Money Strategy Tips from a Financial Advisor with Ryan Derousseau

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Money Strategy Tips from a Financial Advisor with Ryan Derousseau

Episode Cover Image for Money Strategy Tips from a Financial Advisor with Ryan Derousseau

 “A planner, when they are evaluating your situation, they are looking at everything through the eyes of taxes — so how you’re saving, how you’re spending, how you’re paying back debt — it’s all through the eyes of taxes long term because we want to bring down the amount you’re paying in taxes long term. And so a CPA is really good at that year planning, whereas the planner is good for the long term planning strategy.”

~Ryan Derousseau

Meet Ryan Derousseau

Ryan Derousseau, CFP®, is a fee-only financial planner who specializes in working with therapists and private practitioners, enabling them to thrive financially so they can focus on clients. He’s taken his years of experience working for himself and his deep knowledge of the financial space to build a process to help clients shape their business with their goals, family and future at the forefront. He shares this process with clients at United Financial Planning Group, based in Long Island.

In this Episode...

Have you considered how a fee-only financial planner could help you with your money strategies? Financial advisor Ryan Derousseau joins Linzy on the podcast and shares tips for bringing down your taxable income as well as strategies to make your practice more sustainable as you prepare for retirement.

Listen in to hear practical steps you can take today to financially benefit your business for years to come. Learn what makes a fee-only financial planner different and how you could benefit from using an advisor.

Connect with Ryan

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Ryan [00:00:01] A planner, when they’re evaluating your situation, they’re looking at everything through the eyes of taxes. So how you’re saving, how you’re spending, how you’re paying back debt. It’s all through the eyes of taxes long term because we want to bring down the amount of you’re paying in taxes long term. And so a CPA is really good at that year planning, whereas the planner is good for the long-term planning strategy. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today I’m excited to have Ryan Derousseau, who’s a certified financial planner on the podcast. I mention this in my conversation with Ryan, but I have been approached by many financial planners over the last few years of doing this work, who want to connect with folks who listen to this podcast and, you know, the folks that I serve. I’ve said no to everybody up to this point until Ryan. The reason that I’m excited to have Ryan on this podcast today is that he is a fee-only financial planner, which is a big deal. And we’re going to talk about that more in the podcast. Like what is the value of fee-only versus other more traditional models of how folks get paid for financial planning? But he also specializes in working with therapists and private practitioners, which is really rare. So you pay Ryan out of pocket and he specializes in serving us, the folks who, you know, serve other people, the helpers in the world. And his goal is to help people like us thrive financially so we can focus on our clients. Today in our conversation, Ryan and I talk about understanding more about that fee-for-service model of financial planning versus how people usually get paid, like why you should look for a fee-only financial planner. This is something that I’m really passionate about. So really great to talk with Ryan about this. Today we talk about some tax strategies and some interesting little tricks in your business that might already apply to you. Like you might already be in a position to be able to use some of these things to save you money on taxes. We also talked about succession planning and thinking about actually setting up your business so you could sell it even as a private practitioner, like a solo practitioner, which is a new idea to me, but I’m really into it. So we cover a lot of ground today using that big picture financial thinking that Ryan has as a certified financial planner and I think is really the value of having a certified financial planner in your life, which is somebody who can look at your personal finances, not from the perspective of today or this month or this year, but they’re thinking 30, 40 years for you and helping you bring that into the way that you’re planning your money. Here is my conversation with Ryan Derousseau. So, Ryan, welcome to the podcast. 


Ryan [00:03:13] Yeah, thank you for having me. Very excited to be here. 


Linzy [00:03:15] I’m very excited to have you here, Ryan, because you are the first certified financial planner that we’ve had on the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. 


Ryan [00:03:23] Oh, very cool. Yeah. Honestly, I’m not surprised. Well, one thing when I was looking at like – because basically I was a writer for many, many years and I covered financial planners, I covered personal finance topics and I was self-employed. And so when I was making the switch, just because I wanted to work with people one-on-one, a group that was self-employed that I saw there was not nearly as much people helping them and guiding them on the financial track, were therapists. And I like working with therapists. I think they’re great people, they do great work. And so – I have a therapist – so I am very much in line with that. And so it just it stood out to me as sort of a special. 


Linzy [00:04:04] There’s kind of a gap there, right? Like, there’s a lot of financial planners for doctors, for instance. Yeah, exactly. They get a lot of attention. 


Ryan [00:04:10] Everyone’s going for doctors. 


Linzy [00:04:11] Everybody wants doctors, which makes sense because doctors, you know, can have a very, very, very high income. They’ve got a lot of money to work with, which is kind of fun too, I would assume, as a financial planner. Like, you get to do all sorts of cool tax strategy and stuff like that. But yeah, therapists are certainly underserved and we very much need the kinds of supports that you are giving to folks with this long-term financial planning. 


Ryan [00:04:31] That’s great to hear. I’ll give a quick plug in terms of: look for a fee-only advisor. 


Linzy [00:04:35] Yes, thank you. 


Ryan [00:04:36] We have developed new ways for people to pay, so it’s not like doctors are not the only ones who get service now. All sorts of people get service now. 


Linzy [00:04:45] Yes. And let’s pause on that for a second, because this is something actually, Ryan, like in terms of putting folks in front of of our audience, right, our Money Skills for Therapists audience who are listening. Or Instagram. I’ve been approached by many financial planners, I will tell you, over the years, who want to be connected with the folks who are here for these conversations. And the reason I say no is because they’re not fee for service. And I feel really strongly about this. Let’s talk just a little bit more about the difference between fee for service and what you were referring to of like why folks want to work with doctors. 


Ryan [00:05:16] Yeah. 


Linzy [00:05:16] Have to explain the difference in how you get paid. 


Ryan [00:05:19] Absolutely. And this is one of the first things like when I covered financial planners, this was one of the first things I learned. And so as- my entire writing career, I would only speak to fee-only or fee-for-service advisors because they’re basically the ones you can trust where their advice is aligned with you. Because what you have are three different options a fee-only, fee-based, and commission. And commission and fee-based, what they’re doing when they’re providing you advice is they’re also getting commissions on the side from a life insurance agency, a mutual fund company, or some other service. And so when they’re saying, hey, you should put your money into this X mutual fund, well, is that the right mutual fund or is that the mutual fund that’s kind of works for you, but also pays them really well? And my first experience was this was personal. Like my wife’s father had a financial planner for 20, 30 years. He sent us to the financial planner. And, you know, he wined and dined us and we’re like, how is he getting paid for this? It wasn’t a couple of years later till I learned about this stuff. And I looked at it and I was like, Oh, that’s how he’s getting paid. He’s in a mutual fund that’s not growing at all, but paying him every single time we put money into that account. And so that personal experience really kind of lit a fire under me as well. 


Linzy [00:06:45] Yeah, it’s going to be hard for somebody to give you the best advice for you when they’re also thinking about their own paycheck. And this mutual fund here is going to pay them a bunch of money. And this one over here that actually might be more appropriate for you, they don’t get as much money from. Like it puts their financial interests and your financial interests in conflict. 


Ryan [00:07:02] Exactly. Yeah. Said better than me. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:07:05] So fee for service, then. Tell us, like, what does that model look like? How is that different? 


Ryan [00:07:11] Yeah. So I only get paid by my clients. They come to me and, you know, there’s three different ways I tend to work with them. They might need a specific plan for something. They’re going through something or they’re DIY or who likes to do it themselves. And so we just basically we have an hourly rate. How long is the plan going to be? Okay, here’s the plan. Here’s how to get started. They’re off on their own. They go do it. You know, what we found was people are hesitant to go off on their own. So like, let’s say you’re opening a solo 401K if you’ve never done that. Are you picking the right button? You know, when I first did it, the experience was, I hope this is right type of experience. And so what we did is we created a subscription model. And so essentially we take the cost of the financial plan divide by 12. And so you have access to me every quarter where we’re going through a portion of the plan and whatnot. And that helps also because life changes, things change. Inflation changes, laws change, that sort of thing. And then if you’re, you know, a little further along in your journey and you have assets that you want someone else to manage, then there’s also the asset under management strategy, which is, you know, where we’re investing for you. We do broad-based index funds. It’s not like, yeah, you know, we’re picking stocks or anything like that and then you pay via the portfolio, right? 


Linzy [00:08:35] And with assets under management, basically it’s like if I have a bunch of money invested with you, if the money does well, I do well and you do well. Right. Like where. 


Ryan [00:08:44] It’s somewhat. Yeah. And you know, like I always this is a probably something to talk about with your audience just because a lot of people look at investing is like returns and gains. Like how much am I getting back and how much am I losing. A financial planner who’s worth his salt or her salt is really not looking at gains and losses in the short term. What they’re looking at is are you invested in a way that matches your risk willingness or risk tolerance? Yeah. So essentially, if the market drops, are you going to sell everything and hide under the couch or are you going to keep it steady? Because we want to keep it steady. This is a long-term plan. It’s not a short-term plan. We’re worried about that and your time horizon or when you actually need that money. And so this is what the value of index funds is, because we can really figure out sort of your risk tolerance, determine how much risk you need to be exposed to via the index funds, and then plan that over time. And so that’s really how we invest, even if, you know, we’re investing for you. But that’s gains and losses type of thing. Sure. Yeah. If it goes up. Yeah, I want to make a little bit more money in that case. 


Linzy [00:09:56] Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, what you’re mentioning here is such an important quality that folks who do the work that you do can bring to somebody’s life, which is that long-term perspective. Yes, because I think I think, too, there still is so much of this kind of like a get-rich-quick narrative around business in general, you know, money in general. And like, we, you know, can be trained to think short term and think like, oh, things are really good. Things are really bad. Right? But someone with your training knows that it’s about decades, right? Not about a week or a year even. 


Ryan [00:10:30] Yeah. I mean, that’s also, you know, when we’re talking about the like the therapy business, right? You know, we get very excited when we’re like, oh, things are going really, really well. Yes, I think I’m going to hire my first employee and I’m going to, you know, maybe buy a spot as opposed to rent a spot and things of that nature. And that’s all well and good. These are all things like we want our clients to do, eventually do. But we’re also looking at it with that sort of broader look like what are the protections in case you buy that and suddenly you lose like 10% of your clients and then what next? Or you hire that person. And while they’re not performing like they should and business is slower, then what? So we’re worried about all the ifs and buts of like. 


Linzy [00:11:18] Yes, okay. And you know, related to that, I know that there’s this this term which is probably going to be familiar to folks who are listening, which is this idea of backstops. Backstops in your money. Can you explain to folks listening what a backstop is? 


Ryan [00:11:33] Oh, yeah, absolutely. It’s not a technical term, but I feel like it’s a term that’s really started to pop up as sort of a way to just a synonym for buffer, you know? So because we love, you know, marketing like lingo. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:11:48] But got to make it slightly different. Absolutely. 


Ryan [00:11:50] You know, really stand out. Yeah. But yeah. So the backstop or buffer is really sort of how you protect your business. As we’re building that business, we want to make sure that we’re putting layers in place so we never feel that like real anxiety when you’re first starting out because just we want to go forward. We don’t want to go backwards. And that’s really where the buffer or backstop is. And so this can take shape in many different ways. You know, for a business owner, I’m always talking about them building a – not just an emergency fund for their family finances, but an emergency fund for their business. And people are like, oh, I don’t want to just have cash sitting in there in an account. But what that does is it really provides that, you know, like serum of anxiety reducer? When things are going not quite right, but it also like tells you when you can expand. So when someone’s like first starting out, what I’m telling them is sort of look at your expenses as on the personal side, right. How many, how much expenses do you need to have or do you need to cover from your business every month? That’s your salary. You may be a business owner, but you’re getting a salary just like everyone else. And you don’t pay yourself more than that just because you did really good one month, you instead keep that salary the same and, as you do well, you’re building that emergency fund with that extra money. And that’s how you build the emergency fund on the business side. And then on the personal side, most people know they need to have 3 to 6 months of expenses. And I’d say that for business owners, because you don’t want the need to fix a roof to impact your business, you know, you don’t want a water heater to determine. So change the fact that how you view your business like it may- like you may need a new water heater and suddenly you may have felt great about your business and now you’re not and you don’t want that because that makes bad decisions. So that’s kind of what the backstops is, is always have these protections in place. 


Linzy [00:13:55] Yeah, and I love that looking at the relation between those two things, because I think first of all, for lots of folks there, there’s such blurriness between those things, right? It’s kind of like they’re not doing the regular salary. I’m like such a fan of the regular salary. I love that you said that. And that’s something that I teach in my course. That’s one of things you do at the end is like, set your regular paycheck, have that buffer so you can be taking time off and you’re not getting punished because you took vacation. You don’t need a smaller paycheck because you went away. Right. Like that doesn’t make any sense. No employer can get away with doing that to you if you’re a salaried employee. But also, what I’m hearing here is by creating buffers or backstops in both places, you protect both of those things. You protect your business and you protect your home by creating stability in both places, right. And then a personal problem, personal financial problem, doesn’t end up impacting the business because you have to like clean money out of the business or you’re just like super financially stressed, which shows up like that affects the way you can show up for your clients or the decisions are going to make in your business. You know, somebody might call who is not a good fit for you, but you’re feeling really financially stressed by this water heater. You need your place at home that you’re in a money force. You’re going to say yes to somebody who’s actually going to not be a fit and make your clinical work really difficult and make you feel incompetent as a therapist because it’s not the work that you do. Right? There’s all these like knock on effects that can happen when we don’t have that stability. 


Ryan [00:15:10] Absolutely. And, you know, it could like hit the fees you’re charging because you’re like, oh, well, I lost a client. Now I need to get that other client back and I’m going to charge them half the price. 


Linzy [00:15:22] Right? 


Ryan [00:15:22] Right. And then what’s that do long term? You have a number of clients that are paying half your rate. And you don’t want that.


Linzy [00:15:29] No, no, no. You know, stress, stress and desperation does not lead to strategic decisions. 


Ryan [00:15:34] Absolutely. 


Linzy [00:15:35] That’s for sure. Yeah. So another thing that I would love to ask you about is something that I don’t teach or touch at all, which is like tax strategy. I feel like for the therapist brain where this is, you know, therapist help situations where this is not the world that we live in. I feel like there’s this like complex web of rules. I’m almost picturing like in A Beautiful Mind, there’s all these, like, you know, equations running everywhere that is kind of like the world of taxes and making sense of it and plugging in. And something that you do as a certified financial planner is help folks understand strategic tax moves to make. So I’m curious, like, what are some of the moves that you suggest that people make regularly to your clients to help them create stability and flexibility and all those good things? 


Ryan [00:16:18] Yeah, this is where the caveats come in. I’m not a CPA. What I do is I look at- basically a planner, when they’re evaluating your situation, they’re looking at everything through the eyes of taxes. So how you’re saving, how you’re spending, how you’re paying back debt, it’s all through the eyes of taxes long term because we want to bring down the amount you’re paying in taxes long term. And so a CPA is really good at that year planning, whereas the planner is good for the long-term planning strategy. And so from a long-term planning strategy perspective, a few things I would say one, so a lot of people think that like you get a business and in the therapy world you have to have a business. So this is not like new. You have probably an LLC, P LLC, or an S corp of some sort, but just jumping into the S Corp or jumping into the LLC is something that you need to consider, not because those tools inherently have tax differences, but what you can do with those tools are different from a tax perspective. And so when you’re starting out, it may make sense to be more like an LLC just because you may be losing money in your business for the first year, even because you’re investing, investing a lot and clients are only starting to come in, that sort of thing. And from a tax perspective, one thing to think about is that’s okay. 


Linzy [00:17:44] Yes. 


Ryan [00:17:45] Because, if you’re losing money, guess what you’re going to tell the IRS? I’ve made no money and I don’t pay any taxes. And so so that’s fine. And but the LLC allows you to kind of bring that money, those losses directly to your personal because it’s a pass through entity like that. And so let’s say you have a spouse and they’re they have a good income and so you’re using that income too. While the LLC might be able to impact the overall family income, so the family as a whole is now paying less in taxes. The first thing I would say is determine- like look at your business for what it is right now, not where you want it to be or what it is right now, because you may be able to just get tax gains from that or protection from that. And then, you know, the other thing that I would say from a tax perspective, and I always like to liken retirement as this like, it’s like this secondary income stream, this passive income stream that people kind of forget about. And, you know, when we’re talking about backstops earlier, that’s really what retirement planning is. Because, you know, if you’re putting in $10,000 a year, let’s say, into a retirement account, and that’s growing 7%. And after ten years, you have let’s say – this is total B.S. math – but let’s just say, yeah, yeah, $150,000. Just let’s just say, well, you’re gonna feel a lot more comfortable in your business if you know you have $150,000 sitting there protecting you long term. And meanwhile, the beauty of those is if you have the right tax plan and you’re putting that money into, you know, a solo 401K, a Sep IRA, especially if your income’s little lower. So you’re not taking- I don’t want to get into like Roth versus IRA, but as long as you’re putting that into a vehicle that’s reducing your taxes now, well, you now reduced your tax impact by $10,000 a year. And that, you know, is the number then that gets evaluated by the IRS. Right? 


Linzy [00:19:51] So, yes. Right. And then from that, you would not be paying taxes on that money. And there’s money that’s going to be coming back to you. Right. So there’s kind of like this – this might not be the right language – but I know at a higher level of finances, you can kind of build like a machine or an engine where it’s like, I do this and I get this benefit, but then I also get this thing back, I get cash back, and then I get to think about what I want to do with that cash that I get back. Do I invest again? Do I do something else with it? You’re you’re starting to get the rules working for you. 


Ryan [00:20:16] Right? Yeah, exactly. And that’s really what the planning process is, is putting all those, like, engines in place. But, you know, I mean, there’s there’s tons of stuff like that. Like, like more advanced business owners with kids. Like, you can actually give your kid a job and pay them a minimum wage. It has to be a legit job. But now you have passed on that money that you were making that you were going to give your kid anyways. 


Linzy [00:20:40] Right? 


Ryan [00:20:41] And they pay a much lower tax even if they get past the standard deduction. So there’s that. There’s all the business expenses. And, you know, we can talk about business expenses, but there are tons of bizarre expenses that are legitimate that you need to spend, that you get a nice little break from. And so, you know, not avoiding those, like, embracing those is important. 


Linzy [00:21:01] Yeah. Yeah. And I think for a lot of folks listening, the first step would be just starting to learn what those are, right? Like, knowledge is power, start to learn what are your options and there might be things that you know you already have. One of your children is helping you already cleaning your office or like helping you with filing or something like that, that you could legitimately be paying them for that work rather than giving them allowance later after you’ve already paid taxes on that money? 


Ryan [00:21:24] Absolutely. I mean, I have a seven-year-old and he’s not he he’s not capable of now. But as soon as he is capable of like I’m going to put him to work because one, he needs to learn a little bit of the value of a dollar. 


Linzy [00:21:35] Sure, sure, sure. Yes. Yes. 


Ryan [00:21:37] Because the money goes into his hands and out. But yeah, like I’m sure plenty of listeners have older. Like I you know, back when I was a writer, I knew a writer who’s like, she is a profound writer, Like, she’s written bestselling books and whatnot. When she does work for clients, she’ll have her 19-year-old kid just do the first run at the block, you know, And she pays the 19-year-old that and the 19-year-old knows exactly how she wants it. And so. Right. Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. You know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. You don’t have to hire that workforce. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:22:09] So and with that, I don’t know if this is a question that it would be different in different states, but like, is there a minimum age for paying your own child? 


Ryan [00:22:17] It has to be legitimate. Like you don’t want- 


Linzy [00:22:19] Right. They can’t be seven. Yeah. 


Ryan [00:22:22] I mean, if, if my kid could truly file and like, be effective at it. Sure. 


Linzy [00:22:30] Okay, So there isn’t actually, like, an age, but has to be reasonable. I can’t I can’t be saying that my four-and-a-half-year-old is like mapping out my social media. That’s obviously not real. Exactly. 


Ryan [00:22:38] Yes. But like, you know, there’s been cases I just know that there’s been cases where business owners pay their kids like a lot of money for technical help because the kid understood computers and was a whiz at it. And the case would go to the Supreme Court even, and they would say, hey, I mean, this kid is as legit as an employee as you can find. And it was it was deemed to be okay. Yeah. So. 


Linzy [00:23:07] Yes, it does have to be legit. I am Canadian and Canada too, like they’re- they really cracked down a couple of years ago on income sprinkling. So making sure that, you know, we- I have a corporation that if you have anybody working for the actually doing legitimate work like you have to show some sort of record or evidence they’re doing real work and my spouse does work for me. He does our tech and he does payment stuff and he does he just filled out a form for us, for the IRS that we had to do. You know, another team member brought it. I was like, Oh, that’s a Rodrigo job. If it’s bureaucracy, that’s our man. And I got a call from, you know, the Canadian Revenue Agency, the CRA. Saying, like you need to. What does he do? Like, you need to prove to me that he’s doing the right things. And I was like, Oh, he does things I literally don’t even know how to do. Like, it’s so legit, but it needs to be like. 


Ryan [00:23:49] Cause and you need to have a record. 


Linzy [00:23:50] Because you do need to be able to answer those questions on that phone call to make it really clear that this person’s doing real work for you. 


Ryan [00:23:56] Yeah. And the records, the bookkeeping has to be. Yes. 


Linzy [00:24:00] Yeah. 


Ryan [00:24:00] But those are more advanced strategies. 


Linzy [00:24:02] Yeah, they are. They are. Yes, yes, yes. But a great example of some of the things that maybe folks haven’t thought of that might already apply to them. Those who are listening, this zoomed out perspective then that you have as a you know, a financial planner, is so valuable for therapists because I think so often we’re in kind of just like the week to week, month to month, year to year. So what is the importance of thinking about the business like really long term and how long term should we even be thinking about our businesses? 


Ryan [00:24:30] Yeah, So I mean, that’s kind of the unique aspect of planning is because we are not just evaluating your finances today, we’re evaluating it 20, 30 years down the line, right? We’re evaluating it for when if you are not here, like what’s going to happen to the money and whatnot. And so we see the full picture. And also because of what I do, I talk to people who are in an early-stage business, but I also talk to people who are late-stage. And therapy is kind of unique in that I talk to people who want to retire by 55 and I talk to people who never want to retire as long as they can move. And because of that, what I see is two issues. One, the lack of retirement planning, as we kind of discussed already. And then the second one is a lack of succession plan. And I think this is because there’s a lot of, you know, private practices. One person, private practice groups are practices out there and they can’t imagine the practice working without them. And that’s fine. There are certain people who could never work with an individual. And so you have to counter that in the planning process. But I also encourage therapists to kind of think about their business long term. And in terms of what- if there was someone to buy that because let’s say there’s someone willing to buy your practice for $200,000, you know, ten years from now, that could be the difference between you having a comfortable retirement and you having a very uncomfortable retirement. And so that $200,000 can be gigantic, but it’s not like a short-term thing, right? You have to build the business to be sold. You can’t just be Linzy Bonham, LLC, as you know. It has to be a name and it has to be some marketing behind it. Maybe there’s a partner, maybe there’s not, but you just have to have something. And I also encourage people to think like this because, you know, they’re just like demographically in the United States. I think Canada as well. There is a massive shift in terms of like workers right now where there’s like an older workforce that is moving out and a very young workforce, huge workforce, moving in. And so you have a mix of sellers and mix of buyers. And so it’s a really good time to kind of think about that because you need to treat your asset like an asset, the one that you’ve been building for 20, 30, 40 years, let’s say, by the time you’re ready to sell. And there is a group of young, eager therapists who you can mentor and guide and help them kind of work with patients like you work with your clients and therefore your sort of like skills and knowledge kind of move on that way. 


Linzy [00:27:17] And do you see that mostly being something that makes sense for folks who have group practices, like where you’re also, you know, you’re selling a business where there’s other service providing? Or do you also see that as being possible for solo practitioners? 


Ryan [00:27:28] Yeah, So I think it’s possible. Like again, I’m not a lawyer and I just see the long-term impact of people and I can guide them and sort of how I view a business sell. But I believe that a lot of solo practitioners could position their business to be sold. Take it, take it this way. Say you are ten, 15 years from wanting to retire and you realize you’re ten, 15 years away and you’ve worked by yourself through this entire time, but you have built a brand. It’s not just your name attached to some letters and you have been marketing that brand. And so what you’re doing is building a system to create like new clients. Okay, so now that you’re ten, 15 years out, if things are going well, let’s say you will. You hire someone, like one person, just one person. And you don’t look at this person. You look at them as an employee at first, but you also look at this person who could potentially replace you down the line. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:28:27] Yeah, exactly. 


Ryan [00:28:28] And there are ways to build partnerships in a sense that like there are there are buy sell agreements where you can set up the the sale agreement long before you’re ready to sell. So you are selling the business at a time where you’re not being rushed to the hospital or no longer there.  


Linzy [00:28:48] Yes. 


Ryan [00:28:49] And meanwhile, you can structure the payment where the business is being used for the new partner to pay you for the business. And so because of that, like, there’s some great ways where even if you’re willing to, like, create some marketing around it and really build a brand and add that little mentorship aspect, you could it is very, very possible. And if you need a coach for marketing, you know, there are plenty of coaches out there as well. 


Linzy [00:29:17] Yeah, yeah, yeah, certainly. That’s such an interesting idea and such a, I think, an untapped financial opportunity. Right. And like, and what I’m hearing with that is that’s not something you can just decide to do because you’re 70 and you’re like, whoa. I’m like, beyond done, right? This is something you start to think about 15 years out, ten years out, and that’s where you could, if you are working under your own name, you can shift to a company name and start and start marketing the brand instead of yourself. Bring in a partner. Like this is like long a long term strategy. But what I’m hearing is it could be a very, very fruitful strategy, which could have a huge impact on your retirement. 


Ryan [00:29:50] And now, you know, there are more buyers out there as well because there’s tech companies getting into the space and they may want your practice just for the clients. And so it does create opportunity, but it is a long term thing. And I think honestly, when someone gets 25 years in, I think it’s an invigorating thing because you need a change. Yeah, you need to kind of spice it up. And then- my wife had a therapist who passed away and it took her three years to find the other- her next therapist. And this is a way to help your clients as you are thinking of moving away as well. 


Linzy [00:30:28] I love that. Well, Ryan, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. 


Ryan [00:30:34] Any time. Always willing to talk about money. 


Linzy [00:30:35] Me too. Me too. For folks who are listening, if they would like to find you, get further into your world. Where can they find you? 


Ryan [00:30:42] Sure. So I work for United Financial Planning Group. I’m a planner there, but I actually have a personal site called Thinking Cap Financial dot com. And if you want to go to, I’m sure we put it in the show notes. Hopefully, you know, just leave an email and I will send you a checklist of things that a therapy owner should know should do from a financial standpoint. And by doing this, I mean it’ll put you 90% ahead of the game. 


Linzy [00:31:11] Yeah. And Ryan, are you personally able to work with folks anywhere in the United States? Is there a certain state? Like who can you work with? 


Ryan [00:31:20] I can work with anyone in the United States. If there is a state that I am not able to work with, I will file the one form to then work in that state.  


Linzy [00:31:28] You’ll do the one piece of paperwork. Cool cool. 


Ryan [00:31:29] There’s like three or four states out there, otherwise I can work anywhere. 


Linzy [00:31:33] Awesome, Great. So we’re going to put that link in the show notes. So if you want that checklist from Ryan, you can go over to the show notes and we’ll have the link there. Thank you so much for joining me today, Ryan, Thanks again. My conversation with Ryan really brings me back to once again reminding myself, reconnecting with how important strategy is when it comes to money. It’s so easy for us to be in that again day to day, week to week, month to month. This was a good week. This was a bad week. This is a good month. But money builds up over time. And the decisions that we make when we find the right strategic decisions for ourselves, whether it’s a sustainable amount that we can set aside every month for retirement, putting it into the right kind of account that makes sense for our financial situation, whether it’s like some of the little strategies we talked about, like actually paying your kid who already is actually helping you in your business to do work for you. Paying them in a way that’s going to save your money, your family taxes, or having the right tax structure that’s going to save your family money and then putting those things into investment towards the future, like those moves that you make on really like a monthly basis is how I think about those add up over not just like tens or, you know, dozens of weeks, but hundreds of weeks that you’re going to be working and thousands of weeks actually, and will eventually turn into a big financial result at the end of your career. But this suggestion that he had to around succession planning like kind of blew my mind a little bit in terms of private practice and like, yeah, you have built a valuable asset. So how can you, ten or 15 years before you’re ready to stop working, set yourself up to actually get some money back from all of the work that you’ve done, building a reputation, building a way of serving clients that people love. How can you actually turn that into something that can benefit you financially, help you create more financial stability at the end of your life, but also ensure some continuity for your clients when you’re coming into your retirement years and set up a new practitioner, a young practitioner, to thrive from the beginning of their career by letting them buy your business and do work in the great way that you do work. Take on a style that’s like your style so that your clients have that continuity of care. A young clinician gets a thriving practice from the start and you have more money to have stability and comfort in retirement. Very smart, very strategic. I really enjoyed my conversation with Ryan today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would so appreciate if you would take 2 minutes, 2 minutes to head over to Apple podcast and leave a review. It is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to find us and be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 


Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Deepening Expertise for Business Excellence with Ali Shapiro

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Deepening Expertise for Business Excellence with Ali Shapiro

Episode Cover Image for Deepening Expertise for Business Excellence with Ali Shapiro

 “At the time, it was the beginning of the online entrepreneur, and a lot of people were investing in marketing, and I invested in grad school. And I had to put it on interest-free credit cards and do the shuffle because I was not going full time, and I was building a business on the side, but I really think focusing on mastery was a longer term play.”

~Ali Shapiro

Meet Ali Shapiro

Ali is the host of the top-ranked podcast Insatiable (, a holistic nutritionist, integrated health coach, and rebel with a serious cause.

She’s academically, practically, and empathetically aware of how the medical system, diet culture, and body positivity movements all have their own flavor of crazy.

Ali developed Truce with Food while in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where she drew from her decade plus of working with real life clients and her own personal healing journey from emotional eating and having cancer as a teenager.

In this Episode...

How can mastery help you settle into your business? What can honing your niche do for your private practice? Listen in to hear Linzy and guest Ali Shapiro talk about why it’s worth the time and effort it takes to work towards mastery and how slow, steady growth can be the most effective strategy.

Linzy and Ali discuss how the money stories we grow up with shape our business practices and how digging into those stories can help us adjust our . Ali also shares about how channeling our creative energy effectively can lead to better business success. Be sure to check out this insightful episode full of thoughtful discussion about how to deepen our expertise, hone our niche, and improve our business.

Connect with Ali

Ali is launching a new cohort of her Truce Coaching Certification, check that out here:

And find Ali on Instagram:

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Ali [00:00:03] At the time, it was like the beginning of like the online entrepreneur. And a lot of people were investing in marketing and I invested in grad school and I had to put in on interest-free credit cards. Do this shuffle. Because I was not going full-time and I was building a business on the side. But I really think focusing on mastery was- it was a longer-term play. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today I’m having a conversation with Ali Shapiro. Ali Shapiro is the host of the top-ranked podcast Insatiable. She’s a holistic nutritionist. She’s an integrated health coach, and she’s also a rebel with a cause. Today, Ali and I get into- we go a lot of places. It was a really interesting and kind of far-ranging conversation, digging into talking about the money stories that we inherit, that we bring into our businesses, talking about their work and how it’s devalued. Talking about investing in mastery as like a financial investment that you can make, really investing deeply in your own skills as a great way to invest in yourself. Talking about empathy and money and connections between money and food. It’s a rich tapestry, in my conversation with Ali today, with lots of interesting stops along the way. I really enjoyed the conversation. Here is my episode with Ali Shapiro. So, Ali, welcome to the podcast. 


Ali [00:02:04] Thank you so much for having me, Linzy. 


Linzy [00:02:06] I am excited to have you here. We were just chatting off mic about our various connections to other amazing women that we have in common. So this is a treat to get to have a chat with you and talk about money and your relationship to money and your like trajectory and what you’ve done. So just to kind of set it up. Ali, I’d love to hear a little bit about what your trajectory has been as a health practitioner, a holistic nutritionist into now a coach. 


Ali [00:02:33] Yeah. Probably the most useful place to start is like 2015, where I didn’t think I really had to think about my relationship with money. I started my business. I left my corporate job in 2007, and just that passion and wanting to help people was my business plan. 


Linzy [00:02:49] Yes. 


Ali [00:02:51] And I thought of myself as quote unquote, good with money. I came from a middle 11class background in the eighties and nineties when middle class was, you know, still a possible upward mobility path, at least in the States. It’s less and less so these days. And I had internalized those ethos of you don’t spend more. You cut back. You cut costs. And so I was- so I had run a business successfully profitable since day one, was hustling as hard as I could because I also was middle class. And so working hard was another ethos that that you really learned. And in 2015, I basically hit this wall of having a ton of clients, but being like, I’ve hit a ceiling with my time and also financial income. And part of this was realizing that when you’re doing something like therapy or coaching or even health, it’s not as valued as other things. 


Linzy [00:03:47] Yeah. 


Ali [00:03:48] Caretaking – we’ll just put caretaking and healing – is undervalued in our culture. And so I started and my accountant was like, look, you can’t cut back anymore. Like I was not- I’m not a spender, I’m a minimalist and I’m going to be good, right? And so I was sort of like, What am I doing wrong? What am I doing wrong? Kind of looking at myself, thinking I was missing something, missing something. And I came across this study from Dartmouth University that they were trying to study this like entrepreneurial gene. They were looking for an entrepreneurial gene, like what makes people great at entrepreneurship? And what they basically found – and this has been replicated in several other studies, is that it’s family money and the connection. 


Linzy [00:04:33] That’s not a gene. 


Ali [00:04:34] 80% of people who start businesses have family money and thus the network as well. And I went from all of a sudden, what am I doing wrong, to, oh, my God, you don’t have family money and you’re still here. So it was this like realization that a relationship with money was something that I had to, like, grapple with. Not that I was just good with money, but that I was going to have to, like, understand things that perhaps people who were born with money learned that I did not learn and that I was also terrified of. So that’s kind of my- and it wasn’t like I was in dire straits or anything. So because when you’re in dire straits, you dive deeper in, you know? 


Linzy [00:05:14] Yeah, yeah. 


Ali [00:05:15] But for me, I was like, I have to stop thinking like I’m middle class and that all I can do is cut back more. Right. How can I grow and spend in still a discerning way? Because I think one of the advantages of growing up middle class and not having a lot of capital in your business is you become a lot more discerning of money. 


Linzy [00:05:38] Yes. 


Ali [00:05:38] So that is kind of where I think really understanding that our relationship with money and being conscious of it like really took hold. And I had that realization and that. Aha. But also realizing like there’s some stuff I have to learn to quote unquote be better with money, not just good because I’m not in debt and I’m paying my bills. 


Linzy [00:05:59] Right. Yeah. And that’s an interesting kind of thinking there I’m noticing, like the middle class. It’s like, what do you do? You just- you spend less, right? Like, you don’t necessarily think about expanding all that much. And when you’re saying middle class, you’re like, I’m hearing more like, like lower middle class. Like, tell me about kind of what that looks like just for folks listening so they can think about like, Hmm was that me or is that different than my financial situation growing up? Yeah. 


Ali [00:06:23] Yeah. So my parents were city schoolteachers, which are even more underpaid than suburban schoolteachers in general. 


Linzy [00:06:30] Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:06:31] And my parents, neither of them came from money. My dad actually grew up in the projects, a single family household, and my mom was one of nine kids and she was the first in her family to go to college. And she worked overnights and, you know, as a waitress and has really never stopped hustling. So I feel like my parents were comfortable with money once I was in college. 


Linzy [00:06:59] Isn’t that happened? I’ve noticed a trajectory in my own parents like their financial life and then my own financial life where they grew up working class. My mom grew up on a farm with very, very little money. Like, very frugal. Yeah. There you go. So very frugal. So that side of the family, it’s all about like frugality and like, you know, really just taking care of the things that you have because it’s not like more things are going to come along. Right. And then my dad grew up very working class, like auto mechanic, working class, right? So this very kind of like, rough like, you got to be tough. Don’t get paid a lot, but you got to work really hard with your body. You know, there’s like things like, I feel like alcoholism that goes hand in hand with that kind of like hard mechanical work. And so they kind of had this. And when I was growing up, they were kind of like moving up slowly while I was there. Now my parents are upper middle class, but I wasn’t there for that part. But it is interesting to see how like where we hit our parents life, like the arc that we hit, gives us a certain experience and we inherit a certain story from them while we’re like little sponges, you know, while the kids that can be very different than the way they might talk or think about money now as they’ve kind of worked through their financial trajectory, whatever that’s been. 


Ali [00:08:07] Totally and the conditions are different. Like I had cancer as a teenager and my parents health care bills because they were at a teacher’s union were manageable. Yes. And I think about that now. If that were to happen to someone in my family, I mean, that would- that might bankrupt us. Right. So it’s like they had those in America. We had much more of a middle class then and a safety net that is no longer there. So, yeah, even like we’re trying to decide where to send my son to school and it’s like, well, we just went to public school. Like, I had never thought that I would send someone potentially to private school. Yes, but the state of public education and we live in a city. And so it’s like all these different decisions that I never thought like- never even considered based on the changing culture and safety net in America, what has not been invested in is now coming home to roost. 


Linzy [00:08:57] So yeah, that is such an interesting distinction too, between those like again, systemic, like what’s been happening systemically. So it’s like your parents had this certain kind of health care as part of their employment that creates a certain kind of stability. So there was less cash, but there was more insurance there, there’s more safety. And now what I’m hearing is like, you know, there’s more cash like maybe in your situation or lots of folks have more cash, but there’s less safety net for a lot of people who are in, you know, regular kind of employment. They’re not taken care of in the way they used to be. So there’s a different kind of instability there. 


Ali [00:09:29] 100%. 


Linzy [00:09:30] More cash in hand, less safety. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, thinking about your business, like what has been for you the key to financial success and like getting where you are today? 


Ali [00:09:45] Yeah, I think the first thing is I focused on mastery. So when I was coming, when I was coming up, I went into a holistic nutrition school and it was amazing in that I didn’t go there to change my career. I went there to try to like end my disordered eating and heal. I had all these health issues from my chemo that I didn’t know. It was like ten years and I was- IBS, depression, all these things. But so- that was great. But at the time it was like the beginning of like the online entrepreneur. And a lot of people were investing in marketing and I invested in grad school and I had to put on an interest free credit card because I was not going full time and I was building a business on the side. But I really think focusing on mastery was- it was a longer term play. Like I’m like, I want to do this for life. 


Linzy [00:10:31] Yeah. 


Ali [00:10:31] So that was really helpful. And that also helped my marketing. I was clear in my marketing. I had a true market differentiator, like I could truly make- offer something different, not just put a bunch of bells and whistles on it. So once I felt like- and again, you don’t have to wait until you feel masterful, because every year I’m like, Oh sure, I said- five years ago I would have said it differently or I feel I have more skill. So I think that was really important. And I think in that mastery it enabled me to scale the change process, which is highly individualized. My process meets people exactly where they are. So it’s not a formula, it’s not tools, it’s not rules. Because what I want actually to do is free people and make them feel that they can make more what we call, like psychologically flexible decisions. So it’s not about telling them what to do, it’s guiding them to their own agency. And so figuring out how to scale that, especially into groups, has enabled me to work less, make more, and also give me the- afford me the ability to be accessible to people who need scholarships or whatnot, because I do not believe that, you know, well, if someone wants it bad enough, they’ll find it, they’ll make it work. 


Linzy [00:11:45] Just get another job to take your course. 


Ali [00:11:47] You know. And I don’t want them to do that. 


Linzy [00:11:49] No. 


Ali [00:11:50] And I know how hard people work for their money. So I think that mastery enabled me to then get strategic of groups. And the interesting thing is, thinking of talking about systemic issues, especially in America and I would say North America probably where you live as well. Is this like even the way the health care system is set up? It’s like individual sessions, like that’s what you do. But, you know, when you really think about healing, especially the work that I do, being in a group with other people accelerates it. So understanding again that it’s this win, it’s this triple win for your business, your clients, and your bottom line. 


Linzy [00:12:25] Right. 


Ali [00:12:25] Of having something that you can scale that meets people exactly where they are. And so I think that- and then once I was able to, again because I still don’t just shell out money to spend on anything. Once I was like, oh, this is really working. Then doubling down on what works for me to get clients. And it’s like podcast interviews like this and teaching, and so focusing, doubling down on what works and not what like every new shiny, Oh, you need this, you need this idea. 


Linzy [00:12:55] Shiny objects. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Ali [00:12:57] Is really, I think, able to slowly grow into in the nervous system world like they name it titrating, where you’re like slowly building your capacity. And that is what I see, you know, happen for me. Like when I started doing groups, it was like, okay, I went from like around 60 K a year to like 80, 90, right? It was like, oh, okay, yes, I can, you know, and now I can spend a little bit more on this and that and then it’s like, okay, then I’m over six figures. But it took me up until like 50, 60 to get mastery that I was comfortable with, with what I was, the value I was offering. And then testing out how do I grow that? And then once you know what works, then you just double down on it.  


Linzy [00:13:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I love that reframing, of mastery being the root of this. I just, I just literally yesterday started reading Deep Work. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that book, but I have a friend who’s been telling me to read it for years, and she finally visited me in person and we were literally in a bookstore together. So I was like, okay, now I’m finally going to get the book that you’re physically present with me. And I read it last night, and even just the act of reading the book, I was like, Oh, I’m getting the slowing down and deepening even just by like not being on my phone and reading this book and taking it in. And the argument of that book is we’re so distracted now. There’s so many shiny things that call our attention all the time. Everybody’s promising like a solution to all these problems that may or may not be problems you have, but like they’ll convince you that that’s a problem you have, that our attention is so divided that the ability to stop and focus and deepen and like learn really deeply, learn something so you can really master something is becoming increasingly rare and increasingly valuable. That’s the argument of the book, right? It’s like less people are doing it, so there’s less people who are also masters of what you’re doing. And so that’s really in demand when you can really be like, I own this and I have like really spent so much time with this and like teaching and finding the way to teach this that really lands with folks and like developing the right container or the way of doing the work. It’s so, so valuable because I think most of us, we’re moving too fast. Yeah. You know, you’re, you’re trying to do everything at once, which means you do everything with like an eighth of your attention. 


Ali [00:15:10] Yeah. And I think, too, sometimes I can at least speak for myself as like, you know, what got me into this? And my passion was like, my disordered relationship with food. But then I work through that and I see at least in the coaching world, I won’t say for for therapists, a lot of people, once they work through their stuff, they’re like well I’m pivoting, right? It’s like. 


Linzy [00:15:29] 100%. 


Ali [00:15:30] Yeah, Yeah. And I get that. Yes. And I mean, I have deepend, you know what like- I now train people in stubborn change or complex change. And so I still need an edge there. But it’s like getting better at that and still offering it in a way that it still interests me where it’s like my work is more about psychological safety. So like I can still talk about food, but it’s the reasons people turn to food, the reasons people have trouble with change. And so it doesn’t mean that you can’t change. It just means like I think what the deep work is saying is like, how do you bring the mastery with you into something else? And I, I do think in the online world, the climate of our culture is exactly what you’re saying. It’s like, let’s move on, let’s go fast. Like, I’ve got this. I figured it out. Yeah, It’s just things- my husband always goes, Ali, things are going to take the time they’re going to take. And I’m like, I hate that. Yes, but yes. 


Linzy [00:16:24] Right. You know, it’s like, yeah. 


Ali [00:16:26] And it does take I mean, it took me like ten years of mastery, you know, and and all that stuff, But it’s really rewarding. Now, 16, 17 years in, I feel like it’s like the oak tree metaphor. Like it’s really the solid roots are taking care of me, right? And it’s like, okay, like, you know, I think at least in coaching and I don’t know about therapy, but it’s like, Oh, you think you should be good and be able to charge. Like you have all these people telling people, just charge more and like you’re worth it. It’s like, wait, there’s a value in the market too, to what you’re offering. Yeah, but also you would never go to a corporate job and think that you’re the top or the best within two or three years. Yeah. Like, you know, there’s this, like, distorted like. Yes, there is. 


Linzy [00:17:08] Yes. 


Ali [00:17:09] There’s a lot of like also, I think people, therapists and coaches, often undercharge- the ones who are really good. 


Linzy [00:17:15] If you’re really good, you’re probably not charging enough. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s so true. Because I think also, you know, when you are really engaged with something deeply, you also know how much you don’t know, which means you tend to focus more on what you know you don’t know. You tend to devalue what you do know. And you’re like, well, like I hear this all the time from folks where it’s like, Well, I want to raise my rate until I do this like whole other modality training that’s like, Dude, you’ve got this modality which you rock at already just because you’re not trained in the new hot modality that’s come up doesn’t mean you’re not amazing at this rate. Like, but just like there’s something, there’s something about holding still and like sinking in that I think can be really difficult as a healer. And sometimes I think too, with the folks that I tend to support, they do tend to be perfectionistic. So if something gets kind of easy, then they’re like, Well, I have to move on to something else that’s hard. Like they’re looking for the hard, they’re looking for the hard. But like, I love what you’re describing here where rather than a like pivoting away where it’s like, well, I know have a good relation with food, so that’s not interesting anymore. I’m going to move on to this other topic that’s now interesting to me. It’s like you can sink into that topic and look at how to, like, teach. What I’m hearing in part is like, now you’re teaching more of like what’s underneath that issue and you’re teaching it in this new, different expanded way. So there’s still lots of newness there, but you’re still you’re staying in your your content expert area that you’ve spent more than a decade honing knowledge in. 


Ali [00:18:37] And I think you put bring up such a good point about us, those of us who are healers. If you’re a healer, you have a creative spirit. I mean, that is what healing is, right? And I think what gets mixed in is this like, I need a creative challenge. But if I view perfectionism or I have beliefs that it has to be hard, which often money, money beliefs or like, you know, if you’re middle class, look, yes, it has to be hard. 


Linzy [00:19:00] Yes, work is hard. 


Ali [00:19:01] But I think it’s discerning like, oh, there is this creative impulse that to like, deepen. And then my protection strategy, I call them protections, like perfectionism is a protection strategy, right? It’s like, oh, that’s making me go in a different direction. Versus like for me, it’s like, okay, the challenge in my business was engagement. Once people found me, they loved it. They’re like, This is what I been looking for. I didn’t even have language for it. And then sales are just like, you know, I don’t do that. I call it the bro marketing sales where I like pressure people, but I always had a challenge with the top of the funnel because I like to go deep. I like to go nuanced. 


Linzy [00:19:36] Yes, right. 


Ali [00:19:37] And so it’s like, okay, redirect that creative challenge towards the part of your business that isn’t working right. 


Linzy [00:19:43] That needs the attention. 


Ali [00:19:44] Rather than like pivoting. And I think with what I found because I used to think like there were all these new modalities and all this stuff and granted in my certification, it’s the entire blueprint of change. And so there are tools that fit into that. But I found that the deeper mastery you have, you can see where your mastery is already aligning with what’s marketed as new and interesting, right? It’s like, Oh, I’m just saying this in this way, or yeah, this can augment this, but it’s not that I have to like leave my current expertise and I have value in that current expertise. I would just encourage people to find where the business challenges and use their creativity there. 


Linzy [00:20:23] Right. Yeah, Yeah. You don’t have to walk on to some other, you know, topic content area. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I think that this- there’s something here too, Ali, that I think is applicable to money in general too, which is I think sometimes it’s like that steadiness that really adds up over time, right? Like the steadiness, like the putting away $500 a month that adds up over the course of five years and ten years. And then as we want things to be like fast and exciting and new and financially, people want to like invest in the thing that’s going to make them a ton of money at once, right? Like we look for the flashy, the shiny object. You know, sometimes when people get into investing, I don’t think folks who listen to us, but certainly a lot of people in the investing world, it’s like, go for the stock that’s going to win. Like it’s like gambling, right? It’s gambling. It’s not actually investing. And there’s a lot of patience with money and I think a lot of patience with what you’re talking about of like really honing mastery and like staying there, living there, continuing to deepen that. That really, really pays off long term. But it’s not this incredible explosion of like suddenly you’re a multimillionaire. It is like it’s steady and it’s sustainable and it’s what actually gives you stability in life. 


Ali [00:21:31] Totally. I always tell people- like food is the simple piece and like, it’s boring, like investing in your finances like this. Everybody wants the quick rich, the quick thin, you know, it’s like, but it’s the boring stuff of like putting away in your step away from, you know, like maybe I mean, I have one client who doesn’t understand the stock market, so she invests in real estate, but it’s just like slow and steady, boring stuff. But it’s also like, I think sometimes money, food, anything we really want to change. It’s so charged and it’s like, you know, there are these boring, non-personal foundations that everybody has to do and you just have to stick with it. 


Linzy [00:22:12] Yes. Yeah. Build the systems. Build the habit. Yeah. I’m like, you know, what I see with money is when folks work on it, I think there’s so many parallels between money and food. 


Ali [00:22:21] That they’re both taboo. 


Linzy [00:22:22] Like, Yeah, and what I see is at first when folks approach it, there’s like lots of charge, lots of stories, lots of like, you know, childhood trauma. Like there’s lots that’s there and it feels really intense. And then as folks work through those things, build skills, start to take apart those stories. It becomes kind of neutral where it’s like, fine. And then on the other side of fine can be kind of like exciting because you’re like, Oh, I’m seeing how this like regular thing that I do is adding up, but it’s like it becomes not charged, right? And in a way that’s not as interesting, it’s not as compelling. Like you take something that was like really intense and we make it like it’s kind of a pretty much neutral to low-key positive part of your life that you can derive joy by doing the right things, but you’re not that joy every day. It’s like it just takes the pain out of it. And that’s not always exciting, you know, compared to the stories, you know, compared to the fresh diet that’s going to make you lose 40lbs, you’re gonna be a whole new person, right? Or compared to the like, you’re going to make this new course and you’re going to make $500,000. You going to be like, you know, wealthy overnight. Those are more compelling than I think what the actual healing with money looks like. And I suspect food is similar. 


Ali [00:23:27] Oh, totally. And I love that you said it’s about neutrality because that’s what truce with food is about. It’s like I’m not going to tell you to have peace with food. My food is medicine. Like, let’s just stop the battle and then see what you want it to be. 


Linzy [00:23:39] You get rid of all the bad stuff. 


Ali [00:23:40] Yeah. And I think sometimes that fantasy thinking is part of like the flight nervous system reaction. Like, I can’t be with what’s real. It’s like I just have to, like, escape into fantasy again. That can sometimes be productive in our past, but it’s like, you’re right, it’s just like, boring. But I think it’s freeing at the same time. It’s like once something’s neutral, you have choice over it in a way that, you know, I mean, I have this whole theory about just we’re all so addicted to intensity, so we’re like, addicted to the fantasy, then the crash and burn and yeah, but I think a lot of that is like, again, this is kind of a tangent, but is that creative energy that needs to come out, but it can just be funneled in and that’s what I think entrepreneurship is like. So once you can get out of your stories and it’s like it can be this constant creative container if you know how to channel it and like what is the real problem versus the problem for manufacturing to keep this intensity, you know, going. 


Linzy [00:24:39] Yeah, you’re getting out of like crisis mode. Yeah. Just kind of like strategic like, okay, this could use some more attention. How do I aim my energy towards this in a thoughtful, strategic way? Yeah. Yeah. 


Ali [00:24:50] And I think all of us crisis, I mean, talking about money, like, I remember like, you know, my parents didn’t get paid in the summer and it was like, are we going to make it through the summer? Yeah. So it’s like that is what I was used to was like this. 


Linzy [00:25:02] Oh my gosh. 


Ali [00:25:03]  And I would often find like I’d get money from a big launch, right? And it was like, I would definitely make sure I had enough money till the next launch. Right? But then it was like, I’m going to buy this. I’m going to buy this. Oh, I’m staying in that. Like, now I need to look for quarters in the couch because it’s the end of summer. 


Linzy [00:25:21] Yes, yes, yes. And I think that’s such a great example of like riding that roller coaster of intensity rather than the stability, because your parents, as an example, and this is true for for private practices as well. Right. For folks listening. Is like there are these high seasons and low seasons. And after you’ve been in practice for a couple of years, like you know what they are like, you know when your client population, like if you work with kids, you know, in the summer, everybody’s off. Like you’re not going to be seeing folks so much. You can strategize around that. But generally speaking, you’re going to know the ebbs and flows. And once you know the ebbs and flows, you can create systems that create stability. You can even that money out. So you’re like, I’m going to get the paid pay the same every month, whether it’s July or, you know, March, I’m going to like create that stability so the money’s there. But without stopping to do that work, you know, you do end up like riding these waves of like this month I’m a success, this month I’m a failure. Rather than the middle which is like things are good, things are like working out. Yeah yeah. Letting go of the intensity I think you know is a step in the healing. 


Ali [00:26:20] 100%. That’s a great way to say it. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:26:22] So I’m curious with where you are now having like, you know, walked the path that you’ve walked and started to create these, you know, because you’ve got one too many offers or maybe one offer, you know, you’ve expanded the way that you make impact. And I’m hearing did a lot of work around your own relationship with money. What is your current money edge? 


Ali [00:26:41] I think my current money edge is trusting that it’s okay to have more money. I know that sounds weird, but it’s often part of I think healing our relationship to money is understanding that a lot of people who historically have had a lot of money have used it not in great ways to have the power in money in not great ways. But understanding that it’s okay to have more. Even if I don’t absolutely need it, like all my basic needs are met. I mean, granted, as a business owner, you’re always having to keep the marketing flywheel going and all that kind of stuff. But 15, 16 years into this, like I’m pretty secure that my business is going to continue to be successful. I mean, things obviously change. But it’s like, I don’t really need more, but I want more security. I want more. Especially since becoming a mom, it’s like, you know, you have these like- if something happens, your day, your work productivity goes to nothing. So my life is a lot more – now that I have a child – like unpredictable. And I do want to go on like boujee vacations, you know? I mean, I don’t- I’m not really a things person, but experiences. And so I think that’s really of like understanding that you don’t have- you’re not going to be an asshole, you know, if you make more and more money. And you can be- I think sometimes I fear that I won’t relate to the people the way that because one of the things I love about myself is I can relate to people and I don’t care how much money people make or that’s- my dad, kind of always we learned about systems and structures, and growing up, my dad kind of, I don’t want to say he was like laughing at people, but the striving, he was just like, Where is everyone going to, you know, like moving money and stuff. So I don’t think people are better if they have money or anything like that. But I do worry about like, can I relate in the same way? Because even when I first started out, it was like, okay, am I going to really be able to afford the guy that I want to buy? You know, and I was like, I have the luxury. I don’t have to wait for it to be on sale. Like I can just spend money. So it’s like I already can’t relate to the old me. Do you know? 


Linzy [00:28:46] Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:28:47] So I think that relate ability and and having enough are really my edges. 


Linzy [00:28:52] And I am curious like, have you noticed in yourself, I’m hearing this like lack of relating and it also makes me think of like a lack of empathy. Right. Like sometimes when we we forget what it’s like to be suffering, right? Or to have to make really hard choices. I’m curious, like, what have you noticed about that as you’ve had more like, just straight up extra money available to do whatever you want with in your life? Yeah. Do you feel like you still. Yeah. Do you have that empathy? You remember what it’s like? 


Ali [00:29:19] Yeah. I feel like I love that you asked that question because I actually feel like I have more empathy in a way because I know how much I had to work to get here. But I also know how much privilege enabled me to get here. I mean, I have- I came from a very loving home. I didn’t have financial, you know, investments in my business. But I had yeah, I mean, my dad was like, are you sure you should leave your corporate job? But my mom was like, Go for it. You know, like, I’ve had support. Yeah. And so I feel like I know all the work if you do not come from money. And again, even if you do come from money, maybe your family lost money. But if you don’t come from money and you want to improve your financial standing, I feel like because I’ve lived it, I know that it takes so much more than just work. Yeah, yeah. And that kind of stuff. So I and I find myself like, you know, being able to donate more- not I mean, I read somewhere in social justice, like charity is actually justice. And I was like, yes, I love that review. So it’s like, okay, I can put, especially as a mother of a toddler, I don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, but I can now put this money where, you know, I want to. So I think that empathy has like increased. But I also say that with like, I don’t like to share like some people share how much they’re spending online. I’m like, I don’t I don’t want people to know, you know. 


Linzy [00:30:40] Just saying yes, yes, yeah. 


Ali [00:30:42] I also I don’t know if it’s just like a an old taboo of money. Like like it’s also like, why are we all sharing this? Like, how do you know? 


Linzy [00:30:51] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I, you know, I also I’m I’m a fan of, you know, talking transparently about money. I don’t tend to lecture on social media, but, like, that’s not my that’s not where I share anything. Yeah, like, I never announced that I had a kid, and then later I was like, well, I can’t post pictures of my two year old. Now people be like, Who is that? So I don’t I don’t live in that space personally as an individual. But yeah, I do, I do think it’s powerful because there is this like we don’t know what the person next to us is doing, right? And then what I’ve noticed is like we make up all these stories about what they’re doing or we- I mean, what I would really love to see if people share is like, I spend this much this month. This is how much of it was debt or this is how much I actually managed to like service on my debt or because this is the other thing, right? Is like we see folks spending. I’m thinking about social media as an example here, and we assume that they have something figured out that we haven’t, that they’ve cracked some sort of code, that they’re able to afford these incredible things, even though we have similar businesses and like, why can’t I? I can’t afford like an amazing trip to, I don’t know, Bali or whatever, but it’s like the way the numbers shake out and I’m like, folks are accumulating just a lot of debt, you know, no judgment on that. Like debt is strategic. You know, people can use debt however they want, but it’s not it’s not as simple, as straightforward as it might look. Right. There’s more to the story. It’s a more nuanced, complex story than we get to see. Yeah. 


Ali [00:32:07] And that’s why learning that like 80% of entrepreneurs had family money, I was like, Yeah, Oh, I don’t even know. People are making this from their business. I mean, you know, like, I used to be like exactly what you said. Why can’t I do that? Why am I drudging to grad school on Friday night. Yeah, totally. 


Linzy [00:32:22] Yes. You’re comparing like your reality to their like highly curated like selective part of the story. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. 


Ali [00:32:30] Well, and one- I don’t know if you’ve heard of Kelly Diels but she is- I love how she talks about like I never thought of this until I learned this what she said like I think it was like ten years ago or maybe I can’t remember all this time anymore, but how a lot of those signals of wealth manufacture like fake authority. And I never thought about that. Like it’s- we have this unconscious belief that, like, if you make more money, you somehow know something or you’re better. Right. Because at least in America, I mean, I think it’s crumbling. But the meritocracy belief of like, if you have a lot of money, you’ve earned it and you work for it. 


Linzy [00:33:06] Yeah, you’re better then. Yeah, you’re. 


Ali [00:33:08] Better than versus like the hardest working people in America are the poorest. 


Linzy [00:33:14] 100%. Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:33:15] But I never thought of that as like, oh, showing that wealth makes people think like, I just haven’t connected it, you know? 


Linzy [00:33:22] Mm hmm. Yeah. There is a certain type of, like, privilege that you’re trying to access or that could be accessed by showing this off in a certain way. Makes it look like you are doing really well or. Yeah. Yeah, you’re. It’s kind of this is a thought that and I don’t know if this is going to fit, but I’m going to I’m going to share it. I read a great article from a writer that I follow, a British writer, and she talked about how when people share about losing weight, it’s like I had a baby and like, you know, they’ve gained like 20lbs for having a baby. And they’re like, I’m just not happy with my body. Your body’s fine. I’m just not happy with my body. I want to get back to where I was. And she was like, We have to be honest with the fact that, like, people are trying to reclaim thin privilege, like that’s what they want. They want to go back to the privilege that they used to have and like go back to the system that privileges folks whose bodies who look a certain way and they want to regain that privilege. And I think about that sometimes with like wealth signaling is like you by sharing this, like you’re saying, like, I have privilege, like I am privileged, I have earned this, I am better than I am what is right And like, yeah, what are you trying to accomplish with that? Which is like, I ask myself a lot when I share anything on social media as part of our brand is like, What am I trying to do? What am I trying to get out of this? Asking yourself that question because it’s yeah, it’s like complicated, thorny stuff. 


Ali [00:34:37] It is. And you know, it’s funny that you bring that up because I’m listening to this podcast called Classy right now, and it’s all about class, which is all about money, you know, and obviously in America, especially about race as well. But yeah, you were talking about how most people want to believe they’re in the good moral center. You know, so it’s like and I’m like, oh, my God, That’s how I felt. That was part of my money blind spot is like, I’m good because I’m not making so much money and exploiting people. Right? And it’s like my business could ever I mean, you can always exploit. I pay you, like, by. 


Linzy [00:35:10]  Whatever. Yeah. 


Ali [00:35:11] But then you don’t want to be seen as like poor and quote unquote bad, you know. But he was talking about how, like even people who are like, uber wealthy, they think they’re in the moral center, you know, like. Yes, But it’s like the problem. What we have to do is just take morality out of it. 


Linzy [00:35:25] So much to think about, so much to talk about. But we should start to finish up. Ali, thank you so much for joining me today on the podcast. If folks are interested in finding you and following you, where can they do that? 


Ali [00:35:37] Yeah, yeah. So I run a truth coaching certification, which helps people learn the structure of complex change. So whatever, they’re trying to help with people so they can scale to groups and incorporate their tools in everything. And you can find that at, it’s trauma-informed, it’s ICF approved, and then they can sign up for my web, you know my newsletter listed Ali Shapiro dot com and then I have my own podcast, Insatiable, but that’s more about food and the root causes of why we battle food. And then I’m on Instagram and @AliShapiro, but I’m not there all that much because of what we’ve talked about. 


Linzy [00:36:20]  Thank you so much for joining me today, Ali. 


Ali [00:36:31] Thank you, Linzy. This was so fun. 


Linzy [00:36:46] I loved this focus that Ali has on mastery and really sinking into your mastery and what you own. And what I was thinking about is really distinguishing between deepening your skill set and really sinking into a niche. How that is different than taking every exciting clinical training that comes your way. I really want to distinguish those things because I think that as healers, as therapists, as health practitioners, like I mentioned in the episode, you know, we so often focus on what we don’t know and we so often want to be better. You know, there’s another piece there which we often feel not good enough. We’ve often our caregivers as a way to feel valued. There’s so many layers to it that can lead us to trying to do everything for everybody. And what I love about what Ali suggested of really investing in yourself is what I see. There is a deepening of your skills, really sinking into your niche and really owning your niche deeply and being the best at what you do rather than trying to be able to do everything. And I think that not good enough can lead us to try to do everything because we see our colleague down the road who’s doing this like really cool therapy that we want to be able to do too. Or there’s a new modality and we want to know how to use it and be able to be part of those conversations. But when you really hit on what you’re really good at, what you love to do, there’s so much there to dig into and explore. And I also loved Ali’s suggestion of just like staying there and you can deepen the work that you’re doing. You can do it differently. You can work with that same population or work with that same topic in a different way. You can turn to therapy, the work that you do into like workshops, groups, a course, you know, it doesn’t mean there’s not new learning and creative stuff to do, but kind of staying in that one place and getting really good at something financially and energetically is a really good investment for you to make. So, so many, so many things that I could be reflecting on here after my conversation with Ali, but just really, really enjoyed my talk with her today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would super appreciate if you would leave me a review on Apple podcasts, can jump over there. It will take you literally 3 minutes. If it takes you more, you can email me about it. I’d love to hear about it, but I suspect it’s going to take you only 3 minutes to leave a review on Apple Podcasts so other folks can be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Financial Strategies for Private Practice Owners with Andrew Riesen

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 “If it looks like a business expense, smells like one, and feels like one, run it through your business bank account. Whether it’s accounting software you have on the other side or a spreadsheet, all of that is great for wherever you might be, let your account or the individual that you’re working with at the end of the year help you understand whether or not this might be a write-off, but take advantage, run those expenses through, and you can always adjust them out if it turns out that it’s not a deduction or a tax write-off at the end of the year.”

~Andrew Riesen

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Andrew Riesen is the CEO and co-founder of Heard, the financial back-office for therapists. Prior to Heard, Andrew worked at PwC where he helped build an internal software incubator and co-founded a sales tax solution for small businesses.

In this Episode...

Have you wondered about when to take your business to the next level or when it’s worth it in the US to become an S-corp? Linzy talks with Andrew Riesen of Heard, an all-in-one financial solution for therapists in private practice. They discuss a vital step all private practice owners should take when it comes to their business and how to take that step.

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Find tools and resources from Andrew and his team at: or follow them @joinheardinc 

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Episode Transcript

Andrew [00:00:01] If it looks like a business expense, smells like one, and feels like one, run it through your business bank account, whether it’s, you know, accounting software that you have on the other side or a spreadsheet, all of that is great for wherever you might be. Let your accountant or the individual that you’re working with at the end of the year help you understand whether or not this might be a write-off, but take advantage, run those expenses through and you can always adjust them out if it turns out that it’s not a deduction or a tax write-off at the end of the year. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Allow. And welcome back to the podcast. So today we have a conversation with Andrew Riesen. Andrew is the CEO and co-founder of Heard, which is an accounting bookkeeping software company for therapists. Prior to our conversation today, you will hear me realizing this. I didn’t realize that they had actually built their own software to make it easy for therapists to have their financial information presented to them and to share information with their team. So cool. It’s always exciting to see folks from other professions stepping up to help therapists specifically and the ways that we relate to money. So Andrew and I today get into two things. First of all, we dig into some of those best practices to get started. When you are starting your private practice and setting up your finances. And they do apply to if you’ve already been in practice for a while. So we get into a key thing that you want to have in place to have clarity with your private practice finances. And then we dig into the SCorp question. So for Canadians listening, I know SCorps are an American thing, but in the conversation about SCorp status, we really get into some of the ways to think through making decisions about your business, about your business status, how to work well with an accountant. So we address this question of when to think about becoming an SCorp for American therapists. What are some of the things that go into that decision and got into it in quite a bit of detail today. Lots of food for thought. So if you are considering switching to SCorp status, wondering if that might apply to you, and you’re an American therapist. Or you’re a Canadian therapist and you would just be interested in learning more about how do accountants’ brains work, how do we work well with accountants, how do we know if we have somebody who is a good fit to be making these collaborative decisions? There’s going to be lots in this episode today. Here is my conversation with Andrew Riesen. So, Andrew, welcome to the podcast. 

Andrew [00:03:04] Thank you for having me, Linzy. I’m very excited to be here. 

Linzy [00:03:06] Yes. So you are from Heard Accounting, which is I’m going to say Heard is a name that I started hearing like maybe six months ago, maybe a year ago, of like therapists coming into my course or just like in the space working with you folks. So folks who don’t know who you are. Can you tell us a little bit about Heard accounting? 

Andrew [00:03:25] Yeah, absolutely. So Heard is a software and services business. And the way that I would describe us very quickly in a sentence is we are the accounting and compliance solution for therapists that are operating an independent practice. And what that means is we have built software that makes it really easy to set up a new business, track your income and expenses, figure out how to pay yourself on a monthly basis, handle things like quarterly taxes and annual taxes, and we recently launched payroll embedded in our service as well. And the benefit of working with us is, of course, you have a whole slew of accountants on the back end that are able to support you throughout the year, whether it’s a tax advisory question or a bookkeeping-oriented question or a tax planning question. 

Linzy [00:04:14] Okay. I did not know this. This is illuminating for me. So. So you folks actually have a specific software that you’ve created for therapists or like, tell me more about that, that piece, the software. 

Andrew [00:04:24] Yeah, exactly. So we built so basically like the quick tldr here is we decided that we wanted to rebuild our own accounting software after in the early days setting up a bunch of folks on QuickBooks and quickly learning that QuickBooks is an overly cumbersome, very challenging piece of software to use. 

Linzy [00:04:48] Yes. 

Andrew [00:04:49] Challenging enough for accountants to use as-is. And so when the clinicians jumped in there, they were like too much going on, don’t know what to do, don’t know how to process. And so we decided that we were going to rebuild the accounting software. And so getting ultra nerdy here, we rebuilt the kind of general ledger, income statement, the balance sheet, profit and loss, all of the fun stuff that is in the reporting, to really be able to drive more specific insights to therapists to simplify the way that they use it and to just start building a more kind of industry-specific solution for them that’s going to be tailor-fit to their needs at a better price. 

Linzy [00:05:27] Okay. Okay. You took my ten-year project off my plate, so I maybe I don’t have to do that now. 

Andrew [00:05:31] Well, we can collaborate. 

Linzy [00:05:32] Which is great. Which is great. Yeah, yeah, yeah. For a few years, I’ve been like, one day I’ll make software that’s not QuickBooks, but that’s also not a spreadsheet that, like, speaks to therapists because it’s true. Like therapists look at QuickBooks, many therapists, certainly folks who are listening this podcast, I’m sure can relate. They look at QuickBooks and their brains explode because as you say, it is cumbersome, right? Like it’s full-suite accounting software. It’s like all the bells, all the whistles, and therapists need so few of the bells and none of the whistles for what we do. But it is a real barrier to folks getting clarity on their numbers when they’re trying to use QuickBooks and it’s just not clicking for them. So I’m excited to hear you folks have tackled that, that problem. 

Andrew [00:06:10] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:06:10] So if, thinking about like for folks listening, then, you know, some of the people listening might be closer to the beginning of their practices, like either like pre-practice or like just starting out, which like, by the way, people who are listening in that situation, I’m very happy you’re here. These are great things to think about at the beginning, like you’re saving yourself a lot of pain by thinking about like your systems and your relationship with money early. So from an accountant perspective, for those folks who are listening or people who are even just like a little bit of the ways in, but they’re like, I don’t think this is it. What are some of the best practices for getting set up with your private practice finances? 

Andrew [00:06:48] Yeah, and I’ll talk about this on a spectrum because I think everybody has a different place where they’re starting. And there’s also probably folks that are a little bit later on in practice that may be looking to evolve their practice or processes as well. From a financial standpoint, much of what you help them with as well. But really when you are getting started, there’s a couple of simple things that I would broadly recommend you taking into consideration, and many of them will be oriented around American practices, acknowledging your Canadian audience as well. But the first thing that I would say is a separation of church and state financially between your business and your personal. So whether you are a sole proprietor or whether you’ve set up a formal business entity to where legally you would want to have that separation of church and state to have that liability protection. Separating your personal finances from your business is incredibly important. And so let’s say that I am a clinician, I work a W2 job, I work in a hospital, and I’ve decided to just take some clients on on the side. And so I’m starting to see five clients on the side. And so I’m simply a sole proprietor in the eyes of the IRS. I haven’t set up a business entity, I haven’t done any of that fun stuff to really build structure around the practice. My recommendation: just set up a separate checking account within your personal checking account, set up a separate savings account. And I know Linzy goes deeper into the profit first methodology, which is definitely something to explore, but by doing that, you’ll be able to start tracking that income that’s coming in from your practice or your self-employment in one place. You’ll be able to centralize those expenses. So things like simple practice, your continuing education, all of your malpractice insurance, all that good stuff, and then on a monthly basis or whatever cadence is appropriate for you, setting aside money to pay into taxes throughout the year. In America, it’s on a quarterly basis. And so paying into taxes throughout the year is going to be really helpful. The reason that separating personal and business is really helpful is then when you get to the end of the year, you’re not going to be scrambling through your drawers to figure out where those receipts are. And my recommendation around this specifically is like, if it looks like a business expense, smells like one, and feels like one, run it through your business bank account, whether it’s, you know, accounting software that you have on the side or a spreadsheet, all of that is great for wherever you might be. Let your accountant or let the individual that you’re working with at the end of the year help you understand whether or not this might be a write-off, but take advantage, run those expenses through and you can always adjust them out if it turns out that it’s not a deduction or a tax write-off at the end of the year. And so that would be my broad, sweeping recommendation as to how to really kind of set up that financial infrastructure at the beginning. 

Linzy [00:09:24] Absolutely. Yeah. And, you know, it’s something that I talk about when I talk about this too, is like if that’s literally the only thing you do, it’s still going to get you so far because as you say, like I think so many folks listening can relate to that experience of like, it’s the end of the year and you’re like, Oh shit. And then you have to gather things from everywhere. And like for people who have already anxiety and stress around money, all that does is reinforce the stressful, awful experience around money, because now you are trying to basically do like an archeological reconstruction of what happened over the last 12 months. Right. So at least if you’ve got it running through that account and I like that suggestion of if you think it might be business, run it through because then you captured it there. And like your accountant can always tell you if it’s not right, like it doesn’t need to be perfect. And I think people also need to hear that it doesn’t need to be perfect. If it might be a business expense, run it through. And if it’s not, then that’s something that can be, you know, taken out of your statements when your accountant, but that at least earmarks it so you can have that conversation with them. 

Andrew [00:10:21] Yeah, that’s exactly right. And setting up that business bank account or the personal checking account, whatever might be appropriate for you with where you are on the journey, that gives you that next step in the process of being able to start setting up your accounting system. So whether you’re that individual, like me in this case, that’s working a small part-time private practice on the side and setting up a simple spreadsheet where you’re tracking the income items, tracking your expenses, and looking at how much you’re making after expenses on a monthly basis to understand how much you might need to set aside or starting to think about setting up accounting software. Having that separation will enable you to very easily go through on a monthly basis, review income and expenses, and understand what that breakout looks like. Understand how to set aside money for taxes, understand what you can take from an owner-draw perspective, and start to build towards more of a regular process of looking at your money and making decisions around your money. 

Linzy [00:11:17] Yeah, and for people who are listening, who have not done that, who have not yet created a separate bank account, and what I’m hearing here, and I think it’s helpful for people to hear this, too, if you’re just a sole proprietor, if you haven’t incorporated it like as a separate legal entity, if it’s not an LLC or PLC in the States and in Canada, if it’s not a corporation, it’s just you. It can be a personal checking account. Yeah, it doesn’t need to be a separate business checking account, which are more expensive. They make certain things easier, but you certainly pay for that. It can just be another account, even in your personal accounts, you’re saying. 

Andrew [00:11:49] 100%. Because the reason you’ll set up a separate business entity is there’s a liability protection, or the word that they use is the corporate veil that protects the assets that are included in the business entity. But then again, like as a clinician, you have liability insurance and malpractice insurance. So like the normal protections for an LLC, you don’t always protect a clinician or a license in the same way, but there are benefits to having that separation. But if you are just a sole proprietor, just having a separate personal checking and personal savings or just a personal checking, if you want to keep it simple. Perfect and a great first step. 

Linzy [00:12:25] Yeah, and I do want to add to that, just to complicate it slightly for people listening, because I know who’s listening. If you do tend to steal from yourself, like if you are somebody who like, you see the money, so you take the money, that’s where like that one extra step of putting it in a different bank gives you that extra boundary to be like, That’s not actually your other personal checking account, it is your business account. So some folks, it’s like not going to be a big deal putting it in the same bank. Beautiful. It’s together, but it’s separate. But I’m just going to speak to the stealers here. If you steal from yourself, putting it somewhere else also gives you that extra clarity and puts some extra space between the business and your personal finances. If you’re going to take that tax money and use it to buy something for your kid instead. And that’s just knowing yourself, right? Setting up a system that makes sense for who you are. 

Andrew [00:13:10] Yeah. That’s a really smart, thoughtful idea. I’m going to take that one. Thank you. 

Linzy [00:13:14] Thanks. Yeah. There you go. Now, let’s- I’m going to really lean on your accounting expertise here. Right? Because a question that I get that I’m like, that’s not for me, that’s an accounting question. I get questions a lot about incorporation. Right. So in in the States, it’s like that SCorp status is usually the next step. Right. In Canada, it’s just corporation, which, you know, that’s different country. We’re not going to ask for your expertise for Canadians. But there is this point where, you know, you have to think about do you want to take this next step into becoming an SCorp in the United States? And what I noticed with my students and the folks in my audience is there can be a lot of uncertainty and kind of like fear and really like distrust of accountants around is my accountant actually giving me good advice, should I actually become an SCorp, or is there something, you know, what’s in it for them? Because like they’re getting paid to do this work, everything becomes more expensive. So I find there’s a lot of confusion and trepidation around SCorp. So I would love your thoughts on when should someone consider becoming an SCorp in the United States. 

Andrew [00:14:18] Yeah, great question. So let’s first talk through a process of what it takes to become an SCorp, but then can dive into the depth of where that makes sense. And so the big thing about becoming an SCorp from a sole proprietor. So if you’ve already formed a business entity, forming an SCorp is fairly straightforward. It’s filing an election to be taxed as an SCorp. But at the end of the year – misnomer here, that’s very common that clinicians will come to us and say, Oh, I want to form an SCorp. An SCorp is a type of tax election in the eyes of the IRS. It’s not actually a formal business entity. And so in order to become an SCorp and be taxed as an SCorp and reap the benefits of being taxed as an SCorp, you must first form an LLC or a PLC, or if you’re in California professional corporation, every individual state has their own sets of rules and regulations as to what license professionals can be incorporated as. And so, work with a professional or dig into your Facebook group or memberships or communities to understand what folks in your state have been registered as. If you’re wanting to DIY and do it yourself and setting up that new business entity in terms of when it makes sense to become an SCorp and the benefits of being an SCorp. I guess why somebody would make a decision to become an SCorp is there’s a certain level of income that you cross to where you might start receiving a tax advantageous benefit from operating as an SCorp. And why that is, is because as a self-employed individual, as many of the Americans on this call have recognized, you have federal income tax, state income tax for our New York City folks, city income tax, and then you have this other thing called self-employment tax. This is you being responsible for paying into Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment taxes. Taxes that you would otherwise be paying as an employed individual on your W-2 in the form of payroll taxes. And so I look at those two things pretty synonymously. And so the benefit of becoming an S Corp is you’re building a tax entity or separating your tax entity in the context of employer versus employer-owner versus employee. And so when you elect to be taxed as an SCorp, you have the opportunity to separate yourself as the owner and also be the employee of the business. And so as the owner, you have tax-free distributions that you’re taking from the business as an employee. You pay yourself what’s called a reasonable salary. And I’ll briefly talk through that, pay yourself a reasonable salary of which you will pay payroll taxes against, which for the self-employed individual that’s listening synonymous in the amount, 15.3% that you would be paying otherwise if you’re a self-employed. So the difference here, let’s imagine Linzy went into practice and she had $100,000 that she was making. 50 that- we’ll assume she has no other business expenses besides payroll for the sake of the math. Okay. $100,000 she earned in gross income or total income. She had $50,000 that she determined was a reasonable salary. And typically where accountants land in reasonable salary is anywhere from 40 to 60% of overall gross income. Okay. Every accountant will probably provide you a different answer, but that’s typically where they will fall. Okay. So let’s imagine $50,000 of reasonable salary. So against that reasonable salary in the U.S., Linzy will pay federal income taxes, state income tax, snd let’s say she’s in New York City, city income tax, and then also payroll taxes. So that’s a lot of money. But of that $50,000, otherwise that’s left over or the net income or the profit in her practice she is taking that as a – after the taxes that she’s responsible for paying – taking that as a tax-free dividend or tax-free distribution. And so accountants will say tax-free dividend or tax-free distribution. But what it means is that they are no longer paying self-employment tax or payroll taxes on that owner’s dividend. They are just paying federal income tax, state income tax, and city income tax. And so in this example, very meta, high level, against that $50,000, there’s 15.3% that you’re not paying. So you’re potentially saving 7500. 

Linzy [00:18:35] Right. 

Andrew [00:18:36] Which sounds really awesome. Right. But there are administrative changes that you are making in your practice. You are adding a payroll software, you’re adding a separate business return. You’re having to approach accounting in a different way, more complex adjustments that you’re having to make. You’re probably at this point working with an accountant and maybe you were previously doing it yourself. And so there’s a whole host of costs. And certainly, if you’re going from a sole proprietor to an SCorp, administrative changes, compliance deadlines, a lot of changes that take place in order to get there. And from a tax saving standpoint, even once you factor in those administrative costs. And one thing that I would always recommend is applying an hourly rate to the amount of time that you might have to spend thinking about or being an SCorp. 

Linzy [00:19:25] Yes. 

Andrew [00:19:26] You start factoring in all of those deductions you might also get otherwise, just as a self-employed individual, and oftentimes you have to be at a pretty meaningful level of income for it to make sense for you to become an S corporation. That is not to discourage. We have lots of folks on Heard that become s corporation and see tax savings. Yeah. However, you know, for the folks that are right at that margin or right at that line where it starts to make sense, really take a step back and figure out, is it right for me at this point in time, Hey, accountant, can you give me a breakdown or understand both from a time perspective and a cost perspective what I might expect? 

Linzy [00:20:02] Yeah, because I think what I hear is, you know, people are informed about the potential tax savings, right? Like that self-employment tax even at 15%. And that’s a nice number. When you were like you saved $7500, I’m like, damn, I want to save $7500 in the year. Like, that’s great. That’s like a trip to Europe. Yeah, but as you say, like, there’s all these other costs that you’re incurring, right? So there’s an equation there of like, okay, so in this example, I’m saving 7500, but I’m paying now like an SCorp tax filing. You know, I’ve got payroll software that I’m using every month, which is maybe like 50 bucks a month. So it’s like actually running that. And I am curious if you could ballpark it. What do you think is like the base cost of having an S corp? If we think about all those new costs that pop up when you have that tax filing status? 

Andrew [00:20:47] Yeah, let’s do some mental math. Let’s assume $500 for payroll. That’s pretty standard across the year. $500 dollars for payroll for the year. You’re paying for an 1120, so a business income tax return, the average cost of an 1120 for a business tax return in the US is $1,000. That’s 1500. Let’s assume that you probably spend an additional 10 hours a year thinking about it and maybe, you know, at $200 an hour. So let’s say that’s another 2000, then you’re at about 3500. Yeah. And then maybe your state has additional compliance demands or franchise taxes associated with being an S corp and not state. So an additional thousand or 1500. So very quickly that 7500 goes down to 2000 or 2500. 

Linzy [00:21:40] So because that was like off the top of your head, that was like $5,000 associated expenses. And something that I do also hear like I’m hearing $1,000 for filing. I have also heard of folks having the experience of their accountant starts charging them more for bookkeeping because they’re an SCorp. There’s kind of like everything gets more serious. 

Andrew [00:22:00] 100%. Yes. 

Linzy [00:22:00] And so that could also be an expense that if you have a bookkeeper seeing like your annual cost of working with that person, if you’re in a monthly relationship with them, how much does that add up? Yeah, because right there, it’s like for all that work, now is a $2500 gain a year rather than 7500, but with a lot of extra pieces. So, you know, a question that I, I hear a lot and I know there’s no one answer, but I am curious if there’s a ballpark answer. And I think you know the question. Yeah, what is the dollar amount, like thinking about what’s left over, what you know, what somebody is getting paid, what is the amount that cues you to think like, okay, it’s something to start thinking about. Because there’s no cut and dry. But is it like when I’m bringing home 50 grand a year, Is it 75? Is it 100, Is it 150? When is it definitely worth having a conversation with your accountant about whether you should become an SCorp? 

Andrew [00:22:51] Yeah, I would say anywhere from probably 80,000 to $100,000 in business is when it really starts to make sense to have that conversation, because before then you start to play the math game and that number shrinks really quickly. And so at that point in time, I think it really makes sense to explore. And that’s not to say that there’s not people below, you know, $100,000 in business profit that aren’t really being benefits of being taxed as Scorp, that I’ve taken different strategies within the corporation acknowledging that there are different approaches to benefits and lots of things like that with an S corporation. But I would say right around that like $80,000 mark is where it starts to make sense to have that conversation and do some math. 

Linzy [00:23:31] Okay. Okay. Yeah. And then another piece to this equation is that like reasonable salary. Yeah, right. So there is, you know, yours is to determine what a reasonable salary is. And you said usually folks will land like 40 to 60. 

[00:23:45] Correct  

[00:23:46] That’s like it’s almost like a worksheet that you work through. Is that correct? I’ve seen it, I think, in passing. Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit more about like that process of making that decision of what is reasonable? Like how much should a therapist reasonably get paid to do the work that they do? Is it purely based on dollar amounts? Would they ever consider how many hours you’re working? Like what is that process like? 

Andrew [00:24:07] Yeah, that’s a great question. So in the like IRS application, there is like an absolute minimum salary that has to be maintained and that evolves year over year. But the reality is – and we were talking about this briefly before we got on the call – the reality is, is as with everything in the IRS guidelines or applications, when you’re making decisions about how you want to approach tax filing, it is up to you as the individual to determine how aggressive versus how conservative you want to be when you approach all of these decisions, whether it’s taking a specific travel deduction or, you know, figuring out how you want to determine the allocation of your home office deduction that you’re taking all the way back to the reasonable salary that you want to set up for your business. And so as it relates to what is the appropriate reasonable salary, we have a worksheet that we work through with all of our clients when we’re calculating this out and we’ll explain out, hey, aggressive versus conservative to us, aggressive starts to feel aggressive right around that 40% mark and more conservative starts to exist in that, like 60% range. But if you were to just broadly take a step back and say, you know, what are all the things that you need to think about, where am I located? What is my licensure type? If I were to go on, you know, indeed or hiring dot com and see what other salary is for this type of role were. Basically what you’re trying to factor in and think about is what are all of the qualitative and quantitative determinants if the IRS were to come to me and say. Hey, this doesn’t feel so reasonable. Can you provide evidence as to how you got back to that decision? You’re basically working to build a story into how it makes sense for you, right? So based on licensure type or location, there’s going to be a different impact or decision to be made around reasonable salary. 

Linzy [00:25:59] Yeah, And I think, you know, that really does point to how there is there’s a bit of an art here, in a way it’s almost like an art of storytelling, right? So it’s like you need to think about what is your rationale for having a certain – like if I’m, if I’m a psychologist and I’m working full time, it’s not reasonable that I would make $45,000 because I could just make a lot more money than that. Right? But if I’m like a youth worker, maybe youth workers do make that much, right? So but really having that rationale. And I know my own Canadian accountant for my Canadian situation has said that thinking about a real estate business, that we have a rental property and she’s like, you need to have your rationale. If you’ve got your clear rationale, then in our case, the CRA needs to fight you to disprove your rationale. Right? But if you’ve really solidified your thinking and you have your evidence, then they have to fight back on you. But if you have no reason and you’re like, I don’t know, I just thought $25,000 sounded reasonable, like it’s not right. And so, yeah, and as you’re mentioning too, with accountants, it’s like I think that sometimes from the therapist perspective, it feels like accounting is a science and numbers are a science and there’s like a right and a wrong. But the more I talk to accountants, you know, the more I see like it is an art and it is an opinion and there is stories there and there’s personal values and risk tolerance. Like there’s a lot of things that go into the advice that any accountant is going to give you, which is where I also think having alignment with your accountant is really important, right? Like you have to be on the same page about what is reasonable and you have to be ready to kind of like, yeah, sure, share a story with the IRS if they disagree with you, it’s good to have somebody that can be on the same page with. 

Andrew [00:27:30] Yeah, that’s exactly right. And we’ve had to either turn away clients or transition clients who have wanted to be more aggressive than we were comfortable with at our firm and our tax preparers were comfortable with. And so that relationship goes both ways. And the way that you described it was like probably the most thoughtfully described that I’ve heard how to think about that relationship as well. And so, yeah, definitely have that conversation. And I think it ultimately does come back to values more than I think. 

Linzy [00:27:55] Yes. Yeah. And ultimately, like your bookkeeper, your accountant shouldn’t go to jail for, you know, it’s just not worth it for them. So like, don’t ask them to do things that would actually jeopardize them. And, you know, and so finding that right fit of being in the same risk tolerance is really, really helpful. 

Andrew [00:28:10] Correct. 

Linzy [00:28:10] Okay, Andrew, thank you. This has been very informative. I think folks who are listening have just gotten a lot of information, not just into like the black and white, but like what what to consider. So I’m hoping that folks who are listening, who have had this SCorp question floating around might have some more to chew on and think about as they might be making that decision. So for folks who want to hear more from heard, want to learn more about what you folks do, where can they find you? Yeah. 

Andrew [00:28:36] Again, thanks so much for having me. You can find out more on And our amazing marketing and content team has put together a plethora of tools, resources, state-by-state guides that are leverageable templates that you can use if you do want to DIY out or handle a lot of this stuff yourself. We also have an awesome newsletter where we’re sharing content on a weekly basis and a growing Facebook community which we launched earlier this year, where I love to go on and answer questions, and other teammates and accountants at Heard will go in there and answer questions as well. 

Linzy [00:29:15] Right? Awesome. Thank you so much, Andrew. 

Andrew [00:29:17] Thank you. 

Linzy [00:29:32] The piece of the conversation with Andrew where he got into thinking about the costs, I think is a really helpful strategic way for us to be thinking about making these decisions as therapists. It can be very tempting with accountants to look to them as experts and to either like want to trust them fully and just do whatever they say or not trust them because you don’t understand what they’re saying. And the way that Andrew talked through that process is a really good illustration of how to think through the implications of making a decision for your business. With you being the leader of the business. Right. So that suggestion to think about, okay, for your situation, you know, you would be saving 15% in self-employment taxes. Thinking about what you earn and the actual amount of money that we’re talking about that you’re getting paid, how much would you be saving in taxes and then how much is it going to cost you to have this new status? How much is your your filing? How much is your accountant going to charge you for filing going forward or for monthly bookkeeping? How does that expense change? How much of your time is going to be going into maintaining this and that lets you actually make a grounded decision that’s informed by numbers rather than an emotional decision or decision based on like this is what they’re saying. So I have to do it. There’s just so much more information with that way of that will let you make a grounded decision. I love that Andrew’s response was to guide you through putting together information to make a grounded decision about your legal status, because ultimately your accountant is not the one who is going to like, benefit or be responsible for you being an SCorp. It’s going to be you, right? So taking the time to make an informed decision that makes sense and that you really can stand behind because you’ve run the numbers and you know that it makes sense for you is a much more empowered place to make that call than just basically deciding if you trust your accountant’s opinion or not. So really appreciate that perspective from Andrew. If you’d like to hear more from me, you can find me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. And you know what I’m going to say? If you are enjoying the podcast, please take a minute to go leave us a review. It really, really helps therapists find us. It’s the best way for new folks to find us. Live review on Apple podcast and let people know what you appreciate about the podcast. It’ll take you like three or 4 minutes and it would really make a big difference for me. Thank you so much for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Using Money for What Matters: Linzy Gets Interviewed by Maegan Megginson

Episode Cover Image - Using Money for What Matters: Linzy Gets Interviewed by Maegan Megginson
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Using Money for What Matters: Linzy Gets Interviewed by Maegan Megginson

Episode Cover Image - Using Money for What Matters: Linzy Gets Interviewed by Maegan Megginson

 “Slow is sustainable. I love the way that you have embraced a more sustainable path in the way that you are teaching people about money and business finances and the way that you are modeling, both in your personal sharing and also in the way that you teach, that you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have skills without the stories.”

~Maegan Megginson

Meet Maegan Megginson

Maegan Megginson is a licensed therapist, 7-figure entrepreneur, and business coach for therapists ready to take their careers to the next level. She’s also the founder of The Rest & Success Code, the charity fundraising event that inspires therapists to become deeply rested and wildly successful.

In this Episode...

What does money mean to you, and how can it better serve you and your values? In this season six closer episode, the tables turn, and Maegan Megginson joins Linzy to interview her about what she has learned about money during her years working with therapists on their financial skills.

Maegan and Linzy discuss how the stories we tell ourselves about money profoundly affect our relationship with it, and how the emotional work we do with money is a vital part of the steps we need to take to have a better financial foundation. Listen in to hear Linzy being interviewed, sharing what she now knows thanks to her time with students in Money Skills for Therapists. 

Connect with Maegan

You can connect with Maegan at or on Instagram 

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Maegan [00:00:03] Slow is sustainable. And I love that you have both embraced a more sustainable path in the way you’re teaching people about money and business finances, and the way that you are modeling, both in your personal sharing and also in the way that you teach, that you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have skills without the stories. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Welcome to the season finale episode for the Money Skills for Therapists podcast. And for our season finale, we decided something a little bit different, which is that my business bestie, Maegan Megginson is here. Hi, Maegan. Welcome. 


Maegan [00:01:18] Hi, Linzy. I’m so excited. 


Linzy [00:01:20] Me too. So just to, you know, mix it up a little bit, do something a little different for this episode, Maegan’s going to interview me about Money Skills for Therapists and, like, how my thinking about money has evolved over time. So, Maegan, you and I now have known each other- I wanna round up because that’s like, you know, I want to make it big. 2017 is when we met. So we’re coming up on six years now. 


Maegan [00:01:45] Happy anniversary.  


Linzy [00:01:46] Happy anniversary almost – in November – of being friends of like, watching each other’s businesses develop and grow. And like, I mean, we for a little while there, you and I, just us, we masterminded every week. Is that right? 


Maegan [00:01:59] Right. 


Linzy [00:01:59] Yeah. Yeah. 


Maegan [00:02:00] We had a lot to talk about. 


Linzy [00:02:01] We had a lot to talk about. So we spent a lot of time together watching each other’s businesses grow and evolve. And so it felt like really natural fit to have you come on to put me in the interviewee seat, which I’m about to occupy, and have you dig into my brain a little bit. 


Maegan [00:02:18] Linzy, I’m so honored to be here. It was just such a delight to receive this text from Linzy saying, Hey, do you want to interview me on my podcast? And I was like, Yeah, that’s an easy yes. So I’m so honored to be here and I’m very excited to interview you and just spotlight all of the amazing things about you and let people see- your audience see you, in maybe a way that they haven’t seen you, but that I get to see you all the time. So I feel so lucky that I get to share you with your people for a minute. 


Linzy [00:02:51] No pressure. Here we go. 


Maegan [00:02:53] Are you ready? 


Linzy [00:02:53] I’m ready. 


Maegan [00:02:54] Well, Linzy, welcome to my podcast. 


Linzy [00:02:57] Thank you so much for having me. 


Maegan [00:02:58] Oh, I’m so glad that you’re here. And I have so many questions to ask you today. I mean, first of all, this is- we’re wrapping up season what of the podcast. 


Linzy [00:03:07] That’s an excellent question. Maegan. I’m going to say we are wrapping up season six. 


Maegan [00:03:11] Oh, my gosh. 


Linzy [00:03:12] Well, yes, we do 12-episode seasons, right? So, yeah, I think we’re coming into I think this will be episode 72.  


Maegan [00:03:20] Oh, my God, 72 episodes. Okay, you know what? We don’t. We don’t need to check. 


Linzy [00:03:24] We don’t need to check. I just got my calculator. 


Maegan [00:03:26] Nobody’s going to fact check us on this. So this was episode 789 of Money Skills For Therapists. No, congratulations on six successful seasons. 


Linzy [00:03:35] Thank you. 


Maegan [00:03:37] That is such a tremendous accomplishment and it’s been such an honor for me to be behind the scenes since 2017 when we went to this coaching mastermind program together and we both started building our next level businesses at the same time. So I’ve had a backstage pass to watch the evolution of Money Skills for Therapists, and I know that Money Skills is coming up on its fourth birthday, which is pretty amazing in the online space. Not many things, courses, programs are around for four years. So congratulations.  


Linzy [00:04:12] Thank you. Thank you. And that’s four years with like a break. It’s like I made a course, ran it twice, and then, like, had a baby, did that for a year, and then now- yeah, like, since 2020. Since since COVID is when I launched, like, the latest version of the course. We’ve been running it constantly, nonstop. 


Maegan [00:04:28] Yeah. And I just. Just to brag on you. Like the fact that you came back from a maternity leave and kept investing time and energy and the same program that you created before you left, it still had legs when you got back and you know you were out for a year. Like you were- like a solid year. You were off the grid of the Internet. 


Linzy [00:04:47] Yes. 


Maegan [00:04:48] And you came back and Money Skills was still so solid and people were hungry for it. They missed it. I mean, that really speaks to the strength of the program that you’ve created. 


Linzy [00:04:59] Thank you. You’re welcome. 


Maegan [00:05:01] And I guess what I’m wondering right now is, you know, what have you noticed evolving or changing around money, How you think about money, how you talk about money, in the four years that you’ve been teaching Money Skills? 


Linzy [00:05:17] Yeah. What I think about – the kind of image that comes to mind for me – is there’s like this like deepening and sinking in about money that I have done in the course of teaching the course, like when I first made Money Skills for Therapists. So this would have been in 2018 January was the first cohort. Right. So like you and I met and then 2018 is when I ran the very first cohort. There was actually nothing in the course specifically about mindset. So it’s like we would do it on calls, right? Like organically. And like when I first ran the course, it was six weeks. It was really like drinking out of a firehose. 


Maegan [00:05:51] Right? 


Linzy [00:05:52] So now all in, you know, folks like, you know, would be like really fully just kind of like soaking it in for six weeks. And so in those calls, naturally of course, like mindset stuff would come up or like emotions would come up and like, you know, folks would cry and like, all those pieces would happen. But like, I actually hadn’t built anything into the course curriculum specifically about, like your relationship with money, which now that I look back, I’m like, right. There was like such a- it’s not an oversight, but it was just like something that maybe it’s because I was a therapist, I was just like, obviously we’re going to dig into this in real life. But given it was such a core piece of the curriculum that wasn’t there when I started and wasn’t baked in like I was. So when I started, I was so about just like spreadsheets and like empowering therapists and this side, like giving them tools. But I feel like the mindset stuff and the relationship pieces and even the way I talk about that has deepened and changed a lot over the four years. I’ve developed language that I just did not have back when I started the course. 


Maegan [00:06:50] I mean, what I’m hearing is that in the first iteration of Money Skills, emotions and mindset were secondary to skills and curriculum. 


Linzy [00:06:59] Yes. 


Maegan [00:06:59] And what you discovered pretty quickly in working with people through the program was like, wait a minute, like the ratio is off here. Like we need to really. 


Linzy [00:07:08] Exactly. 


Maegan [00:07:09] Prioritize emotions and mindset because, you know, I think what you and I know and talk about to each other a lot is you can’t actually do really deep work around money without a willingness to look at the relational aspect of currency. 


Linzy [00:07:24] Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s like the ratio was off. But even I think the order of operations, right? So like what I now understand and believe very firmly about money is that relationships actually has to come first, right? What I have learned over the course of teaching Money Skills over the last four years is it’s that relationship piece to money, right? It’s the stories that we have. It’s the trauma that we carry in our body is related to money. And like the previous negative experiences, those pieces actually make us unable to learn. Right? And so I think at the beginning I didn’t understand like, no, we really have to like, sit here and like really name this and bake this into every call and everywhere we talk about it. But also baked into the curriculum like this is first. First is understanding like, what are you carrying, what are the stories, what is the trauma, like what do you need to take to therapy and what are things that you can work out here in real time? Then it starts to create that opening, like that little bit of calming in our brains that allows us to start to learn. 


Maegan [00:08:23] It feels like a lot of what you’re saying right now comes directly from your experience as a trauma therapist. 


Linzy [00:08:29] Yes, that’s true. Which actually makes it a little bit laughable that I didn’t make it in at the beginning. I know. Like, that makes sense. 


Maegan [00:08:36] Well, you know, and I think this is something that we have both reflected on in the last year of how like when we originally shifted out of private practice mode and into a business kind of beyond our therapy practices, there was a part of us that had to go all the way to the other side of the spectrum. I was like, okay, this is not therapy anymore. This is something else. I am teaching something now. But as time goes on, I think we’re both kind of finding our way back to our roots. And this is that’s what this is for me. It’s like, Oh, like you needed that trauma foundation all along to really make this a very complete ecosystem. 


Linzy [00:09:15] Yeah. And I think too, like when I first started, like, I wanted it to just not be trauma therapy. It’s like, I want to do not trauma therapy. 


Maegan [00:09:22] I’m trying to get away from that. 


Linzy [00:09:24] Yeah, like my therapist at the time. Like therapist who did some supervisory stuff with me too. It’s like I remember talking with her about my idea, like when I came up with the idea for Money Skills for Therapists. I don’t think people necessarily knew how to respond, right? Like, I didn’t necessarily get the warmest responses from everybody. And I remember my therapist being like, Well, it’s just going to be trauma. Like you’re just going to end up talking to people about trauma. Like it felt very like squishing my idea down. I mean, it reminds me of the guy that I dated before the man I eventually married who was like, Why would you be a therapist in private practice? There’s so many of those. Like, the world doesn’t need those. It’s like, Well, he was extremely wrong. And like, my therapist was wrong too, in terms of like, it’s not just trauma. Like, I’m not just doing trauma therapy with people. Like there are concrete skills and there’s language and there’s education that we’re missing. But yeah, I think I was probably trying to get away from the trauma pieces and being like, this is going to be fine. And then ultimately, of course, it’s a deep, important part of the work to let therapists actually learn money. 


Maegan [00:10:20] When we’re tired of therapy. Because we’re therapists. I feel like we want to escape it and we’re really quick to discount the incredible magic that we wield as therapists. Our understanding of trauma, of the nervous system, of internalized beliefs, that this is the core of all work that you will ever do on anything in your entire life. Like you cannot separate running your business or your finances or raising your kids. You can’t separate this stuff from what’s happening at the very center of you. And I’m hearing that that is the biggest evolution that you have made inside of Money Skills is really positioning the emotional, the mindset, the understanding of the trauma story, front and center on the Money Skills journey. And I’m just curious, as you’ve made that transition, what kind of results are people getting, different from the results they were getting before that was part of the process? 


Linzy [00:11:18] Mm hmm. Like, what I see now is I see folks getting similar results. But what’s different is they get to do that work more inside the course in community, even making the course- the course is now a six-month course in terms of the support that they get. Folks can work through the modules at their own pace. Right. Which also I think is more flexible to the way that people learn. And some people do jump in and like do three modules in like almost never once a week, truthfully. So never as fast as I used to teach it. But some folks do jump in and like move really fast. But then when they hit a wall, the wall is almost inevitably that emotional mindset. The stories come up, it gets hard. The part that thinks that you know, that tells them that they’re stupid pops up and starts getting really loud and they disengage. But then there’s like the time to come back, right? So what I see is the way that we teach it now with really like holding emotional space. And my coach, who works for me, used to be Heather and now Diane, both amazing. Their calls have been just mindset calls like they don’t do the more practical stuff that we do in some of the other calls, like it’s just mindset. And so what I see now is like, folks get to do a lot more of that work actually inside our course and inside our community rather than I think what was happening before with my earlier students is they would get a lot of like the learning from me and we would do a little bit of that processing, but then they would take it to therapy, they would take it to their business buddies. Like they would keep working on it after the course. And so what’s also nice too, with the course being longer now, is I get to see and be with folks through that work because it does take time. Whereas like some of my earlier students, some of my students who had incredible results and like are now, you know, my testimonials. I remember one of my students like our our one on one call, which we had at the end of her six weeks. She was so anxious and overwhelmed and her computer wasn’t working and she was like nearly in tears trying to get it working so she could get the most of our call. And like, you know, I came off that call being like, Oh, I hope that she’s able to, like, solidify these things. And she did, but she had to do it later outside of the container of the course. Whereas now folks are able to do that, like settling in and that shifting and that healing and that basically like rewriting of identity inside of the course instead. 


Maegan [00:13:23] Wow. Rewriting your identity. 


Linzy [00:13:26] Yeah. 


Maegan [00:13:26] That’s pretty huge. I would say that’s a pretty huge shift in what you are offering in Money Skills than when you started. So I’m just going to share these two reflections. It isn’t just the prioritizing of the emotional experience and the trauma stories and the narratives. It’s also it’s doing that in a container that allows for a slower, more sustainable pacing. And I think this is something you and I talk a lot about in the online space in general. Is that so so much of what we’re sold is flash in the pan, really fast. You know, come in, six weeks and you’re going to have your whole life is going to be completely different. And that’s not true. Like that almost literally never happens. Yeah, slow is sustainable and I love that you have both embraced a more sustainable path in the way you’re teaching people about money and business finances and the way that you are modeling both in your personal sharing and also in the way that you teach that you can’t have one without the other, you can’t have skills without the stories. Those two things really go together. So thank you for those reflections. I have another question. 


Linzy [00:14:38] Yeah. 


Maegan [00:14:39] Are you ready? 


Linzy [00:14:40] I’m ready. 


Maegan [00:14:41] I want to know. You and I talk a lot about money in our friendship. Like money as a concept, money- I mean, our conversations definitely, like, tilt philosophical most of the time. So I want to know when it comes to money, like what is one of the most common misnomers or myths or misunderstandings that clients bring into Money Skills? 


Linzy [00:15:01] Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, to go with that identity piece, I think probably one of the most common misunderstandings about money that I see folks come in with is, like, this idea of, like, I’m not a money person, right? That there’s, like, money people and those people are just, like, good at money. And they’ve always been good at money and they’re good at math. And that therapists are not that. Right. We are something else. And I will say it is absolutely true that there is like natural ability that pops up in different areas, right? Like my brother is like brilliant with mechanics. He can look inside like and look at a van engine and like, think about how it works and figure out how to fix it. By looking at it. I look at a van engine and I’m like, That’s a lot of stuff and we’re gonna close the hood. The fact that I even just accessed the word hood, I’m pretty proud of. I have to say. 


Maegan [00:15:51] So some of us are naturally. 


Linzy [00:15:53] There’s like that natural. But I think that it’s the idea that that it can’t be learned right, that it’s. 


Maegan [00:15:58] Like you either have it or you don’t. 


Linzy [00:15:59] There’s people who do this and I can’t do this. Right. And what I reflect to folks and I was just having a conversation on a call last week with a student about this, talking about her experience of like getting kind of like overwhelmed and having trouble getting started. And I think whenever there’s, like, it’s hard to sit down and work on something or it’s hard to keep up momentum. Like, it’s a sign that there’s there’s friction there and it’s like being curious about what it is. And like when we dug in to it together, it’s like she has this story that she’s like, stupid, right? She’s stupid. And this is a story I hear a lot. I hear the stupid story a lot. And applying like the idea that therapists are stupid is like so far from reality. You know. 


Maegan [00:16:36] We’re literally the smartest people on the whole planet. 


Linzy [00:16:38] Yeah. Not. Not to be biased. 


Maegan [00:16:39] Literally. 


Linzy [00:16:41] We’re brilliant. In the coaching that I did with her on our group call was like, I just like, slowed her down and reflected on like, So there’s this part of you. It feels like you’re stupid. And usually it’s a very young part, right? Usually those are things that like, you know, I used to call my brother stupid when we were kids. I’m sure he’s got a part that I created, you know, because of that, like name calling, because he struggled in school. And we end up with these parts when we’re really little. But like as we zoomed out and like, she zoomed out more on her life experience, she has three master’s degrees, like the amount of like learning and pushing through and bending your brain and retaining new information that you have to do for three master’s degrees is phenomenal, right? And so money, it’s like it might not be your natural tuning, but like most of it is arithmetic. Truly. It’s like addition, subtraction, like maybe a little multiplication to, like, make it interesting. And therapists absolutely have the intellectual capacity to learn it. And we also have the capacity to set up good systems and make it work for us. But it’s it’s getting over that idea that you are this or you aren’t this. Like you can grow into this. It’s that growth edge, right? Like growth mindset. And I think so many therapists – and you and I, I know, have this kind of history – as people like tend to be perfectionists, tend to be people who want to be good at things right away. You know, like your- what was the award? You won the best at everything award? 


Maegan [00:17:56] Yes, it’s true. 


Linzy [00:17:57] Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Maegan won that in high school. 


Maegan [00:18:00] Eighth grade. 


Linzy [00:18:00] Eighth grade. Eighth grade. Yeah. I was also the fifth grader of the year. Just to add my award to the pile. 


Maegan [00:18:06] These are the quote. I’m using air quotes. These are like the awards and accolades that just like, really mess us up deeply inside. 


Linzy [00:18:15] The only thing that I enjoyed about getting the grade five of the year award is that I beat my crush who was also a contender and I beat him and beating boys at things is something I enjoyed deeply, still to this day. Beating men at board games is one of my greatest joys. But yeah, so that story, like not being a money person or that money is not important to you. Like money’s not- you’re not a money person in the sense of like, it’s just like not something that is important. Like those are all things that really have to be, like, troubled because I just think they’re they’re just not true and they really limit us. Those kinds of stories limit us deeply in our ability to make our lives work. Truthfully. 


Maegan [00:18:51] I really appreciate how you’re normalizing that. We all have parts that pipe up when it comes to money in math. And you know, we all have them. No one, even people who are good at math, might have mindset struggles with money when it comes to scarcity. Right. Do I have enough? You know, so I think I have yet to meet a single human on this planet who has, you know, a perfectly clean slate when it comes to managing money and thinking about money. And I just want to take this and expand it a little bit because I feel like another thread here that you’re weaving into this conversation is the way people think about money conceptually, right? There’s all the baggage that we bring in and all the stories we tell ourselves, you know, like I’m not a math person and you’re saying so clearly right now, stop it. Like, money skills are learnable for everyone. So we’re just kind of like, you know, we’re like, that conversation is done. Yes, you can learn this is as possible for you. Yeah, but it doesn’t solve yet philosophically how people understand money and how people think about money as people and as business owners. What do you have to say about that? 


Linzy [00:20:03] Yeah, So, you know, this is also something that I think I’ve thought of over time and obviously had lots of conversations with folks about money. And I had this kind of revelation, you know, I’m a verbal processor, so sometimes I talk myself into an answer like I, I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth. And then I’m like, Oh, that sounds good. Yeah. I really summed up a lot of what’s been swirling around in my brain. So I was being interviewed recently by Dr. Liz Lasky for a summit that she’s doing, and I really enjoyed my conversation with her a lot. And she brought up this this idea. She was like, you know, a lot of my my students say that, like, money is just not a value for them, right? It’s just not important to them. It’s not something that they value. And she was like, you know, what do you say to like this idea of like money’s just not something that’s not a value for everybody. And like, I had this really strong response to it and I was like, like money is not a value. Like if we looked at the list of values, like if you put like Brené Brown’s list of values, money is not on there and it should not be on there because money is not an end unto itself. And that’s what I really like conceptually started to really deepen into. You know, as we’re talking all these mindset pieces, like money is a tool. Right. Like my dad loves woodworking, so he collects saws, but saws are not what’s important to him. Saws are not a value. He doesn’t- he isn’t like, what’s important in my life is saws. What’s important in his life is creativity, using his hands, giving gifts to people that he made from his heart, connection and family, like that’s what it’s about, right? and I think with money, we confuse the vehicle or the tool. We think that the vehicle and the tool is the end unto itself. And it’s not at all. Like money has no meaning in and of itself. I think it’s completely how we relate to it. You know, these pieces hanging about earlier. It’s what you do with it, and it’s how you use it to enact your actual values that gives it meaning and purpose and brings it to life. 


Maegan [00:21:58] Yeah, Because, you know, like, money isn’t real. I remind myself of this, like, once a week. Like, we literally really made it up. Like, we made it up. And we all mutually agree that it’s a thing that we can barter with. Yeah. What you’re saying is really, really powerful. Money isn’t a value. Money is a tool that can support you in getting and creating the things that you actually do value in your life. But before we talk more about that, I want to know when people say things like, well, money’s not important to me. Money’s not a value for me. What do you think they’re actually saying? 


Linzy [00:22:32] They’re saying they’re afraid of money. They’re saying that money is bad. They’re afraid of power. They’re afraid of being one of the bad people who has power and therefore is abusing and exploiting other people. They’re saying that they don’t feel competent or they don’t trust themselves to have it. So they’re just told themselves that they don’t want it. I think there’s a kind of a disowning there of that that power. 


Maegan [00:22:55] I agree. And I would say that I think some people who say money’s not important to me, money’s not a value, are also people who are in the process of like deprogramming themselves from capitalism, and they’re just not on the other side of it yet, you know, because I think when you’re at the beginning of your journey of understanding your relationship with capitalism and patriarchy and all the things, it’s really easy to be like, smash the patriarchy, down with money. You know, we go into this like, rage angry place, which actually is not helpful. Yeah. So I think sometimes when people are like, money doesn’t- it’s not important to me. It’s not a value that I have. It’s really, to me, this little beautiful little flag that says like, Oh, great, now they’re doing the real work. It’s like really starting to figure out then like, Whoa, what is it? You know, and how do I fit this into my life in a way that is aligned with my values? Yeah. So on that note, I would love to know. What advice do you have for people who are in the place where they really are ready to examine their values and connect with the things that really matter to them? 


Linzy [00:23:56] Mm hmm. Yeah. I mean, it makes me think about, you know, when you’re talking about folks in that place where they are pushing against something, they’re questioning their relationship with capitalism and other systems. It makes me think about it’s easy to put yourself in opposition like this is what I’m against. But ultimately, what makes the world better is like, What are you for? Yeah, right. And your values are about what are you for, right? What feeds you? What is what makes your life worthwhile? What do you want your legacy to be? And the legacy is not money. I really- like the more that I have, like, sat with this and the more that I’ve watched the accumulation of wealth, I have seen that just passing a bucket load of money onto your kids doesn’t actually necessarily guarantee anything about their happiness or success or even their love for you. Right. Like, I think we get so confused sometimes with like, well, family is a value, so I’m going to, like, save up tons and tons of money, I mean, to make lots of money so my kids have money. And again, we’re confusing the vehicle with the actual value, right? The destination. Right. And so it’s if you’re coming to that place of starting to think about what are you for? Like something that I’ve done with my students in Money Boss, when I ran that mastermind before. And then I talk about more with my like group practice owners because they’re more in that place of like they’ve usually done some foundational pieces and they’re getting more into how do you use this powerful tool that is now at your disposal? Is even challenging yourself to think about like a top three. Like, what are your top three values? Yeah, because there’s this whole, you know, piece about priorities. And, you know, I think many of us have heard by now this concept that there didn’t used to be a concept of priorities. You had a priority, you had one. And now when we think of priorities, we have a list of like 20 things that pops into our brain. It’s hard to get it down to one, but I find three is helpful in like, modern age. 


Maegan [00:25:48] All right. I’ll meet you in the middle. 


Linzy [00:25:49] I’ll meet you in the middle. You get three priorities, three values. And I find, like, looking at, you know, Brené Brown has that list of values which I use, you know, as a great starting place with folks. Just like, peruse that list. And like, what calls to you? Like, what is most important in your life? And values, I think can be abstracted or like, you know, put into certain contexts that make them very loaded. But it’s just a question like what is actually important to you? What’s the most important to you? Right? And what does that actually look like? Right. If family is important to you, what does family actually look like? What do you mean when you say that? It is that creating memories for your kids? Is that helping them like have ease as they go through school? Like, what does it mean? Like, how do you instrumentalize that? Because it’s so powerful to be living your values. And that for me is like ultimately where you get to once you work through all this, like once you go through the murky swamp of money work, right, and like start to have that trauma setting, start to think about new identities, start to like, set up your own systems to make money work for you in the way that your brain works. On the other side, you get to ask yourself, like, what really matters to me and how do I use this tool to get more of that or create more of that in my world? And it’s really it’s a very powerful place to get to. 


Maegan [00:27:04] It is powerful and it is really hard work. You know, I, I feel like sometimes people don’t- like values are especially – I’m thinking back to my early days training to be a therapist. And you know, we did like core values trainings and all of these and there’s this like lightness about it. You know, core values work. Oh, just do some values, right? Here’s some worksheets. And it it really missed the mark in terms of like how deep values work is and how, like, you can’t actually do values work without processing quite a lot of grief and regret. You know, when you really look yourself in the mirror and start to get honest about what is actually important to me in my life, usually we then have to grieve how much of that we haven’t held up to this point. So I guess I just want to add into this conversation for people who are starting to really drop in to a deep exploration of their values, make sure you’re well supported in community with your therapist, with your own friends and colleagues, with people who are really having this conversation with their own selves, so that when you do hit up against something that’s heavy or hard or there some grief, like you have someone to process that with, like that is such an important part of this process. Getting clear on what you value is – if I’m hearing you right – the only way to really understand the purpose money serves in your life. 


Linzy [00:28:29] Yes. 


Maegan [00:28:30] And the other thing that that popped up for me listening to you talk about values is that most of the time- I haven’t looked at Brene Brown’s list of values. I will do that. But for me, most of the time, core values are connected to time in some way. Like most core values are connected to time. I want time with my family. I want time to be creative. I want time to tend to myself. And I think that that is the thing money does for me right now in my life is like having an abundance of money makes it possible for me to have more time to explore the things that really matter to me because I’m not kind of stuck in, you know, a 40 to 60 hour workweek, you know, serving clients or serving a boss. So that’s where my mind goes when I think about like, what’s- so if I’m clear on my values, like, what can money really do for me? Well, money can buy me like free time. Spaciousness. What other things come to mind for you? 


Linzy [00:29:27] Yeah. 


Maegan [00:29:27] What can money do for us? 


Linzy [00:29:29] That is definitely yours. As someone who knows you well and has also watched your evolution and something like you and I masterminded recently with some other, you know, therapist business friends in San Francisco when we were there. And something that I said to you in that mastermind is like, I- you are now the happiest that I’ve ever seen you. Like, I think you just you keep getting happier. And so much of that, I think, for you, has been claiming that time for yourself, right. Like, that’s something that is deeply important. And I think also for who you are as a person and just your energy and like what really feeds you. Topnotch value. And you’re definitely living that. Right. And I see how that pays off for you in so many ways. You know, when I think about myself, I think that sometimes I think that I want time and I do want time. But, you know, we were talking about this when we’re traveling together. I’m like a project person. I’m a creator. And so is my spouse, you know, my partner. And so that’s something that I see for us is like we are very like generative and we like to think about how to make the world better. And my partner is a city councilor as well, so he’s deep in the like, you know, like homelessness, the opioid crisis that we have happening in Canada, you know, how do we fix this? We think about these things a lot. And so I think for us too, it’s also a family value is is kind of creativity and creation, right? So and sometimes I do I delude myself into thinking, oh, and then I’ll have time. And everyone who knows me well is like, Oh, you’re going to fill that with a project. 


Maegan [00:30:51] Well, but I think this is really important that you have to have time to engage in those projects. That having time doesn’t mean having time to sit around and do nothing. 


Linzy [00:31:03] Yes. 


Maegan [00:31:04] Having time means having time to do whatever it is that you identified is your core value. And I think like that this is the biggest thing we stand to gain as business owners, as people who do control our own schedule, and we do control the way that we make money. We have the ability to create time in our lives, to do our values, to live our values in a way that people who are employed do not. In the way who people are, you know, not running their business in creative and sustainable ways, do not. So, yeah, I just want to make that clarification that it’s money can afford you time not to be working in your business so that you can explore your values outside of your business and whatever feels right for you. 


Linzy [00:31:50] I think about that too, as you were talking earlier, about how like when you really look at your values, there’s going to be grief and you’re going to have to like accept where those values have not been present. And what I think about is, is the next piece of this is you’re also going to have to be honest with yourself about making decisions, like actually prioritizing. Oh, yeah, right. I think we we do very much live in a, like, we want to have it all society where it’s like, oh, I want to have time to like, enjoy my kid while they’re young. But also, I mean, I feel really frustrated if I need to take time off to be with them because I could have been making a thousand dollars that day. Right. So it’s like really being honest with yourself of like, wait a second, what actually matters to you right now? And that’s a conversation I remember having with a coaching client at one point, like, this is a gift, right? The fact that we do work for ourselves and we can make the choice to say like, Hey, my kid was sick, I’m going to be home with her and just let her sleep on me all day. You know, when we’re so driven by this idea of what success looks like and it’s like I should be making money because I could be making money. We miss the fact of, like, you’re winning. Like your family has enough that you’re okay and you get to be home with your kid and they don’t have to be like, you know, at daycare or like with a babysitter when they’re feeling really sick and they just want their parents. Right. Like that is winning. Like that is you actually living your priorities if that is, you know, one of your priorities. But it’s like, we do have to make hard decisions ongoingly to make sure that we are actually living those values because there is always going to be this noise of like, but you could be more productive, you could be making more money, right? Like you could be getting money to buy that nice thing that the person next door has, like the keeping up with the Joneses is real. And it looks different now because now it’s social media and it’s Instagram and whatever. 


Maegan [00:33:30] Lifestyle creep is real. 


Linzy [00:33:32] Lifestyle creep is very real. 


Maegan [00:33:33] So to reflect, it starts with really naming what your values actually are, and you’re giving people three, three. They can have three.  


Linzy [00:33:44] You can have three.Yeah. 


Maegan [00:33:44] That’s it. No more, no less. Now identify three values that- this is a question I posed to my clients a lot. It’s a little bit morbid, but, you know, like, life is not infinite. If you found out that you were going to die tomorrow, like, how would you spend your last 24 hours here? What would you look back on and regret not having done more of? Like that can be a very evocative way to begin to peel back the layers to find like, Well, what are these three core things that I really want to organize my life around. And what I want to just remind people of is that, like, your business exists to serve you and your family first and foremost. Your clients are secondary to you serving yourself. So when you identify these three core values that you really want to organize your life around, your next job as a business owner is to figure out how do I curate this business that I have so that it fuels and funds those things that I’ve identified as my core values. Yeah. And then you’re saying, Linzy, that’s when you can really answer the question, What does money mean to me and what can money do for me? Money is a thing that you make to serve the core values you’ve identified are most important to you. Am I getting that right?


Linzy [00:35:01] Yeah. And as we’re talking about those, too, the other word that comes up for me, which is one of my favorites, is like enough-ness. Like it’s also the root to enough-ness, because when you’re actually living your values in your life, you know, when you’re really doing the things that like feed you and that are rich and meaningful for you. And that’s different for every single one of us. When you have a lot of that in your life, the striving really quiets down, right? The illusion that like, Oh, if only this, then I’m going to feel satisfied, right? Because the truth is like you can build a life that gives you deep satisfaction. Now, I would say almost regardless of your financial situation, but by getting money working for you, you can get more of that into your world and you can be doing that without like sacrificing something else in the future, like your financial stability, your retirement, right? Like you can have both. You get to be present knowing that you have enough and you’re on track and everything’s okay, and you don’t need to be constantly pushing for more. 


Maegan [00:35:58] Oh, I think that is a really beautiful note for us to wrap up on this. Just this reminder that you you don’t have to spend the rest of your life pushing for more, that your worthiness as a human being is not attached to how much money you make or what your job title is or how many figures you can say your business earns every year. That that’s all nonsense. The money you’re generating through your business is a tool to fund the beautiful life that you are creating for yourself and for your family. Nothing more and nothing less. But coming full circle back to the beginning of our conversation. In order to do that, in order to be able to paint that picture, you have to have a foundational set of money skills to use so that you know how to run your business, you know how to categorize your finances and how to pay yourself appropriately, that those skills are really non-negotiable. If you want to create a sustainable business that funds your life. So it’s all of these pieces together, the emotional skills, the emotional stories, the processing of the trauma that comes for you around money. Balancing that all out with like actual strategic spreadsheet skills and understanding of like banking and like how to move money from one place to another. Moving that into how do I use this money that I now know how to organize the fund, the values that I have for my life? Am I getting that right? 


Linzy [00:37:37] You are. Yeah. I think the money is a you know, the skills I think of as a foundation. Right. To to bring a new metaphor into the mix. That’s your foundation upon which you’re stable, you’re secure. And then you can reach and expand and be present because you are. Right. Like, you do have everything covered. There is enough-ness. Like, true enough-ness. Your life is covered. There’s money going towards the future and you can just really sink into being in your life in the way that is actually going to feed you the most. 


Maegan [00:38:09] Linzy, this is really big stuff. And I just feel like if all business owners could hear this and really let it in, I’m not saying this to be dramatic. I literally mean, like the whole world would be such a better place, a kinder, gentler, more loving place, a happier place that like it starts here. And I’m so grateful that you exist and that you are here to share this wisdom and knowledge with people through this podcast. And it was such an honor and a privilege to be able to interview you today. So thank you for having me and thank you for just existing. It’s a real pleasure to know you. 


Linzy [00:38:47] Thank you. Maegan. This was really fun. I am so appreciative of Maegan for coming in and doing this interview with me to end what is actually season six. I did go back and check this is our final episode of season six of the Money Skills for Therapist Podcast. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. It was really fun to dig into those things with Maegan and to be the one being interviewed instead of the reverse. And if you are curious about money skills for therapists, we’ll put a link in the show notes to watch the masterclass. So there’s a masterclass that you watch, which gives you a feel for me and how I teach and what’s included in the course. It really walks through what’s included in the course. So we talk there about the six months of support that are now built into the way that we teach it and all the modules and all the content. And you can check out that masterclass to learn about Money Skills for Therapists, and also have the opportunity to join us if it calls to you. So thank you so much for joining us for the end of season six. We will be back with season seven in the fall. Gonna take a little break. And of course, you can follow us on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. And if you have enjoyed this final episode or any of the episodes in season six of the podcast, I would so appreciate if you can go live review on Apple Podcasts so other therapists and health practitioners can find the podcast and be part of this conversation. Thanks so much for listening. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Making Mindful Money Choices with Cynthia Agyeman-Anane

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Making Mindful Money Choices with Cynthia Agyeman-Anane

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 “For me, emotionally and physically, I needed something different. I would go to work — and I think that’s where sometimes with security, you have to question a little bit — because just because it’s secure doesn’t mean that I’m happy going there or I feel good, physically and emotionally, going there. And so it wasn’t necessarily about the money but more about how I need to take care of my health, and I need to feel good about the thing that I’m doing.”

~Cynthia Agyeman-Anane

Meet Cynthia Agyeman-Anane

Cynthia Agyeman-Anane has eighteen years of experience in the field of social work and mental health. Her knowledge and skills working with children, adolescents and families have shaped her empathy and compassion about meeting clients where they are. She is passionate about therapy and truly believes everyone needs an outlet to process when life happens. She believes regular talk therapy can be a way to live an authentic and meaningful life.  

Cynthia Agyeman-Anane, LCSW-C, is an up and coming relationship expert counselor who has been intensively trained in all 3 levels of the Gottman Couples Therapy Method, as well as the additional Gottman Method Trainings for Couples regarding Addiction Recovery, Infidelity, Trauma/PTSD, and Domestic Violence. Cynthia loves to talk, laugh and play. Through Conversations Create Change LLC, she is able to do all three.

In this Episode...

What words come up for you when you think of money, and how do those words shape how you use money? Linzy and guest Cynthia Agyeman-Anane dive into how our core beliefs around money can shape the business decisions we make. Cynthia talks about her decision to transition into owning her own private practice and how her core beliefs around security and freedom impacted that decision.

Linzy and Cynthia discuss how what really matters is what we do with the money we make. They share how our beliefs can guide the professional and financial risks that we decide to take so that we can have more emotional and physical wellness and a more balanced professional life. Listen in to hear the money choices that Cynthia has made and plans to make to help her move toward a more fulfilling and balanaced private practice. 

Connect with Cynthia

You can find Cynthia at or 

And on social media at @conversationscllc & @ talk_allaboutit

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Cynthia [00:00:01] For me, emotionally and physically, I needed something different. I would go to work and I think that’s where sometimes that security you have to question a little bit because just because it’s secure, it doesn’t mean that I’m happy going there, right? Or I feel good physically, emotionally going there. And so it wasn’t necessarily about the money, but more about I need to take care of my health. I need to feel good about the things that I’m doing. 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today on the podcast we have a lovely guest who I will get to in a minute. But before I do, I wanted to share a review for the podcast on Apple Podcasts. You know, I’m always asking you folks to share your reviews on Apple Podcasts. So I wanted to share one from user voluptuous coconut, which is a great screen name. They say, I’ve really enjoyed this podcast. The guests are super knowledgeable and Linzy has a lovely way of having conversations that are incredibly validating and supportive. I always look forward to a new episode because I know it’s going to be helpful, insightful, and even therapeutic. Such a wonderful little gem of a podcast. Thank you so much, voluptuous coconut, for your review. I really appreciate it. So today’s guest on the Many Skills for their Therapist podcast is Cynthia Agyeman-Anane. Cynthia is a therapist, but the way that Cynthia and I actually met is through a non-therapist presence that she has on Instagram, which is @talk_allaboutit. So it’s a channel that she has where she does not wear her therapist hat and just invites folks to have conversations about health and mental health and parenting. And I had a conversation with her a couple of months ago about money and just really enjoyed it. So I wanted to bring her on to the podcast to share her with all of you. Today, Cynthia and I talk about the different meanings that money can have. We talk about the relationship between security and freedom. We talk about the bind that folks can find themselves in when they are working for an institution like a hospital or working for someone else, and the kind of handcuffs of security and thinking about other ways that we can also think about security that might be more aligned with what’s actually best for us. And a theme throughout that you’re going to hear a lot is intention really thinking about how to bring intention into your practice and into your relationship with money to make it better, to actually make your private practice better than what you could get working for someone else in a more institutional setting. Here’s my conversation with Cynthia. So, Cynthia, welcome to the podcast. 

Cynthia [00:03:11] Thank you so much for having me. 

Linzy [00:03:13] Yeah, I’m so glad to have you. So we connected on Instagram, which I feel like is a sentence I’m saying more and more often these days. 

Cynthia [00:03:22] We definitely did, yes. 

Linzy [00:03:24] Can you tell folks who are listening about like what you do? 

Cynthia [00:03:28] Sure. So, hi, everybody. My name is Cynthia Agyeman-Anane and I’m a licensed therapist in the state of Maryland and D.C. And I have a private practice called Conversations Create Change, where we see individuals, families, couples, we deal with all sorts of issues from anxiety all the way to trauma. A lot of my individual work has to do with couples, so I’m a Gottman level three trained therapist. My passion project right now is definitely couples and working with couples. We met through my IG @talk_allaboutit where I get to kind of have a little bit of a creative space for myself away from work. So yeah. That’s where you can find me.  

Linzy [00:04:14] Yes. Talk all about it. Yeah. And you host conversations there with a variety of- 

Cynthia [00:04:19] I do host conversations there. 

Linzy [00:04:21] Yeah. 

Cynthia [00:04:22] Yeah. You know anything from you know, with you I talk to about money and private practice, but I also talk to other individuals around health care. Anything related to healing. I try to talk all about it because I honestly do believe, like, my business name is Conversations Create Change. I like to talk all about it. So anything, anything and everything. I feel like as long as we’re talking we’re healing and we’re learning something new. 

Linzy [00:04:49] Yes. And we’re going to do it now in this space talking about money. We’re planning to have a conversation and just digging into money because I think money is so. Well, I don’t think – I know – money is so personal. Right. And what drives us and the meaning of it, it varies so much from person. So let’s dig into what money has meant for you and its role in your private practice. So that’s my first question for you, which is very kind of open. But like for you, Cynthia, what does money mean to you? 

Cynthia [00:05:17] You know, that’s a really good question, Linzy, because for me, money means a few things. The first one that comes to mind is security, right? To some degree, because even going into private practice, part of the reason that I was a little bit hesitant at first is because I was working full time for a great company, great salary, great benefits. And out of all the the workings that we look for, right, when we’re going into our careers. And so going into private practice, there was a lot of unknowns around will I be secure in terms of when clients don’t show up? What if you get cancellations? What if, you know, people don’t show up in general? If you don’t see your client, you don’t get paid, right. So that’s the mindset going into it. So there was a lot of hesitation initially because again, for me, money is really a security and that’s one of the first things. The second one, for me, money’s freedom, right? Because it allows you to also have access to things that you normally wouldn’t have access to. And so for going into private practice, one of the things that money has allowed me in terms of freedom is the freedom to do what I want to do, right? So I know I’m not necessarily beholden to anybody if my own company is my own stuff with my own time. So it definitely allows me the opportunity to have a lot of freedoms around certain things that- even doing this, right, like I’m able to come talk with you right after this, I have a client, right? Yeah. Yes. I’m able to kind of schedule my schedule the way that I want to. And so that sense of freedom definitely, I think is something that money can buy for you, but it can give you the opportunities to create. 

Linzy [00:07:04] That’s a good distinction because I think sometimes that we do think that money automatically means a certain thing, like a certain amount of money equals happiness, or a certain amount of money equals financial security. So yeah, can you dig into that distinction a little bit? 

Cynthia [00:07:18] Yeah. So I think there’s a- it’s about how your intentions with it, right, because I used to have this family member, she passed away, she was like 99 years old, so she lived a really good life and she would always have this phrase that she would use. If you have $1,000,000 and you spend 1,000,001, you’re broke. Right? That phrase has always stuck with me because you’re going to have as much access as you want to money, but if you’re not using it wisely or you’re not being intentional with it, it definitely can create some stressors for you, right? Sure. Oh, I think, you know, it’s up to you to determine how you move with money or how you use money to benefit the lifestyle that you want to live or the choices that you want to make for business, personal life, and so forth and so on. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:08:09] Well, and that’s an interesting too, like thinking about money and security, because security is one of my words too, that I often think of, like what is money to me, Like it’s security. But as you say, it’s very much about how you use money that actually creates security. And it makes me think about like when you were talking about moving out of, you know, what can be considered like a golden handcuffs space where you have a job that has all the benefits and it has the pension and it has the guaranteed salary, and like it can feel like that’s very safe. But something that occurs to me is like even in that situation, if you’re not using your money strategically to create like other buffers for yourself, like emergency funds and investments, retirement savings, even that could go away because that’s not actually yours. Like the job isn’t yours. It doesn’t belong to you. Somebody can take it from you because it’s not actually something that you’ve created. You don’t own it. 

Cynthia [00:08:58] Mm hmm. And I you know, that’s so interesting because I feel like there’s sometimes, like a false sense of security, right, when we work for certain companies. So if we’re not careful that security, like you said, can handcuff us. Right. And kind of make us stuck and not unwilling to kind of move and be creative and challenge ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Linzy [00:09:22] Something else that sticks out to me is I think about your two words is they are two words that are almost like two different ends of a spectrum in a way they could be thought about. But I can also see how they layer. So I’m curious for you, like, why do you think, like, security and freedom are your two things or how those things relate for you? 

Cynthia [00:09:38] You know, I am learning more and more about myself, that I’m a more of a free spirit. And I, I don’t know, I guess, you know, after a while you start owning where you are and you just start, you know, becoming very comfortable and say, this is who I am. And so for me, the free spirit part comes in in terms of going into private practice. The thought was I would have more time and more, you know, access to with the family and other things that I wanted to do. And so I think it definitely it just security felt grounding in a way, right? Because I am a free spirit. I feel like, yes, I can have freedom and security grounds me in some way. Yeah, right. So I feel like those bookends of the other. But it works together, you know what I mean? 

Linzy [00:10:28] Yeah, Well, and like, okay, so here’s the imagery I have for it, because this is something that, as I said it, I was like, wait a second. No, no, I have a metaphor literally about this. So when I talk about it the way that I see some therapists talk about it when they are in that position, right, Like they are in that secure hospital job and they’re like, If I just stay for 15 more years, I get my pension payout. You’re like, Oh my gosh, that’s a long time to be committed, right? So it’s like for those folks, I think that they see like the security that they have in that job is right and the freedom of private practice is not safe because what makes it free is also the fact that it’s like less reliable, less predictable. Right. Like it’s not guaranteed. But the way that I’ve come to experience these things and I think it aligns with what you’re saying too, is like I see it more as like a tree where it’s like the security that we can create for ourselves is the roots. 

Cynthia [00:11:12] Is the foundation, right? 

Linzy [00:11:13] It gives us foundation. It’s foundation, right? And so it gives us stability and we can build that like our own tree. Can have that security, like the tree that we build with our spouse and our- that we have for our family. And from having strong roots and security, you can reach and expand, right? Like the bigger the roots, the bigger the branches. Right. And so but you need that secure foundation. And what we see sometimes is the folks like take big financial risks or big business risks and they don’t build in security. Then there’s the opportunity of bankruptcy and loss. And like all the things that we fear, right? Like losing everything when you don’t have the roots, then reaching really far doesn’t mean that you can topple. But I see this, like, beautiful kind of interaction, almost like a mirroring between those two things. 

Cynthia [00:11:59] I love that. 

Linzy [00:12:00] That makes both of them. Yeah, they’re the same thing. Yeah, that resonates. 

Cynthia [00:12:04] It does. And I love that. It’s such a beautiful imagery. Right. But yeah, and again, if the foundation is not firm and strong, right, you can branch out as much as you want to. And I feel like that’s- and going into private practice has definitely allowed me in a lot of ways to be intentional. Right? And not always. I don’t always get it right, but definitely being how far I want to reach and how, you know, how much freedom I want to kind of give myself. Right. There’s a beauty in that too. 

Linzy [00:12:37] Yeah. So I’m curious then, like thinking about your step into private practice. I’m hearing you were in this kind of like, traditional secure job and you stepped into private practice. What was the role of money in you deciding to take that step?  

Cynthia [00:12:49] You know. I don’t know if money was necessarily a factor in terms of like what I make more or what I make less. Right. It was more, again, going back to that sense of freedom in a sense for me emotionally and physically, I needed something different, right? I would go to work. And I think that’s where sometimes, that security, you have to question a little bit, right? Because just because it’s secure, it doesn’t mean that I’m happy going there. Right. Or I feel good physically, emotionally going there. And so it wasn’t necessarily about the money, but more about I need to take care of my health and I need to feel good about the thing that I’m doing. And it also allows me, again, back to the freedom of being able to spend time with family and, you know, do our routines and our schedules the way we wanted to do it. So, yeah, money was in I mean, obviously it was a factor. Yes. Yes. I want to be able to have some sense of, you know, security and financial means coming in. But I think for me, it was really just reflecting on what I needed physically and emotionally. Right. And then realizing that, oh, I can do it through private practice. Mm hmm. 

Linzy [00:14:00] And what have you found financially has happened for you since you made that step into private practice, I guess. How long ago did you start your practice? 

Cynthia [00:14:09] So my practice, I guess, is like four years old now. Yeah. But before that, I was working for someone else who had their own private practice. I kind of. Kind of saw that a little bit. So it was a transition where I wasn’t like, I just quit my job and I was just kind of like, transitioned that in the way that made sense for me. But to be honest, I found out quickly that you can make as much money as you want or as little money as you want. Right. It’s definitely up to you and what your needs are, what your family budget and income and all of that ratio kind of stuff. So it’s been money-wise, it’s been a better decision for me going into private practice than when I wasn’t. There’s been some growing pains, I think, right? Realizing that you can overwork yourself in private practice if you’re not careful. Oh, yes. Yeah. So I feel like year three, right? Last year. I have to be very mindful about, hey, you need to find a balance, right? Hence kind of figuring out what is it that I want to do? How how do I want to help my clients the most, but also how can I take care of myself in the meantime? So I’ve had to scale back a little bit, but I’ve had to do that because it was, again, right, thinking about what’s best for me. I was kind of prioritizing my health and my physical and emotional health, I think has definitely been helpful for me. 

Linzy [00:15:35] Yeah, And it makes you think about costs, right? Like, I think, as you say, like when you work for yourself, you were the factor. Like, if you say yes more, if you push more, if you market more, you will see more clients. If you modulate or if you don’t put yourself out there as much, you’re going to see less clients. Right. But if you do go to that point of seeing a lot of clients, you’re going to hit limits that are different types of limits, right? That are emotional limits and physical limits. 

Cynthia [00:15:59] And you have to figure that out for yourself really quickly or you’re going to be like private practice because sucks, its not for me. And then that’s not the problem. The problem is that you’re not finding that balance or you’re not figuring out where your happy space is, right. Like, you definitely have to find that. I don’t know the term I’m looking for like your soft spot, right? You have to find that for yourself. 

Linzy [00:16:21] Yeah, like you’re like, sweet spot. I like using the term sweet spot when I talk to folks, because what I find too, Cynthia, and I’m curious about your experience of this coming out of a place where working in, like, more of, like an institution, you know, or an agency setting and then maybe working in a group practice, too, where there might be minimums that you need to hit. What I noticed with lots of folks is when they go into solo practice and they really just are their own boss, they still treat themself the way that those institutions or other businesses treated them, right? So it’s like it’s almost like wherever you go, there you are. Except that now where you are, you’ve like internalized all these ideas of how much you have to work and like not really valuing your emotional well-being as much as it could be the money, or could just be thinking like, this is what a full day looks like. And so with that sweet spot conversation, like a conversation I had with folks a lot in Money Skills for Therapists is like, I see that come up where I’ll say like, okay, so let’s just think about in a week, like, what is your sweet spot of sessions? They’re like, Well, I can do 25. It’s like, That’s not what I asked you. Right? But we’re so conditioned to think about what is my max. Like I say, sweet spot people here. What is the maximum at which you’re not technically dying, but you will enjoy it for years. Right. That like, to the max. I’m curious about your own experiences with any of those kinds of, like, internalized pieces.  

Cynthia [00:17:33] Well, I think I was lucky in the sense that transitioning into private practice, I was very mindful of what I wanted to do. And so those core beliefs or conditioned behaviors around the clientele and different things like that. I think I was very mindful not to get caught up in it. And I think obviously I did the first year because I was like, Well, I’m only one person, right? But they all are these clients and be providing them the service that I want to provide them. And so I had to again, scale back. But I think I was lucky in the sense that I had a community of other first-time private practice owners. Right. So I feel like we did a good job of supporting one another in terms of, Oh, you’re seeing how many clients. Right. And kind of talking around like self-care and balancing and, you know, family expectations and different things like that. So I think that was helpful for me and then for me as well. I think when you have a family, right, you also have to be thoughtful around those things, too. So I think that also forced me because again, the intention was I was supposed to find a balance right, between work and family. So I think that also forced me to be very mindful about, okay, I can see clients up to this time, but I had to transition because the kids have activities or, you know, they have to have dinner or bedtime or all of that stuff. And so I think there were a lot of different factors that helped me to not get caught up in those and institutionalized core beliefs around numbers and client base and all of that stuff. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:19:11] Yeah. Yes. Yes. Yeah. And I think, you know, coming back to a word you’ve used a few times, it sounds like you’re very intentional. 

Cynthia [00:19:17] You have to be. 

Linzy [00:19:18] Like, you know why you went into this. You kept that. You didn’t lose that as soon as you got into private practice, but you kept that like family in balance and your health as a center. 

Cynthia [00:19:28] I want to say I- you know, I got caught up in it the first year because it was just exciting, right? Like the endorphins. 

Linzy [00:19:34] Like, Yeah, yeah, there’s that. 

Cynthia [00:19:36] All over the place. But I think, yeah, after the first year, it was like, okay, I cannot sustain this, right? I will burn out. I will- you start getting resentful, right? And that’s not a healthy place to be when you’re doing anything but especially private practice because you are like literally the one. 

Linzy [00:19:57] Yeah, yeah. Yes. You’re supposed to be holding neutral emotional space for folks and resentment is not really conducive to that. 

Cynthia [00:20:04] So yeah. So luckily for me, I have a group practice too. And so I think I also had to model that for, you know, some of my staff as well. And they actually did a really good job modeling for me because I had one clinician who only saw a certain amount of clients, you know, every- a certain amount of days just because that’s what she could sustain. And I admire that about her. It was like, oh, okay. 

Linzy [00:20:30] Yes, yes. 

Cynthia [00:20:32] I get to do that too. People around you definitely can be helpful with some of those. 

Linzy [00:20:39] Yeah. Yeah. I’m hearing lots of like positive influences. Yeah. From peers and even from the folks working for you. 

Cynthia [00:20:45] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:20:46] In your private practice. I’m curious, like, what are some of the best money moves you’ve made since going into private practice? 

Cynthia [00:20:53] Well, you know what? I guess it’s, it’s really initially, you know, we’ve had conversations around insurance versus self-pay versus, you know, some other things. And I think for me, one of the reasons I wanted to, you know, offer Conversations Create Change to people was really making it accessible. Right. And so I’ve really had to be careful not to, like, only go self-pay only. And so I think for me, the best money move, I guess, is like working through the insurance companies for me. Because it just allows me to have more access to clientele. And so that’s been very helpful for me. But I think the other thing that I’m learning as well is one of the things that personally for me that I want to kind of, you know, shift into is doing like more couple work or doing like workshops and different things like that for couples. Yeah, not only does it allow me then to have more access to clients in a short period of time, right, But it also allows me to kind of like do the work that I want to do effectively in a short period of time without like going months and months and months and months and session after session after session. I think that’s the transition that I want to get to, and I’m hoping that that’s my next money move. I go back to that word intentional, about servicing clients and then also limiting burnout and, you know, balancing family and work schedules and things like that. You know. 

Linzy [00:22:26] What I hear in that that I really appreciate is like a both/and. Yeah, because I think often those things are seen as kind of opposites where it’s like you either do insurance and you just kind of take whatever the insurance companies give you and like this is, you know, your financial and potentially emotional suffering because they’re not always their work is like the cost of being accessible and it’s the cost of justice. Yeah, that’s kind of one end of the spectrum. And then the other end is like totally out of pocket or like only like one-to-many services where there’s like no individual access and it’s trying to maximize as much as possible. And what I hear here is a finding like a balance or a mix that suits. 

Cynthia [00:23:04] Your insurer. I think so. The other. Another thing to that, if I can make this as a money move, is hiring the right people for certain things. Right. And I think for me, one of the things I learned very quickly with that billing and dealing with the insurance company was that I wanted to outsource. And so I tried for, you know, the first year or so. And again, it added to my burnout and added. So I feel like there was that and just like not liking this at all. And so it was definitely- bringing somebody on board to help with that definitely was a good money move, I think on my part. 

Linzy [00:23:45] Yeah. And, you know, I think that that speaks to self-awareness, right? Like, I you know, in terms of the question of, like, what is the right first hire, I think one of the questions is like, what do you hate the most? 

Cynthia [00:23:56] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:23:57] And you can’t outsource everything. There’s certain things that like where you do have to show up and like be your own brand and like, you can’t have people network on your behalf or things like that. But like, I know for me, for instance, like website stuff and tech stuff. 

Cynthia [00:24:10] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:24:11] Right. And so like that was one of the first hires that I made, right, is like outsourcing my website like paid a chunk of change for somebody to both write my website because – we were chatting before this call – I don’t really love writing. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I can be good at it when I’m in the flow, but I’m rarely in the flow and websites. Right. So those were like some of the first big investments I made in my practice and didn’t build it myself because I knew for me the pain of it, like the emotional pain and frustration literally wasn’t worth it when I could turn around and see clients and do the work that I loved instead and turn that into, you know, a paycheck for a consultant. So, yeah, being aware of your own personality, I think goes a long way. 

Cynthia [00:24:51] And it makes the private practice a lot more enjoyable, right? If you’re not careful, you can get caught up in like it’s so difficult and, and yeah, not everybody wants to deal with insurance companies. I get it right. But there are people who that’s our jobs. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and so. Yeah, yeah. Have that limit you know from working with. 

Linzy [00:25:11] Totally. I think it’s remembering that there’s people out there who like have totally different brains than you. They like things that you don’t like and things that you might find totally overwhelming or defeating they think is a delicious challenge to dig into. Yeah. So, like, get those folks on your team. 

Cynthia [00:25:27] Exactly. 

Linzy [00:25:28] Yeah, absolutely. Well, Cynthia, thank you so much for joining me today. For folks who are listening, if they want to get further into your world, can you tell them more about where they can find you and follow her? 

Cynthia [00:25:39] Again, my private practice is called Conversations Create Change, and that’s the same name on the website. Conversations Create Change dot com. You can also find me if you’re interested in couples work or couples workshops and different things like that. On Create Change with Cynthia dot com. It’s all one word Create Change with Cynthia dot com, and that’s where you can find information on the Gottman level. Gottman method therapy, as well as some of the workshops that I provide on there. And yeah, if you want to do just have a consultation or whatever about couples work. Hit me up on there. And then if you want to kind of see my fun side, @talk_allaboutit. And that’s the IG. 

Linzy [00:26:30] And we’ll put that in the footnotes, too, so folks can just click the link from the footnotes to go follow Cynthia for these conversations. And I do really so appreciate that you have your like serious brand, your like therapy brand. You’re like, this is where I have letters over here and this is where I just talk about stuff that’s important and interesting. And again, so I think that’s a great. 

Cynthia [00:26:48] That’s self awareness, learning I need to take care of myself. And this is one of the ways that I do that. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:26:55] Beautiful. Thank you so much for joining me today, Cynthia. 

Cynthia [00:26:57] Thank you for having me. 

Linzy [00:27:12] In this conversation with Cynthia. I really love her emphasis on it’s about what you do with money. Right. And it’s something that I’ve been thinking about more and more these days is the fact that money is a tool. Money doesn’t actually do anything on its own. Money literally just sits there unless you do something with it. And so it’s really about your intention with money and the actions that you take with it, the way that you actually manage your money and direct your money and turn your money into other things, that is actually what money brings into your life. And any given dollar amount is not going to give you any specific experience of money because it’s really how you manage that money, relate to that money, handle that money that gives you the actual experience of money, that gives money meaning. So I loved her emphasis on that today, really thought-provoking and just loved talking with Cynthia. She has a really lovely presence. So definitely check out her Instagram channel to get more of her in your world. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can do that @moneynutsandbolts. And if you want to be like a voluptuous coconut at the beginning and leave me a review on Apple Podcasts, I would really appreciate that. It’s a really helpful way for folks to find this podcast. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Episode Transcript

Danielle [00:00:01] That’s why I signed up, because I knew that was something that was missing, was really understanding what these members of reports are saying. I know I have the data now. I just need to actually pull it and understand it. And then all of the things that I have kind of crunched and looked at is still helpful, but I need to do more time nurturing that leader of this organization. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today we have a coaching episode with Danielle Ritsema. Danielle is group practice owner in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. She’s lovely. You’re going to hear that she’s a grad of Money Skills for Therapists and she’s also actually currently in Money Skills for Group Practice Owners, which at the time of this recording is just like we’re just at the beginning of that course together. I just kind of like rolled out the first two modules so far. So in our conversation today, Danielle and I get into dealing with overwhelm, like feeling overwhelmed by all the things to do in the business, talking about how it’s hard to make time to work on the money, even though you should, just feeling like you never get to it. And ultimately we start to dig into some beliefs about identity and being a business owner and kind of the ick that can come with that. So if you’re someone who struggles to prioritize your money, especially if you’re a group practice owner and you have folks working for you. But even as a solo practice owner, if you struggle to prioritize actually getting to your money, and if you find that you struggle with the idea of like being a business owner, like that doesn’t feel good for you, then this is going to be a great episode for you. Here is my coaching session with Danielle Ritsema. So, Danielle, welcome to the podcast. 


Danielle [00:02:19] Thanks for having me. 


Linzy [00:02:20] I am so glad that you are here. We were joking earlier that we’ve been trying to record this podcast for no joke like six months and every time we go to record, somebody’s kids are sick. So this is really nice that this is lined up for us. 


Danielle [00:02:31] Yes, it’s the post-COVID plague season. 


Linzy [00:02:34] Yes. Yes. So thinking about our time together today, tell me what’s coming up for you that you could use some support with today? 


Danielle [00:02:42] I think there’s been a lot of change. It’s hard with private practice when you’re one on one. So I have a group practice. And when I was one on one, I think I did a lot of work to be very intentional with how I chose my schedule. And I listened to great people like you and Allison Puryear and other people. And did all the things, did all the research, and was so intentional in setting up the foundation and was really happy with that. And I always thought I might want to add people down the road. I had supervised students in the past, but I didn’t expect to do it early on and I just happened to open my clinic just before COVID hit. So in March of 2020, it was when I was sort of getting ready to move into an office in April. And then everything kind of changed. So that threw things off too. But shortly after that, when we were back in office, I had a student reach out and it made sense for me to take her on because she was just so fabulous and she reached out to me. So I wasn’t looking for it. But a lot of the things that have happened over the last year and a half to two years since I started growing a group practice have felt really organic and people have come along the path at times when it just made sense to offer a different specialty. Space became available in the same building where my office was. And so it just it felt fairly easy to bring in amazing people and to be able to offer great services to my clients and to our greater community. At the same time, I didn’t realize when I first opened my private practice how much I was going to miss having people around. But it was those in-between things and the team meetings that I really, I really did miss. And I went through a whole grieving process around that. And so I got really comfortable in my private practice, my one on one, like just myself, my solo practice. But there was a little piece there that was like, Oh, it would be nice to have these bigger things and be growing something and have more community outreach and just I was looking for more. But I think part of what motivated me early on was I’m going to do all of this work upfront and then I’m going to get to a point where the systems are in place, people are settled and then I’ll be able to settle again like I did in my solo practice, will be able to schedule my day with these nice lunch breaks, schedule in my self-case and going to work out when my kids are in school, and having more of that autonomy and freedom. I think I thought I’d be there already. And I also thought that the payoff would be better in terms of like all this time that I’m pouring into it and then not necessarily getting that back financially. It gives me more stability. So when my kids are sick and I have to cancel my full clinical day, I’m not left with no income because I’ve got a team. And that was a huge benefit. But I think I also thought I’ll be able to do a little bit less clinical time and be doing more of the business things which uses these different parts of my brain, which I enjoy, I’m curious about. The problem is now that’s just unpaid time. So I’m finding like, Oh, I almost need to work the same number of clinical hours. But now I also have all this work to do because the settling isn’t happening. 


Linzy [00:06:09] And what I’m hearing is you wanted more, you got more, but it wasn’t necessarily the more that you were envisioning. 


Danielle [00:06:17] Be careful what you ask for. 


Linzy [00:06:17] Or like, Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. Okay. You’re still working almost the same amount of clinical hours that you were before. And how many hours a week is that right now? 


Danielle [00:06:26] Actually, I would say it is a little bit less. It’s less maybe because I’m squeezing more people into less time clinically. It’s about like 10 hours per week.  I think when I did Money Nuts and Bolts with you, I was like averaging closer to eight and you were like, Oh, like you might need to go up based on my goals then. So I was working four days a week. Keeping my Fridays or my Mondays – one day a week – as like an admin day? 


Linzy [00:06:52] Yeah. 


Danielle [00:06:52] One of my therapists needed office space. I gave up my office for them so that I could work from home. And I made another day, a second day more of an admin day. And that was an attempt to get a little more balance back in my life. But then I found that that’s not enough clients, so now I’m actually adding an extra clients. So the other three days – so that they’re fuller days. 


Linzy [00:07:14] So you’re at about ten clients a week, but I’m hearing that it sounds like there’s a lot of admin. Tell me what that’s looking like in your week. Like what? What is your week looking like? 


Danielle [00:07:23] So my Mondays, I always have to review contractor invoices and the payroll for my admin, and then I do that on Mondays. So I did hire a bookkeeper. I had been debating it for a long time and was just drowning more and more in bookkeeping. So I hired a bookkeeper as part of with my accountants firm. And so that has been very helpful. I wouldn’t say it’s offloaded a whole lot of time per say, but it’s cleaning things up and it’s things that I wasn’t getting to that would have been a mess down the road on top of. And they’re really good at emailing me anything that’s missing. So that has been helpful in that sense. And they are the ones that process the payroll. So after I’ve checked it and made sure all the numbers are right, which often there’s a- there’s always a mistake. Everybody’s always late and I’m having to remind them to send me their invoices and then tracking them down and then they send me and then somebody has made a mistake so then I’ve got to go back and forth and I’m waiting for them to send it again. And then, you know, maybe half an hour, 45 minutes on Monday like that that takes then there’s just the emails back and forth. And my admin is fabulous. But there’s a lot of things that is my call so then on Wednesdays I often will have a chat with her at some point in the day about new clients coming in, different situations, what she’s doing. And then I have somebody helping me with my social media, which is one of those things that I’ve really debated. But for me, a lot of my clients are in the age range that it makes sense for me to make sure that that’s a consistent presence. And I’ve had a number of clients come through social media, so I try to stay up on it. When I was doing it my own, it just didn’t happen. So having a social media manager. 


Linzy [00:09:04] Yes. 


Danielle [00:09:05] Yeah. Is really helpful in the sense that it also forces me to do things. She’s fabulous, but then she’ll send me the things and then I have to review everything and make my edits. And then she does it. And it’s weird, right? Because it’s again, it’s like more work than before I had her. But it’s also keeps me accountable to do the work that I should do that I want to do. 


Linzy [00:09:28] Yeah. Yeah. It’s harder to slack off when you, first of all, are paying someone, so like, you’re trying to fill your whole practice now, not just yourself. 


Danielle [00:09:35] Yeah. So it’s kind of same with the bookkeeper, like I outsource, but also it didn’t really take things off. Yeah, it kind of added some things. 


Linzy [00:09:43] Yes, because that was being done probably more thoroughly. 


Danielle [00:09:46] Because it’s just better. Yeah. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:09:49] Right. Yeah. Okay. What is really not working for you about the way that things are looking right now? 


Danielle [00:09:55] I think it’s not making progress. Just really thought that I would be further ahead. I racked up some debt when I furnished a second office and that’s just kind of sat on a credit card because I didn’t have anything else. And I haven’t been able to chip away at it like I thought I would. I haven’t been able to pay myself the amount that I thought I would have been able to buy now, like, I really thought, okay, it’ll take a couple of months to start filling them up, but now they are a little more full and still I’m not getting to that level that I thought I would. I brought on a student in January who is a virtual student, and I have had the hardest time. I can’t- which I have somebody helping me with Google Analytics and Google ads. And they said like no one clicks on the keyword virtual. So that is a huge loss that like she’s now extending her placement because she hasn’t had enough clients, which I feel bad. I’ve been putting money into Google ads trying to get her clients. It’s not been working. So that’s a loss there too. 


Linzy [00:11:00] This is like a slight aside, but is there a reason she needs to be working with folks who are in Sault Ste. Marie if she’s virtual? 


Danielle [00:11:06] No. So we also have a second ad in the Ottawa area where she is because although people might be more apt to do virtual, but then we are fighting with Better Help and large corporations, you have way more money to spend on your ads so we don’t show up so much. 


Linzy [00:11:23] Okay, so you’re competing. Yeah, because that’s that’s a thought there and that’s for your Google Analytics person. But like, what are the places- because she could be serving anywhere in Ontario. So as we think about your numbers, like I’m hearing you’re talking about your own sessions, right? Like that you need to keep your own numbers at ten a week. How many sessions a week are being done right now by your team? 


Danielle [00:11:41] I think close to 40. 


Linzy [00:11:42]  40 sessions week. 


Danielle [00:11:44] Yes. I have one therapist that consistently does like 14, one that does about probably closer to that too, 14, but she’s the one that’s leaving. And I have another that does closer to 10 to 12. Then another that’s also a winding down that only does about four. And then my student who has been doing two or three a week. 


Linzy [00:12:04] So where does that put us then? What were those numbers? 


Danielle [00:12:06] Yeah, so 46, maybe? 


Linzy [00:12:08] Okay. Okay. So 46 sessions a week. 


Danielle [00:12:10] Which is a lot like that’s a lot of sessions. 


Linzy [00:12:13] Yeah, it is. Right. I’m hearing that your brain goes to or has been focused on how many sessions you need to work. Because as we’re thinking about this, like what I am noticing, you know, it’s helpful to know that these are the numbers of your team, what your team is doing. And I’m hearing there’s some flux in your team, but also there’s there’s folks leaving, but there’s also folks coming. And some of those folks are students. And so these numbers are going to shift. But, you know, what I’m hearing is your brain, you know, is noticing how many sessions you need to work or you need to get up those extra three sessions. You need to be at ten or whatever. But this variable is a really big important variable, which is your team, right? And like how many sessions your team is bringing. Because what I’m hearing is something right now in your group practice machine, the money is not working in such a way that there’s really profit, there’s not extra. You know, I think sometimes people only hear, they hear profit. They think like extra like extravagance. In this case, by profit, I mean extra money that you could be putting down on these debts – is not there in the way that the numbers are working right now. Thinking about your group practice, the way I visualize it is kind of like this machine with all these different cogs, right? And each one is like a variable that we have control over, right? Like there’s your operating expenses, how much you’re paying for rent and like your systems that people are using. There’s how much your team is charging, like the fees that they’re charging, which might be consistent across your clinicians or they might vary. There’s the wages that they get paid for those fees, which determines how much goes to them, how much goes back to your business. There’s your administrator and how much you’re paying for that non-income-generating employee. But they help you run the machine, right? Like there’s all these variables. And thinking about those, I’m curious like, do you have a gut hunch of where those numbers might not be working? 


Danielle [00:13:56] I think I’ve really questioned the operating expenses. Like some of that- the Google ads has worked really well for us to get people, but it does not work well for me to get clients for my virtual student. So that’s a piece where it just feels like the money is just going and it’s not going anywhere, which is frustrating. Yeah, the social media too. It’s like helpful for me to have a presence, but I don’t know how much it’s really bringing in clients, but it’s also it’s not really that much money per month. It works out to be just over 600. It’s like 590 plus tax or whatever. So it’s like a 150 per week or something like that that I budget. And I’m like, that’s not that much money. 


Linzy [00:14:40] No. 


Danielle [00:14:40] When I think about how much content she helps me put out, that’s high quality, way better than anything I ever did before. 


Linzy [00:14:47] And if that gets you one client who’s coming weekly, then it’s being covered. 


Danielle [00:14:51] When I think about the numbers that are ongoing and something that pops up that I chew on and I question, but then I go like, I think that’s pretty good. I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of wiggle room in terms of people’s fees. Like I feel pretty good about that. I don’t see that. I think it’s like making sure people are full. I have one clinician that for whatever reason isn’t consistently full. There’s a little bit less follow up. So my admin is contacting their clients to follow up and rebook and things like that. 


Linzy [00:15:19] There’s a suspicion that it might be OpEx, but I’m not hearing anything that’s glaring at this moment. But I do know there’s been big OpEx in the past, right? Like there’s those large investments that you’ve made. And I know you’ve mentioned one that that we’ve talked about previously that didn’t really pay off like you made a big outlay and didn’t see direct return. Do you know right now, Danielle, like what your monthly profit and losses looking like? 


Danielle [00:15:42] I have a report from QuickBooks. I don’t know really what it means. I don’t understand it because I don’t see that profit. Yeah, like I don’t have the money in the bank. 


Linzy [00:15:57] As we think about this, like, I guess one question is: would you want to look at your profit and losses together? 


Danielle [00:16:03] Do you think that I- 


Linzy [00:16:05] I know that you don’t. 


Danielle [00:16:05] Download it, cross my mind. I’m like, Oh, maybe I should have her help me understand what this even means. 


Linzy [00:16:13] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Contextually, in terms of like this work that ongoingly, this is in module two of Money Skills for Group Practice Owners, which I just released. So- which is coming your way as you work through the materials. There are lessons on like learning how to read your profit and loss and your balance sheet because I’m hearing here there’s a disconnect right now. It’s like the numbers you see aren’t making sense for what you’re actually experiencing in the bank, because something that I’m hearing, you know, as we’re talking, the reason that I’ve steered us this way is I’m hearing like kind of like overwhelm and fogginess and like, you’re not where you want to be. It’s like something’s not working, but it’s not clear what is not working. And that information, at least some of it, is going to be in here, right. We’re going to start to see where the numbers are not doing what we would want them to do. So we are looking at your profit and loss now. We’ve got two months side by side, which is nice. It’s like a little bit of a snippet. We’re looking for patterns. I’m going to grab some numbers. So in terms of income, if we look here, your income is is pretty very close between the two months. So April, it was like 30,467 and May it was 30,288, which is super close. So do you have a sense, Danielle, is that a pretty normal looking number to you as far as you know? 


Danielle [00:17:24] I guess so. I was doing a good job every month, like kind of checking and yeah, and making goals. And then that just disappeared after, I think, January. So, yeah. 


Linzy [00:17:37] I think you you built your systems really well for solo practice and then you grew a lot faster than you planned. Kind of like an accidental group practice I remember is what I kind of called it at first. But you enjoyed it and you’re called to it. It’s not like it’s like I never wanted to do this, right, but it’s happened quickly. Like there’s been a lot of flow to it, but maybe like flow, like being pulled down a river. So a little overwhelming and chaotic. And then I see here, there’s your contractor fees, which vary- are very different between those two months. 


Danielle [00:18:05] Yeah. I don’t know why that is. 


Linzy [00:18:07] That’s a point of curiosity. Right. Whenever we’re looking at a financial statement and there’s something that’s like, Huh, then that’s an opportunity. Like if you were in QuickBooks right now, we could actually like click on those numbers and be like, Why are these so different? Why? Like, because what we’re seeing here is that in April it was like $7500 for contractors, and in May it was only $3800, which is really different number. 


Danielle [00:18:26] I think that that’s because we switched from me paying by E-transfer. We switched to adding them on direct deposit like payroll so that they look like employees now. Okay, So they may show up here. They may show up in wages. 


Linzy [00:18:43] Oh, there you go.  


Danielle [00:18:45] I think. 


Linzy [00:18:46] Yeah. And if I look at these numbers, when I add your contractor numbers and your employee numbers together, they’re actually- it’s just the money is kind of allocated differently. That’s I’m just like recording these numbers roughly. So if we look at your contractors, it was like 75, 75. And if we go down to the employees total wages and payroll, 71, 72 and I’m just going to add these numbers together so we can see like what was your total payroll run regardless of whether they were employees or contractors? In April, it was 14,647 and in May it was 13,208. So like a 1500 dollars difference. I’m curious, what is it like for you right now looking at these numbers? 


Danielle [00:19:27] It’s a lot of money that I paid there. 


Linzy [00:19:29] Okay, so you’re noticing money going out. 


Danielle [00:19:31] That makes up a huge amount of my expenses, which isn’t what I would expect. 


Linzy [00:19:34] Yeah. And this is why it’s good to look at these numbers, right? Because, like, now we’re starting to understand, like, Oh, okay. But that makes sense. If we just look at these numbers. Danielle, it’s like, okay, you’re April was 14,647. So what I’m going to do is see like what percentage of your revenue did it cost you to pay your team? So in April it was 48% of what you made went to pay your team. And are you included in these payroll numbers or are you somewhere else? 


Danielle [00:19:57] I think I would be somewhere else, but I am included in the service total. 


Linzy [00:20:03] So we’re not seeing your paycheck come out of there. If we scroll down to the bottom, okay, there’s your profit. 


Danielle [00:20:07] There’s compensation. 


Linzy [00:20:08] Right? So they put it aside. 


Danielle [00:20:09] This looks really sad. I’m like, Oh, that’s not what I want to be making. 


Linzy [00:20:12] It’s not. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like that puts your owners compensation for May is about 10%. So it’s like for every dollar that came in the door, you got paid $0.10. And for April it’s like a little more than that, it’s probably more like 15%. So you are on here. So yeah, I do see that there is profit showing at the bottom after your owner’s compensation, which is something. So tell me about these numbers we’re seeing at the bottom. 


Danielle [00:20:35] And I’m wondering if there’s some things not being accounted for in this report because I usually do the profit first system and I actually have a separate account for retirement and for time off. Yes, those things are not being accounted for here, which I do then sometimes draw from. 


Linzy [00:20:54] And that’s something to look at too, because when you make those draws, depending on how your accountant or bookkeeper classifies them, they’re probably not on your profit and loss here. They’re probably on your balance sheet. What I’m noticing as we’re looking at these numbers is it’s like you don’t have like a real handle on these numbers right now. Right. Like these are not familiar numbers that you’re like, Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s typical. This is the percentages I aim for, right? I’m curious right now, like, what is your relationship to your numbers as a group practice owner? 


Danielle [00:21:19] Avoidance. 


Linzy [00:21:20] Okay. 


Danielle [00:21:21] So I do, on a weekly basis because I do payroll weekly and I do my disbursements weekly, I pull the payments from that week and I look at those numbers every single week so that I see exactly how much money came in, what went out in terms of like the fees, what do I need to set aside for HST taxes? And then I do my disbursements that way. So I have a bit of an idea of like, ooh, like this contractor only saw this many that week or I only saw this many that week. 


Linzy [00:21:50] You got your eyes on case loads. 


Danielle [00:21:52] I have my eye on the number of clients and like on a weekly basis that they have money that’s coming in and out. But not the monthly. Yeah. No, I’m really not looking at the monthly numbers. And even before like it was a very surface-level number that I would pull out of my platform and just see like, oh okay, what’s the total number of sessions? And that was more like, okay, I don’t really know what that really means. I’m just looking at this number like, okay, well, that’s bigger than the month before or whatever. So that’s good, I guess. 


Linzy [00:22:21] Yeah. Part of what I’m hearing here and I mean, this is why you’ve joined Money Skills for Group Practice Owners, which we’re just starting. I’m not hearing yet like a real kind of ethos of like being the financial boss, right? Like being the financial leader and being like, these are my numbers. I’m in charge of these numbers. I understand these numbers. When I see these numbers, this is what I know to do. And then I do it. 


Danielle [00:22:41] I feel like I’m chasing fires.  


Linzy [00:22:45] Yeah. And that chasing fires, like, where does that leave you personally and professionally? What does that do for you? 


Danielle [00:22:52] Tired. 


Linzy [00:22:53] Yeah, for sure. Yes. Because it is tiring. Right. And I think, too, when you’re used to chasing fires, everything looks like a fire because your feet aren’t really on the ground. Does that ring true or does that feel not true? What do you notice with me saying that? 


Danielle [00:23:07] Like I feel like I go from just total avoidance to chasing fire to total avoidance, like I go in and out. 


Linzy [00:23:14] Yes, and want that makes me think of like from a therapy perspective, right. Is like dysregulation on both sides of the window of tolerance. Right. It’s like swinging into like, ah, fires, emergency, urgent, down into like shut down, avoid, don’t look. 


Danielle [00:23:30] Or just distraction, like I would say like because there’s so many other things to do that I’ll just kind of like I’m just going to shelve that and I’ll just focus on this thing and making this new post about this new person or ordering some new brochure. 


Linzy [00:23:45] There’s always things to do, you know, thinking about, about this piece of your business, like the financial leadership, financial management, understanding your numbers, being able to make empowered decisions with your numbers. I’m curious like what would be different for you if you really owned that part of your role, which is a role that only you can do. What would it be like if you stepped more into that space? 


Danielle [00:24:06] I would really, really like to. I think my struggle is I still haven’t booked CFO time and that was a month ago, you know, that we talked about it. I feel this hole between like I need to see as many clients. I don’t want to block my schedule. I know that I avoid when I don’t know what I’m doing. And I think with the profit and loss, I was like, I don’t know how to make sense of these numbers, so I’ll avoid it. And also, it’s a lot of time I find it takes to, you know, to even punch out. Like I spent an hour last week just budgeting and planning the expenses for this other office, which part of me is like, Well I just want to buy the things like and then it’s done. Doing the planning sometimes can feel like twice the amount of work than just doing the thing, make better decisions maybe when I’m planned. 


Linzy [00:24:58] And I think another piece is when you do do that kind of planning, you’re basically kind of building out infrastructure. You’re building SOPs, right? Which means the next time you go to furnish an office, you don’t have to do that thinking again. You pull up the spreadsheet and you’re like, okay, this is what we budgeted last time. And then based on how it actually worked out, this is where the numbers landed. So this is how much it costs me to furnish an office. And I know it’s real because these are numbers that have been tested and now I can make a financial plan, right? It’s thinking that you have to do well once and then you get to reuse it. It’s like you plan for those like emergency situations, like we just got hate mail. I was like, Oh, I just came back from a day of the spa. I was like, so chill, was like, Oh, I’ve been on the Scandinave, I feel amazing. And then I like open my email when I shouldn’t have. And I saw hate mail and I was like, Oh, And I was like, All right, we don’t have an SOP for hate mail, so we just need to make one, right? And then when hate mail happens, instead of being surprised and it being a fire, you’re like, okay, hate mail happened. Activate step one, which by the way, step one, if anybody listening ever wants to send me hate mail, step one is that I do not read it. And I have my partner who’s a politician, who works for me, read it, because he has very thick skin and then he deals with it and he doesn’t tell me what’s in it because I don’t need to see that. 


Danielle [00:26:04] We have a complaint process too, that I just created last week. 


Linzy [00:26:08] Yeah, that’s right. So it’s like once you make it, then it’s not a fire anymore. It’s just something that it’s like, okay, here’s the situation that arises and we’re going to now activate this SRP that we’ve created previously that we know works. And working out your numbers is the same thing, right? It takes a lot at first because you’re building new neural pathways. You’re having to think of new things, right? You’re having to learn new things in this case, right? Because this is not how your brain actually works. But once you build that in place and you have a process, you’re just repeating the process. You’re not having to learn it and build the process over and over. 


Danielle [00:26:40] I think my fear is I’m going to look at these numbers, spend all this time understanding it, and they’re not going to change. There’s not going to be any new money somewhere, because I’ve thought about the OpEx and I thought about, OK do I really need this? No, I really do feel like I need it. So I think there’s just like that weird nagging on me where I’m like, Is it going to make any difference if I sit down and spend hours looking through all this stuff, punching out all the numbers? Am I still going to be making a lot more clients? Like, I don’t know. 


Linzy [00:27:07] If you look at the numbers then and you find there’s not like a fast solution, chances are like when we look at our numbers, there’s not a magical solution. But there will be some solutions. If you look at the numbers and you don’t like what you see, and there isn’t like a fast fix, what does that mean? 


Danielle [00:27:21] I just can’t accept it. Like, I feel like I have to find a way because there are things that I keep putting off that I can’t put off anymore. Like, I can’t put off the credit card bills. Personally and professionally. Like, I can’t keep putting them off. So I have to find a way somehow to make more. 


Linzy [00:27:42] And what I want to reflect to you is, until you actually understand your numbers and dig in and do the work, which we are going to be doing together in Money Skills for Group Practice Owners. So in this case, I’m not like, Go do it, Danielle, it’s like we’re going to be doing this over the next four months. Let’s be real. But once you dig in and you do that work, you are going to see where things need to happen and you are going to understand those numbers. But until you do that, it’s like a black box. 


Danielle [00:28:04] Yeah, it’s a blind shot in the dark. 


Linzy [00:28:07] And when we’re shooting blind, we tend to go for like, either the things that we like to do the best or the things that are emotionally stressing us the most. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re strategic. How strategic do you feel like you’re able to be in this moment, like with kind of this strategy of not really looking at this stuff and just trying to- 


Danielle [00:28:24] Yeah, no, you know, it’s not strategic. I feel like it’s a little strategic, but not really. I look at, okay, how many are they seeing and how many is this one thing and when this one leaves. So I have an idea of like, okay, that should give me this amount of profit. I have that amount of strategy. I know how much weekly I need to be going to OpEx, so I have that kind of nailed down. But that’s like my- and I know that that’s not going to be the exact number, which that’s where like a report like this is helpful because I can see the actual numbers that I’m spending on expenses, not planned. 


Linzy [00:29:01] Yeah, the real story. You know, taking the time to do this work would give you a six-month perspective to start because that’s what you’re about to find out in the Money Skills for Group Practice Owners videos that I’m going to coach you to do six months of this and also looking at like what’s on your profit and loss but also what’s not on your profit or loss. Because right now even this record is a bit of a black box for us until we dig into your balance sheet to see, okay, you’re telling me that there’s not been $9,000 of profit that you can see. So it’s like, where’s that $9,000 going? You know, is that profit draws for you? It could also be going to furniture because that also shows up on your balance sheet like going into assets. So if you buy big things for your business, it goes onto your balance sheet. It doesn’t show up here, right? So that’s another place where there’s like some information that once it’s gathered together, you’re going to have like tangible information to work with. So thinking about this then, like we’re talking about how, you know, that there is strategic value to really understanding these numbers. It’s also not fun and it’s not where you want to be putting your energy. So let’s talk about this resistance to CFO time, which for folks listening, CFO time is Chief Financial Officer time. It’s time to like specifically put aside for group practice owners because it is more complicated, like the level you’re at is more complicated and there is learning to do at this point. It’s kind of like you learned what you needed to do to run a great solo practice. You were doing that and then you added a whole bunch of stuff on top. So tell me about what’s coming up that’s making it hard to actually get to your CFO time. 


Danielle [00:30:24] I think the fear of giving up client time, clinical time, loss of income there, that risk because that’s 100%. 


Linzy [00:30:33] Goes right to the business. 


Danielle [00:30:34] Also being afraid of getting in there and not like not knowing where to start. Right. I got that email from my accountants and was like, okay, great. I don’t know what any of this means and save the email. I don’t like to do things if I can’t do it well and if I don’t understand, then I’m like, Oh, I don’t like this. I can be tunnel vision. If I am digging into a topic, there’s like no stopping me. Blinders go on and I’m like, All in. I’m going to learn this and I’m going to figure it out if I feel like I know how to figure it out. But when it comes to some of this stuff, which I had with accounting in the past, I’m like, I don’t know what to do. And that makes me a little dysregulated and spiraling. So I’d rather just avoid it because I don’t know how to figure it out. Yeah, and I know there’s a lot of money stories for me in terms of my dad owns a business. My parents had a lot of messiness around finances, and so it was something that then I was left really to kind of build things on my own more independence before I was really ready and then took on a lot of debt in school and just it was just up to me to figure it out and dig my way out. And so when I dig into my money stories, I think there’s a lot of fear around. Like there’s never enough money is messy. I’d be really careful. So I diligently use You Need A Budget and I track everything. And I had tracked things with a spreadsheet for years all through my undergrad, for decades. I tracked that because I had to, because I had to be careful. And also. I didn’t want it to kind of get away from me. So I think I have this fear of like, money is just going to get away from me and I’m not going to be able to. And now I feel like with the credit cards kind of going, like setting up and fees, I’m like, Oh, okay, this is getting away from me. You don’t know what to do to get it down. And nothing I seem to be doing is helping. So that’s where I think a lot of the overwhelm kind of comes from. 


Linzy [00:32:38] You know, I’m curious hearing about these stories like and it makes a lot of sense, you know, coming from a family of origin situation where you didn’t get help with these things and then you did really like you were on your own. I’m curious, like, if that part of you that really holds that story strongly. Has that part integrated yet that you’re in a course, that’s like guiding you through how to learn these things like that there’s a process that you can do. 


Danielle [00:33:02] Maybe. But also I’m avoiding the time like I, I it’s on my brain is like, okay, I’ve got to find the time. I’m going to do that today. But then something else, another fire pops up and I’m like, okay, after this fire, then I never get to it. 


Linzy [00:33:16] Yes. Yeah. So you haven’t got to the course yet, Really. Like you haven’t-. 


Danielle [00:33:21] Done some. 


Linzy [00:33:21] Yeah. Because something that I’m noticing as we’re talking is like the stuff that you’re talking about. I’m like, Danielle, I just made a video for you about this last week. 


Danielle [00:33:29] Like, I need to get to it. 


Linzy [00:33:31] Yeah, like, it’s hard to get to the support that you’ve already enrolled in because, you know, you want to work on these skills. How can you maybe bring more support into this experience for these parts of you that like, feel alone or think it’s going to be so overwhelming to be with these things Because, you know, you have purchased support, right, to like walk you through this process and like those videos are waiting for you. And also like our coaching calls in our community. How can you integrate more of that experience of having support? 


Danielle [00:33:57] I need to set aside the time and actually do it. Time is just always feels like it’s too tight. There’s just not enough time. It’s just how it feels in my life, which is really hard. But I need to find the time. And I did do a big chunk of module one just before our very first coaching call because there was like, okay, I’ve paid for this and this has been available now for a week or two. Like I need to do some stuff because other people are probably going to be further. And then, and then it was fine, right? So now I’m like, okay, now the pressure’s off, which is not so good. 


Linzy [00:34:28] Yes. 


Danielle [00:34:31] I have so many other things that have deadlines and pressure. And I think the only option is blocking out the time on my schedule, not seeing a client, which I have a hard time doing. I had some time blocked today. Yeah, an hour before we were going to meet. And then I was like, I’ve got some other gaps in my week. I need somebody to fill that if that’s their ideal time. And I cleared it. Now I do have some other gaps in my schedule for whatever reason this week’s. 


Linzy [00:34:57] Yeah, what I am still hearing is like, it’s almost like you haven’t caught up to yourself. You’re now a financial leader. You have folks in your business who are doing like 46 sessions a week. They also get paid for that time, right? So it’s true that your one hour brings in relatively more than their one hour, but you have these folks who are here to receive your support and your leadership so they can be seeing clients and like doing that clinical facing work. But it’s kind of like, you know, when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. But I think you might not be noticing other tools that you have available to fix this problem. Because when I hear this problem, I’m hearing there’s like deeper things about your numbers that are not working, that we don’t know what they are yet. Right. But like, you’re the person who will be able to figure them out, but your problem-solving brain goes to you just like seeing more clients rather than working on this deeper problem. 


Danielle [00:35:44] Yeah. Also something I’m wrestling with, which we’ve kind of talked on is just even like taking that on. I feel like as soon as you’re like, you’re the leader, I’m like, oh, like I get like the icks around like, oh, you’re the finance or you own a business or like, I don’t want to be like a business owner making money off of their, I don’t know, like, it’s a whole thing. 


Linzy [00:36:07] Okay. Oh, there, there it is. Okay. Yeah. 


Danielle [00:36:11] Oh, it’s really hard. 


Linzy [00:36:12] Yeah. So there’s negative beliefs there about being a business owner. Now you’re shrinking. You’re literally shrinking in front of me. 


Danielle [00:36:20] I’m just gonna go hide. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:36:23] There’s negative beliefs about being a business owner. It’s like you are a business owner, but you don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing. Or part of you has a lot of judgments about that. 


Danielle [00:36:31] I’ve always been so like socially justice wired. I am a social worker at my core. I was a social worker when I was five and would watch World Vision commercials. I have that in my core and I can’t. That’s a good thing, right? But there’s also someone who just has made choices that I really disagree with at an ethical level, knowing that I’m like, I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be this person that like, takes advantage and just like, reaps all the benefits to live this life of luxury on the backs of my clients and my contractors like that is just like not okay. So it’s hard to find this balance place between. I’m a business owner and also and a good friend of mine was just challenging me on this this weekend because she works in health care and was like, you built such an amazing thing. And look at all these partnerships you have in all of the work you’re doing. And I was like, Yes. And so I have to remind myself of like that outreach piece and the ripple effects of those choices, that it’s not just about making money, but I have to make money in order to be able to do those things. So yes. 


Linzy [00:37:41] Yeah. Part of what I think I’m hearing is you’re not owning your power. Maybe because power is bad or you’ve seen other people abuse power. Right. But by not owning your power, you know, not owning everything you build and the fact that you do, you have created this brand and this presence and folks want to work for you like folks are coming to you to say like, I want to be part of what you’ve built. By not owning the power of that, you’re also not owning the responsibility of that. Yeah, you’re not claiming the fact that, like you’re the leader, you’re the CFO. Nobody else can do that. Even your bookkeeper can’t do that for you. There is a problem here that only you can solve, but you’re over here being a clinician because that’s where you’re comfortable and that’s what you know, and that’s where you’ve always been. Rather than claiming this role that you’ve grown into because you’re a badass who’s like, built this beautiful presence that like the people want to be part of, right? There is an ownership of that. Yeah. 


Danielle [00:38:27] When you say badass, I’m like, Oh, I’m like, I have a hard time owning that, but I do want to be that. But I also really want to be warm and really like- so it’s so hard to find that balance between the two. But I think you’re right. Like that is a real struggle for me to be like, No, I am a leader. I am. 


Linzy [00:38:45] Yeah, yeah. I think this is an identity issue coming out in all these different ways. It’s like if you have a really hard time owning that leader role, then like, Yeah, why is it important for you to look at these things? Like you’re unconventional in many ways, although it sounds like there’s a belief you wouldn’t be able to solve those problems. Right? And so like, why look at them. But you are a leader. You’re already a leader. So for you, like, I’m hearing that there’s this image, this Brené Brown image of I think of like soft heart, soft front, strong back. What would it look like if you embodied that a little bit more? 


Danielle [00:39:13] Yeah, I think it’s that vulnerability, right. But in a lot of ways I’m good at leadership type thing. It’s public speaking. Yeah. It’s like stepping out and being okay to be in that bright space, not hiding in the shadows. Yes. 


Linzy [00:39:29] Yeah. And when you say that, it’s like I kind of get this image, like you’re already in the spotlight. You’re like, hanging off the edge of that. You’re like, This isn’t me. This isn’t my spotlight. But you’re already there. People know who you are, right? Like you’ve built a reputation. 


Danielle [00:39:41] Yeah. And there’s been really funny instances of that where I’ve been like, Oh, like I own this. And then people are like, Oh, yeah, I know who you are. I know that you own that. And I’m like, Oh, oh, okay. 


Linzy [00:39:53] They see you. 


Danielle [00:39:53]  But then there’s enough other people where I say what I do and what I own, and they’re like, I have no idea what that is. So yeah, of course, yeah, yeah, that makes sense. 


Linzy [00:40:01] So coming to the end of our our time together, I feel we’ve crossed many valleys and mountains today to arrive at this place. What do you see as your next steps coming out of this conversation? 


Danielle [00:40:11] Booking CFO time, taking ownership of that, digging into the content in the group practice Money Buts and Bolts program. That’s why I signed up, because I knew that was something that was missing, was really understanding what these members and reports are saying. I know I have the data now. I just need to actually pull it and understand it. And then all of the things that I have kind of crunched and looked at is so helpful. But I need to do more time nurturing that leader of this organization, knowing like instead of functioning out of fear or like, Oh, like this is happening for now, but who knows if that’s going to last. Like, I think I have this idea of like, well, next year it might just all be gone. Like, you know, really owning that. No, this isn’t going anywhere. I need to have a better idea of where it’s going and making better informed decisions moving forward. And that’s just going to take time, which means maybe not having the initial payoff that I want right now. 


Linzy [00:41:11] Yeah, business is a long game. I think that especially with like, I mean, I’m in the online business space, which is like so much worse in this way. But like, I think there is still in some ways this like get rich quick narrative around, like you’re good at business and then you make $1,000,000 in a year. And for most folks, that’s not how it works. Or if you make $1,000,000, you usually spend 950,000. So this is a long game. But two other things occur to me coming to the end of our time. Like one is, I know how deeply you care about people, right? And how much you want to do well by them. And the best thing you can do for your team and for the clients that you serve is to show up and own that leadership role. Right? They’re looking to you for that. And by doing that, you can make the business sustainable and healthy and you can move into a place of offering them better wages and better splits or better opportunities because you actually know what you can afford and you can plan those things strategically over time and make it a really great place that folks want to stick around. Right? Or that they cherish the time that they’ve had with you. The last thing is I would really encourage you to dig into these stories about business leaders. What would it say about you if you really were like a business leader or business owner or whatever, wherever the ick is? Follow the ick because there’s something there. Right. And I think that that identity story is going to trickle into all these different places and it’s going to show up in all these different ways of having trouble prioritizing or other things being important or wanting to see clients. It’s going to have like, you know, 100 different faces. But I think that that is so important to help you shift your relationship to this part of your work. Thank you, Danielle. I appreciate you coming on the podcast. 


Danielle [00:42:43] I appreciate you having me. This was helpful, even if it was painful. 


Linzy [00:43:01] In this conversation with Danielle, I think we kind of took a winding path to get to where it really felt like, oh, that’s it for me, that oh, that’s it, which you would have heard, is around the identity of being a business owner. If the idea of like being a business owner, especially like being a boss or an employer, if we have a lot of charge or ick around that, if that’s something that we don’t want to own, then we’re not going to own it, right? And that’s going to show up in all these different ways around not doing the things that we know we should be doing, shirking those responsibilities and avoiding the parts of the job that really show us that we are in charge. But whether or not we own that part of our business, whether you’re a group practice owner or solo practice owner, regardless of whether or not you own that part of your practice, it’s still yours. Like nobody else is taking care of that for you. Being curious about what that is for you like, what are the stories? Who do you think of when you think of a business owner? You know, like, is it somebody who, you know, buys yachts while all of their employees are on minimum wage and needing to go to a food bank, then it’s like, interrogate that story, be curious about it. Think about where that came from. What are some exceptions to that? Like, you know, folks who are listening, who do mental health work or coaching work are going to you know, we know some good questions to ask ourselves, to interrogate stories. It’s a real barrier, right, when we’re not owning that role. And as Danielle and I talked about, like there’s a power that comes with that role, which you have whether or not you’re owning it, right. Whether or not you own the power that you have even as a therapist, but also as a business owner or a boss? Even if you don’t own that power, you still have it. And if you don’t own it, then you’re not able to use that power in really thoughtful ways to really reflect your values, right? So by avoiding it, we can actually end up doing the opposite of what we’re trying to do is like we’re trying to be a good boss. So we don’t really want to think about the fact that we’re a boss or a business owner, but by not really owning it and like looking at the numbers and making the numbers work, we can end up building practices that are unsustainable or we can be outside of our own needs and boundaries and start having things like resentment come up towards our team or towards our clients. And then, you know, we end up with the opposite of what we want. We end up having negative impacts in our businesses by avoiding that power and that responsibility rather than the positive ones that we’re looking at. So because I’m working on going with Danielle, I’m very excited to hear how this unfolds for her in our next- we have four and a half months together, still in Money Skills for Group Practice Owners. Leaving those questions with any of you that are struggling with these kinds of things today, to be curious about your own stories about being a business owner. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can find me at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would super appreciate if you’d leave me a review on Apple Podcasts. It is the best way for new folks to find us and be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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How Digging into Our Own Money Stories Can Improve Our Therapeutic Relationships with Wendy Wright

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 “I like to delineate: guilt has a remedy, and shame has a spiral. When we look at it that way, then we are seeing that spiral. By knowing it’s shame, then you can use your shame coping tools. Guilt has a remedy. Let’s say you double charge someone. You ran their card twice. So you say, ‘I’m so sorry!’ and you credit one charge. That’s a remedy.”

~Wendy Wright

Meet Wendy Wright

Wendy Wright, LMFT, Financial Therapist, Founder and CEO of Financial Therapy Solutions, LLC, and trained money coach, is based in Denver, Colorado. She offers financial therapy and money coaching, blended in a unique form of therapeutic consultations, helping you name the blocks that get in the way of your best financial life. 

In her early career, she was a mortgage loan officer, a realtor, and a house flipper. She also received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and became a counselor with a unique perspective on the emotions around money. With these thoughts in mind, she has offered online groups specifically to support entrepreneurs — such as the Master Your Money Workgroup— as they embark on the path of creating confidence in clarity in both their professional and personal lives. 

Wendy offers specialized support for all aspects of financial therapy, giving a safe, non-judging place to work through issues.  Her work spans areas such as:  Issues of Inherited Wealth, Entrepreneurs, C Suite professionals, Individuals, Couples, Mentoring new financial therapists.   

In this Episode...

Have you considered how your own money stories impact your relationship with clients? Linzy talks with guest Wendy Wright about how our own money stories impact our therapeutic relationships and why digging into those stories is important. Wendy shares how money stories can show up within private practice and how understanding and navigating those stories can strengthen the work we do with clients.

Wendy and Linzy talk about the shame and guilt that can accompany money stories and how that can be addressed. Wendy also shares about how financial thresholds can show up within our private practice and within our sessions and why those thresholds matter. Wendy and Linzy share specific ways that therapists can take on the important work of improving their own relationship to money and how that can have a positive impact on their therapeutic relationship with clients.

Connect with Wendy

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Wendy [00:00:03] I like to delineate. Guilt has a remedy and shame has a spiral. And when we look at it that way, then we’re seeing that spiral. By knowing it’s shame, then you can use your shame-coping tools. Guilt has a remedy. Let’s say you double-charge someone. You ran their card twice and you’re like, I’m so sorry. So you credit one. That’s a remedy. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today I have with me Wendy Wright. Wendy Wright is a financial therapist and today we get into looking at money and money stories on both sides of the therapeutic relationship. So what does it look like when, a therapist, when our money stories are coming up and impacting the therapeutic relationship? What can that look like? What does it look like when money stories are coming up for our clients and how do we sometimes maybe miss those cues? What are the cues to look for? To show you that your client is maybe trying to talk to you about money or there’s something that bears slowing down and paying attention to an opportunity to support your client with money. And then Wendy also shares some of the principles of financial therapy to be able to start to have these therapeutic conversations with our clients. She points out that in the United States, there’s only a thousand financial therapists in the whole of the United States. So if you’re listening and you’re a mental health counselor or doing other kinds of like coaching and support with folks, the more that we can be, you know, supporting our clients with having some of these financial conversations, the better for everybody because this is a resource that is lacking. So if you find yourself uncomfortable when clients bring up money or if you think maybe you’re skipping over money in your therapeutic conversations, or if you know your own money stuff might be showing up in your therapeutic relationships, there’s going to be lots for you in this episode. Here’s my conversation with Wendy Wright. So, Wendy, welcome to the podcast. 


Wendy [00:02:35] Thanks Linzy. I’m happy to be here. 


Linzy [00:02:36] Yeah, I’m happy to have you. So, Wendy, before we kind of like, you know, dig in to all the great financial therapy stuff we’re going to talk about today. I’d love it if you could tell folks a little bit about financial therapy and what you do. 


Wendy [00:02:50] Yeah, absolutely. Because I kind of stumbled upon it, to be honest, years ago. It’s probably almost been a decade now, believe it or not. But I was working in eating disorders. I’ve been a therapist for over 20 years. And what I began to see- because before I was a therapist, I was in mortgage banking. I have a business undergrad, so and I’ve been a realtor. So I had like this money is comfortable to me to talk about. So I started noticing people with struggling with food issues that they would symptom-substitute to money issues, but they were using the same language like if I buy this shirt, I will look thin versus, you know – and I’m completely oversimplifying for the sake of time – eating disorders. So please, everyone hear that. But so I started to see this parallel relationship. I’ve actually got a workbook, found on my website, called The Intersection of Money and Milkshakes, and that’s a presentation I’ve done where there’s some specific, really cool parallels. And then I began to do this work and really began to uncover the power of sitting in a therapeutic session or setting and talking about money in a way that is different than any other sort of place that you can typically talk about money because there is absolutely no judgment. So my practice is financial therapy solutions because we do both consulting and therapy and sort of different different types of ways of bringing in this therapeutic approach. And that is kind of how I stumbled into it.  


Linzy [00:04:18] Okay. So, you know, thinking about money then, and the therapeutic relationship, and thinking about kind of two sides, right? Because like, I usually- I’m working with folks who are on the therapist side of the chair, right. Or the health practitioner side of the relationship. And like how our money stuff shows up. But you’re also thinking about like serving folks from a client perspective, right? Like clients coming specifically to talk about money. So I’m curious, Wendy, from your observations and experience, how does money stuff come up and show up on both sides of those therapeutic or treatment relationships that we have with our clients, both with us and with them? 


Wendy [00:04:56] Yeah, it really does. And it’s so helpful to pause and recognize this because we are, as therapists – and I have therapists as clients and clients that are clients – but we are as therapists – that was great scientific – in a business, as you know. And that is one of the things that’s really hard now. You know, I have an undergrad in business, so for me the business part was easy. I wanted to read The E-Myth, which is a business book. You know, I like doing spreadsheets, but most of my clients crawl under the desk when I say the word spreadsheet, you know? So it’s important to know that. But with therapists, too, one of the most important things that we want to start with is knowing your money story. And that can be, you know, spending six months diving into every detail or maybe 6 hours just journaling about it, just getting to know – I use the money timeline – and then kind of like look at the key moments where we can see that. Because when we are working with people who we are giving them a service and we are collecting money for it, the higher level of discomfort is often shown, especially for therapists in the number of uncollected bills, you know, uncollected receipts. Yeah. And I’m working with a therapist, like whatever kind of platform they use sometimes in session, we will go in, we’ll share a screen because I work all virtually. We’ll share a screen, will go into that pay now or that button that they click to actually collect their – either whether it’s a co-pay or. 


Linzy [00:06:25] Yes. Yeah,. 


Wendy [00:06:26] Yeah. And sometimes it can take a whole session just to push that button, you know? Right. So if we’re scared to take the money, then we’re also scared to ask for the money. But what that does on the flip of that is that it’s kind of transferring all that fear and avoidance to your client. But it leaves your client- you don’t know their money story yet because, for one, you’re probably not going to ask if you have some money, you know, fears and stuff. Or also they haven’t come to me to talk about it and come in to you and say, Here’s my money story, you know, but you don’t know it. So coming into it, getting a little separation from it, where you can say if you went to a restaurant and bought some food and they said, Here’s your food, I’ll get around to- I’ll charge you at some point. Right? Then you’re sitting there looking at your bank balance week after week after week going, “When is that $58 charge gonna hit?”, you know. 


Linzy [00:07:19] Yes. Yes. 


Wendy [00:07:20] So we want to create a comfort in looking at- I encourage therapists to look at the fee agreement as a kind promise. I don’t want to create a lot of shame around promise because sometimes promise can bring up that. But the kind agreement where that is part of the deal, that’s part of the way you’re building trust is you’re saying this is going to be X number of dollars and then it’s collected that day. Or if you’re- a lot of therapists are really scared to raise their rates or really scared to say their rate out loud. Maybe we practice just saying their rate out loud, too, especially if they’re going from insurance to private pay. I will do that with them, too, because that fear and anxiety can keep them from doing it. Or they’ll spend- I’ve had therapists spend hours and hours and hours writing up a disclosure explaining why their fee is what it is and all this kind of stuff. So that is kind of putting this pressure on the client to understand, Oh my gosh, this is a very big deal or whatever. Because you don’t know their story well. 


Linzy [00:08:21] And like, what I’m really thinking about and hearing here is like on this side, because we think about the clinician side right now, a lot of what you’re talking about is making our problem their problem. Yeah, right. Like if I’m scared of collecting fees and so I’m avoiding it. I’m also, you know, either creating a situation where my client is like, what’s happening? Is that money coming out or I do finally collect and now I’ve suddenly collected 500 bucks at once and they have like, totally forgotten that they owe me for those sessions. So now I’ve created like a financial hiccup or stressor for them because I was avoiding money. And it’s the same as, you know, you’re talking about raising fees too, it’s right- if I’m making a big emotional deal out of it, if I’m over-explaining and telling them about my kid’s need for special therapy because I’m so like, so don’t want them to think that I’m trying to take money from them. I’m putting like an emotional weight on this interaction and I’m kind of like oversharing or there’s like a boundary piece there that we can be crossing of asking our clients to, like, emotionally understand us or forgive us. That, I’m going to say, is not therapeutic. 


Wendy [00:09:29] Right, right, right. For the therapist either. Because usually this is- if this is what’s happening, they’re losing sleep. You therapists, you know what we’re talking about. Raise your hands. Raise your hand. You’re probably driving while you’re listening to us. But you know what? Like the more you’re losing sleep over it, the more you are perseverating over it, you know, the more- And so here’s one of the things that I like to really bring up with money, too, because that’s usually an indicator we have some shame involved. So I like to delineate, guilt has a remedy, and shame has a spiral. When we look at it that way, then we’re seeing that spiral, that perseveration, that like writing about it over and over again, and all this kind of stuff that kind of tells you. By knowing it’s shame, then you can use your shame-coping tools such as maybe some meditation, some self-compassion – love self-compassion – all that. Guilt has a remedy. Yes. Let’s say you double-charge someone. You ran their car twice and you’re like, I’m so sorry. And so you credit one. That’s a remedy. And so looking at the difference between the two. But if you let’s say you double-charge someone and then go into the I’m a bad therapist spiral. You know, then you want to pull in whatever healing or, you know, kind of what you need to do to heal from that, too. That makes sense. 


Linzy [00:10:47] Yeah, it does. It does. And I think it’s a really helpful distinction to make. You know, when we are having reactions, to ask ourselves, like, wait, which one is this? Right? Because with guilt too, I think about times where I was late for a client session, for instance, like I remember one client session where I had this client who was just like very quiet and kind of shy, and I went out to the waiting room to, like, get myself some tea. I’m like, do, do, do, do, do. But all this time she’s sitting in the waiting room, I think, Oh, she’s so early. I go back to my office. Do, do, do, do, do I like, go work on some notes, and then I realize, oh my God, our appointment was earlier today. We had changed the time, and she was so shy and like, didn’t want to impose. She just sat there and just waited for me until I came out. And like, that’s a situation of guilt where I didn’t go into the shame spiral of like, I’m the worst therapist in the world. I was just like, Oh, that’s not it. So at the end of our session, I, like immediately remedied it. And even though I still met her for the full time, I credited her back that amount and I said, Your time is valuable. That was my mistake. I’m crediting you back that time. And I think about how me being able to take action because it was guilt, not shame. Being able to take immediate action can actually be very therapeutic for people, right? Like that was actually a very healing experience for her. And she emailed me afterwards to thank me for like the respect that I showed in being able to fix it. And so that’s like, you know, when we can fix it. But when we go into that shame place, we get paralyzed and then it becomes what started as a problem becomes more of a problem if we don’t realize that’s what we’re doing and we stay in that spiral. So what I’m hearing there is like this is a great illustration of how our stuff can become therapeutic stuff. I’m also curious, when do you- like when we’re sitting in our therapist’s chair and we’re talking to our clients, what are some of the clues that we can tell their money stuff is present and there’s maybe opportunity there to dig into that with our clients. 


Wendy [00:12:37] Yeah. Hmm. So where I would like to take this is to a couple of things. One, as I’m training therapists to be financial therapists, in putting this together, I created ten principles of financial therapy. And the first one, it has to be first. The rest, I don’t care what order they go in, but the first one is abundant compassionate curiosity and zero judgment. And so whenever- to me that is sort of like the tool to have in your pocket. Most of us already have that tool as a therapist about a lot of things. People can talk about sex, they can talk about trauma, they can talk about childrearing, all these kind of things. And we are attuned to quickly not judge mostly. But when it comes to money, if we’re not aware of our money keywords and our money story, then we may transfer those over. So if someone says, for instance, that they went to buy something and it was expensive or it was cheap, we’ll just kind of mess around those two keywords. So what I encourage therapists to do is to have a very smart kind of play therapy approach. I still remember in play therapy, they were like, Hey, if a kid picks up a dinosaur and says it’s an airplane, you’re like, It’s an airplane. You know, like, you just go with it because it’s the meaning. And if someone says something is expensive and they say, Oh, well, I got these shoes and they were really expensive. And then they say, well, they were, you know, and you find out later they were under your threshold of expensive, let’s just do that. So we’re not applying numbers here. Sure. Then your initial response may be, oh, that wasn’t expensive, because you want to let them off the hook. Because it wasn’t expensive, because it didn’t meet your threshold. But what is important is that they saw it as expensive. 


Linzy [00:14:17] Right. 


Wendy [00:14:18] So really recognizing that, asking them not being afraid to say what feels expensive to you, they’re like, oh, anything over $20 is expensive. You’re like, okay. Then you’ve got their reference point. Whereas if everybody’s a little bit different, the next person may come in and say, Yeah, I got these tickets and they were really cheap. And you want to say, what’s cheap to you? $20, you know, same dollars. But in therapy, it’s relative. You really want to know what’s relative Because what happens, for instance, you know, if you notice, your client is often saying, I went and got so-and-so, but I had a coupon or it was on sale or something like that, they’re telling you something. They’re not giving you shopping tips. But if you don’t- if you haven’t worked through this yourself, you may look at this and you may be like, What’s that website? I want to write that down. I want that sale, you know, because you have a belief that everything has to be on sale. So then you want to see it. So you don’t want to transfer that, but you want to say, what do you notice? You know, just they’re repeating a pattern to you. What do you notice? That everything has to be marked down. And then there’s some beauty there, you know, that’s therapeutic. Again, you’re approaching it with that compassionate curiosity, no judgment, so that they can have that and you’re not transferring your belief or your threshold. I talk a lot about thresholds, but I’ll pause and see if that makes sense before I go into thresholds. 


Linzy [00:15:44] Yes, yes, yes, it does make sense. And I do think that is a really helpful reminder, because I think many therapists have not worked through our own money stuff. Right. And so that is an interesting observation that you make that somebody says something and we want to move on from it. Like we’ve missed the fact that there’s richness there. Right. There’s something, there’s a reason they’re telling us this or like there’s beliefs there that warrants exploration. But if we are not comfortable with money, we’re going to want to skip over it. Right. And find a way to be like this isn’t relevant to the clinical information. Where’s the clinical information? And so I love pointing that out, that there there’s something there to be explored. And so, you know, pay attention if your clients are talking about how much things cost, what is that. 


Wendy [00:16:31] Or any kind of repeated words about it. Okay. So many things. So I want to talk about thresholds, but that also kind of brings up well, let me talk about thresholds, because this is important to really recognizing a lot of people have mental price marks or thresholds and they don’t even realize they do. And this is where, for therapists, from where you are, sitting in the chair, looking at your price point. So just doing a meditation, just doing a journaling exercise will help you bump into what is your threshold. Or it could also be called a block. It could be, you know, this invisible ceiling of, what if I charge 100 an hour? Or what if I charge 125 an hour? What if I charge 150 an hour? You know, like really going through and writing down each of those and you’ll hit the one of. Well, I’m not worth that. Right? That’s a block. It’s a threshold. It’s like I can’t charge stacks. I’m not worth it. And so it’s helpful to see that or if someone is- a lot of times now financial therapy, just parenthetically, it’s not it’s not coaching or advice giving. So somebody may say, I just can’t get my money together. That is not an invitation to come in and give them a budget. In fact, as you might imagine, one of the principles of financial therapy is kind of that idea of budget is to money, what diet is to food. So we want to move away from any sort of boxing in any way. But I know some therapists will feel compelled to come in and show them or if they say, I can’t figure out how to pay for my session. You know, some therapists will go in and say, well, let’s write down all your expenses and let’s write down all your bills. And then what you’re going to see is, well, no, they can’t afford to pay, you know. Then what are you going to do? But also, that’s not therapy. That’s not financial therapy. It’s coming in, going, What do you notice? How does this feel? How do you work towards solving this? You know, that kind of stuff, too. So looking at that, looking at not giving me a problem solving and also recognizing a lot of people spend under their- I’m allowed to spend under 50, anything that’s under $50 is fair game. Anything that’s under $100 is fair game. That’s a threshold. In other words, it’s like anything under $100 I get to ignore and avoid. And everybody’s a little different. 


Linzy [00:18:46] Yes. Yes. And those threshold pieces, you know, when you notice threshold, like, for instance, talking about fee threshold, because that’s obviously something that therapists think about a lot. Yes. If you are doing that journaling and you notice like, I’m allowed to charge 150 an hour, that’s fine. But if I go up to 190. That’s too much. That’s too much. What is the next step for a therapist once they’ve identified where a threshold is? 


Wendy [00:19:12] Yeah, a couple of different things that I encourage them to do first. Just sit with it. So that’s a big part. You know, this is therapeutically we’re slowing the process down, so sit with it. Then the next part might be to do the math on an annual basis and see how that number hits you. So maybe 190 an hour equals, you know, whatever. I cannot do math while I talk. But really recognizing, okay, what does that mean? And then also what they’re not asking- where I help therapists, where I encourage them to start is before you think about the clients, just sort of close that curtain a little bit and let’s look at your home. What is the money you want to bring home? What is the money you’re wanting to contribute to your family? And sometimes they can’t even touch that yet. So until we can touch that, we can’t set a fee. You know, so we’re setting a fee based on some beliefs. But, you know, and mindset is a belief that may or may not be a truth. So we’re setting a fee based on that, based on what we’ve read or what we’ve seen or whatever. But I really want you to come back and say, what does your family need to make the family work? Often that’s been hugely avoided and they’re just using their therapy as a stopgap for solving problems and surviving at home. Right. And that’s painful. And then you’re always on edge. And then a client doesn’t pay. And it- you know, it’s a Jenga game at home, and you’re just like, boom, there it goes. So we want to start with that. Then we want to come back into also look at your story. Where did that become too much money or something like that? 


Linzy [00:20:52] Yes. Yeah. And, you know, with that piece at home, something else that I noticed with that piece is like also when you don’t know how much you need at home, the tendency can be that nothing is enough, right? Because you’re like, I probably need more at home, right? And so, you know, when we’re just like pulling – like lots of folks who come into Money Skills, and I’m sure you see this behavior, too, in the folks that you support – they’re just pulling money from the business whenever they need to pay a bill at home. So there’s no clarity on how much is actually needed at home. But also there’s just this kind of like urgent, almost like vortex nature to the home finances where it’s like I just feed the monster as much as I can, which means and you know, clinically what that means is like you are probably saying yes to folks when you’re too tired, you’re overbooking your week, you’re agreeing to times that really aren’t great times for you to work because you don’t want to say no to the money because it’s like more and more and more. And it’s such a losing game, right? Like it’s it’s so unsustainable to not have that clarity. But I do agree, like it is kind of almost like a black box for some folks of just like home finances can feel very scary to look at, to like, get real about their numbers. Even folks who’ve done quite a bit of work and thinking in the business, home can still feel very loaded and heavy. 


Wendy [00:22:06] Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Because so often we’re split. We have sort of I mean, I will confess I have a business mind. And then I have a home mind. They don’t always talk to each other. 


Linzy [00:22:16] No, absolutely. Yeah. And like, something that I encourage folks to do, which is kind of a- it’s a bit of a stopgap measure, but it does help, is like if you do have the business stuff working, like use that to power up your personal goals while you’re still working on the home finance skills. Like pay for your retirement from your business. As if your business self is super good with money, but home self it’s still blurry or there’s issues because partner has different ideas about money because there’s all those dynamics too. At least use that machine to take care of you financially while you’re working on like the personal finance stuff. Because it takes a minute. Right. Like there’s a lot of pieces to untangle there. Yeah. So, Wendy, I want to hear one more. Can you give me one more of the principles of having these conversations with clients? 


Wendy [00:22:57] The principles of financial therapy, well, yes. So, gosh, I love them all. They’re like my little children. Although-. 


Linzy [00:23:06] I know there’s ten, so I’m like, let’s be selective. I know you love them all, but what’s your favorite? 


Wendy [00:23:09] Well, I really like this one because this is where I often wind up starting with people is a plan is only as good as the adjustment process. And this comes out of how many times- and again, people listening, don’t raise your hand, I know you’re driving because I was driving earlier today and listening to you, so. How many times you’ve started a pretty multicolored budget, quote unquote, air quotes, budget. And we want to look at where did it dissolve? Because usually it dissolves in the first 30 to 90 days. So we want to come back to that. Typically, what I have found is it dissolves because there’s not an adjustment process. So it looks really pretty. Yes. But we’ve got to know how to adjust it, whether it be for ourselves, our partner, life partners or business partners, whatever. And so the adjustment process is what I work with clients on a lot before we even get to a plan. And, you know, I know this frustrates the hell out of them. They’re just like, Can we get to the numbers, get us some homework, you know? And I’m like, Yes, we’ll get there. Trust the process, which I know is horrible for us to say no. So it’s so true. So but really understanding and the adjustment process is a lot about, in short, communication skills. So we’ll just say that because we want to use good communication skills and also about knowing where we want to go. So a lot of money is done by looking in the rearview mirror and going, What the hell just happened? You know? But we want to look out. We want to look out at least 12 months. And this can be done. It can be done. It feels daunting, but it can be done. And so we start with that kind of idea and begin to create something that’s more mindful and meditative. 


Linzy [00:24:51] Yeah, I like that. Yeah. With that adjustment piece, too, when do you like, I’m curious if you also see this. Like, I see so much perfectionism and rigidity come into our relationship with money and then with a budget, because I know folks will have, you know, this question as they’re working on budgeting methods in Money Skills for Therapists. It’s like, But what do I do if it changes? And as it will, it is going to change. They will change, right? Yes. So it’s like, that’s not a failure. If your budget doesn’t look to plan, it’s that like being with and being flexible and yeah, the adjusting that actually makes something sustainable, right? Because we’re humans living human lives. 


Wendy [00:25:31] Yeah. I think normalizing that is a huge part of what you and I are doing. We’re just saying yes, absolutely. It’s probably one of the most frustrating things that we say to professionals because I will say right off the bat, money work is never done. It’s never done. Yeah. So we’re building you know, think of it in terms of a framework. That’s why I like percentages instead of like- and also we want to look at how many times the word “should” comes up. So if they’re building their budget off of what Google says a family of three or whatever should be spending, yes, we already are going to have a problem. So look at that. We want to spend some time and yeah, first with our own spaghetti on the wall, see what sticks. Okay, so maybe we thought X number of dollars was a good target and then we found out that it’s really more like this, taking that shame out and also taking that image, that idea that there was some malicious intent somewhere because there just wasn’t. We’re all just trying to figure it out as we go. So really softening that compassion can make a big difference too.  


Linzy [00:26:35] Mm hmm. Beautiful. Wendy, I’m so glad you came on the podcast today. It’s been wonderful having you. For folks who are listening, where can they find you? They want to get further into your world. 


Wendy [00:26:44] Absolutely. So Financial Therapy Solutions dot com is the website and there are currently a couple of workbooks on there if they want to dive into this a little bit. And then also I’m working- they’ll be links by the time this comes out. Awesome links for a foundational course to begin that process because I stay full most- there’s like there’s, I think less than 100 financial therapists. We need more. So hopefully this has at least helped more therapists just begin to open up some money dialogs at least. So I’m working on a course that will help with some of the foundational, some of these things, some exercises and worksheets and things like that, that will take this to the next level. 


Linzy [00:27:24] Wonderful. Okay, so folks, go to Wendy’s website, get her freebies, watch out for her course. Thank you so much for joining me today, Wendy. 


Wendy [00:27:31] You bet. I loved it. 


Linzy [00:27:46] In my conversation with Wendy, something that really sticks out is just this piece about how, as therapists, we can kind of skip over opportunities to talk with our clients about money. Right. We avoid things if we haven’t done the work. Which means, conversely, if we do our own work and if we are digging into our own money stories and basically building up our own tolerance to be curious about money and be with money in our own lives, that can also translate into our therapeutic relationships. Right. And we know, I hope, you know, listening to this podcast, that money is such an important part of our lives and such an unavoidable part of our lives that can be so loaded and so stressful. So I get excited thinking about, you know, folks listening today, this week, when you’re in sessions with your own clients and just having an ear out for opportunities where somebody might be giving you some clues that talking about money would be helpful for them and working on your own tolerance to sit with and be curious about. And like Wendy said, not trying to skip over it, you know, matching it with your own thoughts about money or putting your own money stories into that. But having that kind of open curiosity that we would have if a client mentioned something about a relationship or food or their sexual relationship with their partner, just have that like openness to give your client a chance to maybe tell you something that they really need to talk about, but they don’t know how to tell you that they really need to talk about it. I like that idea of a bit more financial therapy happening in the world because of this conversation with Wendy. So so I appreciate her joining me today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And you know what I’m going to say. If you’re enjoying the podcast, I would so appreciate if you jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to listen in and benefit from these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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Getting Out of the Weeds to Make More Money in Your Private Practice Coaching Session 

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“It feels lighter. I have more choices; I have more freedom. I think that’s the thing about wealth is that it gives me freedom and flexibility. I don’t care about buying things. I just want the flexibility to work or not work, or to go somewhere, or to outsource something.

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Episode Transcript

Peter [00:00:04] It feels lighter. I have more choices. I have more freedom. I think that’s really the thing about wealth is that it gives me freedom and flexibility. Like, I don’t care about buying things. I just want the flexibility to like work or not work or go somewhere or outsource something. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. So today’s podcast is a coaching episode with Peter H. Addy. Peter is a grad of Money Skills For Therapists. He finished up the program about 18 months ago. We were talking about on the interview and Peter is an educator and a trainer who helps compassionate healthcare professionals who want to become psychedelic-informed or psychedelic affirming. He’s also a therapist who helps psychedelic curious adults with chronic health issues who want to find purpose and courage through transformation. And he’s also a faculty at an Oregon-approved psilocybin facilitator training program. And he used to be a research scientist at Yale. So today, Peter and I get into the complexities of having two separate businesses. He’s got that educator business and also his therapy business, two separate businesses that are both growing and trying to do profit first, kind of with both of them. And you’ll hear in our conversation, we kind of start with the numbers, trying to figure out the numbers and the profit first system. But our conversation switches gear fairly quickly towards bigger picture. You’ll hear that kind of shift in the conversation. If you find yourself kind of struggling with numbers that are not the numbers you want to see, or the complexity of kind of having like two businesses and how do you make things work, this episode will be great for you to help you take perspective on what are the things that really matter and where should we be putting our energy and our focus as we’re growing businesses? And what are the things that can be kind of set aside to dig into later once our businesses are where we want them to be? Here is my coaching session with Peter H. Addy. So Peter, welcome to the podcast. 


Peter [00:02:49] Yeah, thanks for having me. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:02:51] So getting into what we want to talk about today, Peter, you were a student in Money Skills For Therapists a couple years ago, is that correct? Am I timing that correctly? 


Peter [00:03:00] Yeah, I started two years ago. 


Linzy [00:03:03] Yes. 


Peter [00:03:03] So what was that? It’s a six-month thing. 


Linzy [00:03:06] Yeah. So it’s been like about 18 months since we would have worked together. So coming into our podcast recording today, our coaching session, what would be most helpful for us to focus on today? 


Peter [00:03:17] Yeah, well, I recently started a second business, so I have my therapy business and then I do some training. The next level therapist course, Maegan Megginson, and she really laid out kind of the in a detailed, easy-to-understand way, when it’s appropriate to have two businesses or not and like how to do that in an ethical way. And I started realizing I’ve been running two businesses for years, but they were just all under one umbrella. I do therapy, I do supervision, and I also do like professional education for continuing education and training for health care professionals. So I’ve spun that out into a second business. It’s its own legal entity and bank accounts and website and email address. So they’re like totally separate things now. And that’s great. In a lot of ways, it helps me just be clear about my audience. I realized, you know, I’ve been collecting email addresses for a mailing list for years, but I’ve sent out like two emails ever because like, who am I writing this to? Am I writing this to potential clients or am I writing this to professional colleagues? 


Linzy [00:04:26] Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Peter [00:04:27] Same with blogs or social media or anything. Like I don’t know who I’m writing for, but now, now I have two different audiences. And so there’s just it’s really great to be clear about that and to know, like depending on what email address the message has coming to me, it still goes to the same box on the same device. But like it’s it automatically filters like, what does this person want to talk to me about? 


Linzy [00:04:49] Yes, you you’ve segmented your audience now for those two different businesses. 


Peter [00:04:54] Exactly. So it’s really great for that. But now I have twice as many bank accounts too. I use profit first. So that’s a lot of bank accounts. 


Linzy [00:05:03] Yes. That’s a lot of bank accounts. Yes. Okay. 


Peter [00:05:05] Yeah. And trying to figure out what are my like, what are my caps or taps or like, we don’t have to go into like that level of detail maybe. I mean, we could we could not. But like just sort of in general, like, how much money do I need in a month? Like, I have a general idea, Like overall, here’s how much money I would like to see, but it’s coming from two different sources now. And for education, business is very sporadic. I did a training just last week which went very well, kind of a two-hour intro to psychedelics for health care providers. My next one’s in September. So, you know, like every like maybe 3 to- 3 months or something if I get money, like, that’s really weird. That’s hard. 


Linzy [00:05:47] Yeah. And that, that is- Yeah, my first kind of wondering is with the second business. So let’s say the first business is therapy, supervision, clinical work. The second business is your education training business. What is the income looking like in that second business right now? 


Peter [00:06:03] So I have some trainings for another company and I get a percentage of sales for that recording and that could be- lately that’s been averaging like $100 a month. No, it’s not a huge deal. And then if I have a training, like a live thing that they sell tickets to, maybe this one I got a percentage of sales, which was really nice. The next one, it’s a flat fee and they’re usually a flat fee and that’s pretty sporadic. Like, So I had June and then I got September, probably October. That one’s not finalized yet, but so. And that’s it for the year. 


Linzy [00:06:37] Yeah. It sounds almost like quarterly for those it’s kind of like every three months there’s like a training. 


Peter [00:06:42] Yeah. 


Linzy [00:06:42] If we average it out for the year so like four trainings a year. But wondering that I have is how, how much do you want that business to grow. 


Peter [00:06:50] Ideally, I would like that to be most of my business like maybe- and that could be 51%. You know, like I enjoy being a therapist. Like I get something out of that that helps fill my cup in a way, but I don’t want that to be everything. And it’s really important to me to move away from one on one services for two reasons. First of all, because then I can reach more people on a good week. Like there’s a pretty low ceiling for how many, how many like hours. I can be seeing people. 


Linzy [00:07:22] Of course. 


Peter [00:07:23] So like I’m- if I want to affect more people, I have to do one too many offerings. And two, I really like doing education stuff like I could just do groups, but I like the education because it’s a lot of it is asynchronous and that’s really important to me. I have chronic health issues that I’m constantly working on and that’s unpredictable. Maybe this week I could see 20 clients if I wanted to, but next week, maybe not. 


Linzy [00:07:45] Yeah. 


Peter [00:07:45] No, I can’t- I need flexibility and being able to just create educational content whenever I feel like it.  That works really well for me. 


Linzy [00:07:58] Yeah. I’m speaking as someone who’s kind of on that other side where I have flipped, in my case, fully into education. It is much more flexible and demands less of us on a weekly basis. It’s kind of like you can show up and create something amazing when you’re feeling great and when you’re not. There’s much less demand on your energy, period. So I certainly see a lot of wisdom in that path for you. So then thinking about where you’re at now, what I’m hearing is lots of bank accounts between the two and also how to think about these pots of money or what to maybe expect from these pots of money. Tell me more about what’s not clear right now of how to manage these two different pools of money. 


Peter [00:08:37] Two things come to my mind. One is, for both businesses, my income is unpredictable. That is the single most difficult and uncomfortable thing about being a therapist. I talk to family and friends who work for a company and I don’t want to go back to working for a company. I don’t think I could do that. But like man, to just like, know what’s going to be in your bank every two weeks. That sounds nice. 


Linzy [00:09:04] Yes, absolutely. Okay. 


Peter [00:09:05] So that’s hard in general. And now if you have like two kinds of inconsistent income. So one item is like how much? You know, I’m trying to to come to a certain number. And some of that is coming from clients and some of that is coming from training. So it’s harder for me to like, know what to reach for, you know, what are my targets, and then, too, thinking about business expenses. This training business that I just made, there really aren’t any. Like I bought a year of Canva. Like, what am I going to do? Like, maybe like, I’ll buy a nice microphone or write something, but like, that’s a very low cost business. And so, yes, maybe that’s fine. Like, maybe just I mean, they’re both LLC, so it all just goes into the same pot for taxes anyway. So anyway, doesn’t really matter. But just like for the government, it doesn’t really matter where the expense goes. But for me personally, like, yeah, like just maybe it’s okay to just have a business with like $100 of expenses a year. Like, is that okay? I guess that’s okay. 


Linzy [00:10:10] Yes. Yes. Yeah. And with this, like, what I’m hearing is that right now, too, the way things look, gradually you’d like to kind of shift gears, right? And this is a podcast and nobody can see me, but I’ve got like kind of two levers and they’re switching position so that eventually it’s that more of your income is coming from this like this teaching work and less of it relatively is coming from therapy right now it’s very much the other way where it sounds like right now the vast majority of your income, the way that things are set up now, will be coming from therapy or is coming from therapy. And the teaching stuff is just kind of starting, right? Like you’re really establishing that business. And so with that, like there’s a couple of things that come to mind with me. Partly what I’m thinking about is what you’re looking for in terms of that stability. That is something that you can create, right? Part of your puzzle is deciding how you want to create it. So right now, the language that one of my business colleagues uses for her therapy is her bread and butter, right? So she’s got a teaching business and has gotten some traction with it, but it’s nothing compared to what she can build or earn because of her clinical work, because she’s built a reputation for years. It’s the work that she usually does. Right now, therapy is your bread and butter. So one curiosity that I have is like, how quickly do you want to start to make this transition where you can rely less on therapy and start to rely more on that teaching work? 


Peter [00:11:32] Yeah, it’s a good question. A year maybe, you know, 9 months, 12 months, that would be pretty good. I guess. There’s definitely some things that will be going on in my life about nine months in the future. It’d be nice to be kind of like settled by then. If that’s realistic, I don’t know. 


Linzy [00:11:51] Sure. Yeah, because something that I am thinking about here is making a stepped plan for yourself in these numbers, because part of the puzzle is figuring out how you want the money to flow so that you have that regular paycheck, which, you know, I’m very passionate about stability and that is something that is can add a lot of value to your life, especially when health can go up and down knowing that there’s enough stability built into your numbers, that you’re still going to get paid the same amount. Whether it’s been a good week or a bad week is very valuable, right? So there’s that piece. But then also it’s thinking about the second variable of like shifting gears. So more money’s starting to come in from teaching and less money is coming in from therapy and that teaching business can start to take care of you more. There’s less reliance on the therapy work, more on the teaching. So that’s almost like it’s two different pieces, but it’s here and I’m saying like kind of like a there’s a path there that can be laid out that solves both of those problems together. 


Peter [00:12:42] Okay. 


Linzy [00:12:43] My first question with where you are right now is, do you know how much you need to earn to bring home the paycheck that you need to take care of your household? 


Peter [00:12:52] Yeah, I. I ran those numbers and I don’t remember. I do remember that ten clients a week would meet the minimum. You know, I’m not going to be, like, saving for fancy trips to Europe or anything, but ten clients a week consistently will like, be just enough. 


Linzy [00:13:10] So covers your needs. That’s not your wants. 


Peter [00:13:13] And that was also, I remember, ten clients a week assuming my full rate. I’m on a few insurance panels. I’m selective. You know, just the ones that like pay well and don’t want lots of things from me. 


Linzy [00:13:25] Yes. Don’t make life too difficult. 


Peter [00:13:27] Yeah, but so if we assume a full rate, which is 180 an hour. Yeah. What did I say, ten clients a week. Yeah. So it’s just under 8000 a month of revenue. 


Linzy [00:13:37] And you know what your assumed business expenses would have been without your operating expenses that come out of it? 


Peter [00:13:42] Let’s see. My target right now is I think like 25%. It’s higher now, but that’s what I want to like move towards. 


Linzy [00:13:49] So if it’s 25%, so $2,000 month is towards operating expenses. And so that would leave $6,000 as kind of what’s left for you. Some of that is taxes. So some of that is paycheck. So $6,000 a month thinking about that now. So if we did $6,000 a month, if we take out your tax rate, do you have clarity on what your effective tax rate is, how much we should be assuming you need to put aside?  


Peter [00:14:15] My old accountant- I just switched so my old tax preparer was saying 25% of net. 


Linzy [00:14:19] Of net. 


Peter [00:14:19] My new tax preparer saying 30% of net. 


Linzy [00:14:23] Little higher. 


Peter [00:14:24] So I’ve been doing split the difference. 27.5. 


Linzy [00:14:28] I had a feeling you were going to say that. 


Peter [00:14:29] 10% of whatever’s left after. 


Linzy [00:14:33] Okay. Yeah. So in this case it would be like $6,000 times 0.275. So you’re putting aside $1650 for taxes. And then are there any other things with your profit first that you try to save for in the business? So are there any of the profit first buckets you have right now? 


Peter [00:14:51] Right now I’m just at the minimum so I have- I’m doing 1% per for profit and I’ve also created a have a retirement and that’s also just the minimum 1%. 


Linzy [00:15:00] And we’re holding space for those, which is great. So profit 1%, retirement is 1%, taxes- to clarify, Peter, that’s 27.5% of your revenue coming in like that’s your profit first number or is that that’s your take home. 


Peter [00:15:14] Revenue minus OpEx. 


Linzy [00:15:16] Okay, so it’s off your net. Okay. So do you know how that fits into your profit calculator right now. 


Peter [00:15:20] Yeah, it’s about the number that you came up with. I think it was like 16 or 17% of gross. 


Linzy [00:15:25] Okay. Okay. So with this now, like thinking about these numbers, how close are you now to seeing these numbers of like the 8000 off the top and then being able to distribute all the money to these percentages? 


Peter [00:15:38] I’m like halfway there- this week is a holiday week. So it’s weird. But last week, last few weeks, I’ve been averaging about five clients a week. 


Linzy [00:15:46] Okay. 


Peter [00:15:46] Like half of what I would like. 


Linzy [00:15:49] Yeah. Okay. So you’re halfway there. Looking at your business growth because you just reopened your doors two months ago. Right. To put this in context, looking at your growth, how long do you think it’s going to take you to get up to that 8000? That’s the base that you like to see? 


Peter [00:16:03] I don’t know. That’s a really hard thing. In my own business. I’ve never been full, like I’ve never had enough. I had my own business. And then for a while I worked at a group practice and then I went back to just having my own business. In the group practice, I was full, but then I was not making much because I was in a group practice. But in my own business, I’ve never really, like gotten enough people. So I know, like in your training, you know, you had this great idea of put money into an owner’s comp account and then if it’s more than I actually need. 


Linzy [00:16:35] Yes. 


Peter [00:16:36] Leave the extra there. 


Linzy [00:16:37] Yes. 


Peter [00:16:38] With a low month. But I’ve never really consistently I don’t want to say never, but I’ve never consistently. 


Linzy [00:16:43] Yes. 


Peter [00:16:43] made what I need. 


Linzy [00:16:45] Had that experience. Yes. 


Peter [00:16:46] Yeah. Which is another reason to try a different business because this first business has not been consistently getting me what I need. 


Linzy [00:16:53] Yes. And we also know that it comes with risks for you because it’s so reliant on having to show up in a certain way that takes a lot of energy. So this is where I’m thinking about that shift towards the other business, too, right? Because we can think about these two businesses as almost two pieces of the puzzle that together will support you. Yeah, right. And I’m hearing that so far and that’s the past. So it doesn’t mean it’s the future, but so far you have not had the experience of being able to get the clients that you want to have the amount from your private practice that you want to see with this. Like my curiosity then goes to what is possible in that second business to get those numbers working so that you are being taken care of without having to push to see probably more clients than you might be wanting to see anyways in terms of your health. Because right now I know part of your question when you had submitted it before we chatted today was like working with numbers when you’re building and it’s not really there. Right. And so right now, as you said, like your upgrade expenses are relatively higher because those expenses don’t go down just because you’re not seeing the clients you want to see. Yeah, but, you know, I could see from the outside knowing you, I’m like, I think you can get up to that eight that you want to see, and then that’s going to change your optics. But it’s also like, what is your long term plan, right? And how can you start thinking about that long term well-being and long term business sustainability, which sounds like it’s leaning more towards teaching, right, getting that teaching work. And so I’m curious, Peter, from an energetic perspective, how much energy each week do you give to each of these businesses? 


Peter [00:18:28] I’d say like my target energy percentages. I rent an office and I see clients two days a week. So I try to just think about my therapy business two days a week, and then I try to think about my training business two days a week, and then Fridays, maybe I do a little extra work if there’s a deadline or something. Or I could just not. So Friday is kind of an optional day. I’m trying to do like an even split. Doesn’t always happen that way. But that’s the goal. 


Linzy [00:18:55] Yes. And with the work that you’re putting in on those two days a week for the teaching business, what have you been working on to bring up the revenue in that business? 


Peter [00:19:05] Yeah, well, lately it’s just been preparing for this training that was just, you know a week ago. Wow. What a long week. That was just a week ago. There’s, you know, creating material for training for other people. I also really want to try my hand at hosting my own training, you know, doing my own webinar or a masterclass or something that’s entirely, you know, self-hosted. Creating material. That’s number one, just like making content and reading papers and stuff, staying up to date on content and other people’s content, making my own content. That’s definitely the bulk of it. But also doing kind of some relationship marketing and just seeing who else is there. I got a list of some podcasts to reach out to, I haven’t reached out to anyone else yet, but get the word out there. And it’s mostly been local relationship marketing that I’ve been doing, not as much in online spheres, but I’m sure I’ll get to that eventually.  


Linzy [00:20:02] Yeah. Because thinking about that and like, I like your framing, your target percentages for your energetic distribution, that one-to-many business model has so much more potential to bring revenue. Right? And it’s like you you can build it when you’re feeling good, right? You create material you feel really good about and literally thousands of people can consume that material individually on their own pace, as you mentioned, asynchronously, and get great value from it, right? Even if you recorded it five years ago, that can be the case. And so as you’re thinking about your business energy, I am curious about what would happen if you made a specific plan to actually get revenue really going in the teaching business. I’d like actually thought about, okay, I’m going to do my own workshop for the first time in October. This is an example. Obviously you do whatever you want. And on those days, really work towards like building that list, right? Like getting those partnerships in place, booking a venue and really working towards like a large revenue-generating event that then can be replicated, right? Like making a signature training that you gave or a signature kind of experience. What do you notice thinking about bringing that kind of energy in like kind of really revenue informed and revenue focused business building activities? 


Peter [00:21:19] Yeah, I noticed two things. One is kind of excitement. I had begun doing some of that work in Next Level Therapist, and so I have kind of a skeleton of, of an idea that I’m working towards. And so I had been kind of putting that on the backburner because I had this deadline for this, you know, a training for this other company, and that’s over. So now I can reallocate that time to my own thing. Yes. So I’m excited to like, make that happen and like, build that thing. And also there’s some fear, there’s some unease because I’m you know, I’m really putting myself out there and it’s nice to make content for another company because they do all of the marketing, like should take a big chunk of the ticket sales, but they do all the marketing, they have their social media accounts, they handle payment processing and refunds and the like. They do everything. They do all the tech support, like it’s all on them. And I do my own thing that’s on me and I’ve never done this before. And like, what if, you know, what if I put myself out there and no one comes or people come, but then there’s a bunch of technical glitches or they don’t- What if they don’t like me? You know, that’s always that’s always part of the story. What if they don’t like me? Years of experience suggesting that that people will like me. 


Linzy [00:22:34] Yes. 


Peter [00:22:34] That’s that’s a story. That’s a voice in there. 


Linzy [00:22:37] Sure, Of course. Of course. Yeah. And I think if you think about the function of that voice, like, what is that voice trying to do for you? 


Peter [00:22:44] Keep me safe. 


Linzy [00:22:45] Yeah, Keep you safe. Keep you small. 


Peter [00:22:47] Yeah. Small is safe, quiet and invisible is safe. 


Linzy [00:22:51] I’m curious, Peter, when you have done trainings and you have put yourself out there and like I might be projecting, but I know for me when I have these moments where I’m like teaching and I’m in the group and you’re just like, I’m in it. Like, this is good. I’m in my space. I’m curious like, what is it like when you really are in that teaching space? 


Peter [00:23:07] Yeah, it’s exciting. This one I did last week, like I finished it and I was like, I was feeling high, you know? And I wasn’t. I wasn’t high, but I was, you know, we were talking about drugs for 2 hours. 


Linzy [00:23:17] To clarify. Yeah. Yeah. 


Peter [00:23:18] But I was. Yeah, just really I was up, you know, I was just energized. I think it’s probably the best training I’ve ever done. Yeah. No, it’s my first time trying making it in Canva instead of Google slides. Just like it just looks prettier. The way that I kind of paced myself went really well. I had the Q&A was like, there were too many questions. Like, there wasn’t enough time. 


Linzy [00:23:43] Yes. 


Peter [00:23:43] I’ve done this training before and it’s like crickets. And that’s that’s the worst. Yeah. I mean, I can ramble on if no one has any questions for me, but I can fill space. But it’s it’s just it felt good that they were like people wanted to talk to me more than I had room for. 


Linzy [00:23:58] So, yes, it felt good. Yeah. And talking about this now what do you notice? 


Peter [00:24:02] Yeah, I’m just. I’m feeling more kind of up. More like lighter. 


Linzy [00:24:05] Mm hmm. When I think about where you’re at and you’ve got these two streams of income, neither one is where you want them to be. And there’s lots of complexity we can add to that, right? Like, we could totally spend an hour digging into your exact profit first percentages and exactly how to manage the, like, not enough money yet. I think that’s in the weeds. Does that phrase make sense to you when I say that? Being in the weeds? 


Peter [00:24:29] Yeah, I think so. 


Linzy [00:24:30] Yeah. And being in the weeds can feel safe in a way. It’s like when you have this little math problem to work on, you get to get nice and small and mathy and try to figure it out and make it perfect. And what I’m noticing is when you actually talk about this teaching work and the actual experience of being in it, there’s this expanding, right? There’s this up that happens this lift in your energy, right? And that is what’s actually going to bring in the money, then you can divide up. That is what I would suggest you follow, right? If that’s where the inspiration is, because people can feel that from you. Right. And when you’ve really, like, owned your own excitement and passion and you’ve done all this work that you’re doing to be very informed and bring in all the research and you’re able to educate people about something that you are genuinely excited about and knowledgeable about. They feel that from you and they’re going to tell their colleagues like, Oh, Peter does this great training, the next time you’re doing an event, or you know, for other folks who are wondering about psychedelics. And so I’m wondering like if you shifted your gears to really focus on like doing something bigger than you’ve ever done before and inviting in the idea that you might actually not be able to just get by but make like good money doing this work that you love, what is that like? 


Peter [00:25:48] Oh, it’s there’s a whole complicated thing there. That’s a lot. I feel excited and I have in the past been in a good place financially. I used to be a research scientist and I made more money than I knew what to do with. And yeah, when I- even working at the group practice, like they were taking a percent. So, you know, it wasn’t- I wasn’t making great money, but it was more than I needed. It was more than the minimum. Yeah. And I felt good. Like it feels, it feels lighter. I have more choices. I have more freedom. I think that’s really the thing about wealth is that it gives me freedom and flexibility. Like, I don’t care about buying things. I just want the flexibility to like work or not work or go somewhere or outsource something. 


Linzy [00:26:35] Yeah, And with that, then I’m curious about what would be the good numbers that you want to see between these two businesses, right? Like when I ask you your numbers, you know, your like getting by number, right? If it was more than the getting by number and let’s think about your salary right now. Let’s just think about your life, your take home paycheck, just cash in hand each month. What is the number for you that does give you that freedom and flexibility and like more than the minimum that brings, like, good things into your life? 


Peter [00:27:07] Mm hmm. Yeah. I’m not sure. I haven’t really done, like, dummies analysis on my personal expenses. Just have been focusing on the business. But to be able to see, like, whatever the minimum is and then, I don’t know, just a little bit more or a lot more. Yeah, I don’t have a specific number right now. 


Linzy [00:27:25] Yeah, And it could be a lot more. Right. Because my experience of your energy during this conversation and from working with you before is like, I know that you know how to get by and be, like, restrained or judicious or like, you know, like you don’t, you don’t ask for a lot. You don’t ask for a lot of space, you know. But I also see this like other part of you today that is sparky and- sparky is too strong a word. But that up I can feel that up energy and go right. And I’ll be curious what an up version of your life would look like. Not just your work, but actually your life. If you had a more inspired, energized version of your world, like what would be part of it? What would make life rich or meaningful? Like what do you want more of in your world? And that’s actually a question I’m asking you. What would you want more of in your world? 


Peter [00:28:14] Yeah, in my personal life, as well as my business life, I’d really love to be able to outsource things. Doing physically strenuous tasks for me is difficult. So like hiring someone to, like, clean my house and that’s not a considerable expense, like I’ve priced it, like that’s not like- I don’t have to be a millionaire to hire a housekeeper. So like outsourcing, that would be great. Outsourcing meals, you know, like it’s cheap. I make all my own meals because it’s cheap. And I know what the ingredients are. It’s healthy. I can fit all my, you know, sensitivities and allergens and stuff. But to be able to have someone do that for me, that would be great. So, yeah, it’s kind of like just outsourcing tasks and energy expenditure that I would rather expend that energy on something else. 


Linzy [00:28:58] Yes. Yes. Yeah. And the other piece, you know, that maybe somewhere else to get support is in that teaching business, right? So you mentioned like maybe have $100 a year expenses and that is a version of business, right? That’s like the bootstrapped like super simple because you do it all yourself. But I would be curious about what would become possible for you if you brought on a VA who is like really good at tech or like loves marketing or who can help you stay organized, like fill in any gaps that you have where you know, you tend to fall down because we all have them and have a team member to like be excited with you about some big training or event or like finally recording your signature course, but then you can just have for sale, right? Like what would it be like to bring more support into that business? 


Peter [00:29:43] Yeah, that would be wonderful. Just someone to, you know, to kind of the- definitely the marketing stuff and some of the organizational things like some parts of organization I’m good at and kind of come naturally. I used to be a research scientist, so like I’m, I’m all about spreadsheets and like procedures, but there’s other parts of like organizing content and workflows that I just, I don’t know, and maybe I could learn or I could just pay someone who’s already learned. 


Linzy [00:30:12] Yeah. And there are certain things I think, too, that we, we will enjoy learning and would be a satisfaction there. And there are certain things like, like I hate doing websites, I just hate it. It’s irrational, you know, like how much I dislike it, but I don’t do my own websites and I don’t do my own tech. There’s just certain things that I’ve outsourced from the very beginning, and it means that I haven’t had to give bandwidth over to learning something difficult, that it’s just never going to be enjoyable for me. Yeah. And then can channel that energy towards the things I am good at or the things that I would enjoy learning. The challenges that I want. Right? So coming towards the end of our conversation today, Peter, I’m curious, what are you taking away? What sticks out for you in our conversation today? 


Peter [00:30:50] Let’s see. Yes, focusing on- or not focusing, but allowing more space for the big picture and kind of the feelings and like, here’s what I want things to look like. It’s also important to think about like the details and percentages, but it doesn’t have to be the focus. So just kind of having a balance of the the big picture in the small picture space isn’t quite the right word, but some sort of like belief or, you know, I I’m following the hypothesis that I can do this, so I’ll figure it out maybe in nine months or I don’t know when, but probably this’ll work. I mean, it might work, right? 


Linzy [00:31:30] Yeah. And I’m curious, like if it was even stronger than that, if it was like, I am figuring this out. 


Peter [00:31:36] Hmm. 


Linzy [00:31:37] Or even the belief of I’m going to figure this out and make this really cool thing happen at this time, what would it be like to have even a little bit more? 


Peter [00:31:46] I am in the process of making this work. Yeah, I don’t. I’m not there yet, but I’m on that path. I have, like, things in place that I’m doing. 


Linzy [00:31:53] Yes. And I would be really excited and I really do encourage you to think about doing something that scares you, right? Because I’m familiar with the small, the staying small and staying safe. But I’m also hearing you already have lots of evidence that people like and not just appreciate what you do, but as you said, like have so many questions and want so much of you that there literally wasn’t time for you to answer all the questions that I’m sure you would have loved to answer and had great things to say to them. That shows you that there’s appetite and demand and there is this kind of marketing saying that like, if you’re not making yourself accessible, if people can’t find you, you are denying them the gift that you would be giving them by having the chance to learn from you. And right now there’s probably lots of folks who want more from you even coming out of that training that they can’t find you. There’s nothing else that they can do with you. Right. How does that idea sit with you? But. It’s a little bit of like, I don’t know, a stick idea rather than a carrot, but that like you’re kind of denying people this great experience with you by not really showing up and being like, Here I am. Come over here for more with me. 


Peter [00:32:57] Yeah, that’s the mindset I’ve been working on. It is definitely the opposite of what I learned from, you know, childhood and earlier on, but all the more reason to challenge that. But it’s something I have to consciously try on, but it’s becoming easier to get to wear that. 


Linzy [00:33:13] I can perceive this different version of you emerging from this work, which is very exciting. And I will be very interested and curious to hear what a more expanded version of your work and your life looks like as you step into this space. Thank you so much, Peter, for joining me today. 


Peter [00:33:28] Yeah, thank you. 


Linzy [00:33:43] In my conversation with Peter today, you heard that kind of shift midway where I could really feel that it was really the big picture that we needed to get into when we are working on something and it’s not where we want it to be yet. You know, Peter’s like two months into being back in practice. The numbers aren’t where he wants them to be yet. Eventually he wants that training business, that education business, to be most of his income. That’s not where he is right now. When we’re in that place, it can be easy to focus in on the numbers and try to like, make them work and like work them and rework them or rework them. But the reality is, is that counting money does not generate more money. Right. So if you’re in that place where there actually isn’t enough money, you know, you know that you need revenue growth in your business, trying to make your profit percentages perfect or looking at your numbers from 15 different angles is not going to make more money. What is going to make a difference to your business is channeling your energy towards those strategic, expansive, generative activities to like find your people and call them in, whether it’s clients or, in Peter’s case, building out that teaching business and making more resources, making himself easier to find, to serve those folks who want to learn about psychedelics, that is going to be far more impactful on your business than kind of reorganizing your pennies when there just isn’t enough of them. So it can be very tempting to get into that like small space and that can feel safe. But ultimately, what many of us have to do is that expansive work of being seen and putting ourselves out there and risking finding people who aren’t our people or risking crickets. But by doing that, that’s how we actually let the clients or audience that are for us, we let them find us and we start to be able to create the space where we can actually serve them or make the things to serve them. It’s that big picture work that actually makes the biggest difference in your business at the end of the day. And then you have money that you can purposely direct and set up those beautiful profit first percentages and all of that. But making money ultimately is going to get you much closer to where you want to be, than kind of tweaking percentages on numbers that you know are not working for you yet. If you’re enjoying the podcast, you can also check me out on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And also if you’re enjoying the podcast, if you leave a review for the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it’s a help to have other folks who would be interested in hearing these conversations about therapy and money. It helps them find us if you leave an Apple podcast review. So if you have 5 minutes right now or you’re not doing anything, I would sincerely appreciate if you would go and leave us a podcast review. Thank you so much for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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How Can Therapists Use Marketing to Become Better Resourced? With Jenn Fredette

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How Can Therapists Use Marketing to Become Better Resourced? With Jenn Fredette

Episode Cover Image - How Can Therapists Use Marketing to Become Better Resourced? With Jenn Fredette

 “That is the gift that therapists have that marketers and copywriters in general really have to work to hone is we know what it’s like to see another person. And what scares us, I think, is often in seeing the other, we are also seen.”

~Jenn Fredette

Meet Jenn Fredette

Jenn is a relational, psychodynamic oriented, attachment- based loving, Jungian concept adoring, and existential thinking psychotherapist based in the DC Metro area. In addition to her clinical work, Jenn partners with psychotherapists who want to market with depth, not just offer quick solutions to get people in the door.

Jenn is passionate about dismantling the obstacles that get in the way of people exploring their own psyches, of which a core one is that depth-psychotherapists struggle to market themselves in congruent, compelling ways.

In this Episode...

How can therapists who are lacking resources help themselves get more resources through marketing? In this episode with Jenn Fredette, Jenn and Linzy dive into how marketing can help therapists find the best audience and expand in meaningful ways.

Jenn shares about how therapists can leverage skills like attuning to other people in a way to better reach and serve the audience best suited for the offerings. Jenn and Linzy dig into how marketing can complement a successful private practice and can help therapists become better resourced to have a more sustainable business.

Connect with Jenn

Follow Jenn on Instagram at @athinkersguide and prepare to be uncomfortably seen in her free workshop: Full Caseload, Unlocked.

Register at

Want to work with Linzy?

Check out Linzy’s masterclass, The 4 Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order, where you’ll learn the framework that has helped hundreds of therapists go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence, as well as the three biggest financial mistakes that therapists make.

At the end, you’ll be invited to join Money Skills for Therapists and get Linzy’s support in getting your finances finally working for you. Click here to find a Masterclass time that works for you!

Episode Transcript

Jenn [00:00:03] And that is the gift that therapists have, that marketers in general and copywriters in general really have to work to hone, is we know what it’s like to see another person. And what scares us, I think, is often in seeing the other we are also seen. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast where we answer this question “How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives?”. I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. 


Linzy [00:00:50] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s guest is a return guest, Jenn Fredette. But before I get into introducing her and telling you about what we’re going to dive into today, I wanted to share a review of this love for the podcast on Apple Podcasts. The review says “Crucial for Money Blocks. I love this podcast and look forward to listening every week! I’m learning how to work smarter, not harder, and addressing my money blocks. Linzy Bonham does a great job helping listeners really look at deeper layers of innate worthiness and all the parts that come up around this stuff”. Thank you so much, dh145 for leaving this review. I so appreciate these reviews. It’s nice to get the feedback and it’s also so helpful, as I always say at the end of the podcast, for other therapists to find us, other therapists and practitioners. Apple Podcast reviews is a great way for people to know if a podcast is for them or not. So today’s guest, as I mentioned, is Jenn Fredette, she’s a returning guest. Jenn is, she’s actually a Money Skills for Therapist Grad going back to my very first beta cohort that I did in 2018. So I’ve known Jenn a long time and she helps therapists with their marketing. She helps therapists market with depth and authenticity. And today in our conversation we get into talking about why marketing can be so hard for therapists. This idea of being under-resourced and what that means for us as people and therapists and how that shows up in our marketing. We talk a little bit about how we end up kind of telling on ourselves in our marketing and showing sometimes more than we intend to about the things that we’re struggling with through the way that we’re marketing. And also how to tell if you are under-resourced in your marketing and what to do if you discover that you are not having the resources that you need to do the marketing that you want to do to really attune and call in your people. As always, the conversation with Jenn today is depthful and takes lots of fun twists and turns and is always about so much more than marketing, which as the Apple Podcast review that I read just said, you know, there’s always the deeper layers that I love exploring around money and Jenn loves exploring marketing, and you’re going to get a lot of that today. Here’s my conversation with Jenn Fredette. 


Linzy [00:03:23] So Jenn, welcome back to the podcast. 


Jenn [00:03:25] Thanks for having me, Linzy. I really appreciate it. 


Linzy [00:03:28] It’s nice to have you here again. And I have told you this before, but your last episode that we did about like doing your inner work in order to work on your money stuff is our top listened episode ever. 


Jenn [00:03:42] Well, hello, repeat listeners who come back for a second round. It’s so fun. I joked with you before we started recording was like, I didn’t even remember what I talked about. So thank you for reminding me.


Linzy [00:03:54] That’s what it was. That’s what it was. Yes. And it makes sense to me because I think that I fancy myself a bit of a depth seeker and like, you know, the meaning stuff. And so I think folks who listen, you know, also probably at the very least have a tolerance for that. But I would say based on the listing statistics, they have an appetite for that because we know that there’s always stuff, stuff under the stuff. That also makes life like, and our work, rich and meaningful but can be ignored in the business world related to therapy. 


Jenn [00:04:24] Yeah. Makes me so sad. So I might be jumping ahead a little bit, Linzy, but I feel like that’s what actually makes therapists better than like the average person. So I like depth. I’m glad you like depth. And everybody who’s listening, it sounds like you also like depth. So you’re my kind of people. 


Linzy [00:04:45] In the right place. So, Jenn, you teach marketing for therapists, which is an area of my own kind of like business and work that’s never been my favorite. So I love that you love it. I’m always grateful that there’s people who love marketing. 


Jenn [00:05:00] Yeah. 


Linzy [00:05:01] Thank you for existing. First of all, that’s my first piece. So I’m curious, like just to get us, you know, kind of started wading into the topic. Why do you think marketing can be so challenging for therapists? 


Jenn [00:05:16] That’s a really good question, Linzy. And I just realized, like, oh, maybe we should start a whole separate podcast where we just talk about that every single week, oh, my gosh, please, please, let’s stop. 


Linzy [00:05:29] As long as we get to talk about money, too, I will be there. 


Jenn [00:05:31] I think actually marketing and money go hand in hand. I had a call with somebody who’s joining a team at distilled earlier today and she’s like, Can you explain to me, like, what is actually a sales funnel? I was like, Yeah, it’s the process of somebody going from not knowing you to being willing to invest resources in you, right? Whether it’s time, money or I think we don’t always talk about this, but like the vulnerability of somebody coming on as client or somebody coming on as a student, whether it’s in Money Nuts and Bolts or in your fabulous new program. Or for me, in my marketing programs, it’s a vulnerable thing and you’ve got to make sure you can trust somebody. So to come back to why is it so hard for therapists? I think there’s like a lot of different threads to it, but it really comes down to people aren’t well-resourced, and I think that shows up in our marketing if we’re not getting our needs met. And really, I would say also getting some of our wants met too. Like this isn’t just about trying to survive in the world, but to enjoy living. To enjoy being alive.  


Linzy [00:06:42] Yeah. Like, I’m curious if you could. You could unpack that a little bit, Jenn, to use a very therapist term. When you say under-resourced, tell me more about what you mean by that. 


Jenn [00:06:50] Here’s a great example. In my own life, I am currently therapy-less because my therapist went to Thailand with her daughter, which I kind of love. That’s nice, but they’re gone for like three weeks, right? What am I going to do? I normally have 3 hours of therapy every week. 


Linzy [00:07:07] Do you? 


Jenn [00:07:10] I do. 


Linzy [00:07:10] So it’s a psychoanalysis of you? 


Jenn [00:07:12] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, only one hour of individual and 2 hours of group. Yeah. So I guess technically, it’s 2 hours and 50 minutes, but same difference. 


Linzy [00:07:23] Thank you for clarifying, because three sounded like a lot, but 2 hours and 50 minutes is very typical. 


Jenn [00:07:29] Yes, obviously so. So, yeah, I’m like a little rudderless without my therapist. And I was thinking as I was talking to again, another student earlier this week about how my therapist, who does like almost no marketing, just called me the fuck out when I first started to experience some success in my private practice. You and I had worked together. You taught me how to, like, keep my bookkeeping in order until I could make enough money that I could outsource that to somebody else, which is still one of my favorite business expenses. And I was doing really well. I had brought in a lot of people. I’m pretty good at marketing, and I was bringing in a lot of people who traumatized me, like not on purpose, but they weren’t. They weren’t bad clients, but they hit all of my stuff, but it was making a lot of money and I was like, Surely I’m great. Like, I have a full caseload now, right? Everything is amazing. And she looked at me. She said, You’re not well-resourced. You’re not doing great. I was like, I don’t know what the fuck that means. It’s like therapy speak. What are you talking about? Like, I have money in my savings account. And she said, Jenn, you so often reduce being well-resourced to money. And money is a symbol of being able to be resource. But it’s not the whole of it. 


Linzy [00:08:50] Mm hmm. 


Jenn [00:08:51] Can we talk more about what’s actually getting played out and where you’re actually burning yourself out? You’re stretching yourself in unhealthy ways because you’re not well-resourced in these other areas. And so I know that’s how she talked me into starting process group. I was like, Fine, okay, you think the focus group would be really helpful? And I do want to be well-resourced. I don’t know what it means. I’ll go to this group even though I think it’s going to be really hard. 


Linzy [00:09:15] Yes. 


Jenn [00:09:15] And it was really hard and also has been really transformative for me. So to stretch it out a little bit more, although I had a full caseload, right, like I had money in the bank, I have pretty good policies that things were working really well. I was not getting my relational needs met in my practice and frankly in the rest of my life. But practice was a place where it got amplified. And I also, in a lot of ways wasn’t getting my attachment needs met. Right. And so not only was I being triggered by clients. And again, truly, truly, like not the clients fault. It was, in some ways, my own marketing got in my way that I just brought in a lot of people. I was like this great. Like they’re willing to pay my fee, therefore they’re a good fit for me and they really weren’t. And so it’s being triggered there. And then it was harder to be like, okay, but I got a- I got to move things around because this isn’t a full life, right? Like that I am stretching myself logistically in terms of scheduling time. I feel kind of guilty that I’m charging so much and so let me do extra for them. Like let me keep over-delivering. Which is often marketing advice people get in general, like over-deliver, surprise them.


Linzy [00:10:38] Surprise and delight. Yes. Yes. 


Jenn [00:10:42] Which is like some patriarchal bullshit of just trying to get people to do more than what is actually on offer. 


Linzy [00:10:50] Right. Right. More than they even sold to that person. 


Jenn [00:10:53] Yes. Yes. Which this is a side show. But in another conversation with a client recently – not a therapy client, a student – and they were like, Yeah, when I first heard about you, I thought you were a scam. I was like, Seriously? Like, I- nobody in my personal life would say I’m a scam. Like, that’s not really how I come across is like, Yeah, you were offering so much. It just did not seem like be realistic. Like nobody could offer that much. And he was like, And Jenn you actually offer more now and like, I don’t- but at least I know you now and I know it’s not fake, which was comforting, but yes, coming back to well-resourced. So I was in a place where I actually had the resources that most people starting their private practice journey want. They had the fancy full caseload. I had a really nice website. I had all of these things, but it was empty because I wasn’t able to actually fill what I needed, which also meant I couldn’t show up for my clients in the ways I think that they deserve. Wasn’t doing that work. I wasn’t doing harmful work, but I wasn’t able to attend with the depth that I want to be able to. For any client who sits across from me, I see consistently this part show up in marketing, where people are so focused on getting their logistical needs met that they don’t pay attention to the attachment or the relational piece. 


Linzy [00:12:17] Right. Yeah. And by logistical needs, do you mean like, full caseload, like that kind of stuff? Like the things that are success on paper. Yes. Let’s say like full bank account. Good paycheck. Full caseload. You are successful. Congratulations. You have arrived. 


Jenn [00:12:34] Yes. And especially since COVID. I think the other thing that has happened with some of these metrics is somehow branding like so you have the clients filling up your rosters maybe or you have money in the bank account maybe, but also you have like a fancy Internet presence where people look at you and like Linzy really has it together. Have you seen her website? Oh my gosh. I just love how she did her website. Like, I’ve got to have a really good website too. I’m always seeing in these Facebook groups like, Don’t be too critical of my website, I know it’s not good enough. Like I go on their website and it’s fine. Like the copy could be stronger from a marketing perspective, but branding wise it’s fine. But there is sort of a sense of you got to keep up with the Joneses in your branding, like your logistical business stuff has to be on point. Does it make sense? 


Linzy [00:13:32] You were speaking to me. I was just thinking how I have a couple colleagues who I love, you know, like some of my biz besties who’ve done major website overhauls, like $20,000 projects. And like, it’s been really interesting for me to see them do that and be like, That’s really pretty and that’s really nice and I don’t want that. Like it’s just not worth it. But yeah, but it is this real appearance of success, right? And like, polish. 


Jenn [00:13:57] Yes. And it’s interesting because I felt this conversation a couple times with a mutual friend of ours, Tiffany, and I’m like, but I want my sales pages to be beautiful. Like, I might not be making enough money on the sales page yet, but I know it will be beautiful. I will not do it myself. And what I have learned over the past few years, is part of it isn’t about keeping up with the Joneses, although there’s a piece of that and some even wanting to trick the viewer. But because I want copy and design to be friends and I want to understand because I’m never going to be a designer, but I’m like, I want to understand how to write more for a designer. So it looks the way I want it to. Like, I want people to have a full body experience. And I don’t know that that’s often how people think about websites. It’s sort of like, Let’s make sure it looks good. And I’m like, I want to feel like a Dave Matthews concert. After you’ve had like a really long week of clients that were really hard, I want it to feel-. 


Linzy [00:14:59] That’s very specific. 


Jenn [00:15:00] Yeah, I mean, that’s my in Distilled that was the direction I gave my designers like Dave Matthews concert, but they’ve been stuck inside for a really long time. I was like, Cool, Got it. Go. I’ll send you after, like, your headshot on it, too, looks like a poster, like a like a touring musician poster. 


Linzy [00:15:17] My headshot. 


Jenn [00:15:18] Your headshot. 


Linzy [00:15:19] I have not seen this. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Send it to me after. It sounds glorious and artistic. Knowing you, though, Jenn, like to come back to this piece about being resourced, like I- you and I had a WhatsApp exchange before and we have been talking on WhatsApp recently and you had described kind of like some things that you’re thinking up and some cool stuff that we’re going to be doing together. And I just reply to you like my observation is like you are a creative being like to your core. So to me that actually, when we talk about being resourced and like needs, that to me actually speaks very much to like you and a need that you have to like have this artistic harmony happening in what you create. So that makes a lot of sense that that is a need that the for you or for you that is a need, where for other folks that might not be a need. 


Jenn [00:16:03] Yes I am with you and even bringing it back to like everybody who’s still listening, sometimes when we’re talking about what it means to be well-resourced, therapists have a way that we can see when somebody is not well-resourced and they’re like acting stuff out, then like this feels like a really telling on myself that I’ve been very obsessed with all of this Taylor Swift drama that is going on. Like there’s something in the psychic material that I’m like, There’s something about this that hooks me. You’re looking at me like, I have no idea what you’re talking about. 


Linzy [00:16:35] I don’t know. No, I feel like I’m very much in, like, the middle-aged mom camp of life now. 


Jenn [00:16:41] That is okay. 


Linzy [00:16:42] Isn’t she young? Taylor Swift. That’s the old person part of me responding. But I do know that you’re a Taylor Swift fan. 


Jenn [00:16:48] And like new Taylor Swift fan. So long story short, Taylor Swift broke up with her longtime boyfriend. My fanfiction is he broke up with her and she’s been, like, spiraling out of control ever since she broke up. And she acted as if, like, I’m fine. Like I broke up with him. Like, that was all of the PR statements. Right? And I from day one told my husband was like, I’m pretty sure Joe broke up with her. He’s like, I have no idea who you’re talking about. He was like, Jenn, I do not care. I’m like, She is posturing. She’s over it. Like she’s really trying to show the town the breakup. He’s like, I don’t know. It’s like, I wouldn’t be surprised if she cheated. She has so many songs about her cheating. Like, I think that might have been what happened in, like, the way it’s just played out. I’m like, I was right. I read it correctly and I feel like that feels like a therapist thing. And it doesn’t matter if it’s I don’t know, like your sister-in-law or your best friend’s cousin’s brother or whatever. Like, there’s still this sense of like, Ooh, I think I see. That’s what’s going on. And what I have loved about marketing is it feels to me I can look at somebody’s marketing and be like, I think I know something about you that you did not intend to tell me. What I often see in therapist marketing is how scared they are to be seen. And how scared they are that they’re not actually – not just them as people, but like us as a profession – is worth the time, energy, money invested in it. But there’s a kind of reduction of like, let’s play small because therapy’s you know, it’s not really that big of a deal. And since COVID, when therapy has become more like a trending topic, I see a lot more inflation of like, look at me like I’m an amazing therapist or therapy influencer or whoever it might be. I’m a big deal. And then they’re the people who get stuck in the middle of that, don’t want to play small, but they’re wary of feeling inflated, of being inflated, actually. Right. Like to be dangerous. Yeah. What are you thinking? 


Linzy [00:19:01] I was thinking about, like, the under-resourced piece and. Yeah. So can you tell me, like, bring. Bring me back around. Tell me how this connects with being under-resourced. 


Jenn [00:19:11] So part of what we’ve already talked about is, like, logistically, people are under-resourced. They might be desperate, need to pay their bills. We’ve also talked to them about the relational piece of just like, how do people see me that I might feel ashamed, I might feel all these other pieces, but this other part feels like the attachment is right of what happens when you haven’t had attunement, not just in family of origin, but in your marketing, in your business building, where somebody is able to support you and like attention to like where you are and say, okay, like here’s part of the way you can navigate it this way. Here’s some pitfalls to watch out for. And to do actually what you just did a few minutes ago with me is like, This is something I know about you, Jenn, you’re a deeply creative person. Of course. That makes sense. That design copy is going to be a place where you want to spend more of your energy. And let’s make- not that you’re my coach, but like, a good coach, a good consultant will be like, okay, let’s make sure that we make time, space, energy for you to invest in that, because there’s plenty of things that I don’t invest in. So I can have a beautiful sales pitch because that really matters to me, right? That’s the piece that’s often missing in marketing is people go to a place of like, I have to do all of the things in order to succeed or I’m going to do nothing because it’s all very scary to me. And there’s not guidance of, okay, let me attend to who you are. And I think this mixture of things would work for you. Have you thought about this? Here are some of the pitfalls with this. But like, here’s the ways that you can continue to navigate so it makes sense. 


Linzy [00:20:54] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. I mean, I guess my question would be what happens or what do you see happen in therapist marketing when we haven’t had that? Like, what could that actually look like? How could somebody identify when maybe they’re under-resourced in these deeper ways we’re talking about and how that’s going to be showing up in their marketing? 


Jenn [00:21:11] So think of how to say this succinctly because there’s so many different ways that people can be under-resourced. Often what I see when people are under-resourced and they are under-resourced in a logistical area, right? They don’t have enough time or they don’t have enough money, which often translates to they don’t have enough clients or enough clients paying them enough that they can have a livable wage. And people tend to either pack up and quit, which happens occasionally, or it’s like one last ditch effort. I will do all of the things I have to make this work. I’m going to survive. I will have 3 Psych Today profiles. I will be on Instagram. Should I be doing a SEO, I’m doing Google My Business, how many websites should I have? I think I should have like probably 18 different blogs ready to go before I even turn my website on. And sometimes you see this like in Facebook communities, like somebody will say something that was like, look at the numbers. And like, I felt like 20% of people are like, yes, I know that feeling. Like I am also feeling that urgency. And so whenever there’s urgency in people’s marketing. A lot of like, I’ve started this, but I didn’t go through with it. I started this. I didn’t go through with that. And it doesn’t feel playful in the same way because like some people are like, Let me go try this. It didn’t really work for me. I’ll go try this other thing. But if it’s all there at once, I’m often thinking like, Ooh, I really need to get you just like two or three clients. It would be really helpful for you. I think the other thing I see a lot is this sense that people are not allowed to be themselves. I used to think of it when I was still like in residence, still in training, that I’m like, Oh, I’m so glad I don’t have to do tapes anymore because who knows what the fuck I’m doing in session? I’m not following the rules. I never give people worksheets like I’m not like evidence based in stuff because I’m not doing it. Like my perfectionist would come out.  And so it could sort of like gloss over and be sort of vague in supervision like, Oh, we did this, we did that. And then I took the diary card and then I didn’t tell my supervisor, but really we spent like 45 minutes talking about what an asshole this person’s been dating. Like, I wasn’t saying that because I didn’t think I was allowed to. And so I learned to mimic my voice, to sound like the supervisors and the nurses and clinicians around me. 


Linzy [00:23:44] Right. 


Jenn [00:23:44] Like even did this beautiful, like, Let’s unpack that. But like, that’s such therapy that just gets embedded in you. I see that so often in marketing that I’m like, I don’t know who you are. You’re a therapist. And there’s a kind of almost hiding behind the chair in their marketing. 


Linzy [00:24:04] Yeah, of course. 


Jenn [00:24:06] Which actually often says to me that you haven’t integrated what it means to be human and therapist and how those are not the same thing. And therapist is a role, not a persona. And I have found over time I feel much more comfortable with therapists who can recognize like, Hey, I’m stepping into therapist persona and here’s who I am as human. And it doesn’t mean they’re wildly different pieces, that this is a role I play, but it’s not who I am, right? That makes sense. 


Linzy [00:24:36] Yeah, that makes sense. So I’m thinking then, you know, in terms of marketing, how do we balance that? Like you’re playing a role as a therapist. You’re not like, Hey, come hang out with me and play video games, like I do every Friday night. But you also want to be yourself, right? So you’re like, you’re marketing the role that you play for them, but you also are you unique? What does that look like? Bringing those two things together when we’re trying to attract our people? 


Jenn [00:25:01] So it’s twofold, probably more. I’m having many thoughts. The first is this is actually the ultimate secret. If you want to know somebody, pay attention to the content that they focus on and the content that they focus on, the person that they – especially if they’ve niched down – is who they are or who there’s some part of them that’s still trying to heal from their relationship. You’re like, our psyche just drives us either to parcels or just people that we’re trying to work something out with. So there’s that piece. But I think sometimes when people hear, okay, I gotta market, it either becomes I have to make it all about me or I have to be very, very generic so nobody feels excluded and that’s just not effective marketing. I was telling you before we got on, I was like, Oh, I like read your new sales page, which is very long. I did not read all of it, but I read a lot of it and I was like, I think this might be me. Linzy, it’s not me. I just hired an associate sort of casually this morning. I don’t have a group practice. 


Linzy [00:26:07] And well, that’s not true. Just to be clear, you are a brand new group practice owner as of 5 hours ago. 


Jenn [00:26:12] Yes, that’s true. 5 hours. I’ve been a group practice owner and I’m not like if I read the sales page yesterday, I would not be the ICA. I would not be the niche. Right. And as I read it, I could feel seen by you because you were seeing somebody with a lot of depth. You weren’t purposely self-disclosing. There wasn’t a lot of focus on you. I think there’s like a small About You section yeah that like maybe 200 words I don’t know like not a lot. 


Linzy [00:26:45] Yeah I was going to say maybe it’s like 7% of the page. 5%. 


Jenn [00:26:49] Very small. But I could still feel you. And part of this is also I know you, but I could feel you as I read down the page as you focused on the other. Mm. And that is the gift that therapists have that marketers in general like and copywriters in general really have to work to home. Is we know what it’s like to see another person. And what scares us I think is often in seeing the other we are also seen. And it’s not necessarily about let me show you who I am. But it is showing up in being able to say, I see that in you because I have experience. That’s it. And when we’re talking about advertising therapy, often we’re talking about I have experience of what it means to be deeply anxious or very depressed or marked by trauma, marked by grief. All of these pieces, I know what it’s like to be human and in some ways and focusing your attention on the other. In your copywriting, in your marketing reveals something of you. I felt a little esoteric. Did it make sense to you know. 


Linzy [00:28:01] It did make sense, you know, because I’m thinking too, I’m thinking a little bit too of like the distinction between that and a- thank you, by the way, for speaking kindly of my copy. You know, of that distinction of like, yes. Through really being able to speak to the person that you’re attracting, you’re showing- I think you’re also showing basically your approach and your language and how you hold these things. Right. Like we’re showing, though, our ways of holding and thinking about and being with the issues, working out by how we talk about them. Right. Because, you know, we could call in someone who has anxiety and we could talk about it literally a thousand different ways. Yes. And that’s going to show our relationship to it, our vibe. But I’m thinking about that, and I’m distinguishing that in my mind from therapists. I’m thinking of one therapist I worked with myself years ago as a client whose About Me page felt like this was about him. I don’t know how to explain the difference, but it’s like that this was about him and his journey and his healing, and I got to be part of that as a client rather than feeling like it was going to be about me as a client. And that was ultimately, ultimately, my client experience of him was that he was very into doing what he was doing and being himself. There’s, you know, we could have a four hour conversation about that, I’m sure. But the distinction between that and someone who is like well-resourced and able to like, hold and show who they are while still being appropriately in their role, it feels like to me there is- those are different things. 


Jenn [00:29:25] Yeah. And I also just want to highlight you just did this thing that I said we’re able to do. That you read in his marketing who he was. And he, when he wrote that, probably was not thinking, oh, my gosh, my clients are going to be able to pick up some shadow piece of me. And you did. I was talking to my clinical consultant a couple weeks ago, I- we talk about it not infrequently because, like, I really think becoming a parent has just made me better before having a kid. Being a therapist, like doing all this work on myself will make me a better parent. I don’t know is true or not true, and I can very clearly feel a correlation to being with somebody very, very small and watching them like they can figure out the world. That sort of like take it in and marinate on it and figure it out has made me more attuned to how that shows up with all people that I sit with. And one of the things that’s really magical about parenting, at least in my experience so far, is I get to be present with her and I’m there and there are parts of me that I hold back. There’s parts that it would not be helpful for her if I explained to her the fine nuance between frustration and volcanic rage when she’s having a meltdown. It’s just not helpful for her. Maybe someday she might have language for that. And in our marketing, it’s not that we are dumbing anything down, but there are parts of us that we hold back because that’s not what clients need, right? And if we’ve had a healing journey like this person who actually now I’m thinking about is also like really working hard to prove to everybody that he had a healing journey where maybe he hadn’t had a healing journey as much to say. 


Linzy [00:31:17] I’m gonna say he was midway. 


Jenn [00:31:18] Okay, I like the answer to that posturing thing that we all deal in different ways. If I’m not concerned with having to prove to you that I’m really good or I’m this or that, and I can just be like, Yeah, I’m good, and let me show you how I’m good, Yeah, I’m going to see you so much that you’re going to end up reading the sales page. Like, this is the person I have to work with. Right. And ideally, that’s all good marketing. It’s not therapy that it is about being seen. And in being seen, you do. People do see you. 


Linzy [00:31:55] Yes. Which is so true. And like, just being in the middle of a launch right now myself, this is all very, very at the surface for me, very much like what’s occupying my time and something we chatted about a little bit before we start recording is Money Skills for Good Practice Owners, which at the time that I’m recording this is the doors open for it right now. First time offer, so I’ve got the sales page and the funnel is from sales page to a call with me, right? So it’s like a big jump, right, for someone to make. But what also tells me that I did a good job with the copy is everybody that I talk to I fucking love. They’re amazing. They’re amazing. Including one person who literally found me through an Instagram or Facebook ad, registered for a call with me at 9 p.m. at night her time for 6 a.m. the next morning her time, we got on a call immediately. We’re like, Oh my God, you grew up there. I went to school there. Oh my God. She was like, Oh, I’ve got this cottage on this lake, I was like, I grew up on a resort on that lake at this cottage. She was like, you know, it was just like, brought together by the Facebook algorithm and the universe, because I was able to, like, call in my people through that copy. And like, she already was like exactly who I meant to support, even though we- that was literally her first exposure and she ended up joining the course. And so it’s like, yeah, that you do- you can really call in those folks I think when you strike that balance. So for folks listening then this is not actually a podcast about how great my sales pitch is. But I do appreciate your feedback because I worked on it for a long time in terms of like getting resourced. If people are listening and they’re like, Yeah, I’m probably under-resourced, I’m doing all the things and I feel like I’m getting none. The results are I’m calling in people or have a caseload full of people who are triggering me. So I’m making a lot of money, but every night I die a small death and start again. What can they do? Like, how do you become resourced or like, how do you bring this into your marketing? 


Jenn [00:33:38] So two things. My first piece and I, it’s almost like I want to answer two questions at once. One thing which. 


Linzy [00:33:45] Probably cuz I asked you two questions at once. Was there another one there too? 


Jenn [00:33:49] Oh, yeah, I’m making up questions. The first is I want to highlight because you’re using beautiful marketing jargon, but marketing jargon that non-trained clinicians came up with Call in your people. You’re doing that at some of your top-of-funnel content, like whether it’s ads or reels or whatever it might be doing your ad tuning to people. That’s why I read your sales page and I was like, Oh, I want to work with Linzy for six months. I don’t have a group practice idea of a group practice. I work on that with my individual coach. Like, I got to like reframe how I see myself that you were tuning to where people are at. It is like a fine distinction, but I think it’s important because often people settle for something less than attunement because they don’t know that there are other options. And when it really comes down to, okay, you’re under-resourced, what do you need? You need to be attuned to. And that’s not something you typically can just do on your own. It’d be very cool if we could do it yourself attunement just for yourself and all the inner child parenting, self-parenting work like work in isolation. But until you have an experience of somebody else who can attune to you that way, you’re pretty likely going to repeat old patterns, right? And so when we’re talking specifically about full caseloads, whether you have one or you have one that isn’t actually full, it just looks full, most of what has been modeled for people is burning themselves out and not having good boundaries. And not like in a everybody’s listening has bad boundaries. But like it wasn’t modeled, there weren’t guardrails for how do you do this in a way that feels really good. And so that is kind of the secret for everything I do and why I like marketing so much is can we move from, I don’t know, just like surface level sympathy to deep empathetic attunement that the person who is selling is going to show up as the grounded resource and say, Here’s where I see you are at and here’s the potential of what could be, here’s a different thing, right? Because your sales pitch could have said and probably still done pretty well metrics-wise, but it could have said, I’m just going to teach you how to manage your finances. It’s really hard to be a good practice owner. I’m really good at it. I teach you about it. You just come work with me. But that’s not what your sales pitch is. And in fact, is probably so long, because it’s really complicated to be a group practice owner. And there’s a lot of people that you’re holding and like, there’s a lot of people which simple and relational and attachment things that come up and you needed space to be able to lay that out for them, that you were matching them where they are. 


Linzy [00:36:45] Yes. 


Jenn [00:36:46] And so that’s not a super strategic like go Google kind of get attunement. I should probably write an article on SEO-optimizing websites like how to get a team in. But that’s the answer to this. And there’s a variety of ways that people can get it. I think everybody should be in therapy. My clients don’t go to me like, I know you think everybody should be in therapy and like, Yeah, I think everybody should be in therapy. But if you don’t have a therapist, I think that is the best place to start. And not just any old therapist, but somebody who can really hold you as you go through the transformation of being an entrepreneur. After that, I think it’s about investing in people that you can feel seen by in their marketing. And then it’s about having a community that feels good. Who gets it? Who- I said this to somebody recently as trying to explain to my therapist how my email list works, because I got some email responses for people who are really triggered by some of the material. Their stuff I think more than mine, but I was like, Yeah, this is how it works. And she was like, I don’t see your and your emailing them all individually is like, No, that’s not exactly how it works. Which I love her and she’s attuned to me in so many ways, but she does not understand sometimes. Whereas I could go to my business coach and be like, Oh my gosh, this is what’s going on. The email list is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And she gets it because she’s had some lived experience with that. And I think particularly for people who are building up caseloads, you need people who are doing it the way you want to do it or close approximation. Right. Because you don’t want to be like, I’m really struggling to build up a private pay. And everybody’s like, well, just take insurance. Have you heard about Alma? Like, you should take Alma, but that’s not actually a solution. That’s them wanting you to do it more the way they do it. 


Linzy [00:38:43] Right. Yeah. So having our own. Yeah. Being attuned to, allows us to tune to others. 


Jenn [00:38:52] Yes. You’re also a parent. I’m pretty sure that’s how parenting ultimately works. If we were attuned to our kids and our kids would be able to attend to others at some point.  


Linzy [00:39:02] True story. That’s the hope, at least, right, once those brains get a little bigger. 


Jenn [00:39:07] Gentle parenting. Tik tok is like, okay, just hang in there, everybody. 


Linzy [00:39:12] I used to be on gentle parenting tik tok when I was on Tik tok for sure. Awesome. Thank you, Jenn. And for folks who want more from you, tell us about what you’ve got. 


Jenn [00:39:23] I have so much. I’m actually. I made myself notes, so I remember to say all of the things that I have. Okay. So, I mean, I’m also where I talk fairly fast, so try to slow myself down. Now, if you’re listening, I want to say like I’m recognizing I did not give you, I don’t know, like the Post-it note of like three concrete steps, like, go do these things and your life will magically be transformed. And I do actually have three magical Post-it do these three things and you’ll have your life transformed. But I’m not going to give it to you for free. You have to trade your email address to me. So I have this great workshop. If you are a therapist who knows that you want to have more, whether it’s people on your schedule, money in the bank, or just joy in life, I really want to invite you to come watch Full Caseload Unlocked. I was talking to somebody the other day and they’re like this workshop is bananas. Like, there’s so much information in it, so it’s really hard to summarize what exactly happens. It’s like, well, it is that you give them the three secrets of full caseload. Therapists know how to have a life that feels good, to market with ease and efficiency I was like yeah, but it has a little business in this. You can’t put that all in a call to action. Just one thing. So I do guide you through the three secrets that literally my students, my marketing students know, colleagues of mine know, I know, that help you move from a business that has some emptiness or some overfilled notes to a life that feels really good. While you’re still funding your retirement, you’re still doing all the things that Linzy teaches you how to do in Money Nuts and Bolts, and you’re not having to jam-pack yourself to get there. The other thing I sweet talk to Linzy over WhatsApp into doing this fun new thing that I’m going to start. I don’t know totally decided on the name I’m playing with behind the marketer is kind of fun because we talked about your marketing today. 


Linzy [00:41:31] We did. We did. Yeah. 


Jenn [00:41:33] And so it’s a private podcast for only generally for my students, but because I like you so much, Linzy, and it sounds like your listeners also like me. 


Linzy [00:41:44] Mm hmm. Evidence shows. 


Jenn [00:41:46] So if you follow the link And that’s Linzy with a Z. You will get a chance to not only watch Full Caseload Unlocked, but I’m also going to put you in the private podcast, not the listener. Linzy’s in the private podcast, but everybody else will get a chance to listen to the private podcast with you and some of my other favorite marketing friends in the private practice space. And actually, I know a lot of people. So even if you don’t watch the workshop, like you should come because I’m going to ask Linzy all the personal questions you wish you could ask. But you guys are too polite to do so. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:42:24] Well, I look forward to that, Jenn. Thank you. 


Jenn [00:42:26] Thank you. 


Linzy [00:42:28] Thank you so much for joining us today. Jenn. It was lovely to have you back. 


Jenn [00:42:31] Thanks. 


Linzy [00:42:46] In my conversation with Jenn. You know, something that sticks out for me is just that importance of really recognizing our own depth as people as people who are also therapists. As she mentioned, there’s the role of therapist, but then there’s also who we are as individuals and all the things we’re bringing to the table and the importance of letting ourselves be those humans and making sure we’re taking care of all parts of ourselves through therapy and having great supports and really, I think giving ourselves the resourcing and support and attention and nurturing that we need while we’re doing that work for other people. As therapists, it’s so easy to hide in that therapist role and like, this is who we are and put so much of our energy there throughout the week that it’s easy to be neglecting ourselves and all of these complex and multilayered parts and facets of us that not only are important and need attention, but also by attending to them, we become happier people. Like Jenn said, you know, we can bring joy into our life, but it also makes us better therapists. So if that’s a motivator, if it’s hard to think about doing work for yourself and the richness of your own life, this work also helps us be better therapists when we do get the resources that we need. So I’m just so, so appreciative of Jenn for coming onto the podcast today. And yes, I do go to the show notes for that link to the conversation, that private conversation that you can get to through the links that Jen and I will be having around marketing, where, as she said, she’s going to ask me a whole bunch of questions. Who knows what they’ll be? I’m excited. So check out that link to see that conversation with Jenn and I about marketing as therapists. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts and, like 145 users on Apple Podcasts, you are welcome to leave a review. It’s really helpful. Allows other therapists and health practitioners to find us and benefit from these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

I’m a therapist in private practice, and a the creator of Money Skills for Therapists. I help therapists and health practitioners in private practice feel calm and in control of their finances.

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How Can Building Your Personal Brand Help You Expand? With Maegan Megginson

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How Can Building Your Personal Brand Help You Expand? With Maegan Megginson

Episode Cover Graphic - How Can Building Your Personal Brand Help You Expand? With Maegan Megginson

 “It’s an act of revolution in many ways to be a woman, to be a therapist, to be a healer who says, You know what? I’m going to push against what, honestly, the patriarchy has taught me it means to be ‘professional,’ and instead, I’m going to show up as who I am… who I genuinely, honestly am.”

~Maegan Megginson

Meet Maegan Megginson

Maegan Megginson is a licensed therapist, 7-figure entrepreneur, and business coach for therapists ready to take their careers to the next level. She’s also the founder of The Rest & Success Code, the charity fundraising event that inspires therapists to become deeply rested and wildly successful.

In this Episode...

How can building a personal brand expand your private practice? Returning guest Maegan Megginson talks with Linzy about the benefits of building a personal brand, why therapists are perfect for this kind of work, and why it’s wise to begin building your personal brand before diversifying your offerings.

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Episode Transcript

Maegan [00:00:03] It’s an act of revolution in many ways to be a woman, to be a therapist, to be a healer who says, “You know what? I’m going to push against what, honestly, the patriarchy has taught me – it means to be, quote, professional. And instead, I’m going to show up as who I am, who I genuinely, honestly am.”


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question “How can therapists and health practitioners go from money, shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives?” I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. 


Linzy [00:00:50] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s episode is with Maegan Megginson. If you have listened to this podcast in the past, or if you are a Money Skills for Therapists student, you’re probably going to know that Maegan Megginson is one of my business besties. We have been friends in business for six years now and I’m really excited to have her back on the podcast today. Maegan is a licensed therapist. She’s a seven-figure entrepreneur, and she’s also a business coach who helps therapists take their careers to the next level. She’s the founder of the Rest & Success Code, which is a charity fundraising event that inspires therapists to become deeply rested and wildly successful. And today, Maegan and I get into the value, both the emotional value and financial value, of creating a personal brand. This is really deeply what Maegan teaches, which is how to create a brand that really reflects you and who you are, how to step out of that blank slate conditioning that we get, you know, that we learn as therapists to be like tucked away and make sure that we don’t personally disclose and all of these things that can make it very difficult if we decide we want to expand and do things differently. So Maegan and I dig into that. We talk about what it can look like, with some examples of a personal brand, an expanded offer can look like. And then we talk to you about the financial value of creating a personal brand or the financial potential, I should say, but also other ways that a personal brand can pay you besides money. It’s always so lovely to be able to talk with Maegan, period, and especially to have her on the podcast. Here is my conversation with Maegan, Maegan said. 


Linzy [00:02:43] So, Maegan, welcome back to the podcast. 


Maegan [00:02:46] Linzy, thanks for having me. 


Linzy [00:02:48] It is always a pleasure. It’s always a pleasure. 


Maegan [00:02:50] Always a pleasure. 


Linzy [00:02:51] And I’m excited to have you today because I think that since you were on the podcast last – well I know this because we speak all the time, because we are biz besties – I think you evolved a lot, I think in turn and like finessed like in the work that you’re doing and the way that you’re messaging and I think really honing in on like your specific offer that you have for us therapists. And I’m really excited to get into those things today. Would you agree with that? Is that accurate, do you feel like? I think you were last here, like maybe two years ago or. 


Maegan [00:03:20] Yeah, it’s it’s been a hot minute. I mean, things change fast. I mean, and we are growing and evolving. Yeah, I would say that, like, my evolution continues in who I am and, and the work that I want to do in the world. And yeah, I’m really excited to talk with you about that today. 


Linzy [00:03:38] Yes, yes. Yeah. I think you really have a, I mean we’re going to talk about some personal brand stuff today, to me, you really have like an ever a real, like living, breathing brand because the work that you do is so, like, tied to like what you’re able to offer with your own growth as you grow. I feel like you’re very quickly able to turn and like help other people up that level right behind you. 


Maegan [00:03:58] And I mean, it is we’re going to talk about this, but it is one of my favourite things about having a personal brand is that it does pivot and grow with you. And I think if you’re the kind of person who is really invested in personal growth and is always looking for like, looking in how to move closer to what you’re passionate about or what you want to do with your work on this planet. Having a personal brand is a beautiful vehicle that helps you do that pretty seamlessly. 


Linzy [00:04:23] Right! So something that you and I have talked about a lot in our time together as friends going through evolutions is how as therapist, you have to kind of have to like tuck yourself back, right? This like blank slate persona that we need to have, you know, in clinical work or that we’ve been taught to have in clinical work. We don’t really share a lot of ourselves. We try to be inoffensive, neutral. And I think for so many of us that become so second nature and like so part of how we experience ourselves professionally. So as therapists are like starting to think about doing the kind of work that that you’ve done and step more into like being themselves and putting themselves out there, how do they shed that kind of blank slate costume that we’ve all been taught to wear for so many years? 


Maegan [00:05:09] Yeah, you know, and I think it’s important to name that we receive this message both explicitly and implicitly as therapists, that many people are trained in graduate school programs that literally say “You need to be a blank slate”, you’re not allowed to share who you are. It is unethical to self-disclose. It is unethical to, quote, “Make the work about you”. It’s selfish to want to share your personality and weave yourself into the work that you’re doing. These messages are, they’re oppressive. They are deeply internalized. And for many of us, they actually started way before graduate school. Many, many therapists received very similar messages from their own families. You know, “Don’t be too smart, don’t be too successful, don’t be too loud, don’t be too shiny”. You know, just be a little less of everything that you are so that you fit in better to, you know, this family system of which you are a member by default. 


Linzy [00:06:04] Right. 


Maegan [00:06:05] So we come about this blank slate conditioning naturally, and we have years and years of conditioning that tell us it’s not okay to be who we are. And many therapists get to the point in their practices and in their lives where they just can’t live that way anymore. And this was certainly something that I experienced of, I just like I can feel myself is begging to come out, and I want to be more self-expressed. I want to be more authentic and honest. And I have to do that in my life. You know, I have to do it in my life personally. And as I do it more in my life, I then have to do it more in my practice and in my business. So it’s a big question how do I start to become more self-expressed, more authentically, who I am in my private practice? And I think the first way that we start to do that is to weave elements of our personality into our business, into our branding and into our work with clients. 


Linzy [00:06:59] Mmm right. And can you give some examples of what that could look like? 


Maegan [00:07:03] Yeah, I can give some examples and I’m going to give your listeners a whole guide about it at the end of this conversation. So listeners are going to be well supported in this process. The first place I like to start is like, let’s just think about adjectives that describe who you are. This is, this is where I begin with folks in my coaching program Next Level Therapist is, you know, what are some adjectives you would use to describe yourself? And people will say things like, you know, funny, I’m funny or I’m sensitive or I’m chill or I, you know, fill in the blank. I’m charismatic, you know, I’m adventurous, I’m eccentric. Whatever the adjectives that you might use to describe who you are. And then we say, okay, let’s take a look at your business as it is right now. Let’s take a look at your website. Let’s take a look at your copyrighting. Let’s take a look at your intake paperwork. Let’s take a look at, you know, how you engage with clients. And I want to know, are those adjectives present in your business? Are they present in the way that you’re working with clients? And let’s just examine that and let’s look at how can we weave more of the way you want to show up in the world into what you’re actually doing. And just starting with some exploration around your adjectives can be a really evocative and telling process. 


Linzy [00:08:19] Hmm. Yeah, that is really interesting because something that I think about is even if I think about like, forms, usually it’s like we have a form that we got from somebody else and we feel like, okay, this is how the form has to be because this is right. And often it has very kind of like dry language or like aspirationally legal language that isn’t really but like this very kind of like stuffy nature of some of those kinds of things. And yeah, I am thinking about like what your client’s experiences would be like if the forms actually reflected your vibe rather than feeling like, Oh, this is like a generic form that could be at a hospital or could be at a vet clinic. But instead I’m at, you know, a therapist’s office, right? 


Maegan [00:08:57] It’s such a small place to make a tweak, but it does have a powerful impact on how the client is experiencing you as the provider. And it’s also going to call in more of the right clients, right? Because if you are, if let’s say you’re sassy, you know, like if sassy is one of your adjectives and your website, home page is super sassy, very conversational, it sounds like the way you would talk to your friends and family, you know, but in a professional setting. And then a client looks at your paperwork and your paperwork while being clear and covering, you know, all of the bases that it needs to cover also has that element of sassiness about it. The client’s either going to know in that moment, you are not the person for me. No, thank you. Or holy shit, I want to hang out with you like, okay. You know, like, I like I’m so excited to talk to you. I like you are going to be the person for me. So in addition to making you feel better as the practitioner that you actually get to be who you are and you get to show up as yourself. You have the secondary gain of pulling in the people who want to hang out with the real you and repelling the people who are not going to like who you are. And those aren’t our dream clients. So those are not people that you need to be working with anyways. So I think it’s just a win-win in every direction. 


Linzy [00:10:14] I,