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Rich Coach Club

RCC 15: What Does Being "Rich" Mean to You? With Dr. Sasha Heinz

Being “rich” conjures up a different mental image for everyone. Maybe for you, “rich” means you have a closet full of amazing designer pieces. Or maybe you take a two-week vacation a couple times a year. Or maybe, being “rich” includes savoring sweet, nearly- or totally-free experiences like your favorite tea, curling up with a good book, or time to play outside with your kids. Maybe it’s a mix of all of these and something different, too!

Regardless, I wanted to call this show the Rich Coach Club to encourage women to get comfortable with pursuing a rich life, both in terms of money and emotional fulfillment. To help me talk about the many different ways we can manifest richness, Dr. Sasha Heinz joins me on this week’s episode. Sasha is an academic and life coach with a practice grounded in developmental and positive psychological science. She focuses on helping high-achievers make demonstrable change and take action toward the lives they really want, not the ones they feel they should want.

Sasha worried for a long time about calling herself a life coach because she was nervous that people wouldn’t understand her career choice. She shares how she overcame this fear and built a super-successful practice that combines her extensive academic experience with her life coaching expertise. Sasha and I also discuss things that make us feel rich and why it’s so important to truly like yourself.

You have some homework, too – I want you to write down a list of everything that makes you feel rich even though it costs next to nothing (or nothing at all). Then make a plan to get more of that in your life. Go on, get to it!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Some of the things that can feel rich, even though they don’t cost much, and why it’s good to make room for them.
  • Why Sasha had so much fear about calling herself a life coach, even though she’d always wanted to be one.
  • How Sasha dealt with people (including loved ones) who didn’t understand her choice to be a life coach.
  • Why no amount of money or number of degrees can make you like yourself.
  • What Sasha does to feel rich and why she thinks liking yourself is one of the keys to a fulfilling life and career.
  • Why you should make a “rich list” and get comfortable with asking for – and getting – what you want out of life.

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Full Episode Transcript:

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Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you’re a coach and you’re determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I’m master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I’m psyched for you to join me on this journey. You’re listening to episode 15, here we go.

This show is called the Rich Coach Club, but what does the word rich really mean? Does it mean you’re a billionaire, a millionaire, a thousand-aire? Does it mean you’ve got zero debt and a nice chunk saved up for emergencies? Does it mean you’ve got lots of designer shoes in your closet – holla – lots of charities that you support ever year? Does it mean that you can afford to buy a house for yourself and a house for yo’ momma too? All of the above? None of the above?

Obviously, being rich means different things to different people. So what does it mean for you? On today’s episode, we’re taking a close look at this word rich and we’re going to explore what it means for you personally. We’re also going to look at some of the negative beliefs and negative connotations surrounding this word rich because that’s very interesting to look at too. Let’s begin with your Two-Minute Pep-Talk.

Here’s your Two-Minute Pep-Talk for the week. This is the part of the show where I share some encouragement and inspiration to get your week started off right, and I try to keep things to 120 seconds or less.

Okay, so I will never forget this one moment; I was having brunch with a client and she politely asked the waiter to bring over some hot sauce, and he did. And a minute or two went by and she drizzled some hot sauce on her scrambled eggs, and then the same waiter swoops back in to pick up the bottle of hot sauce.

And he’s about to take it away and my client says to him, “Please leave it. I’m still using it.” There was something about the way she said these words that really struck me. She was just very calm and very firm. She didn’t say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, actually I was hoping I could keep that hot sauce for just another sec maybe; is that okay?”

She didn’t apologize for wanting the hot sauce. She just said, “I’m still using it.” That little moment is forever burned in my mind, and maybe this is because it’s so rare to see a woman calmly confidently state what she wants and not settle for less.

Okay, another story real quick – I will never forget this other moment. I was on a flight with my husband, Scott, AKA the silver fox, and the flight attendant rolled by with the drink cart and I asked for some sparkling water and the flight attendant hands me the tiny little plastic cup with like three sips of water in it. And then my husband asks for his drink and he says, “May I please have the whole can?”

My jaw practically hit the floor. The whole can? Nobody gets the whole can. That’s not how it works on airplanes and everybody knows that, Scott Hyatt. You get your tiny little splash of liquid in a tiny little cup, and that’s it. But to my surprise, the flight attendant is like, “Sure…” and hands my husband the whole can, just like that, no problem.

I thought this was hilarious. All these years, I’d been settling for half a can when, if I’d just asked, I could have had the whole damn can. Both of these stories I just shared have a common theme, which is that so many of us settle for crumbs, the crumbs of life. It’s so rare to see someone, especially a woman, directly, calmly, firmly ask for exactly what she wants.

So many of us accept mediocrity. We accept the barest of bare minimums and we accept a half can, when really we want the whole can. We eat the crappy free airline peanuts when really we’re craving a good meal. We accept earning 75 an hour when really our services are easily worth 200 an hour or 500 an hour or more. We settle for crumbs and we tell ourselves, “It’s fine, really, it’s no big deal. I don’t want to make a scene.”

We don’t dare ask for anything more. But this pattern of settling for crumbs is no good. It depletes us. It makes us feel poor and broke and like we’re starving for more; sometimes emotionally, and often financially too. So, ladies, this pep-talk is to remind you to stop settling for crumbs in your life and in your business too.

No more crumbs, no more peanuts, no more dinky half can. I want you to create a whole can lifestyle. This means asking for what you really want and need and crave; not pleading, begging, or apologizing as you ask, asking confidently, sometimes not even asking, more like making a simple statement of fact, “Actually, I’m not done with that yet. I would like the whole can.” Just like that.

Repeat to yourself, from now on, I am a whole can woman. From now on, I am running a whole can business. From now on, I am not settling for little drips and crumbs. Make this your new attitude. Even without changing your income at all, this attitude shift will make you feel so much richer.

Now we’re moving into the part of the show where I give shout-outs to you; shout-outs to listeners, clients, all the wonderful people in my business community. And today, I’m giving a shout-out to Chancey Dawn. So Chancey and I were chatting the other day and she was saying how she’s a busy mom of five – you heard me, five – running her business and she listens to this podcast in the shower – holla.

We were joking and we were saying that she needs to create a podcast for moms called Shower Podcast. Anyway, thank you, Chancey, for making me part of your morning routine.

And that’s my shout-out for today. And hey, if you have something to say about this show, please let us know. Send an email to my team, post a five-star iTunes review about the show, or post something on social media and you might hear your name on a future episode. I love giving shout-outs to folks in my community, so holla at me. Thank you for the love; I love you guys right back.

It’s time for an interview. And this week, we’re Dr. Sasha Heinz, AKA Sasha Fierce, to me. In her early 20s, Sasha seemed to have a total dream life; an affluent family, devoted parents, tons of school accolades and trophies, admission to an Ivy League school, but she didn’t exactly feel happy.

And for a long time, she couldn’t figure out why. Everything about her life seemed to represent wealth and success, and yet she didn’t feel emotionally rich inside. So in this interview, we’re going to discuss Sasha’s life and career and how she discovered the field of life coaching and what the word rich means to her today.

Sasha’s career is totally fascinating. In addition to working with clients one on one in her coaching practice, she also does academic research. For instance, she did a research project at Columbia University where she worked with adolescent kids from high-income families, and from low-income families, and she studied how both environments influence the kids’ development. Whoa, we’ve got so much to discuss, so let’s get to it.

Susan: Welcome to the show, Sasha Heinz.

Sasha: Hi, Susan.

Susan: Hi, thank you for taking the time from your beautiful office in Pittsburg to talk to me. You guys, we need to put pictures of your office in the show notes so that all the Rich Coach Club coaches can see what office goals look like.

Sasha: There you go. It’s so grey in Pittsburg, you have to have a cheerful office.

Susan: Oh my gosh, well it’s grey here today in Evansville, Indiana, I have to say. It’s raining and so, probably, Pavel, the podcast producer, will have to edit out sounds of Moses, my grey cat. He has this sixth sense of when I’m going a podcast interview and he’ll hang on the screen door of my office and meow, like, “Let me in.” Alright, so, Sasha, we go way back, like, I don’t know, 2010 maybe. And I have had the pleasure of having a front-row seat to the evolution of Sasha. So I actually knew you when you were working on your PhD.

Sasha: Yup.

Susan: And now, you, of course, have earned that PhD. You’ve gone through tons of life coach training. You’re now a life coach with a booming business. But I remember a time when it was scary for you to call yourself a life coach.

Sasha: Oh my gosh, like crippled. I was like – I mean, honestly, this is how freaked out – I wanted to be a life coach since I was 23 years old. I mean, it was not the midlife career switcheroo for me. It was the career. It was what I actually wanted to do from day one, which is, I think, fairly unusual…

Susan: Very unusual…

Sasha: Right, especially since that was, you know, 2002 and there were so few life coaches, but I just knew, this is really what I wanted to do. I always felt so called to do it. and I was completely terrified and, like, full of shame about calling myself a life coach, because it seemed flimsy or silly or, you know, I don’t know, just not serious, not sophisticated, not the kind of career that I was supposed to have. So I actually got a PhD to just – I mean, I literally slogged it out. I, like, crawled through the mud in a PhD program for way too many years to justify being able to call myself a coach, which is so bananas.

Susan: I know, and it was the most interesting thing in the world to witness because here you are, this amazingly talented intelligent woman. And I love your story because so many of you coaches listening to this are always thinking, like, one more certification and it will be valid for me to call myself a life coach.

Sasha: Totally.

Susan: And Sasha went to the extreme and get a PhD.

Sasha: Yeah, I got a PhD at Columbia and here’s the deal; I actually – this was such an incredible life-lesson – I don’t recommend doing this for six years to learn this lesson, but here was the lesson. The lesson was, it was no easier for me to hang up my shingle as a life coach after I graduated from Columbia than it was before. So there you go.

Susan: Yeah, it was not easier – it was just as hard because you had to get over the thought that this is not a credible or – I don’t know that you didn’t think it was credible, but what will people think if I call myself a life coach when I went to Harvard and Columbia, you know.

Sasha: This is what I find so fascinating our brains is that when I really thought about what terrified me about it, this was it, this is the image. I am at a cocktail party and someone asks me what I do and I say, “Oh, I’m a life coach.” And they look at me like I have three heads and say, “What, a life coach? What is that? Do you have crystals and live in Malibu?” That was it. that was the scenario that completely paralyzed me. And it’s like, how long would that actually last? Like, a minute. Like, I was going to not do what I feel called to do in my life because I was scared that I was going to feel uncomfortable for a minute.

Susan: So good, and such a great point. And also, for you coaches who have crystals in Malibu…

Sasha: Yeah, hey, I am like all about Malibu. I love being told that I have a good vibe. That really makes me feel good.

Susan: And you do, you do. But right, and even if you’re uncomfortable and someone’s like, “What’s that?” I mean, everybody listening to this podcast right know, I know, has experienced it. And if you haven’t yet experienced it, then you’re not talking about being a life coach enough. It’s just going to happen because it’s not a traditional business, like I’m an accountant, I’m a teacher, you know, I’m a firefighter. It’s, “I’m a life coach…” and people are like, “What is that?” And that’s the invitation to go in and talk about it. So what I want to know, Sasha, is what changed in your thought pattern, your mindset? How did you flip your brain to be okay with saying, “I’m a life coach…” and owning it? Because you have, and now you have a very successful practice.

Sasha: Yes, so what’s so funny is I graduated from Columbia, and then about a year later, I was at a baby shower of one of my best friends, and so it was like a big group of my girlfriends. And here I am, like, this is my tribe, these are my people. And I’m sitting there and I say to everyone – I make this grand declaration – because meanwhile, I had spent the whole past year searching for the Moby Dick of titles. I was going to find a title that wasn’t life coach but was life coach. Like, it was going to be some kind of consultant specialist. I don’t know. I was like trying desperately to find some way to be a life coach without calling myself a life coach. What a waste of my energy.

But in any case, here I am at this baby shower and I’m like, “Guys. You’re my people. You all support me. I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to hang up my shingle and I’m going to just call myself a life coach.” And one of my girlfriends, who’s hilarious – I mean, she’s a professional comedienne – she turns to me and she’s like, “That is suicide.” And I was like, oh my gosh, here I am with the people who love me the most who are like, yay, Sash, we’re totally on your team. And she’s like looking at me and saying, “That is complete suicide; don’t do it.” And that was it. it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I realized in that moment that the worst thing I’d been fearing – my biggest fear always was that someone is going to say exactly that thing to me, “This is a terrible idea. What are you doing? You’re committing suicide with your life. You’re basically taking a steamer on all of the actual credentials you have.” And when she said that, it completely liberated me because I realized, that’s just her opinion. Like, I walked away from it being like, “Oh, I think that’s funny.” I thought it was funny that she said it and was so grateful because that’s the worst it’s going to get; someone I deeply care about who has her own thoughts about it and her own opinions about it is going to tell me I’m making a bad decision. But then it occurred to me that if I love what I do, who cares?

Susan: Exactly. Who cares? She’s not paying your bills. She’s not sleeping with you at night.

Sasha: No, you’re right. And you know, what’s so funny is, first of all, that was the moment, which is so ironic, the thing that you fear the most, it happened, and that’s what freed me, which is so great. And then, I was like, okay, I’m doing this. And I completely flailed around and made a website that is not at all my website now and all sorts of stuff, but last fall, she invited me on her radio show on SiriusXM, and I was like, thank you for crapping on me because that’s what got me to do this, and now you want me on your radio show, so there you go.

Susan: Isn’t it – it always comes full circle. It always does. Some of the biggest people who made fun of me in that same way when I started my practice have tried to hire me over the years. And it is just such sweet, I don’t know, karma. Like, hey, this little thing you thought was so terrible, now you’re into it.

Sasha: But you know, the thing I realized is that she was really trying to help me. Like, her perspective was like, she loves me, she wants the best for me, and she really believed that this is not the pathway. But I think the important thing is, like, wait a minute, what matters is my internal compass. I know what’s right for me. I know where I need to be going. And if I can just have the courage to continue to walk down that path, everyone around me who loves me is going to come around because they want the best for me. And they’re going to see, oh my gosh, not only is Sasha happy and loves what she does, but is also doing really well, you know.

Susan: Exactly, and I do think that that’s an amazing point to make. So all of you who have had loved ones and friends and acquaintances say really ignorant things to you about the life coaching industry, it’s just them projecting their fear onto you because typically they do care about you and they’re like, “Wait, what? You’re doing something different? That’s scary to me.” They’re not consciously thinking that through, but it’s what Martha Beck would call a change-back attack; like please don’t change because that makes me uncomfortable.

Sasha: Right, and I’m uncomfortable and in my mind I’m trying to protect you. I’m coming from a loving place.

Susan: There are plenty of people who aren’t coming from a loving place…

Sasha: That’s true, there are plenty of people who aren’t. In this case, it was, but yes…

Susan: But the point is, what you just said, that you have to have a passion for this industry to get you through and over that. So I love that you mentioned that you flailed around, you had a started website that wasn’t quite a great representation of you – your current website is; it’s beautiful. What do you think in terms of now that you have really been owning it and you’re really busy, full of clients, who are your favorite types of clients to work with?

Sasha: I think I have a couple of versions of clients that I really enjoy, but I would say, in general, almost all of my clients are people who are high-achieving and have achieved a lot and come to this place, which I think is a beautiful place to come to in life, where they’ve been on the achievement treadmill and they’re exhausted and burnt out and they have hit the brick wall. And they’re asking themselves the question of, like, why? Why am I doing this? What matters? If I’m achieving like this for the rest of my life, it’s not sustainable. I don’t want to do this anymore. And I think whatever the achievements are, whether it’s the important job, the marriage to the guy that was going to take you places and the many houses and being the perfect mother or whatever the brass ring you wanted to grab in life, you got there and you’re now questioning, like what’s the point? You know, I have the externalities of my life; I’ve checked all those boxes. I’ve done all those things that I thought – that the world told me or my parents told me – were going to make me happy. This is what it was about. And here I am, you know, in the beautiful home and 2.2 kids and I don’t have any sense of purpose or meaning and I have no idea what I’m doing with my life.

Susan: Absolutely, I work with those clients as well, and something that you said which I think is – well two things – one, the word sustainability, which I love because sustainability is part of the work I do; not just with body positivity and food and movement and all those things, but also in business. And I changed – well, I wouldn’t say I changed it, but a big focus of my mastermind for next year is on less hustle, like sustainable business, because the whole devotion to hustle really bugs me. And listen, I have a spoon that says my hustle is strong, and it is, but it’s more, I think, for high-achieving female business owners, understanding how to pace and structure your business in a way that it’s sustainable. Because we were talking about, before the recording even started, what does it mean to be a rich coach?

Sasha: Yes.

Susan: And so for you, I loved what you had to say about that…

Sasha: Yeah, I mean, I think that we get so misguided. I’m a self-help junkie, like, mainline, tap my arm, just plug that in. And I have been since I was really young. The problem is that I think the messages we receive, all the time, are be better, smarter, faster. Just do more, be better, be more productive. And all of that’s fine, but in my opinion, it completely misses the point. And so, you know, there is no amount of money, there is no amount of prestige, there is no amount of – and let me tell you this one from experience – there’s no amount of degrees that will make you feel better about who you are and make you feel more worthy. It doesn’t work like that at all. And so rich, to me, has nothing to do with this number in the bank account or how many diplomas are in the frames around your desk. It’s like, what rich means to me is how vital is your life?

Susan: Vital, I love that word.

Sasha: Yes, how aligned are you with your core values? Are you moving towards your values every day? Are you putting your head on your pillow and feeling awesome about who you are? Do you respect yourself? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a little wink? That is rich. That’s richness, 100%. If you don’t have that going on, you are living a meager malnourished life.

Susan: Amen, sister. I am constantly winking at myself, to the point that Scott Hyatt is like, are you checking yourself out again? I’m like, you’re damn right I am.

Sasha: Indeed, yes I am.

Susan: Oh, that’s beautiful. So I have a question, final question, for you, and then I want you to tell people how they can best reach out to you, but it’s in line with what you just said; what’s something that costs absolutely nothing, or next to nothing, in your life that helps you feel rich?

Sasha: Connecting with people, whether it’s my kids, my husband, my friends, the person at the grocery store who’s helping me bag my groceries. Like, whatever that little – it’s just this shared experience of positive emotion, which is really what love is. Love is just sharing positive emotions with other people. That costs nothing. And that is, in my opinion, 100% what fills my tank.

Susan: I’m so glad I get to connect with you periodically. That fills my tank too.

Sasha: I love you so much.

Susan: I love you back. So, Sasha, how can people bet hang out with you? Is it your social media? Is it your website? Like, this stuff’s going to be in the show notes, but where can people go for a quick hit?

Sasha: Yeah, so I’m only on Instagram for social media, so it’s @drsashaheinz – and then also on my website, which is drsashaheinz.com. Yeah, come hang out with me there. And I love Instagram, just for the fun of it.

Susan: Oh, I love your Instagram. It’s popping.

Sasha: I have so much fun with it.

Susan: Alright, thanks, Sasha.

Sasha: Alright, talk to you later.

If you’ve listened to at least a couple of episodes of this show, then you’ve probably noticed there’s one question I like to ask a lot of my guests. The question is, what’s something that makes you feel rich? I love hearing people’s answers to this question and it’s interesting how the answers usually have to do with really very simple basic things like having a closet fully stocked with toilet paper, enough to last for months, or something like snuggling in my favorite chair with a really good book and nothing on my schedule for the rest of the day.

Alright, so here’s a couple of things that always make me feel rich. Number one, getting groceries delivered. Let me tell you something; it only costs an extra $10 to get groceries delivered to my house, but it makes me so freaking happy because if I had to drive to the store, park, wonder around, shop, pay, drive back through traffic, yada, yada, yada, that’s at least an hour, probably two hours of my life and I do not enjoy it.

So paying someone $10-$20 to bring groceries to my door – totally worth it. Instead of dealing with groceries, I can spend those two hours working with clients and making money, honey, or, hanging with my family, or something else like that; something that’s way more meaningful to me.

And here’s another thing that makes me feel rich; lavender honey. There’s this particular type of honey that’s infused with lavender and it’s a pretty jar and it tastes amazing, especially when I put it into my tea, and it costs me maybe $10. It’s $5 more than regular honey but it feels so fancy. This honey makes me feel like I’m living inside Downton Abbey. I love it so much. I actually put this honey into everyone’s party favor bags when I had a ten-year anniversary business party in New York a couple of years ago. I’m obsessed with it.

Alright, so those are just two things that really, all things considered, don’t cost much money, just a couple extra bucks, but they upgrade my quality of life in a big blingy way. What about you? What’s on your list?

Here’s a really fun thing to do; write down a rich list. Write down all kinds of things that make you feel luxurious, affluent, happy, comfortable, fancy. I bet you’ll discover that mainly it’s moments or experiences that make you feel rich, rather than physical objects.

So, for instance, the experience of being able to step away from your desk and spend the afternoon reading on a beach with a bottle of mint and lemon infused water, hello, that’s a rich moment. So make your rich list and then make sure to incorporate a few little rich moments into your life every day.

If you do this, then regardless of your current income, your quality of life will get a huge upgrade. You’ll feel happier and more energized and totally amazing. And when you feel amazing, then you have amazing ideas, and then you do amazing work, and cha-ching, this leads to amazing amounts of money flowing into your bank account. Feel rich and get rich. That’s how it works, yo…

Alright, thank you so much listening to Susan Hyatt’s Rich Coach Club. If you enjoyed today’s show, please head over to shyatt.com/rich where you’ll find a free worksheet with audio called Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Get More Clients. You can download the worksheet and the audio, print it out, there’s a fun checklist for you to check off. Just three things to do. Check, check, checkidy-check.

This worksheet makes finding clients feel so much simpler and not so scary. So head to shyatt.com/rich to get that worksheet. Over there, you’re also going to find a free Facebook you can join especially for coaches. Bring your coaching practice and your income to the next level at shyatt.com. See you next week.

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