I always say that money should exist only to manifest our biggest dreams. Each day I get to talk to so many people about their deepest wishes and aspirations. So many of us want to be our own boss, clear our debt, or go on that lifetime family holiday.

But days turn into years. Dreams and aspirations turn into small talk and wishful thinking. There always seems to be a fork in the road, a hiccup in the plan, or a setback in the life goal. How do we overcome the difficulty of life’s little curve balls and slay those dragons to live our best lives yet?

Show notes

  • As a financial planner and wealth manager, I take a practical and human approach to money problem-solving.
  • I work on achievable solutions and simple plans with my clients.
  • On annual review, very little has been implemented of our great plans. We tend to have the same conversations.
  • Year after year we only just talk about the change we need to make to live our best life yet!
  • How do we slay our personal dragons? How do we overcome the difficulty of life’s curve balls?
  • Making sustainable, long-term changes requires conscious and subconscious personal work.
  • I’m reminded of Dr Abby Medcalf’s observation that our sub-conscious processes information at 11 million bits per second while our conscious at only 50 bits. 
  • Subconscious conditioning beats conscious talk every time!
  • Get control of your thinking! Productive thinking drives productive behaviours.
  • Getting to the bottom of Good Reasons vs. Real Reasons.
  • Take the “Four Whiskeys and a Heineken” Test (Hint: it has nothing to do with drinking!)
  • Dr Kelly Donahue speaks about how our brains are structured to filter the information that supports what we’re thinking about.
  • We need to be purposeful to seek out the helpful information to support our new way of thinking.
  • Look for people starting that business, finding that new job, or sticking to that eating plan.
  • We now live in a world that allows us to surround ourselves with people ahead of us in this journey.
  • Once you work on the 90% reason for success – mindset or spirituality – you need to work on the 10% of success – the doing.
  • The biggest lesson I learned from David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done” is to stop focussing on trying to DO the big goal.
  • Break it down into the very next step. For example, if you want to register a business, the very next step may be to “phone Mary and ask her how she registered a business”.
  • It just takes one foot in front of the other, one decision at a time to live your dreams.
  • Let go of the comfort zone. Let’s be brave to be free!


Lisa Linfield: 00:21 Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. So we’ve been talking quite a bit about the challenges we face in changing ourselves to do the things that we really want to do, whether it is to have the courageous conversation in our careers, which was a few weeks ago, or whether it is in relationships that we’re talking with Abby Medcalf. Or whether it is with Kelly Donahue or [inaudible 00:00:51] about reaching the goals that we set ourselves.
I get hugely frustrated with myself because there many things that I’d like to change that don’t seem to change. Or they change for a little while, but then I go back to the old me. And so it’s something that I always think about because the reality is if we all did what we knew we should do, we would live great lives.
The problem is never with the what. The problem is never in the logic. The problem with changing behavior sits in the fact of emotion. We don’t feel like doing something. When push comes to shove, we don’t wake up in the morning and exercise and it’s one of the things that I struggle with. It’s not the intellect, it’s not the why that comes to us intellectually. It’s that emotional element that stops us from being the best version of ourselves.
So I always say that money exists only to manifest our needs and our dreams. There really is no reason for it. The money that you have in one country is worthless in another country unless it’s able to buy you the things that help fulfill you. So because I’m a financial advisor, in my wealth management business, I spent every single day talking to people about their deepest wishes and dreams. And people tell me as a financial advisor things that they don’t even tell the people most closest to them.
Why? Because they need the money to do those things. The challenge also is that too often I see people year after year talking about the same wishes and dreams, but never doing what they set out to do. They say things like, I hate my boss or my company and I want to leave. I’m desperate to leave. Okay, I’m going to leave. I wish I had much more money invested so I could stop working for other people and start working for myself. I am so sick of the financial stress of date. I’m going to get out of it now. I really want to take my family on holiday. I want us to have some fun and go overseas, but I don’t have the money. Okay, I’m going to make a plan. I have a great idea for a business I’m going to start, and I know that it’ll get me the financial freedom I want. My partner and I keep fighting about money, and I wish we could find a way through it. I know for a fact that I’m underpaid. I will definitely ask for a raise.
So we come up with a solution, they leave excited and everyone is great. And because I’m very practical and very human in my approach with money and problem solving, it’s a plan that could be implemented. But a few months later I see them again and it feels like groundhog day. We seem to be having the exact same conversation we had last week, last month, last year. At the root of it, there’s always something stopping them. A dragon that lies below the surface. In our house when I grew up, my mom always used to send us away, telling us, “Slay the dragons,” whatever that dragon was of the day. Dragons are anything that comes up that’s difficult, difficult with a friend, something that we don’t understand at school, a challenge on the sports field. And every single day that I take my girls to school, I say the exact same thing in the car that my mom said to me, “Okay girls, today we’re going to slay the dragons.”
And they all always say, “Yes momma, we’re going to slay the dragons.” So when it comes to the deep changes that we want to make in our lives, not the small little things, the really long-term things that we struggle every single year to change. We need to look at what exactly is the dragon that we need to slay because it’s not what we think it is. Sometimes it comes down to that deep subconscious stuff like the disconnect we talked about two weeks ago of changing our identity. I shared with you that one of the realizations I had is that although I’d been exercising twice a week for seven years, my subconscious identity was that I was not a regular exerciser. And so it was a fight every single time I did. Remember what I said about what Dr. Abby Medcalf was talking to us about. She said that our subconscious processes at 11 million bits a second and our conscious at 50 bits. 11 million, 50. 11 million, 50. Which one is going to win?
Our subconscious will always win. It doesn’t matter how much we try to willpower ourselves into overriding the 11 million. Our 50 is never going to win. And so we have to really get control of our thinking. So if you’re thinking, you know what, it’s not me. I’m never going to be able to start my own business, then guess what? It doesn’t matter how hard you try. With your little 50 bits, you will never overcome what those 11 million are saying. If you think, I’m actually not a morning person, you will never wake up at 5:00 AM. It doesn’t matter what you think. And these stories we tell ourselves are based on outdated information because we are not the same person today as we were 15 years ago. Yet most of our thinking comes from our early years.
So this brings me to mindfulness. My dad had a great expression. You have to know the difference between the good reasons and the real reasons. Good reasons are the things that we tell ourselves. The many good reasons why we can’t start our business or exercise today or have to spend that money on that thing.
Real reasons is what sits behind it, the drivers of those behaviors. So when you’re not sticking to the change that you’re making, you need to do what I call the four whiskeys and a Heineken test or four whys and a how. I’m never going to start a business. Why? Because I have no idea where to start. Why? Because I can’t think of a product to sell. Why? Because nothing I think of is new and nothing is going to work. Why is nothing going to work? Because my dad always told me that small businesses are doomed to fail. Okay, so how’s that affecting you? Well, if I start a business and it fails, I’ll put my family at risk. Ah-ha, there’s the answer. Not having an idea where to start is the good reason. The real reason your subconscious won’t let you do this is because fundamentally you deeply believe in those 11 million bits a second that you will fail and you will risk your family financially.
That was reinforced by Dr. Kelly Donahue last week, who talked about how our brains are structured to filter the information that we’re talking about. Like when you buy a little yellow Ford car and suddenly we see little yellow Ford cars everywhere. Whereas Abby was saying, when she was pregnant, everybody else in the world was pregnant, but now she doesn’t think anybody’s pregnant. That is our reticular activating system, the piece of our brain that is designed to seek out information to support what we’re thinking.
If we are starving, it will find us ways of getting food. If we need shelter, it will find us somewhere to hide from the storm. And if you want to start a business or get out of date, you have to be mindful of how you’re searching out as much information as you possibly can to support what your subconscious thinks. Either, that you can’t do it and it’ll find you all the reasons why you can’t. Or that you can do it. And that you get to look purposefully and intentionally for examples of people who are making their businesses work. Or businesses that don’t use money to operate, so the risk of losing money, like writing a course or a book or painting art or doing something that won’t lose you money and get your brain to find you all the people out there who are making it work.
As I’ve mentioned a number of times, this new world allows us to surround ourselves every minute of the day with people who are ahead of us in the journey we want to take. It doesn’t matter if your father thinks that small businesses will never work. It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely nobody around you who has ever launched a podcast. Find them. Find mentors for the single purpose of what you want to achieve, not the old-fashioned mentor that’ll help you scale the corporate letter, but the mentor who will show you how possible it is to achieve your dreams. I do courses, and I’m in closed Facebook groups every single day with people who like me are podcasters, write books, build online courses. Why? Because I want a successful podcast. I want to author a best-selling book. And I want an online business course that enables me to fulfill my goal of teaching one million women about money.
There is absolutely almost nobody in my realm of people who have a successful podcast. There’s nobody. None of my friends, none of my traditional mentors. Nobody I know has a successful podcast. So I found people who teach successful podcasts and surrounded myself with people who wanted to do the same thing I did. And guess what? We started on the same day and they did it and then I thought, oh goodness, if they can do it, so can I, and then I did it. And that, my friends, is the great benefit of why I keep saying to people the world does not operate how we grew up believing that it was supposed to operate. And we have so much more access.
Lastly, once you work on the 90% reason for success, your mindset, your spirituality, your behavior, whatever it is that you want to call it, you then need to work on the 10% of success. Actually doing the stuff.
And this is when I go back to one of the techniques I learned from David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done. Stop trying to focus on the big goal. Break it down into the very next day. So if your goal for the week is to register a business, don’t put on your to-do list, register a business. Write on your to-do list the very next step, which might be phone Mary and ask her who or how she registered her business. And then once you know that, cross it off, and the next thing you put on your to-do list is speak to [email protected] about registering a business. And then cross that off the list once that’s done. So keep your very next step as the thing that you need to do first and foremost in your head.
So let’s summarize those steps that you need to take to make a big change to truly slay that dragon and stop talking about doing something.
Firstly, how badly do you want it? You have to ask this question because if you’re continuously not doing it, either you’ve got to re-look your thinking by the five whiskeys and a Heineken or five whats and a how. Or you need to ask yourself do I actually really want it. And if you do want it, then you need to have a clear why of why you should be doing it. I really want to start my own business. Why? Because I really want to stop working for other people and have the flexibility to watch my kids play sport. Thirdly, what you also need is a clear understanding of what will happen if you don’t do this. If I don’t start now at the age of 40, by the time I’m 50 I will still be working for someone else. I will still be stuck at a desk. Or at the age of 60 I will not have enough money in order to retire, so I need to start now or otherwise I will never get out of this place.
Then step four is to understand your identity sayings. And we talked about this two weeks ago. And for me my identity saying in the example I gave on my exercise was, “I am a daily exerciser. I wake up early.” All the things around my identity that my subconscious is stuck on from a long time ago. Like I’m not an early morning person and I don’t exercise regularly. My identity sayings are what I say all the time to start changing those 11 million bits. To help those poor little 50 get my exercise done every single day.
Step five. Good reasons and real reasons. Use that four whiskeys and a Heineken to work out what is the real reason you are not getting done? This thing that you keep setting yourself the task to do. And then number six, surround yourself with people who are doing it. Find new mentors. And these are not the old-fashioned people that your dad told you you should find in your corporate organization. These are the people that you will partner with for the season. You need it. The season of launching your podcast, the season of writing a book, the season of starting a business. Find new mentors. And lastly, when it comes to the doing, focus only on the very next step.
I’m Lisa Linfield, and this is Working Women’s Wealth. And if you enjoyed this podcast, I really do encourage you to sign up for our newsletter on workingwomenswealth.com and to just get a little more insight and a little more understanding of what we’re working on and where we’re going. Take care and have a great day.