Using Your Core Values to Guide Money Decisions with Michelle Hardman

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Using Your Core Values to Guide Money Decisions with Michelle Hardman

“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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Ready to take the next steps with your finances? Sign up today for the free masterclass, where Linzy outlines the exact framework she teaches inside her signature course, Money Skills For Therapists. The price of the course is going up in the new year, so if you decide to join us now, you’ll save $700! You’ll also get a free action guide when you sign up, so you can create a strategic plan around your business finances.

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! 

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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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.

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Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

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In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

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Taking Up Financial Space as Anti-Oppressive with Dena Omar

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Taking Up Financial Space as Anti-Oppressive with Dena Omar

“If we look at the systems of oppression in which we work — white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, ableism — all of these things tell people like us to stay small so we don’t disrupt the status quo. We want to get big so we can disrupt the status quo. We can’t do that by being small. ”

~Dena Omar

Meet Dena Omar

I am an antiracist, feminist therapist who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. As an Arab American who was raised Muslim, I know how it feels to be outside the mainstream. As a person with fair skin and a feminine appearance, I know how it feels for my identities to be “invisible.” Because I have white privilege, I am working hard to unpack my racism so that I can do my part to dismantle white supremacy. I have a casual style sometimes punctuated with NSFW language. I’m an over-thinker who never stops learning.

In This Episode…

Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

Connect with Dena and learn more about her anti-oppression work and how you can get involved! Visit her website to learn more. You can also find her on Instagram.

Want more great private practice finances content?

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

Ready to take the next steps with your finances? Sign up today for the free masterclass, where Linzy outlines the exact framework she teaches inside her signature course, Money Skills For Therapists. The price of the course is going up in the new year, so if you decide to join us now, you’ll save $700! You’ll also get a free action guide when you sign up, so you can create a strategic plan around your business finances.

Episode Transcript

Dena [00:00:04] If we look at the systems of oppression in which we work, white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, ableism, all of these things tell people like us to stay small so you don’t disrupt the status quo. We want to get big so we can disrupt the status quo. We can’t do that by being small. 

Linzy [00:00:29] 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. I am so excited for today’s episode. Listening back, I was having my own aha moments and I was part of the original conversation. But first I wanted to tell you that today’s episode is brought to you by my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. The price for Money Skills For Therapists is going up in 2022, so if you’re interested in the course, check out the masterclass today. It’s going to lay out my approach to money in general. I’m going to describe all the helpful ways that we get you going from money confusion and shame to calm and clarity in Money Skills For Therapists. And it’s your chance to slide in the door at the 2021 price before it goes up $700 in 2022. So if you’re curious to learn more, if you’re interested in Money Skills For Therapists, check out the link in the show notes today to get into that 2021 price before we close the doors. So my guest today is Dena Omar. Dena is an anti-racist feminist therapist who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is a graduate of Money Skills For Therapists. She finished up the course about a year and a half ago now, and her growth in that time has been phenomenal. Dena and I today dig in to taking up space as therapists and business owners and practitioners and women and BIPOC as a political act. We explore how taking up space with money allows us to turn our money into time and make our life actually reflect the things that we really value, and also how money allows us to turn our energy towards making bigger change and taking up space. Dena and I really challenge this idea of money for the sake of money, but look into how money can be a powerful tool to shape your life and shape your community and ultimately make political change in the world. So this conversation is full of opportunities for AHA moments that I’ve had some listening back, and I suspect that many of you listening today because we’re all steeped in capitalism and white supremacy and schooling that tells us to stay small. We’ll probably be able to have lots of aha moments today, too. So here’s Dena Omar. 

Linzy [00:03:21] So, Dena, thank you so much for joining me today. 

Dena [00:03:24] Thanks for having me. 

Linzy [00:03:26] So, Dena, as I just mentioned in your bio, your passion and focus right now is anti oppression in therapy. So I know this is something that a lot of our listeners will be able to share similar values. This is something that we think about a lot as people who hopefully are educated in systemic oppression and think about these things a lot, you know, coming into the work that we do. And I see this a lot is like a conflict that we have internally as therapists who are aware of what’s wrong with the world and systemic oppression. And so, one question that I have for you is, as therapists, how can we resolve the fact that we are running private practices within capitalism, which is a system that we largely don’t like? Many therapists listening to this show will not be like pro pro-capitalism, but reconciling that that’s the framework that we work in with the fact that we need to meet our own needs. 

Dena [00:04:18] Yeah, I think that’s a really great question and one that I wrestle with a lot, especially as I get bigger and try to do more in the world of therapy. And I think about it like, how do I get to be a worse capitalist and still meet my needs? And that’s a really huge question. I want to consume less. I want to pay myself and my employees more. And I think that for most of us, because the work that we do is- we are mostly women who are doing therapy. We are also running up against patriarchy. And this idea that we’re worth less, that the work that we do is worth less. So I think part of it is naming this idea that we’re working in a capitalist system and that we need- that we want to- not just need to, but we want to reject some of those ideals. And that means really valuing the work that we do, putting a price tag on it that says this is important. This is important to me. This is important to my clients and it’s got value. And in a capitalist system, value is is largely determined by money, how much you pay for something. So I think that’s an important part. I think the other side of that coin is then valuing rest, valuing taking breaks, valuing putting our time and energy into things that aren’t just making us money and deciding where those things are and what’s important to me. Spending time with my family, going on vacations, being in nature, all those things that you know, we call self-care. It really is sort of saying to patriarchy, you don’t have all my time and energy. I think we get caught up in that cycle in private practice. If I’m not earning money, I’m not valuable. And if I’m not working, I’m not earning money. And we need to change how we value ourselves and change how we do this thing of earning money. 

Linzy [00:06:18] So I’m hearing like a couple of different ideas there. One is actually by valuing our services higher, like by pricing them maybe higher than our maybe than our first gut instinct is. That actually, kind of- what is that? Is that sticking it to capitalism? Or is it just like like, you know, is that is that taking our place in capitalism and saying it’s valuable? Tell me more about how you see those things being connected. 

Dena [00:06:42] Yeah, I see it as an F-U to capitalism. Yeah. Like, you’re going to tell me in this capitalist patriarchal white supremacist culture that the work I do isn’t valuable and I’m going to say it is. And people who value this will come to me and do what we need to do. And we will then translate that into our clients and will help our clients learn to value themselves more. So it’s really this fundamental grassroots movement of helping marginalized folks become more empowered. If we can say, Look, this is really valuable and you’re valuable and you’re spending this money on yourself. It’s not you’re spending it on me, you’re spending this money on yourself and you’re valuable. And so how do we then, you know, kind of push- keep pushing that. 

Linzy [00:07:30] You know, typically, I think therapy is devalued because it is women’s work. It is the work that tends to come naturally to women. It’s the work that women were never paid for before, but that they did for their communities and their families and their friend groups and and whatever else. So by actually saying this is valuable, we’re pushing back against that message that, you know, it’s not valuable because it’s what women do. 

Dena [00:07:53] Yes. Yeah, absolutely. It’s care work, and care work is valuable. 

Linzy [00:07:57] So valuable. And then I’d love to unpack this other part of what you were saying too about like rest and taking a break. I love you naming being less consumeristic or anti-consumerism in what you do because that that really resonates with me because what I do notice is, you know, therapists, we do have this ability to have like this upward mobility, right? Like we are in a profession where you can charge $30 a session or you can charge like 130 for the exact same session and your quality of life has, just like your income, has changed drastically for doing the same work right and people will pay at both price points. And so what I see can happen really quickly is like we can fall into lifestyle creep, where it’s like, Well, now we have more money so now we have a somewhat nicer car and we go on this like nicer trip where we buy nicer clothes. It’s like we turn it into consumerism. And I’m wondering for you. Tell me about like turning it into time or rest instead. 

Dena [00:08:54] I think you summed it up really great, turning it into time and rest. And I think it starts with understanding where your values are. And that’s a really in-depth long term- we’re not just talking about, Oh, I value my family, right? We’re talking about where do I really spend my time and my money that translates into my values. I feel most in line with myself when my time and my money are going to where my values are. And so doing that deep dive into what do I value? How do I then spend my resources on that? So for example, maybe one of the things that I do is donate more to the causes that are important to me. Maybe I diversify where I spend my money, all of the things that are important to me, I put money into over time, right? It’s not just I buy my kid a new toy, but we spend time playing together. We spend time going for walks. And if I’m making more money, I have the time to do that. Our time and money are intricately linked. And I would throw values in there are time money and values are key in how we spend our lives. 

Linzy [00:10:07] Because that is your life. In the end, that is what your life is. Your life is how you spend your time, and it’s easy to spend our time trying to make money to turn it into things. But that’s not actually- at the end of your life you’re not like, That Lamborghini, that was really it for me. That was it. That was the meaning. 

Dena [00:10:24] That was everything. I think the other factor. And for some of your listeners who are going to be business owners who are going to be group practice owners, is that then you can translate that into how you pay your employees and that we can start saying to our employees, you don’t have to run this rat race of agency work. You can actually be an employee in a group practice who makes a really good wage and does really good work, and we can pass on those values to more and more therapists. This is how it gets bigger. This is the drop in the lake that just kind of goes out and out and out. It’s not just clients, it’s other therapists. It’s creating that tidal wave of really good healers who are doing this work. 

Linzy [00:11:09] Yeah. And I think that, you know, when you take that position like you are, Dena, of like becoming a group practice owner and you have people working for you now you’re creating working conditions for other people. I know I think about this a lot, something that I’ve been kind of like joking and reflecting on in terms of my turn into doing this business and helping therapists with their businesses rather than just doing therapy is like I want to win at capitalism. And winning at capitalism means, like, how can I generate a good revenue for my family so we’re comfortable, secure- security is really important to me personally- and also be a great boss who creates a great work environment where my employees, I’m not kind of basically profiting off of their exploitation. If I was going to be like really Marxist sounding about it. Because I think it’s easy for that to happen, even when we get into group practice, right? Like we start to see our employees as like revenue generating machines. 

Dena [00:12:00] It’s dehumanizing, is what you’re talking about. And we all know that feeling when we’ve worked in agencies. They only wanted me for my productivity. I was completely replaceable because I was not a unique. I was just a cog in the wheel. We know that feeling. And it’s really sad when we then get into group practice and replicate that because we don’t know anything else. And I would say that that group owners don’t intentionally- they have really good intentions, and it happens because we don’t have another model, so we need to create another model.  

Linzy [00:12:32] Yeah. And I would say part of it too is by having like presence and intention around money, like having money skills – that gives us the ability to start to to build that model, to create a sustainable model because you don’t want to be also creating a business that’s like always on the brink of closing because you’re actually spending more money than you have on your employees. Right, but you can start to find like, what is that actual real model that really works where employees are happy and healthy and they don’t feel like they’re just like cogs in the machine. But we’re also- you, as the person who owns the business, is getting paid for that work. And you know, you’re able to have spaciousness in your world as well. So, like what I’m hearing, Dena, you talk about, it flies in the face a little bit I think of what a message is a lot of us, I know for me, like growing up, especially feminist activism in my 20s, I have like a lot of trauma in that area. More therapy needed. But there was a lot I feel like there’s often this pressure when you are in those activist spaces to like, be small. Right? It’s like there’s all these problems in the world. Don’t take up space, right? Like, be small. We need to like, you know, in terms of fees for therapists, it means like, have a small fee, be accessible. And what I’m hearing from you was saying something different. So like what? Tell me more about kind of the- what is your kind of model or theory here that’s not about being small in order to be anti-oppressive? 

Dena [00:13:51] This is a hard one because there’s bringing together lots of different theories. But if we look at the systems of oppression in which we work: white supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy, ableism, all of these things tell people like us to stay small so you don’t disrupt the status quo. We want to get big so we can disrupt the status quo. We can’t do that by being small. We can’t do that from- the Audre Lorde quote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” right? We need to be big enough to be able dismantle the system. And that doesn’t happen by staying small. That doesn’t happen by not knowing. That doesn’t happen by sticking our heads in the sand. So we need to get bigger. We need to say this is important work. I think about in Arizona here, we just last year, the teachers unions got really big and they got really loud, and they had this whole movement about paying teachers more and valuing teachers work. It went nowhere, but it was a really good moment for teachers unions, and we don’t do that, especially in private practice, we’re little bubbles, where we’re doing our own thing and not really talking to each other much. Partly because of capitalism, we feel like we have to compete with other therapists in town. We have to compete with other people. So we’re essentially starting from this mindset of not having enough. When we start moving into an abundance mindset, we start getting bigger, we can really disrupt the systems that that keep us in these places. It’s all connected.  

Linzy [00:15:28] Yeah. And I think when we do that too. Certainly what I’ve seen is is we will get pushback from from our own people, from our own friends, from our own colleagues and like classmates, they will try to police us back into being small. 

Dena [00:15:41] Yes, I had a supervisee who told me that her previous supervisor told me it was unethical for her to charge higher rates and higher rates at even at a fairly low amount. She was she was at like 110, which is not like she was at 300 or 400 dollars. And the other supervisor was telling her it was unethical to do that, and I just- it felt like a punch in the gut. So that’s really saying you don’t- you’re not worthy, you’re not valuable. It’s dehumanizing. You should just grind. And the hazing process that we have to go through, that’s another whole soapbox for me. It just is awful. So we need to change that. 

Linzy [00:16:21] Yeah. So, Dena, you know, in terms of your own growth as a therapist, I’m going to guess you have your own story here, just a feeling. Can you share a little bit with me about your own shift from being like in this place of trying to stay small, being told to be small, into being big, taking up space? 

Dena [00:16:38] That’s a good question and kind of a long story. The culture and the place where I grew up had many, many, many messages about being small and women are, women do, women aren’t big. And I pushed back against that in a lot of ways. And then I got into social work school and found that we were just sort of expected to be in this place where we were in second rate roles to doctors in some places, to psychiatrists in some places, to other case managers. That therapy was an adjunct. And that always just rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like what we do should be primary, should be. And then I got into private practice out of agency work, and it felt like a huge relief. And I thought, Oh, I could do this forever. I could just be this, chugging along, I had a full caseload, I was making what I thought was enough money, like it was enough and I was still unsatisfied. I was over systemd. I had, you know, I was over focused on keeping track of my money because I was beholden to insurance companies and it was really complicated and really hard. And then I started taking a hard look at, OK, how do I simplify? How do I stop spending my energy on chasing my tail and spend my energy on building something that I wanted? And it was that shift in focus. And I think that the first time I really got that Linzy was in your program, was that shift in focus from spending my energy spinning my wheels to spending my energy growing something. That was huge for me, and that was that was the thing that really unlocked my energy to make change. Maybe this is another thing about pushing back against capitalism when we have- capitalism says you have to do the grind to end the system, say if you don’t do the grind, you’re not good enough. But if you don’t do the grind, you have energy to change the system. So when I finally had enough spaciousness to start thinking about things other than where’s my income coming from, I could think about, Well, this is wrong and I want to make change. And not just where do I spend my money, but how do I want to make a bigger change? How do I want to get bigger and do these things? So it was really connected with finding the spaciousness in my income that gave me the time and energy to do this other work. 

Linzy [00:19:15] And when you say, in your case, you know, like the spaciousness in your income? What did you do? For people who are listening who are like, I want that? What did you do? 

Dena [00:19:22] Yeah, yeah. So I got rid of systems, which seems really counterintuitive, but I had way too many and I was spending way too much time freaking out and checking and rechecking. So part of that was having confidence in what I was doing and knowing that it was going to work and believing that the money was going to be there. I was freaked out that it just wasn’t going to show up. And of course it did. When I did the work, the money came. So that was a big part of it was really getting a good handle on what I have coming in, going out, cutting some expenses that I didn’t need. That was really helpful, but I needed to know- I needed some help figuring out what are the expenses I don’t need. What do I need? What’s going to help me and what’s not going to help me? That was that was a big deal. And I did raise my fee quite a bit and I got more comfortable raising my fee. I got more comfortable saying, this is what I charge, and it will probably change again. It will go up again as I change things. That was another thing. Was this idea that change is OK. I think we get stuck in this, especially for those of us who are perfectionists, we get stuck in this sense of, well, if I didn’t do it last year, then I can’t do it this year or I have to do it right immediately. And that was really helpful, having permission to to make change. 

Linzy [00:20:44] Yeah, that making change and like working against your perfectionism, like, I see that so much, Dena, with students that I work with in the course. I think we’re also so used to like being achievers and like being good and like doing it right. And so what I notice is sometimes we’ll just stay the same because of some rule we’ve made up like, well, I can’t change my financial system now because I really want to have it like at the tax year. So I’m just going to keep doing this thing that’s not working and stressing me out for another six months until I can do it perfectly by like transitioning at the exact right time. And we make these rules that that have the effect of making us small. And when you’re talking too about managing like being over systemd like, I love to hear you mention that because that’s something that I feel like doesn’t always get flagged as an issue because it’s like you’re so organized. You have so many systems, like more systems are better. But as you talk about like that, simplification gave you the space and energy to focus on what you actually care about building, which in your case was building something new. And what I notice about being over systematized often it’s just about trying to manage our anxiety. Right? That’s what it is. In the end, it’s like all these like salves that we’re using to try to make ourselves feel good. And I know for myself when I’m in a space where I’m like, overly focused on systems, there’s this like small, tight feeling that happens, which has nothing. It’s a completely different experience than when you’re in this space that you’re talking about being. And now where you’re like expanding, creative, solving problems, developing language for people, it’s a completely different frame of mind. 

Dena [00:22:14] Absolutely. I think you hit the nail on the head. 

Linzy [00:22:16] So, Dena, for people who want to hear more from you, tell us a little bit more about what you do and what offers you have for people who want to learn from you. 

Dena [00:22:27] Yeah, I’m super excited. I’ve got a couple of things coming up. The first one is a half day workshop, so 4-hour workshop, around anti-oppression therapy and how to become an anti-oppression therapist. I’m really excited. We’re going to cover tons of different topics, of course, racism, white supremacy, but also ableism and queer identity. And how do we connect with clients beyond cultural competence? This is really the framework that I keep thinking of. You know, we have three hours of cultural competence that are required every two years. It’s not enough, and cultural competence is a really terrible lens to work through. It keeps us mired in those systems of oppression. So I really want to explore what does it mean to do it differently? How do we do private practice differently? How do we set ourselves as compassionate healers for marginalized folks? And it’s just not something that we learn. The other cool thing that I do in all of my trainings is it’s not just me lecturing at you, and I think that’s what we get a lot in cultural competency kind of stuff: I’m going to tell you what people who are insert identity experience. That’s not what we’re going to do. We’re really going to start with my own identity. We’re going to do a lot of exploration about identity development. And then how do I reach clients who are different than me? How do I help them when I don’t have that same experience? Because so many of us on this side are white or white-identified or straight, or all of those things where we have privilege and we really are missing the opportunity to help people in our society who need the most and therapy just does not do a good job with that. So I have my four-hour intro course afternoon we’re going to spend together doing this work. And then for people who want to do a deeper dive. I have a 12 week intensive where we talk about all this stuff, we have homework, we have accountability, and we talk about some of the practice grow things. And how do I advertise myself so that I’m not attracting only white clients, for example, how do I look in the world so that people of color and people who are queer and people who have disabilities will come to see me because that’s a big part of it. 

Linzy [00:24:58] That’s great. So your website then, if people want to find you and learn more about these offerings, where can they find you? 

Dena [00:25:05] Yeah. DenaOmar.com it’s the easiest place. I also have an Instagram. You can follow me there. Yeah. So all that information will be there. 

Linzy [00:25:14] Great. Okay, and those links are in the show notes below. You can always just click over from there. So thank you so much, Dena. It has been so- I always love talking to you, and today is no exception. It’s been wonderful to talk to you today. 

Dena [00:25:26] Thank you, Linzy. I appreciate it. 

Linzy [00:25:42] I so appreciated my conversation with Dena. I really appreciated the pieces about looking at your values, your deeper values, and that’s something that I’ve talked about with some other podcast guests as well, because I think that’s such an important piece that can get missed when we get into the grind, as Dena puts it, of building a business and earning money and being self-employed. We just start to focus on making the business work, earning money, earning more, working more, as if that is the value of our life. And of course, that’s what capitalism tells us that it is. But when we actually zoom out and look at what are our real, authentic values, how do we really want to spend our life? I think about, when I die, what will I look back and actually value? What’s going to actually matter in the end? That can be really clarifying for how to make money work for us now and how to build your practice so that it serves your life now, not later, which is probably coming, but is never guaranteed. So, so, so clarifying Dena is brilliant. Absolutely check her out. She, I know, is building some great offers for therapists around anti oppressive therapy. So if you want to do more learning in that area, if you’re interested. Definitely check out Dena. We’ve got her links below in the show notes, and I’m just so appreciative of her for having this conversation with me. If you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. We’re putting out free money mindset, practical private practice stuff all the time. If you want to learn more from me and actually start working on getting your money working for you in your life, like Dena has done in a big way. Check out my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. As I’ve mentioned, the price is going up in 2022, part of taking up more space, having more impact. I’m doing it too. And that means that if you check out the masterclass now, if it’s 2021 when you’re listening, this is your chance to slide in at that 2021 price before it goes up in 2022. You can check out the link in the show notes. In the masterclass, I lay out my approach to money. You’re going to learn some of the big mistakes that therapists are making when we’re trying to get our money working for us. You’re also going to learn about Money Skills For Therapists, how I help you go from money confusion and shame to common confidence. Like Dena has done. And it’s your opportunity to jump into the course at the 2021 price before it goes up in 2022. Thank you so much for listening today.

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

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Find Flow with Money with Jelisha Gatling

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Find Flow with Money with Jelisha Gatling

“I think the willingness to pour that money out allows it to pour back into you. And believing that it will come to you! And I don’t want to say come back — I don’t want to say it like that because that has that mentality that I gave something that is mine. And it’s like, ‘No, this money isn’t mine! It flows!’ Thinking about it from that perspective, there is just so much ease. ”

~Jelisha Gatling

Meet Jelisha Gatling

Jelisha Gatling is a licensed marriage family therapist in NYC who also works with therapists to boss up & bank up in their private practice. With an “anti-hustle” style, she helps healers thrive in their boss energy while putting more paper in their pockets leaving the burnout behind.

In This Episode…

In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

 

Tune in to hear the amazing action items and tips Jelisha shares that you can put into practice to get money flowing better for you! Find Jelisha on her website or on Instagram @savingthesaver

Want more great private practice finances content?

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Ready to get your finances really working for you in your practice and your life? This episode is brought to you by Money Skills for Therapists, my signature course that takes therapists and health practitioners from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. Get on the waitlist for the Money Skills For Therapists course, and lock in the 2021 rate before the price changes on January 1st!

Episode Transcript

Jelisha [00:00:01] I think the willingness to pour that money out allows it to pour back into you. And like believing that it will come to you – and I don’t want to say come back, I don’t want to say it like that because that has, like a mentality, like I gave something that is mine. And it’s like, No, this money isn’t mine. It flows. I don’t know if that makes sense. Thinking about it from that perspective, there’s just so much ease. 

 

Linzy [00:00:29] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by the Waitlist for my course, Money Skills For Therapists. In 2022, we’re going to be raising the price of the course, like I hope all of you raise your fees from time to time, it’s an important part of having a healthy business. And this is your chance to get on the waitlist so you can get into the course at 2021 pricing. If you’ve been thinking about the course, if you’re curious about it, get on the waitlist. Then you will hear when we open the doors for the course and you can get in at that 2021 pricing, but start the course in 2022 so you don’t need to worry about starting over the holidays. You can start fresh in 2022, but lock in that 2021 price. You can check out the link in the show notes for the waitlist. So today’s episode is with Jelisha Gatling. Jelisha Gatling is a wonderful human. I need to start by saying that. I have known Jelisha for three years now. She was a graduate of Money Skills For Therapists back in 2018, and the progress that Jelisha has made the transformation in her relationship to money is incredible in that time. It is just a night to day transformation from where she was when I met her back in 2018, to where she is now, where she’s actually working with couples around money. She’s actually made this part of her clinical practice to really dig into money when she used to be super, super, super anxious about it when she started the course back in 2018. Today we dig into so many tips and tricks, and more than any episode I’ve done to date, this one is just so full of tips and tricks from Jelisha on how to shift your mindset around money. And most importantly, we really dig into how to actually enjoy money. We really debunk this myth that is so common that more money equals happiness. We don’t usually necessarily think about that myth so directly, but so often we carry this belief of, OK, well, when my practice brings in $50000, then I’m going to feel good and I’m going to enjoy life and it’s going to feel great and easy. OK, when my practice brings in $100000, then things are going to be easy. Then it’s all going to make sense. And Jelisha and I really dig into this story and debunk this story, and she gives some really great tips on ways to actually enjoy money now. Ways to shift your mindset, ways to just make money work for you emotionally and practically. So enjoy this episode with Jelisha Gatling. 

 

Linzy [00:03:14] So Jelisha. Welcome, thanks for being here. 

 

Jelisha [00:03:17] Thank you for having me, Linzy, I’m really excited. 

 

Linzy [00:03:20] I’m excited, too, because Jelisha, you and I have worked together in a couple of capacities over a few years, so I have seen a lot change for you in that time. 

 

Jelisha [00:03:31] Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:03:33] In a way that I think most people could only aspire to. So I’m really excited to kind of like, pick your brain and lay out some ideas for people to help them get where you are. And maybe just like very briefly, in terms of where you are, when I first met you, I think you had a lot of anxiety around money. 

 

Jelisha [00:03:51] Yeah, big understatement. Crippled by anxiety. 

 

Linzy [00:03:57] Yes. And now if you could just briefly summarize for me, like even just your business stuff, what’s happening in your business world now, just so people kind of know, know more about you before we dig into all your gems you have for us. 

 

Jelisha [00:04:11] I mean, now the anxiety is pretty much nonexistent. When it comes up, though, I’m able to really squash it quickly and notice those old stories coming up. But I’d say, like, what’s shifted is just no more anxiety, not even just around money, but around clients, and what’s going to happen, and if I can do it, just like there’s so much more confidence and I’ve been able to expand my business in ways that I wasn’t even thinking about. Opportunities have really opened up that I wouldn’t have even been able to see at that point. 

 

Linzy [00:04:46] Yeah. And now part of the work that we are doing is actually helping therapists around their businesses and money and mindset. And you do work with couples too, around money, as well. 

 

Jelisha [00:04:57] Yes. Yes, I do. It’s lovely. I actually just got certified in premarital counseling with this Prepare Enrich training certification, and I’ve been seeing a lot of premarital couples who haven’t talked about money, so I’ve been having so many good juicy conversations. It’s great to like, dig into that with them and really create a safe space and help them to understand that we have a relationship to money. There’s so many people, they’re like, What are you? I mean, at least me. I remember when I started looking into this, I was like, What do you mean, relationship with money? I don’t have any. So I don’t have a relationship.

 

Linzy [00:05:32] Yes. What relationship is there to have? Yeah. Oh, that sounds like such… like, juicy work. I think that’s the exact word I would have said. Like, oh, talking with couples who’ve never talked about money before. Yeah, that’s fun. So for you, Jelisha, what have you ditched along the way? Like, I know you’ve let go of a lot. What have you let go of that has helped you to have this less anxious relationship with money that you’re telling us about? 

 

Jelisha [00:05:56] I think the biggest thing is what I call goal posts like I had all of these milestones that I thought once I hit this, then I will feel more secure. I won’t feel anxious with money. So it went from, Oh, I’m in college, I’m not supposed to have money. You know, that’s what it is. You’ll have that when you get a job. And then I got the job and I still was really stressed and struggling. And then I got another job and then I went back to school and I was like, I got to get a real job. And then it was like, OK, once I got into private practice, it was like, OK, I’m going to struggle until I make $50K like that. Literally. I was like when I hit 50, I was up for that promotion. I was so excited and I was still like, struggling. And I’m like, How does- I don’t get it? So it just kept moving and I realized, Jelisha, there’s something else happening. There’s something that you’re missing here. And so I think like ditching those goalposts and realizing that it was so much deeper as far as like managing money, knowing what was happening. It wasn’t a matter of how much I made or how hard I worked because I thought if you worked super hard, working all the time, then the money will come and everything will be good. But that didn’t happen. And alongside that, I was able to let go of this withholding pattern that I had with money where I would have money, I would have a little bit more than I needed, and I would just hang on to it for dear life and feel like I couldn’t spend it on anything because I didn’t know when it was going to get taken away because of something unexpected happening. I just was… fearful to enjoy money when I had a little bit of surplus, so it was very conflicting. 

 

Linzy [00:07:33] Yeah, well, and something that I remember you talking about when we first worked together. This was so impactful to me that like, I use it now, I talk about this a lot. It’s like, is that idea that once you had a certain number, you’ll be fine, right? Like, you’ll figure it out. Like once you have a certain number, then money is going to be easy. But from what we were kind of chatting about a little bit before, it sounds like that story also came up again, even when you did have money skills, but in a different way. So can you tell me about that, like repetition of that story? Because I think this is a really interesting thing because this is so common, right, that we do have this idea of once once x, then y. Once X, then Y, right? And so tell me about… kind of the next level. Once you kind of got money skills, how did that story show up again? 

 

Jelisha [00:08:15] So it showed up again with every uplevel, essentially, and I think recognizing that that might come up can be helpful, but had these stars that would come up when I would think about, oh my gosh, when I hit six figures like, I will feel so secure and amazing and I’ll be able to do any and everything I want. And I hit six figures and it was underwhelming and I still like, struggle with spending things, even if I had the numbers in front of me and it that I had it like, there’s still that… those old stories that it’s going to be taken away. What if I don’t make this much in the next few months, like really putting pressure on myself and feeling like, what if this is taken away? What if this is a fluke? What if- my average was 10 K for like six months straight and I was like, This is going to get taken away at any point, I’m going to go back to those 3K, 2K months and I’m going to have to go back to bartending like those stories come up and I have to talk myself down. But it’s like, kind of recognizing that that was happening. It has allowed me to really relax and just like, normalize it when it comes up and then just like, shut it down. 

 

Linzy [00:09:22] So what is a different way to think about it then. If we’d stop thinking about money in terms of when this happens, then this. Whatever our stories are and whatever the number is. If we let go of that kind of “milestones” idea, what’s another way that you find is more helpful to think about money and how it works? 

 

Jelisha [00:09:36] You’re more susceptible to falling into that if you don’t have a specific thing that is meaningful to you that you will be able to do or buy. It could even be just not working weekends or not working evenings, whatever it might be. There has to be something attached to the number or to getting 10 more clients or to making one hundred and fifty thousand. Like what is going to be different for you that is meaningful. And so I think for me, with the 6K, I was like, I would just have more shit and have more fun. I don’t know. Like, it was very random. But I just… I thought that that would just give me this like, I don’t know, this feeling of I don’t want to say invincibility, but I just thought it was going to be magical. It was just vague. I didn’t really have anything tied to it. So I think, like focusing on what is it, that you want to experience, and getting as specific as possible, like super specific. Not even just I want to take two vacations. How many days do I want to be on vacation and how many days, before I leave and after, do I want off? Because that lights me up. When I can have time to decompress before and after, not working immediately upon coming back. That, ooh, that is juicy. So like, I can… like… roll with that kind of goal, but it’s more specific. And it’s not just like this idea. And I think a lot of people- I don’t know if you resonate with that, like when you were maybe below 100K, and you’d like, hit that you were like, were you expecting like confetti? 

 

Linzy [00:11:07] Yeah, yeah. Confetti. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I think that it is underwhelming usually. I mean, but it depends on what you do with it, right? It’s underwhelming if, as you say, you’re just kind of vague about your idea of what it’s going to be like and you’re not specific, like what I’m hearing from you, I think, is make it special, make it specific, like have a specific reward that like really hits the spot for you. Because I think that we do live in this culture that gives us this idea that “money is” just makes you feel good by itself, just by virtue of having it. Like people who have a million dollars, feel so good every single day. That’s not true. It’s not true because nobody feels good every single day. So it’s like, what I’m hearing from you is with those milestones, if you want to make milestones special, attach something to it that actually makes it meaningful for you personally. 

 

Jelisha [00:11:54] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:11:54] Right. And so it could be, like you said, like this vacation that has a buffer on either side. Like that, for you, is especially delicious. Or for somebody, it could be like going to visit a family member in a specific place. Like really make it special because it’s not actually that special. 

 

Jelisha [00:12:09] It’s more like you are approaching it from the thing that you want. So rather than okay, when I get 100K, I’m going to do this, but I want to have two vacations that are seven days and I have maybe a week before off, or whatever it might be. And like, OK, how much more what I need to have or to save towards to do that thing working from that. But we’ll just grab these random milestones that society has told us, you know, when you hit this, you’ll make it. I’ll help you make six figures. And I mean, I said that myself working with therapists and I’ve been… like… kind of rethinking that because it’s, you know, and really try to talk about the things that I have been able to do upon making that much money more. 

 

Linzy [00:12:49] Yeah, because when the goalpost moves too, I think we’re also just like deferring, deferring our responsibility for being happy now. 

 

Jelisha [00:12:56] Ooh, yes. ooh. 

 

Linzy [00:12:58] Because I see that in the business world that I’m in now, which is kind of a little bit removed from the therapy world, like I’m now in the world of people where it’s like, well, you make six, so now you make seven. Now your goal is seven. It’s like, what? I just hit this goal. Now the goal is like that much bigger. And it’s like, that’s the new dream. When you hit seven, then life is easier. The reality is, when you have seven, this is what it actually looks like. You’ve a bunch of staff, you’ve bunch of responsibility. Now you have to make a bunch of money every month just to make sure everybody’s paid and everything’s running. And yes, you can bring home more money, but you also have a lot more work, right? And maybe you’re bringing home that more money. But if you’re not actually like building your life properly, you’re also more tired. You’re more stressed, right? Like, it’s not necessarily actually more happiness. It’s just more money. But yeah, I think that it is, in some ways, the story that we tell ourselves that means that we don’t have to worry about taking care of ourselves today. We’re going to do it later. I’m going to be happy later. I’m going to figure this out later. 

 

Jelisha [00:13:53] Totally. 

 

Linzy [00:13:54] And you were talking before we started recording. You were talking about this idea, instead of thinking about it in milestones, as like kind of this flow of money, money being something that flows, let’s… let’s dig into that. 

 

Jelisha [00:14:06] So when I’m talking about money flowing, literally, it might sound a little weird, but I think of myself as like a conduit for money. Not only do I have way less anxiety where I’m like hoarding money, but like I have a willingness and an enjoyment to spend money, to invest money. And even- I was even thinking about like, OK, with your course, Linzy, I invested money. I poured money into your business, but I was investing in myself at the same time. It was like this beautiful like mutuality, right? And you’re, I’m assuming, get joy out of helping people do this right? I think the willingness to pour that money out allows it to pour back into you and like believing that it will come to you. And I want to say, come back. I don’t want to say it like that because that has like a mentality like I gave something that is mine and it’s like, No, this money isn’t mine. It flows. I don’t know if that makes sense. 

 

Linzy [00:15:03] Totally. 

 

Jelisha [00:15:04] Thinking about it from that perspective, there’s just so much ease and it really gets rid of if you have any stories with money where you are afraid of not having enough or it getting taken away like I used to feel like something would always happen. My car. Like, there will always be something. I was in the hospital. Like just random stuff as soon as I got just like barely ahead. And just like ditching that has allowed this beautiful flow, which kind of speaks to the opportunities I was telling you about that have just like poured into my life. I’m like, not out here hustling. I’m really not. But I think it’s just like, you have to not only be willing to pour that out and to invest in yourself, but also to receive it. And a lot of times we’re like closing the doors to that. 

 

Linzy [00:15:51] Yeah, I mean, it does make me think of this thing that my own therapist has said to me before about like that money is energy, right? And so if you just think about it, as like money is almost like this temporary storage for that energy. Right. And so it’s like, we do this work and it’s work that we love and that’s its own reward, right? And so like, there’s this energy that we put in. Somebody else gives it back to us in the form of like money, which is also energy. But it’s like, what are we going to do with that to continue this positive flow of energy, right? It’s easy to like be like, I need to store that away and I can’t look at it and pretend it’s not there. And you know, saving is one thing if you have like this positive and it’s building something, but sometimes we can move into this hoarding and what you’re doing when you do that is you’re just like freezing that energy. Now that money’s not going to do anything for you. You’re just like taking this, this kind of gift that you are given and you’re leaving it to kind of stagnate. And that’s not always what saving is. Saving is great. But that can be the relationship that we have when we have more of, like a tightness or scarcity around it. 

 

Jelisha [00:16:48] Totally. 

 

Linzy [00:16:49] Right. So it sounds like more of this moving and and in that too, I think with the moving, what I love about that visual, Jelisha, is I do think it also addresses what you were just talking about of this fear of like something bad is going to happen because I’ve totally found myself thinking that too of like, what if I can’t work? And it’s like, Well, realistically, what is the scenario in which I can’t work? And even if I can’t work, eventually I’ll work again. I’ll have more energy. As long as I’m alive, I might just like, see two clients on the side, you know, when I’m not napping all day. But like like, I think that it also addresses the reality of like we’re people and we have energy and we do work that generates money. And like, as long as we’re alive, energy is going to to flow from us and we can use that to generate money, which then makes other things happen in our life. 

 

Jelisha [00:17:34] Totally. 

 

Linzy [00:17:35] Yeah, there’s just that flow of life and money is just part of that flow. 

 

Jelisha [00:17:39] Mm, yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:17:41] So thinking about this, I mean, this links to something else I wanted to talk to you about, which is about how we talk about money and the stories that we tell. So what is something that you’ve really noticed about those stories as you’ve done your money work over the years? What kind of advice would you give people about the way that we talk about money? 

 

Jelisha [00:17:58] I would say it sounds so simple, but like, watch your mouth. Really the language that you use is just as important as learning management skills and systems. Like it’s just as important. And it actually can get in the way of implementing and I think, sticking to those systems and then helping you. And so something as simple as I’m broke. I’m too broke to do that. I can’t afford it. Even if you really feel like you can’t, do not use that language. And so I mean, one of my favorite replacements for I can’t afford it is I’m prioritizing other things right now. I’m prioritizing something else, or that is not a priority right now. And that “right now” is important, too, because it’s just not right now. Not yet. It’s not like a closed door. And so just like realizing, I think I got this, maybe from Denise Duffield, one of her books when I started to really think about language and how I talked about myself and money and how all of my friends did too. And I was constantly hearing that, and I’m I was like in the creative world and have a lot of actors and creative friends and you know, where we all were kind of prideful about like, I’m a struggling artist and, you know, like, this is just supposed to be hard and whatever. But like we would constantly like, I’m broke, oh so broke, or we’re too broke to do that, can’t go here, we can’t go on vacation for more than two days and like just all these things and so like that language, you, the more you say it and the more you hear it, the more you believe it. And so you’ve got to do some reframing around that, and it’s something that you have to be conscious about at first. But it feels different to say, I’m not prioritizing this course right now. I’m prioritizing something else versus I can’t afford it. I’m too broke. 

 

Linzy [00:19:46] Well, and that’s such an empowered way to say it. To say, like, you know, this isn’t a priority for me right now. I’m putting my money somewhere else right now. Because the truth is you are, unless you literally don’t have a dollar. But like most of us in this field, you are putting your money somewhere, whether that’s that you’re putting towards buying good food or something for your kid or you’re saving money instead, you’re doing something with your money. And I think that that phrase acknowledges that. Rather than this just like disempowered kind of like, I don’t have it. Because if you really wanted it, you would have it. You’d find it. You’d take it from something else, or you’d take debt. 

 

Jelisha [00:20:24] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:20:24] But you know, it is also a reflection of what is important to you because we it is amazing what we can find money for. 

 

Jelisha [00:20:31] Oh my gosh. I was just thinking that. All the times my car broke down. 

 

Linzy [00:20:36] Yes,. 

 

Jelisha [00:20:36] I’m like all of this, I was able to figure it out. 

 

Linzy [00:20:39] Found the money? Yes. Whereas like I find, for me, you know, this is a struggle here for me where I know like humans are not logical, right? So this is the lovely thing about us is we make no sense an area where I find I’m selectively broke because that’s what it’s about, right? It’s being selectively broke. Or we’re having a hard time spending money is really what it is. Is I’ll notice like for me, like clothes, I’ll really kind of like drag my feet on, like replacing something like and I had a conversation with my partner, which then my friend was like, I just had the same conversation, where he was like, You need new underwear. Like, What are you doing? And I was like, Yeah, I know. For me, and this is my own stuff, right, there’s some sort of barrier to buying clothes. I’m always kind of trying to like, I’ll do it later. Kind of part of it is I hate clothes. I’m tall, I have big feet. There’s just things that make it hard to buy clothes. But also, it’s just that for some reason in my head, there’s this barrier that makes it feel like hard to prioritize that in my budget. And that’s what the reality is. I’m not prioritizing my budget because I’ll spend $600 a month on therapy. I can find that. That’s no question when I make my budget that I’m going to budget that six hundred. You know, a new pair of underwear, like a set of underwear is maybe like thirty five dollars, right? 

 

Jelisha [00:21:48] Oh, that’s such a great example. 

 

Linzy [00:21:50] And it’s totally illogical. Like, is there anything like that in your world that you can think of that is like hard to spend money on where you feel like you don’t have the money, but it would show up for something else. 

 

Jelisha [00:21:58] Honestly, I don’t want to sound like I’m copying you, but I sooo resonate with what you said about clothes. I hate shopping. I might go shopping like once a year and I’ll like, kind of do bulk. I just don’t enjoy it. I wear a lot of the same stuff. That’s something I definitely struggle with. I mean, jeans, I’ve gained weight like, I’ve gained weight and I’m just like, This is the new Jelisha. I need to buy new jeans and I haven’t done it. 

 

Linzy [00:22:20] I know. Personal shoppers. We need personal shoppers. I think that’s the solution here. So for people who are listening right now who are- maybe this, this is new to them talking about money, thinking about money. They know they want to work on money, but they don’t really know where to start. What would be like some advice that you would give them on, like a nice starting place to start to improve their relationship to money? 

Jelisha [00:22:44] Something that’s really simple and actually I think can be a fun little project is creating what I call passive reminders. And so basically, we’re trying to shift from I’m broke and struggling, making money is hard to how you want to feel and what you will be experiencing once you get that healthier relationship. And so when I say passive reminders, I mean, what’s on your screen of your phone, of your computer, on your desktop? I changed my to a beach and I just moved in to an apartment that is two blocks from the beach, everybody, and I’m freaking thrilled. Literally, I have dreamed of living by the beach, and I put that on my screensaver years ago when I started doing this work, so I had pictures of money like just gold on my phone screensaver. Just find some pictures that show what you want to have, what you will be able to experience, or pictures that when you look at them, it induces a really good feeling. And the beach has always done that for me. And so by seeing these things passively, it makes it seem more realistic and more possible. It’s kind of like what we were saying with the language. If you continue to say I’m broke I’m broke I’m broke, you probably, you know, like, that’s not helping you. And so this is a way of just kind of seeing that over time, all the time, it will become easier. Even like I used to feel a lot of shame, I’ll say, around like wanting to make six figures and just kind of it felt so unrealistic, first of all, but there’s something about- I remember I used to whisper it, like I wouldn’t want to say how much I was making, like even, you know, and I think you know that working with therapists, right? Not wanting to talk about money because it’s rude or whatever. And so there’s something about even like making your password, maybe six seven figures with some other stuff attached to it, whatever. But like, there’s something about like typing that out that it made it easier over time to say it and to own it and to, like, not apologize. I’m like, Yeah, Hell Yes, I want to make seven- however much- I want to make more money. I want to take more vacations. I want to work less, you know, whatever it is. And so like there’s something about setting up some kind of visuals passively where you just encounter them regularly. So we’re mostly interacting with our phone or computer, passwords, those are kind of the three things that I did, and it really made a difference in how I felt about the things that I wanted. But also it just seemed more realistic. I was like, Oh, this is possible alongside doing the other work, right? But it’s an easy start, I think, and it’s fun too. 

 

Linzy [00:25:21] Yeah, it sounds like it’s a way to kind of almost like subliminally get yourself used to wanting things, normalizing your desires. Like, like you said, I feel like so many therapists – I don’t feel like, I know so many therapists have shame around what they want because we’re helpers and we’re told to be helpers. And many of us are women and people of color. And like, we’ve been told that what we want is not important and we’re not supposed to want it. We’re supposed to help. Right. And you know, we’ve gotten into this profession because we have those traits. So what I’m hearing is just like creating an environment that just lets you really own and get used to what you want. It’s OK to want those things and normalizing what you want. And I love that and I love how specific that beach image is because for me, I immediately go to like what I would put on my phone. And it’s very different than yours because beaches, sand, sun – I’m gesturing to my my pale complexion right now, for those who are listening on the podcast, I’m not made for that shit, it doesn’t go well – but for me, it’s like a little cottage, like a cottage office in a backyard. In England, they have these like – I watch lots of gardening shows and people have these gorgeous little gardens. It’s like a whole yard that’s all flowers and then at the back, there’s their perfect little cabin where it’s like their little studio or their office. And like that for me, is it. I’ve wanted that for so long, and that’s the image of me on my phone, and I’m actually in the works of actually having that built. We’re like consulting with architects, like getting plans for, who’s going to do that for us. And that is my thing, right? So it’s so personal. And you know, you and I would take the same money and spend it differently because of what brings joy into our lives. I love how specific that suggestion is. Figure out what, how money can bring joy into your world, specifically. 

 

Jelisha [00:27:01] Yeah, I love that. Yes, yes, yes. 

 

Linzy [00:27:04] So thank you so much, Jelisha. I love talking with you, and I loved working with you as a student. I loved when you coached in my course and you’re always doing the coolest shit. So thank you so much for coming on and talking with me today. 

 

Jelisha [00:27:17] Thank you so much, Linzy. I had a ball. 

 

Linzy [00:27:20] And now we got to tell people where to find you. 

 

Jelisha [00:27:22] Yeah, if you’re – I’m assuming – therapists listening, you can find me on savingthesaver. Not savior. Saver. Dot com. Or @savingthesaver on Instagram. So that’s my handle. 

 

Linzy [00:27:34]  And for those who might be interested in getting more into your world, do you have any freebies out there or any offers coming that they can keep their eyes peeled for? 

 

Jelisha [00:27:43] Yeah, actually, if you go on my Instagram right now, I have a freebie I just created that has money leaks that you are probably overlooking in your business. There’s like six big ones that I keep seeing in a lot of the therapist practices that I work with, and I think it’s pretty valuable. And so check it out if you are wondering as you’re doing this work, it’s just nice to look at how you can be bringing more money in and receiving more money that isn’t just tied to getting more clients. So that’s what this freebie is about. 

 

Linzy [00:28:13] Awesome. So those links are in the show notes, and you can check them out to get more into Jelisha world, which I highly recommend you do, that’s a good life choice. And thanks so much again, Jelisha for coming in today. 

 

Jelisha [00:28:23] Thanks. 

 

Linzy [00:28:40] Jelisha shared so, so, so many helpful tips and tricks throughout this episode. I love this image that she has of money flowing and the ease that that brings, that it opens the possibilities of what are the ways that money can also flow to you and needing to be open to receive that flow, as well as being willing to spend money and let go of it. That’s such a beautiful, liberating image. Jelisha is so empowered about money. Something that I notice, reflecting on this episode, is how energizing it is to talk to her just listening to my own energy. I had so much fun recording this episode with her, and I will say that we did make a clothing pact after this episode, since we both identified that that is an area that we both struggle with spending and Jelisha nailed it. She completed the pact. She got all sorts of great clothes, and I kind of sort of nailed it. It’s still a work in progress. Humans, we are interesting creatures. There’s always more work to do around money and everything, really. If you would like more free money content about private practice specifically, check us out on Instagram. You can follow me @moneynutsandbolts. And if you are interested and really digging in and working on your relationship to money and also building a clear system to get money working for you in your private practice, that’s exactly what we do in Money Skills For Therapists. The link to the waitlist is in the show notes. We are going to be raising the price of the course in 2022. We’re raising our fee, like I suggest you all do from time to time. It’s part of a healthy business. So this is your chance to get in at 2021 pricing. You can buy the course now at 2021 pricing, but not start until 2022. So you don’t need to start over the holidays when things are always a little bit chaotic and a little out of routine. You can pay in 2021 if you decide to buy when we open the course doors, and start in 2022. So the way to hear about that is to get on our waitlist. The link is in the show notes. Thanks so much for listening today. 

 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Becoming the CEO of Your Practice Coaching Session

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Becoming the CEO of Your Practice Coaching Session

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Ready to get your finances really working for you in your practice and your life? This episode is brought to you by Money Skills for Therapists, my signature course that takes therapists and health practitioners from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. Get on the waitlist for the Money Skills For Therapists course, and lock in the 2021 rate before the price changes on January 1st!

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Erin [00:00:01] We’re just not at that point right now, which is great, and we will get there, but for a foundational place, the financial piece of it is fine. It’s OK right now. It feels really good to think about it that way. 

 

Linzy [00:00:15] 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 today’s episode. Today’s episode of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast is brought to you by my course, Money Skills For Therapists. Surprise, surprise. This is your chance to get on the waitlist to lock in 2021 pricing. We are increasing our price in 2022, as I suggest all therapists and health practitioners do from time to time. And if you’ve been thinking about Money Skills For Therapists, if you’re curious about the course, get on the waitlist now so that when we open the doors with our 2021 pricing, you have a chance to get in. The link is in my bio. This is my step by step course that walks you through my signature framework to take you from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence. I walk you through setting up an actual system that you’ll actually be using to make your private practice work for you, as well as giving you lots of support and mindset work to help you shift your emotional relationship to money. So if you’re interested in the course, get on the waitlist now. The link is in the show notes. 


Linzy [00:01:30] So my guest today is Erin Iwanusa. Erin is a grad of Money Skills For Therapists. She’s a group practice owner, and today we dug into the coaching topic of when do you decide to bring more staff into your group practice? Now, although Erin is a group practice owner and a lot of what we talk about might seem specific to group practice, it absolutely is not. This is a great episode to help you think about how bringing on help, whether as a group practice owner who’s hiring therapists or an administrator, or as a solo practitioner who might be hiring a VA or contracting out some work. How to think about those financial decisions when you’re trading your money for somebody else’s time and freeing up time for the things that only you can do. We get into some CEO mindset pieces of making sure that you are focusing on only the things that you can do. This is a great episode if you find yourself struggling to spend money, but also a great episode if you find yourself really uncomfortable with where you are right now in your practice, if you’re in a growth stage, you feel like you’re like a little bit midair, you’re still putting down the foundation and you’re not sure if this is going to work. This is a great episode in learning how to tolerate those feelings, but also making sure you’re making the strategic moves so that your discomfort is going to pay off. Here’s Erin Iwanusa. 

 

Linzy [00:03:07] So thank you for coming on today, Erin, welcome. 

 

Erin [00:03:10] Thank you. Of course. 

 

Linzy [00:03:12] So Erin, you are a grad of Money Skills For Therapists, going back a few months now. Tell me, if you can take yourself back to that time, what made you decide to join the course? 

 

Erin [00:03:23] I joined- I think I joined November or December of 2020, and I was growing from an individual practitioner into a group practice, and I had already made my first hire- hiring a therapist. And I think I really just kind of wanted that clarity around how do we manage our money in private practice? Am I even just doing it correctly? Because we don’t get any of those courses when we’re in grad school. And so that’s really kind of what inspired me to join the course was to make sure that I was just sort of managing the money correctly and having a sense of money that was coming in, money that was going out, and then how do I navigate a group practice financially as well. 

 

Linzy [00:04:06] Yeah. So you were kind of at this transition point. Like you both wanted to know that you were doing it, but also you were growing. And then coming into what you want to talk about today. You’re still growing. 

 

Erin [00:04:17] Still growing. Yes. So since finishing up the course, I’ve hired another therapist. She’s been with me for a bit now. I have a full time assistant. I took on a grad student intern. We’ve actually just rented another office, a second location. I mean, we’re sort of going to see what happens. One of my therapists doesn’t live in New York City. And so it just sort of made sense to give her her own office space. And so we’re looking to hire a couple more folks out there. So we’re growing both office space as well as numbers of of employees. It feels like a lot. 

 

Linzy [00:04:53] Yes, those decisions, Erin, just so I kind of understand your process. How did you know it was time and how did you decide to make your next hire and get that office space? 

 

Erin [00:05:03] That’s a good question. I love working with younger therapists and providing education and training and support because I think we obviously get a lot of that in grad school. And then you sort of get thrown into the real, the real world, and you’re expected to still learn. But I think there can be more learning opportunities early in our career. And so my sort of vision of the practice was to provide those opportunities to therapists. And so my goal is to really kind of step back from the therapist. And I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m really kind of I’m enjoying the supervision and training and consulting and that sort of side of it. And so ultimately, my goal is to be able to take on that role and have therapists see the clients and work with them. So that was sort of the vision. But you know, as a sole practitioner, we want to have a family. I want to take ample maternity leave. And when we take that time off, it’s just sort of unpaid time where you have to save for it properly. And so maybe it was even a little bit out of my own anxiety, if you will, of ‘I don’t want to not get paid for X amount of time’. And so can I hire people who can kind of keep the practice going while I’m doing some personal things? 

 

Linzy [00:06:24] Yeah, like I’m hearing two sides to that. One is that you really enjoy like the mentorship and consultation, and that’s work that feeds you. And so like kind of maybe moving out of therapy works, which I’m sure also feeds you. But I know I’ve made this switch myself. I actually just shut down my private practice two weeks ago. Sometimes you kind of just grow in different directions and you can’t do it all. So I’m hearing that is kind of part of your professional trajectory, but then also building an income stream for yourself that’s not just “butts and seats” is kind of the term, right? Not just you see clients one on one. 

 

Erin [00:06:53] Exactly. 

 

Linzy [00:06:54] So that’s kind of what has led you to this place of growing this business the way that you are. Tell me about kind of where you are now in terms of decision making and what’s challenging. 

 

Erin [00:07:03] Right now, I know that we’re in a place where my expenses are a little bit higher than I would like them to be because we’re in sort of that funny growth phase. And I know that bringing on a few extra people down the road will mitigate that. But I think part of it, too, is I do all of my own bookkeeping. I actually still, I use your spreadsheet from the course. And I keep seeing that number of, you know, your target operating expenses should be 30 percent, but mine are higher than 30 percent. I think I look today and for the full year it was, I’m at 42 percent. And so that number makes me feel uneasy, right? Like, am I spending too much? And then if I bring on a new hire, of course, that’s- you have to spend money initially to bring them on board. And so maybe it’s also understanding, how do you really know when you’re ready to make that next step? Like, how do you sort of know financially? I recently made- my assistant went from hourly to full time and I thought, you know, and I think I will have enough money as the time goes on, but it’s that worry and it’s that anxiety. Do I have sort of the reserve right now? And especially since summer is often really slow, having that faith that things will pick up in September. But yeah, I think that’s the big thing. How do you know you’re ready to have a new hire? How do you know you’re ready to, financially, to have a new therapist? 

 

Linzy [00:08:37] Yes, right. And I would think about kind of having a new therapist differently from having like a VA or like an H.R. support person or something else you mentioned thinking about. Because they have a very different kind of impact in your business, right? Your VA is also going to help you to bring in more revenue, but not in the way that a therapist would like having a new therapist working for you, they’re going to have some sort of income arrangement with you were basically every time they work an hour, they get some money and you get some money. Where your VA is more of that like foundational fixed expense and they’re kind of helping you run the machine. But they might also have some duties that are about helping you get more money in the door. So that’s I guess my first question to you. Thinking about this full time promotion that you gave to your VA is: does your VA contribute at all to helping more money come in the door? What is their role for you? 

 

Erin [00:09:26] You know, that’s actually- yes, that’s a good question. So I mean, he doesn’t actively seek out potential clients, but he will do sort of all of the onboarding if we get a new referral he sort of links them to the right therapist. He does all the scheduling. He gets them uploaded into Therapy Notes and all that stuff. So he he takes care of all of that administrative onboarding. But that’s actually a really good question. I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about that. Like, what is the money that he’s bringing in into the practice? Because I guess other than that right now…

 

Linzy [00:10:02] Yeah, and that might be fine. But you know, with those full time hours that he has, are all of his hours filled up or are there more tasks that he could be doing that could help him bring a bit more money into your practice? 

 

Erin [00:10:15] There are more tasks that he could do, and I made him full time because he certainly has enough to do. But also very little of it is sort of urgent, like you have to do this now. It’s it’s more things that we can just get done when we need to get them done. Like one of the tasks I gave him this week is I sort of had this giant stack of papers that I have been sitting on literally since grad school. And my goal has been, I want to create, you know, sort of this therapist library, virtual library almost of I need a great example of a safety plan. Go there. I sort of handed that to him and said, create the virtual library. Doesn’t have to be done tomorrow, but it’s also something to do. So I guess that’s a long winded answer to say that he does have hours we could do something, but I don’t even I’m kind of drawing a blank even on what he could do that would bring money into the practice. 

 

Linzy [00:11:05] Yeah, there’s this question, Erin. Like, I think as you’re thinking about growth and we do get to these uncomfortable places, and I’ve been in one many times this year, we’re kind of like, Shit I’m really putting money in right now, and I hope that I get the money back, right. And I think that’s the way to think about is kind of like your return on investment. Right? We’re putting money out in the business with the anticipation that it’s going to help us bring more money in so that we’re like paying for that person or paying for that expense, plus getting extra money on top of it that we could use to then like run the business or pay ourselves more or invest in another way in the business to help the business grow. Right. And so whenever I’m thinking about kind of expanding my team, it’s about like, are they going to be bringing in more money into the door than it’s costing me to have them right? And that doesn’t necessarily mean directly, like I said, like a therapist is very direct. It’s like, they work an hour, they make money for your business. Your VA is not going to be so obvious. But in terms of being at this place you are now where you’ve put out this money, that would be one question I have is how can you make it so that this promotion of your VA also helps to grow your practice? What are the tasks that he could be doing that would make it just so obvious that that extra time he’s putting in is good for your business? 

 

Erin [00:12:18] Right. I’ve thought of it more in terms of the amount of free time that he has given me that I don’t have to do. It’s actually- we were sort of joking the other day that I forget what task he was doing, but I think it was just sort of getting consent forms and order. And he was like, This is a lot. Or organizing insurance information. And I sort of laughed like, Yeah, I used to do this kind of by myself when you started. Thinking about the hours that we put in early on. And so I’ve sort of thought of return on investment of what he has sort of given me personally. And so then what I can do. That frees up my time to make more money for the business. 

 

Linzy [00:12:56] Yeah. Thank you so much for saying that because that is the other kind of more direct is he’s buying back your time. So what are the things that he’s taking off your plate, which means that you can either see a client and and bring that much more money in, or you can be doing the other things in the business that only you can do right, like consulting with your staff, growing the business, being the visionary, appearing on podcasts. There’s all these things that when we run a business, when we’re more like in that CEO role and there are people who are working for us, there’s things that only you can do, right? So that is something that he’s obviously giving you by being full time is giving you the time to do those things that only you can do. So same question then, Erin, but looking at you, now that he’s given you back this time, what can you be doing to help the business be growing in the way you want it to grow? 

 

Erin [00:13:45] I think it’s funny, actually, you said CEO, and that was sort of an unexpected bonus byproduct of your course was I definitely left feeling- it was more than just the financial piece. I really started to understand that shift from therapist to CEO. And I think still a mindset I’m working on. It’s not always, always present, but that was a really nice shift also. And thinking that, as the CEO, yeah, what are your tasks? What are your visions? What do you want to do? I think I like that idea of him buying back my time. I’ve really enjoyed sort of diving into some of those other things that we often don’t get to do. I think, often, this was at least a mindset that I had before group practice is, as a therapist you’re fee for service, you only get paid for the hour that you’re seeing somebody. And any other time, it always just sort of felt like I’m just giving of my time. And even though I sort of knew logically like, no, this is part of the fee. This is part of the work. It felt, I think, so much more draining. And so then I didn’t kind of have that energy to, say, learn more about marketing or do things like be on a podcast, or start a podcast, or work on a blog, or do some writing, work on some trainings that I’ve always wanted to kind of work on, and whether or not I actually give the training right, it’s just kind of getting those ideas out there. So I think really being able to sort of have the energy and the mental space to look at, what do I want my practice to really look like, what is sort of my practice message, if you will, to my community? How do I market? What does marketing look like other than, you know, sitting on an insurance panel and talking to your neighbors in the in your office space? And so I think that’s been really helpful to think about. That’s the time that I’ve gotten back. I can kind of grow in ways that I hadn’t thought of before. 

 

Linzy [00:15:42] Right. Yeah. And I think then, Erin, you know, in terms of this question of getting your return, it’s like doing those things. Because then, as we know, what there is to do and I think you’re doing a lot of those things, but thinking about if you’re noticing this kind of discomfort in yourself and part of it is the summer slowdown, but you’re seeing like, OK, you just outlaid this like extra expense, you’re thinking about maybe bringing on some more therapists. It’s like, are you doing the things that you need to be doing as as the CEO of your practice to make sure that you are getting return on investment and your business is growing in the way that you want it to grow? 

 

Erin [00:16:15] Right. And I think what’s also kind of scary about that is, in order for me to do that, I do have to get rid of clients. And so there’s this funny balance almost of, OK, well, I’m putting a little bit more money out, but I personally am also going to be bringing in a little bit less. And so, that can be sort of a scary number or whether or not it’s actually you see it sort of in the numbers or you just kind of feel it like I am actually bringing in a little bit less money and my expenses are going up with the hope that I will be able to fill my therapist’s case loads and they’ll end up doing all of that work and bringing in that money. But in that sort of funny transition period, it’s a little scary. 

 

Linzy [00:17:00] It is. It is. Yeah, and like a visual for that, that one of my business friends and I talk about is it’s kind of like when you’re, if you’re like an acrobat on the trapeze and it’s like you’ve had this way of doing things, that was the trapeze you were holding onto. But now you’re ready to transition to, in your case, group practice and having it where your therapist, who you’re supporting are the ones who are really generating the revenue for the business. And so you’re having to let go of that trapeze of you being the income generator, you being the one who drove money coming in the door, but you’re not quite at that place yet where your employees are replacing that. And so you’re kind of mid air. 

 

Erin [00:17:38] Yeah, that’s a great image. That’s exactly how it feels right now. 

 

Linzy [00:17:42] It’s not comfortable being mid-air. 

 

Erin [00:17:44] No, it’s it’s not. 

 

Linzy [00:17:46] And I think a lot of therapists and health practitioners, when we do try to make these kinds of transitions- because there’s something very safe about therapy, it’s like especially when you’re an established therapist, like when I was running my practice, it’s like I knew I could be full all the time. So it was just depended on how many sessions a week I wanted to work and how much I wanted to charge, and that was basically a fixed income. Once you’re established, but now you’re moving into this new space where it’s learning, right, and there’s sometimes like a slog that can come with newness. It’s not your natural, comfortable way of being. And there is a gap in income. Yes, in that bit of space. 

 

Erin [00:18:21] Yes, there is. There is. Well, and I will say, I think I am grateful that I have a partner who has a full time job, who has a salary, who has health insurance. And so he and I have talked a lot like worst case scenario, it would be tight, right? But we have his salary, we have his income with that intention of knowing that, you know, over time, my business will grow and will expand. But we have been able when the business was financially – personally, when I was an individual and sort of making more to set aside in savings and do all of that – I have that to lean back on right now, but it also makes me really- I don’t like dipping into it, you know, I’m like, No, that’s my it’s not an emergency yet. That’s my emergency fund. And it’s not. I know it’ll be just fine. But I think even seeing that, like if I need to even dip into it a tiny bit and seeing that number go down just a little bit, it brings up some anxiety. For me, it does. 

 

Linzy [00:19:16] And are these your personal savings you’re talking about or savings in the business? 

 

Erin [00:19:19] Both. 

 

Linzy [00:19:20] Both? 

 

Erin [00:19:20] Yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:19:21] Yeah. And I think that’s, you know, something to be to be curious about because this this is also part of growth. It’s not linear. That’s it, basically, growth is not linear, especially when you’re doing what you’re doing. So, you know, getting an office for your employee, promoting your your VA. What you’re doing is you’re essentially you’re increasing your fixed business expenses each month. Even though the income hasn’t quite caught up yet. And by increasing those expenses, you’re laying a foundation. There’s supports there. And then there’s like literally a room, right, that your therapist can work in. There’s resources to make your your business really work, but there’s a bit of lag on return, and that’s pretty normal. So my question with this, Erin, is what are you doing or what can you do to make sure you get the return on these investments? What are your key action items that you know need to happen to make this work financially? 

 

Erin [00:20:14] I don’t know if this is quite the answer, but one of one of the things that I think is kind of getting me through is I know that come September, after Labor Day, things really, really pick up. And so I’m thinking about three new hires – three new therapists – and they’ll all start after September, you know, because we’ll be able to actually easily kind of give them a full caseload if they want it. Whereas right now, I think bringing on someone now would be, you know, the cases just aren’t there right now. August is very slow. So that mindset is sort of helping me get there. But actually, though, maybe that does kind of answer your question because I think what I’m doing right now is I’m actually for the first time taking like a mini sabbatical that actually starts in two days and it’s really just a sabbatical. It’s through Labor Day, so it’s just about a month, but it’s really just a sabbatical from seeing clients and instead sort of doing that work of onboarding and marketing and really kind of thinking about kind of the larger vision of the business and thinking about what are those ways that I can actively grow and bring in revenue and bring in clients. So having that time and that space to just be able to do that. 

 

Linzy [00:21:26] Yeah, which is awesome. Like, that’s a huge action step you’ve taken already, like taking that much time away from client time. What I’m hearing and when you’re in your practice, the thing you do need to do, is you need to fill up your clinicians. That’s the business you’ve built. You know, your group practice is based on your clinicians being as full as they want to be, or whatever your agreement with them is, and then bringing on more clinicians as you have more demand. And so if you think about the fact that you’re about to take a month off to focus on that, on your marketing, and I would also think too like coming into September and knowing that you might want to bring on three more therapists and things are very busy. I also wonder what kind of foundational work you and your VA can be doing to just kind of like, be ready. If there’s anything that needs to happen. There might not be. Your systems might already be ready. But is there anything else to kind of like prepare for the September influx? 

 

Erin [00:22:19] I mean, I think that’s been kind of a big thing that he and I have worked on is we have the system in place, but I think it’s just that final step of really solidifying it. I will every so often still get that, you know, that email or that text message of, what are we doing here again? Or how do I talk to this person? And it’s rare, but I think really kind of using this time to solidify, here are all of our protocols, here are all of our procedures, here’s an employee handbook. I think things like that will be really helpful. 

 

Linzy [00:22:51] They are really helpful. So it’s like getting your SOPs in place, your standard operating procedures, so there’s a way that things are done. And even if your VA is not available, or even if your VA stops working with you, somebody else can just pick those up and do those things. Yeah, it’s those systems, Erin, that like your brain power, you and your VA together, building those systems. The word I keep using is foundation because you are, you’re at this stage of really building up the foundation. But once you have that foundation, then it’s just like, just follow the system. Use the marketing systems that you’ve developed. When clients come in, you know exactly where you go. You know exactly how they’re assigned to somebody. You know exactly how they get on their schedule and having that flow in place. When you think about this idea, first of all, does that resonate with you, the idea that you’re in this kind of foundation building place? 

 

Erin [00:23:35] Yes. Yes, absolutely. 

 

Linzy [00:23:37] You know, when you think about that, that that’s kind of your project right now. How does that make you feel about the possibility for growth? 

 

Erin [00:23:45] It actually makes me feel a lot better. It sort of takes the pressure off a little bit and it sort of feels like right. We’re not there. We’re just not at that point right now, which is great and fine, and we will get there. But for a foundational place, the financial piece of it is fine. It’s OK right now. It feels really good to think about it that way. 

 

Linzy [00:24:04] Yeah. You are in a different role now. I know you are still also seeing clients and doing that therapy work, but you are now building something much bigger than a one on one practice. So there’s more kind of like stages to that development and more of that work that only you can do. Erin, I’m curious, how much time are you giving to like running the practice and being the CEO of the practice versus seeing clients at this time? 

 

Erin [00:24:25] So I’ve decreased my caseload. I’m now seeing- I’m probably seeing about 10 clients a week. I love seeing clients and that was sort of one of my- my goal in building a group practice was not to stop seeing clients completely. You know, whether that looks like 2 clients, whether that looks like… well probably never, I don’t know if it’ll be up to 20 clients again… but you know, no matter how sort of small it is, I do always want to see clients. I enjoy that work, so I’ve really cut back, I will say, over the course of the summer. Or finding ways to even transition some of my clients to the therapists on my team, knowing if it feels like a good fit. And so far, everyone who has switched to a different therapist has been a good fit and so they stay within the practice, but they’re just not seeing me. So, yeah, I’ve cut it down to about 10 clients and then the rest of the time during the week is spent doing the other stuff, all the other stuff that comes with that. 

 

Linzy [00:25:21] Great. The next thing that I would encourage you to think about is actually running the numbers to understand when you add a therapist to your practice, how much do they cost you and how much could they be potentially bringing in to the practice itself, like after they get paid, what does it mean and understanding those numbers. Do you have clarity on those numbers right now? 

 

Erin [00:25:39] I actually, I don’t. I did it once, I ran those numbers with my accountant. I had just hired my second therapist, and so she hadn’t yet brought in any income. And I know we were still in the positive, which was good. But that is something I actually don’t have a lot of clarity on and often even sort of kind of struggle with how to do that. What do we- this might sound like a silly question, right? But like how what do we count as expenses, right? Or how many expenses are there because I’ve hired you? Or even just kind of getting clarity on, you know, I paid my malpractise insurance yesterday and as you add clinicians, of course it goes up, but how much do I cost right to insure myself versus how much does it cost for us? I don’t have a lot of clarity on that. 

 

Linzy [00:26:25] As a CEO, that would be an excellent use of your time is to take the time – and asking your VA for help on that project because when we do projects like this, we don’t have to do all of it. You can say to your VA, Can you look into that malpractise insurance and see how much does it cost when and I add each clinician? And start to understand what are those kind of variable expenses? And then also what are just like the fixed expenses? So it’s like you’re getting an office for the three new clinicians you’re bringing on. So those three people that cost of the office is kind of split between the three of them. And running those numbers on a spreadsheet and playing with them too. And seeing like, OK, so if my clinicians are seeing 50 percent of their caseload, how much do they bring in? How much do they cost me? Like, what does that mean each month? Because it’s helpful to see that, Erin, because I think with group practice, there can be this, what is like a false belief of more is better. Adding people is definitely profitable, and I’ve definitely worked with group practice owners before – and thankfully I don’t think you’re one of them – who are losing money on group practice, right? And so getting super clear on those numbers is going to help you make those really informed decisions to understand. And what is maybe like the sweet spot in your practice were like, OK, if I get up to six, I have the perfect amount of offices. This is what it costs me when I expand and I get up to seven and I have to add more office space, suddenly it gets more expensive again. Like there might be some some kind of like almost little plateaus like that, that you can notice, but you’re going to get that through playing with your numbers and like really getting real and taking that little bit of time to do the research to understand what are these therapists costing you and what are they bringing into your business? 

 

Erin [00:27:50] It’s really helpful. You know, it makes me think of, this is sort of a slight tangent, but early on in the course, you talked about having sort of that money time or that money date with yourself and scheduling it. And so I made my Friday mornings and it’s funny how quickly that becomes a habit in both sort of a really helpful way, but also I could be using that time more effectively. I’m at a place where I’m just sort of it’s routine, great. Do my money time, OK, move on. And this is sort of really getting me to think about how else I can use that time. Like I already have that time blocked in my schedule. So why not use that for what is the income versus output? So that’s that’s very helpful to think about that and already knowing I have time set aside to do that. So adding that into my money time. 

 

Linzy [00:28:39] Yes, because your money time, you’ve now got the foundational things in place. You’re doing the basic moving around and you set up your system and, you know, kind of what dollars you need to assign to what jobs. But now, as you think about growing, yeah, this is putting on your CEO hat. And thinking about because you want to go somewhere really projecting forward to understanding what would it mean if… dot dot dot. That’s my homework I’m giving you. 

 

Erin [00:29:03] I like that. It’s good homework. It’s very good homework. 

 

Linzy [00:29:07] So, Erin, coming to the end of our podcast recording today, what are you taking away from our conversation? 

 

Erin [00:29:12] I think the big thing I’m taking away is I’m feeling much more grounded and less worried, both in that sort of naming where I am in my growth and kind of building the foundation, and what to expect when we build a foundation. And I think I’m leaving feeling like if we do take time building that foundation, then return on investment right down the road, it’s going to look so much better. I like thinking about the tasks: what can my VA do to make it very clear that he is bringing in money. And then really understanding what does it cost to have an employee and what are they bringing in to the practice? That’s very helpful. 

 

Linzy [00:29:51] Great. Thank you so much, Erin, for joining me today. 

 

Erin [00:29:53] Thank you for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:30:10] In that session with Erin, there are a couple of things that stick out, which are both analogies. One is Erin is at a foundation building place in her practice, and that is where so many of us are in private practice, where we are putting money out. We are putting the things in place that will make the practice work and thrive. But it may not be quite working and thriving yet. That’s where that second analogy comes into play about being mid-air. It can really feel uncomfortable to be in that place. Truly, it is a lot to tolerate. And that is really the emotional side of this piece is tolerating those emotions of being in a little bit of a riskier position, spending money and hoping that that return comes back. And that’s where really making sure that you’re making decisions that will make that return on investment happen are important. But largely it’s just making sure that you’re going to be making decisions that are logical and not emotional decisions because you’re uncomfortable. Sometimes we can make quick, anxious decisions when we’re in these uncomfortable places trying to fix the situation, and we’re really trying to fix the feeling by making financial decisions. But learning to tolerate the feeling, acknowledge the feeling, taking care of yourself within that feeling, can go a long way to make sure that, like Erin, you feel more grounded again and like you can make these decisions from an informed and grounded place. That’s where the other piece comes into play, which was that piece about getting more clarity on our actual numbers. That emotional piece is the being mid-air. But there are actually tangible things that Erin and anybody who’s in this kind of growing, building, is-this-going-to-work place can do, which is start to really get familiar with their numbers and think through, OK, if this plays out this way, what does this mean? If I put in this money here and reasonably give me this return? What would that mean for my business? Really getting grounded in the numbers means that rather than making emotional decisions, you’re making decisions that are strategic and make sense for your business. 

Linzy [00:32:14] To get more free private practice money content, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. And if you are interested, like Erin, in really digging in and building a different relationship with money, the waitlist for Money Skills For Therapists is the place for you to be. I’ve got the link in the show notes. We are going to be raising the price of the course in 2022, as I suggest that all therapists and health practitioners do from time to time –  you need to raise your fees. And this is your chance to get on the waitlist and you’re going to hear about it when we open the course at the end of 2021, so you can lock in 2021 pricing. We’re even going to let you start the course in 2022, so you don’t need to worry about starting it over the holidays because that’s a chaotic time. I want you to get the most out of the course, but you’re going to be able to get it at our 2021 price before we raise the cost of the course, on January 1st. So if you’re curious about the course, you can get on the waitlist through the link 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

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 to this episode »

Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

Listen to this episode »

In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

Listen to this episode »

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

How to Overcome Negative Money Mindset

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How to Overcome Negative Money Mindset

“So if you feel like money isn’t possible for you, I really encourage you to stop, reflect, and understand what’s actually blocking you from developing that positive relationship with money. Because without changing that, money is going to continue to feel loaded, and you won’t be able to truly get it working for you in your practice and in your life, no matter how much money you have.” 

 

– Linzy Bonham

 

In This Episode…

What do you bring with you when you start thinking about and dealing with money? For many of us, we have childhood experiences and attitudes shaped by those experiences that surface when we think about money and finance. Unpacking and acknowledging those emotions can help us move forward to start to make new stories and experiences.

Listen in to hear Linzy work through several common money stories that can impact us as adults, and stay with her to hear practical ways to move forward!

 

Want more great private practice finances content?

Episode Transcript

Linzy [00:00:03] So if you feel like money is impossible for you, I really encourage you to stop, reflect and understand what’s actually blocking you from developing that positive relationship with money, because without changing that, money is going to continue to feel loaded and you won’t be able to truly get it working for you in your practice and your life, no matter how much money you have. 

 

Linzy [00:00:30] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question. How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. 

 

Linzy [00:01:07] Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So today’s episode – for very good reason – is brought to you by the Getting Unstuck in Your Finances mini training. So often when we’re stuck in moving forward with money, it’s not because of the how of money and what you need to do. It’s because of all the stories and emotions that pop up and get in your way whenever you try to work on money. This mini training helps you to start to shift your relationship with money, which is the foundation that allows you to really get money working for you in your practice and your life. You can check the link in the show notes to get that free mini training. 

 

Linzy [00:01:42] So today’s episode is about the first step of getting started on working on money when money gives you all the bad feelings. So a few episodes ago, I laid out the first practical step that I suggest with working on your finances as a therapist or a health practitioner in private practice. And that was creating clarity and separation, creating that separate bank account, so you have that real clear boundary between your personal money and your business money. If listening to that episode, you were like, Oh gosh, that’s a lot. Or if you’re working on it, but you’re finding it very difficult. This episode addresses the other half of the equation. I’m really big on addressing both the practical, the how-to, the skills, (of course, Money Skills For Therapists) but also addressing the emotional side and the mindset and the stories that are so often the part that’s actually really hard about money. 

 

Linzy [00:02:38] The emotional and mindset aspects of money can really trip us up when it comes to starting to work on our money, continuing to work on our money or feeling good about money, even when money is coming into our life and kind of is working. When we have harmful stories or a whole bunch of emotions associated with money, they get in the way. Today we’re going to dig into what some of those things are, including actual financial trauma, inherited money stories from your family, political and moral beliefs that can get in the way of getting money working for you. And what you can do about them to actually start to work on them and shift these stories that make money so difficult. 

 

Linzy [00:03:21] What I really want you to take away from this podcast episode today, if you take away nothing else, is really understanding that the stories and the emotions that are under the surface when it comes to money really define and interfere with our ability to make money work for us, both in our practices and in our lives. So without identifying those stories that you have and updating them, they will continue to block you from feeling clear and confident about money. And that’s regardless of whether you’re just getting started or if you actually even have a system already set up. Shifting our beliefs around money is essential to really get it working for us, and this is a piece that I see missing so often when it comes to money like I, for instance, never lead with the word budget. You’ll hear me almost never use the word budget and the reason that I don’t use it on my social media or that I don’t talk about it a lot upfront is that for a lot of us, the word budget brings up all these emotions. This like sense of restriction. There’s this shame because maybe we’re not budgeting. There’s so much that comes into that term that’s so loaded that actually really isn’t about budgeting at all, but it’s about all the stories that can surround budgeting and that so many of us carry. And it’s those stories that we’re going to start to talk about today. 

 

Linzy [00:04:33] So the first thing that can really contribute to negative stories and emotions around money is, of course, actual literal trauma. If you grew up in poverty, if you grew up in a family situation where money was there and then suddenly not – and that I find happens with students that I have who have come up in more like upper class families sometimes experience that where sometimes there’s this abundance of money, but then suddenly there’s no money. If you constantly got the message from your parents that money was tight, even if it wasn’t. And this is something I noticed for, like middle class upbringings is sometimes maybe money actually was there, but your parents believed it wasn’t there or told you it wasn’t there. Or if money in your family was tied to being like good or compliant, like there is money in your family but if you receive it, there’s strings attached, there’s expectations, that money can go away. These are all real financial traumas. I mean, especially poverty. Poverty is so clearly a financial trauma. But all of these other things, too, when we’re growing up, we so need that sense of like stability and safety from parents, right? And when our parents either can’t access money, can’t hold onto money and we feel that from them, even if they don’t say it, we know it. You know, kids are little sponges, so we’re going to pick up on that reality. That’s really traumatic for a child to feel that instability and that insecurity. 

 

Linzy [00:05:58] So if what I’m talking about resonates with you, I want to validate that that is real trauma. And I’m talking about, like almost like big T trauma – in the trauma therapy world we kind of talk about big T traumas and little T traumas. Often that is a big T trauma, that is a real trauma that you’ve experienced. And so logically, money is going to feel really loaded and scary and insecure when you’ve had those kinds of experiences growing up. It makes sense that those are the feelings that are going to come up when you try to work on money or improve your relationship with money. 

 

Linzy [00:06:29] Another kind of, you know, story or experience we can have around money is inherented stories. So that’s the lessons that we soaked up from our parents about money. I find that often people were taught something about money from their parents, but it’s often either things that our parents didn’t mean to teach us, or they were teaching us things that weren’t helpful or inaccurate. Right? Often we inherit their kind of bad relationship to money. Their maybe feast or famine relationship to money or their belief that money says something about who you are – good or bad. 

 

Linzy [00:07:04] Often we inherit those stories and we’re carrying them around with us. Even though they’re not stories that we’ve consciously chosen to have, we soak them up as a child and they become ours. So that’s another kind of money story that can have a lot of emotions associated with it that can really interfere with our ability to work on money. 

 

[00:07:22] Next is experiences. This is another kind of trauma of money actually being used to hurt you in your life. So if you’ve experienced any partnership where money was used as a weapon, if you’ve had parents hold money over your head, or even had parents take money away from you, that is going to give you a lot of emotion and baggage around money. Money is going to be triggering. And an example of that and how that can play out, is a therapist who I worked with that I’m going to change some of the details of this story. A therapist who had made money as a child, she was a child actress, so she had actually earned money when she was a kid. And then that money had been put into a bank account for her, you know, which her parents obviously controlled and had access to and her parents came to her and they would tell her that they were taking the money, but frame it as though she was choosing to give them the money. So her parents were really stealing money from her. This was really her money. They had not earned the money. It was her labor. It was her money. She knew that money was there, but her parents would come and say, You know, thank you so much, you’ve helped to pay for this thing for us. And they would take the money without asking her. There was no consent there, and they spent all the money. So by the time she was at the age where she would have been able to make choices with that money, the money was gone. So the way that that ended up looking for her as an adult is she never kept money around. Right. That’s so interesting the way that these things that we experience as a child show up in behaviors that might not be really obvious, but actually are very logical and make a lot of sense. So this particular therapist, she would never keep money in her bank account, which makes sense because she had this trauma of being robbed, basically having money stolen from her so a way that she was trying to keep her safe when she looked into and dug into her money story, she understood that this was a way she was trying to keep herself safe. By not having money in her bank account, it meant that nobody could steal money from her, right? She got to spend her own money, and that was a safety mechanism, right? So although it didn’t seem obvious at first, it made complete sense once she understood and identified that that was the root of that behavior around money. And then when she identified it, she could start to change it. 

 

Linzy [00:09:38] Sometimes our negative mindset and stories and emotions around money are also extensions of other beliefs that aren’t specifically about money, but that dig into other fears that we have or shame that we have. So that can be beliefs like the belief that we’re stupid, not being good enough, being a failure. I know these are very loaded things to talk about. We’re going to move into other territory soon, but these can be really painful stories that we can carry that come out around money. They may not be about money, but for instance, if you know that you have more debt than you want to, if you feel unclear about money and you also inherited the story growing up that you were stupid, you had a family member who told you this or or you develop that belief through experiences that you have, then it’s very logical that not knowing how to manage money now is going to trigger that belief that you’re stupid. And it’s also very logical that you’re going to avoid money because who wants to feel that belief and all of the emotional impacts that it has to feel the shame, right? And feel the judgment on yourself and the not good enough that comes with money when you already have this vulnerability. So sometimes that is really where money is loaded. It is things experiences that weren’t specifically about money, but that trigger those other vulnerabilities that we have. 

 

Linzy [00:10:54] And then the final kind of mindset piece that I see can really interfere with our relationship with money is political or moral beliefs that have given us negative stories about money. Therapists and healers, we are often really sensitive to injustice, and thank goodness, you know, we know that the world that we live in is oppressive and unfair. We know that not everybody gets a fair chance, and so many of us naturally equate making money or having money with being oppressors. Right. We can develop this very black and white story around money. 

 

Linzy [00:11:28] So having yourself identify how your political beliefs have shaped your relationship to money can also be really interesting, because sometimes it’s that we have political or moral beliefs that have given us a black and white perspective. And I’m not saying you have to get rid of those beliefs. I’m not saying you have to believe that capitalism is amazing or that everybody can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. I actually, I hope that you don’t believe that, but you can start to nuance those beliefs once you identify them. Because when we have that black and white “money = bad”, basically not having money = good, then even if you make money, you’re going to be doing things unconsciously to get rid of that money, to keep yourself good, right? To not be bad, to not be an oppressor. So those religious beliefs or political beliefs can also really inform our relationship to money.  

 

Linzy [00:12:18] So I just filled out a bunch of heavy negative stuff. You made it through the problem part of our podcast today. Now what I want to tell you is what you can do about it, because the good news is there’s a lot you can do about it. The main thing that you need to start to do is take a bunch of steps back. If you find that whenever you sit down to work on money, you are like overwhelmed. A wall comes down and you can’t think straight. You start to feel yucky and bad and uncomfortable, and you want to go and do everything but that thing. That gives you a really helpful clue. That tells you that there is something very charged here. So I’m a really big fan of curiosity when we come against something charged in our nervous system. 

 

Linzy [00:13:00] So stepping back and starting to be curious about what that is can be so helpful because sometimes it’s something you’re going to know right away. You’re like, Oh, I obviously know why I feel anxious about money. Because money was never there when I was a kid, and I’m scared of finding out that money’s not there. But sometimes it can be really surprising what comes out. So what I encourage you to do is get curious about money. And a really helpful, simple way to do this is do a little bit of reflecting and journaling about money. Journaling can be a really helpful way to do this because it really gets you into that free flow. You’re not going to be censoring yourself. And here are some really simple but effective prompts to help you start to understand what is happening for you around money. 

 

Linzy [00:13:38] The first journal prompt is Money is… Just dot, dot, dot… And just start writing from there. 

 

Linzy [00:13:46] The next one is rich people are… Dot dot dot… That one can really help you uncover maybe some old beliefs that you have about what wealth means. I was really surprised when I did this journal prompt a few years ago when I was doing some of this work to find that I had these beliefs that were really outdated. They didn’t really fit how I understand the world now, but really fit how I thought about the world when I was a teenager, and I just kind of had it updated my understanding of the world from that time. 

 

Linzy [00:14:18] The third journal prompt that I encourage you to use is: Growing up, I learned that money… Dot dot dot… This is where you can start to more specifically unpack those experience that shaped your relationship to money, whether they were things that you actually directly experienced, whether they were stories passed out from your family, whether they were messages that you covertly picked up on, even if they weren’t said, or whether they were actual, literal lessons your parents tried to teach you that maybe have not served you so well. I know one of these for me was the story that working hard is good in itself, which is a very Protestant work ethic thing which makes complete sense for my farming family and the lineage that I have. 

 

Linzy [00:14:56] But what that taught me is that work was the good in itself, and I didn’t actually tie earning money to working hard. And I think a lot of therapists, we have this. So for me, starting to identify and unpack that that made me realize I don’t actually want to work all the time to be good. I would like to work enough that I can earn money to live a good life and then also enjoy my life. That’s actually not the story that I wanted to be living, but it certainly is one that I inherited and that I was living. 

 

Linzy [00:15:23] I really want to encourage you to let yourself be surprised by what comes up when you’re doing these journal prompts. Don’t censor yourself. Just write whatever it is. And if it’s surprising, just keep going and write more until you basically run out of things to write because it is incredible how many stories we can be carrying, even stories that are directly contradictory and how deep they can go. 

 

Linzy [00:15:45] Ultimately, these stories and the emotions that are under the surface absolutely define and interfere with your ability to make money work for you. So without identifying them and updating them through doing this work, you can take these to therapy. You can join Money Skills For Therapists, where we have calls, where we can talk through these beliefs, help you challenge them, give you the coaching to start to shift these beliefs that are getting in your way. 

 

Linzy [00:16:10] Without doing this work, these stories continue to run you no matter how much money you make or how in control you are of your finances. And I want to share a story of another wonderful therapist who I worked with, where this is exactly what was happening for her. So this is a therapist who is really successful. She is seeing about 30 clients a week, working constantly, making a really good fee. She did not have the problem of charging a low fee. She was charging quite a high fee. So making a lot, a lot of money, but she was just running like crazy all the time. It’s like she couldn’t stop and she was making so much money, but she couldn’t even make herself stop and slow down to understand how much money she needed to make. She was just trying to make more and more and more and more money. And this is something that I see a lot. It’s kind of the solution that our brains come up with when we don’t understand money, it’s just like, just make more, just make more, just make more. And like I’ve talked about with some other podcast guests in the past and some episodes coming in the future, you can’t win that game. The more game is unwinnable. 

 

Linzy [00:17:13] So this particular therapist is working so, so, so much. And she couldn’t really figure out what was in the way. She just knew that she just wanted to keep going. But when we slow down and work to identify her stories, she identified that if she stopped and looked at her money, she would have to face that negative story that she had about herself, that she was stupid, which is a story that was passed down from a parent. She would have to face the fact that she was in a bit of a financial mess. She had debts that she didn’t want. She had some messy situations going on that were very expensive. She would have to face that. And ultimately, though, what she would have to face was that story in her head that she was stupid. So she was running away from that. It felt very visceral having the conversation with her to help her identify those beliefs. It felt very visceral that she was literally running away from herself, from that child who feels like she’s stupid, that she carries inside of her. And even though she was making so much money, she didn’t feel any benefit of that. It was bringing no ease into her life because that story was still running her. And that is absolutely true for all of us. 

 

Linzy [00:18:21] It does not matter how much money you make, it doesn’t matter if you have a great system. If you have stories in your head that are essentially torturing you or bringing up huge emotions and triggers around money. Having more money is not the solution to that. Stopping, facing yourself, getting curious, starting to identify and make space and shift those stories. That is what actually gets your results. 

 

Linzy [00:18:45] So if you feel like money is impossible for you, I really encourage you to stop, reflect, and understand what’s actually blocking you from developing that positive relationship with money. Because without changing that, money is going to continue to feel loaded and you won’t be able to truly get it working for you in your practice and your life, no matter how much money you have. 

 

[00:19:05] If you would like more money content, you can follow me on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We’re putting out free money content on there all the time. And today’s episode was brought to you by the Getting Unstuck in Your Finances mini training. If what I’ve talked about in this episode resonates with you, if you feel a little bit punch to the gut, I’m sorry. Please go take care of yourself now. But if these stories really resonate and connect. This is so common, so often when we’re stuck in moving forward with money, it’s not because of the how of money, it’s because of all those stories and emotions that pop up whenever we try to work on it. So this free mini training, the Getting Unstuck in Your Finances mini training, helps you start to shift your relationship with money, which is the foundation that is going to allow you to really get money working for you in your practice and your life. The link for it is in the show notes. Please go check it out. It’s a very meaty, little mini training, and it’s going to walk you through the process that I talked about today and then some. Thank you 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

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 to this episode »

Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

Listen to this episode »

In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

Listen to this episode »

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

Avoiding Money Because You’re “Bad at Math” Coaching Session

Money Skills for Therapists image with Linzy Bonham and Guest Nancy
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Avoiding Money Because You’re “Bad at Math” Coaching Session

Money Skills for Therapists image with Linzy Bonham and Guest Nancy

“I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it and for me to develop helpful habits around it.”

 

-Nancy

Meet Nancy

Nancy has been a therapist in private practice since 2009 and a sole since 2013. She is the mom of an 11 year old boy and 7 year old Labrador. Nancy loves the outdoors and reading. She has been eager to finally get her finances in order!

In This Episode…

Do you think you’re bad at math, or just not a numbers person? Do you find yourself avoiding the financial parts of your private practice? In this coaching session episode, Nancy and Linzy dig into how childhood attitudes can impact our adult decisions, and we work through how that can impact our feelings and actions toward finances — and what to do about it! Listen in to hear how to construct new attitudes and routines toward the financial aspects of private practice! If you’re someone who feels like you are not a numbers person, you won’t want to miss this!

 

Nancy is in the Money Skills for Therapists course. The gateway to the course is through Linzy’s masterclass, “The 4-Step Framework to Get Your Business Finances Totally in Order.” Sign up today and get a free financial resource!

Don’t miss this fun SNL clip, “Delicious Dish,” referenced in the Apple Podcasts review Linzy shared in the 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 <<<

Episode Transcript

Nancy [00:00:03] I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it. And for me to develop helpful habits around it. 

 

Linzy [00:00:30] 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. 

 

Linzy [00:00:51] Hello, and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. Before we get in today’s episode, which is all about that story of being bad at math or not a numbers person. I’m really excited for it. Before we get into that today, I wanted to share another review that we received on Apple Podcasts. It’s been so, so nice to see the reviews coming in for the podcast. I so appreciate the feedback and the kind words, and I wanted to share a view that made me laugh. I feel mildly roasted by it, and the title of it is Don’t be deceived by the hushed tones. She says, “This podcast is some real talk for therapists in private practice. It’s soft on the ears like Delicious Dish radio program from the 1990s SNL, but filled with truth bombs about shame, martyrdom and finances”. I actually had to go look up what Delicious Dish is I’ll put a link in the show notes. And when I did, I had to laugh because I was like, I do sound like that. I do have this like, very soft, hushed tone, but we’re talking about real stuff on here and heavy stuff. So thank you so much for your review. Whoever left that for us. So today’s episode is a coaching call. So these coaching calls, these sessions that we do are actual coaching sessions with students that I have in the course. And today’s coaching call is with Nancy. We dig into some mindset issues, especially around this story of not being good at math. This is something that I hear all the time from therapists and health practitioners. I think that generally as a group, we are used to being very competent in so many ways, but rarely do we feel like we’re really competent with like emotions or or kinesthetically intelligent and also really good at math. Those are skill sets that rarely overlap. So with Nancy, we dig in to this story about not being a numbers person, not being good at math. We dig into where that came from, and then we look at how to integrate some new experiences that she was actually already having with money. And I mean, isn’t this so much of mindset work all the time and trauma work, from a therapeutic perspective, is actually letting ourselves be updated and taking the new information that’s around us. So that’s part of what we get into with Nancy, but I’m not going to give away any more. I want you to hear the progression as we have this coaching session. But for those of you who think that you’re bad at math or not a numbers person and find that really coming up and getting in the way of working on your finances, this episode is for you. Enjoy. 

 

Linzy [00:03:34] All right, so, Nancy, thank you so much for joining me today. 

 

Nancy [00:03:36] Sure. 

 

Linzy [00:03:37] So, Nancy, you are a student in Money Skills For Therapists right now, and I’m curious before we dive into our coaching topic for today. I’m curious about your decision to join the course. What made you decide to join the course? 

 

Nancy [00:03:49] Being organized financially, I think, has been a goal of mine for many years. From a personal finance perspective. But since I’ve been in business, that’s been something even more important to me, but I’ve never had really anyone to help me with that. So when I came across this course online, I thought, Go for it. It’s something that I really – I think I need.

 

Linzy [00:04:17] Yeah, there’s such a gap there in general, right? Like, there’s just so few resources that we find that are out there for us around business and money. 

 

Nancy [00:04:25] That’s so true. 

 

Linzy [00:04:26] So, Nancy, digging into your topic for today, so you’ve let me know that you want to explore some unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that have held you back around money or getting organized around money. So can you tell me more about that? 

 

Nancy [00:04:41] Some of the unhelpful thoughts are I can’t manage money. I’m not good at math, so I’m not good at numbers. Therefore, I’m not good at managing money.  

 

Linzy [00:04:56] And those stories like I’m hearing, there’s kind of like some identity stories basically 

 

Nancy [00:05:00] Right 

 

Linzy [00:05:01] About who you are and what you’re capable of. Do you have a sense of where those stories came from? 

 

Nancy [00:05:06] I think just growing up, I was not really a great student in math. And so there was a lot of anxiety around anything math related. So of course, it made it really comfortable to avoid anything math related. And then my family would try to explain money management concepts to me, and I think I just would freeze and a wall would just go up. So I really wasn’t absorbing what I could have absorbed. 

 

Linzy [00:05:40] So this is even as you were growing up, there was as well that would come up OK. And who was it who tried to teach you about managing money? 

 

[00:05:48] My parents. 

 

[00:05:51] What is their relationship to money like? 

 

Nancy [00:05:53] They have a positive relationship with money. They were good at managing it. Good at budgeting. And my brother is too. I just have one sibling and he’s good with money. 

 

Linzy [00:06:08] So there’s kind of like this family’s skill set that didn’t make it to you, right? Because of this wall that would come up. Like when they would try to impart it. It was like, you couldn’t. So Nancy fast forwarding to today, then how do you see these beliefs coming up now, like as you’re working through the course or as you’re working on your finances? 

 

Nancy [00:06:27] There are there are just a lot of times when I want to avoid doing the work that I know will help me in the short term and the long term. But it’s just really hard to not avoid and sit down and just take things step by step.  

 

Linzy [00:06:50] Yeah, because when you do sit down and you start working on it, what happens? 

 

Nancy [00:06:56] I feel better. I feel better. My thoughts about what the experience might be like for that like hour or two hour block of time end up not being as bad as I am expecting it to be. And I end up getting like, on this role and want to keep working with it. But then I might have something else that also needs to get done so. 

 

Linzy [00:07:20] OK, OK. And that experience of being on a roll? What is that like? What starts to happen? 

 

Nancy [00:07:26] I start to feel actually excited and relieved about the process and eager to kind of get a handle on what I’ve been avoiding for so long.  

 

Linzy [00:07:41] So, I’m hearing there’s these new kind of positive experiences that are happening. And how many of these new positive experiences have you had so far? 

 

Nancy [00:07:49] I would say quite a few. 

 

Linzy [00:07:51] OK. So is it pretty consistent at this point? 

 

Nancy [00:07:54] I think so. 

 

Linzy [00:07:55] OK. 

 

Nancy [00:07:56] In terms of the content that’s part of the program, I’m still in the early stages of really digging into the numbers of the business, but I’m expecting that to also be positive as I keep moving forward. 

 

Linzy [00:08:15] OK. So closing then, like this new experience that you’re having, I’m hearing now when you sit down to work on it, you actually manage to find flow and you even start to feel excited. 

 

Nancy [00:08:25] Yes. 

 

Linzy [00:08:25] And this has become a reliable enough experience that you can even expect that this is probably what it’s going to be like as you continue to work forward  

 

Nancy [00:08:33] Yeah, it’s foreign to me to think of it that way. For sure. 

 

Linzy [00:08:39] This is a new experience.

 

Nancy [00:08:41] I’ve never been excited about numbers of anything. 

 

Linzy [00:08:43] Right. So there was this old experience, this belief of like not being good at math and avoiding these things that was decades long. Right? And now there’s this new experience. That’s. Like a month or two long so far? 

 

Nancy [00:08:58] At the most, uh huh.

 

Linzy [00:09:01] So I’m wondering, Nancy, if we were going to start to maybe update this story a little bit. You know, the story that you’re not good at math or you’re not good at finances, what’s maybe some new information that you’re starting to get that is not supporting that. 

 

Nancy [00:09:18] I have a history of unhelpful stories around math and finances, but it doesn’t mean I’m not capable of building skills and learning about how to manage finances now and in the future. And it’s just going to take patience, giving myself grace, and time for me to become more comfortable with it and for me to develop helpful habits around it. 

 

Linzy [00:09:41] Yeah, yeah. And it’s good to have a realistic expectation there, right, that it does take time and the habits are so important, right? This like repetition, both in terms of like giving yourself those positive experiences over and over, but also in terms of like working away at these things little by little. So they don’t build up and become big. I’m wondering, Nancy, like, how would you be able to kind of deepen those new experiences that you’re having, like integrate them more into your sense of who you are? Is it like talking to other people? Is it putting reminders like visual reminders? How do you really kind of like process and start to really be connected to something new? 

 

Nancy [00:10:17] I think one piece of that would be making time. Carving out time because I’m still working on putting that into my weekly routine because my habit has been to avoid. So really making sure I carve out that time and I don’t respond to unhelpful thoughts when that time comes. Like, Oh, I don’t feel like doing it right now. Maybe I’ll do it later. I just I do it anyways. I think that over time, that will be helpful and the support person that I am connected with through the program. 

 

Linzy [00:10:57] Yes, your accountability buddy. 

 

Nancy [00:10:59] That’s I think, going to continue to be really helpful because we arrange a weekly Zoom time to just see where we’re at and support each other and text each other during the week to do the same. So I definitely want to continue that as well. In addition to the other, the other options that you provide. 

 

Linzy [00:11:21] Yeah. So yes, that’s that’s another positive support to keep you connected. So I’m wondering on the practical side, Nancy, like do you have like regular money time in your calendar that you are sitting down and working on these things? 

 

Nancy [00:11:33] I have two days a week when I do that one weekend day, one day during the week. 

 

Linzy [00:11:42] OK. And do you work on both of those days or is one a backup? 

 

Nancy [00:11:45] Both of those days. 

 

Linzy [00:11:47] OK. Yeah. And have you figured out a sense of like how much time you want to work on these things in one go? 

 

Nancy [00:11:52] A couple of hours I usually schedule. 

 

Linzy [00:11:55] So I’m curious, Nancy, is there anything you’d be doing differently if you were anticipating this to be a positive experience twice a week, rather than this old story that it’s going to be a negative experience? 

 

Nancy [00:12:07] Are you thinking like things I could incorporate while I’m doing this? Every day I fix myself a latte. I have an amazing espresso machine at home, so just doing that while I’m working on this makes it more pleasant. Or maybe if it’s a nice day outside at summertime, going outside while I’m doing it, sitting on the porch. 

 

Linzy [00:12:33] Yeah, building in those nice environmental pieces. Because what I’m what I’m hearing is there is still kind of this like, there’s these remnants, right? You got this kind of leftover stuff. And I’m wondering, part of it is going to be time, as you say, right? Just to be like honing the skills, getting back to habit. And it sounds like you’ve already really integrated it. I’m wondering if there’s a way to kind of like even deepen it to be something that you can be looking forward to, right? Or that there could be celebration afterwards. Like, how do we even move it into more of a positive experience that you know is going good and better. 

 

Nancy [00:13:12] Maybe viewing it, which I wasn’t seeing it this way before, but viewing it as part of self-care? 

 

Linzy [00:13:18] Yeah, right. 

 

Nancy [00:13:20] Now, self-care is really important to me. 

 

Linzy [00:13:22] Mm hmm. Right. 

 

Nancy [00:13:24] And this has also been important to me, but I never viewed it as a self-care, as a form of self-care. So I think reminding myself of that.  

 

Linzy [00:13:35] And if it’s if it’s part of your self-care, you know, how would you feel towards it if you saw it as part of your self-care? 

 

Nancy [00:13:41] More positively. 

 

Linzy [00:13:43] Yeah, yeah. Like, what are the words that you associate with self-care? 

 

Nancy [00:13:49] Well, when it comes to money, I think vacation,. 

 

Linzy [00:13:53] Yes. 

 

Nancy [00:13:53] But in general, I think just the idea of especially in the work that we do, how important it is to do good work. That requires self-care on our part. 

 

Linzy [00:14:06] Yeah, absolutely. In our work, it’s like a life preserver, self-care. It’s not like a nice extra. It’s an essential. For you, what are the kind of like adjectives that go with self-care – trying to get a sense of your flavor of self-care, like is it nurture, is a joy, is it relaxation? 

 

Nancy [00:14:26] Calming. 

 

Linzy [00:14:26] Calming. OK, OK, calming is part of your self-care. 

 

Nancy [00:14:28] Peaceful. 

 

Linzy [00:14:32] So can money be part of like a calming, peaceful way of taking care of yourself? 

 

Nancy [00:14:38] Definitely. Definitely. I think for me, there’s been a lot of unknowns around my finances because I have been avoiding, but moving from the unknown to the known with my finances. The result of that will be more peace. And I think a greater sense of control. 

 

Linzy [00:15:03] Yeah, right. Absolutely. And what are you noticing talking about it this way? 

 

Nancy [00:15:07] Power. 

 

Linzy [00:15:09] OK, so it’s coming towards the end of our our time together. What sticks out for you? What are you taking away from this conversation? 

 

Nancy [00:15:17] I think this is one of the best things I’ve really I’ve done for myself in a long time, and I didn’t realize it when I signed up. 

 

Linzy [00:15:27] Oh, that’s a nice surprise. And knowing that this is one of the best things you’ve done for yourself, like, what do you know about yourself? What does that show you? 

 

Nancy [00:15:39] I’m worth taking care of the financial aspect of my life, and I’m able to do it with the right support, for sure. 

 

Linzy [00:15:51] And I do have to say, Nancy, the parts therapist in me, is just imagining that little you, that little one who struggled at math and believe she wasn’t good at math. I’m imagining that part of you being able to start like here and take in some of where you’re landing and the work that you’re doing with the powerful work you’re doing to care for yourself. Thank you so much for joining me today. 

 

Nancy [00:16:16] Thank you. Thank you. 

 

Linzy [00:16:33] I really love the progression of this session with Nancy. The energy at the end just felt so different than the energy at the beginning, and so much of that was just helping her get in touch with the experience as she was already having around money. And I think that’s so often the case when we have these really strong stories from childhood about who we are. You know, I am not a math person. I am not good at numbers. The other people in my family can do that, but I can’t. Is that then we exclude exceptions to that story. You know, evidence to the contrary. And in Nancy’s case, it was that she was already starting to have good experiences with working on her finances and starting to feel on a roll and excited as she was working on these things. But she hadn’t quite connected that yet back to the story of being bad at math. So if you want to hear more from me, you can follow us @moneynutsandbolts on Instagram. That’s really where we hang out on social media and put out free money content related to therapists and health practitioners all the time. We’re putting stuff out there. If, like Nancy, you want to jump in and start really changing your relationship to money, having some of these new experiences to overwrite your old stories while you get your finances working for you, the way to get into Money Skills For Therapists is through watching my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Private Practice Finances Totally in Order. So I have the link to the masterclass below. The masterclass lays out my approach and framework. Even if you are not thinking about joining the course, it gives you tons of helpful ways to think about private practice finances, but it’s also the gateway into Money Skills For Therapists. So if you’re curious about the course, check out the masterclass. The link is 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.

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How to Work Less and Enjoy Your Life More with Joe Sanok

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How to Work Less and Enjoy Your Life More with Joe Sanok

So if you’re treating your business like a baby, that means you’re inappropriately loving it. There are things in your business that you have to stop doing, whereas as a parent you’re going to always love that kid (hopefully! Hopefully you’re a good parent!). So even the way we think about our businesses — oh, I’ve raised it! It’s my baby! — No! This is a business. This is something you hope to contribute to the world. And you may need to walk away from it at some point.”

– Joe Sanok

Meet Joe Sanok

Joe Sanok is the author of Thursday is the New Friday: How to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend time doing what you want. It examines how the four-day workweek boosts creativity and productivity. Joe has been featured on Forbes, GOOD Magazine, and The Smart Passive Income Podcast. He is the host of the popular The Practice of the Practice Podcast, which is recognized as one of the Top 50 Podcasts worldwide with over 100,000 downloads each month. Bestselling authors, experts, scholars, and business leaders and innovators are featured and interviewed in the 550 plus podcasts he has done over the last six years.

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Are you interested in being more productive during your work time and in having more free time in your weekly schedule? In this Money Skills for Therapists episode, Linzy talks with Joe Sanok, author of several books including his newest release that just came out this month, Thursday is the New Friday: How to Work Fewer Hours, Make More Money, and Spend Time Doing What You Want

 

Linzy and Joe discuss several vital topics for therapists such as (1) the importance of downtime to regenerate and be more productive, (2) when to hand off responsibilities, and (3) how to use your income to buy help. They also discuss tips about how to ensure that you stay curious and excited about your career while also enjoying your life beyond your career. 

 

You can find Joe here: 

 

For more about Joe’s books and keynote speaking: joesanok.com 

 

For more about private practice: practiceofthepractice.com 

 

Listen to Joe’s Podcast – Practice of the Practice 

Want more great private practice finances content?

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Episode Transcript

Joe [00:00:01] So if you’re treating your business like a baby, that means you’re inappropriately loving it. There’s things in your business that you have to stop doing, whereas as a parent, you’re going to always love that kid. Hopefully, hopefully you’re a good parent. And so even the way we think about our business is, Oh, I’ve raised it, it’s my baby. No. This is a business. This is something that you hope to contribute to the world. And you may need to walk away from it at some point. 

 

Linzy [00:00:30] 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. 

 

Linzy [00:00:51] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. Today’s episode is with Joe Sanok. Joe Sanok is a therapist turned business owner. He is a hugely successful podcaster, and he is releasing a book in October called Thursday Is The New Friday. The book is all about how to work less, be more productive, and actually enjoy your life, which is a puzzle that I think so many of us therapists are trying to figure out all the time. How do we actually make our businesses work for us and enjoy the rest of our lives when it’s so easy to turn our businesses into a kind of agency-like situations where we’re working so, so much. If you feel overworked in your private practice or any other businesses that you have on the go. If you find that you struggle to let go of tasks because you think that you’re kind of the only person who can do x y z for your practice, and if you want to develop a healthier and more balanced relationship to working and private practice than this episode is for you. Joe brings up so much interesting history how our relationship to work and time has been formed and how we bring that into our work as private practitioners, and also how there’s some key steps that we can take to actually start to improve our relationship with work and enjoy our lives and be better at the work that we do for it. So without further ado, here’s Joe Sanok. 

 

Linzy [00:02:32] All right, so welcome, Joe, to the podcast. 

 

Joe [00:02:35] I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me, Linzy. 

 

Linzy [00:02:37] Yeah, you’re welcome. So you have a book coming out in October and it’s on a topic that I think is extremely relevant to therapists because this is something – a puzzle that I see a lot of therapists and health practitioners trying to solve all the time, which is how do you work less but make more money and actually have time to do what you want with your life and spend time doing the things that you enjoy? It’s kind of like this puzzle that I feel like a lot of therapists are turning over in their minds often. 

 

Joe [00:03:03] Yeah, I think that so often therapists just start with the old model, but they just start seeing clients and then more clients. And then they’re on all the insurances, and they just – everywhere – aren’t even evaluating having any sense of intention. So instead of starting with, OK, which insurances should I be on locally? How much do they pay? How many clients are there? Is it even worth the hassle? And then saying, Well, what could I get for private pay? Should I compare those two before I start taking clients. And then looking, do I want to be out of network? And so even just starting with, what’s my intention with this practice? Because too often what happens is they don’t have that intention and then they get busy. Maybe not the right kind of busy. It could be on insurances that you really – it’s not your ideal client. And then you find that you’re barely making what you made at the old agency work. And then you’re burned out and you’re stressed out and you’ve just given yourself a job. You don’t have a business. You just – if you don’t show up, you don’t get paid. If your kids are sick or there’s, you know, things that just happen, you don’t get paid. And so then you don’t take time off because, you know, if I take this vacation, in addition to paying for the vacation, I’m going to lose two grand this week. Dang, that’s like six grand week when you take a whole family away, like, we can’t afford that. And so then they just keep on working and working and working when there’s just so many better ways that you can do it. 

 

Linzy [00:04:19] Goodness, yeah. I think that coming out of agencies, which most of us do. Yeah, you inherit this model that was never for your benefit in the first place. But we build private practices that are entirely in that model. And it’s kind of like it happens to you unless you’re really taking that empowered, intentional stance that you’re talking about, which most of us don’t. Realistically. You end up creating those same conditions that you were trying to escape when you left agency work. So zooming out on that even more, Joe, your book, Thursday Is The New Friday, is taking a new take on work and productivity. And I wanted to start with this idea of the 40 hour workweek. So the 40 hour workweek is something, personally, I’ve always been very skeptical of. It’s never really worked for me, and it’s this model that we inherit through agency work because most of the time we’re working 40 hours. And so that even when we’re in private practice and even when we’re self-employed, often most of us are still thinking about our work in terms of 40 hours. Right? I’m curious. Tell me a little bit about the history of the 40 hour workweek and how it’s kind of shaping how we work, even broader, even outside of therapists? 

 

Joe [00:05:25] Yeah. So for me, whenever I almost get anything that I’m learning, I want to know the history behind it because oftentimes we can’t know where we are or where we’re headed unless we know that history. So I’m really glad that you asked about that because I actually want to go back a little bit before the 40 hour workweek started back to the Babylonians about 4000 years ago. So the Babylonians, when they looked up at the sky, they saw the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. It’s a seven big, bright things in the sky, and they said, we should have a seven day week. And that’s literally where the seven day week came from. The Egyptians had an eight day week, the Romans had a 10 day week. It wasn’t until 300 or so when the emperor of Rome became a Christian and then looked at the Bible said, Oh, there’s seven day week. The Torah where that seven day week was written down was in Babylon. And so, it was when the Jews were in exile there that the Torah was written down. So even the idea of the seven day week. It makes absolutely no sense in nature. We could just as easily have a five day week and have seventy three weeks in a year. A year makes sense, it’s how long it takes us to go around the sun. A day makes sense, we spin for a day. But there’s no seven days in nature. So let’s just start with the seven day week is completely arbitrary. So fast forward to the late 1800s/early 1900s, the average person was working 10 to 14 hours a day, six or seven days a week. They were working all the freaking time. And so when Henry Ford in 1926 says I want to do the 40 hour workweek, that was a huge step for the evolution of business. It was a huge step for workers. It was a huge step in many ways. And his primary reason for doing the 40 hour workweek was to sell more cars to his own employees because he had the idea that if you have to work on a Saturday and Sunday, you’re not going to want to get there faster. But if you have those days off and you have a fun place to go, to go with your family or go out and recreate or whatever you do, you’re going to want a car to get there faster. So it was primarily to sell cars to Ford employees that he switched over to the 40 hour workweek. So then that takes off less than a hundred years ago. So then it’s like, OK, we made up the seven day week we made up the 40 hour workweek. We now are the generation that is leaving the first pandemic. Who knows if it will be the last. But we as a whole society across the globe have said to ourselves, why do we work this way? We’ve had a global experiment happen where we have disrupted work and we get to now say, do we still believe like the industrialists? Do we think of people like machines like they’re just, you know, going down the conveyor belt? Or do we think people are a little different than that? And I would argue we’ve left the industrial mindset already and that the way we view time is actually one of just the last remnants of that industrialist era. 

 

Linzy [00:08:06] Right. And that’s especially interesting thinking about therapy work because sometimes I see this this attitude in therapists where we think like, well, I work 40 hours, I’m going to make myself a therapy machine. I’m going to do as much therapy within those 40 hours as I possibly can, right? But I would argue that therapy work is very different from industrial work and working in a factory. We’re drawing on very different parts of ourselves and very different skills that maximizing them is not necessarily actually to the benefit of your client, even.

 

Joe [00:08:37] And to say that we do our most creative, innovative work when we’re maxed out and stressed out? I mean, would you really want your therapist – say you’re going through something really rough, whatever it is, and you know, you are the fortieth client that this person has seen this week and you show up to your therapist. Are they going to be as creative as they are on Monday morning, when hopefully they’ve taken a break for the weekend? Or maybe they didn’t even take a break for the weekend. They fielded all sorts of texts from clients, they worked on their website, they worked on their blog. They have no sense of boundaries so that they can enjoy their family or hobbies. Like, is that person going to really be the most creative therapist and be able to help their clients the most? I mean, I would argue, no. Like we know this, that deep down, our best ideas don’t come when we’re stressed out. You know, it’s like when we’re in the shower and you have that idea or you’re out for a walk, or a run, or maybe a long drive, like when our brains are rested, that’s when we start to make these these neuro connections between things that we couldn’t see before. 

 

Linzy [00:09:30] Right? Yeah. And I think in terms of clinical work, you know, I certainly know for me, I’ve noticed when I have space in my schedule, my brain’s been working away in the background on something about a client that I would not be able to be doing if I was seeing five other clients in that space. And so when that client comes back the next week, suddenly I’m taking this new, different approach because of the downtime I took, my brain was able to kind of like process and think about something in a new way that wouldn’t have been available if I was just seeing other clients and doing that output that whole time. So going into that idea then of expanded creativity and even maybe productivity, I know in your book you talk about the neuroscience, which is right up therapist alley and also some case studies about how taking this different approach can actually increase those things – makes us more creative, makes us more productive. Tell me about that. 

 

Joe [00:10:19] Yeah. So every summer I host an event called Slow Down School. I didn’t do it in 2020 or 2021, but I’ve hosted for many years before that. And we fly therapists into northern Michigan, I pick them up in a big yellow school bus, and I don’t actually drive the school bus. Let me clarify that. So I have a bus driver pick us up in a big yellow school bus, and then we slowly drive out to Lake Michigan and we stay on this beautiful campus on the water. And for two days, we genuinely slow down. We go for hikes. The only time they’re supposed to use their phones is to take pictures. I bring in massage therapists and yoga teachers, and it’s just this amazing slowing down. Even our executive chef has partnerships with local farmers, so we know where the kale came from and the carrots came from. And it’s just – we set it up so that we can genuinely relax for a couple of days. And then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, we run full tilt towards their businesses. And this therapist, Michael Glavin from the Chicagoland area is such a great example. I talk about in the book of what we can get done when we slow down. So Michael has this amazing couples therapy clinic. He brings in interns, he has extra clinicians there, it’s a group practice, and his model with with counseling work with couples is a really unique model, and he has some great data that backs it up. And so for years, he had been really think about like, how do I start writing about this and sharing it and training therapists? And he was in this mastermind group and he was making kind of average progress. And there were times when, you know, he wasn’t writing it down as much as he wanted. And so he comes to Slow Down School, slows down for a couple of days, kind of steps out of his comfort zone. And the first day of sprinting, when I teach him the sprint approach, I ring the bell, everyone goes and does their sprints, and in 20 minutes, Michael outlines the first nine chapters of his book, with five major points on each one. In 20 minutes. 

 

Linzy [00:12:07] Oh my gosh. 

 

Joe [00:12:08] And so it’s like, OK. So yes, the Michaels of the world could just keep kind of running the rat race, and you just keep seeing people. Or if you’re going to level up and you’re going to build streams of income, that aren’t just reliant on you showing up. For him, that was writing the book and creating this curriculum. That was what was important. That was that next big step to move out of just the job type of business and to move actually into a business type of business. So when we slow down, we then can allow that that top level stuff to come out, but the other side of it is when we give ourselves less time, are we going to work on the crappy stuff or are we going to work in the thing that actually matters? And so, you know, take the average clinician, they’re like, I can’t work four days a week. I have to work five. Really? Because like, if you work four, are you going to do your best work in that time and drop the ball on your worst work? Or are you going to do all the stupid stuff and then drop the ball on the top level stuff? You’re naturally going to have your best work rise to the top. So you may drop the ball on a few things. You may stop taking out the trash or forget the vacuum. And all of a sudden, two weeks later, you’re like, Oh, this place is a pit. Well, what does that tell you about the priority of cleaning your own office as the owner of your business? Maybe you should have a cleaning person come in. Maybe you should outsource that. If all of a sudden all of your billing starts to back up? That gives you some information. Maybe it’s time to hire a biller because you’re doing your top level stuff. So when we actually reduce the amount of time that people work, they end up doing better and better work as a result of it. 

 

Linzy [00:13:30] Right, yeah. I mean, it sounds very clarifying, right? By creating that little bit of like constriction, it’s really going to be clear what is just you and you know, I think about this in terms of the business growth that I’m doing. What are the CEO tasks? What is what is only you or your gift can do that? And what is something that somebody else could be doing for $15 an hour that frees up your bandwidth for those more important, bigger impact things? 

 

Joe [00:13:53] Well, and then you start to outpace the competition because you’re putting your time into those top level things. And so it’s like, you know, several years ago, I was saying, my big step is if I can get consulting clients that are twice the cost of my clinical clients, that’s like one person paying for two hours. And then if I do that really well now I’m just sprinting in that direction, then I can jump into mastermind groups or a membership community. And then, you know, the people that are just kind of limping along, you haven’t just outpaced them in like double the time, you’re 10 or 20 times farther ahead, just because you focus so much in that particular area.  

 

Linzy [00:14:27] Right. And that’s that’s a really interesting kind of trajectory that you’ve laid out there because I think a lot of therapists in private practice might have these dreams of something bigger. This like hope of like, well, one day I’d like to be a speaker. One day I want to start a group practice or I want to create a course. But they are so focused on what’s in front of them right now and just not being able to let go of that. That even taking that first step into thinking, OK, well, how can I do a little bit less work and have even more impact for more money? Even that step feels scary for them to take. Right. And so I’m curious about what you see as the relationship between money and impact, right? Like on this podcast, we dig into finances, and a lot of therapists want to have that bigger impact, but also might be nervous or maybe even a little bit scared of making money. Tell me, how do you see money relate to to what you’re talking about here? 

 

Joe [00:15:23] I see money as a multiplier. And what I mean by that is that – just how you were saying I could put 15 dollars into this. So say you charge 150 per session and you do one extra session and you have someone that you can pay $15 an hour. Granted, there might be other costs there, but you can then buy 10 hours of time for that one hour. So every hour that you bootstrap it and this and that, you are the most overpaid person doing this fifteen an hour thing. Yes. So the way I think about just how I kind of run everything is, I want to get the basics down really well and get those plates spinning and then hand those plates off to other people to keep them spinning. And so to really look at what in my practice, we’re just starting with someone who owns a practice, what my practice is essential to me. You’re not going to have someone else show up for counseling to be the counselor if someone has signed up for you to be their therapist. So, let’s say therapy is number one. And then there might be a handful of other things, but for the most part, everything else you could handoff. And then we can beg the question of, are you the only therapist in the practice that can do therapy? Maybe you need to add some 1099s or W-2s so that you can then get the plates spinning, have some predictable income, and then once those are going and you’re giving feedback, you’re not just handing it off and saying, do what I do, but I’m not going to give you any feedback. You have to give that feedback. You have to say, you know what? You’re in my emails, if say, you have someone that’s going to check your emails, which would be very hard for a lot of therapists to give up. First, you have to disclose to your clients, Hey, I’m having my executive assistant take this over so that I can do more therapy. She will always disclose when she’s responding. I just want you to know that she’s reading it and need you to sign this thing, saying that you’re aware of that. So I’m protecting myself. So then we give feedback on how those emails are going. You know, if there’s an email that your assistant should have responded to, maybe you just BCC them. And so then you’re learning over time. And so then, once those plates are spinning, now that money has bought you the ability to do bigger, more impactful work. And if those plates are spinning and it’s predictable income and you know your budget and all those basics, then you can take bigger risks over on the other side because it’s something that you can fail fiercely. You can say, I’m going to try to not just make a course, I want to make five courses and a membership community, I want to be on 20 podcasts next month. And if none of that comes true. OK, I still have my money over here from where the plates are spinning, and so that money really opens up the ability to take much bigger risks because you’re not basing the big jumps in your life on making money. It’s on, I’m going to make a big jump and open some doors here. 

 

Linzy [00:17:49] So that money actually opens up that opportunity to have an even bigger impact than that one on one client session would be. It’s kind of like that enabler to doing even more and something that I’m hearing Joe as you’re talking that I think can be a real kind of falling down point for people who do start this path of outsourcing and getting help is sometimes what I notice is like group practice owners, for instance, who suddenly get help. Then they have this extra time on their hands and we’re like, Well, do I really need a VA to answer my emails, like, maybe I could just jump back in there. And my argument to that is like, that’s a very terrible demotion you’re giving yourself. If you can be making 250 an hour, why would you jump in and do your VA’s $15 job? But I’m wondering for you, for somebody in that position who has done these first steps of opening up this space, what would be their next steps? I mean, one thing I’m thinking of is that they should be working less. 

 

Joe [00:18:36] I have this whole section about the overvaluing of work and the undervaluing of fun. And even just thinking about – so that example you just gave this person is making 250 an hour, they jump back in and they’re doing all these things, maybe even doing more therapy. What does that say about, for one, your trust in your team? It shows you don’t trust them. It shows that you don’t think that they’re going to be able to do a good job with what you have tasked them to do. So you’re basically telling people you just hired that you think they’re crap, OK? That’s probably not a healthy environment to have. Second, what is that saying about how much you need to be needed? Maybe you do need to be needed, but do we want our volunteer work to be within our business or do we want to do it somewhere else? I mean, I remember a number of years ago I handed off doing every single podcast image to Sam. Sam’s, my chief marketing officer, now. But at the time I was, I would record it. Then I would spend two hours making this beautiful image. I’m artistic. I loved it. I got a lot of fulfillment out of it. Ooh, look how cool that looks. And then I handed it off to her thinking, she’s never going to do it like I do it. And she didn’t. But she needed some feedback. She needed some, some help. But then eventually she got better than I did at it. And you know where I have my art now, it’s downstairs and I do watercolors for fun. It’s like, I just do it for fun instead of within the business. And so to be able to then say, I have a bookend to my day, I am done now. I can close my computer. I give myself permission to be a dad with my two awesome girls, to go on adventures, to go paint. I’m learning to play November rain on the piano because I think that’s an awesome Guns N Roses song. So it’s just like you get to do these things. But for high achievers, sometimes it has to be that you put in these blocks of things that are in your free time that you say, I’m going to do a one minute plank every day or I’m going to go to the beach five times this summer. When you schedule those things in – I think that’s the first point that most people need really need to have something there. If they’re just left to their own devices, they’re probably going to go back to work because they’ve overvalued it too much. 

 

Linzy [00:20:36] Yeah. And I think in in therapy work and health practitioner work, especially if you tend to be that helper who needs to be needed and derives your value from that, it is easy to really make that your life. But as you’re talking, there’s this phrase like kind of bouncing in my head, which is a bit harsh, but it’s kind of like, you got to get a life. You have to make it so you have a life that’s interesting and a life that’s fulfilling and a life that houses your creativity and has meaningful relationships and adventures. So that work is not more interesting than your life. 

 

Joe [00:21:03] Yeah. Well, you even think about how so many people think about their private practices. It’s my baby. It’s not your baby. There’s businesses that you need to kill and usually walk away from, and you just send into foster care. Like, I’m not going to do that to my kid, my kid I will love unconditionally. So if you’re treating your business like a baby, that means you’re inappropriately loving it. There’s things in your business that you have to stop doing. Whereas as a parent, you’re going to always love that kid. Hopefully, hopefully, you’re a good parent. And so even the way we think about our business is, Oh, I’ve raised and it’s my baby. No. This is a business. This is something that you hope to contribute to the world. And you may need to walk away from it at some point. 

 

Linzy [00:21:43] Yeah, I love that. That’s like such appropriate boundaries around a business. Rather than this kind of like mixy – and also, like my business is me, and my value can be something that gets tied up 

 

Joe [00:21:52] And my ego’s, all in it with my success and my failure. And if you can walk away from the ego side of it within your business, you’re going to be unstoppable because you’ll try things and fail and be like, great, that gave me data. In the book, I talk about the three internal inclinations, and it’s curiosity, an outsider’s perspective, and an ability to move on it. And just that idea of curiosity instead of it being pass/fail, like we were taught all through grad school, to say, Well, that’s interesting. You fail, quote fail. And then you’re like, Oh, why did that happen? What data do I have about my clients, my audience? Whatever that quote failure is, top achievers actually are curious about it, and they don’t view it as pass fail. They view it all as data that they’re taking in. 

 

Linzy [00:22:32] 100 percent, I’m so glad you brought that up because I was really curious, I know you have these internal inclinations. I was about to ask you about them. So curiosity being the first is like, so speaking to my trauma therapist heart because this is like was always my approach with clinical clients. And it’s my approach with coaching clients is like, be curious, like step back, be curious. And and in my case, it’s like, be curious about what happens when you sit down to work on your money. Do you suddenly want to vomit? Oh, that’s interesting information. Take that in. Maybe what’s that about? But I’m hearing in our businesses, this data point is so essential, and I know for me, my business is a little bit different than private practice at this point. But we do our key performance indicators every Monday. Every Monday, my team sits down and we like all contribute numbers to the spreadsheet and we look at it and we’re curious together and we problem solve like, huh? Suddenly, people aren’t registering for our webinar. Suddenly people aren’t showing up and we come to it with curiosity and it is so fun. It is so much funner and more engaging and more productive than making it a story about us failing or who we are or that nobody wants what we do. It really unlocks this whole new way of being in your business. 

 

Joe [00:23:36] Yeah. And you think about the narrative we’re given. When I entered the chapter on curiosity, I try to start with kind of a blank slate. Like if I was just brainstorming curiosity, what would my questions be without any of the data or direction I want to go? And the first thing that came to mind was Curiosity killed the cat, and where did that come from? So in 1910, the front page of The Washington Post said Curiosity killed the cat. So for five days there’d been this cat stuck in a chimney, and it was like national news. So a very slow news week. Very quiet time right before World War One. So front page, this curiosity killed the cat is all about this cat that got stuck in a chimney and it died. It was sad. But think about what that teaches us and our kids. If you’re curious, you’re going to die. Is that even accurate? No. No. Like the other day, my daughters were outside. They’re six and 10, and then my nieces who are five and three, and they’re just playing. And then they all stopped. And when things get quiet with kids, you know what’s going on out there. And they found a dead mouse and there is this dead mouse, all four of them were standing around looking at like with curiosity kind of horror. And then they started asking questions like, Why do you think the mouse died? Is an owl going to come eat the mouse? Should we put it in the woods? Should we bury the mouse? Like all these questions and curiosity. We have that as kids, we have unending curiosity because it’s all new to us. Now as adults, at some point we lose or sway away from that. And if we can return to that and find that natural inclination towards curiosity, that’s where we unlock so much within our businesses. 

 

Linzy [00:25:03] I like that so much. And so tell me about the other two. Curiosity was the first. 

 

Joe [00:25:07] Yeah, the second one is an outsider perspective. And so you look at top achievers that oftentimes they have an outsider perspective, and you may have even experienced this if you join a new nonprofit or something, you come in and you’re like, That’s weird, why do you do it that way? What is this system? I remember every Monday I worked as a foster care supervisor. Every Monday. Every foster care worker and the three supervisors all got together in this like 50 person meeting and went through all these clients. And I just remember running the numbers on how much it costs the agency for that one hour to have everyone just sit around. Why do we do this? This is ridiculous. I’d rather just meet with my own team and talk through our team needs rather than sit around with like 40 or 50 people. And so those outsider perspectives are really valuable. We see it with, you know, Einstein moved countries all over. Elon Musk was raised in South Africa and in Canada and culturally was felt like he was out on the outside looking in. There was actually an interesting research study where they looked at the colors blue and the colors green. And so they had groups of six to eight people come together and the researcher would hold up a color and say, Is this blue or is this green? And you know, most of the time people agree that’s blue, that’s green, and there’s some they’re kind of in the middle where there’s a little bit of disagreement. But then the second part of the study, they did the same sort of thing, but brought in two researchers and those researchers occasionally in those middle colors when it was pretty clearly a blue. They would say green or when it was clearly green, they would say blue. And they found that statistically those researchers, as outsiders, had more influence over the group than they should have. And so there’s been other research studies that really show that outsiders actually have more influence than they often realize and that they’re able to sway crowds in ways that we wouldn’t expect. So we see that in a number of different areas. And then the third one is that we want to have the ability to move on it. And so by that, if we think about a spectrum on one side, we have speed and on the other side, we have accuracy. And so if I’m going to go under the knife at a hospital and my doctor, if she’s going to be cutting into me doing anything where I’m asleep, getting cut open, I don’t care how long it takes. She can be as accurate as she needs to be. Take your time. Yeah. Take your time. Take forever. But in most of our business, speed is going to trump accuracy every single time. And so, you know, throughout grad school, we’re taught, you know, write this paper, go to the writing lab, retool it and then turn it in for a final grade to get pass fail. That’s just not how the business world works. And so we want to focus on getting things done more than being paralyzed by perfection. 

 

Linzy [00:27:29] Yeah. Oh my gosh, 100 percent on that last one. And that’s something that I notice with therapists around their finances, even, can be almost like a nonstarter is they’re so busy trying to be perfect that they do nothing at all. Right? There’s such a focus on this has to be perfect, and there’s no reason that it has to be perfect in finances or in business. There’s no reason that it has to be perfect. So what I’m hearing is like that imperfect action moving forward is way more valuable than being paralyzed or taking forever to accomplish something. 

 

Joe [00:27:59] Yeah, I mean, you’re going to get the feedback as well. So imagine instead of spending two or three hours on one blog post that you’re going to do for your SEO and then you’re so burned out from that you’re like, I can only do that once, maybe twice a month. So you then are doing, you know, one or two blog posts a month versus, I’m going to set a timer and I’m going to write as much as I can in 30 minutes. I’m going to do it as fast as I can. I’m going to do three main steps on anxiety three main steps on depression. And you just, in those three hours, knock out six or seven blog posts and then you start to see your SEO work. Maybe catch some misspellings or something. So you go back in and you edit it. Maybe you cited a piece of research that later you realized was really bad research. So you go in and edit it. So what? And so it’s not like, this is going to be your final dissertation that’s on file at your college forever. This is a blog post, and most of what we do is that level where we don’t need to overthink it. We don’t need to be putting so much accuracy into it that it’s really the speed is where we’re going to see those big steps forward. 

 

Linzy [00:28:56] OK, so coming to the end of our conversation, I have a question that I ask everybody and I’m going to ask you, although I’m going to tweak it a little bit because we’ve been talking more about work than money, which is great. So my question for you, Joe, is what advice would you give a therapist who’s listening today, who wants to start to take steps to improve their relationship, to work? Who like they’re listening and they’re hearing like, Oh, that’s me. Like, I’m working all the time. I’m paralyzed with perfectionism. I’m doing things I don’t need to be doing. What would be some advice on how to get started in changing this relationship for the better? 

 

Joe [00:29:28] Yeah, I would say whenever they’re listening to this, look ahead to the next weekend and I want you to add something and I want you to subtract something. So I want you to add something that’s going to set you up to feel more relaxed and more in tune with yourself by Monday morning. So put that in first. Is it, you know what, I want to rent a movie or stream a movie with my kids, and we’re going to order pizza out. Is it going to be, there’s some friends I haven’t connected with in a while, let’s have drinks on the deck. Is it going to be, I want to make sure I get in nature and move my body with my family. Put something into that schedule that is not going to change that you’re adding. And I want you to also subtract something that’s draining you and maybe a toxic friend that whenever you leave, you feel like trash. It may be that you’re so sick of mowing your lawn and maybe that, you know, by the time this airs, maybe leaves are starting to fall in Michigan. I swear snow comes in September. Winter is coming.  You know, and so it could be, you know, this year I’m going to pay the neighbor kid to rake my yard. Finding something that is stressful, that doesn’t set you up for Monday. If Monday is your first day, whatever your first day is, that sets you up that you can remove from it, that you say, Oh my gosh, it feels amazing to not more my lawn this weekend. This is awesome. Remove something and add something. When you take those really small steps, you’re going to start to see that even that really small step is going to make you feel so much different as you enter the work week and you’re going to start trying more and more, you’re going to do more experiments. Next thing you know Thursday is going to be your new Friday. 

 

Linzy [00:30:56] So Joe, if people want to find you online, where’s the best place for them to find you? 

 

Joe [00:31:02] Yeah. So the book’s available everywhere. So whether it’s Amazon or your local bookstore, you can get the book there. The website is JoeSanok.com for everything book and keynote related, and then for all of my private practice work that’s over at PracticeofthePractice.com. I also have a podcast called Practice Of The Practice. We have six hundred and fifty episodes all about private practice now with lots of big names and lots of just average people telling really good stories about their practices. 

 

Linzy [00:31:28] Great. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Joe. 

 

Joe [00:31:30] Thanks so much for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:31:47] I so enjoyed this conversation with Joe and something that really stuck out to me about even the experience of talking to Joe – it’s no wonder that he has this massive impact with his Practice Of The Practice business – is he’s so energizing and inspiring something that I see so many therapists in private practice do, and especially those of us that struggle with money is struggling to take up space and thinking that what we do is valuable and that we have big contributions to make. And what I know is, with so many of my students is although they won’t be making these bigger impacts and they have a passion, whether it’s for perinatal therapy or complex trauma, we’re so stuck in this. First of all, this like, butt-in-seats models, is what they would call it, of just individual sessions and seeing so many clients every week that we’re really limiting our ability to be creative and start to dig into those bigger and more exciting projects that would help us help more people and help more people get our message. So I so appreciate Joe giving us a bit more of a map of how to get there. So if you’re a therapist who has that ambition and wants to do those bigger things and who just wants to enjoy their life more and make a project out of enjoying your life, not just being successful in business, I think Joe’s book has a lot to offer. All the links that Joe mentioned are in the show notes, so you can check them out there. Check out his book Thursday Is The New Friday and his website Practice of the Practice for his own podcasts. He has multiple podcasts on there that you can check out. And to hear more from me and Money Nuts & Bolts, you can follow us on Instagram. We’re putting out great free money content all the time. And if you’re feeling inspired to take those next steps to really get your private practice finances working for you so that you can start to do some of these things that Joe talked about and and really get your impact going because you have the money working in your practice to sustain you and take care of you and mean you don’t have to see a bunch of clients, I really encourage you to check out my masterclass, “The Four-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order”. It’s going to lay out my approach that’s helped hundreds of therapists really get money working for them so that their business and their life suit who they are. So you can check out the link in the show notes to register for the masterclass and watch at a time that works for you. 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.

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Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres

Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres
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Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres

Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres

If you don’t know how much your fixed monthly expenses are, how much your variable expenses are, if you don’t know what your bottom line is, you’re really doing yourself a disservice in your business as well. Because cash is like the oxygen of a business… it needs it to live. So if you deprive your business of money, it’s not going to survive. And that’s not good for you, but it’s also not good for the community that you serve. 

– Julie Herres

Meet Julie Herres

Julie Herres is an accountant and the owner of GreenOak Accounting. The firm provides accounting, bookkeeping & tax services to private practice owners throughout the United States. Their mission is for every practice to be profitable! 

Julie and her team have worked with hundreds of private practice owners, so they are uniquely positioned to be a trusted advisor to clients. Julie also hosts the Therapy For Your Money Podcast, where she talks about all things money & finance for private practice.

In This Episode…

Do you ever feel like your accountant is speaking an entirely different language that you just don’t understand? It can often feel like therapists and accountants are at different ends of the universe from each other.

Julie Herres of GreenOak Accounting joins me today to help bridge that communication gap and share some of the most common financial mistakes that therapists and health practitioners in private practice make – and how to address them. 

In this episode of Money Skills For Therapists, you’ll learn about how understanding your numbers can help to ensure that your private practice can continue to support you as well as the community that you serve. 

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 <<<

Episode Transcript

Julie [00:00:02] If you don’t know how much your fixed monthly expenses are, how much your variable expenses are, if you don’t know what your bottom line is, you’re really doing yourself a disservice in your business as well. Because cash is like the oxygen of a business, it needs it to live. So if you deprive your business of money, it’s not going to survive. And that’s not good for you, but it’s also not good for the community that you serve. 

 

Linzy [00:00:31] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question. How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. 

 

Linzy [00:00:52] Hello, and welcome back to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So the podcast has been out in the world now for two weeks, and we’re starting to get some reviews come in and I wanted to share one of those today before we dove into our episode with accountant Julie Herres. So a review that came across from Deborah about the podcast. She shared the podcast has been such a blessing and is so needed the strategies have been helpful, and Linzy’s eloquence, empathy and constructive approach is so refreshing. This topic is so needed. Thank you, Deborah, so much for your review. And if you’re listening, please jump over and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts, specifically. That is the way for us to get more eyes- well, ears specifically on this podcast for therapies and health practitioners who also want to hear more about money. So today’s episode is with accountant Julie Herres. So. Therapists and health practitioners, and accountants, we tend to occupy different ends of the universe. It can feel like and I’ve had so many therapists tell me that even though they’re professional communicators, communicating with an accountant can be so difficult and intimidating. So, Julie, I’ve sat down with her a couple of times before. She is such a lovely, approachable accountant. And today we’re going to dig into some questions of profitability in private practice. Some of the biggest mistakes that she sees therapist making in private practice and the value of knowing your numbers from her accounting perspective. She even gives us one thing that private practice owners can do right away to improve their financial situation. So Julie owns GreenOak Accounting It is accounting firm specifically targeted at therapists. They serve therapists all over the United States, and she always has so much to say in a very accessible way. Very refreshing. So without further ado, here’s Julie. 

 

Linzy [00:02:49] So, Julie, thank you so much for joining us today. I’m so excited to have you on the podcast. 

 

Julie [00:02:54] Thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here. 

 

Linzy [00:02:56] Yeah. So Julie, something that you probably know about therapists and health practitioners already is a lot of us are really intimidated by accountants. I know it’s shocking, right? Right. Like, sometimes it almost feels like this like gap of like two different cultures. And like, we don’t know how to talk to each other. So I’m really glad to have you here today because not only are you an accountant who I’m going to ask you some questions and and let our listeners have some time with you. But you’re an accountant who specializes in working with therapists and mostly mental health therapists. 

 

Julie [00:03:29] Yes. Yeah, exactly. 

 

Linzy [00:03:30] So you you kind of bridge that gap a little bit that often therapists feel like are there. 

 

Julie [00:03:36] I think so. And I like to think that my heart, my team has the heart of a teacher, right? And I think that’s one of the advantages of working with us is that we know how to kind of bridge that gap. And in the sense that I think we’re going to start building the blocks over time of financial knowledge so that you, a therapist, can understand what’s going on in their business because they should. 

 

Linzy [00:03:59] Yeah, I love that. And I think that really hits on like a key problem that therapists have that like you’re solving and and I’m solving and like things like there are people like us who are trying to solve it, which is that we just are never taught these things. So there is a lot of learning to do. 

 

Julie [00:04:13] Yeah, it’s such a blind spot where you start your own business and you might know therapy really well, but that doesn’t mean you know the business side and there’s just so much to it. You’ve got to. I truly believe every practice should be profitable because you deserve to make money doing your your god given talent. 

 

Linzy [00:04:31] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And it’s easy to have it not be profitable if you don’t know what you’re doing. So I mean, moving into that, Julie, I’m curious, what are some of the common mistakes that you see private practice owners making when it comes to money? 

 

Julie [00:04:47] I would say probably number one is just not knowing your numbers. I would say the most common mistake is just not knowing your numbers. And it’s easy to just put your head in the sand and not really look and think if I don’t look at the problem doesn’t exist. But not knowing what’s going on financially in your business. And so that doesn’t mean that you need to become an accountant or become an expert at anything. But if you don’t know how much money’s coming into the business, if you don’t know how much your fixed monthly expenses are, how much your variable expenses are. If you don’t know what your bottom line is, you’re really doing yourself a disservice in your business as well. Because cash is like the oxygen of a business, it needs it to live. So if you either- if you deprive your business of money, it’s not going to survive and that’s that’s not good for you, but it’s also not good for the community that you serve. Yeah, that would be one of the big mistakes that I see often. I’ve got a lot more. How many do you want? 

 

Linzy [00:05:45] Oh, like so many. 

 

Julie [00:05:46] So many, OK, mistake number two, I would say, not saving for taxes. Taxes are inevitable.  Death and taxes are our two certainties in life. And so from the very beginning, you’ve got to be saving for taxes. And one of the reasons this often happens is if someone’s transitioning from being an employee to being a business owner. When you’re an employee, the taxes are already taken out of your paycheck, right? And your employer remits those to the government. All as well. You might owe a little bit at the end of the year, but nothing crazy. But when you’re a business owner, depending on the legal entity, you may not have paid anything in taxes. And so you’re taking money home thinking, Oh, this is all mine, but really, it’s not. 25 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent of that might actually be the government’s money. And so it’s one of those cases, too, where you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not thinking ahead and planning for that because that is coming at some point you’re going to owe those taxes, and I’d much rather someone be prepared for it, even if they’re just a little bit short. It’s still better than in your second year of business, catching up from the mistake of the first year and trying to get ahead for year two. So, so, so hard. 

 

Linzy [00:06:58] Yeah, yeah. We call that kind of like the the tax cycle where it’s like once you get behind, you’re trying to pay back the past, but you’re also trying to save for now. And often what I see people do is they prioritize that past payment because that’s the one that has interest and that’s the one that has emotional weight. You need to cover that, but then you still don’t save for the future and you’re just going to be in the exact same spot a year from now. 

 

Julie [00:07:18] Exactly. And you’re not paying estimated taxes. And even with a payment plan, right? So sometimes if you if you have a big, big payment owed and you don’t have enough money, you can set up a payment plan, but that’s going to take you years to pay down. And so it’s just this this vicious cycle where it just gets harder and harder. So planning that from the beginning is always, always, always a good recommendation. 

 

Linzy [00:07:44] Absolutely. 

 

Julie [00:07:45] I also think one of the one of the mistakes I see often is waiting too long to get help. And that’s not necessarily in accounting, although it certainly does apply, but when starting a business, it’s kind of natural to want to bootstrap everything and just do it on the cheap. Or you’re bootstrapping your own website and you’re you’re doing your own billing and you’re doing your own bookkeeping and answering all the phones, right? And for a certain period of time, that can be really helpful, and it’s good to know how to do those things. But there comes a time where you’re going to burn out from doing all the things, and financially it’s actually more efficient for you to give those tasks to someone else. Like, if you’re not, if you’re returning calls two days later because you don’t have time just paying someone $15-$20 an hour to answer calls either live or return phone calls within a couple of hours. That’s just going to be money well spent because you’re it’s going to increase your number of clients. It’s going to increase your revenue coming into the business and decrease the time it takes you to take to do that. 

 

Linzy [00:08:48] Absolutely. Yeah. And I think, you know, going back to your saying about knowing your numbers, that’s where knowing your numbers, you can start to make those kinds of strategic decisions. That’s a strategic decision, right? And I think for private practitioners, we have this real thing with bootstrapping like more than so many other industries where we just start from nothing and then we just try to make everything happen from nothing. From nothing, in terms of financially, we often start with like, no, we don’t get loans in our industry. Like even though like if you’re going to start a restaurant, you go and you get like $150000 loan. And in our industry, you start a private practice and you just, like, try to fund it from your bank account, which if you can, that’s great. Or a lot of people put stuff on their credit cards or just pay for it from their personal money. And so, you know, that piece about knowing your numbers that lets you make those really smart decisions. As you say, that’s like a better use of your money because you’re actually going to make more money for having made that decision. 

 

Julie [00:09:40] Yeah. In this day and age, in this virtual world, it’s so easy to get a virtual assistant that’s not even going to be full time for you, right? You might hire someone five hours a week, but if you are charging $150 per session, and that may be high for some areas, low for some areas. But if you’re charging 150 per session and hiring someone, again, at $20 an hour, gets you even one additional client on your calendar like you’ve made a lot of money in that time, so freeing you up to see additional clients. And then just also making getting that revenue in. Same thing. The same can apply, certainly to your accounting right. If you’re DIYing it and missing stuff, missing deductions, filing your tax return wrong, that can be really costly to fix. 

 

Linzy [00:10:27] Yes. 

 

Julie [00:10:27] I’ve seen it plenty of times where it would have been cheaper to do it right the first time with a professional, than to fix the mistake. 

 

Linzy [00:10:33] Yes. 

 

Julie [00:10:33] But a website is an example I like because I am very crappy at updating my website, like that is not one of my talents. And so I might spend five hours working on something and my awesome admin will go do it in 20 minutes. So like, I know, I should not have been spending my time doing that right? That was not efficient. 

 

Linzy [00:10:53] I think health practitioners, particularly, we’re used to being very competent, like the work mental health professionals do especially. And that’s the work I know best, so I can speak to it. Like you’re used to being so on the ball and so able to, like, solve these problems that other people would run away screaming if they had to do the work that we do. And I think that leads to kind of this blindness where we believe that we’re the ones who need to do that thing, that we could do our website better than somebody else or like we need to be the ones returning phone calls. And it’s a very costly belief. 

 

Julie [00:11:26] It really is, and that’s not to say that you shouldn’t know how to make a minor update on your website, but that doesn’t mean you need to know all the inner workings of it. Like that’s not an efficient use of your time or my time. In my case, my time. But it’s also not something that- I’m never going to go start a website company because I am not good at it and so like, so trusting the professionals to do their work is is is a good idea here. 

 

Linzy [00:11:54] Yes. And I’m hearing also financially, it’s a better decision to do it that way. Much of the time. 

 

Julie [00:12:01] Usually they’re going to be just a professional is going to be much more efficient at it. All right. I’m going to give you one more. I think it’s very, very common when going from solo practice owner to group practice, paying that first hire too much. I’ve seen it over and over and over again. Like, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen that. And it comes from such a place of kindness and wanting to lift others up and do right by other people. It comes from a place of, I’ve worked for someone else and I hardly made anything and it didn’t feel good and so I want to give them as much as I possibly can. So it comes from a very good place. But when adding one clinician, typically you don’t need more physical space. If you if you even have an office anymore, you need very little additional overhead. You might have a EHR subscription, email subscription, right? Those costs are minimal and you typically are not going to need to all of a sudden add a full time admin just because you add one person. So you’re probably still taking the calls, doing some of the intake, doing the billing, but that’s not sustainable long term. Right. So while that while those numbers might work for the first clinician, if you’re not thinking of where am I ending up in one, three, five years and what support am I going to need to sustain that kind of a team? You’re paying someone too much because you haven’t built in the full time admin, the biller, the additional physical space, and all the other pieces that come along with having a group practice. And it’s very fair for that to be paid for by other people’s money, right? You shouldn’t be having to work harder to pay for everyone else’s overhead. And be losing money on each session that your clinicians see.  

 

Linzy [00:13:43] And so I’m really curious, Julie, like, is there a magic number that you do suggest for people who are starting to hire clinicians under them as employees or subcontractors? Is it a split? What do you suggest? 

 

Julie [00:13:54] Well, so there’s a lot of different ways that clinicians can be compensated. But just generally speaking, for a large group practice, we look for no more than 55 percent of gross income to be going to clinician payroll. And so there’s some times, like right now, it’s a very tight labor market. It’s very hard to hire. We’re seeing that number sneak up, but that usually means it’s going to be reduced somewhere else. And what I mean by that is not every single person needs to be at 55 percent, right? But you’re going to have some more experienced people who might be a little bit higher. But typically that’s going to also be offset with less experienced people at lower rates. Because if everyone on your team is an 80 percent split, there just is not any room for profit like there literally is no room and chances are that you’re losing money on each session. So, so an average is that’s kind of where we like to see that, including payroll tax too 

 

Linzy [00:14:50] OK. So that includes payroll tax. So that doesn’t mean they have a 55/45 split with you. That means at the end of the day after payroll. 

 

Julie [00:14:58] Yes. So if they were a contractor where no taxes are withheld, they might be at a 55 percent split. But if they’re an employee, they might be at a 50 percent split because after payroll taxes, that costs you about 55. And if you wanted to add benefits, you might want to even adjust that a little bit as well. 

 

Linzy [00:15:13] OK, great. That’s a very helpful guideline. So, Julie, what is one thing that private practice owners listening today, what’s one thing that they could do to improve their financial situation, like right away,. 

 

[00:15:26] Right away? I would say reverse engineer your lifestyle. And what I mean by that is a lot of times when we onboard a new client, we’ll ask them how much money are you looking to take home per month from the business? And a lot of times they don’t actually know what that is. And there’s always the want- I want to be taking on 50,000 per month, right? And that’s all well and good. But what do you actually need? Like, what does it take to sustain your household, to pay your mortgage, your rent, your car, your kid’s activities? What are the minimum things? There’s there’s a kind of nice to have and good to have, right. Those are, to me, those are two different numbers, but a lot of people don’t know either one of those. And so if we start there, we can do the math on what does that mean in your business? How many sessions per month, per day, per week? We can break it down in a really granular way that doesn’t seem so overwhelming. So we just need the information for that. I was just reading a book by Tim Ferriss. I think it’s a four hour workweek. And he talks about like, what’s your dollar amount per day that you need to survive? And I thought that was really interesting because I typically have looked at it by month. Yeah, but even per day, if you need whatever, it may be a $125 per day like, that’s not overwhelming at all. Can I go make $125 today? Yeah, I can definitely do that, right? So. So I don’t know that that’s not necessarily my number, but I just thought it was an interesting way to look at it. So if we if we can just focus in on that, then that also tells us, like, what is the next thing that you need to do today in your business, right? So if you need if you need, for example, 100 sessions per month and you’re currently aiming or you’re currently projecting, you’re going to have 75, then you know, OK, I’ve got to do some marketing activities today like we need to get more people in. And if you’re projecting for one hundred and twenty five, then your activity might be, OK, it’s time to hire or who’s going to see all these clients. So knowing what that threshold is can be helpful in so many different ways. 

 

Linzy [00:17:30] Yeah, I love that because it it really demystifies. It demystifies the the business and our fees and our client hours. And and I do the same thing with my students. I’m a firm believer – I’m right with you – in like, there’s real numbers here. There’s real numbers, like we don’t have to set a random fee based on what people around us are doing. We don’t have to see the same amount of clients other people are seeing, like there’s actually a number that supports your life. And when you know that number, as you say, you can then make your business support that like, fund your life. 

 

Julie [00:17:59] Yeah, absolutely. And I was talking to a client a couple of weeks ago, and she is a solo practice owner, wants to stay that way, and is consistently full every week. Always, always, always full. So we were talking about, OK, well, she would like to be taking home a little bit more money. And a year ago, that wasn’t the case, she wasn’t always full, but now that she always is like, OK, how about you raise your rate $20 an hour? And we can look at the numbers, look at the difference this does when you don’t have employees, like you can see more clients or raise your rate, like those are kind of the main two things you can certainly control expenses. That’s always a good thing. But there comes a point where there’s only so many more places to cut without you spending a whole lot of time doing something manually. And so just knowing, Hey, I want more, how do I get there? Like that’s that’s a fun exercise to do as well. Mm hmm. 

 

Linzy [00:18:52] Yeah. And I love that too, because I think that also- that’s asking therapists and health practitioners to do something that we don’t naturally do first, which is like, think about your needs first, right? This business is funding your life. Like the point is that you’re it’s paying for your home and your life and your kids activities, as you say. And I think as therapists, we can get so focused on our clients and our clients’ needs that when you know, when they come back, that question of like, Well, what should I charge them like? Well, people don’t have money or, you know, like, Oh, well, I need to see as many people as I can because people, we think about their needs first and often they’re kind of made up needs their stories that we have, rather than thinking about the fact that the business is supposed to be supporting us. This is like the work we’re doing to make money in the world. 

 

Julie [00:19:37] Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s a limiting belief of, I don’t think people will pay, and it is possible that if you raise your rate, some clients will leave, right, it is possible. But then they will likely be replaced with clients who also equally need you and can afford to pay your fee. And of course, I’m probably a little bit less emotional, I’m an accountant. Like I know my viewpoint. But but to me, like part of our our job as the accounting team is to say, Hey, you deserve to make more money. You have one more year of experience the last year, right? And also to normalize like it’s OK to make a good living running your private practice, like that is a very OK thing to do. You deserve to be able to pay for everything and then some. If you want to go on a nice vacation, you should be able to do that. You’re very talented. You’re very educated. There has to be profit in your practice or else why are we doing this?  

 

Linzy [00:20:40] So for people who are maybe DIYing their finances right now and they’re wondering about whether or not they need help, what’s your suggestion? In what cases should health practitioners and therapists be DIYing our bookkeeping and our accounting, and when should we look to hire somebody like you to get help? 

 

Julie [00:21:00] Yeah. So I think in the very beginning, the bootstrapping is not a bad thing. I think if you have a financially focused mind, like if you can get the work done and you will do it consistently, learning how to do your own books is really a good thing to understand how the mechanics work, what’s taxable, what’s not taxable, like how all the different pieces work. I think that will serve you well in the long run. So in that case, if you’re really good at that, I would still always team up with an accountant for your taxes. I just think as a business owner, there’s just a lot more complication to your taxes, and I’ve just seen too many errors to suggest that anyone try to DIY. Like if you’re an employee, TurboTax all day long, go for it. No judgment here, but if you have your own business, I really think you should work with with an accountant for taxes. At least there’s an annual opportunity for someone to look over what you’ve done and say, Hey, you’re doing this piece correctly, or this has changed, and kind of fix things. However, as you grow, I really think there’s a tipping point, certainly as you move into group practice, right? Because there’s a lot more complication. There’s payroll and there’s just a lot of things that can go wrong with payroll, but you’re spending a lot more time managing the business and having something like that off your plate where you’re still getting reports, you still have access to everything, you still know what’s going on with your business, but you’re not necessarily the one doing all the work. I think at the point of group practice, that should always be on the plan unless you’re someone who really, really, really enjoys and you were a CPA in a previous life like then maybe you knock yourself out or your spouse is an accountant, then that might be a little bit different. But I think it’s always beneficial to learn how to do that just so that you know what you’re looking at. But then just give it over to someone else as soon as you can afford to, because a bookkeeper, an accountant is going to be able to do things more efficiently, but probably more accurately as well. 

 

Linzy [00:22:57] Yeah, that’s the thing I think with doing your own taxes when you have a business, as you say, is like, you don’t know what you don’t know. So you’re doing it and you don’t realize that there’s this whole benefit, this, you know, a tax benefit that you could be getting some money back that you don’t even know about. So you’ve missed that opportunity or yeah, there’s just- I know so little of what you know, Julie. And I think that’s part of wisdom, right? Is like knowing when to hand it over. Even I, who like, loves bookkeeping and numbers and stuff, I work with an accountant. 

 

Julie [00:23:25] So Linzy, can I reverse this on you and ask you, when should someone DIY and when should they outsource? 

 

Linzy [00:23:33] Yeah, well, I’m the same page as you in terms of like, I think, always have an accountant do your taxes. I have had an accountant do my taxes for years. Unless you get some sort of really deep satisfaction from taxes. And as you say, like you were a CPA in a former life and you actually know all of the loopholes and all the little quirks and tricks. So for the most part, I’d say almost always have an accountant do your taxes. But I think in terms of bookkeeping, I mean, like what I teach in my course right is it’s important to have ownership over the numbers. And that’s what it’s all about. Like in, you know, I believe that like therapists and health practitioners should have the skills so that when we do get help with things, it’s that we’re delegating not like giving up our power, right? Because I think so often part of the reason I think so often that therapists also struggle with our relationships with like accountants or bookkeepers is because we don’t understand what they’re saying if they don’t have like a teaching kind of philosophy like your firm does. It’s very disempowering. And when you have those interactions that are confusing, it just kind of reaffirms the negative story that many therapists have that they don’t understand numbers and they’re dumb about this stuff and they don’t know what they’re doing. And it just kind of is even more disempowering. So I’m a big fan of like, get your feet grounded in it, understand the basics of what are happening, the foundations, and then you can like, hand it off. But like from a CEO empowered place rather than a like, I don’t know what I’m doing so I’m just going to get this big pile of receipts to somebody and hope that they’re doing right by me. 

 

Julie [00:24:59] Hope for the best. 

 

Linzy [00:25:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because many accountants are doing a great job for you. But yeah, there’s a very different energy to handing it off as like an empowered delegating task, rather than like giving up and hiding under your bed. Yeah,. 

 

Julie [00:25:13] Yeah, I agree. 

 

Linzy [00:25:15] So, Julie, I’m wondering what would be one piece of advice that you would give somebody listening who wants to start to improve their relationship with their finances? 

 

Julie [00:25:25] I think I have two. So I would say, don’t be an ostrich, take your head out of the sand and just look at what’s going on. There is so much power in that knowledge and knowing what’s happening in your business. So I would say, face it head on. I would love for any practice owner to be looking at their numbers at least monthly, because there’s a lot of people who will just wait till the end of the year and then put everything together. You spend the whole weekend putting everything together, and that’s good enough for taxes, right? So, can you get your taxes done that way? Yes, absolutely. For compliance purposes, you can, but you’re missing out on all the important data that your business is trying to give you if you’re not looking on a on a regular basis. And if you have that information, it’s just going to help you make data driven decisions. And in the business, that’s a really good thing. And I would also say, my second piece of advice is a lot of times when someone comes in to work with us or reaches out to us with a call for a consultation, they’ll say something along the lines of. I don’t understand what my current accountant is doing, they tell me, like, don’t worry about it, I’ll just take care of it, and I don’t know what that means. Is it handled? Is it not handled? Do I need to do something? So I would say, whether you work with with my team or someone else, look for someone who’s going to be a good fit for you. And if you don’t have a good fit right now, talk to someone else, right? There’s a lot of different accountants out there and you just ideally you want to work with someone who’s going to spend the time explaining things to you in a way that makes sense to you. That’s going to meet you where you are. I mean, that may cost more. It probably will. And if you just have a tax preparer and you need to reach out throughout the year, that’s probably going to cost you as well. But having that person in your corner is just such a- it should be an asset. You shouldn’t dread reaching out to that person. And once you have that person, talk to them before you make big financial decisions. So before you open up a retirement plan, talk to them, see what the tax consequences are or tax benefits like, is there something else that might work better for you before you get a loan or buy a building, or even sell your business. Talk to your accountant so that they can help guide you through those big decisions and maybe, hopefully shine a light on perhaps something that was a blind spot otherwise. 

 

Linzy [00:27:49] Yeah. Like when you have that person, use the resource. 

 

Julie [00:27:52] Yes. Yes. Like, it’s always worth reaching out to them. And that’s why a lot of accounting firms, including mine, have gone to have a flat monthly fee model, right? And it’s in part because we don’t want anyone to hesitate to reach out to us because it’s going to cost them to talk to us, like talk to your team. That’s exactly what they’re there for. 

 

Linzy [00:28:11] Yes. And I feel like that ties right back into the number one you talked about, like not ostriching, right? Like looking at these things and thinking about them as you go helps you make better decisions. 

 

Julie [00:28:20] Yes 

 

Linzy [00:28:22] Well, thank you so much, Julie, for people who want to hear more from you, where can they find you? Is there a social media channel you hang out on the most? 

 

Julie [00:28:31] Yes. So I would say go to greenoakaccounting.com. You can find out a whole lot about our services. You can even schedule a free consultation with my team. I also have a podcast called Therapy for Your Money, where I talk about all things money in finance for a private practice. So there is- Linzy you were a guest recently. So we have lots of great topics like compensation, tax saving tips, like there’s just a whole lot of different things that you can get on there as well. 

 

Linzy [00:29:00] Oh, so great. Awesome. So you can check out the links for those in the show notes below and check out Julie’s podcast. And thank you so much, Julie, for joining us today and showing us that accountants aren’t that scary. You’re, like, really nice and pleasant. 

 

Julie [00:29:13] We’re really nice. We’re very nice. Thanks for having me, Linzy it was a pleasure. 

 

Linzy [00:29:17] Thank you. 

 

 

Linzy [00:29:19] So something that I so appreciated in my conversation with Julie that actually almost caught me off guard a little bit when we were talking was that moment where she stopped and asked me what I thought about when people should delegate work to an accountant. And that is something that I so appreciate about Julie is that collaborative approach. She’s told me before that their accounting firm, she’s all about hiring accountants with the heart of teachers. You know, there’s more of that open, communicative back and forth. And I always appreciate that when I talk to Julie. If you want to hear more from Julie, her link is in the show notes, she has her own podcast. If you go to a greenoakaccounting.com, you’ll see the link down below. You can get on to her podcast where she digs into private practice finances as well. But from that specific account and perspective, which is definitely not my perspective, it’s so great that we have people in the world who like to do different things and have different gifts. It makes all of our lives and businesses richer. If you would like to hear more from me, you can follow Money Nuts & Bolts on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. The link is in the show notes. And if you would like to get more into my world and would like help with your private practice finances and developing a better relationship with money, the best way to do that is to check out my masterclass. The link will be in the show notes. It’s the four step framework to getting your business finances totally in order, and my approach is that emotionally present, talking to you like a therapist, building these foundational skills to get your private practice really working for you and get money really working for you in your life. So if you want more of that, check out my masterclass and a link is in the show notes. Thanks for listening today.

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

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In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

Listen to this episode »

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

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

“If the prospect of starting to work on your finances in your private practice and improve your relationship with money is completely daunting and overwhelming, today we’re going to start with one thing, one actual practical thing that you can do and start working on immediately that is going to improve your relationship to your finances and create more clarity for you.” 

– Linzy Bonham

In This Episode…

So many therapists and health practitioners have no idea where to even begin when it comes to their private practice finances. 

It’s totally understandable to feel overwhelmed – the majority of us were never taught about this stuff.

In this episode of Money Skills For Therapists, I’ll be giving you the first practical, actionable step that you can take towards improving your relationship with money and getting more clarity around your business finances. 

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: https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/masterclass

Episode Transcript

Episode 4 Official Episode-final.mp3

 

Linzy [00:00:02] Therefore, when you started having to manage the money in your private practice, you just used the bank account that you already had, right? You had clients send money to your bank account, right. Your Venmo pointed to your account and now you’re in private practice and you’re getting busier and maybe private practice is now your full time thing or it’s getting fuller all the time and the money is impossible to understand and have any clarity about. It’s all just kind of a blurry mess because your personal money and your business money are completely enmeshed. They are like one in the same. 

 

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. 

 

Linzy [00:01:11] Hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Money Skills For Therapists podcast. So today is a different kind of episode. This is my first solo episode. So our previous episodes, if you’ve been listening in order, they have been interviews, we have a coaching call with Marcuetta working through some mindset questions. We had interviews with Allison Puryear and Annie Wright, and those interviews are people who are further ahead. Therapists who have done work on money or are working actively on money. And they’re like several steps too many steps down the road, right? The purpose of those podcasts is to help you see where you can go and what’s possible and kind of open up questions and ideas and curiosity about what money could do for you and your life, like it has done for my graduates and my colleagues. 

 

[00:02:04] Today’s episode is much more practical. Today, we’re talking about where to start with your private practice finances if you have no idea what to do. If the prospect of starting to work on your finances in your private practice and improve your relationship with money is completely daunting and overwhelming. Today, we’re going to start with one thing, one actual practical thing that you can do and start working on immediately that is going to improve your relationship to your finances and create more clarity for you. 

 

[00:02:40] So something that I see a lot in students who come into the course is so often we’ve started our private practices as kind of side hustles, right? Maybe you were in an agency setting and then you started seeing a few clients on the side or you started in a group practice working for somebody else, and we’re getting paid as a W-2 or as an employee in Canada. And therefore, when you started making money in your private practice, when you started having to manage that money, you just used the bank account that you already had, right? You had clients send money to your bank account, your Venmo pointed to your account and now you’re in private practice and you’re getting busier and maybe private practice is now your full time thing or it’s getting fuller all the time and the money is impossible to understand and have any clarity about. It’s all just kind of a blurry mess because your personal money and your business money are completely enmeshed. They are like one in the same. This is like a really natural problem to have because of the way that most of our private practices evolve. But if you are in this situation, or if you do have a separate bank account, but it’s still fairly fuzzy, I’m going to unpack today exactly how to move forward with creating that clarity that’s going to be a starting point for getting your money really working for you. Because if we can’t see what’s happening, if we don’t have that clarity, then we can’t fix it. If we don’t know what’s going on, there’s no way that we’re going to be able to make improvements. 

 

[00:04:12] So you might have already guessed. The first step is to create a separate business bank account. I feel like a little bit of a broken record saying this because I say this all the time whenever I do guest appearances or workshops for other private practice builders, I always mention this because it’s such a foundational first step and it’s so easy to skip. But going out and getting that business bank account, and if you are operating as if you’re incorporated to some level, if you’re operating under a business name, then you may have to get a business bank account, which does mean you’ll have to pay some business bank account fees that are a little bit higher, but you’ll get some perks that come with that, too. If you are a solo practitioner, like if you are a sole prop, then you can actually just use a personal bank account. You can do some research online if you want to think through that decision. There’s information out there about, you know, why you may or may not want to do that. But for many people who are sole props, as far as the government is concerned, the money that’s coming into your business is your money anyways, they don’t see it as separate from you, so you could absolutely just open a personal bank account. 

 

[00:05:20] The reason that it’s so valuable to do this is it gives you that clarity that you are absolutely not going to get when your money is intermingled. When you have that separation, you are creating a boundary between your personal life and your personal money and that business. And that boundary is so important in private practice, whether you’re a mental health therapist or whether you’re another kind of health practitioner, I think already as healers and helpers, we can have blurriness around our relationship to our business because we do it from our hearts, and it’s easy to kind of feel really mixed into the work that we do. And when our money is mixed, it just makes that enmeshment and intermingling that much stronger. Creating that separate bank account and pointing all of your payments from your clients, and so all the money coming in and pointing all the money that comes out, all of your bills, having them all go through that one bank account is going to immediately give you so much information about what’s happening in your private practice. You are not going to have to guess anymore on whether or not there’s money there to pay yourself. You’re going to see that. You’re not going to have to guess whether or not there’s money for taxes. You’re going to see if there’s extra money there or not, at the end of each month. And you’re not going to have to guess if your business is making money. 

 

[00:06:36] Sometimes in our private practices, what can even be happening when we’re getting started is that our business is leeching money from us. It’s actually having negative returns and that is completely normal at first and seeing that is painful. There is kind of this, like I said, I want to say like anesthetic quality to having that enmeshment, which is that we don’t actually have to think about how our business is doing or not. And we don’t actually have to face whether or not we are making money or not and whether or not we can pay ourselves or not, because it’s all just kind of blurred together. And so that lack of clarity in some ways can be a kind of avoidance. But when you do make that separation and you have that clarity, you’re going to have to get real pretty fast about what’s happening in your practice. Now I will say, when you’re starting out, it is normal that your business is losing money. So if that’s what you discover when you do start to create the separation in this clarity, that is par for the course. But what it can let you do is actually make an informed decision about “how much money do I want to lend my business?” “How much money do I want to give my business as a start up fund?” And then you’re making a conscious decision about that rather than the business just taking money from your home and kind of just stealing money from you and the money that’s supposed to be for your kids activities or for your vacation or, you know, your spouse’s fund to buy a truck or whatever. You are going to be able to make conscious choices about giving your business a loan into that personal bank account rather than just having it eat your personal money, which is so easy to happen, especially if you’re into doing lots of trainings, which I will have to talk about in a further episode about therapists in our relationship to professional development. 

 

[00:08:17] So steps to do that, let’s get really concrete. If you do not have a separate business bank account… number one: start to look around and see what your best options are. If you have a bank that you already like and trust, then just walk into that bank and talk to them about what their options are for business bank accounts. That is a great place to start. It can be helpful to have your business bank account actually at a separate institution from the one that you usually use. So not the same bank that has your personal accounts if you have a tendency to kind of steal money from yourself and if you know the boundaries need to be stronger, then it is strategic to set up that separate bank account at a different bank, not the one that you usually use. But it can be another bank in your city, could be a credit union if you want to support credit unions, or there are now a lot of online banks that are really easy to get accounts. And if you’re not usually going into your bank, you can just use an online bank and just do it all from home and go through that process of submitting necessary paperwork, which sometimes is a little, sometimes is a little bit more to get that started. 

 

[00:09:24] Once you have that set up, once you have an account, which sometimes can take a little while and I want to normalize that – if it takes a few weeks because it takes you a little bit to organize your paperwork or it takes you a little bit to decide which bank or if it takes them some time to approve the account or to get your debit card to you, that kind of thing – that’s totally normal. Don’t think that that’s about you. I want you to resist the temptation to have that add to your negative money story if you have a negative money story that like money is difficult or that you can’t do these things, you’re not effective, I want to take the wind out of that negative money story’s sails and say it does take time to set up a bank account, that’s normal. 

 

[00:10:00] But once you get that ball rolling, once you have that account set up, then taking the time to make sure that you’re pointing all of your payments, taking that half an hour or one hour of time to make sure that all of your client payments are now going into that account and all of your bills are coming out of that account. It’s going to take probably about an hour of your time to do both of those, maybe an hour and a half, depending on how complicated it is. But the clarity that that’s going to give you, the ease that that’s going to create at tax time when you don’t have to go chasing after transactions in your personal bank account and your personal visa and and trying to figure out what’s business and what’s not, but rather having it all in one place. Honestly, if that’s the only thing that you do for yourself around your business finances this year, that’s a huge step. You are going to thank yourself at tax time so much when already all of your transactions are in one place, which is in that bank record for that business bank account. 

 

[00:10:59] So that is the first actionable step, setting up that separate business bank account. Now if you find that that feels really daunting and difficult, listen for future episodes where we’re going to talk about more of the mindset and emotional blocks that can come up around money. Because if that does feel completely impossible, it might be that other things need your attention first, and I was kind of in a toss up debating over what topic to talk about in this very first podcast episode of Where to Get Started, because this is the first practical step. The first practical step is creating that separation. Getting that business bank account. But the first emotional and mindset step, which we’ll talk about later, is starting to really understand what’s happening for you. What are those stories? Starting to create that distance and curiosity about those stories so they don’t run you and stop you from doing practical things like this… Like getting your business separated from your personal finances so you have clarity and ease at tax time. 

 

[00:11:59] So get that business bank account underway, take those first steps in this direction. I cannot overstate how grateful you will be to yourself at tax time. How much your future self is going to appreciate this if this is not a step that you’ve done already. And if you do have a separate bank account, but you don’t have it completely separated, if you’re say, I see a lot of cases where, say your insurance payments, if you’re an insurance panels, your insurance payments are still going to that old bank account even though you’ve set up that new bank account. Take that hour of your time and point those payments towards your new bank account. It takes a little while. It can create… like a little bit of a hiccup or a gap in your payments. But it is absolutely worth it for the time that you’re going to save later and the headache that you’re going to save yourself later. 

 

[00:12:47] If you want to hear more from Money Nuts & Bolts, you can follow me on Instagram. You can find me at @moneynutsandbolts. We’re putting out free money content there all the time. And if you are interested in learning more about Money Skills For Therapists the full course, this is where I walk you through step by step in nice little bite sized chunks how to go from money confusion and shame to calm and confidence. We walk you through mindset pieces of working through those emotional blocks that can make money so difficult, but also very practical pieces to actually have you set up a financial system that makes sense for you and your brain and can help you really get money working for you in your private practice and your life. Not just the basic things, but next level things like being able to support the life you really want and saving for those bigger, more important goals. If you’re interested in learning more about the course, you can check out my masterclass. We’ll put the link in the show notes. It’s called the Four Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. Thanks for joining me today for our first solo episode and jump over to Instagram and let me know when you have that business bank account all set up. 

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.

Other Episodes

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 to this episode »

Have you been wondering how to BOTH increase your income and also stand up against the oppressive systems that dominate our society? Listen in as Linzy and Dena cut to the core of these issues in our society and the way they affect therapy and private practice. Most importantly, Dena and Linzy really explore what we as therapists can do about it! We talk about how to become bigger and increase income while also remaining focused on core values as a way to bring about change. Listen in to hear more about reframing our thoughts about these important issues.

Listen to this episode »

In this episode, Linzy and Jelisha delve into the specifics of goal setting when it comes to money and how to make those goals personal to you rather than having vague, arbitrary goals guided by society. Jelisha shares the way that her relationship to money has changed over time and what she does when old negative money stories pop up. Together, we explore how we prioritize our spending and actionable steps we can take to get better at that.

Listen to this episode »

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

Abundance vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

Abundance vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

“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/

Ready to get your finances really working for you in your practice and your life? Money Skills for Therapists is my signature course that takes therapists and health practitioners from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence. Get on the waitlist for the Money Skills For Therapists course here: https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/podcast_waitlist 

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