Episode 066: How "Just Enough" Can Sabotage Your Business with Connie Vanderzanden
Today I’m speaking with Cash Flow & Business Mentor, Connie Vanderzanden. She is on a mission to help entrepreneurs live the lifestyles they desire by learning the simple steps, structure, and discipline to create and save money.
In this episode, we chat about nurturing our relationship with money and the importance of giving every dollar a job. Connie also shares common money stories she has heard over the years and how she helps people shift their mindset surrounding money to be able to generate more of it in their business.
We can heal our generational money wounds. There is no shame, we are not broken. We just need to lean in and get a little more education and support around our money stories.
Connect with Connie
For more info visit www.moneyactiontips.com and connect with Connie on Instagram @connie.vanderzanden and on LinkedIn at connievanderzanden1. Check out her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ0XcjtRZgw41nBk6dxS90
Books mentioned in this episode:
Financial Adulting by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley
Women Talk Money by Rebecca Walker
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
Connect with Michelle
You can follow Michelle on Instagram or join her Free Facebook Community! You can learn more about Michelle's program, Designed for the Creative Mind right here. You can also learn more about Michelle's Interior Design Firm here.
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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus, and a touch of the woo-woo. And probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.
Michelle Lynne: Hello, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Michelle Lynne, Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast all about the business of running your interior design business or actually any creative business. And I'm really excited today because my guest today is Connie Vanderzanden. She is on a mission to help entrepreneurs live the lifestyles that they desire by learning the simple steps, structure, and discipline to create and to save money. So Connie, thank you for being here. This is a great topic.
Connie Vanderzanden: Thank you. Thank you. This is my favorite topic. I mean, I will stop people in a restaurant to have this conversation.
Michelle Lynne: Are you telling them you shouldn't order that? You could save money by ordering this?
Connie Vanderzanden: No, my husband's like, how do you know when the owner comes up? I'm like, I just do. I can tell when there's a business owner in the room. Just how they talk about things, or you know what's going on in their world. And so I think that's the intuitive side of me that's come out that I can just drop into that conversation. But I think also because business owners, regardless of where they're at, have very few people to talk to about what it's really like to run their business.
Michelle Lynne: Amen. It's so lonely sometimes.
Connie Vanderzanden: It is. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: And the topic of money, admittedly, is not always my favorite topic, because I'm not always the best at it. So it's such a vulnerable topic if you feel like you don't have your arms around it.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So one of the things that often comes up as I am talking to interior designers, or as I'm introducing them to my paid program, The Interior Design Business Bakery, or just sometimes in conversation in general, we all have such interesting money stories, or I think you refer to them as money wounds. I'd like to just dive right in there. How does that affect our mindset as business owners?
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. And I will have to say that just yesterday, just so everybody knows, I'm continually working on my own story and my own things, but I came across something that is perhaps wounds isn't the right word, because money wounds tells us that we're broken, that there's something wrong with us, and there really isn't anything wrong with us. What the wounds really tell us, though, is what we learned as kids from our parents, under the age of seven, what we saw in our family dynamics, what we learned in our culture around us, so it depends on when you were raised, how to deal or avoid, or not talked about money. And so they influence us subconsciously today, and we don't even realize it. So when we get into business, and we start struggling, and debt keeps increasing, which is my story, I didn't realize that it's because of what I learned from my parents. And so it takes a little inner depth of it. And it's usually helpful to work with a therapist, or there are money coaches out there that can really help you like dive into it a little deeper and go, you know, journal about it, but every time you see something come up, and you're like, Huh, I wonder, why does this happen with money? Why do I constantly say this? So mine was, one of my money stories was just enough. Which I do find a lot for creatives is that they just want to make enough in their business to cover XYZ. So it's like they're the secondary income in the household. They just want enough to pay for the fun stuff. They just, you know, so have you heard that one before?
Michelle Lynne: Oh yes. That sounds quite familiar.
Connie Vanderzanden: And that's great. And that's giving money a purpose, that it's there for the fun stuff, for that piece. And is it really allowing the business to evolve and be its own standalone business or is this, are you creating something of a hobby business? So there are some things there of like, why do I think about this? Why do I think my money in my household can only be for fun? Why can it have legs?
Michelle Lynne: Could we be self-sabotaging our scalability and our growth?
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, yes. And so all of these are part of the money stories to kind of like, journal about it and figure out why am I stopping there? And it's usually helpful, though, to have somebody hear you. So, again, mine was I just need to make enough and that's exactly what was coming in was just enough. Just enough to cover the bills, it was never enough to do anything else.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, because you put that out into the universe, and that's the energy you give out, that's what you're gonna get back.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes. And it will. I would say that forever until somebody like my coach, like, Do you realize this is what you keep saying? I'm like, Oh, wow. No. So once you start, once you are starting to be aware of that, then dive in deeper and, but it will show up, it's showing up in how you run your business. It's showing up in how you're interacting with money. It's just are you willing, are you in a moment, you've had a roadblock moment or you've had your come to Jesus moment, or whatever the word you say is like, this has to be enough. Here's my line in the sand. I am demanding something change. That's when we start looking at these things.
Michelle Lynne: I know, how did you get involved? Or how did you get started in this, like, being able to help entrepreneurs with the steps, structure, but also the mindset? Like, what's your background, and what led you here?
Connie Vanderzanden: And that's, that's an interesting story. So I have 36 years in the accounting industry. And so I was a bookkeeper and I worked in tax, I was very, you know, that Capricorn, very structural energy. Numbers were the rules. I mean, I even remember at a time, where all I wore was black and white. So one of my employers gave me a book on color, like, you know Connie, you can like, layer colors. I still have the book.
Michelle Lynne: So you were very rigid.
Connie Vanderzanden: I was super rigid. And we find, you know, accounting professionals can be that way that the numbers are the rule. And it wasn't until I went to grow my business in 2007.
Michelle Lynne: Was it a bookkeeping business?
Connie Vanderzanden: Yep, I had a bookkeeping business. I went out in 2001, started my business, as a self-employed solopreneur. In 2007, for some reason, found a life coach that was a recovering CPA, and I was like, oh, I have a bigger dream. And I jumped into it without any planning at all. So here's, I wasn't paying attention to my numbers. I wasn't having any idea of how that would happen. We just jumped. And six years into that growth, realized, Oh, this $50,000 of debt is super heavy to carry by myself. And oh, wait a minute, I haven't contributed to my household because I had the privilege of a secondary income that was paying all the bills. So I had my roadblock moment sitting there going, how do I get out of this? What? This is not a sustainable business. And to admit that, wait a minute, you're an accounting professional, and you can't figure this shit out.
Michelle Lynne: I was gonna say, that's ironic. Because as entrepreneurs oftentimes we'll turn to bookkeepers or lawyers to have all the business shit figured out. And basically, it's different.
Connie Vanderzanden: It is different. Like I can be in your numbers all day, I can sit with you and hold the space for you all day. But for me, I realized, oh, wait a minute, I'm avoiding my own numbers, I'm avoiding looking at my debt. And I was having the same emotional attachment to debt and money that I was watching my clients have. And so I had to work on it and heal myself and figure out what was going on before I could actually sit in a space with somebody and recognize the emotional attachment they had, and be able to bring the numbers into play to say, Okay, we're gonna lean into this structural piece, because this is the truth. The numbers do give us the truth. It's always where we start. And I want to acknowledge that you're having these issues and stories here and you have a power of choice, you have the power of choice of choosing, do I want to continue this family lineage that I've been given? Or would I like to create something new and pass it on and create a different relationship with money to whoever I'm going to encounter into the future?
Michelle Lynne: I love that. And it's so true because we don't know what we don't know. Because our parents teach us and we just take it as gospel.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, yes. Yes. And society too. I mean, I was raised in the 80s where debt was a thing, it wasn't bad and I came from a family where debt wasn't bad. If you wanted a car, you went and got a car loan. If you wanted anything valuable or anything worthy you went and did it on debt. So of course that's what I use to grow my business, debt. But what I didn't see was what happens when your debt's too much? What happens when you just ignore it? And figuring out how to get out of that. But yeah, the shame and guilt of the debt was the hardest part. And to go out into public and network and say, yes, my business looks successful on the outside. But on the other side of it, it was just, it was hard. It was falling apart, I had a great team, we were delivering products, we were having great service. But it wasn't a sustainable model that I could continue to grow.
Michelle Lynne: Right, almost like robbing Peter to pay Paul. And going back in circles. That's, I think, probably familiar to a lot of people that are listening to this. I know, it's been familiar for me as well at points in my journey, and probably will be again, because it's one of those things I get it mastered and then it's like, oh, well, I got it and I let my foot off the gas. And it just kind of goes back to those habits. So I think that it's interesting going back and figuring it out and breaking that bondage. Interesting. Interesting. So how do you go about shifting the way you think about money? Because you talked about that, like in the 80s, because that's how I grew up. It's like, you know what, it's just, it's just a credit card. That's just a loan. Like, how do you shift all of that? Because when you're in business, it's not just a loan. It's like, that's heavy.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, yeah. And so again, we start always with going back to the numbers, whether it's debts or you're wanting to create a different flow of money, and you're like, say, tax, you want to save for tax, you don't want to do this tax bill thing ever again. So first, we have to start with where we're at. And so that's getting the numbers out, making sure you're in some type of accounting tool, or that you can at least see it. If you're under $100,000. If you're under $60,000, a tool would be great. And I will always recommend automation when you can. But if you're a spreadsheet junkie, use your spreadsheet. There's no shame here. Just use what works. And then we create, one to look at it, and then figure out is there anything that we could cut? Because that's where it usually starts, is that usually we have subscriptions or we're paying things that are not really necessary. Yeah, could we streamline it, could you pause it, could you delay it? It's not about rice and beans. If you were a rice and beans kind of gal or person, you would be doing Dave Ramsey, and you wouldn't be having these conversations. I was not. My inner spender needed a little mad money. And I needed my lattes. So you know, you have to build that into the plan. But create a plan of where you're at, where would you like to grow? And then you know, now that we know our numbers, now we know how much do we have for savings? How much can we do that? And then I love to give money a job. And that's actually how to make it your best team member. So we've realized what we have going on, and as entrepreneurs, we can go create more money, now we know how much needs to be created. But for every dollar that comes in, give it a job. And this goes back to a cash-handling system called Profit First. And so then we can lean into this habit of moving the money into the different buckets. And I think putting the money into a different bucket and saying this savings account is for tax, money is like, okay, cool. My job here is tax. And you can actually have a conversation with money. In that, okay, you're going to support me in this effort. And we're going to decide on a certain percentage and put it there and leave it there. And you can do the same thing for savings for whatever you want. If you want your owner's wealth, you want to contribute more to your pension plan, you can do a similar thing. If you want to hire a team member. That's usually a common thing. They'll put a savings account, get three months of salary in there, and then hire. It's about delaying the instant gratification which we were all raised to have.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's hard.
Connie Vanderzanden: It's very hard. And so if you decide that you want to make that purchase, and we're going to use debt, then we're also, we're having a conversation with debt, great, you're going to support me, I'm going to make this purchase. And this is how we're going to make sure we pay it off. So we always lean into the numbers, but it's about being intentional. And once you make that decision, then you're like saying, great, numbers. This is how you're going to support me, this is how the money is going to support me. And then finally I like to create more habits and rituals around it. I really love a really good money date every week with my numbers, which is about, you know, updating it, making sure I know where I'm at, but also showing gratitude and appreciation. So how can you sing a song when every time you get a sale? How can you do a little dance?
Michelle Lynne: It makes sense because it also takes away the, like we were, I mentioned it earlier, like you put the energy out to the universe about your money and that's what you're gonna get back.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: And so I love the fact that you're celebrating and you're lightening up the mood. Because I know when I start looking on financial Fridays, that's what I do Friday mornings, Friday afternoons or something. Not every time admittedly, but it's because I have so much negative energy or stress. And thankfully, right now, it's not like I'm worried that I'm not going to make payroll. But in the past, I had been and I still feel those scars today.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, yes.
Michelle Lynne: There's a weird energy, but I love the idea of singing.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. And so when I had a lot of debt, yeah, because we're looking at down at the, at the lack. So that's the lack and yes, those fears will be there. And they'll come up. And they're like that ego's talking to you. And you're at the point where you're like, okay, great, thank you ego for trying to keep me safe. Because that's where that negative mindset comes in. It's like, because like, we can't do that, you have to, this is not safe. You're like, Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate this warning. But I got this, because I know what my numbers are, I know what my plan is, I'm actively looking at my cash flow. I got this, we are good. And the more that you are able to comfort your dough.
Michelle Lynne: Change that little voice.
Connie Vanderzanden: Change the voice, comfort it, the less it will come up. But it's about what can you be foundationally supported by and so that's what numbers really are, the numbers, even though we may have learned, you have to be right or wrong in school that there's emotional ties to numbers, thank you to our educational system. It's really, it's that black and white foundation. Like if you're building a house and like everyone here on the show knows this. It's that foundation level, it's what we stand on. And can we have a really nice floor that's really warm and comforting to our feet so that we can build upon it what we want to create.
Michelle Lynne: It's a financial foundation.
Connie Vanderzanden: It is, it is and so creating a little habit around it like your Financial Fridays and building in as much joy that you can really, will help change that energetics.
Michelle Lynne: I love that idea. Because I practice that in a variety of other places in my life, have never thought about it when it comes to financials, Financial Fridays. Because it can be just a fun little, come into the office, crank up some fun music, sing at the top of your lungs. Sorry, anybody who's here in my house, your ears are gonna bleed. But yeah, just make it a little bit more joyful. That's simple.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. And I do a whole cleanse. So like, because for a long time, I used food and sugar, carbs, specifically to numb my body so that I can sit and do the work. So these days, that's not healthy. If you're finding yourself in that.
Michelle Lynne: It's kinda like, Connie, you can be my sister from another mister, I get it.
Connie Vanderzanden: But I will like sage my office, open my windows, I will like light a candle, get the music going. I do a whole thing to prepare the space so that it's joyful. And paper is a big thing for me. So if my desk is really messy, most likely my money is a little chaotic. So clearing your desk, making, you know, maybe wiping it down a little bit. So yeah, whatever you need to do, put as much attention to the space and yourself as you need to. I always have tea, and if you need to you could have wine or chocolate afterwards to celebrate.
Michelle Lynne: No, that makes sense. And it's also it's like running a bath. Like you have a ritual if you're wanting to have just a nice luxurious moment. It's just light the candle, turn the music up, down, whatever, the lights down. And I like what you say about your desk and so forth. Because I'm standing here at my computer talking to you looking at my desk, and I'm like, it's just clutter. You know, and it's just like, it's why is this any different than my kitchen? Like when you go in and you cook, you make sure everything's kind of picked up and you have all your ingredients and you're ready to go.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, exactly.
Michelle Lynne: And just cleaning it off. Just I mean, ugh, it feels so much better.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. But you know, again, we learned all that from our parents, probably. I don't know. My dad, every time he was doing money, you never talked to him. And he had a lot of things around him doing things when it was kind of a tense period of time. So again, that's where we learned now that you know you can just do better and make different choices.
Michelle Lynne: So what are some of the larger, some of the more common money stories that you've come across?
Connie Vanderzanden: Definitely, the I can't afford this is usually a top one. And that usually flows right out before somebody has even had an opportunity to think about it. And I think, you know, coming from parents that were both employees, so that employee mindset, that was the first response, and my mom was single, a single mama with two kids for a while, and it was just the immediate response. So I can't afford this is, is it a priority? You know, re-changing of like, this isn't a priority for me right now. Because if you really want it, you will find a way.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. Yes.
Connie Vanderzanden: So that's the first one. I just need to make enough is the second one, I think because I've worked with a lot of creatives or mom and pops that just think about just covering their bills. So on that case is, can you dream a little bit bigger with your numbers? Could you think about, sure, this is all that your family needs right now. But what would you like in the future? That's why I like to look at my financial plans, I actually look at it in three ways: where we're at, where we would like to grow in the next 12 months, and then what your big dream is. If your big dream is to pay for your kids' college education. If your big dream is to start a foundation, would you like to give back to the community in some bigger fashion? Put that on there so that you know what you're working towards. And then the other one is part of my, I had codependency with debt. So if you have the fear, one of my coaches was like, I want you to freeze your credit cards. And I was like, I had these definite body, my whole body started having a panic attack. I was like, you want me to be without my credit card? This is a signal that we need to reexamine. Of course, we live in a plastic society today. So being without your card may mean that, you know, that you don't figure you have money. But there is definitely a relationship there of like, what happens if we don't have our card? Could we have some extra cash in our purse, or in our bag that we could lean into? So I had to work through my codependency with debt. And it's an ongoing conversation, just like any codependency would be.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I think I have one with my phone.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes. I was on a call yesterday, it was about when you pick up your phone, could you like think about it, is it necessary for me to be in here? Is it worthwhile for my time? It's kind of like uncluttering up our digital lives.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, I left the house without my phone the other day. I wasn't going far. I can't remember what it was. It's been in the last couple of weeks. And at first, I was freaking out thinking I should turn around. But then I was going to be late. And then I was just like, just go. Like, what's the worst that can happen? And once I just let go of it mentally, probably like you let go of the debt mentally, it's kind of a relief. Hey, nobody knows where I am. Hahaha.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, that rebel in you is like, yes! I'm going to be a wild woman today. Let's go!
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, if anything, I would just want to take a nap. So if we're running a business right now, that is maybe building up debt or just, you know, eating cash. What would you say is one of the first things to do to start turning that around just so that we can take away some of that anxiety, or co-dependencies, or whatever the case may be?
Connie Vanderzanden: It's about creating a pause in the system. And there's several ways of doing that. One is you do not have to pay your vendors when your vendors say it's due. It's your business, you can create the pause of when you want to pay your vendors. You don't have to pay them every day. Can you pay them once a week? Can you pay them twice a month? You know, figuring out what works best for your cash flow. That's one. The second one is that cash-handling system really allows you to give money a job so you can pause that system so money comes in every week, I celebrate it, and I delegate it to what it's responsible for and then I pay my vendors, my team, my cash flow. So it’s about creating a pause in how you purchase. As a spender, I have to give myself 24 or 48 hours before I say yes. It's just that I need to get more in touch with my bandwidth. Can I implement it? Will I actually take action? Do I have the space to do that before I say yes? So it's again, what's coming up? Where's this issue? Like, if you're just automatically spending or you have this in your brain that we have to continually grow, continually be in personal development, is really consider, are you implementing? Are you putting that into action? Is it really benefiting the business? So you might need to ask yourself a couple of questions before you do that. And then if your debt's a little bit more to handle, and I've had this conversation in the last couple of weeks, is to go to your bank and ask is there a debt reconstruction loan that we could possibly do, you know, a restructuring loan. And then that way, you can restructure the debt to maybe a lower interest rate. And then consider doing something different with your cards. Like, once I did that, then my cards had to be paid off every month. So whatever I said yes to there had to be the cash flow to do that. And again, if you have, there's a lot of different ways of paying down your debt, but it goes back to cash flow, planning, making sure you can find the little pieces, put it into savings, and then doing some lump-sum payments to it. So there's a couple of different ways, but it's really in the power of pause, and really considering what you're going to want to get from this money. But how's it adding to your life?
Michelle Lynne: And I love that because I used to be a credit card junkie, just personally. And I just had that immediate gratification, it's like, Oh, I've got money. And shoot, I think my shoes wore out before I paid my credit card off that I bought them with. So I think pausing and determining, do I really need these X, Y, or Z. It could be a subscription, it could be a new laptop, it could be those shoes, really does make a difference. We're just in such a world of immediate gratification. And it's getting worse every day or better.
Connie Vanderzanden: It is because we're so disconnected from our spending. It's just ones and zeros. There's not even, I noticed I don't even think about it when I hand the credit card. So if you can be more somatically like in your body, I am making this choice, I am making this purchase fully in your body, instead of just disconnecting from your head.
Michelle Lynne: Because we used to have to peel away bills. Twenty, forty, sixty, eighty.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, oh my gosh.
Michelle Lynne: I mean, just the physiological difference there of touching and handing over the money versus the card.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, I had to do that one time, I didn't have my checkbook. My cards were either fraud or something. And I had to physically count cash to the grocery store, I almost had a panic attack. And my first job was McDonald's. So I know how to count money. I was so much more attached to the paper side of it. And so disconnected from the plastic.
Michelle Lynne: That's so crazy, the relationships we develop with us. It's a thing. So how do you help your clients?
Connie Vanderzanden: It's well, you know because a lot of people come, they, one they think that their bookkeeping is not clean, or it's being done wrong. Most of the time, it's perfectly fine, with just a little bit of smoothing here and there, like changing the name of an account so it makes more sense to them. But it's again, starting with the numbers. I'll run the spreadsheet, they watch. And we create that plan, but really, I'm just creating a plan based on what their vision is. Just like, you know, you hire somebody to come in and do your interior design, they're gonna run that piece of it, you're gonna give them what you like, what you don't like, they're going to come back with this beautiful, this is your option. It's the same thing in a spreadsheet. And then a lot of the time when I do mentoring it's a lot of therapy. You know, just somebody to talk to you about what's going on in your business. What really happened that day, what was frustrating. And then we lean into the numbers to try to find a different solution. Or we talk about different ways that I've worked with businesses on that same problem. But it always starts, it always starts with knowing the numbers and creating that plan.
Michelle Lynne: Right. And I love the fact that you just described it basically as what we do. Like, as interior designers, we craft the design around our client's wants, wishes, and needs. And it sounds so simple, but it's not. But the same thing that you do for entrepreneurs is craft financials that they want, wish, and need.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: And show the roadmap how to get there. Because that's exactly what we do. It's like Hey, Mr. or Mrs. Client, this is what you told me you want, here's the roadmap, I'm the Sherpa, let's go up the mountain of design. It's the same thing but with financials. And that makes it so much less intimidating because I have always felt like, I should know, because I'm the business owner, I should know. Well, you know, I own my hair, and I don't know how to color it. At least not well.
Connie Vanderzanden: That's true. Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So you give permission and guidance. I love that.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes. And I think also women in society, women in business, it's a whole thing. You know, for a long time, we didn't have control of money, we didn't have, we may not have anyone in our life that was a business owner. Some of us are very lucky to have entrepreneurs in our lives that can give us that information. But most of us had employee-mindset moms, grandmothers, and maybe, my grandmother didn't even work. So it's not that we're, there was no handbook when we opened our business. So it's about getting a little education as we go, and increasing our knowledge about it so that we can be more empowered by money.
Michelle Lynne: Mm-hmm.
Connie Vanderzanden: And that is going to change our next generation. If we can become more financially literate, and most people are not. So let's, you know, just because I had again, my accounting background, you can tell that I did not, couldn't do it for myself, I had to increase my empowerment with it. I had to learn different things. It's just, it's all something we can all do. So have more conversations about money. Talk more openly about it. Listen to podcasts. There's some, you know, Financial Adulting is a great book. Women Talk Money. I have it right here because it's my favorite book. It's edited by Rebecca Walker. Nobody can see this but
Michelle Lynne: I love that. Yeah, no, I'm looking at it right now, Women Talk, Family, Love, Sex all crossed out. Women Talk Money. Breaking the Taboo.
Connie Vanderzanden: It's breaking the taboo. It's 29 essays, so 29 different voices, about how money shows up and the stories it creates, and how it affects everything from having children to having a business, it was just mind-opening. You can also listen to it on audio, which they have three or four different voice actors because it comes from such a culturally diverse background of authors, and that's kind of cool, too.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. I've been obviously taking notes over the course of our conversation. But, I love, one of the cool things about hosting this podcast is that I get this laundry list of really cool things to do and read. Amazon, my wish list is pretty amazing, that I just go shop when I'm ready. Of course, that's easy too because Amazon, cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching, let's not even go there. That's a whole other episode. Because that racks up on my Chase credit card. And it goes back to the same thing. I need to pay it off monthly. And then you look at your spending. You're like holy shit. Did I really need all of these things? But yeah, they were delivered at my house the next day.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. Yeah, my husband, my partner has that Amazon problem. I'm like, I don't know what these are. But I tried very hard not to so that I can, again, as my spender, I learned that I was a natural spender. So natural spenders, if we need to be more in touch with what we're doing, we have to add a few little steps to the process. And so, can I find it locally? Can I find it from a different source? Do I need it right away and giving myself the space before I say yes.
Michelle Lynne: And do you need it or do you want it? If you need it, you'll drive over and go get it, whereas sometimes the convenience factor is just like, oh, yeah.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. And all of us have lived through this pandemic, which prevented us from being able to go just to purchase it too. And so, again, we have rituals and habits that we've probably created in the last couple of years that we may need to look at and figure out if they're unhealthy or not.
Michelle Lynne: Interesting. Yeah, valid point. Just even online grocery shopping.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. I will say, as a spender, I love online grocery shopping because I don't like to wander the store. I spend far less money.
Michelle Lynne: That's funny because I think I'm a natural spender, and I'm the opposite. I will go to the grocery store with a list. But even if I'm online shopping with the list, they suggest so many things, like oh, yeah, I think my kid would like that. Oh, yeah. Oh, I like that. Yeah, they get me. They've got my number. Oh, Connie, this is really eye-opening. But I think it's also very much permission granting.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: Thank you for your time. Thank you.
Connie Vanderzanden: You're very welcome. I think that's a key thing. Remember, we're not broken. These money wounds, these stories, it's just are areas that we can lean into, that you can get a little bit more education around. That's it. You're not broken, you just need a little bit more education, a little bit more support. And if your current financial team is not doing that, if they are shaming you around it, number one, time to get rid of that and find somebody else. And they're, you know, it's hard because number-focused people think differently than creatives. But they are finding different ways in creating their communication skills better that they can sit there across from you and be more consultative.
Michelle Lynne: Well, it's just like, we walk into a home, we don't shame our clients that they're living in an ugly house.
Connie Vanderzanden: But they think you are. You know they're thinking that.
Michelle Lynne: But you also have to be, I mean, your delivery has to be, it's like, You know what, I've lived in an ugly house, you can't have it pretty all the time. But it has to be in a starting place in order for it to get to a beautiful place. And ugly is by definition, you know what, it's just unfinished or it's dated or whatever. It makes me frustrated when professionals, I'm hot about this today because a friend of mine had a pediatrician who shamed her. And I was like, No, you are a professional. You are supposed to counsel and assist your clients. Not guilt and shame them. So yeah, I'm a little hot about that. Because I just had that conversation this morning.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. And as women, that nice girl, again, how can we be more empowered, hold our boundaries and say, Wait a minute, that was, no, that's not okay.
Michelle Lynne: No, I love that. Well, Connie, I'm going to jump into a fun little Q&A session, rapid-fire with you. And then at the end, we will, I will make sure that I ask for your contact information. And we'll drop them into the show notes because I know that people are going to love this. So basically, I'm just holding the audience hostage to get that while we go through some fun Q&As. Are you ready?
Connie Vanderzanden: Sure.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, what was your favorite subject in school?
Connie Vanderzanden: Surprisingly, math because it was easy. It was easy for me, which is why I fell into an industry, but I never really enjoyed bookkeeping. But it was, I think because it was easy. That's why I liked it.
Michelle Lynne: It just came naturally to you.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So what is your favorite color?
Connie Vanderzanden: It was purple. I still like purple. But I really love the fall colors. So reds, the greens, the browns.
Michelle Lynne: What do you think that says about you?
Connie Vanderzanden: For me? What does it say about me? It says that I love to be outside. It's a grounding color for me. And I think it's definitely like, remembering that there's so much beauty and amazement in the world.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, it's funny how it just it speaks. Everything has an energy. Okay, so what would you do, anything like anything, if you knew that you couldn't fail?
Connie Vanderzanden: Anything if I couldn't fail? You know, the first thing that came from my mind was jumping out of an airplane. I don't know why. Because I am afraid of heights. And I think, I've always wanted to fly. So if I knew that I would not die on the way down.
Michelle Lynne: What if we got you one of those little bat suits? Have you seen the people that fly in the bat suit?
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah. That's what I want. That's what I want my superpower to be.
Michelle Lynne: How crazy is that? Yeah. So what is the best compliment you've ever received?
Connie Vanderzanden: Best compliment. The one that just always, always touches my heart was, I didn't expect this type of conversation from you. I didn't expect this level of openness. I didn't expect this level of, I didn't feel shamed. And so that is the biggest compliment when I can sit across from somebody and they're like, I just, this is just something I wasn't, I'm so happy I received it. I'm already tearing up. But yeah, that is one of my biggest compliments.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, especially around money because it is just so personal. That speaks volumes. Any tattoos?
Connie Vanderzanden: I do. I have a tattoo of a ying-yang symbol that I only show to my closest friends.
Michelle Lynne: The few and the proud.
Connie Vanderzanden: I think it was funny because my friends were all pinching themselves. Like where is it least gonna hurt, and they all chose one over by their hips. And I was like, I'd like to get another one. I'd like to get one on my back. So there's some ideas that I have. But as I get older, it's kind of like, is it gonna look the same?
Michelle Lynne: Be very cautious about where that's gonna sag.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, like but right now, conscious tattoos. Which are these rub-on ones, I love those.
Michelle Lynne: I have. Yep, I'm literally, I'm looking at potentially putting one on my arm, therefore I keep putting the fake ones on to see if I'm gonna go permanent. So I'd ask what your favorite book is, but I definitely have Women Talk Money has been written down. What would you say is your biggest pet peeve?
Connie Vanderzanden: My biggest pet peeve I think is that people walk around and aren't aware that there are other people in the space. Yeah, it's an awareness issue that drives me a little crazy. But it's the small things. It's like thanking your waiter or stacking your dishes, you know, there's just a level of consciousness and awareness that there are other human beings that are around us that are serving, providing service, or just that we come in contact with. It's kind of like opening a door, just the little things. Or just acknowledging.
Michelle Lynne: Or just saying thank you when somebody holds the door for you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's a good one. Last one is where do you find inspiration?
Connie Vanderzanden: Amazingly everywhere. And it's funny. Like, I will be listening to a podcast about, your podcast, and I will get an inspiration of like, how I could serve my clients better. Or it's everywhere. It's amazing. I can watch a movie, watch a Marvel movie and get something out of it. I think it's just how our brain is wired. But I spend a lot of time looking at nature and walking in nature. I think that also kind of like, clues us in.
Michelle Lynne: That's right because you're up in Oregon.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes, yes.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. Yeah, here in Texas, it's too damn hot to get out in nature at this time of year.
Connie Vanderzanden: But you have your beautiful season, though.
Michelle Lynne: We absolutely do. Yeah. And this last week or so, depending on when this airs, it's been a very mild May. Very mild May. Okay, I lied. One more question. What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Connie Vanderzanden: Not to get married. I was already married at 19. But I would have said and which I say often to my nieces, don't get married right away. Have a life first. Go out and experience what it's like to live on your own, to travel solo, have an adventure, and then get married or get into a longer relationship. Because now at 55. I must be 55. I didn't have that. And I regret that. And now I'm trying to build that in. That's one of the things I'm working on and how money is supporting me to have those solo adventures, having those girls' trips.
Michelle Lynne: Right, more tattoos.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, more tattoos. But it's different at this age than it would have been at 20.
Michelle Lynne: Very, very true. No, I love that. And I just think it's important that we still give our 20-year-old self that love, but know that we could have done something differently. Fun. Well, Connie, thank you for being here. This has been so eye-opening and I could probably talk for another hour just because I love how you blend, you know, the feminine aspect into money, and the energetic and just the permission. And I think that that's kind of going back to the just enough, no babe, you have permission to be a badass and to make a bucket of money, if that's what you choose.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: And that's just not something that I think we were taught much as girls. Although, funny story, my mom laughs because I've always been a big dreamer. My mom laughs and blames it on Danielle Steele because I read those books so much when I was growing up. It's like, well, why can't I have three houses? Why can't I have five kids and a career and a chalet for the winter? So yeah, I think just dreaming bigger.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, and being empowered. I think a lot of our books and stuff show women, especially what I was reading at the time as waiting for somebody to come and save them. And it's not gonna happen. So can we read more empowerment? Like I'm really loving these, some of them are horrible, but these 40s midlife women fantasy novels. Where they come into their power because they got a divorce or they're in their 40s or 50s. That's when their superpower kicks in, you know, type of thing. And I'm like, yes, we still have time.
Michelle Lynne: Girl, I firmly believe that, you know, so I didn't adopt my child, Genevieve until I was 48. So I was 48 when that kid was born. And I firmly believe that you know what, I make a better mom now than I would have in my 20s or 30s for sure. Didn't get married till I was 37. Lord knows, you know, not always easy though.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, no, it's not.
Michelle Lynne: There's no time limit.
Connie Vanderzanden: No, no. And now it's, I mean, you're gonna give Genevieve a different experience. You're gonna pass on, and especially as an entrepreneur, the lessons she'll be learning are going to be so different. You're actually changing her entire lineage there.
Michelle Lynne: I pray so. I pray so. But like you said, it's not easy. There's so many habits and so many stories and so forth that I continue to have to fricking acknowledge.
Connie Vanderzanden: Yeah, yeah. And that's the healing part, right? We acknowledge it, you make a choice. Does this still serve me or not? And every time we make a different choice we heal our lineage, we heal whatever options our ancestors had at the time, they chose the best that they could, but now we know better.
Michelle Lynne: When you know better, you do better. Well, I can totally see how the best compliment you got is that you make people comfortable around such a difficult conversation. So how can people find you? What are those social links that we can share?
Connie Vanderzanden: Well, there's an easy website, money action tips (with an 's') tips.com. And there's a free report. But mostly as an educator, if somebody really got triggered and wants to have a conversation, there's a 30-minute complimentary conversation to schedule right there on that page, but everyone doesn't always want to let me look up their skirts right away.
Michelle Lynne: It's so what it feels like.
Connie Vanderzanden: I'm over on Instagram @connie.vanderzanden. And on LinkedIn.
Michelle Lynne: Perfect, and that's V-A-N-D-E-R-Z-A-N-D-E-N. Y'all, I will have it in the show notes. And you said that's moneyactiontips.com?
Connie Vanderzanden: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: I'll make sure that's added in there as well. Oh, lady, thank you so much for your time.
Connie Vanderzanden: Thank you. I always enjoy talking about this. So if you ever want to talk money again, let me know.
Michelle Lynne: Damn skippy. All right. And for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding your business of running your interior design business, join the growing community, Facebook's private group. And I say this every time, I know it's Facebook, y'all, but all you need to do is just create a little ninja profile and come and join me at The Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Not only do I go live there once a week, it's an amazing community. Plus, we have free workshops every couple of months, five-day workshops. They're awesome.
Connie Vanderzanden: Nice. Wow.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I know. It's fun. I love talking business of interior design. So I'll see you guys at the launch pad. And thank you again, Connie.
Connie Vanderzanden: Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with a name, and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, The Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feet. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition. So let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.