May 09, 2023 | Podcast, Your Business

Charging Competitive Rates as an Empath with Tiffany Mclain

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About the episode:

Welcome to today’s episode of the Prosperous Empath podcast. I am excited to have Tiffany Mclain, a licensed marriage and family therapist, join me for an insightful discussion on heart-centered entrepreneurs’ everyday struggle when charging competitive rates. This conversation is more important today than ever, and Tiffany is here to help change our money mindset. During our conversation, we’ll be sharing our insights on how to feel confident in selling services, the importance of having a coach, and the best ways to clarify and share rates with potential clients. I hope this episode will inspire you to take action and apply these valuable insights to your business. Enjoy!

Topics discussed:

  • Introduction to Tiffany’s work as a licensed marriage and family therapist
  • The impact of discounted rates and how they cause resentment
  • Why coaches need their own coach or mentor more than ever
  • How Tiffany works on a money mindset with her students
  • How Catherine deals with rejection and judgment when it comes to her coaching rates
  • Modeling your business policies as a heart-centered business owner
  • The advantage of posting your rates publicly and how to be clear on the impact of sales
  • Why it is important for empaths to feel confident while selling their services
  • What supported Tiffany in becoming the prosperous empath she is today

About Tiffany:

Tiffany McLain, LMFT is a clinical fee strategist for therapists in private practice. Her mantra is, “Full fees are the new black.” Via her program, Lean In. MAKE BANK. Academy, she helps therapists ethically earn MUCH more per month while seeing fewer clients by showing them how to think about and directly address fees in a clinically appropriate manner.

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Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Catherine A. Wood  05:16

Tiffany welcome to the podcast. I’m really delighted to be chatting with you today.

Tiffany McLain  06:03

Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here. Why don’t we

Catherine A. Wood  06:06

kick it off with you sharing your pronouns and a little bit of your story?

Tiffany McLain  06:10

Yeah, my pronouns are she her. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. And I work with therapists around these in private practice and understanding how to charge based on what they need, which is extremely complicated in the therapist, social worker world, and I’m certain it’s very complicated in the poker world as well. So I love those money, conversations with helpers who have been taught, I’m here to serve, and help others. And we have not been taught anything about understanding our needs and our own desires, and how those play into how we set our prices.

Catherine A. Wood  06:54

I’m not sure if I have shared this with you. But that was really the premise for my podcast. Because working with so many heart centered entrepreneurs, I think that there’s this common struggle across the board for empathic entrepreneurs that we struggle with charging our worth, we struggle with charging competitive rates, and even more so if we’re of a minority or for women identifying like, we just we struggled. So I’m thrilled to have you on the podcast to chat more about this today. And I also just wanted to start our conversation by sharing how I originally met you. I don’t think you know this. So Drew rabbit, do we have her in common? She’s an alumni of my mastermind. I had her on the podcast recently. She’s amazing. And she was sharing a learning that she had taken from you about why she doesn’t charge discounted rates to minorities in her practice, or why she doesn’t charge discounted rates to to, to bipoc clients, and I would love for you to share with my audience with me as much as my listeners, why. Why do your Why do you not recommend that?

Tiffany McLain  08:05

Well, let me before I say what I recommend, are you able to share what drew took away that she talked about that on the podcast? Or was it?

Catherine A. Wood  08:12

It was no. Gosh, why did she talk about it? I think we were talking about we were talking about why not to charge discounted rates to clients based on based on their, their who they were.

Tiffany McLain  08:29

I got it. Okay. So one of the things that happens to me, I’ve been doing this work since 2017. And I have students who come back and they say, Tiffany, now one thing you said really blew my mind. And it’s this and I’m like, every idea that sounds really smart. I’m not that was really for me. But here’s what I can say, without more context of what specifically I was talking with Drew about in this moment, very often, here’s, here’s something that may happen in therapy office, a therapist is sitting across from a new client or even on the phone with somebody, and they have a fantasy or an idea about who that person is and what they can afford, based on their own prejudices, or their own racism or internalized racism, all of our notions about who can and cannot afford our services. So so often, therapists will have a particular kind of clients to date across, across maybe someone in the bipoc, community, LGBTQ, all kinds of stories, and they’ll instantly offer a sliding scale. Oh, you know, my fears. 150. But what what can you what can you afford? In a way we’re making assumptions about who that person is? How much they have, what they have access to, again, based on our own projections of that person? So that’s the first part. And then the second part is we’re also saying something about, we’re making determinations about how they’re willing to invest in their own change and their own growth, what kinds of what the value of their mental health is, without ever even having a conversation have with them about it. And we’re also putting a cap on their potential. Oh, you come into my office, I’m gonna offer you a sliding scale based on my own story, or even based on your own story. Because I have no faith, or belief that the work we do together is gonna get you to a place where you could easily afford this $150 or 200 or $300 therapy fee. So it gets really convoluted when we start making assumptions about what the people across from us can and ought to pay. I don’t know if that’s what drew was talking about. But that’s one way we can get into that question.

Catherine A. Wood  10:43

I love so much of what you shared it just it really hits home, the reminder that when we aren’t checking our own biases, that we’re putting a cap on other people’s potential, their possibility, their dreams and their affordability. And we’re absolutely making judgments perceived on our own beliefs about what others can afford. Yeah, yeah. It makes me think it brings to mind resentment, and how the impact of offering discounted rates just breeds resentment. And I’m wondering how that how that occurs for you in your world and your teaching? Yeah, I love seeing your smile.

Tiffany McLain  11:25

Before we get into that, let me ask because I imagine a lot of the people who listen to your show are coaches in the coaching space, and probably a lot of therapists and social workers as well. What have you observed in the coaching realm around resentment when it comes to pricing?

Catherine A. Wood  11:40

Yeah. specifically working with Empath entrepreneurs, there is such a common theme of giving, being of service contributing, helping at the expense of helping ourselves. And I see this a lot with rates when we offer discounts or, or give more time or, you know, extra calls are we bonus this and that right? Or we give gifts expecting other people will give referral gifts in return? Right? It just shows up in those ways. And I don’t think that a lot of Empath entrepreneurs who haven’t done their own work, aren’t necessarily aware, they don’t have an experience in their bodies of that resentment and how it shows up. It might it might occur, you know, as a as a complete blow up, or a burnout. Those are just a couple of the ways that I see it show up. And then they’re right, then they’re done. Yeah, I just need to.

Tiffany McLain  12:44

Yes. So perfect. Yeah, I a lot of the therapists we work with the social workers we work with are also empaths highly sensitive, folks. But even if even if they’re not, they still have this for all kinds of reasons, that feeling that it is their duty and obligation to offer us reduced rates, sliding scales, take insurance, which reimburses so poorly. And on top of that, it’s taboo, it’s taboo in our field to have any negative feelings towards our clients. It shouldn’t be it depends on what orientation but it’s really been, we don’t have a lot of discussion around anger, resentment, frustration we have towards our clients or patients. And we should, because in the real world, we’re in relationship with our clients and patients. And it’s our job as therapists to be thinking about going to clinical consultation going to our own therapist therapists and understanding what these feelings are about, because then we can use them clinically. Oh, you know, I imagine this thing is showing up in all kinds of this client relationships. But if we just like you mentioned, have not been doing our own work. And we start to have feelings of resentment. We either know it and blame our clients, oh, well, they came late to the session. They’re not taking it seriously. Meanwhile, we’re the ones who set the policies, set the frame, set the fees, but we get mad at them. Or like you said, we completely cut it off. dissociated, which I would argue is even worse, because then it comes out unconsciously, and things like yeah, this client just doesn’t value the work. And I don’t know what to do. It comes out as boredom. Ah, they’re, you know, just nothing going on here. Maybe the treatment is done. Maybe they don’t need therapy anymore. It often ends in early termination, which when the client actually still really needs help, but there’s so much unconscious tension, resentment, then confusing dynamics built up between the two that are not being spoken about. It’s the therapists job to understand and speak to these things. But if it’s cut off, or disavowed, they cannot. And so those things like resentment do inform the treatment, and unfortunately, often I reenact the very I get goosebumps when I think about this, the very relationship problem that our clients are coming in for, get to reenact it in the therapy. And once again, it ends, and it can even end with smiles. Thank you so much. This was such a great, great therapy. Yes, it was. But inside something feels really terrible. And nobody is acknowledging it, or can even know it consciously,

Catherine A. Wood  15:22

totally, ah, I love that we’re talking about this, because so I, I coach, a lot of coaches, and you know, just like therapists have therapists, I always say that coaches need coaches. And one of the things I’m always mindful of, and I imagine we share this is that, you know, to the degree to which we do our own work is the degree to which we can reflect and sense and observe it, and our clients. And and I think the coaching relationship, and perhaps the therapists relationship is often a model of who we be in relationship everywhere else in our lives. So you know, what you’re saying makes me think of boundaries. And I work with so many clients who, you know, whose clients show up late to calls or cancel at the last minute, don’t honor policies, project, right. And something I’m just always appreciative of is that our clients show up with us, is a reflection of the work that there is to do in every other relationship in their life. And so if we’re honoring our own resentment, having our own resentment in check, then we can actually point to the patterns that we’re noticing and observing in our clients in a loving and compassionate and empowered way.

Tiffany McLain  16:45

Absolutely, right. That’s absolutely. Yay.

Catherine A. Wood  16:51

I don’t know, I feel really, I feel really passionate about that. Because specifically working with Empath entrepreneurs, we just have a default to take people personally. And so it actually requires a lot of your own work, in order to separate yourself from other people’s experience without embodying taking personally projecting our clients and the people we serve experience.

Tiffany McLain  17:20

That’s right, I have a business friend, who is not an empath, and I actually didn’t know, I didn’t, this is just how I’ve always been. And I’ve been surrounded by empaths. And people who are very highly attuned to the emotions of other people went into that world professionally. So this friend of mine recently, we were having a conversation, and there was a situation where she, her boundaries were so clear. She She basically rejected somebody’s request for hanging out and becoming friends, hey, let me get your cell phone number. My friend said, No, thanks, I’m sure you’ll be able to make friends in the city. And I said to my friend, how did you do that? What you’re worried about her feelings? What What was it like? And my friend said, Well, no, it was an inappropriate request. I didn’t know her very well. So of course, I’m not going to give her my give her my phone number. And for me, even the idea that there are people out there who are not constantly attuned and picking up and responding to and noticing the little eyebrow and how it twisted that moment, what it means. It’s just a completely foreign idea. And so for therapists and coaches, I imagine when you’re in the room with somebody, you’re picking up all those things. It’s really it can’t, without, without doing your own work, things will can very quickly become murky and whose is what’s yours and what’s mine. We can start making up stories. It’s it’s vital, I think it’s one must professionally be in clinical consultation groups, peer consultation groups, whatever the equivalent of that in the coaching world is we must because we’re constantly in human relationships. And if we’re not working on our craft, and ourselves as the tool, then we’re doing our clients a disservice.

Catherine A. Wood  19:11

I mean, I couldn’t agree more. I think that the same is true in the coaching space, I run a mastermind and one of the core agreements in the mastermind is that what you can’t be within another speaks to what you haven’t overcome in yourself. So when you notice a default to take someone else’s personally to take someone excuse me to take someone else personally, or to get offended by something that someone says whether it’s about their own experience or something to you consider, what about that is true for you? What’s the work that there is for you to do around that topic? And I think that when we can provide those safe places, for for empaths and highly sensitive entrepreneurs to do their own learning, it can often just speed up the trajet Sorry if that process,

Tiffany McLain  20:02

you said something in your, I think it was your 2023 Word of the Year episode, which I really liked, you said, I’m going to, I’m going to butcher it. But here’s my best attempt something about we must make room for of course, are sadness and anger, the more space we have for those feelings, the more we’re able to on the other side experience the joy that life has to offer, they go hand in hand. And so if we’re cutting off, we’ll try to cut up other people’s anger or frustration or disappointment, sadness, trying to make it go away. There are what tamping down parts of our own emotional lives. And we’re not going to be able to experience joy fully if we can also experience sadness fully, our anger fully or our fear fully. So it sounds like one of the things you really work on in your group is helping people become aware of how these feelings are showing up in them. And also the potential dynamics where we’re trying to put them out of ourselves, put them into each other does own them, you know, play these, I want to say games, but it’s actually deep, unconscious relational traumas, that if we’re not constantly aware, and consistently doing our own work, we’re gonna be playing these things out with family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, peers and clients.

Catherine A. Wood  21:18

Absolutely. And I think that that is such a perfect segue to money mindset. And scarcity, because I think that when we’re trying to do our own work around money mindset, and expanding our own wealth consciousness, when we see others charging competitive rates, when we see other people holding higher amounts of possibility, and, and wealth and abundance in their own lives, it opens up what we believe is possible for us. So I would love I’m just dying to talk about that with you. How do you? How does how does money mindset? How does it I don’t even know where to begin? Let’s just take it to the beginning. How do you work on money mindset with your with your, with your students, and maybe this would even be a great segue to, to, for you to share a little bit more about how you work in the world.

Tiffany McLain  22:13

Yes, I have an online program, it’s a year long, it’s called the Lean In make bank Academy, I run Facebook ads, and therapists go, they get so mad, they go wild that this idea of make bake that I’m talking about making big, and nobody’s paying attention to the Lean end part. And the Lean end part is if we lean into our feelings of fear, greed, feeling, oh, we’re gonna be greedy, or we’re gonna betray our clients. If we raise our fees. If we lean into these feelings, there’s so much to be discovered about ourselves, our relationship to ourselves, our relationship to again, I’m a therapist, and I psychoanalytic to Bucha that’s really uncut, we really deal in the unconscious a lot, our unconscious relationships to our primary caregivers, all of those things get played out, when it comes to how we relate to money. It’s a beautiful canvas, money that we project all of our own stuff onto. And so with our students, we have a four part process. But the first and most important part, you actually just spoke to it a moment ago, when you talked about your mastermind, is setting our students up to understand how to engage with each other around these very heightened emotional topics, both their colleagues, but also the world around them. One of the first exercises we have students do, they don’t know it, hopefully they don’t listen to this this episode. But they have to go into some Facebook group as therapists or social workers and say, My goal for this year is to make X amount of money and we want them to dream big. And they’re just many of them say, I don’t know what I’m gonna back out now. And they do it though they somehow they go forward and keep doing the exercise and pay attention to the responses they get from others. Really, what I’m having them pay attention to is themselves, the stories, the feelings in their gut they have when they think I’m going to go into this group of helpers, and say my goal for 2023 is to make $100,000 in my private practice, and see fewer clients. It’s the most terrifying thing. And when we I don’t even know if I guess I talk about I do talk about money mindset, but really, it’s back to our unconscious relationship with money and the way we reject our own fears, insecurities and trauma into our relating with other people. So one thing we’ll notice is the therapist puts out this big goal. They might have a whole bunch of likes, people say go get it, but for you, you Got this and then one commenter might say something like, oh, well, how are you going to make that happen? And the therapist, that’s what they pay attention to that they latch on to, I think they were challenging me or they don’t believe I can really do it. So encourage them pay attention to your own fantasies and projections about what these things mean. It’s really not about the other person at all. It’s about what happens inside of us. And then we take that work much later in the course, into our own clinical work. When we’re working with our clients, and they’re late. What are the stories we tell ourselves? What is that really about in us in us, before ever addressing anything with our clients? And then we just go down the rabbit hole American.

Catherine A. Wood  25:44

I love that example. I love everything you shared, I almost want to take your course. Do you have coaches in your

Tiffany McLain  25:50

office, I keep having many people from different industries want to take it and I say, oh, because there’s such a big clinical component where we’re really doing a lot of tastes work. I have thus far said no. But I think maybe a couple of snuck in there before.

Catherine A. Wood  26:07

Well, keep me posted. I always fall in love with my podcast guests. But the piece that I wanted to mention was the Facebook ads, which by the way, I have been targeted for your Facebook ads, they’re amazing. They’re lovely. And I love that reminder of experiencing your own judgement, or jealousy or feelings of Gosh, anger, frustration, you know, opinions, right? We’re strong opinions about other people’s beliefs about money or, you know, desires to make bank and I think that that is such a powerful learning is such a powerful flashlight and back into ourselves of the work that there is for us to do and, you know, as a coach on the other side of that conversation, I, I, I charge high rates, I’m not I’m not a cheap coach. And I often will have clients come to me and then reflect back their, you know, opinions about my rates. And I have to sit and be with that own discomfort in my body about being judged for my rates, and how I positioned myself in the marketplace. And I’m so grateful for the work that I’ve done over the past decade, that at this point in my journey, you know, I don’t take it personally. And I can just speak to like and normalize their experience, but also speak to the possibility of what’s here for them, though, like, it sounds like there’s some opportunities here for you, given this reaction.

Tiffany McLain  27:45

Can you if you’re willing to, I would love to have you share some of the response and pushback you’ve gotten to your rate and back before you’ve done all your work? How did it feel inside of you, when you’ve had someone come up and pose a challenge like this?

Catherine A. Wood  28:02

Totally. I mean, again, I think that’s why I started this podcast, because being so heart centered, so empathic, so I just have such strong feelings of empathy for the world and everyone in my life, right. I think that’s why I always fall in love with my podcast guests and want to partake in their business and what they offer in the world because I just believe in humanity so deeply. But I think in the at the beginning of my journey, you know, there was just this part of me that, that cared so deeply, right, my business was driven by that care. I think for Empath entrepreneurs, we so often go into business because of how much we care. And I just felt so selfish. That was kind of the embodied experience I had I felt selfish that they couldn’t afford me. I felt like I was being ungenerous that i Who was I to deserve to charge this rate when, you know, some often the people I speak with to this day have sometimes decades more of experience than I do. Often more degrees than I do. therapists have PhDs that I don’t have, you know, so that was often how it felt at the beginning. And I’m not sure how I generated this breakthrough or what the journey looked like. But I would say that now, how it occurs in my body is when someone will project their money stuff onto me. I feel that discomfort. I still feel the discomfort. I’ll feel I’ll feel those kind of I feel the upset in my body. And then I have I do this kind of internal process where I offer those parts of myself compassion and understanding and and love. I remind myself If this isn’t about me, and then I might just, I’m able to kind of take myself out of it. So remove myself from the conversation, and allow myself to serve as that mirror for my clients to really serve as that reflection of what they’re saying. Don’t know if that was clear,

Tiffany McLain  30:21

it is clear and I and I love, I love both your description of the process, and what kind of your journey with it. And also this part, you said around, making room for your own feelings, recognizing them, having compassion for them, and then having them just right over here next to you. And then doing this thing you said, right at the start, which was so beautiful, where you said something to the clients about, wow, this really speaks to the potential that if you and I work together, this could be something you could have to book and clearly there’s a lot of whatever you would say, a lot of something between where you are now and where you could be, I would love to go on this journey with you. Right, you’re you’re not gonna back down, you’re you’re offering them up a place that they could potentially step into, by virtue of working with you, I think that’s glorious.

Catherine A. Wood  31:11

Totally. And I will say that, you know, being being so empathic driven, looking at my business policies and how I can model and, and how it can form my business in a way that protects my inherent qualities. So what I mean by that is, you know, for the majority of my career, I’ve just posted my rates on my website, they’re just public, publicly available for clients, everything is out in the open, so that I don’t have to negotiate with clients, I don’t necessarily, I can remove myself more easily, because, you know, the people who aren’t for me can self select out where they opt out. And I think that that also really supported me and making some of, in doing some of this work myself is just really looking at, you know, how can I? How can my business policies support how I want to operate as a business owner,

Tiffany McLain  32:13

that I love it. One of the things I recommend students in our program do though not, not all of them choose to, but I say poster rates online, there’s so much energy that goes to therapists who kind of they have the idea of a hide my rates, they get on a phone call, and through the course of that phone call, the person will want to just work with me, and then they say their rates. And then the person may say great, but they may also that may be way out of their budget, they may not want to, they may even want to use their insurance for therapists who doesn’t take it. And then the therapist ends up getting bad and frustrated, the client ends up feeling bad and frustrated. And that was a whole who knows how long 2030 minute conversation that might happen many times a month, that doesn’t have to happen. If we were willing to have the courage to say right out of the gate, here’s all my fears. If you if you want to, if you want to work with me, here’s the way it’s going to be at and then let the rest of your website or how you’re showing up in the world, your networking be the way you drawn draw in your ideal client, but none of this game about like, I’ll sell you once you’re on the phone, it’s just as to maybe not for everyone, but sounds like for you. And it sounds like for me, that’s not how I want to be spending my time. I want to start with the people who are excited to work with me at the rate that I

Catherine A. Wood  33:26

charge. Yeah, I you know, in my work in the last couple years, I’ve been doing a lot of reading a lot of learning a lot of personal reflection around internalized capitalism. And I think that there is this way of being conditioned in business that we think that we have to, you know, we have to like earn the sale, we have to compete for the sale, we have to win them over. We have to persuade them right, we have to negotiate the deal. And for me, like, all of that just feels like the tendrils of internalized capitalism. It feels like what is portrayed in a lot of media, and what we learn about how business is supposed to be run. And something I really believe is that when we start to do some of that unconscious work about what we think is the right way, what we think we’re supposed to do, then we can gain a lot more access to designing our business as the expression of us the expression of our values about what we believe how we want to show up and operate and express ourselves in business and in the world. I’m curious what your thoughts are on that.

Tiffany McLain  34:46

I’m thinking a lot about I’m gonna be totally upfront. I don’t understand when people often therapists will say capitalism, understand I’m not that educated in terms of understanding how to think about the ways capitalism as a theory informs our work. But I do get what you’re saying around. I, in my gut, I feel this idea of getting on a one to one call and persuading or like, here’s what I’m going to be. And then here’s the unveil, like, all of that stuff feels so bad. So that’s what you’re talking about capitalism. Yeah, it feels awful. This idea of I have to, I’m gonna, I’m actually going to say two things that are probably competing thoughts. The idea of having to persuade someone to work with us and kind of go through that whole sales, the feeling of a more me sales process. Hmm, I don’t like it takes a lot of energy. And there’s something on the other side, in the, in the time I’ve studied sales and tried to understand it, there is so much around a potential client or student or even myself as a potential client or student, so much. So many obstacles, I have to change for me like to make a big investment or to do something that it’s gonna really push me out of my comfort zone, it’s so much easier to say no than Yes, or I’ll put it off or I don’t know. And so I mixed, I don’t like to do sales calls, we definitely have a sales funnel that goes through all of the objections, people might have asked them to email. So there’s that there’s that I’m, I really torn about both making an offer and letting someone simply choose of their own accord in their time. And then the other side, really, I do a lot of copy writing, really making a case for someone to take this leap, even though it’s terrifying. And even though it’s goes against, ooh, whatever stories they have about themselves. So I think sales in that way feels so important. And I’ve heard from students who were not going to do it. And finally they were like, Okay, this email, I’m going to do it. And then they have this transformational moment. And so often, I used to be so afraid of sales. And I think so much now, like if I wasn’t willing to do this thing that was made me nervous, and really make these passionate pleas or really get to know my students well enough to say, here’s why you’re afraid. And here’s what or if you think you can’t afford it, maybe you can, here’s a sign, you can’t. But if you could, here’s what if I don’t do that, then I’m actually I feels like I’m not fighting hard for them and letting their own internalized. All of the things we’ve been told us mental health clinicians, probably Empath coaches to about why we don’t deserve to take up space in the world and invest and play bigger, I feel like my voice has to be as powerful on this side as that internal 30 years, or 40, or 50, or 70 years of messaging has been on the other side. So it’s sometimes it is a conflict in me sometimes to think about, man, I’m going to FSL I don’t know if we could swear, I’m going to effing sell if it’s going to allow this person to do something different, and then have the change on the other side. So that’s my long winded response of like, I don’t know, that’s capitalism. I’m all for it. But I don’t know exactly.

Catherine A. Wood  38:07

I mean, I think that’s a beautiful answer. And a couple thoughts on what you said. So first of all, like, I think that you’re really speaking to the possibility, the transformation, that selling our products and services makes available for clients. And I think that, you know, you’re really clear on your impact. You spoke, when you were just talking about sales, you consistently were speaking through the lens of your students, and your clinicians, you know, how it is for them, or how maybe they can’t afford it. So I hear how you’re really coming from that place of being of service and contributing, and you’re clear on your angle. I think sometimes, the sometimes the gross approach from sales comes when we’re making it about us, I think it feels more uncomfortable in our bodies, when we’re making it about us and the money in the bank. And there’s just a way to kinda like, think there’s a way we make sales slimy, when we’re not clear. We’re not clear about everything you just shared about what you’re selling, and the potential impact that clients will receive and who it’s for who it’s not for, I think when we can do that work to be really clear about what we’re selling to whom and why it can allow for a much more empowered approach to sales, which it sounds like you’ve really found.

Tiffany McLain  39:38

Yeah, it makes me as you’re talking, it’s helping me articulate this even more in my mind. There are the idea there’s the idea of the, you know, smarmy sales bro guy, and who’s just out there to make his numbers and I don’t know I don’t know that culture really well, but you know, get the trophy. Whatever the case with the boys who’s Is there is this idea of that person sales to hit their numbers and maybe for their ego, they don’t care about the client really, or the product, they’re just trying to competitive. I have literally found that person zero times now no time and a therapist or social worker or probably a Empath, coach who you’re talking about. So really, it’s the opposite problem. That fantasy dude is out there just selling the widget and filling our Earth with garbage. Meanwhile, all the empaths are over here saying, Well, I don’t want to sell I don’t want to be smarmy, and not pushing any message are really getting out there and evangelizing around what’s possible, on the other side of that, and so I think it does, it can be a real disservice if empaths feel like I can’t sell I actually want every single therapist I have to feel really good about selling to step really into what they have to offer up to know really well why their potential client or patient might be afraid to pursue this therapy route. And help them understand the unconscious drivers to stay this you know, all of those things. Because if we don’t, you know, be Elon Musk, is a real jeopardy chuck over here is going to be pushing this thing that really is making the world worse. And so the more we can get our Empath to sell and feel confident selling, I think there’s going to be better outcomes for certainly them and their client, but also in a larger scale. Man, we need to better outcomes.

Catherine A. Wood  41:33

Absolutely. Totally. I mean, I could not agree more. I believe that, you know, when there are more values aligned and heart centered entrepreneurs thriving making bank that will change the world of business, that we can change the way that business is done. That’s so yes. Could

Tiffany McLain  41:50

not agree with you more. Yeah. And it’s tricky. And it feels so tricky for all of us.

Catherine A. Wood  41:55

It does, which actually is where I’d love to take the conversation next, like so for your, for your therapist, or your students in your program. How do you help them design and clarify and Mark and share their rates?

Tiffany McLain  42:11

Yes, um, first things first, we actually have a fee calculator online that’s free. So we offer we have our students do it in the program, but also anyone could just do it out in the world. One of the things I really that as imperative is to separate our rate from our value. So many therapists talk about what we’re worth, or what am I worth. But if we’re talking like that, it’s very hard to set any kind of fee, especially if we have insecurities, or continuing to work through our own trauma, we might feel like I’m on I’m worth a million dollars on Friday, and I’m I’m worth 50 cents on Monday. So, so both separating it from how we feel about ourselves, also separating it from our fantasies about the needs of our clients. Right? What can what can they afford? What if, you know, I work with African American women, and maybe they can’t afford my rates? I’m black for for listeners who can’t view me. Maybe this is used to be my own story, oh, if I want to charge high fees, I can’t work with black people. I have to work with white people what it took me a minute to be like, wait a minute, tell me what are my stories about what people can afford? Wow. So really getting clear on weight. It’s not even about what my person can afford. It’s not about what is allowed by my colleagues or my supervisor. It’s not what my own therapist is charging. So really, first, all the ways that therapists typically charge, looking around and seeing what their peers are charging. I’m thinking what can what can my client potentially afford, which is just a fantasy, and usually based on our own self 10 years ago, struggling to make it or we know we need a therapist, we need the therapy as a 10 year old and we didn’t get it? What can my family we all have our stories about what our rates should be set on assessing the market? I think that’s bull honkey. Because I’ve never known a therapist who really goes out and does deep, thoughtful assessment of the market and the data analysis spreadsheet. Assessing the market usually means Oh, my therapist charges 110 And my friend next door charges 50. So I guess I’ll set it around 75. Right, we just mixed up up. So getting rid of all of those things, and actually setting our rate based on whatever our current expenses in our household. What are our current expenses for our business? And then what are our dream expenses? Like if we let ourselves really live, paying off our student loans, because you now have 80 to $100,000 in student loans from this degree you got if you’re a licensed therapist, what about my retirement? Probably many therapists have zero or retirement or very little because of what they’ve done in their life up until that point. So the reality of wow, if I could truly be taken care of. What would that mean? What if I’m getting a massage every month or every other week? What if I want to play the violin right? Whatever In my dream world, what would I look like if I really took care of myself? So we’d do those hard numbers, then we also look at what kind of schedule do I need to really show up and do my best work. We have therapists, sometimes who are seeing 30 or 40 human beings a week, and holding all of their psychic weight. It’s absolutely untenable, I can say with certainty that those therapists are not doing good clinical work, there’s no time for their own ongoing training, no time for their own clinical consultation, certainly no time for their own therapy. So really, in their ideal world, where you can get up at nine, do some yoga, have some tea, write in your journal rolled into work at 10 C to clients, and then, you know, really think, do some journaling about what the what came up with your clients, maybe get some books and read some articles, maybe see two more clients be done for the day, do that four days a week, right, really get clear about the numbers, like how many people do I have to see if I’m really showing up and being present for them, then we have the calculator that just doesn’t match and spits out, you know, to 25. After taxes, your feed needs to be 25 precision. So really getting a ball of our feelings, our own work, what we imagined were worth what we imagined our clients could afford, getting all of that out of the way, and just looking at what we need to fund our own lives, and then setting our fee from there. In terms of the conversation, how to have that conversation, if we already have a practice, if a therapist has a practice where everybody’s on insurance, and maybe they’re paying a $20 copay, that’s it and the insurance is reimbursing $70. And that’s been the way it’s been for five years. After the therapist have done the work of the first two modules, out where we’re actually getting into how we’re relating to ourselves and others, our unconscious projections, thoughts, feelings around money around people that have money around people that don’t right after we’ve done all that work, the actual conversation with our clients is very straightforward. I would give people a script, but it doesn’t make any sense. If people haven’t done the kind of work which is the script would be a hand, I did want to let you know that as of, you know, X date, my fee will be going up to 225. And I will no longer be taking insurance. Like that that freaks therapists about they want to explain, and I’m doing it because XYZ or and I have justify the rate. But the magic of doing this work clinically, is that as soon as you say that thing, and then shut your mouth, it gives a client the ability to come forward with their own conscious or unconscious response to what money means to them. abandonment, betrayal, envy, fear, neglect, they gotta fill the space with our story. And our therapist, Biden, at this point, have learned to do the work to say something like Hannah, it really feels like I’m, I’m leaving you just like your parents did. Your parents both left you emotionally. And here I am doing it again with these rates. And then shut your mouth again, and let the work now come forward in a beautiful unfold. And then I might also say fu You never cared about me, Man, you’re really pissed. Here it is your parents did that to you or whoever did the boyfriend left you two months ago. And now here I am doing the same thing. Everybody’s abandoning you, right and leave room for the work to unfold. We don’t shut down their feelings. We don’t explain our fees. We let the work unfold as it needs to consciously and unconsciously.

Catherine A. Wood  48:25

That’s so so rich. I just hear so much golden that that feels like like full fuel for the soul. But what the last piece that you said, it reminded me of a quote that I actually have on my desk right now and I want to read it to you. So this was shared by a mentor of mine, a coach mentor of some work that I did. Actually, I’m sure you’re familiar with this work. So he’s a he does internal family systems work for coaches. And so in his own work with his own coach, one of the reflections that he was given from his coach was the power of My presence as a healer will strengthen to the degree that I can separate from being a caretaker.

Tiffany McLain  49:13

Yeah, that’s so good. We read that a good read that again, for the listeners out there.

Catherine A. Wood  49:19

The power of My presence as a healer will strengthen to the degree that I can separate from being a caretaker. And I love it is and it’s so connected with what you just shared because when we can own our rates and communicate them flatly and transparently, then we make space for people to do their own healing around their own money work without being a caretaker without getting in their way of doing that. deeply needed work.

Tiffany McLain  49:54

Yes, I’m getting goosebumps. So I have to Have kids now. And one of the things I’ve done a lot of work around is. And one of the values that has been most important to me when raising them, one just to turn for the other one is going to be to in a few months, is stepping back so that they can have all of the emotions, all of the emotions in the world, I want them to step into that without me coming to cut them off. And so often therapists when they act in the role of caregiver, it’s because of all US are as therapists, it’s because of our own discomfort with the other person’s emotional experience. So when we think about raising our rate, the thing that often cuts therapists off from doing it is they’re going to be mad, they’re going to be sad, they’re going to think I’m greedy, whatever all those things are. The number one, I’m going to say at the, at the core, my belief about the core trauma for most individuals in the world, but also who seek therapy is that in their moment of need the greatest emotional need their caregiver left them, either actually, or emotionally because the caregiver could not tolerate those feelings in them. So that child learned to say, I’m going to put any I’m gonna put the Yeah, and I’m gonna put these feelings aside to protect my caregiver, so that I keep getting goosebumps. So what happens when we go to our therapist who hasn’t done their deep work, especially around money is just that money, who cares, it’s just a real important Flashpoint into our deepest feelings. So if they don’t go into a therapist, who says, I’m going to keep my rates low, whether they’re saying it out loud, they’re saying it, whether they’re saying it out loud or not, I’m gonna keep my rates at 100 Even though they need to be 100 150. So that I don’t have to experience you clients, your anger, your sadness, your pain, your rage, your disappointment, you’re hurt, we’re re pitting the trauma that is at their core, their core wound. And the the best gift, the most healing work we can do is to do what we need to do for ourselves, my rate is now 150. And then stay with them. With all of the feelings that come that’s the healing work, it’s not keeping the feelings away, it’s being with them with their anger, and not getting that back. Or even saying, Oh, I’m mad that you’re mad. But I’m here with you like the two of us we’re in this together no matter what. You can be mad you can hate me you can be disappointed. You can feel like I betrayed you and betrayed you not even fight against that thought like in their world. We have betrayed them. All right, I’m gonna be with you in that world. We have a you know, my three year old will say when he was three, he’s not for you hit me on purpose. Like maybe I chip knock him some you hit me on purpose. Man. You were just minding your business, I’d skim over an issue. Yeah, yeah. That’s hard. Right? Not not, it’s really my own world. I think we I get all passionate about this. But really, money gives us an opportunity to take care of our own desires, but not leave our client, when they have feelings about our boundaries and our needs. That’s a gift. And that’s, that’s, that is the healing work my mind of therapy.

Catherine A. Wood  53:21

It’s so good. Tiffany, this is like fuel for the soul. Truly, something I often share in coaching with a lot of my coaching clients is that, you know, we can say anything inside of relationship. When we start with relationship, we can reflect anything inside of it.

Tiffany McLain  53:45

It makes me think we’re gonna go all the way back to your 2023 word. I know this wasn’t your word, but what you said in there. If, if we cannot tolerate feelings in ourselves, then we can’t tolerate them in relationship. And so going back to our money work, if I if I cannot tolerate my own desire, if I cannot tolerate the idea that someone else may be disappointed, and I whatever stories I have, I’ve heard them, I betrayed them. I’m greedy. If we can go into and make space for those feelings in ourselves, we absolutely aren’t able to be there with our clients when they’re having those exact same feelings. So my whole program, lean and make bank where people are like, it’s about money. And therapists make more money, Tiffany selfish. The secret is when everybody gets to the program, they’re like, oh, my gosh, this is the best clinical program I’ve ever taken. And it was disguised as a money program. But if I said like, lean in, get some psychoanalysis. Nobody’s buying that program. So I gotta call it something when people do get so your money results on the other side. But that pales in comparison to the clinical depth that emerges in their work by virtue of doing this money work.

Catherine A. Wood  54:54

Yeah. And just to connect the dots super clearly. I also hear just how much our willingness and capacity to make bank and charge premium rates is connected with our willingness to do that deep unconscious healing and work.

Tiffany McLain  55:12

That’s absolutely right. What what someone, I don’t care what a therapist charges, they can charge 50 cents, I might have some problems with that. But we won’t get into it. As long as the reason that charging that 50 cents is not because they’re afraid to charge 250 I want every therapist to know how and be able to easily and in a clinically appropriate way, charge whatever they need, and not avoided out of fear. Once you can do that the world is your oyster. But you have to know how to do that in order to do anything clinically important.

Catherine A. Wood  55:47

Mm hmm. Well, I’m mindful of the time and this has been such a rich conversation, we will link to all of your links in your website in the show notes. But I’d love to give you a moment to just point people to perhaps the place where you’d like them to start getting to know you and getting to experience your amazing work in the world.

Tiffany McLain  56:10

Sure, I would since this is a podcast also go listen to our podcast, the money sessions. I haven’t recorded in a maybe a year or two. But there are like 80 episodes on there with this kind of conversation constantly. So go check that out.

Catherine A. Wood  56:26

Awesome. We’ll okay. We’ll link to those two as well. And last question. As we wrap up today. What has supported you in becoming a prosperous Empath what’s made the biggest difference?

Tiffany McLain  56:36

My own I go to a psychoanalyst two times a week for years, doing this deep unconscious work with another human at premium rates. He charges now 325 per session. I think our relationship to our businesses, our relationship to everything. And by virtue of going and understanding the ways I’m relating to business, and really how that’s about my mom and my dad and deep, deep, deep generations of trauma really frees me up to make conscious choices in my business and with my clients.

Catherine A. Wood  57:08

That sounds like a steal for that much value.

Tiffany McLain  57:11

Absolutely it is it is.

Catherine A. Wood  57:13

Tiffany, thank you so much. I have enjoyed this conversation. I’ve taken so much for myself. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you.

Tiffany McLain  57:22

Thank you and likewise


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Exploring Sensitive Leadership with Nina Khoo

On this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®, we’ll explore how to effectively lead as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), mitigate challenges, and work with your strengths. I’m thrilled to sit down with Nina Khoo, a Sensitive Leadership Coach and a Master NLP Coach who helps HSPs understand and embrace their unique wiring so they can become confident and empathetic leaders. It’s common for Highly Sensitive People to believe that they’re not capable of effective leadership and struggle with overwhelm, perfectionism, and second-guessing. Nina and I uncover how our greatest strengths can sometimes be the traits we feel most self-conscious about and pose a central question: How does a Highly Sensitive Person protect their gifts as a leader? As an empath and an HSP, your brain is physiologically wired to take more information in and process it more deeply, which can be an incredibly powerful leadership skill. Yet, it can also lead to overwhelm and self-criticism. Through our conversation, you’ll learn how to approach leadership in a more sensitive, empathetic, and compassionate way so you can own your gifts and make a bigger difference in the world  

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