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

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

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

– Joe Sanok

Meet Joe Sanok

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

In This Episode…

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

 

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

 

You can find Joe here: 

 

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

 

For more about private practice: practiceofthepractice.com 

 

Listen to Joe’s Podcast – Practice of the Practice 

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Episode Transcript

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linzy [00:12:07] Oh my gosh. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres

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

Private Practice Money Mistakes with Accountant Julie Herres

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

– Julie Herres

Meet Julie Herres

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

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

In This Episode…

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

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

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

Want more great private practice finances content?

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

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

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

Episode Transcript

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Julie [00:03:29] Yes. Yeah, exactly. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linzy [00:05:45] Oh, like so many. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linzy [00:07:44] Absolutely. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linzy [00:10:27] Yes. 

 

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

 

Linzy [00:10:33] Yes. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Julie [00:24:59] Hope for the best. 

 

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

 

Julie [00:25:13] Yeah, I agree. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Julie [00:28:20] Yes 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Linzy [00:29:17] Thank you. 

 

 

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

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

Where to Start with Your Private Practice Finances

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

– Linzy Bonham

In This Episode…

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

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

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

Want more great private practice finances content?

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

Sign up now for my free 1-hour masterclass, The 4-Step Framework to Get Your Business Finances Totally in Order: https://register.moneyskillsfortherapists.com/masterclass

Episode Transcript

Episode 4 Official Episode-final.mp3

 

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

 

Linzy [00:00:48] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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

Abundance vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

Abundance vs. Scarcity Coaching Session

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

– Linzy Bonham

Meet Marcuetta Sims

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

In This Episode…

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

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

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

Want more great private practice finances content?

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

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

Episode Transcript

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Marcuetta [00:06:07] Oh, for sure. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Marcuetta [00:26:15] Me, too, Linzy 

 

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

 

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

 

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

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Money & Relational Trauma with Annie Wright

Money & Relational Trauma with Annie Wright

Money & Relational Trauma with Annie Wright

Money & Relational Trauma with Annie Wright

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

– Annie Wright

Meet Annie Wright

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

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

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

In This Episode…

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

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

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

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

https://www.hardfamiliesgoodboundaries.com/enrollment

Website: www.anniewright.com 

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

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

 

Want more great private practice finances content?

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

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

Episode Transcript

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Linzy [00:16:58] Yes, a shared love. 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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Building a Sustainable Private Practice with Allison Puryear

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Building a Sustainable Private Practice with Allison Puryear

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

– Allison Puryear

Meet Allison Puryear

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

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Website: www.abundancepracticebuilding.com

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

Free resources: www.abundanceparty.com/free

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

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

Episode Transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allison [00:32:05] Yeah. It’s math. 

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

Allison [00:32:25] 100 percent. 

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

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

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

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

Linzy [00:33:07] I did. 

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

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

Allison [00:34:37] Right. 

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

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

Linzy [00:35:28] True story. 

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

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

Allison [00:36:54] Right? 

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

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

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

Allison [00:37:42] Yeah, yeah. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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