Debt. Nothing can stall or derail your financial progress like debt. Even with high income, overcoming the paralyzing cycle of debt can be one of the biggest challenges in your financial life.

The good news is that your financial journey doesn’t have to end in debt. With the right tools, knowledge, and behavior, you can knock this financial roadblock from your path for good.

Related Content: How to Overcome 6-Figures of Debt

Procrastination. Waiting too long to start working toward your financial goals and building wealth is a huge contributor to financial failure. For women, this obstacle is amplified by the financial industry that has largely catered to serving men rather than providing educational resources to women in a way that they prefer and can act upon.

Fear. Fear is a powerful emotion and one that can paralyze your ability to act reasonably. When the fear of failure dominates your financial life, it has the power to handcuff you to lackluster outcomes with your money.

You may not be willing to do the things that build wealth because the fear of losing money or making a mistake prevents you from investing or taking other actions that can change your financial trajectory for the positive.

Not Earning Enough Income. While I am all for working the money you have, earning more of it can only help you accelerate your ability to reach your financial goals.

Are you earning as much as you could? Or are you leaving money on the table? Pew Research reveals that while the wage gap is narrowing, it’s far from closed. In a report released in April 2018, research shows that women earn 82% of what men earn.

Ask for raise, pursue that promotion, switch employers, or endeavor to create additional streams of income. It is highly likely that you can earn more than you are right now and that can be a game-changer for your financial life.

Misunderstanding Your Capacity for Risk. When it comes to avoiding financial failure, you’ll want to operate within your capacity for risk. In other words, the amount of risk you can assume to achieve your goals. This is very different than what the financial industry calls risk tolerance, which is merely your subjective feelings about risk.

As in everything in life, some measure of risk exists when you invest your money. However, risk must exist if there is to be a reward. Operating within your sweet spot is the objective of a qualified fiduciary financial advisor who creates a financial plan and investment strategy tailored to you. It is what my firm does, and it is my greatest pleasure working with women and couples to reach their full financial potential.

Related Content: EP 128 | Understanding the Role Risk Plays in Your Investment Strategy

Forgetting to Negotiate. Not negotiating for more (of whatever you need to succeed financially) is a missed opportunity. Whether it’s negotiating for more money, more time, more responsibility, or more of whatever it is that you truly want, it’s time you ask for it.

Asking for more in one area of your life can easily lead to overall confidence and courage in other areas that inevitably have an incredible impact on your financial reality.

Related Content: EP 132 | Negotiating for More, Part 1 and EP 133 | Negotiating for More, Part 2

Not Choosing Financial Success. This may be one of the simplest and most overlooked reasons people fail financially — because they don’t decide to succeed. Deciding to be rich, to be financially independent, to manifest massive financial results is a bold, scary, and ambitious decision. Yet, it’s THE decision everyone has to make. It means that you are willing to do the work to succeed, even if it means you have to pick yourself up a few times, face some uncomfortable conversations or situations, and make different choices than the ones that lead you to where you are right now.

Not Getting Professional Advice. I know this last point may seem self-serving, and maybe it is, but there comes a point when you can benefit from the sage advice of a seasoned and experienced financial professional who has lived through market cycles, has a deep understanding of investments and ability to provide a solid investment strategy, and can personalize a financial plan according to your wishes and life goals.



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