The Corey Story

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Posts Tagged ‘PCC’

The Money Knot – What If It Really Isn’t About The Money?

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 12, 2010

Our next teleclass is about our Money Trap Doors. This is a phrase I have coined for those money related beliefs that seem to magically open up beneath our feet, causing us to fall away. There are many of them. Some we have created for ourselves, others are cultural. There is one in particular that I thought deserved some extra special, individual attention, sort of like the kid that is acting out in school.

Let’s call this one Masquerading as Money. Let me give you a couple of examples and see if you can recognize it for yourself. A while back, I had a call with an attorney. He was seriously considering further discounting his fees based on an interaction he had with a potential client. He said he already was charging less than the going rate, and had made sure that the potential client knew that. The client had committed to work with him on some family oriented legal work that the attorney specialized in. The next morning the client called and canceled, saying that her brother had decided they should go with their general family attorney. Our attorney asked if money was a factor, and the potential client said yes, but it was mostly about using the family attorney. Our attorney felt this was a signal to further lower his fees. I felt it was much more about that the family was nervous about an unknown, and wanted to go with the person they knew and trusted, even if it wasn’t their specialty. Both our attorney and the client tried to make it about money, but I just don’t think so.

It’s true that money is part of the decision, but it’s not all of it. Perhaps a great way to identify this Money Trap Door is to ask this question:

“If this issue wasn’t about money, would the result still be the same?”

To be even clearer, if we took money out of the equation, would the client still have chosen the family attorney? If the answer is yes, then money isn’t really the deciding factor, is it?

So why would someone take a non-money problem and try to blame it on the money? It’s often easier to make things about money. It’s less emotional in some ways. We get less tangled up. I found myself confused once by something I was trying to make about money, when I knew it wasn’t. I’d been having regular massages by a particular masseuse (yes, lucky me!) I consider these massages as being necessary to my good health. Suddenly, one morning, I woke up and thought “I can’t afford those massages anymore.” I literally looked around to see who said that. I was actually astonished. I knew that nothing in my financial position had changed. I could afford the massages just as well this month as I had the prior six months. What was going on? As I sat and pondered this, I realized that I just didn’t like her technique any more. Somehow it wasn’t doing it for me. The real problem had nothing to do with money. Yet what were the first words out of my mouth?

We aren’t accustomed to being able to just change our minds about something. We have perhaps a cultural pressure to have a “good reason” for a change. It seems strange to just change our mind. We need to be angry, or have had bad service, or no longer be able to afford whatever it is. That last reason seems to be the easiest to put over, the easiest for people to accept. No one talks about money. So no one is going to question that excuse.

There is this magic thing, if you make it about money, no one asks any questions. Try it. Next time you don’t want to do something, just say “I can’t afford it.” It’s like magic. People will disappear. Talking about money on that level is so taboo, it’s a true conversation stopper. It can be a great excuse, if you are conscious of it as one.

However, if you use money as the excuse, or the Masquerader, without being conscious of it, you’ll just fall through a Money Trap Door, and find yourself somewhere you may not have wanted to go.

It’s good to sort it out and know what part is really about money, and what part really isn’t. I’ve got a client that did just that. Her ex-husband wanted to take their son on a vacation, and he wanted his ex-wife to give him money for the extra cost of feeding his son during the trip. She realized that this wasn’t really about money. It was about a bunch of other things, things like fairness and power and putting the son in the middle. The tangle that was building over the son being told that he wouldn’t be able to go on the trip unless him mom paid for his food wasn’t about money. It would have been easy in some ways to let it be about money, wouldn’t it? But the tangle of power and fairness is the real problem. Often the choices around these issues don’t have a nice and neat happy solution.

People make it about money to avoid pain or embarrassment. We make it about money to minimize pain, to eliminate scrutiny. We make it about money because we know that most of the time people won’t look beyond money for the cause. It’s easy to make it about money.

If the problem is not about money, then it costs us to make it seem so. It costs us by reinforcing the idea that money “makes” things happen. When you make money the “bad guy”, you end up hiding the actual cause, and thus make it impossible to stop or change.

What other costs can you see? Now that you know what happens when an issue Masquerades as Money, you have a choice. You can look to see what else is creating the issue, or you can continue to fall through the trap. Choices are like that.

If you are interested in identifying other Money Trap Doors you may fall through, join us on this month’s call.

Upcoming Teleclasses:

We have two events to talk about in this Money Knot. One is for April, and a special one for early May, for those of us with artistic and creative leanings.

Teleclass: What’s Your Money Trap?

Here’s how Money Trap Doors work. You are walking through life and suddenly this money place takes over. It’s like we just fall through a trap door. We are surrounded by Money Trap Doors all the time. Some we have created for ourselves and some are imposed by our culture and history. Identifying and exploring these trap doors will create both clarity and choice about whether or not you want to keep falling through them.

We’ll explore at least five Money Trap Doors. While exploring them, we will look both at their impact on you when you fall through one, and also how to avoid being drug into any trap doors that other people may try and pull you into.

Learn how to walk around, jump over, or at least climb back out of those money traps.

Date: Wednesday, April 21st

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: http://www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

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Our second teleclass is a joint venture between Shell and Rebecca Coleman.

Teleclass: Can Artists Be Friends With Money?

As creatives, you just want to be creative! You are passionate about your art, and you want to spend all of your time doing that. You do not want to spend time thinking about how to pay the rent, how to market yourself, and how to create more income. If you want to survive, thrive, and even prosper as an artist, you need to get clear about your relationship with money.

$ Does it feel like money is some mysterious thing that no one ever really explained to you?

$ Do you sometimes wish that you never had to think about money again?

$ Does crunching numbers sound about as fun as a root canal?

Money coach Shell Tain will be with us to point out the money related road blocks that keep us stuck in the mindset of being starving artists. Shell has a no-number-crunching approach to money that helps us see it in new ways. You’ll leave this call with some new perspectives and ideas about you, money and about your relationship with it.

Rebecca Coleman a freelance theatre publicist in Vancouver, BC, Canada, will co-host the call, stirring up questions and ideas. She is passionate about helping artists to become better business people, and writes about the subject frequently on her blog, The Art of the Business, found at http://www.artofthebiz.com

Together, these two will lead you towards untangling some of the money thinking that keeps road blocking you on your way to being both a creative and a prosperous artist.

Date: Tuesday, May 4th

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: http://www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

Shell Tain, pcc, cpcc

$ensible Coaching

503.258.1630

shell@sensiblecoaching.com

www.sensiblecoaching.com

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Bringing the Ka-Ching: Saving your Bacon

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 3, 2010

Bringing the Ka-ching: Saving Your Bacon

I’ve individual results with money are often much less about the economy and much more about the way we think about money. After all, our actions are filtered through, as well as effected by, our thinking. Unfortunately, our thinking can sometimes just plain get us in trouble. In the very least, it gets us off track.

There are many ways in which that happens. Mostly these issues stem from habit, as we continue to think about and deal with our money in the same old ways we always have. Since for most of us money is such an old and taboo topic, we are reluctant to look at how to do it differently. This is one way we get trapped. We keep doing it the way we have always been doing it because we are comfortable with that. We don’t look at new possibilities.

This month I’d like to talk about one of those money thinking patterns that I would go so far as to call a money trap: Savings. I’ve been talking to people for a long time about saving money. Mostly, I run into the “I can’t save money” perspective. People focus on the scenario of whenever they have saved money something comes along and just takes it away. You know how this works. The appliance dies, the plumbing leaks, the tires go bald. Something always seems to just happen.

Like all other money issues, the way to change your perspective and therefore the results around savings is a two pronged attack. First, there are the beliefs. And second, there are the actions and habits.

I have been working with people about the belief part for quite awhile. After some time of the roller coaster of saving and then having the saving deleted, most people stop saving. Of course, there are some people who never started saving to being with. Whichever it is for you, what your brain knows is that you don’t save. That’s why it’s important to save. You need to have your brain know you do. Since this part is about your brain, or more accurately your belief, the amount you save isn’t important. The actual act of saving is what is important. Your belief needs to shift from “I can’t save” or “I don’t save” to “Yes, I save”. So the supporting action here is to just start saving something, anything, each month. And since we are in the business here of creating belief, have this periodic action be intentional each and every time. What I mean is, if you have the bank automatically put money in savings without a monthly action by you, you don’t actually have the monthly experience of saving in your head. Automatic deposits are convenient and effective. They are even elegant in a way. They just are not individually intentional, and for this game we actually want you to notice what you are doing, each and every time. You want to notice and have your brain say “Wow, look at that, I just saved. I really do this.” So, write the check, click the transaction yourself, drop the coins in the piggy bank, whatever. Just make sure it is you that is performing the consistent actions of saving.

Okay, step two coming up. This new action I’m going to suggest comes from a confusion in thinking. Let’s side bar a moment to look at the difference between how companies and individuals think about “savings”. Mostly, individuals have one savings account. Often, there is also a long term retirement account (IRA, 401K, or some other alpha-numerically identifiable entity) which is removed from my every day thinking account. Notice how that thing that is “automatically” taken out of your check somehow doesn’t “count” as savings any more? Anyway, for this discussion, most people have one savings account. Companies have two savings concepts; Long Term Savings and Operating Capital. Often there is only one savings account, the Long Term Savings one, and the Operating Capital is represented by a little goody called a Line of Credit. Ideally, money goes in and out of the Line of Credit to help smooth out the ups and downs of money in the business. In some ways the Home Equity Loan can work well that way, but, unfortunately most people don’t use one for cash flow, they use it for buying stuff.

So what does “cash flow” actually mean? It’s one of those money terms, isn’t it? Money, just like the tides, ebbs and flows. It does that for all of us. I actually refer to the times when there is less of it as the “cash ebb”. It helps me remember that there will be the corresponding flow. We tend to focus our attention more on the times when it goes out, than when it comes back, don’t we? So cash flow is simply the idea that we need a certain amount of money in a given period, say a month, and that the money may be needed to go out (ebb) before we get it back in (flow). Timing. Remember, timing is everything. So operating capital for the company is money that helps them pay money out when needed, before they get the money back in to cover it.

Individuals do this too. BUT, they do it from their savings. AND, as they do that, an emotional money trap door opens up and they fall through. Here’s how that trap door works. We have had to spend money before we had it to cover monthly bills, or to pay the property taxes, or the plumber. Fine, but that little nasty voice in our head says “see, you can never save money. It just goes. Why even bother. You know you can’t”, on and on and on. The trap door opened and you fell through, thus sabotaging your ability to “save”.

So here’s the idea. Have two savings accounts. One is Operating Capital: money to be used for cash flow, for the periodic ebbs and flows. The other is the “real” savings, the savings for vacations and other dreams. By separating the two at your bank, you also separate them in your mind.

As I’m writing, I can hear a bunch of you out there saying “that’s just great, where does she think we are going to find this money for these two accounts? We can’t make the bills now!” And you thought I couldn’t hear you, didn’t you?

Yes, it’s a challenge. But actually separating the two money ideas in your brain is the first step to changing this. You can choose to keep doing it the old way, or you can start changing your thinking and habits to move to the new place. And remember, it’s not the amount that is the important thing here. It’s the action.

How much do you need in your Operating Capital? There’s not really a clear formula. Finance people usually recommend 3 – 6 months of money. That can seem huge to start with, can’t it? Don’t start there. Start with setting up the two accounts and putting something in each one every month. Many of you are self-employed and need to pay estimated taxes. Start with putting each month 1/12 of what you paid in taxes last year. Start. Just start. And then keep doing it, and when you have to spend that all, start again. Did I mention starting?

Yesterday, while I was waiting to see my tax preparer (yes, it’s that time again, folks) there were two guys chatting in the waiting room. One of them was actually talking about how this works. He was complaining about his water bill. “Not only does water cost more than it used to, it’s both water and sewer, but even worse, they only bill it once every three months. How am I supposed to deal with that?” The answer to his question is “have an Operating Capital Savings account”. It’s a real issue. Even if you aren’t a number cruncher, you can plan to have these two accounts. Call them whatever you like. Big savings, Little savings, Short term, Long term, Necessities, Dreams. The names don’t matter. What matters is the change in your beliefs and habits. Just start.

Upcoming Teleclass:

This month’s Money Knot talked about how our beliefs and habits around savings can get us in trouble. The March teleclass goes deeper into our heads and deals with not only where all this money stuff started, but some of the ways we perpetuate it.

Teleclass: How Old Is The Money Manager In Your Head?

$ Are you ever curious about just where all your patterns got started?

$ Do you ever notice that you seem stuck when it comes to money?

$ Ever wondered why you just can’t seem to shake those old money habits?

$ Do you ever feel lost when it comes to understanding your money practices?

There are some real reasons for these issues. Once you have more clarity around how money works in your head, you will be much better equipped to get unstuck and move toward different results.

Date: Wednesday, March 17th

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

___________________________________________________

The Money Knot Story:

In case you are wondering why this is called The Money Knot, here’s the story. I’ve always been fond of Celtic knots, and you notice I use one as my logo. From my perspective, there are several things about these knots that relate to our money journey. One, you can see the whole knot; nothing is hidden, it’s all revealed. Two, the knot has no beginning and no end; it’s an ongoing, dynamic process. Three, the knot that I have chosen is a bit askew; our maneuvering is often out of the box.

Our money lives are like this knot. They are a visible maze that is intricate and sometimes challenging. Sometimes we get stuck in a corner; sometimes money is confusing, embarrassing or even scary. And yet the knot is always there. It’s a never ending relationship.

Together we go into your knot, and I help you to understand and maneuver through the knot. You will get familiar with the territory, know your way around, understand the twists and turns. Together we will make sense of where you are on your own personal money path and help you get to where you want to be.

Happy New Ka-ching in the New Year!

Shell Tain, pcc, cpcc

$ensible Coaching

503.258.1630

shell@sensiblecoaching.com

www.sensiblecoaching.com

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The Money Knot – Symptoms vs Causes

Posted by Corey Kaster on January 7, 2010

Your ka-ching newsletter from $ensible Coaching

January 2010

In this issue

Bringing the Ka-ching

Welcome to the January 2010 Money Knot, a newsletter with articles that bring you to the ka-ching.

Lots of things trigger my topics for this newsletter. Frequently, as it is with this month, it’s an article in our local newspaper. A recent headline stated: “Despite aid, borrowers still fall behind” followed by: “About 40% of homeowners who had payments reduced by 20% were late again within a year, a report says”

Frankly, to me, this is not a surprise. This is one of the fundamental places that my work is all about. Fixing the symptoms with money will not make it all better. Fixing only the symptoms mean there are underlying causes to the real problem that aren’t being addressed.

Sure, some people have just had something throw them off track; an illness, losing a job, some one time circumstance. Those folks can recover fairly easily, and a program to consolidate, or clear out their debt can help them get back on track.

But there are many, many more people for whom “getting behind” and amassing debt are a much more chronic and far reaching issue. Far reaching back into their money history, that is. Thoughts, attitudes, emotions, behaviors all contribute to our money results. They frame our actions for good or bad. Many think of these options as “Get Out Of Jail Free” Monopoly cards. The problem is the rate of repeat offenders.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I often suggest to clients that they take advantage of programs to help them get out from under. Even bankruptcy is sometimes a viable option. When you are bleeding all over the ER room, it’s hard to deal with something more subtle like changing your diet and your exercise program. You want a relief and you want one now. What I really want you to do, your long range plan, is to change you think about and use your money. But it’s very hard to focus on that when you are terrified by a looming foreclosure or bewildered by mounting debt.

In order to not go there again, you have to choose to change how you relate to money. You can’t just keep doing the same old patterns over and over, or even harder and harder, and expect the results to be different. And yet that’s what we do, isn’t it? I’ll bet that the people who still fall behind on their mortgage payments even after a payment reduction were all in some way trying to do what they have tried to do before only harder. It’s a natural thing.

We don’t actually like to change. A client recently asked me “Can we really by-pass learning a lesson the hard way, if we really get it through our spiritual work?” It’s a tricky question. Yes, we can, but we have to be willing to change, and it all depends on belief. If you can change your thinking without having to go through the pain, that’s great! But how many people can do that? It’s often pain that pushes us out of our comfort zone and into change. We have options of course. We can stay with our habits and keep creating the same kinds of circumstances. We can “hit bottom” and be pushed and shoved into change. Or, we can choose to change when we get the early signals, those intuitive hits, long before it gets really hard to change.

I’d like to suggest you opt for the last choice. The hard parts get bigger and harder when you don’t. And if you don’t choose to change earlier in the process, instead of simply having to learn new ways to think about and relate to money, you have to learn those news ways while dealing with major issues.

So, by all means, reduce the load, the tension and the pressure. But don’t stop there. Once you have a little breathing room use that space to change your choices. Learn about how you think about money, where those habits came from. Reframe your thinking. Become conscious of your money choices. Change the causative parts of your money issues, not just the symptoms.

And the point is, do something about this breaking the patterns. There are resources to assist you. Since this is what I do, I have a bunch of them available, including this month’s teleclass, which is a great place to start reframing money thinking. And there are books, other money/financial coaches and professionals, as well as your own ingenuity.

Please, just try something different. It’s probably the one thing you haven’t tried, and it will produce different results. Until you do that you’ll just be treating the symptoms over and over, and never correcting the underlying causes.

Upcoming Teleclass:

Toward the end of last year, lots of people were asking me about how to figure out their “budgets”. Yes, that challenging word came up again and again. Let’s start the New Year off by looking at how you actually spend your money.

Teleclass: Budget Without a Budget

$ Do you ever find yourself at the end of the month with no money left?

$ Do you struggle with how to change your spending habits?

$ Do you find the very idea of budgeting to be uncomfortable and confusing?

$ Do the ideas of record keeping and analyzing numbers just make you want to run?

A budget is the typical solution to spending problems, and yet budgets don’t always work. If they haven’t worked for you, come explore how to do it differently, without number crunching. Budgeting can be and should be about spending your money in ways that support your financial plan. We’ll simplify the ideas behind creating a budget. We’ll turn all this number crunching into some identifiable and embraceable concepts, and help you make an actual simple plan. We’ll be looking more specifically at how you spend your money as you are spending it. What part of your money goes where? How do you make those choices now? What might be a better way?

Date: Wednesday, January 27th

Time: 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pacific (1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern)

Registration: www.sensiblecoaching.com

Fee: FREE your only cost for this call is your regular long distance call charges.

__________________________________________________

The Money Knot Story:

In case you are wondering why this is called The Money Knot, here’s the story. I’ve always been fond of Celtic knots, and you notice I use one as my logo. From my perspective, there are several things about these knots that relate to our money journey. One, you can see the whole knot; nothing is hidden, it’s all revealed. Two, the knot has no beginning and no end; it’s an ongoing, dynamic process. Three, the knot that I have chosen is a bit askew; our maneuvering is often out of the box.

Our money lives are like this knot. They are a visible maze that is intricate and sometimes challenging. Sometimes we get stuck in a corner; sometimes money is confusing, embarrassing or even scary. And yet the knot is always there. It’s a never ending relationship.

Together we go into your knot, and I help you to understand and maneuver through the knot. You will get familiar with the territory, know your way around, understand the twists and turns. Together we will make sense of where you are on your own personal money path and help you get to where you want to be.

Quick Links…

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Shell’s Bio

Happy New Ka-ching in the New Year!

Shell Tain, pcc, cpcc

$ensible Coaching

503.258.1630

shell@sensiblecoaching.com

www.sensiblecoaching.com

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