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James Robert Lay 

How would you define your relationship with money as a financial brand leader? What about the relationships that your account holders have with their money? And, and how are these relationships with money formed to begin with in the first place, furthermore, how might financial coaching help every single one of us help you help me help up your account holders, reframe the relationships that we have with money so that we can all continue to level up our financial confidence. Well, let's find answers to these questions together on today's episode of the banking on digital growth podcast.

 

Greetings and hello. My name is James Robert lay and I'd like to welcome you to another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the practical perspective series and joining me for today's conversation is Audrey Kanata. Audrey is our operations lead here at the digital growth Institute. And in today's episode, Audrey and I are going to continue the conversation that we started back in episode three 69, where she shared the role that financial coaching has played for her in her own financial journey. Now, if you have not watched or listened to that episode just yet. I highly recommend that you do, because it's going to provide even more context.

 

It's going to provide more clarity into the conversation that we're going to have today, because today  we're going to dive into how financial coaching can help all of us rethink and reframe the relationships that we have with money. And then as a result, continue to level up our financial confidence. We're also going to dive deep into the psychological side of money and how integrating financial coaching into your product mix, think for every checking account, someone gets some type of financial coaching support,  how that financial coaching can deepen the emotional relationship that account holders have with your bank. Your credit union or your FinTech. Welcome back to the show Audrey. It is so good to see you again and continue this conversation that we started in Episode 369. About your financial coaching story. And before we get there, as always, what is good in your world right now? What is positive personally professionally is your pick to get started?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

Oh, wow. Well, you and I have been talking a lot about discipline and discipline really being our, our focus for 2024 kind of Coincidently, both the both feel like this is a point in our lives where we want to level up a lot of areas. And I am just about finished reading Ryan holidays latest book discipline is destiny. And I just have to say, to anyone out there listening, this book is so good, phenomenal. It is like the dictionary for discipline, I guess. Every situation you can imagine that you might be in where discipline might be helpful is in this book. And it's all of these just many bite size stories and references in history. But I think it's really just digestible for anyone looking to learn more and kind of level up their discipline. So yeah, I just wanted to share what I was reading right now. And I'm looking forward to finishing the book. And I'll probably, we'll probably talk about it on the podcast at some point. And I'll definitely share it on LinkedIn.

 

James Robert Lay 

And you are far ahead of me at this point. And I'm taking the slow plod through the book, I have a couple of other books in progress right now. But discipline is destiny. The dictionary of discipline is a great way to frame this a lot of stories and discipline. It fits so well into the narrative around financial brands, looking to level up their loans and deposits. Through a journey of digital growth. It fits so well into the narrative of the opportunity for financial brands to help their account holders level up their financial confidence. And it's been a key part of your story that we we started in Episode 369. Your Money Story, your money narrative and how you're writing a new script right now, but you're not doing it alone. You're working with a financial coach and financial coaching is such a tremendous growth opportunity, an untapped growth opportunity for many financial brands, more specifically, even Community Financial brands to integrate financial coaching into their product mix. In the reason that you and I have started these conversations is to provide clarity that financial coaching is not just financial education. It's not. It's not financial advising. It's a much deeper practice that requires discipline. And so if you haven't watched or if you haven't listened to Episode 369, please do so because it will give you context for today's conversation of how Audrey gained some awareness that there was a problem, what that problem felt like. But more importantly, Audrey had the courage to raise her hand and say I need some help. And she started working with her own financial coach. And that's where I want to pick up the story here today. Because when you started working with your financial coach, they gave you a path forward. They gave you some help. But more specifically, they gave you some hope to help you establish a strong foundation. How did they do that?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

Yeah, so he really I'll be honest with you. I didn't know what to expect as far as the timeline of events or the process. And the very first conversation we had was just really setting up my goals like what do you need to tackle right now? And because my personal situation I came from a place where I hadn't been very financially independent before. So we really had to start at the basics, like starting at budgeting budget one on one and start from there. That yes, you know, I never and I said this in the last episode, I really did not have a very responsible and dependable way of budgeting. I'm not saying that I was like, terrible and irresponsible with money so much. I just wasn't very thought out about where my money was going, you know how much I'm spending each week and so I just kind of winged it, you know, I knew I was saving a little bit here. I knew I had to pay off, you know, certain, you know, credit cards here and there. But other than that, it was just kind of like well, we'll figure it out. See what happens. And so that was kind of the very first thing was really getting clear on where my money was going and figuring out ways to track that. Because there's tons of different methods out there. And we had to figure out what would work for me and a lot did not.

 

James Robert Lay 

So I want to pause on this point, because that word, the B word, budget, I think of another Congress. It does, it sounds like life is going to be miserable, we're going to take things away from you. It's, it's going to be painful, it's going to require discipline. But you had a different experience. And I think maybe it's that if I'm, if I'm listening as a financial brand leader, and I really have a heart that I want to help my account holders level up their financial confidence, we have to be mindful of what they might be thinking what they might be feeling when they hear the B word, the word budget, I even think about a conversation with John crane, who wrote a book called The One number budget we've had, we've had him on the podcast talking about his book. There's a lot of different ways to go about this. There's not one specific path forward. Why is that important to begin there when it comes to establishing a strong foundation to find the right path forward for budgeting for you, because it's not a one size fits all.

 

Audrey Cannata: 

It isn't a one size fits all. And I think, for me, I didn't know what to expect, like you said, budget restricting I thought my life was going to get very boring. But I think it's important to know that it doesn't have to be a painful process. Finding a budget and finding a tracking system doesn't have to be painful. Some of the processes I tried were painful for me. And that's why we worked on different strategies and different things that felt good to me, it felt natural to me, it felt like something that I could sustain and keep up with. So I think it's good to know that you're right. It's not a one size fits all. It's really and that's why this this coaching is so important, because it is so personal and unique to your situation. And you're trying to find something that really works best for you. Because if you are, you know, overly structured or does feel too restricting, like a diet, we all know that diets do not last, it's a lifestyle change. And so I really didn't want to do something that I knew that was not sustainable, long term.

 

James Robert Lay 

I'm glad you brought the D word up as well diet, because you you preempted my thinking there. And I think about the strong correlation between financial well being and physical well being the habits and the behaviors that go into both sides of the equation back to your point. We know the challenges of diets, but diets for many feel very restrictive, we're going to take things away from you, so that you can achieve some type of fitness goal losing weight, for example. And then I can tell you, within my own physical health journey, I've tried almost every diet under the sun until until I got a nutritional coach. And I think that's an important element. We can try to do this on our own. And we're probably going to have some maybe if if we're lucky. And we see it through some moderate success. But then human behavior as it goes, we'll typically fall back into old patterns and old behaviors. When we get tired when things get hard, kids career, all of these things. But I want to stay on the point of the diet, because it's a matter of reframing. Take my fitness pile, right? It's an app that now working with a nutritional coach over the last right at 12 months. I don't feel restricted one bit. In fact, I think I've said this to you multiple times. Managing my diet macros with with fats, carbs, protein. I see the so similar to that of a budget. You've got saving spending, investing. Yeah. And to be able to, like monitor that progress on a daily basis. I'm literally budgeting quote unquote, my macros. Here's how much I here's how much I've allocated to carbs. Here's how much I can allocate to fat. Here's how much I can allocate to protein. How you get to that? What you eat, that's up to you. So let's, let's bring this back into your perspective here, when it comes to budget. What did you find? That worked best for you based upon your unique situation? That wasn't restrictive?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

Yeah, so a couple different things. One of the things that we tried was, you know, electronic budget, logging everything that way. I just could not keep up with it. You know, if it's an app or something, I'm not going to see it on my phone, I'm going to forget. Then I moved to just straight pencil and paper. So I was I tried to do daily track what I was spending daily. Well, it got to the point where I wasn't there were days where I didn't spend any money. And so then I would forget, and then we went to a weekly Money dates. So then on Thursday nights, I would sit down and open up my account, and log and track everything I spent and put it into it into different categories and look at it that way. But even then, there were weeks where I knew that what I was going to see was not going to feel good. And so I would avoid it. It's like, you don't want to step on the scale after you're on vacation all weekend, similar situation. And so I would find myself avoiding having to look, but that was where my coach came in. Because when I'm meeting with the coach and then having to report these things, there's no hiding, I have to show up with my numbers. And it's not like I'm going to get my hand slapped, but we're going to look at it. Okay, what happened this week? Why were you over budget? Or was it something that was in your control out of your control. And what we found, you know, for me personally, is I had a lot of habits, coffee, being one of them, Amazon reshipping, being one of them. So we're just sort of looking at where my money was going. And maybe where some of that guilt came from, you know, why was I kind of feeling the shame and not wanting to look at my budget, you know, or look at my spending. And so we really opened some conversations in that way. But one of the other strategies we did was open up separate checking accounts. And so I had a variables checking account, versus a checking account where all my bills came out of, and that was very helpful for me to see, because then what I could constantly track what my account level is that so I would just transfer over the money I had for the week, use that card. Because if you see your payday comes, yeah, and you see a nice number in your checking account, and you think you've got money, but then you don't take into account well, I've got bills that are gonna be auto, you know, hitting, and the weeks after this. So a lot of it, a lot of this is so psychological.

 

James Robert Lay 

And so a couple of points that I just want to surface and loop back to the feelings and the emotions that you had when you had to confront your your B word, the budget. Once again, I think about working with a nutritional coach, when traveling, like I can't hit my macros, I can't sit very strong word is much more challenging to hit my macros when I'm challenging when I'm traveling. But your feelings of guilt, shame. That's the narrative in your own head. And I think once again, if left to your own devices. And if you're doing this by yourself, it'd be so easy to abandon all of this, throw your hands up and just say, You know what, what's all this for anyway? It's why, as of recording, exactly, it's avoiding and it's why as a recording, you know, we're coming to the end of the first month of the year. This is when people's New Year's resolutions have exploded. And people go back to the same pattern that they were used to because it was comfortable. That's it, what you're leaning into though, and the value creation here. When it comes to financial brands, integrating coaching as a methodology into their product mix, particularly from a differentiator standpoint, there is true psychological value to be created with the brand even for that matter. And that is where I think let's dig deeper into this the the relationship that, that has surfaced. Through this coaching, this financial coaching experience is created awareness. And then we'll, we'll take the relationship and then we'll dive deeper into the psychological aspects of money just through your own lens that I think, really come back to this idea of an untapped growth opportunity. So tell me more about the relationship that you have become aware of with, with money yourself.

 

Audrey Cannata: 

So this one was really, this one was really hard to I don't know if it was hard to admit, or maybe just hard to finally acknowledge, but I would say my long standing history with money, and I'm sure there's a lot of other people out there like this. I, in my younger years, especially, there was a lot of Keeping Up with the Joneses. And so I would make purchases and buy things that I did not need, necessarily, but because it made me feel good about myself, you know, a nice pair of sunglasses, and you know, ladies out there bags, shoes, it's just, you know, how many times do we buy things because we feel like it's going to increase our competence level and ourselves. When when we really start to think about it. And I mean, I had to learn this the hard way, because I got to a point where money and spending got very real. I was at a point in my life earlier, where I could purchase those things, and it wouldn't be painful. Well, I got to a point where there was no extra spending being happening, I had to just get really real with, like, you don't need this, you don't need that this is all superficial. I mean, I have really changed my perspective on things and stuff. But I did, you know, find out and really realize and surface a lot of emotional spending, I think I was very much an emotional spender. Money therapy, you know, you have a bad day, well, let's go buy something or let's go juice go somewhere, or you're celebrating even a celebration can turn into, well, I deserve this, I'm gonna get this for myself. And so I think there's just a lot of a lot of dopamine hits, I think that we get from spending and buying and I actually was talking to a friend of mine recently about this because I mean, I've had to shift a lot of my own thinking in terms of, of spending and, and we were had this conversation about just putting something in your shopping cart online, gives you a dopamine hit. And so I actually started doing this where if I felt like I needed to buy something or wanted to go shopping or I need some new clothes, I would put things in my online shopping cart. And then just leave it there for like a week or two. And majority the time I'm come back and look at it. And my whole mindset of what why I needed that or why I wanted it was gone. And so I think that's something to think about. And I'm curious to do some more digging into this. But yeah, I definitely think there's there's a lot of dopamine hits when you purchase something. Wow.

 

James Robert Lay 

That is that's tremendous awareness. And it surfaces a couple of things, even just with, you know, my own experience and my own relationship with money. Even how I have been coaching my kids come back to the idea of keeping up with the Joneses. To be quite frank, I think keeping up with the Joneses is far easier. That time period of Keeping Up with the Joneses was far easier than it is today trying to keep up with the Kardashians and the Jenners and you know, whoever else you want to throw into the social sphere and spectrum because in this instant culture Instagram but also instant purchase, instant gratification, the dopamine and being aware of the chemicals in your brain and how influential they are. You talked about money therapy shopping there. How are we going to frame that same thing food therapy, it's all coming back because typically when when you want to, in many cases fill a void. That's exactly it. When you want to fill a void What do you go eat? Typically, there's a certain type of food that you typically go to, because it makes you feel better. Most of the time, it's some some type of carbohydrate sugar based food. So, once again, let's bring this back. How has a coach, how has a financial coach, help you gain awareness into your relationship with money? Because I think that it's important to identify a cadence here. How often are you meeting with your financial coach? How long do these coaching sessions last? Are they telling you what to do next.

 

Audrey Cannata: 

So we meet monthly, we have a once a month standing meeting. And we also have a quarterly review. And those are an hour long. Now I do have available or accessibility to my coach for random check ins, 15 minutes here and there. And of course, always via email. So I have found that the monthly cadence works for me. I have had a couple of scenarios where I have reached out to him via email because I had something come up or question. And we've hopped on 15 minute conversations, but he gives me a path forward as in this quarter, we're focusing on budgeting. next quarter, we're going to look at debt management and start thinking about investing. And so I kind of have a general timeframe. But does he tell me exactly what to do? No, he gives me a lot of questions for me to self actualize. And think about I mean, for one example, with my spending, and I was looking at some of the things that I've cut out a lot of the really unnecessary spending, for one, I had two and two, I've slowly over the last year or two have shifted my perspective a lot. And what's what I need, and what I don't need, and again, the whole Keeping Up with the Joneses, but a lot of my spending were the small things that weren't bad things at all. It just they weren't, they weren't necessary. You know, I love to organize. And so if you go on my I love a shortcut, I love systems and processes in my house. So you know, I can go on Amazon, and I'll go buy, you know, plastic containers for everything with all these matching let you know things storage and and on one hand, yes, that feels good for me mentally, psychologically, to have organized clean house. But I had to keep asking myself and I felt like I was doing a good thing. And it overall it is. But then I had to ask myself, okay, what? What can you get away with? And what is just maybe overboard that you don't need? And he framed it for me? Because it was like $15? Here. $10? Here, $20 here. So it didn't feel like much at the time when you add it up? Yeah. And so he would say things like, what is that $15 Today, going to cost you down the line. If you think about this $15 doesn't feel like much today. But next month, when something comes up, you have a birthday gift you need to buy for somebody or maybe you want to go somewhere or go to an event and do something that's that could be half that ticket there or that could be half the price is something else. And so that really reframed it, for me is thinking about what is my small choice today going to, you know, affects me down the line. And that's that's like dieting to you know, a doughnut a day doesn't sound are one donut one day doesn't sound terrible, but another donut the next day, and the next day, it's going to slowly add up.

 

James Robert Lay 

Well, let me come back to the donut, you've got that dopamine hit, you've got the sugar, it does create somewhat of a of an addictive pattern with that. And I think that the idea of pattern matching is so critical to where it's almost like from hearing your experience working with a financial coach continuously creates awareness every month, and then also every quarter. you're reviewing your progress. That awareness is then inspiring action. But we know inspiration is fleeting. And we know that motivation is like a muscle that it will eventually tire and fail. And that's where the third piece of this comes in, which is the accountability. I want to just because I know Some more of your backstory. And I want to surface something for those watching and listening around this idea of awareness, action, accountability. Not telling you what to do. The financial coach, that is the financial coach not telling you what to do, but just asking really good questions so that you can begin to self actualize your own unique situation. Coming back to shopping, buying behavior. Dopamine apps? Amazon. Yes. This is such an important. I mean, when you told me this, I'm like, that makes a ton of sense. Yeah. Because the simplicity, of accessibility, of being able to buy now with one click, that's fan freakin tastic. But then it also can be just as dangerous. On the opposite end of the spectrum. What was the awareness that your financial coach brought even to something as simple and practical as the Amazon App?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

Well, I think for me, personally, I do think a lot of this does come back to my Colby and being a follow through, I love getting things done. I love checking things off of my list. And so with Amazon, it just gets so easy to have a problem. But Amazon, I can fix it. And then I got to the point where I think I was almost creating my own problems that need to be solved, like inside my house are things that I Oh, I need that. Or I need that. And then within a day I get it. And it's just this constant buy receive package. I mean, I'll be honest with you, I have a few empty boxes in my kitchen right now. But it was that awareness of again. Yes, Amazon is easy. And this is no knock on Amazon. I'm so thankful for the ease and the convenience of it. And it is very helpful. You know, my son the other day, they had their 100 days school and so he had to dress like he was 100 years old. Guess what, five $6 on Amazon, two day shipping, he got himself a fake mustache and some fake eyebrows. Wonderful saved me gas, save me hassle. Probably would have spent more had I gone to, you know, say Party City and look for costume. So that was fantastic. But it's these other areas where it's not necessary. Maybe you see something on TV. Oh, that looks intriguing. That looks cool. We learn more about this. You go on Amazon $25 later you get it? Like, what do I really do? I really need that. So I think that instant gratification almost it limits us in terms of having time to really think and process and make a decision, like ponder on this. You know, do I really need that's where that idea of putting something in my shopping cart, and just letting it sit there for a week or two. And coming back later after I've had time to really think about it and marinate on it. Do I really need such a need? Or is this just a want. And Amazon has made that very easy for me to decide a lot of things are knee hard needs instead of really, truly wants?

 

James Robert Lay 

Well, that's one of the things that I've been working with my kids on too, is they say, Hey, I want I want this. Okay, on a scale of one to 10 How bad do you want it? 10. Fantastic. See me in a week. If it's a 10 all reconsider. They see me in a week. Okay, a scale of one to 10. How is it to 10? They see me in another week. And it's actually interesting that sometimes even that second roadblock? They'll just forget about it at that point. Oh, yeah. Definitely. It's out of their field of vision. It's out of their line of sight. It's out of their mind. It's almost like and this is you know, we can move from the relationship into the deeper psychological aspects here. Because there's a lot of we'll just call it psychological energy that is associated with money and finances. I think about Dr. Hawkins he has Dr. David Hawkins, he has the map of consciousness or the match mat map of conscious energy and it's on a spectrum from like, lower level energetic spectrum psychologically speaking of like guilt and shame, all the way to the higher end of the spectrum of love and peace and joy and fulfillment I mean all the positive aspect hear when you think about your situation, and the journey that you've been on with the relationship, that you gain awareness through, you're taking action around, and you have the accountability to continue to follow through and make adjustments as needed. Where does the psychological side of money play into this? Because once again, I think about Tammy Lally and her TED talk about financial shame. Think about Dr. Amanda McCoy, and the idea of financial therapy. And maybe we're leaning into some of this right here, which is the intersection of, you know, money in and therapy. Why? Why do we need to start peeling the layers back here on the psychological side of money, not just in our conversation, but perhaps even at a macro level? And then we'll come back to your conversation. I'm wanting to surface this up to those who are watching and listening into why is it so important based upon your experience?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

I think we all have to figure out what really motivates us what motivates us enough to make a change. And for me, I'll just be completely honest with you, or with the listeners, I have just a little bit left of credit card debt right now that I'm trying to get all the way down to zero. But I have I have some left. And it's been sitting on a 0% interest card. And I we found in the last several months, I have not been making progress on paying this down. And the original plan was, we're going to pay this off. And then we're going to shift into saving or investing for a future something. And for me that future something is a house. And so we were trying to make Why am I struggling so hard to get this credit card, I should have had this paid off already. But the psychological, I guess, I don't feel the pain. I'm not feeling enough pain, and having a card that has I'm not I'm not paying any interest on it. So it's really just sitting there. So it's not painful enough for me to make more changes in my life to then because, you know, the goal was to put a certain amount on it every month. Well, I'd see that amount leftover and feels like money that I have. And so it gets spent, and so it wasn't getting put towards this card. And so I we were talking about and this was like the focus of an entire conversation like what, what do I need to do? This is not working, I can't get this paid off, what is the deal. And so we shifted, and I kind of mentioned this a little bit when we first talked, but since I've been a kid, I was a saver. I mean, even when I got my first job, I was socking away money. I looked before I had kids, I mean, I was putting so much money aside, that motivated me seeing that grow, seeing that savings account grow. And so we made a decision to kind of call it call an audible, if you will. And I'm still paying the minimum on this interest card. But whatever money I have leftover is going into a separate account a separate savings account a high yield savings account that is labeled house, and that that alone the shift, I'm talking instantly, seeing money going into this account and growing has given me so much motivation to keep growing now who's to say, I don't know what we'll end up doing with that. Maybe I'll grow it and pay this card off of this credit card off eventually. But either way, I'm making more progress by seeing an account, grow in number versus seeing an account, you know that that credit card decreasing in number and I think that's different for other people.

 

James Robert Lay 

Sure, no. And that comes back to first and foremost, knowing yourself, just having complete awareness into what is going to propel you going forward. And a lot of that is being able to measure. You know, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, and Dan Sullivan wrote a book called The gap in the game. And even when we're talking here about money narratives and financial stories, it's very easy to fall into the gap which I have coined an acronym. It's where you're just griping about problems. And the alternative side Is your measuring the progress that you continue to make? Looking backwards in hindsight in retrospect, and you can measure progress by a paying down a card or be in your particular case, which gives you more energy. If you think back to Dr. David Hawkins scale of consciousness, it's, I want to see that savings continue to grow. But I even think there's something important to note here. Yeah, this is your future self, you have labeled this house. And I know, we've been having some conversations around this. And Delena, and I, my wife, we just did this exercise literally a week ago, to where we sat down and put together not just what we're calling a vision board, but a vision Action Board of VA be having, being able to be mindful of the future that that we are co creating. And being able to visually see that, if we come back to what I've been writing about with banking on change, there are four, four steps for human transformation. Regardless of if it is digital transformation, or financial transformation, or cultural transformation, or brand transformation, or marketing, transformation, or sales, transformation, the or health, they're all the same. Step number one, and you've This is where a lot of the conversation has been, you're continuously seeing things differently. And by meeting with your financial coach, now you're just seeing things differently, you're starting to think differently, your thought patterns are changing. And when your thought patterns change, and you bid on dozens of calls at this point, when I asked these financial brand leaders, well, what happens next, you see differently think differently, think different than what and you've seen it 98 99% I'll say we're gonna act if we're gonna be different, we're gonna do different. And I pause that and I go, Are you really going to? Well, what do you mean? You know, there are things that you need to change right now. But you're failing to do so why? You have the awareness, you have the clarity. But why? And it's almost like a puzzling answer that they don't, I don't really think I've seen ever, anyone ever really respond back. And when I asked the what have you not to think about it?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

I don't think so.

 

James Robert Lay 

They kind of just stumped. Because it's, it's, it's an important question to ask. And it's one that even asked myself, because I deal with this too. I struggle with change and transformation, I'm not perfect. But I do know that to bridge the gap between seeing different and thinking different to than actually applying that and doing an acting on that being different. It comes down to one thing. And it's the thing within financial services, that I I'm 100% confident that if we were to integrate financial coaching, as a core competency, it would bridge this gap for so many people. And to bridge the gap comes down to feeling Yeah, to feel different, the desire, the feeling the emotion, to do different, to be different, to act different has to come to a point to where it is greater, even exponentially greater than, than the desire to remain the same stuck in the status quo. And you reach that point, but but feeling inspiration, motivation will eventually fall and fail. And that's where the coach comes back in to provide the accountability. While at the same time, how we started this conversation and the book you're reading right now. It requires one thing from you, which is the D word. And it's not diet. It's the discipline. It's the discipline to do the hard things, when you don't want to do them. To make the hard choices that you know you have to make for the future self. And whether it's a diet or budget, that's why there's so many parallels between financial well being and physical well being. And here's the deeper here's the deeper psychological side of all of this. That I think you're surfacing so well. And once again, I just have a tremendous amount of gratitude for you having the courage to share the story, because I know 100% That There are people watching and listening, that work within financial services. That's me. I know where she's at. I understand. And just by you sharing this says that they're not alone. So how long have you been on this journey so far now?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

In hindsight in six or seven months, yeah. This summer I started.

 

James Robert Lay 

So like we do with our financial brands that we coach and, and guide and advise on their digital growth journey. Let's just call it two quarters. So you you've done 290 day periods of this. If you look back to where you were, when you first started this six months ago, to where you're at today, what, what are the greatest lessons? What's the big lesson, the big insight that you have learned on this journey of financial coaching that you've been on?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

I think one of them has been just a personal realization, really having to get honest with myself and coming to terms with a lot of my financial choices have stemmed from a personal lack of confidence and security and some area of my life, that money and spending was very much overcompensating for some internal unhappiness and battles that I was fighting. And I have found that the, the better I have gotten, and the more I've grown, and the more confident I've gotten with who I am, and the more growth that I've experienced, those financial spending habits have been so much easier to kind of Curb because I am in such a different mental, mental place than I was over the summer. And so that's kind of almost naturally worked itself out, in a sense, and a lot of that has to do with realizing that, you know, there is a lot of hope for me in the future. And it's not so doom and gloom as I as I thought it was at one point. So that's probably the first lesson is just that personal realization for me. And the second lesson, you know, I think, I think it might be just figuring out what motivates me, and, and making taking action on that. Because I, you know, when you notice that you're not making a lot of progress, and you're kind of in this standstill and you're plateauing a little bit. I think it's easy for a lot of us just to keep on going that way, instead of saying, Okay, wait a minute, I'm not making progress, what needs to change and what needs to shift. And it's trying different things. It's, it's not going to be this quick overnight. And that's the thing is just like dieting, this isn't an overnight success story at all. And we have to be okay with that. And, yeah, and just know that it's gonna take a little bit of time.

 

James Robert Lay 

This is why progress is far greater than perfection. And why awareness, action and accountability are all important integral components that make up a financial coaching experience. And on that note, as we wrap up here, if someone is watching, or someone is listening, and they're like, I, I'm here, I need some help. What would be the one small action that you would recommend they take to increase their awareness so that they can take some action and begin to move forward and make progress, knowing the importance of accountability?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

I would say, reach out to somebody and just get really honest, and even if it's a friend or family member, you can reach out to me sometimes just acknowledging your situation out loud, even if it's nothing more than just as someone listening. There is something really powerful about saying things out loud and being honest and hearing them and knowing that somebody else is hearing you again, this person doesn't have to be any, anyone in particular, but I have just seen that the more that I'm open to what's going on in my mind and my situation, that is usually always I find myself making a leap after that because it feels the relief that I feel afterwards and just the acceptance and you know, not getting judged. I think holding it in holding things in. It just is not sustainable. And I think there's just so much unnecessary turmoil that we cause ourselves. because we feel too embarrassed or too scared or too shameful to share what's really going on.

 

James Robert Lay 

That's a fantastic point and call to action. As we wrap up what's the best way speaking of if someone does want to reach out to you and say hello raise their hand saying, I understand what you're sharing because I'm in that exact place. What's the best way for them to reach out and connect with you say hello?

 

Audrey Cannata: 

You can reach out to me on LinkedIn Audrey Cannata.

 

James Robert Lay 

Connect with Audrey, learn with Audrey Audrey, thank you so much for having the courage to share this, first and foremost. But second, I'm looking forward, we're going to check back in maybe within three months from now and just measure this continued progress that you're making on really what I am viewing externally is an amazing transformation story in the works. So thank you so much.

 

Audrey Cannata: 

Thank you so much as been helpful for me.

 

James Robert Lay 

As always know, it's very, very helpful, not just for you, it's helpful for me, and I know it's helpful for everyone else who, who's watching and who's listening right now.

Brief Summary of Episode #372

How would you define your relationship with money as a financial brand leader?

What about the relationships that your account holders have with their money?

And how might financial coaching help every single one of us reframe the relationships that we have with money so that we can all continue to level up our financial confidence.

Expanding on episode 369's insights, Audrey Cannata, Operations Lead at the Digital Growth Institute, shares her transformative financial coaching journey, highlighting the critical role of personalized strategies and actionable steps as well as the emotional and psychological aspects of financial decision-making.

Audrey's journey reveals the importance of finding what truly motivates us, leading to sustainable financial habits and a brighter, more confident future.

 

Key Insights and Takeaways

  • Emotional spending and financial coaching (13:04)
  • Money mindset, accountability, and psychology (24:04)
  • Financial transformation and the importance of self-awareness (30:42)