The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Lessons Learned from a Weekend of Coaching

63: Lessons Learned from a Weekend of Coaching

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Lessons Learned from a Weekend of CoachingI just got back from a weekend away and realized I didn't have any content recorded for this week's podcast. However, my weekend was spent at a coaching retreat with the incredible Kara Loewentheil, so I have lots to share from that experience and that's what we're doing today.

I love in-person coaching, and I learned so much from the past weekend. So in this episode, I'm giving you the biggest takeaways I got, some of which really surprised me. I coach all my clients and teach self-coaching, but honestly, there is no substitute for sitting down with a trained coach and letting them go to work on your brain. And in this episode, you'll discover why.

Join me on the podcast this week as I discuss my lessons learned from a weekend of coaching with Kara Loewentheil. She asked all of us attending to answer some questions, and what happened next was so eye-opening. I'm sharing how I have reevaluated everything I thought wasn't possible for me, how to remove the drama from the stories we tell ourselves, and why self-love is always available, no matter how distant it seems.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why, even though I'm a coach who specializes in money, I still have work to do myself in this area.
  • How we get it so wrong when we're telling stories about our circumstances around money.
  • Why I have decided to always tell a story about my money that doesn't make me feel terrible, even if it seems delusional in the moment.
  • How I was coached this past weekend on some of the things I thought just weren't possible or available to me, and it turns out they are.
  • Why when emotions are high, intelligence is always low.
  • What you can do to remove the drama out of any story you're telling yourself.
  • The truth about self-love and where so many people, myself included, get it wrong.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hello, everyone. So, I just got back from a two-day in-person coaching retreat in New York City. I live just over the bridge, so that was very easy for me to attend. And it was with Kara Loewentheil.

And so many of you may not know who she is. She is a master certified life coach. She trained at the Life Coach School like I did. And before she became a coach, she was a lawyer. She has a JD from Harvard and I believe, I might be getting this detail wrong, she worked in social justice, specifically for women's rights.

So, I wasn't actually planning to talk about my weekend with her, at least not immediately, because it just happened the weekend of June 5th and 6th. But I returned from New York City last night – today is Monday June 7th – and my podcast producer emailed me saying that they didn't have the file for this week's podcast.

Now, I was under the impression that the podcast for this week was already recorded. I tend to record in batches, two to three at a time so I don't have to record podcasts every week. Batching is definitely one of my – I wouldn't call it a secret, but definitely one of the ways I lump together similar tasks to get them out of the way.

So, when she told me that she didn't have a podcast, I was like, “Oh.” And then I decided that I had to record on today so that this would come out on time for this week. Then I thought, “Oh, how is this perfect? I can just discuss what I learned this weekend,” which was so much.

And so, that's what I'm going to do today. I'm going to share my biggest takeaways from my two days of coaching with Kara. There were, I think, 10 of us, maybe 11 people getting coached by her. And so, I'm going to discuss my biggest takeaways and then I'm going to say a few things – I took copious amounts of notes – that are still sort of percolating and infusing in my brain and I'm still processing so to speak. And so, that's what we're going to do today.

So, how it worked was each day, she had us answer three questions for ourselves and we didn't have to necessarily answer each question. But they were sort of springboards for figuring out what we wanted coaching on.

So, let me start with day one questions and then I'll go through what I got coached on day one, then I'll move on to day two. And then, I'll finish with some other tidbits that I learned that really resonated with me.

So, here are the three questions she asked on day one. What's the most stressful or painful issue in your life right now? Question two, what is the problem you believe you will never be able to solve or have been trying to solve for a long time? Number three, what have you resigned yourself to living with forever?

And so, I'm going to share how I answered some of these questions. And so, for the first one, I first wrote, “Maybe some of my past friendships in terms of how they ended.” And then I also wrote, “I don't like my current phone use. I feel that I'm spending a lot of time on the phone when I'm not working in particular and I'm doing that at the expense of spending time with my family.”

For the second question, I wrote, “Being able to fully love myself and other people.” And for number three, which is what have you resigned yourself to living with forever, basically it came down to a lot of compare and despair.

And so, basically that, “Can I really do whatever I want? Can I really make millions of dollars and be like them?” them being other entrepreneurs that I look up to.

So, the first thing I got coached on was around money. And it's so funny. I tell my clients this all the time, but now I'm going to tell on myself right now, in that even though I'm a coach and I'm skilled in coaching my clients, it doesn't mean I'm necessarily skilled at coaching myself and can apply the same coaching to myself because when it's you, when it's your brain, you think it makes sense and you're the exception to the rule. This is always the case.

And although you can learn to skillfully self-coach yourself, and I do self-coach myself, there are just some areas where you just can't make traction because you're so in it, right?

And so, I was having drama about the numbers in my business and also about my inability – and notice I use that word, inability – to really have the dream house that I want. So, let me start with the drama of the numbers in my business.

And if you're one of my clients right now, whether you're Money for Women Physicians or one of my one on one clients, you know that I will always coach you to get to a very specific circumstance of your numbers.

People will say things, “Well, I'm running out of money,” and they'll say it to me as a fact. And I know that's not a fact. The fact is, what is the actual balance in your bank account? And the way people talk about these balances, it's as if there's zero dollars in it or less than zero dollars.

And so, it's just so important to really get to the neutral numbers of what's actually happening. And the way you know that you got to the neutral numbers is that you don't have an immediate negative feeling about them, or even a positive feeling. You just kind of feel neutral. You're like, “Oh, these are just the numbers. Now what?” That's what I mean.

So, if you're telling yourself the numbers in a way that's causing a lot of pain or suffering or anxiety, that means you haven't gotten to the specific neutral numbers. And the way I was talking about my business numbers was I was literally stating it as if they were facts. This is just what we all do. All of us do this.

Meaning I was saying, “Oh it's negative…” whatever number, and of course Kara is like, “Don't say negative. What are the actual numbers?” I didn't have them off the top of my head, but a more neutral circumstance would be to actually list the balances of all the business accounts, for example.

The second thing I took away from this is that there are so many ways you can think about or tell the story of what's happening looking at these numbers, so many different ways. But we think – or rather our brains think there's only one way to tell that story.

And it really got me thinking, of course I know this for my clients, but for me it's like, I always tend to focus on kind of the worst version of the story ever. How many of you do this too with whatever is going on in your life? Like you just think of the immediate worst-case scenario that makes you feel horrible.

And what I learned this weekend is you really can tell whatever version that you want. And if you're listening to this and you're like, “But that's being untruthful or…” my favorite word, “That's being delusional.”

But here's the secret. It's all made up. All of it. You may as well make up a story that feels good, or at least doesn't feel bad. Because one thing I realized is, when I really got to the heart of this, I think our brains – at least mine – thinks that for some reason – and even saying it out loud I'm kind of laughing because it sounds so illogical.

We think that somehow feeling bad about it is the way to not feel bad about it. I'm going to say this again. We think somehow that feeling bad about – and I'm talking about money in this sense – feeling bad about money, somehow we think that's the way to feel good about it.

And as an extension of this, we think beating ourselves up or shaming ourselves is going to motivate us to be better. Because I know we all do this. Because most of you listening are my people, meaning we are type-A women physicians, other professionals, we think beating ourselves up is going to be useful.

Of course it's not useful. Think of the last time someone was rude or mean or said you're not doing it right in a mean way, did it actually motivate you to do better? No, of course not. So, why do we think that would work to ourselves?

And the truth of the matter is, our brains want to feel good. Remember, it's partially motivated – it's highly motivated by pleasure. And like, so the way to actually feel better is to actually feel better.

I'm just laughing because I know this sounds so obvious, but sometimes our brains make up these really weird rules and linear, like, step one, step two, step three that make absolute nonsense.

So, this is why I get coached and why I pay for coaching. Because at the end of the day, my brain is always going to spew nonsensical things that make no sense. And it takes a third party, a trained coach to be like, “You know that doesn't make sense, right?”

So, that was one of my biggest takeaways right there. Now, let me tell you the day two questions she asked us. The day two questions were, what is a dream you won't admit to yourself? Number two, what do you want that you don't believe you can have? What would blow your mind to believe, feel, do, accomplish, or create?

And so, let me find my answers here. So, for the first one, I didn't actually answer it because I didn't really feel like there was a dream I wasn't admitting to myself. And so, the second thing was what do you want that you don't believe you can have? So, I said that I wanted a big open condo or penthouse or a house with a pool. Either way, I wanted a pool.

For the last part, what would blow your mind to feel, accomplish, et cetera, I wrote to love myself, love my business, love all the people. And of course, in my brain, I'm thinking these are big things and it's going to take a while for her to coach me.

She got through it in like five minutes. And I'm just laughing because it's so obvious when someone else coaches you sometimes. So, let me talk about the thing that I want that I didn't believe that I could have, which is a big expansive apartment, like a penthouse type think, or a house with a pool.

And so, she literally asked me like, “You know you could have that right now, right?” And of course I was like, “No I can't.” And she's like, “Do you think you could have this in another state, another town?” And I said, “Oh, I guess I could have that in Indiana right now, I could buy a place.”

And so, what she taught me is that the reason why she asked that or pointed that out is because right now I had the identity of someone who can't have that versus getting more specific, like someone who can't have that type of house, condo where I live right now, which is Northern New Jersey, which is a relatively expensive area, high cost of living, right?

And then she took it even further. She's like, “Well, do you know how much that would cost right now?” And I said, “Yeah, probably around 1.5 million for a house with a pool, for a house that I want with the pool that I want.” And she's like, “Okay, well what could you buy right now if you wanted to?” And I said, “We could probably buy a million-dollar home, close to that.”

She's like, “Okay, so it's really a math problem, meaning the difference is $500,000. Do you think you could figure out how to make up that difference?” And I said, “Absolutely.”

So, what she did there in case it's not obvious to you, she just removed all the drama out of it. Because when you're saying something like, “Oh, I can never have the house I really want with the pool,” it's so freaking dramatic. And so, she really reduced – she removed the drama out of it literally by focusing on the math, which is what I do for my clients.

When you focus on the pure math of things, it removes the drama. And I also learned that when the drama decreases, you know you're on the right path. Because you've heard that saying, at least I have, “When emotions are high, intelligence is low.”

So, when things are dramatic in your brain and so big and heavy, you just aren't smart about what you're able to see. And then after we had this conversation, I kind of sheepishly mentioned, well, so I don't own my place right now but I do live in a luxury high-rise building and we actually have a pool. And of course she just started cracking up because she's like, “Okay, so you actually have the home you want with the pool, maybe you just don't own it.”

And I was like, “Yeah, I do.” So, that was just kind of funny to realize, I actually have what I want. Maybe I don't own it, but I actually have it. And if I want the more specific thing that I want, it's just a math problem that I can solve for, versus there's something wrong with me and I can never have what I really want.

Okay, so let's go to the self-love bit. This is something that has been kind of the theme of my year. And maybe some of you have heard me talk about, like, I picked the word love as my word for 2021, in case some of you do something similar.

And this all started when I spent the day with Brooke Castillo back in February for an in-person retreat. Can you see a theme here? I love to get coached. And that was all about exploring our relationships with ourselves.

And I basically had this idea that self-love was a destination, meaning that once I got there, I would feel wonderful all the time, love myself, love my family, love my clients, love all the people so effortlessly. And notice if you do something similar.

Maybe it's not about self-love. Maybe it's like – I have a podcast on this, The Retirement Myth, about the arrival fallacy. A lot of us think, “Once I get the money then life will be better.” We all do this with different things, “Oh if this job was this way then life would be better.”

But we think life will be better permanently, but that's just ever the case, but it's just a lie that our brains tell ourselves. And so, I had basically made up that self-love was a destination.

And she explained it so simply, I was like, “Oh, really? That's what it is?” And so, this is what she said, “Self-love is just having a relationship with yourself. It's like loving other people.” And so, she asked me, name someone you love, and she knew I had a partner and Jack, and so for those of you out there, maybe it's a parent or a dear friend that you love.

She's like, “It's like that. Do you always think about them?” And I said no. She's like, “Do they ever annoy you? Do they ever do things that you don't like?” I'm like yeah, she's like, “Do you still love them?” I'm like, “Yeah. She's like, “It's like that.”

And like in a snap – I'm trying to snap here, I'm not a very good snapper – I was like, “Oh, really? That's it?” She's like, “Yeah, it's just cultivating a relationship with yourself and understanding that you have a relationship with yourself and that you can love yourself but not necessarily like everything about you, and that's okay.”

And just like we have friends that we love and there might be things about them that we don't like, for example, I have a dear friend, I love her, she's late a lot, which irks me to no end. Like, annoys me a lot. I still love her.

So, it just gave me a lot more space with myself because I had basically thought of the definition of self-love in this tiny little box. And if I wasn't in the constraints of that box then that meant I hadn't achieved self-love. So, I'm hoping that's helpful for a lot of you as well. It just gives you a lot more compassion.

Like, “Oh, self-love doesn't mean that I have to always be thinking about myself or always feeling love for myself.” It's just being aware that we do have a relationship with ourself. And the more we could improve that, it will just automatically extend to other people. And this includes not beating ourselves up because the more we can have compassion for ourselves in the areas that we don't necessarily like about ourselves, that will automatically extend to other people in the form of not judging people.

Okay, so those were my personal takeaways and I just wanted to say a few other items that I learned from this weekend. So, this wasn't my personal coaching experience. This was someone else's. But it's about money so I want to talk about it.

And so, there's this concept in coaching I don't think I've specifically talked about on the podcast yet, but I obviously will. It's something called all or none thinking, also known as black and white thinking. And it's something our brains do and it's something especially type-A perfectionistic-thinking women do. Which is where we think there are only two options and they're at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

And so, this person was getting coached around money saying that she's not good with money. And of course, Kara said, “Why do you think you're not good with money?” And then started just asking all of us, what does being good with money mean? What does being bad with money mean? And what are our definitions of tat? Because all of us have definitions of what that means.

And what struck me is that being good with money, being good with anything – so we can insert being a good mom, being a good physician, being a good lawyer does not mean you are perfect all the tie. Meaning you can be good with money and make money mistakes. It's not either-or, but we do this all the time. We think things are either-or. I see this a lot with my clients around being rich and happy or being rich, happy, fulfilled, and contributing to society, as if being rich means you can't be those other things.

And then, another important thing that I think is so important for you to hear is that if you are not efficient with what you have now – this could be money or time – having more won't make it better. I'm going to say it again then sort of explain what I took away from this.

If you are not efficient with the money and time you have now, having more money and time won't solve the problem. Meaning if you're thinking, “Oh, well I'll be better with money, I'll be able to make a budget and stick to it once I have more money,” it's actually not going to get better when you have more money. It's just going to scale. The problem will literally scale.

And this is something my business coach talks about, meaning whatever problems you have in the business now, they are just going to magnify as the business brings in more money.

It's the same with time. How many of you are thinking, “I don't have more time? If I had more time, I could go this or that.” Having more time doesn't solve the problem. I can tell you right now, I personally do not have an, “I don't have enough time,” problem. I have a lot of free time. And I don't necessarily get everything done just because I have more time.

But how many of us are thinking this? When this happens or if I have more of this, it will be better, it will be easier. You need to figure out how to do it now with what you have. It's not going to magically just get better. It's not a circumstance or an outside problem.

I think we think, “Well if I had more money, which is out there outside of me, then that will fix our problems.” But it's a thinking or brain problem. So, I hope that's resonating for you because that really struck me.

Here are some other sayings that I learned. One of my favorite questions is, what if I'm wrong about this? Maybe my brain is wrong about what's possible for me. Like, just being in this curiosity, like what if I'm wrong about this? What if we are wrong about this?

We talked about how money doesn't create safety or security because money itself doesn't create any of that. It's what you think about money, it's what you think about yourself.

Alright, so the last thing I wanted to say in terms of takeaways, there are so many I'm just sort of cherry-picking here. And I kind of said this earlier when I said it is actually a choice to tell ourselves the best version of what happened. And so, here is a question she posed to us. What is the most impressive way to look at my numbers? Because we can't get there by hating our way there.

That's how I wanted to end my biggest takeaways from spending a weekend coaching with the most amazing Kara Loewentheil. And so, I hope you learned something for yourself. And in case you're wondering, this weekend definitely made me think, wouldn't this be fun to do for my clients?

You know, I had a retreat planned and it is canceled for right now, but this weekend made me think, you know, it was just so nice to be with other people. We were all vaccinated and that was one of the requirements was that y'all had to be vaccinated to attend. And so, I'm thinking of doing something similar. And so, watch out for that announcement. I will talk to you ladies next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Thoughts About Money and Wealth with Stacey Boehman

62: Thoughts About Money and Wealth with Stacey Boehman

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Thoughts About Money and Wealth with Stacey BoehmanI'm going to start introducing you guys into the world of my coaching. I'll be featuring past and current clients on the show in the future, but today I have a really interesting conversation for you with my business coach Stacey Boehman. I've been in Stacey's masterminds for a year already, and after today's episode, you'll see why I plan on hanging around for years to come.

Stacey Boehman's is one of the most incredible stories in the world of coaching. She came from humble beginnings, but the way she has built wealth and changed her mindset around money is truly something to behold. And I love borrowing thoughts from other people, so when it comes to money, there is no one I'd rather borrow a thought from than Stacey.

Tune in this week as Stacey shares with us how her thoughts about money have changed over the years and how the way she operates has changed since she started accumulating wealth. We're discussing the money drama that we see come up for our clients, and why more money never means less money drama.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Stacey's story from humble beginnings to seven-figure entrepreneur.
  • Where Stacey was in her life when she realized she needed to make some serious changes.
  • How Stacey scraped together the money to pay for her coach training.
  • The lessons that Stacey's first coach taught her about money.
  • Why Stacey always believed that making more money was possible for her.
  • Where I see parallels between Stacey's story and my clients in terms of really understanding money.
  • Why the money drama doesn't stop when you have multiple millions of dollars.
  • The thoughts Stacey has about her money that she believes are serving her the most as her wealth grows.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hello, everyone. So good to be back and speaking to you all. And so, I have a special guest today. But before I introduce her, I want to say that I am sort of starting this quote unquote unofficial mini series on my podcast.

So, what I want to do is basically bring on people. And so today is my business coach. But likely will be current or past clients or people inside Money for Women Physicians. And I'm going to interview them because I think it's really important to see examples of where people were, where they are now, besides just hearing my examples.

I'm sure you love hearing snippets from my life, but I think it's really important to see different types of people, different backgrounds, and to kind of see their journey. Because then you can see yourself in them as well. And also, you can totally borrow what they believe about money. There's no belief police, as we say. You're allowed to believe whatever you want.

And I am always, I guess you could say stealing or copying other people's beliefs. Like, why not? And so, let me explain why I decided to have my business coach Stacey Boehman on.

So, for those of you who don't know her, she is a master certified life coach. She also trained at the Life Coach School, where I trained. And she helps life coaches make money.

And so, I guess most people consider her a business coach. And I've been in her world for almost a year now. And so, I've done two rounds of her mastermind and I just renewed and so I'll be doing a third round. Each round is about six months, in case you were wondering. And I plan to be in her orbit for a while. At least a few years, to learn from her.

And then you might be asking, why do I love learning from her? Or maybe you're not wondering that. But it's because she has not just created an extraordinary amount of money – and we'll talk about where she is in her journey. I mean, she has a multi-million-dollar company and is on track, I believe, this is 2021, to make $10 million in her business while working three days a week. And not even three full days. We're talking like six-hour days. I think she works 12 to six Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and takes about two months of vacations a year.

And so, when I first heard that that was even possible, it kind of broke my brain. And then I had some thoughts and judgmental thoughts about how that's not right, et cetera, and so you might be having similar thoughts as well.

And so, I just love that she's an example of what's possible, literally. An example of a woman who came from really humble beginnings and able to create extraordinary wealth.

And so, I'm not having her on to say that this is what you should do as well, but I just think it's important to see what is possible. Because since I've been in this entrepreneur world, specifically mainly around life coaches or other online businesses, I have literally been surrounded by people making a lot of money and it's normal.

And I know that most of you probably don't have that. And you don't need to be in business to have that experience of what is possible out there for you. And I'm not saying you should want to make a ton of money or millions of dollars.

But I know many of you think it's not possible and that it's not possible to make $500,000 or $1 million or whatever amount of money that you would like to make without working hard, without sacrificing. And so, that's why I have her here, so that you can literally, well, not see, but hear a real-life example of a woman who has created extraordinary wealth without taxing or without overworking, without sacrificing her family life, without sacrificing… just sacrificing.

Because I think a lot of us feel like, “Oh, well I do want more money and I don't really want to work more,” because that's sort of what we've all believed, we've got to work hard and more money. And just even the possibility that it's possible to make millions, multimillions a year and working three days a week.

Now, I'm not saying that this happened overnight for her. And so, I'm just excited to share Stacey with you because I know you'll learn a lot and just be kind of amazed at what she's accomplished, and her story. Because like I said, she comes from very humble beginnings. So, I think that's important because so many of you think you're behind or think it's too late.

And so Stacey's not – I think she's in her mid-30s. And I think it just goes to show you that you really can do whatever you want. If you want to create a lot of money, you can. It's not too late. You're not behind because it's possible. And so, that's why I have her on. I'm so excited for you to listen and I hope you get so many nuggets.

And if you are listening and you are a life coach and you don't know Stacey, you need to check her out. I have basically done her flagship program 2K for 2K, that's for new life coaches, and then I'm in her mastermind called 200K, and then I'm in her $2 million group mastermind. And so, if you're a life coach, you definitely need to check her out. And let's go.

Bonnie: Welcome to the podcast, Stacey.

Stacey: Hi, thanks for having me.

Bonnie: Yeah, so I'm super excited to have you because – and so my listeners might be like, “Why is there a non-physician here on the podcast to talk about money?” You know, my people have heard me talk about my business coach, so that's you, obviously. And I want them to hear how you think about money so that they can try them on and get inspired by your story as well.

Stacey: Okay, great, let's do it.

Bonnie: So, I've already introduced you on the podcast, but obviously a lot of people might not know you, they just know that you're a successful entrepreneur coach right now, but I think it would be really helpful for them to kind of hear that you didn't start out rich.

Stacey: I did not. No. I mean, I use rich and poor – first of all, can I just say, if I use those terms in this podcast, I use them because I have been extraordinarily poor and I feel extraordinarily rich. So, they're terms that I identify with. So, I have a different level of comfort talking about poor people and rich people that I think some people are afraid, like, “Oh you can't say that…” But that's my story. That's where I came from, so that's the terms that I use.

But yeah, I grew up very poor. I grew up in a shotgun house. I graduated from high school living with my dad in a really small trailer on some land. Like, my family never had money. And in fact, I think growing up, it was always like them versus us and those who have money are bad and we are good. And a lot of that comes from my great grandparents, like humble church upbringing of the meek shall inherit the earth sort of belief system.

So yeah, I never had money. I struggled my whole life. And then my siblings actually went on to be pretty successful. My sister is a nurse practitioner. Her husband is in software development. He does big things that I don't know what they are. And my brother works for Charles Schwab. And so, I was always the kind of black sheep of the family, not super successful.

So, before I found coaching, I was a pitch artist. So, I would go around the country and do live demos in retail chains across the country, like ShamWow, knives, all the things. I always joke that I used to sell mops in Walmart.

And I was like the best in the industry, but the best in the industry made about $60,000. And even when I was making $60,000, which I think can be a great income in this country, in the US, I still wasn't managing my money well so I had no IRA, no retirement. I had no savings. I was always living paycheck to paycheck. I had to go through debt management programs twice. I was just always, always overspending above my means.

And you know the story, when I started my business, I had to really do a lot of thought work around money to be able t invest in myself. Like, I think my first investment in myself was $5000. And doing that seemed unbelievable. So unattainable.

I was living in a 600 square foot apartment, barely making rent with a 20-year-old car, beater car driving it around, that seemed so insane to me. And we joke now, like, it's true, I had two spoons. I didn't have the money or the interest to just have the normal basic fundamental things that most humans have. That feels like the two spoons is almost a metaphor for that. I just had none of those things.

And it really took a lot of changing my mind and my thoughts about money to create millions of dollars. So, that's kind of my background.

Bonnie: I know, I love that story. And what do you think was the impetus for you to be like, “I need to do something about this?”

Stacey: To hire a coach?

Bonnie: Well, to work on yourself to change how you think about money and start making money. Like, at some point, were you like, this is enough…

Stacey: So, I think that there was a couple of things. I don't know that I really – that's a great question. I don't know that I ever got into it for the money. I never saw value in money because I never had it. Like, I remember – this is the best example of this. The 2008 financial crisis, I had no idea there was a crisis. Poor people didn't know that there were things happening to rich people at that time. I had no idea.

So, I was in sales and so many other people, I hear their stories that they were crippled around that time being in sales, but I had no concept that there was a problem in the world, so I still sold and made a lot of money.

So, I don't think I got into it for money. I know that might not be the answer you were thinking, but I will say somewhere along the line, I was pitching for seven years, I realized I loved doing it, I was a nomad, I would go all over the country, I was the best at it, but I was really unfulfilled.

And when I say that, I mean literally there would be times where I would be having a $10,000 week and crying in my car because I just didn't want to do it anymore. It was just a really lonely life and I noticed that all of my friends and people around me were getting married, they were buying houses, they had decent cars, they were living what I would say is a society standard normal life and I kept thinking, why don't I have that? Why can't I create it? Like there's something they have that I'm missing. There's something that they know or that they're good at that I can't seem to create for myself, no matter how hard I try, I can't figure out how to save. No matter how hard I try to restrain, I can't seem to get myself out of going into debt.

So there was a feeling like overall everybody else had it figured out and I didn't, and then there was a big piece of not knowing. Like, I was the top of my career. There was nowhere else to go. There was really no more money to make and I knew there was no way I could live that lifestyle and have a family, if I had a relationship to want to have a family. It was like all of those things kind of culminating.

And then, I met someone that said they were a life coach and I was like, “What is that? I don't know what it is but I know that I need it.”

Bonnie: Yeah, well I just want to point out a few things that you said that will be really important to my listeners. That because when doctors, when we finish our training, which can take a decade or more depending on – some residencies, which is the part after the eight years of college and med school, are like seven-plus years, which is insane to me.

Stacey: It's intense.

Bonnie: Yeah, and so they finish residency and all of a sudden, they're making multiple six-figures and they have the life that society says you've made it. You have enough money to buy the house. And they'll be working and usually – it could be right after, but usually after a few years, a lot of physicians, especially female physicians, because they've gotten married, they have kids at this point, they're like, “I have everything I want.” Like they've reached the top of their field, they're making the money, and just said they feel unfulfilled, they feel empty, they're like, “This is not what it's supposed to be like.”

I'm kind of hearing that in what you just said. And then some of them think, “Well, I want to make a change but I can't because of money.” And that's kind of what a lot of my clients tell me. Like it's the money…

Stacey: Yeah, that was my biggest hurdle. It's like the reason that makes it the hardest thing for you to do is the reason you have to do it. I remember when my coach told me that. She's like, “If you haven't been able to figure out how to save money, how to pay all your bills…” like, I had to learn the basic skillset when I literally knew nothing about money.

I had to learn the basic skillset of I have, say, 10 bills and I don't have money for all of them, what I would do is pay the ones that seemed the most important or seemed like the penalty was the highest and the ones that I could just knock out and ignore other ones. But then they would start to stack up.

And to learn the skill of paying all your bills always, my coach made me divvy up how much money I had and start paying all of the bills and just only some of it and take all the penalties, which to me made no sense whatsoever. And I couldn't even understand it. But what it taught me is that you always pay every bill all of the time. And it just started building this muscle. It's like you have to start somewhere.

But yeah, I had no idea how I was going to pay for my coaching. Literally, I sold my furniture, I sold my clothes. I had like $5000 in an IRA that I cashed out, that was to go to coach training. I mean, I worked my little butt off to come up with – I pawned jewelry. I did everything I could to come up with the money to figure it out. I just knew what has been – I was 29. And I'm like, at some point I've got to figure this out. What I've tried so far is not working.

Bonnie: Yeah. And then I also like what you said that you felt like you were the only person who didn't figure it out and maybe you were thinking there was something wrong with you. Because a lot of my clients will say, “I thought I was the only one who didn't understand money.”

Because I think it's like, just because you make money, doesn't mean you actually know what to do with it. Which makes sense. Just because you have it – we get this message during our training, like you're going to make plenty of money, you'll be fine, you know. That's kind of the message that we get, and a lot of us have a lot of student loans, like, “Oh you'll be fine. You'll make enough money to pay it off, it's no problem.”

And then the reality hits like, “Well, I still don't understand what I'm supposed to do.” But everyone seems like they know what they're doing, and so it's this façade of, like, “Well, everyone else seems to know what they're doing so I should be able to figure this out.” And then it just kind of perpetuates.

Stacey: Yeah, and really no one knows what they're doing. That's really what's happening. It's so fascinating. Like if the truth of our brains and our bodies were just written on our forehead, we'd all know. But we're so good at masking and pretending and looking successful that – I mean, people, their minds would be blown if they could actually look and see what people are doing with their money and see their thoughts about their money. No one knows what they're doing. I mean, people do, but…

And what's really fascinating is that even at the multimillion-dollar level, I find myself always so frustrated because there isn't really a playbook for how to be a steward of your money when you have millions and millions of dollars as well.

You talk to 10 different people, there are 10 different answers. And so, I'm really having to manage my mind around there are no rules and I get to make them for what's my idea of the life I want.

Bonnie: Yeah, at one point, did you realize you were – I'm not even sure if capable is the word, but we can use that word – either capable or it was possible that you could make a lot of money? And do you remember what that felt like?

Stacey: What's fascinating is I do think I believed that possibility right away. And I'm not sure where it came from because I think back and it doesn't make any sense that I would believe that I could make millions of dollars as a life coach from where I was. I think it's like maybe just who I was associating myself with.

I remember walking into the Life Coach School and being in a room with all these women that seemed so much classier than me and well put together and they had it figured out and they all had designer purses and Brooke was so well put together. And I remember thanking myself for putting me in a roomful of women like that. So, I think it was by association I started to believe that it could be possible for me…

Bonnie: Because you had examples.

Stacey: Yeah, and my coach was making really good money and always talked to me about money. This is the thing. I think this is what it is. If you start looking for people who are making lots of money and having conversations about money, because no one is having conversations about money in the real world. Your friends, your family, no one's talking about money. And so, I actively, when I launched my business, and even before that, I would say when I was just trying to figure out my own money, I started searching for who can I listen to about money? Who's having a conversation about it that I could be a part of? And I do think that started rubbing off on me.

Bonnie: Yeah, because I asked in my private Facebook group, how much money do you want to make? And obviously, the answers were all over the place. And it's funny because even where I was a few years ago in terms of what I thought was possible with money, I was like, “Oh, it would be nice if I made $500,000 a year as a doctor.” And then, when I switched to life coaching, I was like, “Oh, I guess I could make a million dollars. That's what people seem to be doing.”

So, it's kind of like what you were saying. And when I saw their answers, they ranged from $200,000, some people said a million, but I noticed that their answers would be like, “Well, $500,000 but I don't want to work more.” Or, “$1 million but I don't know how that would happen.” And so, their answers were determined by what they thought was possible. But also like, “I don't know how that would happen.” Because they're also thinking like, how they're making money as a doctor, which is very – we get paid unit-based, basically. If you want to make more money, you have to do more things, see more patients, do more procedures.

And so, I don't know, was that your sort of previous mindset around money, that you had to do more to make more? Because I think that's something a lot of my clients struggle with.

Stacey: Yeah, for sure. It's a similar thing in that when I first started coaching, I was still pitching. And there are only a certain amount of shows you can get in, in a day. And there's a certain percentage of people that you're going to sell, even when you're in an amazing store. So, it wasn't like I had – it was very effort-based.

And I remember having a conversation with my coach and saying, like, I want to make more money but there is no possibility that I can work harder. And even if I could, I don't want to. Like, I felt so much resistance, like I refuse to. Like, I'm not working any more. I'm already exhausted. And I don't have it in me, I don't want to do this, the money is not worth it. I remember having that conversation.

And so, one of the things that we did is we worked on just opening up possibility in my mind that I could make more money. I may not know how I will do it, but I could and it could be easier. So, I remember I developed this statement for myself that I was the possibility of making 78… I don't know what it was $78,000, but $78,000 without the feeling of having worked harder.

And I remember, I worked on that for an entire year. And what was fascinating is I ended up making almost exactly that number that year. I had gone down to part-time pitching, so I was only working every other week. And I signed a couple of life coaching clients.

But also – this is super important to hear – once I started coaching myself, my sales started going up with the exact same effort I was doing in my job. So, the year that I cut and went part-time, I actually made $60,000 that year part time just because I was interacting with people at such a different level and managing my mind at such a high level.

I was able to connect with people more. I sold more. I had more energy at the end of the day. And then I had enough energy to be doing calls before work, after work, and on the weekends. And I know a lot of my students, I coach life coaches to make money, and a lot of them tell me they're working full-time, they're exhausted, they don't have the energy to produce a second line of income. And that all comes from our mind. I'm like, 100% you do, it's just your thoughts that you're having and how you're feeling when you're doing the work you're doing.

And I remember a time when I was doing the work I was doing and couldn't do any more, and then I remember a time when I was working full-time and had coaching clients morning, night, and on weekends, and had more energy then than I had the year before.

Bonnie: Yeah, that's amazing. Because doctors love to work. And not only do they love – maybe they don't love to work, but they have the stamina. Like in residency, they had to pass laws to limit the workweek to 80 hours a week. I don't know if you know about that. That was actually not that long ago. Before, they would just make us work literally two or three days in a row with no sleep. Probably not a good idea to have your doctor with no sleep working.

And so, they cut it to 80 hours which is still kind of insane when you think about an 80-hour workweek. So, we have the stamina and we know we can do it because we had to. We know we could work nights and weekends. At least we're telling ourselves we can still sustain a high level of productivity for long hours, even though you and I know that's not sustainable.

And so, I find a lot of my clients, they're like, “We want to make a change but the only thing I know is to work more.” And so, I just see this cycle repeated. And also, like, I see myself repeating it too, overworking as a doctor and now I'm overworking as a coach because that's kind of what I know.

Stacey: Yeah, so I think it's like a couple of things. So, if I were to say, like, where would you start, for your students based on what I've heard, the first thing I actually think, which is not probably what you're going to expect me to say, is that I think you want to get coached in your brain to get to a place where the amount of time you are working doesn't feel the same as it does now, where you have more energy when you get off. You have more energy while you're working, and it's not taking the same emotional load. I think that's the first step.

And then I actually do think the second step could be to work more, to see what you're – I was just talking to someone else about this. I think in the beginning, we aren't really – because we're so bogged down with our emotional load, we aren't really aware of what we're actually truly capable of producing as humans.

And I think the second step is always to test what we're truly capable of, test what really is our limit by pushing it to the max while also managing our mind and also managing the emotional load to where, again, it doesn't feel like you should be able to do maybe even twice what you're currently doing and feel the same as what you're doing now, if not better.

Like, that's possible when you're – and I don't know, when I say managing your mind, I don't know the way you call it with your students, but if you're actively cleaning out your brain, working through your emotions, that's a step. And then, once you know what you're capable of and you're doing it with an energy that feels good to you, then you can scale back. You can look at, “What can I do in place of that?” Because it's really hard for people to believe that they could – and I don't know if you also teach your students this about creating an extra income stream or having even ideas of it. But when you find yourself capable of more, I think that's when the possibility slips in.

I think for me, when I was pitching and I realized I could make more money in less hours and I was capable of working more hours, when that all came to me, that was the time where I was like, “You know what, I might be able to actually start a business and do this and I can handle this.”

And there was a while where I was working full-time with 10 or 11 hours of coaching on top of that. And I was traveling, so it's like it's not just leaving your house and driving 20 minutes to a hospital. It's leaving your house, driving eight hours to Michigan to work for a week, and eight hours home.

So, I think that's a really important step too, it's being able to push yourself. And I wouldn't even want to say push yourself. Being able to increase your capacity while also increasing your emotional – your capacity to work, your emotional capacity to not feel as exhausted. And then, while you're doing that, you also have to work on the thought, truly the belief that the only way to make more money is to work more. Work more equals money that is a belief system that almost all of society has and it's not true. It's just not. There are too many people who have proven that to not be true.

Bonnie: Yeah, I like what you said because I do hear – and even for myself, first of all I'm a dermatologist, so what that means is we work on average less than most other doctors. But when I was a resident, I worked like most doctors in terms of hours.

And so, I definitely find that a lot of my clients, from what you were saying, it's like maybe they should even keep a time diary of where they're actually spending their time. Because I bet a lot of that time, like you said, is mental load, thinking about what they're not getting done, worrying about things. Because physicians tend to run anxious. We're like type-A perfectionists. We're always worrying about 30 million things. And then if you're a mom on top of that, it's even worse. And so, I really like that advice that you just gave.

Tell me about – so obviously you're on the other side. What I mean by that is now you're making a lot of money, you're having a lot of money. And I've heard you talk about how when you started having a lot more money, that you had to kind of deal with some – it's like your concept of yourself hadn't caught up with the material success and how you had to deal – I think a lot of my clients, including myself, we think once we have the money, then I'll feel secure. But then I remember hearing you say once you had all this money, you were afraid of spending it. You were almost hoarding it.

Stacey: Yeah, and I think it's like, I was doing two things. I was spending a lot of it and hoarding a lot of it, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It was like I was going back and forth. I was going to both extremes from the same thought of I don't know how to be responsible for this. It's not enough. I'm not a great steward of my money.

I had so many thoughts. I actually coached with Kara Loewentheil on this when we were at one of our mastermind meetings. And we had this conversation about how there were times when I had no money and I felt completely sufficient and I felt like I have everything I need, I don't need any more. I felt really happy.

And then there were times I had lots of money and felt terrified and that it's all going to go away and I'm going to lose it all, end up living in a box, felt very tight, very anxious, very lacking around it. So, it just proves that the money never creates our feelings ever.

And one of the things that was most powerful for me is really understanding that if – like we had talked about, there was a time where I was like, “If I just had $100,000 in my bank account, I will feel safe and secure.” And then it was $300,000. And then it was $500,000. And then it was a million. And now I catch my brain going to millions and the marker will just keep getting moved if you don't deal with the thought that creates it, if you don't' deal with how you engage with your money, it will just keep compounding.

I always say, whatever problem you have now, if you have more money, it's just going to go times two. So, for whatever your clients are experiencing right now or your audience, I would have them think about, what do they think is the top three problems they have around money. And then, this will be a little bit mind-tricky, but imagine that they had 10 times the money but also 10 times the same three problems. And to spend more time imagining that they will have 10 times the three problems.

Now, not to scare you from money, but to show you that if you don't fix it now, more money won't fix it. You can be at a place where you have lots of money and feel really abundant and really sufficient as well. Those are options as well. But whatever you're doing now in your mind with money, having more of it isn't going to change that experience with your money. That's what I'm trying to say.

Bonnie: Oh yeah. And I think even though a lot of us know logically that's true, we're like, “But yeah, things are better…” And you tell us this in our business coaching, like whatever problem you have in your business now, once your business makes more money, it's just going to magnify. It's going to get magnified. I forget who said this, maybe it was Tony Robbins. Money just…

Stacey: Enhances who you already are?

Bonnie: Yeah, it just magnifies more of who you are. So yeah, the scarcity just gets actually worse with more money because then you're so afraid of losing it is probably what happens.

Stacey: Yeah, imagine if, like I'll give a specific example. Imagine if you, from the thought that feels negative in your body, that creates anxiety from you, whatever that thought is, from a place of anxiety, imagine if you were extraordinarily meticulous with budgeting and going through every single dollar and having to know exactly where it went and making sure that every purchase on your credit card to the cent was correct and you were always looking at receipts and matching it with your statement, really spending time managing it in an attempt to have so much control that you can feel safe.

So, imagine if that's what was happening. But now, you have $10 million and your purchases are all much bigger, there's more purchases, you're still going to do that exact same behavior with that money except it's going to feel like the stakes are so much higher and they're bigger amounts of money. Like, that's why you have…

Bonnie: More zeroes…

Stacey: There's more zeroes, right. So, that's what I mean by – having lots of money is amazing. I think everybody should have a goal to have more money if they want to. I am a big proponent, I love spending money, I love having money, I love all the things and the freedom that comes with having money and the options that come with having money.

But what I just want to caution everyone is, like, I as well thought that money would be the solution and it took a very painful experience of having lots of money over and over and over and realizing that my mindset hadn't changed with it, and that if I didn't change it, my experience would always be the same no matter how much money I have. It's like you're on a fancy yacht or a private plane but you're miserable, instead of in the hospital.

Bonnie: We all know those stories. And maybe it's even ourselves, where looking at the things you have in your life, like, okay, I have all the things that other people would be – not to say envious of, but no one would be like, “What do you mean, you don't have the things that you need?”

But then, they find themselves feeling miserable, empty, unfulfilled inside. And so, I know a lot of my clients are in that space where they're seeing this mismatch between their actual emotional experience of the world and what they actually have, especially as physicians. Because being a physician is like, you should be fine. You have the respect of society and all that kind of stuff.

And so, what do you think – I'm curious, how do you think you feel now about money? Like when you think about the money that you do have and what are your thoughts now and how are they different? Or do you feel like you even think about money the way you did before?

Stacey: I think about money all the time. I don't think about it the same as I did before. But I'm a big proponent. I always know how much money we have in our accounts. I always know what we budget every single month in my business with my CFO. I always know what my year-to-date numbers are. I always know what my monthly numbers are. I know how much money we're spending in our business, what it takes to run our business at any given time, what our payroll is.

I know my numbers. I actually think that's probably the biggest difference in my experience now of my money. I used to hide from it and avoid it, and now I'm very intimate with it

And not from a place of trying to over-control it and trying to gain a bunch of control to feel safe, but because I have a really good relationship with it. It's like I also know at any given time on my fiancé's schedule and what's going on with him and what he's worried about and what he's excited about. Like I have that intimate relationship with him. The same I have an intimate relationship with my money that's wide-awake, very truthful, and not really rooted in trying to control it. It just is what it is, here it is.

Bonnie: Yeah, so I used to be someone who I was like, “The money will figure itself out.” This was when I was a resident. And so, making around $45,000 a year, which is still a plenty of money to live in the United States. But it's funny because a lot of doctors associate residence as like basically making no money. But the average resident's salary is actually around $50,000 in the US right now. So, that's one thing…

Stacey: That's the first thing you have to think about. When you say, “I am making no money,” how does that feel? It feels terrible. And people will argue with me – this happens even in coaching too – it's never enough. They say, “If I could just sign my first client.” And then they sign their first client and they're like, “But I only have one client. I've got to have at least five.” And they sign five and they're like, “It's not like I'm full-time. I'm only doing this much per month.” And then they get full-time and they're like, “Well I'm not making six figures.” And then they get to six figures and they're like, “Well, but I don't have this much profit.” And then they get that much profit and they're like, “Well, but I'm not making 500K…”

It's constant if you don't catch it. You have to be really careful. The way that you talk about money has to come – like it has to start where you are now with what you have now. Like, if I can't stress anything on this podcast, it's truly it will not change your beliefs about money, your thought about it, your observation of it. Let's say that, your observation of your money will not change if you get more. You'll just slide the marker.

Bonnie: Right, more zeroes will just appear magically. I had a client the other day who was – and I'm sort of quoting her, but she said something like, “I only make $140,000.” That's how she said it.

Stacey: Yeah, it feels terrible. That's like the worst, right? I always think of, how does your money feel when you talk about it that way? Like, it's really hard to do good things with money, like if you treated your money like a person, if you thought of your money like a person, a person you were in a relationship with. Would that person want to be in a relationship with you? Would that person want to go out of their way to do nice things for you? Would that person be speaking nicely of you?

Like, I know it's kind of crazy to ask a physician to think about money being a person, but seriously, that activity was so powerful for me when I was growing my relationship with money, is if it were a person, would I be okay with speaking about it this way? Would I want this type of relationship with it? What would that person's experience of me be?

Bonnie: Yeah, I have this – inside my program I talk about the different relationship types. And basically, they're all dysfunctional, you know. Like you just said earlier how before you became a great steward of your money, that you just ignored it and didn't look at it. And so, we talk about that.

And it's basically like having – I think of it as a romantic partner, or even a kid. Can you imagine just ignoring them all the time or hiding because you're scared of what's going to happen?

Stacey: Or overworking them because you think they're not enough.

Bonnie: Exactly, you're not enough, I'll pay attention to you once you're a million dollars. And then we'll start talking. Okay, so can you share with us, what are your current money beliefs that you feel like are really serving you right now? And it might be so automatic for you that…

Stacey: Yeah, it is. I need to think about it. That's a good question for me to – that's something even to explore for my audience. I think one of them is there will always be more. So, that really allows me to – for me, this is so tricky too because we have a lot of beliefs about what we should be doing with money and what's responsible with money.

And I talk with Kara about this all the time because we get so geeky about society's – especially with women – society's belief about how you should be with money. One of my priorities with my money is to have experiences.

I do want to grow my wealth. We have a really amazing plan to grow our portfolio to $600 million over the next 30 years, which seems so insane, but also, it's what we're doing. And so, I do take actions to always invest in my business and invest in my future. But I love to spend money and have experiences. And that feels really important to me.

So, one of the thoughts that I have is that there will always be more money. So, I never tell myself I can't have an experience I really want. Like the wedding of my dreams, the honeymoon of my dreams. I'm very interested in using my money to live the life that I want to live right now, not five years from now, 10 years from now. Like, I know a lot of people who they're thinking, “I'm going to enjoy my money when I'm retired.” And I don't want to wait until the end of my life to enjoy my money.

So, I feel like that's probably the number one thought that I have about it, that it's here to be the steward of my life experience. It's here to be the steward of my highest self-expression. And for me, that' experiences. That's travel. That's bringing my friends with me on a private flight. That's doing extravagant, extraordinary things, like going to Bora Bora, seeing places I've never seen before. To me, that's probably the number one I have and I think it allows for a lot of flow of money. It goes in and it comes out.

I also will say that one of my favorite thoughts this year with the economy and with coronavirus has been I love being a contributor of the economy. Every time I spend money, I think about who that money is going to and how that money is supporting jobs and how that money is supporting other people and their work and their passions, from the purse maker at Louis Vuitton, like there's someone that's designing that purse, that's putting that purse together probably by hand. There's someone that's in the sales department. There's someone who's in a store that's super happy.

I was just in Vegas shopping and they were saying how happy they wee to be open. So, that's a favorite thought of mine. A lot of people choose to beat themselves up about spending money and I really loved having the thought, like, Neil and I are contributing to the economy and I love that we're able to do that. And so, that would always bring be back to the gratitude of what we have.

Bonnie: Yeah, so I want to just pause for a second because you said earlier you were building your portfolio to $600 million, just because I'm pretty sure some of my listeners will just be like, “What? Was there two extra zeroes?” Because I'll tell you, a lot of my clients, and even I before I came to money mindset coaching, was I really thought $5 million was going to be amazing.

When I say amazing, like, that was a really high goal. And people would even – and you're saying women, we're judged a lot by how we spend money or even by our money goals. And to even say $5 million, people would say, why do you need that much? You don't need that, et cetera. And so just hearing that $600 million, I'm sure some people are like, wait what…

Stacey: Listen, I was like, “Wait, what?” as well when I sat down with our financial person. But based on the rate of what we are contributing, which is so insane, when I think about how much we're contributing, it's like every year we're contributing what most people would spend an entire lifetime trying to accumulate, which doesn't escape me, the gratitude and the awe of that, especially coming from someone who grew up in a shotgun house in Indiana and didn't go to an Ivy League college.

So yeah, it was crazy for us to hear that. And what I loved also is that he was like, “Based on this amount, if you spend all the rest of your money, you're still going to have this money.”

And one of the things that he said to me that was really profound, because I also don't know what I would do with $600 million, but one of the things he said to me is, “I hope you understand what's happening here and you should probably start to think about your philanthropic desires.” And that really hit me, of that money isn't just for me. It's for the whole world. It's for everybody and it's for – we've changed the generational money in our family. Our kids will have a completely different experience of life.

I grew up – Neil and I laugh about this all the time. The living example of what life was like for me. I grew up, my parents would buy for dinner, we'd have cream-chipped beef, and it was like the dollar frozen bags that you would microwave and tear up white pieces of bread and pour it on top, and that was dinner. And now I'm building a $600 million portfolio, I'm like, what is happening in this world that that's possible? It just seems so crazy.

So, I think it's crazy too and I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to do with it or anything. I just think it's such an exciting possibility.

Bonnie: Yeah, and so I'm hoping for everyone listening right now, besides being shocked by those numbers – I'm sure most of them were shocked – but just even considering that it's possible to build a lot of wealth and that they're capable of it. Because we're just in this box, this is how much we make and if we work this much for X amount of years and if we're lucky we'll get to five million. And not to say five million is not a lot of money and plenty of money for someone to live on…

Stacey: It is so much money. Like, I would be so extraordinarily grateful if all I made for the rest of my life was $5 million. That's more money than I thought was possible for me. I think that's a big thing for everybody to hear is, there is no amount of money that is like – I guess I don't know how I want to say it. But $5 million isn't less than $600 million, right? You have to decide what you want. And trust me when I say there was never a point, up until about a year ago, when I would say I want $600 million.

It was very gradual. I remember when $100,000 was life-changing. It was everything. Like, I watch my coaches, my students be so ungrateful for $100,000 and so entitled to more. And it blows my mind. And I think it is the, like, I'm so grateful I had the life I had and the story of being so poor because I can catch that for them and be like, “What are you talking about? That $100,000 is a freaking miracle. It's a miracle.” And I think that's how I've always thought about it. So, $600 million is a little crazy, but…

Bonnie: Yeah, and I just love what you said. It sounds like – the last thing I wanted to talk about was really enjoying and acknowledging what you have. It's like we live in this perpetual not-enough culture and so you were talking about your coaches who make 100 grand, they're like, “It's not enough,” and then doctors making $200,000 to $500,000 – I don't think they're consciously thinking it's not enough money, but they've built up this life where it is not enough money.

Because between the mortgage, the private schools, the vacations they take, the cars they'll buy, and all of a sudden it is not enough because they've raised their lifestyle so high. And so, do you have any tips for how to start really appreciating what you have now, when you're in that not-enough mentality?

Stacey: Yeah, I mean, I think that's what you have to do, is you have to start appreciating it. Even if you're overspending. I have lots of thoughts that are different than other people about debt as well. I'm not afraid of debt. I don't have any shame around it. I don't think it's bad. I literally think at its most basic thing, it's borrowing money for use now, or buying money for use now.

So, you can say maybe someone is buying money higher than their lifestyle. But just make sure, if you're doing that, you're enjoying the lifestyle. Like, you can be spending more than you have, but enjoy it.

Where the problem comes in, if you're spending more than you have and you're not enjoying it because that wasn't actually intentional and is not something you're consciously choosing and desiring and it feels good and it's not coming from a good place, then that's where you're in trouble because you have the expanded lifestyle but then you're not even enjoying living it. And then you have debt, lack of money, and you're not enjoying the expansive lifestyle. Do you know what I'm saying?

Make it an intentional choice either way. You can decide. I coached someone when I was still one on one coaching who had a lot of debt and I went through, what was the debt for? And it was for medical bills for her kids and it was for vacations and it was for private school. And I was like, yeah, do you still want all those things? And she's like yeah. And I'm like, okay then why are you mad at the debt? Enjoy it. Love it. Isn't it amazing that we have a system of money now where you can buy money and you can have what you don't have now?

So, it's like the first thing I think you have to do, even if you're overspending and going beyond your means is you have to enjoy what you're spending the money on. And I think from that place, from the enjoyment, you may even decide you don't need all of that and you may want to scale back by choice. But it's one of those things where, if they stopped doing the things that they don't fic their mind first and how they're thinking about their money, they stop spending the money, they're still going to have the exact same experience. So, either way, you have to change the experience first.

Bonnie: Yeah, and that's a great way for us to close because a lot of my clients are in such a rush to pay off debt, and most of it is student loans…

Stacey: Yeah, I would not rush for that…

Bonnie: That allowed them to become a physician. It's like, I love that question you asked your client, do you still want to be a doctor? And usually it's a yes. Sometimes it's a no, but usually it's a less. And, like, why is it a problem all of a sudden when it was what allowed you to become the doctor? But anyway.

Stacey: Yeah, you've got to love the debt. It's fine. When I did a debt management program, the best thing that ever happened to me is they said – and it was for like $12,000, so what they do is they consolidate all your credit cards and then they're like, “You owe $300 a month. We take the payment from you, we pay all the people, so all you have to be responsible for is that $300 a month.”

And when I got to stop thinking about my debt – and they were like, “You can't pay it off faster.” They don't allow you to do that. So, even if you have more money, you can only pay the $300. And that was freeing. I just made my $300 payment and I never thought about my debt again. And then I got to go out and enjoy my life and live it. And I learned that I could have debt and it could just be there and I could not be thinking about it, I could not be stressing about it and just really settle into, “It's okay that it's there.” Just even that little nugget could really change someone's life.

Bonnie: Yeah, totally. Alright, any last tip or anything that you felt like you wanted to say but didn't have the chance to say?

Stacey: Good question. I mean, this is, to me, at the core of the way that I think about money that may be helpful for everyone is I truly believe we get – and this is going to sound really cliché, but I believe it to all of my core. We genuinely get one life experience. We have to learn to stop having it be completely mandated and our entire experience being ran by money and the feelings of not having enough of it.

Like, you could spend your entire lifetime having that experience with money and it would be the first thing I'd change because it's the number one thing that preoccupies every human's mind. It's the number one thing I would work on because we get one life, that's it, just one. It's so precious and important and it's not worth – I don't think there's any amount of money worth not having a great life experience that comes with it.

Bonnie: Yeah, well thank you so much for being here and sharing all of your amazing money stories and money beliefs.

Stacey: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Guaranteeing a Return on Your Investments

61: Guaranteeing a Return on Your Investments

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Guaranteeing a Return on Your InvestmentsOver the course of my life, the way I look at the money I spend has changed. When it comes to buying something, whether that is a vacation, a coaching course, or even a meal, I don't look at the amount it's going to cost me, but I consider what I'm getting in return.

I'm putting this out there for you to consider because since I started thinking about all of my purchases in this way, it has led to more intentional and easier spending decisions. And while the return isn't always easy to calculate, like having an amazing time with someone you love, I think it's important that we all start looking at the money we spend through this lens.

Join me on the podcast this week as I discuss why everything you spend money on has a potential return on investment. I'm sharing the experiences I like to spend my cash on and how they have paid me back in their own way, and the personal and professional development side of my spending, how this spending pays me back every day, and how my clients are doing the same.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I choose to look at everything I purchase as having some kind of return.
  • Where in my personal life I have spent big on an experience and gotten great value in return.
  • The non-financial returns that motivate me to invest in and go through coaching.
  • How this method of investment has worked in my business.
  • The financial and non-financial returns that are available in my program Money for Women Physicians.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome everyone. So, this podcast is coming out the first week of June. And so, in case you didn't know, June is like my favorite month of the year. And for great reasons because summer starts and summer is amazing. I grew up in the Northeast, so summer as kind of – obviously it's the hot time of the year.

And when I was growing up, I basically spent most of my summers swimming in a pool. And my birthday is also in June. And school was out by mid or end of June. So, it was just an amazing time of the year for me. So, that said, let's dive into today's episode.

So, I realized the other day – actually a while ago – that when I look at the price of things, experiences, whatever, you know, buying something on Amazon, I look at that number differently than many other people. And I didn't always think this way about the numbers I saw.

But this shift in how I look at the price of things really helps me make decisions about spending so much easier and with much more intentionality. So, I want to put this out there to noodle on.

What if the price of whatever you're thinking about buying, instead of seeing it as the amount of money you're spending, meaning the amount of money that's going to leave your account or go on your credit card and you're going to have to pay later, or I guess simply the face value of the price, instead you look at it like this, “What am I getting in return?”

I tend to look at the price as an investment where I'm getting some kind of return. Now, I'm not necessarily talking about getting money back as a return on a traditional investment, like investing in the stock market or real estate. But sometimes, it is a financial return.

Now, I think we naturally do this for things we love to spend money on. We probably don't even consciously think about it. For those of us who love to spend on experiences like travel or even food as an experience, let me pick food because I love spending money on food and expensive restaurants.

Now, if you follow me on Instagram – and if you're no why aren't you? I'm @wealthymommd – you know that I love to post pictures of food on my Instagram stories. Lately it's mostly things that I cook. I've always loved to cook. I'm just cooking a lot more because we're not really going out to eat. Although we're starting to go out to eat a lot more.

And pre-pandemic, I would post pictures of the restaurants I would go to. And if I just looked at the face value of what I spend on food, I might have a heart attack.

For example, one of the first birthdays I celebrated with Matt was, I think, five years ago. And I took him to a restaurant in New York City – we were living in Brooklyn at the time – Sushi Nakazawa. And the final bill was – I actually don't remember, but it was close to $1000. Like, I'm pretty sure it was maybe in the $700 or $800, but it was closer to $1000 than $500.

And I can already see the shock on your face, unless you're a foodie sushi person who gets my jam and who knows what this restaurant is. At face value, you would see that what we got was, “Okay, they got some great sushi and they got lots of sake and wine.” But to me and Matt, we got an amazing experience.

So, a little history. We had watched this documentary – or at least I have. I don't know if Matt watched it – called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I think it's on Netflix. And so, it's a documentary about this very famous sushi chef. He has a tiny restaurant. I think it's in a subway in Tokyo, and basically talking about his mastery of sushi.

And so, it's about him, but we also see some of his students and see how his students learn under him. And one of his students was someone named Nakazawa, his last name anyway.

And after that documentary, after talking with some friends, I learned that he had a restaurant in New York City. And Matt and I actually love sushi. We love the non-real sushi, like the rolls and stuff, but we also love real sushi, where we go to a sushi restaurant where they don't sell rolls and it's basically omakase, where the chef basically picks the fish for you.

I actually love that in general because that's like one less thing to think about. I just love being able to show up and someone just decides what I'm going to eat.

And so, at this place, Sushi Nakazawa, they have a sushi bar and they have regular tables. But of course, I wanted to sit at the bar to see Chef Nakazawa in his element, because I'd read that's – he's not always at the restaurant. But if you're lucky, then you want to definitely sit at the bar.

So, obviously, that's a much harder reservation to come by because there's like 10 or 12 seats around the bar. So, that's what we did. And he was there. we got super lucky. And he was super kind, generous, he was so funny, and he let us take pictures with him and everything.

So, the return we got was an amazing experience, it was filled with joy, delight, and the pleasure of really good food. And it was the whole thing; the food, the ambiance, the celebrity chef, all the things.

And we still talk about that night to this day, so it's also a really fun memory for us. And so, that's what I mean by yeah, there's the face value of what I spent, or what we spent on that food, that restaurant. But to me, the return was well worth what I paid for.

Now, what's great about this example is some of you might be listening thinking like, “Wow, that sounds amazing and I would love to do that,” or maybe you already do this kind of thing. And some of you are going to be like, “I would never spend that kind of money in a restaurant,” because it's just not your thing and you don't really derive a lot of pleasure or joy from it. And that's great. I think this is what I mean by you get to decide how you want to spend your money and decide what that return is for you. So, if the return is not going to be what I described, then yeah it's not for you.

So, another example for me is what I've spent on coaching and personal development, whether it's for me, meaning my personal life, or for my business. Although I kind of see them as one and the same. But let's just, for the purposes of this podcast episode, let's talk about them separately because I think the business stuff is easier for people to wrap their heads around.

So, for my business, like I said, I think it's easier for our minds to get onboard with spending money on a business. It's really similar to our medical school training, how much it costs to become a doctor. I think for me, my medical school training, when it was all said and done, was something around $100,000, which might not sound a lot. I graduated in 2009. I did go to a private medical school.

I also got a half-tuition grant every year, and so that obviously helped. I think the tuition at the time was $40,000, and so $20,000 that was basically given to me in the form of a grant or scholarship. I don't exactly recall the terminology.

So, basically, we spent, we invested 100K, 200K, you know, it's close to a quarter of a million dollars these days. And what is the return of that spending, that investment?

And so yeah, on one hand you could say, “Oh, well we become a physician and we get to make a certain amount of money.” And yes that is true. And obviously, there is a range in income. So, for me, I became a dermatologist and the salary range for an employed dermatologist is between, I would say, 200 on the lower end and upwards of 500 – we're talking about general dermatology. If you're a Mohs surgeon, that could be much higher. If I was a practice owner, I could make a million and more, right?

And so, I think a lot of us, this is what I see and I'm going to digress here a little bit because y'all know that I love talking about student loans and debt. Because I think most of us think about the debt in terms of money we owe, instead of looking at it as the money we paid, we spent to become a physician. Which has a monetary return, but there's so much more.

Most of us didn't go into medicine because we saw the financial return of becoming one. We knew there was going to be, don't get me wrong. We knew doctors made – it's so funny because I actually don't think I really understand what money doctors made when I applied. I knew they were going to make at least 100K I guess, but I don't think I ever knew what the salary ranges were.

Anyway, so back to the non-financial return of being a doctor, like I just remember my reasons. I wanted to become a doctor because I loved science, I loved learning, understanding how the human body worked. That was intellectually very stimulating. And I just loved that return – and I'm calling it a return – of helping people. I mean, that is the best return on earth. Like, that feeling of knowing that you truly helped someone and it made a difference.

And so, I think that's why many of us became physicians. We wanted that return of becoming a physician and all the respect and all the honor that comes with becoming a physician and the financial return, right?

And I also think about the process, the journey of me becoming a physician, right? There's a reason why it took a decade, basically. I remember being like that medical student, interviewing a patient and writing a note. And I don't know about you, but I remember being really stressed out about, “Oh my god, there are so many questions to ask. How am I going to remember what questions to ask? Oh my god, I've got to go through this order. I've got to do the review of systems,” and then being able to synthesize all of that information.

And this is when I was writing down everything frantically on a piece of paper and then, like, taking the time to put it all together to present to the attending for rounds. Like, I just remember – maybe I wasn't super stressed out, but I just remember all the work it took because it wasn't automatic. And seeing patients as an attending, I don't even have to think about it.

And when I really think about that transition, I really think how amazing it is that I can do that now. I can go into a room. I know exactly what to ask. I'm not, like, thinking, “I need to ask all these questions in this order,” because I've already mastered that.

And so, I think what I'm trying to say is mastering that process, being a doctor who is fully trained and being able to do that, that's part of the return, having the confidence to do that. And so, in my business, I find this to be very similar.

So, I do invest in my business. I invest in business coaches. I invest in business masterminds. And ostensibly it's to make more money in my business because, by definition, a business makes money. Otherwise it's a hobby or a nonprofit, and those are all fine too. But I chose to have a business.

So, yeah, it makes sense, you want to invest money so you can learn how to make more money inside your business. And that alone would be worth the money I spend. If I spend $25,000 on a mastermind to make $200,000, most people would agree, yeah, that's worth it.

What if I told you that the money isn't even the best return I actually get from these types of investments? Yeah, listen, making money is fun. Putting in money in the form of an investment for coaching or a mastermind and seeing the output be multiples of that amount is super fun.

The way I think about it is this. The money I make, it's like the icing on the cake. It's the byproduct of me investing and growing my mind. And some of you might be a little confused because I think when I talk about having business coaches or a mastermind or whatever, I think many people think what I'm learning is strategy, like do this and you'll make money.

For example, one of the things you learn in entrepreneurship or online biz is you need to have an email list because you don't own your social media followers, so you need to figure out a way to grow your email list and these are the best practices to do that. So yeah, those are important to learn for sure.

And what I have found is that starting, creating, and running a business is an amazing vehicle for personal growth and transformation and to make a huge difference in the community, the world, depending on who you serve. I feel like creating this business has just amplified my ability to help more people besides patients.

Alright, I'm digressing a bit here. Let me talk about the nonbusiness things that I also invest in with my personal life, because that is not really a financial return. And so, I also invest in other areas besides business.

My overall life, for example, feeling great about my body, being able to look in the mirror and not think I look old or fat or whatever, parenting, my relationship with Matt, because why not? And what I mean by that is, I know what is possible in all of these areas of my life. Meaning I know that it's within grasp, it's something I can have, to have an extraordinary relationship with my family, to experience myself as a parent, to feel great about how I look. Not relying on how my clothes fit or the number one the scale in order to feel good about myself.

So, why wouldn't I want that? Why wouldn't I be willing to pay for that? At the end of the day, what I've learned is what these tools give me is to truly accept me as is. And not needing or wanting to fix anything because there isn't anything to fix. And I make much better decisions from that place versus making decisions from an, “I need to lose weight because I'm fat,” place.

I'm actually going to do a whole episode on this topic about how we make decision, like why, and questioning why we're making that decision and really diving deep into where we are making decisions from because it's really important to understand that.

And I'm going to use debt as an example because I just find many of my clients, they want to pay off debt because, well, from the premise that debt is bad. And so, it makes sense that they want to pay off debt. So, anyway, wait for that episode to come out. It will come out in a few weeks.

But back to the return. So, the return I get from investing in those areas of my life, honestly, they're priceless. Honestly, I can't put a number one the experience of love with my loved ones and to truly be in their presence.

Now, just in case it's not clear, my life is not 100% roses and unicorns. No one's life is. It just looks like that on social media, but I've learned to stop resisting and arguing with what is, AKA the reality.

I think it was Martha Beck who said that, “When you argue with reality, you only lose 100% of the time.” But how many of us still insist on arguing with what is? Think about that for a second.

So, I hope you start looking at the price of things differently now that you've listened to this episode and see what comes up for you. Ask yourself, “What return am I going to get?” And it doesn't have to be a financial return. It could just be, “This is going to save me time. This is going to create an amazing experience for me and my family.” And you get to decide what that's worth to you, right?

And so, if you've been a long-time listener or follower of me and you've been looking at Money for Women Physicians and when you see the price of $2500, ask yourself, are you looking at the price as the money you're going to spend on it, like parting with it?

I really want you to consider that it's actually not about spending or losing $2500. I want you to ask yourself, “What is the return on me spending $2500 on Money for Women Physicians?”

And I'll tell you what that return is because hundreds of women physicians have now gone through this program. The return is you having the money you want. It's you having the money you want and working less so you can enjoy life. What is that worth to you?

And I also want to, like, underline have the money you want, because there really is no limit to the amount of money you can have. It's the return of feeling confident about where you are in life in regards to your money, feeling at peace, feeling secure, and knowing that you're in control of your life and your money.

So, what does this actually look like? Because every client's return is different. So, I have clients who go part-time pretty immediately with no change in their lifestyle. I have clients who start businesses and they didn't even know they wanted to start a business when they started my program. I have clients who end up falling back in love with their jobs and medicine. I have clients who have a lot more free time. The start investing in real estate, the stock market.

And yes, of course my clients make and have more money. Of course they do. But as I said earlier, that really is the byproduct of really figuring out a bunch of other things.

So, if you've been following for a while and you haven't joined and you're a women physician, I really invite you to consider what your return will be. Then I invite you to take action because it's making decisions and taking action that move you forward in life.

It's not a $2500 decision, remember. It's a potentially priceless decision with infinite returns in terms of money and your experience of yourself and your life. I'll talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Secret to Cultivating Financial Wealth

60: The Secret to Cultivating Financial Wealth

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Secret to Cultivating Financial WealthWe all have a good idea of what we think it means to be financially wealthy. I coach a lot on this subject, but I'm taking the opportunity today to break down the word wealth a little. Because to be really wealthy, it's going to take more than just having lots of cash.

There is so much that contributes to our overall wealth, and one of those things is how emotionally wealthy we are. A lot of us go through life thinking we have no control over our emotions and our experiences, and this leads to poverty, both emotionally and financially. So, I'm sharing the solution with you in today's episode.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what it means to be emotionally wealthy. And once you start creating emotional wealth, I'm sharing the best-kept secret to cultivating financial wealth and success from a place of wealth-confidence.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it means to be emotionally wealthy versus in emotional poverty.
  • Why we don't need to wait for financial goals or life milestones to be achieved before we're allowed to be happy.
  • What you can do to start moving from emotional poverty to emotional wealth.
  • How to take your emotional wealth and use it to cultivate what I call Wealth Confidence.
  • Why wealth-confidence is the best-kept secret to creating financial wealth.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 60. So, very recently I did a live training called How to Create Wealth Without Seeing More Patients. I hope you were there. If not, I'll probably do this live workshop again in June. And I plan to do a live workshop several more times before the end of the year.

So, if you didn't catch me, you can definitely catch me in the future. And so, one of the things I talked about during that workshop I wanted to spend a whole podcast episode on because I think it's so important to talk about.

And so, what got me thinking about this was actually a podcast episode that my business coach does, Stacey Boehman. And it was the podcast on emotional wealth versus material wealth or something like that.

And so, obviously I coach on money and I talk a lot about wealth. And usually it's in the context of material wealth or external wealth. And so, I wanted to kind of break down the word wealth a bit.

I know I've talked about it on a previous episode where I talked about how the book that's coming out this fall is called Defining Wealth for Women: Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash. And I really want to focus on that peace part.

Because the reason why I chose that word is it comes from peace of mind. And to me, that represents not just peace, but emotional peace or emotional wealth. And so, emotional wealth is separate from material wealth. But when I think about the word wealth, I think of it as an all-encompassing term to not just talk about the money side, but all of it. Because what's the point of being rich if you are empty inside?

And we all know very wealthy people, like stars, actresses, musicians, famous musicians with lots of money who commit suicide because they're in emotional poverty. And so, first let's define what emotional wealth is.

And so, the way that Stacey defined it and the way that I define it are very similar. It's having agency over my brain, my emotions, and the overall experience of my life. Now, notice I said experience, and my emotions, not what my life actually is in terms of the outside stuff, the material stuff, the external stuff, like my status, how much money I have or make or weather I'm married, et cetera.

Emotional wealth is knowing deep in your bones that you do not need the house, the guy, the money to be happy and content in your life. And it's because you know that those things don't create your internal wealth, your internal happiness.

Because at the end of the day, you know that you can handle any emotion, negative and positive. It's knowing that you can think for yourself, take responsibility for yourself, and that you're able to intentionally decide what and how you want to do it. It's about knowing how to enjoy yourself, your life, no matter what the actual external circumstances are.

And it's enjoying and being present to all of it right now versus waiting for money or some other milestone, like getting married or having kids to finally enjoy your life and feel like you've actually arrived. Because newsflash, you have arrived.

Now, I know that was a lot in terms of the definition, but now let's contrast this to being in emotional poverty.

Emotional poverty is when basically you're overall not happy and you have an overall net negative experience of your life. And you think it's because life is happening to you versus for you. Those two words, to you versus for you, they really change everything.

We all know people who think that life is happening to them, they can't get a break, and that nothing is their fault. They are at the mercy of all the things happening a certain way to feel good, to feel good about themselves. They're at the mercy of how other people behave around them so that they can feel good because they aren't telling themselves what they need to hear.

And listen, I'm not saying this is a bad thing. We all have moments like this. and I'll say, as women, we're specifically socialized to place a lot of emphasis on what other people think about us, really valuing what they think of us.

And the truth is none of us go to emotion school or brain school. None of us learn how our brains work. We don't really learn how to manage our minds or emotions.

A lot of us go through life thinking we have no control over our thoughts, our emotions, and we don't know how to change our experience of the world. And so, of course, the antidote to this is what I have coined wealth confidence.

And so, what's wealth confidence? It's my fun take on emotional wealth, which I talked about already, plus self-confidence. So, emotional wealth plus self-confidence equals wealth confidence.

Now, let's define self-confidence because it's probably not what you think it is. Self-confidence is different than feeling confident. Let me explain. Self-confidence comes down to this. It's about knowing who you are, trusting yourself completely, and having your own back. Which means you have a high opinion about yourself.

Now, this doesn't mean that you're arrogant. I think a lot of people think, like, if you think highly of yourself, that's being arrogant. But being arrogant is about putting other people down to feel better about yourself and it's actually based on low self-confidence.

But self-confidence is being sure in who you are and loving yourself unconditionally. And in fact, when you're self-confident, it's like the complete opposite of being arrogant because you're not saying, “I'm awesome and you're not awesome.” You're basically saying, “I'm awesome and you're awesome too.”

And so, why am I even talking about this? What does this have to do with material wealth? Like, “Yeah, this sounds nice, but I really want the money.”

What if I told you that the key to creating lots of material wealth was actually to come into emotional wealth, into wealth confidence first? Because if you keep thinking that you're going to feel better about yourself, trust yourself, feel more secure once you have the money, that's just simply not true.

Money, at the end of the day, is a circumstance. And circumstances don't create our thoughts and feelings. Feeling secure, having peace of mind, feeling self-confident, it comes from inside. It doesn't come from the outside. And I'll tell you, it really sucks to have a lot of money and to be in emotional poverty.

And another part of wealth confidence is really being present to what you have already. Because how many of us achieve something and then we're like, we don't even stop to appreciate it because we're onto the next thing already?

Because basically it's like, “Well, it could be better. It's not good enough.” And the thing is, nothing will ever feel enough. Nothing will ever feel like you've arrived if you keep thinking that way.

And so, the problem I see in my clients who are trying to increase their self-confidence is they look to their past to see if they're allowed to feel self-confident. And like I said, self-confidence comes from within. It doesn't matter what you did or didn't do in the past.

Having self-confidence doesn't mean that you're going to crush everything in the future and never fail. It's about knowing that you are capable of achieving whatever you are capable of and also knowing that if you do fail, nothing's gone wrong and you can pick yourself back up because you have your own back. You're not relying on the external achievement to feel good about yourself. Because you already feel good about yourself.

You already know that you're 100% worthy and you don't need to do anything to show yourself that because you already have that. And when you have true wealth confidence, you really become unstoppable on being able to create whatever you want to create, accomplish, accumulate.

And of course, that includes money because here's the thing; creating wealth, lots of wealth, requires self-confidence. It requires wealth confidence. It requires you to be able to trust yourself. It requires you to be able to pick yourself up when you do fall – because you will – that you have your own back, that you can experience the negative emotions of not creating what you've created and keep going.

Otherwise, you're going to never take risk. You're going to never try something new. And then you're going to regret things 10, 20, 30 years in the future. And so, I invite all of you listening to ask yourself, “How can I create more wealth confidence today? How can I learn how to trust myself more? How can I have my own back? How do I already have self-confidence in myself? how can I create more?”

And well, of course, you know I'm going to say, the secret to that is getting coached and self-coaching and intentional thought creation. And so, I believe this episode comes out before the end of May, and so I wanted to make sure that you know that I'll be starting my live self-coaching master course starting the first week of June, or the last week of May, I think it's the same week.

And so, that is a four-part live workshop slash course I'm doing inside of Money for Women Physicians. Which is a program that helps you create not just material wealth but emotional wealth, or wealth confidence. Because they're so tried together.

And so, learning how to self-coach yourself is the first step. Learning and being aware of your thoughts and feelings that you might be having on default, and then deciding on purpose what you want to think and feel about yourself going forward. Because you get to decide what you think and feel going forward.

It doesn't matter what you have or what you don't have. There's no belief police, there's no thought police. You can think whatever you want. And so, I invite you to join the program so that you can get started and get started in the self-coaching mastery course and start creating your emotional wealth, your wealth confidence right away. I will talk to you ladies next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Right Way to Enforce Boundaries

59: The Right Way to Enforce Boundaries

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Right Way to Enforce BoundariesFor some of my clients, the concept of boundaries can be pretty difficult to understand. And the truth is, it's taken me a long time to figure out how to explain this topic in a clear and concise way. But I've seen so many people struggle in this area that it's time to break it down here on the podcast.

The most common boundary issues I see for my clients are around their family and friends asking for money. So, I'm showing you in this episode how to set financial boundaries around our personal relationships. But really, this work can be applied to any area you want to enforce a boundary in your life.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what a boundary is, and where so many people make mistakes when implementing and enforcing boundaries. I'm sharing the how-to when it comes to setting boundaries of any kind, so if this is an area you've struggled with in the past, this short and sweet episode is exactly what you need to hear.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What a boundary is, and most importantly what it is not.
  • Where I see my clients really struggle to enforce boundaries.
  • Why understanding boundaries and being able to enforce them is so important.
  • 2 specific things we need to understand about boundaries if we're going to implement them effectively.
  • How to set up a proper boundary, enforce it, and honor yourself and the other person in the process.

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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 59. So, I'm super-excited about today's topic. It's a big one. And I know it's going to be so valuable to all of you listening. But before I start, I want to let you all know that starting the month of June, I am going to be teaching a live self-coaching mastery course inside my program Money for Women Physicians.

Now, of course I teach self-coaching already in the program, but this is a deep dive because my goal is for all of my clients to really learn how to self-coach themselves. This is a difference that I see in my clients who make rapid progress versus those that don't. Because training of the mind, thought work, takes daily works.

Showing up to a coaching call once a week really isn't sufficient. To really let go of those limiting beliefs, create new ones, to live into that new future that you want to live in really requires daily self-coaching. And so, I wanted to teach it again, teach it live, and really make sure that you have the skills to do this on your own.

Because really, I don't want anyone to take my program or work with me one on one thinking that I have all the answers for them. At the end of the day, with this work that I do, what I have learned is it's so important to learn how to trust yourself and listen to your inner wisdom. And the work of self-coaching gives you access to that.

So, we start the first week of June and obviously, if you can't make the live call, it's recorded. But you definitely want to join beforehand so you can get those dates in your calendar and all that fun stuff. And so, make sure you go to weaqlthymommd.com/money to learn more, join, and get the details and start with us in June for that self-coaching mastery program.

Okay, now today's topic, I want to talk about boundaries. And this is a topic that it honestly took me a long time to really figure out what a boundary is and explain it clearly so that you understand. And what I have found is that most people don't really understand what a boundary is, let alone what it really means to enforce a boundary.

And so, one of the reasons why I'm bringing this up is because I see a common situation come up a lot among my clients around money and family and friends. And so, basically today I want to talk about how to set and enforce financial boundaries. But this applies to any type of boundary that you're trying to create.

So, let me give you the common thing that I see among my clients, is basically I see a lot of my clients getting asked to contribute money or they say they feel obligated to help out a family member or friend but there's a lot of resentment and negative feelings around the whole thing. Does this sound familiar?

And this happens because most of my clients are not aware of two things. Number one, how to set and enforce a boundary. And two, really understanding and getting that other people are adults, they have agency, which means they can do whatever they want. And that means you too.

So, let's start with setting and enforcing the boundary. So, first, let's define what a boundary is and what it isn't. So, like I said, a boundary is a concept that I find is often misused and not properly understood and a lot of people think of boundaries as standing up for yourself. That is not what a boundary is.

I think the best way to conceptualize it is to think about a physical boundary. Like, if you have a house and there is a physical boundary, let's say a fence, like the demarcation of your property line. And let's say somebody crosses that boundary physically onto your property – so the boundary is the fence. The boundary violation is someone crossing the fence or climbing over, whatever, and is on your property without permission. That is a boundary violation.

Now, enforcing the boundary is where people get confused because enforcing the boundary is about what you do. It's actually not about the other person because remember, we can't control other people and they're allowed to do whatever we want.

So, a boundary formation an enforcing one is nothing about controlling other people's behavior. A boundary is about honoring yourself and being responsible for yourself. And a lot of you think it's the opposite.

So, simply, a boundary is what you will do when a boundary is violated. Notice that I didn't say it's what you will tell the violator to do once a boundary is violated. It's only about you since – and I'm going to sound like a broken record here – we cannot ever control what another person does.

I know, but wouldn't it be so much easier if we could? If we just told them what to do and they would do it? But we know that that's not what happens. And we also know that we don't like it when people tell us what to do.

So, let's go through a simple example. So, let's say you have a relative – let's just call her Sally. And every month or so, she calls and asks you for money. And every time she does that, you get really upset, talk to your husband, talk to your friends and say, “I can't believe Sally is asking me for money again. How dare she? Doesn't she know I don't want this?” and blah, blah, blah…

And then, of course, you tell Sally, “Please stop asking me for money.” And so, you think that's setting the boundary. But then you're feeling so resentful and angry and spending a lot of time on it because you're so resentful and angry because Sally keeps asking you for money.

So, what did I say? You can't control people. Sally's going to do what she's going to do. Which clearly means she's going to keep asking you for money. You can't control her. What are you going to do?

And so, enforcing the boundary could be something like this. And you get to decide. It could be something like you could say, “Sally, if you keep asking me for money, I'm going to say no and hang up the phone.”

So, notice that has nothing to do with Sally, meaning she can do whatever she wants. She can still call you or contact you. But you're telling her what you're going to do, which is, “If you ask me for money, I'm going to say no and hang up the phone.” And it's only about what you do.

Now, here's the really, really important part. You actually have to do what you said you're going to do. So, the next time Sally calls, you say no and you hang up. And if you don't do that, then people just don't believe you and you're not honoring yourself or your word. Because your responsibility is to follow through on the boundary.

Now, this is where people get into trouble because they don't want to enforce the boundary because most of us, including me, are people pleasers. Meaning we want people to like us and we don't want to be mean, we don't want to actually say no and hang up because even though we're upset they're doing that, we don't want people to think badly of us.

And so, here's the thing. You can't control them. You can't control whether people like you or not. And so, this is why honoring slash enforcing the boundary really is about you and honoring you. And notice that the boundary did not threaten the other person, did not say anything about stop doing this et cetera, because we know we can't control Sally. Of course Sally is calling to ask for money. That's what she does.

So, since people will do what they do and we can't control that, that means that they may not react well to you enforcing the boundary. And you have to know that is okay. You have to know that you have to let people be wrong about you. You have to let people be mad because the way they react really has nothing to do with you. It's about them.

They do not need to behave the way you want them to. In fact, you really need to let them be unhappy with you. Let them be wrong with you. And that, honestly, is the hardest part of enforcing a boundary because most of us, especially women, we really want people to like us.

Remember, the boundary is for you. It's not for them. At the end of the day, we cannot control other people's behavior or emotions. And you're not responsible for them either. Meaning in the case of aunt Sally, I made this situation up, you are not responsible for her financial security. You're not.

She is responsible for herself. You are not. And so, once I've truly understood the way boundaries worked and how people pleasing works, and that at the end of the day, we can try to kind of manipulate someone's opinion about us – now, manipulate is kind of a strong word but that's basically what people pleasing is, right?

The thing is, we think that if they behaved a certain way, that we would feel better about things. Like with the example with Sally, if she stopped asking me for money, then I wouldn't be upset. But that's placing all of your internal peace and happiness depending on something outside of you, on another person's behavior. It's just not a great way to live. It's powerless.

It's predicating your peace of mind, your happiness based on other people's behavior and even things like having enough money. How many of us are thinking that if we only had more money, then we would feel more secure? And so, you see how these topics really are intertwined.

And so, here is what I want to leave you with. Is there a boundary that you need to set up and enforce? Will you have the courage to enforce it? Will you have the courage to honor yourself to enforce it and to risk the relationship? Because that's' what most of us are afraid of doing; risking the relationship.

People treat us the way we treat ourselves. I know you've heard that before, but it's so true. And that's why learning about how to set up a proper boundary and enforce it is so important. Because remember, it's about you. It's about honoring yourself.

It has nothing to do with the other person. It has nothing to do with you standing up for yourself and letting people be wrong about you. That's all I have for today. I will talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Why You Need an Assistant

58: Why You Need an Assistant

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Why You Need an AssistantAs I have mentioned, I spent a little time away with my mastermind in Las Vegas recently. And one thing that was a real focus of the time we spent together was our coach encouraging us to consider getting an assistant. In fact, the message was that we can't afford to live without one. And I agree with her.

Now, I have had various assistants over the past few years, and so in this episode, I'm taking the time to outline how I make use of an assistant and why I believe you should be hiring one too. I know that hiring somebody sounds like a lot of work, and getting it right is going to take a little practice, but trust me when I say that once you get going, you won't look back.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why I believe we, as female physicians, should all have an assistant. I'm sharing how I operate in my own business and life with a personal assistant, the different options available to you, and how to find an assistant that will save you time and energy.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I have an assistant and why I believe you need one too.
  • What we can learn from our lives as doctors about delegating in our personal lives.
  • How to see where in your life an assistant would make your day-to-day so much easier.
  • Why having an assistant has never been a more viable option.
  • The area where my assistant has freed up time for me in a way I never thought possible.
  • How to find yourself an assistant that can free up your time and energy.

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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hey, everyone. Welcome to episode 58. So, as you guys know, I was away for about 10 days. I was in Hawaii and then I was in Las Vegas for my business mastermind. So, in case some of you do not know what a business mastermind is, because it's people in business like myself, so people define it differently.

But the way I define it is that a true mastermind is where you and others mastermind with each other led by a master. And when I say you and others, basically the members have something to contribute. We each have something to contribute and we're generally equal partners of our success and we're generally at equal ranges of income, in a business mastermind that is.

And so, I was in a mastermind called The 200K Mastermind. And now. I sort of graduated to the $2 Million Group. And right now, there's 12 of us. We're all coaches. This mastermind is only for coaches. And one thing we do, which might make you guys kind of cringe, but in business this is totally normal – and it's about money – is that we do a leaderboard, meaning that we have to report our income and it's listed from top to lowest.

Now, some of you might be like, “Oh my god that's horrible.” But to me, it's exciting. So, I'm not the top earner. I'm not the lowest earner. I'm sort of in the middle. But I love not being the top earner in the room.

You might be asking why. Now, sometimes, it doesn't feel good, I'll be perfectly honest. But by not being the top earner, I can learn so much from the other women who are making so much money.

I also love that in this business mastermind, money is celebrated. We get so excited when one of us makes money. It's not because we think making more money is better than not making money, but it's showing that it's possible and it's an example of the value that we created.

Now, I got a little off-track here but the main reason I wanted to talk about this mastermind is, so, this mastermind is for coaches who have made at least $250,000 annually inside their coaching business and they want to scale to $2 million.

And so, one of the things that we learned – this is my second three months in the mastermind – is we basically were all told that we all need to hire an assistant. Like, all of us.

Most of us had one, but not all of us had one. And the reason why is she said that you cannot be the CEO of your business and your life. And I don't mean you can't make decisions for your life, but she says you can't be managing everything in your business and managing everything at home, especially if you're a mom.

And the reason is because then your mind is so bogged down with all the decisions and the things that really keep you from thinking at a higher level. And so, this got me thinking, because I don't usually talk about me having an assistant to my clients, because most of my clients aren't necessarily in business. Some are, but most of them aren't they're employees.

And so, but I was thinking, you know, I think every female physician needs an assistant. I'm going to repeat that again. I think every female physician needs an assistant. Whether you're a breadwinner, whether you're a mom or not, you need an assistant. Yes, you too.

You do not need to be famous or a CEO or super-rich to have or need one. If you're listening to this right now, then I already know that you need one. You needed one probably years ago. And you can have one for just five hours a week.

I think a lot of people think like, “Oh, but I don't need that much help.” Or, “I can't hire someone full-time.” You don't even need to hire someone full-time. But it's not even about the time save. Because I think, when I talk about this to people, the first thing that comes to their mind is, “Yeah, I guess I would save five hours a week. Not that that wouldn't be useful, but I could still do it.”

And I just want to stop you right there because some of you are thinking this already, I know. I know it. I can hear it. It's not so much about the time you save. It's also about the mental energy.

Think about it, as doctors, depending on what you do, but even if you're not seeing 20 patients a day, you're a surgeon, we are making high level decisions all day long. That is taxing on our brain That takes up a lot of energy.

Having an assistant keeps your brain agile. It keeps your brain free to focus on the important decisions that you need to make for your work and for your family. And so, what I want to do today is go over why my assistant does for me.

So, I do have- an assistant. She's part-time. And she's my assistant in business, but she also does personal stuff for me. And actually, the original idea I had for this episode was to talk about this system that I created with her called the Digital Shitbox. More on that later though.

And so, I feel so strongly that every female physician needs an assistant. Because this makes such a huge difference for me and I know it will for you too. And then, at the end, I'm going to give you some quick tips on how to hire someone. Because that's the most common question I get when I tell people about my assistant. They're like, “Well, how do I find someone?”

Along the same vein, I have a CPA. I have a fractional CFO slash bookkeeper because there are people with a lot more expertise than me on these things. And this again frees me up to focus what I want to do, which is to coach my clients, run my business as the CEO, think about my business, and think about my clients. I think I said in an earlier episode that I consider it my job to be a think tank for my business and my clients.

Okay, so first, if I haven't convinced you already, why do I have an assistant and why should you have one too? Number one, our time is rally valuable. And to take this further, our brain time is really valuable. We only have so much valuable brain time or focus time a day. And like I said, you're a busy physician. You're making tons of high-level decisions a day, all requiring you to think at your highest level.

You need to be on top of your game. Just like you don't room your patients or you don't make appointments or answer billing questions, there are many things you don't need to do either.

I feel like we know this in terms of working as a doctor. But for some reason, we don't apply this to our non-doctor life. As a woman, as a mom, this is hard for us to do because we've been sort of conditioned to be able to do it all and it's like some kind of weird badge of honor. I want to tell you, it is not a badge of honor.

There is no prize for doing it all. None. Now, inside a business, of course, it makes sense to have an assistant. And I will liken this again to being a doctor. Your best use of your brain time as a doctor is to diagnose and make treatment plans. Someone else can literally do the rest. And I'd even go to say that someone could actually execute the treatment plan, what I mean by that is do the counseling for the treatment plan.

For example, you know, when I treat acne patients, it doesn't take me long to figure out what's going on and what they need, you know, based on a few questions and examining them. And then, I create the treatment plan.

And someone else that's well-trained could then explain to them how to take the medication. Because to me, that's actually the most important part of acne treatment, is really explaining how to use medication properly. Like, I really don't like slapping medication and being like, “Okay, this, this, and that, see you later.”

I really took the time to explain, especially if I gave them any topical medications, like, “This is how you apply it. This is what it looks like. This is how much you're going to use. This is when you're going to do it. This is what might happen.”

But that doesn't need to be me. And so, I want you to really start asking yourself, noticing throughout your day, what are things that you're doing that you really don't have to do?

Now, where you can get into trouble with this is there might be things that you actually kind of enjoy doing, so you don't mind doing them. But I want you to ask yourself, “Is this a good use of my time? Could I enjoy my life more if someone else did this?” That's a great question.

So, you might be asking yourself, “Well, what can they actually do?” Anything you can train them on, really. Any task that is repetitive or requires time for you to be on the phone.

Now, I said earlier, this includes things that you might actually like doing, but it's not a great use of your time. For example, I used to love researching travel plans, looking at the hotels, looking at the flights and piecing it all together.

I still enjoy it, but I don't enjoy it as much as I used to. And it's not a great use of my time. So, now my assistant handles that all. It's amazing. And I'm going to name a few things that she's done for me, just to give you examples of what they can do.

So, recently I got a medical bill and it didn't have all the information I needed, meaning it wasn't clear to me if it was something I had to pay. It almost looked like, “Well, maybe this is something my insurance should have covered.”

And so, I had her call to get more information. So, I have her basically – any time that I didn't have to be on the phone, because wait times et cetera, I have her do. Because sometimes, I'll change my mind about things like flights. And we all know that the wait times can be really long.

Like, one time, she had to change a flight on United and she was on the phone for two hours. And that's two hours I didn't have to spend time on the phone.

Another thing I have her do is do research. Personal research. So, for example, Jack, my toddler, he's three and a half right now. He's always doing like flips and like super-active, so I was like, “You know what? I think he'd really enjoy being in a gymnastics class.”

And so, I gave her some parameters, what I'm looking for, and I asked her if she could come up with three options for a gymnastics class and tell me why she chose them.

Now, this is something that I don't personally use her for, but when I was at my business mastermind, we were all kind of sharing what our assistants do for us. And one of the ladies shared that her assistant is local. Mine actually isn't. Mine's virtual, although I have actually met her in person.

But her assistant is local and makes sure that everything in the house is there. Meaning she doesn't run out of toilet paper. This person does her grocery orders every Sunday from Instacart et cetera and she's like, “Yeah, I know it doesn't take that long to order things on Instacart but if I don't have to think about it, that's amazing.” And so, I could see that be useful for a lot of you ladies.

Okay, so now I want to talk about the Digital Shitbox that I use with my assistant, and also Matt, and we use this for, and we use this for both personal and business stuff.

So, first, what is a Digital Shitbox? So, the name kind of came from this. All of us have a physical junk drawer. I'm not the only person who has one. And maybe we have multiple junk drawers or multiple junk boxes.

So, in my household, we have called that the Shitbox. And we have multiple Shitboxes. Although, I've really tried to pare it down to like one. And if it gets full, we have to throw something away.

And then, I came up with this concept of a Digital Shitbox because one thing that I really struggled with, and I'm guessing a lot of you too, is dealing with all the bullshit paperwork that comes up that you need to keep track of. You're like, “Yeah, I need to scan this.” And I would have piles of paper to be scanned and it would never get scanned.

Because some of these things, I couldn't just put them through the document feeder. We have a printer that also serves as a scanner and it has like a feeder thing. But if it wasn't the regular size, it would have to be manually scanned and I'd be like, “I don't have time for this right now.” And I'd put it in this pile and this pile would just get bigger and bigger. And oftentimes, it wouldn't get done until it had to get done, like for tax time for example.

And so, another thing is Matt and I have – our health insurance has an HSA or Health Savings Account and so we keep all the receipts. We don't often get reimbursed, but we want to have them on file so we can get reimbursed later because we invest our HSAs. And so, those receipts were piling up and then for business, receipts were piling up and I was like, “Okay…”

And this assistant I've had for about three months now so I was like, “You know, I have an assistant. How can I make this easy for me and how can she help me with this?”

Because I used to think, “Well, she can't really help me with this unless she lives here because I still have to scan all these freaking receipts,” and I get annoyed, as you can tell. And so, as soon as I asked myself, “How could this be easy,” one of my favorite questions to ask whenever I'm feeling stuck – I just had a lightbulb moment and the answer was so obvious I feel even kind of dumb sharing with you guys.

But have you noticed sometimes you get so stuck that there's no solution, that we can't see the solution until we literally pause and ask, what if there is a way to make this easy? And so, what I realized is, on my iPhone – I have an iPhone, but this would work if you have an Android too. So, I have a Dropbox account and you can download the Dropbox app on your phone and you can literally take a picture of the receipt and upload it to Dropbox.

So, what I specifically do is I don't take a picture. I do the scan function and it basically takes a picture but it converts it to a PDF and it's able to smartly figure out the outline of the receipt, although sometimes I have to fix it, and then I upload it specifically to a folder. We call it the Shitbox. It's basically a Digital Shitbox. But whatever you want to call it. If you don't like curses you can call it your junk drawer, box, whatever you want to call it.

But basically a holding folder for all the stuff that you need to scan but you don't want to deal with. And then, my amazing assistant, once a month, goes through it and puts it in the right place. So, if it's a business thing, she puts it in the business folder and we have a specific way we label them. We label it by date and the subject, so it's sort of easy to find. We don't have to keep opening things.

Because what I did previously is I would upload things and I never change the name so it would be the weird default name tat Dropbox or my phone saved and then I could never find it because I never labeled it correctly.

So, all I do is take a quick scan picture with Dropbox. When I say scan picture, I mean scan into a PDF, make sure it gets uploaded to my Shitbox folder. And then, once a month, she goes through it and she clears it and she knows – I've trained her on which receipt goes to what. So, if it's a HAS receipt, she labels it by date and the person, so whether it's me, Matt, or Jack. If it's a business receipt and it's specifically for a business trip, she puts it in a specific folder for each trip. And other things, like other important documents that might come in the mail.

And so, you need to sit down with your assistant or really just sit down with yourself and figure out, “How do I want these documents organized?” Because the last thing you want to do when you need to find something is, well, spend the time to find it. You waste so much time and it's so frustrating.

Okay, I think you guys can tell this is getting me really excited because when I discovered this I was like, “Oh my god, this is amazing.” So, I did have to spend some time kind of backtracking, because as I mentioned before, I had piles and piles of paper. But it actually was so much quicker than using my actual scanner and the quality is totally fine.

And so, I think I spend, honestly, like 30 minutes taking pictures. And then, once I was done, now I just do it as they come and it's like two seconds and I don't have to think about filing it because she takes care of it for me. Every once in a while, she'll have a question about where things should go. But otherwise, it's pretty seamless.

Okay, back to you. I want you to start making a list of what you would love to offload. I want you to spend some time thinking about this purposely. So, if you're like me and you like to jot things down, on my iPhone, I would make a file in your notes and just start typing in things. Whenever you notice, like, “Hey, this is something I can offload to an assistant,” that's where you should start.

And then, whenever you see yourself doing something repetitive or something that you know an assistant can do, I want you to write it down. And then, depending on what it is, you may even want to record yourself doing that thing, like a screencast on your computer, if it's something like on your computer for example.

There's a program called Loom. And it lets you do this for free, like a screencast. But it's only up to five minutes. And if you have a business like I do, it's definitely worth investing in a screencast software like this. it's a great way to train employees.

So, let me give you an example of how this could be useful, the screencast, for a personal thing. So, not anymore, but in Jack's old daycare, we had to specifically order his lunches. And so, every month, I had to log into this website and it was super-annoying because I had to click on each day. Because of course, they selected everything including the juice box and the cookie and I would always unselect the cookie and the juice box. And I might change the food around if I knew it was something he wouldn't like.

And so, I had to spend time literally each day clicking on these things. So, this is something I could record as a screencast and I would talk while I'm doing it so they could see what it looks like. And I could say, this is how I want it done. And then, I can share that screencast with my assistant.

And let's say this is an ongoing thing because the thing is, once you get bought into hiring an assistant – and I'll talk more about how to do that in a bit – just like nannies, you might go through different nannies or different assistants. It might take some time.

And so, by doing a screencast, you save yourself the time to train them. So, this is a great example of something tedious that I can delegate and I just record myself doing it, and so it's much easier for them to learn than me trying to explain it to them, right?

Now, I'm betting some of you are thinking, “Yeah, but these things, they don't take a lot of time and I can do them.” But that's not the whole point. Remember, they take up your brain time and your attention. And what I see a lot, including myself and my clients, is we get like decision fatigue from all the little tiny tasks hanging out in your brain in the back of your brain, like, “I've got to do this…”

It's like this nagging feeling that there's something else to do. Wouldn't it be so much nicer to come home from work and, like, be able to really relax your brain? All these little things, even though they're not, like, hard or take up a lot of time, they're really taxing on your brain because there's something called task switching.

Every time you're switching between tasks – there's no such thing as multitasking. I'm sure you guys know this already. And every time you're switching between different types of tasks, it's extremely taxing for their brain or it really slows you down.

And I know all of you would love to have some more time just to relax, hang out with your family, have time for yourself. I have no desire to win the trophy for the mom who did everything; bake the cakes, bring Jack to and from school, do the laundry, have a perfectly clean bathroom, run my business. Remember I said, there is no reward for doing it all. None.

Okay, now I want to leave you with a few tips for hiring and managing. Now, I could probably do a whole episode on this, and maybe I will if there's interest. Because I see a lot of people getting frustrated in hiring and managing.

And I see this a lot with nannies, because we're also perfectionists. Because I can do it better and faster. Yeah, maybe, but that also means you're still doing it.

And you could have a lot more free time and have a lot more enjoyment, impact on family, personal life, and your work. Okay, so, how do you actually find someone?

So, I kind of think of it as two different ways to hire. If you do not have the desire to actually do the hiring, because that is actually a skill, then you may want to go through an agency or even care.com, although you still have to do the screening.

There are agencies, but obviously you're going to pay for that, because you're paying someone else to kind of do the legwork for you. But I think that's perfectly fine. And people get all hung up on, “Well, it costs more.” But yeah, you're paying so that you don't have to spend the time to do it.

So, I really want you to start changing your mindset. It's not so much like the money I'm spending, it's what is this going to give back to me time-wise? And not even just time-wise, but enjoying my life time as well.

So, if you have no desire, you may want to go through an agency. So, one agency I've used in the past is Belay. I actually don't' know if they specifically will help you find a personal assistant, but I think so.

I would say the main downside of an agency is not even so much higher cost. But also that assistant gets paid a lot less because usually the agency is taking a big cut. But I think, if this is going to help you get started faster, then do it.

The second thing is to ask around. Maybe there's another fellow physician mom or mom friend or physician friend that has a part-time assistant or help that could use some more hours. And this is actually how I found – she wasn't my assistant but I called her my part-time organizer back in Philadelphia. I think I posted in the local doc mom group about this. And this mom, her husband had this incredible ability to hire amazing people. And so, this person would come a few days a week, because she worked for this other family. And she would just come and organize things, take things out of the dishwasher, fold things, do laundry, and put away Jack's toys. And that was just – it was so nice to come home to a clean, organized apartment.

She didn't clean for us, but she organized. And so, I think that's also a great way to find someone as well. Now, I have gone through quite a few assistants I've learned a lot. I've done training on how to hire.

And when you hire someone, you really want them to apply and you want to have some tasks or even a test project to see if it's going to work. So, just for example, for a personal thing, you could have them plan a family trip, for example, so you can see how they think.

And when you do hire them, you want to be really specific with your contract that it's a trial period for 30 days and that you can fire at will, basically.

And then two other tips I want to leave you with are some of you might be asking, how do you give them personal information? How do you trust them?

Now, this is where you've got to check references, you've got to do a background check. So, I do a background check where it checks their credit and all that kind of jazz. And I do I talk to the references. And we use LastPass, which is a password manager. And so, I can share logins with her without actually sharing the password and I can easily revoke it as well.

Now, the last thing I want to say is your assistant cannot read your mind. And this is what I hear a lot from my perfectionist clients is, “They're not doing a good job.” And we often think they should just be able to figure it out. That does not work. They cannot read your mind. But they can, if you write it down. They can, if you do a screencast on how you do things.

I used to get so frustrated with my previous assistants. I think I really expected them to read my mind. And I'm sort of laughing and also feeling a little bad inside now because now I understand how ridiculous that expectation was.

I just didn't know any better. And so, you have to be willing to train your assistant. And that will take time. And you might be thinking, “But I don't have time.” But this is going to save you so much time later. And you have to be willing to give feedback and not think twice about it. And just think of it as you're training them to your specifications. You can train them to also think the way you want to think, really.

Okay, well I hope I've inspired you to at least consider hiring an assistant and I want you to start thinking about all the ways they could help you. Take a few weeks to figure out what kind of tasks you could offload. And then just start. Start by hiring. You might not find the right person. It's kind of like dating, if I'm perfectly honest, meaning you might meet a lot of frogs, or you might meet the right person immediately.

And so, I can't wait to hear how much more time you're going to have, how much more you're going to enjoy your life because you're not spending all of your time doing little things that really don't need your attention. Okay, I will talk to you ladies next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode an don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | (Part 2) Women Breadwinners

57: (Part 2) Women Breadwinners

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | (Part 2) Women BreadwinnersIn this week's episode, I'm carrying on the conversation I started last week in my interview with Alison Armstrong about women breadwinners. So many female physicians, myself included, are the sole earner in their family. So, whether you're the breadwinner and have a partner at home, or you're a single mom, I want you to listen closely this week.

I see so much suffering around being a female breadwinner, when really, if we wanted to, we could see it as a badge of honor. Instead, I see it leading to challenging thoughts, and over time, growing into resentment over the situation. But that kind of thinking isn't serving anyone, and in this episode, I'm giving you a new lens through which to view your role as the breadwinner in your family.

Join me on the podcast this week as I share the three sentences I use to empower myself when I start to feel negatively about being the sole earner in my family. I'm discussing how we add unnecessary stress to our already busy lives, and how to observe your thoughts before they get out of hand and start to strain your relationship, which is a very real possibility for all of us.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why female physicians typically feel so much stress and pressure around being the breadwinner in their family.
  • How I see women unknowingly adding to the pressure they're already feeling in this situation.
  • What you can do to observe your thoughts before they negatively impact your relationship.
  • 3 sentences that make me feel proud and accomplished as a female breadwinner, instead of pressured and stressed.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 57. How is everyone doing? So, I just got back from a 10-day trip. I went to Hawaii and then I went to Las Vegas. So, Hawaii was a solo trip, meaning I went without Matt or Jack, literally by myself for five nights in Oahu, and then I went to Las Vegas for another four nights or so to meet with my business mastermind, which I'll talk about probably in the next episode a bit.

And so, people have been asking me, why did you go alone? How did you do that? And why? And it kind of struck me, because I know a lot of moms, so many of my friends actually who have really never taken time for themselves, whether it's without their kids or even by themselves to get away.

And this is something I've always sort of done. Like, not so much taking an actual vacation by myself, but I've always been pretty good about going out to see friends and doing things without my partner and without Jack. And I've been doing that since he was a newborn.

And part of that is I have an amazing support system. I have Matt. I have my mom, who lives nearby. And so, I have a lot of support. And I also know how important it is for me to spend time with myself, or time with Matt without Jack to reconnect.

And so, what I was doing in Hawaii was I was literally by myself most of the time. I did meet up with friends twice, but that was it over the five nights. I was by myself. I went to breakfast and dinner by myself. I usually didn't eat lunch. It' shard for me to eat three meals a day and the breakfast was included, so of course, I had to have that.

But yeah, I went to all the meals myself and that wasn't a problem. I really enjoyed being by myself. I think the first meal or two, I felt a little awkward because I'm pretty sure I was the only solo traveler there. Everyone there was with their significant other or with their family. And I think I pretty much was the only person there.

But after a meal or two, I got used to it and I really enjoyed my own company. And so, I'm wondering, how many of you ladies enjoy the company of just yourself? Do you enjoy yourself? That's something I've really been working on and ironically that's the coaching I got on my business mastermind, is that I need to work on enjoying my life more.

And it's something I've been thinking about because I coach female physicians and we're so conditioned to just work, work, work, and we are basically told that it's an honor to work so much, for medical school, for residency. And I am a dermatologist, so we didn't work nearly as many hours as the surgeons. But it's like a badge of honor to work 40, 60, 80, 100 hours a week.

And is it? Do we still want to think that way, that it's an honor to work all the time? What if it's an honor to work less and to enjoy our life? Anyway, I had so many new ideas from my time in Hawaii that I'll share with you over the next few podcast episodes. But I just came back and I just wanted to share with you my initial thoughts.

The next thing I want to say, before we get into the main podcast episode today, which is on female breadwinners, part two, is that depending on when you're listening to this, as of April 26th, enrolment is open for my free live workshop How to Create Wealth Without Seeing More Patients.

And this free workshop is May 6th, which is Thursday, at 8PM Eastern. And so, you definitely want to sign up for this. I'm going to be teaching all the money secrets that every woman physician needs to know right now to create more freedom and more enjoyment in your life right now, without actually having to change the money in your actual accounts.

To sign up for that, go to wealthymommd.com/workshop. The link will also be in the show notes, and you can also go to my main website, wealthymommd.com and you'll see a link up top to sign up. I can't wait to see you there.

Okay, so today, this is part two of talking about female breadwinners. So, the last episode, I had a special guest. I had Alison Armstrong. I hope you enjoyed that episode. That was, I have to say, it was super cool for me to have her on the show. And in case you didn't listen to it yet, I met Alison in my early 20s. I'm 43 right now. So, 20 years ago I met her because I took one of her courses. And so, it was kind of like an amazing full circle to have her on the show and to really get her insight on the psychology of women in relationships.

So, today, I really want to continue the conversation because a lot of my clients, including myself, we are the breadwinner, and we might be the sole earner in our families. And I just see a lot of suffering around it. It's not usually seen as a badge of honor. So, whether you're the breadwinner of you and your spouse, or if you're the only earner as a single mom, this episode is for you.

Now, I'm really narrowing in specifically about being a breadwinner. But as we all know, women physicians, especially if you're also a mom, we have a lot of other stuff going on. And of course, this all contributes to some general unhappiness.

So, let's talk about the definition of a breadwinner. You know I love looking up these things and the history and telling you guys all about it. So, the definition I found is someone who works and earns money for their family, typically the sole or primary earner. The term breadwinner comes from the UK in the early 1820s.

Now, I found a few origins of where it came from. And one source said that people used to be paid in bread rather than actual currency. And then another source said it kind of started in the 19th century because bread was a staple food item for many families, and so the breadwinner was simply the family member who brought home the bread.

And what I have found after coaching thousands of female physicians is that most of my breadwinning clients are stressed and they feel a lot of pressure. Sound familiar?

Now, in the previous episode you heard Alison and I talk about the breadwinner dynamic. Now, we were talking in a hetero-normal couple, and how common thought errors can lead down a dangerous path if you start conflating being the main earner as the gatekeeper of the money, or conflating money with power, or as the ultimate decision-maker. I want you to think about that for a second.

How many of you who are listening right now will sort of wield that decision power because you are the sole earner? I'm not pointing it out to make you feel bad. I just want you to notice if you find yourself thinking that way, that you have the ability to veto spending because you are the sole or main earner.

Now, not all breadwinners are going to have negative feelings about being the breadwinner, of course. But I find that he majority of my clients do. So, a lot of them feel a lot of pressure. And they come from thoughts like, “I have to make money.”

Any thought or sentence in your head that begins with, “I have to make money,” or something like that, check in with yourself. How does that feel? I'm pretty sure it doesn't feel good. Feeling pressured never feels good to me. It feels urgent.

This leads to a lot of stress as well. And what I often see over time is then my clients often feel resentful. Which is basically the emotion that eventually becomes anger. I think resentful is basically anger. It's just a muted form of it. And then, when you start feeling resentful, especially if you're in a couple situation, that just creates all sorts of problems in the relationship.

And so, once concept that I think I spoke about – I had an episode on relationships. So, the concept that I talked about there is called the manual. And so, in case you're not familiar with this concept, the manual is a concept that we have a manual of how other people should behave.

Now, I'm talking about if you're a breadwinner and you have a partner. So, you have this manual of how they should behave. And if they follow your manual, you will feel better.

So, here's a problem with the manual. There are two problems. Number one is that the manual is often very thick and long with lots of footnotes and appendices. And you never gave it to the person. So, they don't even know the manual that you're judging them by.

The second thing that doesn't work about the manual is that we can't control other people and other people's behavior does not create our feelings. I'm going to repeat that again because I know a lot of us, including myself, so I'm calling myself out too, we think that of only our partner behaved this way instead of that way, it would make us feel better. We would feel better. We would be happier.

And because we think that way, we become resentful. And feeling resentful becomes feeling angry and even having contempt for your spouse. And I forget the name of the relationship person, but the really famous guy who wrote, not the Four Love Languages. I think he wrote the Men Are from Mars, Men Are From Venus, he actually said that contempt is the biggest marker of why a marriage will fail, or something like if there is contempt within a marriage, that is basically a sign that it's doomed.

And so, you can easily see that feeling pressure and stress about being the breadwinner, which then leads into feeling resentful towards our partner, eventually leads to anger and contempt. And then, you start having thought errors like, “I'm better off without him.”

Now, I'm not a relationship coach so I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of that kind of stuff, but you can see that it doesn't even really matter what that person is doing because everything I'm talking about right now is about what you're thinking and how you're feeling because of what you're thinking.

It really has nothing to do with the other person. And so, how else can you think about being the breadwinner of your family? It's not that those other thoughts like, “I have to make money…” or whatever. It's not that those things aren't necessarily true. But are they useful for you? Do they feel good? They don't.

And I'm not trying to get you to just feel better to feel better. But which beliefs, which sentences would feel empowering? What would make you feel proud and accomplished?

So, here are three that I like to practice. And like all of you, I'm human. I still have a human brain, which means I still will have sentences go through my head about feeling resentful towards Matt. And actually, that's one thing that I really worked on when I was in Hawaii. I spent a lot of time just observing my thoughts.

And this is something that I teach my clients inside Money for Women Physicians. I really teach you how to observe your thoughts. Because what happens a lot is you think something and you just automatically believe it. Versus noticing the thoughts that pop up and understanding that they're optional, and that if you want to create a richer, happier, a much more enjoyable experience of life, it just means you need to think on purpose.

And so, when you catch yourself thinking thoughts that really make you feel disempowered, pressured, resentful, angry, contempt, what else could you think on purpose. And so, here are the three that I like to think.

I get to be the breadwinner. I love being the breadwinner. What a privilege it is to be the breadwinner. These thoughts make me feel empowered, even compelled and make me feel proud. And then, when I spend some time really sort of sinking into those feelings of feeling proud, compelled, accomplished, I'm then able to see things I haven't been able to see if I was spending all my time feeling resentful or pressured and stressed.

For example, me being able to retire Matt has allowed us to really create a life where we can do what we want, including me going to Hawaii for five nights because I don't have to worry about Matt taking off time from work.

Our son Jack has some speech delay. And so, right now he goes to two schools. And the first school is from eight to 11AM and then he goes to a private preschool from 11AM to whatever, 4PM or 5PM. And Matt is able to drive him to school and do all those pickups.

Like, it doesn't seem like a big deal to be able to have that, but it's huge. But if I focus on all the things he's doing wrong, which are my thoughts anyway, it just creates resentment. Of course it does.

Now, previously, I wasn't able to see. I just didn't have the tools to understand that my thoughts were creating those really negative feelings. So, this is what I want to suggest for those of you listening about how you feel about being – whether you're the breadwinner or whether you're the sole earner because you're single, a single mom, whatever, what are your thoughts about being the only earner?

Write them all out. Spend like 10 minutes. Take out your journal. Write down everything that pops into your head. Now, sometimes I have trouble with this. But what I can tap into is, what am I feeling? When I think about being the only earner for my family, or maybe I'm just by myself, how do I feel about that? What are the top three feelings that pop up for me? I'll write those down. And then sometimes I can reverse engineer, what are those thoughts?

Sometimes, it's helpful to do it that way instead of identifying the thoughts first. Or, if you're sort of visual like I am, maybe you have images that pop up in your mind about being the only earner. What kind of images pop up? What sort of experience do those images create for you? Start there.

And then, I want you to take some time to think about what would you rather feel about being a breadwinner? What would you rather think? And it's important for me to say that I don't want you to beat yourself up if you're having very negative thoughts and feelings about being the sole earner, especially if a lot of those thoughts are directed at your partner.

Don't beat yourself up about it. It is never useful. I want you to be kind to yourself, and then really spend some time thinking, “Do I want to feel this way about my partner?” And here's an important question that I've had to ask myself, “Would I rather be right or happy about this?”

Well, that's all I have for you guys today. I will talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | (Part 1) Women Breadwinners with Alison Armstrong

56: (Part 1) Women Breadwinners with Alison Armstrong

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | (Part 1) Women Breadwinners with Alison ArmstrongWelcome to the first in a two-part series focusing on women breadwinners. As the breadwinner in my family, this is a subject close to my heart. I've also seen so many of the same common hang-ups coming up for my clients, and as female physicians, I think it's incredibly important that we address them over the next couple of episodes.

To talk about the complex relationship dynamics facing female breadwinners and their partners, I have relationship expert Alison Armstrong on the show. I first came across Alison and her work 20 years ago now, and when I came across her again recently reading a book on this exact subject, I knew she'd have some real pearls of wisdom to share with all of you.

Tune in this week as Alison and I discuss the unique challenges that women breadwinners face, the mistakes we often make, and how we can have an overall better and a more fulfilling experience if we take the time to work on ourselves and our relationship.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The unique challenges women face when they take on the role of the breadwinner in the family.
  • Where the instinctual calculations we are wired to make as humans impact us as female breadwinners.
  • Why trying to force your partner to be more helpful or accountable in the way you want them to is setting you both up to fail.
  • How to address the balance of accountability in your relationship, so everything gets done and you can still respect each other as equal partners.
  • The biggest mistakes Alison sees breadwinning women make with their partners.
  • Alison's top tips to set you up for success in your relationship as a breadwinning woman.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hey, everyone. So, for this and the next episode, I'm doing a special two-part series on being a woman breadwinner. Now, this is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I'm a breadwinner too. And I've just noticed some common things come up over and over again for my clients who are breadwinners.

And so, I actually have a special guest for today. And then the following episode, I'm going to spend some time sort of discussing the common thought errors I see among breadwinners and share some ways to reframe your thinking around being a breadwinner.

So, today's guest is Alison Armstrong. Now, you probably don't know who she is. And you're probably wondering, “Why did I pick her?” So, fun story. So, I'm 43. And I think on a previous episode, I talked about how I had done some previous personal development in my early 20s. I think I was 23. So, we're talking 20 years ago.

And so, I had learned about Alison Armstrong through that earlier work I had done. So, who is Alison Armstrong? She is an expert on women and their relationships with men. She's been studying this since 1991. She is an expert in understanding men and understanding women's behavior and how to bridge that gap.

And so, I actually met Alison in my early 20s when she used to do live seminars. Now, all of her courses are now virtual, and this was pre-covid. And so, the program I took was called Understanding Men, Celebrating Women.

Now, I had sort of forgotten about Alison for many years until I read this book called When She Makes More. This is a book by Farnoosh Torabi, who many of you may know as the podcast host of So Money. And she's also been on TV and she's a financial education expert. And so, she wrote a few books. But I read this book called When She Makes More. And as you guessed it, it's about being the female breadwinner. She talks about sort of the social aspects of it and gives you some tips.

As I was reading this book, I saw her reference Alison several times. And then, I remembered, “Oh, that's the lady who taught that course 20 years ago.” And something else kind of fun happened. You know, my friends Letizia Alto and Kenji Asakura of Semi-Retired MD, they attended a relationship seminar and Alison was one of the teachers there.

And so, then I thought, “Wouldn't it be amazing to have Alison on the show to kind of share her expertise about female breadwinners?” Because I think this is just something a lot of us female physicians struggle with. And it doesn't have to be this way.

So, I'm super-excited to have Alison on the show today to share her wisdom with us. And so, we'll link in the show notes how to get in touch with Alison, but you are in for a treat. And then, I'll see you in the next episode to talk more about the mindset of breadwinning women.

Bonnie: Welcome to the show, Alison Armstrong.

Alison: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Bonnie: Yeah, I am super-excited. And I already told everyone how I know you, so this is kind of like a nice little full-circle for me. And so, the reason why I wanted you to come on the show was to help female physicians who tend to be the breadwinners in their relationship, how we can be more successful in our relationships. So, that's kind of the premise of what I want to talk about today.

Alison: Okay, yeah, happy to do that.

Bonnie: Yeah, so I thought the first thing we could talk about is, why do you think breadwinning women have challenges?

Alison: Oh boy. There's challenges that we have because of how we are, because of our instincts. And then, there's challenges we have because of we did, and there's challenges we have because of what our partners did. So, which one do you want me to talk about first?

Bonnie: Yeah, well I took some notes because one of the reasons why it sort of tripped my brain to contact you is I've read Farnoosh Torabi's book, When She Makes More. And you were quoted several times, so I pulled out a few things that I think might help guide the conversation.

So, one of the things that I read that I think is really important to talk about is – and this is directly from the book quoting you, “When a woman starts making more money than her husband, the cavewoman within starts to think, am I better off with or without him?” And you say it's an unconscious thing and it's lethal, so why don't we start with that?

Alison: Ah, very good. Yeah, better off with and better off without, they're instinctual calculations that both men and women make. So, for example, in a man choosing a mate, what he thinks the accountability of being married is and what it will require of him and would he be better off with a wife, and then would he be better off with this person?

So, there are men who decide never to get married because they don't think they'll be better off. And then there are men that want to get married but they haven't met the woman that they think they'll be better off with. And there's conscious and unconscious calculations, and they exist in different domains.

So, what I mean by that is there's better off in a strictly cavewoman, caveman level. Like, “Am I better able to survive by being with this person?” And that's what compels women to get married and stay married. It's ancient, “I'm better off. He'll protect me. And – protect me from the tiger that,” you know, whatever the form the tiger is now.

But there's also, are you better off as the kind of human being you get to be? So, for example, there was a time we were approaching our 20th anniversary. And my cavewoman was saying that I was better off without my husband. That from purely a survival standpoint, I was making almost all of the money. He was contributing some money from his retirement. But he'd stopped working for almost a year and he was sitting around watching television.

Which I thought he would do for a little while and then he'd, like, recover from the stress of his career and get busy, but he hadn't. So, that sense of pulling your weight, “If I'm doing all the work and making all the money, why am I also doing all the cooking and taking care of the house and paying the bills and all those functions? What are you going to take off my plate?”

And this is interesting because it has a lot to do with accountability. And that's a way that another human being can help us be better off. If they help us, yeah, that's nice. If they be accountable for that, so it's not my problem at all – I remember screaming at Greg once. He's like, “How can I help you?”

This is when our older daughter was just a little baby. I was like, “I don't want you to help me. I want this to be not my job.” And so, he's awesome because any time I hit that wall, like I need this to be not my job, when he was working full-time and I was the stay-at-home mom and I was going crazy, Saturday afternoons, the children were his job.

So, noon until dinner time, they were his job. And I got to relax. If they come to me for something, I'd say, “You're not my job. Go ask dad.” And it saved us. It saved us that distinction between, “I don't want more help with what's mine. I want it to not be mine.”

And so, that's something I think that we need to get clear about and we need to have really honest conversations about. So, there's better off just in terms of the workload that life is. And then there's better off in the kind of person that you get to be.

And I married Greg in the first place because I loved the Alison that showed up around Greg. How he spoke to me, how he listened to me, how he looked at me, how he touched me, who I was for him. And if anybody – there's a sample of understanding women on our website. And if you watch that sample, I'm talking about Greg. And I didn't realize this until I was editing it after he'd died that the camera had, like, panned to Greg in the back of the room when I was talking about him.

And he has this look on his face, and it's the look he always had. He was just the most fascinating, amazing creature that there was ever. And we'd been married, I don't know, 25 years at that point, 24, 25 years.

So there's better off economically. There's better off in survival. There's better off in sharing the load of work that there is to do in life. And there's better off in, “I'm a better person. I like who I am because of this person.” And it started this trade off.

Like, I don't need to have a husband who's making as much money as I am, but we never get to be with each other, or we're both exhausted, and so I don't get to be with the guy who brings out the best version of me. So, we have to weigh these decisions.

And like we talk about in being extraordinary as a woman, do you work for your lifestyle or does your lifestyle work for you. And I know physicians – I know part-time physicians because they would rather have a life that worked for them, than that they spent all their time in their practice supporting a lifestyle that they rarely have time to enjoy.

Bonnie: Yeah, a work-life balance is definitely a huge topic among female physicians. I wanted to explore a little bit more deeper what you said about holding men accountable and not helpful. And that's something I also read in Farnoosha's book, that distinction. So, can we talk a little bit about that.

And I think what I thought was really good to go over is how us as women, we're primarily motivated by people pleasing, staying out of trouble. We don't want people to think badly of us, and that we sort of subconsciously think this might motivate men, but it doesn't, and men are motivated to kind of win for their women and they want to feel like they're providing something.

Because what I hear a lot from other female physicians – and I'm guilty of this too – is I'll often get – so Matt is my partner – I'll often get annoyed at him and then I'll criticize that he's doing something wrong and not doing it the way I'd want it to be and that…

First of all, that doesn't work whether you're a man or a woman, because we don't want that happening to us. Maybe we could talk a bit about why that really doesn't work with men and what's a better way to talk about it?

Alison: You covered a lot of ground there. And holding men accountable, that's a particular way of putting something. And accountability and being held accountable are not the same thing. So, we can put a pin in that and come back to it.

But what you said, I would never say and I would never tell a woman to do. Not without a whole bunch before that. Because as you know, from having participated in what's now our Understanding Men course online, women attempt to hold men accountable all the time, like over and over and over again.

We try to hold them accountable for behaving like we would, for doing the things the way that we would do it or a woman would do it, for listening the way a woman listens, for responding the way we respond. We hold their feet to the fire all the time.

We try to hold them accountable. And they mostly refuse to be held accountable or they become self-emasculating and they try to act like a woman. And then we sense their weakness, because that's what happens when they're emasculated. And it creeps us out. It's such a turn off.

So, accountability is a way of being. So, accountability is a way someone's being, and when they're being that way, they're like, “I got this,” that's a huge contribution. But you can't make someone accountable. They actually have to choose that accountability. They have to say, “Let me have it. I've got this. Let me do it.” And you have to let them make their own plan for doing it.

And you can say “These are the results I need you to produce or I won't be able to let it go. I'll micromanage it. I'll still not sleep at night. I'll be over your shoulder and I'll be criticizing and judging you. But if you make a plan that produces these results, it will be a tremendous gift.”

So, accountability – we'll call it accountability and trusting. So, it's in our partnership level work. And it's this dance of setting somebody up to win and expressing what it is you really need and expressing appreciation and finding out what they need, to give you what you need. We talk about it in the Queen's Code. We talk about it in all of our online courses.

And it's an art. And it begins actually when you're just dating, to see if they'll be accountable, as in count-on-able, as in please hold me to account, holding me to account shows me that you know who I am and that you respect what I said and that I agreed to that. So, it's a beautiful, beautiful thing when it's done in partnership and out loud.

It's a terrible thing when it's actually just people trying to enforce their expectations. And that's what causes so many disasters, because we try to enforce our expectations all the time. So, thank you for letting me clean that up.

And criticism doesn't work for men or for women. And it doesn't work for women – if we're in what I call gathering mode, so we're in a state of mind and heart when we're connected to possibilities, if we're criticized, it hurts our feelings. And anywhere from small hurt feelings to ending up having a rage monster about it, which is something we teach in Understanding Women.

And for men and for women in hunting mode – and this is also tied to menstrual cycles, depending on where we are in our cycle, we're shielded more from criticism. And so, we're more like how a man is most of the time. And this is something else we teach in Understanding Women, but there's actually five layers of protection that men have from criticism.

And the first one is single focus. So, they often don't even hear it. But the second one is they consider the source. And this is how wives can crush their husbands. That she has credibility with him and what she's saying about him doesn't fit who knows himself to be or what he's done for her for the last 10, 20, 30 years or what he's committed to. Like, he's accused of not loving her and not respecting her and thinks of all the things he's done because he loves her and respects her. Men can be crushed by criticism.

And it won't change their behavior in terms of doing the thing that they were criticized for not doing. It just has them keep their distance. It has them shut down emotionally and physically. Like they're not available to be intimate. And they might be sexual, but they're not intimate. So, it has disastrous results on both sides.

Bonnie: Yeah, well I definitely know the single focus thing, I feel like I'll say something to Matt and he, like, it's like he didn't even hear it.

Alison: He actually didn't hear it. His brain screened it out because it was irrelevant to what he was working…

Bonnie: Yeah, and women, we think we're – well, I don't think anyone's truly multitasking, but I think we're not as single-focused as men, I guess, is the best way to describe it.

Alison: I would disagree with you. Again, depending on our cycle and depending on if she's committed to a result or if she has – it has a lot to do with time for women. If we think we don't have enough time, I used to call it man mood back in the days that you did the workshop. If we don't think we have enough time, we become curt, short-tempered, our brains screen out anything that's irrelevant to the result that we've got to produce and not enough time to produce it.

So, things that we would normally pay attention to, certain details for courtesies, people's feelings – I get really focused because of my commitments and because I take bioidentical testosterone replacement. So, I can cause myself to focus intently. But it's still nothing compared to the compartmentalization that testosterone does to a man's brain.

And one of my favorite studies was a bunch of men who agreed to take estrogen. And what estrogen did to their brains within three days, every one of them begged to be let out of the study or just plain quit because of the amount of input their brain was now open to, and it was unfiltered, had them feel crazy. And I call it diffuse awareness.

Bonnie: What do you call that again?

Alison: Diffuse awareness.

Bonnie: I was not aware of this study. I know that testosterone can definitely cause the increased focus, but I didn't know that men actually took estrogen.

Alison: They did. They did, and it's one of the things that happens, like new moms. Their hormones have gone wild and the amount of input, their brain can barely filter it until they feel overwhelmed. And it's that overwhelm that causes multitasking because everything is saying, “Do me. Put me away. Make me pretty. Wash me. Change me. Fix me.” Everything is saying, “Me, me, me, me, me.” And that's a function of diffuse awareness.

And t's one of the things that makes us amazing, and it's one of the things that has us be overwhelmed, that we can walk through a room and sense the physical and mental and emotional levels of energy of anybody in the room. We have that kind of awareness, because diffuse means to pour in every direction. And generally, anyone who is on your property, in your home, you're aware of. I'm aware of the workmen in my dining room. How are they doing? Are they cold? They're replacing windows and it's 23 degrees out. How do their fingers move at 23 degrees? I'm tucked away in this other room with a heater.

Bonnie: I wonder if this is what makes female physicians better doctors? Just kind of was thinking about that. There are studies showing that we are – well, I don't know exactly how they measured better, but we had better outcomes in patients than male physicians, and I wonder if it's because of that awareness that you just described.

Alison: Well, there's what I call gathering mode. So, if you think of a cavewoman out in the meadow gathering. And she's picking something up and considering the possibilities, or she's presented with a problem and she's immediately scanning options; should she fight? Should she freeze? Should she just freeze and hope it walks right by?

So, if a woman is with a patient or in a discovery state of mind, like a diagnostic discovery state of mind, then there's a very good chance she'd be open to other possibilities where someone who's committed to proving or disproving that this is, you know, one of their patients or not.

Like, my dad's going through a bunch of tests right now for whether or not he should have open heart surgery. And the people who are examining him are from a very focused black and white in or out. Not what are the possibilities for helping this man. Like, is he a candidate or not? These factors say yes, these factors say no. and once we've decided that, then we'll consider other options. I'll send you to another doctor.

It's interesting. But you certainly, if someone's performing surgery on you, you certainly want them to be focused on nothing else but performing that surgery on you, assuming that's your only problem. If they open you up and find another problem, you want them to be considering other options very quickly.

There is much to be said about the strengths. That's why I think we need good partners, when we don't try to compete over them but we complement each other instead.

Bonnie: So, what do you think – and maybe we've said some already so we can summarize briefly. But what do you think are the top mistakes you see Breadwinning women do with their men?

Alison: It's the same mistake that non-breadwinning women make with their men. And that is that we don't make our partnership with our so-called partners our first priority. And it can be heard differently. I'm not saying make the man your first priority. No. Make your partnership the first priority, which has you paying attention to what all of them need.

And it's classic, when a woman has a child, instinct has her make the child her first priority. And then husbands and fathers and boyfriends, they need attention. They need our attention. It literally gives them life and it makes what they're doing worth doing. We give them purpose.

So, if we're not paying attention to what they're doing, then the point of doing it, they have to keep generating it instead of it's just an obvious simple thing to do. It's what they're contributing to that relationship, whether it's being at home, taking care of the children, like my husband did for many years. Or it's breadwinning.

Whatever it is that they're doing, the acknowledgment and appreciation they need the most is from their partner. And we often neglect that. When they stop being, in our partnerships, our first priority, we're all about work or we're all about the children, or I've even known people who were all about their volunteer commitments. And they paid more attention to what they did as a volunteer than they did to their partnership.

And it's instinctual. We're going to pay attention to what we feel like we're getting the biggest reward for, getting the highest status, the most kudos, the most appreciation. We just naturally steer towards that. And it's why, in relationships, we need to pay a lot more attention to noticing and acknowledging what the other person is doing for us and doing for the family, or doing for the world.

And we need to take a lot personally, “Thank you for doing that for me. Thank you for taking out the trash for me. Thank you for making the bed for me. Thank you for everything you provided for the children today for me so I could have my dream career. Thank you.” We need to take a lot more personally that we don't, and a lot less personally, many things, that we do. Like, they didn't do it my way, that's an insult.

Bonnie: Awesome. What are your top tips to set ourselves up for success with our partners? Assuming the female physician is making, you know, the money, all of it or most of it.

Alison: Well, one thing we have to watch is thinking that money equals power.

Bonnie: Yes.

Alison: That whoever makes more money has more of a right to decide what is done with it. And I asked Greg about this because he made a lot more money than I did for many, many, many years, and then I made a lot more than he did for as many years. And I asked him if he was ever emasculated by that. And he said no, because it was always clear that it was all our money. And that was something I did consciously. That when I would get up in arms about, you know, “I ought to get to…” like the time I told him I wanted a tractor, and he vetoed tractor in a really big, bad way. It's the only time he was ever really nasty with me.

And I went to bed thinking, “Damn it, I've spoiled him. And if I want to buy a tractor, I'll buy a tractor. I make the damn money anyhow…” And the next morning he came and apologized and told me the truth, that when I said I wanted a tractor, he imagined me driving it off a cliff and dying. And that's why he attacked the whole notion of me having a having a tractor. He said, “Absolutely you should have a tractor.”

So, we got to watch thinking that it means power. And if we do that, we're not really in a relationship anymore. We're in some kind of adversarial arrangement. Relationships don't come close to partnerships, and relationships that are a powerplay, I wouldn't call that a romantic relationship. You're not doing life together. You're doing life in contest with each other.

Bonnie: Yeah, I definitely have some strong opinions… not so much opinions of how people should combine their money, but I find it interesting how every does divide differently. I don't think there's a right way, but that is something Matt and I do is we have a joint account and I just consider it all our money. It's just easier that way, to be honest. I don't want to have separate accounts.

There's also the easiness factor logistically. Like, I don't want to deal with tracking separate – because I handle the money in our relationship for the most part. But if I had to track different accounts, that just would be super annoying to me.

Alison: Do you have play money?

Bonnie: Does he have play money, or what do you mean?

Alison: So, what Greg and I did for most of our marriage, as soon as we found out about it, is we took a percentage of our net income each month and we split it. So, when times were really tight, we might each get 10 bucks. But when times were more flush, we would take 5% of our net income and split it 2.5% each and then I had a savings account and he had a checking account and he'd put it in his checking account and I would deposit the money into the separate accounts and what it did was it gave us money that we could spend any way that we wanted and we weren't accountable to the other person for it.

And so, it gave that sense of freedom and independence and we didn't have to arm-wrestle someone for something that we wanted. But it also allowed for real gift-giving. It wasn't, “Hey, honey, I took some of our money and bought you something. I took my money.” When he had a cataract removed, he didn't want to pay for getting a long-distance lens. But he rode motorcycles and drove cars fast. And I was like, “Well, it's important enough for me. I will pay for it.”

I gifted him sight. It was awesome. And then, when it was my turn to have cataract surgery and they were even more expensive, the trifocal lenses, and I was like, “Nah, I don't think I should get it. It's too much money.” He said, “I will sell my car for you to have that.” And I was like, “Oh, we're going to take it out of the household account then.” So, play money is a good thing to have. It resolves a lot of tension and it helps people be more disciplined about their money because they know they're going to have this little stash that they can spend on stuff.

Bonnie: Yeah, I love it.

Alison: I still do it, even though it's all my money, I still have play money.

Bonnie: Yeah, awesome. Do you have any specific tips for those of us with stay-at-home spouses or partners taking care of the children or doing that part of the household stuff?

Alison: You know, whether the stay-at-home person is male or female, the same things apply. They or we, because I've done both sides, need to be seen, need to be appreciated. When I was a mostly stay-at-home mom, I worked part-time, very part-time, we had something called a credit tour. Once a week, I'd say, “Do you have time for a credit tour?”

And we'd set up a time. Like, “Yeah in 15 minutes or this afternoon or whatever when I get back.” And I would take him around the house and the garden and I would point to everything I did. And like, “See that wall right there?” Like, “Yeah, I'm not noticing…”

“Well, there's a spot that isn't there anymore.” “Oh yeah, I remember that spot. Good job.” And so, I got to get noticed for the things that I spent my life on, to create our home. And I called it a credit tour. And I think everybody needs a credit tour, whether it's, “I taught our daughter cursive today,” or, “I rearranged all the cupboards,” or, “I conquered the world and saved somebody's marriage.” We all need credit tours. We need our partners to know what we're proud of.

Bonnie: Yeah, no I love that. And maybe I'm speaking for myself, I definitely think I can do a better job showing my appreciation for the things that he does. And I have a feeling my audience could probably do better in that area too.

Alison: Pretty much everybody.

Bonnie: Yeah. Well I'm so thrilled that you were here on the show today. Thank you so much for your time and your pearls of wisdom. And anything else you'd like to say before we close?

Alison: I would say that we are riddled with expectations. It's part of being human. And expectations breed more expectations. And one of the best things that we can do, whether we're the breadwinner or not is take all those expectations and come up with what I call a shortlist, which is maybe four things, maybe five at the most. And make two shortlists.

The first shortlist is a description of what you'd like your experience of your life to be, like qualities of your life, that your life is fun or that it's fulfilling or that you experience vitality or peace. And then, you come up with another shortlist of, and again, four, maybe five things, of what are the biggest things that contribute to that? What do you need?

And oftentimes, one thing on that second shortlist will produce many of the results on the first shortlist. It gives you peace and fun and vitality, like walking with my dog for example. And we have to discipline ourselves to bang for your buck, otherwise we just need and need and need and we're not satisfied.

But if we pay attention to, what are the four or five most important things I need on a regular basis, and this is what I'm asking my partner to be accountable, to either provide or support me in getting, then our partners have a chance to win with us. And whether you're male or female, the sense that you cannot win with the other person, that they always want more and more and more from you, that just puts us under ever time. So, that would be my last advice. Make a short list. Have a short list for my relationship.

Bonnie: Love it. Well, thank you so much. That's a good tip and I'm going to work on that for myself.

Alison: Cool.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | You Won’t Be Happier with More Money

55: You Won’t Be Happier with More Money

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | You Won't Be Happier with More MoneyHow many of us believe that life will be better or we will feel happier when we have more money? I've touched on this topic previously on the podcast, but I'm taking a deeper dive today because this is something I see come up for so many people, myself included, and it's not a belief that is serving us.

I can already hear some of you arguing with me, thinking, “Say what you want, but you can't tell me life wouldn't be better with an extra $10 million.” And while that statement can feel true, I'm certain there are countless examples from your life already that can show you that it's simply not the case.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why we believe that life will be better once we… fill in the blank, and why this thought isn't serving us. I'm sharing what the best reason actually is for setting and chasing our goals, and an exercise in appreciating what you do have right now so you can move forward in gratitude and abundance.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we believe that life will be better when we have whatever it is we're looking for.
  • What the best reason to have goals really is.
  • Why life will not be better when you have more money… or when you have anything for that matter.
  • How these thoughts are showing up in your life and keeping you from enjoying the things you do have.
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Listen to the Full Episode:

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Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hello, hello. So, this is episode 55. And this officially marks one year of The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast. And so, obviously you're listening to this, if you're listening to this. And I just want to thank you. Thank you for listening and thank you for all of your support over the past year. I so appreciate it and I'm so glad you're here.

And so, I've prepared a topic that I think you're going to love today. Of course, it's about money. And it's sort of breaking down the premise that life will be better when… when I have more money, when I retire… whatever that is.

Now, I sort of touched on this topic a little bit in the episode called The Retirement Myth, which we'll link in the show notes. But I'm going to take a deeper dive today. Because how many of us think life will be better when we have more money?

Now, I used to think this way too. In fact, I still do on default, and I have to remind myself that life won't be better with more money. I can already hear some of you arguing with me, “No, no, no, but life will be better once I have $10 million.”

How many of us are wanting more money because we think we will have a better life? We think we're going to be happier. On the surface, we sort of know that's not true. But I think deep inside we're like, “Yeah, but…”

And how many of us go for goals because we think getting the goal is going to make our lives better? I think this is kind of the fallacy of all goal setting, like becoming a doctor, getting married, having kids. We think we will be happier, that life will be better once we get those things.

Now, this concept is called the arrival fallacy. And all of us are prone to it. Pretty much all of us live our lives thinking this way. And on first glance, it seems pretty useful. It's like, “Oh, but it helps us stay motivated to achieve the goal.”

But the problem is that it often causes a lot of suffering while we achieve it and it robs us from appreciating our lives now. And we miss out on all the beautiful things it means to be human.

Now, like I said, I am guilty of this as well. Now, many of you may know the story that I did not get into dermatology residency until the third time I applied. I really believed I would live happily ever after, if only I got into dermatology. And then, I got it.

And yeah, I was ecstatic the day I mashed, for sure. But soon after, maybe a day, then the next goal was to meet someone or to lose weight or who knows what it was at that point. So, does anyone else think like this, that life will be better when…

And at the same time, we feel like we can't be happy because we don't have that thing, we don't have more money. Because here's the thing, when you believe life will be better when… when you have more money, you're basically saying this; my life isn't good enough right now. It could be better. There's something better than this, this being right now, this moment, whatever you have right now.

This type of thinking takes you out of being present to all that you do have. We don't appreciate what we actually have. And in case you didn't notice, what you do have is probably things you wanted beforehand and now you have it. But you've already moved onto the next thing that you think will make your life better.

So, we literally do not stop to smell the roses. And I will tell you that if you don't learn to appreciate and cherish what you do have, the money you do have right now, you will not magically then appreciate it when you have more.

Now, I used to think that I had to believe that things would be better when I had $10 million to motivate me. But now, I understand this was a huge thought error.

I think I somehow thought that if I didn't believe that, then I would somehow lose all motivation to do anything, meaning I would just be lying on the couch all day eating Cheetos and watching Netflix all day and become a slob.

Now, I said earlier how life will not get better once you have more money. And I know some of you are arguing with me, “No, things would be better if you had more money.”

Now, of course, some things will be different, but not everything. So, I truly believed, if someone just showed up and gave me $10 million, that life would be better and all of my worries would end.

But yes, certain things would definitely be different. Like I could fly first class all the time. I could always stay in super-amazing luxurious hotels, if that's your thing. It's my thing. And if I'm totally honest. I kind of already do this, although there hasn't been much flying recently, obviously, but I have flown first class and I have stayed at some amazing luxury hotels.

I would love to fly first class all the tine $10 million would probably help me have a better view from my home. I could live in a quote unquote better home, more spacious, whatever. But these things, my ability to fly first class, have a bigger home, have a better view, these things in itself do not actually bring more joy or happiness to me and my life.

Because whatever that emotion you're striving for – I'm just using happy, but there are other things like free, relaxed, confident, whatever you think the thing you want, more money, et cetera, these are all emotions and remember, emotions are created by thoughts, not things like money or first-class flights. Now, do certain things, like being on a first-class flight make certain thoughts easier? For sure.

Now, I'm guessing another question you're having after listening to all of this is, “Okay, if life won't be better if I have more money, then what's the point of trying to have more money?” or whatever the goal is.

And that is a great question. And the way that I've thought about this and from talking to other people and doing my own inner work is this. The whole point of goals is to challenge yourself. It's to grow, literally; to grow your mind, to expand your mind, to expand what you think is possible.

And the goal is simply there to facilitate that growth. And listen, achieving certain goals definitely makes life more fun. Having money, flying first class, whatever you think money is going to enable you to do, certain things will definitely become way more fun for sure.

But you're still going to be human. You're still going to have a human experience. And if we spend so much time believing and thinking that things will magically be better when, like I said earlier, it just robs you of appreciating what you have right now.

So, I've got a little assignment for you today. I want you to make a list of what you want – now, in terms of what these things are, it could be things, it could be a net worth, whatever, things that you think will make your life better when you have them.

So, I want you to make a list. And let's say 10 things. If you're being extra, you can go for 20. Whatever number you pick, 10 or 20 things. But here's the caveat. Half of those things have to be things you already have. And the whole point of this is to remind yourself, remind your brain that you have things that you wanted so badly before and you've just forgotten to appreciate them.

You know, some of those things for me are having Jack, my son, having Matt, my fiancé, living where I live. I live in a luxury high-rise building. I don't live on the top floor. I live on the sixth floor. So, like I said, my view could be better. But these are all things I wanted so badly before. Becoming a dermatologist, being near my family, being able to spend three months in Hawaii, whatever.

And I guess I'm reminding you to spend some time appreciating what you do have, because that is really the secret to getting more money, is to appreciate the money you do have. Otherwise you're not going to appreciate having more money, I promise you.

Thank you again for listening. Thank you for being here for the past year. If you haven't already, I would love it if you subscribed to the podcast and left a great review. I will talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Fairness

54: Fairness

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The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | FairnessSomething I see come up for a lot of my clients is frustration around the concept that things should be fair. And the effect it has on their life can be more profound than you might think. So, I'm taking this week's episode to discuss the whole idea of fairness.

How many of us think that life should be fair? Or that we should get our fair share of things, especially when it comes to money? Well today, I'm unpacking this whole fair business because I want to show why this, striving for fairness, is a terrible goal.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why I believe we should not be aiming for fairness. I'm sharing how the belief that things should be fair is holding you back, and where I believe we should be concentrating our efforts instead.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • 2 reasons why I believe that aiming for “fair” is a terrible goal.
  • How to know whether your beliefs around fairness are serving you or not serving you.
  • What you can do to actually move forward, instead of wishing for things to be fair.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Well hello, everyone. welcome to episode 54. So, I live in New Jersey, just outside of New York City. And we've had several days in a row where the weather has been creeping up around 60 degrees. And something just changes around here.

Now, I lived in New York City for a long time, but I'm pretty much right across the river now. And so, it's hard to explain. I guess you could say spring is in the air.

And I'm sort of laughing inside because a year ago, we spent the winter in Hawaii. And any time the weather got below 75, I want to say, we were cold. And so, it's just so interesting what we get used to.

And so, of course, today the weather was more like 35 or 40 degrees this morning. And I often sort of lament that March in the Northeast is cool. Because you'll have a few days where it's warm and sunny and gorgeous and you want to play outside. And then it gets cold again and then you're reminded that spring isn't quite here. Anyway, that was kind of random. But that's just what I was thinking about today.

So, today I want to talk about the topic of fairness. This is something I've been thinking about for a while and it was sort of spurred by one of my previous one-on-one clients, and some other clients that I've had, where the issue of getting what's fair comes up a lot.

And so, most of these clients were quote unquote suffering because they wanted what was fair for them. And for one of these clients, it was in the context of a divorce. And so, it really got me thinking, what does fair even mean? And is fair something we should even strive for or want?

And I've come to the conclusion that the answer is no in almost all cases. So, that's what I want to talk about today. Because how many of us think that life should be fair? Or we should get our fair share of things, especially money?

We often hear people say the rich need to pay their fair share of taxes. So, today, I want to unpack this whole fair business because I want to submit that this, this fair thing, is a terrible goal.

So, let's first define fair. So, this is what Google told me. Fair is an adjective. And it means free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. The second definition is what I'm working with though. The second definition, meaning legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, et cetera, proper under the rules. And the example they gave was a fair fight.

So, I've come up with sort of two reasons why I think fair is a terrible goal. Number one, when you're focused on getting what's fair, it removes the focus from your own inner power. Meaning it leaves the power to someone else or something else. Meaning that something outside of us has the ability to make us happy, or whatever you think having things fair would do for you.

I think this whole idea of fair is we think life would be better if things were fair. And ultimately, we would be happier.

And here's the second reason. I think it makes us feel terrible when we think things should be fair. Because, well, go to number one, Meaning that we think life will be better if things were fair. And since things aren't fair, we feel terrible. So, it kind of goes in this loop, as you can see.

So, I think all of us should drop this fair thing as the goal or the standard. Because like I said, in my experience, from what I've observed in coaching many clients, it almost always leaves us feeling terrible. Focus on you, what you can control. And we can never control other people, no matter how hard we try.

Now, I'm not saying that you should accept anything either. But I think we really need to question why things should be fair. And when you're striving for things being fair or getting your fair share, whatever fair you're going for, is that type of thinking serving you?

Is it actually helping you to think that way or is it causing a lot of negative emotions and angst? That is the difference, I think, of when fair is serving you or not serving you.

Personally, I don't think it's ever served me to think that things should be fair for me, or whatever. I just kind of assume that things won't be fair, or that life won't be fair.

It doesn't mean I just sit there complacent or not do anything about things. But I just don't believe that that's the goal. And I recommend you do the same.

What would you spend your time thinking on instead if you stopped believing things should be fair? What would be a better use of your time if you stopped thinking that things should be fair? What would you be working on instead? What would you be creating instead?

So, I hope I've given you some things to ponder on and I'll see you guys next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

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