Posted on

Chrometophobia; How the Fear of Spending is Hurting Your Business


Starting a business is not for the faint of heart.  The reality of inconsistent sales and paychecks should scare the hell out of anyone with a brain.  Yet, according to the most recent U.S. Census data, over 450,000 Americans dive headlong into the dark, unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship annually.  About half of them sink within four years.  Why?  It is almost always due to a lack of planning or funding or both.  A thorough business plan will adequately address the former, but the latter is not as easily overcome.

Financing a successful startup consists not only of your access to money but your psychological relationship with it.  Do you hoard cash or spend it too freely?  Are you willing to or capable of investing extra capital when it is needed?  Do you suffer from a slight case of chrometophobia; the fear of spending or managing money?  If so, it could cause your endeavor to go under or keep it treading water.  You could be setting yourself up to fail by:

  • Limiting your exposure on social media channels without an advertising budget

  • Not spending money on the development of new products or services to sell

  • Not learning or improving skills through courses or coaching

  • Appearing unprofessional with low-end branding, photos or website

  • Not investing in software and programs to eliminate unnecessary tasks

Let’s face it.  Our financial situations cause many of us a substantial amount of stress and anxiety each month.  The pressures that come with handling money affect our personal and business decisions every day.  Saying you can’t afford ‘x’ for your business while planning a vacation or trekking to Starbucks every day is nonsensical.  Yet, we can all make strange choices like these and then have the audacity to justify them.  Are you guilty of this?  I know I am from time to time.


Making a mental shift is scary and often necessary to grow your startup and prosper.  But what if you’re not in a position that will allow you to change your financial strategy immediately?  If you can’t actually afford to increase the support of your fledgling business, then maybe it needs to become or remain a side hustle.  There is no shame in that.  That is a decision only you can make after a bit of soul-searching.

Related Reading: Overworked and Underpaid? 9 Free Apps to the Rescue

However, if you want to succeed and prosper, you’ll need to find a way to overcome your chrometophobia and make some room in your budget for your dream, your baby, your business.  Is it time to make some fiscal changes and a commitment to yourself?

Personally, I need to increase my advertising budget. I have understood this fact for a while but have resisted the change until now.  The decision means something in my private spending will have to be cut.  So be it.  My business is worth the sacrifice and I am ready to flourish.

What are you willing to give up in your personal life to succeed professionally?  Tell me about it in the comment section.  If you know a business owner who is struggling with this issue, please share this post with them on social media.  Life is better when we lift each other up.

46 thoughts on “Chrometophobia; How the Fear of Spending is Hurting Your Business

  1. This is very insightful!! As a new food blogger, I am trying to prioritize what to invest in for my blog. Thanks so much for the tips and advice!!

    1. Hello, Emily. It can be difficult and overwhelming to determine what to spend on and how to spend it. You know deep down what you should do to move forward. I hope this post helps you to prioritize. Now, go crush it as a food blogger!

  2. Like that quote! And is the truth. After I started treating my Small Biz as a Biz… Things are much better business-wise!

    1. Hey there, Zei. I love that quote too. It keeps me moving forward when I’m scared to invest in my business. I’m so glad things are better in your business now. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Timely for me…debating a purchase I had decided against even though I know it would benefit my business. Very motivating to think about what I would give up in my personal life to succeed professionally. I gave up all my personal spending money for 6 months to pay for a course I wanted. I finished paying for it and now have another I want to go through. Maybe I’m just a course junkie, but I do believe I’ve put them to good use. There’s that fine line for me to realize I need to stop learning (temporarily…not forever, of course) and start implementing. Love the quote, “Treat your business like a business and it will pay you…” Good stuff! Sharing!

    1. Hi, Julie. I wrote this post because of the comments I often see in Facebook groups. Many entrepreneurs ask if there is a free ‘this’ or free ‘that’ to help them in business. I am all for implementing tips, tools, and strategies that are cost-free, but at some point, it’s time to start investing. I love courses too. I have to be careful to not purchase them before I am ready to devote enough time to the material. I hope this helps and good luck moving forward! Thank you for sharing too.

  4. Hey Jen,

    This is totally a real thing, I have gone through phases where I am penny-pinching. I’m glad I’m in a mindset where I’d rather spend to save time, go farther faster, than DIYing or struggling along on my own. I think that the more confident I get that I’m on the right path with my business, the more I am willing to spend.

    Thanks for your insight,

    Nadalie, It’s All You Boo
    NEW POST: When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

    1. Greetings, Nadalie. This IS a very real thing for almost every business owner I know. The struggle is epic. Should I spend? Should I save? I believe most people already know the answer, but they resist it. I’m glad you are in ‘kick butt’ mode. That is a good place to be. Keep it up and thanks for your feedback.

  5. It’s always so interesting how you find a post just when you need it. I struggled yesterday with whether or not to sign up for a course. The cost is something that my husband and I would spend on a dinner out. Stupid internal battle. I know I need the guidance. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Hey, Nicole. Internal battles are ongoing for most entrepreneurs. I hope this post helps to give you clarity. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

  6. Good post and timely…thanks so much!

    1. Hello, Pamela. You’re more than welcome. I hope this post nudges you in the direction you want to go. Good luck and thank you for sharing.

  7. There’s a lot of wisdom here. I find myself envying my colleagues who are starting businesses and have a fair amount of wealth to start out. I have chosen to make my big investments in a business coach because I see so many entrepreneurs waste their money on facebook advertising without setting the proper groundwork for success.

    1. Hello, Shari. I think a quality coach or course can make all the difference in a businesswoman’s life. I’m glad you chose to invest in yourself and your biz. Thanks for your feedback.

  8. This is definitely something that I have struggled with as I have worked to turn my blog into a business. The idea of investing decent money into the business terrifies me! All I can think is, “What if I fail and I’ve wasted all this money!” Logically, though, I know you have to spend money to make money. So, I just have to find a way to shake off this fear and do what I know needs to be done.

    1. Hi, Heather. You already know what you should do, right? The trick is to get over whatever psychological obstacle is keeping you from spending. You can always start small with advertising or a course. You don’t have to spend thousands next month to get results. I hope you can shake off your fears and move ahead courageously. Thanks for sharing your feelings about this topic.

  9. I have definitely benefitted from spending money to make money. Now I need to see where I need some nagging, most likely in marketing too.

    1. Hey, Andrea. Advertising is tricky. Before we spend money on it, we better study up. There is always something to learn in business. Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

  10. Hi Jen. As an author I have this constant headache. When to pay money and when not to. Advertising is a HUGE charge. Does it really work? I usually try to find the cheapest option and it’s probably not always the best decision. Cancer is a war. Bring in the Artillery.

    1. Hi, Shirley. The ‘experts’ have said that writers and bloggers usually get more followers and readers from Facebook and Pinterest. So, those are the platforms I will be spending money on first. I plan to do my research before throwing dollar bills at it though. I don’t want to flush my hard-earned cash, you know. Thanks for your comment and input. I love to hear from you!

  11. This was so interesting to me! Sometimes you just have to sit down and do some research to find out if your spending would be more than worth it for you, which often times it can be.

    1. Hi, Jennifer. I agree with you. You have to really analyze your spending to make sure you’re being wise and not wasting your time and/or money. Thanks for your input on this interesting topic. I appreciate it.

  12. I’ve waffled on this issue and bounced between not wanting to spending and wondering if I’m spending wisely. I recently decided against a particular course I was considering simply because I determined that it’s not the next step for me right now. Telling myself “maybe later” instead of “I’ll never” is helping me put my focus where I think it needs to be. But it’s hard because there is something everywhere that’s sold as the next greatest thing. Perhaps the information junkie in me coming out

    1. Hey, Shelley. Most of us waffle on this issue from time to time. It is difficult to decide when and where to spend your money. I do like to take courses too, but I need to tap the brakes from time to time on it. I can take too many and start to feel overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I’ve been thinking a lot about doing more advertising, too. I guess I need to start learning, but set a deadline so I don’t get stuck in learning mode forever!

    1. Hi, Jamie. I am with you on that. My deadline to start advertising is August. I need to study up on this topic so I don’t waste my money. It’s time to do it. Good luck on your goals. I hope you put a deadline on yours too. Thanks for your feedback. Let me know how it goes.

  14. The old adage, ‘You have to spend money to make money’, is true. every year my CPA reprimands me on my advertising spend. He just looks at the number but I know what works and the ROI. Of course it takes some tries to figure out what spend does make a profitable return!

    1. Hey, Haralee. That is tricky, isn’t it? You’re supposed to spend money on your biz, yet not waste it or have a poor ROI. I believe it involves a little upfront investigation and then some trial and error. Nobody said being an entrepreneur was easy! Good luck on improving your ROI.

  15. I love that quote and will have to put it on the wall in front of my desk as a constant reminder.

    1. Hi, Jennifer. I love that quote too. It really drives the point home, don’t you think? Thanks for sharing.

  16. Chrometophobia – I did not know that’s a thing. And now I know I suffer from this. As a new blogger who hasn’t yet earned a dime, I find it so difficult to justify a purchase towards my blog!

    1. Hi, Mala. Treat your blog like you would any other business. If you opened a coffee shop, you would need to buy dishes, cups, a cash register, etc. before you ever earned a penny. Your investment is critical to your success. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Agreed that it is a push-pull kind of endeavor. There are always small items one can do without in order to have at least a few more dollars toward building one’s business. You have to keep the goal in mind and that it takes time and effort and good results are worth the patience. I am just past 2 years since the launch of my website and blog. Starting to monetize now – slowly – now that I have a decent size following. It would have been tempting to try this before but would have been premature.

    1. Hi, Deborah. You are one of the few businesswomen I have ever heard tell me they are starting to monetize after a year in business. That is smart. Lay the groundwork and get a good foundation first. Otherwise, you will have products or a course and nobody to sell them to. Get social media followers, website visitors, and a solid email list going, then you can make money. Great work, Deborah!

  18. It’s true that you have to spend money to make money. At the very least, invest in your own personal development on a consistent basis and create the life (and business) you love.

    1. Hello, Kelly. I agree whole-heartedly. Creating your dream business takes real monetary investment. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  19. Excellent Point! I am bookmarking this page, so I can print it and hang it up when I get home. Focus! Focus!

    1. Hey, Tricia. I love that you are going to hang this post where you can see it. I hope it gives you all the inspiration you need to succeed! Thank you for commenting!

  20. Wow! Such insight! I am a third generation entrepreneur, and yes, social media dominates the business world now. My parents and grandparents relied on word of mouth and friendly customer service to pay the bills, but another piece has to be added to the puzzle now. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! I found you through the Inspired Bloggers Network and I am so glad I did! I signed up for your email and shared your article on Facebook and pinned on Pinterest. Looking forward to more of your insight!

    1. Hi, Summer. Thank you for your kindness and sharing my article. It is true that the landscape of business marketing has changed drastically in the last few years. Word of mouth and friendly customer service are great, but you’ll need more than that to succeed these days. I am pleased you signed up for my weekly emails. I appreciate it!

  21. Hey Jen,
    I have learnt a lot about spending money to make more money. Thank you very much for the useful tips.Keep it up!

    1. Hey there, Agnes. I am happy to hear that. I hope this philosophy helps you in business. Good luck and thank you for sharing.

  22. I needed this! Procrastinating on buying a course and the deadline is today! I know this course will help me generate income. Thanks, Jen!

    1. Hello, Cathy. Oh, I hope your course gets you to the next level. That is exciting and scary and necessary for growth. Thank you for your feedback.

  23. Hallo Jen Monks, Thank you for your post I needed this!

    1. Hey, Gloria. I hope you are planning to invest in your business a little more after reading this post. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing.

Comments are closed.