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Doing Business Heart to Heart. Terri Levine
When you do business with people, it is often thought that the only thing that matters is the bottom line. But what if you could create a unique relationship where there was more than just money involved? What if your own values were reflected in how you did business?
Our next guest, Terri Levine, teaches business owners to do business heart-to-heart. She is the founder of Heart-repreneur and is a business marketing consultant who assists entrepreneurs worldwide with growth, sales, and marketing. Terri has more than 40 years of experience, helping over 6,000 business owners and entrepreneurs. She is also a bestselling author of dozens of books, has her own radio and TV show, and is a keynote speaker.
Bob and Terri have a heart-to-heart conversation as they delve into being open and curious about self-discovery.
[4:57] Work yourself happy by doing work that is sustaining.
[12:00] Don’t do it alone. Have a coach, consultant, advisor, or mentor helping you.
[14:54] Conducting business with integrity, transparency, and authenticity.
[16:12] Learning to speak charge neutral. Responding vs. reacting.
[24:16] Leading with our hearts.
[28:34] Facing the harsh reality of the truth.
Terri and the team at Heart-repreneur® love helping other business owners succeed and teach entrepreneurs how to do business authentically from the heart. Visit heartrepreneur.com to learn how you can transform your business with integrity and authenticity.
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Terri Levine’s Books
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money. As a CPA for the past 30 years, wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.
[00:00:21] And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is, an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.
[00:00:43] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
[00:01:06] Our next guest is Terri Levine. She is the founder of Heart-repreneur and a business marketing consultant who assists businesses worldwide with business growth, sales, and marketing. She has more than 40 years of business experience encompassing work with more than 6,000 business owners and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries.
[00:01:23] She’s also the bestselling author of dozens of books, has her own radio show and TV show, and is a keynote speaker. She has a passion for helping businesses to grow with her own personal experience, gained while building multiple successful businesses from the ground up. She has created the Heart-repreneur cause, teaching business owners to do business heart to heart. We love that.
[00:01:43] I want to mention a couple of your books are also called Turbocharge Your Business, and we’ve also got Conversion Equation. Terry is also on the advisory board of several companies. She volunteers for a local homeless shelter in her area, and she dedicates time fundraising for the nonprofit foundation she founded, The Terri Levine Foundation for Children with RSD. And for people that don’t know, RSD is reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
[00:02:10] Terri, it’s so great to have you. I am so excited to have this conversation today.
[00:02:14] Terri Levine: I’m glad to be here, glad to be with you, and looking forward to creating value.
[00:02:18] Bob Wheeler: So terri, the first thing I have to ask you is you’ve got a lot of success. You’ve written books, you’ve done a lot of things. You’ve created a foundation. Was this what you envisioned when you were five years old?
[00:02:28] Terri Levine: My recollection is at five, the only profession I really knew of was being a teacher. And so I thought I wanted to be a teacher. And as I got a little bit older, I wanted to be an actress. Then I actually did get to do that.
[00:02:40] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. And growing up, did you have siblings, did your family talk about money? What was your environment like as a kid?
[00:02:48] Terri Levine: I have an older sister, seven years older, and we are just worlds apart due to our age. So I was like an only child. It’s interesting, I have no recollection of any conversations about money.
[00:03:01] And I found out as I was older, we grew up very, very poor. We basically didn’t have anything. I just didn’t know that. Just felt surrounded by a lot of love. And so I didn’t know that other people had things like a house versus an apartment or any of the material possessions I learned about later in life.
[00:03:20] Bob Wheeler: Wow. And when you found that out, what was that like? What was that reveal like when you realized, oh, we weren’t like the Joneses?
[00:03:28] Terri Levine: To be very clear about it, for me, I felt happy about it because I grew up surrounded by a lot of love and not a lot of possessions, and I knew that I could go through my life without a lot of possessions, and that love was more important and connection was more important.
[00:03:44] So it set of very good tone for my life, Bob.
[00:03:46] Bob Wheeler: That is so awesome. Do you remember any phrases or anything around money that may have been said? Or do you just remember, okay, we just never talked about it. Was there any sort of hidden message that you remember?
[00:04:00] Terri Levine: The only thing I remember is asking for things like, could I go on this field trip or could I do XYZ?
[00:04:07] And it would typically be, no, we can’t afford it. Which didn’t mean anything to me other than I can’t go. I didn’t really understand that other people could afford what we could not afford.
[00:04:18] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And were your parents encouraging though to go for whatever you want, or was there a limitation mindset? Was there a scarcity mindset?
[00:04:26] Terri Levine: There was a scarcity mindset around food, that there wasn’t enough and we had to share, which has impacted me my whole life in terms of my relationship with food. Other than that, no.
[00:04:40] Bob Wheeler: I want to jump real quick because you wrote a book, Work Yourself Happy. And I just love the title already. It just draws me in because so many of us work ourselves sick, or we work ourselves to death, or we think we must work and it must be painful if we’re going to get a benefit.
[00:04:57] And I really would love to just hear your take on this piece about Work Yourself Happy. It sounds like a much better place to be.
[00:05:06] Terri Levine: So I was working in Corporate America for a while, after being an entrepreneur and creating successful businesses and selling them. And I was miserable. I literally spent five years working myself miserable, losing my hair, getting ill, being depressed, not wanting to talk to people. Making a lot of money and making an impact as a CEO of this company, truly miserable.
[00:05:31] And I walked away from that about 28 years ago to start my consulting business. And I wrote the book, Work Yourself Happy. That was my first book, because I wanted other people to understand life is short. Life is precious. It’s a commodity that we don’t know how many nanoseconds we have. And so every moment, we should live in the present and do work that is sustaining, that adds to our value, because we spent too many hours thinking about work and being at work to be measurable.
[00:06:02] And so I’ve shared with other people in that book and over the course of my last 27 years in this business, how to actually do work that is your passion and to at the same time, create a great income.
[00:06:14] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome, because I think so many people, and I know I was caught up in this, like I am my accomplishments, I’ve got to get a certain amount of money and then I got to get more than that cause then that’s not enough. And then I have a new benchmark. And it’s almost a frantic-ness, at least in my case, where I had to keep moving and moving and moving.
[00:06:32] And I think for a long time, I never thought about the fact that life is not guaranteed. Tomorrow’s not promised. And it’s a sobering thought I think, that a lot of us maybe sometimes don’t want to think about.
[00:06:43] And as you were just sharing that, I have a Money and Vision group that I co-facilitate, and the exercise last night was, we started off with 20 index cards. And the first thing we wrote down was the date when we were going to die, how we were going to die, how old we were. And then we started writing down all the things we wanted to happen in our life.
[00:07:02] And we used it as a timeline to then say, wait a minute, like I better get busy if I want to really have this travel experience, or if I want to spend more time with my grandchildren, or whatever it might be. It was a bit sobering and a bit triggering for people to think about, wait a minute. What? I’m gonna, we’re all going to go.
[00:07:20] Pretty sure. But we might as well go happy.
[00:07:24] Terri Levine: It’s interesting. I love that exercise. It sounds fantastic. At some of my speaking engagements, I put up a chart on the board and actually showed what age you are. It could be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, whatever, approximately what the lifespan is for women and for a man. And I say this is how many squares you may have left, potentially.
[00:07:45] What are you going to do with those squares? From this moment on, make careful choices. Because life is really a precious commodity that we can’t get more of.
[00:07:56] Bob Wheeler: We can’t. And speaking of the fact that you separate the differences between lifespans of men and women, women often live longer, have less income, and more chance of being in poverty in their senior years. Do you address any of that or do you make that awareness to women really clear? Because I think so many people don’t know this.
[00:08:17] Terri Levine: Interesting question. Well, I I’ve been devoting a lot of my time and energy to women entrepreneurs, and I have a whole book series called Turbocharge Your Business. Then the most recent one in this series is Turbocharge Your Business for Women Entrepreneurs.
[00:08:30] Just because of that fact, women end up in poverty conditions, way more than men. And I want women to understand that they can have a business of their own, they can take their passion, they can make money. And they need to be self-sustaining. Mary Kay ash said, “a man is not a plan.” And I agree with it.
[00:08:53] Bob Wheeler: That is right. I like that. Let me ask you this. Can you tell me some of the challenges that you faced as a successful woman, as a successful female entrepreneur, that other women can relate to, or that could bring some awareness to some men who might go, oh, I didn’t realize that?
[00:09:12] Terri Levine: Yeah, I’ll share two quick stories. When I was CEO of a national healthcare company, all of the other top people in the company were men.
[00:09:20] I was the only woman. And I found myself dressing like the men, wearing pantsuits because the men wore those. And I thought I had to fit in. I found myself trying to be one of the boys. I found myself smoking cigars, drinking scotch, and my wake-up call was when I was with a group of men from my company, and we went on a walk and they said, let’s stop in here for a drink.
[00:09:43] I didn’t look to see what the place was for a drink, I just walked in. The second I walked in, I realized I was now in a strip club. That’s the day that I had my awakening. That I walked out and said, I will embrace my power and energy. And the second thing is, this is kind of a funny story. My license plate says I Coach, and very often when I park my car, I pull up to get gas, people will say, what does your husband coach?
[00:10:13] Because they assume that for it to coach, that it must be a male that’s driving a fancy sports car. So these are just interesting observations that I’ve had in the world. And I do address these with women, how to embrace your feminine power consciously and be a leader.
[00:10:29] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s awesome. I would imagine there have been times where that’s a little bit frustrating to have these assumptions made, and you push forward anyway. What do you think was the drive for you to have success? To write the books? What was the motivating factor? Because you knew you could live without money, and happiness was important. What was your motivation?
[00:10:50] Terri Levine: So my mom was my best friend on the planet, but she died in 1996. And a week after she died, my friend died of breast cancer at the age of 40.
[00:11:03] These events were one week apart. And my friend, when she was in hospice, I was with my mom, so I couldn’t visit her. I spoke to her and she said, Terri, don’t live your life the way I am. Working and hoping people stand up at your funeral talking about work. Live your life and be with the people you love. And that is when I made the decision, I was going to walk away from Corporate America.
[00:11:27] That’s when I made the decision, I was going to impact as many people as I could around world. And that is when I made the decision to start the Work Yourself Happy book, movement, speaking engagements, all of that came at the same time.
[00:11:41] Bob Wheeler: Wow. That is powerful. So you do really have a connection to recognizing that life is short and that life is precious.
[00:11:49] Terri Levine: 100%.
[00:11:50] Bob Wheeler: What would you say to women out there who want to become an entrepreneur who have that, like, yeah, I have this other mountain to climb, but I’m afraid?
[00:12:00] Terri Levine: You know, I think the fear is a healthy thing. And I will say to you, don’t do it alone. I think the biggest mistake that I’ve seen over my 43 years in business, is women try to do this themselves.
[00:12:11] They just take it on as another thing that they can get accomplished. I have had a coach, consultant, advisor, or mentor with me for 42 of the 43 years that I’ve been in business, which is why I was able to ramp up all my businesses, sell them, be successful, be in this industry with 30 clients in 30 days when I started 27 years ago, because I did not do it alone.
[00:12:37] I had experts that were guiding me, taking me under their wing and nurturing me. And so I could earn right away instead of learning from mistakes.
[00:12:48] Bob Wheeler: Okay. And so how do I know that I have a good coach, right? Just like finding a good tax preparer, just like finding a good financial advisor, or a good therapist. There’s lots of snake oil out there. Right? And then there’s lots of snake experts. How do I find the expert that’s going to be right for me? Are there some signs that I can look for and are there some red flags?
[00:13:08] Terri Levine: So the first red flag is if the person that you’re hiring, coach, consultant, mentor, advisor, hasn’t been there, done it themselves. It’s just all talk.
[00:13:17] We can all take photos in front of a Lamborghini or a fancy house and pretend it’s our own. And some of these fake experts do that online. You want to see their track record. What have you done?
[00:13:27] The second thing that you want to know is, let me see some of your client testimonials, case studies and experiences.
[00:13:34] And the third thing, which tells it all, is are they willing to guarantee? Like in my company, we guarantee an extra hundred thousand dollars or you get your money back. And obviously you have to implement, it’s not magic. However, if someone’s not willing to make a guarantee, I would say go somewhere else if they don’t stand behind their work.
[00:13:53] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And I think maybe you can trust a little bit with your heart, but it’s still that trust, but verify. Like some of us, oh, they’re so nice. And that may be true, but we also, if we’re going to self-advocacy, we have to actually, vigilant self care, as a friend of mine likes to say, we have to be scrutinizing and actually checking in.
[00:14:14] I know sometimes as the nice guy that I sometimes am called, I would be afraid to ask for, can you like, show me this part of the contract? Or I think you left something out.
[00:14:25] And for me, what I did was I would say, look, I’m a CPA. And so by nature, I’m required to ask these things, even though I completely trust you, I would blame my profession as the reason that I was asking questions. And people would say, oh, I get it.
[00:14:42] Because I didn’t always feel comfortable just saying, I don’t think that’s right. But as a professional, I’m just scrutinizing this objectively, helped me out. Are there any tricks like that, that you use?
[00:14:54] Terri Levine: I would say yes. The word Heartrepreneur, our brand and trademark word, it stands for integrity, transparency, and authenticity. So I just speak very plain. I’ve recently got a contract from someone that didn’t outline everything he said. In fact, one of the things he guaranteed was something was going to happen in 48 hours. That wasn’t in the contract.
[00:15:17] And I simply went back and I said, I like to do business where we’re both clear, so we never have an issue. These are things you said on the call, I request you put that in the contract so I feel comfortable signing it. Not that I don’t trust you, it’s just that I need to have contracts that are explicit so we don’t have any problems. That’s for my protection as well as yours.
[00:15:39] So I just believe in honest, transparent communication, and that’s worked really well for me, Bob.
[00:15:44] Bob Wheeler: That’s so awesome. And when you do that kind of conversation, I know for a lot of people confrontations, that could feel like, oh my gosh, this is a confrontation. Oh, I’m trying to make him wrong. Oh, I’m calling him out. And really what you’re saying is, I’m just really being direct and transparent.
[00:16:01] Terri Levine: It is. It’s being direct and transparent, and part of it is how you say it. Tone of voice. So I teach people to speak charge neutral. It’s not like, hey Bob, you left this out of the contract!
[00:16:12] It’s just like, hey Bob, do you want a cup of coffee? It’s the same tone. Hey, Bob, this was missing from the contract. And there’s a lot in terms of tone. Don’t do it by email. Don’t do it by text. Use the old fashioned thing called a telephone, and actually have a conversation so people can hear your tone of voice.
[00:16:31] You’re not upset, you’re not angry. And then I also would say to people, hey, I do business heart to heart, Bob, and I want you to have a great relationship long-term with you. I just want to get clarity in the contract. Can we have a conversation? It’s very easy and it also, it is very empowering.
[00:16:48] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. I don’t think people understand enough the power of impact or understanding impact and how we relay information.
[00:16:58] I just heard the author of the book Captivate, and I can’t think of her name for the moment, but she talks about this even in our emails and in the way that we’re talking with people. And I’m aware of this when I tell somebody they owe $50,000 in tax. I’m not like, by the way, moron, you didn’t plan, right?
[00:17:15] It’s more like, this is probably going to be some bad news. I know you’ve been saving for it. Like, we’ll figure this out. I try to deliver it in a way that’s just more palatable, so that I’m not then dealing with reaction. We can then deal with solutions.
[00:17:28] Terri Levine: Exactly. And I just think up-front conversations with a neutral tone of voice can make all the difference.
[00:17:35] My long-term relationships have come from, again, just being honest and sharing and allowing the other person to speak and really listening. Those are important things for every one of us to keep in mind.
[00:17:48] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, they are. And as you were talking, I was thinking about, for me, I think an important piece is breathing. It, like, take a breath, take a pause.
[00:17:57] In my business, I have an accounting practice that’s got about a thousand clients, and the staff will get so upset somebody’s calling up going, I got a tax notice. And I will say to the staff, they’re not calling us because they just want to annoy us, or they’re not calling us because they want to give us grief.
[00:18:12] They’re calling because they’re scared. They’re calling because they don’t know. They’re calling because we’re the experts, and to just breathe and say, wow, that sounds really scary. Let’s figure it out. Instead of going back into the non-neutral tone that sometimes they bring at us, because it’s coming from a place of fear.
[00:18:30] Terri Levine: Yeah. It’s really true. And, uh, Jack Canfield, who I consider a friend and just one of the best mentors on the planet, many, many years ago, he and Zig Ziglar, my very first mentor, both taught me about responding versus reacting.
[00:18:45] So that take a breath is great advice. Don’t quickly go, oh my gosh, and have a reaction. Sit, process, breathe, be quiet, be still. Take your time and formulate a response.
[00:18:58] Bob Wheeler: So I’ve had people come at me and say, Bob, why are you waiting to respond? Like, why can’t you give me an answer now? And I’ll say, well, I don’t want to just react. I want to get clear on what baggage I might be bringing in.
[00:19:10] Or is it a loaded question for me? Is there something that’s like, I want to get really clear before I have the conversation. And some people see that as me hedging or hesitating, but for me, it’s I want to be clean with my communication when I’m getting back to somebody, especially when it’s come at me in a non-neutral way.
[00:19:30] Terri Levine: I think it’s important to let people know up front, and this may help. What I say to people is the way that I process is I need a little bit of time to respond. And I request you give me whatever it is. The night to sleep on it, a day, two days. I need to meet with my team. I’ll get back to you on Tuesday. So I tell people upfront, the way that I am, is I personally need time to digest and to respond.
[00:19:57] And then I give them a timeframe. And the language that I use is always, I request. So I’m letting them know upfront. I really need permission. It’s a yes or no. And if somebody says, no, you’ve got to decide today, sort of like pushing a car or something on you. I just let them know, that’s not how I roll, so my answer will have to be no.
[00:20:17] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, that’s awesome. And again, that’s just upfront information, neutral, just sharing. This is what works for me. This is how I process. Take it or leave it, but this is the process I need to go through. And so it doesn’t make us bad for hesitating. It actually probably makes us more grounded when we respond.
[00:20:36] Terri Levine: True.
[00:20:36] Bob Wheeler: Now you wrote a book that we didn’t mention, About to Break: The Path to True Forgiveness. I love the titles because they draw me in, because they’re loaded with some really heavy information. From my perspective, I spent a lot of time blaming. I know many of my clients have spent a lot of time blaming, and at a certain point, probably from the beginning, but at a certain point, blaming doesn’t serve us.
[00:21:00] And learning to forgive, whether it’s other people are forgiving ourselves, often, it’s such an important component in our growth. And can you maybe say more about that? What led you to the book and what the messages you want people to take?
[00:21:14] Terri Levine: Yeah, when I wrote it About to Break, I had truly discovered for myself the path to forgiveness. I took a hundred clients on this journey with me, and they were all just sending videos and testimonials and letters and cards and notes about how this process literally changed their relationships, their health, and even their wealth.
[00:21:37] And one of my clients said, Terri, you’ve got to write this process in a book. And I went to my publisher and I said, I don’t just want to write the process if you want to publish the book, I want to reveal everything. I’m going to do an autobiography of forgiveness from the time I was five, when I first had to learn it, all the way through my life, and I’m going to expose my entire self.
[00:21:58] And the publisher was all over it. That was a little bit scary to put myself out there and be so vulnerable. However, having not lived with forgiveness and lived with a lot of guilt, anxiety, self-righteous behavior, making myself right, putting other people down. I literally made myself sick and had the disease of the foundation, The Terri Levine Foundation for Children with RSD, I personally have reflex sympathetic dystrophy. And I truly believe it was a result of all of this pent up guilt, blame, anxiety, and all these other things.
[00:22:36] So I wrote the book as a way to help other people on the journey, and it has made a remarkable difference to the readers. And it is the most special book in my heart.
[00:22:48] Bob Wheeler: That’s so awesome. Can you speak to the power of vulnerability? Because it seems so counterintuitive, right? I’m going to share everything about my life. I’m going to expose myself. You’re going to see the warts. And it brings people in closer. And it makes people see you for who you really are. That’s a terrifying thing for a lot of people.
[00:23:09] Terri Levine: Mhm. So it was scary for me too, being, you know, very sincere here. I was a little bit worried. What will people think? Will people judge me? Will clients leave? Will friends leave? My family’s situations are exposed in the book. How will they feel?
[00:23:24] And I’d had the opposite back to true people towards me. It actually repaired two relationships in my family. It repaired a friendship. Clients embraced the book. Embraced the fact that I am human. That when they read a book by me or watched a video by me or hear me talking on stage, I’m just like them. I’m as human as they are.
[00:23:44] And 600 people reached out to me as a direct result of the book. So it expanded my business and my income, which was not something I was looking for from the book.
[00:23:57] Bob Wheeler: You know, what I love about that is I think when we work from our heart, the rewards are exponential that we may not have even factored in.
[00:24:04] Terri Levine: Exactly.
[00:24:05] Bob Wheeler: I mean, I think there’s something I know when we meet certain people where we just feel that connection. When I think people are saying, here I am, this is me. I’m going to be vulnerable. I’m going to lead with my heart.
[00:24:16] And I think at least for me, I think for a lot of people, that’s what we want to be doing. We may have lots of blocks and walls that we’ve put up, but if we were able to remove all of those, I think most of us, if not all of us would be loving to lead with our hearts.
[00:24:32] Terri Levine: I believe so too, and I believe that people are looking today for people who are transparent. Because of social media and the internet. There’s so many people that are false and that make themselves look like something they’re not, or trying to be someone who they’re not. You know, I love looking at Instagram and I know some of these Instagrammers that don’t have happy, wonderful lives. But man, their photos look amazing. And so, I really believe people want to do business with people who are more transparent.
[00:25:04] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. Absolutely. I’m in total agreement. So talking about forgiveness, I’m curious, because we also talk about finances here. I’m wondering if there was a financial decision you made that it took a while to forgive yourself that you might be willing to share?
[00:25:20] Terri Levine: Oh, yeah. Right away. So I invested in one of these false experts a while back. $50,000, and again there was no guarantee. The person looked amazing online and didn’t ask for case studies. The contract was loosey goosey. All the things we talked about. This person did nothing. I don’t mean, like, did anything. I mean, they didn’t show up for a call. They didn’t deliver one thing, they did nothing.
[00:25:47] And when I finally said this is ridiculous, it was $50,000, that’s a lot of money. I would like a refund, not only didn’t they give me a refund, they blocked me on social media. They blocked my emails. I attempted to get a refund from my credit card company, which didn’t happen. And I was very angry at this person.
[00:26:08] And you know, what I wanted to do was fight back in some way, like, I’ll go write you up on the internet. And instead you said it earlier, I took a breath, I took a pause, and I said, great learning experience. Now go make another 50 to replace what I gave this person. And that’s what I did.
[00:26:26] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. How did you learn to cultivate self-kindness? Because I think so many people out there, we’re our own worst enemy, we’re so self-critical. And you know, one of the things I really encourage people to do is to be a little bit kinder to ourselves, to be a little bit more compassionate, and just come from a place of curiosity.
[00:26:45] Oh, that’s so interesting. I didn’t see that. I don’t see that a lot. I’m curious about that. How do you give yourself that compassion?
[00:26:53] Terri Levine: So years ago I didn’t. I would beat myself up on everything. I would say, we shouldn’t have done that. That was stupid. Why am I doing this? I don’t look good. I can just go on and on.
[00:27:02] And when I first entered the coaching and consulting profession, I hired a personal coach. No, I had already years before that worked with the great Zig Ziglar, so I’d done a lot of work on myself. I’d gone through Tony Robbins’ programs, and now I hired a coach, a life coach, just for the purpose of self love and self forgiveness.
[00:27:23] And what came from that was a process of what I call extraordinary self care. I put myself first always now. I love myself, I actually look in the mirror twice a day, it’ll sound corny, and I tell myself, I love you. If I do something that I’m upset about or didn’t feel good, I forgive myself and I say, oh, there Terri. There’s some humanness. That was awesome. And that’s just how I roll now.
[00:27:50] It took work. And I didn’t do it alone. And I tell people, that is a job to do with an expert, whether it’s a therapist or a life coach, I highly recommend some form of personal development, because our business and our finances show up externally from what’s going on internally in my experience.
[00:28:10] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And I probably said this a million times and I’ll keep saying it is, we can cultivate happiness. We can cultivate gratitude. It’s a mindset. We can choose to be a victim. We can choose to say that was just a life experience. We can actually choose to have the life we want if we’re willing to do a bit of work. It’s not always fun.
[00:28:34] Terri Levine: No! And it is work. And there’s two words that I always tell people, you have to be open and you have to be curious. And that’s what self discovery is about. And it does take work, and it takes looking in the mirror, and having a coach sometimes tell you what I, kind of say your baby’s ugly.
[00:28:50] Like Terri, look in the mirror. And honestly, this is what you’re doing. One of the biggest areas for me was self-righteous. I’m like, can’t believe someone doesn’t know that. Can’t believe somebody asked that question. And when it was pointed out to me, how self-righteous I was, like, oh my gosh, I never saw that. So be willing to look at those warts as you described them, and just say, okay, there it is. I don’t want to embrace that aspect.
[00:29:16] So who and what do I want to be? How do I want to show up? You know, we alluded to this earlier in the show. Life is a very small experience. We don’t know when we’re leaving. And the way I think of this, Bob, is if I’m in a seminar and I say, who knows their birthday? Everybody raises their hand, they think, what has she lost her mind? And then I say, well, who knows their checkout date?
[00:29:38] We didn’t get that stamped on our feet when we were born. Right? So we need to take what is the remainder of whatever our life experience is, which we don’t know what that is, to literally make ourselves better, to be more conscious, make our life experience better, and then to bring that love and that kindness to ourselves so we can bring it to others. Does that make sense?
[00:29:59] Bob Wheeler: Oh, absolutely. I totally love that. And that’s where I would love to see all of us. I think it would be a much happier, healthier, compassionate planet if we all could do a little more work and really cultivate that.
[00:30:11] Terri Levine: Amen.
[00:30:12] Bob Wheeler: Amen. Well we are at our Fast Five. So here we go. Have you gotten in your own way of financial goals in the past?
[00:30:21] Terri Levine: Yes, I have. My husband’s a financial advisor, which is a great thing, and I wouldn’t take his advice early on. And I was doing my own thing. And that was a lesson that I learned. That if you know nothing about finance, get some help.
[00:30:38] Bob Wheeler: Get some help. What was the very last thing you purchased?
[00:30:41] Terri Levine: A Kindle book. It’s about sisterhood and making friends.
[00:30:46] Bob Wheeler: Cool. What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
[00:30:49] Terri Levine: Time freedom. You and I were talking earlier, I’ve lived in three different locations. I spent a lot of time at the beach working with foundations, having free time to be with my spiritual practice, my family, my friends, community. It’s the best.
[00:31:05] Bob Wheeler: That’s, that is so cool. Now, besides the $50,000 you invested, what’s the most expensive thing that you ever bought that did not meet your expectations?
[00:31:14] Terri Levine: So I bought a quarter share of villa in Mexico, and we thought that was going to be like the absolute most amazing thing. And what ends up is, I wanted to go a lot more than that quarter.
[00:31:28] And so now I’m actually building a house in Mexico, and yet I have this expensive quarter share that I invested in. So that was an interesting process.
[00:31:39] Bob Wheeler: Oh, they don’t always pan out. They just don’t. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, money often costs too much. What do you think that means?
[00:31:47] Terri Levine: My experience is that sometimes the way people are making money can be at high cost. People who are working for companies, where they have very little time to spend with their family, where they have an income ceiling, where they don’t get a lot of days off, whatever it might be. They don’t have a lot of freedom. I think that’s a very high cost of making money. That’s my experience.
[00:32:09] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. So we’re at our Sweet Spot, our M & M Moment. I’m wondering if you could give the listeners a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom.
[00:32:17] Terri Levine: This is a plain and simple one that I always share with my clients.
[00:32:20] I’m an avid coffee drinker. My major habit is coffee, and I’ve not given it up. And I see people, do you make coffee or do you buy coffee? Most people would be like, oh, wait, I stop at Starbucks everyday. I’m like, okay. The cost of coffee and Starbucks, if you do it daily, and you add that up over the year. And instead of putting that money into Starbucks, you put that money into an account or an IRA or something.
[00:32:45] Look at how much more money you’ll have. Make your coffee at home, carry it in a mug, and take it with you. That’s a tip I’m always giving people.
[00:32:52] Bob Wheeler: I love that! This drives me crazy that you’re talking to this, because I have a couple of staff, younger, they come in every day with coffee from Starbucks. We have an espresso machine. We have fancy stuff. We have all these things and I’m like, we buy fancy coffees, even Starbucks or Pete’s or whatever. They were like, no, it’s just better when it comes in a cup. And I just can’t grasp it.
[00:33:17] Terri Levine: No, and I just say to people, do the math. When you start doing the math, to me, and you become conscious in presence of the math, it just doesn’t make sense. You’re just taking that four or five bucks and you’re just, may as well roll down your car window and just throw it away or go, please give it to a homeless person who could really use it.
[00:33:35] Bob Wheeler: Yes. Make your own coffee. I love that. I love that. Terri, this has been such an awesome conversation. Some of the stuff that I really want to name is the fact that I really didn’t hear a lot of blame.
[00:33:46] You talked about forgiveness, and I think part of that includes not blaming. And so what I really didn’t hear a lot of was, oh, this happened and this ruined that. Even when you got taken into the stripper club for drinks, right? You may have gotten angry, but you move past it. Right?
[00:34:02] And that piece about curiosity, well, isn’t that interesting, and being open. I think it’s the key to life. If we could all just be more open. Wow, that’s interesting. It’s not maybe the way I would do it. That’s interesting, that seems to work for them, or it doesn’t seem to work for them. And just holding that place and learning to not be holier than thou.
[00:34:23] And again, that doesn’t mean we all start out with perfection. We’re not all born with perfection and like, we’ve got it dialed in. There’s a lot of hard work that has to be done. And believe me, I always go kicking and screaming into self-discovery, because I don’t enjoy it initially. But the benefits are profound.
[00:34:43] And this piece about being vulnerable and really exposing ourselves, even though it’s counterintuitive, it actually does bring people in. It does heal. It does connect us. And so I really love these things that you’ve shared, because we’re all human, we’re all human. And we all have opportunity to have the better or best version of ourselves or the hidden version of ourselves.
[00:35:07] And I would just say to people out there, please go for it, go climb that other mountain, be the best version of yourself. It’s worth pushing through the pain and the fear.
[00:35:17] Terri Levine: I resonate so much with you, with your approach, with what you said. So I hope people take away that, be open, be curious, be in integrity, be in transparency, and be authentic. Those are key takeaways that I hope people really are getting. It’s not about blame. It’s about embracing and learning your own humanity and other peoples’ humanity.
[00:35:42] Bob Wheeler: That’s so beautiful. I’m going to come crash your place in Mexico and hang out for a weekend, because I’ve just so thoroughly enjoyed this. And I hope our readers will go get your books, check you out, seek your services.
[00:35:52] Where can people find you online and social media, and where can people get your book?
[00:35:56] Terri Levine: So you can go to any bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles. The Conversion Equation, Turbocharge, Work Yourself Happy, About to Break. We talked about a number of them. And I really recommend that you connect with me on Facebook.
[00:36:09] I have a community of about 6,500 business owners, and it’s not a typical Facebook community. We network together. We do business together. And I personally answer all your questions in there, and I do free training in there. And that is Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine. I really invite folks to come join us there.
[00:36:31] Bob Wheeler: Well, that sounds good. I think I’m going to join, so I really love what you’re bringing. So appreciate it.
[00:36:43] Please don’t forget to share the love. Like, follow, and share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Search for MoneyYouShouldAsk, all one word. Follow this podcast on your favorite podcast player, and search for the word Money You Should Ask, or click on the link in the description. If you’re watching this episode on YouTube, don’t forget to comment and subscribe. For more tips, tools, or to learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com. That’s nerve, not nerd.
[00:37:07] Terri, it has just been an awesome conversation. I really so appreciate your time and your perspective.
[00:37:12] Thank you. I’ve enjoyed being here, Bob.