Episode 65: How to Get Rid of Your Financial Problems for Good! with Laurie Johnson

September 28, 2020

In this episode, financial expert, Laurie Johnson, shares how mindset impacts your business and your bottom line, especially for women, how to change your relationship with money, the difference between personal and business finances, and how to think about money and finances to gain true financial freedom.

Resources mentioned

Free Financial Checklist


Living in Financial Abundance

You Bought What? How to Create a Spending Plan that Works.

3 Key Points

You need to heal your relationship with money to gain financial freedom.

A financial coach has no vested interest in where you spend your business dollars so they can help you make the right decisions for the level of business you are in at any point without bias so you don’t overspend on unnecessary coaching and tech stuff; it’s different than having a business coach.

Debt is bad in your personal life, but good in business as is bankruptcy.


[00:50] Ellen: Hi, and welcome to Episode 65. Today, my guest is Laurie Johnson. Laurie specializes in the psychology of money for women, and she shows female solopreneurs how to master the skills that allow them to have more money, save more money, and pay less in taxes. But her background includes twenty-six years of personal finance, counseling, financial therapy. I love that, tax strategy and preparation insurance and real estate. Laurie is a frequent provider of corporate training, which I found very impressive, for top companies and agencies like Ralph Lauren. One of my favorites Verizon Jackson Hewitt, orange County, North Carolina, and the Virginia Department of Health. And she’s the author of the book Living in Financial Abundance. And You Bought What? How to Create a Spending Plan that Works. So, welcome to the call, Laurie.

Laurie: Thank you, Ellen. I’m so happy that you’re having me here.

Ellen:  Well, I’m so happy, I finally got you because I, we met at Driven, The Event, and you were offering free sessions, and I took one of them, and it was amazing because I have to admit, I have some issues with money. And so, you helped me really a lot., One free session and I made a $500 sale right away from that.

Laurie: YAY!

Ellen:  So yeah, it’s wonderful.

Laurie:  I love to see just like one little tip. It’s always the little things that shift your mindset, right?

Ellen: Yeah. Well, yeah, my problem is I tend to give away too much for free. That’s my issue. And my husband gets on me, you know, he’ll hear me on a call and then he’ll  say, “You gave away too much. What are you doing? And, “ You’ve got to charge for that,” and all that. And you really helped me see how to do that in a way that was comfortable for me. And that was amazing. So, thank you.

Laurie:  I often say it’s not what you say. It’s how you say, because sometimes you just have to figure out how you say the words that you need to say so that it feels authentic to you. So, I might say, you know what? I can give you two pieces of advice during this call, but other people may not feel comfortable saying that.

Ellen: Well, I felt comfortable saying it, yeah.

Laurie: When you get yourself  to that point so  when you give your permission so when you give those pieces of information, it’s the best pieces of information, and they know that it’s enough to win you clients,

Ellen: Right, and not feel like you’re being used.

Laurie: Exactly.

Ellen: Yeah. I mean, a lot of it for me, at this point in my career, is setting boundaries, because you reach a point where you just don’t have the time to be giving hours and hours away, and you’re busy, and you want to help everybody, but you have to set boundaries. And I know boundaries is a really difficult thing for a lot of women, because the reason I know is because I’ve run mastermind groups and, you know, money and boundaries are just a big thing with the women and don’t seem to be a big thing with a man from what I’ve seen..

[04:13] Laurie: Absolutely. You know, I was saying that I specialize in the psychology of money for women. And it is because the psychology of money for women is much different than the psychology of money for men. For women, money is security and freedom and comfort and safety, and it is how they show love, right?  And it is how they share.  Where for men, it is just…

Ellen: Money transactional.

Laurie: Yes, exactly. So, they don’t have any problem walking up, asking for exactly what it is they want and telling you exactly what it is that they will and will not do,  where women, I think that, by our nature, that nurturing side wants to give you all of the information, but money is all about boundaries. It is all about determining ahead of time what you want your money to do, and then what you need to do to make your money.

([05:20]) Ellen: Well, we kind of got right into it, which usually I ask people to talk about, a little bit about their background. So, do you want to share a little bit about how did you become interested in, and a specialist in,  the psychology of money for women?

[05:36] Laurie: Actually, it’s been like twenty-six years since I have been preparing taxes. And I started when it was pen and pencil, volunteering to help seniors and low-income individuals prepare their taxes, and I’ve been preparing taxes ever, ever since. So, for twenty-six years, I’ve been preparing taxes and almost every year someone says something crazy about what they’re going to do with their tax refund.

So, for me to hear that a tax refund, and sometimes, that is the largest check that those individuals will see all year long.

Ellen: Wow.

Laurie: And to hear the plans that they have where they and sometimes, and like I said, it’s always so fascinating because the men who were like, “I’m going to buy a car,”  and the women were like, “I’m going to buy my kids Christmas presents because this past Christmas was horrible.” And so,  men spend on things and women spend on emotions, that guilt, that shame that they weren’t able to provide for their kids back when they should have provided those gifts. And so, I wanted to change that and then, started giving financial counseling to my tax clients. And the next year, when they returned to me, they would be having this thing issue over and over.

Ellen: Oh no!

Laurie: And that’s when I realized it wasn’t the money, you know, no matter how many times you think more money is going to help. More money will never help until you change.

[07:16] Ellen:  That is so true. I remember I was talking to somebody and he was saying how he had clients who were making 200-and-some-odd-thousand a year, and they were feeling like they were just struggling. Yeah.

[07:27] Laurie: Yes. Totally, I mean, it is your relationship with money that that determines how you feel about the life you’re living. And so, I’ve known, people living in what other people would think would be poverty and just thriving and saving and having money put aside. And like you said, people making quarter of a million dollars who can barely scratch together $600 if there’s an emergency.

[07:56] Ellen: Well yeah. Every once in a while, I’ll hear a story, like some maid who like saved all her money. I think, this was one, saved all her money. And then she, when she was like, in her eighties or nineties, she gave it all to some university in there and it was like hundreds of thousands of dollars and they were like, “Whoa”.

[08:13] Laurie: So, yeah. So, I just say that you’re the one who determines your financial stress. So, you are the one who determines the abundance in your life. And so, like I was saying that when I figured out that it was all up here in your brain, then I had to figure out, “ How do I help people change that?” And I took a bunch of classes. I did a bunch of research, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. And it wasn’t until I had stuff going on in my own life with my children, that I came across behavioral therapy. And I like, “Oh my goodness, this is fabulous. It teaches all kinds of great stuff like being able to be mindful and tolerating your stress and, being able to communicate appropriately,”  Everyone needs this, especially my financial clients, right? And so, I integrated it into my financial counseling practice. And that was the start of, I don’t know, my romance…

Ellen: Oh nice.

Laurie: …of  helping women,and particularly female solopreneurs, because not only does their relationship with money affect their personal lives, but it impacts their business, and who their business serves, and their employees and their independent contractors. So, it has a much greater impact than just themselves and their household.

[09:48] Ellen: Yeah. You know, when you talk about emotions, and when women will come to me and they want to write books about saving money, or they want to write books about just things that are going to help people, but they’ll never make a lot of money because they want to cater to a group of people that doesn’t have any money,  and then they wonder why they’re struggling. And that was interesting for me. Huh.

[10:13] Laurie: That’s a mindset shift itself in, you know, how do you make sure that you charge what you need to charge to support yourself, so that you can have a greater impact, so that you can help more people. And I think that that’s where most women in business fall short when they’re helping people with money.

[10:36] Ellen: Right. Or, the spiritual side, if you’re spiritual, you can’t have money. That whole thing.

Laurie: Yeah.

Ellen: I mean, I love what Tony Robbins says. He gives away millions of dollars in food all over the world and it’s because he has so much that he’s able to give so much.

[10:54] Laurie: Exactly. That’s exactly how that works. And so, you have to be empowered to charge the fees that you know that you need to support yourself so that you can grow your program so that you can reach more people, so you can impact more. Yeah.

[11:14] Ellen: Well, in my business, I know I had to change at some point in the beginning. Well, first of all, when I started there, wasn’t a lot of information on writing books, believe it or not. But in those days, it wasn’t. And I would just, you know, I was working with everybody, I just had clients in every walk of life, but a lot of spiritual writers who weren’t making much money, and it was okay, because I wasn’t charging much. But then as I started to grow my business, and I got more expertise, and I knew I was worth more, then it became difficult because they didn’t have the money to pay me. And I really had to rebrand, and rethink, “Well, who are my ideal clients?? And “What else can I give them beyond this that’s going to keep them as my clients?” They’re not just transactional, but also, “Who can afford me?” It’s like when you get to that place where you understand your value and you know you have a lot of value, you really have to look at the fact that you can’t help everybody. And who can you help that can pay you? Bottom line, bottom line. And it is uncomfortable to even say that because it’s that whole thing of like ”Oh, you know, I don’t want to be seen as whatever, money grabbing.”

Laurie: Yeah.

Ellen:  Or selfish, selfish. That’s another one.

[12:30] Laurie: It’s totally all of those negative money beliefs that women, especially, having the type of life that they could have with the experience they have, with the knowledge that they’ve had, with the years that they’ve put into their business and receiving appropriate pay for that. And that is also why women don’t make as much as men.

Ellen: Right, right.

Laurie:  You just don’t consider that, especially if we do something that we love. So, if we do something that we love, there is just something about the psychology of women, of money for women that says,” if you’re doing something you love, you should not be charging a lot for it.”  Like you should not be getting a lot of money for enjoying your life. For some reason, life should be harder.

Ellen: Oh no!

Laurie: Right? And so, that’s just one of those shifts that you have to, one of those blocks, you have to knock down some of that money baggage, you have to drop off at the cleaners, right? Yeah.

[13:45] Ellen: Well, what about small business owners, struggling with their business finances. What’s the biggest reason for that?

Laurie:  Typically like the clients that I work with, the female solopreneurs that I’m working with, the number one reason that they struggle with their business finances because they’re struggling with their personal finances. There are skills, money- mastery skills that typically you learn and you practice in your personal finances, and those skills lend itself to making effective financial decisions in your business. And so, if you’re struggling with your relationship with money, if you have money baggage in your personal life, all of that impacts, it impacts, how you think about money. It impacts what you charge; it all of it.

[14:41] Ellen: Well, can, you can explain for people who don’t understand what’s the difference between personal and business finances?

[14:46] Laurie: So, your personal finances, when you pay your rent, when you pay your mortgage, when you pay your bills when you pay off your debt, right? Your personal financial strategy is that you don’t want to owe, debt-free is freedom in your personal finances. And your business finances that is not. So,  even though you have to have the same decision-making, problem-solving, being flexible, you need the same skills that you use in your personal finances; the strategies differ in your business finances. Debt is good. You don’t want to build your business with your personal finances. Like you never want to pull money out of the 401K and put in your business if you can get credit or a loan or something from someplace else, because if your business goes out of business, then your retirement savings is gone.

[15:50] Laurie: And that is, that is exactly what you are protecting when you create a business structure, those are the things that you are protecting against, the liability from your business. You’re protecting your home, you’re protecting your retirement,  and you cannot give that money back if you’ve gone out of business and there’s no money left.

Ellen: Right.

Laurie:  And even in business, something like bankruptcy, is in most people’s personal life bankruptcy is like the last tool in their toolbox. Like they’ll do everything to try and prevent a bankruptcy, where business bankruptcy, restructuring. those are just tools,  and big businesses know that because they do it all the time. And so, they know who just filed bankruptcy, or restructure, or use all the tools in your toolbox. Bankruptcy will protect your retirement. Bankruptcy will protect your home in a personal bankruptcy. So, why would you actually give those things away to your business when you actually are trying to protect those assets? It just doesn’t make sense. Sol people really do have to look at your business and figure out what your business strategy should be, and part of that strategy includes debt as a tool to leverage your business, to grow your business, to have more influence in your business. That is what debt is for in your business.

[17:24] Ellen: Thank you for sharing that. Cause I think a lot of people don’t understand that and we didn’t understand that. And we went bankrupt in 2015 and then I couldn’t get business credit because I did that. But the medical bills were just out of control. So, we did it.

Laurie: You can use to rebuild your personal and your business credit. You just have to know how that is. And it’s kind of a little bit of a game. You just have to know how to work it.

Ellen: How to play it, yeah. So, what impact does not taking action have on a small business?

Laurie: That’s the hardest thing when I’m speaking to individuals, especially individuals who are looking at my service versus say a business coach. A  business coach is telling them you’re going to make more money “when you work with me”. Right? And they might help you make more money. But like I said, in my business, I can tell you that more money doesn’t always mean that that’s more money that you’re keeping. So, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep, and not dealing with your relationship with money, not gaining mastery over your money management skills, that will forever place you in the position where you’re always looking to make more money because you are not creating the habits and the behaviors that allow you to keep more money. You’re not looking at your finances in your business and creating a sound financial foundation that protects your tax deductions,  that allows you to look at the expenses in your business. One of the things that I’m often talking to my clients about is your level-one business, or your level-two business. Why are you paying level three expenses? These expenses are not for someone at your level. And at this level, these are the five expenses that you should have. And your goal should be focusing on making money.

[19:46] Ellen: That would be a great lead magnet, by the way

[19:53] Laurie: Oh! Thank you.(Laugh) You tell me what I just said.

Ellen:  Well, you’ll have to listen back.

Laurie:  I’ll do that. Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah, if you have one for level one, level two, level three and you’ve got a  checklist and when you tell people, “Okay, this is the level you’re at  and you  give it to them, you know, you just saved yourself a whole lot of time saying the same thing over and over.

[20:16] Laurie: Yes.

[20:17] Ellen: Yeah. But that’s, that’s really important too. And I think one of the problems with that is, you get on the internet and people tell you, “Oh, you got to have this. You got to have that.” And all of a sudden, you know, you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars with all this stuff. And like, for me, I have Infusionsoft, I had one shopping cart for a long time and everybody was, “Oh, well you got to have Infusionsoft.” And so, I finally got Infusionsoft, and for years I really didn’t use much of it. I didn’t know how. It was just really a waste, you know? Or, like even now, l have Click Funnels, Click Funnels has a $297 level and they have a $97 level. Of course, they give you things to make, you want to go to the $297 level, but I’m going, “No, I’m staying at the $97 level until this one works, and then I’ll think about it.

[21:11] Laurie: Yeah. I think of it just like, I’m going to a counselor or a surgeon, when you go to a counselor, we’re going to tell you that you need counseling; when you go to a surgeon, they’re going to tell you surgery. Otherwise, why would you be talking to them? Right?

Ellen:  Right, right.

Laurie: But for small business owners, it’s like, “Oh, well, yeah, you’re talking to me. I’m on a LinkedIn. I do LinkedIn advertising. You need LinkedIn advertising.” Of course, that’s what they’re going to say to you. And what I love is being in a totally unbiased position. Once you’ve paid me, you paid me. Right?  So, I can feel free to say, “No, I don’t think that you need to focus on this.” And “No, that’s not appropriate for your level.” And “Yes, that might be.” I will tell you that if you don’t have a contract and you’re working with someone else, you need a contract, right?  Any level, all levels. Right? So, you need to talk to someone who can review a contract for you, give you some legal advice, every level, all level, you know? So, just know…?

Ellen: That’s an interesting concept because I know Suzanne says that, and I’m one of those people that doesn’t agree with that.

[22:30] Laurie: Oh, about a contract.

Ellen: Yeah.

Laurie: Oh, you agree with it until the moment you get sued,

Ellen: I’ve been sued. I’ve been sued. Yeah.

Laurie: And that wasn’t like a, just a horrible experience where you…

[22:44] Ellen: Oh, it was, but I won. Cause she wasn’t right.

[22:46] Laurie. Okay, yeah. Yeah. I mean

[22:49] Ellen: Let me make my case why I don’t like them because if I’m in a contract with someone and they’re not happy and I’m not happy, I don’t want to be in that contract. And so, I don’t want to be stuck in something that isn’t working,

[23:04] Laurie: So, they get their money back.

[23:05] Ellen: Well, it depends on what it is. I mean, there are certain, well, first of all, I set my business up where I get paid and then they go through it and they’re done, pretty quickly. So, it doesn’t go on for months and months and months; it’s not like when you do something where it’s like a year program and then they get right, like month nine, and then they’re like, “Oh, well this isn’t working for me.” Like I can see in that kind of situation. Yeah, you’d want a contract. When I’m doing like a book-writing workshop. It’s seven days;  they’re in and they’re out, you know?

[23:37] Laurie: I think you’ve been lucky.

Ellen: Yeah, okay.

Laurie: I’ll cross my fingers and tap on wood for you.

Ellen: Okay. Well, like I said, I’ve been sued and, I always give a proposal. I always say exactly what I’m going to do. And that’s what I do. And, I always do what I say I’m going to do. So anyway, that’s my, that’s my take.

Laurie: Do you have them sign off on the proposal.

Ellen: Yeah. Pretty much.

Laurie: That’s a contract. (Laugh)

Ellen: Well, it’s kind of like saying, , do you agree that this is what you want? And then there’s an email that says, ”Yes” and I agree to that, so…

Laurie: Yeah, so, okay.

Ellen: So, it’s kind of a contract without the formality of it, right? Yeah.

Laurie: Less formal.

Laurie & Ellen: Yeah.

Ellen:  I just prefer the less formal.

Laurie: Okay.

Ellen: Yeah. But I will say to anybody listening, I mean, you’ve got to talk to Laurie.

I’m sorry. I mean, what you do is so important and so great. And most people, they don’t talk about it, let alone do it. Like when you offered that, I knew that I would learn something. I didn’t know what it was I was going to learn, but I knew I  learn something.

And I was so blown away by everything. I mean, your knowledge, the way you come to, you know, what you were saying, the difference between a business coach and a money coach. And like you said, I think people don’t understand that. And it goes back to, you know, people get frustrated like they go and they hire coaches, and then it doesn’t work, and they wonder why, and they’re frustrated. And sometimes, we need more than one coach. Most people are afraid to hire one coach let alone two or three, you know? But there are different aspects of things. And what you do is very specific and also very necessary, very necessary. And like I said,  I just got so much value out of one free session, so I hope you’re offering that to everybody else.

[25:37] Laurie: Well…

Ellen: I’m putting you on the spot, huh?

Laurie: Actually, I do have an offer for people, but my calendar is booking up pretty darn quickly. Those spots are going pretty fast nowadays, just because I think that people are becoming very, very aware of their finances just because of what’s going on in the world.

Ellen: Right, right.

Laurie: We’re focusing on making sure there’s their finances are secure. I think the people are kind of in one or two pots right now, either you are not doing well or you’re doing well.

Ellen: Right, right.

Laurie: I haven’t spoken to too many people who were like, “Oh, everything’s just like exactly the same.” Or if I had their, you know, the minority, but if you are doing well, then now is the time to like speed that and to get your finances in order and take advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself.

[26:46] Ellen: Yeah. I mean, unfortunately, you said that you, that you’ve been in real estate, we’ve been in real estate as well. And in the nineties who were buying flipping and selling houses. And we were lucky because we got in kind of near the bottom and rode it pretty much to the top until it went bust. But it’s coming around again. It’s coming around again and it’s unfortunate that a lot of people are going to be on the street, but if you have your finances together and you can take advantage of it, it’s also the best time to buy.

[27:21] Laurie: Oh yeah. Interest rates are low. The inventory is increasing right now. And so, it isn’t quite as hard to find something as it had been, A couple of months ago, it was like a complete seller’s market. But with these interest rates, we may not see these again in our lifetime.

[27:47] Ellen: Well, we got a little bit off the subject, so let’s get back to the gift.

Laurie: Absolutely.

Ellen: So, you were saying you have some spots, but they’re going fast?

[27:57] Laurie: I do.

Ellen: So, how do people get one?

Laurie: So, they can go to care4yourmoney.com, care4yourmoney.com. And there is a checklist that you can go through for both your personal finances and if you own a small business, the checklist for that as well, and it will open up a pool of slots where you can have a free session with me.

[28:27] Ellen: Okay, great. Well, do it. That’s all I have to say.

Laurie: Yeah.

Ellen: Okay. So, so before we go, do you have any final tips that you’d like to share with my audience?

[28:37] Laurie: You know, I will have to say that one of the things that I wish I knew. Like I think most small business owners who go into small business and don’t know exactly how to run a business, you’re desperately searching for like “What is my path? What do I need to be doing? What expenses do I need to be paying for?” And I wish that I had known that formula. And so that is one of the things that I give my clients and give them that formula when they’re working with me. So, they know, what you should be focusing on

[29:30] Ellen: Okay. Well, thank you so much. This has been lovely.

[29:35] Laurie: You know what?  So, I’m hoping that you’ll share this recording for me. And if you do,

I would love for you to just say a little bit about what you do. So, my audience can hear that. Oh yeah. What I do is I help people take their expertise and communicate it in a book, make it a #1 bestseller and use it to make a bigger impact and grow their business and enjoy their life more because books open doors.

Laurie: Absolutely.

Ellen: Yeah.

Laurie: Alright, thank you so much for having me.

Ellen:  Ah, your welcome. Well, that’s it for today to get the transcript, go to www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast. And you’re welcome to join our Facebook group. Also, that link is on the page. And there is also Book Planning Secrets, A Simple 4-Step Guide to Writing a Bestseller. If you’d like to write your own book or if you’re already writing them, but you’d like to do them faster with more ease, be sure to pick that up. It’s on the page. So, that’s it for today till next time. Bye-bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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