Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Something I have been thinking about lately is a lack of financial transparency in the coaching industry, but also in society at large. Sure, we hear coaches boasting about their multiple six-figure revenues, but the road to achieve that is often rendered opaque.
Did they have another income sources or financial support while they were starting their businesses? Do they make their incomes off of other coaches who are in it to make what they make rather than actually desiring their services? Do they use funnel or other aggressive marketing techniques or paid ads? Do they make consistent amounts throughout the whole year?
I have come to believe that we rarely learn how the wealthy or financially comfortable came to be so unless we do a lot of self motivated digging (and even if we do the latter). Actual numbers are not discussed and are largely kept under self serving wraps by the gatekeepers of that wealth, instead blanketed over with platitudes about not spending $6 on coffee or generalities advising investment in real estate.
Why are the numbers and specifics important to know? As many of you who read or follow me probably know by now, I often employ the term EXPANDERS borrowed from To be Magnetic, a system for manifestation brilliantly created by Lacy Phillips. In it, Philipps shows us that we need examples of people who have manifested what we want in order for our subconscious to believe it's possible. Here's the kicker: the closer their circumstances were or are to resembling our own, the more likely we are to believe that their success is possible for us.
For instance, if you see a kid that grew up with ponies and weekends at an elite tennis club is later able to open a prestigious flower shop in Beverly Hills, you may admire their aesthetic skill and be inspired by how they made colourful flower arrangements their career. But if your upbringing comes in stark contrast to their example, your mind can still dismiss the model by saying "well of course it was possible for them, they likely had savings, investments, a loan from family or a network of rich friends that I will never have." This loophole allows your unconscious beliefs and faith to close up shop and say "that success is not for me."
Perhaps they can be what Lacy calls a "fragment expander." For instance, if you both got Masters degrees or PhDs and you've been feeling shy about not using your education in making floral compositions, this person can expand you in that area. But to supplement, it will be helpful for you to find someone with a similar socio-economic background as a starting point to chart your own progress along the narrative structure they provide. Perhaps they do not need to be a florist, but they can be someone who opened a flourishing record shop, for example, on their own dime.
While these stories really do help cement a possible path for us to follow, I have found learning about actual numbers deeply healing and inspiring for me. Back to Lacy for a moment. I was listening to one of her EXPANDED podcasts and she described how she came to be a multi-property owner. At first she started with a generality: "only spend your passive income or profits off investments, never the money you are earning." HA! My unconscious scoffed at how absurd this notion felt from my current vantage point. But then she went on to get specific in her own history.
She described how she purchased her first property for a $10,000 downpayment with 0% interest. OK, admittedly, I do not think this is possible in the current climate nor in my geographic location. But it was possible at one time for someone who was coaching clients in her own business. Then she went on to say how she used an adjacent space as a rental, which she decorated minimally with flea market finds but with an upscale spin by including Parachute sheets. Oh. Choose one brand name item and you can pitch your rental as a trendy destination. Noted.
She went on to describe her mortgage payments, how they were paid off by the rent she received from Airbnb, how she acquired enough equity to purchase another property etc. With real numbers. It felt so deeply refreshing for her to generously offer "this is how I did it" rather the blurring over the details.
I made $10,468 CAD in sales last March. Totally unexpected, I might add. Two weeks earlier, I hit an income goal I had in mind since March 2020 (two years earlier) that was less than half of that. Once I did, I wrote in my money manifestation book (which I try to check into daily) a new goal only slightly higher than the last. I surpassed that quickly so I finally etched in there that ideally I would like to make $10K+ a month. There were a few days left in the month and I couldn't believe I was getting close. Though I was still $1506 away in the final days, I refused to approach it with hustling energy. I was lying in my outdoor bed in Costa Rica with a stomach flu, sipping electrolyte water on a hollow stomach, trying not to throw up, when I surpassed my income goal on the last day of the month from a place of radical surrender. Just lying there.
The feeling was one of soaring peace and contentment. My father and I had planned a weekend in the mountains near Arenal and as we set out on our road trip, I knew my next three upcoming trips of the summer were covered. I knew the debt I would pay off. The amount of work ahead felt reasonable, fluid, heartfelt. I hadn't felt scarcity in the process of earning that money and I felt wholly safe in receiving the abundance that had come my way. It was bliss. I played music loudly in the car, sang the whole time and looked out the window without needing to check my phone or post. I felt like I won. And I had felt due for a long time.
In April, I made $1330. Gulp. That was not enough. While that 10K had been enough for Lacy to start a real estate empire, I had earmarked half of it toward various ends and the rest dwindled slowly through a summer of slow sales. When my income felt scarce, I wondered: was it because I was travelling more and marketing/selling less? Was it inflation? Was it because people are less focused on mental wellness when they are dressing cute, going for dinner on terraces and planning family vacations? Probably. But how was I to know?
My mind scrambled to make sense of how I had manifested by dream income months prior. Was I posting more? No, if anything less. I did raise my prices in April which meant many people wanted to buy their packages before the hike, but it couldn't only be that (as I had done that before). Was it my being more intentional re: aesthetics in my content? Was it the recent Instagram partnership? Was it the excitement people felt in my launching a new program (PURPOSE-FULL)?! Was it.. was it...?!
Even though I had lived it, some elements of my own previous success seemed opaque to me once my income plummeted. While it stabilized in the fall, by then I was in catch up mode. Why am I sharing all this? Because I feel that it's important to share the whole picture without shame or shadow. And there's more behind the scenes to reveal. It's crucial for my own manifestation process to not compartmentalize the tricky parts that are hard to stomach or admit, but also for others who consider me an expander.
Many people who follow me online are not my ideal clients per se (those who have purchased every offering and really dive into the work and see results). There is a community of people who I believe aspire to financial freedom on their own terms, as healers or entrepreneurs, and who gain something from the lifestyle and ethos I emit on Instagram. This is not to sound cocky, it's just an amalgamation of comments I have received. Sometimes it's the fact that I found a way to make a full time income by following pings or listening to my guides while I had only 1K followers, working at home through the pandemic. Sometimes it's the consistency with which I do a morning routine for self healing and really try to live my life divinely guided, while discussing it openly. Sometimes it's the amount I travel throughout the year while being able to do the work I love from anywhere and the obvious contentment that brings me.
And for those people, I feel the need to make something clear. While my ability to do those things is a mixture of the grace of God, my relentless almost stubborn persistence through repeated failure and countless rejections, and my courage in continuously putting myself out there even when I get minimal or slow results, there have also been practical very real supports behind the scenes that have made it possible. And in order to have the full picture, I think it's only fair to acknowledge them and remove any societal and individual shame we may harness around the help we have received from others.
So here are the brass tacks. As a kid my parents didn't have a lot of money. At 10 years old, I became a successful child actor and made some good money which meant I was able to upgrade my lifestyle in terms of travel, clothes, extra-curricular activities (like an eco-volunteer program in Costa Rica as a teen) and pay most of my way through university (two degrees, three schools). Then I developed some bad financial habits through a toxic romantic relationship and some impulse spending that was nurtured by unexpectedly big cash-ins from modelling or commercial gigs. My acting mutual funds started to run dry and I became dependent on a modest steady income when making $1-$6K for a day or two of (fun) work was a thing of the past.
As an undergrad (full time) I was working two waitressing jobs (full time) while modelling and felt it was becoming hard to excel academically while so exhausted and overextended. So I applied for my first student line of credit on which my mother acted as co-signer (required by the bank). I was lucky she worked at my University which also cut my tuition in half but I still needed to cover my rent and expenses if I was going to work less. I am still paying that off a decade and a half later.
I first borrowed money from my dad in grad school when he was more comfortable and didn't want me taking more interest laden student debt once I had quit my jobs to focus on my degree. He didn't really believe in the value of an MA like I (and others) did but I convinced him. I also had won a prestigious Masters grant to write my thesis which made me so proud but wasn't enough to live on. I didn't really know how I would pay him back for the money he lent me but getting a Masters felt important to me and I wanted to do it right.
So began a slippery slope. Fast forward to quitting a budding career in contemporary art in 2018 to start screenwriting. I got so close to major breakthrough successes (a story for another time) which was enough to string me along and resist taking on another full time job I would come to hate. Around the same time, my boyfriend got a mortgage on a beautiful loft (a dream home for us). His income kept increasing while mine became more unstable. He warned me that quitting my career for solo ventures may put our dynamic in jeopardy but I had so much faith in myself and my projects.
I justified that it was his mortgage and that I didn't have to pay rent towards it (I had heard this elsewhere). So I would take care of decorating or groceries and cooking, since I was passionate about eating a certain way anyway. Then I began archiving my grandfather's enormous body of work as a painter as a favour to my family (another long beautiful, bittersweet story) and my father (and his twin for a time) paid me to do that work as a way to help them prevent an inheritance problem (too long a story). But this again opened the door to family support. I started a production company for other income while I tried to sell my sitcom and my grandfather's paintings (and the documentary we made on him). I was insanely enterprising,
proactive and pretty successful for a first-timer in all these domains.
But I woke up one day and felt dependent, something I don't remember experiencing in this way since I was 9 years old. While I always made enough of my own money for my favourite $6 mocha or my organic produce (well, not always), when our dog needed a big vet visit - the dog I convinced my partner to adopt - I had to put it on his credit card on file. It started to sting. When I was really in a jam, I would borrow from him or my dad or my mother. I was good about paying it back but it felt very disempowering especially when I had been financially independent almost all my life until I got to the age where people start to have it figured it out and now I was living like the broke undergrad I never had been. I wore more high end brands at 15 than I do now at 36.
In February 2020, my boyfriend and I were staying at my dad's place in Costa Rica. I had left my temporary job in a fancy-ish shop in Montreal and didn't know how I was going to make income while we spent the winter there. Both my dad and partner suggested I start to charge for my Tarot readings which people loved. So I did (very modestly). My boyfriend flew back to Montreal and days later they closed the borders. We were apart for six months while I lived with a parent for the first time since adolescence. I decided to surrender into it totally and just depend on my father. I started Tour de Soul under that umbrella of support - a free beautiful roof over my head with densely vital produce in the fridge. The town was in lockdown so expenses were low as everything was closed. I cooked us three delicious and innovative meals a day which my father cherished. I helped him focus on his long term goals through the spiritual modalities I most valued. I did a ton of soul searching, made local friends and began to build a flourishing business.
By the time I could fly my dog and myself home to my beloved in Montreal, I was able to pay for Blue's Costa Rican vet bills myself, pay off a ton of debt and split the flight of a costly charter plane back to Montreal with my partner. I had gained momentum. In the years since, I rarely had to borrow money and began to share more and more expenses with my partner though he still made 3-10 times more than I did and covered the big ticket items (appliances etc.). I also got to spend mornings writing a blog post like I am doing today.
Not everyone has the luxury to do that. I know that and you know that. Not everyone has parents who discover more financial security later in life and believe in your dreams and support you when you are in a pickle with a small loan (even if it's just $300). Not everyone had a child acting career giving them faith that they can achieve things that many do not. And not everyone can forego paying rent to pursue their dreams, no matter how much strain that may produce on a relationship or on one's self esteem.
So here is my financial transparency. I have made $10K a month and $300 a month. I have made $8K in a day and spent only $50 in a week. I have felt luxurious while only having bought second hand clothes in the last three years (also in large part because I am loyal to eco-fashion). My mother in law buys me beautiful clothes when we visit in Europe (she always wanted a girl) but when I was thirteen I paid for my own shopping when no one else did. My financial life has been a series of contradictions. I will spend a lot on healing work and natural/ethical products and hardly any money at all on fancy restaurants or a car or beauty products. I feel rich and broke simultaneously on many a day. I am sure you have your version of this too.
I share all this for my own self healing and for those of you who may have wondered "how can she travel so much and live off the income she makes online with only 1000 followers?" "How does she build a business based on authenticity while she has to pay the bills?" If you've asked yourself this about me or anyone else, know there is always a story behind that you don't see (and other details I have not included here but would tell anyone who asked). And know that we all struggle to know how what we want can be possible for us. It takes research, I believe.
If even one of you reads this and feels relief in knowing that you are not alone in something you have struggled with in this regard, I will again feel that I have won.