November 05, 2019
Lynne Somerman - Follow Your Nightmares

Lynne is a financial coach for business owners who want to feel more confident and less sad about their money. She combines practical skill building, habit change and mindset work to create financial confidence and support gr...


Lynne is a financial coach for business owners who want to feel more confident and less sad about their money. She combines practical skill building, habit change and mindset work to create financial confidence and support growth. 

Lynne grew her business from providing bookkeeping services for small businesses to personalized financial coaching. By getting clear and focused on what she really loved, she was able to create the business that gives her energy and keeps her excited.

Over the years that she has been in business, Lynne has come to understand how financial issues are about so much more than money, and how critical it is to help her clients be comfortable and shameless about their financial situations. She has grown steadily by showing up, conquering her own fears, and continuing to evolve her own offers to align with her values and her goals. 

Find Lynne at www.lynnesomerman.com

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

Welcome to the real people real business show where we are talking with business owners who are in the trenches every day , people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively building and growing their business and is here to share their experiences, lessons, wisdom and guidance so you can be inspired to take action towards your own goals. Our guest today is amazing. She is a friend, she is a peer. She is a colleague and I have known her for a long time. I've even met her in person and she is here to share some awesome stories with you. So without further ado, I want to welcome Lynn summer men. Lynn is a financial coach who works with business owners that are in growth mode and that are looking to become more financially literate and finally get control over their money. So welcome to the show Lynn, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. Yeah, thanks for having me. All right, let's jump in. As with everyone, I want to know your story. Tell me how you got to where you are right now. What was that big moment that moved you from an employee to a business owner?

Speaker 2:

Um , I don't know that there was a particular moment. I think my business grew really organically and I feel really fortunate that I feel sort of in a lot of ways I felt like my clients sort of pushed me into this. Um, and that I was , um, and that I was doing coaching with people in an informal way for a long time. Um , I had people that I knew just sort of knew my own story of having overcome financial struggle and having had to figure a bunch of stuff out that we don't really teach people and we make it weird to talk about. So I had to learn the hard way how to get through that. And so people I knew had , um, been asking me for help and they started telling other people and , and so on and so forth. And eventually with strangers. And someone said, well, how much do you charge? And I was like, I don't charge money for this. I'm never like, you should and you do now. So that was , um, a number of years ago. And then when I took the jump to do it full time, I think my business had just been sort of slowly growing , um, again, really organically. And I feel so fortunate. That is how that happened. And then , um, when my daughter was about six months old, when she was about nine months old, I went back to work full time. I had been working part time after maternity leave and when I went back to work full time I was like, this is not for me anymore. Um, and so I figured out pretty quickly how to , how to make a change to make this my full time gig. And that was a couple of years ago. So,

Speaker 1:

and how are you working with your clients now?

Speaker 2:

So my work with clients right now is primarily one-on-one. Um, and I do all my work , um, via zoom. So I have clients all over the world. They even have, I have a client who's in the same small town in Maine as me. And she was like, so what are we going to meet once a week? Like therapy? And I was like, God, no, I don't want to wear pants. Like I was like, we're going to meet on the internet like real adults do. And I was like, you can stay home. I'll stay home and we'll both do that. So I work with people primarily one-on-one. I work with a lot of , um , business owners on both their personal or business finance. And it ranges the gamut from like skill-building , people asking me a lot of questions that they feel like, you know, are too dumb to ask other people to. Also things just like, how do I increase the profitability of my business? How do I figure out how to make a plan for my business's future when I don't know how much I'm going to bring in? Um, also things like I am self-employed and my partner isn't and we fight about money all the time. And I, I'm not sure how to talk to them about this or just navigating sort of all of how do I make a budget for my personal life when I don't know how much money I'm gonna make. Um, all of those sorts of things. Um, and I am moving into doing some small group coaching programs. I teach some online workshops , um, and I do public speaking engagements to , to sort of get the word out to more people. So the thing about your business is that it's , it's actually really emotional, right? So you are super emotional. Yeah. Yeah. You , um, are kind of characterize or you characterize money as spreadsheets and budgets and that sort of thing, but when , when you really dig into the work that you're doing with your clients, this is a really very personal thing, right? Because we have crazy stories about money and it's amazing how much that sort of gets passed down to us. So can you talk a little bit about how you're kind of bridging that gap between , um, the really tactical side of money and the very emotional side of it? Yeah. So I think that's a really important part that , um, people often come to me because they've identified a problem that shows up in their money. Um, but oftentimes the problem is not actually a result of their money. Um, sometimes it is, but sometimes, you know, sometimes it's like, I don't know enough about this thing related to money, but when we sort of peel things back, there is a different sort of thing going on. There's some fear or some shame. Um, there is just other stuff going on. I recently read a description of what a financial coaches that run really true with me and I sort of summarized it as I make everybody cry and I make everybody budget. So , um , to me it's a really, I think that emotional thing is really there. So money, like the tactical things are really where we begin. So, you know, when I start working with people, I ask them about to tell me just about what their financial situation is. And very quickly they start talking about a lot of things that are not strictly financial. So they talk about um, how they just got divorced or how their parents dealt with money or their grandparents dealt with money, that sort of thing. Um, I have a client recently who I asked him if about a meeting that he had had with an recently and within five minutes he was crying and talking about his situation in high school. That was leading to just a general feeling of sort of not knowing what he was doing, not being a good adult and not feeling like he was worthy of sort of being the successful business owner that he was, if that makes sense. And really that that question came because of how did that meeting with your accountant go? And it was just sort of, it just tied into something and sort of like, it just triggered something. And I think that happens very commonly with people's money. And I have people all the time say like, well I know that this isn't really about my money but I have this other thing or I'm sure that I'm so much more of a mess than other people you work with. And I was like, if people had their stuff together, I wouldn't have a business. Like that's just not how that nobody, nobody is like in a really great place about this. It's very rare to me to find someone who is like, I have a question that is strictly about the numbers. Right. And I think that it's such a, I know with my clients it's one of the places that you know, we do, we do a module on money in my program and they all want to run and hide. Right? Because for some reason we all bury our heads when it comes. We don't want to look at it. We don't want to see the, the stories that it creates for us. And part of that is internal, but I think part of it is external as well. Yeah. What the influences that we have from all the things around us in the stories around us. And so what's interesting to me is when you look at money and you look at what people are doing with money and the decisions that they're making, there are stories in there, there are patterns, there are, there are things we can narrate about ourselves and our lives just by looking at our financials. Absolutely. And I think , um , particularly for business owners , um, and especially for service based business owners where a lot of times the thing that we do is very personal to us. It's a skill that we hold very dear. It's something that we are delivering ourselves. We really tie up a lot of our self worth in the size of our bank account. And we have, we have a really difficult time separating , um, how, how much we value ourselves as like a human being and as a business owner separating that from how well we're doing financially in the business or how much profit and also just a lot of comparison comparison , um, to other people and saying, well, they, they look like they're doing so well. And I think intellectually we know that that's not always really the case. But it can be very difficult to sort of feel that and let ourselves be that in an everyday basis. So , um, yeah, but the default response to dealing with money is to avoid things, which is why the first thing I make people do is stop avoiding things. Um , and so much of the work that I do is focused on, that's why I love budgeting is because it is a way of building awareness and the day to day moments of, of close with your money and letting it just be a fact of your life and not this thing that you hide from. And that feels like a control . So much of who you are when that's not, that's a story. Like you said, that's a story about it and [inaudible] and sort of all these things come up. And the nice thing about building awareness of our stories as they start to break down, as soon as you bring them to the light, like when you realize like, Oh, I know for me I even, I had a, I had a sort of a story about money that making money has to be hard. And I remember the first time I actually said that out loud, I was like, that's not true. Like as soon as I actually realized that I was thinking and I was like, I actually, I have a competing belief. And as soon as I said that it was like, Oh, that story is just gone for me. But I had to sort of dig it out and bring it up there and looking at our finances and actually dealing with them and sitting with them and being present with them, being really mindful about what's happening with our money and how we would like to be with that is a really good way of um , sort of bubbling those stories to the surface and then you can do something about them. Why do we have so much emotion tied up in money capitalism? Um, yeah, I mean I think that that's, if I were to tie it up in a word, I think there's a lot of societal pressures that we internalize and then we reinforce for each other. And I think there is an idea that , um, when we have a cultural idea, which I think is the whole 20 20th and 21st century is this idea that if you work hard, you know, good people work hard and are rewarded for that work. And so the way that we identify the reward for that work is financial. And what we often miss when we look at that, when we look at our bank account and saying, Oh, it's not as big and so therefore I have to work harder, or I need to be better, or I need to be something other than what I am. Um, that really misses a lot of other societal pressures, particularly on women. Um, there are a lot of cultural things that just institutional things that make it different , um, that can often, you know, I even see this in my own life. I have a daughter who's three and a half right now and a couple of days a week she's , I have to clock out at 3:00 PM because I need to pick her up from preschool and that changes what I'm able to do. And then , um, you know, just as a single mom, I'm just doing that until bedtime. I don't have the emotional or you know, mental capacity to then clock back into work the way that I used to. It's a different sort of thing. So I think we miss a lot of those structural things. Um, but it really comes down to this cultural conversation where we, we place, we , we sort of have this idea that if you work hard you will be rewarded for that in the form of money. And so when we don't have enough money or don't feel like we have enough things that represent money , um, in our lives, it feels like I'm not enough. I have not done enough yet. When I have those things I will have worked hard enough. Um, and those are just two different things, you know, they are just different things. Working hard and having, you know, material things or enough money in the bank are , are sometimes related things, but not necessarily. There's , and there's another layer too . Um, beyond just capitalism. There's this, there are, there are these sort of family stories too in our , our families of origin and w w we got brought up believing. So we, so we are , we've got this rush, rush, push, push, pressure, pressure to make more money. But then we've also got these stories from some of our families . Yeah . These sort of like micro institutions, right? And you make, you make lots of money now you're a bad person. Oh absolutely. You can't make too much. Yeah. You can't make more than everyone that's around you. But it's very powerful because it's so, it's so ingrained and loyal people will subconsciously do things and limit themselves. Absolutely. That fear of success and that fear of being kicked out of your community group or your family of origin because you are considered to be selfish or greedy. It's almost like you make too much money. You have rejected the way of life that we have in this, you know, large or small community, whether that be your family or whatever the group that you belong to and you know, social , I mean, so my bachelor's degree is in sociology. So understanding like group dynamics is super fascinating to me and I love doing that. But it is this idea of like this, there's a group that you're part of. There's a lot of groups we're part of, but that's so critical to like human development. So doing anything that puts us as the other from our group, including making more money or being comfortable with money or not being afraid of money is a really obvious and potent way of feeling like a very different kind of person. Because the only way we've comfortably talk about money is to talk bad about rich people or to talk about how we don't have any money and we'll never have any money. And isn't it sort of hilarious because otherwise what are you gonna do cry. That's the only acceptable way to talk about money and also simultaneously wanting so much money and working so hard to get more money. But also it's not okay if you have any. So you're , you're actually playing a really important role, right? You are changing the script. You are changing the thinking and that's the first step to getting to a place where you are comfortable and not every , not all my clients are like, I want to make tons of money in and build this really sick . Yeah . Business. Right. Some of them are just like, I want to be comfortable. Yeah. That's where most of my clients are there . They're like, I just want to pay all my bills on time every month, have some savings and just be able to relax a little bit. Yeah. And so it doesn't, so being comfortable with money doesn't mean you have to have some aspirations of being like in your Lambo on the beach with bikini clad women. I mean , this is just getting to , and it's really sad that just getting to a place right now where you're comfortable, it's so difficult. It's such a struggle. Yeah. So what do you do with your clients? I mean, so, so you've got all these people coming to you and going, I'm ashamed. I feel horrible. I feel crappy about this place that I'm in. I don't know how to get through it. And this whole money thing seems just confounding. [inaudible] yeah. So I often hear people say things to like, I make good money now. Why don't I have any savings or I don't know how to make like not feel like a jerk about myself while I'm still sort of working on financial goals that are going to take a long time for me to get to. So oftentimes the place where we start, it's just looking at the actual numbers because it's a grounding sort of place to begin work on . I'll just look at some pieces of information because the , the emotional stuff can feel really uh , ethereal and just like overwhelming. And like I like where do we even begin with it? But we can very clearly begin with like, let's just put some numbers on paper. What, what is the balance in your bank account? What is the amount you owe on that credit card? How much money did you make last month? You can like give some actual numbers so that we can start getting used to the idea of talking about money and looking at money. And really what that is about is about creating a habit of looking and letting whatever feelings come up come up and then creating a safe space to have. I tell people, I was like, I'm an all vibe zone. I am not like a good vibes only kind of person. I don't want to make you feel bad about it. I'm not trying to make you feel good about it. I'm trying to get you to a place where you can just have whatever feelings you're having. So creating a space for that, but that really is about building that awareness and then keeping that awareness high and then out of that, really naturally some changes start to happen. Even if you aren't intentionally being like, I am doing this, blah, blah blah. We just start to start. We start to change a little bit of how we feel about things. We start to feel a little bit more comfortable looking into something or like, you know, now that I can look at my grocery bill , maybe I have some ideas already about how to change that and obviously I have ideas. I've , you know, I've got things that I've worked on with other clients or have developed on my own that I can say, okay, I see this over here, let's work on that. Or I hear you keep saying these sorts of things. Let's kind of dive into that. And for different people that's going to be different things. I almost always recommend that people have a budget and that's such a like a dirty word within the finance. I know a lot of people who even know like, Oh, don't use the B word with my clients. And I was like, this is it . I think we need to demystify that budget. Really all this is is um , a plan that's yours. And I think, I think the problem is a lot of um, budgets out there feel prescriptive. They feel very much like somebody else's plan , um, that they, that you then need to fit your life into. Um, and I tell people, I was like, you know, you wouldn't take somebody else's prescription drugs that don't take somebody else's prescription financial plan. Like it needs to be your budget. You need to go to change it . When you want to. Um, and a lot of ways I'm sort of there to be the person who's making sure that you've got the right prescription and that you change it as things happen.

Speaker 1:

Germany. Yeah. Oh, that's a good one. I think what was, I mean was super interesting to me and I know that this came out when you and I work together was that your budget, but also your spending is very reflective of your values. And that shouldn't mean that your values need to change. It means that one of the things I think you do really well is that you let people work within their values. Like, I value going out for dinner with my kids because we have these these nights, right? Piano night, it's late. We want to go out for dinner afterwards. Yeah. So rather than saying, Oh no, you can't do that. You say, okay, we'll just budget for it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I am. Um, you know, people are like, Oh, Lynn's gonna tell me I can't spend on that. And I was like, well, you obviously don't know me that well. I would never say that. And I was like, I do say that you need to have an awareness of where that fits into your overall plan and making sure that you are staying within what you have of like what sort of, what the boundaries of this are. But if something is really important to you, then even said, absolutely have that in your budget. It just might mean that you need to change something else. Um, but I know, you know, like I, people used to joke around that I was um, when I was married, like my spouse and I shared a car and you know, I took the bus to work and people be like, Oh, Lynn's so cheap. And I was like , um, I also, you know, have like, I was like that same year I was like, I also paid for like a $10,000 surgery and paid off $20,000 my student loans this year . So how's that working out for you ? I was like, I don't mind taking the bus actually looks like I can read it on my , you know, I can just like read on my phone while I'm being driven to work and then I can pay off all my student loans. So that actually works out pretty well for me. But it was really about like what's important to you. And then in that case that that was just a different, we have different priorities and so one of the things I love about budgeting is it helps you keep that awareness high so you can get really clear on what is important to you. And when you figure out what's really important to you, by default, everything else is less important than that. So when you identify that thing, you can really put your resources to that, your time, your energy, your money, your attention and everything else sort of falls by the wayside. So it becomes actually very easy to cut spending in other areas because you realize they're actually not that important to you because you're supercharging your spending in an area that you , that matters a lot.

Speaker 1:

And I think it was a huge relief to me when you said no, put that in your bag . Like you don't have to cut out all the things that you really enjoy. Yeah. But I had no problem cutting out a whole bunch of other stuff because exactly what I really realized is that those aren't , those are not aligned with my values and the kind of life that I want to lead. And I , so I think that works. Um, what's , what are you doing differently in this industry? I mean, there are a lot of people who are kind of practitioners of money and money mindset and you know, profit first and all of these different frameworks. What are you doing differently? Well, I think

Speaker 2:

one of the things that I do differently is I've been there , um, I am not coming from the background of having like gone to an Ivy league college and then went and become a , you know, an accountant or a financial planner and look at people and just say, well, I just can't believe they're spending on that. Like this, you know, avocado toast latte idea. Like, I don't, I love avocado toast and I get myself lattes all the time. I also don't, there's other things I don't do. Um, so I come from it from a very much a place of having sort of been there and been on both sides of like doing well, not doing as well, sort of teetering back and forth. Um, I also come from a place of like not having an inheritance, like frankly a lot of people in the financial industry do. I also think I'm , I'm much more practical than some people on sort of the other side of the spectrum, which focus, I think mindset is critical and obviously we're talking a lot about the emotional side of money and I think that's really, really important. I think some people , um, when they're talking about mindset and that sort of thing tend to get so intellect sort of so emotional about it that we don't fo , we don't tie in the practical aspects of things. Um, and I think that works great for some people. It's just not where, where I come from. So I have a both, a very practical aspect to it. Like, I can help you pick a health insurance plan and I also am gonna , you know, sit with you while you cry and then we're gonna work through that. We're going to sort of do that and then also we're going to know that we're going to make a tax plan.

Speaker 1:

My take on mindset is that it really does need to be sort of woven into the fabric of the work that you do or else it becomes almost too isolated.

Speaker 2:

Be like a module in a program. Like it has to be a part of every part of the conversation and a part. It has to be how we approach things, how we talk about things, how the words that we use to and about ourselves. It's really critical. But you do that in sort of in lockstep with doing something.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I, I , it's the same in my business, right? I have, yeah. I would say that 75% of the work that I do with my clients is on mindset, but it's all in the context of what they're doing. So we don't just sit and deal with mindset and look at it. And wring our hands and clutch our pearls and go, Oh my, you know, that it's all part of, okay, so this is your limiting belief about this thing that you're trying to do. Great. We've, we understand that we are working through it, but what are you going to do next? Yeah. What's , what's gonna , how, how are we gonna weave this into your overall plan? And I just think that that's the same with money. That money mindset on its own goes so far. But I think it has to be integrated with the actual work that you're doing. And to me, you're a very practical, very accessible, very like approachable version of the financial [inaudible] .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. So I think, I think that's really what it comes down to is like, I both sort of have the, the practical chops. I have an MBA, I studied accounting, I spent years as a bookkeeper. Like I, I know a lot about their nerdy financial stuff and I love that stuff. I love spreadsheets and I mean you and I have geeked out about this stuff. Like I like, I definitely can nerd with the best of them. But I also , um, bring like a really compassionate, like it's okay to be vulnerable with me. Um, sort of approach. Um , very like sincerely nonjudgmental. Um, and I think that is a , a combination that is not , um, I've realized over the years is not a particularly common one, but I think like we'd said with mindset, like I tell people, I, when we first start working together and with like we're going to do , um, you know, we're going to go through some practical things, we're gonna look at some numbers, you're gonna have a breakdown, and then I'm going to give you like a very tiny thing to do. And I was like, the point of that is I want you to see that this thing that has felt so overwhelming and confusing and hard to you, you can do this and then you're going to do that tiny thing and realize, I am doing this. I have already started doing this. And so then everything else from then on is easy. It's not, it's maybe more work, but it's easier

Speaker 1:

and it's relief, right? My clients go through their, their financial planning exercise and they're like, why didn't I do this? [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

right. Yeah, yeah. I just, I just did a, a keynote speech last week , um, where I, it was a , it was about retirement planning, but what I talked about was procrastination because I was like, what's actually happening here is you know what you need to do and you know that it's important and you can't get yourself to do it. So here's how you get yourself to do things. And really that was about , um, it's , it was , uh , you know, sort of about self identity and, but also taking things into tiny little chunks. I sort of told the story about when I was training for a triathlon years ago and I was, I was , uh , like I was like totally willing to like fall into traffic and just give up. I was like, I hate everything about this. I had an app , like I had an actual little voice in my head that said to me, you can do anything for 12 minutes. I can excuse, excuse me, and said, I can do anything for 12 minutes. I bet you didn't know that about me.

Speaker 3:

Okay .

Speaker 2:

And it was the weirdest, most profound thing cause I was like, I was like, I am talking to myself in my delirium of like peddling a Hill. I was like what ? I was like, but I think about that. I was like, okay , what thing am I over? Like really like how much work is this actually that I'm setting aside? Like how much discomfort? Like when we actually sit down and do the thing we've been dreading doing, it's like a 10 minute thing of discomfort and you know what? Like here's the thing, apparently I can do anything for 12 minutes. So I love that. Oh I'm totally, totally gonna use that from now on. Yeah, sometimes I literally set a timer for 12 minutes. I was like, I'm just going to do this. It's true. And, and I'm , I'm getting really interested in the whole concept of habits and reading all sorts of things on having how we, how we make habits sticks . So that's a , I mean that's a great one for people who have this kind of initiation anxiety or are tying the, the completion of a task to something much bigger than what it actually is. Oh, totally . Well, I mean, I even tell my clients, I was like, I don't actually want you to do this, right? I want you to go make a mess. I want you to build a habit though. And I was like, I don't care if you ruin this budget. I was like, this isn't the budget that's going to come out of this. I was like, what I want you to do is build a habit right now. And then once that habit is, then we'll change what that looks like. Okay. We could , we could talk forever about this stuff, but I want to , I want to talk a little bit more about your business. So you , how has that business change ? How has this business changed and morphed as you've grown? You've been in business for a little while now. [inaudible] . Yeah. So in some ways it's been S

Speaker 4:

you know , I'm still doing one on one work, which is always been the core of what I do. Um, I started out working primarily with , um, business owners because I was trying to be a bookkeeper. Um, I was trying to be a bookkeeper who also sort of coached people on how to use that information. And , um, eventually I realized that I, with your help, that I didn't love bookkeeping. I like bookkeeping a lot. Um, and I still have a handful of clients that I do book keeping for. And um, my favorite nerdy software that's not been for bookkeeping, but , um, it started as sort of a primarily the bookkeeping thing. And people kept coming to me. They're like, yeah, but could you do just the coaching? I don't actually need a bookkeeper, but I do need someone to explain to me how do I read this financial report and figure out what it means or I need someone to talk to me about my personal finances because I'm a business owner and it's really unpredictable. So it changed in the sense of that. And then I've , um, that has sort of morphed a little bit over time. And at this point I , I just do just do the coaching. Um, so that has definitely changed. And how many hours I work has changed. Even probably a year and a half ago I was, I was working with I think like 42 clients one-on-one. Um, which was so much too many you guys like, like three times too many people. Um, so, and , and as a result, my pricing change would help reduce the number of people in working with, without actually changing how much money I was making , um , and frame me up to devote a lot more attention and care to each of the people that I was working with.

Speaker 1:

I want to dig a little bit into the decision you made to move away from bookkeeping because this is a great story , um , in the way a lot of businesses evolve. You know, we , we, we, we start with and move towards the thing that seems most obvious, right?

Speaker 4:

Yeah. It was, it was like, I'm good at this. People will pay money for it. It's easy to sell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And you , you, you, you labored that decision quite a bit. When, what was, what was the, what was the final kind of straw that broke the camel's back that made you realize you needed to move away from that business? I think honestly

Speaker 4:

what was really difficult as I sort of came to what felt like a turning point where either needed to, I felt like I had these two sides of my business. I had the bookkeeping side of my business and they had the coaching set up my business and there are both profitable. Um, but it felt like my bookkeeping business either needed me to give up on it, which I always like, but it's profitable. Why would I end people in , there's demand for it. Why would I do that? Um, or it needed me to put a little bit more like I needed to develop a team and develop some better systems. And I thought about doing that and you actually say, well , do you love it? And I realized what light, what lights me up, what gets me energized at 10 o'clock at night. If I had a client meeting as coaching, I like bookkeeping. I love coaching. And so that's where I decided, I was like, I have this, I have this thing. Anyone can be a good bookkeeper. Not everybody's as good as me, but there, there are other bookkeepers out there, but I think there are not, I can be of greater good to people and I am so much more fulfilled doing coaching, which is sort of what I was able to identify as like quote unquote the thing only I can do.

Speaker 1:

Well. And I think that one of the other sort of relevant pieces of that conversation was that we, we assume things are profitable, but when we really dig in, I think when you found was that the bookkeeping wasn't actually as profitable as you thought

Speaker 4:

it. W w when I sort of, one of the things that we did as an exercise of sort of profitability by different , a subset of that part of the business. And , um , that's why, so I had been doing bookkeeping in three different software tools. Um, QuickBooks zero and you need a budget, which again is, that's a tool that I use for budgeting to people. It's not one that's typically used for bookkeeping. And when I broke that down to clients and QuickBooks and zero were not profitable or so, barely profitable , um, that it wasn't worth scaling that part of that business. So,

Speaker 1:

and I think if you ha , you know, you can definitely build a profitable business.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. It's, it can be done. It absolutely can be done. I could have made, like, I could have tweaked that and made it profitable. And I know we had sort of talked through scenarios of like, well, what if we did this and what if we changed this here? And I was like, I could see the path of that working, but I wasn't excited about it. So are you, and are you, was it the right decision? Oh, absolutely. Like absolutely hands down the best decision that I've made in my business. Awesome. Because it made me way more profitable. I got a ton of my time back and I loved every part of what I did. Like all of my work now is the work that I love. So what's your big hope for your clients? I hope they never need me again. I um , I really hope that when I work with people they get to a place where they feel really confident and clear that not only do they understand their current financial situation, but as things continue to change, they have a deep seated comfort and understanding of their own value that they, and just like an understanding of like, I feel comfortable enough that I could go research this on my own now or I could probably, I would ask those questions and not feel dumb. You know, I want them to feel like as their life changes, they sort of have a general sense of like, I can do this because I'm not scared anymore. I don't need to avoid this. I can go out and learn more about this and have it not feel like a reflection on me of like of my, you know, like, Oh, if I need to learn about this, I'm not good enough. And do you see those, do you see that shift in confidence? Does that have sort of direct line results within their own financial performance? Huge. Just like huge because what happens is when people feel like it's never gonna, it's not gonna work anyway. They get super, they do things financially that they know are not in their best interest because they're like, what does it matter? You know, I'm always going to be in debt or I'm always going to feel like this. And when they have confidence and they start to get these wins where they start to see like, Oh, actually making that change felt really good. I felt really proud of myself. I would like to do more of that. I have a client who when we first started working together, he was so , like I, the only way to describe it as he was so unsure of his own abilities when it came to money. He had very, and he repeatedly was like, Lynn , I just want you to do this for me. And I was like, I am absolutely not going to do this for you. That is not what we do here. And by the time we finished working together, it's like six months later he had paid off. Even in like the span, the difference between , um, our last two meetings, he paid off five credit cards and a student loan, like in the span of a couple of weeks. Wow. And he is just like, I remember I was like, Oh , it seems like it's going really well. And you know, he was like, yeah, you know, I think I'm really getting into it. And his leans over and she goes, he is obsessed. He has obsessed land , there's no other word for it. And he's just like beaming. I mean he's like paying off credit cards left and right. He's making these big changes. They're like, and he's so proud of himself. Like it was just like radiating off of him because it's the biggest shame pit of yeah. Of are all the businesses. Right. It's the same pet part of it is him probably feeling really confident now in his numbers, but part of it is knowing that he actually did it right. He did it. I didn't do that for him. Yeah , and he kept being like, well, I couldn't have done it without you. Then I was like, but please know , like I'm not the one who made those changes. I'm not the one who saved that money. I'm not the one who paid those bills off and he didn't make any more money during that time. He was making the same amount of money when we started working together as when we finished and he paid off like tens of thousands of dollars of debt in the time we worked together. Amazing. I'm not surprised he was actively going into debt when we started working together six months before. Yeah. It's just those little shifts, right? Yeah. Sometimes it just takes somebody who knows what they're talking about, believing in you. There's your quote right there. Yeah. It needs to be on the front page of here . Okay . Yeah . So you've had some growth. What has growth meant to you? Like, what, what, what have you kind of grown around? You know, I think the biggest thing that I've grown around is when I first started, I was so concerned with growth and so concerned with um, fast growth and feeling like I didn't know what I was doing and I spent a lot of money trying to hire out other people to make those decisions for me. Like , um, you know, coaches and assistants, I was like, I will, I am going to be a real business owner and I am going to do these things. And it was a lot of it, none of them were bad things to do. Um, like the courses that I bought were good courses. I just wasn't ready to apply them or like the people that, you know, the coaches that I hired were good coaches. It's just now like four years later that I'm like, remember that thing that she'd said that was really good and I could use that now. And really what it was is , um, I had this like, just insecurity in my own ability to do this, which is really funny given what we literally just talked about. Um, but as a business owner it was just showing up at in different places, the same sort of idea. Um, and getting to a place where I have just sort of a basic feeling of like, this is, this is who I am now. I think a lot of our behavior comes out of who we think we are. And I didn't think of myself as a business owner.

Speaker 5:

I know I do.

Speaker 4:

And when I think of myself as a business owner , um, I feel comfortable saying no to the course because I know that like, I know enough about this stuff. It's gonna come on again in six moments , like, you know, or whatever the thing is like , and also just a comfort. Like I actually probably know what I need to do and what I actually need to do is do something. And I think that the same sort of thing comes up in our money. Um , when we think of ourselves as fundamentally bad with money, we behave like someone who's fundamentally bad with money. And when we get out of that belief system and start recognizing that we are in fact just a person who is doing their best and sometimes what that is gonna look like, it's gonna change. Um, but yeah, so I think growth has really meant a lot more , um , comfort with the ups and downs. You know, I wouldn't say that I'm off the sort of roller coaster of business ownership by any means. Um, I've found some ways to make that a little bit easier, but I also just have a lot more comfortable. Like this is what this life is. And being a business owner has become a really core part of how I view myself and how I behave in the world. And that is, that's really different. Um, and has allowed me to get more comfortable with like, when things are a little bit slow, I don't panic about it the way that I used to because I've seen this before and I know that it comes back around. And I also do things like I realized , I was like, wow, it's actually, it's really slow right now and it's also lovely. Oh . And I'm going to take my daughter to the beach for a couple of days and this will come back because that's how this goes. I need you to just record yourself saying that so I can play over and over on a, on a real to like , and to me when I, when I forget about this and two weeks, couple of years ago when we first met [inaudible] two, three years ago. Yeah. Something like that. You have a billion in online business owner use . Really in internet years. You were not keen to show up. I mean , God know I was terrified. I like spent months just thinking about how to get on a podcast. My favorite thing that you said back then was, well that sounds a little bit scary, so I guess it's something I should do. Yeah. And I think that was , that was such a guiding thing for me for a long time actually. Um, I remember when I, I was in New York for my first paid speaking gig and I saw spray painted on the back of a sign, follow your nightmares. And I was like, that's what I'm doing. That's literally , I'm like, that's why I'm here right now. I'm following my nightmares. I was like, my public speaking career started because I was terrified of public speaking. And so I reached out to the local women's business center and they now know this. I've told them, but this was like years ago and I was like, I have this talk that I do. Do you guys want to host it? And they were like, yeah. And I had never, I hadn't even written it. Um, and I just did a keynote for them last week, so I absolutely follow it. Follow my nightmares was like, I feel really fortunate that I was able to sort of like key onto that early to be like, this thing is scary but in a sort of exciting way. And so I'm just going to run towards it, which is how I got into public speaking, which is how I got into , um, being on podcasts and being more visible, which is how I've gotten, you know , interviews in a lot of, a lot of, lot of places. I was the other day I was like, wow , I'm getting interviewed in places that like fact check now that's new. I was like, that's kind of a big deal.

Speaker 1:

And then I remember like, I remember when we first started working together, you would shrink when we, I was horrified. I don't maybe, ah , and it was like you could see your brain just going, what can I, how can I hide right now? Hide right now. It was one of the bravest and

Speaker 4:

most courageous things I've seen someone do. And then you just, then all of a sudden you just became this person who's speaks this person who's on [inaudible]

Speaker 1:

and you're just like, yeah, bitches. I am here. And I'm like, there is no fear. And yeah. How has that helped you? Well,

Speaker 4:

it has, it has, it's one of those things, it's like exposure therapy. You know, it's like the first time that you do something that's scary to you and it's fine. Um, I think the most important thing that, like the most important thing you can do is find the thing that scares you and do it. And then the second most important thing you can do is when it is fine because it will be fine. Listened to that, like feel that it is actually fine and then, then it becomes so much easier to keep going to just do it again. And then , um, you know, I, I think it's also like such a cliche thing, but just like don't try and be the perfect thing. Like I remember my first speaking gig, I was just like, I had all these handouts that no one wanted, but I hadn't spent so much time on. And you know, like now that's not how I do. I mean like, you know, when I did a keynote, I obviously prepared a lot for that, but what I, you know, it's just a different sort of thing and I , I have just allowed myself that comfort and the time to the time to just get comfortable with that and do it over and over again and do it in ways that feel comfortable so that I can do it in ways that don't feel comfortable. I wouldn't have done a paid speaking gig in New York city if I hadn't done a bunch of local speaking gigs to like three women from, you know that because I made a point of not advertising it because I was like, I just have to show up and do the thing. As long as there's one other person there that I have officially done a speaking gig and then I will do it and I will do another one. I'll do another one. And um, and then just, you know, to just get a little uncomfortable, follow your nightmares. I love it. That's the title of this episode. I love, I love that story too because it does, it's like such a , uh , it was such a perfect thing at that moment. You know , it felt like a, I was like, wow, that is like, yeah, that's, that's how you encapsulate those. Follow your nightmares.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I'm going to get a sign made.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. I told a friend of mine that story and she was like, can we get tee shirts made?

Speaker 1:

Okay. This is a question I ask everybody because it's something near and dear to my heart, but what do you think, and I know you have opinions on this, what do you think the biggest gap is out there between what's real and what we get told in the business world?

Speaker 6:

Hmm .

Speaker 4:

I think the biggest lie we get told is you don't know what to do. All right . And I think, I think that, I think that, that, I think we know more than we think. I think we can do more now even if we don't have all the answers. And I think that we just need to start doing something. And I'm saying this to everyone listening as much as I'm saying this to myself. Um, because I am a classic over-thinker and I love just, just the other day I was trying to pick out a pink color for my kitchen and I had like a sample and I was like, I love this but I'm going to overthink it for like another three weeks. Um, but I think that we, we are sort of told repeatedly that you need more information and information is not education. And I think that that is , um, I also think there are incredible people out there who teach us things that will change our lives forever and we should find them and follow them and buy everything that they put out. Um, but I think not everybody are those people.

Speaker 1:

And what, what has, what would , what's the one thing that has changed your life? What do you wish that you had known before you started [inaudible]

Speaker 4:

that it was going to work. I think I would, if I, someone had said this will work, just start doing it. Um, I would have done it sooner

Speaker 1:

and it's going to work in a way that you probably didn't imagine. Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, is this business now what you thought you were going to build when you first started? No . No.

Speaker 4:

It's so much better. Yeah. Like it's so much better. Just before we get on the phone phone here, I took a nap. Well, I'm glad you woke up for our call. I did. I'm like fighting up a cold, so I was like, I'm gonna take a nap so I can be present for this . But yeah, I mean like, it's so much better than I thought. It's different. It's harder in some ways. It's easier than some ways. Um, it's both making more and less money than I thought at different points of time. And it's just different than I thought. And I think, I think this is really common of everything in our lives. Right. And I , you know, we have these plans and then, you know, if I look back at any given year in my life, it is never the way that I thought it was going to go. And so I think that that confidence that I have now, like this will work. If I had had that from the beginning. I don't know . I might've gotten, I might have been lazier, I might, I might not have been hungry enough to do the things that I did when I was, I might not have followed my nightmares quite as hard if I had known it would work anyway.

Speaker 1:

We need a little bit of that push, write that a little bit of that edge. And I , you know, I was talking to a client yesterday who was like, I just wish I wasn't always chasing. Like I'm always thinking about, you know, what's, where do I get my next line? What am I gonna I'm like, you know, that doesn't, that's a good thing. It's actually a good thing, right? It's a, you know, you don't want to always be sitting in Lac , but also that, that kind of keeps us, keeps our edge right? It keeps us moving forward and I think we need a little bit of that discomfort all the time. You have to be able to, you know, achieve the big things. And and rush for that next thing. Right? Oh totally. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

Even in my confidence that this will work, it works because I like it works because I keep showing up. It works because I keep going to the things and doing the speaking gigs and talking to people, but what I do and finding new clients and doing that unlike that's not always a comfortable thing. Even if I do have a baseline comfort that this will continue to work cause I know that I'm good at what I do and it's something people need but I still have to show up and do the work and there's always like, it's it . Yeah. I think if , um, I think, you know, I see this actually a lot with people and their , their budgets, this sort of idea like, well if I go on a budget, it feels too, you know, too much scarcity and it's like you can have anything but not everything. Like you have to stay aware of the edges of everything so that you can stay focused on the thing that you're doing. And I think that's the same thing in business. Like, if I stay, if I keep an eye on sort of like, Oh, this is how my receivables are, or like this is, these are, these are my projections and this is sort of what I've got coming in and, and what does that all gonna look like? As long as I don't get too comfortable with the idea that I don't have to do anything. Like if I see as long as I keep showing up and doing the thing, but it's sort of, I have a lot more comfort in what that thing is. Right. I guess. And that'll continue to evolve. Oh absolutely. A year from now I'll listen to this and be like, what was I talking about? That was, everything is different now. What's next for you? So the next thing I'm working on is , um , I have been, I've been threatening for years to start a group coaching program and I am actively working on that sort of between doing my one on one coaching and being a single mom with three year olds . Um, but I am working on that and sort of , um , nailing down the details of what that looks like. But that should be, I should have something coming up this winter that will allow people to sort of sort of get this stuff on their hands in a way that is a little bit more , um, potentially time and financially accessible to people and, and, and doing it in a group, people are always like, people not never going to want to talk about this in a group. And I was like, so much of the value of the work that I do is knowing that other people also work with me and hearing the stories, you know, you anonymous stories, but stories of like other people who went through this normalizing sort of , and this normalization. Absolutely. Just like seeing like, Oh yeah, other people deal with this too. So small group coaching is definitely , um , sort of the next for me of, of um , taking all of the work that I've done with hundreds of clients or the number of years . And how can I do that in a way? Um, that would be just more people. Um, yeah, that's, that's the next jam. I'm psyched about it . I also just, I just really love coaching and it's going to be like a live coaching program and not, not necessarily a course. So it's going to be pretty hands on and um , I'm probably gonna spend way too much time on it for how much money it will make. Six months later a step will be like, you have to stop doing this, this way. Um, but yeah, that's what I'm going to do next.

Speaker 1:

And people eat that up. So what kind of support do you need from this community to get you there?

Speaker 6:

[inaudible]

Speaker 4:

you know, I think my biggest issue is that I , um, I tend to procrastinate a little bit, which is hilarious given that I literally just gave a keynote about procrastination. Um, it's because I know it will. Um, so I, I would love to sort of, you know, checking in and having been like, so did you do that thing? All right, we all need to check into that thing. And I think you know, like your friends that look like they know what they're doing. Just you know, do that. Did you do the thing that you said you were going to do with check in is always a helpful thing? Our otherwise successful business owners I know are like, I've been talking about starting a podcast for four years. I know I had been to and then I just decided I was going to do it. I know. I think we're similar in that way. I'm doing this now. This is happening.

Speaker 1:

Okay. We're running out. I'm you and I as you know, could talk all day, but I want to thank you so much for taking the time to chat today. You are obviously one of my favorite people and the service you provide is so, so needed to all the business owners out there. I know all my clients, this is why you, you speak to them in my group program, why I'm always sending them to you. People need this and they need it badly and I love how approachable you are. I love how you make it so shameless and so easy to move through this. It's life changing. So can you tell the listeners how they can find you?

Speaker 4:

Yeah , so you can find me@lynnsummermen.com or on Instagram or Facebook, Atland Zimmerman . Um, and those are probably the best places to find me and keep an eye out on , on my probably social media will be probably the big social media. My email list will be the first place that people find out about the group program as that comes out. But happy to connect with people on all of those platforms so that we can sort of help each other out.

Speaker 1:

Sounds good. Okay. Amazing. Um, watch out for Lynn's program. It's going to be really good. It's going to be what you need. Thank you. So for joining us today and the gift that you bring to the world. Thank you. Ditto . That's a wrap for this episode. Such an amazing conversation and make sure you go and check out Lynn and her incredible offers. And thank you for tuning in today to hear this story. The episodes you're listening to are all featuring members of my free private Facebook group called the real deal business coaching group where we have daily prompts to keep you focused on building your business and sharing your everyday challenges, biweekly virtual coffee chats and open coaching and members support from an incredible community. If you'd like to join our community or if you'd like to be featured on this show, I'd love for you to come and hang out with us in the group links in the show notes or search up the real deal business coaching group in Facebook to find us. And finally I would love for you to come and join us for our next episode where we're going to speak , speaking to Tammy Faulds , who is a life and death coach and works with clients who have had an experience that is bringing up a whole bunch of stuff that is going to help them live a better life. It is so interesting and I love this lady, so make sure you tune in next time and listen to that episode cause it's gonna be hot. All right. Thank you for being here. And if you are enjoying today's content, I would love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on as this helps us share these stories with an ever bigger audience. Until next time, I'm cheering you on over here and stay real.