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Rich Coach Club

RCC 45: The True Cost of Earning Less

We’ve explored the many reasons why women earn less than men in the past three episodes, but today we’re taking a different angle. Today I want you to ask yourself: What’s the true cost of earning less? I don’t just mean financially – I mean, what is it costing you in terms of your relationships? Your quality of life? Your creativity, happiness, and willingness to show up in the world?

The good news is that your money situation is never set in stone, so if you’re earning less right now, that doesn’t mean you’ll earn less forever. You can always create more money, start investing, add a new revenue stream to your business – you’re infinitely creative & capable. But feeling stressed out about money is going to make it feel harder to flex that creative muscle and find a way out of your money scarcity.

For the finale of our four-part Women & Money series, you have me all to yourself to talk about the true cost of earning less. We’ll work through an exercise together to figure out what exactly earning less is costing you emotionally, spiritually, creatively, and health-wise. We’ll also talk about the many rewards that earning more could bring you, and ways to create the kind of focus that millionaires maintain. And I’ll give you a pep talk about your spending and what you can do to make sure each and every one of your dollars is being put to good use, in your business and in the rest of your life, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How earning less can affect our physical, emotional, spiritual, and creative health.
  • An exercise to figure out the costs of earning less and the rewards of earning more.
  • How to create millionaire-level focus and ignore all the petty, energy-zapping things that distract you from earning money and creating a great customer experience.
  • Why you also need to take a close look at your spending habits if you want to create wealth.
  • Why you should incorporate more rich moments into your day-to-day 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.

This is part four in a special four-part series on women and money. And over the last several episodes, we’ve been discussing all the numerous reasons why women usually earn less than men. Oh my lord. There are many reasons for this.

One, women are usually offered a lowball salary, lower than a male colleague would have been offered. Number two, women are less likely to negotiate for a higher salary, or if you’re self-employed, less likely to raise your pricing. And three, women are less likely to invest their money, even though statistically speaking, women tend to be better investors than men.

And four, women often have body image issues. Over 90% of women think intensely negative thoughts about their bodies every single day. And when you dislike your body, then of course, you’re less likely to book a photo shoot, less likely to launch a website, less likely to go after a speaking engagement, less likely to speak up in meetings, less likely to pursue other career opportunities that you want.

You hide instead of showing up in the world, and this decreases your earning potential too. I could keep going and list five, six, 10, 100 more reasons why women earn less. The list goes on and on. And overall, what I’ve noticed in my personal life and in my professional life as a coach is that women tend to settle for crumbs and feel too nervous to ask for more.

So on today’s episode, I want to pose a question to you. What is the true cost of earning less? I’m not just talking about the financial cost measured in dollars and cents. I’m talking about the emotional, spiritual, creative, and health cost. When women don’t have enough money, what is the toll that this takes on relationships and by under-earning year after year, what is this costing you in terms of happiness, wellbeing, confidence, or quality time with people you love?

That’s our topic for today’s episode. The true cost of earning less. And this may sound like a very gloomy topic, but as always, I will do my best to leave you feeling fired up, empowered, and motivated to make exciting changes in your life.

One beautiful think about money is your money situation is never fixed in stone. It’s always flexible. It can always be improved. No matter what your current circumstances may be, no matter how young or old you are, no matter how much money you currently have or don’t have, you can always create more money. You can always invest your money. You can always improve your financial situation and you can always start with one small step today. It’s never too soon or too late.

As always, we’re starting with a segment that I call your two-minute pep talk, and this is the part of the show where I share some motivation and encouragement to get your week started off right. And I try to keep things to two minutes or less but today, I don’t know about that.

This week, I have an exercise for us to do together. So go get some paper or a notebook and a pen. I’ll pause. I’ll wait. Okay, on one page of your notebook, write down cost, and on another page of your notebook write down rewards. Let’s start with cost. If you feel like you don’t have enough money or you feel stressed about money, write down what the situation is costing you.

For instance, maybe you could write down when I feel stressed about money, it makes me so tired. I lose my sparkle, I lose my sex drive, I don’t feel like making love to my partner. I pull away from him or her, and then this is tough on our partnership. So one cost of not earning enough money is that it’s decreasing your happiness in your marriage or partnership.

Maybe you could also write down when I feel stressed about money, then I feel like I need to stay glued to my computer, like I’m not allowed to take a break. And then I’m on my computer all evening instead of spending time with my kids or watching the sunset or enjoying my life. One time I even canceled a trip to visit my parents because I felt like I couldn’t afford to take three days off.

So another cost of not earning enough money is that it’s decreasing your overall quality of life. It’s stealing precious moments away from you. Keep going. Try to think about the emotional, spiritual, creative, and health costs. Being stressed about money, not having enough money, what is this really costing you on a soul level?

So you might wonder, why are we doing this? Why are we making this sad list, Susan Hyatt? This is so depressing. How is this helping me? Well, I believe it’s important to get really clear and honest about what under-earning is costing you. With this clarity, you might finally feel motivated to make some important changes.

I’ve met so many women who insistently tell me, “I’m just not the type of person who cares about money. I don’t care about being wealthy. It’s not about money for me.” Well, you’re right. It’s not about money. It’s about freedom. It’s about peace of mind. It’s about romance and sex and intimacy. It’s about reclaiming your time. It’s about having the ability to close your laptop and take your kids to the beach. It’s about your quality of life.

So by doing this exercise, hopefully what you’re seeing is that under-earning is hurting your heart, your health, your relationships, your whole life. And when I urge women to work on clearing money blocks and make more money, it’s never really about money. It’s about creating the life that you want. Money is just a tool to do that.

Okay, now let’s flip this around and now let’s make a list of rewards you gain if you no longer stressed about money. If you were earning more, saving more, keeping more, seeing your money grow, how would this change your life? Write down some of the rewards you anticipate.

Emotional, spiritual, creative, health rewards, pleasure, freedom. So for example, maybe you’d write down if my income was significantly higher, if I no longer felt stressed about money, then I could plan fun date nights with my partner and actually enjoy those dates. I could be present and totally savor the moment instead of being preoccupied and stressed and ruminating about my PayPal money the whole time.

Keep going. Write down some rewards that you gain. Again, to recap this exercise, I’m just asking you to write down the cost of not having enough money and to write down the rewards of having significantly more money. What are the costs? What are the rewards? And are you willing to push yourself a little bit, to be slightly uncomfortable to learn new things, to try new things, to gain those beautiful rewards that you crave?

I hope the answer is yes. And to quote my friend and colleague Dr. Sasha Heinz, who I interviewed on a previous episode on this show, just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t. Let me repeat that. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t.

Just because you haven’t experienced financial peace and freedom yet doesn’t mean it can’t happen for you. It can. You can move things in that direction and you can start with a few small tweaks like increasing your hourly rate by 10%, or making your first micro investment, or adding a new revenue stream to your coaching practice. Your future financial situation does not have to be the same as the past, and just because you haven’t earned it yet doesn’t mean you can’t.

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 want to give a shout-out to Tiffany York. So Tiffany gave me a five-star iTunes review and she wrote, “When I’m having a lull in my workday, I can rely on Susan’s podcast to get me revved up and dig into my workload. Her positivity is life. Thank you Susan Hyatt for your beautiful mind. Sincerely, your fellow girl boss. Xoxoxox.”

Tiffany, thank you so much. That made my day. And hey, if you have something nice to say – haters, don’t be hating. If you have something nice to say, give us a shout-out on social media. Tag me, give us a five-star iTunes review, and who knows, you might hear your name on a future episode. I love you guys.

Alright, so let’s talk about when we’re talking about what not earning enough money is costing you, I have to talk about ways to create the right kind of focus to generate the kind of money that’s going to make a real impact on your life, in your business, in your legacy. So what do millionaires even focus on?

Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, I had a client who told me I want to be a millionaire. Great, I replied. I love seeing women rise and soar and make millions, hell yes. So we reviewed her business plan, we made some adjustments, and we got her moving down the path to her goal, and things were rolling along swimmingly.

And then one day, she sent me a frantic text message and it goes on and on. You know, like one of those 14-part texts where you’re scrolling downward for eternity and developing arthritis in your wrists. And in the text she tells me about a situation that’s driving her crazy and basically, it all boils down to someone not promoting her product even though they sort of kind of promised they would do it.

So my client had been obsessing over this situation all day. It was eating up her energy, it had already eaten up several hours of her workday, and she wanted my advice on what to do. And my advice, if you want to be a millionaire, please stop focusing on petty, trivial, insignificant drama. Focus on things that actually matter. That’s my advice.

I have several clients who are self-made millionaires. It’s very interesting to notice what these people focus on and what they don’t focus on. So what my millionaire clients focus on, creating valuable products, services, and experiences that customers love, sharing their ideas generously and often, TEDx talks, podcasts, books, shaping and improving the world, making society a much better place, creating wealth by investing.

Yes, that’s what they’re all talking about. Self-care and rest, so they can bring their A game every single day. This is why I go to bed so early, you guys. Hiring the right people to take things to a new level. What my millionaire clients and friends do not focus on, petty, trivial, insignificant stuff like who retweeted what, who hasn’t replied to the invite yet, who didn’t share the link to your latest blog post even though they said they would, which webpage has a typo, or why Daniel didn’t write an endorsement for your new book even though you were a guest on his webinar last month, so what the fuck, Daniel?

So these are the traits of successful people. They’re focused on legacy and impact and creation and they’re not focused on hater-ade. And looking back over my business trajectory, there’s some things in my life and my business that I’ll never do again, and it might be helpful for you to take a look at where you’re spending your time and create a never-again list.

What’s something that you will never ever do again? I bet you can think of something or several things. And this is such a fun question to contemplate, journal about, blog about, or discuss around the dinner table. So here’s my never-again list.

I will never ever again – you guys can call me out on this – argue with haters on Facebook ads. God, they are the worst. People love to say the most awful things on Facebook ads. Just delete and move on. I will never do Crossfit again. Way too many injuries and chiropractic appointments. Crossfit athletes are ridiculously inspiring and tough as nails, and if you love Crossfit, that’s great. But it’s not the right kind of workout for my body for many reasons, so no thanks, never again.

I will never do eyebrow threading again. Ouch. No, I’ll stick to wax. I know that’s random but I had to throw it in there. Oh my god, this is a good one. I will never schedule two international retreats back to back again. I did that back in 2014. It was not smart. Listen, after 14 days of non-stop coaching, workshops, adventuring, and what felt like 1000 bowls of pasta, I was exhausted and wanted to sleep for a month. So never again. There’s always got to be a break between retreats.

I will never waste money on cheap running shoes again. Shoes are important, yo. What you’re putting against your skin matters and especially if what you’re putting on your feet or on your body is athletic wear, listen, don’t waste your money on cheap shit. I will never allow Scott Hyatt to buy art, and I’m using air quotes around art, again.

Listen, one time he bought this blue glass sculpture that looked like a softball trophy and it was so hideous I had to hide it. I mean, sorry silver fox, but no. I will never sit in my privilege regarding politics again. For too many years I censored myself and hid my political opinions because I didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers, and I stayed quiet and played it safe in my white, privileged, mid-Western suburbia bubble, but never again.

We must stay awake and involved and when something is not okay, we’ve got to speak up and make a scene. I will never – these are funny. I will never underestimate a teenager who wants a tattoo again. The week he turned 18, my son Ryan sold half his wardrobe at Plato’s Closet to get a tattoo on his bicep.

Listen, he warned me and I didn’t believe him, so what about you? I want to hear what your never-again list is. Talk to friends and family, discuss it over coffee. Post your list to social media. You’ll learn so much about yourself and you’ll realize like damn, I’m a whole lot smarter today than I was say, five years ago. It’s definitely true.

And while we’re on the topic of things we’re going to never do again, we have to talk about spending. So, a while ago I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine and she works as a consultant and a coach, similar to the kind of work that I do but she’s working with a ton of clients and she’s earning about half a million a year. That’s amazing, right?

And I congratulated her on her success and I was pretty surprised though when she said, “Yeah, except my business expenses are close to 400K a year and I’m only keeping $100,000 out of the $500,000 that I earn.” So I tried to keep my face calm and serene. Y’all, I can’t play poker. Seriously, I wear everything on my face.

But inside I was thinking what? How is that possible? What’s up with your money, girl? But listen, I mean it happens to a lot of entrepreneurs. Obviously $100,000 a year is still a terrific income, but the fact that her business expenses are so high, 400K a year, that kind of startled me because she’s not doing a lot of the expensive type retreats that I’m doing. There are a lot of things that can drive up your costs, but on the outside, I couldn’t quite figure it out.

The thing is though, you know, my colleague’s situation is not uncommon. Tons of people, whether they’re self-employed, run a business, or have a traditional nine to five job are making fairly good money but not keeping much of it. And when we’re on this topic of creating wealth, you got to talk about these things because while my colleague’s story is an extreme example, it’s pretty common throughout our society at all income levels.

So why does this happen? Where is our money going exactly? I mean, I can’t tell you how many times the silver fox would say to me when I would tell him my gross income, he would be like, but what do you have to show for it? This was very early on, and I used to get so mad. I’m like, I have a lot of things to show for it. Look at my beautiful website.

But thankfully, him asking questions like that led me to think differently about what do I want to have to show for working this hard and having all this money? So where’s our money going exactly? That’s a big, complex question and everybody has a different answer. But if you’re continually feeling like you don’t have enough money, or like your expenses are out of control, here’s some basic questions you can ask yourself.

Why am I really buying this, really? Or why am I paying this person to do this? Try to get to the heart of why you’re making the purchases that you make. What’s driving you emotionally to open your wallet or your PayPal or your Venmo? If you’re hiring an expensive marketing consultant because you’ve worked hard for five years to build up a steady clientele for your business and you’re ready for some expert advice to help you take things to the next level, great.

If, on the other hand, you’re hiring an expensive marketing consultant because you’re just starting your business and deep down you don’t really believe that you have what it takes to succeed, then yikes, not great. You’re throwing money at a big problem, lack of self-confidence, and not even the best marketing consultant in the world is going to help with that. That’s mindset work.

So here’s another question to consider. What am I trying to postpone or avoid by spending money on this or buying this? So maybe you’re signing up for yet another online course or advance college degree or professional training program or whatever, not because you’re genuinely excited to learn and put your lessons into action but because signing up means that you can postpone something scary that you don’t want to do.

For example, actually applying for a job or launching your business for real. This type of purchasing happens a lot in the weight loss world too. Like you sign up for a 30-day paleo diet program, it starts on January 1st and you think oh good, I can postpone paying attention to my body for another couple weeks. Thank goodness. I don’t have to face my food issues right now.

You can see why this kind of postponing is not healthy or productive. It’s just a waste of money and time, and speaking of time, here’s one last question to consider. If I turn this money into time, would I want to spend it? think of it this way. If that gorgeous designer handbag costs $500 and you make $35 an hour, that means you’re spending 14 hours of your life just to earn a bag to hold your smartphone and keys.

That’s 14 hours you will never get back, and that bag might not even be cute or trendy next year. Maybe the handbag is still worth it to you. Lord knows I love my bags. Maybe it’s not. But when you convert dollars into minutes or hours of your life, it’s interesting how your decision-making can quickly change.

So if that question made you go wow, you may enjoy reading the book Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. In the book, Chip and Dan discuss how people make spending decisions and how our brains can trick us into being cray cray and illogical about money. In the book, they also pose the dollars into time conversation question and it’s a really interesting read.

I remember when – now I’m dating myself. I’m 46, y’all. But when I was a teenager, even seventh, eighth, ninth grade, remember Forenza? The Limited used to be really different and their brand Forenza was all the rage, and it was pretty pricey back in the day. And I can remember there was a sweater in there that I wanted and I remember my mom looking at it and saying like, I would have to work 10 hours to afford to buy you this. Is that worth it to you?

And I remember I was like, no. So it is interesting to think about business investments and creating wealth because that completely changes the conversation about is this worth it because when you’re investing and turning money into wealth, that of course creates freedom and time.

So okay, to recap those questions. When you’re considering purchases in your life or business, ask yourself, why am I really buying this, really? Or why am I paying this person to do this? What am I trying to postpone or avoid by buying this? And if I turn this money into time, would I still want to spend it?

Listen, I’m not perfect when it comes to money, as the silver fox will be very quick to assure you, but compared to many people I have a pretty tight lock on things. In fact, several years ago when I hired a financial planner, he looked at my business and said hey, you’ve got one of the leanest overheads I’ve ever seen. Yay me. And so obviously, I told Scott so that he would stop bugging me for a while.

But since that time, I’ve grown my company, which has required me to move from being a lean operation to the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, which is really different. Whether you’re earning $30,000 a year or 20 million dollars a year, remember that you are valuable and you are lovable and you have skills and expertise to share. You’re creative and resourceful, and you’re capable of solving your problems on your own 99% of the time. Yes, you are that smart.

So if you’re going to spend money on something or someone, let it be because you’re excited and thrilled to have some extra support. Not because you don’t think you’re enough on your own. So questions for you. What’s something that you currently spend money on that maybe you don’t really need?

A club membership, a consultant, a coach, another online course, or a gym membership that you’re not using, magazine subscriptions, a house that’s bigger than you need. See what comes to mind and then ask yourself, why did I buy that again? And think about how good it might feel to let it go and how good it might be to free up that money and the time associated with it towards investing for wealth.

Go for it. Keep more of what you earn because you are already enough. So keep your attention focused on the big, important money-making world-changing work, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by petty nonsense, including doing things that don’t work and spending money on things that you don’t need. And remember that every hour of your time is worth hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars.

So make sure that you’re spending your time and your money where it counts. Wherever you point your attention, that’s what grows. Focus like a millionaire. Okay, so even though there wasn’t a guest on today’s show, you guys have probably noticed that when I do have a guest on the show, one question that I love to ask is what’s something that makes you feel rich that costs nothing or almost nothing.

And today, I want you to think about this question too. We’ve spent the last several episodes talking about how to make more money and how to invest your money wisely and make it grow, and all of that is super important. However, it’s also important to reflect on the things that make you feel rich, happy, secure, relaxed, peaceful. Things that cost almost nothing at all. Beautiful things that you can experience in your life right now with your current income and your current resources.

For instance, when I have a quiet moment in my favorite chair and a cup of my favorite tea in my favorite cup, that’s a moment that makes me feel like a billionaire. What about you? What are some moments, experiences, or small luxuries that just make your life feel so good? Maybe for you it’s using a nice cloth napkin at dinner, lighting candles in your office, or reading a novel in the morning with your coffee or spending an extra $2 to get the nice organic peanut butter instead of the regular stuff.

What makes you feel rich? Whatever it is, try to incorporate more of these rich moments into your day every day. This will help decrease your stress levels, boost your creativity and energy levels, and you can pour all that fresh energy into your business and use that energy to write, teach, and coach, and develop new programs and make even more money and investments.

Feel rich to get rich. Focus on simple luxuries. Simple moments of beauty and pleasure that cost almost nothing. It’s ironic but once you decide to be happier with less, that’s often how you’ll wind up earning more.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. This episode was part four in a special four-part series on women and money. And if you missed the earlier parts, go back and listen because they’re all pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. I hope this series has educated you about how serious the gender wage gap really is.

It’s bad, y’all, and it’s not improving fast enough. We can’t be passive or apathetic about the gender wage gap. We need to talk about pay and equality. And we need to elect lawmakers who care about this issue. Individually, we need to ask for more money at work and stop doubting that we’re worth it because we are worth it. And I hope this series has inspired you to improve your financial situation by taking whatever steps you can take right now.

This might mean charging more for your coaching services. It might mean releasing an old attitude about money and building a new one. Probably all of the above. Becoming financially strong is one of the most empowering things you can do as a woman and to know that you can support yourself and your family, that you can retire comfortably at a reasonable age, that you will never have to rely on a spouse for financial support, that is freedom. That is power, and that’s what I want for you.

Thank you for listening to Susan Hyatt’s Rich Coach Club. And hey, I have a little call to action for you. Imagine earning 100K per year. How would that type of money change your life? Would 100K mean that you could upgrade to a nicer home? That you could donate 100 books to your library? Take your kids on a life-changing trip to the village where grandma was born? Splurge on regular massages? Hire a housekeeper? Get deluxe pedicure or the fancy latte without feeling guilty?

All of the above? If you run a business, especially a coaching, consulting, teaching, training business and you want to earn 100K in 2019, I want to help you. I’m running a program called On The Six. It’s inspired by J-Lo’s debut album, the name that is, and it’s all about bringing your business to six figures per year, breaking past that 100K ceiling.

So here are the details. It’s a six-month program and it’s starting here in a couple of weeks in July. It’s a group program of 10 to 20 women. We coach on mindset, motivation, confidence, money blocks, marketing and sales. So you can check out the program description in the show notes. We have a link to the application. If this sounds exciting, you can apply. And if you’re serious about increasing your income, you’re ready to make a plan, make brave choices, spend your time differently, and really go all in, go ahead and apply.

Yes, you can do this, and yes, it’s going to feel amazing. And hey, if you’re already generating 100K or more and your next goal is to just increase revenue with less hustle, I also have another program called the mastermind that we’ll start enrolling in the fall for 2020. So you can get on the waitlist as well for that. So in the meantime, decide the second half of 2019 is going to be big money for you. Blast some J-Lo and get ready.

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