How to Evolve in Your Business with Maegan Megginson

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

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

~Maegan Megginson

Meet Maegan Megginson

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

In this Episode...

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

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

Connect with Maegan

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

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

FREE Workshop Series: Overcoming Money Shame

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Previous Episodes with Maegan Megginson

Want to work with Linzy?

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

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

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Episode Transcript

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

[00:00:26]  Linzy: Welcome to the Money Skills for Therapists podcast, where we answer this question: how can therapists and health practitioners go from money shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them in both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach, and creator of the course Money Skills for Therapists.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:21:35] Linzy: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:49:30] Maegan: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:54:50] Linzy: Beautiful. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:59:17] Thanks for listening today.

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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