“People find it easier to talk about sexual confidences, than to speak of money matters. Many authors and therapists agree – money seems to represent the ultimate taboo!
– Sondra Plone, Ph.D.
Q: This quote is taken from the introduction to your very illuminating book, Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment.
In your practice as a former financial advisor and now Money Coach with major corporate entities, and while working with individuals and businesses, how have you seen this demonstrated?
Money is the last of the great taboos and one that we must address if we are to shift the economic consciousness in the world. We will talk openly about everything else, but once money enters the conversation, people become uncomfortable and you can hear a pin drop.
I sometimes lead groups in a process called “Conversations about Money” and it’s fascinating to witness how much is pent up inside of people and how reluctant people can be to talk about money. Creating a safe space for people to dialog and share their feelings and experiences around money is a very profound and humbling process.
It reminds me of what it must have been like in the 60’s when the subject of sex was first being discussed. I’d like to think that what I’m doing is akin to that, because I’m all about creating the money revolution in which we can begin to openly discuss and confront our personal and collective money issues.
Q: Did these illuminating experiences with clients plant the seed that led to you to form the Money Coaching Institute? What is the focus of the Institute?
We have two main aspects to our business. We are a training company and teach our proprietary methodology to other professionals in the Certified Money Coach curriculum. And we work with individuals, couples and businesses, coaching them to become more financially aware and empowered.
We also have a specialty training that addresses the needs of individuals and families of affluence. We work directly with these clients and also train other coaches in our Certified Family Wealth Coach program, which is a very powerful body of work.
Q: What is Money Coaching and how does it differ from financial planning or advice?
Money Coaching is a step-by-step process for understanding and changing one’s relationship with money that allows people to live purposeful and prosperous lives.
We do this by helping clients to identify and change the money patterns that may be self-limiting or causing them challenges, personally or financially. We also train advisors, coaches and therapists who want to expand their ability to coach and support their clients.
One of the things we are starting to see is that financial advisors, coaches and therapists are working in partnership to bring a more deeply meaningful and integrated process to their clients.
We currently consult with these professionals in developing our “financial triage” model as well. This is a team approach that includes a money coach, a financial advisor and a therapist.
Q: In the Introduction to the first edition of your book you observe: “Today, in the wealthiest country in the world, the symptoms of fear, stress, and anxiety over money permeate our society. They affect both rich and poor and are perhaps the tie that most binds us and makes us more alike than we realize. Although the symptoms are different for each person, almost everyone suffers from one form or another of the ‘condition.’ While many drugs are available to help us manage other fear and anxiety disorders, one has yet to be invented to cure us of our money problems.”
That is a very powerful and prescient observation, as well as analysis – even moreso since that was written in 2000, in the first addition of your book: Money Therapy: Using the Eight Money Types to Create Wealth and Prosperity.
What is it about the power of money, that drives our intense emotional, and at times, even physical reactions to money?
Well, first of all it’s important to understand that money is a core survival issue, and as such, literally belongs at the baseline of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Most of us are very removed from our food source and therefore, few of us would survive in the wild. So, we must have money to have food, or many of us would not survive for long.
As a result, we can easily become fearful or anxious about money at a biological level. These fears are triggered by the fight or flight mechanism in the brain and when this happens, we can behave irrationally or emotionally.
It may not even be because anything is actually wrong…it’s just that when we get triggered physiologically, we may also become emotionally triggered or reactive in some way.
Stock market crashes are not caused by rational human beings. They are caused by fearful, reactive human beings who could not tolerate the “potential” financial pain of loss.
If we could control our emotions, we could control the markets. It’s that simple and yet quite impossible to do. As a result, we project our fears of “what might happen” and next thing we know…we’ve actually created it.
Q: In your books, seminars, and individual sessions with your clients, you reference the “Eight Money Types” which are archetypes that represent ways in which people react to and handle money.
Can you give a brief explanation of these powerful money types, and an example of how they apply to an individual?
The Money Types are a wonderful way for people to begin to notice and understand their own behaviors without judgment.
These archetypes are very rich and complex but it’s important to remember that they are not your personality. They are merely a shorthand system, if you will, for identifying our money behaviors or tendencies.
Here’s a quick overview of the Eight Money Types:
Innocent: The Innocents tend to take the ostrich approach to money; and don’t want to see what’s going on. They don’t like to be responsible for financial decisions or money management. Innocents seek safety and security and long to be rescued.
Victim: The Victims tend to blame their financial circumstances on external factors. They may have been abused, betrayed or have suffered some great loss. Victims tend to live in the past and live out a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Warrior: Warriors are generally very focused and goal oriented. They are successful in business and money, decisive and determined. Warriors are the most discerning, powerful, and financially self-actuated of the archetypes.
Martyr: Martyrs are often busy taking care of others, but often neglect their own needs. They need to learn to receive rather than always give and care-take others. Martyrs tend to be self-sacrificing and long-suffering. They may be financially generous but can have strings attached. Martyrs can have serious boundary issues.
Fool: Fools have a tendency to seek a windfall and/or may try to take financial “shortcuts.” Relatively fearless, often impulsive, they can get caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment. Fools may lack discipline, be restless or overly generous. They need to develop patience and to slow down their financial decision-making process.
Creator/Artist: Creator/Artists represent those on a spiritual, creative or artistic path. They find the material world difficult to live in, and can be financially detached or have a conflicted love/hate relationship with money. Creator/Artists need to make peace with money.
Tyrant: Tyrants may use money to manipulate and control people, events and circumstances. They like power and control. Tyrants are insecure deep down, and therefore, money makes them feel in control, safe, and secure.
Magician: This is the ideal money type. Magicians know how to transform and manifest their financial reality. They fully claim their own power. Armed with the knowledge of the past, they have made peace with money and have transformed their lives. They are secure within themselves and trust that their needs will always be met. The Magician is the archetype of balance, faith and trust.
Q: What happens when you have a family, couple, or group of businesspeople bringing their various “money types” to a situation?
I’m also a business coach and I can definitely say that our Money Types follow us to work. Work and money are inseparable concepts in my mind. The main reason most people get up and go to work everyday is because they need the money. So, of course our Money Types travel with us to work! But sometimes the money types that manifest in us at work are different than our personal money types that are activated in other aspects of our lives.
When I work with a business, it’s important to look at the Money Types of all the employees and how they influence the company. For example, I have a client who has a lot of Martyr-type employees who feel they have to sacrifice a lot to work there. They tend to complain a lot and harbor resentments, which can leak out in passive-aggressive ways and in general, create a toxic environment. This absolutely impacts productivity and ultimately, profitability.
Q: How can people utilize their knowledge of money types to work for them, rather than against them?
I use a very specific process to help clients understand the strengths and challenges of their various Money Types in the workplace.
One of the key learnings in this is to identify the most challenging aspects and work strategically to help patch these “holes” in their business model. For example, if either the “Innocent” or “Fool” archetype is running your books, then we would look to either train the person to do a better job or hire someone to do it for you so you don’t experience some financial consequence down the road.
Or, if the Victim is running the sales department, we’d find them another job, but they are generally not the best person to be doing sales as they often sabotage their own sales efforts and then blame someone else or an external factor.
Q: In this time of record unemployment and the financial collapse of individuals, businesses, and in increasing cases – governments – how can we individually, and collectively, turn these circumstances of crises into opportunity?
Money can either be left as the unexamined ‘shadow’ or be transformed by our willingness to look deeply into ourselves and take responsibility for our own choices and destiny.
One by one, the millions impacted by this financial crisis will need to heal, and get re-aligned with what matters.
Without question, we have reached the proverbial fork in the road and it is essential that we begin to rethink and revise our individual and collective financial priorities.
I still have hope that something good and positive will come out of this experience. I hold on to the hope that if we are determined and learn the powerful lessons that lie before us, together we can rebuild our country and become prosperous and whole again.
Deborah Price’s book, Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment, is available for purchase in our Inner Compass Lifestyle Store.