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Breaking Free From Negative Money Stories with Kim Wheeler Poitevien

Breaking Free From Negative Money Stories with Kim Wheeler Poitevien

“If I don’t have [money], it’s not like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t have this. I’m a bad person. I’m not worthy.’ It’s literally like, Okay, if you need to dig out a hole, and your shovel isn’t there, you would kind of panic. It would be the normal thing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t deserving of a shovel. It means, ‘I need a shovel! Where’s my shovel? This is really hard to dig with my hands! How can I get a shovel?’”

~Kim Wheeler Poitevien

Meet Kim Wheeler Poitevien

Kim Wheeler Poitevien is a Licensed Clinical Social Work specializing in childhood grief and loss. She also treats children experiencing racial disparity and discrimination in private white institutions. Kim is the owner of Amel Counseling and Consulting, a group therapy practice specializing in treating children and teens located in Philadelphia.

In This Episode…

Do you struggle with emotional responses when you start working on your finances? Do the stories that you carry with you impact the way you view your relationship with money? Kim and Linzy really unpack the impact of the stories we tell ourselves about money and how detaching ourselves from those stories allows us to feel freedom – both to make more money, increase our impact, and to resist judgment when we make mistakes with our money. Linzy and Kim also discuss the impact of systemic oppression on the way we view money and feel scarcity, and how recognizing that can help us find our way to a more abundant mindset.

Listen in to hear how viewing money as a tool can help you cultivate a more abundant mindset free from the emotional stories that might be holding you back. 

Connect with Kim Wheeler Poitevien

Here’s how you can connect with Kim:

You can find Kim on Instagram @ameltherapy or @askamel.co

You can also find her at www.ameltherapy.com

We're Hosting a Free 4 Day Challenge!

Do you find yourself avoiding your private practice finances? Do you have no idea where to even begin?

Well I’ve got something for you. I’m hosting a FREE live 4-day Money Momentum Challenge from Tuesday June 14 to Friday June 17, 2022!

During our four days together, you’ll get my support and guidance to step out of avoidance, take real action, and create ease and flow around your private practice finances, so you don’t need to avoid them!

Plus, you’ll get a clear roadmap to understand exactly what you need to do, to take care of your private practice finances.

It only takes 10 minutes a day.

I can’t wait to see you inside! Sign up for the FREE Money Momentum Challenge here: http://join.moneymomentumchallenge.com/

Episode Transcript

Linzy [00:00:03] What else does that mean for you, when you say money is a tool? 

Kim [00:00:06] If I don’t have it, it’s not like, Oh my God, I don’t have this, I’m a bad person or I’m not worthy of something. It’s literally like, OK, if you’re trying, if you need to dig out of a hole and your shovel isn’t there, you would kind of panic. It would be the normal thing. It isn’t me like, Oh my god, you aren’t deserving of a shovel. It means like, I need a shovel, where’s my shovel? This is really hard to dig with my hands. How do I get a shovel? 

Linzy [00:00:35] Welcome to the Money Skills For Therapists podcast, where we answer this question. How can therapists and health practitioners go from money, shame and confusion to feeling calm and confident about their finances and get money really working for them and both their private practice and their lives? I’m your host, Linzy Bonham, therapist turned money coach and creator of the course Money Skills For Therapists. Hello and welcome back to the podcast. So before we get started today, I wanted to share another review from Apple podcast. It’s so nice to have these reviews and your feedback on the podcast, and this review was titled “So Needed”, they said, “loving this podcast so far, having real, honest conversations about our money stories, what it means to work through our money stuff, and how to use our money for our personal lives and our businesses as healers. Such a needed discussion. Can’t wait to hear more.” Thank you for your review and whoever left that review. This episode is going to be right up your alley. Today’s podcast guest is Kim Wheeler Poitevien, she is a therapist in Philadelphia. I’m not going to go into introducing her to too much because we actually start her interview with her talking about the wide range of work that she does. Our conversation today is kind of more of an interview than I think I’ve done before in terms of getting into Kim’s transformation around money. She’s a graduate of Money Skills For Therapists. We get into where she started, her money stories, the money legacies that she inherited from each of her parents. And then we talk about how that fear of having too much money, the fear of taking up space and being ambitious that I think so many therapists can relate to, was showing up in her relationship with money in these really specific behaviors. Along the way, we also get into systemic racism, and she makes some really insightful points about how scarcity and competition between therapists can actually be facets of systemic racism and systemic sexism. It’s a really rich conversation. I so appreciate Kim’s openness and honesty in sharing her story, and I hope you enjoy it. 

Linzy [00:02:51] So, Kim, tell me about yourself and your practice and what you do. 

Kim [00:02:55] So I am a child and teen therapist. I have a small – well now is actually a group practice that’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and my specialties are that I work with kids of colour who are dealing with racial trauma and also kids who are dealing with grief and loss. So now that I’ve expanded, I’ve added on two new associates who are working with truancy, school refusal and mother-daughter Relationships. And I also have a huge population of transracial adoptees that I work with. 

Linzy [00:03:26] And you do therapy and coaching, is that correct? 

Kim [00:03:29] Yes, I do. So along with my practice AML Counseling Consulting, I also own a parent coaching firm, Eskimo. So there we do, one on one coaching, and we’re also starting small cohorts of six week parent coaching. 

Linzy [00:03:43] Great. So, Kim, I think it’s fairly obvious to everybody listening that you are very ambitious and very confident. But tell me about your relationship with money, kind of like going back a year or two. Like, how did you know that something needed to change with your relationship to your finances? 

Kim [00:04:00] Let’s see. About a year and a half ago, pre-COVID, well, I made the most money had ever made, in my like my solo practice. And I was like part time, but I was like, I did really well. I was really proud of myself, and then I ended up paying like $600 in bank fees because I had mismanaged my money so poorly. So I was really ashamed and really upset. And so then I was in this Facebook group that I was in with other practice builders and they mentioned actually your program and they were like, You should do this. And I was like, OK, I should do this. This Is the first time I actually am honest about the struggles that I’ve had with money, and I knew that I could build a practice, like I knew that I could get people in, I knew that I could be successful. But what is the point of working so hard when all of your money is just like kind of just flying out the door? So that was the time that I knew I really needed to get a handle on it. But I, from the beginning, since I was a teenager. Like, I always had this belief that I can’t handle money, I’m going to mismanage money, I’m not going to be successful, or someone else needs to manage my money for me. 

Linzy [00:05:06] And do you have a sense of like where that came from in your life? 

Kim [00:05:09] Family wise, like my mom, did all the finances and she’s like, mis-managed money. And so my parents would just have these arguments about, you know, this and that. And I didn’t realize until I was older that it was really the fact that my mom just didn’t manage the money well. And it was like part of the reason why, you know, we had struggles. And it wasn’t until I was in my early 20s and she passed away that my dad had kind of taken over things and I was like, Wow, there’s like, there’s money here, this is amazing. There’s less income, but there’s more money. And I saw that in a different way of managing it. But then I just said, OK, I’ll just have my dad manage stuff. And that was OK when I was in grad school, until like he passed away like, you know, a year or two later. And then I was just like, I don’t know what to do. 

Linzy [00:05:59] Right. So I mean, it kind of sounds like you inherited, in some ways, a story that was kind of about your mom’s behavior. Is that a fair understanding? 

Kim [00:06:07] Yeah. 

Linzy [00:06:07] Right. 

Kim [00:06:07] So it’s like, I’m like, I’m a shopaholic or I like to spend things or spend it before it goes, robbing Peter to pay Paul, even when it’s there. So even the notion of me having money in my account, if there was like, if it hit a certain amount, I was like, This has to be spent. It can’t stay here. But if it was less than a certain amount or I knew, OK, I need this to last for this amount of time, then all this stuff that my dad taught me would pop up and I could manage things and I could know like how to prioritize things. But it was just this dichotomy thinking of like, OK, it’s either this or it’s that. That it was never in this space of actually being able to apply the things that he was teaching me, like consistently so that I could have these things called budgets and savings. And you know, have plans, you know, and I look around and be like, all these people are making these moves because they have some kind of stability or they have some kind of plan. Where it’s, I’m like, the only way that I’m ever going to be successful is if I feel like this windfall of money and I plop it into something and it will generate more. And so I’ll just always have money to just like kind of spit out. 

Linzy [00:07:22] Right, yeah. And I think like for a lot of us, when we’re struggling with money, there can’t be like that fantasy of like if only I had a bunch of money winning the lottery, right? There’s that fantasy. But I think, something like you pointed out, it’s like, so true, which is that when you have that behavior, though, because it sounds like for you, there was like this number that above that number, it’s like in a way, the money’s got to go. Like you would spend above that. And like, there’s yeah, there’s kind of this concept of the financial thermometer where it’s like, what’s the range that we’re comfortable with? And it sounds like for you, there’s like a range above this range, you do a certain thing, below this range, you do the opposite thing. And what was happening in the middle of those behaviours?

Kim [00:07:56] I mean, in the middle, it was like I was not spending anything. I was like, OK, there’s like this like this spot where I was like, I’m OK. Like, as long as nothing comes out or as long as nothing touches because I would look at my account and say, OK, I could go an entire month without spending anything. And I was like, That’s kind of interesting, you know, even if something was like, Oh, that looks nice. I have no desire to buy it because I didn’t have a need to buy it, you know? And so then it was like, OK, is it that I need this particular thing like because of their function? Or is it because it’s serving another purpose for me? 

Linzy [00:08:31] Yeah, right. And with that piece of like money being above, I’m curious now like looking back at it now with the eyes you have now, what do you think that was about? Why was it uncomfortable to have money above a certain amount? 

Kim [00:08:43] Because money above a certain amount. For me, it was like, OK, this is good and this is safe, right? So you have a certain amount of money above, like it’s safe and you can dream and you can want more and you can expand, right, because you have all these things. But that comes with risk that something’s going to – there’s also this thing in the back of your mind. If something is going to take that and then you’re just going to kind of fall and there’s no net. You know, when you have more of a resource, you’re more likely to kind of stretch out to try and look for other things. But if you’re kind of hoarding that, you’re not going to do it. And so I think that I would consistently try to find – sabotage and say, OK, I’m not going to have this money because I’m not going to kind of go out and actually try to make more money. You know, I’m not going to try like, I don’t want to have more money. I have these thoughts that if I had more money, then something bad would happened to me or somebody is going to take this or is going to change me? Or having money is bad, I wasn’t realizing that I was keeping myself in this really crappy pattern. 

Linzy [00:09:51] Yeah, yeah. Like in a way, were you keeping yourself small? 

Kim [00:09:54] Absolutely. Yeah. 

Linzy [00:09:57] So I’m wondering, Kim, like as you start to become aware of these things and decided you wanted to change and work on your finances, your relationship with money, what were the fears that came up about that? 

Kim [00:10:09] The fear was a lot of shame, you know, or a lot of like, I should have done this before or if I had done x y z, I wouldn’t be in this particular position. And then also, I would have to be honest about how much I was making, how I was collecting money from my client when I wasn’t collecting money because another part of the reason why I would have these overdraft fees and all this is because I would not collect no-show fees and late cancelation fees from my clients because I would feel terrible about it because I would be like it’s around the holidays. And then they’re going on vacation. And I was like, they’re living their best lives, you know, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, like, I have to pay my office rent. So I knew that if I actually looked at my bank account, I would see how much it was. And I would – every time I opened my bank account anyway, I would just be like, kind of pressed myself for it. Let me see a negative. Let me see – and I would just feel really bad about myself, so I conditioned myself to like not looking at my bank account unless I absolutely had to. And so I knew that if I was going to start actually working on my money stuff, that I actually had to look at it. I had to really look at what I was spending, and changing those habits, even if they were comforting for me. So it does. It stirs up a lot of shame. It stirs up a lot of fear. But the bigger thing this also stirs up this drive to do more and to make more money. And that was really what I was afraid of. Like, I wasn’t afraid of working hard to make the money, but I was really afraid of all the other things that you need to do to make money, which is raise your rates, collect, have difficult conversations with people. That was what I was struggling with. 

Linzy [00:11:58] Right. I mean, to connect it back to what you said earlier about, like in a way you were keeping yourself small. Making more money means you have to like, take up space. You have to say, like, I deserve a good rate for my expertise. This is the agreement we have and you didn’t show up, which means you owe me x amount cancelation fee. You have to really like be there, be present. Yeah. Like what you’re describing, I think a lot of people experience when they start to look at their money is like, it’s not comfortable. It kind of sucks, especially if there’s stuff that you know is a problem. Like when you look at it, that stuff is there and then you have to face it and you have to face the shame and face – yeah, just looking at the consequences of your actions. So I’m wondering for you now, Kim, what’s different about your life now because of that work that you did, and because of the fact that you did look at it, push through the shame, make these changes. 

Kim [00:12:44] I think I probably, I looked at my – actually looked at my bookkeeping system because I have a bookkeeping system now. So I looked at that from when we actually worked together, like January 2020. And I think I had made like, I don’t know – I felt really good about myself. I made like four thousand dollars that month, and we’re not at the end now, and like I have taken weeks off and I probably made, like double that. Me, I’m probably going to make ten thousand this month. So and I’m like, That was cool. That’s cool. That’s an understatement. But I was like, That was cool, and I didn’t have overdraft fees. I think that’s the big thing. There were no overdraft fees. So before, yeah I could make four thousand, but again, I’m making like three thousand or thirty five hundred because I’m paying all this money in fees. Where as, now I’m like, you know, I actually have that money. I mean, it’s great to write it off on my taxes, but I would have liked it to actually help with something else. 

Linzy [00:13:46] Yes, that’s not a strategy to save money. Money being gone, doesn’t mean you save money on taxes. So I’m hearing, like part of you, of getting more of a handle on your money and like being present with it, is you have more. Like, you’re making more, for doing the same amount of work, or are you working more now, than you used to? 

Kim [00:14:06] I’m actually probably – I’m working – I’m probably working the same amount, honestly. I’m working that same amount and I have, you know, associates under me part time and I feel comfortable with like letting them gradually build their caseload. So, I’ve tripled what my take home is because I actually was really clear about what I actually was taking home. I have a plan for growth, which makes sense. It opened me up to actually start to do the parent coaching things and actually plan those other things to join Masterminds, and to do all these other things that I was saying that I didn’t have any money to do. I would never be able to do. 

Linzy [00:14:46] Mm hmm. Yeah. What have you learned about yourself, seeing yourself now doing all these other things that you never could have done before? 

Kim [00:14:54] I mean that I’m actually a business owner and like, I’m not playing therapy, and I’ve always known that I’ve been a good clinician. But this is, you know, it’s a difference in that, you know, I actually have a viable business. And then you go into bank to open a bank account and they’re like, Oh, this is good. And I’m like, Oh, OK, like, I don’t feel like this is a lot, but they’re like, This is good. Like, they see like your company has grown, you know, for the past two years, and it’s like your revenue is like consistently quadrupled. So that’s huge. And I wouldn’t have had the energy or the desire to keep going, had I not actually looked at where is all my energy being used? Am I actually maximizing my potential, which I definitely wasn’t doing before. 

Linzy [00:15:42] And something I hear in you too, as you’re talking about your group practice growth as well is like, you seem calm about that, like they can grow at their own pace. Sometimes I see people when they step in a group practice, there’s this like urgency like – I need you to build your case load and I need you to earn this much, right? Because there’s a void there that needs to be filled, right? There’s like a need for revenue, and I’m hearing something very different in you, the way you’re talking about yours. 

Kim [00:16:04] I definitely occasionally have that, where I’m just like, Oh my gosh, like, I’m running, you know, I’m running at a deficit. And my husband’s like, what are you talking about? Again, because we sat through and we looked through all the stuff like, I looked at what my operating expenses are, they went back down, you know, and I was freaking out because they went up again and then I was like, OK, but I’m going to transition into a business. So that’s what it’s going to be. And it’ll go back down and I have a target for what I need to do, and I have to come up with a plan with it ,for it. I mean, occasionally I do still look at that and say, oh I need them too. But then I also think about, but I don’t want just any client in our practice, like that’s – I don’t, I’m not taking money out of desperation. I’m not setting them up to do that. And I have a bigger, a bigger plan and we’ll be OK. 

Linzy [00:16:54] Yeah. So how do you think about money, now? 

Kim [00:16:58] I think of money as a tool. The emotion is – I look at my bank account like every day now, which I never did, I look at it basically just be like what’s the date, I’m expecting to be in there. OK, that’s what’s in there. I’m OK, I’m good. Huh, this thing right here, is off and I look through it today and I was like, OK, this thing’s off. And you know, I had those initial twinges of like, really beating myself up again. Like, I mismanaged this and then I look through and I’m like, OK, well, then obviously what I need to do is then reset a date to look at things. Like instead of it being a shame spiral. It was like, OK, well, what am I going to do about this? Like, I need to be on top of like, what exactly is coming out, and then make a plan. How do I pay this? I’m going to break this into an installment, I’m going to talk to this person about this. How much I’m paying for payroll? And like, really looking at it that way, instead of, my life is over. And I say that very quickly to my husband who looks at me and says, OK. And then I go on and I figure out what I’m going to do. Like, it still has to come out.

Linzy [00:18:00] A little twinge of, my life is over. 

Kim [00:18:04] My life is over. And he’s like, I need you to center yourself. 

Linzy [00:18:08] That’s a therapist husband phrase. 

Kim [00:18:11] Do you need me to call you back, so you can centre yourself? 

Linzy [00:18:16] Right. So money being a tool, then it sounds like there’s this neutrality to that. Like, it’s information. You use it to do things. What else does that mean for you when you say money as a tool? 

Kim [00:18:25] If I don’t have it. It’s not like, Oh my god, I don’t have this. I’m a bad person, or I’m not worthy of something. It’s literally like, OK, if you need to dig out a hole in your shovel, isn’t there, you would kind of panic. It would be the normal thing. It isn’t me like, Oh my god, you aren’t deserving of a shovel. It means like, I need a shovel, where is my shovel? This is really hard to dig with my hands. How do I get a shovel, right? And then it also isn’t, OK, well, what is it that’s keeping me from getting a shovel? Is it like this A-hole over here who is saying you can’t give it a shovel? Is it because you lost it? Is it because you misplaced it? Did it break? And then what are your strategies to get it, right? So I look at it, like it literally is a tool. That’s exactly what it’s worth. That’s why it was created. And there all these other emotions that are tied to it. And oftentimes, that’s kind of intentional. And it’s because of people who have more money. 

Linzy [00:19:25] Right, like the system is set up that way. And in terms of how the system is set up, something that you mentioned before is like, that it’s set up to make us feel scarcity. Tell me more about what you mean by that. 

Kim [00:19:37] There’s always this message that there isn’t enough. And I know, and this is just for me as a black woman and I’m in the US that the system is set in a way that I am not meant to be successful. It just is. I’m just not meant to be successful. So when we look at like, in my viewpoint of all of these isms, you know, classism and racism, it’s really like kind of set into this idea of scarcity. That there are only a certain amount of people who can have something. And so it’s much easier to pit people against each other when we’re all fighting for a particular resource that has artificial scarcity placed upon it, right. You know, we’re all fighting and we’re spending all this money on diamonds, but no one’s saying how many diamonds are really out here, right? Let’s be real. It’s that thing like, oh my gosh, only so many people who can have power. There’s only so many people who have it can have money. And it’s like, That’s not true. It’s really not. So that’s what I think of when I say that this is kind of a system that is designed to make you believe that and it’s not to your benefit. Now, a lot of people think it sounds really woo-woo to say, if you kind of think about it, you will actually have abundance. But I think it’s – part of it is also saying, no, there’s a dude over there who probably has like a billion of something, and he doesn’t need all of them. Right. So that’s yours for the taking. Right? They’re not even going to miss that. 

Linzy [00:21:12] No, absolutely not. And in terms of like systemically, I think you’re absolutely correct. And I think something that I think about sometimes is like, how much is actually required to like, really experience abundance, right? Because there is a certain amount, a system that’s designed to push wealth to the top, and there’s people at the top who have an amount of wealth that is unfathomable and really at this point is not improving their life at all. Whether you have $10 billion or $500 billion, your life can’t really get better. You’ve peaked. Any dissatisfaction you have is spiritual, mental health, relationship, right? But the difference that moving yourself from $40000 year to $200000 a year for the rest of us is massive, in terms of what that means for your life and what you can do for your community and how you can empower initiatives around you. And like the change that you can make with that money is huge. I think especially in therapy and health professions where we also have that additional layer of being caretakers or empathetic people, we really buy into that story. I think it’s trained into us to think that we are not entitled to ask for anything above survival. 

Kim [00:22:25] Yeah. And the thing is, I was watching something that was on channel four. It was like a clip and it was like, you know, like poverty or during the lockdown or something. And it was like, it just showed, like this family and they were really poor. And I’m like looking at it and like a lot of the things I could kind of relate to, as a kid. And it was just like this twinge analysis, like, Oh my gosh, I feel so guilty for like minding all these other things, when this kid and his family are like struggling and then I was like, No, because at the end he’s like, I want to get out of poverty. And I’m like, Yeah, so how is me being impoverished, helping him to get out? You know, there’s a difference. It’s like, Yes, if I have abundance and if I have more, then I’m sharing and making sure that he and his family, or whomever could also get out of the same situation. But me being down there with them isn’t helpful, but that’s the thing that I constantly have to like challenge myself because there’s a lot of shame about that. A lot of times, if we kind of do buy into this, the system, is – especially white supremacy, that when you buy into it and you make it, that you just hoard all your stuff and this is like, OK, well, you should have done what I did, to do that. And when you’re growing up, and you don’t have a lot, you kind of like, abhor anyone who is like that or has money because that’s really typically what you encounter. It’s people who are spending – who are giving all these judgments about money. So, yeah, you kind of say, OK, well, I’m going to be successful, but I’m not going to be rich, you know, because rich has like a very bad connotation, right? Or some people who like, I want to be rich, like, I want to floss on everybody. I want it to be like, shoo poors, because that’s what they want to do. 

Linzy [00:24:16] Yeah, well it’s like, I want to win, so other people lose. And I didn’t – be on that side of it. 

Kim [00:24:21] Yeah. And in that respect I’m like, you still aren’t winning. But I don’t have to play that game, and I think that’s the thing in this whole year and change that I realize that that’s not the only way to be wealthy, hoarding all this money and having all this and looking down on people and throwing out a couple of buckets here and there, to make yourself feel better, that there are other ways. 

Linzy [00:24:44] Yeah. Another piece that you mentioned earlier that I want to go back to is, you know, with money being a tool, and I hear that what you’re saying now too like, we can choose to use it like when we build more money, so we’re not hand-to-mouth and we’re not in survival mode. We can choose to use that money in all sorts of ways, right to make the world around us better. But also, when you talk about money being a tool and like not having money, something you said that stuck out is like if you look at your bank account, you’re like, Oh, shoot, the money’s not there that’s supposed to be there, it doesn’t say anything about you and your value. Can you tell me more about that? 

Kim [00:25:12] Yeah, I look at it and I’ve learned that you’re going to run a business and you’re going to fail. And so this week, I fail to remember that something comes out like once a month. And that’s a system fail, right? And so it’s not – I mean It’s like, probably, it’s definitely a human error, but it’s also like, you know that was – I need to check that. Not oh my gosh, like, I just screwed up this other thing about like, and I’m never going to be able to like, make money, which is not true because I made that money back today. So, it literally is like, I look at something and I’m like, OK, I just need to figure out, how do I fix the system? How do I get more of this resource to keep me running, right? If I burn through all my gas, I’m not going mad at myself about it. I’m going to be like, How am I going to get some more gas? Like, I got to get the gas. 

Linzy [00:26:05] Yeah, if you run out of food, you got to get more food. 

Kim [00:26:08] I should get more food. Will I be upset that my child literally eat a whole bag of bagels in two days? Absolutely. But I can still go and get –

Linzy [00:26:17] That sounded like a real life example.

Kim [00:26:18] It’s like, Oh, well, that I got some carb hands over here. And once I kind of detach myself from that, I felt, you know, and also didn’t feel as bad about more money coming in because that was the other thing, I was feeling really bad about more money coming in, really guilty about some of my colleagues who weren’t doing as well in private practice because that pops up and they’re like, Oh, you know, you constantly get the, “I’m not in this for the money.” And I’m like, OK, well I am. So like there is no reason that I could just be making a salary somewhere and be miserable. It’s this sanctimonious, like, I’m not doing this because of blah blah blah. And you know, or therapy should be whatever, it should be free or these things should be free. And and the same people who say those things, also have a salary. So it’s like you have a fat salary. So you have money, like you have something guaranteed that’s coming in. You have an income stream, but is a judgment of you shouldn’t want more than that because you want to. More than that takes away from people who can’t afford what you’re providing. And it was one of the things where once I realized that if I raised my rate, then all these like pro bono charity things that I was doing, I could actually afford to do them, like legitimately afford to do them instead of sitting here and starting to feel resentful because people weren’t paying me, or I’m reducing or sliding your fee. So instead of me running a charity, which charities get grants, they need to make money, they get grants. My grant writing is collecting my no-show fees. Like, let me do that. So fighting through all that, fighting through other people’s opinions about making money. The message that we get consistently about the fact that we shouldn’t be in it for the money, that we shouldn’t even look at this – you shouldn’t even try to increase your revenue. You should just be so happy about this. Or you shouldn’t be resentful, or making a little bit of money like, Oh, I do this, so I feel fine. It’s like, that’s great. But we also have to realize that not everyone has a partner or a spouse at home who has that income that’s coming in to stabilize. And not everyone has the bandwidth or the ability to work another job and to do multiple things, to do that. Or some people – seriously, I like to drive a nice car. I’m a social worker. I’ve spent years driving really crappy cars, I like my nice car. So those things that keep me, you know, happy. 

Linzy [00:28:56] Well, something that occurs to me. And this is kind of like a response that just popped into my brain when you said like therapy should be free. When I hear that, I think, yeah, sure, therapy should be free and therapists should get paid like doctors. So if you want to value the work that we do, at the impact it actually has, then set up a public health care system, which we have in Canada. And doctors here are free. The consumer, we don’t pay for them, the patient, but they get paid really well by the government as they should because they’re dealing with life and death situations, as are we. Right. And so I think there’s that piece there, like what’s not said is like therapy should be free. And also we should just struggle and suffer because we’re doing it out of the good of our hearts, which is just keeping us small, just stay small. That’s what I hear over and over. 

Linzy [00:29:40] And also, when we’re looking at particular fields that are dominated by women, is that, you know, all of this is just like charity work, it’s just this some busy work, like you don’t really need to make any money. There’s no value to that or thinking about the fact that in our field, a lot of times to be able to get these post bachelor degrees, that’s a lot of money and time and privilege to be able to do those things. And so those are different classes, those are different, like – and so we’re not really thinking about the fact that like you have the resources to be able to do that. If we really care about diversity, if we really care about inclusion, then we have to also understand it in order for us to have a more diverse population of providers, than we need to be able to like increase what the pay is. And even with entrepreneurs, we should do this. I mean, I know that I was looking at this stat for in the states. It was a stat in the states that basically said, out of psychotherapists in private practice or something, that there were about 80 something percent like high eighties that were quite – there were maybe three or four percent that were like Hispanic, Latino, two percent there were like black, one percent for Asian and there was like zero point whatever percent of indigenous therapists. Now if we’re looking at what the actual population is, and we’re looking at the fact that there’s lack of representation – then one of the big reasons for that is because of the gatekeeping to actually have access to education, to provide that and then also the incentive to actually go into these professions that are typically low paying because everyone wears this mantle of, I’m not in it for the money, but the people who are able to say I’m not in it for the money literally have another way to live and survive. 

Linzy [00:31:28] Yes. They probably have generational wealth. 

Kim [00:31:30] Absolutely. Yeah. They can drive into these impoverished areas or work with the less fortunate and then they go home. Note, there’s a drive because they have cars. They get access to these things. It was those that are things that like once I really started looking at it and recognizing like just my privilege in itself, the fact that I’m educated and have access to that, like I have access to business advice because I have relatives that are successful in business and really being OK with that, acknowledging what it is and then saying, yes, this is the privilege, and I’m going to make the best use of it so that I can help myself and I can help other people. And I can be an example that you can actually be successful, even if I’m not necessarily like Mother Teresa and like shelling out a whole bunch of stuff, to me, actually being out here and being vocal and being present in, you know, mentoring and helping other people, shows like you can charge your worth, you can be successful. And that’s huge, and I think that that’s absolutely huge. 

Linzy [00:32:36] Yeah. And in that, I’m kind of hearing your taking that tool that you have, right? And using it intentionally. Right, and like setting an example, taking up space in a way that the system is designed agains, it’s not what it wants you to do. So Kim, for other people who are thinking about doing what you’ve done and improving their relationship with money and like looking at it and like, you know, I’m hearing that there’s kind of two stages to what you’ve done, right? There’s the practical skills. But then also there’s this mindset work that you’ve done right, so people who are knowing that maybe they need to do this. What advice would you give them about stepping in to doing that work? 

Linzy [00:33:13] I think the first thing would be to be kind to yourself, know that there are a lot more people out here who have many issues than you think and a lot of us dress very well, and drive very nice cars. We look really good on the outside because we’re masking all this other stuff. And, you know, so that we all kind of have our own struggles. And that, one of the things I would say is that be kind to yourself, be honest about your situation. If you’re like, Well, I’m really struggling with money, just be honest with it. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be successful in business. It just means that that is just something that you’re going to have to learn. That’s not something that you’re born with. Wealthy people teach their children, if their children actually know, wealthy people teach their kids about money, that’s what they do. And it’s a skill, literally it’s a skill. And you have to you have to practice it. And that sometimes you’re going to feel really embarrassed. And that’s OK. 

Linzy [00:34:13] Great. So Kim, what offers do you have? What are you doing right now that our listeners who might want to work more with you could be interested in? 

Kim [00:34:22] So, if you’re in the Philadelphia area, I have two amazing clinicians who are taking new clients. We’re actually running a bunch of groups. I’m running child anxiety groups, a parenting group, a parenting talk therapy group, I’m running a group for transracial adoptee teens. I’m also offering a six week coaching cohort for parents on my Ask Amel parent coaching firm. 

Linzy [00:34:48] And where can people find you and follow you? 

Kim [00:34:50] So the best way to reach me would be through social media. So I have two. On Instagram. It’s @ameltherapy, a m e l t h e r a p y and ask AskAmel, a s k a m e l . co, also my website www.ameltherapy.com. 

Kim [00:35:09] Great, and we’ll put those in the show notes so people can check you out there. Thank you so much, Kim, for coming on today and sharing about your own changes around money and some of these juicy ideas and thoughts that you shared with us today. Thank you so much. 

Kim [00:35:23] Absolutely. Thank you for having me on. 

Linzy [00:35:39] Re-listening to this conversation I had with Kim, now a few months later, as we’re putting together this episode. I was struck by how inspiring she is. You know, the work that she’s done, how she’s worked hard, the ways that she is taking up space now and working to take up more space and challenging narratives around therapists and wealth and race. Just such a transformation that I’ve seen in Kim in the time that I’ve known her. And at the time of her recording, I don’t think she was doing this work. But I will also say that Kim is now also doing some coaching with Alison Puryear at Abundance Practice Building an Abundance Party. So if you were inspired and if you felt connection with Kim, I know she’s doing some coaching work over there, so you should definitely check that out over at Abundance Practice Building and the Abundance Party. So, such interesting points that Kim made today, especially her metaphors, I found around money being a tool. That’s just such a neutral metaphor for money that she described so well. And just thinking about money as a tool, it’s just a neutral thing. If you don’t have a tool, if you don’t have a shovel, how can you get a shovel? It takes so much of the emotionality out of it. And as she shared, it doesn’t mean she never has emotional moments around money, and it doesn’t mean she never has scarcity or fear pop up. But she’s really obviously connected to this grounded, practical way to relate to money that allows her to take action and keep moving, and she’s taken so much action. If you would like to hear more from me, you can follow us on Instagram @moneynutsandbolts. We are sharing practical and emotional money content on there all the time. And if you’re joining the podcast, please jump over to Apple Podcasts and leave me review. It is the best way for other therapists to find me. Thank you so much for listening today. 

Hi, I'm Linzy

Hi, I'm Linzy

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

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