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Monthly Archives: July 2010

7 Signs You’re In Denial About Your Money Situation

In the past year, I’ve spoken and worked directly with hundreds of women entrepreneurs, executives, consultants and small business owners who are, as I was at one time, in complete denial about their money situation.  They know they’re not earning nearly enough or they’re spending too much, and money is slipping through their hands, but that’s as far as their recognition of the problem goes. 

In short, their heads are deep in the sand about their money relationship.  They’re working hard to ignore the obvious – the inevitable misery that will come unless they change directions, and fast.

How can you tell if you’re in denial about your money situation? 

Here are 7 glaring signs that you’re in money trouble:

1.    You can’t pay your monthly mortgage or your rent without tapping into savings, retirement, home equity loans or other funds.

2.   You are using your credit cards each month to buy essentials such as food, clothes, and gas.

3.   Your small business, consultancy or private practice is losing money each and every month, and despite your valiant efforts, nothing you do is changing that fact.

4.    All the ways you’ve made money in the past don’t work now.

5.    You don’t have a Plan B in the event your Plan A fails, and you don’t have the necessary benchmarks and signposts to tell you it’s time to change course.

6.   You’re hanging on by a thread to your “Build it and They Will Come” mentality, but they’re not coming.

7.  Someone you love and respect has been telling you over and over that you’re in denial and things must change, but you’ve ignored them or argued against them bitterly

Do any of the above sound like your situation?  If so, PLEASE act now. Don’t wait another day.  Your money situation simply will not improve unless you do things very differently, starting today.

What should you do differently?

I’ve just read a terrific book called Life! by Design (highly recommended) by Tom Ferry– a well-known success coach and motivational leader — and he outlines 6 steps to changing your life and “living by design” which I think apply perfectly to changing your money situation.  These are steps I explore with all my clients as well.

These six vital steps are:

1.         Wake up from your coma – be aware of the key areas in your life that need attention today

2.         Make the choice to change your life

3.         Create your life by Design

4.         Do the things that bring you power

5.         Practice visualizing yourself already there, in possession of what you want

6.         Create structure and accountability by telling others around you about your plans and goals

I know from experience that in order for your money situation to change you must wake up to the severity of it, and commit to changing your situation by taking new empowered actions that will change your course.  To do things differently, you need a new, fresh perspective that includes concrete, practical, and effective support, know-how, and help.

And yes, you can do this, despite the negative stories you’ve told yourself that you don’t have what it takes.  I know you do have what it takes to revise your money situation — you wouldn’t be reading this information if you didn’t have access to the necessary resources, courage, faith and resolve to make this important life change.  The energy of money is pervasive in our culture – there’s no escaping it.  In this lifetime, you’re being called to empower yourself so that money will flow in your life, and support you as you flow with it.

The problem of money breakdown in women is so enormous today that I’ve committed myself to be an active part of the solution.  I’m excited to share that I’m launching this Fall a new marketing and communications consultancy branch to my business Ellia Communications, designed to help women entrepreneurs, executives, consultants and private practitioners step up to their highest visions in their work by find the right marketing, communications, and business planning strategies to support their empowered goals.  Stay tuned for more on that!

In the meantime, come for a specialized reading about your financial situation as it pertains to your career, small business or practice.  Call me for a Private Career Consultation.  I’ll help you see where you’re blocked around money, and support you to begin taking new steps that will release you from your financial traps.  Also, check out my book Breakdown Breakthrough, Chapter 10: Escaping Financial Traps (or write me at for a free chapter download). 

I’d love nothing better than to help you emerge from your financial woes so you can be all you wish to be in this life and in your work.

You’re ready for this new step, and so is your life!

If You’re Looking for Free Consulting, Don’t Ask Me


Today I read a great blog post by Peter Shankman – a well-known entrepreneur, author, speaker, and “worldwide connector,” about his recent tweet that said this:

I love this message, and I completely understand where Peter is coming from.  I also love that Peter commands $400 an hour, and is not ashamed to state it openly.

Scores of folks agreed with Peter – more than 100 people retweeted his message, supporting it with gusto.  But at least one woman REALLY didn’t like what she read.  In her blog post about it, she indicated that she thought Peter had grown too big for his britches with his “internet fame” and that he was, in fact, arrogant and rude to tweet this. 

After reading Peter’s blog response to her and hers back, I’m still not 100% clear what she thought was rude and arrogant.  But I think it’s about 1) his stating that he won’t help folks for free, and 2) that he commands $400 an hour (much more than what many people can charge and what many people can pay) and wasn’t shy to express that.

Peter’s blog response clarified his thoughts on the whole matter, and after reading his message, I liked him even more!

So here are my two cents on this issue:

1) I have been inundated this past year with requests – from organizations, individuals, agencies, women’s groups and colleagues — for all types of FREE coaching and consulting help, and frankly, I’m tired of it. 

2) Bravo to Peter Shankman for charging $400/hour, and having clients clamor for him, and pay that fee happily, because they feel he’s worth it

3) Bravo to Peter for telling it like it is for him, out loud and proud

4) For those who are uncomfortable with that, I’d suggest taking a deep look inside to identify exactly what makes you squeamish about it.  I’d guess it has do with that fact that 1) you don’t command those fees and can’t imagine doing so, or 2) you’re asking all sorts of people for free help without offering anything in return, or 3) you’re giving all sorts of free help, and you’re tired of it, or 4) you’re uncomfortable in the presence of people who know their worth and aren’t hesitant to shout it from the rooftops. 

Today was a turning point for me on this issue.  I’ve decided (after one final straw that really got my goat) that this is my last day of giving my time away free for my consulting or coaching.  I’m done with it!  My services, my time, my insights, my approach, my talents  – they’ve all come hard-earned after years of training, hard work, research, and dedication, and I’m done with devaluing them by giving them away for free.  Of course, I’ll continue as I always have contributing pro bono work to the community as I choose to, where I choose to — to special agencies and groups that empower women and support those in need and who are disadvantaged.

But in my private practice, I’m committed to being vigilant about maintaining a healthy pricing discipline (very hard for women to do, in general, I’ve found).  After all, you don’t walk into a car dealership wanting a shiny new car and ask to pay nothing for it, do you?  And you don’t go to your dermatologist and say, “Hey, can I pick your brain FOR FREE about this terrible itchy rash I have?” 

OK, folks, it’s time we stop asking for free handouts.  Whatever you want to call it — “pick your brain,” “get your insights,” “obtain your feedback” — if you’re asking me to use my consulting and coaching skills to help your business and your career, I’m respectfully asking for what I believe is only fair and just – to be paid what I deserve for helping you make the significant positive changes you want most in your life, work, and your business. 

I’m sure this will stir up many thoughts and feelings in my readers and community.  I’d LOVE to hear them all!  Please share freely.  Let it rip.  That’s what makes a good horse race, as my mother used to say.

Thanks for sharing openly below.  I’m looking forward to reading each of your comments and hearing your diverse views.

And here’s to empowering you to up your daily dose of pricing discipline as well.

How Career Coaching Gets It Wrong: Tips for Choosing a Career Coach Who Won’t Waste Your Money

What are the easiest ways to spot an ineffective career coach who won’t be helpful in moving you forward?

This week I heard from a lovely woman in another state who shared with me a story about a career coach she hired this year.  This coach, in the end, was of no help at all.  I have to say, if I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it one hundred times.

The coach had her take a battery of expensive assessment tests, and the results showed that she was in the perfect job for herself.  The problem is, she’s very unhappy in this profession of 30 years, and wants out (for a variety of well-founded reasons).  He also told her that due to her age (she’s in late midlife), she’ll have a hard time reinventing and finding a new job.  Wow, thanks a lot for the motivation and inspiration, sir!  While it’s certainly true that reinventing in midlife has it deep challenges (I should know), where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I experienced a similar thing 10 years ago with a career counselor I hired.  At 40 years old, I felt sick, miserable, and depressed at my current line of work and job, which was marketing and product management for a leading membership services organization.  I had been in membership services for years, and lost all interest in it. I deeply longed for a new career direction, but couldn’t figure out what to do.

After hundreds of dollars, several meetings, and a series of standardized assessment tests, the career counselor said, “Well, looks like your current job is perfect for you and meets all your needs.” 

Are you kidding???  If it met all my needs, why do I want to poke my eye out with a stick!  Why do I hate it so much, and why am I “breaking down” from the stress, exhaustion, crushing competition, and lack of connection to my work?

The reason he arrived at the conclusion that my job was right for me involved his constricted perspective – an inability to think expansively about his client’s potential and capabilities.  He was looking only at the person I projected at that moment, and taking into account my outwardly-stated needs, skills, and priorities, without looking at my potential.  It’s understandable that I — the client — would have a limited perspective – after all, that’s natural to feel limited and blocked when we’re stuck in a negative situation.  But for the career coach to be stuck with me in this limited view?  That’s just bad coaching.

What I needed was a breakthrough – a “paradigm shift” that would allow me to see how much more I was capable of than my current views and experiences allowed.

How did the coaching process go wrong? 

The career coach and assessment tests I took identified my professional needs and talents as:

Wanting flexibility, family time, high pay
Avoiding extensive travel
Utilizing my well-honed marketing skills
Writing, copywriting, editing
Generating ideas and implementing new marketing strategies
Being creative – developing new products and enhancements
Leading/managing others successfully
Managing projects and budgets
Building client relationships
Nurturing ideas to fruition
Re-engineering and streamlining processes for greater efficacy

The thing he missed was that, while I was indeed tapping into various talents and skills I possess, I was pointing them in the wrong direction!  The work I was focused on felt absolutely meaningless to me – or worse – harmful to the community and world.  To me, what we were selling lacked any contributive value.  The sole point of my job was to sell membership services and to make money – regardless of whether these services were truly needed or beneficial in people’s lives.

My career coach missed the most important aspect of what I wanted in my working life – to feel good about what I’m doing!

This coach also missed exploring three vital dimensions to a joyful and successful life and career:

– Standards of integrity – HOW you want to live and work – the process of living, not just the content of it  (check out Maria Nemeth’s book The Energy of Money for more about this!)

– Life intentions – WHAT you want to create and give in my life, when all is said and done

– Life purpose – THE UNIQUE PURPOSE of your life on this planet at this time

Career coaches who don’t touch on the above aren’t going to be successful for you. They disregard the most important dimensions of your career. 

My view is this – we did not come here on this planet at this time SIMPLY to pay the mortgage.  Yes, we must pay our bills, and handle our finances responsibly and accountably, but each of us is much more than a bank account.  We have talents, needs, perspectives, experiences, longings and gifts that coalesce into a special amalgam – the essence of you and what you want to give through your professional identity and endeavors.

So the next time you are looking for a career coach, please do me a favor…check out exactly what he/she will be helping you achieve – is it a new job that fits outwardly but leaves you feeling cold and depressed?  Or is it a career/job that you can sink your teeth into, that brings you passion, power, and purpose, and lets you connect with the most expansive version of yourself, each and every day?

And don’t let a career coach work on your resume and social media profiles WITHOUT knowing who you really are on the inside, and what you care to give and be in the world.  If you create a new resume and direction without understanding and honoring the essence of you, you’ll waste precious time and money.  Trust me on this one!

Share your stories!
I’d LOVE to hear from you about this issue.  Have you also had disappointing experiences with career coaches?  If so, what did they miss or how did they steer you wrong?  And on the contrary, have you had great experiences with a career coach?  Please comment here about what you’ve learned, so others can benefit from your experiences! Thanks SO much for your feedback.

Here’s to a breakthrough this summer that brings you to the professional life you long for!

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