The Work IN to move out of stress, tension & anxiety

Taming the money lion: Emotions and money behavior with money Coach Dennis Harhalakis

February 21, 2022 Ericka Thomas Season 2 Episode 65
The Work IN to move out of stress, tension & anxiety
Taming the money lion: Emotions and money behavior with money Coach Dennis Harhalakis
Show Notes Transcript

As a part of my mission to bring a legacy of resilience through movement, each month you can join me for a hike on the bike trail followed by a free trauma informed vinyasa class back at the studio on Main Street. Go to to see the calendar and join my newsletter, Yoga Life on Main Street, to stay up to date on all the latest studio news, events and gossip. And now… on to this week’s episode.

It’s time to stop working out and start working IN. You found the Work IN podcast for fit-preneurs and their health conscious clients. This podcast is for resilient wellness professionals who want to expand their professional credibility, shake off stress and thrive in a burnout-proof career with conversations on the fitness industry, movement, nutrition, sleep, mindset, nervous system health, yoga, business and so much more.

I’m your host Ericka Thomas. I'm a resilience coach and fit-preneur offering an authentic, actionable realistic approach to personal and professional balance for coaches in any format.

The Work IN is brought to you by savage grace coaching, bringing resilience through movement, action and accountability. Private sessions, small groups and corporate presentations are open now. Visit to schedule a call and get all the details.

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Ericka Thomas  0:00  

For fitness professionals, there's a very blurry line between hobby and entrepreneur when it comes to money, finances and business savvy. There are many reasons for that. The way the fitness industry is set up in hiring practices for independent contractors versus employees, the pay structure and the limited ability to scale are just a few of those reasons but also across the board there seems to be a belief that certain types of wellness classes and formats should be free or very low cost in order to make them accessible. And over abundance of free content contributes to a devaluing of wellness services in general and fitness leadership. Specifically, what we forget as certified fitness professionals, is that our certification also makes us solopreneurs. And we are the ones that make up this industry. If we can change our beliefs about our own value, then we can change those beliefs industry wide. We can shift out of thinking about our skills as a hobby job and taking ourselves more seriously as fitness business professionals. addressing our money behaviors goes beyond simply setting up a spreadsheet or hiring a bookkeeper to do our taxes. My guest today is going to help us go deep into money mindset to stop sabotaging our own success. Dennis Herrera Lacus is a certified money coach and the founder of Cambridge money coaching. Money coaching deals with the subconscious patterns, beliefs and behaviors around money that we all have. Understanding these behaviors and patterns is the key to achieving true financial independence and success. Because developing a healthy relationship with money enables us to make better decisions, reduce anxiety and other negative emotions, including communicating in healthier ways. This is particularly important for small business owners and solopreneurs as they seek to understand and navigate the intersection between personal and business finances. Prior to becoming a money coach Dennis spent 30 years in financial services. He works with individuals, couples and financial professionals such as ifas and planners. So let's start our work in today with Dennis haar Lacus. Welcome Dennis, thanks so much for being with us today on the work in.

Dennis Harhalakis  2:36  

Thank you Ericka. That's such a beautiful introduction. Kind of you. You're absolutely right. Yeah, we have to talk about money

Ericka Thomas  2:45  

before we dig deep in there. I've got so many questions about it first of all, because money I think is one of those topics that is really it's there's a lot of fear around it seems really overwhelming and and it seems hard, but maybe it's not as hard as what we think it is to deal with it. But before we get into that, can you give us a little bit about a background on your end, Dennis what brought you into money coaching in general

Dennis Harhalakis  3:16  

I had spent as you pointed out most of my life or a very large period in my life in financial services, private banking, world services. And I was looking for something that would use all of those, all of those skills. I was in a bit of a life transition. I'd moved from Singapore I'd worked for 10 years and moved to the UK for family reasons. I have three boys. We wanted them to be in the UK and I was looking for something that I could use up all of the thing I guess what you might call the core financial literacy skills that I've picked up over my books over the years. And so I was looking at financial literacy. I was thinking about writing financial literacy courses for schools for teenagers. And I came across a podcast where the person was talking about money coaching about emotions around behaviors around patterns. And it just was it was to me it was that classic lightbulb moment it was that moment where I went. Oh, yes, this explains my massive amounts of money anxiety. This explains why I feel like I do how I got here. Not in detail, but it was just that thing about Oh yeah, right. Of course. It's not about numbers. It's it's so much deeper than than that. And I resolved to become at that point I thought I need I need I need to understand my own behavior. And that took me to money coaching. And that took me to understanding why and behavior and also working with others to help them understand why they think and behave around money. And as you said, you know how that helps how that awareness starts people on the journey to to better money habits, better money, behaviors, better money relationships, and I'm sure you have many parallels in the in the fitness and wellness industry when people go oh yeah, I never realized I was doing that. Now I can see why it's not working. Why I self sabotage. Why? You know, I never got to where I want to go want to get to that. That was my that was my moment. And that was about three and a half years ago. And I've been on my personal journey and like business journey since then. And it's incredibly rewarding.

Ericka Thomas  5:38  

Yeah, I love I love that term. Financial literacy. Because I think that's not something that people automatically get out of their, their education. I mean, we make a lot of assumptions. You know, for our kids, you know, we send them to school, we make a lot of assumptions. That they're going to leave school, knowing how to navigate as an adult in lots of different areas. But but especially in money, but that's not something that's always taught in school. So let's let's tease that out a little bit. I mean, I think I got maybe one lesson on how to write a check when I was in high school. That was like very, very limited education. So unless your parents are really good at sharing information about you know, how they budget, the household and you know, these are just basic basic skills, not everybody has them, and then all of a sudden we go out into the world and jump in to either as an employee or as a, you know, independent contractor or small business owner. If you don't have those basic skills, then you're kind of kind of behind the eight ball there. Right?

Dennis Harhalakis  6:56  

Yeah, it's both limited. In terms of your knowledge, it's also limiting because it starts to it forms your worldview and that, you know, is the primary problem with it. We are so we have access or on through our phones through everything to all the stored knowledge in the world, everything that's ever been found out about anything. And everything you'd ever want to know about. Everything is available to you with a couple of clicks as for your YouTube video for it or 1000 YouTube videos. And so lack of knowledge is not necessarily the issue. It's limiting in the sense that we don't end up believing that we can do it or it's for us or it's too hard. And so there's a number of there's a number of reasons why managing your finances is hard. Not being shown how is just one of them. Primarily, our brains are not wired for it. They're wired for short term gratification and immediate response to danger. So if there's something I want, then the best time to have it is is now right.

Ericka Thomas  8:11  

Yeah, absolutely.

Dennis Harhalakis  8:13  

That's what you're brain, your brains wired to tell you because if I need to get out of danger, the best time to get out of danger is right now. Like next week, okay, the lion in front of me is the one I need to worry about, not the lion next week or that, you know, I won't get to next week's lion, right? I need to stay alive in the moment. So our brains evolved to keep us alive in the moment. They didn't evolve for long term planning. They didn't involve for delayed gratification. They didn't involve for any of that. They evolved to keep us alive right now in an in an environment of great danger and uncertainty, which is how we lived up until probably about 20,000 years ago. And so you're you're you've got this biological imperative, which is if it's good, I want it now. And if it doesn't make me feel good, what's the best time to start that trading program? Well, you know the right answer that what's the time to get on that diet? What's the time to sort of best time to sort out my finances? What is my brain telling me? He sees a problem for future Homer? Isn't it as like, yeah, I don't envy that guy. God, I'd hate to be that name. And that's what your brain that's what you're fighting with. So it's really important to acknowledge that because you can begin to start understanding why you are the way you are. And once you can work with that, you go okay, fine. Let me understand that and let me work with it and let me just see what I can do. To to to move forward once I understand what it's trying to do. Finances become really complex. In the last 70 years, we've had credit, we've had the disappearance package of business accounts of cash. We don't necessarily get bills, we just have direct debits standing orders, we get an email saying that your bill is here if you want to click on this, right? We don't get it in the post. We don't see it. We don't pay it physically. We have these debit cards you have these credit cards you have these stored cards stored value cards we have buy now pay later. We have 401 you have for lunch, we have all this complexity. Now if I look at driving a car hasn't become any more complex than last 40 years. But my finances have

Ericka Thomas  10:43  

Yeah, so do you think that those things separate us from really have a healthier relationship with money? Because we don't get to see it and touch it and have it right in front of us anymore?

Dennis Harhalakis  10:58  

Yeah, I think that's problematic at the level of healthy relationship with money is a slightly broader topic. But if we're looking at kind of let's just go back to when you and I grew up. When we wanted to buy something, we had to have the cash to buy it or we have to get it out the bank or it was so we physically had to have it. And then we had to go to a shop together and that shop so we wanted to we wanted to buy and a few other things, but it was only one shop. And so there's and then we had to hand over the cash and get the goods back from us. So there's a number of elements to this. The main one is friction, which means that I need the cash then there's friction involved in going to wherever, wherever we went to however long that took. We've only got access to one shop and maybe we're in a mall and there's like half a dozen other shops, but essentially, there's a process involved in spending money. And then when you hand over cash, your brain registers it as a micro last moment and you get something in return. I give you some cash and you give me whatever it is you you know I want to buy. Now when you wave your phone or you wave your credit card or you know you're online there's no micro last moment there's no flinch moment. There's nothing you're just getting something later on, but it doesn't actually feel like it's costing you anything right now. So there's no there's no feeling of loss. There's just this anticipation of something wonderful coming later on in the post or the Amazon the UPS or whatever else it is. So you end up in the situation where you have frictionless ending. So if you combine friction to now I'm sitting at my computer, and not only do I have access to everything in the world from my computer, so I don't have to go to a store to do it. I have frictionless spending, which means that if I've got one click turned on it's one click and boom it's gone. I have access to credit which is also frictionless. I have the ability to return something which is also frictionless so I can buy it on credit Buy now pay later credit card or just simply you know, delay payment card and no if I don't like it, I can send it back. All of this is frictionless. So we have frictionless spending. And then we have a brain that's wired for instant gratification and when we're feeling bad and feeling a little tired, a little lonely when a little pick me up. It's really really easy to go online. And go hide look really good in that poll. I'd love that new phone. I love this. And because it's frictionless because at three o'clock in the morning, you can be on Amazon, buying stuff that's going to make you feel a little bit better. You get a little dopamine hit, and you don't have to worry about it because you're not handing over any cash. Not go to the store. You're not going anywhere.

Ericka Thomas  13:50  

Yeah, that yeah, what you're touching on is actually some some bits and pieces of one way that people can use money or you know, purchasing to externally regulate their their nervous system basically they're they're feeding that that dopamine right that's interesting. And yeah, that's so what is the connection there between money and emotions? I feel like money can be really emotionally charged. Right? For some people and and this kind of goes to what you teach and talk about like your, your underlying beliefs about money and where those come from. So why is it that that that money can can get so be so connected to negative emotions, positive and negative emotions?  I would think

Dennis Harhalakis  14:52  

Yeah, so what if we just go back to the complexity angle for a minute and your finances are complex, and maybe you've got debt and maybe you just can't control your spending or maybe some some of my clients can't even spend money. This makes us anxious. So when when we get anxious, you know that gets associated with our finances at a broader level. And so for people thinking about their bills, thinking about the state of their finances, just thinking about money in general becomes really quite triggering moves us into fight or flight. And so, you know, we've got all these emotions kicking off when we start to think about our finances, maybe we haven't saved enough maybe we spent too much maybe we don't have emergency fund. There's a whole bunch of stuff that that that threatens or feels threatening, at a very core level. For Humanity, or for humans in general to the biggest stressors are uncertainty and lack of control. I mean, in general, in terms of, you know, what stresses stress as a mental state, and of course, I think uncertainty and lack of control are, what a lot of people feel about the finances, maybe even about their life. And then something that you alluded to earlier. Which I think is you know, really, really important is that we don't start with a blank slate. We don't start with the lack of knowledge. We have a subconscious inheritance around money around emotions that influences us most of our beliefs about who we are, our families behave, how the world works. They all come from the environment in which we grew up. And a lot of these beliefs can be self limiting. You know, you shared with me earlier that you know, money wasn't something that was talked about in your family. So it's really hard to develop a positive relationship with something that you're told we don't talk about.

Ericka Thomas  16:51  

Yes, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. So if you were raised in a household that either didn't talk about money or maybe didn't have a lot of money, or there was any there was some kind of shame around money or maybe, you know, you were told, conscious consciously or subconsciously that you're you're never going to be able to get more money than what you have. Now. You know, those. You're exactly right, those self limiting things, even if now they're not top of mind. They're not like as an adult. You're not consciously aware of those messages. They do affect your choices, the choices that you make, whether it's in your own business or you know what jobs you go after, for the education that you pursue, all of those things are all connected to that at a really pretty primitive level. And so what what you're talking about is kind of digging deep into that to kind of uncover some of those subconscious belief patterns, right?

Dennis Harhalakis  17:56  

Yeah, that's absolutely right. So some of the beliefs that some of the messaging that we get around money can be conscious you can have money doesn't grow on trees and talk about money you can't take it with you, you know, very kind of clear messaging or monies don't waste money. My I grew up with a my father who was born in 1919. So he had a scarcity mentality. And that was just very clear, you know, we we don't waste money. I don't have money for shoes, don't kick stones. I don't have money for this. I don't have money for that. And so for me that translated into we don't have enough money, and then it becomes this confusing. thing because sometimes we'd have some money for things. And sometimes most of the time we didn't so it's like, well hang on a minute, you know. Anyway, and all of this is his subconscious playing out into my subconscious that my subconscious inheritance is an anxiety is a scarcity inadequacy. And that's what I you know, that's what I work with on my own journey. And then there's the subconscious, to this sits in your subconscious, but then there's the messaging that you pick up from people's behavior. So anxiety around bills, money, arguments. And even from what we don't see. So how many seven year olds have seen their parents saving money? Right. Very few. And we see our parents spending money. Yes, we don't see them saving.

Ericka Thomas  19:24  

Because, yeah, because especially if they don't talk about money, that's not a visible thing, even if they are saving money. If you don't talk about money in your family, then how would anyone know that that's what happens, you know, behind the scenes, right?

Dennis Harhalakis  19:39  

And saving has to be taught because it's not a natural activity. Somebody has to show you and tell you what you need. To do. Here's your as your $5, put $1 away and I have to give you like, you know, five $1 coins so you can say one so what I'm saying is that this has to be this conscious and subconscious messaging around money and it all sits in our subconscious. At the end of the day, everything that we grew up with, that determines how we think about how parents talk to children, how children talk to parents, how we talk to brothers and sisters, all of that stuff sits at a deep psychological, emotional level with our so you've got your you've got your hard wiring around kind of, you know how the brain works, what it's what it's there for, and then you've got your subconscious inheritance that just based on how you grew up, what message you got about yourself what message you've got about money and money and yourself, which is your relationship with money and we can tease that out a little bit later. And then in the broader environment when you go out there. We think that because money has numbers, we can turn money in discussions into numerical discussions. And so then, financial education is typically this austerity gospel was separate one and separate needs, you know, financial literacy, people talk about telling, it's all about maths, when it's about emotions. And so you think, Well, you know, why can't I do this? What's what's wrong with me? And this is this is fundamentally problematic. So you've got to you've got a financial literacy kind of doctrine, which is all about numbers when it's all about emotions, but our culture, our culture teaches us certainly for men that expressing emotions is unsafe. So the word emotional has many negative connotations to it. So while we understand messaging on from our bodies around physical pain, I my ankle hurts I need to fix this or I need to stop running on it. I need to do something with it. We become far more resistant to the messages from emotional pain, like push on through you know, big boy you know it don't get emotional you can do now. So we have this, this this issue where we ignore emotional pain and it could be emotional pain around relationships around money. Around, you know, a whole bunch of things. But our education system teaches us that if we don't understand something, there must be something wrong with us. Right? So if I'm doing something wrong, I don't know what it is. It must be me so then we have this messaging that tells us why did you do that? What's wrong with you? Why don't you understand that? What's wrong with you? How could you say that? What's wrong with you? And we've all had that in childhood, from our parents, from our teachers, from from people in general. With a little bit of shadow him and a little bit of, you know, judgment a huge advantage on opening and so so now here I am trying to manage my finances. No one ever showed me how it's not going well. I've got a bit of shame around that. And but there's this cultural silence. So who am I going to talk to about it? Who do I go to if I feel like there's something wrong with me to talk about this stuff? You don't and so we end up we end up trapped? And then people go out, they tell us we're irrational, or there's something wrong with you, you know? So, yes, money is tied into our feelings of self worth. It's a core survival need because money buys us all the things that are at the core survival. level, we need food, shelter, he gets a sex it gets a socially accepted to get us all these things. So now we have this thing that's central to our lives. No one showed us how to manage it. That we misunderstand that we don't talk about it hardwired to our emotions, our self worth and when we make mistakes, we had up this anger anxiety, shame, guilt, regret.

So my message to everybody is not managing your own fight to manage your finances. It's totally understandable if you have debt if you have no savings. If you can't spend money if you have no money. This is normal. It's totally understandable based on your experiences growing up how you feel about yourself money in yourself, and the fact that we are bombarded with messaging that says buy this drive this wear this and you'll be happy, you'll be rich and you'll be beautiful. And all of this stuff comes at us in the underlying message if we if we move aside from the issues with the spending pieces, without this stuff, you're not good enough. This is the environment we live in. And if I don't feel good enough, I'm blocked around my finances. And I'm going to try and make myself feel a little bit better by maybe buying myself something.

Ericka Thomas  25:06  

Yeah, and we can expand that just a little bit because if we're talking about for talking to small business owners or entrepreneurs, heart of their success, or whether they consider themselves successful is tied to that bottom line, right that income that how you know how much income they can bring in a profit and loss statement. All of these things. But if you are a solopreneur, sometimes those things overlap, and there's definitely an intersection there. So if you're the only one that's managing the finances, in your, in your household, and then you're also trying to manage the finances in your business. I mean, that can just kind of implode right there in many ways, and he kind of touched a little bit about this idea of debt or overspending. And then also there's this fear of spending that sometimes people can get into, I know that I feel that quite a bit. When you're talking about that friction. When you click a button to buy something. I do feel that that negative hit it's like very I'm very resistant to spending money, even spending money in my business even though I know that certain things need to be purchased, right. So if you are a business owner, you have to be able to shake free of some of those things that hold you back maybe in your personal finances and understand that your business is different this is a different thing. Business finances might require you to definitely step up in a different way than you might when you're budgeting for a month of, of groceries. Or something like that.

Dennis Harhalakis  27:00  

Yeah, you're absolutely right. And you're there's a couple of themes underlying all of this and one of them is kind of how you do anything is how you do everything. So what that means is, for example, if you can't manage personal finances, you're going to really struggle with the business. It just it's not that they're any easier. They're not numbers anymore, that you're built your personal finances and numbers they're not because they're all relate to you. And so for for business owners you're challenged challenge is that your there's no clear mental separation between personal and business finances, you might have different accounts. But how you feel about yourself how you feel about money and how you feel about yourself for money affect both sides. So if you can't really engage with your personal finances, because, for example, you have a lot of messaging around money being evil, for example, or you know, that it's going to be really hard to do a few things but basically run, run, run your business. So what's important is to is to understand that money is a tool. It's, you need a healthy relationship with money. It's interesting that you focused on the not spending piece because that's actually really important for both sides. Most people tend to feel the issues with money around spending and debt and they do create issues. But they're also people that can't invest in themselves, they won't give themselves permission. And when that comes into the business perspective, then that creates a problem if you don't invest in so I have a money coaching business, I need to invest in software that does the booking, I need to invest in zoom, I need to invest in calendar, I need to spend money on those things. And if I think I can't spend money on them, and I'm going to send emails to every client every time they do a booking, it's a nightmare. It's just going to go wrong. I need to invest in that. And I'm sure there are many examples in your business where you need to invest in equipment. You need to invest in premises, you need to invest in yourself.

Ericka Thomas  30:02  

Yeah, that is that is such a great point right there because I think that, especially if you are a very small business, that's it that can be really critical. And then we touch into Okay, so in order to invest in myself or in my business now we need to get in, we might have to go into a little bit of debt to do that, right? We might have to open the credit card, and that is there's risk there, right? There's always a little bit more risk. And everybody has a different level of risk. averseness whatever, that's not a word. But I mean, people can handle risk differently, right? Some people are fine with it, and other people are just really, really not. And lots of opinions about debt in small business. So what would you say to that, that small business or solopreneur about that as far as investing in themselves? Like how do you make choices around that that are responsible?

Dennis Harhalakis  31:12  

Okay. Well, there's, there's a concept of good debt and bad debt.

And debt tends to be kind of very tainted negatively. There's a long history behind that because the 5000 years debt essentially involves bondage. You couldn't pay your debts, you became a slave. So there's a lot of negativity around this space. And so good debt is an investment in myself. Good debt is debt that is investing in something could be myself could be equipment could be. It could be for example, a car that takes you to work that has is going to generate a return for you. It's financed at a reasonable rate. It's done thoughtfully, and it has a payback process involved in it. Bad debt is something that is done on the spur of the moment. So bad debt is expensive. Usually, it has no realistic payment plan. And essentially whatever you're buying devalues almost immediately so if you're paying 30% for your credit card to go and buy yourself a pair of sneakers or a TV or something that becomes automatically worthless. Then that is bad debt. So for example, if I say to you, Erica, listen, America, there's this TV, it's $1,000 But for you, you can pay 1300 for it. I'm going to make you a special deal, sign up here. Pay back over the next 36 months you just need to put $10 down and you can pay me $1,300 That's bad that Yeah, I know these numbers because I went with my I went with my youngest child to buy a laptop yesterday actually. And we looked at what it would cost to buy it today and what it would look what it would cost to buy it on a 36 month payment plan and it's helpful 25 to 30% more, and I said to him, Listen, we can buy this for $400 but for you and make you a special price. You can pay 600 for it. That's bad debt. Okay, good debt is the opposite of that and that is an investment in yourself. It's financed at a low rate. So for example, buying a house and not going into the ethics of buying a house but you know, buying it using a hacker using money to pay for a mortgage, and you can find out that one or two or 3% or whatever you can in the US is quite low. That is considered to be good debt, investing in your human capital is considered to be good debt. So, for example, if you've got a course that's going to cost you a few $1,000 And yet, on the other hand, that's going to allow you to charge $5 more per hour, you can do the multiplication on that. Yeah, and you know, stretched out now what that requires, requires Erica is that you have positive and conscious engagement with your finances, and that's based on a healthy relationship with money. So let me talk to you about what a healthy relationship with money looks like. And then we can see how that pans out in the context of solopreneurs and small business owners.

Ericka Thomas  34:37  

Let's do that.

Dennis Harhalakis  34:41  

My relationship with money is based on a set of beliefs I have, how I feel about myself, how I feel about money and how I feel about money and myself. Now people who are good with that finances, it doesn't matter. It's business finances or personal finances, they feel good about themselves. So this is the core of all of it. I am if I feel good about myself and again, we go back to childhood messages. competent. I have confidence in my knowledge my decision making processes might skills may take ownership of my outcomes. My self worth does not depend on my net worth and my possessions. I am who I am. I am good enough in myself. Don't believe anyone in marketing anyone in the media, you're good enough. You have to start with that that's the core of a healthy relationship. Money is a healthy, healthy relationship with yourself. In the same way that a healthy relationship with food, exercise or anything starts with a healthy relationship with yourself. Now when I feel good about money, what that means is money is a tool to achieve well being. It's not the work of the devil, the root of all evil, something we don't talk about. It's not this unknown or confusing thing that I don't understand. And when I feel good about money and myself, that means his money and thinking about money doesn't make me feel anxious or ashamed or guilty and comfortable engaging with the financial system. And at my core identity. I am the kind of person who manages their finances well. Now that's a healthy relationship with money, when we look at it, in terms of how that plays out in small business perspective, allows us to price ourselves correctly. It allows us to chase people who don't pay us down. It allows us to put our prices up when it's appropriate. It means that we don't discount immediately when someone says what do you, what do you charge? You go well, it's $20 but actually that's probably quite expensive. I think you'll probably get a cheaper one so why don't I just put it down $15 for you right now. You're apologizing straight off, right? Or I'm going to give you a special offer. Or, you know, actually, I really enjoy what I do. Does that mean I can't charge for it. I can't charge a lot for it.

Ericka Thomas  37:12  

Oh my gosh, you are saying all the things that go through my head. So yeah.

Dennis Harhalakis  37:23  

This is why a healthy relationship with money is not just a question of it's not numbers. It's emotions. It's how you feel about yourself and money. And what I'm sharing with you is how it's panning out in your business.

Ericka Thomas  37:35  

Yeah, yeah. So how do you address things like that? Because that happens all the time. I see it all the time. In my colleagues and in my clients. You know, this idea this, this difficulty that we have putting a price on what we do because it's in the fitness industry, it's very much a service. It's a service industry, right? There's you're you're not you're not selling them a t shirt. You're like selling your time and your skill and your your emotional investment in them as you're your client. So that is really challenging to kind of put a value on so so what are some things maybe you can can give us some some ideas, some different ways to think about it to guide people into the right. value pricing.

Dennis Harhalakis  38:29  

Right. I'd like to acknowledge that actually because you have to start with awareness that acknowledgement the service based business is a personal and vulnerable space. When you ask for money, you're vulnerable and you become a little girl little boy with their hand out when they're like three years old, four years old asking for money. And if you ended up with bad experiences around that, that is going to stick with you for the rest of your life. If that was a dangerous space to be in if that was not like safe for you to ask for things without fear of rejection. Then the root of a lot of this a lot of people that will trickle into all these issues are asking as a 25 year old or 35 year old for money. It's no different than that small child that's asking. Okay, I can't fix that. But I think it's really all I can actually that's what I do. What I mean it's I can't fix it in this podcast. But I need you need to acknowledge that because if you don't understand the roots of it, you're never going to be able to rewire your brain to go. That's okay. I am comfortable. That's why it comes back to how do I feel about myself. Asking for money in exchange for something that you do is very personal. It feels to real reflection of our personal value as a human being and that bumps up against all of our personal stuff cultural stuff, societal stuff, women, particularly healing and caring position but professions. So you have to come back to how do I feel about myself? What are the messages that I got in childhood that potentially about me and about me and money that are undermining that? So we come back to relationship with money and how do I have a conscious and positive engagement with this process? And we haven't got time to go into like how you would price yourself probably in the sense of kind of calculating this is what I need to earn. And these are the number of hours I want to work. And this is a bit of time off. I maybe case in case I'm sick or whatever it is and this is going to give me my hourly rate and you can do that calculation with this is at an overall level you need to be able to and you need to be able to do that correctly. And you need to be able to do that. And if you don't like the number at the end of it that goes I can't charge that. Then something has to change either you have to believe that you can charge it or you have to rework your business model to get to a level where you're comfortable going. Yeah, okay, I can charge that. So, this is all about engaging with the discomfort around this process. And so in a sense, bringing it out and going okay, I struggled with this, how can I get better with it is the awarenesses This is the start. The awareness is the process by which you go this is really scary for me. How can I get past that? So one of the ways to do it is something called the three questions. And you can ask yourself, well, what's the worst thing that could happen to me? And what are some other more likely outcomes? And then what can I do to what can I control? What can I do to generate those outcomes, but fear of rejection is hardwired into and then we dress it up and it becomes procrastination, imposter syndrome in a whole bunch of stuff. So yeah,

Ericka Thomas  42:18  

and I've what I've seen quite a bit is this, people who actually reject themselves before even putting themselves out there like they already they've already done it. They've already like, set themselves up to be like, they just pull back and so I hear exactly what you're saying, but I love this. I love those three questions because it's something that you could just set up as your own filter. You know, whenever we come up against that, like that resistance you feel that little bit of resistance to a particular price or you know, protein particular offer or something like that, and and I love that you know what, what is the worst case scenario? What is what is more likely to happen? And then what can you control about that? What can you do? Yeah,

Dennis Harhalakis  43:09  

so what you're trying to do there is once your brain gets hijacked by fear, and it's really hard to think that's because we've been hijacked by fear as it were. Your brain, your system releases cortisol and cortisol is a very, very powerful craft that is designed to get you away. From danger really quickly. It's not designed to make you think it's not designed to help you do anything. It's that thing where you lose your car keys or you lose your phone, and it's like somebody says, Oh, where did you ask me? But when I do that, I wouldn't be asking a stupid question. So things are going on, right? There. First of all, because your cortisol, you can think it's really, really hard to think. And secondly, cortisol also interrupts your ability to be polite with people. So that's. This is a funny example because it's your car keys or your phone. What if it's you doing it to you every time you think about a client, and what are you going to do about it? So when we particularly come out of the corporate space in a corporate space, you haven't you have a salary, the bigger shape is a bit whatever, you have a conversation once and that ended every month or every two weeks the service business. Guess what? You're having that conversation every single time? And if you don't have that conversation, nobody really does. That. That's got to be really scary. If you're scared. You are having that conversation. The more you're going to struggle with it. And so you end up in this kind of self sabotaging behavior, you've got to go back to engaging, engaging with it. And going okay, you know what no one chooses to be this I think didn't really emphasize enough when we talked about why managing your finances is hard, is deep and passionate to show you how to do it, and why for it, and you get a message. And that's all right, because that just makes you or you start with self compassion, and forgiveness and then you go, okay, how am I going to do this? That is the same with the business. One is what am I going to do to make this to to get over this problem or work on this problem? Because I'm not choosing it. There's nothing wrong with me. And so I'm going to have to work on that. And I'm going to have to engage with my fear my discomfort that over time, releases its sting. It releases me from the paralysis I have. So one of the things that that I did with with small business owners is if you've got this choke point around the prices let’s say 50$, then don’t stop and leave it hanging in crisis. It’s $50 and I have a number of ways to pay. Would you like to do it by installments? Would you like to pay by credit card would you like to pay up front? How should we do this is a problem that

Ericka Thomas  46:17  

Interesting. So what you just bumped into was more of a solution oriented conversation with another person which I think is maybe another piece that's missing for especially solopreneurs is that in the fitness industry? No one teaches us how to be business people. They teach us how to be a fitness professional. So we're really good at that. But we don't often get any kind of training around the business side for sales, right? So it's basically that's what business we're in. We are selling our skills and having a way to to script beyond that. That this is the price is really really important. And by framing it the way you just did, and I have several ways that you can pay this is a solution. We are this is what it is. And now I am going to offer you another solution because you know that that is easier, I think, for the solopreneur to wrap their head around because we are helping. We are in a helping profession. Right. We're gonna help you some more by offering more solutions. For you.

Dennis Harhalakis  47:41  

Alright, so I'm moving the conversation away from the price into how you're going to pay me we're not getting stuck on the price because if I think the price is expensive, I'm going to apologize, or you know, I might even just go $30 What I really wanted to say $50 Like what a practice in the mirror. So another thing is his practice of the mirror. It's $50 it's $50 US dollars. And then when someone asks you Do you go it's $30 I don't know we go back to $50 and practicing for them or is is is definitely a technique but you need to do and just practicing it and then you can go but you don't want to get stuck on the $50 because that leaves it hanging there in that awkward space where you think then you You've almost created a potential problem in the clients mind the client doesn't have a problem with if you don't have confidence in on in your self and you don't have the Moxie whatever it is called in the US to deliver it. They're going to pick up on it. So you just move smoothly on right it's $50 and I have a number of ways that you can pay me we've just moved past that that we haven't got is $50 Oh my God am I going to get rejected? We've moved from it's $50 and I have a number of ways that you can pay me.

Ericka Thomas  49:00  

Yeah, that's brilliant. That's brilliant. Oh my gosh, this conversation has been filled with so many great tips for people. It's just chock full of things. Dennis, how can people get in touch with you if they want to learn a little bit more about your money coaching? Where can they find you?

Dennis Harhalakis  49:22  

You can find me at Cambridge money coaching at all. One word Cambridge money And reach out to me. I also have a money type quiz which Ericka took which

Ericka Thomas  49:36  

I did take that then I should have brought that up.

Dennis Harhalakis  49:40  

I've got the I've got the results here. So I don't want to put you on the spot by going through those results. But I do want to raise though is a really interesting point around that. And so we will have money type personalities and some of them are anxiety based. Now what you just said what you alluded to earlier around anxiety based is not asking for money, not wishing to spend money and invest in yourself but also if you have a lot of anxiety around money than living or trying to run a business with uncertain cash flows, intermittent cash flows is a very scary place to be. So I think it would be really important to know that about yourself beforehand. Because otherwise you're just going into a world of pain. If you can't ask for money if you can't chase people you find it difficult to ask for money. Do you find it difficult to chase people for money? Do you find it difficult to spend money if having uncertain cash flows is worrying for you have a good long hard think about it will come and talk to me about fixing those issues before you go out into that space otherwise the scarcity inadequacy mentality will overwhelm you. Now the opposite of course is unbridled enthusiasm and complete delusion about how the successful this money is going to be. And I just need 50 sets of dumbbells and and this and that and the other thing is like here we go right? It's right there on both sides of this and you need to understand what your money personality is like before you engage in this in the corporate world was slightly protected from that because the money still comes in unless we're really done when we get fired or whatever it is. Yeah, it's a lonely space being putting yourself out there and being in your vulnerability and I have nothing but compassion and support for people in that space. And yeah, get a coach. You want to get better at anything in life coach

Ericka Thomas  51:45  

that is that is really great advice. Every coach has a coach every great coach has probably three or four coaches.

Dennis Harhalakis  51:55  

Look at look at look at the look at Meryl Streep. I mean coaches, she had loads of coaches. She's brilliant. Right, the Williams sisters or anyone else you want to know how many coaches they have to coaches and they already really very good at what they did.

Ericka Thomas  52:08  

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all have some kind of natural talent but it's nice to have some nourishment along the way. Right. So So yeah, that's that's that's great Dennis, so I always ask my guests this this podcast is called the work in so as asked my I like to ask my guests what their work in is rather than a workout what what was what is something that really helps you in your space in your work in

Dennis Harhalakis  52:40  

that's a really good question. Working on my in work I'm going to use a quote from from Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor. between stimulus and response there sits a space and in that space is our choice and in that choices freedom in other words, my work on myself is to separate my reactivity is from my responses to look at the information that's coming to me from other people and the information that's coming to me from my mind and go okay, what's the information in there? Let me strip out the anger, the shame the guilt the whatever it is, and let me help me to to not shoot the messenger or did not shoot the message just understand what it is that I'm that that's coming to me. I don't know whether I explain them particularly well, but it's it's about it's about making conscious choices around things that you want to make good decisions about. It's about making decisions that make the future easier, not more difficult. It's about understanding how I can get towards the person I want to be. Instead of all this other stuff that's dragging me away from the person I want to be.

Ericka Thomas  54:03  

That is that's beautiful. That is that's beautiful. And thank you so much for sharing that and thank you so much for being here on the work in.

Dennis Harhalakis  54:12  

Oh, it's a pleasure. I love this part of the work Ericka, thank you so much for inviting me because I really feel that if people can understand a little bit more about this. It just reduces anxiety and negative emotions and it's just so helpful for people.

Ericka Thomas  54:30  

Absolutely. Absolutely. And thank you my curious listener for joining us today on the work in all of the links to Dennis and the Cambridge money coaching website will be on our show notes. So be sure to head over to to find all of those thanks, everybody, and we'll see you next time.

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