Podcast

The History of Women and Money

49: The History of Women and Money

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The History of Women and Money Are you aware that March is Women's History Month? So, over the next few episodes, I'm giving you an overview of the fascinating history of women and money, and providing some much-needed context on the money issues women everywhere still face today.

The information I researched goes back thousands of years, and financial autonomy for women was only achieved (shockingly) recently. So, in this first episode, I'm specifically going over the history in terms of important dates and milestones, and the women who have fought for the rights we often take for granted today.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover the history behind women and money and how the landscape has changed up until what we now consider financial equality. Knowing this history will shed some light on why women are socialized to believe they're not good with money, which we will be taking a deeper dive into next week.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The rights we take for granted today that women have had to fight for permission for throughout history.
  • A history of women's financial rights before and after marriage throughout ancient history and the middle ages.
  • Where the idea that women are the property of their husbands came from.
  • When married women in the US were first allowed full autonomy of their own money and allowed to spend it without permission from their spouse.
  • How a lack of rights not seemingly related to money kept women's financial options limited.
  • The surprisingly recent point in US history in which women's financial rights become more widespread and the women who blazed this trail.
  • Where gender discrimination still occurs today, especially in medicine.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram
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.

Welcome to episode 49. So, it's March. And did you know that March is Women's History Month? And so, what I thought I would do for the next few episodes is to give you an overview of the history of women and money. It is absolutely fascinating.

And I've been learning a lot about the history of women in general, including money, because right now I'm actually in a continuing coach education program. It's called the Advanced Certification in Feminist Coaching.

And so, I actually attended an all-women's college. I went to Barnard College in New York City. And also, as a woman, I am very interested and invested in knowing this history. And knowing this history just explains so much why we, as women, are socialized, or have been socialized with regard to money and all the things.

So, obviously, I love to talk about money. And so, I want to talk about the history of women and money. And so, today, I'm going to specifically go over the history in terms of important dates and milestones, legally in terms of our financial rights, both in ancient history and then I'll bring us up to date in the US.

And the reason why I think it's really important for you to be familiar with this history is it gives you a lot of context to why most women have money issues. Because it's not an accident. There is a reason – many reasons – why so many of us have limiting beliefs when it comes to money.

So, obviously, we are in the modern time. It's 2021. I live just outside of New York City. I pretty much grew up in the New York City area, so I've always lived in an area where people tend to be more liberal and embrace equality. But I know that is not the case in all of the US. And obviously it's not fully the case where I live right now.

And did you know it was only relatively recently where we women had full financial legal rights? You know, I don't think any of us right now even give much thought about opening an account in our name, taking out a loan, or buying property.

But there was a time not too long ago where we could not do that. And so, that's why I want to go over today the actual history, the facts, et cetera. And in the next episode next week, I'm going to talk more about the socialization of women and money in the US, which was super-fun to research, by the way.

Okay, so let's talk about some ancient history when it comes to women and money. Okay, first I have to say I am not a history person. I never was. And I will just say, growing up, it was probably my least favorite subject. So, I had to do a little research to make sure I didn't give you wrong information in terms of, for example, what does ancient history mean? Because I wasn't really sure what that meant.

And so, maybe some of you are also in that same boat. Maybe not. Maybe you loved learning history. I did not. So, I learned that ancient history actually means between 3000BC to about 500AD. So, this is obviously not the US history because the US was not around in ancient history. But I wanted to give you a little bit of background.

So, here's what I found. In Ancient Egypt, women and men actually had equal financial rights. I thought that was pretty cool. Meaning that women could enter into contracts in their own name. They could go to court. They could be sued, et cetera.

Now, in contrast, in Ancient Greece, women were not allowed to inherit property or take a case to court unless a male guardian was in charge.

Meanwhile, in Ancient Rome, Roman women were allowed to divorce. They were allowed to own and inherit property. What I also found interesting about Ancient Rome is that even though women could get divorced, the husband, apparently, got to keep the children legally.

And the let's go to Ancient Hinduism, around 1500BC. So, women were able to own property before marriage, but divorce wasn't allowed. And the inheritance laws favored male family members. Not too surprising, I guess.

Okay, let's fast forward to the middle ages, which by the way is the fifth to late-15th century. I also found that the middle ages is also sometimes referred to as pre-modern Europe.

So, in Europe in the 800s, women were allowed to own property before and after marriage. How progressive, I guess. Then in England, around 1100, something called English Common Law came into law, basically. And I learned a new word. It's called coverture. I'm probably pronouncing it wrong.

Coverture basically is the belief that married men and women become one financial entity. Let me repeat that again. Coverture refers to the belief that once you're married – and we're talking traditionally, men and women – you became one. That kind of still holds today a little bit in the US, right?

Anyway, because you became one entity when you got married, married women could not own property. What I found super-interesting is that if you weren't married, whether it's because you never got married or you became a widow, then you could enjoy those financial rights like owning property, et cetera.

And from my reading – and let's just be real. When I say reading, I mean Google research – coverture is sort of what started this idea that women are basically the property of their husbands.

And what I found interesting is that many countries basically had to deal with whether women could own property by themselves. And the term I came across was something called separate economy, which is the ability to basically earn their own money, keep their own money, and spend it independent of their husband. I mean, the thought of not being able to do that now might seem crazy to us, but this was kind of the norm in the rest of the world for a very long time.

Now, right before the US became the US in 1776, I found that in 1771, New York became the first US state to require a woman's consent if her husband tried to sell property that she'd brought to the marriage.

Alright, so now I'm going to focus on the history of women and money in the United States as we know it, more or less. So, let's fast forward to the 1800s. So, in 1839, Mississippi was actually the first state to allow women to own property in their own name. Which means that everywhere else and up until that time, women could not own property in their own names.

Remember that term I mentioned before, separate economy? Well in 1844 in Maine, married women were the first married women in the US to basically win the right to have separate economy. Meaning that they could earn their own money, keep their own money, and spend it without permission from their spouse.

Now, some of the other historical facts that I want to go over might not seem directly related to money, but they really are. For example, I found that in 1845, that was when women could first file patents. And this was in New York.

And the reason why this was important with regard to the history of women and money is because if a woman could not file a patent, that means that's he couldn't retain the rights to her work or make money off of it. And that also explains why up until 1845, at least in the US, that's why most of the history is, well, male dominated.

Well, the good news is that in 1848 through about 1900, so about a 50-year span, finally states started to come around in terms of allowing married women to basically have separate economy, to not be automatically liable for their husband's debt, that she could basically do her own thing, that she could actually inherit property, she could file a lawsuit on her behalf.

Basically, starting in 1848 through 1900, all the states started to basically recognize separate economy for women. And let me just pause here and say that it's crazy to me to even be reading that this had to be law, meaning that we actually had to win the right to do the things we take for granted today.

So, in 1862, there was the US Homestead Act, which made it easier for single, widowed, and divorced women, basically unmarried women to basically own land in their own names. Remember I said that whole separate economy thing. So, while that was happening between 1848 and 1900, in 1862, California was a state that allowed women to retain full control of their money.

And then, I also that in 1862 was when the San Francisco Savings Union, a bank, approved a loan to a woman. So, I'm not 100% sure, but what I'm reading sounds like before then women couldn't get loans. Which is kind of crazy.

And so, now I want to highlight a few sort of notable women that came up in my Google research. So, the first woman I wanted to highlight is someone named Myra Colby Bradwell.

So, she was a lawyer in Illinois. And even though Illinois allowed women to actually work and do whatever they wanted – how progressive – the Illinois bar refused to admit her. And this case went to the Supreme Court. And unfortunately, the Supreme Court basically said, “Well, the states don't really have to grant a law license to a married woman if they don't want to.”

The next lady I want to be aware of is someone named Sarah Breedlove. Now, she's more well-known as Madam C.J. Walker. But she was born Sarah Breedlove.

Now, she is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Now, I'm going to put a little asterisk here only because it says, “We don't really know for sure if that's true. But she's the first well-documented self-made millionaire.”

And so, what I wanted to highlight about Sarah Breedlove is two things. One is that she was born right after Black Americans were, quote unquote free from slavery. Meaning that her parents were slaves and I believe her elder siblings were as well.

And so, I just loved reading about her story to see that no matter where you came from, no matter who you were born into or what you were born into, that you can still become rich.

And I just want to note that the self-made millionaire record that she holds, this was in the 1900s, meaning that $1 million is actually worth, in today's money, more like $15 million. So, we're talking about a lot of money.

Around the same time that Sarah Breedlove was making money, we have a few other women who were doing the same thing. And so, the two names I came across were Mary Gage and Hetty Green. And so, Mary Gage was apparently the first woman who opened a stock exchange specifically for women who wanted to use their own money.

Remember, women couldn't really do that in the recent past when Mary Gage was alive. And then Hetty Green, who apparently has the nickname of the Witch of Wall Street, her net worth was around 100 to 200 million, or the equivalent of basically two to four billion in today's money, which probably means she was the richest woman in the world at that time.

And so, one of the claims to notoriety or fame or whatever you want to call it for Hetty Green is that she apparently was a cheapskate. That was the word I saw describing her. Because she apparently owned one dress and only wore the one dress and she only washed it when it got ratty. And she basically didn't spend her money.

Alright, now we're going to fast forward and I'm going to get you up to speed with modern times. Did you know that women could not necessarily open a bank account in her own name in all states until about 1960? That's really not that long ago.

In 1972 was when we had the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. And that is Catherine Graham. Now, the next few laws I'm going to talk about were shocking for me to find out.

So, the equal credit opportunity act was passed in 1974. Now, up until 1974, until this law became enacted, banks apparently required unmarried women to bring a man with them to cosign a credit application, regardless of their income.

And then in 1978 it became illegal for women to be dismissed from their jobs for becoming pregnant. This is the pregnancy discrimination act. And even though this is law, we all know that's not really true, especially in medicine.

And it wasn't until 1981 where women were finally basically given, I wouldn't even say equal rights. But up until 1981, husbands could basically do big financial decisions without getting permission from their wife. For example, if a married couple jointly own property, the husband couldn't just go out and get a second mortgage without his wife's permission.

So, I guess before that, if you owned property with your spouse, your husband could go and basically take out money, refinance, HELOC without you knowing. Now, we all know that that still happens, but at least legally they're not supposed to do that.

Akin to that pregnancy discrimination act law that was passed in 1978, in 1993 – now, I was born in 1977, so now we're getting to the time when I was alive, although younger. So, 1993 is when the family and medical leave act becomes law in the US. We also call it mostly FMLA.

And people get really confused by what FMLA means. But I'll just say real briefly, all FMLA means is that you can take 12 weeks off from work and still keep your job. It's nothing to do with whether you're paid for it or not. So, it's just job guarantee for taking time off. Now, many people think of it as taking time off to have a baby. But it could be to take care of a sick family member as well, among other things.

Alright, so now we're going to be wrapping up. But one more thing I want to talk about is Lilly Ledbetter. So, Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear. And she found out, after working there for decades, that what she was paid was significantly lower than her male counterparts at the same level of seniority.

Now, we're talking about gender wage discrimination, right? And so, in 2007, the Supreme Court basically ruled that a woman couldn't bring a lawsuit for pay discrimination if more than 180 days had passed. Thankfully, in 2009, President Obama sort of reversed that law, which basically means that people can sue companies for pay discrimination even if more than six months have passed.

And so, I kind of skipped over some of the pay discrimination laws that came into place, but what I find so interesting is that it is technically illegal for a woman and a man to have different pay. But at least in medicine – that's the industry I know – that's just not true. I know so many female physicians who find out that they're not getting paid the same as a male for the same job.

I'm not talking about RVUs and things like that, because obviously those are things that can affect your pay. But I'm talking about a salary job or a base salary. It is illegal.

And what I find interesting – I'm going off on a tangent here. But I know that for many physician or medical jobs, there's like a gag clause where you can't even talk about what you get paid. And I've actually read that that might be illegal. But I definitely signed a contract where I basically had to agree with that. And I think that should be illegal if it's not already.

So, that's the conclusion of my little mini history of women and money starting from ancient history, bringing you up to speed to current-day United States. And even though we technically have laws in place to prevent gender money discrimination, we all know that's not quite true. It hasn't fully propagated to what actually happens.

And because many of these laws are really recent, meaning that even though you may be listening and you were born after 1980 or 1990, our parents were born in a time where women did not have full financial rights, and our grandparents. And so, I think you can hopefully see that knowing this history will hopefully shed some light as to why women are socialized to believe that we are not good with money, which is the topic of next week's episode. I cannot wait for you to hear what I'm going to discuss then.

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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Defining Wealth for Women

48: Defining Wealth for Women

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Defining Wealth for WomenI always talk about wealth on the podcast, but what does it really mean to be wealthy? On the surface level, as you might expect, it is about money. However, when you dig deeper wealth is so much more than that. You can have money, but without a couple of other things, it's completely worthless.

Another thing I haven't really talked about on the podcast is how I actually took this subject of wealth and created my business around it. And it's not like an intention I set myself years ago. The story of how I got here doesn't go quite how you might imagine. So, if you know you want something more for your life but don't know how you're going to make it happen, this might just be what you need to hear.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what wealth really means and why I decided to build my whole business around this concept. I'm sharing the things that stop us from taking the leap of going into business outside of medicine, and how I overcame these objections in my own life, so you can see that it's possible for you too.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What wealth means to me beyond just the monetary definition.
  • How I decided to focus on wealth when I was designing my business.
  • Some of the biggest objections I hear from physicians about going into business for themselves outside of medicine.
  • The story of how I got into this business in the first place, without ever really planning to.
  • How I overcame my own objections to continuing with my business and putting more energy into it.

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 your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 48. So first, I can't believe that this is episode 48 because that means a year is coming up really soon. Is it episode 52 or is it episode 56? Because when the podcast first came out last year, I think I started with three.

So, we're almost at the year point and I hope you've enjoyed what you've been listening so far. And if you have, I would love it if you'd leave a review for me on iTunes. It helps other people find it.

So, today's going to be short and sweet, as usual. And I want to talk more about defining the word wealth. I think, on the last podcast, I sort of teased that I am writing a book. And I mentioned the title of the book, I think, which is Defining Wealth for Women: Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash.

And so, I want to talk a bit about the word wealth and why I chose that word specifically for Wealthy Mom MD and why I love the word wealth. Obviously, on the surface level, it is about money. I talk about money, obviously. But I picked it because I also felt like the word wealthy also implies, I think, a greater meaning than just money.

It's kind of like the whole package; having a lot of money and living life the way you want to. And so, that's why I love the title of my book, Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash. And I like to say peace of mind, that you are at peace. Having purpose or having meaning in your life.

Because at the end of the day, we all know that having lots of money without purpose, without having peace in your life, then it's kind of worthless. And so, I love this definition of wealth because, like I said, it's kind of like the whole package.

And so, I thought I'd spend a little time for those of you who are newer to me, sort of the journey of how this brand got started and why I decided to even pick this topic.

I get asked this a lot when I do interviews. I'm often talking about my business. And so, I thought I would talk about it on my own podcast for once, right? Also, as more and more women physicians take my program or I coach them, either one or one or in a group setting, I see this theme come up a lot where either women physicians feel like they've lost their purpose, or they feel like they want to do something else, but they don't know what that could be.

And so, they're always asking me and other people who have sort of pivoted, like how did you figure this out? How did you decide to do this? And I don't know what other people's answers are except for the people that I know personally. But I will say that for me, it wasn't some lightning bolt hit me.

And sometimes, I think people want to hear that. Like there's some five-step process I did to figure out my why or why I did this, and there really isn't. It really happened kind of slowly and it wasn't really planned, if I'm perfectly honest.

And so, I'm hoping that might be helpful for some of you listening because I think sometimes, we think we have to know what we're doing and it should be obvious from the beginning and that'd definitely not how it started for me.

I also hear a lot of, especially physicians, think there's something wrong with them or it's not good or they wasted time if they end up doing something else besides being a physician. I think that term is called sunk cost fallacy. Basically just because you spent a decade or two or three training and being a doctor, does not mean that was wasted time.

One of my old coaches told me – the way she said it was, “What if everything that's happened up to this point was just preparation for what's coming?” And so, I think about that a lot because I couldn't be doing what I was doing right now and the way I was doing if I wasn't a physician.

And so, I guess the quick backstory for me is that I was finishing residency in 2015 and around that time I had two co-residents, two male residents, and their names are James and Wes. I don't know if you guys listen to it, but if you do, hey. They always talked about their investments, the stock market, something like that.

I wasn't really paying attention, but I just remember they would talk shop sometimes. And pretty much the whole time I knew them, I just kind of ignored it because I was like, “Okay, whatever, they're talking about stuff that I don't know.” And for some reason, my last year of residency, probably because I was looking for jobs and had to think about money, I think I finally asked them, “Hey, how do you guys know all this stuff? Where did you learn this?”

And they actually told me about the White Coat Investor. I'm sure you listening all know who that is. And he had his first book out at the time. Now he's got so many books. When I say the White Coat Investor book, now people ask which one. But it was the first one. I actually don't remember the title of it. I just call it the White Coat Investor book. But it's not the bootcamp book. He's got a few books now that have the word bootcamp in it. It's not that one. It's the first one.

Anyway, so I remember ordering from Amazon. Of course, I got it like the next day with Amazon Prime. And I remember reading it all in one day. I think it was a Saturday. It was very quick read, very easy to read. And I remember thinking, “Wow, I didn't know any of this stuff. How come no one taught me about this?” And I'm one of those people that once I get into something, I really get into it.

So, I just started reading his blog and I read almost every blog post he had at the time. Pretty much all of them, which was a lot at the time. This was five or six years ago. And I really dug into the blog post that really pertained to my current situation. Because I got this new job when I signed my first contract and it was for a large hospital system. They had a 403B, they had a 457B. And so, I just started learning everything I could about these types of things so I could prepare myself as best as possible.

And so, that was going on. Then I started my new job. And I think it was around 2016. I started the job in fall of 2015. And then, in 2016, I found myself at this new job and I wasn't that busy because I didn't have a lot of patients because it was a new clinic. And so, what does that mean?

That basically meant I had a lot of time to kill and so, I would just hang out on Facebook. And I'd just gotten introduced to Facebook groups. Do you remember, it was a new thing at one point? Well, it was only five or six years ago at this point, right?

And I remember talking to a girlfriend and I was talking to her about all the stuff I was learning about money and she was like, “Oh, let me add you to this finance group.” And I was like, “I don't know what you're talking about.” And she was like, “Oh, it's just a female physician group in which we talk about money. So, I should add you to it.”

And so, she did. And I just, like I said, I had a lot of free time and I just started answering everyone's questions because I was just sitting around, literally. And I was just learning this stuff. And so, I was kind of into it, I was really excited about it. and I was just answering everyone's questions.

And it's so funny because I remember, when I first started answering questions I was like, “What if I tell them the wrong thing? Well, this is a Facebook group. I'm not a financial advisor, so hopefully these women know that they should look this up too.”

So, that was going on and then I started getting tagged in Facebook posts. And to this day, a lot of women think I started that group. But I didn't. I think that group was first called Doc Moms Personal Finance and now it's called Women Physicians Personal Finance. But I didn't start the group. But I did become one of the moderators for the group.

And it's a community group. It still is. It still exists. And as I was giving advice in this group, I don't know how this started, but I started forming relationships with an insurance agent, Larry Keller. I bought my term life policies from him and my disability insurance. I got to know Stephanie Pearson, who is a physician, now is a disability insurance agent. And she's got a personal story about her disability. And then I started a blog.

And I only started a blog because a girlfriend, Cindy, suggested I start a blog. And I was very perplexed when she suggested it. I was like, “Why would I start a blog? The White Coat Investor has a blog and he pretty much has written about every single topic already.” So, I was genuinely perplexed, like why would I start something that someone already has done before?

But she kept encouraging me. I forget exactly what she said, but she said something like “Well, you know, you're a woman and he's a guy and he's not married to a woman physician…”

Anyway, like I said, I was bored and so I was like, “Okay, well I guess I could do that.” And maybe you don't know this about me, but I actually have a background in IT. That was actually my first job out of college. And I wasn't like a hardcore programmer or anything like that, but I knew a little bit.

And so, creating a website and figuring that out wasn't a hard thing for me. And so, it was very easy for me to slap together a blog. It was one of those free WordPress sites. I didn't really put much thought into the domain name. I called it Miss Bonnie MD. Some of you may remember those days, and I think I still own that domain name.

So, that's kind of how things got started and then I started doing some speaking. I spoke at the first White Coat Investor conference. And so, I just began really as just teaching money to other, mostly female physicians. That's kind of how it started.

And it quickly became apparent to me that most of us don't know much about money. It really depends on how you were brought up. And the fact of the matter is most families do not talk about money, let alone teach their kids about money.

And so, that's kind of the void the White Coat Investor filled when he got started, right? And so, I was making a little bit of money from this blog business, but that wasn't really the goal. It was honestly really fun and it kind of gave me a sense of purpose if I really think back on it.

And I guess what happened was, at some point, I got pregnant in 2017 and that's when I had Jack. It was October of 2017. And we had moved from New York City to Philadelphia. So, there were a lot of changes, right? New baby, first baby, new city, and then new job. I did take a four-month maternity leave but then I started a new job.

And I'm pretty sure the blog was dark for at least three months during that time. I was very overwhelmed. I definitely had some postpartum anxiety. I got really confused, like why am I doing this blog thing? What's the point? And I'm a dermatologist and I have a new baby. I just remember thinking this is really strange, why am I doing this?

And there's nothing wrong with that, obviously. And I started working with a coach around that time. And many of you know that Sunny Smith was my first one on one coach. And so, I started working with her. But it wasn't for business specifically. I was just working with her on – to be honest, I don't remember exactly what we talked about in the beginning because this was back in 2018 at this point.

And I just was at a crossroads and I remember thinking, it got to a point where this blog, this side gig, whatever you want to call it, like, I either was going to make it into a serious business or I was going to let it die. At least that's how it occurred to me.

I felt like I was at a fork in the road and basically, I decided, why not? And it's funny because people ask me, “Why did you decide to pursue this business?” And I'll just be honest, back in 2018, it's not like I had this magical reason as to why I wanted to pursue it. I think I literally was like, “Why not? And if it doesn't work, I'm still a dermatologist, which is pretty awesome.”

All I knew at the time was that I was having fun. I really enjoyed learning about money, talking about money, and all the camaraderie – I'm not sure how you pronounce it – that comes with speaking to people, speaking to groups, and at the time all the conferences that would go along with it.

So, there was an annual conference for all the finance bloggers and podcasters. And then a lot of the physician conferences wanted to have someone speak about money. And so, it just became more of a thing. I would go to conferences and I would meet people and that to me was super fun. I just loved being social and meeting people. And so, that aspect was always fun for me, and still is. Except right now in COVID times we're not really doing that. It's all Zoom meetings, which isn't quite the same, unfortunately.

So, as I started working with my one-on-one coach who is trained at the Life Coach School, which is primarily thought work, it became very obvious to me that this is a missing piece in financial education in the topic of money. Because so much of the stuff out there is basically how to do a budget, what's a 401K, or how do index funds work? How should you do this? It's basically all strategy, or as we say in LCS world, A-line, actions, like how to do this, how to do that.

And it's not that those things aren't important, but how you think about money, the underlying mindset, it became very clear to me that that is what needed to be worked on, not so much the A-line. Because the A-line, the strategy is just knowledge. You've just got to go learn it, right?

And as female physicians, we are the experts at learning stuff, literally. And so, if only knowledge was what was needed to learn about money and to become rich or whatever your goals are, shouldn't we all be rich? Because we all know how to study really hard; really, really hard. And not just study hard effort-wise. But we're smart, meaning we can take complex ideas and break it down because we had to do that to become a doctor. And so, I just became fascinated with that sort of irony.

Basically, if I'm so smart, how come I'm not rich? Literally, that was the question that popped into my head. And what I noticed was, well, over the past few years, this has changed dramatically. But what I really noticed was that we're basically lied to about money from the very beginning and I do think it's harder for women because we do live in a patriarchy and there's certain belief systems we've inherited and that we've internalized and we don't even realize that that's what's happening.

Because how many of you have been asked, or have you ever asked yourself, how much money do you really want to make? Let's just say in a year. Very few people have asked themselves that question. I ask this question inside my program Money for Women Physicians. And people are always a little excited when I ask them that question. Some people are very confused because it's not a question that most of us have answered for ourselves.

Also, people are confused because they're like, “What? I could just pick a number? Why not?” And then, a lot of my students get really excited that they get to pick a number, but then objections come up, “Well I only work part time so I don't think I can make more than X.”

And I find all of these sentences, these thoughts, just fascinating, these belief systems that we have to – if you work part-time you can't make more than X amount of money, or the only way to be rich is to work really hard. You know, someone said they would love to make a million dollars a year but they don't want to work that hard.

What does making a million dollars have to do with working so hard? And so, I know that's a really common belief system, that you have to work really hard time and effort-wise to make a lot of money. What if that just isn't true?

And so, I just found this stuff fascinating and interesting, why we believe certain things about money. Why don't we think we can be multimillionaires? Did you know you can literally pick whatever number you want and it doesn't matter what the number is? And if you're feeling some resistance as I'm asking these questions, that's just good to notice. Where is that resistance coming from?

Were you told growing up that it isn't good to want to make money? There's a lot of guilt and shame about money. And I think, as female physicians, we've sort of boxed ourselves into this income ceiling.

So, I had a personal income ceiling. For me, it was $500,000, meaning I just assumed that would never happen because in my mind that was the most I could make as a dermatologist. And I would have to work kind of hard to get that. I would have to see a lot of patients, do a lot of procedures. So, you know, the average derm salary is not 500K. It's probably between 200K to 400K depending on who you work for and how many days a week you work.

And I didn't really want to work more than four days a week. And so, I was like, “Okay, 400, maybe 500 if I really push it. Maybe if I do enough excisions or something, then I could get to that number.” But in my mind, I was thinking of it as per unit of work, how many patients I would need to see per hour, et cetera.

And so, in my mind, making more than 500K was basically not possible. And I never even considered that I could make a million dollars a year. Basically, I've come to the conclusion that many of us have basically been brainwashed when it comes to what's possible for us with regard to money.

And I guess, at the end of the day, right now what moves me, what drives me right now is helping women, specifically female physicians, to literally free themselves when it comes to money. I guess the heart of the matter is, as a female physician myself, I truly believe that we are some of the most dedicated, committed people on the planet and it breaks my heart when I feel like a woman physician feels trapped, specifically by money.

And so, that is sort of my current purpose, my current mission, whatever you want to call it, is to show you that money should never be an excuse. I don't want it to ever be the reason why you can't do what you really want to do, whatever that is, including practicing medicine. Because I know so many physicians feel like we can't really practice medicine the way we want to because of current job, current employer telling us what to do.

I've definitely had that happen to me before so I understand. And I think that feeling of being trapped because you feel like you can't do it another way or there's no other way because of money, that's the lens through which I want to help right now.

And I think as women, we've just internalized so many limiting belief systems and I speak about women, but we're so diverse as women, depending on your ethnic background, your cultural background, whether you grew up in the United States and where in the US and your family and your family's class.

And so, all these little parts of us that make us unique and being a woman, they all come into play. And a lot of them really prevent us from being rich. I want all of you to be filthy rich, really. And I want you to know that being rich, being a millionaire, being a multimillionaire does not mean that someone else is going to have less money.

What if being super-rich is the best way to help people to make changes in the world? I don't know about you, but I think us women having a lot of money is what it will take to really change the world. And so, I want you to think about that a second.

What if it was – I don't like the word birthright, but what if it was your birthright to be as wealthy as possible, to be that example for your family, for your children, whether you have boys or girls? I have a son. I don't think we'll have a daughter at this point. I'm turning 44 this year. But I want to be an example for my son, that a woman can make a lot of money and be happy and have time for all the things she wants to do, that it's not either or. It's not be a good mom or be a good businesswoman.

Alright, that's all I have for you guys this week. But I do want you to ask yourself that question. How much money do you really want to make? Why or why not? And if you're asking, “Well, I don't know if I can really do that.” Like, why not? I'd love to know what that number is. Email me at podcast@wealthymommd.com and I'll talk to 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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What's Better Than Being Debt-Free?

47: What’s Better Than Being Debt-Free?

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

What's Better Than Being Debt-Free?As a financially-minded coach focused on teaching you how to live a wealthy life, I'm all about debunking the myths we have about money and debt. This may come as a shock to you, but I don't believe debt to be a bad thing, and today, we're diving into why so many people choose to pay off debt as quickly as possible instead of buying and growing assets.

At first glance, it makes sense that having no debt is a big goal for many people and that there's an insinuation that if you do have debt, there are some underlying issues with how you handle your money. Sure, being debt-free is an amazing feeling, but this week, I'm inviting you to see how there's something even more liberating than being debt-free.

Join me this week as I show you why we perceive paying off debt to be easier than investing in assets. We're discussing this through the container of the motivational triad, and I'm laying out the top 3 reasons I see people choosing the route of being debt-free over having income-producing assets that generate money for you while you sleep.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you might think paying off debt is easier than buying and growing assets.
  • The story that keeps so many people stuck in negative emotions about debt.
  • What the motivational triad is and how it drives you to pay off debt as much as possible
  • Why our brains have a hard time with the concept of buying and growing assets.
  • The 3 most common things I hear from people when it comes to debt.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram

 

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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.

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope you're having a wonderful February so far. So if you've been in my world for some time, you know that I've always talked about writing a book, or that's actually one of the first things I wanted to do when I first started learning about all the things about money.

But it wasn't until relatively recently that I finally pulled the trigger. And so I'm super excited to announce that I am writing a book and that the book will be available probably this fall. I know it's February, it's super early, but the reason why I'm finally saying this is because we just locked the title and I'm super excited about it.

So the title of the book is Defining Wealth for Women: (n) Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash. And so kind of hard to see since you're hearing me talk, but after Defining Wealth for Women, there's a colon, and then in parentheses it says N for noun. And so we're basically defining what wealth means.

And so that definition for the book is peace, purpose, and plenty of cash. And so this book is a culmination of sort of everything I've learned about money, pulling in the psychology of money, pulling in the strategy of money, and spending some time sort of dissecting why we as women have money issues.

Because there's many reasons for that, and so that book will go into that and I'm sure I'll be diving into those specific topics on this podcast as well. And so just want to let you guys know that is happening. I don't have a firm date yet but once I do, I will let you all know.

So today, I want to talk about debt. Now, I've talked about debt at least a few times on this podcast and I think you guys all know my stance on debt, that I don't think it's bad and I think this whole rushing to pay it off as soon as possible is horrible advice. I don't think it's horrible advice in itself, but I do think it prevents people from really working on buying and growing assets.

And so this is always something I'm thinking about, this is always I'm figuring out how I can teach this concept better, how I can explain it better, and I just realized why debt is so easy to pay off, versus buying and growing assets. And so that's what I want to talk about today.

So even though I've had a few podcast episodes already on debt, I want to bring you up to speed just in case you haven't listened to them. So let's just first make sure we're all on the same page and define what debt is. Debt is simply money that you bought.

Basically it comes down to two things. You either didn't want to spend the money or you didn't have the money, and so you bought the money and the price of the money is the interest. I'm going to say this again. All debt is is money that you bought and the price of the money is the interest.

Okay, now that we're clear on that, now I want to move on to why so many people have so many negative emotions about debt. And hopefully you know by now that your thoughts create feelings, meaning that debt cannot jump into your body and cause a feeling, meaning that debt itself does not make you feel stressed, does not make you feel anxious or whatever you think debt is making you feel. It's what you're thinking about the debt.

Specifically, the story you made up about debt. Now, the general public, all the other financial bloggers pretty much all say that debt is bad, and you should pay if off, right? And on first glance, it kind of makes sense why people would say that because having no debt is better, or things like having debt means you're not great with money.

There's all sorts of weird stories about debt out there. Now, I'm specifically talking about lower interest student loans or a mortgage. I'm not talking about high-interest credit card debt or other forms of consumer debt. It's not that this concept can't apply, but generally speaking, when you go into a lot of high-interest consumer debt, that's usually a different problem.

So somehow, we've all agreed that debt is not something good and so you should get rid of it as much as possible. And people love to say they're debt-free, people always say, “It feels so free, it's so liberating to be debt-free.” And it's not that I don't agree with that. It's just that there's something even better than being debt-free. Something even more liberating than being debt-free.

And that is to have income-producing assets making money for you while you sleep. Now, that is freedom and that is liberating. But now I want to go into and explain to you why it makes sense for you to pay off debt as much as possible and why it's so satisfying to pay off debt. There's a very good reason for this.

So you may have heard me talk about the motivational triad. Now, just visualize a triangle. So there's three parts of the motivational triad obviously. And so this is how we explain what drives your primitive or toddler brain.

Now, let me just back up a second just in case you're new to me. Your brain's primary goal is to ensure your survival. Let me repeat that again. Your brain's primary goal is to keep you alive and it's done a pretty good job because if you're listening to this, that means you're alive.

Now, that might sound really silly but that's literally all it's really designed to do. To keep you alive. It makes sense. And this aspect of our brain has clearly been working for hundreds of thousands of years since the humans are still here on Earth.

The motivational triad describes the three sort of driving innate forces of human brains. So I'm going to say them all at once and then I'm going to go through them one by one and give you examples. Number one is that the primitive brain loves things to be easy. Remember, the brain is interested in survival and the brain does not like expending energy if it doesn't have to.

Remember, the brain is a huge glucose hog. It wants to conserve energy because we might have to fight a lion. Remember, we want to stay alive. And so if things take too much energy, at least initially, the primitive brain is going to be like, “That seems really complicated. Let's go watch Netflix instead.” And so I like to joke here that basically, our primitive brains are really freaking lazy. They are lazy as F.

Number two is pleasure. Now, this is dopamine hit pleasure. I also like to put in parentheses progress. Making progress is a form of pleasure for your brain. And so in the context of paying off debt, as you pay off the debt, as you see that debt decrease, the number, that is progress to your brain. That is a form of pleasure to your brain.

Now, I forgot to mention how debt and easy go together, but you already know how to pay off debt. You send a payment every month, you've been doing that already I presume, and so paying it off faster is just doing more of the same. It's easy. You don't have to learn something new. You just shovel more money at it, right?

So we've covered easy and the pleasure principle. Okay, number three is pain. Specifically, your primitive brain wants to avoid pain. Now, talking about perceived emotional pain. Remember, all of us think that debt is bad and that we shouldn't have it and it's hard and all this other stuff.

And so paying off debt is a form of reducing that emotional pain. So as you can see, paying off debt literally hits the jackpot in terms of satisfying your primitive brain's wants. It's easy, there's progress as you pay it off, which is a form of pleasure, and because you're decreasing that “bad” debt, it's decreasing the emotional pain.

Now, you may have heard me talk about the one rule of wealth or the only simple rule of wealth, which is basically that the key to creating wealth is to buy and grow assets, and that assets put money in your pocket. And so how does that relate to debt?

Well, I think it's pretty clear. Any extra money you put towards debt is money that is not going to buy and grow assets. I'll say it again. Any extra money you put towards debt is money that is not going to buy and grow assets.

Now, when I say this, people tend to agree with me and nod and agree logically. Like, okay, that makes sense, I get it. But then they get a little stuck because this whole paying off debt thing is so ingrained in our belief system. And I just told you why our brains love to pay off debt.

Now I'm going to show you why our brains have a hard time with this whole concept of buying and growing assets, even though logically it makes sense. And basically, it's because of the motivational triad. It basically is the opposite of paying off debt in terms of the motivational triad.

So let me go through that with buying and growing assets. Alright, here we go. Remember, three things. Easy, pleasure or progress, and avoiding pain. Okay, buying and growing assets. So let's just pick an example like investing in real estate, but you can use it with any type of buying and growing assets category.

So is it easy? Well, at first glance it probably isn't because it's something new because you probably don't know how to buy and grow assets or buy real estate. Because if you did, you'd be doing it already probably. And so at first glance, it seems a little complicated. It's definitely not easy. And like I said, our brains are really lazy, it doesn't want to spend the time to learn it, and so it basically suggests you eat a cookie instead.

Okay, number two, pleasure or progress. There is no immediate pleasure or progress when you're buying and growing assets. You can't start day one and day two be a millionaire. This is delayed gratification. So there's no immediate pleasure and it usually takes time. Longer than we want.

And then we've got the whole thing about pain, avoiding pain. Buying and growing assets, investing in real estate seems risky, meaning you could lose money. That is a bad thing. And so the potential to make a mistake, the potential to lose a lot of money, obviously, your brain is not interested in doing that.

So as you can see, it basically is a big X on all those three things of the motivational triad when it comes to buying and growing assets. So of course, your brain's going to think, hey, paying off this debt is so much easier and it's safer and let's do that instead. And we can deal with buying and growing assets later, we're already doing some 401K stuff, we're fine.

I'm not saying that's not a good plan. I just want you to understand why you probably chose that plan. So here are the most common things I hear from people when it comes to debt. This is the most popular one. It is a guaranteed return, meaning if you pay it off, then that interest rate, the price of the money, you get that back as a return.

So that is sort of true but not really because it is a very short-sighted way to look at paying off debt quickly. Sure, I guess you save money because you're paying less interest, but the last time I checked, paying off debt is not the same as buying and growing assets. The last time I checked, paying off debt doesn't start sending you checks in the mail, right? There's no continued interest coming back to you.

Number two I hear is that it's safer. So I'm not even sure what that means exactly, but I'm guessing it means that it's guaranteed. If you pay it off it goes down, whereas investing is risky and may or may not pan out. But that, in my opinion, is not a good reason not to invest.

A lot of us are so terrified of losing money but we all know that nothing worth doing is without risk, without effort. We didn't become doctors to torture ourselves for decades of training. We did it because of the reward of helping people.

The last thing I hear a lot is it's better to be debt-free. Now, I sort of debunked this earlier in this episode but that's because people think debt is bad and so being debt-free must be good. But most of us haven't considered what's even better is to have income-producing assets, a.k.a making money in your sleep, or not having to see patients because you have to. And that is available to you.

So that's all I have for you today and I do want to say that I did actually pay off my debt a few years after residency and that was before I understood the difference between debt, assets, and all that stuff. And so I don't regret my past decision, but if I had that debt today, because let me tell you, that debt was like at 2% interest. I definitely would not have rushed to pay it off.

And now that we're investing in real estate, that involves going into debt. Taking out a mortgage to make money. And I don't have any problems with that because I don't look at that as bad debt. I look at that as leverage. I look at that as allowing me to invest and make money.

So there are many ways to make money and I just want to hopefully introduce the idea that labeling all debt as bad is just kind of silly. I'll talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program, Money for Women Physicians. It's part course and part coaching and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthmmommd.com/money to learn more.

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Why I Love Prenups

46: Why I Love Prenups

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Why I Love PrenupsI love prenuptial agreements, or prenups for short. This might sound a little strange right now to some of you, but by the end of this episode, you'll understand why I believe they are a vital part of any marriage, and even add to the romance.

You might be thinking that discussing a prenup is like talking about divorce before you even get married, effectively admitting defeat. But we have to face reality. The divorce rate is not zero. And a prenup could actually save you from piling on stress in the already emotional experience of going through a separation.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why I truly believe that prenups are not only necessary, but why they will actually improve your life and your marriage in ways you might never have considered. I'm sharing my thoughts and beliefs on my own prenup, and what I tell anybody who comes to me, already married and without a prenup, who now thinks they made a mistake by not signing one.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I love the topic of prenups so much.
  • What makes divorce such a messy process, for high-earning women especially.
  • How uncomfortable it can be talking to your partner about prenups, and why that doesn't mean it's a bad conversation.
  • What I believe actually makes prenups extremely romantic.
  • My own beliefs about the prenup my partner and I are currently drafting.

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 46. Prenups is one of my most favorite things to talk about. And you're probably thinking, why? Well, you are about to find out. But before we go into this topic, I just want to let you guys know that there is a huge snowstorm going on where I live.

I live in Northern New Jersey, just outside of New York City. So, it's a huge snow day. Which I guess isn't a problem. I work from home. However, that also means that my kids are home. Kids meaning my toddler Jack, my stepson also happens to be here right now. He's in virtual school during the pandemic.

So, I have to record this super-early in the morning before everyone gets up, otherwise it will just be crazy in terms of noise et cetera. So, if my voice seems a little raspy or groggy, that's why.

Okay, so back to today's topic; prenups. So, this episode is coming out just around Valentine's day, so I thought this topic would be fitting. And I don't think I've actually talked to you guys about how I feel about prenups.

So, first, I just want to say, I am not a lawyer, obviously. So, the one thing I will say about prenuptial agreements – prenup for short – is that they are state-specific, just like divorce laws are also state-specific. So, I'm going to talk in generalities. I'm not here to give you any legal advice about prenups. I want to have a conversation about why you, whether you're a female physician, a high-earning female or male, why you need a prenup and why they are actually romantic.

Yes, you heard me. I think prenups are extremely romantic. And you'll find out why I think that. So, first of all, let's just set the stage. Why are we talking about this?

If you are a high-earner and you're married, getting divorced is, or can be, a financial catastrophe for most high-earning women. And I say most because it depends on many things. For example, if you and your spouse earn similar high incomes then maybe it won't be. It's mainly a problem when there's a disparity in income, especially if one spouse is a stay-at-home spouse.

I also want to say that divorce happens. The divorce rate isn't 0%. Now, I know you know this, but how many of us head into our marriages, our wedding day thinking, “We're not going to be one of those people that get divorced.” However, just the facts, the divorce rate isn't zero. And it's pretty common.

Now, I'm not an expert in divorce rates, but if you Google it, The Googles tell me that the divorce rate actually isn't 50%. I feel like that's kind of thrown out a lot. It's actually lower. And the divorce rate depends on your socioeconomic status and many other factors. And I do know, for physicians, it is generally lower than the general population.

However, if you are a female physician, it's higher than if you're a male physician, and it goes up if you work more than 40 hours a week, AKA you're in certain specialties like OBGYN, for example.

Second, I want you to also realize that when you're getting married, you are signing a legal contract. Which I know many of you know logically. But because it's a marriage contract versus a job contract, a lot of emotional intelligence kind of goes out the window. People don't want to think about the exit plan.

However, would you ever sign a job contract that said that they would take half of your assets and maybe make you pay money ongoingly? No. You would never sign that.

However, so many of us have blinders on when it comes to getting married. So, as you know, prenups are a very taboo topic. A lot of people are very uncomfortable talking about it with their potential spouse. And I understand because there are so many beliefs out there saying that if you're talking about a prenup, you're already discussing divorce. Which is one way to look at it, I guess.

But no one thinks about that for a job contract. Well, hopefully you're not. So, first, I'm going to walk you through some of the logistics and facts about prenups. And then, we're going to get into my take from a coach perspective as to why they are romantic.

So, I already said earlier that marriage is a legal contract. So, you just need to understand that when you get married, it's not just about being in love and wanting to start a family and whatever you think marriage means to you. You are signing a legal contract for the state you are in.

And if you get divorced, there are legal consequences. So, here's the thing about getting divorced. If you do not have a prenup, you are basically agreeing to the state's default prenup. So whether or not you think you have a prenup, you do. Except, if you don't have your own – which I like to explain as a custom, tailored suit – you are agreeing to the state's one-size-fits-all prenup.

And you probably don't even know what the state's prenup is. You're just like, “Well, I don't want to think about it so I guess it's fine.” What's ironic is that the prenup, AKA the finely tailored suit, is way cheaper than the state's default one-size-fits all ready-to-wear fashion, right? And so, that's just one thing I want to point out.

Another thing is, a lot of us don't think about things like alimony or child support. Now, child support is separate from divorce, meaning that you can't put child support clauses or anything about kids, whether they're born or not, inside the prenup. The prenup is only between the two adults getting married.

However, if you're listening to this, you probably know at least one friend who got divorced who is spending a lot of money paying alimony and or child support. And so, you know that that's a thing, right?

And at the time of this recording, the tax laws recently changed. Where previously, if you were paying alimony, you could actually deduct the alimony on your tax return, and then the alimony receiver would pay taxes on that. And they reversed that. Which makes sense for the government because they'll collect more taxes the other way around. So, also another reason why paying alimony is not palatable.

Now, as I said before, I am not a lawyer and prenups are state-specific in terms of the laws, in terms of whether they're contested or not. One thing I hear a lot is, “Oh, I hear prenups are thrown out the window.” And I find it so interesting when people say that as if that one example means none of them work.

And so, let me just give you an example. You know, I actually wanted to record this podcast after Matt and I had signed our prenups. But it's taking a little bit longer than usual. Not because anything weird or bad is going on. We're just kind of lazy getting the lawyers on board. But we do have a draft.

And what I do want to say about the prenups for New Jersey is, I asked my lawyer, has a properly done prenup in New Jersey ever been thrown out of court. And she told me, “No.”

And so, obviously I'm sure this is state-specific. And you also have to have it properly done. So, noticed that I asked properly done prenup. And so, that is also state-specific. Just to give you an example from New Jersey, the law states that for it to be a properly done prenup, that each person needs their own representation, meaning I have my own lawyer, Matt has his own lawyer.

And then, I also asked her, does it matter who pays for the lawyer?” Meaning if I paid for my lawyer and also paid for his lawyer, would that be, I don't know, seen as coercion? And she said, “No.” That did not matter.

However, I have also heard from other people – like I said, other people, not lawyers – that some states might require that each person pays for their own lawyer. So, you really have to find out how it applies to you where you live.

Okay, now onto the part I love talking about; the part where I say that prenups are romantic. So, before I go into that, I just want to say that concept of marrying for romantic love is a modern concept.

Now, my opinion is that people can and should marry for love versus a business transaction. But that's' what marriage was for back in the day. We all know that.

Here are my reasons why I think every couple needs to have a prenup. And here is the argument I hear a lot, “Well, we weren't really making any money when we were getting married, at the time.” Things can change rapidly over the course of a lifetime, right?

And so, I think a prenup, first of all, is a great way for a couple to really sit down and talk about money. Because if there are any money problems, we all know they don't get better once you get married. Every couple needs to have a frank discussion about money before getting married. Because you carry all your baggage into the marriage, right?

And so, here is why I think prenups are actually extremely romantic, versus the opposite that most people think it is. Think about the context of drafting a prenup versus fighting, contesting a divorce agreement. When you're drafting a prenup – and this is something my lawyer told me, so I don't want to take credit for what she said – you hold each other in the most highest regard. Meaning that you love that person and vice versa, I hope, right?

And so, it's a very different context for talking about how you're going to legally divide things, versus when you're in the midst of a divorce, when emotions can run high, and people are usually not really behaving very well. I think about a prenup like this. You're basically saying, “I love you no matter what. I want the best for you. Here is my proof.”

And I'm going to tell you some of my beliefs about the prenup that we're currently drafting – not finalized yet, of course. But honestly, my belief about the prenup in terms of how Matt and I are going to divide things, at least from my point of view is that why wouldn't want him taken care of?

Not only do I love him; he's the father of my child. He's the father of my stepson. Why wouldn't I want him to have the best chance of living the next phase of his life if we separate?

I also think about money very differently now, meaning that I know that I can always make more money. I also know that I have a lot of money. And I'm not even talking about an amount. It's not like I have $10 million in the bank right now. However, I'm not worried about my money in the future if we separate.

You know, the conversations Matt and I have had around the prenup have not always been, you know, rainbows and unicorns. Meaning that it is a little weird and uncomfortable to talk about certain things at some times. However, there's been some levity in it as well.

So, for example, first of all, if you don't know Matt or haven't met him in person, he is the funniest guy ever. I'm the more serious and kind of boring person. And so, he's basically said, “Listen, as long as I have my own really nice apartment, luxury high-rise with a doorman, I'm fine. I just need a two-bedroom; one for me, one for Jack, or my other son, and I'll be fine.”

Now, I'm joking about this a little bit. But I also want to say that just because the conversations might be a little uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it's the wrong conversation to have. Because I also just want to let you guys all know that it's way more to have these conversations without a prenup when emotions are likely tense, angry, resentful, you know, when our primitive fear-based brains take over.

And so, I like to really think about the prenup as using our higher brain, our prefrontal cortex to plan thoughtfully and make decisions ahead of time. And these decisions are coming from a place of, “I want the best from you no matter what.”

When you're thinking about these types of decisions from that place, we're thinking things like, “He is the father of my son. I love him. I want my son to have an amazing relationship with his father, no matter what.” You just make decisions from just a much more abundant place.

Now, I do want to share with you all the logistics of our prenup. But it's not finalized, so I don't want to say anything that may or may not actually happen. But it's actually very simple.

We each keep our own retirement accounts. Matt and I started investing in real estate, and so we decided, from the get-go, that that will be split 50-50, no matter where the money comes from. And I guess one thing I'll say in terms of how we do our finances – and I definitely want to do an episode on how we do our finances. And I don't think there's a right way to manage money together. But I truly, truly try to take the stance that it is our money; not mine or his. And so, I'll definitely talk more about that in another episode.

We did put a calculation for spousal support, alimony, you know, based on income differential et cetera and, you know, years not worked if that comes into play. And there is, of course, a clause to protect my business Wealthy Mom MD.

And so, that's sort of where we are in terms of the rough draft. And I can't wait to tell you all when it's finalized. And I think I'm actually going to have my lawyer come onto the show so you can hear from a prenup lawyer, so we can normalize the conversation around prenuptial agreements. And so, she's obviously a huge fan of it, not just because she's a lawyer, but she's obviously seen people do prenups and then also she does divorces.

So, I hope you've learned something new today. I hope maybe I've given you something to think about for those of you who are not married. And for those of you who are married and you're thinking, “Oh, maybe I should have done that.” Not to worry. There is something called a postnuptial agreement, which basically means it's an agreement signed after you get married.

Now, I will say, again, state-specific, they don't tend to hold up in court. They don't have a lot of strength behind them in most states. At least that's what my lawyer told me. Again, you'll have to check with your state.

And so, this is what I usually say to women, men who don't have a prenup and now they think that maybe they should have. You know, unless you're in a marriage that you're not happy with, that is abusive et cetera, my advice is simple.

Invest in your marriage. Take your marriage very seriously. Not just because of the financial consequences, but because it is the most important relationship and a lot of us take it for granted. It's human nature to take things for granted.

And so, if you just need a little reminder to spend time, water your relationships, then there you go. And I also recommend you listen to the podcast I did with Kate Mangona, or check out Kate Mangona's podcast. I think it's called Marriage, Medicine, and Money, or something like that. And so, she interviews couples, mainly physicians, around money and marriage and kind of combines the whole money and relationship thing. So, check that podcast out and I will talk to you guys next week.

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

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All or None Thinking: Shame Around Wanting More Money

45: All or None Thinking: Shame Around Wanting More Money

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

All or None Thinking: Shame Around Wanting More MoneyI want to talk about something that I see come up so often for my clients within my program Money for Women Physicians. They want more money to make their lives and their family's lives better, among many other amazing reasons. However, they also feel bad, guilty, or ashamed for wanting more money.

There is a very common belief that it's impossible to be both rich and “good”, or rich as well as kind-hearted or generous. And it actually stops so many people from living the life they truly want. But the truth is, this is not a choice of either-or. You can be whatever kind of person you want to be, making as much money as you want.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover how all or none thinking gets into our psyche and stops us from achieving goals that we actually really want to achieve. I'm sharing how I see this come up for my clients, and how I help them get over this idea that they have to choose one or the other by seeing the balance that already exists in everyone and everything around us.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why thinking in terms of absolutes is so common.
  • The specific thoughts I see popping up for my clients around their desire to make more money.
  • Why it is possible to both have a lot of money and be a “good” person.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram

 

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.

Welcome to episode 45. So, today, I want to talk about something I see in a lot of my clients and students inside of Money for Women Physicians, is grappling with wanting more money.

They want more money to make their lives better and for many other amazing reasons, and they also feel bad, guilty, or ashamed for wanting more money.

I especially see this for some of my clients who also have their own business, whether it's their own practice or non-clinical business. I hear things like, “Well, I should be grateful. I already make a lot compared to most people.” Or I'll even see people saying things like, “Well I'm happy with what I make right now, I don't need any more money.”

I see a lot of people think that they might be labeled as, “Not a good person,” if they want more money, have more money, or if they spent it on things that aren't necessary. So, I wanted to unpack this a bit today.

And first, I just want to say that this kind of thinking is very common. We all do it. And what I mean by that is it's really common to think in absolutes. This is what I mean by that.

Another way to describe thinking in absolutes is a concept called all or none thinking, meaning that you have to either be one or the other versus both.

And I thought about this for a second to see why this is so common. This happens to all of us, by the way. And not too long ago, I did a Tony Robbins conference. I did his flagship Unleashing the Power Within, or UPW. It was virtual this year. This was last year actually, 2020, the year of the pandemic. It's still the pandemic now in early 2021.

And so, he talked about the five driving forces of humans. And I'm not going to go through all of them, but the two, or sort of the top for most people is certainty, meaning feeling certain about something.

And this kind of makes sense. Our brains want to make sense of the world and it feels better if it feels certain about things, if it feels right about something. And it has a hard time seeing gray areas or vagueness or in-between things.

So, what I see a lot is women thinking that they can't be a good person if they want to have or make more money, or that they have to choose having a lot of money or being happy. Another thing I see is that they feel that they can't be kind-hearted, generous, and have a lot of money.

And so, for some reason, we think it's like a multiple-choice question where we can only choose one answer. Except we can actually choose all of the above, right? Meaning you can be a good person and be rich. You can be rich and happy. You can be rich and an amazingly generous kind-hearted person. You can be a good person and sometimes do not so great things, and even do bad things. You can be a great mother and sometimes miss the mark. You can be an amazing doctor and sometimes not do a great job with your patients. It's not either-or. It's and.

And one thing I think it does for you when you allow sort of the – I don't want to say good or bad, but when you allow for all the things to be acceptable and okay, really what you're doing is allowing yourself to be human.

We're not supposed to be 100% perfect. We're not supposed to be 100% awesome and good all the time. It's just not true. No one is. No one. And even the people that you think are really bad people, they're not 100% bad. Even the ones you really think are pure evil.

So, my question to you today is, do you want to make more money? Can you allow yourself to want more money and still be an amazing generous person? Can you allow yourself to acknowledge the good days and bad days that you have, or good moments and bad moments and be okay with that?

I hope you are able to give yourself permission to accept all the parts of you that you like and the parts that you don't like. That's all I have for your today. I will talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program Money for Women Physicians. It's part-course and part-coaching and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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What Nobody Tells You About Motivation

44: What Nobody Tells You About Motivation

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

What Nobody Tells You About MotivationI've been speaking to more and more clients lately who all tell me they're struggling with the same thing: motivation. What I typically see happening is they're totally well-intentioned in doing something they've been meaning to do for a while, like sitting down to create a spending plan, sometimes even getting excited at the idea that they're finally taking this step and doing it.

Then their alarm goes off, reminding them it's time to sit down and crack open their accounts to start creating that spending plan, only for them to instantly feel zero motivation. And then, naturally, they think of the perfect reason for why they can't do that in the moment anyway, usually because they think of something else that “needs” doing. Does this sound familiar? Well, I'm sharing the solution in today's episode.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what nobody tells you about motivation and the secret to following through on the things you know you should be doing. I'm sharing where this sudden lack of motivation comes from when we're faced with certain tasks, and 3 ways I deal with it when it comes up in my own life.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we so often feel we lack the motivation to do something.
  • What motivation really is and why we need to reframe what we believe about motivation.
  • 3 ways I deal with a sudden lack of motivation when faced with doing something I know deep down is important.

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 your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 45. So, I'm recording this just before I leave for my business mastermind. And this is the first time I'm “traveling” since the pandemic started. I'm not flying anywhere. I'm just driving an hour. I rented an Airbnb. The mastermind is meeting virtually, due to the pandemic of course. And I wanted to be able to get away.

And it's been almost a year since I've packed, and so I actually had a bit of a brain fart the other day and was like, “How do I pack and where are my suitcases?” Because it's been that long since I've gone anywhere. So, anyway, I just thought that was kind of funny.

And I'm super-excited to mastermind with my other coach colleagues. And so, for those of you who don't know what a business mastermind is, I don't talk about it much since this isn't a business podcast per se. But I know many of you listening are thinking of creating or starting a business. And so, I started this business mastermind I guess about six months ago. Yeah, so this is my second run because it kind of resets every six months.

And masterminds are kind of overused in the industry. At least that's my opinion. And so, this mastermind is a group of coaches who are all life coaches creating a coaching business, or we all have a business I should say, because there are income requirements to even apply to this mastermind.

And so, it's led by my business coach who many of you know right now, Stacey Boehman. And she is an expert in teaching life coaches how to build profitable businesses. But really, it's as simple as she helps life coaches make money.

And so, I love being in this mastermind. I love being surrounded by likeminded individuals who are – we all have the same goal. And on the surface, it can look like our goal is to make money. But really, our goal is to be the best coaches we can be, really make the best differences for our clients. And so, I'm just so excited to spend the next four days with them.

Okay, so that was a bit of an aside. But today, I want to talk about something that I have seen a lot and I don't think I've done an actual podcast episode breaking this down.

So, I was planning this podcast episode over the last few weeks, but then I talked to one of my one on one clients the other day and she was telling me how she was no longer motivated. And I don't want to give specific information, but she was feeling no longer motivated about investing in a new thing.

And so, she was using sentences like, “I've lost momentum. I'm behind.” And this is something I see a lot, right? Many of you, you get going on something, maybe you get inspired or motivated to finally attack your money, look at your budget, et cetera. And then you lose steam. Or you find it really hard to motivate yourself, even though you know you should be doing it and even though you understand that implications of doing it and not doing it. Does this sound familiar?

And so, I want to talk about why this happens and what to do about it. So, I see it commonly around things like creating a spending plan, which is basically code speak for budget. I hate the word budget. I just think it has kind of negative connotations for most people. Maybe not for all of you.

But when I personally hear the word budget, it just seems like it's a scarcity word, like you're trying to cut things, you're trying to fit things into a constrained sort of way. So, I just personally prefer spending plan. But if budget works for you, that's totally fine.

Or maybe you have trouble even just sitting down to look at your accounts and numbers. I have some clients who have trouble doing that. Other ways this looks like is maybe finally getting your office in order. You maybe have a pile of papers that need to be organized or scanned in.

We all have that thing, or things in that category, where we know we should do it but we just can't motivate ourselves to do it. Well, this episode is for you.

This is what I see typically happens. You're totally well-intentioned to do that thing. Let's pick sitting down to create a spending plan. So, you even schedule on the calendar. You have high hopes for yourself, and you think it's finally going to happen.

Then, when your alarm goes off to remind you that it's time to sit down and crack open your accounts to start creating that spending plan, you're instantly feeling absolutely no desire to do that thing; zero motivation. In fact, it's probably negative motivation. And then you immediately think of a really good reason not to do it or why you can't do it at that moment.

So, part of the problem is that we think we need to feel motivated to do something, right? Like, if we don't feel motivated in the moment, something is missing.

Now, many of us, we know how to do things if we really have to, otherwise we probably wouldn't have finished our medical training. Because I'm sure all of us have dealt with times where we didn't feel like studying. But I think this is a skill that many of us need help with, meaning how do we deal with not feeling motivated in the moment, when it's much easier and much more pleasurable for our brains to do something else; anything else but the thing we had scheduled?

We all have had moments where all of a sudden, we felt motivated to clean out our closet instead, which is normally maybe something you don't like doing, But it's more enjoyable than looking at your budget.

So, let me tell you what I like to do when I need to do something but I don't want to, which is a lot by the way. So, first of all, have you noticed that we're always waiting to feel motivated or inspired to get something done?

And I'll just tell you, it seems like a good idea or it seems logical to think that. But it also means that it's not up to you to be motivated. It also means that motivation comes from something out there in the air and you have no control over it. So, that's a thought error right there because motivated is a feeling or emotions which comes from what you're thinking. And so, I want to really break this down for you because I think even just understanding this concept can be really powerful.

Think about it. When you're motivated to do something, it's because you're thinking something like, “I want to do this. I can't wait to do this. I'm so excited to do this.” It's going to be different for all of us, but try to really think about what you're thinking – and it might be subconscious, so you might need to spend some time on this – that makes you want to do something.

We don't really think about it. It just kind of happens. So, we often feel like motivation literally just comes inside of us out of thin air, but that's not true. It comes from what you're thinking.

Okay, so back to me. This is what I do when I don't want to do something, which I said is a lot. So, the funny example I give is, oftentimes, around bedtime and the bedtime routine, washing your face, brushing your teeth, I'll just tell you, a lot of times, I really don't feel like washing my face.

And I'll watch my brain say, “I really don't want to wash my face.” And sometimes, I don't. But recently, I've been doing a little bit of an experiment with myself to just kind of see what would happen. And so, now when I watch my brain or notice my brain saying, “We don't want to do this. Let's just go to bed. We're tired.” I'm able to sit there for a second and literally say, “So what? We don't have to wash the face,” obviously, right?

And I also remind myself that I actually want to wash my face. Now, let me explain what I mean for a second. Maybe in the moment I'm not feeling motivated to do the action of washing my face. But I do like the results of it, meaning I like having a clean face and then I like being able to put my night creams on.

As you know, I'm a board-certified dermatologist. I do like my skin creams and I like to apply those creams at night. Right now, let's see, what is my nighttime routine for skincare? I use Skinmedica Advanced+ TNS Serum. And then I also use a topical retinoid and currently that's SkinBetter AlphaRet.

So, those are two things that I put on my face. And because it's the middle of winter here in New Jersey, sometimes I'll also put an extra moisturizer on. And right now, that's Skinceuticals Triple Lipid.

So, back to reminding myself that I actually want to do this. Maybe I don't actually want to wash my face, but I want the results of washing my face and applying my skin cream. So, that's kind of a simple example, but you can see how this can apply to lots of other things.

Another thing I want to say is I often hear people try to motivate themselves, but they're using phrases like, “Well, I should be working on my budget. I have to figure out my budget.” And I just want you to take a moment and check in with yourself, check in with your body, how does it feel when you tell yourself, “I should be looking at my budget,” or, “I have to work on my budget.”

Like, I'm just thinking that does not feel good. Meaning it feels like an obligation and you know you should do it, but you just can't muster up the motivation to do it because when you use phrases like, “I have to. I should,” It's just not that motivating.

Some other options that are much more pleasant than, “I have to,” and, “I should,” is like I said, to remind yourself that you actually want to do this. Meaning of course I want to sit down and look at my numbers and create a spending plan. I want the result, the outcome of making sure my money is being spent thoughtfully and going towards assets. So, yes, I do want to spend time on this.

I also want to say that you don't need to feel motivated to do something. We all do things we don't particularly feel motivated to do. But we do them anyway. And so, tap into why you do that and why you don't do other things. And it really just comes down to what you're thinking about that activity or that thing.

And the last thing I want to say about this – and I probably need to do a whole separate podcast on this – is when you're feeling unmotivated, honestly, so what? It's not a big deal. What if you just let that feeling of un-motivation, whatever that feels like for you, just kind of sit there?

I think for many of us, that feeling of not wanting to do something, not feeling motivated, reluctance, obligation, whatever, it feels kind of restless. At least it does for me. And then it seems like we would feel better if we do something else like scroll on Facebook instead or check your email or clean out your closet instead.

But the reason why we do something else is because we don't want to deal with that restless feeling of not feeling motivated. And so, it makes us feel better to focus on something else in the moment. And so, I'm going to talk more about it in another episode. But I also want to sort of point that out because sometimes I think my clients, or you listening, think that thought work and coaching is just about changing your thoughts and swapping them out for something better. And I just want to say that's not the case.

Because we're not supposed to feel motivated, happy, awesome 100% of the time. That's not the goal. It's just being aware of what you're thinking and feeling and how it affects what you're creating in your life.

Okay, so let me just sort of summarize what I've talked about so far. Number one, motivation, inspiration, whatever you want to call it is caused by what you're thinking. And so, if you're not feeling motivated, if you're feeling kind of ugh, my version of not feeling motivated at all or negative motivation, that just comes from what you're thinking.

And so, just notice what you're thinking when you're not feeling motivated, or when you are feeling motivated. Because all of us have felt motivated to do something and all of us have felt unmotivated to not do something. And because they're just thoughts, you have access to the thoughts that have helped you in the past.

Number two, one thing that helps me is to remind myself that I actually want to do the thing that I keep avoiding or not doing. And I do this by reframing the thoughts in my head.

So, instead of saying, “I have to do this. I should do this,” reframing it to, “Of course I want to do this,” or, “I get to do this.” It just feels so much more open to me and makes me actually feel motivated.

And the third thing I said really briefly at the end is that it's not be motivated to do something. And just notice your inclination to want to do something else that you could feel better about yourself in the moment.

Okay, well that's all I have for you today and I will see you guys next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program Money for Women Physicians. It's part-course and part-coaching and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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So You Don't Think You're a Perfectionist

43: So, You Don’t Think You’re a Perfectionist?

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

So You Don't Think You're a PerfectionistI recently made a discovery about myself that apparently was crystal clear to everybody else in my life. I had never considered it myself, but the truth is that I am a perfectionist. So, I want to share my journey through this realization with all of you, just in case you can relate, and what I'm doing to address it.

Now, I always thought being a perfectionist was about striving to be the best all the time. However, unbeknownst to me until just last week, it also presents as looking at situations and even achievements in our lives and only really focusing on what's missing. So, if this sounds like a familiar pattern in your own life, I want you to listen in closely.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover whether you might secretly be a perfectionist. I'm discussing the thoughts of not-enoughness I have experienced, where these might be showing up in your life, and how to refocus your brain so you can start truly appreciating and enjoying your achievements.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • How I found out, to my surprise, that I was a perfectionist.
  • Two ways perfectionism might be showing up for you, without you even realizing.
  • The role our brain plays in highlighting our issues around enoughness.
  • How to leverage your brain's hyper-focusing tendencies to address your perfectionism.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • To make sure you don't miss any new episodes, make sure you hit Subscribe in your favorite podcast app!
  • Follow me on Instagram
  • 23: Money Scarcity
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.

Welcome to episode 43. So, I recently made a discovery about myself that, apparently, was obvious to everyone else. Has that ever happened to you? So, I wanted to do a whole podcast on this topic in case any of you can relate.

So, are you ready? I just found out that I'm a perfectionist. Yeah, I didn't know that. So, first, let me tell you why I didn't think I am one already. So, here's the thing. To me, being a perfectionist was about wanting to be the best. Think being that gunner in medical school. I was not that person.

You know, there's always that person trying to get the top grade, the A-plus, will go the extra mile to get those few extra points. That was honestly never me. I mean, I wasn't going for the worst grade either, right?

And so, how did I discover this? So, the other day, I was getting coached around something. I don't even remember the exact topic. And then she asked me, “Are you a perfectionist?” And my immediate response was, “Well not really.” But then I said, “Well, you know, I just feel like I just notice what's missing all the time and I always feel like it's not enough.” To which, she replied, “Oh yes, you're definitely a perfectionist.”

And in that moment, something clicked because I was already onto my brain, meaning that I had started noticing that I really do focus on what's missing, what's wrong, what's not enough; around money for sure. And I have already talked about money scarcity. But it's literally everywhere, meaning I notice it everywhere, in all aspects of my life.

It almost feels like my brain has a heat-seeking missile for what's not enough or what's missing. And so, what I've learned is that another way that perfectionism shows up, it's not just about always wanting to be the best. But it's also the flipside. It's never good enough. It's never enough.

Now, I get it. You're probably listening to this and thinking, “Yeah, I knew that. That, of course, is part of being a perfectionist.” But I swear, I did not understand this for me. And this is just an example of many examples that I have from my life of why I love this work, why I love getting coached, because what's obvious to you as an outsider, it's really hard to do that when it's you, right? We've all been there.

So, I wanted to show you two ways how this might show up for you and also how to deal with it. Number one, you never think you have enough money. Like I said, I talked about money scarcity on a separate episode, but I want to talk about this again.

Scarcity just means that you don't have enough. Basically, you have an enoughness problem. No matter how much you make, have, it's never enough money. Meaning, you never actually feel good or secure about what you have.

Now, I've made different amounts of money since I was a teenager. I started working, gosh, I don't know, maybe age 13. So, I've made $10, $15 an hour and I've made a lot more money, multiple six figures. And I never feel like I have enough. And this is just what's default for me. This is classic money scarcity mindset, right?

Here's the second way that it might show up for you. And I know many of you suffer from this as well. You don't celebrate, or maybe you don't even acknowledge yourself, let alone your accomplishments because you're too busy moving onto the next thing. And besides, that accomplishment wasn't enough anyway, right?

This might show up in so many ways, but I definitely see, in my clients and in myself, this sort of reluctance to be able to celebrate what we have accomplished, what we have done.

So, here's the problem with this type of thinking. You just keep telling your brain that it's not enough. Just a reminder, our brains are like self-fulfilling prophecies. Whatever we focus on, we find and prove it to ourselves. It's just how it was designed.

So, why not take advantage of this? Meaning, if all you need to do is refocus the brain on something else, then here are some ways to do that. Number one, and this was something actually that coach recommended to me that this was the first time I'd heard of it, and I think it's brilliant.

So, many of you are familiar with a gratitude journal or taking some time to say, “I'm grateful for…” one, two, maybe three things a day. Now, personally, that never really resonated with me. Not because giving thanks or being grateful doesn't feel good.

What the coach suggested for me was to do an enough journal. So, you basically take the same idea as doing a gratitude practice, but it's an enough practice, meaning it could be things like, “What did you do enough today? What do you have enough today?”

Whether you do this formally in your journal or take a few minutes in the morning or before you go to bed, I think this is so important for all of us perfectionists out there to remember that we are more than enough in this moment. We have enough money today. We saw enough patients today, whatever that is for you.

And the second thing I wanted to say is kind of an extension of this enough journal concept. But like I said, our brains want to prove whatever it focuses on to be true. So, whenever you notice yourself thinking not-enoughness thoughts, so first you have to be aware that this is happening. Because a lot of times, we're not even aware that this is happening. So, the first step is awareness, right?

Then, you have to consciously redirect your brain and focus on thoughts of enoughness. I also want to remind you that it is totally normal and expected for your brain to automatically offer these not enough thoughts, just in case you were the only one, or just in case you thought something was wrong with your brain or defective because these thoughts just keep popping up, it's not. It's working just fine.

In fact, it's working exactly how it was designed. Remember, our brains are wired for survival. And so, searching for danger is kind of its job. Unfortunately, that danger in modern times shows up as not-enoughness thoughts.

So, what was enough today? What did you do well today? Can you take a moment and just acknowledge yourself? Did you make a correct diagnosis on a patient today? Did you comfort a patient today?

The last thing I want to say about how important it is to help your brain recognize what is enough and to acknowledge the little things and the big things is that because if we don't do that now, it's not like it's going to, all of a sudden, change when that big thing happens, whatever that is for you.

You know, so many of us think that we're going to suddenly feel better and life will be magical once we have, I don't know, a million dollars, five million dollars, whatever that number is for you. Or, you know, “As soon as I get married. As soon as I have kids, then I'll feel better.”

It's not going to be different, especially if you don't celebrate or acknowledge what you do have now. I'll see you 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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Past Performance Does Not Predict Future Returns

42: Past Performance Does Not Predict Future Returns

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Past Performance Does Not Predict Future ReturnsAs humans, we look to our past to see if we can do something in the future. This kind of thinking is so ingrained in us from a very young age. Society tells us what we can and cannot do based on our past performance. And we believe it!

As women, we are socialized to be grateful for what we have, and it prevents us from creating amazing money-filled futures. But the past is done – and it has nothing to do with your future, so we need to change the way we think about it.

In this episode, I'm sharing why we tend to keep repeating the same thoughts over and over, and how changing our thoughts enables us to create more wealth for ourselves. I'm challenging you to acknowledge your thoughts around money and showing you that it's what you know and think about your future that's important.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we repeat the same thoughts over and over.
  • How we let our past dictate our future.
  • Why what we do or don't do is based entirely on our thoughts.
  • How to think bigger about your future.
  • Why thinking in certain ways doesn't serve you.

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 your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 42. So I'm recording this right after the New Year and I was looking at an index fund and was looking at its ‘past performance'. And there's always an asterisk and a disclaimer that says, ‘Past performance does not predict future returns.' Hopefully some of you have seen this too. And this kind of got me thinking because as humans we look to our past to see if we can do something in the future. And this kind of thinking is so ingrained in us. When we apply for jobs they want to see our résumé which is all about our past.

And then let's fast forward, we're choosing our specialties during medical school to apply for residency and how many of you were told or told yourself, well, I can't do that specialty because I didn't score high enough on step one or my clinical grades aren't good enough etc.? So I think you can see that society tells us from a very young age what we can or cannot do based on our past performance. And we believe them because they are the adults. They're wiser than us. They've been around the block. They must know something we don't.

And for those of you with kids, don't we tell our kids to dream big, that they can really do whatever they want? But then somehow for us this isn't true anymore. Why?

And I just want to tell you a bit of a side story here about Matt and I. And so many of you probably know by now that last year 2020 is when we bought our first rental property. And we had a really hard time buying it because we couldn't get a loan, because what happens when you apply for a mortgage they look at your past, and I guess, current income. And our immediate past was not great because on paper neither of us had full-time jobs. And so the loan officers look at your past income and your ability to make money as a future predictor of your future money.

And at the time my business wasn't showing a lot of profit in the past and so they basically all said no. And so we ended up having to buy the property in cash. Here's the thing about the past, the past is in the past, it's done and it really has nothing to do with your future, nothing.

But most of us don't really know that so we keep repeating the past over and over again. And what I mean by that is we keep thinking the same thoughts over and over again. And let me just briefly tell you why we do this, or rather, why our brains do this because remember our brains like to be efficient. And what's really efficient and takes the least amount of resources, energy is to just keep playing the same thoughts over and over again.

It's so much easier to basically pick greatest hits of Bonnie's past, volume one than for it to have to spend time, energy and effort to think something new. So it's kind of a design flaw. The problem is our past and current thoughts also become part of our identity.

Remember our thoughts create feelings and the feelings inspire actions, what we do or don't do, which ultimately create our results, our outcome, our money, our future. Now, you might be thinking okay, I get what you're saying but what does this have to do with money and your future ability to have more money and create wealth? Everything, because right now when you think about yourself and money what are you telling yourself?

Now, many of my clients tell me things like, “I'm not good with money.” Or, “I just got divorced and I've lost half of my wealth and now I'll never be able to retire, let alone retire early.” And my response to this might sound callous but so what. And I ask this with love and curiosity because truly these have nothing to do with you and your money future, but we think it does. I want you to ask yourself, what is possible about your future? What if your future is limitless? What if it doesn't matter that you're in debt or that you lost half of your wealth due to a divorce?

Or that you're a pediatrician, and pediatricians I love you, I just use this as an example. I really want to hit this point home. It's not what you know about your past, it's what you know and think about your future.

So I'm going to give you a little assignment right now. Right now I want you to temporarily forget about your current money situation, your past money situation, whatever it is haunting you about money. Let's just pretend you literally have a blank slate, because you do. How much money do you want really? And maybe it's helpful to think how much money you want to make per year.

And a lot of you have this preconceived notion of how much you want for retirement because I hear you guys talking about this magical retirement number or financial independence number, one million, two million, five million, whatever that is but what do you really want? Do you want to be able to fly first class? Do you want to be able to give away millions of dollars to causes you love and care about? Yes, I said millions. And I can hear some of you thinking already but I'm not really allowed to think this, am I? Of course you are.

Or maybe you're thinking, yeah, I would like more but I really should be grateful for what I have and make because we make a lot as physicians. And let me tell you that that type of thinking is not useful and it doesn't serve you or your kids, or future women, period. I might get on my soapbox a little here. We women, we are socialized to be grateful for what we have and this prevents us from creating amazing futures, amazing money filled futures.

As a women who went to an all girl's school, I went to Barnard College in New York City, one of the things I was taught was that I needed to be, we needed to be an example for future women coming behind us. I am giving you permission to think and want as much money as possible, as much money as you want because what if it's actually normal to be rich? Because most of us think it's not normal to be rich.

To take this little assignment a step further because this is what I actually ask of my students inside of Money for Women Physicians, I give them permission to dream about whatever they truly want for their life. And then I actually had them calculate what that life would actually cost. It's kind of a fun exercise and so I really encourage you to do that.

I truly hope I have inspired you to think bigger about your future. And if I have you may want to go back and review last week's episode on belief plans because you probably need to now create some new belief plans for your awesome rich life.

So before I close I just want to thank you for listening to this podcast. In a few months it'll be almost a year since this podcast has started and it's been truly an honor to create these podcasts for you. And I hope it's been full of a lot of value. I hope you've learned a lot. I hope you've taken action. I hope you've created more money for yourself. And so I would love it if you would write a review and tell your friends about the podcast so we can inspire more and more women to create more money. I'll talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms then you've got to check out my program Money for Women Physicians. It's part course and part coaching and a 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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A New Way to Plan Your Goals

41: A New Way to Plan Your Goals

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

A New Way to Plan Your GoalsThis is the time of year when everyone is talking about goals and resolutions. Now, I love setting goals and deciding how to achieve them as much as anyone, but I want to share a new way to think about doing that for 2021.

When we set goals, we often get caught up in planning of how we're going to achieve them. But the truth is, I see so many people getting caught up in the how of creating their results, so much so that they get stuck there and start to feel helpless. So, if this sounds familiar, I want you to listen closely because what I'm sharing today will make your year a whole lot better.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover the power of having a belief plan. I'm sharing how I plan for my goals step by step using the self-coaching model. By deciding that what I need to believe is possible, I'm able to gain real clarity on the actions I need to take, and I know this will help you do the same.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Where I see so many people getting caught up in the how when it comes to creating their results.
  • Why the how should never be your starting point when trying to achieve a goal.
  • Where you actually need to start when you're going after a specific result.
  • How to create a plan that really moves you towards your goals.

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.

It's 2021. How many of you out there cannot believe that it's here, finally? Well, first, I hope everyone's had a wonderful holiday season. And I just want to say that I've been pretty envious of all of you physicians out there who have gotten your COVID vaccine. I have not gotten mine yet.

I really have no idea when my turn will be. At this moment, I'm recording this at the end of 2020, I'm not seeing patients and so I just assume I'm going to get it in March, April, whenever the normal people get it.

However, in some new news, I am going to be a volunteer staff attending where I'll be teaching residents in the New York area. And so, I'm pretty excited about that. That probably won't start for a few months, maybe by the end of quarter one 2021. And so, I am hopeful that I will be able to get the vaccine then.

So, I know a few weeks ago, I talked about how to do a year-end reflection. And so, I hope you've had a chance to not only listen to it, but also to do the work.

You know, I think it's so important to really reflect on how the year went and to celebrate all the things that you've accomplished, created, et cetera. You know, this is something that women do not do enough. And I think specifically, people like us, female physicians, we're really bad at celebrating our accomplishments.

And so, you know, this is a time of year when everyone's making new goals or talking about resolutions. And I want to talk about it in a way that maybe you haven't heard before.

Now, I love making goals. I love achieving goals, believe me. But recently, I've actually been doing something a little different. Not in place of, but in addition to.

So, instead of making my list of goals that I want to accomplish, I also create two belief goals. Belief goals are basically a to-do list for our brains. It's a to-do list for our brains to believe in something new.

Now, if you recall the self-coaching model – I'll go over it briefly right now – where our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings inspire actions, and our actions create results. So many of us think about creating goals as focusing on the R line, or result line.

We want to create the goal; we want to put that in our R line. But then, we naturally only focus on the A line, the action line. What do we need to do to get there? And this is totally normal, right? But since you're listening to this podcast, you're at least somewhat familiar – or at least I hope so by now – with thoughts and beliefs, et cetera.

And notice that the self-coaching model starts with the T line, not the R line, not the A line. Because if we don't work on our beliefs, which are just thoughts that we're repeating over and over again until we believe them, it actually doesn't matter what you actually do in the A line.

Let me repeat that. If you don't get your beliefs in order, it doesn't matter what you do in the A line. Because the A line does not actually create results or the goal. Thoughts do. And this is such an important concept because I see so many of my clients get stuck in the how of getting to the R.

When you're getting stuck on the how, meaning if you can't see the clear path to achieve something, which is basically figuring out what your actions are to get to the R, you somehow believe that it might not be possible.

In the coaching world, we call this how greed, meaning getting stuck in the how. So, an analogy I like to use to illustrate this concept is – this is for those of you who are married. But if you're not married, think about a dear friend in your life.

And could you have told me how you met this person before you actually met them? No. You can only tell me after. And so, honestly, the same goes for any goals you may have.

For example, I have a business goal to create $750,000 in gross revenue in 2021. I could easily go right to the how. And it's not that it's not useful or important. That's not what I'm saying. But what's more important is to ask myself, what do I need to believe to create this goal?

Now, of course, I have worked out the math in terms of how am I going to get to $750,000, in terms of the math. But what's more important is what do I need to believe to make that math work?

I'll tell you what thoughts won't work. Thoughts like, “I'm not really sure I can do that. I hope I can do it. Fingers crossed.” Because you have to literally become the person that does the thing you want to do, versus the opposite.

So many of us think it's the other way around, meaning you think something like, “Once I make that money,” like the $750,000 I picked, “Then I can feel confident.” But how it really works is you need to first believe that you can do it. And maybe there are thoughts like, “I've got this. It's done. Of course I did.”

And these types of beliefs make me feel confident, relaxed, and certain. These feelings, confident, relaxed, and certain, these feelings can then fuel the actions that I need to take to achieve the R line.

Even knowing the self-coaching model, it's so easy to forget that feelings come from thoughts. Feelings don't come from results. They don't come from circumstances, which may have been a result you wanted in the past.

Just like, for example, I think I thought I would feel better about money or I'd feel more secure once I became an attending. Didn't we all kind of think that? That all of our money problems would get a lot better, if not all better once we made the big bucks.

But for a lot of us, that isn't true because it's not our salary. It's not the balance in the bank account or the retirement accounts that determine how you feel. It's what you think about the balance in those accounts, et cetera.

And I don't know about you, but for me, the goalpost just keeps moving, Once I became an attending making multiple six figures, I was like, “Oh, maybe I need to get out of debt before I can feel better.” And then once I became debt-free it was like, “Well, maybe I need to reach a million dollars in my retirement account.”

And it wasn't until I learned about thought work and coaching that I realized that it doesn't matter what the result I have in my life, I create feeling secure, not the balance in the bank account.

And so, this kind of reminds of what I talked about several episodes ago called The Retirement Myth, where I talked about the concept of the arrival fallacy. So, taking that concept and melding it with the belief plan, I think, shows you why the arrival fallacy happens.

So, just in case you haven't listened to that episode or need a fresh reminder, the arrival fallacy is a concept of, “Well, the goalpost just keeps moving.” Because it doesn't matter what happens. It doesn't matter what you have.

It's ever the thing you achieve that actually creates the feeling of whatever you're searching for, happiness, contentment, peace, et cetera. That comes from within. That comes from your thinking and that is what you have control over ultimately.

All of us think that life will be better once we achieve the goals. But like I just said, we know how short-lived those nice feelings are. I remember when I got into my med school of choice, Columbia University. I remember when I meshed into dermatology. I remember getting that first attending paycheck.

And yeah, it felt good. But it didn't last very long. Because here's the truth. You're still you when you achieve those things. And I don't know about you, but I used to hate it when people would tell me, “You know, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey.”

But I've come to learn that it's really true. But what I really think it is, is that it's about how you grow and who you become in the process of achieving the goal. And so, I look at goals very differently now. I don't think of it so much as achieving the goal to be happy. I think of it as I need to create a goal that's going to allow me to grow and stretch, that's going to almost force me to do so in the process. Because otherwise I'll be the same person. And it's just so much more fun when you grow versus staying stagnant.

So, how do you actually put this belief plan thing into motion? So, if you've created some goals or things you'd like to achieve, that's awesome. And I encourage you to do so. One thing I do want to say about creating goals in a timeframe is something that I take to heart.

We overestimate what we can achieve in the short-term and we grossly underestimate what we can achieve over a year, over five years, and over a lifetime. Now, that said, I just recommend not getting attached to having a goal happen by a certain timeline.

Focus on what that person, meaning that person who has achieved the goals, which is you just in the future, what does she or he believe about herself then? That's kind of what you have to do to figure out what you have to believe in order to achieve your goals.

I also want to offer to you that a lot of us think about what we can achieve based on how we did in the past. And I know that's a totally normal thing for us to do. I just want to point out that what you accomplished or didn't accomplish before today really has nothing to do with what you can achieve in the future. And I'm going to do a whole episode on this concept. But I just want to offer that to you in case you're immediately telling yourself, “Yeah, but I haven't been able to so far.”

And my question to you is, so what? What is you not having done whatever thing you want to achieve so far have any bearing on what you can do in the future?

And so, I really want you to think about that person who has achieved the goal that you want to achieve. And think about what does that person believe about themselves? Answering that question for yourself will really help you tap into the belief that you need to create and believe to achieve your goals.

If you're in my Facebook group Wealthy Mom Physicians, I'd love to hear some of the beliefs that you've created, so go ahead and post in the Facebook group. Otherwise, I will see you next week.

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

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Making Decisions

40: Making Decisions

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Making DecisionsI want to talk about a topic this week that is not only vital when it comes to building wealth, but is generally one of the most important life skills: making decisions. So, listen in closely because you might be needlessly delaying a decision without even realizing it.

The ability to make decisions moves us forward in so many ways. It frees up mental space and allows us to progress to the next stage. However, I see so many people telling themselves they need to research before making a choice, or they set a timeframe for when they will make a decision on something. And this is what is keeping so many of my clients stuck when they first come to me.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover how to make the best decision every time, whether big or small, and how to follow through and honor those decisions with real conviction. I'm sharing where indecision keeps us stuck, and how you can spot where you're holding yourself back due to fear of making a “bad” decision.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • How detrimental it can be if you choose to be someone who does not make decisions.
  • Why you will never know whether you're making the right decision for you until you actually make it.
  • One question to ask yourself if you're struggling with making any decision.
  • How to become better at honoring the decisions you make.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Work with me 1:1. Schedule a consultation here.
  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram
  • I'd love to know what decisions you made after listening to this episode. Email me or post in the Wealthy Mom MD Facebook Group!

 

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.

Hey, everyone. So, this episode comes out right after Christmas, I think. And I just wanted to share with you guys that I am not really a holiday person. We do have a Christmas tree. I grew up in a Christian household. And so, to me, at least the way I was brought up, Christmas was not the holiday that I think most people celebrate. It was mostly religious.

And in case any of my friends are listening, or future friends out there, I will probably never send you a Christmas gift or a Christmas card. I will probably forget your birthday. It does not mean that I don't think about you or that I don't appreciate you. But I guess gift-giving is not one of my love languages.

And the only people that get gifts from me during the holidays are Jack's preschool teachers, the doormen and staff in my building, and my immediate family. And that's only because they remind me that I need to do that. And not that I don't want to. Like I said, it's just not something that crosses my mind.

And so, I guess the reason why I'm saying this is, if you're listening to this and you feel burdened by giving gifts, whatever occasion that might be, I'm giving you permission to stop doing that. Regardless of what you do or don't do, I hope you're having a wonderful holiday.

So, today, I want to talk about one of the most important life skills you need to master. And, of course, it's something that's going to help with creating wealth and money as well. And it is how to make decisions.

Decisions move you forward. Not making a decision is a decision. And it keeps you stuck. And so, I just want to go over how I teach this concept in my program.

And so, like I said before, decisions move you forward and they free you up. They also free up mental space. A lot of the mental overload that I think a lot of us experience, cognitive load, whatever you want to call it, or just feeling scattered is simply because you haven't made decisions.

Now, there's making decisions and then there's the honoring of the decision you made. So, I almost feel like there's two parts to making decisions. So, I'm talking about the first part, and I'll talk about the latter part a little bit later.

So, first, I want to talk about if you are someone that has a hard time making decisions, or you tend to indulge in indecision a lot – yes, I do consider it to be an indulgent emotion – I want to tell you how detrimental it is to be someone who does not make decisions.

Like I said earlier, it keeps you stuck. It saps a lot of energy. It piles up and causes confusion. And it gives you this nagging feeling in your brain that you can't quite put your finger on because your brain is full of unmade decisions.

So, here are the things that I have seen my clients do or don't do regarding decisions. Number one, we think it takes time to make a decision. It actually takes a few seconds. But how often do you tell yourself some version of, “Yeah, I'm going to make that decision next week. I'm going to give myself up to two more weeks to make this decision.” But what you're really doing is just putting off that decision.

And then I hear things like, “Well, you know, I've got to do my research.” Yeah, that might be true. I said earlier that decisions move you forward. And let me take a deeper dive into that concept right now.

Oftentimes, we feel like we cannot make the, quote unquote right decision, because we don't have enough information. And so, this allows us to stay in indecision. And so, this is what it usually looks like. You're doing a lot of research, which means you're Googling, right? You're consuming a lot of information. You're learning new things, putting more knowledge into your brain, which feels productive. But if all you do is consume and don't take action, AKA make a decision, it's all passive.

And here's the sort of paradox of consuming more information or doing more research for a decision is that we think somehow that after our research, we'll come to an answer. And, obviously, sometimes it helps you sway one way or another. But I think there's this thought error that, A, there is a right decision. And B, we forget that once you make a decision, commit to it, and take action, that's actually when the real research begins.

Let me explain. So, when I first became an attending, I was able to choose which day of the week I could take as an admin day. And I did my research. I asked other colleagues, “Hey, what's the best day to take off?” And people had different days. Some said Monday, some said Wednesday, some said Friday, and they gave me their reasons for and against.

And then, I would think about what they said and think about what I was looking for and what would work in my life. This was pre-kids. And so, I just remember being really indecisive, as if there was a right day that would make me happier than another day. But what I didn't realize is that sometimes, you've just got to make a decision and move forward because that is the real research.

So, initially, I had actually taken Monday off. And so, I just said, “Okay, I'm going to take Monday off.” And so, I did. And I think it was actually every other Monday, just the nature of my schedule. And then, after some time, I realized, “You know what? I think it's better if I take Wednesday off.”

But I couldn't have come to that realization and that decision unless I had made that first decision. Does that make sense? Because you make a decision. You commit to it. Then you – I don't want to say try it out, but you take some steps in that direction. And then you realize, “Oh, maybe this other day is better,” because now you've actually learned about what it's like to take Monday off by actually doing it.

You actually don't always know if it's the right decision until you actually make it and take steps because of that decision, And so, that's what I mean by decisions move you forward. Now, I want to talk about how so many of us think that there is a right or wrong decision.

What if there was no such thing? Because who decides if it's a right or wrong decision? We get to decide. The way I like to look at right versus wring decisions is the concept of either winning or learning, versus I win or I lose, or I win and I fail.

So many of us are hung up on making the wrong decision as, like, that's somehow a failure. Remember, failing in itself isn't a good or a bad thing. It's truly only a failure if you either quit or learn nothing from that experience. And so, I'm going to say again, what if there is no such thing as a right or wrong or good or bad decision. These types of labels are an example of a concept called all or none thinking.

Another thing I see is that people tend to get hung up on making a decision for the, quote unquote right reasons. Do you see this theme coming up? As if there needs to be a correct reason to make that decision.

I like to tell my students that you want to like the reasons why you decide whatever you decide, meaning don't make a decision because you're trying to people please. Don't make a decision because you're worried about what other people will think about you.

What if we could make all of our decisions and like our reasons for doing so? It could be as simple as, “Because I want to.” One of the questions I like to ask myself when I am having a hard time making a decision is this simple question; if either decision turned out amazing and successful, whatever that measure is, which one would I choose? That question helps me really focus on what I really want to do versus what I think I should do. Do you see that difference?

Finally, I want to say a bit about what happens after you make the decision. Because what I see a lot, including myself, is I'll make a decision, I'll take a few steps of action along the way, and then something happens, something goes wrong, I have a setback, and then I start questioning my decision. I sometimes have a hard time honoring my decision.

A simple example is scheduling my week. I'll schedule my time in a way, I'll say one to three, write social media copy, for example. And then, when that time comes, I might be like, “You know, I really don't feel like doing that.” And so, that's an example of not honoring your decision.

And honestly, this is a whole other topic, but to just give you a bit of a preview of how to become better at how to become better at honoring your decisions, it really comes down to managing your thoughts about the decision you made.

I mean, it sounds simple, but it's really not. So, to give you an example – this is a funny example, but oftentimes, before I go to bed, I have a thought that goes like this, “Oh, I should wash my face. But I really don't want to. I'm tired. It's fine. I can just go to bed.” And I think a lot of us do some version of this for whatever thing we're trying to do or not do.

And so, the other day, I saw myself thinking, “I don't feel like it. I don't want to.” And in that instant, I caught myself. When I say caught myself, I mean I caught myself thinking that and realized, that's just what my brain decided to offer up. Meaning that I didn't need to listen to it. I didn't need to believe that thought, “I don't feel like it,” and I get to decide to do it anyway.

And so, in many ways, honoring the decision you made is simply managing your thoughts around the decision that you made. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

And so, let me give you some concrete money examples. You know, I get a lot of questions like, “Should I max out my 401K or do my Roth IRA?” This is a great example of the, “There is a right or wrong decision.” But we think there is. Like, there is a better way to do things.

So, when someone asks me a question like that and they clearly have not been able to make a decision about this, sometimes I'll simply tell them, you know, you could just flip a coin. Obviously, there's some education behind it that maybe they don't quite know. But I see a lot of people putting off making money decisions, like should I max out this? Should I invest in this stock or this fund?

And there are lots of people, maybe you, who have a pile of money that is not invested, which means it's not making money and probably losing money due to inflation because you haven't made a decision. Remember, decisions move you forward. Making decisions, taking action is how you actually apply what you've learned. You can't become rich by reading all the money books. You actually have to try things out.

So, what decision have you been avoiding making? I want to challenge you to make that decision today, right now. Remember, it takes a split second to make a decision.

What decision have you been avoiding when it comes to money. And sometimes, it's as subtle as, “Well, I know I need to work on that thing. I know I need to log onto Vanguard to move some money around.” But you haven't made the decision as to when you'll actually do that. That's another way these indecisions also show up. And because you haven't scheduled it or however you do things, it doesn't get done.

I'd love to hear what decisions you made from listening to this podcast. Send me an email, hello@wealthymommd.com, or if you're in my Wealthy Mom Physicians Facebook group, go ahead and post what decision you made. I'll talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program Money for Women Physicians. It's part course and part coaching, and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

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