How we can all make more money, according to best-selling author Jen Sincero

BADASS author Jen Sincero explains how she hit the reset button on her mindset about prosperity — and it led her to wealth.
Image: Little boy putting coin into piggy bank, close-up
Sincero says to look at paying off debt with gratitude because it gave you what you needed when you needed it.Westend61 / Getty Images
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By Vivian Manning-Schaffel

Believe it or not, New York Times Bestselling author of the “You Are a BADASS” series (to the tune of 5 million copies in all formats) Jen Sincero was once living in a converted garage and stuck in a hamster-wheel cycle of scrambling for underpaying gigs.

Jen Sincero, author of "You are a Badass Everyday"Heather Gildroy

She had an epiphany about what was holding her back from making money, started raking it in as a writer and success coach, and after sales of her first book, “You Are a BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” took off and thoughts turned to what would follow, she had her mind on money, and money on her mind.

“When I wrote "You Are a Badass," each chapter was 10 pages and the money chapter was 25 pages, because I had so much to say,” Sincero told NBC News BETTER. “That was my huge Achilles heel to overcome, having had 40-plus years of being convinced that I couldn’t make money. I really felt strongly that if I could do it, anybody could and I really wanted to share what I could with other people.”

One of the things she shares in “You Are a BADASS at Making Money” is, in very basic terms, that making more money begins with deciding to make more money — the book is sort of a prosperity mindset how-to.

So how do we hit reset when it comes to our mindset and money?

Dismantle negative thought patterns

Sincero says the first step to a more prosperous mindset begins with identifying (and eradicating) the negative thought patterns that disrupt your earning potential. According to Sincero, some common impressions that “pinch off the flow” of prosperity include associating wealth with a lack of morals, equating a desire for wealth with greed, and the self-sabotaging belief that we inherently “suck at money.”

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Another common subconscious issue with money Sincero has seen (and experienced herself) is the fear of doing better than one’s parents or loved ones. “Subconsciously, we feel like our entire lives will change if we start making money and it’s true — it will change,” says Sincero. “But we immediately go to the fear that we’re going to be abandoned or judged, or that we will outshine (most often) our parents and make them feel badly about themselves.”

She realized how this belief impacted her own earning potential when thoughts turned to her dad at a seminar. “I could tell my father I just made 10 million dollars and at the end of the conversation, he’d still offer me a twenty,” Sincero recalls. “There was a coach offering private coaching services for one year and charging $85K. It was beyond an insane amount of money for me, but I was really working hard to shift my reality around money. Instead of being like ‘He’s high! Who’s going to pay that? Certainly not me!’ I started to try to figure out how to get the money. Something about entering that realm of thought pulled up an image of my dad, just standing there looking really sad and heartbroken. It was epic. I understood in that moment that I was believing if I got rich, it would be like stabbing him in the heart because he wouldn’t be able to show me he loved me by providing for me.”

Go with the flow

Thinking of money as energy (instead of the ultimate thing to obtain) can help shift your perspective.

Sincero says thinking of money as energy (instead of the ultimate thing to obtain) can help shift your perspective — and circumstances. “Money is an energetic exchange — it comes to us through other people,” says Sincero. “When you don’t give freely, when you’re cheap and in fear about there not being enough, you literally just cut off the flow. The more you tithe, the more you receive. It will also allow you to take the actions you need to take to create more wealth. You will allow yourself to open up to bigger ways of creating wealth because you’re not in this pinched mindset where there isn’t enough,” she says.

Be open to possibilities

Getting out of that “pinched mindset” can be as simple as believing our circumstances can change. “We’re all steeped in the current ‘reality’ we exist in,” says Sincero. “If you want to get out of that reality, you have to take a leap of faith and expand your mindset before it’s made manifest in your bank account. That energetic space of bigger, more abundant belief is where you need to be, instead of your ‘logical mind.’ I’ve heard this story so many times — and I’ve had it happen in my own life — where you really need a certain amount of money to make your rent or your car payment, and you focus on and visualize that specific amount, sometimes in the form of worry. You put all of your energy towards it and it shows up out of the clear blue sky,” she explains.

Use words around money wisely

Sincero believes it pays (sometimes literally) to be aware of the words we use around money. “What we say and hear over and over, we believe,” she told us. “Like the kid whose parents tell her that she’s an idiot, even if she teaches herself Chinese, she’s still got this underlying belief that she’s stupid. Repetition creates belief systems. That’s why they say awareness is the first step in self transformation. Once you become aware of all the words coming out of your mouth, it paints a picture that looks a lot like what you’re standing in. If it doesn’t match the reality you would find more joy in participating in, changing your words is one of the most powerful things you can do,” she says.

Sincero also recommends tuning into the language your friends and family use around money — and even writing a letter to money to get a better sense of which beliefs may no longer serve you. “Push yourself to write as much as you can and what you’ll have looking back at you are a lot of your awesome beliefs, as well as a lot of your limiting beliefs,” she says.

Get specific about your goals

Visualizing, in great detail, how much money you’d like to have (and how you’d spend it) can help motivate you toward earning it, says Sincero. “Saying you want to be a millionaire means nothing. Details get us emotional. If you say, ‘I want to make $780K so that I can renovate my kitchen, because I love to cook, and I want to take my family on vacation to Italy, and I want to donate $40K to various charities,’ that’s when you get excited,” she explains. “When you take giant leaps into the unknown, that excitement is going to keep you moving forward instead of looking at your favorite excuses as to why it’s a bad idea to keep going. Getting clear on the numbers allows you to create those numbers.”

Develop an attitude of gratitude

Debt is a burden so many of us carry, but how we look at our debt reflects our deep-seated beliefs — and actions. “If you’re angry and in fear of your debt, you’re probably believing that you can’t create the money you desire. If that’s your real belief, the actions you take will reflect that belief,” says Sincero.

This includes fearfully turning away from debt, instead of facing it head on. “If your debt is like touching a dead rat and you don’t want to look at it, that takes you out of your energy with it,” she says. Instead, Sincero recommends embracing debt as something to reduce “with gratitude” because it gave you what you needed when you needed it.

Jen knows a little something about that. She didn’t end up using that $85K coach — she stuck her neck out and borrowed enough money to see a $100K coach instead, investing in what would be her current success. The result of that leap of faith? She paid the $100K back within a year and, well, the rest is history. And she still lets her dad spot her a hundred bucks once in a while. “I see how it lights him up,” she says. “My accepting that help is enormous and huge. It was an incredible thing to discover for me.”

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