During this episode, I interviewed The Sassy Wealth Coach, Lisa Marie Robinson (she/her). Lisa has more than 20 years of experience in accounting. She is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs manage their money with confidence, so they feel empowered in their lives and businesses. After surviving a tumultuous childhood filled with addiction, theft, and violence, she is on a mission to help women break free from poverty, struggle, and pain. Lisa teaches clients how to take control of their finances and make mindful decisions that fuel growth and prosperity.
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Jennifer Agee: Hello. Hello and welcome to Sh*t You Wish You Learned in Grad School. I am your host, Jennifer Agee, licensed clinical professional counselor. And with me today is Lisa Marie Robinson. Y'all are gonna be glad to meet her. She is the Sassy Wealth Coach. That's a mouthful, but that is an awesome title. Um, Lisa Marie has been doing accounting, working in accounting for more than 20 years, and she's very passionate about helping women entrepreneurs manage their money with confidence so they feel empowered. So, thank you for being on today. I'm really looking forward to our conversation.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Thank you for having me.
Jennifer Agee: Absolutely. So, um, what got you started working with female entrepreneurs?
Lisa Marie Robinson: Um, ...
Jennifer Agee: What's your story? That's probably part of your story.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Yeah. Right. That's part of my story. Um, I worked in corporate for years. Again, I have the 20 years of accounting experience. Um, but I came from, uh, a broken home to where money wasn't talked about. You know, money was to pay the bills. Rinse, wash, repeat, right? And then all the money stories and money talk that I was around, it kind of led, it led into my adult life. And I was working 60 hours a week, barely making it, had tension headaches, migraines, you name it. And then I want- always dreamed of having my own business. I never thought that it would evolve into where it's at, but I absolutely love it.
Um, but let, what led me here was I was let go, and I decided I did not want to go back and look for another job. And in the process of me starting my business, I was like, okay, the way money is being managed isn't gonna work because it was feast of famine. I was on food stamps. I was barely making it. I had two kids, they needed me at home.
I didn't know all the reasons at the time, but I was needed at home. Um, and so I dug into money stories and money mindsets and how that triggers how we manage our money. And I was like, okay, these cookie cutter budget sheets just don't work. We gotta, I gotta find something that does. And that's where All Inclusive Budget was created.
Um, and when I saw that it could be created to where it included all the things that we don't think about but need to be thinking about, um, it evolved from there. I started working with women entrepreneurs, and then I, I swear just one day it happened, but I started working with therapists. And I feel like it did a complete 180, because I see, even as I said, in my promo video, I'm very passionate about working with women therapists because we're not talked about, money's not talked about, we're not taught to talk about money, how to manage our money.
We're not taught that our money stories and what we are around affects our money and in turn affects how we manage the money. Um, and when we don't have that empowerment, it stops us from helping more people and doing more things. And my daughter — it's, it's, uh, my part of my story — my daughter is, um, autistic and has ADHD, but she also has major depressive disorder and generalizing anxiety disorder. And so, I know firsthand the importance of the work that therapists do, and it's become my mission, um, to help all of y'all as much as possible, because if I'm able to help y'all with managing the money and not having that scarcity mindset, then you're able to help more people. But that's how, I mean, that's, that's where it came from.
It came from having that scarcity mindset, right? Having that trauma and doing something about it, being able to change it for the better, and then being able to show other people that it can be done.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah, I think that's where most of us as entrepreneurs really start. We start with, uh, what is it that we need ourselves? Uh, and then we create it because we see the opportunities in those things being created. And I love that you're talking about money mindset, because one of the things that comes to mind is there is freedom in financial security, like a tremendous amount of freedom. Like, even with your kiddo, right, being able to say, if I need to take time off, I'm still gonna be able to pay the bills. There is a freedom in that and shifting our mindset sometimes from how we were raised, especially if we weren't raised with a lot, and giving ourselves the permission and the freedom to think beyond paycheck-to-paycheck into wealth building and growing, that's a big shift for a lot of people.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Yeah. And, and sometimes being honest is a hard shift. I'm gonna be honest, it was a hard shift for me. Jennifer, I'm 49 years old. So, you know, I grew up in a single mom home, and, again, we didn't- there wasn't a lot of money. You know, she worked a plant job, she had two small kids, she was a sole breadwinner. My father was not around to help pay child support or do any of that stuff.
And so, money was looked down upon. It was if you had money, that means you were, you know, you were born into it or you had this high paying job and it's because you became a doctor or you, you know, you went to a four-year college and, and all of those things. I did not have high GPA, so I did not get to go to a four-year college immediately outta high school.
Jennifer Agee: Sure.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Um, yeah, so- You're taught that it's either this or that, that you can't- And then you're not taught money management, right? You're taught to invest. You're taught to save. I was taught how to write a check. That's the money thing that was done, 'cause back in the day we didn't have debit cards, right?
Jennifer Agee: Right, right.
Lisa Marie Robinson: So, I was taught how to write a check and balance the checkbook. But there was nothing on it on how to actually manage it and actually use money as a tool to where it's working for you, not where you're working just to make ends meet. Yeah. And so, making that shift, it's huge. It's, it can be hard.
It takes time. Nothing happens overnight, but it's huge. And when you go to have that freedom, I don't know for anybody else, there's nothing like it. It'll be six years this October, and I believe without a doubt that how far my daughter has come is because I was here, and I was able to take the time I needed to take time off to do the things I needed to do.
And I didn't have to worry about making time up or how that, how the bills were gonna be paid or things like that. Um, it, it's a, it's a huge that scarcity mindset, we don't realize how much it's inbred into us, um, especially when it's subconscious. And that's part of what I do working with my clients is, is helping them realize that it's not just the money management that has to be, that we can change to work for you, but it's also the money mindset.
Because I'm a money coach, but in my opinion — and not many people believe this — I believe money mindset and money management go hand in hand.
Jennifer Agee: I agree.
Lisa Marie Robinson: You can't have one without the other. And...
Jennifer Agee: I agree.
Lisa Marie Robinson: And I keep saying I'm living proof of it because, because, you know, I mean, you can have all the mindset and the manifestation, but if you're not managing it well, you're still gonna be broke, 'cause you're not gonna know- you're not utilizing the money to your advantage.
Jennifer Agee: Right.
Lisa Marie Robinson: And then you can have the managing all you want, but if you have that block, and you have that bad money mindset, and you have a scarcity mindset, then you're not letting the money in 'cause you're gonna be afraid to raise your rates, or you're gonna be afraid to take, you know, or afraid to let go of the lower paying insurance company. Those things are all in with that money story and money mindset, and it blocks us from receiving more money.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah. And it goes back to that, that idea, that concept of, if you don't tell your money where to go, it's just gonna go, and it won't go where you want it to go, right? We've all had that experience of, you know, uh, you finally get your big girl job, right, and you're making real money now, right? And you think, oh, my word, when I hit this level, life is gonna be peaches and cream, right? It's gonna be amazing. And what you find is you quickly adjust to the lifestyle of whatever your income earning potential is for that year or whatever. And you're like, well, where did all this money go?
I thought I was gonna have all my, you know, invested in my Roth this year and do this and do that. And then the money's just gone because you haven't been intentional with where you want it to go. And I, you know, those childhood things, they creep up. I actually just did a TikTok about it. I meet with my financial planner, my husband and I do, twice a year,
and it's because of me. I need that. Because when I was very little, like in my really formative years, um, my, my dad had died and my mother was a single mother, and we did not have a lot. She was also on assistance. Like, it was not a great situation. And somehow in me that stuck, even though I had years of security after that, right?
She remarried into- you know, my stepfather was wonderful. He was a good provider for our family and all that stuff. But those early things really stuck. And twice a year, I need to see the numbers to be reminded that I am not gonna eat cat food when I'm old, even though I am very successful in my business and all of that. My system just needs that calm. And I think knowing yourself and knowing your story helps you also know what you need in order to offer it the security to take the risks of growth.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Right. Well, and, and you say you could talk to your financial planner, you know, me with 'em see the numbers, which is really smart, you know, twice a year. And I look at my numbers once a week.
Jennifer Agee: Oh geez.
Lisa Marie Robinson: But, but that's my overall. That's my bank numbers. That's my budgeting numbers. You know what I mean? That's not my investing. My investing, yes, twice a year I look at it, but my overall business, personal budgeting, those numbers because, and the reason why I say this is- and then the budget I look at it, um, I mean, I'll look at it to make sure there's no extra stuff, but, like, I tweak it every month. Because I'm, you know, if there's more money coming in, again, if you're not intentional of where you want it to go, then it's just gonna disappear because you're not being intentional. Um, you know, so like if there's gonna be extra money next month or there's more income coming in, then, okay, this is where I want it to go.
Um, or I want this much money to go into this account for this. So, being intentional helps. And then me being able to see the money in the account, um, there are times where the things will trigger, you know, the, the past and, and you, you think, oh shit, I'm going backwards, right?
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
Lisa Marie Robinson: And kinda like you were saying that you're not gonna eat cat food when you're old. Looking at those accounts and then looking at it, reminds me of where I'm at now and reminds me that I'm not there anymore.
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Do you know what I mean?
Jennifer Agee: Mm-hmm.
Lisa Marie Robinson: And so, I tell people, it's like, look, I said looking at your numbers help. I don't mean looking at it and stressing over how much is in your bank account. I mean, looking at it and saying, okay, you know what?
I'm okay. You know, 'cause I remember working, and it'd be right before payday, and I'd go in the negative. Like not going in the negative and just having zero was just right, if it was right before payday, I did good. I'd have, I would be in the negative every single time. Now, if I get below a hundred dollars, I got to put money in there because it's too close of a thing, but it's, but it's a different mindset on, um, it's a mindset of, you know, what, this is where I'm at, and we're gonna make sure I don't get any closer to where I was before. Does that make sense?
Jennifer Agee: That does. And I think the longer too, that you are in this business, especially private practice is tricky because a lot of us own our own businesses, so you, you know that, like if you take a week off for vacation, the, the money, you're not earning that week, right? But you learn to trust the flow. I, because I look at my bu- I do look at my regular, my daily numbers and my budget, like way more than twice a year. I'll tell you that, like daily, I check accounts.
Lisa Marie Robinson: The thing is, if don't the thing is, if you don't look at it, there's been times where I got, you know, we all hit- in 2020, I got depressed. I- Hey, I had two kids home, okay? Both are special needs. Yeah. Both of them I- teaching 'em I was about ready to pull my, but it got to a time where I didn't, and I had to figure out where money went.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Because I wasn't looking at it and tweaking as I went, and I tell people constantly, there's nothing wrong with having a budget. A budget's not for people who are poor or who don't have any money. A budget actually helps you plan and prepare and allocate your money where you want to go, where you're in charge and not the money.
Jennifer Agee: So where do you recommend for those that are listening — and I know a lot of people that are listening are at varying levels of new to the field, been in the field 20 years, but that does not necessarily equal a better relationship with money — so where do you recommend that people start? Like, let's say a new client comes to you and says, all right, I need to get my house in order. Right? I need to get my financial house in order. What are some of the things that you do to start working with them?
Lisa Marie Robinson: One of the things I have- well, I have a new client who's coming on, so the, and she's been in business a little bit, but even if they're new cl- a new, even if your sole practice, group practice, been in business a year, been in business 6 months or 10 years, the first thing I'm gonna ask you is how many bank accounts do you have?
And people laugh at me when I ask that, but there's a reason. Then I'm gonna ask you, is your personal and your business co-mingled or is it separate? You'll be surprised how many people, even the ones that been in business longer than me, who still co-mingle their funds. The first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna list all the expenses.
You're gonna tell me what accounts they, they come out of. So personal, business, whether it's, you know, and we're gonna get that unco-mingled. And then, because you listed those expenses, guess what you now have. You now have a start of your budget because we're listing just the business expenses, the dates that they're due, and we put 'em in order.
And then we start looking at your yearly expenses. And I tell people that your monthly reoccurring expenses is not all your expenses when it comes to your business. You need to think about your yearly stuff, like your licenses, your malpractice, your, um, website hosting, the things that we don't think about.
I mean, like some of y'all's licenses, y'all pay every two years. Okay. How often do you think about your license, except when you get the bill in the mail and it tells you it's due, right?
Jennifer Agee: Right.
Lisa Marie Robinson: How often do you think about the malpractice except when it's due yearly? So, what I do is I have them list all those out and the amounts, and then with, and then they'll go, well, the malpractice varies though.
That's okay. Watch what I do. I round it up higher, couple hundred dollars, because again, if you're still higher and it's gonna go up, and then we divide by 12. So, we add all that stuff. We divide each of those by 12 and add that up. And it gives you an amount that should be included on your monthly budget for your yearly expenses.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Then you open a yearly savings account, open a savings account, call it yearly savings. Name it. I'm telling you, it tricks your brain. When you see it for yearly savings, you won't touch it. And that's the amount of money that goes into that account. So, when those expenses are due, you pull the money from that account, we put it in your other account, and you pay it, and it doesn't screw with your cash flow.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah. I think keeping those things separate is really helpful. And I'm, I'm a strategic business coach. You're a coach. I want anyone who's listening to know, we do not judge you when you come in.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Oh no.
Jennifer Agee: I know that you are reaching out because you need help in an area, right?
Lisa Marie Robinson: Right.
Jennifer Agee: There's zero judgment. You're not gonna shock me with whatever you have done because we're looking at how do we move forward. So if someone feels, is listening to this and feels intimidated to maybe reach out to Lisa Marie or reach out to me for a strategic business coaching, like you don't have to be worried that we're gonna judge you, 'cause we're not. Actually, a part of the reason we know what we know is probably 'cause we've made some of the mistakes that you might be making now. Cuz it's shocking to me the number of therapists who don't know their numbers.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Yes.
Jennifer Agee: And, and don't factor in vacation time. You know, they, they factor in, this is how much I need a week in order to pay X, Y, or Z. Not, okay, let's bank on 48 weeks out of the year. So, four weeks is gonna be off. So, when I do my numbers about how much I wanna earn a week, that's gonna be based on 48, not 52, you know, little things like that.
Um, a lot of people, because nobody's talked, talked to them about these things while they're growing up, they just don't know to think about it. So, I want you to know if you need help in this area, please get help. This is not one of those things where you're gonna have to be in coaching forever about it.
Let us help you. Let Lisa Marie help you, like, get your house in order so you know where your money's going, what you need, um, and how to start to build and grow. You have so much confidence when you know those numbers. It doesn't feel fun to do the process in the beginning, but it really does help with your confidence in being able to feel like you're in charge of your destiny.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Well, and one thing I'm gonna say too, Jennifer, is this, anyone who's listening, how I'm different from other money coaches is I start where you're at. So, I, we have a consult call, we talk, and then if we decide we're gonna work together, I start where you're at. So, the new client that's starting soon, where I'm gonna start with her is gonna be totally different than when I start, where I started with another client, because her situation is different.
Yes, they're both therapists, but her situation is totally different. Her personal life, what her goals for business and personal are gonna be totally different. So, I start from where she's at, and then I do it piece by piece. And the reason why I do it piece by piece is because it doesn't overwhelm your nervous system.
I know firsthand. I don't like chaos. Okay. That's the reason why I say I take money from chaos to sassy and sexy is because I don't like chaos. And, and when we get overwhelmed, all we see is chaos. That's all it becomes. And when chaos and overwhelm happen, we bury our head in the sand and we run in the opposite direction, which we all know doesn't solve anything,
but it makes us scared to actually do anything to change it. So, if I start with you where you're at, and then we do piece by piece by piece and we build upon it, what happens in six months to a year is, is amazing. It's a complete turnaround. You are now in control of your numbers; you know exactly where it's going.
Um, you know, people are like- One of them, I had a client who, um, was barely making payroll. She wasn't paying herself consistently. And after six months she's making payroll. And for the first time in the two years that we worked together, she had money put up for taxes, had her taxes filed early, not file an extension, and had the money to pay 'em.
And she was like, I would've never had that if we wouldn't have set up the system that we set up for me. That's what I want. That I want you to feel empowered by your money so that you feel like you can actually have control and be able to grow your practice or your coaching business how you want to grow it.
Jennifer Agee: I love that. And, and again, as therapists, we're already, um, we already have buy-in of the fact that there are areas of growth in pe- in all of our lives, right, that we need help with. And so, this is one more area. Do not hesitate if you're not feeling confident and strong with your budgeting, with knowing where your money's going, how to build wealth.
If you're not feeling confident and strong, reach out for help. This stuff is not stuff we were taught in grad school. Most of us were not taught this stuff by our parents. Especially, like, I'm 48; I'm around Lisa Marie's age, right? So, my parents didn't tell me jack squat, like 'cause I was a child. Like, generationally, ...
Lisa Marie Robinson: It was not talked about.
Jennifer Agee: We were not talked to about this stuff. So, no shame reach out because you will feel so much freaking better when you feel like you are in control of your money instead of controlling having money kind of control your thoughts and fear about, uh, not enough. It is so empowering.
Lisa Marie Robinson: If I work with them, I work with the money mindset with them as well. I mean that, because a lot of times what stops us from managing it is that mindset where the mindset of you only budget if you're broke. Or you're restricting yourself; you're gonna tell me I can't go to Starbucks every day. Look, if you wanna go to Starbucks and spend $10 every day and you've got the money to spend, more power to you.
Jennifer Agee: Yeah, just…
Lisa Marie Robinson: I personally don't like Starbucks, but... Now, if there are ways that you may need to cut back until you can get there, then I'll probably make some suggestions. But I don't tell you to cut it all out. Because here's the thing that's like doing a, a restrictive diet, right? How often were we told, um — oh, you remember Butter Buds, right? You're my age. You remember Butter Buds, right?
Jennifer Agee: Yeah.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Okay. Where it was big, you know, you had to stay away from the fat, no fat whatsoever. Do Butter Buds instead of regular butter.
Jennifer Agee: That's right. Yeah.
Lisa Marie Robinson: So, that you have to remember the commercials. Okay. Well, it was so restrictive, how long did it take before people fell off of it? Maybe...
Jennifer Agee: Not long.
Lisa Marie Robinson: No, what two, three weeks, maybe a month. Here's that's the problem. When you make a diet so restrictive, people, don't, aren't, you make it to where it's not sustainable. They can't stick to it. Okay. It's the same thing with — that's the reason why this cookie cutter budget things don't work — it's because when you make it so restrictive and you take away the things that you want, you're not gonna stick to it.
I make it include things that I need and want as well as my clients and plan for growth as well, because it is, it should, it should be an all encompass around everything, not just one part.
Jennifer Agee: I agree with that so much. Well, I hope this conversation has helped you start thinking a little bit about where you are in your relationship with money, where you are in your relationship with money and your business. And if you need some help in this area, reach out, okay? Lisa Marie, myself, other people are here to help. Lisa Marie's an accountant. I am not an accountant. I can- I'm very good with the strategy of like how to earn money, make money, let's look at the numbers, but I am not an accountant. So, reach out for help. Don't hesitate. You'll be really glad that you did. Thank you for coming on today, Lisa Marie. Tell people how they can connect with you.
Lisa Marie Robinson: Um, you can connect with me to my website. It's thesassywealthcoach.com, or you can come and join my Facebook group and it's the, it's called Sassy Wealth Makers. Um, and I do free training in there all the time and would love to have you.
Jennifer Agee: Awesome. Well, if you would like to connect more with me or Counseling Community, future retreats, podcast, counselingcommunity.com. We are also on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, you know, all, all the places you're supposed to be. I hope y'all get out there and live your best dang life.