Money invades all aspects of our life. It’s time to confront money and the power that it has over us. We use money as a currency not just to buy goods, but also self-worth, connection, and intimacy. A sad truth, but is there still something we can do to confront it? It may seem counter-intuitive, but money is not like this one magic number that goes in or out. You have to be honest with yourself and confront where your precious resources are spent. Learn a few tips and tricks about tracking your expenses. Money is not your enemy. It only magnifies your impulses until you can control them.
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I certainly am very excited to be back for Tuff Love around a topic that is near and dear to me, the concept of confronting money. This show is one of really deep into my heart because I am a first-born male New York Jew, which means money is part of my life blood. It is part of my culture. There’s been so much around money in my entire life I’ve had to confront and look at and understand and be with. To tell you the truth, it’s been really challenging because I’ve had so many different experiences around this topic of money and I’m really excited to share my views and concepts. The main focus of what I do is I help people confront money, which is just so daunting. You think of the word money. What happens? Do you get excited? Yes. Some of you do, but most of you are just like, “No, I don’t want to confront money. I don’t want to deal with this. I’m afraid of it. It’s overwhelming. I don’t want to handle it.” How often do we say, “I don’t know what to do with money. I don’t have the skill set. I don’t know.” It’s just total bullshit. We all do. We all have this ability to confront, to take in, to understand, to look at, and to turn this fear into power. That’s really the whole thing about being on this hero’s journey, because the difference between a hero and a coward is a coward takes the fear and let it wrap you up like a straightjacket. The hero’s the one who takes the fear and turns it and be like, “What else can I do? What else can I look at? What part of me can I see?” The hero’s the one who really wants to take the energy and the fear and turn it into power.
Confronting money. This is what I want to do. I’m going to rant for about twenty minutes, and then my new friend Crystal will be coming onto be doing some live coaching on some very specific element. There are two specific stories I want to start off the show with. The first was when I was in New York City and Morgan and the kids and the parents were out ice skating. I do not like ice-skating at all, never have my entire life to understand it what people do with the ankle thing. They are out ice skating and having girl time and I had time by myself in this Airbnb. I went out, wandered around, got myself a slice of pizza, got a cup of coffee, went back to the Airbnb, and had some time to kill. I’m have been thinking about my budget. I have been thinking about my goals for 2017. What I did is I took the spreadsheet that I had started and I really enhanced it. What I did is I created four things on the spreadsheet. The first thing was this idea of debt and what debts I had. I have some back taxes that are due. I have LA mother debt that’s still pending in 2017, some of the weight from the business loss in 2016. I had some credit card debt.
There are things that I had on my list. I really took that and split it up and turn it over the twelve months and said, “How do I want to pay this debt? I want to be totally debt free by the end of 2017 and I want to do it in a conscious manner.” Then I was thinking there are a couple of guys that owe me money and I want to get paid 2017 to offset the debt. I then created my total debt number and then I took a column and I put it in my monthly expenses that I’m really attached to which we’ll go over in a bit. I really know what my monthly expenses are and estimated some and increased some. Morgan and I are getting a new house in April. I’m really excited, but that’s going to up our rent. We’re in our small little beautiful house. We want to get a bigger house; more friends, more fun, more energy. I then want to increase our spending. I actually want to look forward to spending more money, having more income, and not living in a scarce, small. I want to actually create the world by the summer that we can actually spend more money, more trips, more adventures, and more experiences. I put in some investment income that’s coming in and then I put some savings. I really put it in the savings numbers, which I want as a big number. I really am into savings. I want a significant portion of my revenue to go to savings.
I built a spreadsheet, and from this, I figured out how much I need to make for my consulting business in 2017. I’m going to tell you the number, why not? That number is $200,000. I want my business to produce $200,000. That seems like a daunting number on some level, on some level it’s not. What happened is this mystery, this question, about money and this thing that clogs different parts of my brain. When I printed on a paper, on this template, on the spreadsheet, my whole body just relaxed. I just felt this calmness inside of me. I realized I have a really healthy relationship with money, but most people don’t. Most people are scared to death to confront it. I posted about it on Facebook and I said I had this experience and someone said, “Can I have your template?” I was like, “Sure. Send me your Google base email and I will send you an access to a copy of the template and have your own version as a Google doc.” I’ve got 25 people who said, “I want this template.” I was like, “There’s something about this.” It’s the ability to confront money. First, if you want the template, send me your Gmail-based address to [email protected] and I am more than glad to share the template. I also want to turn this into a free product to give away from my ethical bribe to get my email lists going. I just built this thing and from it there was such clarity.
The first thing is sometimes you just need to take that first step. You just need to sit down with your pen and paper, your Excel sheet, and your Google spreadsheet, whatever it is to really look and take a look at your money and say, “I really want to understand how this works. I want to know what’s going on. I want to make plans. I want to set myself up for success.” This hour-long experience turned really fun and then the share with other people was even more fun. The first thing is if you’re worried about money, confront it. Take a look at it. I’m going to give you some really specific tips of how to do that. We are a pragmatic New York Jew show at the core heart, so we believe in pragmatics.
The second story is a very different story. I just posted about this. I’m raising my rates in 2017. My history is I started a company. I built a company. I had some objections with the way we did sales and I’m not going to go into that at all. I’m not going to blame. I’m not going to shame. I am just going to state that my personal belief was different than the company’s. I didn’t have a better way of doing it. It’s not like, “We should do this,” and they said “No.” It wasn’t like that. It was just the direction of the business I had a personal challenge with. It’s on me. That’s not on them. I moved away from that world because of some disagreements I had around money.
What I realized is I took a bucket load of shame from that into my consulting business. I took a lot of my own hurt in my relationship to the sales process, in that process, and how did that affect me? What I did is I set myself up with really ridiculously low rates as a professional coach. I’m just going to toot my own horn here. I’m a bad-ass coach. I’m a bad-ass consultant. It’s psychology. It’s leverage. I know how to build businesses and operations. I know legal. I know financial. I know my shit. I’m an entrepreneur for 25 fucking years. I built a company from a paper napkin to a seven-figure international company. I know my stuff and I was charging rates like I was a first-year coach or second-year coach. They were lower level rates. I thought I was being noble in that. Again, this is no one else’s fault. This is on me. This is on my choice as I decided to pick rates that were low. I just identified why did I do this. Really, there was the past hurt of my past experiences. It was a lack of self-worth. It was my lack of belief. There was a fear of rejection in there. I want a client so what I did is I made rates so ridiculously low that they couldn’t say no on some level. There were all these ways I was diminishing myself to succeed. I still had a six-figure consulting business in 2016 which is good, but I still saw how I was cutting myself off at the knees. I was diminishing my value and making myself small out of some weird penance noble bullshit.
On top of that is this thing of how I look at the life coaching industry and I see the rates some people are charging and what people are doing and in total disagreement. I look at the industry and I’m thinking like, “No. You should not be charging more than a therapist. You should not be charging more than a high-end lawyer.” Yet, coaches are. I was distancing myself from other people because I thought they were bad. Guess what I was doing? I was tying myself up. I was binding myself out of some shame. I was actually lowering myself in response to it rather than looking inside into myself and really seeing what I’m worth.
I’m still going to do some low-end coaching. Don’t worry for some of the people on the line who pay for low-end coaching. It’s not going to be, “Sorry, you can’t afford me. Fuck you. You’re done.” That’s not who I am. I’m always going to create a percentage of pro bono to low-end coaching because I like to work with people and I want people to have the access to me. Tuff Love is also the ability to get my insanity for free and then to give out lots of free materials and maybe do some group thing that’s cheaper. I don’t know what it is. There will always be options, but that’s not the point. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this place where I minimized myself out of some belief system and that shit has got to stop. That just totally got to stop because I’m worth it. Think about it. Are you worth it? Are you cutting yourself out? How are you diminishing yourself? How are you keeping yourself small? That’s the question. That’s the second story.
The third story is also very different. When I moved to Calabasas to live with Morgan, it was abundantly clear I needed an office. We actually call it the man cave. I found this place that they’re actually tearing the building down. I had the lease option for seven months. It is a big space for about a $1,000 a month. It’s awesome and I loved it. It’s just like my man cave. I put the same masculine pictures on the wall. I ripped out a wall and didn’t fix the carpeting. It’s a scrappy office. It’s just a place you go and it feels scrappy and manly. When my lease was ending, I got to find a new office. I was looking around in the valley and I found this place nearby the house that was man cave number two. This place was a nice, acceptable, small little office, but it had a pool. It was like a YMCA. There’s a pool you couldn’t use outside the main room and the chlorine essence would waft into the office. It always smelled of chlorine.
I was almost ready to put an offer down on it. Morgan and I took a walk around and I looked through her eyes, not my eyes, about how I was diminishing myself by taking this man cave number two that’s an acceptable yet gross office. I was like, “Here I am, diminishing myself.” I looked for another day or so and found this place also on Woodland Hills in this place called The French Quarter. In The French Quarter, you walk through an alley and you feel like you’re in Europe. They did a really good job. There’s an Italian restaurant in the front where people are outside on the veranda drinking wine. There are these stairways up and there’s this ivy and the office I found was upstairs. There was this window-enclosed office and it was just beautiful. I was like, “This is $1,800 a month, this is an 80% increase of my current rate but I’m worth it.” In that process of picking this office, my viewpoint around myself changed and I’m so excited. I just moved in and I was like, “This place is bad-ass. This is a place where I could see high-end clients. This is a place I can be proud of. This is a place that I can decorate.” I’m selling my masculine touch of modern posters that looked like a boy’s house. I’m actually moving in a professional building, and in that, there’s such exquisite joy.
I want to go to some specific tips and tricks of how to confront money and we’re going to have Crystal on the line and we’re going to have a good time. The first thing is to track your expenses. What that means is pay attention to where your money goes. This may seem second-half for some of you. This may seem like the most ridiculous concept ever. “I get paid at the end of the month. Every other week I get paid again. Somehow, my money comes in. Sometimes, the money goes out. I have no idea what I’m spending on. Why the fuck should I actually track my expenses?” If you want to confront money, you got to know how much money is coming in and where the money’s going out. It’s not like this one number that goes in or out. You have to confront where you’re spending your money. You have to look at what’s going on.
There are some simple ways to do this in some more complex ways. I, of course, pick the geeky, computerized, complicated one but I’ll give you the simple one. When I was in college, when I was nineteen years old, my dad gave me a certain amount of money and he’d get mad if I went over the budget and says, “Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you get one of those little pads of paper that you can stick in your back pocket and every time you spend money on anything, you write it down?” I was like, “That sounds like a pretty good plan. I think I can do that.” I had a little notebook. I get a cup of coffee, “$0.98 for a cup of coffee.” It was cheap back then. It was the 1980s. “Bought notebook, bought T-shirt, bought USC football ticket.” I wrote down every single thing I spent it on. By the end of the month, I had this really strong sense of where my money was going. It wasn’t like some mystery. I also started to make this into a game. I’d be like, “I wonder if I can save money today. I wonder if I cannot go over my daily budget.”
There was a level of consciousness that I brought to myself around keeping track of the money. You could do that with your little pad in your pocket. I’m sure there’s some iPhone or smartphone app that’s great at tracking your expenses. If you want to take the level up, Quicken is the best thing ever known to mankind. For me, in tracking your expenses, Quicken 2017 is the best thing ever. It downloads your transactions, it downloads your brokerage account if you have that, it can track all your different credit card transactions, and puts it onto a bucket so you can confront it every day. If you get really anal retentive like I do, you can go in and categorize it: entertainment, meals, fun, plant medicine. You can actually track down everything that’s inside of there so you can actually know where your money is going. Quicken 2017, I know to the penny of how much money I spend every month. It’s become like a game. I can look at, “We’re spending a lot on groceries this month. What’s going on there? Or we want to spend X amount of dollars on groceries per month, let’s check mid-month and see how we’re doing. Are we 50% of the way there? Are we 40% of the way there?” We can actually intelligently look at our numbers so we can have awareness around. Quicken 2017 is the best thing ever.
From your experience of knowing what your expenses are, you can then build a budget. You can actually look at, “I have this much money coming in and I want to make this much money.” You can then split it up: rent, groceries, gas, car payments, school payments. You have an intelligent awareness around where your money’s going. Again, make a game of it. In Quicken, you can also set budgets and it can send numbers and you say, “My entertainment budget is a little bit high this month,” and turn that down. Just know that’s possible.
Then you can decide if it’s worth it. You can decide if going to the club and spending $150 on three drinks is worth it. You can actually start to think, “This is part of my game. Is this because I’m bored?” You can actually use your numbers to educate this thought. Is it worth it? From that, you can build savings. Savings is defined as money you put away for a rainy day. You put it together for your retirement. You put together for house project savings. You put money that’s out of your normal cash flow. I don’t care if you take cash and put it into a shoe box or you actually get a savings account. A savings account is built that is not part of your daily transactions. You cannot use your ATM card to get savings. I know I’m being facetious here, but it’s true. Build a savings account. Built yourself a place to put money away that you don’t normally touch. Don’t put in on your online banking. Just put money in there. You can do auto-withdrawals from your checking. Every time you get paid, $50 can go from your checking to your savings. Do little things to ensure that you are actually connected to your money.
Be wise and be careful of your investment of your time and your money. Time and money is really valuable. I’m not saying it’s scarce, I’m just saying it’s valuable. Value yourself and make those choices. That’s really the last thing: to value yourself. You’re willing to say you are worth it, because guess what, you are. If you don’t value yourself, do you expect anyone else to value you? Do you expect your boss to value you? Do you expect your partner to value you? You have to value yourself. Just like I looked at my rate, I have to value myself. No one else could do that for me. Only I could do that for myself and I know I’m worth it.
We’re now going to move the coaching portion of our show. Let’s bring Crystal on the line. Crystal, how are you?
I’m pretty good. How are you?
Where are you from? Are you from Canada?
Welcome. Thanks so much for being on the show. We have about eighteen minutes to do whatever you want. We can talk about money. We can talk about relationship. Basically, what’s the best way that we can serve you?
I actually just had a conversation about money so that might be an interesting one to dive into. I actually feel like I’ve got a fairly good relationship with money, although it could always use a bit of a tweak. I appreciate a lot of the things that you shared. It’s a lot of things I’ve been practicing as well. There is a piece around how much is tied to self-worth and that came up in a conversation actually with some friends. How guilty people feel on charging certain amounts, the belief system of the mindset around it takes time to make money all the time, all those sorts of things. Maybe we could just dive into that in terms of how you’ve shifted your mindset about that.
Money is in my lifeblood as a method of control. Money has always been akin to control. It’s part of my parental methodology was to use money to control. Some of my father’s viewpoints is you need to work hard. When he had a stroke, I went up to see him and he’s on his hospital bed. We were talking about how he has amassed a large amount of money with his brilliance and he was very shy about giving it to me and my sister and my sister’s kids because he really wants us to work hard. He’s afraid that if he gives me a lot of money, I’ll slack and I won’t work hard in this life. That has been the core essence of my entire life. If you don’t work hard, then you don’t have value. If you don’t have value, then you shouldn’t get paid. Money can make things really lazy. Anyone who has known me, I haven’t stopped working since I was fifteen years old. It’s six to eight hours of sleep at night, and the rest of the time, I was mostly working. Morgan is trying to tie me down so I can slow the fuck down, but I love working. I love the experience of growth and expansion and that it’s increasing. Back to your question about how I worked it, I just confronted it. I just said some of these viewpoints aren’t serving me and some of these viewpoints aren’t right and all the things I grew up in and I was taught, I don’t have to follow.
One of the things actually that just sparked in time, I know we were talking about this, was the idea of just being really honest with yourself and with others about what’s going on. Maybe we can actually, if you’re open to it, we can dive into the area of honesty and relationships. That’s an area for me that I am really passionate about and I feel like there are a lot of questions around. I’m curious to hear from you around honesty and relationships. How honest to be? How early on? That stuff. Maybe you can help me work through some of the stuff around how honest to be and how early?
I am a 100% believer in honesty with people I want to be close to. I lie to my teeth with people I don’t want to be close to. It is just one of my rules. If I see someone and I don’t want to be close to them, I don’t give them the value of my truth. I have to decide. With the people I want to be intimate with, I am screamingly honest. I figure, any time I lie and the buy it, they’re now relating to the facade of who I am. They bought the mask. They bought the lie. In doing so, I can’t trust them because they were not relating to me, they were relating to my lie that I knew I gave them. Honesty is the core essence. If I can’t be honest with you, then I’m not going to be friends with you.
I totally agree. I’m honest with people that I care about and that are really close to me. Maybe it’s finding that balance in terms of people that you first meet for the first time. Let’s say how honest we can be up front and how early because there’s a bit of a dance that goes on to there.
Give me an example where you meet someone and you don’t believe you’ll be honest with them? Give me a specific thing.
I’m quite honest and quite open. What I found is that it’s intimidating sometimes. It’s not so much like, “Where are you at? What do you want? What do you mean?” It’s not so much a grilling right away to be like, “Are we doing this or not?” It’s more like I’m an open book with a lot of things and I want to get to know people deeply and quickly. I found that maybe that’s a little bit intimidating sometimes.
Have you lost people, potential partners, or lovers from your honesty? Has that been your experience?
I’d say most of them appreciate it in hindsight.
In hindsight? How about in the moment? Like you’re on a first date or second date and someone asks you a question, and in your mind, you do the math. You do the cost analysis or cost benefit ratio. He asks you a question and then you decide should you be honest or not. What I’m hearing is you tend to be honest. You tend to be more on the clear and straightforward side. I then think in society, there is this overall fear. If I’m too honest and that person will run, there’s this fear of abandonment. There’s a fear that I might be losing something by being honest. Here’s my question. How often does that really happen? Does that ever truly happen to you? Do you care when it does?
I think it’s a really good point and it’s something that my girlfriends and I talk about quite a bit because we’re all truth tellers that way. How often do they actually happen? Not that often, to be honest. Some people, historically in the past, have. I also feel like those are just not in alignment at that point. You know what I mean?
Let’s turn the heat up a little bit. What about you do you feel like it’s too much? Do you feel it will scare people away?
It’s so funny. I’m having this conversation with my head around money and relationships like which one do I actually want to dive into because money feels a little bit more of an access point?
We can do both.
Let’s start with money. I think it comes down to a lot of the self-worth thing. I actually do feel like I haven’t got a pretty healthy relationship with money, but there’s a self-worth thing around my time and how much around receiving things from partners. That’s a difficult one for me. Also, how much you charge for services.
Let’s go to door number two: receiving from partners. What’s your relationship to them? Have you ever been fully taken care of by someone?
No. That’s the story of my life. I’ve always been so self-sufficient and on my own and I don’t feel often I deserve that so it’s difficult for me to receive. I feel sometimes I got to match it in some way. If you do it for me, I got to do exactly the same thing for you in terms of financial.
We got two problems on this. One is you do you have an awareness of why you don’t think you’re worth it?
I don’t know exactly why, but I know that it’s difficult. I could go into a past story and how I’ve been self-sufficient since I was very young kid.
How were your parents in taking care of you?
My dad was not there and my mom is one of the most amazing and loving women I know. She was pretty much a single mom raising three of us and running her own business. She also was not there very often. I had to grow up at a very young age to take care of myself.
I could tell you that it’s an absolute pleasure to provide for Morgan. For me as a man, it’s like the best cup of coffee ever. For a man, it is so much fun to produce for a woman he loves. If she said no, then she would be cutting off one of my greatest pleasures, which is providing for her.
I feel that. It’s so interesting because it mostly comes up for me around money. When it comes to other things, I’m much easier to receive. Not the easiest often, but still easier. When it comes to money, however, if somebody offers to buy me a plane ticket or take me on a trip or go away for the weekend or pay for this or whatever it is, I immediately go, “How can I also match?”
Fear of being indebted? “If I do this, then a guy will have expectations of X, Y, and Z?”
There’s a little bit of that and I feel like having the conversation around my thoughts around that or what’s coming up for me around that. I so appreciate this. I’m having this thing come up, run it on expectation around it. That’s a little bit of it.
That’s the society we live in. It’s a commerce-based society. I take you out tonight’s dinner, you make out with me. I buy you a nice house, you take care of the kids. We do live in a commerce-based society. I’m not saying that’s even a bad thing. I told Morgan basically that I would be happy to produce all the cash and I would be happy if you could take care of my mind and my body and my psyche, which she does. She still doesn’t feel the equality at this point, but she’s getting it more and more. She fills me up with so much joy and so much energy and so much motivation that I get to work and I get to produce not just for me but for us and for the kids and the whole experience. Looking at things at a cash-only basis isn’t really not seeing the bigger picture.
I love what you shared and I’ve heard it before and I’ve experienced it. Particularly men as being providers, it’s something that brings them a lot of joy and all those sorts of things. I think that it’s a really feminine art to be able to receive. It’s the way. I think there is something for me in there because I’ve been really independent for a long time. I’ve been in relationships and those sorts of things but traditionally, I’ve gone to bat for myself essentially. It’s difficult sometimes for me to receive those luxuries and settle into it and relax around it. Even just hearing you say, “I love providing for her and this is what it provides for me,” I love hearing that.
I’ve been doing some writing and some interviews and here’s something I’ve heard, “Women say men are more like boys these days. Men say women are more like men.” I think it’s the changing dynamic in society. I think it’s been happening a lot in the last 30 years, but I think it’s been happening a lot more in the ten years. With the rise of the millennials, it’s even more like that. There’s a shifting of masculine feminine. I think you’re also feeling the cultural vibe of the changing dynamic that’s going on. Now, this is really great. I love that men and women’s finances are finally getting closer. I like the power dynamics, the rise of the feminine, and women empowerment is really happening. I love that all these things are happening, but the effect of it is everyone’s lost. Men and women are having more trouble learning to relate because of these changing dynamics.
All you can do to stay conscious is to confront it, talk about it, and play games around it. You want to be to be power mom and he wants to be the little school boy one day, that’s great. If you want to be the little baby being taken care of and he’s the father, get into whatever sexy dynamic weirdness you want, but experiment with these roles because all of us want to have different experiences. All of us want to feel different feelings. Your willingness to ask for what you want is the greatest gift you can give to someone who wants to give to you. Don’t rob the people around of the greatest gift of giving to you because it’s so much fun.
I completely agree with you. There’s a bit of a confusion going on around how we act around each other and how we relate to each other and what we actually offer each other. You’re right, it’s not just money. I have tastefully been quite headstrong, driven, and ambitious woman and so it’s been part of my development to soften too and to understand the softer part of myself, the more part that receives, and the feminine arts and all those sorts of things. That’s always going to be part of my MO, I think. I remember when I was in a previous relationship years ago, we used to joke. I was like, “I’ll bring home the bacon and you cook it.” We had a bit of a different dynamic going on. I loved that, but I love feeling like a softer woman. I know that the solid part of the woman is always going to be there for me, but I love being that softer piece. I’ve always said it takes a really strong guy for me to be able to soften into that. I love what you said about allowing somebody else to provide for you in that way as a gift. It’s so funny because it doesn’t show as much around money.
You’re a match to it. If you’re not open to it, it won’t come. If you’re open to receive it, you will attract what you want. You are a powerful manifester. We all are. You’re a powerful manifester and you can create that. If you block it, guys are going to feel weird doing it. They’re just struggling to keep up with you. They’re not going to do things that feel weird, until they really want to push your buttons. Those are the most awful relationships when you push each other’s buttons. The point is you need to open up to it.
One of the things that I really appreciate just from hearing you is reciprocity is always going to be there like an internal loop so maybe it’s looking for the other things that aren’t necessarily financial.
Provided for pleasure, not for commerce. Provided for because you want to, not because you should. Should-based is awful. Desire-based is the most fun.
It’s really interesting because a lot of my girlfriends are similar to me. We’re really ambitious, driven women and we talk often about how we can soften and receive more and what does that feel like? What are the things that come up around it? Because it’s interesting when you talk about women are more like men. I think that this part of it, the whole how do we soften and receive, is a huge area of focus. Because ten years ago, we’re being called to be driven and independent. Now, we’re being called to be soft.
Now, you’re being called to be dynamic. Now, you’re being called to expand. Men are being called to expand too. Now we need to be soft and vulnerable and strong. For women, be a powerhouse for eight or ten hours of the day and be dynamic. Be the force in the world. Go through some practice, some viewpoint, strip yourself naked and run through the lawn or something, and walk into the house soft and vulnerable. I know this is much easier said than done, but it’s not for them. It’s for you because you deserve to be taken care of with the same amount of energy that you put into changing the world.
Hearing a man say it, I understand now how the provider in you is part of who you are.
It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Thanks for having me. I’m glad that we landed on a combination of the two things.