August 6, 2021
This month, we sat down with financial therapist Lindsay Bryan-Podvin of Mind Money Balance as we highlight financial and entrepreneurial therapists from our community to share tips, tricks and lessons they've learned on the path to success in private practice. We're so grateful to Lindsay as a Heard customer, and for her constant support and championing for clinicians within the financial space. Lindsay has recently reopened her 3-month, small group coaching program, and can be reached via her website or on Instagram @MindMoneyBalance. Stay tuned to hear more from therapists within our community!
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Lindsay Bryan-Podvin. I'm a financial therapist helping people get their minds and money in balance. I also provide coaching and consulting for other private practice therapists, helping them rewrite their money stories to charge sustainable rates and grow profitable practices. In addition to all the business stuff –– podcasting, blogging, speaking, showing up on Instagram –– I'm in recovery from an eating disorder, obsessed with my 3-year-old dog, and daydreaming about traveling abroad with my partner when it's safe to do so.
How did you become a financial therapist and what does the term mean to you?
I come from a financially privileged background that allowed me to graduate debt-free. My first social work job paid me less than my previous job as a waitress. Even with the leg-up of being debt-free, I struggled to get out of the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and was ashamed that I'd "squandered" the financial advantage. I turned to personal finance experts, checked out books from the library, and watched re-runs of certain TV shows to educate myself about money. While learning the basics of budgeting and personal finance helped, it wasn't until I got a better-paying job that I realized how stressed and miserable I'd been living so close to running out of money each month. I then decided on two things: 1) we need to start talking about the real benefits of higher incomes in the world of personal finance, and 2) we have to include our emotions and psychology when we talk about money. Being a financial therapist, to me, means helping people understand the psychology of why they do what they do with their money and guide them toward living a life in alignment with their needs and values.
What have been some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way you work?
Entrepreneurship is lonely. There's so much hype about the benefits of working for yourself (and I say this as a person who doesn't see "punches a clock" in their future) and not enough about its difficulties. It can be hard to know when the day ends and wondering if listening to a business podcast on a walk is business or pleasure. That's why connecting with three other small business owners twice a month in a Mastermind has been a game-changer. It provides me with the support, camaraderie, and connection that is hard to come by when you work alone.
What are some common roadblocks you see therapists run into when trying to achieve financial freedom?
Too many therapists think of financial accessibility as the only measure of accessibility and don't even have "financial freedom" on their radar. When I ask my private practice clients when they want to retire, or what they want to do when they stop practicing therapy, it's not uncommon to get a deer in the headlights response. I'm glad places like Heard exist to help therapists with the bookkeeping side of their practices, so therapists can dream of their goals of freedom, and have guidance on the way of achieving them.
What are some mindsets and habits that have helped you become successful on your journey as a therapist?
What's helped me to be successful is to find a balance between experimentation and humility. Meaning, I'll try out a new offer or social media platform, but I don't keep doing a task if I A) hate it or B) it's not driving results. You'll hardly see me on LinkedIn, I'm not on Facebook, and an offer that went well once but flopped a second time around isn't getting my time and energy. Logistically, I set up my work week to support my creativity and energy. Mondays are days for writing content, recording podcasts, and reviewing my numbers. I see clients Tuesday-Thursday and occasionally on Fridays, reserving Friday afternoons as "catch up" time on my calendar. At the start of each year, I jot down a list of goals I want to achieve. It includes everything from how many days off I want, to professional development opportunities. I create quarterly goals from there and allow myself to tweak them as the year continues. This habit allows me to move forward toward a specific end goal instead of "working more because I can." This intentionality about taking time off has also reduced my risk of burnout, something I was on the cusp of in previous years when I was working hard without a "why" in mind.
What do you want other mental health practitioners to know about becoming a financial or entrepreneurial therapist?
There is room for you. There are so many people in our world who need therapy, support, and validation. When you see someone else who built a practice you admire, think of it as an aspiration instead of competition. Don't listen to every tip and hack you hear –– do what feels best for you, your temperament, and what's in alignment with your values. AKA, you don't have to dance on TikTok if you don't want to.
What would you say to someone who is just opening up their own practice in regards to money and financial literacy?
You are capable of understanding the financial side of your practice. Take it bit by bit, create goals, and reverse-engineer your way there. Don't be afraid to get professional support, either. So many new therapists try to DIY everything financially, which often ends up being a headache (at minimum) or a waste of money and energy.
Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW is a biracial financial therapist, speaker, podcaster, and author of the book "The Financial Anxiety Solution." In her Michigan therapy practice, Mind Money Balance, she uses shame-free financial therapy to help people get their minds and money in balance. She's expanded her services to help therapists with their money mindset, niching, and authentic marketing so they can include financial self-care in their self-care practices. Lindsay can be found at her website or on Instagram @MindMoneyBalance.