According to experts, many of your deeply held beliefs are established by age 7. This includes our “money stories”—those stories we tell ourselves about money, hard work and wealth. Depending on what you’ve been taught and internalized, you may have created a subconscious limit to what you believe you can achieve financially.
On this week’s episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer® podcast, I’m talking about our money stories because it’s the place where so many of my clients—women law firm owners like you—get stuck when they set out to scale their law firm businesses to $1M or more.
Today I’ll share with you my four-step framework to help you shatter your internal glass ceiling, shift any negative beliefs around money, and finally achieve your biggest wealth goals.
- Why the way you think about money keeps you broke
- How to spot the money myths in your subconscious mind
- Plus, detailed strategies to help you change your money story starting now
- And even more…
Mentioned in this episode:
- Free Report: What Wealthy Women Lawyers Know That You Don’t
- Wealthy Woman Lawyer® website
- Wealthy Woman Lawyer® League
- Davina on Facebook
- Davina on Twitter
- Davina on Instagram
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. We believe all women lawyers deserve to be wealthy women lawyers. Our mission is to provide thought provoking, powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth generating law firm without overwork or overwhelm so you can live your best life. I’m your host, Davina Frederick. Let’s get started.
Hi, it’s Davina. And today I’ll be sharing with you my four step framework for changing your negative money stories. I’ve been working with my clients, women law firm owners just like you who have a desire to scale their law firm businesses to a million or more with total ease. And one of the places where so many get stuck is that they haven’t expanded their mental and emotional capacity for wealth. So it makes it difficult for them to expand their physical capacity for wealth. You see, often we really underestimate how our thoughts and belief around money create a kind of internal glass ceiling.
Gay Hendricks, the author of The Big Leap calls this an upper limit problem. So we may be able to wrap our minds around making $250,000 or $500,000 a year in revenue. But a million may feel really far away or impossible. While we fantasize about it, we don’t really do the mental work required to make it a reality in our own lives. So maybe for you, maybe you’re making $500,000 to $700,000 in your business. And your upper limit is not a million dollars, you can conceive that you could get to a million dollars in a year in business. But when you when somebody mentions to you $10 million, what if you could have a $10 million law firm business, you can’t even begin to conceive of owning operating a $10 million business in any sort of real emotional sense.
So let me give you an example of an upper limit problem. My two sisters and I are about three years apart in age. So when we were little we play this game of when you’re this age, I’ll be that age. So for instance, when you’re you’re six, I’ll be nine and D will be 12. When you’re 15, I’ll be 18 and D will be 21. So this was a really fun game until we got above the age of 30. And then it just became ridiculous to us. You see in our young minds, 30 seemed so old that we simply could not conceive of being that old one day. So that’s an upper limit issue, right? Trust me when I tell you now that I’m you know, we’re all in our 50s it’s even less fun of a game to play because I definitely have an upper limit problem with the 80s.
So where do upper limits come from? Well, like our childhood game, our money story games are created when we’re very young, usually before the age of seven, according to experts. So throughout our childhoods, we hear our caregivers, or most of us, that’s our parents talk about money in a certain way. We might hear them say things like, money doesn’t grow on trees, or money is the root of all evil, or a rich man has about as good of a chance getting into heaven, as a camel has a passing through the eye of a needle. For those of you who were Bible readers. I remember when I was little my mother, we talked about how she would never spend $30 on a pair of shoes, because it would just be frivolous. And we didn’t have that kind of money to waste. Then you understand this was in the 70s. So now you’d be looking at probably $100 pair of shoes in in relative terms.
I also remember sitting on my dad’s lap at around age four, and looking at the Christmas tree and telling him I wanted Santa what I wanted Santa to bring me that year. And he said, boy, Christmas is going to be expensive this year. And I of course replied why Santa brings all the toys. My dad was digging himself deeper into the logic hole of a four year olds mine said, but we have to pay Santa. I was just shocked. What, you mean he visits all the other kids in the world with free toys. But we have to pay him to come to our house? I mean, this is what I was thinking. Of course, I had a very quick and ready solution. I said just write him a check. And my dad laughed and he says we have to have money in the bank for the check to be good. And my older sister, three years older, she was hearing all this and she piped up in a very helpful way and said there isn’t any Santa Claus, anyway. So here I was four years old. No Santa.
What did I learn from this? Number one, there’s no Santa. Number two, if there is we have to pay him to come visit us. And number three, we don’t have money to do that. My mother, on the other hand is rather famous in our family for sharing the tire story. So this is a story about how when she and my dad first got married, my dad immediately shipped off to boot camp for a number of weeks. And while he was gone, my mother needed something to occupy her time. So she got a job at Browns tractor, which is the farm supply store. Each day she drove to and from her job in their old car. And she saved every penny of the money she made during that time. So she and my dad would have a nice little nest egg when he returned.
Unfortunately, when my dad got home, he took one look at the car. And he said, we have to buy new tires. And my mom had basically worn out the tires driving to and from work every day. So they had to take all of her savings, every bit of it and buy new tires. My mother who’s ever the positive one always chirps at the end of this story. I’m just grateful we have it. And so the stories like these really informed my beliefs around money growing up. So one of the things that I learned is that while there’s barely enough money for our needs, I mean, we never went hungry. We never were homeless. But there was never this feeling there was enough money for our wants. So I always develop this sort of worry that there won’t be enough. Because that seemed to be they’re worry that there wasn’t enough.
My mother’s frugalness though, it was just a trait that she inherited from her parents, my grandparents, who were farmers who’d grown up during the Great Depression. Her frugalness kind of always rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, I felt resentful of saving money, only to have it to go for paying for tires, or taxes, or an unexpected medical bill, never a vacation. So this resentfulness led me to one always seeking opportunities to earn more money, make more money, so that I would have more, and I would be able to do it all, right. And it also led me to becoming more of a spender who loves to spend money on small luxuries. Like the thought that she wouldn’t buy ourselves shoes. Like I’m going to buy myself the damn shoes and the handbags and spa days and the weekly mani pedis. And of course, that doesn’t make me the greatest saver in the world.
So I have always been able to make money. But over time learning to save money is a skill that I’ve had to develop and learning how to invest money is a skill I’ve had to develop. It’s not something that I’ve learned from them. So to be clear, this isn’t about blaming parents. Okay, so it’s it’s simply about understanding the roots of our own thoughts and beliefs around money, their origins, and how we’ve interpreted these thoughts and beliefs. So we can begin to change them in a way that serves us better. My youngest sister, for instance, she took away a completely different lesson from hearing these stories growing up. She like my parents is very careful with her money. And like my parents, they always believed in the power of a steady paycheck, because their parents didn’t have that steady paycheck.
And my sister is has built her career in an environment where she gets a steady paycheck and a lot of benefits. So the worry that she has is still the same as mine that worrying about enoughness, right? We never get to the you know, never getting to the point of plenty, there’s plenty there’s always this worry of enoughness and but we the way we’ve responded to that teaching is very different. And your money stories likely will be different than mine. So I have one friend and colleague who said she grew up in a house, where her mother was a big spender and there was always enough money for her wants, because her mother loved to shop and buy things both for herself and for her daughter, especially sugary food treats.
So in her case, what she absorbed from that experience, though, is that money is used for self soothing. When you feel bad, you can shop and buy something to make yourself feel better, including food, right? When you don’t want to deal with your feelings, you could shop or if you eat something decadent. And when you’re happy you could shop and eat something decadent. So it became much more about soothing yourself and filling a void of purpose. And since her dad was the breadwinner, and our mom stayed at home. My friend also learned that men control the flow of money into the household and oftentimes her mother would hide what she was buying. Because she was buying and spending to feel better, she could hide things.
So all of that, you know, can color your you know your view of how how you look at money. So like I said, though, getting clear on your money stories is not about shame or blame. So it’s not about shaming or blaming a parent. It’s also not about shaming or blaming yourself, right for any choices you made about money through your life. Until now, it’s really about understanding where you may be acting on automatic based on unconscious beliefs, beliefs that are in our unconscious, or some people say subconscious minds that were installed in our brain without us even realizing it at the time when we were young kids. So when we bring these thoughts and beliefs to our conscious mind, we then began to change them in a more intentional way.
If you’re curious about your money story, and what you could do to change it, I have created a four step framework I’m about to share with you, that will help you to begin to get clear on your money story, and start making some shifts. So number one of my four step framework is bring your money stories to your awareness. So you really want to reflect back on how money was discussed in your home as a child. Write down specific words or phrases or actions, your parents or your caregiver, so if they were your grandparents, or some other family member or friend. How would they talk about money in your household?
In some cases, people’s people have told me that their parents didn’t discuss money at all. So they never spoke about it. And if they didn’t, what were their actions around money? What did you see them do? Think about where they inherited their beliefs? And from whom? What were the circumstances when they were growing up, that may have informed their money stories, right? So then you’ll begin to see kind of where these thoughts are coming from. And then the step two in this framework is to question the truth of them. And this can be a real challenge this part, questioning the truth of them. But here’s a way that I think will help you do this. Ask yourself, where did I first hear this, and From whom?
So let’s say if you heard money is the root of all evil, growing up. Consider for yourself, where where do I first hear this? Who said this? And what was their experience with money that led them to have that belief, oftentimes, for people who grew up in the church, you might, you know, you might hear things like money is the root of all evil, and a rich man has about as good of a chance go into getting into heaven, as a camel has of passing through the eye of a needle. Those are biblical sorts of phrases, and a lot of people grew up in the church, I’ve heard them. So think about what that really means. Where did you hear it and go a little bit deeper around those beliefs? and begin to question them. Question the truth of your thoughts and beliefs.
So ask yourself, is this belief objectively true? Are there examples out in the world that let me know there could be a different way? So this is that what else is possible sort of question. What else is out there that shows me I mean, certainly there are people in the world who don’t work hard for money. They are maybe born into money. And they don’t work hard for it, they they get it haven’t given to them. And there are people who work smarter. I had a great uncle, who made a lot of money with he owned oil refinery equipment. And he moved to a place where oil was, there was a lot of oil, and he invested in an oil refinery business. And that was a way of working smarter and looking at something in a different sort of way.
So ask yourself, does this belief continue to serve me where I am in my life today or not? So this is a very, very powerful question. Does this belief continue to serve me where I am in my life today? Or does it not. If it no longer serves you, then you can feel free to let it go. It’s a very empowering sort of question. Number three, in this framework, choose new money stories. So if your former belief was there’s never enough for me, I can’t rely on money, then you might start to say money is by rock, or money is always there for me, or there’s always enough money for my wants as well as my needs, or for most of my wants are many of my wants. Money is energy, it flows in and out of my life with total ease as I desire. I love money and it creates more for me. So whatever thoughts you feel like would serve you better, write those down and begin creating money stories, new money stories for yourself.
And number four, practice intentionality by substituting new money stories when the old ones arise. So if you want to shift your shift your beliefs around money and expand your capacity for wealth, you have to choose to be more intentional about the thoughts you think about money. So when you are, let me give you a great example of something recently in the news. For those of you have been watching the Virgin Airlines, Richard Branson, you’ve been watching Richard Branson, he’s this billionaire, who’s gone into space on Elon Musk’s spacecraft, right. And he bought a ticket to go into space. And a lot of people look at that in a very negative way. And they go, oh, so many problems here on earth that I can’t believe this billionaire, these, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson, and Elon Musk are all, you know, buying tickets, like a Disney ride to go into outer space.
And that just seems like a big waste of money when there are so many people who are starving in the world, right? But that money story keeps you it repels, it repels money for you. When you’re passing judgment on other people, and how they are living their life. It serves as a way it repels money for you. Because energetically the energy that you’re putting out there is one that says money is evil. And people who have money are bad. And they make bad choices, and they do things that are harmful to other people. And if that’s the case, that he wants to be that nobody wants to be that right. We don’t look at billionaires and say, well, you know, he worked hard for his money, or he has done great, she has done great things with that money. She started a foundation and she helped people. And also, we also have a belief that if you have a lot of money, you should enjoy it, you shouldn’t try to reach for your highest potential, because other people are going to be jealous if you do that.
So imagine now that you make money, and you finally are at a place where you could buy that luxury car for cash, and still have plenty in your retirement account and plenty of money invested. And people are going to look at you and judge you. people in your community, people who love you, we’re going to look at you’re not gonna go well look at her, she thinks she’s, she could have taken that money instead of buying that fancy car and she can help out everybody in the family. So you see how judgment of others around how money is being used can cut off our own capacity for wealth. So we have to practice intentionally substituting money, new money stories, when the old ones arise, we start having those reactions, those knee jerk reactions to stories about money, take a closer look at them and say where is this coming from? And does it serve me? And is it really any of my business what Richard Branson does with his money, right.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the wealthy woman lawyer podcast, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast app. I would so appreciate it. The more five star reviews we can get, the more eyeballs that we can get or ears, ears we can get on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. So I really appreciate that. Also, if you are a woman law firm owner or or a woman lawyer who’s thinking about starting or buying a law firm business, and you’d like more content like this, I invite you to visit our website at www.wealthywomanlawyer.com that’s wealthywoman, w o m a n lawyer.com and grab a copy of my free report that I put together for you guys. After working with women law firm owners for about the past eight years as a coach. What wealthy women lawyers know that you don’t is the name of the report. It’s 100% free, and just by signing up to receive it, you will automatically be added to our email list. And each week we send out fresh content to our email list. As always, I so appreciate your time and attention. Thanks for being a fan of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast.