Finding the Root of the Problem: The Patriarchy and Our Money

Money Files

In this episode, I sit down with fellow money coach Leisse Wilcox to discuss the impact of patriarchy on our lives, beliefs, and money. Together we address how women can take action and break out of the box society pressures us to live within.

Leisse and I work with smart, powerful, and successful women who feel held back by a patriarchal society. To overcome inequalities in how women think about and earn money, we need to unpack the subconscious belief that women are meant to serve men. This ancient expectation is ingrained into the fiber of our DNA and unconsciously dictates our thoughts and actions. We need to reprogram our brains and critically view the messages we have received about women and money. 

Get inspired to take action by bridging the gap between self-worth and net worth. We hope our conversation encourages you to have more money talks with yourself, friends, and other professional women. While we can’t take down the patriarchy in a day, let’s continue to empower each other to invest in ourselves, be confident of our worth, and focus on expansion in every aspect of our lives. 

While listening to this episode, consider your thoughts as Leisse and I explore these questions…

[00:18:30] How does patriarchy impact women’s ability to earn money?

[00:40:00] What can you concretely do to move forward and have a better relationship with your money and be aware of the patriarchy and how it impacts you?

Tune in to this episode of Money Files and listen to two money coaches discuss how to take action against the patriarchy and how it affects our beliefs about money.

Are you ready to start asking for help with your finances? Apply to work with me, and let’s start working towards your financial goals.


Transcript for “Finding the Root of the Problem: The Patriarchy and Our Money”

Keina: Hi, and welcome to Money Files. I’m Keina Newell from Wealth Over Now. I work every day with professional women and solopreneurs to help them get out of financial overwhelm and shame so they can experience more flexibility and ease with their finances. Are you ready to gain confidence and learn to manage your finances intentionally? Tune in and grab financial tips that will help you master the way you think about and manage your finances.

Keina: Hello, today, I am really excited for you to listen to this podcast episode, and it was inspired by someone inside of my Facebook group who was talking about the patriarchy. And the exact line was, what’s the impact of the patriarchy on our money lives and what we can do about it? So I am having a conversation today with Leisse Willock, and we are going to be talking about money. But over the course of April, I’m going to be having a lot of money conversations with other women. And the thought behind bringing in these conversations for you is because I want to encourage you to talk about money. I don’t want your fear, your guilt, your shame or overwhelm to keep you from changing your relationship with money. I am one option of someone you can work with to help do this work and do it personally. But if you haven’t made the decision to say like, Keina, yes, I’m getting ready to work with you.

I also want to be influencing you through what you’re listening to and hearing women talk about money. Because oftentimes you hear men talking about money and the way that men talk about money and financial gurus talk about money may make you feel a little bit more shame. And I want you to feel free. I want you to feel like you know what? I’m ready to look at what’s in front of me and I’m ready to do this work because I know on the other side of this work is a more empowered version of myself as a more powerful version of myself. So I hope you to enjoy today’s episode and I’m going to ask you to do two things. One, I’m going to ask you to leave a review. Wherever you are listening to this podcast, I would ask that you just take 60 seconds, pause me right now, go over to Apple and leave a review.

I would love to have a rating from you and to hear your feedback about how this podcast has impacted you. And two, I’m inviting you to my free money class that is going to happen April 19th at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. And this money class is all about drama-free spending. As a six figure earner and someone who has the potential to make so much more money, I want you to be able to spend money without the drama. I want you to be able to spend money on the travel, to spend money on the lattes, to be able to have money for your family because you want to be someone who’s able to freely give and without wondering if that’s going to impact you in some other way. So enjoy this episode and I look forward to meeting and working with you. 

Keina: Hello and welcome back to another episode of Money Files. So this is actually my second conversation. I feel maybe like third conversation that I’m doing that’s not with a client of mine. And so last week I was actually having a coffee chat with another money guru, is what I’m going to call you Leisse for right now. And we started talking and I was like, oh, we need to do a podcast conversation together. And so I make friends like via the internet. And then when friends spark me, I’m like, hey, can we have a conversation? Especially part of my joy is to be able to talk about money, but then also being able to talk to other women about money I think is very important and impactful. So all that to say that today I want to answer a question that actually came through my Facebook group and someone was talking about the impact of the patriarchy on our money lives and like how we could take action steps towards that. So then entered Leisse into my realm and atmosphere. So Leisse, I’ll just go ahead and let you introduce yourself. 

Leisse: Thank you. I’m really excited for this conversation. My name is Leisse Willcox and I help make more money. So I’m really drawn to you because I feel like you have all of the great IQ tools around that, like how to do a budget drama free, how to money drama free, like how to do all those things with money as a tool. I like to focus more on our relationship to money and like the EQ. So when it comes to the patriarchy, this is such a juicy conversation. This is set us for us to fail like for sure.

Keina: Can you go a little bit more into like EQ and what you mean by EQ? 

Leisse: Yeah, definitely. So EQ is our emotional health. You know, we have our IQ, our intelligence quotient. And we have EQ, which is our emotional intelligence or emotional quotient. So usually in our education for example, we focus so much on your IQ, like how do we measure how smart you are, what’s the point system? How’d you do on your tests, etcetera, etcetera. And we don’t look as much at our emotional health, which is how do you strive in the group, how do you understand your own emotions and self-awareness? How do you regulate, how do you relate to or have empathy for other people? All those things that really make us human and allow us to function as these social creatures that all our feelings, education, our emotional education and our relatability.

So when we look at emotional quotient with respect to our money, what we’re talking about is how do we feel about money? What are the stories that we’ve all been told about money? And where are those stories hiding out in our nervous system or in our unconscious that are kind of running our thoughts, actions, and behaviors from behind the scenes without us even knowing it? That’s why emotional health, when it comes to the EQ around wealth. It’s so critical because our relationship to anything in life, whether it’s money, business, life, love, whatever, it’s all built on the foundation of the relationship we have with ourselves. So when we can get really, really clear on, hang on, why do I have this like tortured relationship with money? Or why am I so averse to it or why does it seem to come to me effortlessly? And then, you know, as soon as I make 150, my expenses go up and it’s all gone. I still have nothing left to show for it. All of those answers are hidden out. 80% of those answers are hidden out in the EQ, or money relationship, how we feel about it.

Keina: I love that, also I love telling my people, I’m like, this has nothing to do with the fact that you aren’t good at math. Because a lot of people come to me and they’re like, I just was never good at math in school. And I’m like, you know I was a math teacher, so you’re not allowed to say that. And just, I think so many people don’t understand how emotions play into how you relate to money, how you spend money, how you earn money, your thoughts about debt. Like all of those pieces are so important to understand. 

Leisse: You know why else people women think especially that they’re bad at math, the patriarchy? 

Keina: Yes. 

Leisse: It’s just the patriarchy’s, like this is why we have to have this conversation on a public platform. 

Keina: So tell me your definition of the patriarchy. 

Leisse: The patriarchy is a system that was predominantly designed by white men and continues to support the outcomes and benefits of white men. And it’s kind of just the way that it is, the way that this system has been created in the last 2000 years. I’m not a history Beth. There was a point in time I know for sure that we used to have a matriarchal society. I don’t think we had that in North America. I think that was a little further to the east. But our system as we know it, and certainly as our ancestors knew it here, and anybody immigrating over was really raised within this patriarchal system that again was designed by older white men and really stands to benefit older white men the most. And it’s like a little club, it’s actually quite a big club. It’s actually quite a huge club if you really did a good job. It’s a club that’s designed to protect the interest of those who are already in the club and it’s designed to really keep excluding anyone else who is not in the club. And by excluding, I mean let’s not look at their interests.

Let’s not entertain their ideas, let’s not look at their needs, let’s not do anything that actually helps break fold toxic, abusive cycles and let’s keep E, benefiting off of all those old toxic cycles that are keeping them stuck, playing small, stuck in poverty, stuck in abuse, stuck in discrimination. And let’s also try to find a way of benefiting from that. 

Keina: I feel like I should have asked you this question before, but it’s going to fit right here. How did you get into this space? 

Leisse: So I have been a strategic life coach for a lot of years, and interestingly, one of the narratives in my own life was constantly guiding me towards just finding a loving, healthy family relationship. My own family of origin, there was so much trauma that came out. I took that forward with me into a marriage called time of death on the marriage. And I felt like I blew up my life and then was raising three little girls on my own and overnight went from a stay at home mom to [10:30 inaudible] career, to needing to be 100% financially stable and self-sufficient.

And so I was building this business, working things out, healing things from my past. And I was still guided by all I’ve ever wanted since I was a kid is to be a part of a loving healthy family with, for me it looks like two partners, raising a family together and blissfully in 2022 I met this amazing guy and it felt like, and then we got married a few months later and it felt like that chapter, that mission that was kind of moving me forward to help people really understand their old trauma wounds, their emotional wounds, their relational wounds, it kind of felt resolved and this new passion was inspired to really help women make more money. 

How do you get really clear, confident and courageous to do the work you really want to do in a way that’s going to max out your profit so that it maxes out your lifestyle. And the only way we can do that is still using all those old tools that I’ve been using in my strategic life coaching business for years in terms of what do you want life to feel like? What is your purpose? What is your passion? How do we follow those things in a way that allows you to really kind of grab your seat at the table or create your seat at the table and start maxing out the returns for you so you can live the life you want? 

Keina: I love that. When women come to you, what would you say is like the average amount of money they’re making and also are they all business owners? 

Leisse: That’s a great question. I work with predominantly entrepreneurs or at the very like least “entrepreneurial women.” So I have had corporate clients who are also very entrepreneurial in nature. Usually the women who come to work with me. It would be rare if they’re making $100,000 or less. I have female clients who’ve been making under six figures, but that’s atypical. Usually people fall within one to five or 600.

Keina: I was just curious the work that you do in terms of like making more money, like the kind of typical journey. Like somebody could be making just cross that $100,000 line, which I’m like, guys, I hate to spoil it for you, but it’s not a lot of money. 

Leisse: It’s not alot I know. 

Keina: And kind of where they end up or where their roadmap is after they finish working with you and directionally how they feel about making more money. 

Leisse: It’s interesting because as a business owner, like you have to grow your business at the rate of your own personal growth. And for a long time, having been a single self-employed mom with three, I also got hit with breast a few years and then the pandemic. So I’ve like growing and adapting my business at actually a very accelerated rate and still I haven’t been able to do everything that I want to do yet. So looking forward, I have so much more structure in the business. So right now I have a mastermind for women who are making 100k and want to double that. And then I have an inner circle program for women who are making 300 plus and want a sense of community and like valued women to be at that table who also are, they’re the people that everybody else depends on in their lives and they still need that community to lift the mask off to just kind of be a person and also celebrate all the wins.

Do the things they want to do without being judge by their peers who aren’t necessarily making that same amount of money. In the background I’m working on a digital product that helps people get up to that six figure mark. So from like in the next couple years I will have that full span. But for right now what I really do is help people change their relationship to money and change their relationship to life. 

Keina: I would imagine that the people that work with you, it’s like being able to work on their capacity to have. 

Leisse: Absolutely. It’s almost always about self-love and self worth, like almost 100%. 

Keina: Definitely self-worth.

Leisse: It doesn’t matter what the number is associated with it, it’s closing the gap between self-worth and network.  

Keina: I love that you have a community of women that are like making 300 k plus and you know that I’ve been in a mastermind, which is focused on, it’s called 200K  and the power of being in a room with other women that are making multiple six figures is so important. We’ll get into this patriarchy conversation more in a minute, but I wanted to just stop and say that because I don’t think that, like the higher up you get in terms of like maybe it’s corporate America or in the roles that you’re in or in business, it’s like lonelier and more isolating and you don’t have examples that are a reflection of what’s possible. So like to be in that space and to be in an energy where you’re like, people are nonchalantly being like, yeah, I made $700,000 last year. Or you know, I made my first million last year, which like that is a very normal part of my circle now is just very powerful. 

So I just wanted like, if someone’s listening and maybe Leisse is like the person for you in terms of you want a space where other women are making multiple six figures and you want to be able to that just be the common language that you have. It’s definitely powerful and the capacity to have more money and that shame will go away. 

Leisse: Well I think you wrote, I think it was from you. I think you wrote about this the day when you’re the first in your family to do XY and Z and you’re the first person in your family to interrupt or even break that cycle of poverty or that cycle of middle classness or that cycle of not enough. That’s a really, really big deal and it’s probably going to cause some inner conflict about who am I and how dare I do this. Everything my family’s been working towards is almost like a front to what they’ve also been doing. And it can feel almost like a paradox, but it can feel incredibly isolating when you start to realize that kind of success. If you don’t have a circle or a community of people around you who are doing the same thing because you’ll continue to look for that feedback of not enoughness.  

So if you’re out-earning your friends or your family or your partner, what have you, you’re still likely not going to feel like you belong because you’re still against the grain. And so having that conversation and having being in that really powerful and empowered place of being around other women for whom it’s also normal, it just normalizes, it takes the stigma and the judgment out of being a high earning woman because now we just kind of lifted up the bar a little bit so that you can be in the company of others who have the same intentions and the same goals as you. And we’re also doing it with integrity, with confidence, with grace and without this like broke culture to just hustle and earn at the expense of anyone and anyone around you, including yourself. 

Keina: And I mean I see it on my side of the work where it’s also like helping women have safety there. Especially like going from like I was making, you know, $50,000 a year in my corporate job to now I’m making 300, 400k. Like will I squander it? Like there’s all of these stories that come like, I want to be a good steward of my money. I’m scared that this is going to happen. Like, they’re kind of waiting for that bottom to fall out. So it’s definitely nice to have community. So back to the patriarchy, how does the patriarchy impact like women’s ability to earn money?

Leisse: Alright, I’m going to use a television example. I did a degree in sociology and focus in criminology specifically so that I could watch as much TV as possible and write essays about it and nothing has changed. Like if I can use HBO as an example, I’m going to right now. So my hubby and I were watching HBOs boardwalk Empires, an older show and it’s during prohibition, so it’s kind of tracking like gangsters in the [19:04 inaudible] of organized crime during the [19:06 inaudible]. And the way that women are portrayed in 1922, like 100 years ago, it’s shocking and it’s like disruptive to my system as a woman. Because only 100 years ago, you can see right in front of you that women were basically “designed” or expected, let’s say just to serve men, period. Like serve men sexually, serve men food, serve men drink, serve men children, like serve men. There was no independence. There was only the right to vote was granted around that same period of time women were not seen.

Keina: And let’s be clear only for a certain white woman. 

Leisse: And this is like I’m white, this is through a white lens and I’m like working to expand that and there’s subhuman and then sub subhuman and then sub sub sub, like there were just so many categories outside of human meaning white man. And so that was 100 years ago, which means you can easily track two generations back your family lineage. That’s not unimaginable. It’s pretty easy for us to trade sides. Who was in our family 100 years ago, who would have been living in those circumstances? That stays with us in our bodies and through our culture because we’re a glacial species to evolve, like we’re still animals at the end of the day and our species of animal, like we take forever to adapt and to evolve. And so all those old stories, all those old expectations from only two generations back we’re still, like we were parented by the kids of the people growing up in that generation, which means the expectation that women were designed to serve men and it gets worse for black women, indigenous women, Latina women, it gets worse across the board. If those stories are still hanging out in our nervous system, it means they’re still likely hanging out somewhere in our core beliefs .

And if the core belief is that I don’t have independence, I’m less than, a man knows better than I do, I’m not really worth anything. I can’t take up space, I can’t use my voice, I’m not allowed to ask for what I want because I’m not even really allowed to get clear on what I want. All of those beliefs will dictate our thoughts and those thoughts are what dictate our actions and behavior. Now people want to change, they want to make more money, they want to save more money, they want to be able to safely spend more money. That’s great. You can’t think your way through this because it’s held at an unconscious level, meaning it’s hiding in your nervous system and your nervous system is designed to keep you safe. So it will do whatever it takes to keep you in line with those old unconscious beliefs even if they no longer serve you. 

So a shorter way of answering that is that the patriarchy is still basically in the fiber of our DNA and the way that our society has been built. So we’re on the fourth wave of feminism right now, which means it’s looked different across generations as to what it means to truly be in feminism. And for our generation it feels like we are starting to take down those bricks and do things in a new way. But we have to do that in a way that actually feels aligned and good for us by taking up that space. 

Keina: You said something that was interesting. You said you can’t think your way through this, so what is the way through it? 

Leisse: It’s nervous system work, it’s unconscious there. You know that model of an iceberg. Whatever you see above the surface, like it looks enormous, it’s like 10% of the actual iceberg and the other 90% is hidden beneath the water. You just can’t see it. The way that our body and brain processes information is like that too. There’s a ton of focus on mindset work and it’s really prevalent in the money. We’re all [23:26 inaudible], you just got to get your money mindset right. And then you can change your actions and behaviors. I’m so sorry, but it’s like it’s not true. It’s like 10% true. But if your thoughts are in conflict to the beliefs that are designed to keep you safe, you can’t think your way through it. You need to do that nervous system healing or that unconscious clearing work, which sounds really scary, but it’s actually quite easy when you’re doing it with somebody who’s trying to do that and you reestablish.

It’s like you rewire your brain for safety with respect to love or intimacy or money and that’s the work you have to focus on. And it’s the work that most people and especially most coaches don’t actually touch. 

Keina: I haven’t done any nervous system work. I do know people like my friends that do a lot more of the nervous system work and in the power of it. 

Leisse: We do it in my coaching practice. And it’s so wonderful because you basically, you just look for information. You’re just looking for information and like, where did that story come from? Let’s trace it down to the root. And you know, I have like a favorite story to tell that I had this old vine growing at my old house and it was always out of control and instead of going to the heart of teh problem I would go and like cut of [24:43 inaudible]. It grow again until you actually do the dirty, messy, hard work of going under the deck and you find out where the vine is actually growing from the root and you figure what that root problem is. It’s the same with our unconscious our nervous system. We have to understand where the root came from.

It is a belief that our ancestors pass down to it. Is it something that we witnessed in early childhood and it was like a pattern of behavior that we just kind of adopted as the truth. Often we can get just an awareness by asking ourselves those self-reflective or self critical questions. And at other times we actually have to do some reregulation or rewiring to make it feel safe and make it not feel threatening that we’re doing things a new way for our bodies and brains. 

Keina: I like that. I think like, I like that you also pointed out the awareness piece because I guess I want to, because I do mindset work with people. But also like tease out the fact. 

Leisse: Mindset work is really important. 

Keina: Right, but tease out the fact, like, I always tell people, thank your body, thank yourself, thank your brain, whatever that is, that there’s something that you’ve been alerted to. Or like something that you notice, that you’re like, oh, this is interesting that this is happening. Like we were talking on our coffee chat, like if you’re on your period and you realize that like DoorDash is coming to your house all the time. But for me in my work, if I’m working with a client, I’m like, oh, that’s interesting. Like there’s some emotion that’s sparking this need for like DoorDash to appear, which don’t shame yourself over it, but being thankful that like, oh, okay, I can now see the connection in between how I feel or like what I’m thinking about, etcetera. But also knowing there can be deeper to your point, the vine and the root that all I can think about is ivy, that is like rampant. Like being able to find the root cause and engage in that work for yourself if that’s something that you need to really be able to push past whatever those like limiting beliefs are that are present in your life.

Leisse: Yes. And I shouldn’t say so flippant, like mindset work is still a full, at least 10% of the work. To me it feels like it’s almost a last step. For some people maybe they don’t go as deep or maybe they don’t have as much wounding or as much trauma. It literally is just reorganizing their thoughts and the way they can draft with the world so they can go forward. For a lot of people who have, like I grew up in an abusive household and the general message was, you’re not worth it. Everybody else in our family is worth it and you’re not. For me personally and I think for the clients that I tend to attract, there’s this basic or predominant messaging, nothing you do will ever be enough. So how are you going to keep proving it to us to gain our love and acceptance? And you’ll know that that’s you if you keep attracting the same kind of relationship over and over again, somebody who continues to let you down or you know that, it’s a huge correlation when like you can’t hit a certain amount of income.

It’s like, I don’t know what it is, it’s like I’m capped at $80,000. I just can’t go past it. That’s a red flag. Or as I said at the beginning. I make great money. I have no problem making it but it’s like it goes in one pocket and out the other. There is some kind of emotional patterning there that’s linger down near the root of that emotional vine, that if we don’t bring our attention to it and we don’t find a way to make it safe enough to believe something else, like I’m worthy, I am worth it. I am good enough, I don’t have to prove myself anymore. I’m allowed to live a life that feels good for me. I’m allowed to ask for what I want. All those really uncomfortable things that people often struggle with. If you don’t confront that, it doesn’t matter how much you think about it, it’s going to be conflicting with what your body perceives to be safe for you.

Keina: I was going to say, the keyword you said there I think was like safety.

Leisse: Yes.

Keina: And noticing how that plays out for you personally because it can be not safe to practice new thoughts and new beliefs.

Leisse: Exactly. That’s exactly it. 

Keina: And you can change that. I was going to say, I think like that’s, I was just thinking about someone who’s listening to this. If it’s that that safety piece like you’re saying and self-worth, which I think is like definitely real for a lot of people.

Leisse: In corporate it’s like negotiating for the salary that is commensurate with the value that you bring to the table. In entrepreneurship, it’s charging race or setting a fee structure that is reflective of the value you bring to the table. If your belief system is that you’re not worth it, you won’t be able to do it. Or if you just think your way through it, it’s like okay sure, I think I can do this. You won’t actually even convince yourself. And so that gives off this vibe to your employer or to your clients that it doesn’t really establish the confidence that they need to also buy into you. You have to buy into you first. And that has to feel safe or else they won’t work.

Keina: I’m going to switch because you started talking about entrepreneurship and also corporate and what you’re paid. We talked a little bit about, the patriarchy also being about like gender equality and we were talking about women earning less money and if you guys are on social media, you’ve probably seen different posts that they do every year that talks about equal payday. But that’s something that I feel like I saw these posts. I wasn’t really on social media when I didn’t work for myself because I hate social media. And now I’m on there all the time like, do you want to be my friend? Now I see all the posts and I think really I see it too because a lot of people within my space, I feel like post about equal payday, definitely from like the entrepreneurial lens, which I got actually pulled in. The Rising Tide Society did an article, Natalie Frank, they did an article a few years ago about the gender pay gap. But how women perpetuate it, like how not to perpetuate it when you start working for yourself. I hadn’t even thought about that in the work that I was doing, but when I was asked to participate in the conversation, I was like oh my goodness, this is so interesting and so true.

Leisse: Before I met my hubby, I was like online dating. If you hate social media you probably hate online dating. I met this dude online, we had the same taste in music. It was kind of creating a good vibe. Turns out he was in the coaching space as well. And so we got on a call, we moved off of the app and onto a phone call and I couldn’t believe it because this guy was clearly an idiot. Like, I don’t mind saying that. He was nowhere near as smart as I am. He’s nowhere near as accomplished as I am. Like, he’s got nothing. But he likes Ryan Adam, so like that’s what got him on the phone call with me. But anyway, so we’re talking, and he’s telling how he’s just finishing up his own leadership coaching program. And he’s just invested this much with this person and he’s ready to take on his own clients. He never really worked in this space before.

And I was like, oh, what are you going to charge? He like, 50k. And I was like, what? Like I was shocked because he didn’t have any of the skills of early intellect. Except he had that white guy confidence to be like I’m going to charge 50 K, it wasn’t a match as it turns out. I hang up the call and I raised my rates immediately because I was like, no, if this guy thinks that he can show up and charge 50k, I too can charge 50k for that amount of time because this is just obscene. If you don’t have the belief system that you are worth it and that other people also perceive you as to be worth it, you’re going to keep yourself small. I’m sure this came up in your conversation, but when women look for or are taught to look for deals from other female entrepreneurs, it’s like no, you’re playing into the patriarchy. Because you’re playing into this notion that other women aren’t worth it and that we’re going to now fall within this weird and misguided subtext that we value community above all else. So let’s create a community in which you give your thing for free and I don’t actually support you. It’s like no, we can have community and we can still pay each other what we’re worth. And like that’s just the truth.

Keina: Well I think like what is the book, overcoming underearning? She has a lot of like, if you can say yes to any of these, you could raise your hand for underearning. And I think women definitely fall under the like, let me prove myself or I should just donate my time. And I tell women all the time, I’m like, if you charge enough you can donate your time where you choose to donate it. Like it could be a choice, but just undercharging because based off of like confidence or your own narrative, that like, you don’t know if somebody else will pay this much. I’m like, get out of their pocket. You don’t know how much somebody’s willing to pay you. And granted like in the beginning I could definitely say I was underearning, but I was also trying to get my like sea legs. Like I was like, please will somebody just pay me.

Leisse: It’s like having an entry level job and even like you’re still your own boss.

Keina: Yes. It was interesting, like this whole conversation. Like you are talking to this man who’s like, yeah, I’m going to charge $50,000, who knows for six months a year or whatever it is. It made me think about the prosperous coach, like in his book, when he tells about, like talks about how much he’s charging for coaching. But I generally do tell my clients, I’m like, I just need you to have the confidence of a mediocre white man and we’ll be okay.

Leisse: Exactly. And that’s all it takes. And in the corporate example, and I forget the exact numbers, but there are stats and studies that show a woman will not apply for a job unless she meets at least 90% of the qualification. 

Keina: Yep. And a man will apply and doesn’t meet any of them basically. 

Leisse: He’s like, I know how to use Excel. I’d be perfect for this job. It’s such a shit and how the patriarchy perpetuates that is like, look at the way we were socialized. Look at the way we were raised and maybe not in your specific home, but look at the movies, look at the shows, look at the magazines, listen to the music. It’s called bloody programming for a reason. Break it down. Look at those messages critically through a new lens. And what are they actually telling you? When we were little girls, we were encouraged to play nice, give other people a turn, don’t be rough. Make sure you dress up to go to a party. If somebody invited you to their party, you had to invite them in return, even if you don’t like them, whatever it takes, mute your voice, calm your feelings.

Like do not express that in a way that will make you unlikable. Boys are not socialized like that for the most part. They’re far more encouraged to be in their bodies and out exploring and making mistakes and roughing it up and like speaking out of turn, moving more. And that creates two totally different experiences in life. One in which it’s okay to like go fast and break things, in the old like Facebook model. Like it’s ok, just try it and you’re going to get dirty and everybody expects that, we’re going to help you clean it up. For girls, it’s so much more like keep it contained, be nice, be kind, don’t use your voice, don’t experiment. And again, whatever you do, stay likable at all costs and you can extrapolate that on your own to how that affects how we show up in not only our lives but our businesses, our relationship with money. 

That’s really problematic. And with every movie you watch, every mainstream movie or every mainstream show or every magazine, as you’re checking out of the grocery store confirms those messages to be true for what you should be like if you were born into this body and what you should be like if you were born into that body, it’s like an uphill plan to overcome that programming.

Keina: Yeah. You’re boxed in. I mean, I was reading an article that was just talking about when women are spoken to about money, it’s all about spending. Like you’re spending too much, you’re spending too much. And then for men, they’re talking to them about earning more, like investing.

Leisse: 100%

Keina: And so I feel like one is about contracting and staying small, which I think is women. And then for men it’s like expand and take up space. And so like just being able, I mean I could even look at my life and be like, oh that’s interesting, like to your point of risk taking. And if I looked at my friend groups, especially like my white male peers, I’m like, oh, you’ve taken so many more risk and that was okay. And then as a woman, especially as a black woman, like my taking risk is looked at differently than your taking risk. Yeah.

Leisse: And then the different responsibilities that fall to each of them, especially if there’s a family involved. Like for me to take a risk in my business is going to be perceived one way as a mom versus a dad’s ability to take the same risk could be looked at and judged completely differently. 

Keina: Oh he’s noble. We’re so proud of him. What is she doing? She should be at home with her kids.

Leisse: He’s a real risk taker. She could be making a huge mistake. Like really? a number of years ago I was with my three little girls at the bank machine downtown and there was like an old white guy beside us and I’m not even judging him for this, I’m just illustrating it as an example. Me, three little girls, ATM, this old dude beside us and he’s like, huh, I guess you’re teaching them how to make withdrawals. And I was like, nope I’m teaching them how to make deposits. Just on that conversation like it’s not, that’s not a funny thing to say to little girls to already be talking to them about how they’re going shopping with their mom and spend, spend, spend. It’s like, no, their mom earned this money and now we’re depositing it into their bank account so they can start their own financial education really early.

Keina: So we can’t bring down the whole patriarchy in this conversation. But I think that, I hope that whoever’s listening to this, just being able to illuminate some things for yourself is like, oh, I didn’t even realize that I’m doing this or that is present. But if you had to give someone like one or two like action steps, what can you concretely do to move forward and have a better relationship with your money and be aware of the patriarchy and how it impacts you?

Leisse: I think that this conversation is an excellent example of that, like nobody’s going to invite you to the table within this elite clubhouse over here. It’s like it’s on you to want it for yourself and having conversations about money, having conversations with yourself about what you don’t know and admitting things like man I don’t know  anything about investing. And that’s terrifying to me or I’ve been told my whole life I’m not good at math and that’s really scary. Or I don’t actually think I’ll ever be able to make two hundred thousand and I don’t know what to do about that. Like having those conversations with yourself allows you to draw your attention and awareness to it while starting to strip away some of that shame and blame and judgment. And then you go from there to having those conversations with other people, you know, if you know what you don’t know or you’ve had a sense of what you’d like to know more about, then all we’re doing is having conversations. And the more you converse, the more you listen to podcasts, the more you work with new people. 

There are so many incredible books that can, it’s like teaching yourself to speak a new language and just by paying attention to even the content you’re consuming, it becomes this bell you can’t unring. You start to see the content that you’re engaging with in a brand new way and you can continue to accept it or you can start to be like, actually where did this come from, like this doesn’t make any sense. If you go back and watch movies from the nineties, the amount of body shame, like just body shaming that is prevalent in those movies, you’re like, you would never make this today, because we cannot, we don’t speak like this anymore. It starts to just like awaken that place inside of you of like, what else did I learn at the time that I didn’t even know I was learning, that was actually designed to kind of keep me down and playing small versus allowing me or encouraging me to thrive.

Keina: All I had was like an Imegin Barbie in my head when she said that, which I feel like Barbie had to like make some changes.

Leisse: Barbie made some significant changes, like watch Mean girls and listen to the messaging in Mean girls. I just saw it even the other day in the devil wears prada, [42:36 inaudible] plays this character, she literally starts trying hard at her job and her friends are like, you’ve changed. Yeah now she cares about, it’s just so crazy. Like as soon as you start caring and really wanting it and going for it, oh but you’re going to be rejected and unlikeable, which means you’re not a woman anymore. It’s that outdated programming that we really have to be aware of. Like what are we engaging with?

Keina: Yeah. I love just the encouragement to pay attention to what you’re listening to. And I know we talked about this before we started recording, but are you listening to white men? Is basically, that’s the question I asked myself and I do listen to like I just started listening to like Grant Cardone, but when I first started my business I kind of swore off listening to white men. Mainly because, yeah, I have a lot of other thoughts there

Leisse: But it’s a completely different experience.

Keina: It’s a different experience or like sometimes you can encounter, like I encountered some men in the very beginning of my business that tried to tell me what I couldn’t do and I was like, oh great, guess what? I’m just going to put you over here in a box. Like I’m going to go on about my way. But I think it’s important to listen to who and what you’re listening to and asking yourself, like do I agree or listening to somebody else, talking about the same topic but may look different and being able to take in multiple sources of information just to question the information that you’re taking it.

Leisse: And this is where mindset is a huge part of it. Nobody will invite you to do that, that owness is entirely on you. And as you go forward with you own self education you have to be conscious. There’s a reason that my accountant is a woman and her team is all women. There’s a reason my lawyer is a black woman. And all her community is all female and mostly women of color, like you have to have those other voices in your life, otherwise the predominant voicing is going to remain the same and we won’t ever make any change.

Keina: Yeah. Like I went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons last summer, which by the way that is a predominantly white space. And I was like, I don’t know what kind of money is up here, but this is like a different type of money. But I met these guys who were fly fishing, which I didn’t realize was a recreational sport for the wealthy. But as I do, was talking to strangers, there was probably like five or six men and all white men and they’re like, oh here, come over here, we’re going to like teach you how to like cast. So they’re like teaching me how to cast, I’m not good. But I ended up talking to them and I was like listening about how they were speaking about money. So like they had created some type of system that was like attached to like the Affordable Healthcare Act and like had sold a company, but I was just like listening to how freely they talked about money and how they were like sharing business in between one another.  

Like there was a different, like to your point of like this whole inner circle. But like for me, when I’m in that type of conversation, I’m honestly thinking like, who can I become friends with, if I want mentorship one or if I just want to be in that. For me it was a healthy conversation just to hear how different people think that are wealthy. And so I think I’m saying that for anyone who’s listening to also not be scared to insert yourself into rooms or spaces where you think you’re not supposed to be, but just being able to turn your ears outward to be like, oh, interesting. Like they’re talking nonchalantly about making $250,000 a year. I wonder why that’s true and I don’t think that way. And questioning and breaking down your own belief system.

Leisse: It’s just a language, like money finance, business. It’s just a language and if we are conditioned as kids that some people get to participate in learning that language and some people don’t, then as adult it’s just like, oh my god, I didn’t even know there was another language that somebody else was speaking. And I would just be able to speak it. And so I though myself that language and I got myself into the rooms and the conversations in which it was totally safe for me to learn that language and now I’m speaking the language. Like it’s a process, it’s an education for sure, but it’s a gift that you’re giving yourself simply by drawing your attention and awareness to it. The other thing, just like the contrary that made me think of is when people are like, oh, I can’t afford that, it’s like, stop it. Stop confirming all these old things to be true. 

Like it’s not a desirable thing to be like, no I can’t afford that. No that’s for me, I could never do that. What would it look like to flip that script internally and just be like, what would it be like if I could afford that and start to embrace that as a part of your identity that okay, maybe I don’t feel like a person who could make this match or do this hobby or whatever, but what would it feel like if I were a person who could make $300,000 a year, what would it feel like if I were a person who made a million bucks a year, what would it be like if I were a person who took two months off a year and that felt like enough for me? You can start to play with those little markers in your identity and that usually starts to kind of ease the nervous system if you just approach it from this daydreaming, this creative visualization way.

Keina: Yeah. I have my clients do a dream budget because I want to identify like where their ceiling is. And so for some people they’re like, I don’t know where to start. I’m like, let’s just double your salary. Like how would you spend that money? And for me it’s about helping a lot of people with that capacity and confidence that like no, you actually do know what you would do with the money, like helping family. You told me you wanted to save more, you told me you wanted to travel more. And so when you take the time to do the work, I think your brain goes to work to figure out, to be like, alright, so how can we make $300,000 a year? Instead of kind of being stuck in these bands that we put ourselves in. And I know the most impactful question someone asked me when I first started my business was like, what would happen if you made more? And I was like, what? No, no I was making this much and I think that’s enough. But it was like, no, but like what would happen if you made more? And I’m like, huh, what would happen? And I’m still here and explode. Like none of those things happened. And so I think that’s very important, like you’re saying, being able to play with what could be possible.

Leisse: I had a really similar experience with the first money coach I worked with and I had some kind of internal cap that I could only make 50. I’d be cool with 30, but 50 would be the [49:34 inaudible]. I remember breaking down at my dining table. And she was like, what would happen if you made more than 50? And I was like don’t talk like that. I don’t even want anybody to hear you. I don’t know what would happen. And I was like crying going through. But it was through that conversation. Wow, like this story I’ve been telling myself is that 50,000 is as much as I can ever make. And when you start to say it out loud and you start to strip away shame and blame and [50:02 inaudible], suddenly it’s like, I don’t want to believe that to be true anymore. So how can I take action now in making the reality that I want the reality to look like?

Keina: Yeah. And I’ll say like if you’ve made it this far in the podcast and you’re like, she’s only mentioned women, I think this shows up for men too. Like I have guy friends and I’ll say like some of my black male friends, I’m curious how this conversation kind of overlaps, especially when we talk about race and one of my friends, I’ve been telling him for a long time, I’m like, tell me how you’re going to make your first hundred thousand. This as been his homework assignment for like multiple years. So if he’s listening’s going to be like, you’re talking about me, but yes, I’m talking about you because I’m like, just your brain will make it happen if you sit down and like you’re saying. Like your brain is like no, I can only make 50. It’s like yeah, but what if, like just play over in that sandbox a little bit more. And a little bit more. And then before you know it, you’ll be sitting in it and you’re like, oh.

Leisse: You don’t even notice that you got there until you’re like, I need to pay more tax now. I wasn’t ready for this.

Keina: Last question for you because you mentioned it earlier about reading books. What’s been maybe your favorite book that you’ve read in terms of like wealth building or money mindset

Leisse: The soul of money by Lynne Twist is excellent. It really starts to break down the relationship to money and what’s the energy of money that we bring to the table. 

Keina: I like Jensen Zeroes. You’re a badass at making money.

Leisse: Yes, me too.

Keina: That one was one of my mine where I was like, huh, these things, I didn’t think I had money issues because like my story wasn’t so like, oh my goodness, I’m in a million dollars worth of debt. It wasn’t that. But they’re definitely like, had lots of thoughts about [51:55 inaudible].

Leisse: The other really good one is people are liking this conversation, it’s called Financial Feminist. It just came out and her first name is Tori, but her Instagram handle is her first 100k. And this book is, it’s also excellent.

Keina: Alright. I haven’t read that one, but I have to put it on my list. So if people want to learn more about the work that you do, Leisse, where can they find you?

Leisse: is the hub. My website Leisse.

Keina: Alright. Well thank you so much for having this conversation with me. I appreciate it.

Leisse: Thank you.

Keina: Thank you so much for listening to Money Files. If you’re ready to take the next step to reach your financial goals, head to and let’s get started.

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