Stop Stressing About Money

With Mikelann Valterra, an author, keynote speaker, and money coach who helps women transform their relationship with money to create a life they love. For over 20 years, she has been a thought leader in the field of Financial Psychology. Her strong background in emotional intelligence, paired with her practical money strategies enable her clients to consciously design their life, while escaping financial stress and anxiety. When she’s not working with clients, you can find Mikelann on the dance floor, indulging her love of Argentine Tango.

Join us for this conversation where Mikelann shares the importance of having a relationship with money, how to find the right people to support you in your financial journey, and the importance of having a financial plan. Also listen to find out how you can feel in control of money so that you can create the life you love.

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Takeaways & quotes you don’t want to miss:

  • “Money coaching looks at the emotional, psychological side, why we do what we do around money, which is so hugely important for business owners.”
  • What’s important with your financial team.
  • “You actually should like your accountant. These people work FOR YOU.”
  • “Everybody can create a life they love, by, you know, deciding to look at how they want their money life to look. It’s so within control.”

“You can’t only look at the practical side of money, nobody’s a robot.”

Mikelann Valterra

Check out these highlights:

  • 8:17 Mikelann’s origin in her career and meeting the pioneer of money coaching.
  • 18:08 Money coaches are similar to the family doctor
  • 24:21 Where to start if you’re in a high stress state.
  • 38:04 Why is it important to have a financial plan?
  • 47:48 What Mikelann would like to leave with listeners.

How to get in touch with Mikelann on Social Media:


You can also contact Mikelann by visiting her website here.

Imperfect Show Notes

We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below:

GGGB Intro  00:00

Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®…

Mikelann Valterra  00:05

I think that everybody can have a next chapter that is so full of happiness around money. I really think that everybody can get to the point where they’re not stressed around money, and that they can feel in control of money so they can create the life that they love. I really truly find that everybody can move to that place and use it to create the life that I honestly think people deserve.

GGGB Intro  00:30

The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.

Heather Pearce Campbell  00:59

Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am super excited after taking some time away from recording to have a conversation with somebody who I just really think the world of you guys are gonna love her. I’m so happy to bring on Mikelann Valterra today. Welcome Mikelann

Mikelann Valterra  01:26

Hello from Seattle. I’m so happy to be here.

Heather Pearce Campbell  01:30

That’s right, another Seattle-ight. We were just teasing that you’re across the water now, so I can’t throw a rock and hit you. anymore. All right, life is still good. But Mikelann, for those of you that don’t know Mikelann, Mikelann is an author, a keynote speaker and money coach who helps women transform their relationship with money to create a life they love. And don’t worry, if you’re not a woman, you’re still going to benefit from this conversation. Today, we’re going to dig into some really important things around money, money management, how to manage your money and really deal with your money in the right way as an entrepreneur, Mikelann for over 20 years, has been a thought leader in the field of financial psychology. Her strong background in emotional intelligence paired with her practical money strategies enable her clients to consciously design their life, while escaping financial stress and anxiety. When she’s not working with clients, you can find Mikelann on the dance floor in building her love of Argentine Tango. There it is Mikelann, you promised it would show up there it is. Right at the beginning.

Mikelann Valterra  02:43

This podcast will actually be only about Tango.

Heather Pearce Campbell  02:48

Leave, we’re just kidding. It’s not about money. It’s about Tango. 

Mikelann Valterra  02:52

So I am a money coach, hello.  

Heather Pearce Campbell  02:56

Let’s talk about the tango. Tell me when you got started and how you got started in tango.

Mikelann Valterra  03:01

Oh my gosh. Well, you know, everyone needs a hobby. I know we’ll talk about many coaching. But I when I empty nested I had more time and I was here’s the funny thing. I was actually debating between taking up golf or tango.

Heather Pearce Campbell  03:21

Those are very different. Yeah.

Mikelann Valterra  03:25

So I’m a business owner. And I work plenty and I absolutely love, love, love what I do. But it’s no fun to spend all your time working. If you don’t enjoy your personal life. It’s like what’s the point of all the money that we are trying to make and manage and all that good stuff. If you don’t enjoy life, it’s not all about the past or the future. Right? So Anyways, long story short, I picked tango and the sole reason I picked it was because I thought you know golf is too cold. I’ll never be warm enough. If and I know you’ve got plenty guys that listen to your podcast. There’s huge holdovers in Seattle I’ve got dear friends. So I pick Tango based on the fact that it was an indoor sport. Oh my gosh, that’s the rest of they say is history. Right?

Heather Pearce Campbell  04:13

Well, I love your practical thinking. I’m very practical myself. 

Mikelann Valterra  04:16

So I’m very practical, right? But then I got completely addicted to this crazy amazing hobby. But yeah, there it is.

Heather Pearce Campbell  04:23

Oh my gosh, I love it. So do you dance competitively?

Mikelann Valterra  04:27

I do. I mean, Tango is bloody hard dance. Oh my gosh, if I’d known then that I was picking what many considered to be the hardest dance. Who knows? I didn’t know what I was doing other than indoor. But as the years go by, a lot of people that dance tango dance socially. And so I’m out dancing with different people a lot and Seattle has a fabulous Tango social community. But I also am going to be competing at the National Tango championship in it Roll. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  05:00

That’s so exciting. Well, it makes me think that I saw something along the way, which is why I asked you about that. That’s super fun. And you know, really even just what you said at the start of, of that little story about the importance of enjoying our lives. You know, I think, for entrepreneur, there was another gentleman that I had on the podcast some time ago, David Wood, and he talked about how so much of his time as a business coach with entrepreneurs, is helping them remember, all the other things that they enjoy doing, they get so sucked into the business. So time intensive, so, right, and so even just the other day at the start, you know, here at the start of the new year, I literally went and created a new list like things besides work, that I love doing, right? Or even that I love doing more than work? I know.

Mikelann Valterra  05:57

Right? Well, and you know, for me on that note, it is kind of practical sounding, it makes me leave my office and go to the dance studio and and work out and practice because my you know, better than anyone self employed business owners, we can literally never leave.

Heather Pearce Campbell  06:15

Well, that’s right. And I think it’s an easy habit to slip into, like, oh, just one more thing, or one more email, or whatever it is, at the end of the day. And no, we have to have reasons to wrap it up, we have to provide not only the structure, but the incentive to change the model. If we don’t love how it’s going, right?

Mikelann Valterra  06:35

Well and it gets even more important now. Because in terms of you know, wherever we are in the pandemic, that so many of us have gone to working at home, because I have I’ve got clients, many coaching clients all over the world. But I had an outside office at the beginning of the pandemic, where…

Heather Pearce Campbell  06:52

I remember that.

Mikelann Valterra  06:54

I have a office to go to…

Heather Pearce Campbell  06:56

When you and I first connected you are on the bubble about letting go of that office. 

Mikelann Valterra  07:01

Yeah, exactly. And I’ve had an outside office for years and years and years and years. And my local clients loved it, they would come and work with me in person and you know, distance clients. I mean, they don’t care. Right, right. But but you know, so many local people stayed on Zoom, because they got used to it. It wasn’t so much overtime, the fear of COVID. They felt like you know what? Zoom works?

Heather Pearce Campbell  07:24

No, it works. It saves me travel time, it saves me parking, you know.

Mikelann Valterra  07:29

Right. But what I have found, so I love now working from a home office. But now it’s so tempting to just get on email at night. And because it’s right there, it’s right there. So you know, for me, I have to get out and dancing is what gets me out, which is a huge, huge, good positive thing.

Heather Pearce Campbell  07:51

Yeah, I love that. And I think it’s a great way to start off this conversation. So I’d love to know for you know, and for people that don’t know that much about you, I’d love for you to go backwards in time and share a little of your own origin story around money, financial stuff, how you got into money coaching, what it was about that that really pulled you.

Mikelann Valterra  08:17

Yeah, so here’s the origin story. So my undergrad degree was in economics, which, you know, hey, that makes sense. I was fascinated with all that. But when I finished my undergrad, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And so for your listeners that used to listen to kung fu or watch Kung Fu, I wandered the earth like Cain for many years, years trying to figure out what I wanted to do, traveled, you know, spend time in South America, all that stuff. And when I came back, I actually decided I wanted to get a masters. Oh, you’ll never guess this one. A master’s in consciousness studies and trans psychology. Which, you know what? I love it. It was great. But it’s like, what do you do with undergrad in economics and a master’s and we’ll just say psychology. And I was torn, because you know, here I am at that point in my mid or later 20s going okay, on the one hand, I thought about becoming a financial planner, because I was fascinated with money and the power that it held. But I also debated becoming a psychotherapist. And so talk about two totally different fields. Oh my gosh. So about that time, I met the pioneer of money coaching, wonderful woman that you know, as well named Karen McCall. And I was working at a think tank dedicated to the study of human consciousness. Like what else do you do with the Masters in consciousness? You work at a think tank studying consciousness, you know, and Karen McCall, this very famous money A coach came to speak to us about all sorts of alternative ways of looking at money in the emotions of money, that psychology of money, so many different things. And oh my gosh, it was like a thunderbolt hits me and I and I went up to care. And I said, I want to do what you do. Will you train me and she really started training new many coaches at that time, I was like the second Christian she ever trained one of the very first, you know, the rest, they say is history that was 25 years ago. And so what what I would say to your listeners, because, you know, a lot of times people say, Okay, well, but what is money coaching? Right? I’d say that, that maybe the simplest way to say it is it used to be Heather, that people would either see a credit counselor, if they had debt issues, a financial planner, if they were looking at investments and net worth. But the reality is, I think many people are dealing with both, you know, business owners are no exception, trying to figure out how to use credit and stay out of debt how to build net worth. And neither of those fields is really equipped to deal with the emotional side of money. So So money coaching looks at both, it looks at the emotional, psychological side, why we do what we do around money, which is so hugely important for business owners. And then it looks at the practical side, it’s like, okay, how do you manage your cash flow? Yeah. Do you deal with credit? Yes, of course, we want to build net worth, you know, but how do you deal with this month in and month out cash flow so that you’re not stressed, and you know, that you’re, you’re okay, and so many coaching is super practical. And I literally teach us people how to manage their cash flow by an honors and looks at why we do what we do. We, I feel that’s called your money script, your programming around money, if you will, your your money mindset is probably the term that I think a lot of your listeners have heard. And it’s, you know, it’s all important. You can’t only look at the practical side of money, nobody’s a robot.

Heather Pearce Campbell  12:11

No, that’s right. And he’s super emotional. It’s right. And as soon as you start saying words, like budget, or financial tracking, or whatever, like, I think certain people just tune out, like, it just feels hard, they can’t connect with it, they don’t really understand how it fits or how it’s going to change things. And yeah, I think more and more people understand that there really is that relationship piece like to think that you actually have a relationship to money, that becomes paramount. And you know, even before going live, we were talking about how nobody gets trained on this stuff, like growing up, you know, nobody really gets ought to deal with money the right way. And even for folks that have, I should say, even for kids that have parents that are transparent around their own money journeys, they still have to figure it out for themselves, right. And a lot of that figuring out, I think ends up happening in our adult lives.

Mikelann Valterra  13:09

Oh, it’s so true. And if I had a dime for everyone that said that they had either never been taught about money, or a lot of times, it’s even more than that. You’re not, you’re told you shouldn’t talk about money, forget me. A lot of people are raised that it’s actually wrong to talk about money, you know, don’t talk about that don’t know is how many kids make kids are curious. They’re naturally curious. And how many kids at the dinner table at some point say, Hey, Dad, how much money do you make? or whatever, and they’re taught to the Ah, don’t say that. Don’t ask that. You know, we become adults with the sense of like, okay, I get that money is important. And we think everyone else knows how to do it. The truth is, most of us are not, not taught, you know, and so here we are reaching adulthood feeling like, oh, everyone else must know how to do it except us.

Heather Pearce Campbell  14:10

Yeah. Well, even for those I was raised in a home where my dad talked a lot about money. There were some downsides to that. Right. There was some positives, but there were also some downsides based on kind of his own approach around money. But luckily, I mean, I feel grateful for some of the early lessons around money that I got in my life, you know, which led me to becoming an entrepreneur and have influenced me in a variety of ways. And yet, like what you’re saying about, you know, folks who because I ended up marrying somebody who comes from a background, like the kind you’re talking about, like, Oh, we don’t talk about money. It’s either not okay, or it’s unnecessary. He had two parents that were employed in, you know, the 80s by Procter and Gamble, making great salaries. They didn’t really have to think about money, right? Right. And so they also didn’t really need to talk about it, they had plenty of it. And you know, for that for where they were in the country at that time. You know, he also just had a completely different experience around money. 

Mikelann Valterra  15:14

And it’s like, what’s all the fuss about? Why do we need to be talking about this? Yeah, they’re in handled?

Heather Pearce Campbell  15:20

Yeah, totally. That’s it. And so, you know, it’s been such an interesting dynamic in our relationship to try to sort that out. Like, how do you even have a conversation around money? Right? It’s, I mean, it’s that basic. And that’s, that’s been a fascinating thing for me to like, witness in my adult life, like, like, we’re really talking about fundamentals and getting down to the basics in so many, I think relationships, and even even just in the conversation with ourselves. And then particularly for those of us who are also entrepreneurs, right, there’s a whole different layer added on. Oh, there absolutely is.

Mikelann Valterra  15:58

Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, about half my many coaching clients are self employed and entrepreneurs. And here they are dealing with now not only, it’s not like your personal finances go away, you have a business owner. And now you’re like, oh, okay, I have to deal with all my personal finances, my business finances like, we smokes Batman. So it can feel a double trouble if you don’t feel comfortable initially, talking about money, handling money, managing personal finances, and then you go into becoming a business owner for all sorts of wonderful reasons. It can be hugely stressful for entrepreneurs.

Heather Pearce Campbell  16:37

Yeah. And, you know, and what I’ve observed along the way, in my own journey, and I’d be curious, you know, your insights on that, I think a lot of people are thinking like, okay, I get it, maybe I need support in this area, but how do I connect with the right person? Right, and part of it is like, I think some of it is just trial and error, right? I’ve worked with some, like, I even think of my own journey in finding a CPA, looking and exploring like various bookkeeping services, like all the things that you have to plug into your money life, right, as an entrepreneur, and it can make all the difference to be working with the right person who just says, Hey, have you thought about doing it this way, or here’s a couple small changes that you can make that would have a really big impact, you know, and just even in the last couple of years, I’ve been working with a woman who is my CPA that it’s, you know, I call it baby steps, like, every time we get on a new meeting, and I get to report like, Oh, I did this this quarter, or I met this goal or something, even when it feels teeny tiny. She is so great about like, celebrating it with me and being like, no, that’s actually a really big deal. You know, it’s a really long time to get to that place or whatever. And I just feel like having those right people involved in your money life, like really makes a world of difference.

Mikelann Valterra  18:03

Yeah, I think you want to put together a team, you know, and there’s gonna be different people on teams, but even in just to simplify it for a second, in personal finances, there’s still a team, you may have a CPA on your team, you may have your estate planner, you may have you know, attorneys, I mean, there’s lots of different people, you may have someone who you’re talking to about insurance, yep. Right. And so who are these people? And how do you find the right people, there’s your financial planner to help you with, I tend to think of them. You know, someone once said that money coaches are very similar to like the family doc, we’re sort of at the center of the hub, and everyone around us is a specialist. And it makes sense because I refer people to all these specialists all the time for refer to investing help in terms of setting up retirement plan, they’re referred to a CPA or refer to, you know, insurance specialists or things like that. But themes are so important, because everyone has a different expertise, and you’ve got different expertise, but has to be people that you can talk to.

Heather Pearce Campbell  19:17

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Heather Pearce Campbell  21:06

Well, and my you know, my advice to people on that particular piece is like you keep going and you keep trying until you connect with the right people. Right? You don’t just throw your hands up and be like, well, this is it. Like, you know, one example in our own personal money story is my husband kind of inherited a financial planner from his mom, like, well, this is who she worked with. And like, there was this kind of relationship already there. And I’m like, but are you super happy with his services? And he was like, Well, no, like the part that I managed, like way outperformed the part that he managed it, you know, and I just was like, Well, what are you doing? Why is there this loyalty to this person, you know, and so money is also funny that way how people can get into these.

Mikelann Valterra  21:53

It’s so funny, because I have heard so many similar stories where people inherit financial planners.

Heather Pearce Campbell  21:59

Or their family or my dad worked with this insurance person or whatever. 

Mikelann Valterra  22:04

They’re people that they don’t feel comfortable talking to. They don’t like their communication, they feel disempowered. And I like as you know, I work with a lot of women. And they often will feel like someone is almost talking over them or you know, whatever it is because they’ve inherited this person who was probably a really, really good person, but not for them. And so it doesn’t hurt people’s like, No, you actually should, like your accountant should actually like, like these people work for you. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  22:34

Right, you should get off of that meeting feeling like, that’s awesome. We made progress. I’m one step closer to my goal. Right.

Mikelann Valterra  22:42

And I feel heard. And you know, the thing that I say, and this will be true for men or women, you want to feel like you can ask the same question several times and not feel dumb. You know, and I know no professional would ever mean to do that. But it’s also money is really interesting. Barbara Stanny, who now goes by Barbara Hewson wrote a lot of wonderful books like Prince Charming isn’t coming in how when we get smart about money, and she talks about the learning process around money for men and women. And when you initially learn something that you’re not familiar with, it would make sense that you barely heard a lot of the information. Yeah, right. You deal with your clients in your capacity as as a lawyer. And then the second time I hear you telling me all this stuff. I’m like, oh, okay, some of this familiar. And now I can actually ask you a few questions. And the third time you tell it to me, I’m like, Okay, now I’m really starting to understand, right, but that’s my normal adult learning. And yet, for some reason, with money, we have so much, you know, shame and blame and all sorts of stuff in our past. I think we should understand it. Initially, the very first time we hear someone talking, and then we feel bad. If we have to ask questions, you know, and so we just want to be really, really comfortable with a it takes a while, yeah, to learn and be you want someone who you can really communicate with.

Heather Pearce Campbell  24:11

Totally. And I assume, I mean, based on your work in this industry for years and years that you see a people at obviously, a variety of levels, even when they come in the door. So let’s pretend we’re talking to folks who are in a high stress state about money, right? Let’s talk to the people who are like, Look, I need some starter steps for calming down on the money side of things and then move into some of the more supportive proactive strategies that are going to help on the building side. Right? Does that make sense? What do you say to those people? Where do you start with the folks who are like, Look, maybe my time sleeping? Yeah, totally.

Mikelann Valterra  24:50

Yeah. Well, so you know, the EPA did an interesting survey just to state the obvious. 20% of Americans feel a lot of fun. mental stress. And and the reason I’m sharing that it has been their top three stressors in their life.

Heather Pearce Campbell  25:05

Well, and I’m surprised that that’s only 20% on. 

Mikelann Valterra  25:09

It’s closer to 50%, but depends on if they say like chronic acute. You know, they de stress, stress. And you know, a lot of people are still very secretive about it. Yeah. But the reason that that we’re saying that is just to normalize, that you’re in good company, demands that people are super stressed about money. So first of all, it really helps to just talk about it. I mean, just to be able to unburden and go through all the reasons why you’re stressed, because there are many people that just don’t have anyone to talk to about money. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  25:44

And yes, this point that you’re making right now, what is what is coming to mind, as I recently read statistics on, it was tying, basically our ability to talk about difficult things to help impacts. Right. Right. And it was saying women who are in unhappy marriages long term, and who don’t talk about it, their rates of cancer of all sorts of illness, including terminal illness, dramatically higher like, like, hundreds of times higher than women who were in an unhappy marriage, and simply talked about it.

Mikelann Valterra  26:23

Since we talked about it. Yeah, it’s huge. It is huge. Now, when I’ve got new clients, and we’re talking about ever you want to say what’s not working for you this pain point, you know, let me tell me your story. Yep. Oh, just feeling hurt. And having someone it’s a very, very big deal. I think on a brass tacks point of view, one, one of the things that helps people is to simplify their finances, I’m a huge proponent of what I call an elegant simplicity. Because there, you know, wherever this happened back in maybe the past five or 10 years, there was this movement towards for every single thing I need, I’m going to open up an account.

Heather Pearce Campbell  27:05

Yes, like a sub account and a sub account, do all this stuff, right. 

Mikelann Valterra  27:09

And just because you can open up an account doesn’t mean you should open an account. And part of it was the perforation of online banking, that made it easy, and they make money when you open accounts and things like that. But the more accounts you have, the more money Fogg you are in. And this is where what I would say is can be a little bit not in the same boat as the Profit First way of looking at things which is very oriented towards many accounts. I love the principles of Profit First, and there’s a lot of powerful stuff in there for entrepreneurs. So it’s not I’m not saying through the principles out, but for most people, lobbying many, many accounts actually is correlated to financial stress and anxiety. Because the more accounts you have, the more books to track.

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:02


Mikelann Valterra  28:03

Who’s on first base? I don’t know. And for entrepreneurs, we need to know how,where’s our money going? And how much do we need to make? But if you’ve got to look at eight different accounts, no wonder you’re stressed. No wonder you’re stressed. So it’s, yeah, I pushed on this really hard with new clients in the Oh, can we simplify because you can run multi millions of dollars? With very few accounts. It’s not caught on, you know, lots of money is not correlated to number of accounts.

Heather Pearce Campbell  28:35

Yeah. And you can have lots of money, but simple systems behind it, right? You could have lots of money in the bank and be running a paper system.

Mikelann Valterra  28:45

Oh, holy. Millionaire in the United States has one primary checking account and a couple of credit cards, right? I mean, it’s not related to the average millionaire having eight different checking accounts. Right? Because they know that, you know, people with money, know where their money goes. And so they make, they can very, very easily see it. 

Heather Pearce Campbell  29:09

Yeah. So this, I think you called it elegant simplicity. Right? What else do people need to know about that? Like, what are some other ways that they can apply that aside from maybe not following some of the advice out there? Right? 

Mikelann Valterra  29:25

So the elegant simplicity we can take in in a lot of different ways. Like for a business owner who’s you know, if you’ve got new startup, business owners or someone that’s brand new, I would be looking at let’s set up one primary account. Let’s set up perhaps two savings accounts. Oh my gosh, what if you have one credit card? I mean, you know, again, let’s not have a lot of places to look. And then related to that, you know, me as a money coach, I love the idea of a very beautiful spending plan. Right? But the way and you go back and forth about the word budget People don’t hate that word. But a lot of people hate that word because food deprivation based it’s so diety different for a business owner is, I want business owners to be able to very simply and easily look at cash flow as opposed to p&l. Because it doesn’t always map p&l get very complicated from an accounting point of view. It’s not that it doesn’t matter. It’s it is important, right? But from a cash flow point of view, how much money do you need to take home? How much money do you need to live in your personal life? And so when you’re talking about how to de stress, actually, I would take it over on the personal side and say, let’s look at how much money you need to make.

Heather Pearce Campbell  30:48

That’s such a powerful starting point.

Mikelann Valterra  30:50

It’s a hugely powerful and it’s empowering, right? It’s so like, Oh, okay. A lot of people in their personal life may have other income streams, everything from child support to spouses to, you know, whatever it is, and they may be putting undue stress on their business. We know, but the question is, what do you truly need your business? The generate to take home? And then let’s work it from there? Yeah.

Heather Pearce Campbell  31:19

Well, and it’s, you know, it’s so interesting, because that seems so fundamental. And yet, I think so many people, that’s not where they start. It’s not where they started, right? They’re trying to manage what they have. And it’s like, you know, sorting out a mess that you’ve already created, versus working backwards and saying, like, what the basic building blocks, what do I need later on later on. But having gone through that exercise, I did that, first of all, I refuse to do that exercise for years. I’ll tell you why. I went through some really hard, we’ll just call it childbearing years, where we spent lots of money on medical and IVF, and all this crazy stuff, right. And I was committed to that path, like, we’re gonna do what it takes to get our kiddos here, and then we’ll be done with this hard part of the process. And that piece alone was so stressful, I could not could not sit down and look at the money side of it. I was just like, it’s gonna freak me out. And I, I just don’t need to add that stress to myself right now. So I did it. Right. Once I had my daughter, and I knew I was done with those years. And it took us a year to couple years probably to pay off the medical bills related to all of that, once we were done with the medical bills, then I had capacity to sit down and actually look at the money, right? Yeah.

Mikelann Valterra  32:46

I love that. It goes to timing. It goes to timing. Now people know when they’re ready to look. Yeah. And they have capacity capacity, and also when they’re ready to ask for help. Yes, it’s very personal. And timing is super, super personal.

Heather Pearce Campbell  33:03

Yeah, totally. And you know, and then when I did do the exercise, it was super transformational. It was like, Oh, this is like it was more money than I expected that we needed to support our life because I worked from the standpoint of what do we need to live right? And then looking at my husband’s income, what I needed to generate, you know, how to make our financial and savings goals work, etc. But it was eye opening, and I had to sit with the number for a few days, but then I could shift into like, Okay, what is the plan? This is how much I need to generate every month. What is the plan to do that? Right? And then

Mikelann Valterra  33:39

What I love about that, what you’re sharing, is it combined? Are you able to go into your I would say a combination of your drive and your creativity. Because once you have that number, even though you’re initially like, oh, oh, man, I love it more than ourselves. But But once you’ve got the number, then you’re okay. Okay, because what I find happens a lot of times with business owners is they say, I need to make more money. Yeah. Okay, well, how much more?

Heather Pearce Campbell  34:12

Like, try? And do you really need to?

Mikelann Valterra  34:15

And do you really need to? Are you just going to work to work to work? Like how do you know when you can take off and go dance tango, right and done, you know? And so it’s really different to say, Okay, once you’ve done that number, you know, most people are really smart, creative people. And so having some specific numbers, aka income goals, allows people to like oh, okay, got it. There’s probably three to 10 ways I could arrive to make this number now that I know it That’s right, let’s let’s do it. Right and this can go all the way into money metaphysics and you know, the law of attraction and you know, I mean, everyone’s gonna go in a different path around that but you’ve got to give yourself even if you like, now forget all that metaphysical stuff, but you got added give yourself a specific number. So that you can bring it into reality working just to work and saying you need to make more. Yeah. Just leads down to path of stress and overwork.

Heather Pearce Campbell  35:15

Yeah. Well, it’s I heard it described in this way, right? Our brains are our goal achieving machines. Yes. And you don’t like it, your brain naturally wants to work towards a goal. It’s just how humans are designed. And so if you don’t know the goal, right, you don’t have the outcome selected. It feels chaotic. It seems hard it you know, and it doesn’t need to. And so I think that thinking about it in that way, like, Look, your brain wants a job to do. It’s back there being busy. Whether you want it to or not, why not? Have it be busy on the right thing?

Mikelann Valterra  35:51

Totally. So I’ll tell us during this exact subject, so I was single for 14 years, I got divorced, you know, many, many years ago. And I recently re partnered, well. So I’ve been totally on my own financially running my own ship, and I can do my own exercises around, okay, here’s what I need in my personal life. Now go forth, and exactly what we were just talking about, well, so I got engaged, I’m living with my great love. And we get to the end of the year, and I’m like, Honey, we’ve got to do our joint spending plan so that I know how much money I need to make. And it was a really interesting conversation, because, you know, he had been partnered the years ago with someone who just wasn’t that great with money and was not a super positive part of their life. And so it was an interesting transition for him. If you’re going to marry a money coach, get ready to talk about money. You know, things like that. Really explained to him, No, you don’t understand this is not all for you. I mean, I need to know how much I need to work this year, because I want to go dancing a lot with you, I want to travel a lot with you, I want to have a lot of time. So I have to know how much money I need to make, like what what is that number, right? And it had changed very dramatically for me, because, you know, I moved and you know, whatever. And we all know all sorts of different subjects in our life around money. When your mortgage changes, or when you move cities when you get married or have kids or empty nest, the number changes. What’s the number I needed it right. And now once I had it, I was like, got it. And then I ran upstairs and went to town putting together my business spending plan. So there was a mad scientist with a baker appear. Trying to be like, Okay, now I know what I’m doing with my business this year. But until I knew how much I needed to bring home, I could not figure out how many hours I needed to work or or how many clients I needed for that matter. I mean, hugely important subjects, if you are self employed.

Heather Pearce Campbell  38:04

Yeah. Well, and if you’re self employed, and also in a relationship, like your point about, like, I want to be able to do these other things with you and enjoy them. Right? Like, this is partly how we calm the nervous system, right is do this level of planning so that we know, this is what my business can look like this year. These are my earning goals, here’s what it takes to get there. And I can go do all this other stuff and enjoy my time off. I can plan these vacations I can afford, you know these vacations, whatever.

Mikelann Valterra  38:35

Right. And you know, the beauty is people think that money coaches think about money all the time. I mean, sure, during the day when I’m working with clients and you know, drilling into the center of the earth with them. But, you know, by night, I don’t think about money a lot because I have my plans. Do I keep them updated? Yes, I do. Do I do my monthly cash flow plan? Yes, I do. It helps keep me relaxed to help keep me stress three around money. I know things are okay. Yeah. Or I know, guess what? I think we’re gonna have an adjustment to the plan. Okay. I get to adjust the plan. You never want to plan that you feel like it’s environment. Yeah, things change opportunities come What if some fabulous Tango festival pops up and I want to go to Ireland in the fall. I want to be able to adjust for that if that’s what I want to do.

Heather Pearce Campbell  39:25

Totally. Yeah. It’s about having that structure that also supports our flexibility. So you’ve talked a little bit about simplifying we’ve talked about getting out of the brain fog, right kind of the overwhelm, which takes really looking at things. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the emotional stuff with money, right? Because I think a lot of people just don’t start because there is so much either guilt or fear or, you know, negative emotions built into their money experience. What do you say to those Folks write that feel like, you know, especially the folks who are because I think this is a really common story in our adult lives of oh, I should be farther along, I did those things wrong for all those years, you know, even in the context of my own relationship, like how long it’s taken us to even have, quote, unquote, productive conversation around money, right, way longer than I would have liked it to.

Mikelann Valterra  40:24

Yeah, I really hear you on that, that I think there’s two pieces, part of it is really knowing a little bit about what motivates us around money, which kind of gets into more money personality stuff. I think the big piece is being able to talk about our Money Story, in our money history, or many autobiography. And, you know, like so many other parts of our life, the way that we were raised as children does have a big impact on us. But the other thing that I think sometimes gets missed, because there’s so much around, guess how we were raised in what we heard our parents do. Yes, that’s absolutely true. But you know, a lot of us, I mean, we’ve been adult for quite a while at this point, right? Like, I’m in my 50s, I guess that’s lovely to talk about my childhood. That’s all fascinating and important. But I have some trauma dramas around money in my 20s, and my 30s, and my knees, you know, and so there’s, that’s part of my money story. So being able to write your money story, talk about your money, story, share your money story, and it really goes into this piece around financial forgiveness. So many people feel like, somehow they should have had a perfect story. As soon as you say that out loud. We know that that’s silly. But I really encourage people to see their money story, all the things that’s happened around money as the most fabulous screenplay or movie ever full of twists and turns and cliffhangers, you know, I mean, oh my gosh, we, everyone’s stories are really good read we have as adult really lead fascinating, interesting lives, right. And so, at some point, we have to be able to see, yes, that’s part of my story. That those are old chapters, I’m in a new chapter. And if we don’t forgive ourselves for what we consider many mistakes, Mm hmm. It really starts to affect your health, right? Your psychological health, and honestly, I mean, whether it affects your physical health to, you know?

Heather Pearce Campbell  42:31

Oh, right. Now, one of the recent things that I’ve had several guests talk about and that I’ve shared even and I think their conversations that are not yet published, but a huge part of my learning last year talking about the physical health journey was realizing like a huge cannot be overstated huge part of our baseline health has to do with our ability to forgive, because emotions stay embedded, and they can create some real problems in our physical selves when we stay stuck in a, an experience or a trauma or a story, whatever it is, and, and some of this stuff, yes, it originates in childhood, but you’re right, we have traumas and experiences all along the way. 

Mikelann Valterra  43:14

And all along the way. I mean, you know, when I think about, you know, a client sharing that they wanted to beat themselves up, because they had lost so much money in that, you know, in the 08.

Heather Pearce Campbell  43:27

Financial crisis.

Mikelann Valterra  43:30

The great recession as sometimes it’s called and, and, you know, we need to be able to talk about that and but we also want to be able to look at, what are the positives that have come out, and if you if you lost money, your life went sometimes in a different direction. But things happened in that direction. That may not have happened otherwise, that could potentially also be positive.

Heather Pearce Campbell  43:52

Yeah. Oh, hugely. I mean, you I love your your idea of thinking about your own money story in like a cinematic drama, right? When you think about it, in that way, it really does come alive. Like there is a there’s a vibrance for all of us in our money stories because of our losses, our successes, our turning points, our achievements, our resilience, right, how many of us have been through some real low points with money and we figured out how to turn it around or to you know, cover massive losses. And so I think, you know, that makes it an experience that feels less painful.

Mikelann Valterra  44:35

Oh, totally. A story, right? Yeah. We’re wired as humans to appreciate storyteller stories. Yet stories find me relate

Heather Pearce Campbell  44:45

To other people’s stories.

Mikelann Valterra  44:47

Exactly. You know, and you know, you and I know people talk about money and so, if you’re out with your girlfriends for drinks, it’s fun to say, make fun may not quite be the right word, but let’s share a chapter, have our screenplay. Right, let’s share a chapter of our story because we know so many intimate things about our close friends or our loved ones, but lot ends, we don’t know, some of the twists and turns about their money story. Yeah, it’s just chapters in our lives.

Heather Pearce Campbell  45:17

Yeah, that’s huge. What I mean, obviously, we’ve talked about a lot today, but what else? Like if there was something that you wish more people knew either about money about handling money about calming anxiety around money? What would that be?

Mikelann Valterra  45:37

Oh, that’s such a good question. I mean, I wish very similar to what we were just talking about, I wish everybody thought about it as journey. destination. Right? You know, we’re so focused on the future retirement is one thing, right? Or we beat ourselves up around the past around debt, maybe. But we don’t live in the past, or the future, we live in the present. And we’ve got to enjoy the journey. And we’re all where we are. If it’s like saying it’s okay to be where you are. And you’re just going to continue forward on the journey. There’s lots of wonderful positive things in front of you, if we can lay down this I should have known beating ourselves up money, and go, You know what, it’s all knowable. It’s all doable. Everybody’s ready for their next chapter. And I personally believe that everybody can create a life they love, by, you know, deciding to look at how they want their money life to look, it’s so within control.

Heather Pearce Campbell  46:42

I love that. That’s such an empowering thing to wrap up on. For folks that are wanting to get in touch with you learn more about your work. I know you’re based here in Seattle, but you’ve got clients all around the world. Right? 

Mikelann Valterra  46:56

Yeah. So I love working with women that I the way I would say, Heather is they’re totally rocking it in so many ways in their life. Money is the piece that’s driving them crazy long, or it’s just a part of their life. It’s not quite working, and they’re stressed. So if people resonate with that, I would just encourage them to go to the website, seattlemoneycoach. Yeah and book a free discovery call. And what I do is I take 20 minutes and figure out what is the number one thing that’s keeping you from feeling in control of your finances? So if a discovery call is what I vote, people do, but there’s tons of free resources, there’s a ebook on how to not be stressed about money that men and women would all benefit from that they can download on the site as well.

Heather Pearce Campbell  47:49

I love that. So folks, if you’re listening, we’re going to share her links. And are you on social media Mikelann, you do much social media and it’s okay if the answer’s no, by the way.

Mikelann Valterra  48:01

Well, I’m not on Tiktok. seattlemoneycoach on Facebook and on Pinterest and LinkedIn is Mikelann Volterra. Twitter, Oh, yeah. Instagram, it’s all seattlemoneycoach.

Heather Pearce Campbell  48:16

Okay, awesome. We’ll share your social media links as well. So if you’re listening, be sure to pop over check out those show notes that connect with Mikelann, and for sure, if you are in the category of folks that are ready for the type of support that she offers, connect with her. That sounds like an amazing introductory call, Mikelann, what final point would you like to leave with people today?

Mikelann Valterra  48:47

I think that everybody can have a next chapter that is so full of happiness around money, I really think that everybody can get to the point where they’re not stressed around money, and that they can feel in control of money so they can create the life that they love. I really, truly find that everybody can move to that place and use it to create the life that I honestly think people deserve.

Heather Pearce Campbell  49:11

Love it. Well, you guys heard it here. This can happen for you and 2023 and we invite you into the next chapter of your own money journey, Mikelann, I’m so happy that you could join me today. It’s been such a joy to hear a bit about your work and the ways that you really help people not only change their financial lives but changed their lives. They work around money.

Mikelann Valterra  49:35

I love my work. I feel so so fortunate. So thanks for having me.

Heather Pearce Campbell  49:39

Totally look forward to talking to you soon.

GGGB Outro  49:43

Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.