Abundance vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

Abundance vs. Scarcity

Abundance Vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

Abundance vs. Scarcity

“How do you decide when to make a big purchase that could have a big return for your business, but the money is not in your budget right now?” 

– Linzy Bonham

Meet Marcuetta Sims

Dr. Marcuetta Sims is a Licensed Psychologist, Yoga and Meditation Teacher and Founder of The Worth, Wisdom, and Wellness Center, a group practice in Atlanta, GA that specializes in providing anxiety, trauma, self-esteem and faith-based treatment for Black women and women of color. Dr. Sims is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and is EMDR trained. She specializes in providing trauma treatment to perfectionists who feel worthless. Dr. Sims also created a platform, the Art of Being Self-ish, that encourages Black women to prioritize their own needs and self-care. She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her bachelors in Psychology from Spelman College. 

In This Episode…

When it comes to making a big purchase for your business, how do you resist falling into scarcity thinking that makes you say no to everything, but also make sure you don’t throw money away? 

Dr. Marcuetta Sims is a grad of the Money Skills for Therapists course, and she joins me in this episode for a coaching session where we dig into issues of scarcity and abundance when you’re making big spending decisions for your business. 

By peeling back the layers on her money stories and getting Marcuetta in touch with her own wisdom and confidence, we ultimately explore how to make wise, grounded spending decisions when investing in your practice. If you struggle with scarcity or impulsive spending, check out this episode.

Want more great private practice finances content?

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moneynutsandbolts/

Sign up now for my free 1-hour masterclass, “The 4-Step Framework to Get Your Business Finances Totally in Order” and get a free action guide when you register! https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/masterclass

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

Linzy [00:01:00] 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. Today’s episode is with Dr. Marcuetta Sims, Marcuetta is a recent graduate of Money Skills For Therapists, and this is a coaching session where we explore this challenge that so many of us face in private practice, which is having trouble making decisions about when to make those big purchases, those big investments like courses, trainings. When you don’t have the money in your budget, but you think it’s probably going to be beneficial, but don’t know that for sure. So we we walk through this together. This is a great episode. If you struggle with scarcity, we’re going to really dig into some scarcity mindset issues here and explore the roots of the scarcity where it comes from for Marcuetta. But also, if you struggle with this kind of abundance thinking that leads you to spend, spend, spend, but doesn’t really give you the returns we explore that to, that can be kind of the dark side of abundance thinking is that the more we spend, the more money comes back to us, and that’s often not the case. So Marcuetta and I in this episode, we really explore how to make those decisions from a grounded place. So if this is something you struggle with, this is the episode for you. Marcuetta is psychologist. She’s a yoga and meditation teacher. She’s the founder of the Worth Wisdom and Wellness Center, which is a group practice in Atlanta, Georgia. They specialize in providing anxiety, trauma, self-esteem and faith based treatment for black women and women of color. Marcuetta is a true delight of a human. I enjoy talking to her so much. Every time I talk to her, I feel lit up and energized. And this is a great episode digging into those scarcity and abundance traps. So here’s Marcuetta. 

 

Linzy [00:03:08] Marcuetta, thank you so much for joining me today. 

 

Marcuetta [00:03:12] Thank you for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:03:13] So the question that you brought forward today for for our coaching session is such a good one. And I think that a lot of people relate to, which is this question of like how do you decide when to make a big purchase that could have a big return for your business, but the money is not in your budget right now. So can you tell me more about this and what this has looked like for you? 

 

Marcuetta [00:03:35] Yeah, absolutely. So I’m thinking in particular of one big purchase that I wanted to make earlier this year, and it was to invest in a course, that says it’s going to have a pretty big return on investment over the next couple of years. And so I get really excited like, yes, great return on investment. Should I do this? And then I get paralyzed and making that decision because it’s like the money’s not in the budget and so do I wait, and I have these questions of is that out of a place of scarcity of like, am I going to be able to actually get the money back or should I be making these decisions out of this mindset of abundance of, of course, you’re going to get the money back. Of course, the return on investment is going to happen. You’re investing this money in your business, so go ahead and do the thing. But, yeah, I kind of struggle with how to make that decision and if it’s from one of those mindsets. 

 

Linzy [00:04:28] Right. Yeah. Because they are like kind of like two extremes. Right. And I think something to know, like as we’re having this conversation is I think like abundance is used in marketing. Right. Because obviously that’s good for marketing. If we’re like, you know, if you do this, you’re going to be able to like call in all this money. I mean, that’s that’s a really nice marketing promise. So that’s part of it, too, I think would probably be part of this is like there’s a lot of messaging we’ve got about abundance and leading into abundance in order to make purchases of the things that people are selling us. So I’m curious first about kind of the experience, like what happens for you when you’re on the cusp of a decision like this? 

 

Marcuetta [00:05:06] Oh, yeah. So this this one this one stands out for me so much because I remember being so super excited about it. And when the opportunity presented itself, it’s like, oh, this is fun. The following this person for a while, I really want to make this investment. And then almost immediately that anxiety comes up, but we don’t have it. And what if and what happens? Like what do I do if I make this big investment and then it doesn’t like it doesn’t work out like what happened. So the anxiety kind of comes over, comes and overshadows the excitement and then doubt and fear like all of those things start to spiral after that. And yeah, it just it’s kind of this battle that happens. 

 

Linzy [00:05:55] Yeah. It sounds like, again, to extremes that you’re experiencing. Right. So that second experience like that anxiety “what if”, like is that a familiar place for you? 

 

Marcuetta [00:06:07] Oh, for sure. 

 

Linzy [00:06:12] And do you know much about that kind of experience or that part of yourself?

 

Marcuetta [00:06:16] Yeah. So I think that it’s kind of related to just like my money stories, my financial background, like I don’t come from a lot of money, like I’ve had the experience and my family of like our lights getting cut off or not having enough or even when I got to a place where I could be more financially stable of like loaning family members money when I’m in grad school. And so, like this this concept that like the reality is that there could not be more money. And so, like me translating those things from my personal life into my business, I think is a really big fear of mine. I could lose my business, which again is another extreme, but it does kind of feel like that of like I’ve had these significant losses when it comes to finances in the past, I’ve had people in my life who experience these significant losses. And so that fear of like you could just repeat the same patterns and then it can impact your business, which impacts my entire life, because that is my livelihood. Yeah. That’s where that anxiety comes from. 

 

Linzy [00:07:23] Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like there would be like a spiraling down that could happen there playing through. OK, so like you had these experiences growing up so really awful of like insecurity. Right. Like financial insecurity and things being taken away. I’m curious what like in your business, have you had those experiences as well? Like what is your kind of experience in business been like so far in business just to let people listening know, like Marcuetta has her own practice, but she also runs a group practice. 

 

Marcuetta [00:07:56] So far that hasn’t quite been the experience. I will say that recently and it was kind of shortly after. Thinking about this decision with the course and so I think that this probably also contributed to the anxiety of I paid a lot of money for taxes that I hadn’t quite prepared for. And so there was kind of that feeling of like, where is this money going to come from all at the same time of trying to make this decision about this big purchase, too. So I think that definitely like that present piece of like there isn’t enough and a real feeling of like there isn’t enough because I had not done the part that I was supposed to do, putting money aside for my taxes combined with those past experiences. So, yes, in the business, for the most part, things have been OK. But right before that decision, there was the tax thing and the dishing out the money related to that, right? 

 

Linzy [00:08:55] Yeah. Which sounds like that would be activating to not have money there. You need it. Yeah. And then you’re trying to make this kind of growth investment at the same time. OK. OK. So yeah. So I’m hearing like lots of like lots of reasons that of course this comes up and then there’s this part of you that’s like this could go really badly because things have gotten really badly in your formative years. So I’m curious about the other side of this extreme now and like that, more abundance thinking. Can you tell me about kind of that side of the experience? 

 

Marcuetta [00:09:26] Well, that is a very new side. So I think that I really just started stepping into an abundance mindset when it comes to finances like this year. And so this is all kind of getting my feet, getting my footing. But there’s a part of me that really does believe that, like, I can always make more money like there is. There is a possibility. I am a figure-it-out-er, like my Clifton strength is is an execution. And so, like, I am able to do and figure things out. So the abundance mindset says, yeah, this is an investment we’re making right now. But we also know that you’re a great student, that you like to do things, and so you’re going to get it done. And if you are trying to figure things out, you’re going to figure out how to make more money. You’re going to figure out how to make this work. And so, like, go ahead, make an investment and then do what you need to do to make it work, because that is also a part of my formative years. When you don’t have a lot and you don’t have enough, you make it work, you figure it out. So I think that it’s that, too. 

 

Linzy [00:10:33] OK, so, you know, as you’re describing this abundance of like what I’m also noticing is it’s not like this like bag abundance mindset of just like, you know, manifesting it in a vague way. But like what I’m hearing is like you are a learner, you know how to figure it out and you know how to, like, implement and make things happen. So when you’re connected with that part of you. How do you kind of reason through making like a big investment, like the one that you did ultimately make? 

 

Marcuetta [00:11:05] Yeah, it was exactly that. It was being able to. And I wish that now that we’re talking about it, I wish that I would have been more strategic of looking at what the actual numbers were. So now I’m in a space where I would actually say, OK, and we’re going to make this investment. This is these are the number of clients that I need to see in order to make this amount of money. I didn’t do the specifics at that time, but I did say to myself, I am going to make sure that I am able to make this money bag. And I know that if we are on track for our goals for the year, this is going to come back two- three- fold. And so that was kind of and that was one train of thought. And then I think another train of thought that I have in terms of abundance is just like especially with the pandemic and COVID, all of these things happening, I’m not guaranteed to be here next year. Like there is no- there’s no assurance that tomorrow is promised. And so for me, sometimes it really is about like take this leap of faith, do this thing now because we don’t know what’s going to happen. And so I think that was another part of my reasoning is like, who knows where we’ll be in a year? So I want to do this now because I don’t know. 

 

Linzy [00:12:26] Yeah, right. Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, like when I hear that what I’m hearing that you’re talking about layering on top now is like, of course, exactly what I would suggest that you do, which is like ground yourself in the numbers. Right. So this is an investment and those investments can feel like a really big deal. Like I just laid out just under seven thousand dollars for a new program. I’m already in an expensive program, BTW, but it’s thinking about, OK, what would be the return that I would have to get to pay for this? Like what impact would it have to have in my business to make it like totally worth it? And so I am curious about that, for the investment that you made, now kind of maybe putting our strategic mind on it, what would make it worth it? Like what is some outcome, some change you can make in your business that would make this investment totally worth the money? 

 

Marcuetta [00:13:18] And what is so interesting about that is when I really break it down. So to put numbers out there, the investment was three thousand dollars. And so the reality is that I could see one new client, like literally have one session at the rate that my rate is have one session a month. Yes. And that would cover it if we broke it down into a 12 month program like that. 

 

Linzy [00:13:43] That’s very illuminating. 

 

Marcuetta [00:13:45] Yeah. So when I really like the reality is that. Yes, I made this huge this large sum of money at one point, but it also like you could have paid it in monthly installments. So if I think about what the monthly installments actually were and I think about like, so this is my rate, I need to see literally not one client a month, but one session with a price to pay for this one client or with my clinicians. They would need to see one to two sessions with the client to be able to pay for it. And so the reality is that and I literally had no thought or concept of this when I was making the decision, but the reality is that it’s not that hard to be able to recoup the funds for it. So, yes. 

 

Linzy [00:14:30] Yeah. And when you come at it with that strategic lens, what do you notice about the decision? 

 

Marcuetta [00:14:36] It just it makes it easier to make the decision and it makes you look like a no brainer in some ways. Yeah. And it really does make it more just attainable. And I even think sometimes it’s hard to explain to my loved ones are like my husband, like the strategic part, because it’s in there that strategic partners in the back of my mind somewhere. But I usually lead with the abundance part, with the like. Yes, this is going to be fine. So even like being able to break that down for myself and break that down for my partner, I think is helpful because it gives us a lot more sense of security and stability around the decision as opposed to what can feel very terrifying for people to be hanging out in abundance. 

 

Linzy [00:15:29] Right? Yes. Yeah. And and something that I want to reflect to you that’s maybe different than your situation growing up. And I don’t know your family story, but thinking about having a business, something that is different is you do have like an income generating machine that you have built. Right. And you’ve done that by getting trained in your case, getting a Ph.D., building reputation, getting more training, like finding a niche that you thrive in. You know, to the point that you’ve been able to bring on other clinicians, like you are standing on a foundation when you’ve made this investment right. It’s not as though you have nothing and you’re investing three thousand dollars on your credit card for something that is nebulous. And and you don’t tend to generally follow through on things. Right. That would probably be like not a wise investment. But I also wonder how connected you are to that when you’re making these decisions to you’re adding something onto this incredible. Well, it’s a business to this machine. I think of the term machine. This is a board game reference, by the way, a machine you’ve already made. You already have all these parts that you put together to allow you and your clinicians to generate income. If you think about it like that, you’re adding on how does that sit with you? 

 

Marcuetta [00:16:46] So there are two things, if I’m being honest, that come up. One, it’s terrifying because it’s this business is still so new and so scary to me. And so there’s always this part. And I don’t know if it’s like scarcity or just like fear. That’s in the back of my mind of like what is it? Is it going to work out? Like, is it going to keep generating income, like are all of the clients again, extremes. Right. All the clients just going to disappear? Yes. I could have any more money coming in all at one time. They’re all just going to go away. So there is always that part back there. But the reality is like. It feels very empowering because I I am the first person in my family to actually have like a successful income generating machine to this level, and so it is extremely empowering and extremely like, life altering in so many ways because like, when I joined your course, one of the things that I said was really important to me, like the why behind doing this is I want to create generational wealth, like I want to create a legacy. I want to build a foundation for other people to stand on so that they never have to have the kinds of stories that I had growing up. And so that feels like really good. And combining that with the strategy part by combining that with these are the actual real numbers that I would need to be able to do this. It helps to make it feel a lot more practical rather than I think I get lost in the like the woo-woo. I am so woo-woo, I really am, like I’m a yoga meditation teacher, I like all of it. And so and I also need something to hold on to so that it really allows me to kind of tap into both of those pieces of my soul. 

 

Linzy [00:18:47] Mm hmm. So, I mean, thinking about this going forward, then, you know, when you’re coming to the cusp of decision like this, again, let’s say next week, you learn about some really cool course that promises things that are the things you need. How can you think through this decision? 

 

Marcuetta [00:19:05] One thing I am trying to do better, because I didn’t mention this part, but sometimes there is an urgency part that comes up in making the decision. And like you said earlier, like those in abundance parts of marketing, there’s also the time crunch. 

 

Linzy [00:19:24] Oh, it’s real. Yes, that is a marketing strategy that works. Really, really works. Yes. And so that’s external, too. But internally. But also, you do have external pressure being put on you and you have to buy in a certain time frame. 

 

Marcuetta [00:19:38] Exactly. And I get sucked into it. I get it. I get this bonus, these bonus scripts. If I sign up by 11:59 tonight and I just out about it this morning. So one thing that I have committed to is waiting by giving myself a couple of days, regardless of what the bonus or the incentive is, but really giving myself at least a day or two, sometimes even a week to just say, OK, is this really a purchase that I want to invest in? And then the second part is breaking down the costs. Like if we look at it from the perspective of how much do I need monthly over the course of however long this course is and be really intentional about, OK, this is how much I need, can I then do income generating activities that would allow me to to pay for that? And I actually I just did this in my personal budget as well. We wanted to hire a house cleaner and we were looking at the budget and I was like, well, I have this little side hustle that will bring in exactly the amount that we would need to cover this. Does that feel better? And it felt so much better. So that strategic part of breaking it down, how much would we need to bring in? How much would this cost extra and how much do we need to cover it? And then I think that the other part is just like just going back to trusting and trusting that it is doable, but trusting myself too like I like I said earlier, I know me. I’m a doer, like, I’m going to make something happen. So I’m going to do like I know that, especially if if it’s something that’s important to me. So remembering the foundation that I am building, the the thing that I this machine that I am creating, I wanted to be successful because there are greater things that work for me. So getting in touch with like trusting myself, trusting God to be able to do that and just moving forward from there. Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:21:53] And I think with that strategic piece too, Marcuetta, I like something that I, I want to share that I’ve noticed about therapists who do a lot of courses, many of whom come through my course, is I think also part of the strategic it’s the numbers and it’s also like the time like is this the right thing right now. Right. Because we always have an urgency being put on us, which totally works on me. On this program I just joined BTW, I saw a Facebook post being like, no, you know, only one spot left. And I was like, AH, even though I knew I was probably being counted as a student, even though it didn’t work, I like it. I signed up. I didn’t even do a pre call. That urgency can really hook us sometimes. But it’s also that question of like, is this the right thing for you right now? Right. Because there’s only so much we can take on board. And even being a doer. Right. We still and we have so much bandwidth and so much like time to be implementing things and letting them play out and trying to. Right, and so that would be something else I would encourage you to kind of add into that decision just thinking like is right now the right time or six months from now, be the right time? 

 

Marcuetta [00:22:53] That’s so true. And I’m so glad you brought that up, because you’re absolutely right. Like the creating the time, having the time to be able to invest in these courses or whatever it might be like. It doesn’t even have to be a course, but something that’s going to take up your time. That is such a helpful reminder for me. And I would say that the other part, too, because as I was talking about it, it’s that sounded more like when I’m making the decision to do something. But I think that also giving myself permission to not that is a really important thing for me, because once I get my mind set on something, I’m like, no, I want it. I just want to do it. I get by and I try to like I will make it fit. Right. So I’ll look and I’ll say, well, these are the number of clients that we need to get to be able to do this. But the reality is, I can also give myself permission to not do the thing that maybe the time isn’t there or maybe I don’t want to like. Yeah, I want to get more clients, of course, but maybe I don’t want that extra income to go towards paying off something else that I’ve already invested in. Yes. So I think that also giving myself permission to say no, not right now is really important. 

 

Linzy [00:24:07] Absolutely. Because I think something to that as you grow as a CEO or leader of your business, whatever term resonates with you, there does come to be a point where it’s really thinking about like, OK, this this quarter, what are we working on? And we’re not doing anything else. Right. So I also really like starting to think really zooming out and being like, what is my business need? Where are our deficits? What do I need as the leader? Right. And then when am I going to do those things? Because I have a whole year to accomplish something in my business and then I have a year after that and then I have another year. So doing that zoom out as well can be good because there are going to be certain things that kind of will really benefit from paying attention to at certain times. And then other things are like, well, that could be cool. Like I could take a course too, I don’t know, learn how to do really effective Facebook lives. And I’d be neat, but like, is that going to make a difference right now? No. What will make a difference right now? So fitting it into this even more zoomed out strategic picture can be a helpful thing as well. Yeah, for sure. So coming towards the end of our conversation, what are you taking away today? 

 

Marcuetta [00:25:12] So many things. One, I can make these decisions. I think the first part of that, I feel like I’m kind of a question like trusting myself and being able to make these decisions so I can do that, that there is a strategic way to make the decisions. And so look at the time. I’m going to start putting that first, because that’s a really big part for me. And the financial pieces like how much does X investment need to be able to be covered? How many clients does that need? And then just and learning to trust more, keep leaning into that and also give myself permission to say no when I need to when it doesn’t fit into those things. 

 

Linzy [00:26:03] Mm hmm. That’s great. Well, I am excited to see how this investment that you made, how you use it to grow your business and, you know, do all those next level things that you’re working on doing. 

 

Marcuetta [00:26:15] Me, too, Linzy 

 

Linzy [00:26:18] great. Thanks for being with me, Marcuetta. 

 

Marcuetta [00:26:20] Yes. Thank you, Linzy. 

 

Linzy [00:26:24] I’m so appreciative of Marcuetta for coming on and doing this coaching session with me and exploring this issue, because I think it is something that so many of us struggle with. And I even notice it in myself, you know, falling more into that restrictive scarcity place. I find for me it’s usually connected to if I’m more generally anxious. Money is a great place to put that anxiety and that scarcity and holding back, which actually is not helpful when we’re trying to grow our businesses, because often we do need to be making investments, but also making sure not to fall into that more and more and more place. So really finding that balance center. And that’s so much of what I coach my students to do in the work that I do with them in Money Skills For Therapists, is finding that center for yourself where you’re able to make those informed decisions but are still in touch with your emotions. So you’re still moving your business in the direction that feels inspiring for you. But you’re also being real about the potential return on investment and what this can do for you, or not, at this time. But taking that opportunity to zoom out. And I think the things that Marcuetta talked about that she’s already putting in place for herself around making sure that she doesn’t fall into that urgency too quickly when there’s an offer for something, taking her time to think about it because she knows she can jump into things too quickly is a great strategy that I think would be useful for most of us when we’re making decisions for our business, just making sure that we’re taking enough time to know that, yes, this is the right thing. And I would add that it’s at the right time. So thanks so much to Marcuetta. If you want to hear more from Money Nuts and Bolts, you can follow me on Instagram. The link is in the show notes, but it’s just @moneynutsandbolts. We’re putting out free money content there all the time, both in terms of the mindset and practical pieces of making money work in your life and your private practice. If you feel ready to take those next steps and really start to work to get your money working for you like Marcuetta has done, get on the waitlist for Money Skills For Therapists. We open the course to certain parts of our lists at certain times. And so if you get on our waitlist, you will hear about it when we open the course again. You can see the link in the show notes get on that wait list and when Money Skills For Therapists opens, you’ll be the first to hear about it. Thanks 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.

Latest Episodes

How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson Episode Cover Image

What does it look like to evolve in your business? Join Linzy as she sits down with Maegan Megginson, a returning guest, to explore the process of business evolution. Linzy and Maegan examine the concept of pivoting in your professional life as personal growth unfolds.

Listen to this episode »
From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll Episode Cover Image

Do you know the actual cost of long-term debts like mortgages and student loans? Linzy’s guest Adam Carroll works with college students to teach financial literacy skills, and he works with people in all life stages to help them reconsider how to view and manage long-term debts.

Listen to this episode »
Making Financial Space for Joy Coaching Session Episode Cover Image

How can we make intentional space in our finances for joy? How can we move from being too restrictive into finding a more balanced approach toward spending? Guest Ellie Tripp shares about how when it comes to spending on joy, she struggles to give herself permission to spend the money needed to participate in fun events like concerts and travel.

Listen to this episode »

© Copyright 2021 | Money Nuts & Bolts Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Money & Relational Trauma with Annie Wright

Money & Relational Trauma

Money & Relational Trauma With Annie Wright

Money & Relational Trauma

“With more financial empowerment, you create more choices to not rely on dysfunctional or abusive grandparents to watch your child or to, quite frankly, get into good trauma therapy or quite frankly, to purchase hotels or Airbnbs and rental cars so you don’t have to stay and rely on those folks. I think that having money gives us more freedom. It gives us more choices.” 

– Annie Wright

Meet Annie Wright

Annie Wright is a licensed psychotherapist deeply committed to supporting the well-being of those who, while they didn’t come from the best childhoods, long to finally create wonderful adulthoods for themselves.

She’s a national expert in relational trauma recovery, specifically supporting the adult children of the mood- and personality-disordered to help them explore, heal, and move forward from their pasts towards a future that feels whole and beautiful no matter where they started from.

She owns and runs a boutique therapy center in Berkeley where she offers one-on-one therapy services and where she also oversees her staff of talented, trauma-informed clinicians. In addition to this, Annie is a published mental health author, and she produces digital content and online courses designed to support relational trauma recovery.

In This Episode…

In this episode, we discuss the strong relationship between financial and psychological well-being. Annie Wright is a psychotherapist who supports the well-being of those who didn’t have a good childhood, but want to have an amazing adulthood. Annie shares how financial empowerment directly connects with being able to set healthy boundaries and take care of your mental health, especially for those who grew up in dysfunctional families.

Listen to this episode as Annie and I dig into how building a healthy relationship with money can create long-term security for you and your family. We discuss tools to help you track your finances that you can start today. And we explore how once you have peace of mind about your finances, you can show up for your clients as an example of what it looks like to have your finances under control.

Exclusively for our listeners, save $200 on Annie’s course Hard Families, Good Boundaries, using coupon code: moneynutsandbolts. 

(The code gives you a $397 one-time payment or four payments $101 discounted rate.) 

https://www.hardfamiliesgoodboundaries.com/enrollment

Website: www.anniewright.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anniewrightpublicpage 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anniewrightlmft/ 

Want more great private practice finances content?

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moneynutsandbolts/

Sign up now for my free 1-hour masterclass, “The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order” and get a free action guide when you register! https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/masterclass

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

Annie [00:00:06] With more financial empowerment, you create more choices to not rely on dysfunctional or abusive grandparents to watch your child or to, quite frankly, get into good trauma therapy or quite frankly, to purchase hotels or Airbnbs and rental cars so you don’t have to stay and rely on those folks. I think that having money gives us more freedom. It gives us more choices. And particularly for the population group I serve. And frankly, from the very background that I come from, financial empowerment is every bit as important as psychological empowerment. 

 

Linzy [00:00:49] 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 and 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. Today’s conversation is with Annie Wright. Annie Wright is one of my business besties she is a licensed psychotherapist who is all about supporting the well-being of those who, although they didn’t have good childhoods, want to have wonderful adulthoods. I’ve known Annie for several years. She’s a business friend, turned real friend. And today we dig into the connection between psychological well-being and financial well-being. Annie is like so tangible and clear on the importance of financial well-being to support our psychological well-being. I love the points that she makes and they particularly apply to those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families. Annie also explores how setting your rates can really model financial empowerment and self care to your clients in this very tangible way, which is a point that I love so often as therapists we struggle with the idea that raising our rates is doing harm to our clients and she has some wonderful insights into how doing that can actually be the exact opposite. And she also discussed how she overcame her own complex childhood and experiences of money really being there and really not being there to create a very sober relationship with money as an adult and really create the security that is so important to her as an adult for herself and for her family. Annie is a national expert in relational trauma and recovery. She owns a boutique therapy center in Berkeley, California, where she does one on one therapy services and where she also oversees a staff of talented trauma informed clinicians. And she’s also a published mental health author and produces great digital content and online courses to support people who are recovering from relational trauma. Here’s Annie Wright. 

 

Linzy [00:03:04] So welcome, Annie, I’m so glad that you’re here today. 

Annie [00:03:07] I am so excited to be here Linzy, thank you. 

Linzy [00:03:10] So, Annie, your work that you do, you work in relational trauma. So you’re like, really, I went something you and I have in common, I think, is that we spent a lot of our careers doing complex trauma work, like really getting in to the deep stuff in people’s minds and their relationships and their upbringings. So I’m really curious for you, given that this podcast is about money, what do you see as the relationship between financial well-being and financial empowerment and psychological well-being and empowerment? 

Annie [00:03:46] I think they’re inextricably interconnected. And so I’m a licensed psychotherapist, my niche in the world is relational trauma recovery. And so what that means is I’m typically working with folks clinically or supervising my staff from my center. The folks that they see are coming from backgrounds in which they were raised by mood or personality disordered parents or homes where a lot of addictions or chaos took place, leading to kind of a host of complex developmental impacts for those individuals. So given that that’s my population group, I really, truly believe that money wellbeing and psychological empowerment go hand-in-hand together, particularly for that population group. And what I mean by that is, as we do the work to psychologically empower and esteem ourselves, maybe individuate from our dysfunctional families of origin, psychological empowerment can help only up to a certain extent. And then you have to have resources in order sometimes to make choices that can ultimately be the most healing for you. For instance, if you are without money, without resources, if you’re not financially well and you live at home with abusive or dysfunctional parents and you don’t have the money to get your own apartment or to leave even the city or state where you grew up, that’s an issue. With more financial empowerment you create more choices to not rely on dysfunctional or abusive grandparents to watch your child or to, quite frankly, get into good trauma therapy or to purchase hotels or Airbnbs or rental cars, so you don’t have to stay and rely on those folks. I think that having money gives us more freedom. It gives us more choices. And particularly for the population group I serve. And frankly, from the very background that I come from, financial empowerment is every bit as important as psychological empowerment. 

 

Linzy [00:05:41] I love that because it’s so practical. That’s something that I think you and I have in common when it comes to money. I we’re very practical about it, we think about like, what can it do? So I’m hearing, from a very practical perspective, money allows you to create those boundaries and space from relationships that can be harmful to you. 

 

Annie [00:05:59] Absolutely. Well, I think not only allows you to have those boundaries and to create space and to create choices, and quite honestly, it lets you do some of the healing work that’s required if you were raised in an environment like that. I think many folks come to me when they’re finally starting to earn enough money or they are finally in a job that actually has health benefits that can cover even a portion of therapy fees. And so we see very concretely there that their ability to have earned money and to empower themselves up to a certain extent bought them a resource that can then further their psychological healing. So I do think the two go hand-in-hand. 

 

Linzy [00:06:38] And I think that’s a really important message for the therapists and health practitioners who are listening, because in our professions, we we have quite a bit of control. Even though people may not feel that way, we have quite a bit of control over the money that we bring in. And something that I notice with so many of us is we’re so focused on, like our client’s needs or stories about what they can afford or what’s right or feeling guilty about making money that sometimes therapists even limit what they could be earning because those other stories are kind of running them. 

 

Annie [00:07:11] Oh, sure, sure. I don’t I have yet to meet a therapist who isn’t immune to that at some level. 

 

Linzy [00:07:15] Yes, absolutely. But what I’m hearing is for therapists especially, who come from the kinds of backgrounds that you’re talking about, there’s actually like an extra level to what earning can do for them. 

 

Annie [00:07:28] Well, here’s here’s what I think then. In charging decent, good rates, in managing your money, well, you’re modeling for your clients what it is to take good care of yourself, which may be the very content that they need to take, that they need to tend to as well. So I do think the more that you tend to your own money well being, the more you can model and help lift and elevate and inspire your clients.


Linzy [00:07:54] because they can feel that from you, too. 


Annie [00:07:56] I absolutely think that’s been the case with me and my clients. Yes, absolutely. 


Linzy [00:08:00] So Annie then, in your own life, I know so many of us do the work that we do because of our own experiences. I’m curious about what your experiences have been like with with money growing up 


Annie [00:08:16] Complex. When I say complex, everyone’s relationship to money is complex. It’s a very complex topic, but I feel like I have a story that’s a little bit conflated at different ends of the pendulum. So I do come from relational trauma history. And up until I was about six years old, I think my family back in the eighties in New England where I grew up, was considered what might be relatively upper middle class. However, at six, everything kind of blew apart and my biological father left the family very bombastically and with a lot of debt, with hundreds of thousands of debt, and basically left us in poverty. That individual who I don’t have a relationship with then went on to build a life for himself as an art gallery owner in New York and Palm Beach. So my mother took care of myself and my three younger sisters, and there were times where we were absolutely in poverty. We had to drastically downsize our life. And there were times where we had to receive food from others because we didn’t have enough ourselves that was always putting stuff away at the grocery store checkout. We barely- we all slept in the same room because we couldn’t afford to heat a whole house, you know, things that were actually quite extreme in a Maine winter. And so and by contrast, that my biological father, a person I don’t have a relationship with, was sort of living high on the hog in terms of running these very high end art galleries. And so flying in 50 pound lobsters to entertain his art clients or making us sleep in these art galleries under half a million dollar paintings and giving us hundred dollar bills, we could wander the streets of New York, but at the same time not paying child support, not paying health insurance. So we were in this very strange world of high end net worth during vacation times and also very much in sort of what was 10 years poverty for a while with my mother. And she did a really valiant job, went back to work where she had very few job prospects and worked very, very hard to climb out of that poverty. I don’t remember us ever having health insurance or any kind of financial safety net. We did have food after she started working quite consistently over the years. So we didn’t want for anything on a very sort of immediate material level, certainly as I moved into a teen. But we again didn’t have health insurance. There were no retirement investments. We never owned a house. There was no real net. It all just kind of filtered in and flowed out. And by by contrast, that individual, again, my biological father was went to prison for being an art thief. So there are some pretty extreme money relationships in my own personal background with a really complicated relationship to money, not understanding how you earn it, how you earn it, not necessarily relatively easily, but without working yourself to death or without stealing from people. And I certainly didn’t have any models of how to manage it and create true security. So it’s been a really complex and long journey. I call it my money sobriety journey to basically undo all of the sort of money trauma that happened in my past along with the other trauma too, of course. 


Linzy [00:11:50] Yes, yes. Yes, I do. So I’m wondering, Annie, like now, how would you describe your relationship with money today? 


Annie [00:11:58] I think I have a really sober relationship with money and a really strong relationship with money. I don’t exist in magical thinking with it anymore. I also don’t exist in fear and scarcity with it anymore. I’ve done a lot of work to understand my own limiting beliefs, to challenge them, to work really hard, to build up my professional reputation and the rates I command. And then I’ve done a really excellent job. I do pat myself on the back for managing money well, to create a long term financial security and stability for my family, which includes myself, my husband, my my toddler daughter. So I think I have a sober and strong relationship to money. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times that I’m not- I’m swamped with a little bit of fear or a little bit of overwhelm or even a little bit of magical thinking. I think you’ve been my friend for some time. You’ve seen me through those moments. But in general, I have a fairly sober and strong relationship to money. 


Linzy [00:12:53] Yeah, and something that I’m hearing has been a priority is that safety net like it sounds like. 


Annie [00:12:58] Oh, one hundred percent. 


Linzy [00:12:59] Which makes all the sense in the world because you didn’t have that and the lack of that would have been probably very present. 


Annie [00:13:08] Yeah, absolutely. I. I think when I think about the tangible but also emotional impacts that creating long term money well being- financial well-being has had, one of the biggest ones is the ability to sleep better at night, not worrying about money and not worrying about unexpected expenses, et cetera, having all the defensive insurances in place, knowing that there’s emergency funds across the board. I sleep better. That’s been a huge impact of better relationship with money. 


Linzy [00:13:40] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And something that I so appreciate and admire about you, Annie, is your ability to kind of push money into the future in strategic ways, like, I think your very goal oriented. And I think a lot of people and certainly therapists and health practitioners can struggle on two sides of a spectrum. One is where they spend everything and they have nothing. And there’s there’s no savings for the future. Where the other side is, where people kind of hold on to and, like, hoard money. There isn’t necessarily a plan for it, there’s just like a tightness around it. And what I hear you describing is like your money goes to very specific places and does very specific things for you. 


Annie [00:14:23] Oh, absolutely. And to be clear, it was not overnight that I got to that place. I’ve lived on either side of those spectrums where I’ve spent everything that came in very similar to what I grew up with. And then I’ve also wrestled with holding on to it, not making purchases, because I thought there would never be enough. So I’ve arrived at kind of a happy medium and the pendulum swing of believing and trusting in myself and my ability to generate money in the marketplace. I’ve also raised my own market value in the marketplace, so I have a lot of trust which allows me to spend to have a nice quality of life now. But I do still very much prioritize future goals because that’s very important to me. And some of my my biggest values are freedom and security. And I do think that planning for your financial future can help you feel more of that in the present. 


Linzy [00:15:13] Absolutely. So for you, Annie, what are some of the concrete things that you’ve done or tools that you’ve used to get to where you are now? 


Annie [00:15:21] OK, so I told you a little bit about my background, and that got me I mean, that was my origin story with money. And then I, I managed to graduate from high school as valedictorian and went to Brown, went to the Ivy League, but went there on scholarship because we were so poor, which was fine. So I didn’t have a ton of student loans then. But then I spent my twenties that wrestling, healing, not earning any money. So this is all important context because I think that my money sobriety journey really started at about age thirty, thirty one when the student loans I had to take out for grad school kicked in. So that was the period, that was the last chapter of my life where I had very magical thinking about money and I took out a lot of money to fund my graduate school education. It’s basically what I lived on and then also paid the tuition costs. Well, I didn’t really think through at the time what it would look like in reality to pay back one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in student loan debt. So round about thirty or thirty one. I can’t remember which year it was exactly. That’s when the money sobriety journey really started, when guess what, it was time to pay back the student loans. It was so painful. And that early stage of the financial sobriety journey really involved me doing the simplest things, which was it sounds so funny to say now because I love looking at my money, but it it was like I had to actually look at the numbers. I had to look at the numbers of what I owed on all of the accounts and actually gather the data. And the first tool I started using, which I’m still such a fanatic about today, was YNAB [You Need A Budget] to start tracking everything. 


Linzy [00:16:58] Yes, a shared love. 


Annie [00:17:02] Oh my God, I love YNAB [You Need A Budget]. So but at that point in the journey, the number was in that negative like multiple hundred thousands negative. And it was all red because that’s what you see. Right. It was it was terrifying. It was so scary and so hard to look at. And so that was the very first tool I used to. Basically, I kind of say it was my come to Jesus moment was like you had to see, like what was right in front of you. It was my rock bottom in a way. And so I started to use YNAB [You Need A Budget] and then just getting used to even looking at my numbers. And then as I had a semi regular paycheck rolling in, I started I, I enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, this online programming or this online program. I can’t say that I relate to his values entirely, but I do think that course had value in teaching me not only just how to track my money, but then how to sort of imagine paying down the debts and in what way and what I might do with spare income and what insurances I had to start to get in place. So I remember that was sort of like the second tool I used to grasp a little bit more control over my financial security, but then there were a couple other tools I used once I started to make a little bit more traction, a little bit more progress. It was really hard for me to start saving for future me. I never really saw the value in putting any money into the 401K, even if there was a match, which sounds silly now. But in order to kind of trick myself into saving for my future self, I know you know this because it’s a tool that I share in the mini course that goes along with your course. But I aged a photo of myself so that I could see what I would look like at 70 or 80. That was a very sobering wake up call because I felt so much I saw so much vulnerability in her and I wanted to protect her. So I started actually keeping that photo on my desk. And that would help me make choices like, oh, I’m not going to go out to the restaurant, but I’ll save thirty dollars this week to put into long term investments. And that was another really important tool. And I will say, let’s fast forward because it’s not like this happened overnight. I’m thirty nine now and this journey is about nine years old. And in the last nine years, my financial acumen and my net worth has grown quite a bit. So along the way I enlisted other tools at certain points, including hiring a financial planner, a really, really excellent accountant. And I start surrounding myself with more stories, consuming more stories and surrounding myself with other individuals who are on similar trajectories, building wealth for their families or autobiographies of folks who had done it, especially rags to riches stories like Madam C.J. Walker or Rachel Rogers, stories that modeled for me, what I could do. So I’ve used a lot of different tools over the years. But I will tell you the thing I still do every two weeks- every two weeks on a Wednesday for about an hour and a half to two hours, I sit down with YNAB [You Need A Budget]. I still use that tool like very religiously to run my home finances and both of my businesses. 


Linzy [00:20:04] Yes, yes, yes. And and me too. Big YNAB [You Need A Budget] fan. And I’m hearing so many so many pieces there. Any like I do have to say, the aged photo. I do remember that that’s in your many colors. But I am listening to you talk about it like I can feel viscerally the effect of that. And I want to do that for myself just to see that. That’s like to see I mean, I’m already aging as it is. And so sometimes I do get glimpses where I’m like, oh, I’m not the age I used to be, but getting that sense of like connecting with our future vulnerability and connecting with that care for self sounds like such a powerful, like embodied motivator to move that money forward, because that’s something that my students talk about sometimes and and that we, we coach them on in the course is how do you you find your authentic motivation for saving for the future and have all these stories or anxieties that make you just want to spend the money now? 


Annie [00:20:58] Yes, yeah, absolutely. That’s a powerful one. But also keeping my daughter’s photo on the table is is my other biggest motivator. And I mean that in all the ways showing up and doing well professionally, making sound decisions. But even on those during those months where I’m like, is it really worth spending this much on long term disability insurance and remembering that if I, you know, something, God forbid happens to me we will still have income flowing in by me paying that insurance every month and that will support her and her education and her goals. So I think finding one or two or three sources of motivation is very important because there are a lot of expenses that can come over from really taking care of yourself well in the future. And it’s good to have a couple different sources of motivation. 


Linzy [00:21:44] Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it really is. Yeah. In our household, we’re very insured and I’ve noticed I’m also like you like, fairly security focused and that life insurance for me is just like it’s a gift to my son that I hope he will never receive. Right. But it’s just and it’s every week, every month we pay it. My husband’s is fairly expensive. My partner’s insurance because he’s a male of a certain age. Yeah, but it’s it’s just there. And like sometimes we’ll even joke of like if we’re maybe a little annoyed with the other person, we’ll look at them like a bag of one point two million dollars. But it’s I think that joke is is the connection to that reality. Right. Like we’re putting this money in every month that hopefully will never be needed. But like, God forbid something did happen to one of us or both of us, our son is cared for, like he will have money to carry him through for a decade and a half until he’s ready to be on his own. 


Annie [00:22:39] Exactly. And that’s the way I think about it, too, because, again, it is hard to watch that three or four or five hundred dollars, that you spend on your protective insurances go out every month thinking, man, that could have been a trip to Europe after a couple of months. Right. It’s hard to do. I totally relate. I would love a trip to Europe, but what I want more than that is for my daughter to be well provided for. Period, full stop. So, I mean, it’s it’s always going to be a tension of how do we reward and find pleasure in our daily experience, while also making sometimes hard, sober choices for our future, and that’s what to me that’s a part of what being financially well means. 


Linzy [00:23:18] Yes, I agree. Yeah. And I see it as a balance because I think we can fall either way like there are certainly I know you and I are both aware of the financial independence retire early movement where it’s all about that future focus. It’s all about not doing things now so you have freedom sooner. But what I notice about that is the way that we’re living now, like we’re setting a pattern, like this is our life now. Right. And so if we’re deferring enjoyment or relaxation or pleasure or connection now, it’s going to be really hard to suddenly start doing that one day just because we hit a dollar amount. Our goal. 


Annie [00:23:54] Well, and I think if it this way, too, and this may be particularly resonant for those of your audience members who are self-employed. One of the things that I’ve been really thinking about in the last year and a half during the pandemic is don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg. I’m self-employed. And my family’s wealth comes from how how I work, right. My work. And granted, I do run a therapy center. So even if I don’t show up and see clients someday, there’s still some money that comes in through there. I’m aware of that. But the bulk of our income comes from me seeing clients. In order for me to show up and see clients, I have to stay really well. So I cannot deprive – again, the goose that lays the golden egg –  I cannot drive her into the ground and expect the golden goose eggs to keep coming. 


Linzy [00:24:40] Annie, for people who are listening, who especially people listening who relate to what you’re talking about with relational trauma background, which might be new language for them, even. If they want to get more into your world, what do you have for them? What do you offer? 


Annie [00:24:55] Well, my little corner of the Internet is AnnieWright.com and on there you’ll find everything. Ways to work with me one on one individually, but also the six years of essay writing that I’ve done specifically around the topic of relational trauma recovery. And the website gets about twenty to thirty thousand hits a month. So it’s it’s quite a niche little corner of the Internet, but there’s a lot of content there if you do resonate with anything I’ve shared about coming from that particular background. Moreover, there is an online course that I launched last year called Hard Families Good Boundaries, which while it’s titled to just sound like it’s about holding boundaries with your family members, it’s a Trojan horse, of course. It’s about relational trauma recovery and all of the many aspects of it. But it’s a wonderful resource, too. If folks are feeling particularly challenged by their families of origin as they’re trying to psychologically sustain themselves and financially empower themselves. 


Linzy [00:25:51] And I think that you have actually a discount code for our listeners. 


Annie [00:25:55] I do! And you’re going to include that in the show notes. 


Linzy [00:25:57] Yes, so the link for that is in the show notes, along with that special discount code. That’s for our listeners. Yeah. So Annie if people want to follow you, what’s where’s the best social media place for them to connect with you? 


Annie [00:26:09] Well, I am really enjoying Instagram right now, so I would love to have people come join me. It’s @anniewrightlmft which is the license title, of course, but that one’s super fun and I’m going to be on there sharing more videos of my daily life. And it’s just a fun place to come find me. But do come visit the website if you’re interested at all in that particular topic, because there’s a wealth of library of articles there. 


Linzy [00:26:34] There truly is. Yeah. And I have heard great things about your course from people who are in it, so. I just referred one of my clients the other day to your course. So it’s a great resource on on a topic that there’s not often very much support or or language around, even. 


Annie [00:26:50] No, no. I’m basically writing the content that I wish I had been able to find twenty, twenty five years ago. 


Linzy [00:26:55] Yes. Yes. Well thank you so much, Annie, it was so wonderful having you on today. And if people are looking if you want to hear more from Annie, you can check out the links in the show notes. 


Annie [00:27:04] Thank you so much for having me, Linzy. It’s such a pleasure. Thanks.


Linzy [00:27:10] I so appreciate Annie’s insights around how using money to take care of yourself can remove you from this dysfunction. Something else that I also appreciate so much about Annie that I think came through in this episode is how ambitious and determined she is to make that big impact and how she’s shifted her relationship with money and has so much clarity around money to allow her to create big impact in the world and create a life that supports her and her family and gives her that security. Annie is a rock star. If you are interested in hearing more from her, if you resonate with what she’s talked about in terms of coming from dysfunctional family or with mood disordered parents, check out the links in the show notes. She has so many great things on offer and her her weekly newsletter that she does or biweekly her biweekly newsletter that comes out on Sundays is always so thoughtful and such a lovely read. So check out Annie. And she also has that promotions code to get a discount off of her course, which I’ve heard such great things about. So check out those links in the show notes. If you want to hear more from Money Nuts & Bolts, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. And if you are feeling energized and ready to really take those next steps to get money working for you in your private practice and your life, get on the waitlist for Money Skills For Therapists, you will be the first to hear about it when the course opens next. It is a three month course with so much coaching and community support that walks you through in these little digestible step-by-steps how to go from any confusion and shame in your private practice to clarity and confidence by working on your relationship to money and actually setting up a system, a usable system that works for you and your brain. I love teaching this course. I’ve had hundreds of people go through it with great success. And if you want to be one of those people, get on our waitlist. You’ll see the link for that in the show notes. Thanks for joining me 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.

Latest Episodes

How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson Episode Cover Image

What does it look like to evolve in your business? Join Linzy as she sits down with Maegan Megginson, a returning guest, to explore the process of business evolution. Linzy and Maegan examine the concept of pivoting in your professional life as personal growth unfolds.

Listen to this episode »
From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll Episode Cover Image

Do you know the actual cost of long-term debts like mortgages and student loans? Linzy’s guest Adam Carroll works with college students to teach financial literacy skills, and he works with people in all life stages to help them reconsider how to view and manage long-term debts.

Listen to this episode »
Making Financial Space for Joy Coaching Session Episode Cover Image

How can we make intentional space in our finances for joy? How can we move from being too restrictive into finding a more balanced approach toward spending? Guest Ellie Tripp shares about how when it comes to spending on joy, she struggles to give herself permission to spend the money needed to participate in fun events like concerts and travel.

Listen to this episode »

© Copyright 2021 | Money Nuts & Bolts Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved

Building a Sustainable Private Practice with Allison Puryear

Building a Sustainable Private Practice
Header for podcast website

Building A Sustainable Private Practice With Allison Puryear

Building a Sustainable Private Practice

“If you knew you were the best in the world at what you did, how would you do it differently? And when I think about what would I charge? The number’s not different. Like, how I show up would be different, like there’s more confidence, all that kind of thing, but my fee is my fee because that’s what I want and need, I’m not going to charge two thousand dollars a session just because I’m the best in the world. I’m not interested in that. I’m also not going to charge 20.” 

– Allison Puryear

Meet Allison Puryear

Allison Puryear is a therapist with a nearly diagnosable obsession with business development. After nearly burning out at agencies, she built successful private practices in three different states and she realized that she had a knack for helping other therapists do the same. She has done the work to figure out the logistics of building sustainable, full, and happy practices. She knows she can help you do the same.

In This Episode…

Do you need a reality check about money? Sometimes we can get caught in the idea that more money will make us happy. Money does provide SO many things, but it doesn’t change who we are, as Allison has discovered. Allison Puryear has a nearly diagnosable obsession with business development, which she uses to help therapists build sustainable, full, & happy private practices.

Allison and I talk about the contrast of growing up in a working-class family and now running her own highly successful practice building business where she makes more than her parents ever could have imagined. Allison challenges the idea of charging as much as you can, and we discuss a practical and grounded approach to setting your fee as a practitioner, to create a sustainable business while making an impact.

Website: www.abundancepracticebuilding.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abundance_practice_building

Free resources: www.abundanceparty.com/free

Want more great private practice finances content?

Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moneynutsandbolts/

Sign up now for my free 1-hour masterclass, “The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order” and get a free action guide when you register! https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/masterclass

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

Allison [00:00:04] Right, right, I’m not I’m not you know, there’s this idea of, like, if you knew you were the best in the world at what you did, how would you do it differently? And when I think about what would I charge? The numbers not different. Like, how I show up would be different, like there’s more confidence, all that kind of thing, but my fee is my fee because that’s what I want and need, I’m not going to charge two thousand dollars a session just because I’m the best in the world. I’m not interested in that. I’m also not going to charge 20. 

Linzy [00:00:48] 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 to the podcast. Today’s guest is Allison Puryear. I owe a lot of my own business success to Allison and you’ll hear us talk about that a little bit at the beginning of the episode, because Allison is a true rock star for helping people, first of all, launch and grow private practices. But secondly, she’s done some next level program, which she actually called Next, which I took with her and Tiffany McLain several years ago, which launched me into this business, Money Nuts & Bolts and my course Money Skills For Therapists came directly out of the work that I’d done with Allison. I have huge respect for her. She is such a rock star in the practice building space. And in our conversation today, we get into how she grew up working class. So if you grew up working class, Allison’s got some great things to say about the transition between growing up working class and now, in her case, making really good money in the business that she’s built that helps other therapists build their private practices. She has a really cool tip, something that you can do today if you have a bunch of unspent gift cards sitting around. Allison has some great advice for that. And then she also gets into something that we don’t talk about a lot, which is the things that money doesn’t fix or change. I think it’s so easy for us to pin our total happiness to money and create a story of when I have this much money, my life is going to look like this. And Allison has some really great things to say, bit of a reality check, but also some positives around what money can do for you and what money can’t. So here’s Allison Puryear. Allison, thank you so much for being here. 

Allison [00:02:57] Thanks so much for having me. 

Linzy [00:02:58] So glad to have you here with us today. Yeah. So, Allison, I had I want to say the pleasure, but the word is stronger than that. I had the serendipitous luck of coming into your world several years ago. And I say that because I honestly believe that the work that I did with you and with Tiffany McLain years ago when I took Next set me on the trajectory that I’m that I’m on. That’s what that’s when I met you when you offered that program, which I don’t think you do anymore, helping therapists kind of with their next level offer, if private practice is kind of done what do you do next? And this is what I’m doing next. Money Nuts & Bolts. So that’s how I met you years and years ago. And a lot of the things that you talked about years ago have stuck in my head in that time. And one of them I want to start with today, and that is I remember you talking about particularly I remember you sharing that you make so much more money now than your father like ever did. Just the contrast between, you know, your financial situation and what your parents were. So I’m curious for you, Allison. Like, how how did growing up working class, how does that affect your relationship with money now? 

Allison [00:04:11] It’s a good question. Well, I think there was a phase. I felt really guilty for a long time. I grew up in an interesting area because my family was working class. They, like, built this house and what was the boonies right outside of Atlanta and then became like McMansion land. And so I was always surrounded by people with wealth. But our little tiny starter neighborhood that I lived in until I went to college was full of people who were not wealthy. So I think there was a certain amount of of jealousy I had growing up that I then to kind of protect myself – we’re going to do a little therapy – to kind of protect myself I had to go into like, well, rich people are jerks and they’re totally, like, disconnected from the real world. And so that really came back to bite me when I not just, like, started my first private practice, but particularly when I started Abundance. It was just really thrilling when I was doing my private practice, being able to make a really amazing living. And then when I moved to Abundance and I was making more and more and more, there was a lot of guilt that my parents both worked their butts off. They are hard working people and to literally make as much in a minute and a half of work and recording a podcast ad as my dad made in a whole year and he was the breadwinner was a gut punch. And so there was a period of time where I kind of I didn’t self sabotage because I’m far too ambitious for that but I I questioned how I could sabotage, you know, I felt not deserving of the kind of money I was making that like, you know, I’d watch my dad work his entire career at a company he did not enjoy working for at a job he hated that contributed to anxiety, depression, things like that for him. Never like once, I don’t think considered quitting or moving on to something else, retired from that job and became a new man. And so there was a part of me that was like, how come I get to not only enjoy what I’m doing, make a lot of money, and feel really good about what I’m putting out into the world? Like, it doesn’t seem it doesn’t seem fair. 

Linzy [00:06:33] Yeah, and I think a lot of therapists and health practitioners can relate on some level to that situation, because even even in private practice, even before, you know, getting into the kind of situation that you’re in words a more scaled business and you can, as you say, make these larger amounts because of the reach that you have, even in private practice, you know, like I think therapists come up against that when it’s like I can make one hundred seventy five dollars for sitting here for an hour. Right. And like, if you come from a family where, I know a lot of students coming through my course and probably your course too, went through experiences where maybe there wasn’t food in the house or there was fear of losing their house or there was money and then there wasn’t money. Like when you’ve come from situations like that to suddenly be able to earn by doing something that you love is a real disconnect from where you come from. 

Allison [00:07:20] Right. And it’s like a thrilling disconnect on one level, if we can just kind of like step into it ourselves. But then, like, I have a really good relationship with my parents. I still like I’ve always had a good relationship. They’re amazing parents. And so I think if I’d had a more contentious relationship, I might be a little bit like haha. But instead, it’s more like, you know, like I watched you guys work your butts off and worry about money your entire lives. And I don’t have to worry about money now. And that also doesn’t feel fair. 

Linzy [00:07:53] Yeah, so I’m curious, how does that look for you now, is the guilt still there now, like now, a few years in? What does that look like for you today? 

Allison [00:08:03] I don’t feel guilty any more. And it might be one of those things, you know, sometimes we, like teach what we need to learn. I think I probably ended up talking to enough private practitioners who were feeling that guilt that like if all the things I was saying to them finally sunk into me. I think too, like my parents are proud of me in a way that isn’t like jealous or snarky in any way, shape, or form. They’re just kind of like amazed that so many great things are happening and I’m creating great things. And I think that that probably helps too. Like my my dad doesn’t begrudge me a dime that I make. Right. So I think also being friends with Tiffany McLain always helps because you can’t just be friends with Tiffany and not get in deep sometimes. So. And I think just surrounding myself with other people who have wealth and realizing, like none of these people in my life are jerks, like I only hang out with great people because, like, why waste my time with other people and a lot of them have wealth. And so it’s like this challenge to my younger self around like I kind of had this idea that as you made more money, you became less human or less good. And I’ve always been very concerned with being a good person. And so to be able to to see that like there’s there’s not a causal relationship there, it helps. 

Linzy [00:09:43] Well, and the word good really sticks out to me when you say that they’re Allison because like, this is my therapist brain going, a lot of ways too I think good is connected with being small, especially for women. Right. Like good from like a trauma perspective is about being small, out of the way, not drawing attention to yourself, like passing under the radar. Right. And I would say that you are not being good now. You are taking up space. You are making an impact. You are being seen. Right. Like you’ve changed probably thousands of practitioners lives at this point, I would guess. I know you’ve certainly changed mine. And I did a short program with you. I haven’t even done like all of your programs. Right. So I’m curious about that. Like that idea of good. I mean, I guess if we’re not trying to be good, we’re not trying to be small, what can we try to be like? What’s a more empowering narrative to aim for around money and the work that we’re doing? 

Allison [00:10:38] So it’s interesting, yesterday I was talking with my team about like if we were just like working on some copywriting examples for the people in my membership. And so I was like writing an About Me to a different niche than I have. Like, it’s the niche I would change to if I was trying to change my practice. And it it is, you know, like many of our niches, like really me at a different stage of my life of like female identifying or women identifying people who have been told throughout their life they’re a little too much. And so they learn to tamp themselves down and they’re trying to re-learn how to take up space and how to use their voice and even just find their voice. And honestly, like, I think this business has helped me find my voice in a way that nothing else could have. No hours of therapy have done this. So I think that I would encourage people to search themselves, not necessarily the stories they’ve been told about who they are or what they’re worth. I think that would probably be my response there because I think we know most of this stuff, like we learn tasks and techniques and things like that around our businesses, and we can our viewers can get enlightened as we get more experience. But I think many of us, myself included, historically, have looked to experts in how to do things. And so rather than like filling the role of that expert right this second, I want to tell people to, like, just be still and quiet, which I hate it when people say that to me. 

Allison [00:12:24] But it always gives me great information. So I’m going to project and assume it’ll do the same for others. But to be still and quiet and listen to what you know to be true. 

Linzy [00:12:37] Mhm, yeah, yeah, yeah, and and when you say that, it makes me think about. Kind of like stepping into like a more authentic version of yourself, like who you would be if you weren’t trying to follow all the rules that have been put on you, or all the stories that have been put on you. And part of that, I think part of when we do that, we often do start making more money because we’ve like this like I want to say the word vibration and I don’t know why I want to say it because I’m not a vibration kind of person. But it’s like people feel that you’re, like, really speaking from who you really are and that you’re really grounded and that this is really real. And they respond to that, you know, and if you build your business in a way that you get paid for that expertize you do start to make more money. And in making more money, I would say the opposite of being good and small is you get to have impact and you get to have power. And make that money make a difference in in your life, other people’s life, your community. Right. You get to take up space. 

Allison [00:13:33] Yeah. I had a business coach once tell me money is the power to do and I’ve held on to that because I’m like yeah that is a way to take up space and yeah sure, it can be wielded for evil but absolutely can be used for good. And when you have more of it, there’s more good you can do if that’s how you’re choosing to use it. Yeah, the taking up space thing. I’m real into it right now because I realize, like even where I was back when we worked together, I think was still a quieter, nicer version of myself than I am today. And that’s just the beauty of the thing business does to you. Right. Like it puts you through the fire. 

Linzy [00:14:16] Yes, I am on the same road. I am further behind you by a lot. But I have noticed the same thing. Like, you have to you have to show up. You have to put yourself out there. You have to say things and then be like that was not quite what I meant. And yeah, yeah. You need to really, like, put yourself out there in this consistently over and over and over. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m curious for you then all of a sudden like coming coming from that working class background where you didn’t have a lot of money. I’m wondering, are there any kind of like little leftover habits that you notice that tell you that some of that may be scarcity is still there? 

Allison [00:14:52] So there’s a habit that I, I held on to. I’m a natural saver. I have been throughout my life. I feel much safer with a nice, healthy savings account. And the second it dips below whatever number it is climbed to that month, I start getting terrified that, like everything’s going to fall apart. So to that end, I was also a saver of gift cards. And any time I got a gift card, I would like stash it in either my wallet or this particular drawer and not touch it. It’s saving it for a rainy day, which, we just went through a pandemic. If that wasn’t a rainy day, I don’t know what was so.

Allison [00:15:34] One of the things I actually have in the Inner Circle, when we talk about money, is I implore those of us who are gift card savers to spend them all in the next week. Cash all those puppies in and see what happens. It’s kind of terrifying when – at least it was for me to feel I mean, because it was almost like they were like a savings account, but like I don’t need a savings account to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Like, it’s really fine. I don’t even think that massage therapist lives in town anymore. Like, spend it and get in. If it’s if it’s hard for you to spend money, which it used to be really hard for me to spend money to just make sure that you have a rule for yourself that if you get a gift card for any reason, those of us who have a hard time spending money, I, I have a theory that we get a lot more gift cards. That’s another thing. But spend that thing, within two weeks, so that you can have the experience of like flow, financially, like it comes in, it’s OK for it to go out too. Yeah, I think about Keri Nola and she’ll say “thanks, more please” as she spends, I love that.  

Linzy [00:16:53] And I love that you bring this up because something that I see a lot in my course in Money Skills For Therapists, is people come in, a lot of people come in who are spenders and spenders they know they’re not supposed to be spenders. Like we come in with the shame of like, I don’t know how to hold onto money. It just goes away. I don’t know where it goes. Like, that’s something that’s kind of like I have a bunch of credit card debt. There’s like obvious indicators there that your relationship with money is not in balance. But I also have students who are more on your side of things who I would, you know, call hoarders and hoarders don’t necessarily get called out for their relationship with money because there is this narrative, which is probably more of like a working class – I know certainly in my family coming from like a farming background where there was not money – hoarding was kind of like what you did because you didn’t know if next season was going to be a good season and nothing was kind of to be relied on. But in our practices, when we can keep seeing, you know, clients money is going to come, money’s going to come in the work that we do. Hoarding has its own kind of pain associated with it. And I’m curious if if you be open to telling us a little bit more about for you, like what the experience is what is what is that that happens when you’re just, like, holding on to money. 

Allison [00:18:03] So for me, I think of it kind of like – so I’m an eating disorder therapist, right, and I’m somebody who has recovered from an eating disorder – and so I think about like the number going up for the number that feels safe, like when you’re hoarding, it just keeps going up. Right. And how that is so similar to someone wanting to lose weight and how, particularly with folks with anorexia, but not exclusively, that number going down like there’s no basement number that’s going to be good enough, just like there’s no amount of money that I can save that’s ever going to be enough enough. So for me, the hoarding money historically has felt almost – honestly almost a little manic, like when I got pregnant with my first and my husband was working, I was the only – was in school, I was the only one working, and the baby was going to be born before he was out of school. And I was like, well, if I want to take a maternity leave, which I think I probably should, I’m going to have to save. And I saved almost manically, like every dime, every bit of me that is good at saving just leaned right in. But it was not a peaceful or a measured experience. It was very much like, I need more and more and more and more. And I saved, I save so much money for that maternity leave, just stressing myself out the entire pregnancy, way more than I have ever spent in a three month span of time in my entire life. Even now, when I make much more money like there’s no – it was ridiculous. 

Linzy [00:19:39] Yeah, because there’s there’s a belief there, as you say, that there’s never enough. There’s never enough. Like, when you’re coming from that place, nothing will satisfy you. There’s no it sounds like in that case there was no. No. You would have hit to be like, oh OK, my maternity fund is full, now I’m going to relax some more or I’m going to like put some money to these other places, it was like insatiable need to save. 

Allison [00:19:58] Absolutely. And I think, like, I don’t know how much of that is just my personality. Like, there’s never enough of anything. Like you can give me praise, but it’s still like an endless hole where I would love some more. You know, you can do the same with me with money. Like, I’m just kind of like, a deep well. And I know that about myself. And I also know that, like, none of what anybody tells me and none of what I get paid actually fills it. Like none of that’s actually all that important as long as I’m taking care of myself. So being really clear about those aspects of my personality, whether or not they came from just temperament or growing up working class, I mean, I do think a lot of my money hoarding historically was about being working class. And I think a lot of my, um, I still even though I, I would definitely be considered wealthy at this point, I’m still very impressed with wealth. Like when I go to a friend’s house and they’ve got a really nice house, I’m like almost like, oh my gosh, you know, when it’s like it’s a house, it’s fine. It’s like some wood and some like steel and some, you know, like quartz or something. I don’t know. Or marble sometimes like yeah, it’s some nice materials that they live in, and sometimes I almost fetishize it a little and I have to really pull myself back from that. I have a recent experience of making some other friends with wealth. A lot of them have generational wealth. And that’s been a really it’s pulled up a lot of my stuff because most of my life, the people I knew with generational wealth, which was kind of like my earlier years through, you know, middle or high school, and then I was with kids in my SES until recently, there was this sense of like, um, they’re better than me that I was walking around with that I didn’t realize was still lurking and still until I started making these other friends. And so it’s been an interesting step back to be like good for them that they have generational wealth. Like, it means literally nothing about them as people. And I like I love these women. I love these families. They’re great human beings. That’s what matters. And I’m not less than and I’m not better than. Like the money piece means freaking nothing. It really doesn’t mean anything. But my brain keeps trying to make it mean something.

Linzy [00:22:28] Yeah. And I think it’s as we kind of grow right, it it digs up different layers of of our stuff. It’s one of the lovely things about growth is there’s all this new pain that comes up at every level and something that sticks out to me. And what you’re saying too, what I so appreciate about what you’re saying is like you have the self-knowledge to know that, like, this thing about me is actually something that money can’t fix. Oh, yeah. Because I think that’s something about money, especially when we don’t have money, there’s always this fantasy of like, oh, well, when I have more then this will be fun. Or when I have more than I’m going to feel good enough or then my anxiety will go away and I’ll feel calm. Right. And sometimes there are actually material needs that are not being met that money does meet and I absolutely believe that. Like, money is real. It means that you can have like a house over your head, food that is good food that’s healthy for your body. There are real things. But then there’s beyond a point where money doesn’t actually make your life that much better anyway. And I think the issues that are there at that point are more like mental health, spiritual, like human existential issues. That money doesn’t actually change. 

Allison [00:23:36] Absolutely. And I think part of that is just the way that I’ve been thus far in my life. It’s never like, well, let’s now at this point, I’m like, well, we have enough in savings, like enough, enough like my husband is like enough, really. Like I’m like, well, what do we want to do with this money? And then I create a bunch of work for myself ultimately that like, I could have maybe gone on a vacation or something like that. But instead I’m like, well, let’s let’s save this money for an investment and blah, blah, blah. So it’s it’s not as if it’s creating an easier life for me outside of, like, being able to pay all my bills without worrying about it. But it’s. Yeah, it’s like I’m still going to be me in the face of whatever my bank account says, and I’m always going to overcomplicate things and I’m going to like know like hold on to my security and who I am and the confidence that I have and who I am. But I’m still going to have these little like divots where old stuff creeps in. 

Linzy [00:24:37] Mm hmm. Yeah. And so, like, what I’m hearing is there’s lots of things about your life that are different now, but you’re still you at the end of the day, like the things that are like challenges for you or like your quirks or the those are still there. Yeah, those have not changed despite having money. And I think that’s helpful for therapists and health practitioners to hear because something that I notice a lot and this is just a human thing but I certainly see this with therapists and like business friends that I have is like, well, I’m just going to keep working till I get to this marker and then I’m going to relax and hang out with my kids or I’m just going to keep working until I can get like a down payment and then I’m going to relax. And from an outside perspective, I don’t think that’s true. I think, like, we kind of are who we are. And if we’re not stopping to try to, like, change the things that we want to change now, there’s not some magical point where we, like reach a milestone with our bank account that we suddenly become somebody different. We’re still going to be that person. 

Allison [00:25:30] And at that point, when you have been pushing that hard or working that much, it’s kind of like you build a tolerance for it. And I always, especially when we have really busy times at work, like if we’re doing a launch or something, I have a hard time slowing back down. I feel like I’m I feel like I’ve been pedaling up a really big hill as fast and as hard as I can. And now I’m going downhill. But I’m still pedaling my legs for some reason. So I always have that image where I’m like, it’s downhill, Allison, you can just like, take a pause. 

Linzy [00:25:59] Yeah. Yeah. And that’s true because we do kind of train ourselves to have a certain pace or certain. There’s certain things in our lives that we’re going to like, ignore and close off because we don’t bandwidth, because we’re focused on this project and it’s hard to just switch gears out of that. And that’s why, you know, I know I certainly teach in my course, and I think you’re doing your course too like, how do you actually build a practice that makes your life look the way that you want it to work? Because life is happening like now. 

Allison [00:26:24] Right? Here we are. 

Linzy [00:26:25] It’s not someday in the future where you hit a milestone and then your life starts and then you start, you know, like doing whatever you want to do, like taking that painting class or spending more time with your kids or like traveling overseas to see your family like those those things. You know, that’s that’s for now. Yeah. Not for some magical future. Yeah. So something that I wanted to ask you about, too, Allison, is you and I have a lot of overlap in terms of helping therapist with fees. Right. Like we work with therapists and, you know, who are new to private practice or in my case, who have maybe been in private practice for a little bit and start to do like real math with real numbers and realize like, oh, there’s there’s a fee that I need to charge that is far from where I am. And so I’m wondering for you, like in terms of the usual kind of like narratives that there are setting fees, what’s something that really gets your goat that you want to set the record straight? 

Allison [00:27:13] So there’s this there’s this dichotomy that really bothers me. And I think both of them are wrong. One of them is charging what you’re worth and the other one is like that basically, if you’re charging a premium fee, you’re clearly like you don’t care about people and you’re just in it for the money. And I find that these two whatever side of this you’re on, they’re usually coming from not a whole lot of depth of thought about it. So, like, maybe pieces of that could be true of each of them. But like the “charge what you’re worth” gets me because like, OK, let’s take an example of, like, your average listener, right. They are going in and they’re seeing clients. And over the period of time that they are working with this client, this clients relationships improve, their job performance improves, they are feeling more steady and stable in themselves, they feel like they can accomplish far more than they ever imagined that they could, they’re able to be more loving and generous with everyone around them. Right. You can’t put a number on that. There’s like literally no number you can put on that, you know, like it’s too formative, it’s too life changing, like there’s no – you don’t pay for that, you know. So like this idea of charging what we’re worth, which I hear therapists say a lot. Like how in the – like six million dollars, you know, like, what are you worth, Linzy? You know, like there’s not a number. There’s not a number for that. And so I find that people who are feeling empowered around setting fees will often say that  like yeah girls, like charge what you’re worth to encourage one another. And I appreciate that they’re often trying to lift up other folks, trying to lift up folks in our in our fields. But it’s not accurate. Like, I think the best we can do is figure out what we need to live the lives that we want to live and to make this a sustainable career. Do the math for that and boom, there’s your fee. I think that, like a lot of like online marketers, like us, will sometimes talk about, like charging your worth, like if you’re doing a course like charge based on the outcome. But like, if you told me, like, all your relationships are going to get better, you’re going to become confident, you’re no longer going to be weighed down by the things that are weighing you down, at least not to this extent. There’s no amount of money I wouldn’t give you.

Linzy [00:29:56] All the triggers that you have will be gone. You’ll be able to, like, just be calm in the face of… Yeah. 

Allison [00:30:00] So we can’t like – that model doesn’t work for us. And like on the the other side of this spectrum are the people who are like basically like you should be working for pennies on the dollar if you’re really a therapist and you’re in it for the right reasons, whatever the right reasons are. Like, you should be sacrificed. Let’s get a little martyr-y up in here. But this idea that you should not be charging your clients a premium fee or whatever fee you happen to come up with when you do the math. And gosh, if that’s the case, like I had – I mean, I had somebody comment, I said something about that and I had somebody comment like, “oh, my gosh, are you actually arguing for more expensive therapy? Like, you’re ridiculous.” And I was like, well, maybe I am. If it means that the therapist gets to retire and they, you know, can set up a college fund for their kid and they can take a vacation however many times a year they need 

Linzy [00:31:02] Which are like not exorbitant things, like that’s it’s not a wild thing to be able to retire.

Allison [00:31:06] Right. Right. I’m not I’m not you know, there’s this idea of like, if you knew you were the best in the world at what you did, how would you do it differently? And when I think about what would I charge? The number’s not different. Like how I show up would be different, like there’s more confidence, all that kind of thing. But my fee is my fee, because that’s what I want and need. I’m not going to charge two thousand dollars a session just because I’m the best in the world. Not interested in that. I’m also not going to charge 20. 

Linzy [00:31:40] Yes. Yes. And I love what you’re saying about, like, grounding it in numbers. Of course, you’re like speaking to my heart right now because, yeah, I think, like, it’s easy to kind of move into this also, like, pie in the sky. Like there’s lots of guidelines on how set your fee. Some of it is like set the number that you want and then go higher, like scare yourself. And like, those are all interesting, I think, like mindset exercises to do and like ways to challenge yourself. But like, ultimately there is a real number. Right, for you. 

Allison [00:32:05] Yeah. It’s math. 

Linzy [00:32:06] Based on like – yeah it’s math, it’s math. It’s like based on your retirement goals, like how many kids you want to send to school, what’s your mortgage, do you want to do some home improvements. There are real numbers in your life and that’s the beautiful thing about having the skills to work with them is like you can reverse engineer your practice to fund your life. 

Allison [00:32:25] 100 percent. 

Linzy [00:32:25] And part of that is, for me I know this is hugely important, how many sessions can you actually work a week and like be a functional human who enjoys their life and has, like, relationships? 

Allison [00:32:35] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most of us have been in that position. 

Linzy [00:32:38] That number is lower, right? Yes. Yeah, yes, yeah. I like I’m more on the HSP light side of things. So like for so many years I was kind of feeling like I wasn’t seeing enough clients, but like I knew my number. Right. Right. And so that’s part of the equation too is like, based on where you want to be and how many people you can see a week and how much vacation time, there’s a real number that that would be the fee that would actually make your practice sustainable. 

Allison [00:33:01] Right. And your niche determines some of that, too. Right. Like you worked in trauma for a really long time. 

Linzy [00:33:07] I did. 

Allison [00:33:08] That is a heavy, hard niche. And it’s going to take more out of you no matter how well trained you are. That’s going to be it’s going to be harder for the vast majority of clinicians then, you know, like the the twenty something woman who looks like she has everything on paper but maybe doesn’t and feels insecure. You know, like I could do way more of those second sessions than the first. And we love who we love workwise, you know, like that’s it. So, yes, that’s it. 

Linzy [00:33:39] Yeah. Yeah. And I do think that, you know something about therapists, mental health therapists, like I also work with health practitioners, but specifically mental health therapists. We also, as you say, tend to go into work because it’s maybe the work that we need or have needed a certain point in our life, which I think also makes us vulnerable to undercharging or not holding our boundaries because there’s a vulnerability there. Right. Like we we have some personal investment with our clients or there are things about the work that are also triggering for us because we have close lived experience. And so I think also having awareness of of that. Right. Of not kind of continuing a self sacrificing pattern or like being sucked into whatever that dynamic is in your practice, because that’s easy to do, too, because you get how important the work you’re doing is and you relate to your clients and you understand where they’re coming from. But you can’t live in that space with them and also be self sacrificing and not well, that doesn’t make for good therapy in the long run. 

Allison [00:34:37] Right. 

Linzy [00:34:38] Yeah. So. I’m wondering, coming to the end of our chat today, Allison, as someone who’s, you know, kind of had some transformative experience around finances yourself, certainly like where you’ve come from, where you are, are very different places, I’m wondering what would be some advice that you would give someone who wants to improve their relationship with their finances? 

Allison [00:35:03] I think to expect it to be a trauma experience. Sorry. I mean, I think for most of us, like I would say, most of us who have unhealthy relationships with money or questionable relationships with money, and I’m going to say this, the vast majority of therapists too. 

Linzy [00:35:28] True story. 

Allison [00:35:28] We’d love to just like check some boxes and do some things differently. But it’s it’s funny because I’ll be talking to one of my clients about raising their fee. And I’m like, what’s holding you back? And they’re like, oh, no, I just wanted to be really sure about the number. Now that I’m now that I’m sure about the number, I can do it. And then like a week later, it’s like, how’s it going? Like I didn’t do it. I know. I know. Because it’s never just about the simple act. It’s never just behaviorism. There’s all this stuff underneath that like zero percent of us really love to delve into. And just like any trauma work, it gets a little worse before it gets better sometimes and then it gets way better. And like, yeah, I’ve got money stuff, it’s still going to pop up in these secret ways. Like I feel like I’ve got it, you know, like pinned down workwise and like homewise. But then it’s like starts popping up with new friends, like, ooh, what am I doing here? So it’s like playing whack a mole to some extent and OK, so it’s whack a mole. I’ve got my mallet. We’re good. 

Linzy [00:36:35] Yes, yes. Yeah. And I completely agree with you and I see that all, all the time that like those stories and that stuff, it’s going to be there and it’s there and like owning it and working with it is transformative. And the key is like don’t let it get in the way of actually making money work for you. 

Allison [00:36:54] Right? 

Linzy [00:36:54] Yeah, right. So that stuff might still be there. You still have new stuff coming up now, but you’re like working with it and aware of it. So it’s not stopping you from like making those new friends and it’s not stopping you from like doing that next launch where you’re going to make more money than you’ve made before and that’s maybe going to be uncomfortable. Right. You’re still letting yourself develop the skills and like live and make money work for you, even though you don’t have this, like, idyllic, perfect, serene relationship with money. 

Allison [00:37:18] Right. I’ve literally met one person with that. So, yeah, I don’t think that’s most of us. It’s certainly not me. And it’s okay. You know, like, there are lots of things I don’t have completely like placid relationships with. And that’s part of what makes for the complexity of life that makes it so interesting and enjoyable. 

Linzy [00:37:41] It’s just part of being human. 

Allison [00:37:42] Yeah, yeah. 

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.

Latest Episodes

How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson Episode Cover Image

What does it look like to evolve in your business? Join Linzy as she sits down with Maegan Megginson, a returning guest, to explore the process of business evolution. Linzy and Maegan examine the concept of pivoting in your professional life as personal growth unfolds.

Listen to this episode »
From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll Episode Cover Image

Do you know the actual cost of long-term debts like mortgages and student loans? Linzy’s guest Adam Carroll works with college students to teach financial literacy skills, and he works with people in all life stages to help them reconsider how to view and manage long-term debts.

Listen to this episode »
Making Financial Space for Joy Coaching Session Episode Cover Image

How can we make intentional space in our finances for joy? How can we move from being too restrictive into finding a more balanced approach toward spending? Guest Ellie Tripp shares about how when it comes to spending on joy, she struggles to give herself permission to spend the money needed to participate in fun events like concerts and travel.

Listen to this episode »

© Copyright 2021 | Money Nuts & Bolts Consulting Inc. | All Rights Reserved