How to shift the way you think about money

Presented live on Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

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Tarzan Kay is back to talk about all things money for:

  • Freelance copywriters
  • Solopreneurs
  • Small business owners, like tech startup founders and digital guru-types


  • Anyone thinking of becoming any of those things

This isn’t a “budget like this” and “don’t spend money on that” kinda talk about saving vs spending.

We’re gonna dig into the real ways that you can start figuring out how to afford the help of a VA… adding more cash to your savings account… paying yourself like a human… keeping shoes on little Jimmy’s feet… and doing all the good stuff that DOES NOT INCLUDE nickel-and-diming your way to some far-distant goal of possibly maybe one day not being strapped for cash while being simultaneously strapped to your desk.

Start shifting the way you talk about money… the way you don’t talk about money… the way you save… the way you spend… and how you think about allllllll that.

Learn more from Tarzan and tune in to the tutorial below.


Joanna Wiebe: How do I get myself to a place where I can start identifying what I need, identifying what’s holding me back from getting what I need in terms of acquiring a VA, taking that course, doing that extra stuff? What are your higher level tips or strategies on actually digging into what’s ailing you?

Tarzan: Okay, I’m totally working through some of this myself in a really similar scenario. Right now, I’m getting ready to hire a full time content manager. First of all, we need to have very specific goals. My specific goal right now, hiring a full time content manager. Right away, when that thought first came to me, I literally seize up. I feel really scared to do this. This is like ding, ding, ding. Okay, something’s going on here. Because objectively, I can look at my numbers and say, “well, given the trajectory of my business revenue, it looks like I can afford this.” I can see in the bank that I can afford this. All the signs are pointing to this is a good decision.

Joanna Wiebe: Tarzan, what do you got to share with us about all of our money crap?

Tarzan: I have so much to say about money.

Joanna Wiebe: I know you do.

Tarzan: Probably the first most important thing is we all have money stuff at all levels. As I am working through my own money stuff, I’m like, “Oh this shit is still around. I didn’t even know.” I’ll give you an example. We have all these internal beliefs about money that we don’t even realize and often they come up without us even realizing them. An example… I was, we bought a second car recently. We’ve always had a second car. We have two kids, we have a second car. It’s a luxury. It’s great. The second car was this really old Honda Element. We loved it. It was the coolest, shoutout, please give me a shoutout in the chat if you know how great Honda Element is.

It’s amazing. The Honda Element is dead and we have to replace our second car. We’re looking at all these ads for old, shitty cars because… Well, before I even get to that… Old shitty cars, I’m looking at all these cars. I’m like, “Ah, that’s a shitty car. That’s a shitty car. Oh, this is slightly nicer.” Then I came upon this land Rover and I was like, “Oh, this is really nice.”

Joanna Wiebe: Uh oh. Uh oh. Yeah, it’s also-

Tarzan: It’s used. Actually, I’ll just tell you. We paid $8,000 for it.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, damn!

Tarzan: [crosstalk 00:02:46] Yeah, I know, right? You can own a Land Rover for $8,000. I go out and we test drive this car and it’s beautiful. It’s pristine. The woman who sold it to me has leather spray in her car. She rubs down the leather every month. We will not be doing that. But anyway, the car is beautiful and I’m really conflicted about it. I realized, “Oh, I have been carrying this belief that I can have one nice car and one shitty car. I’m not allowed to have two nice cars,” even though I paid, I had the money to pay for it. It was no problem.

This is just one example of these internal beliefs that we are carrying around about ourselves without even knowing. It affects the way we show up in business. It affects the way you quote a job. It affects the way you show up on camera. If you don’t think that you’re worth a lot of money, you probably are going to show up on camera in your yoga pants because you’re like, “Oh, I’m just cool Tarzan. This is just how I show up.” But that is, what is driving that is our own beliefs about what we truly deserve to earn and have.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, it’s true. I got over the car thing because I was dating somebody who was very into cars. I didn’t even feel like, I didn’t even question it. But that’s an interesting insight, the things that we allow ourselves. Yeah.

Tarzan: Yeah, and it applies to business too. There are so many things that we carry guilt around, like “I’m not allowed to buy this thing for my business.” Okay. Courses are a prime example. “I am not allowed to buy this course that I really need and I know is really going to help me because I wasted money on this other course or I didn’t finish this other thing.” When I buy a course I’m like, “”I just want one good takeaway. Let’s say I bought Copy School. Well, Copy School, all of your shit paid off for me in so many ways. I haven’t watched every single video. Far from it.

But if I can watch that and watch some of those trainings and show up on a call with a potential client with a little bit extra confidence, I’m like, “Okay, I know some shit now. I have some words to describe the benefit of working with me, why what I do is different from other copywriters.” I just bring that to the call and I can close an extra $2,000. I made my money back. Why would I continue to carry guilt about having invested in that thing that I didn’t do everything?

Joanna Wiebe: Right. 100%. It’s interesting. When we were, we had a Sandra Booker in, who was your VA for a while. She was in last week talking about VA’s. The reason that we wanted to follow up with that, with the money thing, is because so often I hear from freelancers, “Oh, I’d love one.” But there’s this would idea in there. Instead of, “I will get one.” There’s just a lot of clutter getting in the way of actually acquiring things that you need to get in order to do the next thing that you have to do to have this breakthrough.

There’s the personal side of, you deserve two good cars. If you can afford two, you deserve those two cars. Now, deserve is a loaded word, et cetera. But when it comes to the business, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, I guess that’s important… And Jonathan asked a question to you about this, the beliefs that hold you back and how do you actually change them? Jonathan actually asked just us. Perhaps the correct question is, how do you identify the beliefs that are holding you back and how do you change them?

Tarzan: Oh, okay.

Joanna Wiebe: Just a small question.

Tarzan: [inaudible 00:06:30] I feel like my expertise is not as much around fixing the mindset stuff as much as fixing the habits that these beliefs have created. One thing that I teach about is how to show up on a call and look like a professional, how to send invoices and proposals, a lot of stuff that I learned from you in TCM three, showing up like a professional because our money shit gets in the way of doing that. I will say though, in terms of dealing with this stuff when it comes up and I realize like, “Oh, I have a belief that I don’t deserve to work with this client or I can’t charge this amount of money.” I do a lot of personal development work constantly and I have a very strong belief that your business can only grow as much as you personally can grow because we all have a threshold of success that we are willing to allow.

The personal growth work that I do, some people will think it’s really weird and strange and unusual. We all have to find our own person that we like to learn from and we want to do healing work with. Just a couple of examples that are going to sound very bizarre… I do a lot of breathwork. Breathwork was developed by Stan Grof. Stan Grof was doing a lot of research during the LSD movement, when LSD was like something everyone was doing and there was all this scientific research being done. People were having these incredible breakthroughs doing guided LSD trips. Then it became, the system, all that research got shut down. He switched to doing breathwork. He does something called holotropic breathwork.

I do breathwork every single Friday and it brings me to another dimension where I discover a lot of interesting things about myself, beliefs that I didn’t know I had, create the vision for where I’m going. That’s just one example. But the reason I use something that may feel a bit out there is we all have to find our own work, but we have to do the work. You might be listening and be like, “That’s weird. I’m not doing that.” Well, that’s fine. Find your own thing. It’s different for everyone, but you have to show up and do that work.

Joanna Wiebe: Interesting. You also did the tapping thing. Do you still do that?

Tarzan: Oh, yeah. Okay, that was one of the first things that I did is I tapped with Brad. This is how I came to know Joanna, actually. Tapping is great for working with your money stuff, but tapping is EFT, emotional freedom technique. You’re tapping on these Meridian points and basically you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain. Because if your pathway is like, “I don’t deserve this, I can’t charge more money,” your brain just keeps going on that path, playing that thing. Tapping is one way to interrupt the pattern and create the outcome you want.

How I came to know Joanna, this was three or four years ago, Joanna and I ran this contest, the email copywriting challenge. I was like, “I’m going to win this motherfucking challenge.” I tapped with Brad. If you Google Tapping with Brad, he has tons of YouTube videos, or Anyway, I tapped on, “I am a winner.” I was like, “I am a winner. I fully and completely accept myself. I am a winner. I win the email copywriting challenge.” Just one thing that I was doing alongside all of the other things that we need to do to win competitions and grow our businesses.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah. Interesting. Because there was that original, I guess it’s… Jonathan asked the question that’s kind of the thesis of this discussion today, which is more discussion than the tutorial, which I think is really useful. How do you identify the beliefs that are holding you back in the first place? One is I think maybe identifying that you have limiting beliefs in the first place. Then how do you change them? You’re talking about different techniques for changing them. But you still had to get to a place where you believed you could change them, so you looked at tapping. You believed and you put yourself out there and you entered the challenge. That’s one thing with mindset. I guess I’m just wondering, when it comes to how people, everybody who did tune in today, who’s here live and watching this and wants to know about, “How do I get myself to a place where I can start saying, identifying what I need, identifying what’s holding me back from getting what I need in terms of like acquiring a VA, taking that course, doing that extra stuff?”

I know you have a lot of thoughts here, but what are your higher-level tips or strategies on actually digging into what’s ailing?

Tarzan: I’m totally working through some of this myself in a really similar scenario. Right now, I’m getting ready to hire a full-time content manager. Something about it, when you have a… First of all, we need to have very specific goals. My specific goal right now, hiring a full-time content manager. Right away, when that thought first came to me, I literally seize up. I’m like, I feel really scared to do this. This is like, “Ding, ding, ding! Okay, something’s going on here.” Because objectively, I can look my numbers and say, “Well, given the trajectory of my business revenue, it looks like I can afford this. I can see in the bank that I can afford this. All the signs are pointing to this is a good decision.” On the other hand, something in here, and it’s not… Some people do say when you have a gut reaction it’s often, “Yes, I must do this. It feels really good.” When I do have that gut reaction, I go and do something.

On the other hand, when something gives me heart palpitations, so this is a bit of knowing your body and how your body reacts to things, but when something makes me feel really scared right here, I know it’s something that I have to go into and identify. First, I have to start by questioning, “Okay, why do I feel scared to hire this person? Oh yeah, I’m scared that I’m going to run out of money. Okay, let’s work backwards from that.” WHy do I have this fear that I’m going to run out of money? That has literally never happened in my business, but maybe it happened many times in my childhood. Okay, so there’s some stuff there. This sounds cliche, but 90% of the shit that comes up is something that happened in childhood that we haven’t worked through.

Maybe it’s something that happened when you were really little or something that your parents or one of them had taught you about money or growing a business or whatever. There’s all this stuff that’s really ingrained in us from when we’re really young and now we are playing it out as business owners. I’m always on the lookout for, “Something is making me really uncomfortable about this thing I know I want to do and externally I can see is a really good idea, therefore I need to go into this.” Does that answer the question?

Joanna Wiebe: I think so, yeah. Having that specific goal that scares you and then identifying why it scares you in the first place and kind of backing up from there.

Tarzan: Yeah. Okay, but one more thing, and this is so important. I know so many freelancers and people that even think about themselves as business owners that are not on top of their finances, like at fucking all.

Joanna Wiebe: At all.

Tarzan: At all.

Joanna Wiebe: It all goes into one big pile that they buy their children’s shoes with.

Tarzan: Exactly. This causes so much undue stress. When you understand what’s going on financially in your business, now you have the tools to actually make good decisions. Just earlier I was talking about how I don’t have the solution for you to fix your mindset issues, but I can see how this is playing out in a very real way in your business. One way that it plays out is not tracking your finances, not keeping up with your bookkeeping or doing any bookkeeping at all, mixing your business accounts in your personal accounts. These are just practical things that just aggravate the problem in such a deep way because you can’t actually make a decision about whether or not hiring a VA is the next step for you. If you don’t have the numbers to even know, you’re just guessing.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, totally. That’s a whole new level of anxiety and you’re going to wake up in the middle of the night, knowing. Your brain’s like, “Girl, you guessed at that.” You’re going to wake up middle of the night going, “Oh crap, what if I can’t? What if I have to fire somebody?” Which is a heartbreaking thing to have to do. That’ll hold you back from doing it. Now, Natalie says 100% ignoring your numbers and then Derek says a really good question. “How do you pay yourself from your biz?” I think I talk about this with our freelancers. Tarzan, I’d love to hear how you first started doing this, paying yourself for your business. Derek says, “Do you transfer funds from a business account to a personal account?”

Tarzan: Yeah. Okay. My business is incorporated. It has all of its own accounts. All of the money goes there first. It cannot accidentally go into my personal account. Everything is over there and then I have percentages. It’s based on profit first, it’s not the exact system. Basically, 30% of that goes into an expense account, 30% goes into paying myself, and 30% goes into taxes. That’s not the exact percentages, but let’s just say that how it works. I pay myself from the owner’s pay account. I have a salary that I pay myself every other week. But also, if I’m doing a launch or if there’s a big uptick in revenue for whatever reason, I give myself a bonus out of that owner’s pay account and that’s it. The tax account, obviously that cannot be touched. Although sometimes, I have borrowed from it and paid the tax account back.

Sometimes I treat it, I’m not perfect. I have a system, I don’t follow it 100% but everything goes into the bank and then my salary is automated. That was scary to set up because of course I had this idea like, “Oh my God, what if there’s not enough money in that account and it bounces?” So what if it bounces? It’s me paying myself. But it has never, not once bounced. Not a single time. I do think a lot of that is just making the commitment, “I am going to pay myself every other week and this is just how it works now.”

Joanna Wiebe: For me, that was a major turning point. There were a couple of turning points for me in my business. One was hiring a VA and feeling like I was actually in on this. Two was incorporating my business, which then allowed me to pay myself a salary and getting an accountant. They’re all really closely tied together in simplifying your life and feeling more like an entrepreneur. I fully agree. Incorporate your business when… I know people are like, “Am I ready to?” I didn’t know why I was waiting, honestly. I was told by somebody, “Oh, you don’t need to yet,” so I just didn’t. But I think that person didn’t realize that I was growing and actual business, not just doing a hobby until I got a job somewhere else or something. As soon as you incorporate, then you’re in a place where you have a business account.

It has to be separate. You have to keep it separate. That means you have to pay yourself. That means, once you start paying yourself, you leave some money in the bank and suddenly that’s business money that you use to grow your business. It’s a complete change of the way you think about being a small business owner, being a freelancer and actually having money that’s yours for you. When you need to buy shoes for your child, it comes out of your personal account and it’s not that guilt that you feel of, “Well, I can’t invest in a VA or anything else, or that course, because that’s $2,000. What could I do for my kids with $2,000 a month?” Keep it separate. It’s not theirs. You need to grow your business. I’m cutting you off, but I get all enthusiastic.

Tarzan: I want to say one more thing. This is so important. That’s the biggest thing. If you only got one thing, take that away. This is particularly important for those of us who have spouses that aren’t in business. When you’re incorporated, your business is no longer you. This is the business. This is the business’ finances. It’s not like I made 30 or $50,000 or whatever. The business made this money. When you think about it in that way, it does really change the way you hold money and spend money.

Joanna Wiebe: Yep, totally agree. The business makes $50,000, you still get paid eight or whatever you pay yourself a month. Yep. Then you have all that other money sitting there waiting to grow. You can use it to actually grow your business, which feels amazing. Tarzan, thank you for coming in and chatting with us about money mindset and everything that freelancers and entrepreneurs need to work through. Awesome seeing you again. Hope everything’s great for you.

Tarzan: Thank you.

Joanna Wiebe: Carrie, thanks so much, too. Thanks everybody, for tuning in. We’ll see you next week for our next Tutorial Tuesday. Thanks guys.

Tarzan: Thanks, Joanna.

Joanna Wiebe: Thanks.

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