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Deepening Expertise for Business Excellence with Ali Shapiro

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 “At the time, it was the beginning of the online entrepreneur, and a lot of people were investing in marketing, and I invested in grad school. And I had to put it on interest-free credit cards and do the shuffle because I was not going full time, and I was building a business on the side, but I really think focusing on mastery was a longer term play.”

~Ali Shapiro

Meet Ali Shapiro

Ali is the host of the top-ranked podcast Insatiable (https://alishapiro.com/podcast/), a holistic nutritionist, integrated health coach, and rebel with a serious cause.

She’s academically, practically, and empathetically aware of how the medical system, diet culture, and body positivity movements all have their own flavor of crazy.

Ali developed Truce with Food while in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where she drew from her decade plus of working with real life clients and her own personal healing journey from emotional eating and having cancer as a teenager.

In this Episode...

How can mastery help you settle into your business? What can honing your niche do for your private practice? Listen in to hear Linzy and guest Ali Shapiro talk about why it’s worth the time and effort it takes to work towards mastery and how slow, steady growth can be the most effective strategy.

Linzy and Ali discuss how the money stories we grow up with shape our business practices and how digging into those stories can help us adjust our . Ali also shares about how channeling our creative energy effectively can lead to better business success. Be sure to check out this insightful episode full of thoughtful discussion about how to deepen our expertise, hone our niche, and improve our business.

Connect with Ali

Ali is launching a new cohort of her Truce Coaching Certification, check that out here: https://alishapiro.com/truce-coaching-certification/

And find Ali on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alimshapiro/

Want to work with Linzy?

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Episode Transcript

Ali [00:00:03] At the time, it was like the beginning of like the online entrepreneur. And a lot of people were investing in marketing and I invested in grad school and I had to put in on interest-free credit cards. Do this shuffle. Because I was not going full-time and I was building a business on the side. But I really think focusing on mastery was- it was a longer-term play. 


Linzy [00:00:28] Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapist podcast, where we answer this question How can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion, to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So today I’m having a conversation with Ali Shapiro. Ali Shapiro is the host of the top-ranked podcast Insatiable. She’s a holistic nutritionist. She’s an integrated health coach, and she’s also a rebel with a cause. Today, Ali and I get into- we go a lot of places. It was a really interesting and kind of far-ranging conversation, digging into talking about the money stories that we inherit, that we bring into our businesses, talking about their work and how it’s devalued. Talking about investing in mastery as like a financial investment that you can make, really investing deeply in your own skills as a great way to invest in yourself. Talking about empathy and money and connections between money and food. It’s a rich tapestry, in my conversation with Ali today, with lots of interesting stops along the way. I really enjoyed the conversation. Here is my episode with Ali Shapiro. So, Ali, welcome to the podcast. 


Ali [00:02:04] Thank you so much for having me, Linzy. 


Linzy [00:02:06] I am excited to have you here. We were just chatting off mic about our various connections to other amazing women that we have in common. So this is a treat to get to have a chat with you and talk about money and your relationship to money and your like trajectory and what you’ve done. So just to kind of set it up. Ali, I’d love to hear a little bit about what your trajectory has been as a health practitioner, a holistic nutritionist into now a coach. 


Ali [00:02:33] Yeah. Probably the most useful place to start is like 2015, where I didn’t think I really had to think about my relationship with money. I started my business. I left my corporate job in 2007, and just that passion and wanting to help people was my business plan. 


Linzy [00:02:49] Yes. 


Ali [00:02:51] And I thought of myself as quote unquote, good with money. I came from a middle 11class background in the eighties and nineties when middle class was, you know, still a possible upward mobility path, at least in the States. It’s less and less so these days. And I had internalized those ethos of you don’t spend more. You cut back. You cut costs. And so I was- so I had run a business successfully profitable since day one, was hustling as hard as I could because I also was middle class. And so working hard was another ethos that that you really learned. And in 2015, I basically hit this wall of having a ton of clients, but being like, I’ve hit a ceiling with my time and also financial income. And part of this was realizing that when you’re doing something like therapy or coaching or even health, it’s not as valued as other things. 


Linzy [00:03:47] Yeah. 


Ali [00:03:48] Caretaking – we’ll just put caretaking and healing – is undervalued in our culture. And so I started and my accountant was like, look, you can’t cut back anymore. Like I was not- I’m not a spender, I’m a minimalist and I’m going to be good, right? And so I was sort of like, What am I doing wrong? What am I doing wrong? Kind of looking at myself, thinking I was missing something, missing something. And I came across this study from Dartmouth University that they were trying to study this like entrepreneurial gene. They were looking for an entrepreneurial gene, like what makes people great at entrepreneurship? And what they basically found – and this has been replicated in several other studies, is that it’s family money and the connection. 


Linzy [00:04:33] That’s not a gene. 


Ali [00:04:34] 80% of people who start businesses have family money and thus the network as well. And I went from all of a sudden, what am I doing wrong, to, oh, my God, you don’t have family money and you’re still here. So it was this like realization that a relationship with money was something that I had to, like, grapple with. Not that I was just good with money, but that I was going to have to, like, understand things that perhaps people who were born with money learned that I did not learn and that I was also terrified of. So that’s kind of my- and it wasn’t like I was in dire straits or anything. So because when you’re in dire straits, you dive deeper in, you know? 


Linzy [00:05:14] Yeah, yeah. 


Ali [00:05:15] But for me, I was like, I have to stop thinking like I’m middle class and that all I can do is cut back more. Right. How can I grow and spend in still a discerning way? Because I think one of the advantages of growing up middle class and not having a lot of capital in your business is you become a lot more discerning of money. 


Linzy [00:05:38] Yes. 


Ali [00:05:38] So that is kind of where I think really understanding that our relationship with money and being conscious of it like really took hold. And I had that realization and that. Aha. But also realizing like there’s some stuff I have to learn to quote unquote be better with money, not just good because I’m not in debt and I’m paying my bills. 


Linzy [00:05:59] Right. Yeah. And that’s an interesting kind of thinking there I’m noticing, like the middle class. It’s like, what do you do? You just- you spend less, right? Like, you don’t necessarily think about expanding all that much. And when you’re saying middle class, you’re like, I’m hearing more like, like lower middle class. Like, tell me about kind of what that looks like just for folks listening so they can think about like, Hmm was that me or is that different than my financial situation growing up? Yeah. 


Ali [00:06:23] Yeah. So my parents were city schoolteachers, which are even more underpaid than suburban schoolteachers in general. 


Linzy [00:06:30] Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:06:31] And my parents, neither of them came from money. My dad actually grew up in the projects, a single family household, and my mom was one of nine kids and she was the first in her family to go to college. And she worked overnights and, you know, as a waitress and has really never stopped hustling. So I feel like my parents were comfortable with money once I was in college. 


Linzy [00:06:59] Isn’t that happened? I’ve noticed a trajectory in my own parents like their financial life and then my own financial life where they grew up working class. My mom grew up on a farm with very, very little money. Like, very frugal. Yeah. There you go. So very frugal. So that side of the family, it’s all about like frugality and like, you know, really just taking care of the things that you have because it’s not like more things are going to come along. Right. And then my dad grew up very working class, like auto mechanic, working class, right? So this very kind of like, rough like, you got to be tough. Don’t get paid a lot, but you got to work really hard with your body. You know, there’s like things like, I feel like alcoholism that goes hand in hand with that kind of like hard mechanical work. And so they kind of had this. And when I was growing up, they were kind of like moving up slowly while I was there. Now my parents are upper middle class, but I wasn’t there for that part. But it is interesting to see how like where we hit our parents life, like the arc that we hit, gives us a certain experience and we inherit a certain story from them while we’re like little sponges, you know, while the kids that can be very different than the way they might talk or think about money now as they’ve kind of worked through their financial trajectory, whatever that’s been. 


Ali [00:08:07] Totally and the conditions are different. Like I had cancer as a teenager and my parents health care bills because they were at a teacher’s union were manageable. Yes. And I think about that now. If that were to happen to someone in my family, I mean, that would- that might bankrupt us. Right. So it’s like they had those in America. We had much more of a middle class then and a safety net that is no longer there. So, yeah, even like we’re trying to decide where to send my son to school and it’s like, well, we just went to public school. Like, I had never thought that I would send someone potentially to private school. Yes, but the state of public education and we live in a city. And so it’s like all these different decisions that I never thought like- never even considered based on the changing culture and safety net in America, what has not been invested in is now coming home to roost. 


Linzy [00:08:57] So yeah, that is such an interesting distinction too, between those like again, systemic, like what’s been happening systemically. So it’s like your parents had this certain kind of health care as part of their employment that creates a certain kind of stability. So there was less cash, but there was more insurance there, there’s more safety. And now what I’m hearing is like, you know, there’s more cash like maybe in your situation or lots of folks have more cash, but there’s less safety net for a lot of people who are in, you know, regular kind of employment. They’re not taken care of in the way they used to be. So there’s a different kind of instability there. 


Ali [00:09:29] 100%. 


Linzy [00:09:30] More cash in hand, less safety. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, thinking about your business, like what has been for you the key to financial success and like getting where you are today? 


Ali [00:09:45] Yeah, I think the first thing is I focused on mastery. So when I was coming, when I was coming up, I went into a holistic nutrition school and it was amazing in that I didn’t go there to change my career. I went there to try to like end my disordered eating and heal. I had all these health issues from my chemo that I didn’t know. It was like ten years and I was- IBS, depression, all these things. But so- that was great. But at the time it was like the beginning of like the online entrepreneur. And a lot of people were investing in marketing and I invested in grad school and I had to put on an interest free credit card because I was not going full time and I was building a business on the side. But I really think focusing on mastery was- it was a longer term play. Like I’m like, I want to do this for life. 


Linzy [00:10:31] Yeah. 


Ali [00:10:31] So that was really helpful. And that also helped my marketing. I was clear in my marketing. I had a true market differentiator, like I could truly make- offer something different, not just put a bunch of bells and whistles on it. So once I felt like- and again, you don’t have to wait until you feel masterful, because every year I’m like, Oh sure, I said- five years ago I would have said it differently or I feel I have more skill. So I think that was really important. And I think in that mastery it enabled me to scale the change process, which is highly individualized. My process meets people exactly where they are. So it’s not a formula, it’s not tools, it’s not rules. Because what I want actually to do is free people and make them feel that they can make more what we call, like psychologically flexible decisions. So it’s not about telling them what to do, it’s guiding them to their own agency. And so figuring out how to scale that, especially into groups, has enabled me to work less, make more, and also give me the- afford me the ability to be accessible to people who need scholarships or whatnot, because I do not believe that, you know, well, if someone wants it bad enough, they’ll find it, they’ll make it work. 


Linzy [00:11:45] Just get another job to take your course. 


Ali [00:11:47] You know. And I don’t want them to do that. 


Linzy [00:11:49] No. 


Ali [00:11:50] And I know how hard people work for their money. So I think that mastery enabled me to then get strategic of groups. And the interesting thing is, thinking of talking about systemic issues, especially in America and I would say North America probably where you live as well. Is this like even the way the health care system is set up? It’s like individual sessions, like that’s what you do. But, you know, when you really think about healing, especially the work that I do, being in a group with other people accelerates it. So understanding again that it’s this win, it’s this triple win for your business, your clients, and your bottom line. 


Linzy [00:12:25] Right. 


Ali [00:12:25] Of having something that you can scale that meets people exactly where they are. And so I think that- and then once I was able to, again because I still don’t just shell out money to spend on anything. Once I was like, oh, this is really working. Then doubling down on what works for me to get clients. And it’s like podcast interviews like this and teaching, and so focusing, doubling down on what works and not what like every new shiny, Oh, you need this, you need this idea. 


Linzy [00:12:55] Shiny objects. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Ali [00:12:57] Is really, I think, able to slowly grow into in the nervous system world like they name it titrating, where you’re like slowly building your capacity. And that is what I see, you know, happen for me. Like when I started doing groups, it was like, okay, I went from like around 60 K a year to like 80, 90, right? It was like, oh, okay, yes, I can, you know, and now I can spend a little bit more on this and that and then it’s like, okay, then I’m over six figures. But it took me up until like 50, 60 to get mastery that I was comfortable with, with what I was, the value I was offering. And then testing out how do I grow that? And then once you know what works, then you just double down on it.  


Linzy [00:13:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I love that reframing, of mastery being the root of this. I just, I just literally yesterday started reading Deep Work. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that book, but I have a friend who’s been telling me to read it for years, and she finally visited me in person and we were literally in a bookstore together. So I was like, okay, now I’m finally going to get the book that you’re physically present with me. And I read it last night, and even just the act of reading the book, I was like, Oh, I’m getting the slowing down and deepening even just by like not being on my phone and reading this book and taking it in. And the argument of that book is we’re so distracted now. There’s so many shiny things that call our attention all the time. Everybody’s promising like a solution to all these problems that may or may not be problems you have, but like they’ll convince you that that’s a problem you have, that our attention is so divided that the ability to stop and focus and deepen and like learn really deeply, learn something so you can really master something is becoming increasingly rare and increasingly valuable. That’s the argument of the book, right? It’s like less people are doing it, so there’s less people who are also masters of what you’re doing. And so that’s really in demand when you can really be like, I own this and I have like really spent so much time with this and like teaching and finding the way to teach this that really lands with folks and like developing the right container or the way of doing the work. It’s so, so valuable because I think most of us, we’re moving too fast. Yeah. You know, you’re, you’re trying to do everything at once, which means you do everything with like an eighth of your attention. 


Ali [00:15:10] Yeah. And I think, too, sometimes I can at least speak for myself as like, you know, what got me into this? And my passion was like, my disordered relationship with food. But then I work through that and I see at least in the coaching world, I won’t say for for therapists, a lot of people, once they work through their stuff, they’re like well I’m pivoting, right? It’s like. 


Linzy [00:15:29] 100%. 


Ali [00:15:30] Yeah, Yeah. And I get that. Yes. And I mean, I have deepend, you know what like- I now train people in stubborn change or complex change. And so I still need an edge there. But it’s like getting better at that and still offering it in a way that it still interests me where it’s like my work is more about psychological safety. So like I can still talk about food, but it’s the reasons people turn to food, the reasons people have trouble with change. And so it doesn’t mean that you can’t change. It just means like I think what the deep work is saying is like, how do you bring the mastery with you into something else? And I, I do think in the online world, the climate of our culture is exactly what you’re saying. It’s like, let’s move on, let’s go fast. Like, I’ve got this. I figured it out. Yeah, It’s just things- my husband always goes, Ali, things are going to take the time they’re going to take. And I’m like, I hate that. Yes, but yes. 


Linzy [00:16:24] Right. You know, it’s like, yeah. 


Ali [00:16:26] And it does take I mean, it took me like ten years of mastery, you know, and and all that stuff, But it’s really rewarding. Now, 16, 17 years in, I feel like it’s like the oak tree metaphor. Like it’s really the solid roots are taking care of me, right? And it’s like, okay, like, you know, I think at least in coaching and I don’t know about therapy, but it’s like, Oh, you think you should be good and be able to charge. Like you have all these people telling people, just charge more and like you’re worth it. It’s like, wait, there’s a value in the market too, to what you’re offering. Yeah, but also you would never go to a corporate job and think that you’re the top or the best within two or three years. Yeah. Like, you know, there’s this, like, distorted like. Yes, there is. 


Linzy [00:17:08] Yes. 


Ali [00:17:09] There’s a lot of like also, I think people, therapists and coaches, often undercharge- the ones who are really good. 


Linzy [00:17:15] If you’re really good, you’re probably not charging enough. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s so true. Because I think also, you know, when you are really engaged with something deeply, you also know how much you don’t know, which means you tend to focus more on what you know you don’t know. You tend to devalue what you do know. And you’re like, well, like I hear this all the time from folks where it’s like, Well, I want to raise my rate until I do this like whole other modality training that’s like, Dude, you’ve got this modality which you rock at already just because you’re not trained in the new hot modality that’s come up doesn’t mean you’re not amazing at this rate. Like, but just like there’s something, there’s something about holding still and like sinking in that I think can be really difficult as a healer. And sometimes I think too, with the folks that I tend to support, they do tend to be perfectionistic. So if something gets kind of easy, then they’re like, Well, I have to move on to something else that’s hard. Like they’re looking for the hard, they’re looking for the hard. But like, I love what you’re describing here where rather than a like pivoting away where it’s like, well, I know have a good relation with food, so that’s not interesting anymore. I’m going to move on to this other topic that’s now interesting to me. It’s like you can sink into that topic and look at how to, like, teach. What I’m hearing in part is like, now you’re teaching more of like what’s underneath that issue and you’re teaching it in this new, different expanded way. So there’s still lots of newness there, but you’re still you’re staying in your your content expert area that you’ve spent more than a decade honing knowledge in. 


Ali [00:18:37] And I think you put bring up such a good point about us, those of us who are healers. If you’re a healer, you have a creative spirit. I mean, that is what healing is, right? And I think what gets mixed in is this like, I need a creative challenge. But if I view perfectionism or I have beliefs that it has to be hard, which often money, money beliefs or like, you know, if you’re middle class, look, yes, it has to be hard. 


Linzy [00:19:00] Yes, work is hard. 


Ali [00:19:01] But I think it’s discerning like, oh, there is this creative impulse that to like, deepen. And then my protection strategy, I call them protections, like perfectionism is a protection strategy, right? It’s like, oh, that’s making me go in a different direction. Versus like for me, it’s like, okay, the challenge in my business was engagement. Once people found me, they loved it. They’re like, This is what I been looking for. I didn’t even have language for it. And then sales are just like, you know, I don’t do that. I call it the bro marketing sales where I like pressure people, but I always had a challenge with the top of the funnel because I like to go deep. I like to go nuanced. 


Linzy [00:19:36] Yes, right. 


Ali [00:19:37] And so it’s like, okay, redirect that creative challenge towards the part of your business that isn’t working right. 


Linzy [00:19:43] That needs the attention. 


Ali [00:19:44] Rather than like pivoting. And I think with what I found because I used to think like there were all these new modalities and all this stuff and granted in my certification, it’s the entire blueprint of change. And so there are tools that fit into that. But I found that the deeper mastery you have, you can see where your mastery is already aligning with what’s marketed as new and interesting, right? It’s like, Oh, I’m just saying this in this way, or yeah, this can augment this, but it’s not that I have to like leave my current expertise and I have value in that current expertise. I would just encourage people to find where the business challenges and use their creativity there. 


Linzy [00:20:23] Right. Yeah, Yeah. You don’t have to walk on to some other, you know, topic content area. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I think that this- there’s something here too, Ali, that I think is applicable to money in general too, which is I think sometimes it’s like that steadiness that really adds up over time, right? Like the steadiness, like the putting away $500 a month that adds up over the course of five years and ten years. And then as we want things to be like fast and exciting and new and financially, people want to like invest in the thing that’s going to make them a ton of money at once, right? Like we look for the flashy, the shiny object. You know, sometimes when people get into investing, I don’t think folks who listen to us, but certainly a lot of people in the investing world, it’s like, go for the stock that’s going to win. Like it’s like gambling, right? It’s gambling. It’s not actually investing. And there’s a lot of patience with money and I think a lot of patience with what you’re talking about of like really honing mastery and like staying there, living there, continuing to deepen that. That really, really pays off long term. But it’s not this incredible explosion of like suddenly you’re a multimillionaire. It is like it’s steady and it’s sustainable and it’s what actually gives you stability in life. 


Ali [00:21:31] Totally. I always tell people- like food is the simple piece and like, it’s boring, like investing in your finances like this. Everybody wants the quick rich, the quick thin, you know, it’s like, but it’s the boring stuff of like putting away in your step away from, you know, like maybe I mean, I have one client who doesn’t understand the stock market, so she invests in real estate, but it’s just like slow and steady, boring stuff. But it’s also like, I think sometimes money, food, anything we really want to change. It’s so charged and it’s like, you know, there are these boring, non-personal foundations that everybody has to do and you just have to stick with it. 


Linzy [00:22:12] Yes. Yeah. Build the systems. Build the habit. Yeah. I’m like, you know, what I see with money is when folks work on it, I think there’s so many parallels between money and food. 


Ali [00:22:21] That they’re both taboo. 


Linzy [00:22:22] Like, Yeah, and what I see is at first when folks approach it, there’s like lots of charge, lots of stories, lots of like, you know, childhood trauma. Like there’s lots that’s there and it feels really intense. And then as folks work through those things, build skills, start to take apart those stories. It becomes kind of neutral where it’s like, fine. And then on the other side of fine can be kind of like exciting because you’re like, Oh, I’m seeing how this like regular thing that I do is adding up, but it’s like it becomes not charged, right? And in a way that’s not as interesting, it’s not as compelling. Like you take something that was like really intense and we make it like it’s kind of a pretty much neutral to low-key positive part of your life that you can derive joy by doing the right things, but you’re not that joy every day. It’s like it just takes the pain out of it. And that’s not always exciting, you know, compared to the stories, you know, compared to the fresh diet that’s going to make you lose 40lbs, you’re gonna be a whole new person, right? Or compared to the like, you’re going to make this new course and you’re going to make $500,000. You going to be like, you know, wealthy overnight. Those are more compelling than I think what the actual healing with money looks like. And I suspect food is similar. 


Ali [00:23:27] Oh, totally. And I love that you said it’s about neutrality because that’s what truce with food is about. It’s like I’m not going to tell you to have peace with food. My food is medicine. Like, let’s just stop the battle and then see what you want it to be. 


Linzy [00:23:39] You get rid of all the bad stuff. 


Ali [00:23:40] Yeah. And I think sometimes that fantasy thinking is part of like the flight nervous system reaction. Like, I can’t be with what’s real. It’s like I just have to, like, escape into fantasy again. That can sometimes be productive in our past, but it’s like, you’re right, it’s just like, boring. But I think it’s freeing at the same time. It’s like once something’s neutral, you have choice over it in a way that, you know, I mean, I have this whole theory about just we’re all so addicted to intensity, so we’re like, addicted to the fantasy, then the crash and burn and yeah, but I think a lot of that is like, again, this is kind of a tangent, but is that creative energy that needs to come out, but it can just be funneled in and that’s what I think entrepreneurship is like. So once you can get out of your stories and it’s like it can be this constant creative container if you know how to channel it and like what is the real problem versus the problem for manufacturing to keep this intensity, you know, going. 


Linzy [00:24:39] Yeah, you’re getting out of like crisis mode. Yeah. Just kind of like strategic like, okay, this could use some more attention. How do I aim my energy towards this in a thoughtful, strategic way? Yeah. Yeah. 


Ali [00:24:50] And I think all of us crisis, I mean, talking about money, like, I remember like, you know, my parents didn’t get paid in the summer and it was like, are we going to make it through the summer? Yeah. So it’s like that is what I was used to was like this. 


Linzy [00:25:02] Oh my gosh. 


Ali [00:25:03]  And I would often find like I’d get money from a big launch, right? And it was like, I would definitely make sure I had enough money till the next launch. Right? But then it was like, I’m going to buy this. I’m going to buy this. Oh, I’m staying in that. Like, now I need to look for quarters in the couch because it’s the end of summer. 


Linzy [00:25:21] Yes, yes, yes. And I think that’s such a great example of like riding that roller coaster of intensity rather than the stability, because your parents, as an example, and this is true for for private practices as well. Right. For folks listening. Is like there are these high seasons and low seasons. And after you’ve been in practice for a couple of years, like you know what they are like, you know when your client population, like if you work with kids, you know, in the summer, everybody’s off. Like you’re not going to be seeing folks so much. You can strategize around that. But generally speaking, you’re going to know the ebbs and flows. And once you know the ebbs and flows, you can create systems that create stability. You can even that money out. So you’re like, I’m going to get the paid pay the same every month, whether it’s July or, you know, March, I’m going to like create that stability so the money’s there. But without stopping to do that work, you know, you do end up like riding these waves of like this month I’m a success, this month I’m a failure. Rather than the middle which is like things are good, things are like working out. Yeah yeah. Letting go of the intensity I think you know is a step in the healing. 


Ali [00:26:20] 100%. That’s a great way to say it. Yeah. 


Linzy [00:26:22] So I’m curious with where you are now having like, you know, walked the path that you’ve walked and started to create these, you know, because you’ve got one too many offers or maybe one offer, you know, you’ve expanded the way that you make impact. And I’m hearing did a lot of work around your own relationship with money. What is your current money edge? 


Ali [00:26:41] I think my current money edge is trusting that it’s okay to have more money. I know that sounds weird, but it’s often part of I think healing our relationship to money is understanding that a lot of people who historically have had a lot of money have used it not in great ways to have the power in money in not great ways. But understanding that it’s okay to have more. Even if I don’t absolutely need it, like all my basic needs are met. I mean, granted, as a business owner, you’re always having to keep the marketing flywheel going and all that kind of stuff. But 15, 16 years into this, like I’m pretty secure that my business is going to continue to be successful. I mean, things obviously change. But it’s like, I don’t really need more, but I want more security. I want more. Especially since becoming a mom, it’s like, you know, you have these like- if something happens, your day, your work productivity goes to nothing. So my life is a lot more – now that I have a child – like unpredictable. And I do want to go on like boujee vacations, you know? I mean, I don’t- I’m not really a things person, but experiences. And so I think that’s really of like understanding that you don’t have- you’re not going to be an asshole, you know, if you make more and more money. And you can be- I think sometimes I fear that I won’t relate to the people the way that because one of the things I love about myself is I can relate to people and I don’t care how much money people make or that’s- my dad, kind of always we learned about systems and structures, and growing up, my dad kind of, I don’t want to say he was like laughing at people, but the striving, he was just like, Where is everyone going to, you know, like moving money and stuff. So I don’t think people are better if they have money or anything like that. But I do worry about like, can I relate in the same way? Because even when I first started out, it was like, okay, am I going to really be able to afford the guy that I want to buy? You know, and I was like, I have the luxury. I don’t have to wait for it to be on sale. Like I can just spend money. So it’s like I already can’t relate to the old me. Do you know? 


Linzy [00:28:46] Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:28:47] So I think that relate ability and and having enough are really my edges. 


Linzy [00:28:52] And I am curious like, have you noticed in yourself, I’m hearing this like lack of relating and it also makes me think of like a lack of empathy. Right. Like sometimes when we we forget what it’s like to be suffering, right? Or to have to make really hard choices. I’m curious, like, what have you noticed about that as you’ve had more like, just straight up extra money available to do whatever you want with in your life? Yeah. Do you feel like you still. Yeah. Do you have that empathy? You remember what it’s like? 


Ali [00:29:19] Yeah. I feel like I love that you asked that question because I actually feel like I have more empathy in a way because I know how much I had to work to get here. But I also know how much privilege enabled me to get here. I mean, I have- I came from a very loving home. I didn’t have financial, you know, investments in my business. But I had yeah, I mean, my dad was like, are you sure you should leave your corporate job? But my mom was like, Go for it. You know, like, I’ve had support. Yeah. And so I feel like I know all the work if you do not come from money. And again, even if you do come from money, maybe your family lost money. But if you don’t come from money and you want to improve your financial standing, I feel like because I’ve lived it, I know that it takes so much more than just work. Yeah, yeah. And that kind of stuff. So I and I find myself like, you know, being able to donate more- not I mean, I read somewhere in social justice, like charity is actually justice. And I was like, yes, I love that review. So it’s like, okay, I can put, especially as a mother of a toddler, I don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, but I can now put this money where, you know, I want to. So I think that empathy has like increased. But I also say that with like, I don’t like to share like some people share how much they’re spending online. I’m like, I don’t I don’t want people to know, you know. 


Linzy [00:30:40] Just saying yes, yes, yeah. 


Ali [00:30:42] I also I don’t know if it’s just like a an old taboo of money. Like like it’s also like, why are we all sharing this? Like, how do you know? 


Linzy [00:30:51] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I, you know, I also I’m I’m a fan of, you know, talking transparently about money. I don’t tend to lecture on social media, but, like, that’s not my that’s not where I share anything. Yeah, like, I never announced that I had a kid, and then later I was like, well, I can’t post pictures of my two year old. Now people be like, Who is that? So I don’t I don’t live in that space personally as an individual. But yeah, I do, I do think it’s powerful because there is this like we don’t know what the person next to us is doing, right? And then what I’ve noticed is like we make up all these stories about what they’re doing or we- I mean, what I would really love to see if people share is like, I spend this much this month. This is how much of it was debt or this is how much I actually managed to like service on my debt or because this is the other thing, right? Is like we see folks spending. I’m thinking about social media as an example here, and we assume that they have something figured out that we haven’t, that they’ve cracked some sort of code, that they’re able to afford these incredible things, even though we have similar businesses and like, why can’t I? I can’t afford like an amazing trip to, I don’t know, Bali or whatever, but it’s like the way the numbers shake out and I’m like, folks are accumulating just a lot of debt, you know, no judgment on that. Like debt is strategic. You know, people can use debt however they want, but it’s not it’s not as simple, as straightforward as it might look. Right. There’s more to the story. It’s a more nuanced, complex story than we get to see. Yeah. 


Ali [00:32:07] And that’s why learning that like 80% of entrepreneurs had family money, I was like, Yeah, Oh, I don’t even know. People are making this from their business. I mean, you know, like, I used to be like exactly what you said. Why can’t I do that? Why am I drudging to grad school on Friday night. Yeah, totally. 


Linzy [00:32:22] Yes. You’re comparing like your reality to their like highly curated like selective part of the story. It’s an apples to oranges comparison. 


Ali [00:32:30] Well, and one- I don’t know if you’ve heard of Kelly Diels but she is- I love how she talks about like I never thought of this until I learned this what she said like I think it was like ten years ago or maybe I can’t remember all this time anymore, but how a lot of those signals of wealth manufacture like fake authority. And I never thought about that. Like it’s- we have this unconscious belief that, like, if you make more money, you somehow know something or you’re better. Right. Because at least in America, I mean, I think it’s crumbling. But the meritocracy belief of like, if you have a lot of money, you’ve earned it and you work for it. 


Linzy [00:33:06] Yeah, you’re better then. Yeah, you’re. 


Ali [00:33:08] Better than versus like the hardest working people in America are the poorest. 


Linzy [00:33:14] 100%. Yes. Yes. 


Ali [00:33:15] But I never thought of that as like, oh, showing that wealth makes people think like, I just haven’t connected it, you know? 


Linzy [00:33:22] Mm hmm. Yeah. There is a certain type of, like, privilege that you’re trying to access or that could be accessed by showing this off in a certain way. Makes it look like you are doing really well or. Yeah. Yeah, you’re. It’s kind of this is a thought that and I don’t know if this is going to fit, but I’m going to I’m going to share it. I read a great article from a writer that I follow, a British writer, and she talked about how when people share about losing weight, it’s like I had a baby and like, you know, they’ve gained like 20lbs for having a baby. And they’re like, I’m just not happy with my body. Your body’s fine. I’m just not happy with my body. I want to get back to where I was. And she was like, We have to be honest with the fact that, like, people are trying to reclaim thin privilege, like that’s what they want. They want to go back to the privilege that they used to have and like go back to the system that privileges folks whose bodies who look a certain way and they want to regain that privilege. And I think about that sometimes with like wealth signaling is like you by sharing this, like you’re saying, like, I have privilege, like I am privileged, I have earned this, I am better than I am what is right And like, yeah, what are you trying to accomplish with that? Which is like, I ask myself a lot when I share anything on social media as part of our brand is like, What am I trying to do? What am I trying to get out of this? Asking yourself that question because it’s yeah, it’s like complicated, thorny stuff. 


Ali [00:34:37] It is. And you know, it’s funny that you bring that up because I’m listening to this podcast called Classy right now, and it’s all about class, which is all about money, you know, and obviously in America, especially about race as well. But yeah, you were talking about how most people want to believe they’re in the good moral center. You know, so it’s like and I’m like, oh, my God, That’s how I felt. That was part of my money blind spot is like, I’m good because I’m not making so much money and exploiting people. Right? And it’s like my business could ever I mean, you can always exploit. I pay you, like, by. 


Linzy [00:35:10]  Whatever. Yeah. 


Ali [00:35:11] But then you don’t want to be seen as like poor and quote unquote bad, you know. But he was talking about how, like even people who are like, uber wealthy, they think they’re in the moral center, you know, like. Yes, But it’s like the problem. What we have to do is just take morality out of it. 


Linzy [00:35:25] So much to think about, so much to talk about. But we should start to finish up. Ali, thank you so much for joining me today on the podcast. If folks are interested in finding you and following you, where can they do that? 


Ali [00:35:37] Yeah, yeah. So I run a truth coaching certification, which helps people learn the structure of complex change. So whatever, they’re trying to help with people so they can scale to groups and incorporate their tools in everything. And you can find that at AliShapiro.com/truth-coaching-certification, it’s trauma-informed, it’s ICF approved, and then they can sign up for my web, you know my newsletter listed Ali Shapiro dot com and then I have my own podcast, Insatiable, but that’s more about food and the root causes of why we battle food. And then I’m on Instagram and @AliShapiro, but I’m not there all that much because of what we’ve talked about. 


Linzy [00:36:20]  Thank you so much for joining me today, Ali. 


Ali [00:36:31] Thank you, Linzy. This was so fun. 


Linzy [00:36:46] I loved this focus that Ali has on mastery and really sinking into your mastery and what you own. And what I was thinking about is really distinguishing between deepening your skill set and really sinking into a niche. How that is different than taking every exciting clinical training that comes your way. I really want to distinguish those things because I think that as healers, as therapists, as health practitioners, like I mentioned in the episode, you know, we so often focus on what we don’t know and we so often want to be better. You know, there’s another piece there which we often feel not good enough. We’ve often our caregivers as a way to feel valued. There’s so many layers to it that can lead us to trying to do everything for everybody. And what I love about what Ali suggested of really investing in yourself is what I see. There is a deepening of your skills, really sinking into your niche and really owning your niche deeply and being the best at what you do rather than trying to be able to do everything. And I think that not good enough can lead us to try to do everything because we see our colleague down the road who’s doing this like really cool therapy that we want to be able to do too. Or there’s a new modality and we want to know how to use it and be able to be part of those conversations. But when you really hit on what you’re really good at, what you love to do, there’s so much there to dig into and explore. And I also loved Ali’s suggestion of just like staying there and you can deepen the work that you’re doing. You can do it differently. You can work with that same population or work with that same topic in a different way. You can turn to therapy, the work that you do into like workshops, groups, a course, you know, it doesn’t mean there’s not new learning and creative stuff to do, but kind of staying in that one place and getting really good at something financially and energetically is a really good investment for you to make. So, so many, so many things that I could be reflecting on here after my conversation with Ali, but just really, really enjoyed my talk with her today. You can follow me on Instagram at @moneynutsandbolts. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would super appreciate if you would leave me a review on Apple podcasts, can jump over there. It will take you literally 3 minutes. If it takes you more, you can email me about it. I’d love to hear about it, but I suspect it’s going to take you only 3 minutes to leave a review on Apple Podcasts so other folks can be part of these conversations. Thanks for listening today. 

Picture of Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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