Using Your Core Values to Guide Money Decisions with Michelle Hardman

Using Your Core Values to Guide Money Decisions
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Using Your Core Values To Guide Money Decisions With Michelle Hardman

Using Your Core Values to Guide Money Decisions

“The thing is how do I continue to drive the bus of money in my life instead of letting the money drive the bus for me – because left to its own devices, it’s going to take you to all kinds of places and make you feel all kinds of ways that generally aren’t good. And so staying connected with yourself — it’s mindset, right! But that’s why I love the core values because they give you some real concrete terms and filters or lenses to look at that for yourself. For you individually! Because your core values are different than mine, so the process we go through might look different, but it’s going to serve us far better than if we’re just chasing, chasing, chasing.”

~Michelle Hardman

Meet Michelle Hardman

Even though she knew at 15 years old she wanted to be a therapist, life always has some interesting detours!  After nearly 16 years in corporate human resources leadership, Michelle decided to follow her dream to counsel people in the context of their whole life rather than just their career life.  Now, as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and owner of a successful private practice, Michelle enjoys working with adults deal with anxiety and/or trauma histories.  Michelle is also a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, teaching curricula based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown.  While she’s honored to be in this clinical space, she still loves all things “business!”  By leveraging her unique combination of business and clinical expertise, as well as her MBA in strategic management, she is an exceptional business coach to fellow practice owners by taking a values-based approach to building a business.  Michelle helps clinicians align their business approaches in marketing, branding, and business planning to their core values so it feels authentic and NOT “schmoozy!” Plus by creating invaluable tools such as The Primed Planner,™ clinicians can confidently build effective action plans to turn their passion into profits!

In This Episode…

Have you considered how focusing on your values can help you make financial decisions? By looking at our core values and what those mean in practice, we can get away from feeling like more money always equals a happier life, and we can start instead considering how much money it takes us to lead the fulfilling lives we personally desire. Michelle and Linzy also talk about practical ways to integrate those core values into our planning and our practices so that we are working and living more fully and with more intention. 

Listen in to hear Linzy and Michelle discuss practical ways to get your money and your time in line with your values, and hear us share some personal experiences and ways that we’ve made changes to align ourselves! 

Want to connect with Michelle? Find her on Instagram or Facebook at The Primed Practice. Check out her website, The Primed Practice! And don’t miss The 2022 Primed Planner – use the coupon code MNBF2 to get two sheets of their most popular stickers! 

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In just 5-10 minutes each day, you’ll complete one small task that will help you move from money avoidance to financial clarity. And as a bonus for participating and completing the simple daily tasks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win daily prizes. Plus, one lucky therapist or health practitioner who completes the challenge will have a chance to win the grand prize of $500 cash!  

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Episode Transcript

Michelle [00:00:08] The thing is, how do I continue to drive the bus of money in my life versus letting the money drive the bus for me. Because left to its own devices, it’s going to take you all kinds of places and make you feel all kinds of ways that generally aren’t good. And so that staying connected with yourself and all of those, I mean, it’s mindset, right? But that’s why I love the values, because it’s the values give you some real concrete terms and sort of filters or lenses, if you will, to look at that for yourself, for you individually because your core values are different than mine. So the process we go through might look different, but it’s going to serve us far better than if we’re just, you know, chase and chase and chasing. 

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. Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. As I’ve mentioned before on the podcast and as I actually talk about with our guest today in a little more detail, the price for Money Skills For Therapists is going up in 2022. It’s an important part of running a healthy business that takes care of you, that you raise your price from time to time. I encourage all therapists, health care practitioners, and coaches to do this in your business as it’s called for, and I’m doing it in mine too. So if you’ve been thinking about Money Skills For Therapists, if you’re curious about the course, this is your chance to check out the masterclass, hear about my approach, hear about Money Skills For Therapists, and get into the course before the end of 2021, when the price goes up in 2022 by $700. The master class is your gateway into the course, so if you have missed the call, this is your last chance to check it out. We’re actually going to be closing down over the holidays. Nothing’s going to be happening around here. And when we start up again in January, the course will be priced $700 higher. So check out that master class if you’re curious about Money Skills For Therapists. So my guest today is Michelle Hardman. Michelle is a therapist consultant. She, as I mentioned in the episode, is the only therapist consultant I know who actually has an MBA. She runs The Primed Practice. She has the Primed Practice Planner, which is a beautiful planner for therapists in private practice, but also all sorts of other kinds of helpers and healers and practitioners. And today we get into a great discussion about how connecting with your core values can really strengthen your relationship to money and your money mindset, can help you set up a business that actually supports you and make sure that the goals you’re going towards are your goals, not somebody else’s goals, and the value of being planful in that. This was a really inspiring conversation to have with Michelle. I definitely had a lot of aha moments throughout it, and I encourage you to settle in and be self-reflective as Michelle talks about the value of authenticity in the work that we do and in our relationship to money. Enjoy. 

Linzy [00:03:56] So, Michelle, welcome to the podcast. 

Michelle [00:03:58] Hi, thanks for having me. I’m very excited to be here with you. 

Linzy [00:04:02] I am so excited to be here with you. Something, Michelle, that I feel like I need to point out to everybody upfront. I don’t know if you feel like this is important, but you are one of the few therapist consultants that I know in this space who has an MBA. 

Michelle [00:04:17] Yeah, I tell people I’m kind of a unicorn. You certainly don’t need an MBA to be to be successful, but yeah, I did that. My first life was in human resources management for almost 16 years and I’ve said it before and it always feels so dumb when I say it again. But I never thought how much it would help me when I changed careers and got into private practice. And so it’s been really wonderful because it’s kind of helped me do some coaching and help other therapists, as you do, you know, get really good at being an owner, a business owner. 

Linzy [00:04:52] Yes, you have this whole developed skill set from your previous life, that you then get to bring to therapists in your work with them. 

Michelle [00:04:57] Yeah, it’s like it’s its own toolbox, you know? And so it’s really great to be able to still use that and share it. 

Linzy [00:05:04] Yeah, I bet. So, Michelle, I wanted to start by asking you about values. I know that you’re a Daring Way facilitator. I know values are very important in that work. And I was curious, for our listeners, like I feel like sometimes therapists and health practitioners and coaches when we struggle with money, it can really feel like money is actually in contradiction of our values. It can feel like those are like things that are very much in conflict. 

Michelle [00:05:29] Yeah, it can. 

Linzy [00:05:30] I’m curious from your perspective, how do our values come into money, making money, money mindset, all of that? 

Michelle [00:05:38] Yeah, it’s such a great question because they’re so powerful. It does feel sort of on the surface like they can be in conflict with one another. But the magical thing is really that it’s only the surface, right? Like if we dig into it, they’re usually not in conflict at all. It’s just that we are so unwilling and uninterested in looking at the money mindset and looking at what it means to us and whether we have money or don’t have money or if we’re successful or not successful. We often don’t take time to slow down and think about our core values, our two core values in relationship to money. And so it sort of spirals out of control on itself, you know, and we can slip into scarcity mentality and all these other things when really our core values, I think, are the best way to have a compass to help us navigate the money, right? But to do that, we have to be really aware, right, and have that insight around ourselves. And let’s face it, when a lot of us, as therapists, who were not trained, you know, in the business side of the world, boy, we can really just get in a fight flight freeze mode, you know, and just kick it under the rug and not look at it. Yes, yes. And so really, and that’s what makes it feel like that’s so in conflict, because really, if we do a little work around that and dig into the core values and we start to learn for ourselves, what does money mean or what does success mean, then we can usually find where they align really well. And that’s where I think the gold is in terms of your own superpower to be a successful private practice owner. 

Linzy [00:07:11] Hmm, that’s really interesting to me because I like- values are something that I used to bring up actually a lot in my clinical work, and it’s something that I bring up in Money Skills For Therapists too and being in touch with your values. But I’m curious, like for people listening, I could see the question being there of like, but how? What could this look like? Could you give us like an illustration of how getting in touch with our core values can help with money or help us to improve our relationship with money? 

Michelle [00:07:34] Yeah, I’ll give you a personal example. My two core values are authenticity and gratitude. And so I can remember when I first opened my private practice and we get those in variable cancelations and we start to panic about, Oh my gosh, I’m not going to make the money that I need. How am I going to pay my rent? Or, you know, fill in all of the blanks because there’s many, right, especially when we’re new. And I found that leveraging gratitude for me looked like and sounded like I am a resourceful person. I know this about myself. I’ve always been able to pay my bills, thank goodness. And sometimes that was because I worked three jobs at one time. You know, it wasn’t fun, but I did it. And so when those cancelations would happen or something would come up unexpectedly that cost more than I was ready for, especially as a new private practice owner. The gratitude for me, the leveraging of gratitude was really around, Thank goodness I can do this and this is what I love, and this really is what is what my passion is. And yeah, just kind of validating kind of like we do as therapists, right? Like, Yeah, this sucks, you know, and honoring that feeling. But I’m so grateful I can sit in this space and I’m so grateful I have, you know, another session later today or this week. And really grateful to know and sort of trust myself that, OK, if I have to go work three jobs again, I will. I don’t want to. 

Linzy [00:08:55] But you’ve done it before, 

Michelle [00:08:57] Right? So trying to get back into that space of gratitude is really helpful. And then authenticity piece really helps as much or even more for me personally, because I had to think, well, I had to get real with myself about how much money do I need to make? Because I would slip into this. Well, let me preface this with I’m a recovering perfectionist and, you know, I fell so quickly into the spiral of I got to do more, I got to do more, it’s got to be better, it’s got to be bigger. Oh my God, it’s the worst. 

Linzy [00:09:29] Yeah, you can’t win. 

Michelle [00:09:30] No, it’s just it is really a losing proposition. And so the value of authenticity for me means slowing down and saying to myself, Do you really need more? Does it have to be bigger? What do you really need to live, with you and your family the way you want to live? I mean, I might not be chartering private jets. Lord knows I’m not, right. But what does it really look like and mean for me authentically to have enough? And what is the goal that I’m shooting for? One of the things that I find when I’ve coached with people is that we get in that more and more and more, but we’ve never slowed down to really say, Well, how much do I actually need? 

Linzy [00:10:07] Yeah. Yes. 

Michelle [00:10:08] And so authenticity for me is a really great needle in the compass that sort of points me back to, Hey, you’re OK or Hey, yeah, you are a little short. What are some other things we can do? Who do I need to network with more? What are some actions I can take? Does that help clarify that a little bit? 

Linzy [00:10:24] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m not terribly familiar with the Daring Way. I mean, obviously, I know Brené Brown because it’s impossible not to. But what I’m kind of hearing is like, there’s these two core values that you’re you’re talking about two values here. And I’m guessing those are the ones that are your most important, most energizing. That can absolutely see how that would be so, I want to say resilience fostering, to be in touch with that. 

Michelle [00:10:51] Yeah, it’s so grounding, right? Because in Brene’s research, one of the things that she learned was that, just like priorities, right? If everything is urgent priority, then nothing’s really urgent because there’s no differentiation. And so with values, in her research, why she says you need to get it down to two core values is because if I have 10 core values, then what really is my guiding light? Right? It gets so diffused and then we don’t really have that compass, right? It just becomes blades of grass we throw in the air. And so it’s not as effective. And so I think, you know, thinking about two core values is easy enough on the surface, but it’s really kind of a challenge when you start to dig into it because, you know, like for me, the example I always use is I really wanted courage to be one of my core values because I think it’s just so important. But as I sort of dug in for me, courage rolls into authenticity and you can’t be authentic without having courage. And then for you or someone else, right? Courage might be the winner of the actual one of the two seats, but authenticity might roll up into it. So there’s really no right or wrong. It’s just what really feels most genuine to you and whatever those core values are, and she talks about this in her work is that, you know, you don’t just check those at the door when you walk into your office. Those are still your guiding principles and the things, the beliefs that you believe are most important. And so sometimes we forget about that. And there’s a big disconnect when we’re at work, especially around money, because we get kind of scared or a lot scared and then we lose sight and lose our way. So we, I think honoring those core values in that space, especially around money, can be so powerful. 

Linzy [00:12:35] That’s really interesting. I mean, it’s making me curious about what my own core values would be if I actually had a list to kind of cater from. But the word that always comes to mind for me in terms of what’s important to me, there’s two things it’s connection and meaning. That’s what drives me. And those are really helpful things for me to be in touch with in relation to money, just like you’re saying, because I think when we aren’t in touch with those things, it’s easy to just go for more. We live in a capitalist society, American dream. You know, when you have a massive home, then you’re going to be happy, right? And I’ve talked this with other podcast guests before because it’s so pervasive and it’s so robs us of our happiness that, you know, when you have this thing, you’re going to be happy. When you have the status, you’re going to be happy. And I mean, happy is a concept that’s questionable in itself, but you know what I mean. And if I think about that though, with a critical lens, thinking about my own relation to connection, connection with when I bring money in, though, doesn’t just mean that it’s connection at the cost of money, like seeing clients as low as I can or charging the least for my course that I can to get the most people in. Because of what I’ve actually learned is if I undercharged for those things that actually impedes connection. Because I’m exhausted, because I’m doing too much. I might be feeling resentful because I’m not getting enough to be well, and now I’m putting that back on that client if we want to talk in the therapeutic space. 

Michelle [00:13:56] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:13:57] And also something I’ve noticed, and this might seem like a contradiction, but by charging more, that drives people to work harder, which actually increases connection. 

Michelle [00:14:05] Yes! Yes.

Linzy [00:14:06] Because it means people are going to show up more, and I’m going to be able to use more of my superpower, which is connecting and encouraging and coaching. But I can only do that if somebody is bought in enough that they’re going to show up. 

Michelle [00:14:17] That’s right. 

Linzy [00:14:18] Because it’s not a negligible expense for that. 

Michelle [00:14:20] One hundred percent. 

Linzy [00:14:20] And so I’m actually going to be increasing the cost of the course in January. We’re actually doing a launch right now, getting people in the door at the 2021 price because in order to deepen that connection with students, I’ve actually learned that I need to be charging more. So people show up even more and they get even more benefit from the course. 

Michelle [00:14:38] Yes, a hundred percent. That’s their investment, right? You know, the phrase skin in the game always comes to mind for me. But yeah, you are investing in yourself and you know, you’re worth more than a little bit to invest, whether that’s energetically or monetarily, right. So, yeah, everything you say, everything you just said, I would 100 percent agree with. That one of the biggest things that can help is that when we use those values and stay aligned, even in a money mindset, with those values, then it’s exactly what you said. We’re sort of I guess we can’t inoculate ourselves from resentment and being exhausted. But boy, does it help, right? When we’re charging what we’re worth and we can actually lean into that instead of being scared of it and leaning away from it and then building up all these other really detrimental things that are going to affect us personally, professionally, and honestly, all the therapeutic result that we get, the therapeutic outcome. If I’m sitting here doing work with you and I’m resentful and pissed off, we can’t say that that’s not going to affect the therapeutic outcome because it most definitely will, right? And then, of course, that in turn affects your brand, because then they go out and say, Oh, my therapist is always distracted or whatever, then that affects your brand, that affects turnover rate, that affects conversion rates when people call. Like, there’s this huge domino effect. So it’s really fundamental. 

Linzy [00:16:00] Yeah. And I think as especially mental health therapists, but I know other healing practitioners as well or coaches, like I think it’s easy for us to think that these things don’t come into our work because we don’t want them to. We want to have the fact that we’re feeling exhausted. I remember once a client bringing up her second, she was going to Iceland for the second time. She was one of my sliding scale clients. I didn’t feel good in that moment. I didn’t get to go to Iceland twice. I went to Iceland for like three days on a layover. I would love to go back. It’s very expensive, right? And so absolutely that comes into the work. But I think that we do sometimes like to tell ourselves that it doesn’t and tell ourselves that our clients can’t tell that we’re exhausted or that we just had a little reaction to the fact that they’re going to a cruise and we’ve never gotten to go on a cruise or whatever it is. 

Michelle [00:16:43] Yeah, yeah. 

Linzy [00:16:44] But that’s absolutely in the room with you. 

Michelle [00:16:46] It can’t not be in the room. We are still human and it is with us and it’s really, really difficult. And I think that’s just exactly what you’re saying is another reason why values can be so important, because if we start to get in that space, we start to feel a little bit resentful. We’re starting to get pissed off because, oh, you know, my client just got the new iPhone 13 Pro Max or whatever, right? And they’re my sliding scale person. If we can go back to those core values and think about what do I need, what are my guiding principles, that really gives us a far clearer roadmap. Even if we don’t know what to do, it gives us a scaffolding within to work because then what we’re going to do, whatever we decide to do is going to feel really congruent and genuine, and that always makes it better and more effective, whether that’s easier to actually say the words, whether that you’re more willing to take the action. There’s so many reasons why that sets us up to be more successful in whatever piece of this we’re working on, you know, versus if I just stay resentful and irritated and stare at her new iPhone every time she comes to session, you know, it’s just all out of whack and it feels out of whack. And that’s where we get in all that schmoozey  icky feeling that makes us feel like we’re not good business owners or we’re not good clinicians. You know it, just it spiderwebs sort of out into everything. 

Linzy [00:18:07] Yeah, yeah. And I mean, what I’m really hearing here, Michelle, is just how important it is to be actually really connected with ourselves. And in touch with ourselves and how we’re feeling or reacting, what our values are. But I also heard you mentioned earlier this piece around being connected with what is enough. And I want to spin that into success, too. What is success? Can you speak more about the importance of these things? 

Michelle [00:18:33] Yeah, I think it sounds so elementary when I say it, but it is again fundamental. I’ll give you a personal example. You know, when I finished my M.Ed to become a therapist, I thought, Well, naturally, I’m going to go get my Ph.D. next, because that’s what you do, right? Again, remember recovering perfectionist and I was like, That’s just what you do. And I had a friend who had just finished her Ph.D. and she said, Do you really want? Do you ever want to teach in academia or is that a road you want to go down? I said, No, not at all. I want to be in private practice and I want to treat anxiety and trauma. And she said then I would encourage you to think twice before you embark on a Ph.D.. She said you don’t need it to do what you want to do. And she stopped me dead in my tracks, Linzy. 

Linzy [00:19:16] That’s a good friend. That’s a good friend. 

Michelle [00:19:18] What? Why would I not do that? That was me being out of touch and disconnected with my values. And what was really enough, right? But when I got authentic in that moment, I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. But when she said, You don’t need it to do what you’re telling me you want to do. I had to get really honest with myself, and it was kind of painful, really, when I thought, Oh, I have to grieve this idea of getting my Ph.D. because I don’t need it, and I don’t want to put myself through that or the expense of that if I don’t have to. Right. I did my MBA, I did my M.Ed like I love school, but Ph.D. takes it to a whole nother level, right? And like, Oh, I don’t want to do that. So it brought up some mixed emotions. So it’s really hard. And I empathize with with everybody who gets confronted with themselves that, wow, I have to really think about this. Does this fit? And for me, what I thought was success like, of course you go get your Ph.D. and then you do the next thing. I had to get really authentic with myself and say, What do you really want to do? What’s most important here? And when is it enough that you’ve got enough to do what you want? And so in that way, it was around the education, right? But the same is true around level of income. We get in the more and more and more, and it just takes us into really dark places. Because if we look at – I’ve heard it called minimally viable income, that’s the term I use when I’m coaching with folks, when this is an issue. Like, what do you actually need to run your life as it is today? You may not need as much as you think. Oftentimes, we don’t actually is what I have found yet. So again, going back to those core values is really, for me, being grateful for what I’ve got, grateful that I can slow down and think about that and take that into consideration and then authenticity, even when it’s painful because your values don’t mean it makes everything rosy all the time. You know, sometimes there’s something to grieve or there’s there’s loss or there can be, you know, some really dissatisfied feelings that come up. 

Linzy [00:21:18] Yes, certainly. 

Michelle [00:21:19] But doesn’t that feel so much better than whenever I choose to take the action going forward than doing it out of alignment or out of awareness, out of my own awareness? Right. That just doesn’t work out well, usually. 

Linzy [00:21:31] No, it doesn’t. And I think that’s such a great thing to bring up because there’s a couple of things that brings to mind for me. One is, of course, this idea of endless business growth, you know, and and it’s, you know, it’s always six figures getting to six figures, and then when you get to six figures, strangely, the next milestone is getting to a million. Right? So now you’re just to go all the way up to a million, 100 times more than six figures. And it’s just like, it never ends, that road. So that that’s one side of it, right? Which is the endless business growth. But then the other thing that I see can be so pervasive, especially with social media, is just lifestyle things, seeing other people do things or even just advertisement like, Ugh, Facebook advertising, it’s been taken out at the knees by the iOS update, I have to say, but still, it’s incredible how they find you. I noticed it in myself, you know, like, Oh, that’s a really nice bed sheet set, pair of shoes, like jewelry. I don’t wear jewelry, Michelle. I don’t need to look for jewelry. 

Michelle [00:22:29] But they get you! 

Linzy [00:22:30] Yes, they do. They do, right. And I find it’s often helpful for me to stop and really ask myself, honestly, how long would that actually make me happier for? Because there is going to be that little moment of dopamine when you first get it in the mail or the first time you wear it. But like, how much do these things actually improve our lives and really being honest with ourselves about what does actually improve your life? Because it’s very personal. 

Michelle [00:22:53] Yes. And that’s again, where the values can be so important because, OK, I might really enjoy those really fine bed linens, you know, for a couple of nights. But after a week, I’m not even going to recognize that they’re different, right? So when you think about your values, if I go back to authenticity and gratitude, for me, again, it’s like, Well, I don’t really need that. It’d be nice, but I don’t really need it. And and I love that we’re having this conversation just in general Linzy, because the universality of this experience is just, you know, being human. And there’s so much shame oftentimes around it that we don’t talk about it because, oh, I feel like, you know, I’m hoity toity or, you know, I’m not going for the stars or I don’t want to reach seven figures. Is somebody going to think I’m a loser, right? Or whatever. And it’s so interesting. I just started reading Will Smith’s book that he just released called Will, and it was fascinating to hear him. Here’s this super, super, super successful person, you know, musician, writer, actor, producer, like all the things. And in his book, he shares about how he felt like, OK, well, I need more mansions. I’ve got seven cars, I need eight. I have 2 Grammys, I need three, and always chasing that more. So. It is so human, and I love that, you know, people like yourself can create space where we can share those thoughts and feelings because they can feel pretty terrible in isolation. 

Linzy [00:24:22] Absolutely. Yeah. And I think, you know, in the work that I’m doing in the course and I think in the work that you’re doing too, Michelle, with your individual clients, it’s actually finding the number for what is more. Because it is actually a number, there’s actually a number there that means OK, if I have this in my case, it’s like I can pay for my son’s great organic, you know, outdoor school where they eat organic food every day, right? So that’s important. And I can save for retirement and then we can have our quarterly staycations with like a few day trips that are going to make all the difference, like really looking at your specific numbers because those exist, right? And you can actually sit down and look at your life and think honestly with yourself, as you say, connect you with your values. What really makes a difference for you? Because I can tell you that for me, eating really nice food, that doesn’t do that much after a day or two, right? But like going to like theater or music, that just like makes my life. 

Michelle [00:25:16] Yeah! Fills your soul. 

Linzy [00:25:17] That’s where money is really going to serve me, right? So it’s like really connecting with where can money do the most for you? What do you actually need? What are your real goals and kind of ignoring the noise. 

Michelle [00:25:28] Yeah, exactly. Everybody. Well, not everybody. A lot of my friends and people that I say this to. So feel free to make a ghastly face if you like. When people say, Oh, do you want to get a pedicure manicure? Well, I mean, I might be mildly interested in a pedicure, but I don’t enjoy manicures. I don’t like it and I don’t want to spend money on it. And I have friends who go every week, every other week, and it’s really important to them and the money serves them that way. For me, I’m like, I like to sit- it’s very therapeutic and like Zen for me to paint my own fingernails. Well, if I ever paint them, I don’t usually. 

Linzy [00:26:04] I don’t either. 

Michelle [00:26:06] But like that, to me, is an easy sort of watch a movie chill thing for me. And so I think what we’re saying is, in addition to knowing what that number is, the thing is, how do I continue to drive the bus of money in my life versus letting the money drive the bus for me because left to its own devices, it’s going to take you to all kinds of places and make you feel all kinds of ways that generally aren’t good. And so that staying connected with yourself and all of those, I mean, it’s mindset, right? That that’s why I love the values, because it’s the values give you some real concrete terms and sort of filters or lens, if you will, to look at that for yourself, for you individually because your core values are different than mine. So the process we go through might look different, but it’s going to serve us far better than if we’re just, you know, chasing chase and chasing. And I think with that is the idea of being intentional, too, because which, as you know, I’m a planner junkie and I created a planner for therapists to try to help keep some of these things, like marketing and networking and money on the radar because it can fall off so quickly, especially because we haven’t been trained in any of this stuff. Being able to memorialize some of those things in your own handwriting can be really powerful, and making those notes and staying engaged with those pieces can be so much more effective and it gets so much less scary, right, when we do that on an ongoing basis. So I think that’s really important too. 

Linzy [00:27:38] Absolutely, yes. And I have I have your primed planner sitting right here with me. 

Michelle [00:27:42] Yay. 

Linzy [00:27:43] To name it, Michelle’s planner is The Primed Planner. And it’s for therapists and it is beautiful. It is so pretty and I absolutely agree with you. There is something very powerful about writing on paper, probably, especially these days where we do it so much less. And like looking in here, you have financial parts in this planner. We’ve got our financial finesse section of like looking out your expenses, you’ve got financial goals parts in here. But I love how you’ve also blended those right in side by side with all sorts of other things to keep track of in business or that are important to us. 

Michelle [00:28:18] Right, right. 

Linzy [00:28:19] To have, I would say, meaningful and fulfilling lives, to put my own language on it. 

Michelle [00:28:23] Sure. 

Linzy [00:28:25] Yes, this is. It’s a beautiful planner. 

Michelle [00:28:27] Oh, thank you. I really appreciate that. It really has been a passion project and this is the third year – well going into twenty twenty two – that’s the third year, third edition of the planner, and it’s been so fun and so absolutely terrifying and I’ve learned so much. But again, that was one of the things again in business when you’re deciding, do I want to start another revenue stream or do I want to open a group versus being a solopreneur? All of those things for me, I could not find a planner to save my life that lasted more than a quarter. I would get bored with it, or it didn’t really function the way I needed it to. And so with my MBA, I was like, There are all these pieces of business I know I want to keep on my radar. And so when I couldn’t find one for probably two years, I was like, OK, well, forget it, I’m just going to create one. And then I thought, Oh, I can put it out in the world, and then I got really terrified because, you know, but then again, the value of authenticity was like, No, I think this might be useful. So it’s been it’s been a real joy and terrifying. Like I said, at times, 

Linzy [00:29:32] I’m hearing the terrifying yes. 

Michelle [00:29:33] Girl, you have no idea. Well, yeah you do. 

Linzy [00:29:33] I think I do actually 

Michelle [00:29:35] Yeah, you do. I take that back. You totally know what I’m talking about, and probably everybody listening knows what I’m talking about. But but again, I love the values can really guide us there, because that’s when I was like, Well, yeah, then I’m going to do it because that’s authentically what I believe we need out there. 

Linzy [00:29:51] That’s exactly what I hear coming through as you’re talking about this, right? Like similar to your process of creating the planner, that’s how I made Money Skills For Therapists when I was like, Oh, this thing doesn’t exist. This thing that I needed just isn’t out there, right? And so you make it, but it is very vulnerable to put those things out in the world because it is really coming from your heart. 

Michelle [00:30:10] Yes. 

Linzy [00:30:10] Like, this is an area obviously that you have like gifts. I remember you saying to me when we tried it once before that you’re like an artsy craftsy person, like you get in the zone. And so this is just bringing together this perfect synthesis of all these different gifts that you have. But when we do that and I feel the exact same way, I guested in a mastermind issue with one of my business besties, and she introduced me as kind of like the perfect combination of spreadsheet and heart. 

Michelle [00:30:36]  I love that. What an awesome compliment. 

Linzy [00:30:39] It’s very specific, but it’s true. It’s absolutely true. Like, I love spreadsheets, numbers, but also like lots of heart and presence and warmth and like genuine care for the work that I do and the people I work with. 

Michelle [00:30:52] That’s your connection, right? 

Linzy [00:30:53] But when we combine our special things in that special way and put them out there, it is very vulnerable and scary because we’re not just like selling MLM products. This is truly, you know, something that is directly from us and our gifts. 

Michelle [00:31:07] Yeah. And I think just using that little bit about that, you know, talking about spreadsheet and heart like, that’s the connection piece, right? You can hear your core values shining out of that, right, so it helps you move into that space. So I think that’s really quite lovely, actually. 

Linzy [00:31:23] So for The Primed Planner, Michelle, I guess first of all, I want to thank you for talking with me today. There’s so much talk about. I feel like we could talk for so, so long. 

Michelle [00:31:31] Probably could. 

Linzy [00:31:33] We could. But for this planner, can you tell us more about it? Who is it for? Let’s start with that. Who’s it for? 

Michelle [00:31:38] Yeah, I think really any helping or healing professional, I’ve had people from massage therapists, physical therapists, realtors, even, I think, solopreneurs. But I really created it again from the heart. It was for therapists because I was so shocked by how my MBA helped me in growing my private practice because I never wanted to coach. That was not on my radar at all. And it kind of just grew organically because I was getting all of these questions. And so I thought, to be really honest and authentic, I thought, how could I create a tool that was pretty and fun to use and maybe like trick these people to get engaged with their business, right? Like if it’s fun and pretty. And I love stickers and colored pens and markers. And like all those things, all my crafty ooze comes out with that stuff. But I really wanted to create something that was fun and esthetically pleasing and super effective and functional. And so when I create stickers, I’m not just creating stickers for stickers sake. I want you to use them as time blocks on your calendar, right? So when you have CEO time, you have admin time, or you want to write that blog, you know that you have different sized stickers to block those times off in the planner so that those most important strategic things that only you as the CEO – if you own a practice – can do, they go on your calendar as a time block. They’re not just a task. And so I really think the planner, I built it with therapists in mind. Whether you’re a clinician working in a group for someone else or whether you own your own practice or own your own group, I think this planner could be for any and all of those folks. It’s just been really interesting too to see how people use it differently. And I encourage people, like use it wildly different, you know, put your own labels in there, change sections if you need to, because I really want it to be what can work best for you. 

Linzy [00:33:33] Absolutely. Yeah, it’s I think that real ownership. And like just holding it here, I just have to say like, I’m a paper person and paper’s so nice. 

Michelle [00:33:43] Oh good. 

Linzy [00:33:43] Like it’s such a tangible kind of like, you know, tactile experience with a planner. And I think this is why it took me so long to stop using planners. Eventually, I did stop using paper planners. I feel like I’m confessing that right now, but there is something so grounding about paper and pen. And I will say too, like in terms of writing out these numbers. That’s something that I have people do in the course because it’s so clarifying. But also I have done, for brief periods of time, the exercise of actually writing down money coming in every day. And there is something so beautiful about writing out like, OK, today this much money came in the door from the work that I love to do. And really amplifying and writing that it’s so connective. And I can only imagine all the ways that all these neat little like sections that you have and prompts could help people connect with those things that can easily get lost in the shuffle of of doing our work day to day. 

Michelle [00:34:35] Yeah, yeah, it really can. And so with the annual road map and then every month, revisiting these areas that really sort of are the components of a business plan, which include, of course, money, staying engaged, and getting in the cadence of doing that. And, you know, between decreasing the fear and the overwhelm around it and also increasing your interest and staying connected. And then I think you’re really setting yourself up for for far more success, however, you define that because now you’re in the know about your own business. And that’s I think the thing that gets us. The Achilles heel in so many clinicians career lives because sometimes we want to ignore it and sweep it under the rug versus really look at it. 

Linzy [00:35:19] So we are going to have a link in the show notes for people to look at, order the primed planner for 2022 and Michelle, if people want to get into your world in other ways, is there a social media channel, that’s the best place for them to connect with you. 

Michelle [00:35:34] Absolutely. Instagram or Facebook, I’m on both. And it’s @theprimedpractice in both cases and the Primed Planner Posse – say that 10 times fast – is a private Facebook group that folks that have used the planner, love the planner, or any planner really, can help, you know, we can all get together there and talk about the things that are wins for us and really support each other when we’re aggravated because we don’t know what to do next. So any of those channels would be great. And of course, The Primed Practice is my website. And just a little teaser, The Primed Planner is going to be on Trello with the e-course that I’m going to release, probably in December sometime. So for folks like yourself who have transitioned out away from paper, but like something digital, like Trello where you can get it on all your devices, I’m really excited about that. 

Linzy [00:36:21] Very cool. Great. And I think you mentioned that you had a promo code for our listeners for the planner just to sweeten the deal a little bit. 

Michelle [00:36:28] Yeah, yeah. So if you’re interested in the planner for 2022, the promo code is MNBF2. And of course, Money Nuts & Bolts Free 2. So MNBF2. If you order The Primed Planner for 2022, what that promo code will get you are two sheets of stickers – the like the most top selling stickers that we’ve got. And that would be the strategic time stickers that have CEO and admin time and then schedule changes where you can actually mark those changes out and keep your planner looking nice and neat. 

Linzy [00:37:05] And I love these. I have the CEO and admin time stickers in my hand as we speak, and I love that you have these. I love that you have these because this is something in the course that we talk about is you need to block out the time, first of all, to do your admin, do your basic bookkeeping, stay on top of stuff, but also to be the CEO and to be the boss. Because you’re the boss. There’s no one else running the show, so you need to set aside that time for that big picture thinking that only you can do. So I love how tangible this is to have these that you can put right into your planner. 

Michelle [00:37:34] Yeah, thank you. I’m really excited about them. This is the first year I’ve had those stickers, so I’m very excited. I’m glad you love them. 

Linzy [00:37:40] Well, thank you so much, Michelle. It’s been so inspiring to talk to you today. I love your your take on values and connecting that to our work and money and enough. Beautiful. Thank you so much for this conversation. 

Michelle [00:37:52] Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it. It’s been fun. 

Linzy [00:38:10] I really enjoyed my conversation with Michelle. Definitely gave me some realizations of my own around my values and what might be my core values. I’m gonna have to go check out this Daring Way Brené Brown work, but some of the values that I know are my most dominant values and how those connect to my relationship with money and how they don’t mean that money is not important, but money can actually support me in living those values. Really interesting clarifying ideas from Michelle. And it was just such a heartfelt conversation. You know, you can feel that authenticity is one of her core values that is very apparent in the way that she communicates and in the love that she’s obviously poured into this planner. So if you were at all curious about the primed planner, go check it out. It is beautiful. I wish that you could see it, but it’s a podcast, but it’s so nice to touch a very nice tactile experience, really fun and accessible. And like Michelle said, it’s going to trick you into thinking about some of the things about your business and practice that you might not want to think about regularly, but that are really important to running a healthy practice that’s going to be supporting you. If you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Money Nuts & Bolts on Instagram. And today’s episode is brought to you by my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. If you are curious about my course Money Skills For Therapists, the price is going up next year by $700, and checking out the masterclass is your way to learn about my framework and my approach to helping you go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence. But it’s also your last chance to get into Money Skills For Therapists at 2021 pricing. Starting in 2022, the price is going to be $700 higher, and so if you’re curious about the course, this is a really good time to jump in before that price goes up in 2022. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. Take care! 

Picture of Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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