How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson

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

How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson

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

“You, me, the people who listen to this podcast, we are pretty good… not to toot our own horns, but we’re really awesome. We’re smart, we’re empathic, we’re emotionally intelligent; we’re the whole package. And when you’re the whole package, you are going to be good at just about anything you put your mind to. What that means in practice is that we’re extra vulnerable to getting caught in the trap of believing that because we’re good at something, it’s what we should be doing.” 

~Maegan Megginson

Meet Maegan Megginson

Maegan Megginson is a licensed therapist and business mentor who serves mission-driven entrepreneurs online and in person in Portland, Oregon. Maegan helps business owners recover from burnout and reignite their vision for their work and their lives by blending the emotional, psychological, and spiritual elements we need to become deeply rested and wildly successful. 

In this Episode...

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

Maegan candidly shares her own career trajectory, illustrating how it has shifted over time, and she discusses insights from her coaching experiences with other business owners. Together, Linzy and Maegan talk about the financial and emotional aspects of pivoting, and Maegan shares why evolution in business can be a fulfilling and essential part of the professional journey. 

Connect with Maegan

You can connect with Maegan at https://maeganmegginson.com/ or on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/maeganmegginson/

Get Maegan’s Recover From Burnout email series. A 10-day journey to find your way back to yourself—without time blocking, hiring extra help, or trying to “just do less.”
https://maeganmegginson.com/recover-from-burnout/

FREE Workshop Series: Overcoming Money Shame

Are you tired of feeling completely overwhelmed and anxious about your private practice finances? CLICK HERE to join me live April 22nd – 25th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET  for my FREE Zoom workshop series, which will teach you how to go from money shame and confusion, to calm and confidence.

I’m also giving away $500 cash to one lucky participant! All you have to do is sign up today to save your spot and be sure to attend the workshops for your chance to win.

Previous Episodes with Maegan Megginson

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Check Out the Jane App

Want to simplify and streamline things in your business? Jane is an online platform for health and wellness practitioners that makes it super easy to book, chart, schedule, bill and get paid. 

Click here and use my code MNB1MO for a 1-month grace period as you make the switch and settle into Jane!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Maegan: You, me, the people who listen to this podcast, not to toot our own horns, but we’re really awesome. We’re smart, we’re empathic, we’re emotionally intelligent; we’re the whole package. And when you’re the whole package, you are going to be good at just about anything you put your mind to. What that means in practice is that we’re extra vulnerable to getting caught in the trap of believing that because we’re good at something, it’s what we should be doing.

[00:00:26]  Linzy: 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.

[00:00:48] Linzy: Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. So maybe this is a tradition. It’s a season closer, our final episode of season eight. And for this episode, I’ve invited on my biz bestie, Maegan Megginson, to talk about what I have been jokingly calling Burn It All Down with Maegan Megginson. That’s probably not going to be the episode title that you’re going to see on here.

[00:01:13] Cause what does that even mean? But Maegan and I today have a conversation about pivoting, about what to do when you have built something that you notice is no longer feeding you. We talk about her own journey with leaving therapy, stepping away from a group practice,

[00:01:30] and even doing some major pivoting in how she is coaching, and changes that she’s making literally right now in her business, that have not landed, to try to make her business more and more aligned with what actually feeds her. So this is a great episode for you if you’re feeling if you’re dissatisfied or trapped in the work that you’re doing, if you’re curious about expanding or doing something different.

[00:01:54] There’s lots of wisdom in this episode that Maegan has hard earned by making these big changes and also by being mid change, but also an interesting trajectory of looking at how she has changed what she’s doing, but also has built some financial stability along the way, which has allowed her the freedom to explore and do work in different ways as she’s figuring out how she wants to be working now, today, in the present.

[00:02:22] Here is my conversation with Maegan Megginson.

[00:02:41] So Maegan, welcome back to the podcast. 

[00:02:44] Maegan: So happy to be here. Thanks for having me back.

[00:02:47] Linzy: I’m so happy to have you here. Always. We were joking before we started that we ended up in like a gratitude loop of like jokingly thanking each other.

[00:02:53] Maegan: No, thank you.

[00:02:54] Linzy: No, no. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

[00:02:56] Maegan: No, uh uh. Thank you.

[00:02:59] Linzy: Which would make a really boring podcast episode, but I think sums up a lot about our relationship.

[00:03:03] Maegan: Speak for yourself. I would love it. Season

[00:03:07] Linzy: So thank you for coming on. This is going to be a season closer of a season. I don’t know what I’m at season a million. Let me see here. Season eight.

[00:03:14] Maegan: 780, Season 8, Got it.

[00:03:17] Linzy: Season 8, so episode 96. I’m coming up to episode 100. And I like having you on the podcast for many, many reasons. One is that I do feel like you’ve become one of the recurrent guests.

[00:03:26] It’s Linzy has on her friend to have kind of more casual conversations. Rather than the conversations that I get to have that I really enjoy, but that are much more, a first date where I’m meeting people for the first time and like seeing what they’re about, and like we’re almost like discovering as we’re having the conversation what do we have in common?

[00:03:43] Where do we think differently? Will we have a second date? Usually the answer is no, but with you, it’s endless dates.

[00:03:50] Maegan: Endless dates. It’s the romance that never ends.

[00:03:54] Linzy: From across the continent.

[00:03:56] Maegan: From across the continent. Well, in all seriousness, so I can have the last gratitude word, thank you for having me on as a recurrent guest, and I’m also really honored to be the final episode of the season. So, yeah, I feel really grateful, and I’m excited.

[00:04:11] I know very little about what we’re going to talk about today, which feels fun. Like we’re bringing a little mystery into the relationship, which is very important for long term relationships. I’m happy to be here and I am ready to be torn apart with your probing questions.

[00:04:25] Linzy: I was going to say, that’s very much like your couples sex therapist knowledge coming in. I was like, oh, I didn’t, we’re just going to talk about trauma now. Let’s get into the depths of your soul, Maegan Megginson, because that’s what I was trained to do. when we were talking about what we would chat about today, the joking episode title that I’ve given you, but it’s like a joke that won’t go away, is Burn It All Down with Maegan Megginson.

[00:04:48] So, I wanted to chat with you today about pivoting, and about… Is there another way to say pivoting about making changes in your business or like reassessing your business or being flexible and open? Because I think you more than anybody that I know in the business space kind of emblemize this of like really trying to consciously align your business with what really feeds you.

[00:05:10] And so you are in a pivot at this very moment. You are mid pivot. Have you landed a pivot? Tell me about pivoting.

[00:05:17] Maegan: hmm. Mm hmm. I have so many thoughts about pivoting, we’re going to have to stay really focused for this one podcast interview. I joked last year… It was it was spring last year when I realized “Oh, I know what’s happening here. It’s another pivot,” and I joked that I needed to add Professional Pivoter to my resume that actually it’s just like Maegan Megginson Professional Pivoter, I also loved the double alliteration, but alas, I can’t actually call myself a professional pivoter But I do have a lot of feelings about pivoting and a reframe I would love to offer people who are listening is, that pivot in itself can have a pretty negative connotation.

[00:06:00] People hear pivoting, and they think giving up, you know, or they think, Oh, I’m like, wasting all of the years that I invested into this other thing, all of the money that I invested in this other thing. There’s something about a pivot that feels like a sharp right turn where you’re leaving everything behind.

[00:06:17] And I’ve really had to work in my own personal process this last year on letting go of that very colonized way of thinking about our career trajectories. Because we’re all up against this internalized, capitalistic, colonized belief that we need to get one job straight out of high school, we need to major in something in college, and then get an internship, and then get a job, and stay in that one field forever, and just keep climbing the ladder until we retire and then we die.

[00:06:44] And for some people that fits. But for most people it doesn’t, because actually we live life in a cyclical way. We make laps around the track. We evolve. So for me, I’ve really reframed pivoting as allowing myself, giving myself full permission, to be in evolution, to be a person who is constantly evolving.

[00:07:06] And instead of thinking about my changes as sharp pivots, I just think about this kind of gentle winding path. And I let the path lead me to where I’m I need to go next instead of only walking due north because that’s what I was told I was supposed to do.

[00:07:23] Linzy: It’s a much more embodied way to be with what you’re doing with your whole life, right? Because we are talking about career, right? And so as you said, there’s this kind of upward trajectory, or this locked in narrative that we get. Like you do the things to jump through the hoops, to be locked into the thing there you want to be in, you do that forever.

[00:07:42] What you’re talking about is a much more present way, I think, to be with what you want to do where it’s not, life is not an upward trajectory where you hit the top, right? It is like a path where there’s different seasons, and different priorities and values at different times. And what I’m hearing from you is just such a present relationship with what you actually want to be doing in a given season or moment in your career, rather than still being locked into this thing that you agreed to when you were 22 years old.

[00:08:12] Maegan: Yes. And I think this conversation is especially applicable for people who own their own business because our business hopefully is an expression of who we are and the work that we want to be doing in the world. Most of us go into business for ourselves, especially as therapists or healers, because the work feels like an extension of our soul, of our core identity.

[00:08:38] So as a small business owner, the work that you’re doing, the business that you’re running, it needs to be an extension of who you are. And inevitably who you are is going to change over the decades that you are hopefully alive on this planet in this lifetime, however you want to think about it. So I do think that,different people in different circumstances, of course, are going to have different relationships to what it means to evolve or what importance they place and the type of work they’re doing in the world.

[00:09:07] But if you are a healer, and you have created your own service based business, you probably identify with that feeling inside of wanting your business to be an expression of who you know yourself to be. And we have to give ourselves permission to change and grow as we grow.

[00:09:26] Linzy: Yeah, absolutely. I’m hearing a piece here about identity, right? Of like an expression of yourself and who you are. But something that I think about too is when we create certain services in our business, when we agree, this is the way that I help people. We are creating a job that has certain tasks, right?

[00:09:43] Like we are saying I go into my workplace at this time, I do these kinds of things, right? And that is how you’re spending your human life. That’s how you’re spending your day, right? So when we do lock ourselves into an idea of who we were, when you are doing work that’s not feeding you, not only is it not aligned with you in terms of what you want to be in the world, but it’s like you’re spending your day doing stuff that maybe you don’t enjoy anymore.

[00:10:06] And that’s not actually feeling like a good use of your energy. And if we think about how much of our life we spend working, that’s a lot of time that you’re spending doing something that you’re not actually being fed by anymore. If, if you’re in that place.

[00:10:20] Maegan: I think it’s one of the biggest contributors of burnout. Sometimes people are burnt out, and they love their work, but they’re just not doing it sustainably or they’re doing it in the wrong way or whatever. But often there’s something much deeper at the root of burnout, and I would say nine times out of ten, it has to do with the person who’s feeling burnt out is showing up in the world in a way that’s no longer in alignment with who they are.

[00:10:49] Maegan: So yeah, I mean, what you’re saying, it feels so true in my own personal experience and the work that I do with other people that if you are acting out of alignment in your work and your business with who you are, you’re going to be unhappy, you’re going to get bitter, you’re going to get resentful.

[00:11:03] Eventually you’re going to feel burned out by work that used to energize you and used to light you up. So that’s, that’s actually one question I love to ask people when they’re saying, “I feel… I’m so burnt out. I’m so burnt out” is, “Hey, take a breath. And I’m actually really curious is the work that you’re doing now

[00:11:21] connected to who you are in this moment? What’s the relationship between your work and your identity, and if they have grown apart, then they might need to get divorced. you might need to consciously uncouple from what you’re doing professionally if it’s no longer Working for you

[00:11:38] Linzy: Okay. So, we’ve been talking abstractly, philosophically, spiritually, lots of metaphors, as we do. Let’s get concrete, too, for folks who are listening. What are we talking about when we talk about you wandering the path, pivoting? Can you tell folks who are listening about the changes that have been happening in your business?

[00:11:57] The changes that you’re making… What has that been looking like for you?

[00:12:00] Maegan: Yeah, I can. I don’t know how concrete it is. That’s another part about the quote pivoting process or the evolution is you, you have to give yourself permission to go through seasons where you are wandering alone in a dark forest. And you’re like, I know in general I’m heading in the right direction, but I also have no idea where I am right now.

[00:12:22] And I feel mostly safe, but also I hear a wolf howling in the background. This is not for the faint of heart. Like burning everything down, as you said, and, and building from the fertile ashes is a really intense psycho spiritual emotional process. So I don’t want to downplay that. I don’t want to say this is easy.

[00:12:41] For me, it’s the only way to be, because I know if I’m not living in alignment with my own personal process, I do feel burnt out. I do feel unhappy. So anywho, backtracking. I became a therapist really early in my life, I went to college straight out of high school. My first year of college, I was a double major in theater performance and psychology.

[00:13:04] And at the time I had spent all of high school acting, and I had done summer programs in New York City. And I was just committed that my path was in the arts. And I, I did one year of theater school in college and was like, These people stay up way too late. Honestly, that was like the number one thing that wasn’t working for me, is I was like, you guys, I need more sleep than this.

[00:13:25] This is not going to work for me. So, I, I dropped the theater major, and I, and I will say, as I’m reflecting on my whole life, that was my first big pivot, was letting go of the part of my identity that had been so over identified with who I was in the arts. And it was, somewhat easy because you’re in college, you know, there’s room, there’s permission to explore, to change, to evolve.

[00:13:50] But I remember there was grief. I felt really sad. I felt really scared. Am I making a mistake? But I was also loving my psychology classes. There was something about those people and conversations that was lighting me up. It was stimulating a part of my brain that hadn’t been stimulated before.

[00:14:06] And I trusted. Intuitively, I trusted that I’m going to follow the breadcrumbs, right? I’m going to follow the breadcrumbs of alignment and energy and excitement, and I finished that psychology degree and then went straight from undergrad into grad school. I think there was an overlap before I had my college graduation ceremony, the summer term for my marriage and family therapy program started.

[00:14:30] So there was no break between college and grad school, which in hindsight, I don’t think I recommend, but we do what we do. And I became a therapist really quickly. So,went to grad school, worked in a group practice for about a year after grad school, and then left that group practice and started private practice, and was a couples therapist from day one.

[00:14:51] Couple years later, added on the certified sex therapy specialty. Did that for a while, and let me just pause there before I continue the story, but that was the first pivot was like the, Oh, I’m this, the arts isn’t quite right for me. Let me pivot into psychology. Let me move from psychology into marriage family therapy.

[00:15:09]  Linzy: Something that sticks out to me about this story is it was fast, which is interesting to note because knowing you as a person…

[00:15:24] Maegan: Yeah. I’m not fast.

[00:15:25] Linzy: You’re not fast. You’re slow. I remember having a conversation with another friend of ours, who’s a very fast moving person and you were saying, “Yeah, I could just sit in, you know, my beanbag chair and look out the window and think for hours.”

[00:15:36] And she was like, “What are you talking about?” But like you, you do have that thoughtful, slow pace. And so it is notable to me that you moved so quickly into these pretty major decisions and these pretty major commitments. What do you make of that?

[00:15:54] Maegan: 15 years of therapy. I think I’ve, I think I’ve cracked the nut of that mystery. But thanks for naming that because it does, it feels really important for me to name that. It has taken, you know, two decades to come back to the part of me that is authentically slow.I experienced some traumas in high school that really reinforced in my nervous system that moving fast, and being a people pleaser, were the strategies for survival.

[00:16:27] Always have a plan. I think something I learned in surviving these traumatic experiences was, “Hey, just have a plan,” you know, cause if you have a plan, you’re going to be out of here in this many days. And then in this many days you’ll be here and there. It was reinforced really early in my life that having a plan and knowing exactly what comes next creates the illusion of safety and security. And I think, I mean, I can say unequivocally that my trauma response is fawning, and, I think that is so reinforced in college and grad school and academia as a whole, you know, when you are the type A perfectionistic people pleaser who just exists to, you know, make sure others feel seen and validated and supported, you’re going to thrive in an academic setting.

[00:17:14] You know, your professors are going to fucking love you, and they are going to like dote on you, and they are going to also probably groom you into becoming something very similar to what they themselves have become. And that certainly was true for me. So I think there was this double whammy in the first chapter of my professional life, if you will, where I was moving really fast with a plan because that was how I knew to survive.

[00:17:40] That’s how I knew to operate in the world, and it took decades to really unwind from that way of operating, and giving myself permission to pivot and evolve professionally has been a big part of that healing process to realize, hey, it’s okay if you don’t have a plan. It’s okay if what you thought was going to happen next year actually turns out to be entirely different.

[00:18:04] We’re safe now. We don’t have to play by the rules. We don’t have to follow the plan. So I love when I see people who are also really, They’re like over planners, you know, when they’re like following a plan. I love now just to slow down together, take a breath and, and ask when did you learn that planning would make you feel safe and secure?

[00:18:29] And are there ways maybe that that isn’t true anymore? And are there ways potentially that the plan is blocking you from tuning in to what is trying to come through you now? always the answer is no. Yes, that is happening, and we have to just slow down and deconstruct that to be able to, to know where to go next.

[00:18:51] Linzy: Yes. Yeah. I’m, I’m laughing a little bit cause I’m like, it sounds like a, it’s a leading question. You know that that’s true most of the time when you’re working with folks, obviously, also because we attract folks who tend to have similar patterns to us. But yeah, as you’re talking, something that I’m thinking about, too… you know, you and I talk, too, about kind of moving the goalposts or like this idea of what you’re looking for is just over the horizon.

[00:19:14] Like we do a lot of kind of reflecting on how it’s so easy to defer life. Like life is going to happen over here. Happiness is over here. Stability is over here. Safety is over here. And that’s what I’m hearing in the story is like the plan is always to get somewhere else. The plan is not about being here.

[00:19:28] It’s somewhere else. Somewhere else is safe. But it’s, yeah, catching up to yourself as an adult that like you have actually built a safe life. You can be here. And think about what you want to build here. You don’t always have to be going somewhere else.

[00:19:43] Maegan: Oh, it’s such a good point, Lindsey, and it feels so true, and it reminds me of something I talk about in my own work with my clients. It’s like the when then paradigm, right? When we’re constantly in this position where we’re saying, when this happens, this happens, then I’ll be happy. You know, when this happens, then I’ll feel safe.

[00:20:04] When I have this much money in my bank account, then I’ll feel secure. When I have, you know, this certification, then I’ll feel smart enough. When I have a business that’s generating this much revenue, then I’ll feel successful. We’re on this hamster wheel, and at the same time, we’re constantly moving the goalpost.

[00:20:19] It’s just so unsustainable. It’s so unfair. It’s so incongruent with what it means to be embodied in the human experience, living each moment fully and authentically. So yes, what you’re saying about being present, it feels so important and, and that in itself is a life lifelong learning for almost all of us, you know, of learning how to be in the present moment and how to know where to find, in the present moment, safety and love and success and calm, peace.

[00:20:55] Relief. It’s all here. It’s all available to us all the time. We have to learn how to slow down long enough to find it. And it’s really hard to slow down and find it when we’re running businesses that make us really unhappy. I mean, businesses that we’ve outgrown or moved away from or whatever, however you want to think about it, take so much psychic and emotional energy.

[00:21:19] So even if you’re like, quote, only seeing 20 clients a week, If you’re seeing 20 clients that you don’t like, don’t thrill you, and you’re not getting paid what you need to live a comfortable life, that 20 clients a week feels like 40 clients a week.

[00:21:35] Linzy: Yes.

[00:21:35] Maegan: I want to name that: it’s easy when we’re talking about this philosophically for it to sound easier than it is.

[00:21:41] There are so many competing factors and forces and variables that make this work really hard to do, but it starts with a planting of seeds. You know, and maybe the one, the seed that’s being planted in your mind right now is, “Hmm, can I catch myself when I’m doing when then, you know, oh, can I notice when maybe I feel intuitively like there’s a part of me that wants to be doing something slightly different?”

[00:22:08] Linzy: Mm hmm. So back to your story.

[00:22:11] Maegan: So, act two. I was a therapist. And I was a really good therapist, and I want to say something about that. You, me, the people who listen to this podcast, we are pretty good… not to toot our own horns, but we’re really awesome.

[00:22:27] You know, we’re smart, we’re empathic, we’re emotionally intelligent, we’re the whole package. And when you’re the whole package, you are going to be good at just about anything you put your mind to. What that means in practice is that we’re extra vulnerable to getting caught in the trap of believing that because we’re good at something, it’s what we should be doing.

[00:22:48] And this was a big part of my transformation away from being a therapist. I mean, it took probably three years for me, two to three years of being in the process of exploring my ambivalence about whether or not I still wanted to be a

[00:23:05] therapist. My own therapist, bless her soul. She had to be so annoyed with me by the end because I would just keep going through the same ambivalence every single week. She was so patient.

[00:23:17] But what I discovered in that process was like, wow, being good at being a therapist has become the main part of my identity, and I don’t actually know who I will be when I can’t identify in that way anymore. And it’s reinforced by all of the people who say shit like, “But you’re so good at it!”

[00:23:39] Or I can’t, what do you mean you’re not going to do that anymore? It’s obviously what you’re meant to do. You know, all of these people who are like, I think trying to give you a compliment, but actually are just, reinforcing… because what’s being said under the surface is, Oh, but wait, that’s your calling.

[00:23:56] That is your identity. I, really what they’re saying is, I don’t know who you are when you’re not a therapist. And then they project that uncertainty all over you, and you’re left in this black hole of fear and mystery where you don’t know if it’s safe to let go of this profession or this identity because every, it’s how you know yourself, it’s how everybody knows you, and it’s a huge process.

[00:24:25] Pivoting, when your career is your identity, is a huge personal process.

[00:24:31] It’s a huge process when the thing you’re pivoting away from, or evolving away from, is a huge part of your identity, both within yourself and if other people know you in that way as well. It’s a big job. You have a lot of layers that you have to shed before you can actually hang up that hat and move into something else.

[00:24:50] Linzy: Yeah. Well, and I was thinking, there’s a couple things that come up as you’re saying that. One is I’m thinking about something I know almost nothing about, which is family constellation kind of theory of therapy, but I just have this visual, from that model, which is like a mobile where it’s like, when you have a mobile, you’re in these fixed relationships with these different people in your constellation.

[00:25:10] And when you try to move, they all rebel because they’re like, no, no, no, that’s your spot over there, right? So that occurs to me about how people… and we do this to other people too, no doubt, unconsciously police people into the role that we’re used to them playing. But it also makes me think about what have, have we done in our lives when we do play one role so well?

[00:25:28] That the people around us also have a lack of imagination for what else is possible, right? Because I could totally think of another scenario where it’s I’m going to leave my job as an engineer and they’re like, I’m so happy for you because like your art is so important, and it’s so great that you’re going to make space for it.

[00:25:41] Like when somebody has kind of those competing parts and like the friends and families can feel that and see how there is all this other potential. But being a therapist can be so all consuming, and can take so much of our little time and energy that sometimes those other parts of us aren’t apparent to other people and, and they don’t know who we are besides being a therapist because we’ve kind of gone all in on this part

[00:26:02] Maegan: Yeah. Well, because you don’t know who you are, besides being a therapist.

[00:26:05] Linzy: They’re reflecting back to you what you’ve been doing in the world, which is therapisting 24 seven. Even at parties, you’re still a therapist.

[00:26:12] Maegan: Right. It’s how everyone knows you. And I think you’re speaking to another side of the coin, too, when the thing that you’re pivoting towards… And to be clear, that, that might be nothing, you know, you might be saying, I’m, I’m shutting down this business or I’m quitting this job and I’m just going to do nothing for a little while, or you might say, I’m quitting this lucrative job as an engineer and I’m going to be an artist.

[00:26:33] And then people project their capitalism, like stuff onto you and be like, Oh, how are you going to survive? How are you going to make money? Oh my God, you’re giving up your business. It was so successful. How could you give that up? So, no matter what you do, people are going to project onto you.

[00:26:49] It’s really threatening, especially if you’re female identified. I think the world at large gets really threatened when females are shedding layers of identity, especially when those layers are about being a martyr, or being in service to other people, stepping into more powerful identities and expressions of themselves in the world.

[00:27:08] People are going to get activated, and it’s part of the personal growth process to learn how to thicken your skin, but not thicken it to the point where you’re jaded. It’s like thickening a permeable skin, you know, like we have to be able to withstand people’s projections, but we want to hold on to the parts of us that are intuitive, that are empathic, that do have our finger on the pulse of the collective emotional experience.

[00:27:37] So again, it’s a really big process.

[00:27:39] Linzy: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. The word that comes up to me, when you say that is like sturdy, like we have to learn to be sturdy where we’re like, we’re solid, we’re holding it, but it doesn’t mean that we’re rigid. I’m going to point out that we’ve totally fallen away from your actual story.

[00:27:53] Maegan: Okay. So the TLDR of this chapter of the story. So I was a therapist. Let’s reverse. I was a therapist. I was a good therapist. I was in private practice. I, my husband and I, and our three dogs moved from Texas to Portland, Oregon. And when we moved here to Portland, I started my private practice 2.0, I called it. And I was full within a month. I mean, I had figured out the game in Texas and I got here and bam, I was full. It was going great. Now, my husband, he had quit. He was in corporate America. He was in oil and gas. He was an engineer, actually. I don’t know why I didn’t catch this parallel earlier.

[00:28:31] And he was really burnt out because what he was doing was not in alignment with who he is. So he quit that job. We knew he was going to take a sabbatical. Moved to Portland. That sabbatical turned into actually, I don’t think like a nine to five is for me at all. And the question in our family became, okay, so what are we going to do?

[00:28:51] We want to honor this and we want to pave our own way. We want to honor that this isn’t for you, but also we now live in Portland, Oregon which, spoiler alert, is really expensive. So we needed money to live comfortably in this city, and we decided, as so many therapists do, that since my private practice was going so well, we should just hire a few more therapists and start a group practice and run it together.

[00:29:13] And we did, and that group practice still exists here in Portland, the Center for Couples and Sex Therapy. And it is a smashing success and I’m so proud of what we created. I am so proud of the livelihoods that we create, the work life balance that we create for these clinicians, and the impact that we have in the community.

[00:29:33] These are all things that I’m so proud of and are so meaningful to me. And it became clear to me pretty quickly in that process that being a group practice owner was not what I wanted to do with my life. It did not serve me, personally, in many ways, at all. And it had become another identity, being a group practice owner.

[00:29:55] So at the time I was a group practice owner and a couples and sex therapist. So I went through a really dark season where I had to look in the mirror and acknowledge that I’m doing two things. I have two identities, and neither of them feel like a true expression of who I am. So I started coaching on the side, because why not add one more plate into the spinning mix, you know what I mean?

[00:30:20] Why not? I was like, let me try this. And, and I will say something I’ve reflected on that I am grateful for, like to myself. I am grateful in how, naturally, I have chosen courage in my life, the courage to, to just try something new. And this doesn’t work. Let me just try something new. There’s definitely been downsides to that, i.e. running three different projects at the same time. That’s too many, especially if you’re a highly sensitive person. So there’s, there’s pros and cons of all choices that we make. But I think part of the reason I’ve been able to do so many things in, you know, my relatively short existence is because I am not afraid to try and fail.

[00:31:04] Because I know the only way I’m going to get closer to what feels right is to try something that doesn’t feel right and to scratch that off the list and to move to something else. That really is the philosophy that I think first was very natural and unconscious, and I’ve taken that

[00:31:23] and made it explicit in my life. And I really try to honor that as a way of showing up in the world. So there was a period of time where I was doing all three things. I was running the group practice. I was seeing couples and sex therapy clients, and I was experimenting with business coaching. And that was a wild time.

[00:31:41] And. One, something had to go, it was too much, so that kind of led to the first big pivot in this space when I hung up my hat as a couples and sex therapist. And that’s been about two and a half years. It’s been two and a half years since I stopped seeing therapy clients. It was hard. It was painful; it was emotional. There was so much grief, so much grief, especially as I was saying goodbye to clients I’d been working with, some for almost a decade.

[00:32:09] It really was a shedding of a huge part of my identity in a similar way that letting go of being in the arts was shedding a huge part of my identity. So I did that. And on the other side, I was running the group practice, and I was coaching. So over the last five or so years, my coaching has evolved in so many different ways.

[00:32:33] And I’ll say more about that in a moment. And for the group practice, I’ll say, I’m still very actively invested in the process of moving away from the group. You know, we’ve hired a full time manager. We’ve hired a clinical director. I’ve really done everything I can do to remove myself from the day to day operations of that business while still supporting its existence in the community. And pros and cons to that. But I’ve at least been honest with myself that it can’t be you. So how do you get yourself out of the thing that’s not serving you, even though everyone in the community is like, “Oh my god, but it’s so great, and we love it so much, and look what you did!” And whew, there are strokes to the ego

[00:33:13] everywhere you turn, and you have to be strong enough to withstand that feedback to really honor with integrity, what is true for you. With my coaching work I was really intentional when I started coaching to name my company,just myself, Maegan Megginson Coaching. And I did that because I didn’t want the name of my business to inform them

[00:33:38] or influence in any way, what I was doing inside of the business. I felt really constricted in my therapy practice. I had the center for couples and sex therapy. I felt like the only thing I could do was couples and sex therapy, because that’s literally what the thing was called. So when I opened the coaching business, I said, I want to create a business that is a playground for me.

[00:34:00] I want to create a space that I know probably for the rest of my career will house me showing up and serving and leading and lots of different capacities. I need a business that is… I don’t know, like a series of blank canvases. I need room to move and grow, and I need it to be okay if I changed my mind and I, and I want to be able to move through that process with more ease than I had been able to move through that process up to that point, and that’s very much what happened.

[00:34:32] And as I’m allowing that to be a more fluid process, it also gets harder and harder to tell a succinct story about what the pivots have been, because I actually feel like I’m constantly evolving in my coaching work. At the beginning of the coaching business, I was working with a lot of group practice owners, and my husband was also supporting group practice owners and understanding their finances.

[00:34:54] And, you know, I started there because that’s what I knew. And as I was moving away from that part of my identity, surprise, surprise, I didn’t want to talk to group practice owners every day in my coaching business. So I pivoted and started moving more into supporting highly sensitive therapists and more introverted entrepreneurs.

[00:35:12] And then that started feeling a little too restrictive. You know, I was like, Hmm, this isn’t, this is interesting and I like it, but this doesn’t feel quite right. And then I moved into the personal branding space and really committed for several years to being someone who was offering skills and strategies, but through a different lens, and that was going great.

[00:35:32] And that worked really well, but probably about midway through last year, also in the midst of some really deep personal healing and personal transformation that I was doing behind the scenes, I had to name that that absolutely was not what I wanted to be doing. Again, another example of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you’re good at it doesn’t mean it’s the thing you are being asked to do in the world from your highest, wisest self.

[00:36:03] So all of last year, we behind the scenes have been slowly deconstructing everything that we spent the last few years doing and building. I had this beautiful program called Next Level Therapist that I spent so much time and so much money creating. And I’m so proud of everyone that came through that program and everything that we did, and I stand by it a hundred percent, and we shut it down because

[00:36:29] it’s not in alignment with the way that I want to show up in the world now. So here I am in February 2024, and I’ve given myself permission to do very little this year. I’ve gone back to my roots of working with clients one on one. I’m thinking of myself as operating in more of a mentorship role now, really bringing together the emotional, the spiritual, the visioning, the long term plan

[00:36:59] for mission driven business owners, right? I see myself as kind of paving the way in the world through my own process to be able to offer something different to people now. I want to be what I needed three years ago for the people that I’m serving, so I’m experimenting now with what am I, and what am I doing, and how do I describe this?

[00:37:20] And I’m getting more and more comfortable saying to you, to anyone who asks, I don’t know, but it feels pretty magical and it feels more aligned than anything I’ve ever done before, so I’m just going to keep following these breadcrumbs and trust that it’s all working me towards some bigger plan for my life and my work in the world.

[00:37:43] Linzy: Mm hmm. Something that I’m thinking about, listening to your story kind of in such a clear sequence is, it’s kind of like you’re getting, you’re serving yourself from three years ago.

[00:37:55] Maegan: Mm hmm.

[00:37:56] Linzy: Has that been the case at other times, too? That you’re going back for yourself three years ago?

[00:38:02] Are you always serving Maegan from three years ago, but Maegan’s needs are changing because she’s growing and evolving as a person? I don’t know why I’m talking to you in the third person, but you know what I mean.

[00:38:10] Maegan: Yeah, I know. It’s great. Keep doing it. I think there are times when It’s really clear to me that I’m serving myself from the past. I don’t think that’s what I was doing as a therapist. I think that the clinical work that was calling to me was, much more about healing, probably like ancestral wounds if I really go back in time.

[00:38:31] I mean, certainly it’s weird that I was a 21 year old couples therapist,My caseload were often couples who were like, 40 and above and I think about my husband and I now going to see a 21 year old couple therapist and I’m like, no, thank you. And I’m like, Hey, what a hypocrite.

[00:38:48] That’s exactly what you did. So you know, I don’t… I just have to believe that I was called to that work to heal wounds that I don’t even fully understand.

[00:39:00] Linzy: Mm hmm.

[00:39:01] Maegan: It worked. I also think that, I did it. Quick tangent:, I really believe that there are two kinds of therapists, or we can say healers more broadly.

[00:39:11] There are two types of healers in the world. There’s the type of healer who’s drawn to the work to heal themself, and in the process they get to heal a lot of other people, too. And there is the healer who is genuinely designed to serve as a healer for others. Regardless of their own personal journey.

[00:39:30] And I feel like you discover which of those healers you are when you reach a big milestone in your own personal process, and your own healing work. And I saw it with myself, and I’ve seen it with so many people since then that when you reach a point in your own healing that you’ve, you’ve really, not that we’re ever fully healed, but you’ve checked a lot of boxes in your process.

[00:39:53] You either realize, “Oh, I don’t actually want to be a therapist anymore,” or you are more enlivened by the work than ever before. And I was definitely in the first category. So I don’t know exactly what was calling me, into being a couples and sex therapist. I feel like I was healing things I didn’t fully understand.

[00:40:15] I feel like doing that work through my twenties into my early thirties allowed me to deepen my relationships in a really meaningful way. It allowed me to deepen my understanding of my sexuality in really meaningful ways, But it was never as intentional as what I’m doing now, which is very much, you know, getting comfortable with my life path of doing the work that I’m here to share with others.

[00:40:42] Linzy: The language that you’re using here is really interesting to me because there’s a part of my brain that… We’ve talked before. We did an episode together about kind of healing our way out of being therapists, right? Because that was both of our trajectories. Yeah, we did a whole episode on it.

[00:40:55] If you’re listening and you’re really interested in that part of the story, Maegan and I deep dived into our, both of us, our own journeys to leaving being therapists. And that was a few seasons ago. Something that I’m, I’m thinking about now as you’re, you’re talking in kind of this healer language, cause this has been an evolution that I’ve, I’ve seen you undergo in the time that we’ve known each other.

[00:41:15] I don’t know if this is language you really would have used like seven or eight years ago when we became friends. But it makes me wonder, like, how do you define healer? Like when you’re talking about people who are like just healers at heart, am I a healer, Maegan Megginson? Or is that, that’s something different?

[00:41:33] Tell me more about what you’re talking about when you do talk about somebody who’s just really called to the work, regardless of what they’re working through themselves. 

[00:41:42] Maegan: That’s a great question, Linz. and I appreciate that reflection. As I’m listening to it, I’m nodding. I’m like, yeah, you’re right. I have, I, that has been an evolution for me. And I think part of that evolution has been my own decolonizing work around therapy and the mental health field in the Western world, and all of the ways that therapy has really been so profoundly colonized, right?

[00:42:09] You have to be very privileged to be in a position to go to grad school, to get the certifications, to pay for supervision. There’s so much gatekeeping that happens. There are so many rules and parameters that we really are, in so many ways, brainwashed in graduate school to believe that being a good therapist requires staying in a very narrow lane of rules and ethical guidelines, and we have to, ascribe to the different models and theories of all of the smart white men who came before us, and we are also taught to look down on people are

[00:42:47] healing in other capacities. And this is taught explicitly in some programs and implicitly in others, but there is a superiority about being a therapist. We get to kind of, you know, look down our noses at people who haven’t been to graduate school, people who are only coaches, people who are doing something that maybe is woo or spiritual and not evidence based.

[00:43:12] So I have really worked in my own process to wind my way out of that paradigm and to look with fresh eyes at the many different ways that people show up in service for the healing of other people in the world. And the last four or five years, I’ve also tried hard to, for me, to experiment working with people that 10 years ago, 

[00:43:45] I would have had a big opinion about. you know, I…As a therapist, I’d have been like, Oh, I would never work with this kind of person or that kind of person. What are their credentials? You know, are their practices evidence based? I would have asked all these questions. So I feel like it’s important for me to know you go, you pay your money, and you experience working with every possible person who are showing up and doing healing work in a way that’s really aligned for them. See what your experience is.

[00:44:14] And the more I do that, the more I realize that it’s kind of bullshit that being a licensed therapist is somehow superior to the other way people are showing up and doing healing work in the world. So, what do I think it means to be a healer? Well, I think it doesn’t matter what I think it means to be a healer.

[00:44:30] I think, what do you think it means? What do you need to be healed? And if what you need to be healed is financial education and support, then Linzy Bonham is a healer. And if what you need is someone who does EMDR to help reduce symptoms of your trauma, then your EMDR certified psychotherapist is a healer.

[00:44:52] And if what you need is a life coach to encourage you to advocate for a raise at work, then that life coach is a healer. And I don’t get to be the arbiter of who is a healer and who isn’t a healer. I am just more, in my professional work, as someone who serves healers and mission driven business owners, I am more curious about how you define yourself and what your intention is behind the mission that you are trying to bring into the world.

[00:45:22] And if you say to me, I feel really called to support, serve, help, heal in this way, then, in my mind, you’re a healer.

[00:45:33] Linzy: I like that. Yeah. It’s funny, you know, you, you mentioned like therapy has been colonized and my brain. Isn’t therapy colonizing? Was it ever not colonized?

[00:45:45] Maegan: Right? yeah.

[00:45:45] Linzy: Just the whole structure of it. But, yeah, like this, this openness, I mean, this, this I think has really been part of your evolution.

[00:45:52] Maegan: I do, I mean, your woo factor has gone way up to be real with you. I, I would actually just say that what I’ve allowed you to see has gone up.

[00:46:00] Linzy: Ah, there you go. Different parts. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Like that openness. But like that I think also really aligns with what you were talking about earlier of, you know, the, like the path that you’re taking where it’s like, wander, and see what’s there. And so in your business, this is how you’re approaching your own work that you do for others, is what I’m hearing, is like letting yourself see what feels good, trying things.

[00:46:22] Does that feel in alignment with…? does that not feel in alignment? What I’m hearing too is that’s also what you’re recommending and what you’ve experienced with working with other folks too, right? Like just try things and see, and let yourself be surprised by what is amazingly helpful and even more helpful than EMDR from somebody who’s got no, you know, official education, but it’s got these incredible healing gifts.

[00:46:41] Maegan: Yes, and you know, I want to own something else, too, and this is actually something I’m like very actively processing right now,

[00:46:48] I am owning in my work and in my life that I got swept up in,what I’m going to call the online business cult, because that very much is what it is, and how it operates.

[00:47:00] And I think we as therapists are really vulnerable to getting swept up into this whole section of the internet that’s about passive income and scalable offers and sales funnels and audience growth and not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There are good elements to all of those things, but there’s a way that the whole vision is sold to us as a magic pill that will solve all of the distress that we feel in our private practices. And it’s not true, and that’s not how it works, and I’m really in my own work right now looking at how I got swept up in that, how I contributed and perpetuated some of those beliefs that I think are false and harmful, and there are ways that they harmed me and took me away

[00:47:47] from the core of who I am, these parts that you’re reflecting back to me now.

[00:47:53] So this is part of why I’m giving myself this year of… I’m calling it my year of being in the void, where I’m showing up and working and serving in ways that feel deep and intimate and authentic, and very, very, very low pressure. So I am just wiping the slate clean of anything that puts me in a performance mode or anything that turns the volume up on the need to make a certain amount of money or a certain number of sales or grow my audience by this many people.

[00:48:25] I just, I need to take a big step away and come back to who am I, and how do I want to integrate who I am with the work that I do in the world. So I’m also thinking of this as a big healing year for myself and a deepening of my own understanding of what I’m doing and where I’m going and my work.

[00:48:46] And I’m really committed to sharing really openly about that in interviews like this, but also with my email community. I just want to be a voice in people’s inbox who’s telling the truth, and really giving people permission to also tell the truth to themselves, to their clients, to their communities, to their families.

[00:49:07] I just think we all need to be more committed to telling the truth.

[00:49:11] Linzy: So the financial side of this… this is a podcast called Money Skills for Therapists.

[00:49:16] Maegan: Oh, yeah, sure.

[00:49:19] Linzy: How have you made the money work to give you this? Cause I could, I can imagine some folks listening are like, I would love to be able to give myself the space to really think about what feeds me or checking with who I am now.

[00:49:30] Maegan: Yeah.

[00:49:31] Linzy: How do you actually float yourself while you’re letting yourself wander?

[00:49:36] Maegan: Yeah. I wish I could say I was a trust fund baby. That would make my life so much easier, but alas, I am not. So this is a great question, and I’m so appreciative of you for asking it. Three things. Thing number one, part of the ruse of the whole online business industry is that you need to make a ton of money.

[00:50:01] And the more money you make, the more successful you are, and you know, just look every day at how you’re holding yourself back. And what could you do to, you know… Okay, you made 250,000 last year, great, next year make 400,000, the year after that make 600,000. When does it stop? When is enough enough?

[00:50:17] And a big part of trying to wiggle my way out of that world was really looking at how I have been making more money than I need. and, And that’s fine, and I will one day return to making the amount of money that I was making and hopefully more. I’m not ashamed to have money, and I’m not closed off from financial abundance.

[00:50:40] But I think it’s really important that we’re looking so very closely at the relationship between how much money I’m making and how much of myself I’m giving, and I was giving more of myself than I wanted to give. So thing number one was sitting down with my husband and my team and going, okay, here’s how much of myself I want to give next year.

[00:51:04] Here’s how I want to feel. Here are the kinds of projects I want to work on. Can we all be okay with making a lot less money than we have been making. All in favor? Say aye. Great. Everyone agrees. The next question becomes how much money do we need to be safe, secure, and comfortable. And that is where we’ve spent most of our time financially.

[00:51:29] The last four months or so has really been dialing things down, and looking at what expenses can we cut. What things are superfluous, and how much do we need to just be okay to just be comfortable, back midway to our conversation, a reminder that I still own another business and I feel really fortunate right now.

[00:51:52] It’s not lost on me. Sometimes I can get lost in like why do I still do this? Why do I still have this other business? No, it’s not lost on me that maybe I still have it because I actually need it right now. Because I’m able to pay myself from that business it reduced the Transcribed Need to make more money in the coaching business.

[00:52:12] So we are pulling money from my therapy center, and we’re pulling a little bit of money from the coaching business. And then we did the math. Okay. If we know our personal financial needs are X, we’re going to meet this percentage from business number one, this percentage from business number two.

[00:52:27] We have one full time team member. How much do we need to pay her, and what are our recurring overhead expenses? We have written down that Maegan is not allowed to make any purchases without first approving them by the team because I do have a bad habit of being like, yeah, I’ll buy that thing. Yeah.

[00:52:44] I’ll do that course. Yeah. I’ll join that Mastermind. This is a year of trying not to spend very much money. So it’s math, and we did the math and now we know, okay, in order to keep the coaching business afloat during this year of exploration and healing, we need to generate x amount of money per month. So we have this baseline that we know we need to meet.

[00:53:06] And we figure out how do we meet that through the ways I’m willing to show up and serve clients now. And so far it’s going just fine.

[00:53:17] Linzy: I mean, what you’re talking about is my dream combination always, and what I’m, I’m always trying to support folks doing, which is take the math, combine it with what you actually want. What matters. Values aligned. And have these two things integrate. And that sounds like exactly what you’re doing, right?

[00:53:33] Like you’re not being delusional. You’re not, cutting your expenses down to nothing where it’s hurting you. You’re not, setting yourself up to make a ton of money. It’s like you, you found this, I don’t know, sober center, the, the workable number, that checks all the boxes.

[00:53:48]  Maegan: Yeah. And again, it’s for now. And because like you said earlier, this is about being present. In this moment. I’m not kidding myself. You know, it’s not like I think that making the amount of money I’m making right now is going to work for me for the rest of my life. No. Next year, we’re going to have to up the ante a little bit so that we can make some investments that we want to make, or do a little bit more travel, or fill in the blank, whatever’s comfortable to us then.

[00:54:20] But in the spirit of letting go of the need to know exactly where I’m going all of the time, we’re trusting that if we know what we need right now, and the needs of right now are being met, and we really are just showing up every day curious about how it’s going and what direction we want to move, we’re going to get to exactly where we need to go, and we don’t have to stress about it.

[00:54:41] We don’t have to panic about it. We don’t have to be scared about it. There’s a big part of this process for me right now that is about learning how to trust.

[00:54:50] Linzy: Beautiful. 

[00:54:55] Maegan: I still have a mortgage to pay, you know.

[00:54:57] Linzy: Yes. It’s a both and. It’s a both and.

[00:54:59] Maegan: Exactly that.

[00:55:00] Linzy: Maegan, thank you for coming on the podcast. For folks who want to get further into your world, it sounds like they could also get live updates of this process through your email list. Can you tell them where to find you? Wonderful.

[00:55:16] Maegan: So you can find me at MaeganMegginson.com and, we’re… I’m also happy to share something I just recently created: Recover from Burnout. It’s a 10 day email series to help you recover from burnout without doing anything or buying anything. So really taking what I’ve learned in my own process and turning it into 10 little seeds that I’ll sprinkle into your inbox and let you absorb at your own time and your own pace.

[00:55:43] In your own way. So I’m happy to share that. And I also host a weekly writing group called Express Yourself. So if you’re interested in hanging out with me and exploring more of who you are through writing, you can register for that at ExpressYourselfStudio.Com.

[00:55:57] Linzy: Thank you. Thank you, Maegan.

[00:55:59] Maegan: Thank you, Linzy. Thanks for having me. 

[00:56:16] Linzy: Something that always impresses me about Maegan is, as she mentioned herself actually, her courage. I do remember having a conversation with her probably sometime in the last six months, maybe even a little further back than that, where we were talking about her shutting down her program, Next Level Therapist;

[00:56:33] shutting down her program, Spotlight, or considering it, which was her second level program. Again, as she said, very successful programs. And when things are successful, it’s very difficult to justify closing them down, but she was clear that she wanted to change the way that she’s doing things.

[00:56:50] And I said to her that of all the people who I know, she is somebody who I totally trust is going to figure out exactly what makes sense for her. Right? Which is probably not one final destination, right? But I know that Maegan always figures out the next step. And part of why I know she can do it is because she’s built skills, and she has resources and support.

[00:57:15] And that’s something that, for everyone listening, I want to remind you of if you are not happy in the work that you’re doing… If you’re thinking about doing it differently, changing your niche, exploring a different career path, turning what you do into a course… whatever you might be thinking about that is working differently is all the skills that you have accumulated through your education and experience, all of that experience that you have earned, all of that lives on inside of you. Like it doesn’t go away.

[00:57:44] And when you have kind of that backpack that’s filled with all of this resourcing that you’ve done for yourself, the relationships that you’ve built, the education that you have received… that doesn’t go away, and you get to carry that with you, and that is going to allow you to land on your feet, to figure it out, to solve problems in the meantime, right?

[00:58:06] Like something that I found myself increasingly wanting to say, especially at the school council that I’m part of, as we’re talking about issues that are coming up is, “We’re all adults here. We can solve problems,” right? And the same is true, especially for therapists and health practitioners.

[00:58:19] Like we’re all adults, we can solve problems. And if you can trust yourself to solve problems, and if you can trust yourself to apply skills to new scenarios, then you can. step out and do different things. You do not have to be trapped because you get to take all of that with you. So I appreciate Maegan coming on the podcast today and sharing about her midway journey.

[00:58:42] You can find me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts, and if you’re enjoying the podcast, giving me a review on Apple podcast is super helpful. I know that you know that because this is episode 96. So I’ve probably said this, I don’t say this every time, but I’m going to say, I’ve probably said this at least 90 times.

[00:59:01] But if you do have two minutes to spare, to help out a former therapist turned money coach with a podcast, if you can head over to Apple podcasts and leave me a review, that is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to find us and be part of these conversations.

[00:59:17] 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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From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll

From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll Episode Cover Image

From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll

From Debt to Financial Freedom with Adam Carroll Episode Cover Image

“There is a story that we are told, and that we have been sold, I think, over time, that you’ll always have a mortgage. I’ll always have student loan debt. I’ll always have a credit card. That is a story that we adopted as our own. The distinction I like to make is whoever we heard that from, our parents, our grandparents, peers, that may be their truth, but it’s not the truth because the truth is you could be out of it if you want it to be.” 

~Adam Carroll

Meet Adam Carroll

Adam Carroll is a renowned financial literacy expert, celebrated author, and captivating speaker who has delivered over a 1,000 speaking engagements worldwide. With his thought-provoking TED talks, which have amassed over 6 million views on YouTube, Adam has become a prominent figure in the field of finance. His groundbreaking documentary, “Broke, Busted & Disgusted,” aired on CNBC and continues to be screened in numerous high schools and colleges nationwide, inspiring young minds to take control of their financial futures.

In this Episode...

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

Adam shares that these long-term debts, such as mortgages, ongoing credit card debt, and student loans, can be handled in a drastically different way that can free up tremendous amounts of money by paying off the debt quickly. Adam illuminates the way that debt can prevent financial freedom, and he talks with Linzy about how managing those long-term debts differently can profoundly change people’s lives. Adam teaches this approach within the program he founded called The Shred Method. 

Connect with Adam

Get Linzy’s FREE Mini-Training

If you’re a therapist who is ready to work on your beliefs about money, make sure you check out my free mini-training!

The Secret to Getting Unstuck in Your Finances is a quick, and POWERFUL, first step to building a new relationship with money that is essential to getting your finances in order: https://workshops.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/gettingunstuck

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Adam: There is a story that we are told, and that we have been sold, I think, over time, that you’ll always have a mortgage. I’ll always have student loan debt. I’ll always have a credit card. That is a story that we adopted as our own. The distinction I like to make is whoever we heard that from, our parents, our grandparents, peers, that may be their truth, but it’s not the truth because the truth is you could be out of it if you wanted it to be.

[00:00:28] Linzy: 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.

[00:00:49] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s podcast guest is Adam Carroll.

[00:00:54] Adam is a renowned financial literacy expert. He’s a celebrated author and a speaker who’s delivered more than a thousand speaking engagements worldwide. He has a thought provoking Ted talk, which has amassed more than 6 million views on YouTube. So, you know, he’s been seen a few times. He’s become a prominent figure in the field of finance.

[00:01:14] He’s got a documentary called Broke, Busted, and Disgusted, which aired on CNBC and continues to be screened in high schools and colleges nationwide, inspiring young minds to take control of their future finances. As you can hear from his bio, Adam has, been around the block. And today Adam and I get into talking about strategy for debt repayment.

[00:01:36] We talk about how debt, especially things like our student loans and our mortgages, that we just get very comfortable with, can end up costing us more than double what we have borrowed over the course of our lifetime, what becomes possible when we do prioritize paying down debt, and something that Adam and I talk about quite a bit is balancing that taking care of yourself, which, you know, I always talk about on this podcast.

[00:01:59] You know, we don’t want you to be paying down debt at the cost of your own well being. Balancing those needs and taking care of yourself with that. using money strategically. So this isn’t about paying down as much as possible, and like really putting yourself out, and putting yourself into an unsustainable plan to pay down debt, which I see students do sometimes in Money Skills for Therapists.

[00:02:22] I see folks like when you just want to get rid of your debt so badly that you’re like putting all of your extra money into the debt, but then your furnace breaks and suddenly you need to put money back on the debt to pay for the furnace. That can be really defeating. What Adam talks about today is a strategy that he has that’s about taking extra money and using it really strategically, so that you can be paying down kind of the principal on your debts, and actually make those big debts that we can just learn to live with and be defeated around, make them go away. Here’s my conversation with Adam Carroll.

[00:03:08] Linzy: So, Adam, welcome to the podcast. Yes.

[00:03:10] Adam: Thank you so much, Linzy. I’m excited to be with you because I love this topic. And I’m just excited to see where our

[00:03:16] Linzy: I know, I think we should have been recording our preamble that we were just chatting in advance. It’s like, we should have really recorded that. There’s so much there, in terms of, similarities between how we, we think about money and, you know, the kind of, ways that we’re helping folks approach it.

[00:03:28] So Adam, for the folks who are listening, give us an introduction. Tell us about who you are and what you do.

[00:03:35] Adam: Yeah. I would say the easiest way to describe who I am is I’m a financial educator, and I have been for the past two decades. I like to tell people, Linzy, that I’ve been talking about money before talking about money was sexy. I started candidly because my wife and I, when we first got married, decided we were going to live on one income and blast away all of our debt with the other income.

[00:03:56] It took us about 24 months to do it, but we’ve lived relatively debt free ever since then. And I started teaching sort of the principles and methodologies we used on college campuses all across the country. And that led to two Ted Talks, a documentary on student loan debt, and then eventually creating a piece of software that is essentially a great cashflow management tool that we promote now called The Shred Method.

[00:04:21] Linzy: I love that trajectory. It makes me really excited that you’re talking to college students. I know something that, folks in my audience talk about, therapists and health practitioners, is there’s just such a lack of financial education, you know, that we all come up with, and with therapists and health practitioners that tends to compound then with all these other things around the way that our profession does talk about money,

[00:04:41] if it ever talks about money in our, professional education. We’re certainly not encouraged to think about our own financial wellbeing or think about any kind of strategy. We’re taught nothing about business, but also everybody… I’m in Canada, you’re in the United States, North America, I’m sure we could generalize far beyond North America… We just don’t get practical financial education, period.

[00:05:01] So it makes me happy to hear that you’re hitting kids at the college level, because at least they’re not fully adults yet. What do you notice that’s like to start to talk to college age kids about money?

[00:05:13] Adam: First of all, it changed my strategies and methodologies on how I raise my own kids around money. Having talked to 18 to 24 year olds that were like, “Well, I don’t know.” You know, I’d ask them, “How much debt will you have?” “Don’t know.” “How much does it cost to get into the dining center?”

[00:05:29] “I’m not really sure.” You know, it was like this whole four year, five year, six year realm where money was so abstract and really not even present for most of those kids because they’re using a credit card that maybe is tied to mom and dad’s bill. They’re using their, u-bill to swipe things. So it goes on a,invoice that they see one time a year.

[00:05:49] And then they just sign away their life on a student loan that pays for that. So, what did I learn? I learned that I wanted to teach my kids, and hopefully that parents everywhere are teaching their kids younger and younger about money, because I was seeing 18 year olds that were completely separated from the money decisions they were making, and this is two full decades for most people where habits are formed and relationship to money is cemented. And, you know, by the time you’re 22 and you’ve created really terrible spending habits or saving or investing habits, it’s hard to break those, right, in your twenties and thirties.

[00:06:26] And I think it goes back to your comment about even the therapists out there that have been in school for eight or 10 or 12 years. And then you get out and you’re like, Oh gosh. And I have to charge 150 or two, two and a quarter an hour just to make ends meet for the 40 patient load that I’m seeing a week.

[00:06:44] Then there’s also emotion tied behind that. so I think deep down, I started out with tactical stuff. What do I want to teach them tactically? And then I realized pretty quickly that there’s like over a hundred emotions tied to money. And what I was really teaching people was what is your emotional connection?

[00:07:02] And how can we understand your emotional connection to money? Cause you have to understand your mindset and your emotions before I can teach you tactics that could be used effectively.

[00:07:11] Linzy: Absolutely. This is exactly what I have found in my own experience with teaching therapists. So, you know, my core course is Money Skills for Therapists. I’ve been teaching for five years. And when I first started teaching that course, all of the emotional intelligence is baked in because I’m there. But what I realized is, we needed to really pause, like the first conversation needs to be about whatever you want to call it: money stories, mindset, trauma, right?

[00:07:34] There is real money trauma that people experience with like not having enough, or money being a point of emotional explosion or violence in a family, right? And like, those things are so, so important to address. And I think we often want to go around them because it’s not fun. They’re not fun things to be with.

[00:07:50] It’s not fun things to say out loud or to name. But what I found is you, you can’t go around it. You have to go through it. Because if our brain is caught up in these trauma responses, these intense emotions, if we’re in a state of overwhelm, you just can’t learn. Your learning brain is not online.

[00:08:07] Adam: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. And I think, in addition to that, when you start looking intently at what did you experience as a kid, and I’d shared this with you pre roll on the interview here… but I just presented to a group of young beginning and small farmers in the Midwest. And one of the stories that they shared was…

[00:08:26] When I asked, what did you hear growing up? Somebody said, you don’t need that. And I heard it about a thousand times. Every time we went into a store, you don’t need that. You don’t need that. You don’t need that. And, and I’ve noticed that there are two paths that people will go down. And one, generally speaking, one path is they’ll go, well, I’m just going to deny myself the finer things.

[00:08:46] Cause there are things I don’t need and I’m going to deny my wants because I was never allowed to have my wants as a kid. I just, I was just told I don’t need it. And then the other path that some will go down is when I’m making a living, when I’m making my own money, I’m going to buy whatever the heck I want.

[00:09:00] And then they end up with significant debt, and closets full of junk that they have no idea why they bought. But it’s to prove a point that they can do it because there were things they were told they don’t need. And they’re like, but I want it. So I’m going to get it. The deep dive is really important because I’ve met people who are like, I have no idea why I’m compelled to buy this crap.

[00:09:21] And then we dig in and I go, that may be why. You’re trying to validate the fact that you had desires as a kid that were never… they were never fulfilled.

[00:09:29] Linzy: Yeah. And what I hear there is it’s the default is either we submit to the story. We make it our story. I can’t, I can’t afford that. I don’t need that. Or we rebel against the story, and we go to the opposite extreme and something that always occurs to me when I hear that is either way the story is running us, right?

[00:09:46] We have a relationship that is being defined by that story. And so, yeah, it’s only when you go through it and you either just identify it and are able to discard it naturally or sometimes we do need to do therapy for it, like do trauma processing, like really dig into it so that it’s just not even a reference point.

[00:10:03] Adam: Right? Because otherwise, it is running your relationship to money. No doubt. yeah, as an example, my earliest money memory, my dad would often give us, my sister and I, a 20 bill on vacation and say, this is for snacks or for a souvenir in the store or whatever it might be. And we were on the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk in California. And I remember my six year old grubby, sweaty little hands kept pulling that 20 bill out of my pocket, and feeling it, and touching it.

[00:10:30] And you know, when you’re six, 20 bucks feels like a million dollars, particularly in the eighties. And so I’m holding that 20 bill. And at some point I flipped. The 20 bill out of my pocket. And what I was told by my sister was, “You are so careless with money. How could you be so careless with money?”

[00:10:46] And that was the story that I carried for a long time. I’m careless with money. And it led me to being a college graduate with 30, 000 in student loans and eight grand in credit card debt. And I was upside down in my car, and I would pop for drinks with my friends when we went out, you know, because I was careless with money.

[00:11:04] That’s just what I did. It’s who I was.

[00:11:06] Linzy: Those identity stories, and that’s something that I, noticed through working with therapists, too, is like, there are stories that… Even a small experience like that, like you’re talking about an interaction with your sister that was seconds long, her making that comment.

[00:11:18] And what I’m hearing is you were so excited and valued the money so much. That’s why you were kind of messing with it in your pocket. Right? It’s almost the opposite, but it became who you were in your own mind. And then you do the things that are who you are. You have the behaviors that fit the person you are.

[00:11:32] Adam: Exactly.

[00:11:34] Linzy: So I’m really curious to hear your story. Cause what I’m hearing is, you know, you accumulated this debt. You had this story that you weren’t good with money, but then you and your wife took this really intentional approach to… Can I use the word eradicating debt? It sounds, it sounds, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:11:48] Which is like, not usually my speed. I will, I will say like, folks who listen to the podcast are going to know, like, I’m a moderate. I’m all about balance. But I’m hearing that like, you really made this your project as a couple. So I’m curious, like, yeah, tell me about that. Tell me about the method that you’ve developed that came out of that.

[00:12:03] Adam: Yeah, I think it might help, Linzy, if I share the two sort of core philosophies that we were living by while we did this. And I think it’s really important for people to understand both of these as you go down this process, if debt elimination or eradication is your goal. Number one is that the two single greatest expenses that we will ever have in our life are taxes and the interest expense on debt.

[00:12:28] Those are the two greatest expenses. Most people will spend 60 percent of their working years paying for taxes and the interest expense on the debt that they’ve accrued. So this is mortgage debt, student loan debt, credit card debt, car loans, all of it.And so knowing that, I read this statistic, and I thought, okay, I need to get really good at minimizing taxes, and I need to get really good at minimizing the interest expense on debt.

[00:12:53] And how do I do that? And there’s two ways. You minimize the interest rate, or you blast away the debt, you get rid of the balance as fast as possible. And that led me down a path of understanding amortization tables and how debt is charged, and all those kinds of things, which is very eye opening for people who don’t know.

[00:13:11] But the second core philosophy… and this was shared, and I think it was Jim Rohn, who was known as America’s foremost business philosopher. He passed away a decade ago, but Jim Rohn used to say that if you do for two years what most people won’t do, you can do for the rest of your life what most people can’t do.

[00:13:29] And I love that idea so much. And I thought 24 months, any of us can do for 24 months, something that will then lead to this life that we all desire. And so 24 months was what my wife and I set as a goal and said, what can we accomplish in those 24 months? And we knocked out 55, 000 in high interest debt between student loans, consumer debt, car loans, et cetera.

[00:13:54] And by the end of that period, we were 26 years of age. We had an extra three to four grand a month in discretionary income. And at 26, when you have 50, 000 a year extra, again, you feel like a multimillionaire. So the next step is, okay, how do we grow this wealth? And in the process of doing that, I just wanted to go teach other people what we did

[00:14:16] cause it wasn’t that complicated, you know? It wasn’t easy, but it was very simple.

[00:14:22] Linzy: Yeah, yeah. And that’s what I hear. You know, it makes me think about, funny enough, it’s making me think about Kimmy Schmidt. Did you ever watch that sitcom?

[00:14:30] Adam: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:30] Linzy: I haven’t watched it in years, but there is kind of this storyline in it where she has to turn this crank or something in the bunker so that they have power.

[00:14:38] And she has this mantra for herself, which is like, you can do anything for five minutes. You can do anything for five minutes. And that’s what I’m hearing here. It’s like, for 24 months, if you know that there’s an end, you really pushed yourselves and you did it knowing that there was a purpose and an end point there.

[00:14:53] Adam: Yes. And realistically, the reason we were doing it was for the emotional feeling of being free from all of those bills and debts. And so, you know, even for the therapists listening or, a medical practitioner that’s listening to this, one of the questions that I often ask our clients is what will it feel like when you fill in the blank, when you have 10, 000 in the bank, when you have your student loans paid off, when you

[00:15:19] no longer have a mortgage payment? What would that feel like? And if I can get people tied into the emotional feeling of that, I can usually get them off the dime and start changing behavior. because they’re tied to that feeling, not the, Oh God, another bill or, you know, I’m afraid of how much this is going to cost kind of thing.

[00:15:38] And so the way we did that, from a motivation standpoint, was we had all of our debts listed on our refrigerator and we had a big red magic marker that was attached to a string and a magnet and it was affixed to the refrigerator itself. And as soon as we’d blast away a debt, we celebrated and we crossed out that debt.

[00:15:58] And the running joke was that, yeah, we were buying… it was two buck Chuck at the time. Now it’s three buck Chuck. This is like $2 wine at Trader Joe’s, you know? And we would splurge and we’d go buy a $12 bottle of wine and we get excited because we had paid off one of the debts, you know? Okay. We had six $12 bottles of wine in two, in two years that what were our celebration points if we got this knocked out. And I can honestly say that those 24 months were pivotal in us setting ourselves up for where we are today,

[00:16:31] which is, you know, certainly more freedom and flexibility and the realization that retirement and what retirement looks like is a certainty. It’s not an uncertainty. And I think that’s what most people are at some point they’re somewhat concerned about.

[00:16:44] Linzy: Absolutely. Yeah, I would say most people is accurate. And you know, something that’s occurring to me as you’re talking about this, cause I’m like, okay, I’m about to turn 40, big year for me turning 40. So I passed the 26, and I wasn’t with my partner when I turned 26, right? Like we didn’t meet till I was 29.

[00:16:58] Now we’re in that project of like, we have a child, you know, we’re focusing on him a lot. We’re very focused on our community. I am turning my backyard into a cool eco paradise. So it’s like, I have these other kinds of projects. So, a curiosity that I have is, you know, what do you suggest to somebody who’s in a position like mine where it’s like, I do have other projects that are also feeling really important.

[00:17:18] How do I determine how important it is to save myself what I’m hearing is a huge amount of money over a long period of time that we’re kind of protected from, right? Like these debts… the way that they do it, they make it kind of opaque where you’re not able to really realize how much you’re paying for it.

[00:17:32] So I’m hearing there’s like this great payoff that could come down the road if I really focus. But also I’ve kind of missed those years of just like ramen and $3 wine.

[00:17:42] Adam: Yeah. Yeah. I hear you completely. And I’m sure that your listeners are dealing with folks who are in that mode, right? They’re 40, 50, 60. How do I change this? Number one, and this is central to both The Shred Method working, but I think just in general, people’s lives working well, is that if you are not able to save 10 or 20 percent of what you make,

[00:18:05] you are spending too much or not making enough. Period. End of story. And, you know, from a college student perspective, what I always told them was, you have to have more money at the end of your month. You cannot have more month at the end of your money.

[00:18:20] Linzy: That’s good.

[00:18:21] Adam: And so for adults, part of the challenge is we get in the mode of, I have my job, I have my things, I have desires, I can finance these things.

[00:18:31] And we begin to payment ourselves into a corner because we can afford the payments. And so the more payments we afford, the more debt we accrue, and then you’ll wake up one day and be like, Well, now I’m stuck because I’ve painted myself into this corner, paymented myself into this corner, and I don’t have enough discretionary income to get out of it.

[00:18:50] And that’s really what we teach people with The Shred Method is the debts are, you know, they’re important to note. But what we really focus on at the beginning is how much discretionary income is there at the end of the month? Is it 200? Is it 500? Is it 2000, 5, 000, whatever that number is. What you’re doing with that amount of money is what is central to you achieving what you want to achieve later on in life.

[00:19:16] So if there’s 200, it means your shred tool is just a little bit smaller. It’s like a tabletop. You can put one sheet in the shredder, but if you’ve got 500 or a thousand or 2, 000 a month, it is mind blowing how fast debt can be eliminated and the ability to go spend money on the eco paradise. Is that what you call it?

[00:19:37] Which is really cool. I’m going to look this up after we’re done.

[00:19:40] Linzy: Might not be a thing. I might have made it up. But it’s a lot of trees. Yeah, just making a forest in our yard.

[00:19:47] Adam: Trademark it. Buy the domain. I think there’s a million dollar idea there.

[00:19:50] But you can do those things in the midst of using shred, because what we’re suggesting is not the beans and rice, rice and beans, you know, mentality. It’s no, we’re just going to tell you how to be more strategic and efficient with the money that you have.

[00:20:09] Because candidly, Linzy, one of the things we found is that when people have money sitting in a savings or a checking account, and I’m going to point blank, ask you if you don’t mind, I would assume from time to time you have money sitting in a checking or a savings account that sits there for days or weeks or months on end.

[00:20:27] Is that accurate?

[00:20:28] Linzy: Yep.

[00:20:29] Adam: And when you have it there, how does it make you feel?

[00:20:32] Linzy: It feels like a cushion, like security.

[00:20:35] Adam: Yeah. Security. And sometimes if there’s an abundance of security, what might you do?

[00:20:40] Linzy: Spend it.

[00:20:42] Adam: Where?

[00:20:42] Linzy: Where would I spend it? Travel. I’d spend it on travel. I’m still getting my revenge travel in from COVID cause I also had a kid in COVID, so I’m, I’m slower getting my revenge travel in. Travel, backyard, trees, taking care of our home, kind of catching up… I’ve got some catch up tasks and there’s probably like 20, 000 of catch up tasks that I could do from this time we’ve been building a business and, and having a baby.

[00:21:03] So those are like easy places to spend without question.

[00:21:07] Adam: Yeah. So it’s funny because your answers are very experiential and sort of life affirming for your environment and things like that. What some people will do is, I have security, I have an abundance of security sitting in this account. I’m going to go to Target cause it makes me feel good.

[00:21:22] Or I’m going to go, you know… I’m at Costco. Oh, a bounce house. Wouldn’t that be fun at $600. I can have it.

[00:21:28] Linzy: The impulse spending.

[00:21:30] Adam: Yeah. And we do it, and then we may second guess it. We may not, but at some level they are not necessarily things that are getting us to where we want to go potentially, but in the moment we have it, so we might as well spend it.

[00:21:44] And what The Shred Method and our users, what we call Shredders, will do is we begin to sort of minimize what we’re seeing available. Because it limits how much we’re actually spending on things that are frivolous and unnecessary. And instead, what we do is in a short amount of time, usually somewhere between 18 and 36 months, we’ve gotten to a point where there’s very, very little interest cost on debt.

[00:22:09] Cause there’s either no more debt, or we leverage a couple of strategies that super minimize the amount of interest you pay. And then imagine what it would be like to have 15 or 20 or 30, 000 extra a year to go do the kind of things that you described.

[00:22:25] Linzy: Then you’re also doing it, not at your own cost, right? Because there’s that cost of borrowing, and interestingly, Adam, like I find a lot of folks that I work with, they have guilt and shame. The heavy debt is consumer debt. They feel bad about the credit card.

[00:22:39] Right? But things like mortgages and student debt, which like, as a Canadian, I look at American student debt and I’m like, Oh my God, are you guys okay? That’s how it feels because, you know, the debt that folks accumulate, you know, especially to get into the professions that you know, listeners are, are in like psychology, like a PhD in psychology, you know, like you’re talking about more than a hundred thousand dollars of debt.

[00:22:58] And that can just start to feel like a fact of life, right? The consumer debt they feel bad about because it’s in their face. And you know, that it’s Amazon purchases that you probably shouldn’t have made. And there’s other weight to that, but it’s the student loans and the mortgage that can just feel like: this is the rest of my life.

[00:23:12] And I’ve had students say that to me in my course, like, “I’m just going to die with this debt.” You know, what do you say to folks around that: mortgages, student loans, that kind of pervasive long term debt?

[00:23:23] Adam: There is a story that we are told and that we have been sold, I think, over time that you’ll always have a mortgage. I’ll always have student loan debt. I’ll always have a credit card. I’ll always have. And that, that is a story. That we adopted, to use your language. We adopted it as our own. And, and I think that, the distinction I like to make is, whoever we heard that from our parents, our grandparents, peers, whoever it may have been, that may be their truth, but it’s not the truth because the truth is you could be out of it if you wanted it to be.

[00:23:58] And the reality of the truth is that the interest expense on that debt, particularly student loan debt… so let’s separate for a moment, those that went for a psychology degree, have PhDs. And my cousin’s in this boat; he’s got 140, 000 in student loans. He’s 44. He graduated 20 years ago or 18 years ago, and had 130 when he graduated and it’s now ballooned to 140, despite him making 100, 000 in payments over the last X number of years.

[00:24:30] So what I tell people who are in that situation is, you are trying to run a marathon with a backpack full of bricks. And it’s really hard to do, maybe not the first few years, but you’ll get five, 10, 15, 20 years in, and you’re like this backpack sucks. I don’t want to carry this anymore. And by that point in time, you’ve paid so much in interest that if we had just tackled it on the front end, You’d be, you’d knock out the one 40 and you’d walk away and be good.

[00:24:59] It requires some discipline, but it also requires the knowledge that it can be done, and it can be done in short order. You just have to be taught a way to do it. And unfortunately, the only way that it’s been shared is make your minimum payment. Hopefully Uncle Joe is going to forgive the debt at some point.

[00:25:18] And I hear this all the time. Uncle Joe being Joe Biden.

[00:25:20] Linzy: Oh, okay. Yep. Got it. 

[00:25:23] Adam: And, it’s not going to happen. We’re not going to have all of the loans written off en masse. So if you have them, let’s figure out the strategy and go after them and knock them out really quick. And The Shred Method is one way to do that.

[00:25:37] It requires sort of a rewiring of how those payments are made, but it’s lightning fast. I mean, unbelievably efficient when you dig into how it works.

[00:25:48] Linzy: Yeah. And I think that, it sounds great. I’m like, sign me up. Do you work with Canadians? But you know, I think a really important distinction, that listeners might not be super aware of because, you know, we don’t tend to be folks who’ve dug into the financial world, is that distinction between principal and the interest.

[00:26:02] Right? And like, I think, you know, you, you were saying, you know, we inherit those stories of like, you’re always gonna have debt. Also, you know, there’s multi billion dollar companies that make multi billion dollars from all of us being very comfortable and complacent with having certain types of debt. And I don’t think, for folks who are, for listening, I know you’re, we’re all balancing many things. I’m not saying that I think this is the most important thing in life, but what I am hearing is like, if this is important to us, there are ways that we can change this. It’s not an inevitability that we have to pay, you know, and I am curious, Adam, I don’t know if you have any kind of numbers that you could share, but you mentioned like 60 percent of the money that we spend is going to be on debt.

[00:26:42] If somebody has a mortgage, mortgages can seem quite innocuous, innocent, sweet, even. Our mortgage rate, interest rate in Canada for a while was so ridiculously low. all these folks during COVID bought these huge overpriced houses, not even huge houses, huge price tag houses.because the interest rate was so low, it seemed like it was almost free money.

[00:27:02] How does that work over time? Like, if I have a 30 year mortgage, what can I be expecting to pay in interest rates on the purchase that I made?

[00:27:11] Adam: It does make a big difference on what the interest rate is, obviously, Linzy. So there’s a good rule of thumb and that is if you remember,all of your listeners, if you remember 6. 6 percent. At 6. 6%, if you borrowed, say 300, 000 or 500, 000 for your mortgage, you would pay a million on 500, 000.

[00:27:31] So you’re going to double whatever you pay at 6 percent.

[00:27:36] So, that’s an important number to note. Now, what happens is, and this is kind of more of a metaphor or analogy of how to understand the mortgage itself, because if I say amortization table, people’s eyes glaze over and they have no idea what, you know, what… I don’t even want to look at it or, you know, I signed that document, I think, when I did my mortgage, but I didn’t pay any attention to it.

[00:27:57] If you look at the payoff of a mortgage over 30 years time, and you set a traffic signal, a traffic light over the top of that, the first 10 years of that mortgage payment are a red light. It’s largely interesting, with very little principal. You’re not really getting anywhere in the first 10 years. The second 10 years are yellow light, meaning a little bit more is going to principal every single month, but a little bit could be five or 10 or 20, not a ton.

[00:28:25] By the last 10 years, you’re paying a majority of the principal off.

[00:28:29] Linzy: Right.

[00:28:30] Adam: What that means is for anyone that’s going to live in a house for five to seven years, you’re in red light the entire five to seven years. So the majority of your payments going to interest.

[00:28:41] And again, we’ve been sold this story that, Oh, it’s good. You can write off that interest, and it’s good for your taxes and et cetera, et cetera. In the States, in 2017, the tax code was changed, and you get a standard deduction no matter what of 25,900 for a couple. So 25,900 gets withdrawn off your taxes as a standard deduction. If you have a mortgage or you don’t have a mortgage, right?

[00:29:08] So my logic was if they’re going to give me that deduction anyway, and I can get rid of the 20, 000 or 25, 000 that I’m spending in interest a year, why would I not do that? Cause I’m still, I’m still money ahead. So you’re right in the sense that it is very opaque in how we pay this. Cause it’s like, it’s my house, my house payment is X, and I’m comfortable with that.

[00:29:32] But what if there is a strategy that would help you get your house payment down to a third of what it is today? Would you be interested in how to do that? Just to make life easier.

[00:29:42] Linzy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it really is, I think the length of those loans is where the danger is, right? Cause they make it painless, you know? And so it’s like, well, I borrowed 50, but I only have to pay like, you know, 2, 000 a month. Like what it feels like a deal, but it is that… What I’m hearing is it’s that 30 year period that like really the price is spread out over such a long period of time that it doesn’t necessarily feel painful as you’re paying it, but you’re really locked in and you’re giving a little bit over decades. Decades and decades of debt.

[00:30:12] Adam: Absolutely. We are the bank’s compound interest vehicle. We are their profit center. Not to vilify banks or lending institutions at all, because what they do is essential for society to function. But at some level, if you’re okay, seeing 10 or 15 million bank buildings being built every block, like you’re contributing to it.

[00:30:33] Linzy: You own part of that. You own at least one of the lights in that building at that rate.

[00:30:37] Adam: Totally. Totally.

[00:30:38] Linzy: So, I am curious, Adam, The Shred Method. Can you give us a little bit more of a sense of… what are we talking about here? Is it a strategy? Is it software? Is it a tool?

[00:30:48] Is it a community? What is it?

[00:30:50] Adam: Yeah. Great question. It’s a little bit of all of the above. We like to say it’s a course that will teach you exactly what to do, how to do it. It’s information that you’ve not gotten from anywhere else. It is a community of people who are all walking down this path. We call them Shredders. Sometimes we call them freedom fighters because they’re all fighting for their own freedom in the midst of this.

[00:31:10] And then it is a piece of software, and you had mentioned earlier, that you’re You know, build systems smarter than you are. The software is that, so when, when the software is operational, and you’ve got your data in it, it’s texting or emailing you on a day by day or week by week basis saying here are the actions required today, tomorrow, Friday. And some of those might be pay this bill, pay that bill, but then sometimes it’ll say, based on the income you have coming in and the expenses you have going out,

[00:31:40] send a big lump sum payment of X to your student loan or to your mortgage. And what’s happening, kind of behind the scenes, Linzy, is again, not to get super technical, but there’s interest rate arbitrage that’s happening behind all the algorithmic code in the software. So if you’re borrowing 2, 000, let’s say for five days on a line of credit, but then it’s paid back when your income comes in.

[00:32:10] But that 2, 000 is going against your mortgage payment or your student loan payment. What you’re probably doing is accelerating the payoff of that debt by months and months and months, if not years, and saving tens of thousands of dollars in interest

[00:32:24] Linzy: Okay. Yeah. So it’s robots. The robots are on your side. They know all the math that we don’t want to know.

[00:32:31] Adam: That’s right.

[00:32:31] Linzy: Yeah. But what I’m hearing is that it’s going to give you what are actually very complex financial strategies to help you accelerate your debt repayment without you having to learn all these financial strategies yourself and manage them.

[00:32:45] Adam: Totally. That’s exactly it. That’s exactly it. And it’s all based on a super simple question, which would be, If I loaned you a hundred dollars and I charged you 5 in interest to borrow that hundred dollars, but you knew it would save you 2, 000 to apply it the right way. Would you do that?

[00:33:03] Linzy: Yes, of course.

[00:33:04] Adam: Would you pay 5 in simple interest to borrow a hundred today?

[00:33:06] Linzy: Of course. Of course.

[00:33:08] Adam: All day long, right? We do that over and over and over and over again. And what it does, it’ll take a 30 year fixed mortgage down to somewhere between three and five years.

[00:33:18] Linzy: So, Adam, does it work for Canadians?

[00:33:21] Adam: This is a great question. Here is my disclaimer / asterisk answer. We have a number of Canadians in our client list, and the challenge with some of them is the way that mortgages are set up in Canada, where they can tweak the interest, but your payment stays the same and your term stays the same.

[00:33:39] Linzy: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Those trigger rate mortgages. They’re tricky, yes.

[00:33:45] Adam: It’s very tricky because it can become a negatively amortized mortgage. You know, before you know it, meaning you’re paying every month, but the balance keeps growing.

[00:33:53] Linzy: Like your student loans in the United States.

[00:33:55] Adam: That’s exactly right. So it does work, and we have a number of people who are using it, but we want to be really careful when we plug in your information so that we know what kind of mortgage product you’re in.

[00:34:08] And very candidly, we have coaches on The Shred Method side that will say, “Hey, I don’t think this is a good fit for you because of the product you’re in.” So we’re not about cramming everyone in a product that wouldn’t fit for them. But if we get someone and we say, “Hey, you could be out in like three and a half years…”

[00:34:23] Linzy: Mmm hmm.

[00:34:24] Adam: Would that be of interest to you? Those are no brainers.

[00:34:27] Linzy: Well, I will tell you, I’m just a straight variable mortgage. I just ride the wave. Every time the Bank of Canada makes an announcement, I’m like, well, there goes another couple hundred dollars. So, yes, I’m personally intrigued by what you’re talking about. And like something that I will say to listeners is, you know, something that I, I talk about on the podcast quite a bit, is like balancing out…

[00:34:45] What is the cost of paying down a debt, and what is the negative story versus making sure you have money available in your life for something else? And like, I really want to emphasize that piece, for folks who are listening, paying down debt is probably actually not the most important thing in their life.

[00:34:59] But what I’m hearing from you is if we can connect with what becomes possible on the other side of it, it can be a very strategic way to use your money now, if it means you can pay for your kid’s tuition with cash later, but it is about connecting because what I sometimes see with like the FIRE community, like, you know, Financial Independence, Retire Early, is there’s such singular focus on this goal of paid down debt to the detriment of like their own wellbeing, you know, that like ramen for dinner.

[00:35:26] And something that I always say to therapists is like, we actually emotionally can’t afford to do that. Like we need to be well to be able to do the kind of emotional labor that we do or for folks who do like manual health practitioners, just that like caring and taking care of others, and what that demands of your body like we need to be well. But what I’m hearing here from you is like it can be a both and. You’re not telling people to buy the cheapest groceries possible to do this, but you’re saying what is the opportunity that’s already there in the way that your money works, and here’s how you could use that money really strategically to hit these goals and create more financial ease down the road.

[00:35:59] Adam: You nailed it. You nailed it. Yep. Cause it really is not, I’m with you a hundred percent on, the Ramening of lives. Not a good way to live your life. And in fact, debt payoff fatigue is very real. And we tell people that like, you’re going to get in a process where somebody in your house is going to say, I just want to go buy a purse.

[00:36:19] I just want to take a trip. I just want to, and we go, do it. The system accounts for that. Go do that. We don’t want you to deny yourself those kinds of things. And one of the things that I want to mention, Linzy, in relation to the last comment you made is that, you know, we want this, this self care idea to be there, and what we’re not trying to do is totally revolutionize someone’s behavior around how they’re spending on themselves or not.

[00:36:47] It’s more about a question of the difference between available funds and accessible funds. And so we’ve been told and taught by the gurus and the authors out there. We need six to 12 months in the bank at all times. And that number should be very personal and independent for most people, because if you know, if you lost your job, you could go get a job in 60 days.

[00:37:10] Do you need six months or 12 months? Granted, something catastrophic could happen if you want to be prepared for that, kudos, good on ya. But that may not need to be available funds, it might just need to be accessible funds. And accessible could be the equity in your home, it could be, you know, at last ditch, a credit card that’s there for, you know, true emergencies.

[00:37:31] But we have lines of credit, overfunded life insurance policies. There’s all sorts of ways to have accessible money to sort of, assuage the panic and anxiety about, Oh, do I have enough? I don’t have enough.

[00:37:47] Linzy: That’s helpful to hear. I do think, you know, it’s kind of the Dave Ramsey kind of advice of like, yeah, you need to have this money and this is top priority. And, I think for folks too, who, who tend to generally be anxious about the future, feel like the sky might fall, it’s all going to go away.

[00:37:59] People who grew up, you know, without having money, and it’s weird to have money, and they can’t trust it… It is very tempting to kind of stockpile money. But this is something that I talk about with students in Money Skills for Therapists who have this kind of stockpiling behavior is like, is this money actually doing the best job it can do for you?

[00:38:17] Is having 30,000 in your savings account actually making your life better? Is it actually serving you? And so what I’m hearing from you is there’s ways to be strategic about that and still make sure that you have money accessible if you have to not work for a while, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be cash that’s just sitting there as though you’re going to need 30, 000 tomorrow.

[00:38:36] Adam: Tomorrow. Precisely. Yeah. Cause then that’s the big distinction. Available money is, Oh, if you had 30 grand, you could go pull out of the bank or grab from your safe. You know, it was stacked on your bureau every morning. You’d count it and feel good about it.

[00:38:48] Linzy: Your gold bars. Your gold bar collection.

[00:38:51] Adam: Yeah. Right. Then there’s accessible money, which is, it might take you two days, three days to get it in hand, or you could swipe a card and have access to it.

[00:39:00] But where are those pockets of money? I think what most homeowners don’t realize is your home… It could be that, And this is one of strategies we employ, but there is a little known tactic in the mortgage world that if you do make lump sum payments and you pay down your mortgage, you can actually recast your mortgage and get the payment down to a, you know, a crazy number.

[00:39:23] So we have clients that will pay between three and 500 a month for their mortgage payment on a, 000, 4, 000 square foot home. So, and it’s done within maybe 24 months or 36 months. We teach them how to do that. So there are other strategies that we employ and teach in the process. All in the nature of making life easier, making you feel better and more financially secure and confident.

[00:39:46] But to your point, making sure that what is being done is being done efficiently.

[00:39:51] Linzy: Awesome. Very exciting. So, Adam, for folks who are interested in learning more about you, getting more into your world, where can they find you and follow you?

[00:39:59] Adam: Well, my world is largely held on TheShredMethod.Com. That’s where you could go to learn more about what we do and how we do it. And I would encourage anybody out there who is like, “Oh, okay. I’m intrigued. How does this work?” We have a savings calculator on the site that you can do. Two minutes or less.

[00:40:18] It’ll tell you here’s how fast you could be out of debt. Here’s how much you would save. If you’re intrigued by that, jump on a 20 minute call with our team, and we’ll run your numbers, and there’s no obligation or anything for that. But then we have a masterclass that’s about 25 minutes long and it’s me just telling people about The Shred Method and how it works.

[00:40:36] I do have a Ted talk that’s out there that’s got 6 million views. I highly encourage all of the practitioners out there to go watch that because it’s all about a game of monopoly that I played with my children with real cash, and it’s very eye opening about how we function and what money, a financial abstraction, is doing in society today.

[00:40:55] And then you can always find me at AdamCarroll.Info.

[00:40:59] Linzy: Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you so much, Adam, for coming on the podcast today.

[00:41:01] Adam: Thanks for having me, Linzy.

[00:41:18] Linzy: My conversation with Adam really got me thinking about all of the kind of rules, like all the complexity in financial systems that I don’t understand. You probably don’t understand… The way that different interest rates are working on different types of debt that we have, and ways that we can be strategically using those debts and using our money in really specific ways to make debt go away faster.

[00:41:44] That’s it’s something I don’t want to learn about. I don’t think probably most people want to learn about, but it’s neat to hear about a solution that automates that, and that can help you take advantage of these complexities that are built into how money works without you having to actually do the mental work to figure it out.

[00:42:04] And I do love what he says about like, if you have 200 a month extra, then, you know, it might be a longer road, but you can still be using that 200 towards, you know, reducing the interest that you’re going to pay over 10, 20, 30 years. So lots of thought provoking pieces there today on how to strategically use money, to get rid of some debt, not have to live with these things forever and have that money available for other things that are richer and that could help us take care of ourselves in our life.

[00:42:33] I’m definitely curious about what Adam does himself, and I’m personally going to be checking it out. So I’ll let you folks know how that goes.

[00:42:39] You can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts. And if you are noticing your own stories around money, if you’re finding yourself feeling anxious, avoiding money, feel like you’re just getting by only having enough. And even when you make more, it just seems to go away. You are going to want to check out my free mini training, The Secret to Getting Unstuck in Your Finances. As Adam

[00:43:04] and I talked about today, there’s so many stories that we carry into our relationship with money. And it’s only by going through those stories that we’re able to free up our brain to be strategic and learn and really get money working for us. So if you know that you have stories hanging around, if you’re feeling the emotional weight, or even noticing thoughts pop up, this mini training is a great way to start to get you connected with those stories. See what you’re working with, and start to think about how you want to shift them.

[00:43:32] It’s a series of short videos and a worksheet. It’s designed to be something that you really work through step by step, which is always how I teach. And it’s totally free. So you can click on the link in the show notes for The Secret to Getting Unstuck in Your Finances Mini Training.

[00:43:47] 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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“I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better idea of what this is looking like.” 

~Ellie Tripp

Meet Ellie Tripp

Ellie Tripp is an early career psychologist in solo private practice, starting their practice out of necessity.  Ellie’s approach to therapy is collaborative, relational, and individually tailored.

In this Episode...

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

Linzy and Ellie dig into why Ellie is experiencing this friction with spending and what she can do about it. Linzy provides some insight into how this occurs and offers practical actions Ellie can take to find more ease with this aspect of her finances. This episode is perfect for all of us who struggle to allow ourselves to spend money on what brings us joy.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Ellie: “I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so it’s almost like let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better picture of what this is looking like.”

[00:00:26] Linzy: 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.

[00:00:51] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today we have a coaching episode with Ellie Tripp. Ellie is a graduate of Money Skills for Therapists. She graduated about a year and a half ago. She’s an early career psychologist in solo practice, and she shares that she started her solo practice out of necessity when the group practice that she joined after postdoc was potentially closing.

[00:01:12] And she put here in brackets “due to financial mismanagement; they needed you.” She says, “Money Skills for Therapists help me get to where my practice finances don’t feel like a total mystery to me.” So in our conversation today, Ellie and I talked about this piece that, for her, is more around personal finances.

[00:01:27] She mentions, and what we focus on today, is around swinging between, “I can’t afford it.” Then like, “Whatever, I’m just going to make it work.” Right? These two extremes when it comes to making a spending decision, and Ellie and I dig into and explore where those stories might have came from, what she wants to believe now, and we look at both the mindset pieces around how she wants to think about and prioritize these things. Connecting with her values to know what is worth spending on, and then also going back to systems and numbers and grounding herself in her actual numbers for her practice, and figuring out what her practice can do for her now at this stage, into the second year of her private practice.

[00:02:09] Here is my coaching episode with Ellie Tripp.

[00:02:27] Linzy: So Ellie, welcome to the podcast.

[00:02:30] Ellie: Thank you. Glad to be here.

[00:02:32] Linzy: So you are a graduate of Money Skills for Therapists. And can you tell me,

[00:02:36] remind me, how long ago did you finish up the course now?

[00:02:41] Ellie: I think it’s probably been about a year and a half. 

[00:02:44] Linzy: It doesn’t feel like that long.

[00:02:46] Ellie: No, it doesn’t.

[00:02:47] Linzy: Okay. Okay. So about a year and a half ago that you finished up the course, and you were mentioning off mic that what you wanted to chat with me about today is something that you, you wanted to talk about when we had our time together in the course, but we ended up talking about other stuff instead.

[00:03:01] Ellie: Yeah, yeah. I feel like I got into some money stories there, but then, like, so much focus on systems and, like, navigating that. And so this is something I’ve noticed both personally and professionally. it is like this thing where I’ll look at something that I think I really wanna do, a coaching program or a vacation or concert tickets or whatever, and I’ll think, oh no, I really can’t afford that.

[00:03:26] And then not necessarily with anything to do with actual numbers, .

[00:03:30] Linzy: Yes. Okay. ‘

[00:03:31] Ellie: cause heaven forbid we look at the data. I will switch into this. Screw it. Let’s make it happen. I can totally do this. And I hadn’t quite teased apart like what in the world is happening here and like how could I maybe slow this whole process down?

[00:03:47] Or whatever.

[00:03:49] Linzy: I’m curious, like, how much time is there between these two reactions? 

[00:03:54] Ellie: That’s a great question. That’s interesting. I feel like sometimes it could be mere moments. maybe depending on the volume of the excitement to do the thing. Of like, ooh, I really can’t make that happen right now. Screw it. We’re in. But then other times I think it, there’s maybe a little bit more lag time, and maybe a little bit more like slowing down, potentially looking at some numbers, but almost like trying to fudge them to really make them work when maybe they can’t actually, and or maybe they actually totally can, but I, it’s like the emotion is getting in the way of like objectively really looking at what makes sense.

[00:04:40] Linzy: Yes. Yes. Because I’m hearing like both of these reactions aren’t necessarily grounded in any data. like if you, if you’re going for the, fuck it, do it anyways reaction, maybe you’re looking at data, but only to support the fact that you already decided you want to do it. Okay, so, let’s focus on the first story first, which is the like, I can’t afford it. Can you like tell me more about I can’t afford it?

[00:05:04] Ellie: My brain was just like, well, isn’t that just like the story we tell ourselves right out the gate? It’s just like, I can’t afford it. I don’t know how much that’s actually grounded in any truth, but that seems like, especially if something is of a larger price

[00:05:18] tag.

[00:05:18] Linzy: Mm hmm. Okay. Okay. So, yeah. For you it’s like such a default story.

[00:05:23] That you’re like, well obviously, it’s just the truth.

[00:05:26] Ellie: Mhm.

[00:05:27] Linzy: Okay.

[00:05:28] Ellie: Mhm. Mhm.

[00:05:29] Linzy: And like, I’m just curious, do you notice, is there a certain price tag that triggers this reaction? Or can it also happen for smaller things?

[00:05:36] Ellie: I think it can happen for smaller things. Like, like if I’m thinking of something in my personal life, like a concert ticket. Probably if it’s like over a hundred dollars, I’m like, ooh, I don’t know that I can afford that, can’t afford that, or make some choices that make that totally doable on a semi regular basis.

[00:05:57] If it’s something like, like a business coaching program,

[00:06:02] I think that has evolved. I think prior, you know, I’m only a few years out of grad school, so I think as I was kind of starting my business and all of that. Anything over like a thousand dollars. I was like, gird your loins. Um, But now that I have like explored more of like what’s available in business coaching and like doing money skills for therapists and things like that Now it’s you know, it’s more like if it’s over two thousand dollars then i’m really starting to… not that i’m not getting stressed potentially about things that are under that amount But probably anything over that is when i’m really like I’m, not so sure

[00:06:42] Linzy: Yes. Okay, okay. So, that number was 2, 000, you said?

[00:06:49] Linzy: Okay. Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s an interesting point that you make that it’s, that has shifted for you, you know, based on where you are in business. So that’s an interesting reflection, right? Like that the story has changed where it lands. Okay, so that’s with business.

[00:07:02] There’s kind of this dollar amount. Personal, I’m hearing like if it’s something like concert tickets, then like more than a hundred bucks makes you pause. What is more than a hundred bucks that you would easily spend though? You know, like what, where’s the rules difference? What is definitely always worth more than a hundred bucks?

[00:07:19] Ellie: Vacations.

[00:07:20] Linzy: Okay. Yeah.

[00:07:22] Ellie: For sure. But then, yeah. So I was thinking, like, okay, so personal and concert tickets, that’s one example, but like, a vacation or something like that, I don’t know, between, Or like flights, like anytime it gets over 300, even if it’s like you’re flying to Europe or Right? it’s like that’s going to be more than, that’s going to be more than 300,

[00:07:44] Linzy: probably. You kind of hope it is at that point, frankly. like,

[00:07:47] Ellie: I know, right, exactly, yeah, like we don’t want the plane to crash, so it’s kind of interesting to think what the difference would be there,

[00:07:58] Linzy: Yes.

[00:07:59] Ellie: I’m not totally sure, yeah,

[00:08:00] Linzy: What I’m noticing is, and this is generally something I’ve noticed in myself too, is the story of I can’t afford that seems like it’s a story about money. Right? Like it’s just a dollar amount. I can’t afford that. Like I just don’t have that money. Right? But generally speaking, there’s going to be something else that we would turn around and see at the same price tag that, that story wouldn’t come up.

[00:08:21] Ellie: Right.

[00:08:21] Linzy: If you go to the grocery store, and you spend 110 on groceries, does I can’t afford that come up when you see your grocery bill? Yeah. So what’s different about those things?

[00:08:33] Ellie: Oh, just spending for my own enjoyment and fulfillment. How dare I? Interesting. Yeah. There’s the juice.

[00:08:42] Linzy: There you go. Okay. So tell me about the, like, how dare I.

[00:08:47] Ellie: Yeah, that’s interesting. I mean it just. It feels like, yeah, like if there, oh gosh, it’s such like, like if, if there’s some sort of sense of personal enjoyment, then there has to be some sort of like martyrdom associated with it. Or I don’t know if martyrdom is the right word, but like

[00:09:06] there’s some sort of,

[00:09:10] I should be depriving myself or I, I don’t even, yeah, sacrifice… do I deserve this?

[00:09:19] Is this like, like, I feel like this. This sort of feels like it connects to, that’s like, this is maybe a different coaching session, but like, like the stories around like being able to raise your fees as a therapist, and like, no, we’re supposed to just give it all away for free, and you’re in a giving profession, and so, and so it feels like that’s like another side of that coin.

[00:09:39] Linzy: yeah, those connections to that area too, because, what it makes me curious about is, for, for this part of you, the like, how if you enjoy something, it has to be… it sounds like there’s, you’re not allowed to just enjoy something. There has to be something that comes with it, even, we haven’t quite articulated exactly what it is, but like, something in the realm of martyrdom or sacrifice, or maybe having earned it, you have to have earned it.

[00:10:06] Ellie: Yeah, that feels right.

[00:10:08] Linzy: Okay. So, this idea that you can only enjoy things if you’ve earned them. Do you know where that came from? 

[00:10:18] Ellie: Well, honestly, where my brain immediately goes to is like, you know, getting your homework done so that then you could like, watch your… I mean, we got like a half hour of TV probably or something when I was little, so, before iPads and screen time being what it is… So there was kind of that or like, like you needed to fulfill all of your obligations before you could do the fun thing.

[00:10:40] Linzy: Right, and in this case, like, what would be the obligations that you’d have to fulfill before you’re allowed to, like, have a concert ticket or go on a trip that’s more than 300 plane

[00:10:49] ticket?

[00:10:50] Ellie: Right. So it would be a “worth it” trip. yeah, it’s kind of, I don’t know, there’s like almost this kind of unrealistic expectation that what? I’m supposed to have all my bills paid for the next six months and have six months saved and have this huge gigantic cushion before I can do anything enjoyable. But even as I’m saying it, I’m like, well, that’s not a nice way to live or realistic…

[00:11:21] Linzy: Logically, there’s other parts of you. It makes me think about, like, the ant and the grasshopper. Do you remember that story? It’s, it’s, I mean, I’ve been refreshed because I’ve read it to my five year old recently, but it’s like this story about, it’s summer and the ant is like working hard to like save up for the winter and the grasshopper is just like having fun and enjoying the summer.

[00:11:42] And you know, like they have some exchanges where basically the, the grasshopper is like, why are you working so hard?

[00:11:46] Like relax. It’s summer. Enjoy. And the ant’s like, no, no, I have to save up for the future. Like I have to be responsible. And then of course winter comes, and the grasshopper has no food and the ant has got a bunch of food and I’m sure depending on the version of the story, I’m sure in some dark Russian version, the grasshopper dies a terrible death. In the like sanitized American, North American version, the grasshopper like gets a little food from the ant, learns his lesson, and then the next summer learns that he should be, there’s a time for work and a time for play, that he should be working hard throughout the summer, even though it’s beautiful so he doesn’t starve to

[00:12:19] death. This is kind of the vibe it brings up for me, what you’re saying.

[00:12:24] Ellie: Yeah. Well, and what’s sort of flashing? I grew up in a, you know… We were comfortable and like, you know, my parents helped pay for, you know, pay for college and things like that. So it’s like, it’s not like, there was this big deprivation, but I do sort of remember like, if there was a big celebration dinner or a trip or something like that, it would be like, yeah, let’s do it.

[00:12:50] But then, oh, we need to like, be watching, like there was then sort of a, on the flip side of it, we need to be watching what we’re spending. And so it was kind of this like, well, wait, but we can… we want to do this or even like, I feel like, you know, some of the ways that love is shown in my family is like, no, let us buy the dinner, or like being able to give in those ways or give to charity and things like that, but then like also hearing like, Ooh, but you know, things are tight.

[00:13:24] And so kind of having these confusing messages. And never actually talking about any of the, like, actual numbers. Like, we didn’t really talk about that.

[00:13:32] Linzy: Like, it sounds like enjoyment was always coupled with some sort of stress. Or there was like a hardship that had to come with it, or that would get coupled with it in the lead up to something that was enjoyable.

[00:13:43] Ellie: hmm. Yeah.

[00:13:45] Linzy: Or even it sounds like in the, potentially, in the wake of something, like a gift, there might then also be mention of financial stress.

[00:13:52] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. Like, we’re happy to do this, or we’re really excited to do this, but also,

[00:13:57] ooh, like, biting our nails about it.

[00:13:59] Linzy: Yes.

[00:14:00] And this, this is your parents?

[00:14:01] Ellie: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

[00:14:04] Linzy: Do you see this in other family members as well?

[00:14:07] Ellie: I’m trying to think. Part of me is thinking, I don’t think we’ve talked openly enough about money for me to really know.

[00:14:14] Linzy: Yeah. that’s true, eh?

[00:14:15] Ellie: Yeah.

[00:14:18] Linzy: Okay. So there’s this pairing that has happened in your family. Which you’ve

[00:14:21] experienced for decades, probably the whole time you’ve known them, where it’s like anytime there’s something enjoyable, there’s also going to be this stress or hardship that is paired with it.

[00:14:32] Okay, so thinking about that, Ellie, like zooming out

[00:14:38] with your adult brain, because this is something you absorbed all through childhood, I’m sure, and into your teen years and twenties. With your adult brain, what do you notice about that story, thinking about your family? Hmm?

[00:14:51] Ellie: I don’t know if this is necessarily what you’re asking for, but really what I’m thinking is I don’t want to keep doing

[00:14:57] Linzy: Mmm hmm. That’s not for you. 

[00:15:01] Ellie: Yeah, it feels like then it’s hard to be able to just enjoy things, and because we didn’t actually talk about the numbers, like, I don’t actually know, were we, were we really stressed then about paying for groceries?

[00:15:15] It didn’t feel like it, but I don’t know, I have no idea. And that’s also, like, thanks for protecting me from that, and also talking about it could be helpful. but I think, for myself, like, I’m thinking about doing this, this next level of clinical training. And turns out, because of Money Skills for Therapists, I actually set aside way too much money for taxes.

[00:15:40] Linzy: Nice.

[00:15:41] Ellie: Which is a great, great problem to have because then I’m like, and I’m just kind of leaving it there as like a,

[00:15:47] Let’s just kind of keep it there. Let’s get through the first quarter and make sure this story is true. I still am holding too much for taxes,

[00:15:55] Linzy: Okay.

[00:15:55] Ellie: but also it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like how I treat my tax return.

[00:15:59] I just pretend it’s never going to happen. So then it’s super bonus money when I get it. So I’m kind of treating it like that. But in my head, I’m like, Oh, but okay. This, this training is, I mean, it’s like 5, 000 plus stuff. Like it’s a big clinical training.

[00:16:13] Linzy: Significant, yeah.

[00:16:15] Ellie: But I’m like, Oh, but I actually kind of already have a couple thousand dollars just sitting there that I’ll be able to just shuffle into that.

[00:16:24] And like, there’s something about that. It just like, my whole body relaxes where I’m like, I really want to do that. I think it’ll be great for me clinically and like personally, just based on what I’ve heard from people and what they get out of it.

[00:16:38] It’s actually based on the data and the numbers. I’m not depriving myself and like, I can still pay all my business expenses.

[00:16:46] And so there’s something… so I think that story is like,

[00:16:51] yeah, I’m good with that. I don’t really want to live in that space anymore.

[00:16:57] Linzy: No, and what I’m hearing is you’ve now built skills and systems that mean that you also don’t have to live in that place, right? Because that place is very much about having a purely emotional relationship with money. That is, that there isn’t any sense of like, oh, actually there’s more than enough.

[00:17:12] Or like, oh, but we have like this extra paycheck coming next month. And, you know, we’ve already hit this goal. Like there’s, there’s no grounding there. Like it’s all the emotion around money. The feast or famine. around money with none of the actual data. But what I’m hearing is you actually have systems and skills that mean that you do have data, and you actually do have money set aside because you’ve over saved a bit for taxes, which is way better than super under saving.

[00:17:38] Ellie: Yes, best problem.

[00:17:40] Linzy: So there’s like a couple thousand that’s already there that you earmarked for taxes, and now that you’ve done your return, you see that it’s extra that could go right into this training. Mm hmm.

[00:17:50] Okay.

[00:17:51] Ellie: And I guess where my mind, my brain goes is like, I’ve done all this work on the business money side of things, but then at home, for me personally, like, I’ve been able to give myself a little bit of a raise, and still would like to be bringing home a little bit more. So maybe that’s also looking at that stack of extra tax money and going, okay, well, could we also split that between professional you and personal you.

[00:18:19] Linzy: Also, yeah, if, if you’ve over saved, there can be a rechecking of your percentages and your system that you’re using, right? And then you can see, yeah, is that money that stays in the business, or is that more paycheck for you on a monthly basis, based on now that you’ve seen how your taxes have actually shaken out? So there’s opportunity there to also give you just more month to month stability and comfort. 

[00:18:44] Ellie: Yeah, I think so.

[00:18:46] Linzy: With this story then, you know, that you inherited, that you know you don’t want, the like, kind of feast or famine story, the like, you know, we can’t do it, let’s do it, like this pairing that’s happened,

[00:18:57] what do you want to believe instead, Ellie, about making financial decisions?

[00:19:02] Ellie: I want to ground my money decisions in actual numbers and in alignment with my values in like a really mindful and intentional way.

[00:19:15] Linzy: Okay.

[00:19:16] Linzy: So, thinking about concert tickets and travel, which are two things that I also like, let’s talk about how those connect to your values. How are concert tickets relevant to your values as a person?

[00:19:31] Ellie: Yeah, I mean, I can be somebody that is maybe a little too like perfectionistic and works too hard sometimes, or just, or then also is just like whatever just going through life and I… Like concert tickets light me up. Like live music lights me up.

[00:19:51] Whether that is me just going to see somebody I really love and I go by myself and like It’s the best, or I get a group of people together and we like, dance like idiots and have a great time, and so it’s like, also a connection, community sort of thing.

[00:20:07] Linzy: Okay. So I’m hearing there’s connection and community if you go with someone else. What is the value associated with that first part you talked about where like you can tend to over, you know, work a little too hard. What is it that concerts then bring into your life?

[00:20:21] Ellie: Joy.

[00:20:22] Linzy: Okay.

[00:20:22] Okay. So I’m hearing values here of joy.

[00:20:25] Connection.

[00:20:27] Ellie: Mm hmm. Like Freedom.

[00:20:29] Linzy: Yeah. Okay. Joy, connection, freedom. And what about travel? What values does that connect to? 

[00:20:45] Ellie: Same thing. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And like a sense, sense of like adventure,I don’t know, those are all things that make me feel more alive. 

[00:20:46] Linzy: Yeah. And that’s what I’m thinking of. It’s like, it’s living. Right? You’re giving yourself experiences of like deep aliveness. And that’s how I feel about live music as well. And I have a list of concerts that I regret not attending.

[00:21:01] Ellie: Yeah.

[00:21:01] Linzy: Because often bands don’t come around 50 times, you know, like it’s like, and especially like being in Canada, you know, I’m not in New York City where every band hits Toronto, right?

[00:21:12] Ellie: Right.

[00:21:13] Linzy: you know, sometimes it’s exciting if somebody even crosses the border, on their tour. So what I’m hearing here is almost to like seizing opportunity, like seize the day, seizing life, and actually giving yourself those experiences of joy and connection.

[00:21:28] Ellie: Mm hmm. And I think that there’s a piece of, like, so, in my personal YNAB right now, it’s like, I’m going to France in May to see a cousin, and Taylor Swift. And,

[00:21:40] Linzy: Nice!

[00:21:40] Nice!

[00:21:41] Ellie: so, get the package deal.

[00:21:43] Linzy: There you go. Mmhmm.

[00:21:48] Ellie: Traveling to Denver in June for a friend’s wedding, and like, so there, there are things on the budget that are, like, grounded at all of those things. And, feels a little bit like living outside my

[00:22:00] Linzy: Mmhmm. Mmhmm. Yeah.

[00:22:02] Ellie: And so, there’s like the joy/ adventure / doing the things that make me feel alive… and also then wanting to stay grounded in reality of like car payments, student loans, medical bills. Those are real.

[00:22:21] Linzy: They are real. They are real. And if you don’t pay them, it doesn’t go well. yes, yes. And yeah, like what I’m hearing here is this, Inside of you, and I’ve experienced you as a very, like, you can come across as very, like, focused, you take care of things, you’re like serious in terms of like, I’ve never once thought like, Ellie’s kind of reckless.

[00:22:42] She might want to rein it in a little. That’s never occurred to me in the time that we worked together when you were in the course, but what I’m hearing is like there, you know, there is that, that side of you that’s like very much, you want to make sure you’re taking care of things.

[00:22:54] Ellie: Mm hmm.

[00:22:54] Linzy: But then there’s this other side that’s about like joy and living and like being in, in the moment now. Right? Because I always think about that, too, is like we don’t know how long life is going to be. We don’t know what our life is going to look like as we get older. Right? So I also think about that now, like living while you’re young and healthy and all of those

[00:23:09] Ellie: hmm. Mm

[00:23:10] Linzy: And something that I’m curious about is you mentioned, you know, that you ended up saving more for taxes than you needed. There might be opportunity in the business. Like, can you revisit your business numbers and just reassess whether you could give yourself a raise at this moment?

[00:23:27] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that that’s helpful because I think… I did give myself a little bit of a raise, but it was like I was wanting to keep fudging the numbers to make the raise bigger. I think it’s also part of this as a newer business owner because last year was my first full calendar year in business, and so it’s almost like let’s get to Q1 and see what that tax payment is looking like. So I really am getting a better picture of what this is looking like now that it is more….  Because I do, I wonder if I do start to kind of stockpile money in the business out of fear.

[00:24:10] Ellie: And then at home, that then makes the concert tickets and the fun things feel like they go in the fuck it bucket, where I’m just like, Well, there’s the car payment and all this, but like, fuck it, we’re going make it happen.

[00:24:25] Linzy: you know, I am hearing that there is planning for trips, right? Like you are saving money, but it doesn’t sound to me like there’s necessarily like a concert ticket line in your budget at the moment.

[00:24:34] Ellie: No.

[00:24:35] Linzy: That’s part of it too, right? What I’m picturing for your budget is either a line that’s concert tickets or that’s just like straight up like joy.

[00:24:42] Here’s my like two hundred dollars a month of joy and maybe that’s a concert, and maybe it’s dinner with friends, and maybe it’s some other spontaneous thing, to make sure that that is actually getting space because otherwise it’s almost like you’re

[00:24:53] setting that up as like a devious part of yourself that’s not getting considered and then has to just be like, “Fuck all of you. I’m going to the concert!” Because it’s not being taken care of; there’s no space for it in the budget otherwise.

[00:25:06] Ellie: Yeah. And I think your point of even just like observing me as like a coach for six months or whatever, is like, I haven’t been a reckless person, and so, but I think because I’m not a reckless person, that then at some point I reach my limit, and then I’m like, screw it, we’re going to Mexico.

[00:25:26] Linzy: Yeah, and there is this extreme that happens, I

[00:25:28] think, yeah, when we don’t let all parts of ourselves get expressed in our life, right? And like in IFS parts work that, you know, those would be kind of exiles, right? Like parts that are owning like disowned feelings or desires. And that is what happens is we do end up like doing things in the extreme because, you know, that part of you is not getting fed, like it’s not getting space in your normal life, or specifically in your budget.

[00:25:52] It’s not getting its own budget line, right? And so there is no space for it other than to kind of like break through and impose itself. And just say fuck everything else because there’s no other option it sounds like at this moment.

[00:26:07] Ellie: Yeah. Well, well, and I do have… I have like the fun money line, but I think it’s gloriously too low.

[00:26:14] Linzy: I was going to say it’s insufficient. Can I ask how much money is in the fun money line?

[00:26:19] Ellie: And you know, I think I probably have it at like 50 or 80, and that does not include dining out.

[00:26:24] Linzy: Okay, dining is separate, but $50 or $80. Yes. Yeah, and considering probably a decent concert ticket is more than $100, it’s not meeting your needs. So, I am curious, like, if you check in with your concert loving, joy and connection seeking part of yourself, how much money a month would help to feed this part so that it gets regular space in your life?

[00:26:51] Ellie: Yeah. I would say like $150 to $200, and I would almost say like $200 to then start to kind of build up the buffer.

[00:26:58] Linzy: That’s true.

[00:26:58] Ellie: Because some months, nobody’s coming to town and I don’t care. And, you know,

[00:27:04] Linzy: So 200 a month. And it sounds to me, you’ll have to go back to your numbers, look at maybe your profit first calculator, take another big picture perspective. But it sounds to me like there’s probably at least $200 a month in your business that could be coming home to you instead.

[00:27:21] Ellie: Yeah, that would be a nicer raise than the, like, I don’t know, $60 raise or whatever…

[00:27:27] Linzy: Ellie!

[00:27:28] Ellie: to myself. I know, I know, I’m scared.

[00:27:32] Linzy: You’re scared. I was like, that doesn’t even count as a raise. Not, not like in the world that we live in. Maybe in like 1930 that would have been a good raise per month, but you know, a hundred years later, it’s not going to make a big difference for you. No, maybe not. Maybe not. It’s like you got to buy like one slightly nicer item at the grocery shop maybe is what that would get you.

[00:27:51] Maybe. Yes.

[00:27:52] Okay. Okay. So thinking about our conversation then, what do you see as your action

[00:27:57] plan? What are your next steps coming out of this conversation today?

[00:28:02] Ellie: Yeah, I mean I think it is, like, kind of in this first quarter, like actually going back and reevaluating the numbers and that that might be like, I feel like I am using the tax percentages that profit first says, and all of that. And it’s kind of like, and it feels like it’s actually, I’m, my buffer is a plenty.

[00:28:22] And so I think it’s actually reevaluating it on what are the actual numbers say? And what are the averages that I’m going to need to pay out so that then I can shuffle that around.

[00:28:31] Linzy: Well, and part of where you are with having been newer in practice is, chances are you’ve just earned less than you will earn in the future. So that’s also something to consider. And that’s like going back to module five in the course and just like looking at those tax lessons again and thinking about, okay, last year this is where I landed with my new cruising altitude and what’s normal now, or if I actually get to capacity this year,

[00:28:52] this is how much I’m projecting to make and this is the tax bracket I will land in, because something else with taxes, that an accountant pointed out to me once is when you’re on the lower end of the taxes, like if you’re paying, I don’t know, if you’re going to owe like $15,000 of taxes, Americans are entitled to about $10,000, kind of like the first $10,000 of the income you earn is not actually taxed, right?

[00:29:13] So there’s this certain amount that you’re just not going to pay and when you’re only paying, saving for a few thousand dollars of taxes, that’s a big difference, right? But as you get more established in your business and maybe you’re going to start owing like $40,000 of taxes, that exemption amount doesn’t make such a big difference anymore. Right, so that would be my suggestion is to ground in not just where you’ve been but where you’re going. What is going to be your tax percentage this year?

[00:29:38] And then I would say run it by your accountant to say like, “Hey, looking at what I’m planning to earn this year, I’m seeing I’m going to earn about, I don’t know, like 80, 000 take home. That puts me in this tax bracket. But can you tell me also what you know I’m going to be eligible for and what you would actually predict I’m going to owe for taxes?

[00:29:54] Because they’re going to know your tax picture the best. Because they know everything that you’re eligible for. They can put you in the context of all these other things. So that would be my suggestion. And then see what else that number, like, that money can do for you if you do get to lower that percentage.

[00:30:10] Ellie: Yeah. Yeah. That’s helpful. And I think that there’s a space of like, because, like I had surgery last year and then was taking less clients for part of the year. It’s like, okay, let’s actually base this on the last like six months.

[00:30:21] Linzy: Yes, exactly. What your new normal is.

[00:30:22] Ellie: Yes, versus the full last year.

[00:30:23] Linzy: Yes. And it makes sense to me too that you have been having a hard time kind of maybe like trusting the numbers or wanting to give yourself a raise because you did come into a new practice. You had a serious surgery that had a serious, you know, recovery time period.

[00:30:38] So it’s really, it sounds like, only maybe the last six months where life has been really normal and where you’re like this, this, where you’re kind of what I like to call cruising altitude. You’re at the spot where you’re like, yeah, this is kind of like, if we just go along tickety boo. This is where I would be.

[00:30:50] Ellie: Mhm. Yeah. That feels right.

[00:30:54] Linzy: Okay. you’re going to be going back, looking at your numbers, seeing where there’s opportunity to give yourself a raise, talk to your accountant so you get a really accurate picture,

[00:31:03] and I’m curious, Ellie, you have your action plan. What else are you taking away from our conversation today?

[00:31:11] Ellie: Increase my fun money category. Like, like, let that be one of the priorities.

[00:31:16] Linzy: Mm hmm.

[00:31:18] Ellie: Yes, we have to pay the car payment and the student loans and all of that and those are substantial, but really making sure that those things are prioritized.

[00:31:27] Linzy: Yeah, when I was a teenager, I was an overly serious teenager. You might be

[00:31:31] shocked to find out.

[00:31:33] Ellie: Really shocked.

[00:31:33] Linzy: I know, I know. I was like a punk goth, so on the outside I looked kind of scary, but I was also like a straight A student, very responsible. And I remember starting to like to use this phrase which I thought I made up but I probably didn’t, which is, life is for the living.

[00:31:48] Which is something I had to remind myself of like, you know, if I was slightly older, I probably would have gotten it tattooed on my arm to be like, I need to look at this every day. Life is for the living. Right. And I think when you’re really good at managing and being responsible and like not making mistakes, it’s easy to forget that life is for the living, right?

[00:32:05] Like life is about joy and connection. It’s not about like having everything totally lined up perfectly. and this is what I’m hearing with you is like, there needs to be more space for actually just planning for that, for just being alive.

[00:32:19] Ellie: hmm. Yeah. And not having it be a deprivation. And I think some of that, that’s probably another episode, is like graduating from grad school a little bit later in life and then therefore retirement planning and all those things are happening later. I think that that probably attaches to that. I’m like, no, we got to get ahead.

[00:32:37] Linzy: Yeah. It feeds that. And, you know, like something that I’m taking away from our conversation today is just the importance of taking care of all of those parts of you, right? Not letting that part that knows that you’re not where you want to be in terms of retirement, not letting that part take fun and joy away from the part of you that loves going to concerts.

[00:32:55] Ellie: yeah, exactly.

[00:32:56] Linzy: Those dollars can do multiple jobs for you.

[00:32:59] Ellie: That’s right. Yes.

[00:33:01] Linzy: Ellie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. It was lovely. It’s lovely to talk to you again.

[00:33:07] Ellie: Yeah. This was great. Really appreciate it.

[00:33:09]

[00:33:24] Linzy: My conversation with Ellie, just really brings to mind for me, balance, just the importance of balance with our money. Balance in life, obviously, is also a good thing. But in terms of finances, I think what we see over and over again is if you put too much money towards one thing, right? Like if we don’t let our money take care of many parts of us, ideally all parts of us, right?

[00:33:47] If we’re not using our money to really take care of who we are as whole people, then we end up making plans that we can’t actually stick to, right? We can’t be in integrity with our plan or our budget if we are denying that part of us, like in Ellie’s case, that loves concerts and travel and connection and joy, right?

[00:34:05] And what I see people often do, where this often comes up, is people paying down debt too aggressively, right? Where the part of you that wants to pay down debt is like so urgent and just so stressed about the debt that you try to put so much money towards debt every month. But ultimately, of course, other things are going to come up in your life, right?

[00:34:23] There’s going to be fun things that come up, like in Ellie’s case, but there’s also going to be responsibilities that come up, and then you can’t stay to that plan. And you have to break the plan that you’ve made, and do something differently because you’ve set up a plan that isn’t really sustainable. And in Ellie’s case, she has set up a plan for her money that is not sustainable in terms of like, it doesn’t actually take care of this part of her that really enjoys life, right? She doesn’t actually have enough room in her budget to do the things that really feed her, like going to concerts, and traveling, and being with friends, right? 

[00:35:01] And so by actually building that into her budget, she’s now going to have the opportunity to approach those decisions from a balanced place with actual numbers because she’s not just denying that part of her and then having it have to rebel to get a, to get its needs met. So there’s so much, I mean, I relate heavily to Ellie in this conversation today. We chatted a little bit off mic afterwards about how I am planning a trip to London and Iceland for my 40th birthday that is coming up this year, and it’s definitely a stretch.

[00:35:23] And it hasn’t actually been in my budget, but I am going to make it work and I’m, you know, going to be strategically doing things, to help the money to be there because it’s really important to me. And that’s also another thing too, is we can’t always plan for the really fun and exciting opportunities that are going to come up.

[00:35:39] But if we commit to them, we can also make the money work, right, by making strategic decisions, and being in our own businesses, it’s a beautiful thing because you can actually make decisions that help, more money show up when you need it to, to feed you, and feed your life, and let money actually take care of us.

[00:35:54] So thank you so much to Ellie for coming on the podcast today. You can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts and if you’re enjoying the podcast, you know, ’cause I ask you a lot, but it’s really helpful if you review the podcast on Apple Podcasts. It is the best way, for other folks to find us, for other therapists and health practitioners to be part of these conversations.

[00:36:19] So if you’re enjoying the podcast, if you could take three minutes to jump over to Apple Podcasts, and leave a review, maybe share about what you appreciate about the podcast, about your favorite episode, that would be deeply appreciated. Thank you for listening today.

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Financial Planning that Works with Our Lives with Childfree Wealth Founder Jay Zigmont

Financial Planning that Works with Our Lives with Childfree Wealth Founder Jay Zigmont - Episode Cover Image

Financial Planning that Works with Our Lives with Childfree Wealth Founder Jay Zigmont

Financial Planning that Works with Our Lives with Childfree Wealth Founder Jay Zigmont - Episode Cover Image

“We start with the life stuff. And what ends up happening is if you don’t start with the life stuff, you can make a financial plan that works, and completely miss the life.  Our clients have gotten used to this. My two cents on this, and we’re doing some work on studying this, is clients sign up for the financial stuff. They stay for the life and behavioral stuff.” 

~Jay Zigmont

Meet Dr. Jay Zigmont

Jay Zigmont, PhD, MBA, CFP® is the Founder and CEO of Childfree Wealth®, a life and financial planning firm dedicated to helping Childfree and Permanently Childless people. Childfree Wealth is the first life and financial planning firm dedicated to serving Childfree people.

In this Episode...

How can financial planning be more aligned with individual life goals? Linzy talks with Dr. Jay Zigmont, a financial planner for childfree people who want to learn how to manage their finances in a way that makes sense for their lives. Jay and Linzy dig into how financial planning often focuses on numbers but is far more effective when it is focused instead on life goals.  

Linzy and Jay talk about how our money goals can and should align with our individual life goals, not with a preset track that is the same for everyone. Jay shares about how his financial group supports childfree and childless people specifically and why it’s so important to focus on the life specifics for people when advising them about finances. Listen in to learn practical ways to consider life goals when setting financial goals. 

Connect with Jay

You can follow Dr Jay on Instagram @childfreewealth.

Download his Free book “Portraits of Childfree Wealth” here: https://childfreewealth.com/book 

Dr Jay is the co-host of the Childfree Wealth podcast. Discover it here: https://childfreewealth.buzzsprout.com/

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Jay: We start with the life stuff. And what ends up happening is if you don’t start with the life stuff, you can make a financial plan that works and completely miss the life. And clients have gotten used to this, and my two cents on this, and we’re doing some work on studying this… Clients sign up for the financial stuff; they stay for the life and behavioral stuff.

[00:00:24] Linzy: 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.

[00:00:43] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today’s guest is Dr. Jay Zigmont. Jay is the founder and CEO of Childfree Wealth, which is a life and financial planning firm that helps childfree and permanently childless people. Childfree Wealth is the first life and financial planning firm dedicated specifically to childfree people.

[00:01:06] And our conversation today gets into being childfree and the specifics of money that come from being childfree, but also very quickly deviates, probably because I myself am not childfree, into like the bigger questions of meaning and purpose and kind of those philosophical questions that can come up of what money is for and what it can do for us when we are not just focused on obligation, right?

[00:01:31] So something Jay and I talk about today is folks who are childfree don’t have that default project, right, of just like providing for their kids, and trying to give their kids the best in life, and trying to leave a legacy for their kids, and because they don’t have that project, they have the question to ask themselves, I think, much sooner than folks who have children can or do: what is my purpose?

[00:01:52] What can money do for me? What do I actually want in my life? What brings me joy? And so Jay and I today talk about some of the similarities in our approaches. He comes from an education background. I come from a social work, trauma therapy background, but different language to talk about some of the same things, the way that he supports their clients in taking care of the behavioral and personal, the life parts of money to allow them to learn.

[00:02:15] And yeah, these bigger questions that money brings up about life, kind of spiritual questions about meaning, and purpose, and what creates for a satisfying life. Here’s my conversation with Dr. Jay Zigmont.

[00:02:42] Linzy: So Jay, welcome to the podcast.

[00:02:45] Jay: Thanks for having me.

[00:02:47] Linzy: I’m excited to have you. We were just chatting off mic, of course, before we got started, about, you know, we’re coming from different worlds and different language, but kind of helping people with the same, the same issues with different language, different scripts. So can you tell folks who are listening a little bit about your background and what you do?

[00:03:06] Jay: Yeah, so I’m one of those weird people that come to finance from not finance, you know, so I came out of actually healthcare and academia and my PhD is in adult learning. So I’m really on the learning side. And the way I say it is we are a learning organization that does financial planning. We help people learn how to do their finances, not necessarily do it for them.

[00:03:22] And that’s a little shift because a lot of the investment stuff is like, Oh, we’ll just take care of it all for you. And that doesn’t work. And I specialize in helping people who are childfree and, just from a definition standpoint, those are people who don’t have kids, aren’t planning on kids ever childfree tends to be by choice, childless not by choice, but you know the bottom line is kids are never part of the picture, and that’s about 20 to 25 percent of the population. And most people go, I have no clue that that is that larger percentage… or because of that population, it has unique concerns, unique issues, and really we do a lot of work on life planning as much as we do financial planning because they’re following a different life script.

[00:04:01] Linzy: Absolutely. And I mean, I love your emphasis on learning, first of all, to jump back to that point and what you said, because I feel similarly, like there are so many financial professionals that are like, “I’ll take care of that. You just give that to me,” right? And what I see with folks who I tend to support, who can be really avoidant of money, is that can be very enticing to be like, “Oh, they’re just going to take care of it for me.” right. But like that has a lot of long term consequences. And you mentioned that doesn’t tend to work. Can you tell me what you’ve seen doesn’t work about that approach?

[00:04:32] Jay: Yeah, so the approach we use is actually called “advice only.” We give them advice, and they do it. We’re going to start offering some investment management, but really we’re just trying to do some paperwork for people. But what we’re trying to argue is you have to learn about money at some point in your life.

[00:04:47] And I’m in the U. S., and in the U. S. we do a terrible job teaching people about money… I mean, the only thing I learned in high school was how to balance a checkbook, which is a giant waste of time. And we do a terrible job at this, and then we expect people to be able to do it. And I’ve worked with a lot of folks, and I’m more on the coaching side, looking forward, but I was working with somebody who’s a social worker, and I asked her, how do you split the work?

[00:05:11] You know, how much work can you do? And she said it this way. She said, “Look, if a client’s not willing to do at least 50 percent of the work, I can’t help them.” And she’s right, but I’m like, well, then why in the world, in the financial world, can we do 90 percent of the world? We can’t. Like the actual data on this says somewhere around 80 percent of your success with finances is behavioral.

[00:05:31] It’s your mental models, your ways of thinking. 20 percent is your numbers. But most financial planners, most investment managers, others, spend 90 percent of their time on the numbers. And might talk about one behavioral issue. Like the CFP, Certified Financial Planner, actually 10 percent of the content is around behaviors.

[00:05:49] And I’m like, No! This is missing it because, you know, I can help you work on a financial plan. We can do all the numbers. But if you don’t change your money mindset, you’re lost. And I don’t necessarily mean saving more money. We spend more time with our clients talking about spending money than saving money, which really seems weird, but you’ve got to learn all of it in order to feel comfortable and having more money is not going to make you more comfortable with money. You have to work on your mindset.

[00:06:17] Linzy: Absolutely. And, you know, I love you pointing that out because my partner and I worked with a financial coach. I’m Canadian. We worked with a Canadian money coach a few years ago when we were, you know… my business was still building and like we were having kids, we were thinking about having another kid, you know, which we’ll talk more about all of this in a minute. but what I noticed is I wanted someone who could help us… kind of do for us what I do for other people, which is help you dig in and be like, “Okay, well, what, what matters? And why are you doing what you do? And like, what are you looking for when you’re spending this kind of money?” And I got none of that. And I felt so dissatisfied. And then I felt disappointed with the service we got, even though she did kind of what she promised, which was make us a plan. But when we would look at numbers, she’s like, “Well, you have to make more or spend less.” I’m like, oh, really? Brilliant. Thank you so much. Mind blown. Because I think she just didn’t have the training. She didn’t have the training to actually help us dig into, okay, what’s happening here? And how do you work within your situation as it is right now, and how do you think about how your situation is going to change, and how do you align your money with your needs at the moment, and like, put things in perspective, like, all of these things are so important, and as you say, like this is that, like, important 80 percent that actually makes the numbers work, and yet so much of the financial world, it’s just all spreadsheets, all numbers, all the time, but that’s not what life is.

[00:07:38] Jay: Well, and part of that has to do with incentives. So mostly investment management folks are paid a percentage of assets or something along those lines. So their incentive is to sell products or bring assets in. That’s it. I come out of the coaching world and our model, we actually meet with clients on a monthly basis

[00:07:54] usually. You know, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It is much closer to a therapy practice where it’s like, “Hey, we’re going to work on one to two issues at a time. We’re not going to overwhelm you. We’re going to work on what’s key to you and we’re going to build your plan over time as you get there,” rather than, “Hey, let me drop a plan on your desk and you know, here’s 150 pages and like, good luck.”

[00:08:13] And some of my colleagues, and it’s been interesting, they’re like, really? Clients want to talk to you that much? I’m like, they always have something to talk about. And now mind you, we have childfree folks and they tend to have a lot more flexibility in their life. And they change their goals every week, it seems.

[00:08:27] So it is part of the audience. But, what I find is people come to us and go, Well, I don’t, you know, first couple of meetings, I don’t know if I’m going to have enough to talk about. And then we’re two years later, and they’re like, Oh, so this came up, and this, you know, now I’m taking my parents, I’m letting them do it.

[00:08:41] I’m like, cool. There’s always something, and we’re able to do that. And one of the really interesting things where you are, is it’s like this discussion with couples, of like, hey, sometimes I can say things to a couple, you’ve been saying to each other forever that’s just not heard. And I can call things out.

[00:08:57] You know, I was having a discussion yesterday with somebody. We have a lot of couples that have large age gaps. So when you have somebody like, say, seven, ten years age gap, at some point, somebody’s going to be living ten years without the other person. And that impacts your finances, impacts your thoughts around it, estate planning, long term care.

[00:09:14] And people are like, well, I just don’t want to talk about it. I’m like, well, no, you have to. Like, this is not an option. You have to, especially with childfree folks who don’t have next of kin to make decisions for them. You have to figure that out and we can have those tough conversations. Well, the thing with the financial world is there’s not really an incentive to dive into those tough ones in the normal model.

[00:09:34] We charge an annual fee; we get paid for our time. We don’t get paid by products. So yes, our structure is there, but that is a rarity.

[00:09:42] Linzy: Yeah, it is a rarity, and I would say, my opinion is it’s essential. I personally do not share with my audience any financial planners who are actually just selling you products. Because as you say, like those important conversations that are actually going to impact the way that money works for you in your life,… the traditional financial planning model doesn’t actually pay people to do that work with you, nor does it actually train them to do that work, right? But it’s like, as you say, like, they’re being paid to sell you a certain product, they get a certain percentage of, you know, assets under management or whatever, but it’s just not what they do.

[00:10:15] That’s just not what they offer. And so, you know, I appreciate you and folks who are doing the kind of work that you’re doing where you are just being clear of like, this is what we are offering you, this is how much it costs, because then you can have those actual important conversations that make a change, that help people change the way that they’re relating and spending their money because like… I love spreadsheets. I love me a good spreadsheet, but it doesn’t actually solve Interpersonal or emotional or just those big existential issues like you’re talking about like one day You will probably live without your partner.

[00:10:47] What is that going to look like? Those are scary things to talk about, and a spreadsheet doesn’t actually do that for you.

[00:10:53] Jay: Absolutely. And this group will understand. I’m going to take you behind the scenes. I don’t usually talk about this. We’re training people to do this. We’ve got people we call childfree wealth specialists. And I’ve been working with my staff on building the next generation of people to do this and, you know, taking on more clients.

[00:11:08] And one of the things we’ve been talking about is we have about an hour with a client and how do we set an agenda? And how do you like to work this through? And we always say a client brings one or two things to talk about; we bring one or two. So we try to prepare for two or three things in case they don’t have anything that day.

[00:11:24] If you’ve worked in a therapy world, you know, sometimes clients walk in with things, you’re like, “Alright, that was not on the list, and we’re going there!” But what I’ve been trying to explain is how do we do this? And one of the frames we come up with is for our three things, the number one is a life or behavioral component.

[00:11:38] So what are they, what’s the big picture they’re working on? Number two is kind of like we, a little bit of the homework stuff. Like, oh, we have got to get these accounts done, the paperwork done. Like just, that’s the financial stuff. And number three is we have what we call, an annual calendar.

[00:11:53] We have like, Oh, in February we’re working on taxes… and you know, one, whatever it is. But we start with the life stuff. And what ends up happening is if you don’t start with the life stuff, you can make a financial plan that works and completely miss the life. And clients have gotten used to this, and my two cents on this, and we’re doing some work on the, on studying this.

[00:12:14] Clients sign up for the financial stuff, they stay for the life and behavioral stuff. And We have clients, you know, that’ll say, this felt like a therapy session and, you know, I’m like, okay. And, you know, we often have clients that end up in tears because money has so much baggage and other things with it.

[00:12:30] And they’re like, all right, we took care of the investments. Can we talk about… and it’s like, sure. That’s where the magic is. That’s where we truly change people’s lives, where we’re helping them, you know, have discussion. I have a podcast, one of our top download podcasts is I’ll Make You Quit Your Job.

[00:12:47] And it’s those people that are miserable at what they’re doing. And we’re like, cool, let’s figure out another plan. They’re like, well, but I can’t, I got to make the money. I’m like, no, you can change and be happy. And like, I have people that, you know, quit these high paying good jobs and then go be an author and pay nothing, but they’re happier.

[00:13:05] Like, that’s the type of stuff, that’s where the money is, like, that’s where the good stuff is. And people say, well, but you’re not just talking about investments. I’m like, nope. Investments are the easiest part of what I do.

[00:13:17] Linzy: Absolutely. I mean, you’re preaching to the choir here, 100%. You know, and, and as you said, like, we are coming at this, this from different silos, different language, but like, same thing, the way that I talk about this distinction is the, the emotional pieces and the practical pieces, and the practical pieces need to happen, right?

[00:13:32] Like, you do need to have your papers in order to pay your taxes, right? You do need to know when certain deadlines are; you do need to have a plan that actually is going to work. But those emotional pieces, what I found, Jay, is like, if you don’t address those pieces, those emotional pieces, which, with my therapy background, it’s like I see their, I see trauma, I see childhood stuff, I see larger societal messages about who is deserving and who is worthy and who is capable. But if you don’t address those things, then the practical stuff can’t happen. Like the emotional stuff is in the way. Like that is the actual lived experience of being a human. And if you’re not taking care of that, you can’t learn.

[00:14:10] Jay: Absolutely. So let’s pick an issue. And we actually have a program we call The 8 No Baby Steps for childfree folks. Step 7 is a plan for parents. And we end up with two boats. We have the parents that have nothing, that long term care and health care is going to be a big issue. And we have the parents that have a whole lot of money coming down.

[00:14:26] And by the way, there’s nowhere in between. Like, just the income disparities that just, like, I either see one or the other. And we start pulling this apart, and the first step we get into is, what’s your boundary around this? And people are like, wait, what? I’m like, no, seriously. Mom did not plan for her health care.

[00:14:44] You know my mom’s been disabled since I was 16. I can’t teach my mom anything. It’s just kind of the rule.s You can’t teach your mom or your spouse finances. Just can’t. But like you have to have a boundary around how much can you help because if you help too much, you’re going to sink yourself, and you have to set that boundary when they’re not sick Be like well, but but but you’re saying I I’m like, “Yes, I’m saying your mom’s going to be in Medicaid care because she can’t afford anything else, and you can’t afford to pay it.” And if I don’t address that boundary issue first, the finance is just destroyed.

[00:15:20] And I’ve seen people where, you know, they don’t want to dig into that because of all the guilt and other things, you know, expect expectations and it just becomes a nightmare. And on the flip side, I got the ones where, Oh, well, I’m, I’m inheriting 10 million. You know, I, it’s not my money. The baggage that comes with it and, you know, what should I do with it?

[00:15:40] And what’s my purpose in life now? And now I don’t have to work. And it’s all this stuff. And I’m like, the money management of this? So easy. It’s the, it’s the discussions. Like, the only parents we take on as clients right now are actually parents who are childfree folks. And we’ll sit in the room with the parent and, and our childfree client and say, okay, what’s your estate plan?

[00:16:00] What’s your financial plan? What’s your insurance? And it’s the first time that as an adult, they’ve had a conversation with their parents about money, and their parent is 80 years old. And we’re over here trying to figure out a plan. And I’m like, “We need to have this conversation,” and that’s so important.

[00:16:16] I have so many clients now, saying, “My mom loved you…” you know, blah, blah. It was great that we actually had the conversation. And I always tell my clients, they can blame me for everything. You know, say, Dr. Jay says, I’ve got to talk to you about this. Cool. Blame me for all of it. And starting that conversation and that is just so powerful.

[00:16:33] When you’re talking about this practical versus, you know, the behavioral, the emotional, I sometimes have to use the practical as the gateway to get into the emotional and sometimes the other way around. So it’s like, how do you find that balance between the two? Because if you have one lens too much, you almost can lose the client in the meantime.

[00:16:52] I had somebody who would not let me touch anything on the life or behavioral side until we had gone through a whole bunch of practical stuff. And I got to know him over time and I’m like, yeah, you took like three, four months before you let me dive in. And her answer was, yeah, I wanted to make sure you’re not an idiot first.

[00:17:08] And I was like, all right, well, you know, there’s a judgment call there, but now I’ve proven it on the numbers. Okay, now you can dig into the life stuff. And I’m like, wow, that’s really interesting. I’m going to think about that one for a long time, but that’s where you have to find the balance. And I think the challenge is whichever school you come from is where you see the problems first, but that’s not always where the client is.

[00:17:31] Linzy: Yeah, that’s such a good point. I mean, we have our own bias, obviously, of the zone that we like to focus on and like to be with. But yeah, I mean, what you’re describing every therapist, and every manual health practitioner, listening is going to hear as well as like, you need to meet the client where they are. Right? You might see this glaring issue that needs attention right away, but if they’re not able to be with it, then you’re wasting your, your air, right? And you might lose the client by moving them too fast or, or not focusing on what feels important or what they’re able to focus on at that time. So I think everybody listening right now is nodding like, yep, yep.

[00:18:03] That’s how we work with our own clients, right? And I love you drawing these parallels because I think with money, it’s easy for us to, as therapists, as people who didn’t get great financial education, or maybe who are coming to this late, right, like feeling behind, it’s easy to focus on all those numbers pieces and feel left behind, and expect somebody to just like slap down a bunch of numbers.

[00:18:25] But like, yeah, they need to be doing what we do with our own clients, which is like meeting us where, where we’re at. And that’s legitimate to be done. So Jay, I want to dig into the childfree side of things now because I know that’s such a big specific part of the work that you’re doing. With the clients that you work with, what do you see in terms of how being childfree impacts their finances and their life? What looks different for them?

[00:18:48] Jay: So the first thing you’ve got to think about is this standard life script that says you must go to school, you get married, you have kids, buy a house, pass on my next generation, retire, all that fun stuff. That life script, and we, you know, it’s part of what we call pronatalist bias, it’s just an assumption, you’re going to have kids, you’re going to go through this process, you’re going to do all that, is so strong in our culture, in our religion, in our families, that when childfree folks or childless, not by choice, take a hard right turn off that standard life script, you end up without a script, really.

[00:19:23] And that becomes a challenge, you know. The hard part of this is, we all do stuff that we don’t even realize why we do it. Let’s be honest with that. And, you know, we’re following decisions the 18 year old version of us made. You know, like a life path. And at some point, by the way, we realize the 18 year old version of us was dumb.

[00:19:40] Okay, like, let’s just be honest with that. Like, we need to rethink that. But we start following the standard script. So now, you deviate off that script. I have this kind of love and hate word with that deviation because now you become a deviant because you are doing a different life path.

[00:19:56] The first thing is people think we’re weird. Okay. And we are a little bit in the general population, but we’re talking about something like 20 to 25 percent of the U. S. for example. In Japan it is 33%. I don’t know Canada off the top of my head, but like there’s large percentages. And it’s growing, you know, younger generations are jumping on this. And I don’t…

[00:20:15] I don’t, at all, vote on how somebody else should have their kids. I don’t want them to vote on mine. You know, like, you get your own choices. But I think the hard part is, when you are on that childfree path, you can actually get to a point we call the childfree midlife crisis, which is you hit your personal, professional, and financial goals, and then you’re like, now what?

[00:20:35] Where childfree folks, you know, don’t really care about how much money we’re passing on to the next generation. You know, we don’t have next of kin for that. We don’t really care as much about retirement, I actually have a couple therapists that work with me, and they’ll cut back their practice, but they’ll probably do it for as long as they’re around, because they enjoy it.

[00:20:54] Where they can make different choices in life, and we say living a life of childfree wealth means you have time, money, and freedom to do what you enjoy. Now that doesn’t mean you’re rich, like there’s no magic checks that come from the sky and make you rich, but it’s almost an analysis paralysis, paradox of choice routine of like too many choices. What do you do when you can do anything?

[00:21:17] And I will tell you, that’s the hard part. And that’s why in our process, we always work on what life do you want to live first, then your finances. I have clients, they’ll come to me first and go, well, when can I retire? And I’ll ask them, well, do you want to? They go, no.

[00:21:32] Well, then why are you asking about retirement? Well, because that’s what the standard script says. The standard script says you buy a house, you retire, you pass away. How do you do that? And how do you do it when there’s really no great examples? Like, you don’t have a friend where you’re like, oh, you know, Jane did this! I’m just going to follow Jane.

[00:21:50] And when society is saying, hey, that’s not the right path in quotes.

[00:21:56] Linzy: Well, it’s something that occurs to me with this… I had a conversation with one of my students who’s a dietician who’s in Money Skills for Group Practice Owners, so she’s a group practice owner, she does have kids, but she lives in Kansas, so life is affordable. She owns her house, right?

[00:22:10] And we had a conversation once, a call where I had an accountant come in to share some American accountant expertise, and the student asked her, like, What do you do when you’ve hit all your goals? Like, if I’ve paid my mortgage and I don’t really need to work that much. And what I’m thinking about is she kind of hit that point that folks who are childless get to, or childfree, get to much faster, right?

[00:22:36] Like, when you have kids, it’s hard. Kids are expensive, right? Like, you’re saving for their education. There’s kind of all of these. obligations and necessities that are in your way that mean that you don’t hit the point that you’re talking about until kind of your kids are gone, right? Like, I see my parents hit that point of like, What does life mean?

[00:22:53] How do we make life rich like in their seventies, right? But like when you don’t have kids, you skip all of that. I love my child very much, but there is all this obligation. There’s this kind of burden of setting up their life and like the money goes towards that and you’re tired and there’s, there’s all these like, obligations on your time and your money and your energy. When you’re childfree,

[00:23:12] what I’m hearing is like you get to that kind of like what is the meaning? What is my purpose way earlier because you’re not participating in this very labor intensive, and I say that, you know, literally, process of raising a child. Does that seem fair or am I missing something there in the mix?

[00:23:29] Jay: Well, I mean, it’s not necessarily easier or harder, you know, like that’s a judgment that, you know, I’m not going to judge anyone’s life. I think what I’ve tended to find is when parents hit that earlier, so this is the classic midlife crisis, you buy the car or whatever, you know, but they tend to shift their goals to their kids.

[00:23:47] Now, little Johnny needs to go to Yale. I need to set them up for the future. I need to do this. And it’s a way to kick the can down the road. Now, when it comes to the elderly folks, you know, so we’re 70, 80s now… Everybody’s all, well, I want to set my grandkids up for… I want to leave a legacy. I want to… so we keep pushing it to someone else versus answering that question of like, what is my impact on the world, and what do I enjoy?

[00:24:14] We often talk about Marie Kondo in your life: getting more of the things that bring you joy, and getting rid of things that don’t. And people are like, But what brings me joy? I’m like, how do I know? But nobody’s ever asking that question. It’s, you go to work, you work hard, you retire, you pass on money.

[00:24:29] When those aren’t there, you’re required to answer those questions. And for the folks that are childless not by choice, it’s actually a grieving process of the life you thought you were going to live to picking a new life. To the point where I will say, if you’re still in the grieving process, you’re not ready for working on where’s your life going to go, you’re not ready for me, and I’m not saying anything.

[00:24:52] I’m not judging. I’m just saying you’re not in that spot in life. I was on another podcast, and the guy had kids and he said, listen, parents should really learn from the childfree folks to ask these questions earlier because it’s really about the big ones and we’re imprinting on our kids the same like hedonic treadmill, the same expectations. If we said hey enjoy your life, and that’s the priority Like we’d all be just a little bit happier, right?

[00:25:17] Well, we did a study on this. We asked childfree folks Are you happy? Just an open ended question. Little bit under 300 responses. 94 percent said yes.

[00:25:25] Linzy: [00:25:26] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:25:26] Jay: If you look at the general population, you are never going to hit that number.

[00:25:30] Linzy: Yeah. No, and I have a friend who is not planning to have kids. He’s in his late 20s and he, you know, quoted this data to me, and I’ve seen other places… yeah, people without children are happier, right? 

[00:25:41] That’s interesting. As somebody who wanted kids, I can’t imagine that life. But also I’ve changed my brain by having a kid so it’s like I biologically kind of messed with my brain when I went down this path, and that’s such an interesting point that you’re making about that deferring of your own happiness or deferring of your own purpose of like, yeah, my, my role is to work hard enough that my kid can go to private school.

[00:26:03] And then my role is to save for them to go to college. And then I want to have a down payment for them to make their life easier. Like we’re constantly focusing on the well being of others. And therapists, especially, folks who are listening, therapists and health practitioners. We already tend to be so much that way. Even without children in the picture, right, of always thinking about is everybody else okay. And are my clients okay? Can my clients afford my service? Like, is, you know, is my mom okay? Is my sister okay… who is really difficult to have a relationship with, but I should talk to her anyways because she needs to talk to me… If you want to talk about boundaries,

[00:26:34] right, like when you’re already in that kind of martyr, self sacrificing… And yeah, I love what you’re saying because I think too it gets down to this basically philosophical question of: what makes your life rich, and meaningful, and worth living?

[00:26:46] And yeah, I’m hearing that that’s a central question for the folks that you’re working with because, yeah, I hear what you’re saying earlier about what I said. Harder/ easier… who knows? Everybody’s life is different… But certainly you don’t have this one project happening that can be very distracting. that project is not in the way. you’re with your humanness, and your own life, and you don’t… I think it’s probably harder to hide in obligations to others when, when you don’t have a kid.

[00:27:15] Jay: It also allows you different choices. I’m not saying better or worse, just different. So if you look at the stats of childless folks in the U. S. over 55, 32.1 percent were never married versus 2.5 percent of parents. So you have a huge difference in the coupling structure. Now, they might be in a long term couple but not married, different things.

[00:27:35] Where just basic assumptions get changed. And the challenge is, for childfree folks, You often get pushed back to kind of the standard plan. Like everybody around me is like, of course, you’ve got to save for retirement. And you’re like, but I don’t care about retirement. Of course, you got to save money for the next area.

[00:27:52] No, I don’t care about that. My nephews get what’s left over, but like if they get 10,000 or a hundred thousand, that’s fine. If they get a million dollars, I made a mistake because I should have given that throughout their life when they could have used it. Not when I was 90 and dead.

[00:28:04] All these things are changing, like buying a house is a choice for childfree folks, not a requirement… Life insurance is not a big issue for childfree. It starts changing, and what happens is you find out as a society, we have put such a value on how much money you make. And it really doesn’t matter.

[00:28:22] Now, for the people that are struggling, that’s different. If you’re barely making rent and ramen, the amount of money you make absolutely matters. The data changes, but something like 85,000 a year, anything above that, doesn’t add much happiness. Sometimes I see 100,000, but, you know, whatever.

[00:28:35] Something along those lines. And now it’s like, but I went to school for this, and I’ve been going up the ladder, and I’ve done all this, and, my identity is my work. No, it’s not! Your work’s the least important thing about you, but we’re so stuck on that. And I think the hard part is finance pushes people towards those numbers.

[00:28:59] What’s your net worth? What are your numbers? And our childfree folks want to die with zero net worth, so we actually have to bring it down. Try changing somebody’s mindset to actually have to, like, bring their net worth down. It completely messes with it. And then everybody around is like, are you crazy?

[00:29:11] What are you doing? And like, no, I’m perfectly fine for my plans. It might not fit your plan. And that’s that hard part, and I think the challenge right now in the hyper political environment we’re in and some of the social media stuff is everybody’s judging each other way too much, good, bad, or ugly. And finances are just an easy way to judge, and you don’t know people’s lives.

[00:29:35] And for childfree folks, you know, they work with financial planners, and I always tell them, ask the financial planner: how’s my life different because I’m childfree? And if they say, well, it’s not different, well, they’re wrong. You know, if they say, well, you might change your mind.

[00:29:47] Well, that’s a judgment. That’s a different problem. You know, walk away. If they say, I don’t know. I am actually okay with that answer! Or we’ll figure it out. But automatically the answer is, oh, well, we’re just going to do the same plan everybody else is on. Well, no. From a financial standpoint, two parents’ financial plans are actually relatively similar.

[00:30:05] They’re probably 90 percent plus the same. The numbers change. The steps, the timing. But then the plan is very linear. For childfree folks, not so much. And that’s the piece that just messes with everybody’s brains. Because if you go out and you Google financial advice, almost all, I mean, 99 percent plus assumes you have kids.

[00:30:30] The software has assumptions built in there. The directions… Dave Ramsey here talks a lot. I’m in Tennessee. He’s here. He talks a lot about, you know, getting out of debt. And an interesting thing… He’s got a huge financial plan for everything, but he says, have kids whenever because, you know, that’s God’s will is his words.

[00:30:45] And like, it’s not part of the financial plan. I’m like, hold on, you know, it’s built into the plan! And like, these are all the assumptions you don’t realize to the point where one of my key questions for clients, they’ll get into this. And I say, whose voice is in your head saying you’ve got to do that?

[00:31:04] And usually the first answer is mine and I’m like, you sure? It’s never. It’s never theirs. It’s their parents, the culture, it’s the religion, it’s the other things saying you got to do this. And I’m like, is that what you want? No. Well, then why are we doing it? And that’s where it just starts falling apart for them, and they have to rebuild then.

[00:31:24] All right. What do I want to do? You know, I always jokingly ask, what do you want to be when you grow up, but that’s the question. Like, what do you want to be? And I’m not necessarily saying money. I’m just like, what do you want to do?

[00:31:36] Linzy: Yeah, absolutely. you made reference there to Marie Kondo and like what brings you joy. And, I had a week off a couple weeks ago. This is something that I try to do where like once a quarter, I have a week off just to be a human. That’s what I call it. It’s just my “be a human” week. I don’t go on vacation.

[00:31:50] I don’t try to make it even relaxing. I’m just like, What do I want to do when I’m not doing my job? Because I think that’s a really important question, as you said. It’s so easy to make our identity about our work. This is who I am. I am a therapist. I am a business coach. I am a financial planner. But it’s such a small part of who we are, and like, I said to one of my employees the other day who let me know that she’s pregnant and having a baby, she felt guilty because she’s going on mat leave and we’re Canadian and she’ll probably be gone for like 15 months. And I said to her, That’s great, because like my business isn’t going to be there with you on your deathbed.

[00:32:21] Like if you want to have another child, that’s way more important than work, right? But work, we can make it such a priority. And in this week off, what I did is I took a, I’m on a minimalism kick right now. So I read Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker. I’m doing Life of Focus, which is Cal Newport’s course.

[00:32:37] I’m on this big focus: what actually matters. It’s so interesting because as you said, you know, there, there is this metric. It used to be 50, 000, now it’s like 85, 000. Above that, you don’t get happier. And something that I realized is like, I’m at that point. I’m at the point where our material needs are met, right? Do we have things maybe as fast as we want to? No. But do we actually need those things faster? No, right? Like, do I want to make a $20,000 beautiful, ecological paradise in my backyard? Yes. Do I need it? No. So it’s like, I’m at that point where it’s optional. And then you do have to ask yourself like, yeah, what really matters to me? What actually makes life rich and meaningful? 

And we’re usually moving so fast that it’s a question that we skip and defer, sometimes forever, but money is such a tool to allow us to bring more of that into our life. But I do think it’s a question that a lot of us hide from, frankly, through all of these different distractions and excuses.

[00:33:32] Jay: Absolutely. I mean, I can pinpoint my point of this. I was in health care and unfortunately nobody here is going to be surprised. Um, health care is all about money. Let’s just be honest with that. I thought it was about serving patients, but turns out, not so much. You know, once you become a healthcare executive, you learn that and burned me out.

[00:33:49] And I was like, but I’d hit my personal, professional, and financial goals. And I’m like, now what? And I actually ended up. Like, running a maple syrup farm for a while, and selling stuff on Ebay, and stuff. Because I was just bored. You know, out on a tractor and I remember, I got a text. One of my friends from high school had actually died of cancer, and it was my first friend that I lost from high school.

[00:34:10] You know, I was in my early 40s and it’s kind of like that hit. And I’m going, what am I doing? Kind of like, what’s my impact? I’ve always been goal driven. I’m one of those people that went from no degree to a Ph. D. in five and a half years. I did my bachelor’s in nine months. Okay, like I’m a goal driven person.

[00:34:27] It’s kind of the dog that caught the car. You’re like, yeah, now what? And my realization was, I really don’t necessarily have new personal goals, but I can help other people reach their goals. And it’s one of those weird things is you start realizing that you need something to get you up in the morning.

[00:34:50] People retire and they don’t know what they’re retiring to. It’s always a problem. and I don’t care what that is. The thing is, it’s hard when, if you’re from a helping profession, we’re always giving for others. But how do you find that balance between you and helping others and where do you go and to what level?

[00:35:07] And Right now, my nightmare is who makes decisions for childfree folks when they can’t. You know, and in the U. S., there’s big issues around the next of kin and other things. It literally keeps me up at night. And I think I finally figured out a solution. We’re working on that now. But if everything goes right with my company, we’ll be able to serve less than 1 percent of the childfree population with this solution.

[00:35:28] That’s if everything is perfect.

[00:35:30] Linzy: Right.

[00:35:31] Jay: The other 99 percent I can’t serve and help, like, drive me crazy. Because you start seeing, okay, what do I want my impact to be? Where do I want to go? And yeah, I’m in the financial space… I’m going to make money doing it, but that’s not a driver anymore. It’s just a scorecard. And you know, my wife and I, you know, she’s an epidemiologist, and our rule in the house is you don’t do free work.

[00:35:54] You do work you enjoy, you get paid for it. Because otherwise people will take advantage of you. That’s kind of like, well, volunteer. That’s a different question, but that’s not work for free. And I think the hard part there is it’s so countercultural that it just starts challenging your core beliefs. You know, so I was listening to one of your podcasts and you were talking about pricing for therapists.

[00:36:19] And we had a little bit of a crisis with this, too, on our pricing. Like, whatever price you set is going to determine the clients you serve, and who do you want to serve? Well, we have this helping… we want to help everybody, so let’s make it accessible at a lower price. Yes, but you’re sacrificing yourself to do that.

[00:36:34] And then certain clients are offsetting other clients. And we actually have gone to like, here we have an academy and a group program that’s very accessible to everybody. It’s 50 bucks a month. And then we have our expensive program that’s one on one. But it’s one of those things you need to get through your soul of like, who do I want to serve?

[00:36:49] How do I want to serve them? What’s my impact going to be? Oh yeah, by the way, then my finances will fall behind it. And maybe it is that you need that week to yourself. We actually use a lot of work with sabbaticals taking six months to find yourself and people like, well, I’ve never done that. I’m like, that’s the point.

[00:37:08] And people go, you know, at the end of sabbatical, they always come with a completely different answer than they ever thought. That’s okay. And I think that’s the challenge. We don’t stop to go, so why are we doing this? And I don’t even care why. Like, you can pick any reason. As long as it’s yours.

[00:37:28] Linzy: Yes. Yes, absolutely. And I think, you know, the folks, like the therapist kind of community, tend to be so driven on, on mission and like making the world better. but as you say, like, I think it is helpful to put your life in perspective and be like, even if my practice reaches maximum people, even if I saw the maximum amount of clients, or even if I run groups or courses and I serve thousands of people a year, I would be serving this tiny portion of the folks that I want to reach, and I think there’s something depressing about that, but also really helpful in that it’s like okay so this is an important part of your life you do have this mission but you’re not actually going to change the whole world, so what else is also important, right?

[00:38:10] Because like what I find with the folks I serve, it’s like therapy is such meaningful work. It is meaningful. It is heavy. It is like you are in the dark like dank places with people that they’ve never invited anybody else in, and you’re helping to bring light into those places. And it’s so powerful, and it’s so profound, but also it’s like what else do you need in your life to be fulfilled, right?

[00:38:33] Because that’s not it. That’s not your only purpose. You’re not only there to serve others, right? And so I’m thinking about what makes a meaningful life, and how money can serve us. And I’m, I’m kind of picturing like a plate with a mix of stuff on it, right? And this is something that, in the Life of Focus course that I’m doing…

[00:38:50] So Cal Newport, talking about his thinking and his work, he talks about this with… Scott Young is his collaborator. They’re both guys who teach people how to learn and how to be effective, and they talk about this: if you’re spending all day doing intellectual work, don’t go home and read books all night. You need to go to the climbing gym, you need to go for a walk, you need to go dancing with your partner, like, This variety and richness, I think also we tend to underestimate just like we need to be fed in multiple ways to be satisfied as beings.

[00:39:18] We need to be fed, you know, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, in terms of community and connection. and don’t underestimate the importance of all these things in making life rich and meaningful. I’m curious, how does that land with you? That idea that there’s like multiple points we need to be hitting to have a satisfying life.

[00:39:36] Jay: Absolutely. And there’s lots of frameworks. The pie of life and all that. Pick whatever framework you like. And I’m one of those that I’m okay if your pie is a little slanted. Because, you know, I think people try… we get this concept of work life balance. Like, that’s like a scale and you have to… look, there’s going to be seasons where it shifts.

[00:39:58] And I’m much more on that seasons of life approach to it. I think personally, one of those reflections. So I grew up, and my parents… my father was a bus driver, my mother was a stay at home most of her life. Not a lot of money. Broke, broke, broke. But the one thing they taught was whatever you do, be the best at it,

[00:40:14] which is a really double edged sword. Okay. And, and as I get older, I’m learning the second edge to that more and more. Because like, oh, I can serve 1 percent and I’m like, That’s not enough. And I’m like, no, that is. And how do you be good with good? You know, we just did a book club for our podcast on the gap and the gain.

[00:40:37] And how do you look at the gain rather than the gap, and saying, yes, I’ve served these people. Don’t look at the ones you didn’t serve. Which, by the way, our nature is just like, I’m going to see the ones I didn’t serve or, you know, the clients I missed or whatever. And I think I personally am working on that.

[00:40:53] Work life balance. We have a concept we call FILE: Financial Independence Live Early rather than retire early.

[00:40:59] Linzy: I love that.

[00:41:00] Jay: And really we’re talking about the dimmer switch for work. How do I pick the right work at the right time, at the right level, at the right place? And have work that’s truly meaningful. And you know what? If that puts retirement off, that’s okay.

[00:41:15] And how do I find that balance? One of my staff members, Bree, she’s our chief experience officer. She’s 20 years younger than me. She’s Gen Z and she’s teaching me a lot about balance. I’m telling you they’ve got it a whole lot better than… I’m Gen X. I’m just saying they’ve got it a whole lot better than us as far as understanding it, and we’ve been working on how do you create a work environment in finance where life is balanced.

[00:41:41] And in finance, by the way, when you start in finance, you work 60 hours a week and you just… nose to the grindstone. And we’re not doing that. And she always is pushing back on me, like, Alright, so what are you doing this weekend? What are you chilling? You know, like, and I’m like, oh, I have got to get this done.

[00:41:56] And I know that’s a problem here. And I help my clients with it. It’s kind of like the therapists that come to me and I talk about setting boundaries and they’re like, I talk to my clients and I’m like, yeah, you need to do that too. I’m not saying I’m perfect. The way I believe to make money accessible is humor, humility, and vulnerability.

[00:42:13] If you can’t admit your own mess ups…

[00:42:16] Jay: My mess up is that balance. And it’s really that double edged sword of always be the best at it. So if I’m going to pick up a hobby, I’m going to be the best at it. That’s the baggage I have to unpack. That’s also the stuff from the financial standpoint.

[00:42:29] Well, I’ve got to be the best at it. I have got to have this right. I’ve got to have this. Right. We’re, me and my wife now have been working more on like, just, what do we enjoy?

[00:42:35] Linzy: Yeah, exactly.

[00:42:37] Jay: She’s like, well, I wanna go to XY dinner. She’s like, well, it’s expensive. I’m like, cool, let’s do it. Like, who cares? Like really, it doesn’t make a difference.

[00:42:45] And what’ll happen is if you go so far down this… We get the Super Savers. They actually, you know, they have millions of dollars, they’ve got more money to do it, but they’re buying the frozen blueberries because they’re a dollar cheaper than the fresh blueberries. I’m like, buy the good blueberries and enjoy life.

[00:43:01] And it’s just so hard. And I don’t know if it’s our culture, our upbringing, our structure, our, for me it’s that double edged sword. I don’t know what. I’m hoping 20 years from now to have a better answer. But, you know, I was talking about Bree, who’s our Chief Experience Officer, and, you know, she’s like, look, work is something I do.

[00:43:21] It’s not who I am. And I’m like, yes! But how the heck do you know that at 26? And I’m over here at 46 going, I don’t know. Like, and those are the things you’re trying to learn that we’ve got to help our clients with.

[00:43:37] Linzy: We do. Yeah. In our company, one of our values is work to live, not live to work. And I feel like I’m one of the few bosses that I know who tells my team to work less on a regular basis. We do an apocalypse list every day where my team posts, okay, these are the main three things I’m working on today. And with one of my team members who’s like a perfectionist, so talented, works so hard. We just had a conversation this morning. I was like, this is an ambitious list, laughy face emoji, uh, if you had to actually prioritize some of these things. And I helped her cut back because it’s like, I don’t want you burning out under my watch.

[00:44:10] That’s not worth it. I want you to enjoy your life. I want you to have a great weekend. I want you to be able to connect with your partner. I actually don’t want my company to be responsible for people having a shitty life. That’s actually really important to me because it’s just not worth it.

[00:44:22] It’s just not worth it for anybody. It doesn’t actually help us in the end, and like, I don’t want somebody burning out to make me more money. That is so against my values, but yeah, there really is this… as you said, there’s lots of questions as to what drives us. And I think I will say, I think Americans, you might have it a little bit more than Canadians, although I, I haven’t done any research on that to prove that. but yeah, really stopping and looking at what matters. Cause this is what I noticed, too, Jay, as I’m going through my like minimalist life of focus kick that I’m on right now, I’ve been throwing out so much stuff. I’ve been throwing out so much stuff. And like, I already considered myself… an aspiring minimalist, is what I would have called myself before.

[00:45:00] So it’s not like I’ve ever been a shopper, all those things. But I threw out half of my clothes in half an hour. Because when I really focus on how much I have and the abundance and like, feel gratitude for that, I’m like, How could I want more? Holy shit, I have so much! It’s so interesting to me that the more that I am slowing down and being with what I have, the less that I strive. Because I’m like, how could I possibly ask for life to be richer than what I have right now? I don’t think it gets better than this. Right? So it’s like, how can you be with that?

[00:45:31] Jay: Yeah. And let’s be real. So. So, I’m on this podcast, we’re talking about finance. We haven’t talked about numbers and, you know, goals and, you know, because it’s not what’s important. Now, it’s a measure, and people need a measure, and what I find with the super goal driven people is I have to give them a different goal.

[00:45:48] So, for example, instead of, you know, the financial goal, it’s number of lives touched, or, you know, some other measure, or you’re going to, I don’t care, read the most amount of books. I can’t reprogram them from being goal driven, like I, I’ve given up on that. But you know, can I shift it to something that matters to them?

[00:46:04] You know, so I, did you pick up the minimalist challenge, the one a day, two a day… Did you see this one?

[00:46:09] Linzy: No, no.

[00:46:10] Jay: Okay. So I love this with clients and it’s funny you mentioned it. So the minimalist challenge is, and we’re recording this end of February, so whenever this airs, beginning of the next month. First day you get rid of one thing, second day two things, three, four.

[00:46:22] So by the last of the month, you’re getting rid of 30 things. And everybody goes, I can’t really. No, you can. Okay, and I donate to Goodwill or whatever I can if I can, rather than just trashing. Let’s go through it. And every time people get to the end, they’re like, Why do I have all this stuff? And then I’ll pull back their budget and I’ll go, Listen, you spent 20, 000 last year on that stuff.

[00:46:46] Would you rather go to Paris on that trip you’ve always wanted to do? Or do you want that stuff? My personal problem is Amazon. Okay, Amazon and me, you know, we have got to, we… Sometimes packages show up at the door, I don’t know what’s in them. Like, that’s a problem. But, we all have it, but how do we find that balance and make sure our money, our life, is going towards the things that matter.

[00:47:09] And what I do is I’ll have this conversation with people like, listen, do you wanna get DoorDash if that’s a problem area? Or, Do you want that once in a lifetime trip or giving or whatever you’re doing… that? You’re like, well I’d love to quit my job and do this starting a side business. Well, if you didn’t buy stuff, you could do that.

[00:47:29] Linzy: Mm hmm. Yes.

[00:47:30] Jay: People are like well, but I need the stuff. We get to retail therapy, you get sad. What do I do? Add to the cart things you don’t like. But I’m like, hey, is it truly bringing you joy?

[00:47:39] Linzy: Mm hmm. No.

[00:47:41] Jay: And I had somebody the other day… we actually set up that for every item that comes in, two have to go out.

[00:47:45] Linzy: Yes.

[00:47:46] Jay: Just, that’s it. And it makes you make a choice.

[00:47:50] Linzy: It does. Yeah, and I think it makes you slow down because like, you know, the folks that I tend to support sometimes can be very scared of things like budgeting, the idea of restriction and being denied. What I have noticed is when you do slow down so you’re actually with what you have, you realize: I actually already have more than what I need, and I actually have more than I can even enjoy or be present with, right?

[00:48:11] Like in Minimalist Home, he talks about how the average American family has 300, 000 items in their home. Like can you even conceptualize that? Like visualize what’s in your home, right? And like the minimalist process is going through and being with each thing that you have one at a time. And what I’ve noticed is like, when I do that, I don’t long for more, right? I realize like, wow, we have so much, and I’m even like, yeah, like trying to pass these like skills on to my child and like really model like what actually makes our life rich and meaningful? Because it’s not how many toys you have and it’s not how many books you own even. It’s reading those books, it’s the space to be with the books, right?

[00:48:51] It’s like the time to go out with a friend who you haven’t seen in years, or it’s having the money to treat a friend for dinner… I’m turning 40 this year. So all my high school friends are turning 40. So two of my friends just turned 40 in January. And my closest, my oldest friend, I should say, who has been my friend since I was 12… Because I have built, you know, myself to the financial place that I am, I sent him $150 to have a great dinner with his partner, right? And that’s like a really beautiful gift to be able to give somebody. Then he’s like thinking about me. It’s like I’m able to treat him even though he lives eight hours away, right? I’m able to give him an experience where he just gets to relax and it was his first time out with his partner in a long time. Like that’s a beautiful gift to give, and that is so much more meaningful than any object I could have bought him. I gave him a beautiful experience, and I got the honor of kind of being part of that experience by being able to treat him to that. And that to me is so much more powerful than any pair of jeans that I could buy.

[00:49:48] Jay: You’re on the right path. Now I’m going to give you your next step. Now we’ve gone through the minimalist. The next step is, I want you to read the book, Die with Zero by Bill Perkins.

[00:49:55] Linzy: Okay. Yep.

[00:49:56] Jay: And we use it a lot with the childfree folks, but he originally wrote it for parents. And his point is, there’s a relationship between time, money, and health.

[00:50:05] Linzy: yeah.

[00:50:06] Jay: At the end of life, you have time and money, but no health. And right now, you know, in early life, you have less money, but you have less time, but you have better health. And his point was, there are experiences that you can have, you can give, you can do throughout life, that can completely change somebody’s life, that are a whole lot better than passing on money to the next generation, you know, at the end.

[00:50:30] And he comes to that from actually an engineering background, but I love the concept. The challenge is people go, well, but what if I run out of money? I’m like, listen, we can protect you from running out of money. We figure out a plan for long term care. There’s ways to do it. But the concept of what can my money do for experiences to people and help people?

[00:50:52] You know, if you have kids, what can you do for them throughout their life rather than when you die? You know, if you don’t have kids, all right, what impact can I make in my life and others? You know, if you want to see actually a group that understands childfree folks, it’s actually the philanthropic arms because they know who we give more money.

[00:51:07] That’s just kind of the reality check, money, it gets where it goes. But maybe you can give to that favorite charity, be part of their board, be part of their organization earlier in your life; you can make that impact. And when I have these discussions with people, they start realizing I’d get more out of that than the stuff I’m buying.

[00:51:25] You know, like I will have people that have trouble spending money and they love travel. But they won’t spend it on themselves like, okay, cool. So let’s do this: we’re going to set a budget for 20, 000 for travel for the year, and a matching budget for giving And now we’re going to do a test. At the end of the year, I want you to tell me what you get more out of… the travel or the giving?

[00:51:44] You know what the answer is. It’s not the travel. I’m just telling you, it isn’t.And where you can do that type of impact throughout life… And once you realize just collecting more stuff Doesn’t help you, it starts making sense. But the reality check is, it’s from where we came from. I inherited three sets of china.

[00:52:03] Why? Cause, I did. And, I’m like, what the heck do I do with this stuff? And, you know, it came from grandparents and all this… it’s nothing really fancy. At the end I was like, I’m just going to donate this.

[00:52:15] Linzy: Yep.

[00:52:16] Jay: I can’t use it. It’s not dishwasher safe. I can’t put it in the microwave. People in the family are like, what? You got rid of the china? And I’m like, Yes. Seriously, but that’s where we’re coming from.

[00:52:27] Linzy: I got rid of my china two weeks ago. Whole china collection. Full set. Full set. I had the same conversation with my partner. We were like, could we use this as our everyday dishes? And we were like, yeah, can’t go in the dishwasher. Can’t go in the microwave. God forbid we put in the microwave by accident and blow up our house. And I just let it go. Right? Because like, what does it mean? It’s china that came down through my family… I have lots of beautiful… I still even have things in my life that remind me of the people that I love who aren’t here anymore. And I have memories of those people. And I have things that are much more, uh, representative of them than probably the China that they also inherited, that then they kept out of obligation for years and then passed down to, you know, my mom, and passed down to me. So yeah, same page, same page.

[00:53:27] Jay: And then they start realizing, well, do I really want to buy this stuff? And what are we going to do with it? And who’s going to… Our childfree folks are not passing it on to the next generation. So, I got a lot of people doing the van life, other things. You know, my wife and I, we’re going to get in a boat and travel the world. We’re on that minimalist path already. 

[00:53:48] Linzy: Exactly. Yes. Yes. So Jay, for folks who are listening, who want to get further into your world, where can they find you and follow you?

[00:54:17] Jay: ChildFreeWealth. com, ChildFreeWealth Podcast, and ChildFreeWealth on Instagram.

[00:54:24] Linzy: That’s so clear. So check out Jay, Childfree Wealth, who works with folks who are childfree and childless, but as you mentioned, if folks are going through the grieving process, which I know can be a big part of that journey for some folks, give it a beat before you dig into all the potential that comes with your life situation. Thank you so much Jay for joining me today.

[00:54:45] Jay: Thanks for having me on.

[00:55:01] Linzy: My conversation with Jay has got me thinking a little bit about this kind of ecosystem of ideas. You know, like we ended up talking about minimalism quite a bit. Not what I was planning to talk about, but not surprisingly, because the people in my life know that I’m talking about it all the time right now.

[00:55:14] Thank you, people in my life, for your patience. But there’s kind of this ecosystem of different ideas that can complement each other about money and and understanding the purpose of your money, being connected with what really matters to you, what gives you joy, minimalism, and getting away from just kind of buying stuff with money or seeking status, because as so many people who know who’ve kind of reached their status goal, it doesn’t actually give you the life satisfaction that you’re looking for.

[00:55:40] And, it was nice to kind of dig into all these different ideas. I’m definitely going to be checking out the book that he recommended to me, Die With Nothing, I believe it’s called. I will be reading that very soon. And just excited myself to keep digging into these ideas of, Yeah, how do you make life rich and meaningful, especially once you’ve got that primary project that so many of us spend so much time working on creating financial stability, creating a business that takes care of you.

[00:56:06] That’s a project that I personally have not completed, but it’s going well. So these other questions are becoming more and more pressing, I know, for me personally, and I hope that folks listening today took a lot away from our conversation as well. I so appreciated this interview with Jay. You can follow me on Instagram at money, nuts and bolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, as always, please leave me a review. I just got a message yesterday from one of my Money Skills for Group Practice Owners students who has WhatsApp, uh, back pocket access to me, voice access. She sent me some messages in our ongoing conversation, talking about some of the recent podcast episodes that she’s enjoyed, and like what she’s taking away from the podcast.

[00:56:46] And I said to her, and I will say to you, if you haven’t already, please leave a review for the podcast. If you’re finding yourself enjoying it, it’s a really, really helpful way for Apple Podcasts to know people are enjoying the podcast, they’re paying attention and that helps other people to find the podcast.

[00:57:01] 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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“The first thing I would do would be just to really get in there and take a look at your schedule. What does your day look like? How long are you working? What times are you working? What are you doing? And then just put some parameters around that.” 

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Episode Transcript

Kasey: The first thing I would do would be just to really get in there and take a look at your schedule. Like, what does your day look like? How long are you working? What times are you working? You know, what are you doing? And then just put some parameters around that. 

Linzy: 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 guest is Kasey Compton. Kasey is a speaker, a therapist. She’s a self-love advocate, and she’s an accomplished entrepreneur who’s led for thriving businesses, including a group practice that is an in multi-million dollar territory. She shares that her journey took over a decade to uncover the transformative missing piece in her life, and that is what Kasey and I get into today. Today’s conversation is about balancing ambition and financial goals with fulfillment and joy and love and meaning, and taking care of yourself. Kasey and I talk about that self love piece being a common missing piece in our relationship to money, the traps that achievers can fall into around business and success and working hard, and she shares her own story about how getting in touch with herself has really shifted her way of relating to herself and also to her business. Lots here today for those of us who tend to identify as achievers or perfectionists and tend to move really fast, here’s my conversation with Kasey Compton. 

So Kasey, welcome to the podcast.

Kasey: Thank you for having me.

Linzy: I am excited to have you. We were just chatting a little bit off mic about the work that we did as therapists before we were into this space now. And I think similar to me, you’ve, it sounds like you’ve kind of pivoted quite a bit in your career to get to where you are now.

Kasey: Yeah, certainly. I started out being the therapist for everyone kind of deal.

Linzy: Oh sure.

Kasey: I worked in like in-home type stuff and when I went into private practice for myself, I just started focusing on anxiety and panic disorders and that became my area of expertise until I grew my private practice into a group and then retired from actually providing therapy.

Linzy: I call myself a retired social worker and I’m at the point right now where my college is like, are you re-registering or not? Like you’re about to get in trouble. So I have to like really decide whether or not I’m going to officially take the retired title. But I always find it kind of fun to say retired, like, in our like mid thirties or forties, wherever, well before retirement age. So yeah. So you retired out of therapy and now you focus on self love is a big part of the coaching work that you’re doing now. 

Kasey: Uh, well, back in 2017 I started doing a lot of coaching with owners of all types, private practice, group practice, all of that. And, I realized that systems and processes were kind of my thing. Like that’s just what came naturally to me. And so I focused my work on that for a long time, and after I launched my first book, I started writing the second book, which is the one that’s coming out next. And, it was supposed to be a book about systems, but as I was kind of balancing a lot of life issues with entrepreneurship and all of those great things, I realized that that actually wasn’t the book I was supposed to write and I realized also as a, um, overachieving, practice owner that I was kind of out of balance, you know, like in a lot of ways. And so I still focus a lot on systems, but I do it with more intention based around balance and self love and joy and having, we can have both, you know, we can have successful businesses while having that joy and fulfillment in our lives.

Linzy: I mean that’s a question that I have for you because I’ve certainly experienced this tension myself, you know, kind of like being ambitious and being entrepreneurial and building something which is, is a big project, takes a lot of energy, takes a lot of focus. And then also having friends doing the same thing. Like I see, you know, different choices that friends have made in terms of how we try to balance. And like, I am curious about that. Like, how do people balance, you know, being ambitious, like wanting to be financially successful, wanting to create financial stability with still having like joy and purpose and like all those funner parts of life.

Kasey: Yeah, that’s, that’s really the secret sauce. I think if we can figure that out, then we’re doing really well. What I’ve realized by working with so many people and just going through it myself was if you would have asked me in the peak of my financial life, like the most money that I ever made, the most success I’ve ever had financially. If you would have asked me, do you feel balanced? I would have said, Yeah, a hundred percent. I didn’t even have the awareness around it to be honest. And so a lot of times I think people don’t because they are so hyper focused on outcomes and on the goal that they’re working toward that they actually don’t even feel anything inside of their body anymore. Like they push it out.

Linzy: Yeah. Right. Like, they don’t even have that groundedness or mindfulness, self awareness, to realize, mm, yeah, there’s something missing here.

Kasey: Uh huh. Yeah, so that that was me and I noticed that a lot in the therapists that I work with. They just they really don’t. So I think being able to really really get in touch with your body, how are you feeling?

Linzy: Mm hmm.

Kasey: You know, are you tired a lot? Are you, all of those things are indicators that you’re actually not balanced. And, and so if you don’t have that awareness, then obviously you can’t change anything. But when you do have the awareness, then you can start to understand yourself a little bit better. And sometimes like, where is that drive for that financial success coming from? Like, what are you actually trying to do? What are you wanting to do with money? Do you have something that you’re trying to do with it? Or are you just guns blazing, you know, just going,

Linzy: Yeah, because I think that achiever part of us, right? Can really drive the ship and it’s just like we’re looking for that A-plus in life, but now it’s, it’s a certain amount of dollars. Um, but that is such a great question. Like, and that’s. It’s also the kind of work that I tend to do with folks is like slow down, like what are you, what are you looking for? Like what is this money going to do for you? Because it really is, can start to feel like an end in itself, right? It’s kind of this trap that we fall into of, you know, like, well, when I make this much money or when this thing happens or I need, we just start to hit goals. And I think achievers are very motivated by goals and we’re very good at figuring out how to get to goals, but it can be all consuming and, and like for what, what’s the point?

Kasey: Yes, definitely. And, you know, I’ve noticed that there’s some things. Simple things that people can do to kind of help balance, which would be, putting limits around their schedule. It works for me. Like, once I go home, I don’t work. I give myself time limits for things and that’s really helpful instead of saying, well, I’ll get this done tomorrow. It’s more of like, well, I’m going to get this done in the morning, you know, very specific

Linzy: Mhmm.

Kasey: Otherwise it just will drag on. And then I’ll be at home, you know, working on something that I should have already had done it. So I think just having boundaries for yourself around. Your time and the things that are important to you, like your kids or your family or, or whatever it is, that you need to do actually helps you become more financially successful

Linzy: Mhmm.

Kasey: you become more intentional with your time.

Linzy: Yes. Yeah, like something that I experience in myself sometimes, and I’m curious if you’ve had a similar experience is, I call it being velocitized. So when I took driving lessons back when I was a teenager, they explained that, you know, when you’re driving on the highway, you get so used to going fast, fast, fast, fast, fast, that you get off the highway, and now you’re on a residential road, and you’re still going fast, like, you don’t realize how fast you’re going. And I noticed that myself sometimes checking with my body of like, I’m in this mode of like, going fast, gotta go, gotta do this, gotta do this, gotta do this. But it’s such a, a disembodied experience, like it’s so not grounded. And like you said, like at that point I’m not able to be like, Hey, I’m kind of tired or I’m hungry or I think I need to go for a walk. Like all those cues are kind of gone because I’m just in this, you know, kind of, adrenalinized state. And I think for a lot of entrepreneurs, like they, they live in that space all the time. It’s really hard to get out of that space when that’s how you’re doing your work.

Kasey: Right. Well, and I have heard- and as I was writing my book, I interviewed a lot of people and I heard a lot of stories about people who are in that adrenaline, focus, hypervigilant mentality toward achievement and the stories that I heard were so comparable in that, they were going so full-on that when they actually stopped or slowed down, or maybe I shouldn’t say slow down. Maybe I should just say stop. So like if they had a major life disruption, like a divorce, um, a major health issue, like something that just caused them to hit a wall,

Linzy: Mm hmm.

Kasey: When they didn’t have that adrenaline running through their bodies every single day, all day long, like they had been used to. So many of them tell me that it was almost like everything came caving in on them. Like they started getting sick, they started having like all these health problems, and so many of them told me, you know, I think my, it was like self preservation, you know, my body felt this, but it just wasn’t- the adrenaline was not going to let me feel the thing, my body that I needed to feel to go get checked out or, you know what I’m saying?

Linzy: If your body thinks you’re running from a tiger, it’s not going to tell you like, Hey, there’s this thing happening. We should slow down.

Kasey: Right. Yeah. And that totally happened to me too. And I thought, you know, I remember when I hit my wall, I was just like, Oh my gosh, like maybe I should get back in that like hypervigilant mode and start working again, because I just, I felt, I was tired. And there was a point where I, I mean, I slept for almost three months, like,

Linzy: Yeah,

Kasey: Just just hit the wall, and I was just like, oh, I’m out. Like, I can’t, I can’t solve a problem. I couldn’t do it for anything. 

Linzy: I find like that mode, and this is what I’ve experienced myself, and this is what I observe in some folks around me, like, there’s something very compelling about being in that mode, like, it feels very powerful, and it can feel very, like, in control, and like, I’m doing the things, I’m doing the things, and I think, too, we live in a culture of busy, where if you’re busy and productive, you’re successful, right, and like, so it’s really hard, I think, too, to stop and claim, No, I actually want to slow down and maybe I will make a little bit less money for a while or maybe some of these things like won’t look as successful on paper at first. Because as you say, I think like when we slow down, we can become more strategic and then make more strategic decisions. But that can be a really hard thing to put on the brakes because there is something kind of addictive and yeah, just compelling about going really fast. We get rewarded for that in society.

Kasey: Well, and it’s that instant gratification. You know what I mean? It’s definitely rewarding us for that. I don’t want to call it bad behavior, but for unhealthy type behavior, it’s a very fine line.

Linzy: So, you know, your focus, I know part of what you teach about is self love, right? And I also help folks with like money and business, but I’m kind of in the like financial skills systems groundedness. So like. I’m curious for you, when you’re working with folks who are struggling with financial stress or financial setbacks, how do you teach them to bring self love into overcoming these challenges? 

Kasey: Yeah, oftentimes I’m really challenging them to go back and think about what those money messages are, that they keep coming up for them. you know, cause I’ve been there myself. I’ve had several instances throughout my life, adult life, professional life, where I’ve had some financial setbacks and it’s been really scary. 

In the way that I grew up, we weren’t in poverty. I mean, we weren’t poor. And if you would have asked my mom or my dad, like what, what were we? They would both say, we weren’t poor. Now, like as an adult, looking back, if looking back at my family, I mean, we were poor. and so I carry a lot of those messages from childhood into my adulthood. And there’s a lot of fear associated with lack of finances because we lived paycheck to paycheck and there’s a lot of fear around that. And so I think I have to be mindful and help bring some of that into awareness for people because some of those messages may not even be accurate anymore. And they may be something that we can easily shift out of. So that’s, that’s really the first thing. And then also, you know, just reminding people too that, well, and this is what I had to tell myself. Like I built my business from nothing and when I went through a major life change, when I went through a divorce, I mean, he was not a business partner of mine. He didn’t help me start the business. None, none of it, but he was entitled to half. Um, So, like, giving half of your money away that you have worked, over-functioned for, you know, 18 hours a day, all, like, basically giving up your whole existence for, it was very, like, really, really hard, but it was also a good lesson because if, if you can do it once, you can do it again,

Linzy: Yes.

Kasey: I think sometimes it’s helping people just to remember. And to spark that confidence again, like you’ve done this before, and do this again,

Linzy: Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah, usually the second time is easier. It kind of reminds me of, this is a little different, but I don’t know if you ever had the experience of, of being a student and you, like, write an essay and then you would, like, lose the document sometimes. This, this happened a lot, like, in the early 2000s when I was in school, where, like, your computer would not save.

You’d have to save actively and you forget to save and then your computer would shut down and you would, like, lose it and you’d have to do it all over again. And it’s, like, so painful and so devastating. But the second time is always easier because you’ve already like laid the groundwork in your mind, like, you know where you’re going, right? And you probably write it even better than you did the first time and certainly much faster. And so, yeah, it’s like that foundation that you’ve built, that pathway. Doesn’t go away. but what I notice sometimes is like certainly the folks that that I support and I’m sure many folks who listen to this podcast like tend to be achievers, right? They tend to be perfectionists, and they are so busy focusing on what they don’t know yet, or their fear of what’s coming, like all of the, the scary unknown or where they think they’re failing that they don’t recognize exactly what you’re talking about, which is like how much they’ve learned and how much they’ve built. And again, like that doesn’t just go away, right? If something happens to you in your life.

Kasey: Right, right for me, it was easier the second time, it was harder in different ways. It was harder in just swallowing the pride of like, here we go again, you know, like, I’m gonna have to.

Linzy: Right.

Kasey: But yeah, the foundation is the same. And so at some point, when you’re looking at finances, it’s I tell people like, it’s just math. And so you’ve already built the thing. And so there’s only a couple ways to become more financially stable you’re either gonna add more therapists and more clients or you’re gonna lower your your overhead or both. So it’s it’s actually pretty simple,

Linzy: Yeah. There are those two levers. That’s how I describe it. Like I have two levers, you know, you’re either going to make more or you’re going to spend less. And like, those are our two levers. And then you figure out the right configuration for you. Kasey, tell me more then about self love principles too, because that’s something that I know you teach and talk about that is, is not my wheelhouse. Tell me about self love principles and how those apply to these financial struggles that therapists can have.

Kasey: Well, I think one of the things that people need to ask themselves, because I never asked myself this question and it wasn’t until it was asked in a therapy session that I realized, Oh crap, like I don’t even know what that is. I don’t know what self love is. Cause you know, for achievement minded outcome driven people, if you would have told me five years ago, Oh, like you just need to love yourself. I would be like, You’re crazy. I just need to make more money. Like, you know, most people think that that is not something tangible. That is not something that they can control. That is not something that’s going to make them money. And so they don’t even want to fool with it, but I think you have to ask yourself, how much do you love yourself right now? Even like put a number to it on a scale from one to ten. How much do you love yourself? And when that question was asked of me, I did not have an answer. I think I landed on the number two. because I couldn’t even conceptualize what that was. Like. Yeah, it was just really hard and especially because I had at that point started to make some connections that my perception of my value was contingent on my contribution to things financially,

Linzy: Yes.

Kasey: Obviously I, I wasn’t loving myself if I believe that, you know, if I believe that, I mean, I remember talking to my ex husband, like, after I started the business, maybe they’ll want us to come back to church now that we actually can, like, tithe, you know, maybe they’ll ask you to be in the band again because now give and like that’s really messed up.

But I just noticed that I was lacking that love of myself, which also entails confidence, grace and, and business owners are so- therapists especially- are so hard on themselves and that is not love.

When you’re talking to yourself, when you’re putting pressure on yourself to achieve and grow your business and grow your practice and all of those things, think about, would you talk to your own children that way? Because if you wouldn’t, then I don’t know why we talk to ourselves that way and we put a such unrealistic and such high stakes expectations on ourselves. And so I would say that’s how self love connects just one way, there’s a lot, but…

Linzy: Yeah. And I mean, there’s a lot to the story you just said. I feel like there’s a whole backstory there, obviously. It sounds like around like the church and, and community, but something that sticks out to me from that too is like thinking about, what are we actually looking for in life? Right? Like, what do we actually want? What are our values? And like, what I’m hearing there, you know, with the hopes that you had, where you’re like, well, we’re successful now. And like, I’m hearing like connection, belonging, like maybe we can connect, maybe we can belong, maybe we’ll be accepted. Right. And that’s, I think, so powerful to, to name and notice, right? That’s what it’s about. Like, that’s what you’re really looking for. Cause I think sometimes we try to go the long way to what we really want. And, we’re actually, this is, this episode is going to be on YouTube. So folks who are watching YouTube can see what I’m doing. Listeners cannot, but, it’s kind of like what we want is right in front of us. We go this like long circuitous route way off to the side to try to get there rather than going directly for that thing. but it sounds like in your case, like there’s all these stories around success. Like this, it doesn’t sound like it was just internal messages that were making you think that you had to be financially successful to belong.

Kasey: Now, you nailed it. I mean, that’s a hundred percent, that’s it. Like, that is the message of my whole book. That is the message of everything that I’m, that I’m teaching. And so, yes, I had money mindset issues from the beginning because of that. It was just this ultimate need to feel loved and belong to something and, you know, this is just natural, you know, if people don’t feel loved or included or like they belong, they’re going to feel like they have to seek it out, like they have to seek out solutions. Like well maybe it’s because I don’t have this, maybe it’s because I don’t have that, maybe it’s because I’m not pretty enough, maybe it’s because I, you know, whatever.

And so all of those little things that go off in our head, we start chasing after them. Really, we just need to go back inside ourselves and look at the things that we already bring to the table that are more than worthy and you know, it’s not like one day you wake up and you’re like, yeah, I love myself. You know, like this was like a three year journey for me. But I noticed that the longer that I had started doing more intentional type of work on understanding myself, understanding all of these things, I was loving myself and I cared less about the external validation of people and places and organizations and then it also became a lot easier to run my business. Because I wasn’t like all these little red flags weren’t going off all the time about you know, when someone sends in a resignation and then you get triggered by abandonment and like it was all these things that happens to us. It just became a lot easier to make decisions like, okay, this person’s like, all right, I guess I need to hire another one. You know, it just things so much easier.

Linzy: And I mean, that’s such powerful work that I think it’s tempting to skip. It’s tempting for – even as therapists, even though we know obviously that there’s so much inside and we have a whole universe inside that needs to be attended to. What I do see is like when we get into the business track and especially what you’re talking about with group practice, where it’s like scaled income, you know, like you can make a lot of money. You’ve got a lot of responsibility, a lot of balls up in the air. It’s really, I think, tempting to try to skip that, that work that is really about vulnerability, right? Like connecting with your own vulnerability. Who are you, what actually feeds you, attending to the things that are feeding those triggers. But what I see, Kasey, and I’m curious about your perspective on this is when people don’t do that work, especially when they’re bosses to other people, we become really terrible bosses too, like when we’re getting triggered and like taking our stuff out on other people and not even owning it right? Like it’s there’s a lot of repercussions when you’re in a position of power when you are not taking care of yourself.

Kasey: A hundred percent. Yes. I see that so much. So, so, so much. And you know, people are hard enough to manage and lead even when you’re in perfectly healthy mode. And so then you add in all of the other things and it’s, it’s really hard and we’re human and we make mistakes and I’ve made plenty, but being able to build awareness around yourself and your ability to love yourself and give yourself grace and all of those things. Just 100% it makes you a better leader, a better person, a better mother, a better friend, a better partner, a better everything. We tell ourselves, well, we don’t have time, you know, I don’t have time to do that cause I’m so doing all the things over here, but those things are never going to be at their greatest level of possibility without out you doing the work for yourself first.

Linzy: So for folks who are listening and maybe recognizing too that maybe they’ve been a little overly focused on thinking that numbers are gonna, you know, give them fulfillment. I’m curious like what would be your suggestion or advice for how did they start to shift their their mindset or what are some first steps that folks can take towards focusing more on like their well being and and joy and the things that really matter?

Kasey: the first thing I would do would be just to really get in there and take a look at your schedule. Like, what does your day look like? How long are you working? What times are you working? You know, what are you doing? And then just put some parameters around that. I know that sounds really elementary and just simple, but it’s a huge first step, especially for people with control. And, you know, they, they like to be in control and they like to be busy and they like to over achieve, right. There is simple, but it’s impactful in so many ways. So I think I would start there. And then the very next thing would be to put down some intentional time for yourself.

And I’m not talking about like getting a manicure or getting a facial, although those things are great. That’s great self care. I’m talking about doing things for you. Like maybe, maybe seeing a therapist yourself, maybe spending time, like, I used to do this every morning, at 10 a. m. I, for an hour, I would journal, something that’s really going to bring about some introspection for your, for yourself.

Linzy: Yeah, and I think, you know, what you mentioned too about scheduling, people who are driven and are achievers, like, we have the ability to make things happen, so what I’m hearing too is like, use those skills to actually make space to be with yourself. And take care of yourself. I love that idea of journaling. When you said journaling and for an hour every day, my internal response was oof, which means probably I should be journaling for an hour every day. Maybe there’s something there. But like I could see how powerful that would be to set aside that time on a daily basis to be with yourself. Like you would make a lot of discoveries and shifts. In that hour a day, without a doubt. 

Kasey: something that happens when it’s scheduled and when it’s at the same time every day. I’m sure there’s some kind of brain science behind that. It definitely puts it in the forefront. I got to where I could just feel that it was 10 o’clock. You know, like, okay. You know, my body is signaling me and then, one last thing I’ll say about that. I just thought of it. So as I was going through some different writing programs and working with different writing coaches, Laura Stone. She is an author and she helped a lot, but she used to say, because in the beginning, whenever I would try to write at 10 o’clock for an hour, I was like, I don’t know what to write about. I can’t, like, I can’t even, I don’t even know. And she said, okay, if you don’t know, rather than just sit there, just write about what you would like to write about. So just write down what you would like to journal about. And it’s a trick,

Linzy: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s a great trick, because you’re just taking that one step back. You’re, you’re taking yourself, like, out of the pressure. And, like, giving yourself that little bit of perspective. Yeah. And that’s, that’s so powerful. Like, I, I’ve been doing an online course. called Life of Focus, from Cal Newport. He wrote the book Deep Work, which I read last year and like blew my mind and, just about making space for what matters. And something that he talks about actually with writing specifically is like, he said that, Amateurs expect inspiration, they wait for inspiration to come, and that’s when they try to create. But like professionals, like people who really do these things, they do it exactly the way you’re talking about. They do it every day, they sit down, inspired or not, they get going. And like, it’s interesting to me as you’re saying that, because it’s like, yeah, that can be applied to self care too. It’s like, okay, maybe you don’t feel like doing yoga. Make yourself do it. And like 10 minutes in, you’re like, Oh yeah, this is good. I should be doing this. Right. But I think sometimes we think that we need to feel inspired to take care of ourself or inspired to look inside. and often that doesn’t happen in the busy lives that we live.

Kasey: No, that’s wonderful. Yeah. It should be the opposite. We, we should dictate that time and that inspiration always comes.

Linzy: absolutely. Kasey, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. for folks who are listening, who want to get further into your world, can you tell them where to find you, where to follow you, if you get any freebies for them?

Kasey: Yeah. Check us out. We’re on all social channels and freebies are all on the website. So it’s KaseyCompton.com. All kinds of freebies, all kinds of things to get involved in book clubs, free swag, all kinds of cool stuff.

Linzy: Great. Awesome. And we’ll put all of your links in the show notes. Thank you so much, Kasey, for joining me today.

Kasey: Thank you. 

Linzy: I really appreciated Kasey’s perspective on the importance of prioritizing yourself and your wellbeing in your business, and using your system and your schedule and your skills to actually get that into your system. As I said, her idea of journaling every day at 10, I’m like, oh. That sounds really intense. Which for me probably means, you know, it’s something I should be doing. Uh, there’s some sort of charge there and it’s just so wise to use our skills of, our frontal cortex, basically, right? Like our ability to create schedules and order and actually apply those superpowers to ourselves and actually get those things into our own schedule. So I encourage you to think about what that might be for you. Is it journaling? Is it getting yoga into your schedule? Is it going for a walk every day at the same time? And as she mentions, like doing something every day is so powerful, we actually condition ourselves to expect that thing. So really, you know, fake it till you make it. Don’t wait until you’re inspired to take care of yourself, but actually schedule in taking care of yourself. I think that is excellent advice. I appreciate the conversation with Kasey today. If you’re enjoying the podcast, you can also follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts And if you are curious about working on your own relationship with money, some of your own stories that you’re carrying, you can check out my free mini training, The Secret to Getting Unstuck In Your Finances, if you find you have a lot of anxiety around money, so you just avoid it if you feel like you’re just getting by with money and you know you should be saving for your future, but you’re just not. If you feel like you always have just enough money, and no matter how many more clients you see, you still feel like you’re getting by, this mini training is for you. The mini training is a series of short, easy to digest videos that prompt you to reflect, look inside, and start to get in touch with your own stories about money. Because when we are struggling with money in these ways, it’s not just about skills and it’s not about systems. It’s that your relationship. With money needs to change and this mini training is a free first step to do exactly that, so you can get the link in the show notes for the secret to getting unstuck in your finances mini training. 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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Investment Periods to Better Your Business Coaching Session

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Investment Periods to Better Your Business Coaching Session

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“I feel a lot of clarity that it’s okay to take the long road.  I trust you, Linzy, and I trust your financial advice. And I think it feels good to have somebody who I trust, affirm that that is a reasonable and logical pathway to follow. And that it’s purposeful and not, all the negative things that come up.” 

~Ashley Dickson-Ellison

Meet Ashley Dickson-Ellison

Ashley is a small business owner who founded and runs Unabridged Digital Media Solutions, LLC, where she supports podcast launches and offers podcast consultations and coaching. Ashley provides ongoing podcast management with a full suite of services for several partners. Ashley Dickson-Ellison has been in the podcasting world since 2018 with the launch of Unabridged, a podcast about books. After seventeen years in education, Ashley transitioned to full time podcast work with clients in spring of 2021. 

In this Episode...

What does an investment period in your business look like? How do you price your services in a way that honors the work you do? Today Linzy is talking with Ashley Dickson-Ellison, a small business owner who manages and produces the Money Skills for Therapists podcast.

Linzy and Ashley dig into navigating the financial side of owning your own business, and Linzy helps Ashley understand the difference between an investment period and a business that is just not working. Linzy gives Ashley some practical tips for managing the anxiety that comes up with income fluctuations, and Linzy shares advice about how to ensure our businesses align with our values and strengths. 

Connect with Ashley

You can learn more about Ashley and her services with Unabridged Digital Media Solutions at her website, www.ashleydicksonellison.com

Learn more about Ashley’s book podcast at www.unabridgedpod.com.

Connect with Ashley on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ashley_dicksonellison

You can also connect with Ashley on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-dickson-ellison/.  

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

Ashley: [00:00:00] I feel a lot of clarity that it’s okay to take the long road. I trust you, Linzy, and I trust your financial advice. And I think it feels good to have somebody who I trust, affirm that that is a reasonable and logical pathway to follow. And that it’s purposeful and not all the negative things that come up. / 

Linzy: 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 Money Skills for Therapists Podcast. So today is a little bit of a different episode. Today my guest is Ashley Dickson-Ellison, who is our podcast editor, so this conversation kind of came about organically when we were chatting and this is mentioned a little bit in the episode about Ashley and whether or not she was like charging us enough for the work that she’s doing and maybe the work that she’s doing has grown.

And she was mentioning how anxiety inducing it is for her to think about upping her package with us and really charging us for all the work that she was doing. And we kind of made a joke on our podcast meeting of, you should come on the podcast. And it was like, no, you should come on the podcast.

So Ashley’s coming on the podcast today– she’ll also be editing this episode– to talk about her anxiety about charging for the work that she does. So in our conversation today, we dig into that anxiety that I know so many therapists and health practitioners can relate to. That fear of asking for the money that you actually need and really valuing your service.

But in our conversation with Ashley, we also got into really connecting with what she’s offering that’s different and really being able to start to recognize and articulate what is different about what she’s doing and being able to trust the bigger picture and see herself as being in an investment period.

So we talk about investment periods, what that means, how to distinguish between when you’re in an investment period and when your business is just not working, and being able to like step into really owning your expertise and trusting that you’re building something bigger and better. Some of that patience, so, so many pieces that apply to all of us in business.

Here is my conversation with Ashley Dickson-Ellison. 

 So Ashley, welcome to the podcast.

Ashley: Thank you. Thanks for having me. ​ 

Linzy: Yeah. Thank you for being here. This is a little bit of a funny, like, you’re showing up in the process earlier than usual, because you are not a therapist. You are our podcast editor. 

Ashley: Yeah. So I work with you all in that capacity, but I have found as I am a listener to the podcast that I, as a small business owner, definitely have a lot of similarities to people in private practice.

Linzy: Absolutely. And I think there’s a lot of overlap, too, in terms of just your identity and probably like your level of education. Like, You’ve got a lot in common with our listeners and also you’re a creative type. And something I was thinking about, too, as I was thinking about this episode – because we decided to record this episode kind of organically chatting through our own kind of contract negotiation that we’re doing between us right now – and like you were talking about the emotions that are coming up and we kind of made a joke with our podcast team of like, “Oh, you should come on the podcast,” and I was like, “No, you should come on the podcast!” Because I think the emotions that you are experiencing are exactly what therapists are often experiencing as well, even though you’re in a different field. So, coming into our conversation today, what do you want to focus on? What is kind of something that we can start with in terms of challenges around money? 

Ashley: Yeah. So I think what I’d love your help with, Linzy, is navigating all the emotions that come up when figuring out how to price something and then navigating that with a client. So I find that it is really hard for me to both respect what I need to live, what I need people to pay me for my services to take care of myself and my family, and to balance that with what I think they think is fair.

I try not to get too caught up in the race to the bottom situation, but there, you know, realistically, there are lots of people out there who, for many, many reasons, do it for a lot less, and so I think I kind of have to figure out how to handle that, and just in general, when I think about all the pain points in my business, the thing that is the most painful is navigating finances with clients.

Linzy: Okay. So it’s, it’s that relationship piece of the money between you and your clients. 

Ashley: I think so. I think I feel uncomfortable even talking about it, I have realized, and then figuring it out. Like, if I could pay someone, if I knew who to ask and trust and could have them write all that stuff up for me, I would want to do that because it’s that painful to me. 

Linzy: Hmm. Yeah. Okay, so tell me then about, about that pain, like what does come up when you have to have those conversations with clients?

Ashley: Well, I notice it in my body, so I think that’s where I first realized I had a problem because typically, even if I feel anxiety, it’s more like in my head than in like my gut, whereas this is definitely like in my body, I feel sweaty, I am like waking up during the night worrying about it. I feel that kind of churning feeling, so those were some indicators to me.

And then also I’ve found that I will put it off, so like there’s somebody right now that I need to… Fortunately you, Linzy, gave me a very clear like, have this done in a couple of days, and I appreciated that, and I thought, Linzy is looking out for me. 

Linzy: I made you do it. Yeah. 

Ashley: Sure. You did, you did, and I needed that.

You know, you were like, just go ahead and get it done because you knew that once I got it off my plate, I was going to feel better. And that’s true. That is true. But if somebody doesn’t have that, then I will just keep sitting on it and trying to perfect it. I mean, so I guess the perfectionism comes up.

Like I started trying to like, get it just right. I kind of agonize over the details of it because a lot of this stuff is not clear exactly how long it’s going to take, what it is worth, like all of that stuff is kind of hard to quantify. And so then I find that I have trouble figuring it out. 

Linzy: Because you’re doing project based work, right, which is a little different than most of the folks who are listening, who are doing sessions, where it’s like you’re exchanging time for money and then you have to figure out, okay, what is the value that they’re getting from it, but there’s also this hour that’s always in the mix. For you, as you’re like doing an episode. I’m going to guess there’s variability that can happen on how long it takes you to, you know, edit somebody’s episode based on a bunch of factors.

Ashley: Absolutely. Yes. And I do think it’s more like if there are people listening who have other offerings, it’s that kind of thing. Like, how much is a course worth? How should I charge for a program? What is it if I’m giving somebody consultation advice instead of therapy, like, you know, what does that look like?

So I think it’s that kind of packaging and pricing is definitely the realm that I’m in and I do have a hard time both figuring it out and then also delivering it to the person. 

Linzy: I’m hearing there’s like a lot that happens in your body, which is different. That’s like a different kind of anxiety than you’re used to. Cause you said usually anxiety’s in your head.

Ashley: Yeah. Yeah. Like I’m, you know, I get in there, I mean like a lot of people with a similar personality, I go from productive thought that is like, Oh, I need to figure this thing out. To the stuck spiral of I’m gonna keep thinking about this even though I’ve already drawn any logical conclusions I can draw that’s already happened, but I know that and I recognize it and it doesn’t always work. But I do have things that I know to do when that happens. Whereas like I said this one I just have noticed it’s just totally different.

I mean, I was in education for 17 years prior and I never once had to talk to anyone about what I made. There’s no, I mean, it’s publicly available. There’s no negotiation. There’s no pay for extra things. So I think, like, it’s just totally different than what I am accustomed to.

Linzy: I think that’s so relevant because something that I noticed as, as a Canadian. So I’m Canadian, you’re American. This is one of the things that’s like so different about Canada and the United States is that in Canada, being a teacher is a well paid profession, 

Ashley: I have heard you say that, but I did not know that prior to working with you. 

Linzy: And this is something I’ve had to adjust to is when like my students talk about how like well I have this client and like she’s on sliding scale because she’s a teacher. Like it didn’t make sense to my brain at first because in Canada teaching is a profession where you make like 70, 80, 90… you get the summers off, like it’s a hard profession, but it’s like solid. I would say it still has maybe some of the issues with respect in terms of being like a feminized profession that people like expect everything of their teachers, but you’re getting paid well. Like it’s, you’re comfortable financially. But in the United States that is not the case. 

Ashley: Depends on the state and your experience. I will say that for me, my partner is also an educator and like we live comfortably, but we also are very careful about our budget and we’ve always just lived kind of simply, which has meant that it was fine, but absolutely like from state to state, there are differences in how well you are paid.And there are differences in level. Like I have a master’s. Like those things sometimes help, but not a lot, you know, you’re talking about a couple thousand dollars a year, maybe, for a difference. We’re not talking about 10, 000. So, you know, there are some things that you can do, but absolutely in our, in our partnership, we’ve always tried to just keep our debt low and those kinds of things so that we could live on their salaries.

But for sure, it is kind of taken for granted in the U. S. that when I say that I’m a teacher, people kind of assume a lot of things that have to do with financial stability and it’s because of that. So definitely both not super well paid and then also exactly what you said of you’re not only- that’s an expectation, but additionally, you should be staying after to give help. You should be- of course, I did English. So I always was grading at night and on the weekend. I was planning at night and on the weekend. And all of that you would never be compensated for. So I think again, I have to remind myself if I provide a service. I need to be paid for that service. And if that service is different than the thing that I originally offered, I need to say that. And that’s another financial pain point. It’s like, I would rather just let it go.

Linzy: yes, right, 

Ashley: I know this is not right, Linzy. Okay, I know, I know. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m here. It’s because I know I need to work through this. But basically, I would rather sit in that space than have to navigate saying, like, hey, I’m doing this thing and it’s taking this much time and I need to be compensated for it. So, like, that’s why I’m just like, okay, I need to deal with this as a business owner, or I’m going to continue to have these problems. 

Linzy: [00:11:00] Yeah.

Ashley: Because it’s kind of like the systems aren’t working for me. 

Linzy: No. Yeah and like what I’m hearing is there’s a certain amount of conditioning that, you know, would have come from your previous job. It’s not like you came from law where it’s like if you think about somebody while you’re brushing your teeth, you get to bill for that time. Right? Which is a very, very different frame around work and when you’re working and when you’re not and what’s valuable. 

Like you’re coming from a profession where it was expected that you’re doing all of this extra work beyond your work day and you couldn’t not do that. There’s no way that you could not grade people’s papers and be like, well, sorry, I wasn’t working. So that’s built in. And now you’re coming into your own business, or you’ve been in your own business, where you do need to think about charging for that time, like that, or you have the option of charging for that time.

Like, how do you think about the difference now in the work that you’re doing compared to, you know, when you were in teaching and you were on a salary?

Ashley: Yeah, I try to remind myself that I am only paid for the things I deliver. 

Linzy: Mm hmm. Mm 

Ashley: And that that means it’s okay to say, Hey, I’m delivering this, this and this. And we only originally talked about A, but now it’s A, B, and C. In my mind, I think I’m getting better at that. And then the other thing, and I mentioned this to you off mic, the other thing I’ve noticed is financially, I definitely needed to be making more. But then I feel like I don’t have any more time in my schedule. And so then I thought, okay, something is not right here. Because if I’m working full time, in a profession that again, in theory I should be able to do quite well in, and yet I’m not where I need to be financially, then something has to change. And some of that may need to be, like I may need to bring on some support, that may help me be more efficient with my time. So like there are some things that aren’t just package pricing. That would help I think, but also as I’m bringing on any new clients, I just want to be very strategic because I think based on what I’m seeing financially. I think that I probably am not pricing things the way I need to be pricing 

Linzy: Okay. Yeah. So let’s go back to that anxiety that does come up. Cause I’m hearing, like, you can see you should be able to get paid well for the work that you do. And I will say, as your client, I have said to people before, you know, cause I know that there’s podcast editors who do like $45 an episode, right? I’m aware that that’s out there. I made a very conscious choice to work with you and I’ve said this to you before, not just because you can like edit an episode and do decent audio, but because you hold the bandwidth, right? For our team, that’s extremely important that we have somebody. who can hold the bandwidth of whatever project they’re, you know, in charge of and is like, Oh, hey, this piece didn’t happen yet. Or like, hey, is this hanging around somewhere and I just haven’t seen it? Like where you’re actually managing the podcast, right? Because that’s extremely valuable for a small business owner like me, where it’s like, I have a lot of things that I’m managing. And there’s like my zones of genius where I can show up and like really shine. And that makes money that literally pays everybody else in our business, right? So I need to be putting my energy there. So you actually like running the podcast is much more valuable than kind of just somebody just editing, right. So there’s a lot of value that you’re bringing there in terms of how you do things. And so I will let you know that is like, I have recognized like I’m like I pay Ashley more and I’m very happy that I do because she’s doing so much more than somebody who’s just like oh okay I cleaned up like I took out the ums and ahs and I fixed the levels and here it is, and you do the rest, right. So there’s that value you’re definitely delivering in terms of the work that you’re doing. So, the anxiety. Let’s dig into that anxiety. It’s in your body. What do you notice happens? Like, you were saying there’s the waking in the middle of the night, the kind of like churning. Can you put more words to it?

Ashley: Yes, I find that I avoid, I mean, so it’s like the avoidance initially I will try not to have to deal with this, in fact that is a reason I am like reluctant right now to onboard more people because I’m just not looking forward to all the parts of that. And as far as the anxiety itself, I can tell myself I’m making the right decisions or that this is a necessary part. But I guess that there’s a fear of it not working out. There’s a fear that they’re going to say no. I mean, I’ve had to kind of decide that I’m not ever going to fill out the forms and stuff like that if it’s somebody who’s asking up front before even meeting us what the costs are. Because I think if they see that on a spreadsheet, again, there’s the people who will do it for 45. That is not the thing that is my special skill. I mean, I think what my special skill is, is working in a deep way with a team, and that I care about all that, and I, that is not going to change. If I’m standing with somebody, I am going to make sure that it’s polished. I’m going to make sure that it’s running on time. I’m going to make sure that the things that need to happen happen, and I’m going to help them brainstorm to figure out what to do when something goes awry. You know, all that stuff, and so that’s where I’ve realized that those are the parts that are hard to articulate when you are figuring out the pricing. But that, I think, is what is valuable. Like, that’s what I’ve noticed in testimonials I get from people. Like, that’s definitely the thing that seems to be different. And so, I know that. But I’ve still got to keep working through the discomfort, I think, that comes with talking about the money. Talking about that I’m offering a service.

Linzy: What I’m hearing is you see the value of what you do. You recognize that what you do is not what everybody does, and I think about you more as like a manager. What title do you use for yourself? How do you think about your job?

Ashley: Yeah, that’s a great question, and it is something I’ve had a hard time pinning down. I went to a conference recently, so I finally had to, this is another thing I procrastinated on, but I finally put podcast management, and what I often say is I put, like, audio and video editing also. If there’s a space to put extra things. But I have started saying podcast management for exactly that reason. And sometimes I say in post production because people know what that means, the like post production part. And sometimes people are kind of looking for that.

So I do find that it’s an area where people still are being educated about what the offerings are and what they mean. And so I try to use words that might make sense to people, but I have gotten away from just editor and have started saying management

Linzy: I’m really glad to hear you say that because I think that, too, is you owning the level of skill that you’re bringing to it, right? Like it’s one thing to be able to edit audio and that’s a specialized technical skill set, but that like people managing, relationship building, you know, as you said, like being part of a team, which you very much are part of our team, like that is a skill set that also I feel like doesn’t always overlap with the editing skills, right. It’s a little bit like my situation where it’s like, you have two distinct sets of skills that often don’t coincide, and that itself is really valuable that you offer these two very different things in one package.

Ashley: Thank you. And I do think that’s true, that I have to look at it as a strength, but it is also sometimes, I mean, it’s the emotional part of it can be really challenging for me. And that’s another thing I’ve had to realize is like if I’m working with the team and the team does not, like, they see me as kind of like I mean, it’s crude maybe to say, but kind of like a robot, you know, like that I, that I do the thing that they’re sending and that’s kind of it, that does not work for me.

And so there are partnerships that, you know, I’ve kind of been like, Oh, this is not the right fit because I’ve had to be like, I want people who care about that connection and that they value it also. And so, you know, again, like thinking about the packaging, but also how to present those things. That’s challenging. 

Linzy: Yes. Yeah, because what I’m hearing here is part of it is really owning, in therapy we would call it owning your niche, right? Like that you are offering something that’s very different and specific and also you’re a very specific kind of person, right?

So like I know when I was talking with my friend Maegan Megginson – who’s also chatting with you about podcast stuff – I’m like, she’s educated, she’s articulate, she’s kind, she’s responsible, like those kinds of things are really, really valuable. But part of it, I think, from a marketing perspective, is you owning those things to be able to like, be like, Hey, I’m educated, I’m articulate, I’m kind, I’m responsible, you know, and like owning that, cause that’s actually a big part of what you’re offering, right? Like, you’re not just doing audio editing or like giving us a spreadsheet, it’s like you are really emotionally intelligent and also technically gifted and really rooted in the podcast world.

Ashley: Well, thank you. That’s nice to hear, I really appreciate you saying that, and I think maybe that is something I really need to work on, is thinking about how to market that to people I don’t already work with, because that’s exactly it, is once I have those relationships, I feel good about them. I think that my partners feel good about them. It’s a good fit for everybody, and that part feels really good to me, and it’s satisfying. But then, you know, how do I help people see that? Because again, otherwise, I’m going to have to price in a way that is competing with people who aren’t offering any of those services. And then, I can’t sustain it, because again, I can only have a few partners. I mean, realistically, I think – you and I talked about that off mic – realistically, I can only have a few partners, because that’s the only way to do what I want to do and do it well. 

Linzy: Yes, because it’s a quality over quantity situation. Like you can’t have 10 podcasts you’re working on. 

Ashley: No. And there are people who do like 20 a week. I mean, it’s, it’s like the sessions and people talking about how many sessions can you handle a week and how do you make your numbers work, but also make your life work. And I haven’t figured that out yet, but I know that my number is very small in comparison to a lot of other people.

Linzy: Totally yeah, and and there very much is that parallel to therapy, like we talked about like there’s gonna be your specific thing that you’re doing right and like some things, like doing CBT, takes less emotional energy than doing like complex trauma, right? Like they’re just, you’re using kind of your brain a different way, you’re having to respond differently, but also then it’s just like you as a person, right? Like your energy, how much energy do you have as a person? What else in your life is happening? Like what other demands are coming up that you might have to make space for or that are just priorities to you? Like for me, this week, I mentioned to you off mic, I prioritized this week like taking a friend to the emergency room on Monday night… I left the emergency room for a bit went to a stand up comedy show, went back to be with her until she was finally admitted because that’s important to me, right. And like I could not have that be important to me and then it wouldn’t be on my schedule. But like, that’s actually a really important part of how I live my life. So I have to think about a business that’s going to let me do that. And not everything’s going to fall apart if I step out to to help a friend who, you know, needs support, right. And so that’s the other factor for you to think about too is like you’ve got your daughters and like you move a lot as a family because of your partner’s work, right. So like really owning those pieces of your life too, to think about what, how many clients could you actually work with in the way that you like to work, in the life that you like to have. And I’m curious with that, Ashley, like, is there a number that rises to the surface for you if you really think about that?

Ashley: I used to think five was doable and these days that feels like too much. So I do think it has to do with frequency of release if i’m working with everybody, if everybody’s doing podcasts and I have supported people a little bit in other things. So that makes a difference like if I did an audiobook or if I did- I’m helping somebody edit all their courses, and so that pacing is different, and I still like that relationship, but I do also like that it does not have the imminent 5 a.m. deadlines that I experience for my podcast partners. So it does make a difference as far as how frequently they release, but I would say five or less, and realistically, maybe more like three.

Linzy: Three is the number that was coming up for me. I don’t know why.

Ashley: Thank you, 

Linzy: It’s in the air. It’s in the air. Yeah. Yeah. So three. Okay. So if you think about three then, do you know what price point you need to be, you know, working out with those three partners or what the total needs to be per month for you to contribute what you need to contribute to your household?

Ashley: It’s been hard for me to say. I think my first goal was, and I started this in the spring of 2021, so I worked the academic year of 2021, and then I left that job in the summer. And I was still paid through the summer for my teaching position. So I got a little cushion there, but that’s kind of when I started was spring, summer 2021. And my initial goal was just to replace my salary, which was about like 55, 000.

Linzy: Mmhm.

Ashley: I did that. I did, over time, I did replace that, but I was, there were all the balls up in the air all the time, and I was like, oh my goodness, I kind of set this financial goal as a way to decide how many people to take on, and then I met my goal, but at a very high cost, and so then I thought, okay, I need to look at this in another way, you know, when it can’t just be about meeting the financial goal.

And then ultimately what I have realized is that I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that amount either. And I think that’s been hard. I’ve listened to you talk with people about this, but I think we just have to be honest with ourselves about what we really need financially. And it makes me uncomfortable to realize that I think our family needs more than we thought we did, and that’s because, you know, I have a seven and a nine year old. They’re getting older, but I mean, I’m just like, I feel, people probably relate to this, I feel like we’re like burning our money in the street. I mean, sometimes I’m sort of like, where is it all going? Because I think we have relatively secure jobs and yet, It’s not enough.

So I have kind of thought, I mean, I’m not even at that number now because I did let go of a big partner. Linzy knows a little bit about this, but basically I let go of somebody because our family was going overseas for a little while. It was the right move for me. I was doing a lot of work that was not in my niche, as you said, and that was good for the short term, but it was preventing me from figuring out what my passion is and really making sure all my partnerships do that and match that passion. And so I let go of that. Well, because of that, I have a deficit and so I feel this friction between what I see and believe can happen. But have to be patient for. And then what I see right now on my bank account where I see that the money going out is a lot more than the money coming in and that is not a great feeling.

So, you know, kind of dealing with that. I mean, I don’t think we’re in crisis. We’re fortunate that we can survive that deficit for a period of time, but it doesn’t feel good.

Linzy: No, no, of course not. Okay. Okay. So right now you’re actually in the negative of where you need to be. So we’re not even talking about lifestyle improvement. We’re just talking about like your money catching up to your life. 

Ashley: Yes. And the other big factor is, we’ll have another client that they, for lots of reasons that make a lot of sense, they’re going to be dissolving probably. So like that could transition and I could work with a new partnership there, you know, like in their company. But if I lose that, it’s going to be a big loss and that could happen imminently. And so that’s kind of new for me also that again, teaching, maybe you don’t make a ton, but you have a lot of security. Like, I felt very secure in that, and so, like, learning to live with the ups and downs has been really hard. 

Linzy: Mhmm. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. And with the kind of work that you’re talking about too, like, it’s a little bit different than therapy work because therapy work tends to be like, I have this many spots, oh, two spots opened, but already my website’s out there. Already people have been checking me out. I’m already getting inquiries. I can fill those two spots. Like, but with you, it’s like, maybe you have three clients. We get to the point where you have three clients. If one client leaves, it’s like a third of your income is gone, right? And then you have to look around to find that other third of your income again, which is a significant, significant hit. You have all your eggs in – or many eggs – in one basket. no other baskets.

Ashley: Right. 

Linzy: Yeah.

Ashley: Yes. Yes, that’s a great analogy.

Linzy: So I’m going to bring us back to that anxiety again, because we keep circling it, but we haven’t actually gotten to it. I’m curious, like, what is the fear? Like what is the thing that you really fear happening that your body is telling you about?

Ashley: I think that it won’t work. That I will make changes that in some ways feel a little selfish, like letting go of that client, I do think was the right thing for me, but it impacts my family. It impacts my family financially and kind of immediately. And that felt like a big risk. And knowing that I’m going to have to keep doing that kind of thing causes me anxiety.

And immediately when the client, who we might dissolve here coming up, when they called me, right after that, I went on the… Greenville County is where we live. The Greenville County School Board, of course, there’s a million jobs posted. And immediately I was like, oh, I could just apply. I could apply for next year. And so there’s this idea of, and of course my partner comes home and is like, Let, let’s- 

Linzy: Yeah. 

Ashley: -take a breath and talk about all the things you could do that are not that. And I loved the classroom, but I needed to leave when I left. So, like, I needed to for myself, I needed to for my family, and I know that.

So I have to just keep reminding myself that even though there is comfort in thinking about a W2 position that has a very steady income and that doesn’t have these, like, ebbs and flows. There is comfort in that, but I know in my mind that that is not the pathway I want to be on and that I’ve worked hard to get here.

I’ve worked hard the last two and a half years to build this space and create these partnerships who, you know, and I’m very, I’m very attached to your team. I’m attached to the other teams I work with, and so while I recognize that there will be changes, and of course people will have to move on for lots of reasons, that, that I need to learn to live with.

Linzy: Hmm. Yeah, and I wonder, what makes it worth it to have to weather that?

Ashley: I think I have found that I am skilled at helping people see why a podcast is really valuable and how it can really build their community. Reach people who they would not reach otherwise. And so I really love that. I mean, I have my own that we have stayed with despite all the ups and downs for since 2018.

And it’s been hard. But I think that there have been times where we thought it would fall apart. And I realized I wasn’t ready to let it go. And so then I had to be like, what is it that I love about this so much that I am not willing to let it go. And so I think I feel passionate about the creation. I love to create also.

And so I think I love that creating. And then, you know, I work from home. And I love the flexibility I have with that. And that was a big help for our family. So before when I was working, you know, I’m in the building all day. My partner’s at a university all day. And the kids need anything. It always felt like complete chaos every time somebody’s schedule didn’t run exactly the way it was supposed to and I was just so tired of that cycle of just feeling like we’re constantly one step from total disaster.

And so I do feel like this job, even though I have this part that I got to figure out and make feel better, I feel way way more present with my kids. I feel way more flexible with my day And all of that feels really good because before I did, you know, make some changes within education, like I left the English classroom, I went into instructional technology, and I did that to try to dial down the amount of energy I was expending throughout the day.

And it did help, but I still came home running very close to empty. I mean, I’m a highly sensitive person. I love working with kids, but I also carry every bit of work, what they have going on, and that was fine before I had my own kids and then once I had them I was just like, This does not work. This does not work.

And I felt like I knew that you know – my oldest daughter is nine and a half – I knew that the moment she was born, basically, I was like something has to change.

Linzy: Yes, yeah, and I relate to that very much. I just was having a memory yesterday of a mentor of mine, who’s actually a mother of one of my friends, sent me a card after my son was born and was like, you know, having a child is going to let you understand your clients at a whole new level.

And I just remember thinking, no, I don’t, I don’t want to. That for me was like a very clear like, no, I actually don’t want to like have to be doing all of that emotional work and that intensity and rawness and like, yeah, carrying all that stuff and also like parenting this tiny human. I knew that for me, those things were not compatible and it sounds like for you, it was a similar realization. Yeah.

Ashley: Yeah Yeah, yeah. And I felt like I did something and I did it for like six years that I felt like made it more containable and it taught me all these skills. I mean, this is how I got into the tech stuff was like making that change. So I felt like it was worth it. But even that I was ready, you know, the pandemic came and we really saw how hard it can be to try to keep everything afloat.

And so even though things have gotten back to normal in a lot of ways, I started to value the flexibility of being able to do what I needed to do when I needed to do it. And that was never a possibility before. You know, going to the dentist, taking a kid to the dentist, I mean stuff that, those just like basic logistical things were kind of impossible before.

And so that part is very freeing and makes it worth it for me to do the hard work of like, figuring out all the business side of this. Because that is the part that does not come easily to me. The relationships come great. The tech itself is fine. When I don’t know, it’s no problem for me to learn, those things are all very easy. But the business part is just, continues to be painful.

Linzy: Okay. As I’m listening to you, I’m hearing a couple things. First of all, I’m hearing the structure of this work is great for you, right? Like the flexibility, and like you’re not depleting yourself, you’re not coming home almost empty, right? Like you have the energy for your kids now, instead of kind of absorbing from other kids all day long. And then I’m also hearing you love being part of a team. You get to use this blend of skills that you have, this kind of emotional, relational intelligence that you have, as well as these tech pieces. I’m curious, like, when you think about all of the good stuff about your work, all of these pieces, like, what do you notice in your body?

Ashley: I mean, I think I feel proud. I think that I realized that I’ve made something and it was something I never, I mean… I never would have thought I’d be in tech. I never thought I’d be in business. And so I think I feel proud of that, and I did realize, like, when I had one partnership that was more of an employee situation, I realized I didn’t want that. Like, I actually wanted the freedom to feel like I’m in charge. I mean, I serve other people, and I enjoy serving them, but I’m in charge of my path, and that’s, like, really important to me. 

Linzy: Yeah. Okay, okay. So that being in charge of your path then, is there any kind of like image or feeling that comes with that? Let’s build that out a little bit. What do you think of when you think of being in charge of your path? 

Ashley: I think that there is a way that I can serve people that I’m not currently serving them. And so I have this like feeling, and I mean I’ve learned this in part from you and from hearing people talk about like programs and just other ways of kind of fleshing out what they do and taking their genius but offering it in a different way.

And so I have this feeling that maybe there’s a way that I can help people that’s not quite as intense as the partnerships. And I think if I could do that, I think I would enjoy it. I love to talk to people and be connected. And it’s funny because I’m like so introverted, but now that I work at home all the time, and I’m by myself all the time, I’m also like, oh gosh, like where are the people, you know?

And so, I think I would like the connection part, and I just don’t know what it looks like yet, and I think that I have some obstacles, some of them are the financial ones, you know, it’s just like pricing, navigating what are the offerings, but also it’s just some logistical things like locking down, narrowing it down, figuring out what exactly is the thing I want to offer, and then it gets into the marketing and stuff, which is a conversation for another day, but that is a huge barrier for me, because right now, I function through referral.

I have been able to do that. It’s been very comfortable, whereas this would require me to be more present in digital spaces in a way that I have very much chosen not to be 

Linzy: hmm. I understand that. I can relate to that. Yeah, because like what I’m hearing here is on one hand, I’m hearing, you know, there’s a part of you, and I’m gesturing to my chest, which I guess this is going to be a video, so some folks will actually see what I’m doing. Those of you listening, just to the audio will not see this, but I’m gesturing to my chest to all this anxiety that’s in your body, right? So like, there’s a part of you that’s really afraid of kind of sticking your neck out and taking up space. But then I’m hearing another part of you that knows that you have even more to offer than what you’re doing now. And you could reach even more people and have more impact in a way that costs you less. Than you do, like, even more than you are now. Right? Like, there’s even more potential here for, like, connection and, and getting what you know out to the people who, you know, can make great podcasts and make a difference in the world. I’m hearing kind of these two different parts there. Does that, does that feel familiar? That there’s kind of that duality to it?

Ashley: Absolutely. Yes. And it’s, I mean, and those two feel both in opposition and kind of in friction and yeah, so it’s again, cause it’s kind of like, there’s maybe an easier or faster path that’s going to feel more financially stable and that will help, you know, because again, I feel like if my family doesn’t get to do a thing because I made these choices, like there is an impact that I’m aware of, but then I also am like, I can’t go that direction and build out something that I don’t currently have if I don’t make space to do that. 

Linzy: Yeah. And it makes me wonder, like, the part of you that’s really afraid, right, this anxious part, what does that part of you need to know, the part of you that can have this, like, owning this excitement and realizing you have even more to offer the world, what, does that anxious part need to know?

Ashley: I think I need to trust that it is okay to let more money go out than come in for a period of time. Because I think I am very comfortable with always making sure that I’ve paid off everything all the time, and you know, we have a mortgage, but like, beyond that, like, we really just try to, like, always pay off our credit cards every month and things like that, and so I think I need to say, it’s okay to dip into some savings, maybe, to help cover this for a little bit, I think I’m always calculating, like, have I met my goal?

 And again, like, initially it was just, I just wanted to cover my salary because I felt like then, I guess I felt like that proved that it was okay to do this other thing because it was worth as much. And again, I mean, I know that’s kind of silly, but I think I’m stuck on that. I’ve like, I’m always like, oh, but I’m down this much from what I thought I needed to be making. And so I think maybe just giving permission for that is necessary to be able to try to go this other route. And then I feel like I need help to get some of those steps and figuring out that help is a big barrier. I mean, I think, you know, just I’m sure that a lot of people relate to this. It’s like I’m used to running my own show and it’s hard for me to find the right people who I really can trust and who I believe are going to do the level of work I want them to do. It’s just easier for me to just do it myself. So I think I need to let of a little.

Linzy: Which is a, you know, conversation for another time. But, yeah, because what I’m hearing in this is like, it’s almost like you need to trust yourself to make an investment in your business.

And part of that investment is right now making the space, maybe finding the right teacher to help you make courses, work on your marketing, own your branding and your niche, like whatever strategic step you decide is the next right step for your business, like somebody to help you do that, and part of the investment actually is going to be not making yourself just like make money right away and draw into these savings a little bit because you’re building something bigger and more solid and more in the direction of where you want to go. What do you think about that framing of this is an investment like you’re- and in fact you’re actually investing with your your buffer. Like money from the past. You’re not even going into like a debt for this, it sounds like at this moment you’re more just digging into savings to make the space to build something bigger or more in alignment with what’s actually going to make your heart sing or however you want to phrase that.

Ashley: I love that. I love that. I think that looking at it as an investment makes it feel like a strategic move instead of like a big risk or almost careless. Like it makes it feel like it is a purposeful decision instead of, you know, being lazy to not take those next steps or being careless because I think those are some of the things that come up when I’m in the anxiety space is just this like criticism of like, oh, but I could be doing ABCD and that is true but if I did those I know that there’s consequences for that and so then you know Trying to use what I’ve learned over the past several years to make a wise, long term move instead of solve the problem. But I do want to just solve the problem. Definitely my first impulse is like, just stick the band aid on there. Gaping wound? I don’t care.

Linzy: It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ve got Band Aids. Paw Patrol Band Aids. Yeah, because part of investing and like part of the difference between investing and just having a business that’s losing money continually or not supporting you continually is you need to be able to trust yourself to do the things to make this an investment. Right? That’s the difference between an investment period and just a business that isn’t working. In an investment period, the money might not look like you want it to look. You might be in the negative. You might be drawing into savings, but you’re like, I’m doing this with a plan. And my plan is, first I’m gonna do this, by the end of this quarter I’m gonna be here, I’m gonna be building these relationships, I’m gonna get help from this mentor who I really trust, and by this point I’m gonna be launching my courses, or I’m gonna have my like very specific packages with my new language that really like articulates exactly what I do that’s different, like you have a plan and you’re working a plan, rather than like, eh, it’ll be fine. Right? Or like, I’m just not going to look at that. Right? And like, that’s the big difference. And like, sometimes I talk about this when people ask me about, like, taking on business debt, too. Like, do you take on, like, a business line of credit? And it’s like, debt can be strategic if you’re being strategic. Right? And that’s what I’m hearing here. This is actually an opportunity. It sounds like a window or an opening for you to be strategic and part of what I’m hearing like, going back to this original piece we talked about, about giving some pricing to a current or a new potential partner, and like waiting to hear back from them and that like churning is part of it is trusting that you’re building something that is better and if somebody doesn’t value what you’re offering and isn’t willing to pay you what you actually need to live, then they’re not a fit for your relationship. Like, it’s not the right relationship for your business. And there will be somebody else who is, right? But that’s, that’s really like trusting in your vision and trusting yourself to work your vision until you make it happen. How does that land with you? 

Ashley: Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I think just reframing it, what I really am walking away hearing is thinking of it as an investment period makes it feel a lot better, because I think otherwise… it’s hard to justify making less when you know you could be making more right now. I mean, I could pick up stuff today, that I’m getting paid way too little for. That I could, you know, rush through and send to people.

And I know that. And so, there’s both comfort in that, because that’s nice, that there is something to do. I mean, that’s, all of that’s so new to me also, I can control what I make to a certain extent. I’ve never had that experience before. 

Linzy: Something else that this is something that I teach in like the group practice level, where you do have like this bigger business and there’s like up months and down months, is like zooming out on your business, right? Like your business is not a paycheck.

It’s not about one month at a time. It’s not about like this month I’m this much in deficit. Like we really actually want to be looking at your business from like a 12 month perspective. And it could be that when you look at the 12 months coming to the end of this year, you’re like yeah, we started slow in quarter one when I was kind of like letting go of some partners, looking for new ones, hadn’t found the right people yet, hadn’t really figured out how to articulate what I was doing, but like look at what happened in quarter three, and then we ended the year like in this place, or there was like this much extra, or I, now I’m able to pay myself this much, right?

Like having that zoomed out perspective, because anxiety tends to zoom us way in. Right? Like we’re thinking about like right now. Because anxiety is about survival. It’s about fear and survival. It’s like, there’s a tiger. What do I do right now? Right? But that’s actually not financially strategic and also what I’m hearing is like, you could “fix” this, I’m putting that in quotations, right now if you want by picking up low paying work that you don’t feel good about or going back to the school board, which you know has all these other costs, but long term that’s actually not going to get you where you want to be.

Ashley: Yes, absolutely.

Linzy: So Ashley, coming into the end of our conversation today, what are you taking away? 

Ashley: I feel a lot of clarity that it’s okay to take the long road. And I think I just appreciate, I trust you, Linzy, and I trust your financial advice. And I think it feels good to have somebody who I trust, affirm that that is a reasonable and logical pathway to follow. And that it’s purposeful and not, all the negative things that come up. And I love your ideas also about how to share what I offer and how it’s different. And I think that I really could do a lot with that because I don’t feel like anything- when I think about things I’ve sent to people before, I don’t feel like I have done that. So, you know, trying to think about- and again, that gives me a little bit of I still don’t want to do the marketing part, but it does help me think about, like, how that could be valuable just for people getting to know me. Yeah, that would be a space where I can showcase that a little bit more than like on a flat document that just kind of itemizes. 

Linzy: Absolutely. Yeah, I think, you need a lot more feelings words in your marketing and a lot more adjectives about how you work, right? Because I will say, like, I’ve referred you now a couple of folks. Like, I think the, the course that you’re editing is like from one of our guests who, like, we made a joke in the podcast. Like, Oh yeah, my editor could do your course. And then afterwards you were like, were they serious? And I was like, I think they were serious. And now you’re doing that work, right?

So it’s like, I think you’re, you’re getting into, a space where there’s going to be lots of folks, like, folks that I know, and probably through other partners, too, who would really value what you do. And you being able to articulate, this is what I do, this is how it’s different, this is what really distinguishes me from the space where it’s like a lot of bros with plaid shirts doing audio editing. Like, I’m not that, and I’m all these other things, is really valuable and it’s helping, just helping folks understand why that’s so much more valuable than just having somebody edit episodes and send them back to you and be like, good luck. 

Ashley: Yes, right, maybe I need to think more about the contrast.

Linzy: Yes, the contrast. Yeah, because that’s what sets you apart, right? And it’s that whole thing of like marketing is also repelling the people who aren’t for you. So if there’s somebody who’s like, I don’t really want somebody to be part of my team and I don’t really want somebody who’s going to be like showing up and asking questions and like, you know, I just want somebody that can send stuff to and I’m not really gonna have a relationship, then you’re not for them. Right? And that’s great that you know that.

Ashley: Yes.

Linzy: So Ashley, do you want to tell people about your podcast? 

Ashley: Sure. So my own podcast is about books and I work with a teacher as my co host and it’s called Unabridged and we do a book club every month and we just talk all things bookish. So if you love books, then that’s great. And then I love working with emotionally intelligent clients in the podcast space. And my name, AshleyDicksonEllison.com is my website where you can learn more, though I will be updating my marketing to have more feeling words

Linzy: But yes, I know folks who are listening do have podcasts so if you are looking for podcast support, I am going to plug Ashley right here on this podcast that then she’s going to edit. This is all very circular. Having somebody who has the expertise to walk you through the podcast world is so, so, so, so valuable and we appreciate you. We appreciate you, Ashley. So thank you for being our podcast manager and thank you for coming on the podcast today.

Ashley: Thanks, Linzy.

Linzy: In my conversation with Ashley today, there was… in the back of my mind there was like some sort of image or metaphor that I was never able to really pull forward and articulate. But it is something about kind of stepping out on your own, right. And when you are stepping out on your own, whether it’s into private practice or into some sort of other kind of side business that maybe you’re even doing in addition to your private practice ’cause I know so many therapists have other gifts and talents… When you are stepping out of that kind of safety of having a salary, that often costs us in all these other ways, like Ashley talked about, you know, like so emotionally draining to be a teacher using up all of her energy, but it’s safe, right?

When we step outta that safety and we step into having our own businesses, it is scary. Like that is true. And I think that often we think that that’s something specific or, you know, deficient about us if we’re feeling really like anxious or scared in that process. But there really is something about stepping out on your own and taking up that space, and having to start to really own your gifts and be like, this is what I do. This is what it’s worth. You might not like it. You might say no to it or knowing what you do, but not having found your people yet. Like that building stage of really growing into, it’s kind of growing into your brand, being able to articulate what you’re offering and then having to like find your people and figure out how to price it. It is scary, and it’s hard and I kind of am getting this image in my head of like… I don’t know, like being out in the desert or a field, and you’re kinda like by yourself, but you’re also building something and that’s so powerful to build something that is yours. But also it’s kind of scary and exposing and lonely. And you know, I’m, I’m hearing that in what Ashley’s saying, like she has that spark. She knows what she offers and how it’s different from what other people are offering, and she’s like starting to be able to recognize and thinking about how to articulate that more. But it is also scary to kind of stake your ground and be like, this is me. This is what I do, this is what I’m good at. And folks might take it or leave it, and it takes time to find your people. And that’s true in all businesses, including private practice. So I’m really, I’m really excited for Ashley. She’s wonderful. So if you are looking for a podcast manager, reach out to her. I’m really excited and honored to be working with her and getting her support as she’s also building a business that is more and more her. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts, and if you’re enjoying the podcast, it’s super, super helpful for us if you leave a review on Apple Podcasts. You can share what your favorite episode is or what you enjoy about the episodes. It is the best way for other therapists and health practitioners to find us and be part of the conversation. 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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The Secret to Successful Business Partnerships with Steph Davis and Laura Bull

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The Secret to Successful Business Partnerships with Steph Davis and Laura Bull

The Secret to Successful Business Partnerships with Steph Davis and Laura Bull Episode Cover Art

“There has to be some kind of synchronicity. There has to be certainly a clearing and repair process going on if there’s any kind of relational tension. To go into the group and imagine one can suppress that and not have it affect the system is silliness. When the business needs our attention but we’re in tension, there’s sort of this clearing the desk. Nothing productive is going to happen until you and I get into right-relatedness.” 

~Laura Bull

Meet Steph Davis and Laura Bull

Steph and Laura and the Founders and Clinical Directors of Shoreline Counselling, a group private counselling practice in Fort Langley – British Columbia. They are also the hosts of the A Not So Private Practice podcast where they share lessons in friendship, business and all things private practice. …including their love of budgeting. 

In this Episode...

Have you considered a partnership to grow your business? Guests Laura and Steph share about how they have grown a thriving group practice as business partners. Steph and Laura talk with Linzy about the hard work they have done to protect their relationship and how valuing that at the center has helped them have a successful partnership. 

Steph and Laura share about how important it is for business partners to have hard conversations and to be honest with each other about financial decisions and sweat equity. They talk with Linzy about feelings and issues that have come up during their years in partnership and what they have done – and continue to do – to address those issues. Listen in to learn more about what it takes to have a successful business partnership.

Connect with Steph and Laura

Discover Steph and Laura’s group practice services here www.shorelinecounselling.ca 

As well as their podcast A Not So Private Practice  www.anotsoprivatepractice.ca 

Get Linzy's Free Guide

Download my Free guide How to Stop Feeling Overworked & Underpaid in Your Group Practice https://moneynutsandbolts.com/msgpo-guide-o/ 

In this free guide, you’ll learn about:

* Your money story and how it shows up in the relationship you have with money as an individual, as a clinician, and as a group practice owner.

*The 4 keys for becoming the empowered financial leader of your group practice.

*The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) skills you need to create a healthy, sustainable private practice that will support you, your team and your community for years to come.

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

Laura Bull [00:00:00] There has to be some kind of synchronicity. There has to be certainly a clearing and repair process going on. If there’s any kind of relational tension to go into the group and imagine one can suppress that and not have it affect the system is silliness when the business needs our attention, but we’re in tension. There’s sort of this clearing the desk. Nothing productive is going to happen until you and I get back into right relatedness. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist the 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 Bonham [00:00:50] Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today on the podcast I have Steph and Laura. Steph and Laura are the founders, and they’re the clinical directions of Shoreline Counseling in British Columbia, which is a group practice. They’re also the hosts of the “A Not So Private Practice” podcast, where they share about their experiences with their business partnership, which we’re gonna be chatting about today. They talk about friendship and business and all things private practice. And they also mention including their love of budgeting. And Steph and Laura are currently in Money Skills for Group Practice Owners. So I asked them to come onto the podcast, even though we’ve only been working together for a month, because they have a really impressive business partnership. And something that I mentioned in this episode and that I see over and over again. Well, two things. One is the idea that group practice is an easy way to make money. And so folks, if they’re busy and folx think, well, I guess I should just start a group practice because that’s a way to make more money. That’s not true, by the way. Group practice is actually pretty, complicated financially, to make it work. They’ll talk about that a little bit today. But number two is: I see folks forming partnerships with, you know, somebody that they work with, a friend, because they also think that that will be easier. And as Steph and Laura talk about today, business partnerships can be easier if you put in all the work to actually take care of that relationship. So today on the podcast, Steph and Laura are going to share about their own business partnership, how they have navigated conflicts, how they navigate conversations around money, and some of the challenges that still exist in their business partnership around money and how they are working on those. Here is my conversation with Steph and Laura. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:02:36] So, Stef and Laura, welcome to the podcast. 

 

Laura Bull [00:02:39] Thank you. 

 

Steph Davis [00:02:40] Thanks. Thanks so much for having us. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:02:41] Yeah, I’m really excited to have both of you on here. Something that I’m really excited about is you two have a business partnership, which I think is something that a lot of therapists, when they think about maybe expanding from solo practice into group practice or some sort of larger offering, often consider partnerships thinking that it’s kind of like it would be easier to start something with a friend. And you two have walked that path for a while now. Can you tell folks a little bit about the history of your business partnership to get us grounded and your history together? 

 

Steph Davis [00:03:15] Yeah, Laura, that’s a you question. Go ahead. 

 

Laura Bull [00:03:17] Yeah, sure. We probably have a bit of a unique beginning together because we, what’s not unique is we used to work in a different practice. I’m sure other folks have that experience, but that practice dissolved under the weight of some very serious allegations. And, Steph and I sort of became really bonded through the fire of that. Like, we became aware of a lot of the misconduct that was going on. And I became aware before she did, and she was actually the very first person I ever told. I was holding these really big secrets about someone who I had trusted for a long time, who had been, clinical supervisor to me for a long time and couldn’t quite reckon with how I had had what I thought was a meaningful clinical experience. I couldn’t reckon that with this information that was coming my way about what seemed like a totally contrary person. And so I held on to that information secretly for a while. And then, Steph, I think through a number of circumstances, I don’t know what it was. We hadn’t been friends for very long before, but we just kept having these little conversations. And something in my gut was just like, she’s the person. Like, If I’m going to tell anyone, she’s the person I’m going to tell. And it was a heavy weight. I knew that this information was going to come with lots of action. And so it wasn’t something I wanted to share lightly. It wasn’t something I really wanted to burden anyone with, to be honest. But I did tell Steph, and she and I did end up taking a lot of action, a lot of legal and movement action, to against some of these very serious things that we found out were going on. So we came together in this very dire season, certainly of my life, and she became this like very, very, very trustworthy person that, you know, she was going through her own emotional reactions, but she was doing a lot to support me as I was sort of unraveling everything that I had thought this ten year clinical career of mine had meant, what was still true, what wasn’t true. So that’s kind of we came together there and somewhere in the midst of us knowing we were fleeing, leaving this place, the last thing on my mind was starting a business. Literally the last, like probably even more, the last was being a leader, like leading other people. At that time, as I was reckoning with this leader who, just was not at all what I had thought they were. So this is sort of where Steph enters the story. 

 

Steph Davis [00:06:07] Yeah. I mean, yeah, it was a really awful time. And, you know, definitely more impactful emotionally for Laura than it was for me. So I had kind of the privilege of just sort of like holding a bit more of a container around, like, what does this mean for us? And there were a number of people in this practice that were affected by this. And, you know, to me, I was like, this might be a cool opportunity. Like, we have to leave here and leaving people behind that we’re in the dark about this, but would be affected by this, once it all came to light, didn’t feel right for us. And so, you know what initially started as like the pursuit of an office space for Laura and myself to maybe take on a student or two and to just kind of hide ourselves out and away from all of the unfolding drama. What started out as that, evolved into this idea that “Oh, we have to be a bit of a refuge”, like we have an opportunity here to support these other clinicians and this practice full of clients that we’re all going to be somehow impacted by this. And so that, you know, amidst all the conflicting, confusing emotion that was like what excited me, I was like, let’s do this thing. And Laura was like, oh, okay, I’m with you. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:07:26] It kind of sounds like a I’m picturing like a couple things. I’m picturing like a phoenix rising situation. Right where it’s like this intense, what I’m heating from you, Laura, is like this intense loss and probably like betrayal and questioning of like what is real and identity, and with this relationship, with this person, who had done these things that you can’t reconcile with your experience of them. So there’s all of this pain, trauma, but then it’s also knowing that you need to get yourselves out of there. It’s like, well, we also need to take everybody else with us, which is a very therapist thing to do, by the way. 

 

Steph Davis [00:07:57] Yeah, totally. We were like foreseeing all the, you know, suffering. That was and that’s this thing unraveled. And it was, it was another layer of like in tolerability.

 

Linzy Bonham [00:08:08] Yeah, that’s really interesting because it’s you kind of stepped into leadership roles out of a crisis, really. It’s like there was a leadership. It sounds to me like there was a leadership void that was opened up by this person who, you know, had these allegations against them and was no longer going to be able to create this structure for these folks. So there was this void and it sounds like, Steph, what I’m hearing from you is like excitement to step into that void. That’s opportunity. And Laura, you were like, “okay, I guess I’ll come too”. Is that a fair summary?

 

Steph Davis [00:08:39] Yeah. Sort of. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:08:40] Okay. Sort of, sort of, yeah. What would you say was different about it? Tell me Steph. 

 

Steph Davis [00:08:44] I think that, I mean there was more of a power struggle than a void, for sure. At the time, you know, this person was not letting go of this lightly, like it was quite an intense time. I mean, we literally snuck out in the dead of night. We, like, went in there, took our stuff, secretly, moved all our clients over. The whole thing was really secretive. And then once we got going, I think, ok Laura, you tell me if this is right. I don’t know if it’s true, but there is more and more balance that was that we were finding with each other in this process. Where as much as it was emotional and hard and traumatic, you know, and so deeply impactful for Laura in so many ways. As the momentum for the business got going, she was the one pioneering a lot of stuff, like finding the space, getting it sorted. And there was I don’t know if it’s true to say, but it felt like we sort of kind of collided on this, like energetic path towards this future that we’re building, which is when things really started to click and take off, you know. Does that feel true Laura? I don’t know. 

 

Laura Bull [00:09:44] Yeah, I know it does. But I’m trying to find language actually for it, as you say it, because I had profound self-doubt around my ability to be a leader at that time because I was like, my modeling for leadership turns out to be really poor. And so I was really scared of accidentally repeating some of the really poor leadership qualities that I had been under for so long. And yeah, like once the decision was made. I mean, Linzy, you’re getting to know this part of me. I have this thing sometimes where I get excited about a new idea, and then I just don’t stop. Like when you get voice memos from me at 1:00 am because I’m like, I’m really excited about something like. That turned on whatever part of me, it clicked on. And I was like, if we’re going to do this, then we’re going to do it. Like we’re going to do it full, big, excellent. And so those little bubbles of life force, I think, started to move around my system, and I felt really sheltered. Steph was like, this is going to be great, we’re going to do it. And I was like, okay, I don’t know if it’s going to be great, but I feel you walking ahead of me. I feel a little sheltered by you, walking ahead of me. And within that shelter, now I got to be part of this. I want to see what we can do to make this possible. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:11:01] That’s actually a really good visual description of what I, you know, have been experienced of your dynamic. So we’ve been working together now for a month basically, you know, and you to have back pocket access. So we talk on WhatsApp by voice which is always like I find much more personal. You know, we get to know each other a lot faster. And that’s actually a really good description, Laura, because I have been trying to kind of articulate in my mind what is your dynamic? Because it isn’t just like a pure yin yang. It’s not that simple, the two of you. But yeah, I hear what you’re saying. It’s like Steph. Steph has that sturdiness and aheadness. And then in that, you can get really excited and thrive. 

 

Steph Davis [00:11:33] Yeah, I mean Linzy, well you’ve been on vacation over the course of the last week. I have been taken out by Laura’s intense desire to just push ahead. I’m like, I’ve been like thrown to the side. And she is now, like, officially leading the charge here. It’s up. It is reflective of what happens between us often. You know there is this constant back and forth around the vision and the logistics and the details and who’s taking the lead and who’s sheltering who. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:12:04] That’s so interesting. It brings to mind, to me a metaphor that a friend of mine, years ago when I was learning how to drive standard. I learned how to drive standard in my mid-20s, and I had two friends, two male friends who taught me how to drive standard, because I basically bought a standard vehicle and I did not know how to drive it. So it’s like my roommate and one of my friends who was a paramedic, they taught me how to drive standard at like 25 years old. And I remember one of my friends making this analogy about him and, and a different friend of ours, like one of them was kind of like that first gear that kind of like, gets you going and has that initial push. But then the other one was gear five, now you’re rolling. And that’s kind of what I’m hearing, you kind of shift gears between the two of you in terms of getting things going, but then keeping it going. But then, you know, maybe you slow down a little. So, there is this beautiful interplay between the two of you, which is part of the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast, even though we’ve only been working together for a month. Because I think so many folks step into business partnerships because they think it’s going to make things easier, right? That it’s kind of the easy option. But what I often see is that business partnerships are not successful and they don’t work and they fall apart. And folks who loved each other end up actually not only not in being business partners, but not being friends anymore. Right? It can be a great way to kill a friendship. And what I see in your relationship is something so much more mature than so many business relationships. So, you know, this is a podcast about money. I want to dig into that side of your relationship now that we have a sense of where you’ve come from. For the two of you, what have been some of your biggest money challenges or financial challenges of navigating being in a business partnership together and building something together, and also being these two kind of different people? 

 

Steph Davis [00:13:43] Yeah, I can kind of segue in just from what you were saying. I mean, I work with a lot of therapists in a coaching capacity, and my takeaway is that being a partnership is easier in a lot of ways. And the amount of work that Laura and I do on our relationship and on our partnership is almost as much as we do on our business. Because as you say, it won’t work otherwise. And our relationship is actually the thing that’s most important to us. And so when we’re out of sync or when we’re not working, things are kind of just like a fray, you know? And so, I think we have these two ways that we navigate. Kind of like two codes essentially, that we use to like navigate our relationship. And when it comes to our conversations about money, the first one is the thing that we live by, which is essentially that we refuse to hold resentment towards each other. We’re just going to have those hard conversations all the time. Whenever there’s resentment, we are going to sit down and we’re going to do that work with each other, because our friendship depends on it and our business depends on it. Laura, you want to frame it a little differently? 

 

Laura Bull [00:14:55] Yeah. I mean, I lead a lot of groups. I got a lot of training from a lot of brilliant group therapists early in my career. And one of the things I sort of live by is that if I always co-lead, I rarely lead on my own. But if the two group leaders are in relational tension, the group will be in tension. It’s a systems approach, essentially. And so what I was taught from the get go is the leaders have to be, there has to be some kind of synchronicity. There has to be certainly a clearing and repair process going on if there’s any kind of relational tension, because to go into the group and imagine one can suppress that and not have it affect the system is silliness. And so Steph and I, we know that, when the business needs our attention but we’re in tension. There’s sort of this clearing the desk, just shove all the papers off the desk because nothing productive is going to happen until you and I get back into right relatedness. So I think we prioritize that mostly because we really like each other and because the thing that would be the most soul-crushing is if our friendship breaks down here. And we sort of joke that we’re more legally bound than we are to our spouses. That’s actually not a joke. That’s actually true. 

 

Steph Davis [00:16:12] Yeah, yeah. 

 

Laura Bull [00:16:13] It’d be harder to get out of our arrangement than the spousal arrangements. So there’s a lot of good reason to work on it, but also, like, she’s just so important to me. I don’t care as much about the business breaking down as this friendship breaking down. And I think the business benefits greatly from that.

 

Steph Davis [00:16:34] Yeah. We care so deeply about each other that we’re always working on that. First and foremost, you know. 

 

Laura Bull [00:16:41] So, money though. The hardest thing for sure is resentment, which Steph has already spoken to. And resentment shows up the most because we’re equal partners in terms of our corporation documentations, but we don’t do equal amounts of work. And so reckoning that over the years, I think you’d agree, Steph has been definitely the most challenging. And I have spent many nights over the last five years talking to my husband, being like, oh my God, I know it’s not fair. What if she resents me? And really I’m saying, like, what if our friendship ends then we never make it back? But that’s the thing that feels the most scary to me is what if we can’t work it out? What if this resentment grows? What if she walks away feeling bitter at me? And I would hate that. And so that really fuels these: what are we going to do? What are we going to do about the inequalities in our partnership? 

 

Steph Davis [00:17:35] Yeah, I mean, the most glaring example. So I had said, there are two codes that we live by. And the second one is that we promised each other that we would not allow the business to stop us from doing what we need to do in our lives. And that we would be, you know, on board to support each other with however our lives unfolded and wouldn’t let the business stand in the way. This is the best example of how this inequity has shown up over the years. Was it two years ago? Three years ago? Two years ago, Laura decided to have another baby and we were three years into the practice or two years into the practice, and we were in the midst of opening a second location. I generally carry more of the administrative burden of the practice to start with, and that just became tenfold when Laura went on maternity leave. And we’re renovating and opening a second office and trying to keep this office afloat. And it was it was a lot. And there were a lot of resentment conversations and a lot of money conversations around how we were going to make this equitable, financially so that we could reckon some of the resentment and repair what needed to be repaired. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:18:47] And with that, did you figure it out? Have you figured out how to address that inequity or make it equitable, make it fair? Laura’s not just had a maternity leave, but also as a mother to three kiddos, right? So lots of family demands there. What have you figured out? 

 

Laura Bull [00:19:06] Okay. We didn’t figure it out. I think is the honest truth on my mat leave. We had lots of plans about how we could make it equitable and they didn’t come to fruition. Lots of plans about how we could pay Steph differently than me during that time. Then we had a great idea and we felt we couldn’t see it through because we couldn’t figure out how to make the money work at the time. And that was, I mean, it was terrible for us. I would have loved nothing more than for Steph to be paid and for it to be like, “okay, great, phew, we found a way to manage this”. And then she didn’t get paid for that time, not for the extra time she was doing. That was terrible between us. It has been a hard topic for years between us. As many times as we’ve circled back around and given space to air our different feelings about it. It’s more in the present that we have some irons in the fire around how we’re going to resolve this sort of unequal sweat equity in our past. We have some pretty good ideas about it now  I think. But, truth be told, it’s been a couple of years of that not really being resolved, it being a painful point in our business history. 

 

Steph Davis [00:20:25] Yeah, and I mean, I think that though it hasn’t been resolved, it also hasn’t been ignored, which is, I think, what makes part of our partnership so unique and special in that way is that we have talked this thing to death. We are both very aware of the impact that this has had on me, the impact that it’s having on Laura, this sort of like dark, kind of cloud that hangs around sometimes when this topic comes up and we’re trying to figure out how to make things equitable. And though we haven’t arrived at a solution, I think that the way that we address it, and the way that we hold space for it, and the way that we don’t avoid it or dismiss it makes it more tolerable. It doesn’t create this barrier in our relationship where we can’t move forward on anything because we’re so stuck in this place. It’s like our hope kind of has always been that there’ll be some sort of way that this will end up being more clear and coming to a resolution. And whenever we think we have an idea, we bat it around and recently it’s gotten a lot more traction. But I think that is a really unique part of what makes our relationship work so well and is so special is that we don’t shy away from those conversations, even if we can’t resolve them. We just tolerate how uncomfortable that is and table it and move on. 

 

Laura Bull [00:21:40] Yeah, I mean, I think I was hearing Doctor Becky. You know her? She’s a great parenting… 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:21:45] I do know her, not personally, to be clear, I do not know Doctor Becky personally. I listen to her content. Yes. 

 

Laura Bull [00:21:51] She was describing rapture as when two people are fully in their experiences and neither of them can put it aside to hear. Whereas repair is when someone can put their experience aside and say, okay, I really want to understand what was going on for you there, tell me more. And I think Steph and I do that well, even when we can’t resolve it practically, I think we have the benefit of our therapist skills, and with relative ease you’re able to say, just tell me how this is for you. Tell me how bad, tell me how painful, tell me how bitter, tell me how used you feel. And, with relative ease can sort of hold that without interrupting with, but this or explanations or all those tempting things to do when things get difficult. So I know that has been the good enough that’s carried us through until we could find practical solutions. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:22:43] Yeah. Well, and listening to you, something that strikes me is you are both so brave, first of all. Having these hard conversations all the fucking time by the sounds of it, right? And that takes bravery because like, I know for myself as somebody who comes from a history of kind of people pleasing, fear of conflict. What you are doing can be really scary. It can be scary to voice things that you fear might hurt the relationship or create conflict. And what I’m hearing is these are skills that you’ve really used with each other. I don’t know if you’ve honed them with each other, if there’s been growth in this, or if these are skills that you both already had. But it sounds like they really are a foundational part of your relationship. And as you say, just talking about it, which makes you think about marriage. I remember hearing a friend say that her parents talked about how in marriage, sometimes you have a bad decade, right? And we don’t necessarily think about that when you’re young. You don’t think that a relationship can be that long and you can be like, oh, yeah, the 70s were kind of hard for us. That was kind of a bad time. But the 80s were great. But that’s what I’m hearing from you two. There is this kind of, still a bit of a cloud, we still haven’t figured this thing out, but there’s also this hope of like, but we are going to, or we are working on it and we are like keeping it on the table. It’s not being buried or avoided. 

 

Laura Bull [00:23:53] Yes. Yeah. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:23:54] Which is so again, the word that comes to mind for me is mature. But what I’m also hearing is like, you two have so honed your emotional skills and your emotional intelligence around your business partnership, being leaders, how your relationship impacts your team. And now I know some of the work that you’re doing is figuring out this practical part, right? By like digging into the numbers in a different way to see how can you actually practically solve this problem. And, you know, it strikes me that in financial leadership, you need both, right?  You have the first thing in spades. And now as a team together, you’re working on the second thing, which is actually figuring out the numbers and how do we make the numbers work so there can be some compensation, reparation, recognition of the inequity that’s been there. 

 

Steph Davis [00:24:39] Totally. I mean, Laura, gosh, when we get that solved, what are we going to talk about?

 

Laura Bull [00:24:46] Maybe not work stuff. 

 

Steph Davis [00:24:48] Oh yeah, maybe not work stuff. That is the part of our relationship that’s probably fallen off the most. We get it in intense 20 or 30-minute to two-hour windows where we’re like, it’s only personal time right now, go! Than we go right back to it. Six weeks later, it’s like how did that things play out that we talked about for 20 minutes? 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:25:10] Yeah. You’ll open up more space to be friends. And then also I think too, to just expand and think about what are those next level things for the both of you. Right? Like how can the business be supporting and nurturing you in other ways? Now you’ll have different problems, but they’ll hopefully be funnier Problems. Then this kind of like past peace that is yet to be reconciled. 

 

Laura Bull [00:25:28] Yes. Totally.

 

Linzy Bonham [00:25:30] So for folks who are listening, who might be considering starting a business partnership, maybe they’re in a similar situation with you where they’re in like a group practice where it’s like this, ugh, I don’t want to be here. I want to run something better. And I have this friend who I want to run it with. Or maybe people who’ve already started into a business partnership because often these things kind of start accidentally, as we know, what would be your advice to people to have a functional partnership like you do?

 

Laura Bull [00:25:54] To begin with, I would say , you’re a therapist and you’re equipped with tons of helpful communication and listening skills, and they are direly needed in a business partnership. This is not a different kind of relationship. This is another human relationship. So use all the great skills that you already have, and it has served us well to make this commitment to each other, if there’s resentment that we will bring it up relatively quickly. I know I do a background process around my resentment first. I am usually triggered initially and have big reactions, and so I do a hold sorting to kind of get my adult voice online and sort out, okay, what young part of me might be reacting here. And what’s the fear? And can I soothe and meet that fear internally first and sort of get stabilized in my adult self, and then go to Steph and say, here’s the thing that I think has felt scary or icky or concerning to me. And so I would say, don’t put your therapeutic skills to the side thinking this is a different kind of relationship. It’s really important to do really excellent communication. And don’t ignore resentment. It is like the poison that will take the whole thing down if it doesn’t get addressed in a very timely way. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:27:17] Absolutely. Yeah, and Steph? 

 

Steph Davis [00:27:19] Yeah, I mean I haven’t been in therapy as long as Laura has. I was a teacher prior to. So when we started this, I was a lot younger in my career and in my kind of development of all of these skills as she was. It was a steep learning curve for me at first. We were dealing with so much intensity and working on those skills myself was such an important part of this process for me in therapy and even in my other relationships and in different ways. Because it felt it was sort of just like, oh, you got to like shit or get off the pot here. You got to figure this out and speed up the learning process in terms of communication and the things that you’re learning about relationships. So that I could develop this kind of background process so I could get more clear on what was going on for me also. And then I’ve always had a harder time communicating where I’m at to Laura than she’s had to me. It’s just not as natural for me. And so it takes a lot of work on my end. And I can’t, I think early on in our relationship, I saw her skills as so much more advanced than mine that I relied a lot more on her to do that work. And now, I’ve come to learn over the years that that’s not equitable to our relationship. And so I spent a lot of time doing a lot of the work on my own so that I can show up in this relationship in the way that we’ve committed to. So that we can have this dynamic, that we have that, really when we are both in connection it just hums. It’s great. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:28:51] Yeah. And I think there’s so much wisdom there. Steph in terms of how much of our own growth we have to do to really show up as leaders. Right. And to really show up as our best selves, like in these business relationships. And I know for a year or two, I saw a therapist who also had a business background, and he would charge me for executive coaching because like, so much of what was coming up was all of these kinds of things about my business. Your business brings it all to the surface, right? Like having to show up, having hard conversations, having to let people go, having people be mean to you, like all of these things. There’s just endless opportunity. And again, I think there’s so much maturity there, in just owning, okay, I gotta spend a lot of time in therapy to figure out how to how to show up the way that I want to show up. I think it’s easy to want to skip that work, and be like, no, no, this is business. It is uncomfortable

 

Steph Davis [00:29:42] For sure, it is uncomfortable. And yeah, oh, I just want to focus on the business. And the truth is that the way, I mean, we lead a team of 26 people. So we don’t have a choice but to be in sync with each other. And that just involves more work than, to your point, I think that people really probably are consciously aware of when they imagine going into a partnership. It is the same kind of work I do in my marriage. Right? 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:30:07] Exactly. And that’s why I say, earlier, Steph, you made a comment that business partnerships are easier and I think they’re easier when they work. Right? I saw a newspaper headline the other day from Jessica Grose, who writes for The New York Times. I read her column every week and she said, basically, good marriages are good. Bad marriages are, well, bad. Right? Like I was talking about this kind of trend, this idea that people aren’t getting married anymore. And it’s like people get married if they can find a great person and build a great relationship. But if you’re in a bad marriage, it’s worse than being on your own, right? And so what I’m hearing is you two have managed to put in the work to make it so that it’s an easier, better option through all the work that you’ve been doing. 

 

Laura Bull [00:30:42] Yeah, I think that’s probably very true, that it would be much harder if it was a bad relationship. 

 

Steph Davis [00:30:48] That’s right. I don’t know if I would have survived, you know? 

 

Laura Bull [00:30:52] Yeah. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:30:55] So Steph and Laura, if folks want to hear more from you, which I suspect they do, because I know I do, whenever I talk to you. I’m so impressed by the two of you. Can you tell folks where to find you? Tell them about your podcast. 

 

Steph Davis [00:31:08] Yeah, we have a podcast. You can listen anywhere you listen to your podcast. It’s called “A not so private practice”. You can find us on social at “A not so private practice”. And, the group practice, we run Shoreline Counseling. You can find us at shorelinecounselling.ca or at Shoreline Counseling on Social. 

 

Linzy Bonham [00:31:25] Thank you so much Steph and Laura, for coming on the podcast today. 

 

Steph Davis [00:31:28] Awesome. Thanks for having us Linzy.

 

Linzy Bonham [00:31:43] I so appreciate Steph and Laura coming on the podcast today. I am consistently impressed by both of them. They’re just very thoughtful, insightful, emotionally intelligent women. And as you could hear during the conversation as they described and you can even hear it happening in real time, is like they are not afraid to have hard conversations. And, you know, as somebody who is personally a conflict adverse, I so admire and appreciate that. But also as business partners, it’s so invaluable to them to have those skills and to be able to navigate it. As we talked about today, they’re such a shining example of what happens when you bring your emotional intelligence and all those therapeutic skills, that we’re teaching other people all the time, those of us who are mental health therapists. When you bring those skills into your business partnership, this is what’s possible, right? Is you can actually have a healthy, sturdy relationship that allows both of you to thrive. You can use your complementary skill sets. But also, as they talked about today, there’s those practical pieces which now they’re working on and we’re working on together, and Money Skills for Group Practice Owners to figure out how to make the money work, to actually address the financial inequity between the two of them. And make sure that they actually resolve this issue not just by talking about it, but financially addressing it. So I’m so excited for them that they are bringing this solid foundation, these skills that they have, this love for each other, their love and respect for each other, so apparent and now they’re bringing that skill set into learning about the actual practicalities of how the money is working in their group practice. So that they can make the money flow in a way that supports both of them and recognizes the sweat equity that they’ve each put in, which is not an equal amount. So I’m so appreciative to Steph and Laura for coming on the podcast today. And as they mentioned, you can check out their podcast, A not so Private Practice podcast wherever you get your podcasts. You can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts. And if you are a group practice owner and you want some resources on how to start making money working for you and your group practice, I have a free guide called How to Stop Feeling Overworked and Underpaid in Your Group Practice. This is a guide that’s all about empowering group practice owners to feel calm and in control of their finances. In the guide, you’re going to learn about your money story and how it’s showing up in the relationship you have with money, as an individual, as a clinician, and as a group practice owner. You’re going to learn the four keys to becoming the empowered financial leader of your group practice, and you’re going to learn about the CFO, those chief financial officer skills that you need to create a healthy, sustainable private practice that will support you, your team and your community for years to come. So the link for that guide is in the show notes. It’s How to Stop Feeling Overworked and Underpaid in your Group Practice. You can grab that guide, group practice owners and get started on the same path that Steph and Laura are walking. 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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Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

Carly [00:00:02] And the imposter syndrome kicks in. So I always say it’s a really good sign if what you’re doing already exists and nobody can do what you do, how you do it, everybody does it differently, everybody has their own story. Like 90% of us are our own ideal clients, which is why self-disclosure in coaching is such a beautiful thing, because people are like, wow, she gets 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 in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today’s guest is Carly Hill. Carly Hill is a business mentor for therapists, helping them outgrow the office and add online coaching for added revenue stream. This is obviously a topic that I know well, having lived it myself. So it’s great to today having Carly on. She helps clinicians make more money, earn back their freedom and flexibility, all while protecting their license. So today we got into that topic of license. How do you make sure that you protect your license? That’s something I hear again and again, and that I know I always have a little bit of hypervigilance come up when I hear folks starting to talk about offering coaching. Making sure you get the right things in place to protect your license. We talked about perfectionism, how to actually just get stuff out into the world. We talk about some of the barriers to moving into coaching for therapists, and importantly, the difference between therapy and coaching. How do we distinguish between these things? How do we know when we’re doing one or doing the other? So much to talk about here. Great conversation with Carly today. We’ve definitely walked the same road in terms of moving from therapy into the coaching space and just like putting things out into the world. There’s lots of gems here for people who are considering adding coaching to the way that you support the folks who you love to serve. Here’s Carly Hill. So, Carly, welcome to the podcast. 

 

Carly [00:02:23] Yeah, thanks for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:02:24] Yeah, I’m excited to have you. You know, what you teach and talk about is something that I think is on many therapists’ minds, like something that I find with therapists that I support is once they get kind of their financial stuff in order, and they’re less stressed about therapy and money in their private practice. What folks often very quickly want to do is like, expand beyond like, what else is there? And that is where you come in. So can you talk a little bit about what you do and how you help therapists? 

 

Carly [00:02:54] Yeah, and I love that you said that because me personally, as a therapist, when I started my private practice like that was me. It’s like I got a glimpse and a taste of freedom and I’m like, well, what else is here for me? 

 

Linzy [00:03:05] Yeah, freedom is pretty great. Yeah. 

 

Carly [00:03:06] Yeah. So it’s all about right. Freedom. Flexibility. Security. So my M.O. is helping therapists add coaching. We do it ethically, legally. So we really focus on protecting your license because there’s a lot that goes into that. And it’s all about really kind of moving out of the 1 to 1 business model. It’s tapping into the group model, like how can we work smarter and leverage our time. So at this point, you know, especially if you have a private practice, you’ve been in the field for many, many years. You’re good at what you do and maybe you’re sick of repeating yourself. You want to impact more lives and, unapologetically, you want to make more money. So there’s many avenues to do that. But I have definitely found through my own experience that coaching is one of the many avenues that you can expand your revenue as a therapist. 

 

Linzy [00:04:00] Yes. Yeah. And something about therapists. I’ve been reflecting on this on my own relationship, from shifting from being a therapist to a coach. And, like, coming into this new year, I feel like I’m kind of fresh. I’m seeing my work with fresh eyes where I’m like, yeah, these are the conversations I used to have in private to some extent. Like, not the interventions, because I don’t use therapy interventions with my coaching clients, but like some of the ideas or the way that I talk or just my general skills, this is what I was doing behind closed doors before, one on one, and now I’m doing it in front of hundreds or thousands of people. Yeah, right. So it’s like that, like coming kind of like coming out of the therapy room and into the world is something that I think a lot of therapists are really curious about. And I’m curious, like you mentioned, that piece about protecting licensure, and I’d love to start there, because that’s always something when folks talk to me about coaching is I’m like, make sure you understand your license restrictions in your state. From me, like from the financial perspective, I’m like set up two different bank accounts if there needs to be any separation and make sure it’s really legally distinct. What is like the general guideline for therapists, because something that I see therapists have anxiety about, and understandably so, is are they going to be accidentally practicing therapy as coaching? And can they hurt their license? So like speak to that fear because it’s, I think, a legitimate fear that therapists have about switching or stepping into some coaching on the side. 

 

Carly [00:05:20] Yeah, it definitely is. So the best advice I can give is separate everything. Separate, separate, separate. So you want to have a separate business entity. So if you have your private practice and it’s an LLC, separate coaching LLC, separate bank accounts, we don’t want to be taking in revenue in our private practice, where we’re only licensed in X state. When you can see clients nationwide, worldwide, and you will, that’s going to be a red flag, right? Even for accounting purposes and doing taxes, it’s just going to be a messy headache if you have everything in the same place anyways. Right. So separate LLC, separate bank account, separate paperwork. So your coaching contract is very, very important. And you are still held to your ethics. So mandated reporting, informed consent, that needs to be on your coaching contract that you’re providing to clients. So those are the main things where people get caught up is like marketing. Right. And do I need to have two Instagram handles and two websites and two Facebooks and all of these things. Right. And so that’s not black and white. It’s not illegal to have both coaching and therapy on one website, but we don’t want our clients to be confused. Our clients still get to choose whether they want therapy or coaching. I mean, ultimately they can, but we need to use our clinical discernment on what are they needing? Like are they needing to be treated for medical necessity or is it this more situational, non-clinical, less severe problem? So although the stigma has gotten better, I feel like with therapy, some people could only fathom getting help under the umbrella of coaching when in reality they really need therapy. So you kind of have like a segway on your therapy website that goes to your coaching, or you have a disclaimer that, like, although, you know, coaching is similar in nature to psychotherapy, these are the differences. And hopefully you would get them on a consult call before they go one way or another anyways. And you can use your clinical discernment. 

 

Linzy [00:07:40] Yeah. And that’s a really good point to be aware of. I haven’t completely thought about that of like that path. Right. Like if you have, even if you have a couple different brands that you’re working under, when somebody comes to you, making sure that they’re going in the right door, right. Also for just your ethical obligation, as you say, like if someone is suffering from severe depression or like there’s very active trauma symptomology, you don’t want to be selling them this like beautiful coaching package where, you know, mostly you’re just going to be doing like fun, surface, future-oriented, like planning kind of stuff when what they really need is like deep therapy, right? And like trauma reprocessing. And this is somewhere where I do see like some blurriness in the coaching world. Do you, do you see that too? 

 

Carly [00:08:22] Like it gets confusing and there’s so many nuances to it because- and this is why I always say the easiest definition really is like therapy is treating medical necessity. Coaching is working with that more situational, non-clinical, less severe problem. It’s about the severity of the issue that you’re treating at hand. Like there’s all these definitions. Like if you Google it, you’re probably going to be more confused on what the the actual differences between the coaching. And some definitions I really don’t agree with. Like such as like, you know, coaching is working on the future and therapy is working on the past. It’s like as a therapist and a coach, I know that you work on the past, present, and the future, whether you’re in a therapeutic relationship or you’re in a coaching relationship. And somebody could be meeting criteria, textbook, DSM and still be a fit for your coaching program. For example, I had a therapist term coach who had a coaching program to help women who have come out of DV relationships get back into the dating world and have confidence. So a lot of them actually were meeting criteria for PTSD. They had their own therapist and they had worked on or currently working on that, but her coaching program was very specific to confidence in the dating world. It was that situational, non-clinical, less severe problem. Does that make sense? 

 

Linzy [00:09:47] That makes so much sense. I mean, it’s a really good discernment. Like, this is a conversation that I actually had a lot with one of my coaches who worked for me in my course, Money Skills for Therapists, a couple of years ago. And, you know, she’s got all this rich clinical toolbox. She’s a psychologist, but also doing some coaching for me in the course. And like we had a lot of conversations kind of like philosophical and practical of like what is coaching and what is therapy and how do you know when you’re doing each. And like my answer for her, and I’m curious about your answer for yourself. I was a trauma therapist, so that was my specialty. I don’t practice therapy anymore. I now just fully do this, you know, financial coaching and business coaching. But for me, there’s a very specific way that my brain is working when I’m doing therapy. I’m really like, I’m going into the pain. That’s really the work I was mostly doing with folks, right? As I was doing trauma reprocessing. So it’s like we, you know, hear that there’s a negative experience and we’re going right into that experience and we’re doing all of the resourcing to stay with that. And like everything is about getting to the root and resolving the root. And that’s very specific for me in my body. I know what that feels like when I’m in that space with somebody and when I’m doing that, and there’s this huge toolbox that I used to do that work, right, in this huge filing cabinet of trainings that my brain is like, you know, going through to, like, pull out all the information you got. It’s very like complex work. It feels very different than the coaching work that I do. Right? Coaching work I find for me is very light in my body. It’s fun. It’s very- I’m very quick to use, like personal disclosure, which I never, ever, ever did as a therapist. As a therapist, I was so boundary, so aware of like my own story, having, you know, no place in the clinical room the vast majority of the time. In coaching, I’m aware that folks want to know what I do and what I’ve done because they want to get the results that I’ve gotten, right. So and when I see pain now in one of my students, which of course everybody has trauma, it’s like, that’s a great thing for you to take to your therapist. Like, I don’t even like, you know, like we look at it from like 15ft away and we’re like, yeah, that makes a lot of sense that you feel this way because of this experience you had, you know, are you working with a therapist? That’s great. Right. Yeah. Like it just like, I’m having a very different relationship to like, where I’m focusing energy and attention. I’m curious like, yeah, your reflections on that as a, you know, discerning between the two and what your own relationship is, playing these two different roles: coaching and therapy. 

 

Carly [00:12:14] There’s so much that I can say. So I feel like we get weird sometimes about like, what am I doing? Like am I, quote-unquote, doing therapy, or am I doing coaching, right? And again, it goes back to, you know, are you treating medical necessity or not. But we think that like, we can’t use all of our clinical modalities and training and schooling and background when we all of a sudden put on our bonus identity of being a coach. And the reality is you can use CBT, DBT, EMDR, literally we have trainings every letter of the alphabet. Right. So like and there is like you could Google like CBT coaching certification. When we hear these things we think therapy especially EMDR as a trauma therapist. Right. But you’re probably thinking that in your head like now how the hell would you use EMDR. 

 

Linzy [00:13:10] I am I am. 

 

Carly [00:13:11] I had a client who did peak performance coaching with athletes to help them out, beat their competition, and she was doing EMDR with them. It was that very situational, non-clinical, less severe problem. So again, it’s just like what is the the issue at hand that you’re treating? You can absolutely use all of your clinical modalities in the coaching setting. And also I think we get tied up with the word coach sometimes. And even just because we work so hard for our license, why do we want to call ourselves a coach? It could feel like a downgrade. It’s like, I don’t want to be like all those other coaches on the internet. This is the whole thing, right? 

 

Linzy [00:13:56] Oh yeah. 

 

Carly [00:13:57] But as a coach, it’s kind of like you’re a teacher, like you’re doing psychoeducation that you already do in therapy. Anyways, so I had a massive realization when I had my private practice that I was actually coaching the whole entire time. I wasn’t even doing therapy. I just thought I was because I was therapist by trade. But when I really started studying, like, what is the difference between therapy and coaching? I recognized that I was doing coaching. I was helping women who were not meeting medical necessity. It was like those that I would give adjustment disorder or anxiety unspecified, and I was doing a lot of psychoeducation with them. I was teaching them. So I find that often times therapists are doing that too, but they’re limiting themselves. It’s really hard to go into treating medical necessity, even if you tried. When you’re creating a curriculum like a recorded course anyways, to help them get from A to B, problem to solution, and you’re taking them through like the 6 to 8 milestones to get from problem to solution. It’s like you’re a teacher. 

 

Linzy [00:15:05] Yeah, that language really resonates with me a lot. Yeah, a lot of what you’re saying it’s pinging. I have many thoughts about the coaching world, kind of having stepped into it in a way, kind of accidentally, you know, like just wanting to do certain work. You’re like, oh, I guess this is what I am. Yeah. But that educator distinction is something that I’ve noticed myself is like I identify largely as a teacher and an educator, like a financial educator. I’m doing like, popular education around finances, right? I’m taking something that can be very difficult to understand and intimidating and making it accessible. Right. But also clicking it into this specific space of this niche that I serve, which is therapists. So folks who are very emotionally intelligent and need that mixed in with their information, right. Like we need that relational and emotional aspect. But that’s such a helpful piece to pull out because I know for me that’s when I like, really know I’m coaching like I’m teaching, right? Like I don’t have the space in my programs or even my one on ones to, like, really do any kind of medical treatment. Right? Like the container is not set up to support that, like actual medical treatment that I used to do for folks took months and months and months or years and years and years of focused work together, of coming back to the same thing and getting stuck with that thing and looking at it from a different angle and like there was some amount of psychoeducation that I was doing, but really I was doing trauma processing. I was like, looks very different now. Education is such a big part of what I do, and I love you pointing that out, because I think that that’s often missed in terms of coaching, that that is a lot of we do is we are teaching, right, like we’re teaching the framework that we’ve developed, but we’re also just teaching general information in a way that’s going to get somebody a certain result. 

 

Carly [00:16:39] Yeah. Or even like a faster result. Like I think there’s such a beauty in coaching, not only for the therapist but for the client. It’s truly a win when like, you know, you get to leverage your time and your skills and your knowledge and technology as a therapist, which is a beautiful thing, but also not everybody needs therapy. And if they’re not needing to be treated for medical necessity, they could come into your very specific three month educational curriculum program and get faster, easier results with this proven step by step system, even on their own time, because everything’s recorded and they can listen to it when they’re doing other things. It’s such a win for them. Like it can save them years of their life, thousands of dollars. It’s just a win win. 

 

Linzy [00:17:32] Yeah, absolutely. Certainly. That’s been my experience with it. And what I found too, is the impact that I can have by packaging up the process that I’ve developed. Right. And by like building in these specific supports means that I’ve had like 500 folks go through my program. Yeah. And some of them I know because they show up to a lot of calls and I know exactly who they are. Some of them showed up to literally no calls and just did the work on their own. But there’s no way that I could have helped 500 clients individually in that same timeframe, right? Like it’s just such a bigger impact that you’re able to have. What do you see are some of the biggest barriers that therapists have to the idea of stepping into coaching or owning the fact that they might want to step into coaching? 

 

Carly [00:18:13] Well, definitely the protecting licensing that we already covered, because therapists just think it’s like too daunting. I always joke like they’re afraid, like the ethical gods are going to come after them. Like it’s not an excuse to not add coaching. There’s steps that you need to take. It’s not that difficult to keep everything separate. If you have a blueprint in front of you, somebody is giving you the paperwork that you need. Like your gut. Nicheing is the second biggest barrier. I think we’re used to solving every problem under the sun and morphing into whoever’s in front of us. That when you go to create a curriculum for a very specific population with a very specific problem, you’re like, whoa, what do I even choose? And something that’s marketable and viable as well, not just like a nice to have or an addition to somebody’s life, or you’re going to fall on deaf ears, right? Like you want to sell something that’s going to sell like hotcakes, right? If this is really going to be an additional sustainable revenue stream. 

 

Linzy [00:19:15] Yes. And that is a helpful thing for folks to think about is, like with business, you know, you need to sell something that people want or need, right? So like really taking the time to identify, am I selling something that people are asking for? Or if they’re not asking for it, how do I help to educate them so they do ask for it? Because that’s something about my course and my audience is they don’t know what their problem is, but they know what their pain is. So a lot of the marketing that we have to do is around educating folks. You feel this way because of this and like, this is the solution, right? But we’re actually having to do a lot of education with folks before they understand, like, oh, the problem is that I don’t know a financial system and that I have a bad relationship with money and that can be fixed, and Linzy can help me fix it, like we’re walking them all the way along the marketing process. Whereas for other types of niches, people might know that they have the problem and they’re going to come looking for the solution, right? But you do need to be selling something that people want and need, asking people to figure out what that is, because that is something that I do sometimes see a mistake that therapists make. And I’m curious what mistakes you see them make as they try to step into coaching. As I see folks spend so much time building something, but they haven’t really validated it or built an audience, and then there’s nobody to sell it to. And they’ve done all this work, but there’s no appetite for it. 

 

Carly [00:20:28] Yeah. So good. Well-spoken. The level of buyer’s awareness, you know, what you’re speaking to, is incredibly important, which is why market research is important. When most people go to do market research and they’re googling, you know, other coaches that exist or they’re assessing their needs from potential clients and prospects, if they get scared that, well, if this already exists and all of these coaches are already doing this, why me? Who am I to do this? Why wouldn’t they just go read X, Y, and Z book or go to Sally GuruPants, you know, mentor who is already killing it, and then they don’t do it. And the imposter syndrome kicks in. So I always say it’s a really good sign if what you’re doing already exists and nobody can do what you do, how you do it, everybody does it differently. Everybody has their own story. Like 90% of us are our own ideal clients, which is why self-disclosure in coaching is such a beautiful thing, because people are like, wow, she gets it. Yes, right. 

 

Linzy [00:21:32] And I really love you saying that because I’ve sometimes heard from my own students who again, it’s like they go through the course and then at the end they’re like, I actually have this dream to like, do something else, right? You can start to own I want more. But what I have folks say to me sometimes is they’re like, but I don’t have something like super unique to do, like, like you do. And I’m like, no, no, no, don’t do what I did. Like the fact that for my business, I built something that didn’t exist before, that I don’t have a direct competitor, is really rare and like, not actually what you want. What you actually want is exactly what you’re talking about. Where like there is already an audience for it. There’s already other people doing it because there’s demand for it. Right? Like my business is harder because I don’t have competition, because, as I said, I have to educate everybody about what their problem is before they can even think about think about working with me at some point. Right. And so, yeah, and seeing other people doing what you do is a good sign. 

 

Carly [00:22:27] Yeah. And it works. So just to get to your point and then your business being sustainable, right. Educating them on the different level of buyer’s awareness. So it may be a longer process from when they come into your world and become a paying client. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work right. But you are willing to take the chance and you are willing to try. If I could take a guess, probably because of your own story, right? And maybe lacking what you basically created and had to learn the hard way yourself, which is typically like why 90% of us are our own ideal clients, right? Exactly. 

 

Linzy [00:23:02] Yeah. 

 

Carly [00:23:03] But you mentioned you see a lot of people, like, create this beautiful thing and then they go to market and sell it and it falls on deaf ears. So I always recommend to sell before you create. Create it as you go. And this is really daunting for the Type-A people. But this is what you want to do, right? So you need to be in integrity, selling something that you haven’t yet created. So you need to know, like what are the deliverables and what you’re offering? What are your bonuses? What are your guarantees? How long is it? What is the investment? All of that stuff. But if you’re creating a recorded course, for example, then you know you have week one, maybe week two done while they come in. They’re watching week one while you’re recording week two or recording week three. So you have your outline, again, you’re in integrity, but you’re creating it as you go. And that’s really going to allow you to make it so much better anyways. Like, what if they ask you questions that week one that you forgot to add in week two, then you just go add them in. 

 

Linzy [00:24:03] That’s exactly how I built all my courses. Yeah. And as you say, it is a challenge for the Type-A amongst us. And like, I consider myself a recovering perfectionist, but this is the advice that I give folks when they ask me about like building something is like, sell it first. Again, exactly as you said. You know the path, like you know the general path you’re going to walk them down, you know the general skills or, you know, kind of the order of things that need to happen, but by actually building it as you go, you’re catering it to exactly who’s in your program. And it’s going to be better than you sitting alone in your office imagining somebody going through the process. So yeah, this is how I built my core course Money Skills for Therapists. I built it. It was a six week course and I built it one week at a time. It’s like I would run the call. My partner was helping me build it. We would run- I would run the call, we’d get off the call, I’d be like, okay, now I need to make seven videos. And he’d be like, okay. And we would just like, go for it and make it and have them posted by the next day. And 80% of that content is still the core of that course, because it was good and it remained good. And now just the other day, I went and started adding some more content and like tweaking things and improving and changing. But like that foundation is still the same. And I built Money Skills for Group Practice Owners, which is my second level course. I just came out of six months of building that the exact same way. Yeah, right. You have no time to get in your own way when people are expecting lessons to drop, you know, in the next week. 

 

Carly [00:25:27] It’s the best way. And it’s such leveraged work. Right? And it’s such a breath of fresh air. And just like a huge accomplishment when you can look at all your recordings and you’re like, damn, I did that. I created this thing, this whole thing. Right? Yeah, I love that. 

 

Linzy [00:25:43] Yeah, totally. And then you can sell that thing over and over again. 

 

Carly [00:25:46] Yes you can. Yes, yes, it’s leveraged work. Yeah it is. So it’s kind of a short term pain for the long term gain. Right. Because it does – not gonna lie – let’s talk a little bit at the beginning when you’re like, oh no, sorry, I can’t, I’ll be in my recording studio and by recording studio you mean like sitting at your desk with your microphone. Okay. But it is like blinders until it’s complete. 

 

Linzy [00:26:09] Yeah. And I also like for myself, and I’m curious your expense with this. For me, I do also experience it as kind of the creative process, right, where it’s like it’s a lot of work, but I’m also in the flow, like I’m living it and I’m breathing it. And like sometimes I’ll. I started using deep work sessions when I was building Money Skills for Group Practice Owners where it’s like Fridays, that’s all I’m doing. I’m not answering emails, I’m not available. I don’t coach on Fridays. I’m just doing this. And sometimes I would spend two hours building a lesson and then I’m like, no it’s too specific and I’ll scrap it. But it’s like, I’m like in that like, you know, sometimes I make the joke like I’m an artist. I’m going to go into artist mode, which is when I’m doing things not well in advance and not super strategically, but I’m just going to go in the flow. But you create great stuff from that space, like it’s flow. You’re letting yourself get into a flow state because you have to, but also you’re like making it a priority so that you have the opportunity to. I’m curious about like your own experience with building things like this. 

 

Carly [00:27:05] I 100% agree. And if you can get out of your head into service as soon as possible, it’s going to benefit you tremendously. Because when you are launching something like you’re so focused and you’re wearing all of the hats on doing your market research and dialing in your messaging and doing social media posts and getting on sales calls and enrolling your first few clients into your program. Like you’re just doing all of these things and you do start to question or imposter syndrome comes in and it’s like, who’s going to buy this? Is anybody going to buy this? Like, if you can just put it out there and get your first couple clients and you can get into that state that you were just talking about the flow state where you’re recording, and then you look back on what you just created or you were sent back and you’re like, whoa, that was good. What I just said, like, mic drop for a second. So it really will help you have more momentum to keep selling and advertising, and then you have more confidence and conviction and what you’re even selling because you’re in flow and you’re looking at it and you’re like, that is good. And it just- the energy pulls through to your audience. 

 

Linzy [00:28:18] Absolutely. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve been talking in a few places this week about perfectionism, right. And how much that slows us down. I just did a presentation today in the group practice exchange community about financial perfectionism. I was just talking about on a call today. And like the phrase that always comes to mind for me around it is like, perfect is the enemy of done. Right? Like when we don’t make ourselves do it, when we don’t sometimes create that container. So you’re like, I just got to do it. And like, I’m going to say stuff. And then I’m like, damn, that was good. Which I had like sparring with myself fairly regularly. If I just make myself talk, I end up saying something, then I’m like, oh yeah, that’s what I meant. But I didn’t know it until I was saying it out loud. That’s my creative process. But if I don’t make myself do it, and if I think about it and if I want to make it perfect, sometimes it just doesn’t even happen. That thing just never materializes unless I give myself a bit of pressure and a deadline to make it happen. And if it’s not perfect, it doesn’t matter because you’re teaching and you’re going to like, get that feedback from your students and you’re going to tweak it, or you’re going to, like, have a conversation where you explain it, then you’re going to go back and add that to your video. But like you have created 95% of the finished product by doing that. 

 

Carly [00:29:22] And it’s always better than we think it is, even when we think it’s bad. Right? We’re just really hard on ourselves because we are those Type-A people. 

 

Linzy [00:29:29] So true. 

 

Carly [00:29:30] I use the 80/20 rule. This can be applied to multiple different things in business, right? But I say be 80% sure an move on. Yes. It’s 80% good enough and then you move on because you could just come back and you can redo it. But it’s like you got to keep the momentum flowing. 

 

Linzy [00:29:46] Yes. Yeah. And the 80/20 rule. Can you explain that for folks who are not familiar with it. 

 

Carly [00:29:50] I always say with marketing like 80% value, 20% hard promoting. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So that’s another way. 

 

Linzy [00:29:59] Yeah. And there’s that like diminishing returns piece. Right where it’s like the work that you do, it’s like you have like got it to 80%. That’s a huge difference. That last like ten hours of work is only going to make it that little tiny bit better, which is not worth it. Right? It’s much better to move on with your energy and build something else, something new. The term that we’ve been using this week in our own team is Just Ship It, which I think is from Seth Godin is my understanding where like a lot like that, just ship it, you just ship it. And I even found a little mailbox emoji that I’m starting to use with my team. Just ship it. It’s great. Good enough. Just ship it. Yeah, right. And like, just get it out into the world. Because chances are that like obsessing that we do and that like extra stuckness is in actually going to make it that much better. Sometimes it even makes it worse because we end up taking out something that we think is bad, but is actually quirky, and is why your students love you in the first place. 

 

Carly [00:30:48] 100% agree. Yeah, yeah. 

 

Linzy [00:30:50] So, Carly, for folks who want to get further into your world, can you tell them more about where to find you, where to follow you, what you offer? 

 

Carly [00:30:59] Yes, absolutely. So I would say the best place is my Facebook group, The Therapist to Coach Accelerator. There is like 50 plus free trainings in there. Just this past week I brought in an attorney to speak about protecting your license. So any of the folks who are listening who that is maybe a big barrier for them. They can learn about that in there. You can also follow me on Instagram, Carly Hill coaching or my website Carly Hill coaching.com. 

 

Linzy [00:31:23] Wonderful. Thank you. This is great food for thought. Wonderful to also talk to another therapist turned coach. And I know there’s lots of valuable stuff here for people who are considering making this transition. Thanks, Carly. 

 

Carly [00:31:34] Thank you. 

 

Linzy [00:31:49] I appreciated Carly’s distinction today between that, you know, medical necessity, treating folks out of medical necessity or doing this more- I don’t even know how she would describe it, but like she said, future-oriented, isn’t it? But, you know, not treating folks out of medical necessity and trying to get really clear on, you know, what is therapy, what is coaching, and making sure that folks come through, you know, the right door when they find you. There’s lots to consider in this space. And I noticed myself, I still have like a little bit of vigilance about it, but I’m so glad that folks like Carly are out there helping therapists think through what they’re doing, protecting your license, setting up things in a way that protects you, make sure that you’re acting ethically, and just owning what you have to offer the world. Because that’s the other thing that I see is that, you know, therapists, we tend to undervalue our skills and undervalue just how much we know and how much we’ve learned. And there’s so much opportunity to help folks far beyond the therapy room. If you can really step into your skills and own what you do, put it out in the world. And as Carly and I talked about, just ship it. Let yourself do it imperfectly. You can always clean it up later. So I appreciated Carly coming on the podcast today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you are interested in working with me and in experiencing my course that I’ve created, my offer that’s been out in the world, as I said on the episode today, that more than 500 students – I was just looking at our Teachable today. It says 533. We’ll take off like a few team members for that. So let’s say like 527 people have gone through Money Skills for Therapists so far. And I continue to have like amazing conversations with Money Skills for Therapists students every week, watching them like kick butt. So if you are curious about Money Skills for Therapists, the way to learn about it is through my masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Getting Your Business Finances Totally in Order. I will put the link to that masterclass, in the show notes. You can check out that masterclass, learn about my framework, learn about the biggest mistakes that therapists make while trying to get their business finances in order and learn about Money Skills for Therapists and whether it would be the right container, the right support to help you feel calm and confident about your business finances. So link for that is in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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How to Identify Where Your Money Serves you Best Coaching Session

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 “I agree with how profit can feel like oxygen because I can imagine myself once I am in this space… And maybe doing this budget re-work, and moving my money differently, will help me feel like I have that breathing room because right now, it does not feel that way.”

~Erin Davis

Meet Erin Davis

Erin Davis is in private practice as an anxiety and OCD specialist in a small town in North Carolina. She launched a podcast called Bossing Up: Overcoming OCD, which gained a sponsorship after only publishing 3 episodes! 

Check out Erin’s podcast, Bossing Up: Overcoming OCD: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bossing-up-overcoming-ocd/id1720586813

You can also learn more about Erin here: www.valuedriventherapy.com

In this Episode...

How do you get your money to work for you each month? In this coaching session, Linzy and listener Erin Davis talk about Erin’s income, her business and family expenses, and her debt, and Linzy helps Erin make concrete decisions about how to allocate the money she’s bringing in to benefit herself and her family the most.

Linzy and Erin use real numbers within the Profit First calculator to come up with a plan that will work for Erin and her family. They explore what happens if Erin adjusts what she’s paying toward debt to make things more manageable for monthly needs. Listen in to hear how this shift impacts Erin’s relationship with money. 

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

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

Episode Transcript

Erin [00:00:04] I agree with how it can feel like oxygen, because I can imagine myself, once I am in the space where- and maybe doing this budget rework and moving my money differently will help me feel like I have that breathing room, because right now it does not feel that way. 

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. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today on the podcast – I’m really excited – we’re doing something for the first time, which is we have a coaching episode to share with you, which is with one of our listeners. So previously on the coaching episodes on the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, I have brought on current students or past students of Money Skills for Therapists. So they’re always folks that I’ve known to some extent, already from being in the course or sometimes that I’ve known really, really well. But this is the first time that we are bringing on a guest who’s a listener of the podcast. Our guest today is Erin Davis. She’s in private practice specializing in anxiety and OCD in a small town in North Carolina. She has got a podcast about OCD called Bossing Up Overcoming OCD, which she shares she got a sponsorship for in only three sessions. And in our conversation today, we talked about figuring out how to both make your money serve you and this question of whether or not she should raise her fee. So Erin shares that she’s in a small town in North Carolina, where her fee is already kind of at the high end of what folks tend to charge. So there’s this concern about raising her fee, but she has all these stressors of a credit card debt to pay down, building a home, she’s got three young boys who are in sports. And basically, how does she make the money work? What does she need to do? So today in our conversation, we dig into that question. We end up really looking at her numbers in a tangible way and coming up with a really clear path forward for how her money can serve her. Here’s my conversation with Erin Davis. So Erin, welcome to the podcast. 

Erin [00:02:35] Thank you, Linzy, for having me. I’m so excited to be here. 

Linzy [00:02:38] Yeah, I’m really excited to have you here. We were just talking off mic about how previously for coaching episodes on the podcast, I’ve always had students or grads. So like folks I’ve already known to some extent. This is our first time recording a coaching episode for the podcast with a listener, so we have not met before now, which is exciting. 

Erin [00:02:58] Right? And I have been following you for quite some time, and I listened to your private practice summit back in the fall. Oh yeah, that was fantastic. And I got linked up with other coaches and mentors there. And Aisha Shabazz is my business coach. 

Linzy [00:03:16] Oh, nice. Yeah. She’s been on the podcast before. 

Erin [00:03:17] Yes and I went back and actually relistened to that episode. I love both of you guys. 

Linzy [00:03:23] Wonderful. Well, I’m very excited to have you here. To dig in to your question for today. So, Erin, what do you want to focus our time on today together? 

Erin [00:03:32] Yes. Well, again, thank you for letting me come on the show because it’s been quite a ride for me in my journey. And where I am now, I think it is going to be very helpful to kind of get your expertise in the financial coaching. So my story started several years ago. I was in private practice for the first time. Now, I’ve been- I’ve had my graduate degree since 2011, but about 2 or 3 years ago was when I stepped out and did private practice on my own, and that was a very eye opening experience, and I burned myself out. Worked too much. I was not a good boss to myself, but the money was there, right? And then my husband and I decided, let’s get a change of pace in our life and let’s move back home to family in North Carolina. And that’s been a great move. Now, with that experience I had with private practice, I thought, I can’t work myself to this extent anymore and decided to take a salary job with a nonprofit, and it was wonderful. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had with an agency. Now, with that being said too, not everything lasts forever. And the contract went away. And there I was with a job loss in my mid-30s. I’m the sole breadwinner for my family. 

Linzy [00:05:00] Yes. Gotcha. Yep. 

Erin [00:05:01] Yes. And I’ve got three boys are really fell into, kind of a pit and a little bit of a crisis and thinking, what do I do next? Because I enjoy counseling. I love the field. And. But a lot of time, investment and energy into this work. And I was scared to go back into private practice because of the way it went before. So I decided that I would go into private practice, but I would be more mindful and intentional with my choices. Yes. Great, yes. So I feel like I have done a great job in honoring my values and my family needs this time around. But the complication that I have run into is our small town in North Carolina. It’s not one to really be known for paying premium therapy rates. So that creates a challenge. And just to put it in perspective, our county – countywide, all of the children are on free meals. 

Linzy [00:06:09] Okay. Yeah. So you’re not in a high income area by any means? 

Erin [00:06:13] Exactly. Okay. Especially compared to where we were living before. My current rate. It does meet my needs. If I don’t have any other additional expenses or what I’m facing right now, which is the credit card debt from the job loss, because I mean that really threw our plans, because being in a salary position, you expect that it’s going to be a safe job. Yes. Now I mean we have our personal emergency savings and that’s fine. But I think one of the other lessons I’ve learned is to have a business savings. 

Linzy [00:06:49] Yes, absolutely. I completely agree with you. Yeah. Having that business buffer is great. And so that sounds like a good learning, you know, that’s come out of this that you can incorporate into your practice moving forward. It sounds like this would be one of the goals is having that buffer in your practice this time around. 

Erin [00:07:04] Yes. And it seems like – and maybe that was something that I heard from your, one of your webinars was. Well, and I love your idea of profit first. And so I’m struggling with this balance of paying myself. Plus covering our family expenses plus aggressively paying down debt because it’s very uncomfortable to carry debt. 

Linzy [00:07:30] Yes. Okay. Yeah. So. Yeah. Because what I’m hearing is there’s multiple jobs that’s needing to come out of this money, which is not as much money as you used to make because you used to live somewhere where it was a higher income area. 

Erin [00:07:41] Yes. 

Linzy [00:07:42] Now your fee is 135. 

Erin [00:07:44] Correct. 

Linzy [00:07:45] So your fee is 135. And you have these different priorities of like paying down the debt, supporting your family, living. Yeah. What are other goals that, you know, you’re trying to meet with this money? 

Erin [00:07:55] We are building a home. We do have money set aside for that. But still, it would be nice to be able to provide more improvements because we’ve got goals of like, you know, we can do this step for now and then maybe in a few years we’ll add this other addition or this. 

Linzy [00:08:13] Right. 

Erin [00:08:14] I would really like to be able to contribute. Oh, like a pool, for example. 

Linzy [00:08:18] Yes. 

Erin [00:08:19] Okay. You know. Yeah. And I know that’s first world problems, but I’ve got three boys and they would love a pool. 

Linzy [00:08:25] Absolutely. 

Erin [00:08:26] Adults by the time I can. 

Linzy [00:08:28] Yeah I know. Yeah. It’s like that. And this is one of the things about having kids. And I see this too, is it’s like you’re at a stage of your career where you’re often still building and you’re paying down debt, but it’s like, this is your kid’s childhood now, right? They’re not gonna appreciate the pool so much when they’re 25. And you’re like, well, but we paid down all the debt and now we have a pool. Come over. And they’re gonna be like, mom, I’m an adult. I’ve got a life. A pool for a seven year old is Paradise. 

Erin [00:08:49] Exactly. Yeah. Okay. 

Linzy [00:08:50] Okay, good. Okay. So with these different jobs that your money has to do, I’m hearing there’s the debt paydown. And there’s emotional weight around that debt. 

Erin [00:08:58] Absolutely. 

Linzy [00:08:59] There’s just your regular living supporting your family. Are you still the sole breadwinner of your family? 

Erin [00:09:04] Yes. Okay. My husband is primarily building the house like his full time project. 

Linzy [00:09:10] Right. So his job for your family is to build this house, which I’m sure is saving you a lot of money because contractors are very expensive. Yeah. So. Yeah, but that means that kind of his contribution to the family right now is in his labor and skills. He’s not bringing money in that you can turn into something else. 

Erin [00:09:24] Sort of. I will preface that and say that he is a veteran. And so we do. 

Linzy [00:09:30] Okay. 

Erin [00:09:30] There’s military benefit. 

Linzy [00:09:32] Great. Okay. So there is some income coming in for him. 

Erin [00:09:34] Yes. 

Linzy [00:09:35] Right. Okay. And then this ongoing project of building a home, you would like it to be more than, right now, the budget would allow. Like it’d be nice to add those things now. 

Erin [00:09:44] Right, right. Yes. All of my boys are in competitive sports. And so every time you turn around, they need a new bat or a uniform. 

Linzy [00:09:52] 100%, yes. My joke with my son. I have one son. And my joke, we’re Canadian, is that I just don’t want him to know that hockey exists. Like, I just want it to, like, never be on his radar. Because if he discovers hockey and if he’s good at hockey, that’s all my life and my weekends and my money for the next, like, 15 years. Yeah. So yes, it can be a big outlay. And similarly to what we’re talking about before though, like this is their one and only childhood, it sounds like this is something that’s important to you, right. Is having them have these experiences. So this is an important expense for your family right. Okay. So let’s zoom out then on numbers. And you had mentioned profit first. And I love that you mentioned that because I think that’s actually going to be a. A really good tool for us to use, to give you perspective, because what I’m hearing is there’s these competing priorities. All these things are important in their own way, right? There’s an emotional weight around the debt, which is going to have its own kind of urgency to wanting to get rid of that. But there’s only so much money coming in. Right. And you are the income earner for your family with your husband’s veteran benefits as well. 

Erin [00:10:50] Right, exactly. And I am trying to give myself grace and compassion and patience. We are as new business owners- because essentially I’m revamping this private practice. We all experience some level of expense upfront. So it’s technically like this is another do over because first time in my private practice, it was a slow transition of trading off. Let me do this warm handoff of my private practice slowly and then I’ll leave my group practice. But this time around it wasn’t. I mean, night and day like, oh no, I can’t go to work tomorrow. What am I going to do next?  

Linzy [00:11:31] There’s kind of the the parachute version of entering private practice where you’re leaving something and you have a parachute to ease you down. And then there’s the cliff diving version, which is what you’ve had to do. You got pushed off the cliff. I personally start businesses by jumping off cliffs. That’s how I make myself do things. But you got pushed off a cliff and now here you are. You have to make it work. Okay? Yes. So with your numbers, Erin, do you have some numbers that we could talk about to really ground in what’s happening right now financially? 

Erin [00:11:57] Yes. Beautiful. All right. My private practice fee calculator. And what’s funny is sometimes I’ll really go big with the numbers of like. Yes, this is what I would love to invest in our home improvement. And then I’m like, oh no, that’s going to raise my fee by $40. Like I can’t do that. 

Linzy [00:12:18] Yes. So like you look at what the implications of that would be. And it’s like no, no, no. 

Erin [00:12:21] Yes. And the scary part too, Linzy, is that what if I raise my fee and nobody comes? 

Linzy [00:12:29] Yes. Yeah, absolutely. There’s two ways to think about this. And we’re going to ground in your numbers, because I want to really start to get clear on what your money can be doing for you right now and what it is doing for you right now. Right. And then we can think about what needs to change. There is that question and there’s a couple different philosophies about, you know, fees and premium fees. The one philosophy is like if you build it, they will come, right? Like if you really own your niche and if you’re really clear about the value of what you do, and if you speak directly to your ideal client, you will find those folks even in your county, right? Because you don’t need 4000 clients, you need 15 or 20, right? 

Erin [00:13:03] Yes. 

Linzy [00:13:04] So there is that. There’s that approach, right, of just like really leaning in and owning your niche. And that’s what coaches like Tiffany McLain will teach you to do. Right? Which is just like own it, right. Be bold. You know, lots people are going to say no, but you’re going to figure out who says yes, and you’re going to be able to keep refining your messaging to find those folks who say yes, right, by owning your fee. That’s one philosophy. The other philosophy is kind of like reading the room of like, okay, I don’t live in San Francisco. You know, I live in a small town, North Carolina. You know, there isn’t tech money here. So let’s think about what is reasonable to keep a full caseload. Right. And generally speaking, I mean, my approach to life and money in general, Erin, is like, I think the truth is in the middle there somewhere, right? Of like, you probably can’t charge $500 an hour living where you are. There’s probably only 2 or 3 doctors who could, like, sustain your caseload or be part of your caseload that way. But you might be able to charge more than 135. But part of it is getting us grounded in like, what do you actually need? Right? And what’s even possible with the numbers right now? Because when we have this emotional weight around debt as well, that can make that feel really urgent and important. And sometimes we can over prioritize that because we want it to go away because of like shame and like negative stories or negative memories associated with it. We want to like close that chapter, but that’s not always strategic. So I want to think about that too, as we look at your numbers. Okay. Is like, how does that fit into this equation and how important is it compared to the pool or your kids sports or going out for dinner on Fridays? 

Erin [00:14:31] All of those points are so true, because every time I look at my credit card statement, I think, oh, I can’t wait to get rid of this. And then I go through the negative self-talk of I must not be doing enough. And then, it’s yes, a very frequent debate of what can I do now? The beautiful thing is, I started my own podcast back in December and that topic is on OCD. Aisha Shabazz has been really good with the business coaching and help helping my niche down to be an OCD specialist, and I love working with OCD and with that podcast it was amazing. After only three published episodes I got a sponsorship. 

Linzy [00:15:20] Amazing. So there’s that other stream of income then as well. 

Erin [00:15:23] Yes. With that yeah. Took a huge weight off my shoulders. 

Linzy [00:15:27] Yes. Yes. Beautiful. Yeah. And I think that’s one of those things I love hearing that that is already come for you, Erin, because that’s also something that a lot of therapists, I think fantasize about or talk about, like, what else can I do besides therapy? How else do I bring in money, can I coach? And so that’s really nice that you have that extra stream of income coming in. 

Erin [00:15:45] Yes. It’s like a side hustle that aligns with the work I’m already doing. 

Linzy [00:15:49] Yes, yes. Which is beautiful. Creating that kind of ecosystem is really strategic, right. Because that side hustle is really about what you’re doing. But it’s fun and it’s different. It’s not just therapy, but then it’s also helping folks find you and get into your therapy practice. If they live in North Carolina or wherever you’re licensed. 

Erin [00:16:05] Right? 

Linzy [00:16:05] Yeah. So what I want to do together now is look at your numbers from a zoomed out perspective. Right. Because when we have all these competing priorities and all these obligations around our money, it can be really easy to get kind of caught in the weeds and overwhelmed by what we put where. What we’re going to do together now is I’m going to walk us through a profit first calculator. So this is something I often do with folks inside Money Skills for Therapists during their one on one. Actually, often this is a conversation I have with folks, is looking at your numbers and zooming out together to see, okay, with the numbers as they are right now, what is possible? Like where are the obligations and where are the possibilities? So I’m going to share my screen with you, and we’re going to look at your numbers through this lens. And this tool I will share with you after. So you will have it. 

Erin [00:16:48] Thank you. 

Linzy [00:16:49] You’re welcome. So this is your calculator and we’re going to play with it. And what this is doing here, Erin, is it’s letting us zoom out on your numbers. So I’m going to zoom in first so you can see them better. Zoom in so we can zoom out. There we go. So this is a calculator that helps you see, based on how you set your profit first percentages, based on the big picture priorities that you set for your money, what that money would look like on a monthly basis. So we’re zooming out of the weekly. We’re like getting out of like the good versus the bad weeks, those ups and downs that can be really distracting and confusing and thinking about what is normal, right. What is normal with, you had a great week, but then the next week your kids were sick and you’re off for two days, right? Like just evening those things out. So looking at your year, whether you use Simple Practice or whatever, do you have some numbers that we can look at to figure out what’s average for you? What is a normal month? I’m looking at your your income numbers for your practice. 

Erin [00:17:47] Sure. Right now I would say on average – and things are still building and growing. What I would say about the past three months, my simple practice income has shown $3,000 a month. 

Linzy [00:18:03] Okay, so $3,000 comes in the door in the top. 

Erin [00:18:07] Yes, on average. Now this month might be 4000.  

Linzy [00:18:11] Because you’re still growing. Yes, yes. And to give me a sense of like what is your caseload right now? How many folks a week are you seeing right now? 

Erin [00:18:19] I’m seeing ten a week. And my goal is 15. So I’m very proud of myself. I’m way ahead of my yeah, I thought I wouldn’t be able until a year out. And I’m since I started working with Aisha, really niche down I would say I’m still less than six months. So it’s beautiful. Great. 

Linzy [00:18:39] Yeah. You are on the right road. You see it’s working there. Is that part of the beginning where patience is part of the equation, right, of like it takes a while for people to find you. I’m sure that right now there are 5 or 6 people who have found you and they’re contemplating reaching out, or they’re talking to their partner about whether they have the money for it. But it takes some time, right, for folks to actually, like, get in the door, stay. Yes. So right now then we’re looking at 3000 and that’s with your ten a week. So if you are at 15 a week I would estimate then it’d be about 4500 right. It’d be 50% higher would be what your revenue would become. 

Erin [00:19:14] That sounds about right. 

Linzy [00:19:15] And I’m just saying that number because off the top, I know that 3000 is not going to be able to go very far for you. So. Right. We’re going to look at 3000 quickly. But I think given that you’re in this growth stage, we know that you need to grow. That’s a given. Right. Like we know that for your family’s needs, ten clients a week is not going to be enough. So we know that 15 is where you need to go or want to go and and where you need to go, right. So I want to look at 3000 really quickly just to see your current state. But I think we’ll actually play with that 15 a week because that’s a very realistic goal. And it sounds like you’re well on your way to that goal. 

Erin [00:19:49] Thank you. Yes. And with the clients too. You know, we start out meeting every week. And then as their symptoms improve we go to another week. And so that fluctuates with, you know, income and whatnot. But yeah in doing just a quick calculation, if I saw 15 people at a rate of 135 for four weeks. Yeah, that would be a little bit over 8000. 

Linzy [00:20:12] Oh okay. There you go. So we’re looking at much more then. So 8000. So if we do that math like yeah let’s play with these these possibility numbers. Because that’s really I think where we need to go for you. So 8000 a month would be if you’re seeing for a week totally full, but you don’t work 52 weeks a year. You have vacation, you have three kids. If your kids are anything like my kid, they are sick a lot. They bring home all the germs. Thinking about the big, big picture, let’s zoom out to a whole year right now. How many weeks a year do you want to work and do you actually work? There’s two weeks of of like just statutory holidays. I’ll say that just between like Christmas and MLK day and those days. So thinking about your big picture, how much time do you actually not work because of sick time, holidays and vacation. 

Erin [00:20:57] Or my ideal schedule? I would love to take six weeks off in the year because part of that too is with my boys sports. We go out of town. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:21:08] That travel. Yes. And that’s important. Okay, so if I put – I’m just going to kind of like zoom us out to like if you worked every single day and you saw all the clients you want to see, at your rate, you would be looking at $96,000 a year if you never took a day off. We know that we want you to work 46 weeks a year, because we want you to take six weeks off. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to do the math to bring that down. So that brings us to 84,000 a year. 84,923 is kind of like your reasonable number. If you’re full when you’re working or you average out to full, because some weeks maybe you see 18 clients, the next week you see 13. If we average out to 15 and you take six weeks off, we’re looking at 84,923 for the year. 

Erin [00:21:50] Yes. And that matches with what I have on this spread. Awesome. 

Linzy [00:21:54] Okay. So you’ve got that projection already. Beautiful. I’m going to break that down now into month. And that’s going to be 7076. So that’s what I’m going to put in the top of your profit first calculator here as your monthly revenue would be 7076. So now we’re just going to do a gut check on these numbers Erin. So for folks who are listening they obviously can’t see you because this is a podcast. But we have a calculator we’re looking at and it’s got the different categories of profit first, which is like profit, taxes, salary, operating expenses, and then we’ve got a big goal category, which is one that I always include, which is not part of core profit first, but I think is core. So we’re going to just look at the percentages and see what they mean for your numbers in this. Okay. So these are the default numbers. And we’re going to start with operating expenses because that is a different kind of number. That’s a number that you don’t pay taxes on. So we treat it a little differently. So right now if you were bringing in $7,076 on average, and we had your expenses at 30%, which is like the standard that Mike Michalowicz suggests, you would be at $2,122 a month to run your practice. How does that number land with you? 

Erin [00:22:59] That sounds very spot on, because that’s essentially where I’m at between paying for, you know, podcasting expenses, coaching, the email newsletter, the EHR, all the things, and rent office, everything adds up so quickly. 

Linzy [00:23:15] Yes it does. Okay. Yeah. Right. So that actually is what you need. So once you get to your cruising altitude that 30% operating expenses is going to cover what you need. So that’s great. You know, I would almost suggest you might want to think about it being a little bit higher. If that’s where you are now. There might be some extra expenses that come when you’re a bit busier. But for now, we’re just going to like be like, okay, we’re just gonna accept that as a gift. 

Erin [00:23:37] But that is true because it would be lovely to hire like a virtual assistant, for example. 

Linzy [00:23:44] Yes. Let’s kind of like bookmark that and look at your other numbers first and then see later if that feels like a priority compared to your paycheck. So right now with these numbers, the way that they are, Erin, your salary at 50% gives you take home cash pay – this is cash going home to you – of about $3,500 a month. So 3538 how does that number land for you? 

Erin [00:24:06] That would be lovely. 

Linzy [00:24:07] Okay, okay. So that’s a happy number. 

Erin [00:24:09] Yes. I mean, our goal is to be living simply. So our goal is to live simply. But at the same time like of course if there is more profit coming in that’s great. But so with this salary, is this also covering personal profit or is this. Do you know what I mean? 

Linzy [00:24:31] Yeah I do, so personal profit. Do you mean like extra money coming in? Like tell me more about that.  

Erin [00:24:39] On my spreadsheet. I have a monthly budget need of about $4,900. 

Linzy [00:24:47] Okay, 4900. And that 4900. Tell me what jobs that 4900 does for your household. 

Erin [00:24:52] Okay. That will cover my business expenses plus personal expenses that I have. Guesstimate it at a minimum. Let’s say. Okay. 

Linzy [00:25:02] So that also covers your business expenses. 

Erin [00:25:04] Yes. 

Linzy [00:25:05] So that that number there actually is going to include these operating expenses then. Is that right. Because that’s the money to run your business. 

Erin [00:25:12] Oh true. 

Linzy [00:25:13] Yeah. Now we’ve separated those things out. And this is one of the nice things about profit first right. Is it’s really clarifying that it’s like 2000 is for your business. This is actually just cash going home. Taxes we’re going to talk about in a minute. So this is just cash paycheck which you could pay yourself $3,500 once a month. You could pay yourself half of that twice a month. Like you get to divvy it out how you want. But this is like a sustainable number once you get to this cruising altitude that we’re talking about. 

Erin [00:25:37] Wonderful. That’s that would absolutely cover my needs and some. 

Linzy [00:25:42] Beautiful because then the other pieces here, Erin, that we always want to look at with profit first is taxes. So the taxes here, this is kind of like a side quest for you. This is some homework I’m going to give you. Is to look at you and your husband’s combined tax rate as a couple, based on what you plan to earn and what he earns from his veterans benefits. Looking at your your city and your state, you can just find online tax calculators that will do this. If you just look up tax calculator, how much will you to owe together? And what you want to look for is your effective tax rate. So that’s your average tax rate that you’re going to owe as a couple. There’s a bit of extra taxes that you will also as a self-employed person. And I have a tool for that. There’s a workshop that I have that I can link in the show notes for this episode, which walks you through how to save for taxes, like looking at your tax rate with your self-employment taxes, because those are an extra 7.5%, and making sure that between you and your husband, you’ve got it covered, right? So that’s kind of an extra side quest that you could do. What we want to make sure is that you’re just covering the amount of taxes that you are going to owe based on you and your husband filing together, because as Americans, the default is that you file jointly and you have a shared income tax rate that you have to pay. 

Erin [00:26:50] Yes. Now his military benefits are tax exempt, which is beautiful. 

Linzy [00:26:55] That is beautiful. 

Erin [00:26:56] But still with the self-employed taxes. Yes. That’s something that has been another learning curve because I can’t afford an accountant anymore like I used to. 

Linzy [00:27:06] Okay, that puts my brain off in all other directions. I do think an accountant is a worthwhile investment. I will say that. So we’re not going to go too deep into that. But I will say like that, that language of like, I can’t afford it. A decent accountant will save you much more than their fees in tax savings. Okay? Right. Because they know the rules. They love the rules. They know the new IRS benefit that’s come out that most of us don’t know about yet. And so I would you know, I’d like to challenge that as maybe a limiting story that you can’t afford an accountant. I think an accountant, any accountant who is decent, is going to make you back their fee in savings. They’re going to find you that you would not find for yourself. Okay. And then, you know you’re compliant. Yes. And it’s all done properly. 

Erin [00:27:46] Yes, I’m definitely open to that. And that’s part of the reason why I’m here today, because I do get tunnel vision with some of these obstacles. 

Linzy [00:27:55] Yes, yes, we all do. We all do. This is why we need other humans in our lives. Okay, so this tax amount then what I will tell you is that the default tax about for profit first is 15%. That’s like a really low number. It’s probably less than you need to say for your tax rate. But that’s because profit first taxes apply to all the money coming in the door. Right. We’re setting aside 15% of all of the 7000 that comes in the door, but you’re actually spending 2000 of that to run your business. Right. So that’s why it’s a lower number. You can look into, once you figure out your tax rate, modifying it to fit into profit first, we just like apply the tax rate to what’s left for you. So you’re going to take your tax rate. Let’s say you figure out your tax rate is 20%. And it might be quite low actually in North Carolina. I’m not sure of North Carolina’s tax situation, but I don’t consider it a high tax state. It doesn’t bring my brain that way. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take the number that’s left. So you’re actually living off 70% of what comes in the business. You’re going to take the number 70 and multiply that by your tax rate. And that’s what we’re going to put in this profit first box. And since this is recording you can go back and listen to it when your podcast comes out later to guide you in that process to double check your numbers. But this 15% assumes a tax rate of about 20%, income tax about 20%, which for many people covers your needs. Especially since you have kids, you’re going to also qualify for certain benefits from the government, like there’s certain exemptions that we all qualify for. I’m going to just move forward right now, assuming that this 15% is like accurate enough that we can still play with these numbers. 

Erin [00:29:21] Okay. 

Linzy [00:29:21] Beautiful. So that would mean each month that Erin, you’re putting aside just over $1,000 for taxes as part of this equation. And then this top bit here is profit. Are you familiar with that concept from Profit First? 

Erin [00:29:33] Not really. So it’s very helpful to get this one on one feedback. 

Linzy [00:29:38] So the profit first, the concept of profit first is that most businesses the way that Mike Michalowicz puts it is they’re like money eating machines. It’s so easy for us to spend money in our businesses. And I see it for myself too. Like I’m so much faster to like, buy my team lunch out of the business and be like, oh, it was only $77. If I spent $77 on lunch out of my own budget, I’m like, oh, was that worth it? Right. It’s so easy to spend out of the business. And so the concept of profit first is we want to make sure that there’s always profit in the business. There’s extra money. And in a therapy world, you know, profit can be a dirty word, because we’re supposed to be serving people and whatever. But the way that I’ve really started to think about profit over, like, the last few years of working with therapists is profit is is your oxygen. And that’s Julie Herres’s phrase that I learned from Julie Herres, who wrote Profit First for Therapists, which I recommend, that just came out last spring. Profit is your oxygen. That’s that extra money we were talking about in your business, right? That’s the money that’s there if things go sideways, right, that’s that extra. Now, the way that I tend to teach is the profit in profit first, though, as long as you’re saving money in other places and you’re starting to build up some extra operating expense money, you’re building up some extra paycheck money, which is what I teach in Money Skills for Therapists. I teach systems to do that. Then you can actually just take all your profit. It’s going to be your reward money. It’s going to be your extra bonus money. Right. So in your case right now this is a monthly number. So it’s a 350 a month you could take for profit. You take it quarterly to reward yourself for taking risks and running a business. Right. And like doing all these hard things that you’re doing. How does that number land with you? 

Erin [00:31:20] That sounds amazing. 

Linzy [00:31:22] Okay, great. So that I’m seeing all these numbers are making your body happy, which I like. 

Erin [00:31:26] Yes. And I agree with how profit can feel like oxygen because I can imagine myself once I am in the space where am I doing this budget rework and moving my money differently will help me feel like I have that breathing room, because right now it does not feel that way. 

Linzy [00:31:45] Yes, yes. And this is where this perspective helps, right? Like when we zoom out, it’s like, okay, when you get where you want to be, which you’re not very far from that place. All these things are immediately possible, right? But part of it is we need to make the decision to make them happen, right? Because the human tendency is that we are going to either kind of spend blindly or we’re going to hold onto the money not knowing where to put it, or we’re going to put it where there’s pain. But that’s not actually what’s going to make our life better. Right? So this is why we’re we’re doing this big picture work now and zooming out before you’re even in this position of having this money. 

Erin [00:32:19] Yes. And I definitely fall into the category of putting too much money towards my pain. 

Linzy [00:32:24] Yes. Yeah. And we do that. We all do that as humans, right? It’s like your, the feeling lonely or sad. One night you’re scrolling through Instagram, you see something shiny, you buy it because it makes you feel better for literally three minutes. That’s what we do as humans, right? As we try to find the root out of our pain. But that doesn’t actually necessarily give us long term relief or long term joy or connection and the things that actually make life better. What I’m hearing is these numbers are sitting nicely with you. There’s one more piece, though, that’s not on this calculator yet, which is debt. Debt repayment. 

Erin [00:32:53] Right. 

Linzy [00:32:54] So thinking about debt, there’s a couple places here that you have opportunity then to service this debt. We have this profit money which is like 350 a month. And we also have your salary, your street cash coming home, which is about 3500 a month. We’re going to play now. So I’m going to add debt to your bottom line here. I’m going to change this big goals line on our calculator to credit card debt. 

Erin [00:33:15] Yes. 

Linzy [00:33:16] And now we’re just going to be curious about taking money from somewhere else. Because right now this adds up to 100%. Okay. We’re going to reassign some jobs from some of these dollars. So where could you see a number be a little bit lower, so we could put money towards your credit card debt. 

Erin [00:33:29] Well I guess it would have to either come from the profit or the salary category. 

Linzy [00:33:36] And if you think about your paycheck coming home being a little bit less, what number would still be a number that feels like enough? 

Erin [00:33:42] Could we try 45%? 

Linzy [00:33:45] Absolutely. So if we make that salary 45 now it’s 3184. 

Erin [00:33:49] Okay. 

Linzy [00:33:50] Yeah. How does that sit? 

Erin [00:33:52] That still covers me. Beautiful. Okay. 

Linzy [00:33:54] And then if we move that 5% over into credit card debt, then you’re putting 353 a month towards credit card debt. How does that sit with you?  

Erin [00:34:03] Yeah. Right now I’ve really been pouring all the extra into the credit card. 

Linzy [00:34:08] I hear that, I hear that, yeah. 

Erin [00:34:10] Yeah. And my goal is to be debt free by the end of the year. 

Linzy [00:34:14] Okay. So your goal is debt free by the end of the year. That credit card remind me the balance. 

Erin [00:34:18] Mmmmmm. 

Linzy [00:34:20] I know, it’s an icky number. 

Erin [00:34:22] Yeah. Okay. Well, yeah. All the debts, the credit card debt is 20,000.  

Linzy [00:34:28] I did know that number. I had just written that number down, so 20,000. Okay. And that’s a really good number for us to know, because if you want to pay that number, I’m going to do some quick math just on the principle on that number. So just paying down the main amount without considering the fact that there’s interest every month to pay down $20,000 in 12 months, you’d have to put $1,066 a month before any interest has been added. Right. So we’re probably looking we can look at a calculator together if you want, but we’re probably looking more at like 2000 a month. 

Erin [00:35:02] Yeah. So then do I need to reconsider spacing that out more. Because again, like you were saying earlier, my kids are only young once. Yes, exactly. And they can’t. Yes. Like debt does not feel good. But my kids are not going to know the difference if that credit card is paid off or not. 

Linzy [00:35:22] Exactly. 

Erin [00:35:23] What they’re going to see is if I’m present with them, if we’re doing things together and I can’t. It has been such a struggle. The more I really think about it, because sometimes I do try to step away and I think I can’t continue to look at the balance like just transfer the money, pay it, walk away. 

Linzy [00:35:44] Exactly. So we’re going to take a quick look. Now I’ve just done a really quick search for credit card pay down calculator. There’s dozens of these. Most of them are websites that are selling you something. So they’re going to say and at the end debt consolidation or like join our bank. So that’s fine. We can ignore those parts because that’s not what we’re looking for. But this what I find is really helpful, Erin is like, let’s talk about real numbers, right? Like what is the actual cost of debt? Because debt is just an expense, right? It’s money that you took on. You had to cover this unexpected loss of income that happened. Right? You didn’t have just like $50,000 sitting around to cover your life for X amount of time. And so you took on debt. Debt can be part of a strategic way of managing our money. Okay. Right. If we take out those negative stories, if we take out or that I should have or I failed or make it a symbol of this bad time, if we can remove those things, it’s just another financial decision to make alongside all your other financial decisions around where money’s going to serve you best in your life. 

Erin [00:36:44] Right? Right. 

Linzy [00:36:45] So your credit card interest rate, do you have a guess or do you know your interest rate? 

Erin [00:36:50] It’s 18.15. 

Linzy [00:36:52] Yeah, that’s pretty standard okay. And right now, let’s put this down here. Desired months to pay off. This will give us that real number that we were just talking about. 

Erin [00:37:01] Okay. 

Linzy [00:37:01] If you want to pay it off in 12 months. So a year from now, I’m going to calculate you would have to make a monthly payment of 1835. Okay. And the total interest that you would pay is $2,000 for that whole year. Like that’s how much it would cost you to have held that debt for a year. Okay. Right. $2,000 on 20,000. So it’s kind of like each month. Then you’re paying $166 of interest on this pay down plan. Right. So that’s what we’re talking about is like we’re talking about making a plan that, you know, the kind of amount we’re talking about is $166 a month. Let’s just be curious about extending that timeline. Maybe this is not the most important thing in your life. 

Erin [00:37:43] Okay. 

Linzy [00:37:44] What would be another timeline that could sit nicely with you on how long you want to take to pay off this card? 

Erin [00:37:51] Can we try two years and do 24 months? 

Linzy [00:37:54] 24 months? Let’s do it. So now you’re looking at a payment of $1,000 a month, and you’re paying about double the interest. So your interest per month is 398 for that whole two years. If I divide that out by 24, you’re still paying 166 a month in interest. You’re just paying it for longer. 

Erin [00:38:12] Right? Well, I’m going to be making more money. Yeah, hopefully the longer I do this. 

Linzy [00:38:18] You are. Yep. So if we think about this like we are talking about $166 of interest a month that it’s costing you to hold this debt on average, that money, that number is going to get smaller and smaller as the debt goes down. But I’m just kind of averaging it. Right. So if we think about that, that over the whole life of your 24 months of credit card debt, it’s 166 a month. How heavy is the number 166 a month compared to the other things in your life? 

Erin [00:38:44] When you break it down like that, it doesn’t feel so heavy because that essentially is only one session a month. One hour. 

Linzy [00:38:52] 100%. So like one hour and like, I don’t know, maybe 20 minutes of your time using your expertise is covering the expense of carrying this debt. 

Erin [00:39:02] Wow. 

Linzy [00:39:03] What do you notice about that? 

Erin [00:39:05] I just feel a huge weight lifted off because I have just been so caught up in. I’ve got to get rid of this. I’ve got to get rid of this. And then to think, what am I doing? Like, it’s. Yes, I want to pay more than just the interest, pay down on the principle. But I just have other important things in my life that are a priority besides credit card interest. 

Linzy [00:39:27] Exactly. So, you know, if we think about this now, coming back to your profit first calculator, now you can put this in perspective with your other numbers, right, of like what is that timeline? I will I will share with you that I have debt associated with a backyard cottage, we built a cottage that’s our second business. So we built a cottage in our backyard. We rent to students. We’ve created like beautiful, safe housing in our community where housing is low. That is a big investment. When you’re talking about building earlier, like your husband building the house. The other thing comes to mind to me is there’s it’s always way more money than you think. Oh, it’s construction, right. So there was a big cost overages. And those cost overages mean that on top of the mortgage that we took out planning to, there’s an extra $35,000 of debt on a line of credit, right. That could cause me a lot of pain if I want to be like, oh, you know, like we weren’t told about the contractor, about that sewage. And this is the extra, like, money that it cost because people made mistakes. Like that could be really loaded money for me. Right? If I lean into that side of the story. But if I look at the other side of the story that it’s like we built this beautiful thing, right? It’s doing exactly what we want it to do. We have two wonderful students who are so conscientious and kind, who have a beautiful place to live. They literally are occupying a part of our backyard that we didn’t use. And now it’s productive, beautiful housing, you know, where they’re living out their their years as university students. When I talk about it like that and I think about like, okay, you know, at this rate we’re paying it down in four years. There’s no pain there. I actually feel really like my body feels light and excited by us doing that. That’s wonderful. Right. So it’s a different it’s it’s the same number. It’s still like going to take time to pay it down. It’s still costing me money. But I’m leaning into the other side of the story. So you know, as I’m, you know, we’re thinking about your debt, it’s like, yeah, what side of the story do you want to lean into? And what is important compared to paying down this debt. 

Erin [00:41:18] Right. Yeah. And what’s important is my family and using this money for my family, not just over focusing on the business credit card interest. 100%. 

Linzy [00:41:32] Yes. So when we look at this, then you know your profit first numbers. This is where now that we can put that in perspective, the debt right now with this 5% towards debt, it’d be 353 a month. So it’d be longer than that two year pay down period. This probably would put you more like a four year pay down period. 

Erin [00:41:48] Okay. 

Linzy [00:41:48] Is there anywhere else in here that you would want to see where you see wiggle that you’d like to see money go to the credit card instead? Or did these numbers feel good enough? 

Erin [00:41:59] I feel like right now where I am right now, currently in my life, the numbers work and perhaps I can be flexible. And once the home is built and we’re solid on all of the projects, then I can shift again. 

Linzy [00:42:17] Yes. Yes. Okay. So these numbers work for where you are. And they work for your current priorities in this specific chapter of life that you’re in. While your boys are young and you’re building this home for your family. 

Erin [00:42:30] Right? Right. And it will be gone one day. I don’t need to rush into it or force it at the expense of investing in my family. 

Linzy [00:42:42] Absolutely. Absolutely. So, Erin, what are you taking away from this conversation today? 

Erin [00:42:48] I feel so much better. Linzy. 

Linzy [00:42:52] Good. 

Erin [00:42:52] I sincerely appreciate this opportunity to talk to you, because you don’t get this kind of advice or expertise or perspective. It’s one of also my takeaways is that my credit card debt and interest is not the end of the world. I really need to, again, just like my values based practice, I really need to lean into my values and have my money match those values. 

Linzy [00:43:19] Absolutely. Yeah, and what I’m seeing, too, with your numbers, is you’re on track to get to a great place, even without changing your fee. Right. So this is your fee as it is. Right. And we started with that as part of the conversation is like you’re in a smaller place. Yeah. What is that emotion you’re showing on your face right now? 

Erin [00:43:35] Wow. That is incredible. I love I love that I don’t have to change my fee and that it is truly going to work for me. 

Linzy [00:43:45] Yes. Like the way that these numbers look right now, you just keep doing what you’re doing. Get up to this 15 a week, have that podcast help folks find you. We didn’t count your sponsorship money in these numbers either. 

Erin [00:43:58] That’s true. 

Linzy [00:43:58] So there’s a little extra there. So I’m going to give you this calculator. You can keep playing with it. Keep being curious. Add those sponsorship numbers see what’s possible. But what I’m seeing is like keep doing what you’re doing. You’re on a great track. 

Erin [00:44:09] This is wonderful, Linzy I really appreciate this. 

Linzy [00:44:12] Thank you so much, Erin, for coming on the podcast. I’m so grateful to Erin and to all of the therapists who come onto this podcast for coaching, for sharing their stories and their numbers. It’s so vulnerable. And I said that to Erin at the beginning of our recording. It’s such a vulnerable thing to do, to come on a podcast and talk about not only your personal anxieties and fears and where you are in your business, but your actual numbers. And so I’m so grateful to Erin for coming on and sharing her numbers fully, so we could actually really dig in and understand what’s happening. And in her case, see that she’s actually going to be fine. She’s in a good position and she just needs to keep doing exactly what she’s doing. And that piece about the debt. I’m really grateful that that came up today, because I was actually just thinking about it this morning before I recorded with Erin. Of conversations that I have with students inside Money Skills for Therapists about debt, and the stories and meanings that we attach to debt, and how much charge that can create around debt, and how that can make it feel so financially urgent when it isn’t necessarily going to actually be your top priority based on what else is happening in your life. So with Erin having her, her three boys and the age that they are and building a home and like basically, you know, managing their childhoods, creating a childhood for them, that in the end is actually more important to her than paying down that credit card debt and having clarity around that. In this case, it like, set her free. You know, like her, her body language at the end was so excited and relieved. And so it’s really important for all of us to think about debt. And how important is paying down that debt compared to the other things in your life? It’s one of many priorities. It is not the most important thing. 

If you want to get more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at Money Nuts and Bolts. And I want to share about that workshop that I mentioned to Erin, which is the taxes workshop. It’s called Setting Enough Aside for taxes in five Easy Steps in this free workshop. You learn the real steps to make sure that your taxes are totally taken care of. You’re going to learn what mistakes to avoid when setting aside taxes for your private practice. And you’re going to learn how to use a simple and pretty tool that will tell you exactly how much to put aside to cover your own taxes each year. So I’m going to put a link to that workshop in the show notes. It’s a video and a tool to walk you through that process to get clear on your own taxes, making sure that you are setting enough aside that it’s never going to be a problem for you. Thank you so much for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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How Offering Internships Can Support Your Private Practice with Rachel Dorneanu

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How Offering Internships Can Support Your Private Practice with Rachel Dorneanu

How Offering Internships Can Support Your Private Practice with Rachel Dorneanu Cover Image

“It’s been such a wonderful experience of having these young, fresh minds that are tickled to be doing this. It’s been really rewarding for them of getting the experience and asking me things, but also for me of getting their perspective on marketing and on what’s going on in TikTok-land and everything else that is just way over my head.” 

~Rachel Dorneanu

Meet Rachel Dorneanu

Rachel Dorneanu LPC NCC is a licensed therapist and therapist mentor. She helps students feel calm and collected in applying to grad school to become therapists. She helps new therapists build confidence while building their business and caseloads. She helps seasoned therapists hire interns to find balance in their lives again. Her mentees appreciate her humor and straightforward approach. They like that she meets them where they are and work on personalized goals together. She shares tips and tricks to work smarter not harder from her own experiences.

In this Episode...

Have you considered taking on interns in your private practice? Guest Rachel Dorneanu talks with Linzy about the beautiful way that internships can flow for private practitioners. Rachel shares about who would be well-suited to consider taking on interns and who would benefit from finding other kinds of support instead. Rachel talks about how internships can be mutually beneficial for the business owner and for the intern.

Rachel and Linzy dig into what kinds of tasks interns might be able to help do and how those can build skills for the intern and can support the therapist in private practice. Rachel shares about the way that she and her team can help if you are interested in support with finding a good internship match.

Connect with Rachel

Six Weeks Vacation Guide from Linzy

Download our free guide: Six Simple Steps to Six Weeks Vacation. This workbook walks you through, step-by-step, how to make paid time off a regular part of your private practice – and even take some rich, restorative vacation time away too – without breaking the bank or putting it all on credit. It includes a cute little calculator to help you find your own numbers, and a video on how to use it too.

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

Episode Transcript

Rachel [00:00:03] It’s been such a wonderful experience of having these young, fresh minds that are tickled to be doing this. It’s been really rewarding for them of the gained experience and asking me things, but also getting to get their perspective on marketing and what’s going on in TikTok land and everything else. That’s just way over my head. 

 

Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: how can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. Today we have Rachel Dorneanu talking about interns. So bringing interns into your practice. As I mentioned to Rachel, it’s not something that we’ve talked about on this podcast before. It’s not something that we’ve thought about. And the interns that we’re talking about today are not clinical interns, but they are internships from younger people, high schoolers, university, college students who are looking to build their resumes and get experience. And we talk today about how there’s an exchange there that we can make with folks about giving mentorship and guidance and giving young people a taste of private practice and running their own businesses, especially for people who might be interested in going into therapy. You know, so often they get exposure to agency kind of settings. There’s internship opportunities there, but this is a way for young people to get a taste of private practice and to see if that’s the kind of work that they might want to do. We talked today about who should bring on interns in their private practice and who shouldn’t. What kind of person is really set up and in a good position to have interns, and who is definitely not. And also the difference between the interns and virtual assistants. Understanding reasonable expectations, and also what the relationship looks like when you’re bringing on an intern, as opposed to a virtual assistant who is somebody who is running their own business and charging you for the work that they’re doing for you. This is a great conversation for therapists who are thinking about ways to bring more skills into your practice. I recently read a book called Who Not How. That makes the argument that when you have a problem in your business that is not in your zone of genius, not something that you are good at. You should ask yourself who can help you solve this problem? Not how do you solve this problem? And this is very much a who not how approach to things like getting support with social media, website, marketing. If you are looking to bring in some support into your business, and you’re also someone who really enjoys mentorship and having young people in your life, helping people get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the therapy world, there’s going to be lots here for you in this episode. Here’s my conversation with Rachel Dorneanu. So Rachel, welcome to the podcast. 

 

Rachel [00:03:15] Thank you for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:03:16] Yeah, I’m excited to have you here because, well, many reasons. One, we just started chatting and I already like you. Yeah. Two. Talking about interns, which I know is an area that you support therapists with, is something that I know very little about and something we have not talked about on the podcast before. So I’m excited about what I know you’re bringing to us today. 

 

Rachel [00:03:37] Oh I’m pumped. This is gonna be fun. It’s fun to talk to to the therapists. Just be like, oh, that’s an option? Interns? Yes, yes. 

 

Linzy [00:03:47] Okay. Okay. So I would love to hear, like, how did you end up taking this path of working with interns? Because what most folks do is they, you know, work on, like, marketing, trying to fill their practice like they’re really focused on, like, getting folks in the door, getting folks in the door. What made you take the step towards bringing on an intern as a way to increase what was happening in your practice? 

 

Rachel [00:04:09] Oh, gosh. So I’m trying to think, I think it was maybe 2021. So like we’re slowly crawling out of Covid and I was feeling so burned out because I was trying to magically find clients during pandemic world still and market and content plan and do Canva Pro and do all the things. And I was like, you know, I choose to not drown anymore. I can’t do it. And so it was either let me hire somebody and literally pay out the butt, which is an option, or let’s find an intern. And so from there I was like, let me for funsies, let’s see if we can find anybody that’s an undergrad that could be an intern that is even somewhat interested. And then I was overwhelmed with like 30 applications and I was like, oh, okay. So people want to do this unpaid. Great. Let me interview them. And so I ended up having since fall 2021, multiple rounds of interns that have been unpaid but have received – based on their reviews, but also from talking with them – a very helpful opportunity of mentoring for me. So, a therapist in private practice, but also ways to bond with people from around the country because I have interns in different parts of the country. Um, and being able to help them get into grad school, become a therapist, because I help them look at their resumes and CVs and personal statements because I used to work in career services as well. So being able to have that bit, while they helped me is kind of win-win. 

 

Linzy [00:05:44] Mhm. So there’s this like exchange that’s happening there. 

 

Rachel [00:05:47] It’s not like just grunt work of them being like low on the totem pole of like all the horrible stuff. They actually get something out of it. 

 

Linzy [00:05:53] Yes yes yes. And I’m curious. Yeah. So like what is the profile of, you know, these folks who applied for this first position. Like, who are they. And like what’s really in it for them to have this relationship with you?  

 

Rachel [00:06:05] So some of the people that have applied have been, uh, mainly kind of a social sciences psychology major, that kind of thing. Just people that are interested in being therapists one day anyway. But then I’ve also had, depending on the season, I’ve had a social media intern opportunity. And so I have people from communications backgrounds, marketing, PR. One person was computer science and I was like, fantastic. Yes. I want you to look at my website. Thank you. So that went really well. And so the things that they’re looking for, at least from the psych background, people, because I typically, I’m sure, you know, communications, major marketing, they always need some kind of internship anyway. Um, but psychology, they would like us to – I know, I remember from undergrad, uh, it’d be cool if you have a psychology internship when you graduate, right? But there’s so slim of options. Either you’re working a suicide hotline or you’re at a domestic violence shelter. And that’s about all the options you have, at least in Georgia. And then I’m like, you know, why not let somebody have an opportunity to play with private practice and see what the heck is actually going on, but obviously hippa-compliant. But it’s making sure that they have a way to see that it’s actually doable and an option rather than you have to go to community service or state-funded opportunities. 

 

Linzy [00:07:23] Mhm. Right. So you’re letting them to step in and like build their resume and get a taste for this, this certain experience, this private practice experience that most of us came to after going through other steps. First, helping these folks who don’t even- you haven’t even entered into like, any kind of licensure or training yet to like, get a taste for like this is another option for practicing. 

 

Rachel [00:07:46] It’s so fun. And they’re they’re so tickled to have the opportunity to just be like, I talked to a therapist right now for free. Like, keep in mind disclaimer not your therapist. But yeah, let’s talk about the mentoring and the job side and the behind the scenes because no one talks about it. Mhm. 

 

Linzy [00:08:01] You know it’s funny. It makes me think about when I was thinking about my career path, and thinking about going to school for social work. I did information interviews. Maybe I just did one. But yeah, like how impactful it was for me to sit down with somebody. And I sat down with somebody who was like, I think she was an executive director at an organization, and it wasn’t even an organization that was necessarily values aligned for me, but just that she was working with folks, you know, in the way that I wanted to be working with people in the future and like, get to talk to her about what was great about that, what was hard about it. She talked about how like, she didn’t talk about her work to like, friends or family or at parties, like she really had to kind of keep it close to her chest because it’s so heavy and like things that, yeah, I remember being so hungry for that kind of contact and that kind of insight before I headed down a certain road. And I can imagine that for folks who would be interning with you or want to intern, it’s like they’re getting that times 50. 

 

Rachel [00:08:54] Yeah, exactly. It’s a whole semester of informational interviews. 

 

Linzy [00:08:58] Right? Yeah. Yes. So for you, like, as a as a therapist in private practice, what is it like managing these interns, this team of interns that you have had at different times? 

 

Rachel [00:09:09] Uh, I have so many stories. I’ve had some really, truly wonderful experiences. Some that I feel like you’re not allowed to leave. I have to hire you. Mhm. Like, so I now have someone that was a past intern that is now the blog editor. I have someone that was a past intern is now the intern supervisor. And so- which is just super fun. I had a past intern that became a social media manager for a hot minute. And that was- it’s just been so fun to watch their progress and be like, you’re so wonderful, you’re not allowed to leave. How do I keep you? Like, oh, that’s been fantastic. There’s also been some moments of where maybe there were some ghosting or there was maybe a life happened to them kind of moment. I was like, Look, hey, therapist here, completely understand, please go take care of yourself or family, whatever’s going on, I support you, I’m not going to write some horrible letter about you to somebody because you have life happen and as long as you’re honest and willing to communicate with me, you’re solid in my book. So just make sure that any therapists that are looking to hire interns that keep in mind they’re in their 20s, their early 20s, maybe like 18 year old, depending on what’s going on. I’ve had a high school junior reach out. Baby, baby, super precious, and I was like, I’m so sorry, you’re a minor and you’re in another state and that gets parents involved. And that’s complicated. But it’s been such a wonderful experience of having these young, fresh minds – wow I sound old – young, fresh minds that are tickled to be doing this, it’s been really rewarding for them of the gained experience and asking me things, but also love getting to get their perspective on marketing and what’s going on in TikTok land and everything else. That’s just way over my head. Mhm. And you’re like, hey, actually that’s trending. And here’s a site that helps you do all this for free. I said oh yes, yes we want that thing. 

 

Linzy [00:11:05] Totally. Yes. I have had this moment many times over the last couple years where I realize like, oh, I middle age like that happened at some point. I think it happened over Covid. For me, it’s like I went into Covid like pretty young and I came out like middle-aged. So there are all sorts of things that, yeah, like, I don’t know anymore. And I notice, you know, my son is now into, um, YouTube influencers. So it’s like, you know, 20 there’s this one guy he watches especially he’s like a 20-year-old man who’s like, of course, really good at Lego because he’s 20 years old. But when he like he’ll he’ll say words that I literally don’t understand and can only understand like in context and like, yeah, there’s a whole other vernacular happening. There’s like whole other like worlds of references that I just don’t even know what they are anymore. 

 

Rachel [00:11:49] Like, like, What’s Up or Rad or Coolio or any of those words that were like 90s babies. 80s babies. Um, those are done. 

 

Linzy [00:11:59] Don’t say that. Yes, yes. Yeah. And like I have heard colleagues of mine who end up kind of working with therapists who are younger, like a colleague of mine who is a speech language pathologist and helps people build their practice and has found that she’s getting more folks like in their mid 20s. She has a social media manager in their mid 20s because she can’t keep up with memes. Right. And so like there is this like, yeah, a whole world of culture that yeah is happening. And then the generations below us. Well, gosh, I know because what I’m hearing here to like, as you’re talking to this is like what I get from you is really this like passion for relationships and mentorship. Is that fair. 

 

Rachel [00:12:39] A Million percent. 

 

Linzy [00:12:40] To say. Yeah. And that makes me curious. Like as folks are listening, if they’re thinking about it like, oh, I’ve never considered bringing in interns into my own practice. But there’s things like social media or tech or whatever that I could definitely use some support with. Who would you recommend is a natural fit for bringing on interns, and who might not be as happy with bringing an intern into their practice. 

 

Rachel [00:13:04] That is a great, great question. I’m gonna start positive first. So for someone that was. Would really do well with hiring an intern would be somebody that is somewhat, I mean, somewhat similar to me. That is being really excited about mentoring, that I just really like you, that you are just going after you have an hour, uh, information interview in a sense, with somebody like, yes, here’s what’s happened to me. This is mine. This is what you don’t want to do. This is some things that can help you with your resume after you leave me. If that really just, like, gets you going, that’s what you want to do. You want to hire an intern because they are just going to eat it up. I am so grateful. This is a mutual respect, attitude kind of situation for people that it may not be a good fit. If you are stretched too thin, if you are feeling burnout and you’re going to end up having more of a cynical view about the therapy world, trying to talk to an intern about it, please don’t. Let’s do therapy bits first, work through the burnout first, read the Emily Nagasaki book about burnout. 

 

Linzy [00:14:17] Yes. 

 

Rachel [00:14:18] Read that first and then, you know, talk to me and find an intern. But just because we don’t want to burst your bubble, we need so many more therapists in the world. I come from an abundance mindset. We need more therapists. We need different kinds of therapists. 

 

Linzy [00:14:33] Yes. 

 

Rachel [00:14:34] And so if you’re going to come at it from a cynical, I just need you to do the grunt work, I just need to do the social media marketing, the blog post, whatever else, just so I can get more SEO. Probably your better bet is to hire somebody that’s a VA that’s going to easily just take the whole shebang. Knows what they’re doing. And there you go. 

 

Linzy [00:14:53] Right? Yeah. Because there’s an interpersonal exchange here like they’re being paid in relationship by like having that access to you and your brain and your experiences and your mentorship. So what I’m hearing is like if you’re cynical or if you’re done with humans, please don’t do that to somebody. 

 

Rachel [00:15:10] Please don’t. 

 

Linzy [00:15:11] Don’t put that on a young person who’s excited about stepping into our field, which I do think is really helpful because like, if I think about my own experiences with coming up and like interning as a social work student, the therapists who were like had that genuine spark. Like that was really exciting, you know, to see and to learn from them. But like the folks who were like burnt out or cynical like that was not, uh, not very inspiring as a young person coming into the field. And I probably didn’t pick up very much. That was very helpful from them. Yeah. So what I’m hearing then is like, if you are like a people person and if you have something to give because you are you are exchanging mentorship for their help. So you have to make sure that you actually have the bandwidth and the desire to give that mentorship. And I think that’s so important because, I mean, it makes me think about the parallel of group practice, right? So many folks like who are therapists, who are in solo practice, once they get to the certain point of busyness, just think like, well, I’ve got more clients than I can handle. I’m just going to hire somebody else. I’m just going to make a group like it’s this low hanging fruit. And I had a call today with one of my Money Skills for Therapists students. I was like, it’s not that I’m trying to talk you out of starting your practice, but if I do talk you out of starting a group practice, I won’t be sorry because you have to have that spark. Like, you have to be someone who loves to manage other people and who’s there for some of the messiness, who’s maybe ready to be ghosted if somebody like, has a mental health crisis come up and like, you need to have that to give, right, like that solidity and that like love for people. And if you don’t have that, you’re going to hate having group practice. And I would also assume if you’re going to have that, you’re not going to be really good at giving somebody an internship experience. 

 

Rachel [00:16:43] No, no, make sure you’ve you’ve got your whole – I won’t say your head on right, because none of us are really all that, right? But make sure that you’re in a mindset and headspace of this is not only going to just benefit me and my practice, and my brain is going to help this other person. Like you need to have that in goal in mind. Light at the end of the tunnel, that this intern is going to come out so much better from doing this, from hearing my thoughts and my perspective on how things have happened, hearing my story, my journey to becoming a therapist. If that’s not where your brain is, just just wait a little bit. Mhm mhm. 

 

Linzy [00:17:20] Yeah. So if people are listening and they’re like yeah no that’s me, I’m here, I would be really interested in that. Tell me about hiring interns. Like in the place of hiring a VA. Is that something- can one substitute for the other or do you see those as different things? Tell me about that.  

 

Rachel [00:17:41] That’s tough. If you find a unicorn that happens to have all of the VA experience that you want and you can somehow magically not pay them. Personally I’m a little concerned that they’re not advocating for themselves to be paid. 

 

Linzy [00:17:56] Right. 

 

Rachel [00:17:57] You know of now there’s really like I just I have the skill but I don’t have the, the, the background history, the years experience. Yeah, let’s play with it. But most of the time interns come in. And so keep that in mind when you start having applications come in for an internship. Um, they may not have a whole heck of a lot on their resume. Especially if they’re from a psych background. They probably have like, I made a marketing flier for a club in high school. Yeah. It’s like cool. Congrats. Canva is fantastic. That’s a skill. Please use that. Mhm. But it’s very unlikely that they’re going to have this really beautiful VA background. And for you to play with and interview them at like a VA level. Definitely keep that in mind in terms of hiring a VA though. I mean hopefully if you find somebody that’s really trained and knows their stuff, they’re going to be checking in and asking you questions in the interview. I’m going to have the nope, I don’t have any questions, thanks. 

 

Linzy [00:18:56] Yes. Big smile. 

 

Rachel [00:18:57] Like, hey, what’s your brand voice? What are you looking for? Who’s your ideal client? How can I market to them? What kind of CTAs call to action do you want to use? What I look at your feed is all x, y and z. Here’s how I want to write. A VA hopefully is doing that. Interns are like, it looks cool. Thanks for letting me know that that was something you enjoyed looking at, because that means that your demographic, which I actually work with, is enjoying it. Right? But just keeping in mind that that those interviews can be starkly different in terms of. 

 

Linzy [00:19:34] Yes. Yeah, yeah. Like what I’m hearing is with internship, it’s not that you’re getting free skilled labor, it’s that you’re helping someone build skills and build a resume so they can go on, you know, to work in their field of choice. But yeah, you, you are helping someone fill their resume. 

 

Rachel [00:19:49] Mhm. Exactly. Have a very different mindset with that of you may be depending on the intern and who you find, but you may be literally hand-holding and going through like entire intern handbook and outline. And you might be building that with this sweet little intern guinea pig. Um, hey, this is how you do Canva. This is how you make a reel. This is how you find captions and hashtags and Google Trends and Google Analytics and all that, all the things. Mhm. But you might be hand-holding for a bit because that’s the orientation and that’s the training that they’re going to need to eventually at the end of the semester make your business fruitful. 

 

Linzy [00:20:26] Right. 

 

Rachel [00:20:26] So keep that in mind. If you find a unicorn that already knows all the things. Oh my gosh I love that. Congrats. Send me their twin, right. But it is unlikely.  

 

Linzy [00:20:38] Yeah absolutely. Yeah. Because what I’m hearing is like, one is not a substitute for the other. Right. Like this is a this is a different thing. So if folks are listening and they’re like oh I could just get stuff my VA does for free. Probably not. No. No different levels of experience, different levels of skill. But what I’m hearing is an offering internship is awesome. If you really enjoy mentorship and if you want to have like a positive impact on somebody who might want to come into our field or who’s building great experience, it can be a really nice way for you to mentor someone and get some more support in your practice. 

 

Rachel [00:21:09] Absolutely. 

 

Linzy [00:21:10] So, Rachel, this is what you help folks do. So can you tell us more about what you do and where people can find you? 

 

Rachel [00:21:18] Yeah. So website, all the socials, all the things is where you can find me. And basically how you hear me talking right now is how I interact with people. I don’t have this stuffy, holier-than-thou bit and that, no, that’s not me, but I really am going to make sure that I go above and beyond for you. I want to make sure that whatever it is that you’re trying to find, that we are going to personalize the crap out of it, that we’re going to find a way to, if you want this unicorn intern, let’s figure out how to find them. Let’s figure out what skills are, what’s the job description, what’s the place that you want to post the intern posting? How do you want to do the application? Like I walk you through every single painful process that there’s no handbook on that. How do you manage? There’s no cute little handbook yet. I’m working on it. Um, but. Or like an online course coming soon, but we’re not- school doesn’t teach us that. Every single episode with you is like it is not a thing. Business is not covered. Money is not covered. It’s go to community service board and for the rest of your life. So just keep that in mind that there’s an entire process to it. It takes a minute and also to be kind to yourself, because you may find a really lovely person, does a lovely human, but an intern? Um, not so much. So be kind to yourself. That only especially of the perfectionist therapist out there. Hello. Don’t have this expectation of I’m going to find this one perfect person, and every intern after that is going to be fantastic. You may have a great first couple of interns, and the next ones are getting a little wonky. That doesn’t mean you failed. That doesn’t mean that you have done something wrong or that that person was horrible. Therefore, all interns are horrible. That all or nothing thinking that we tend to do. Yeah. Nope. Just find the next round. Feel like, you know what a lovely time, but not going forward. Hopefully you can tell just I want to make sure that all the perfectionist people-pleasing people that y’all are taking care of, because I know you want to help people. I know you want to expand your practice in some way, shape or form, whether through marketing, expanding the group practice, whatever it might be. Just please be gentle with yourself because it is exhausting sometimes. Coming up with an entire intern handbook, coming up with training videos for future interns, coming up with all the agreements, all the legal bits that you got to cover. That takes time. Please don’t think you’re throwing it together in one week and you’re going to find somebody. 

 

Linzy [00:23:47] Mhm mhm. 

 

Rachel [00:23:49] And so that’s why you have me because I did all the stuff for you. 

 

Linzy [00:23:54] And where can people find you. 

 

Rachel [00:23:56] Yeah. So my website, my socials, sagecounselingtherapyandwellness.com. It is the longest domain humanly possible. So sorry one day we’ll find another domain name that’s not as long. And then sage counseling wellness is on all the socials. All the things. Please connect with me. I love to have more connections. Obviously I like to interact with people. I could talk all day, but otherwise it is just something that really makes my heart happy. And so if anything, this is more of like beta pricing right now and where the calls are for mentor calls and we can kind of schedule however many you need. At some point it will become an online course and then I’ll, you know, bump up the price and make it worthwhile. But for now, I just want people to like, help people and get a couple more reviews and so if you want the beta pricing, now would be the time to do it 

 

Linzy [00:24:45]  Getting in on the beta is always a good idea. Thank you so much, Rachel, for joining us today. And I’m sure there’s been some seeds planted now of folks listening, thinking about things that they could maybe bring on an intern, hopefully some beautiful intern relationships come out of this podcast today. 

 

Rachel [00:25:01] I hope so. Well, thanks for having me. 

 

Linzy [00:25:17] A really important part of what Rachel mentioned today, that I think you should really be emphasized is in these kinds of internship relationships, there has to be an exchange. I think that there is the the negative association with internships, you know, like people I don’t know, interning at some sort of entertainment company. And they just have to get people coffees all day and they don’t actually get to be part of anything. And they’re really doing the stuff that nobody else wants to do and get no respect. That is not what we’re talking about here. That is not ethical. I don’t think that really aligns with what we’re trying to do for the world as therapists. She’s really talking about bringing somebody into your practice when you have the bandwidth to mentor and support somebody and help them build skills, like you’re going to be actively training them and supporting them a lot, helping them really consciously building certain skills and having certain experiences so they can put them on their resume so that they’re in a position to apply for the programs that they want to apply to, or step into paid work in an area where they don’t have previous experience. So this is really about an exchange, and I think that’s a really important element of this. And I can see how valuable that exchange could be for a young person. As I mentioned in our conversation. Like, I remember how much I appreciated when people who were ahead of me down the path that I was considering going on, when they would talk honestly with me and tell me all the great things and all the hard things about the work, that helped me make an informed decision of what path I wanted to take. And this is a chance for, you know, folks listening for us to do the same kind of thing for young people who are considering stepping into therapy or into the kind of health work that we do. So if you’re curious about Rachel, you can go to Sage Counseling Therapy and Wellness.com and get in on that. Those beta offers that she has as she’s building out these resources for therapists. If you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at @MoneyNutsandBolts. And if you’re looking for more resources to dig into your relationship with money and getting it working for you in your private practice, I want to tell you about a guide that I have called Six Simple Steps to six Weeks Vacation. This guide is for therapists who find themselves overworking in their practice and going long stretches without taking any time off. For therapists who might notice jealousy creeping in when you hear your clients talk about their amazing vacations, when you feel like you can’t even afford to take any time off, let alone go away somewhere. And it’s for therapists who want to actually build into their schedule, replenishment so you can come back to your work feeling refreshed and excited to dive back into that work with your clients. This free guide walks you through the process of the mindset and steps to set aside as much money as you want to for your paid time off next year. So that’s for vacations. It’s also for holidays. It’s for sick time. The guide teaches you a system to put money aside and includes, of course, because it’s for me, a pretty calculator for you to play with. That will tell you exactly how much you need to save to cover your paid time off, but also to cover your vacation goals if you’re looking to travel. The guide also shows you how to put aside money for that so you can find that guide at moneynutsandbolts.com/sixweeksvacationguide and we’ll put the link to the show notes as well. Thanks for listening today.