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Women Branching Out: Christyna Lewis

Financial coach Christyna Lewis talks about money in such a calm and centered way that you’ll relax and start planning for your own Financial Fridays (instead of avoiding your bank balance). You’ll see what I mean in this Women Branching Out interview. (transcript below)

My side of the video wasn’t cooperating, so you’ll hear me, but not see me.

Enjoy.

Financial Fridays

Join Christyna for Financial Friday, November 4th, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Central on Twitter. To participate search for the hashtag: #FinancialFriday and join in the conversation. Plan your own Financial Friday dates with your business finances every week. For added community support, connect with Christyna the first Friday of each month on Twitter.

Christyna Lewis of BEE Ventures is a financial coach. She specializes in strength assessment, financial skill building, and reframing challenges to reveal their empowering possibilities. You can learn more about her work at BEE Ventures and by following her on Twitter.

Do you have a date with your business finances?

What strategies do you have in place to stay calm and centered about your finances? Share below! If you like this post please like it, tweet it, etc.

Interview Transcribed

Christie: Hi everybody. I have with me today Christyna Lewis (who also, I think goes by Christy a lot of the time, too) with me from BEE Ventures. Christyna is a … I would call her a financial guru, because that’s what I think about when I think about her. She helps entrepreneurs get really grounded and be empowered and informed about their finances and she helps other small businesses do that, too.

You can find her on her website which is beeventures.org and I’ll have a link to her website below the video or the audio. You can also talk with her on Friday, November 4th on Twitter she’ll be tweeting out financial information and answering your questions at the hashtag #Financial Friday. I’ll have that information posted below, too. So, hello Christyna!

Christyna: Hi Christie!

Christie: Hi! I’m going to let Christyna talk a little bit about her businesses and who she really loves to serve and what she does and we’ll start there. So, go ahead Christyna.

Christyna: Thank you so much Christie. So my business is BEE Ventures and the best way I can describe it is financial coaching. The people that I love to serve are idealists, they are healers, they are artists, they are the creative people who have this huge heart and this huge vision and they just want to leap out there and make it happen. They are the true innovators in our world.

A piece that my people often get tripped up about is numbers or this idea that with finances you’ve got to set all of your passion and values aside and it’s simply not true. So, I help them to get the basic skills and also the confidence to look at their numbers and be able to make the money and numbers really serve their larger purpose.

Christie: I know that you work with a lot of local companies there in (Houston) Texas. Do you also work with online people as well?

Christyna: I serve small businesses where ever they are. So we can do Skype. I got my beginning here locally because I’m such a community builder.

I think creating a network of people who are supportive of you and really know you is a humongous resource for any small business or anyone with a mission in the world. So, I started here and I definitely work nationally and internationally.

Christie: We were going to talk a little bit about what Financial Friday is. It’s November 4th and it’s on Twitter. Can you talk a little bit about what people can expect if they come and search for that hash tag #FinancialFriday.

Christyna: Oh, sure. Well Financial Friday got its beginning as one of the cornerstones of what I teach my clients: to be present to what is actually going on with their finances. So, I have them set up a date.

I like Financial Friday because it’s an alliteration. I like being able to finish up the week, it kind of ties up the week with a bow.

So, just once a week go in and see what is actually going on with your cash flow, what your needs are, what’s happening. From that state of knowing where you are … instead of just knowing that it’s awful, which is what a lot of people assume … then you are able to have peace and let all the worry go and make decisions based on what’s actually going on. There’s a lot of power in that and it just clears space for you to be more creative.

So this Financial Friday where I’m throwing open the doors, is a space for us to go through that together as a community. A lot of times people, especially creative people or people who are just getting going in business when they go to do numbers they close the shades. It’s late at night and they don’t want anyone to see it and they are not sure of themselves. So, here’s a space where they can ask any questions they have and we can celebrate any progress that they are making. Just to know that you are not alone in this is a humongous opening for peace.

You know, our finances are one of the last taboos and I’m creating a safe space to really take charge and have supportive structures for my community. So that’s Financial Friday.

I encourage people to do it every week. But our big open celebration is the first Friday of the month.

Christie: OK, great. What would you say is a good first step for somebody who has been ignoring their business finances?

Christyna: That’s a great question. I get that a lot actually.

The first thing to do is to just … you know … declare an amnesty and say whatever it is is fine. From there just begin to gather. Do you know what is in your checking account? Make a list of what you have and what you owe.

You don’t have to do this all at once. Go for 10 minutes and then if you get overwhelmed you put it away. You go deal with your favorite client or do something fun. But then come back to it and do another 10 minutes. Maybe the next day, maybe in a couple of hours so that first thing is just to know what you have.

You know, right alongside that mix in what you have as your vision for the impact that you want to have in the world. Does that make sense?

Christie: Mmhm. So that you are looking forward.

Christyna: Yeah, ‘cause I mean it’s not fun for a lot of people to get in and look at their finances. Right? There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of worry. We make it mean all kinds of things about who we are as people. And it doesn’t mean that. But if we are going to go to this place that’s not comfortable. Like for me I want you to be very clear that you have a powerful reason that you are doing it. Does that make sense?

Christie: Yes, yeah.

Christyna: I have a client who I’m thinking of right now. She is a marketer and she does a lot of back end stuff for online people. When we first started working together she was like “Oh, I need more clients. I’ve got to figure out what to do.” and she was just in this worry and was like needing more.

Once we got to where we could look at her numbers, we realized that she had had this beautiful five-year plan for moving her business forward and we cut the time frame of what she needed in half. So, it’s been a year now since then and she is halfway through her five year plan.

Because she actually had a much stronger financial foundation than she was even aware of.

I find that happens a lot, that people take their successes away because they don’t look like what we think of as financial success. So I’m here to celebrate that.

Christie: Cool. You’ve already given us some really great tips. What are some things that you see especially women doing with their business or personal finances that they need to give themselves some space on or some time to work on those things?

Christyna: That’s a great question. I see that especially women tend to either discount their savvy or say that the money doesn’t matter. It’s one thing to say that I’m living for this vision and I’m here … Mom’s are a great thing.

Mom entrepreneurs they are in businesses often so that they can create the life for their children that they want, so that they have time for everything that’s there. I want people, especially women entrepreneurs, to take small steps and create structures so they can have the capacity to have all the pieces that matter to them. And to recognize how far they’ve come.

If you are a mom and an entrepreneur, you have already stepped outside of the rat race that so many people are still stuck in. You are reclaiming the value of your vision for the world and for your children and that really matters. Stand strong in who you are and then from that space look at what is next for you financially. You know… we are so quick to heap on the needs and the wants and the oh, I should have or I wish that we had. I would like us to be just as quick to celebrate the steps that have already gotten us here.

Christie: That’s great. That’s why I like talking to you.

Christyna:
Yeah, peace of mind is the biggest reward I think that we can get from taking good care of our finances. When you know where you stand and you are not worried about it then you are able to make decisions. Like actually saying “right now this is handled” and I’m going to go play with my children or take a nap that I need. Or just give you space to be creative and really the spaciousness to do a client project the way you would like to do it because you are not worried about the money.

Oftentimes my clients incomes do go up. But that’s because they’ve created the space. The peace of mind and the space open up first and the money follows. Does that make sense?

Christie:
yeah, that makes total sense.

Christyna: That’s really upside down of what a lot of … how people think that money works … you know. We think that I need to make the money first and then I’ll have the peace or then I’ll be able to do what I want. But really standing in the power of what you do have and what you are already capable of, from there is where we are able to create more abundance.

Christie: Cool, thank you. Do you have any other advice you’d like to give? Or any other little tips.

Christyna: I’ve talked a lot about the big picture views, so let’s end with one real practical simple step.

I always recommend that you have a separate savings account, if you’re an entrepreneur then have one in your business. So you’ve got your business account and then you have a savings account (or it could be structured as a second checking account depending on how your bank fees work). You have a separate account that is money that has a name, that’s not ready for you to spend it yet. I pay my taxes quarterly. So every month I take money out of my main business checking account and I put it aside so that I’ll have the money there for my taxes.

Christie:
Right.

Christyna: It’s a great way to save up for going to a great conference, or you know, there’s always taxes, there’s usually insurance. Any of the long term things take it out of that account.

There’s such a temptation to see something that looks amazing and you go check your checking account balance and say “cool I’ve got the money” without stopping to really think about oh, half that money is set aside for the deposit for my new office or for taxes or something. Because in that moment we are so excited about the opportunity in front of us that’s what we see.

So if we have a separate space, we won’t be as tripped up by that.

Christie: Great. That’s a great tip. Thank you so much, Christyna and everybody I will have Christyna’s email…or not email… website and her Twitter handle and the information about Financial Friday and how to participate in that below the audio/video, whatever we decide to do. So thank you so much.

Christyna: Thank you Christie. It is such a pleasure to be able to talk with you again today and to hopefully meet a bunch of your community, too. That would be really, really great.

22 Responses to Women Branching Out: Christyna Lewis

  1. Sheila October 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Christie, thank you so much for introducing us to Christyna. It is so refreshing to see women actively pursuing their dreams and aspirations and even more encouraging to see support systems like Christyna’s that will help them make it a financially successful endeavor as well. I agree that facing it is the fastest way through the fear as it is never as scary as what we envision it will be.

    • christie November 1, 2011 at 10:05 am #

      Thank you Sheila for stopping by! You are right, support systems are so crucial for all of us. It’s so important for us to take the time to find people like Christyna who can talk to us about finances in a way that is empowering.

    • Christyna November 1, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Sheila,
      Success is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Someday soon I will blog about my “Goldielocks” adventures in the workplace where I tried several paths before hitting on my Just Right place, empowering dynamic, creative people to dissolve their financial worries.
      If you are looking for someone to face your fears and finances together with you, connect with me on FB or Twitter.

  2. Laura Gates October 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Great post and some great tips here, not only for entrepreneurs but all of us. Lately I have been feeling uneasy about my finances, and I notice the pile of stuff is getting higher, not the day-to-day stuff, but more of the longer term investments and decisions I keep putting off – and that’s not good, So it’s helpful to think of doing things in chunks of time. I also have someone asking me to do work outside of my company and I noticed I was anxious about what to charge, this is giving me courage to go for it!

    • Christyna November 1, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Laura,
      Congratulations! Noticing where your anxiety is centered and resolving to simply take action in those areas is awesome. I love that you are investigating both a) increasing your income flow and b) securing/structuring your long-term financial containers.

      I’d love to celebrate your next concrete step forward during this week’s #FinancialFriday chat.

    • christie November 1, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      Hi Laura – so good to see you here. Taking financial tasks a chunk at a time works best for me. Otherwise, I’m overwhelmed and that pile you mentioned starts to grow! Congrats on the additional work that heading your way!

  3. Heather Lentz November 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post! I have been putting off all the financial stuff in my business. I have a huge pile that I keep meaning to get to. You have given me the motivation to start going through it and planning ahead. I am happy to say that I did recently get a different account for my business. Yay! 😉

    • christie November 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Hi Heather – so glad this interview provided a push to work on your biz finances! Thank you so much for stopping by.

    • Christyna November 2, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      Excellent! We’ll celebrate your progress on Friday.

  4. Jenny Shih November 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    I love your calm, collected, and cool approach to finances. It’s an area where I’m comfortable, yet it was still great to hear what you suggested.

    The great tip I picked out for myself was setting aside money monthly for taxes. I do have a business savings account but I hadn’t thought about using it to set aside tax money. Brilliant!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • christie November 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi Jenny – Thank you for commenting. I’m glad Christyna’s interview resonated with you and that the tax tip was something new. Love the work you do and your creativity!

    • Christyna November 2, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      I love hearing which tips resonate with readers!
      I am all about making it easier for you succeed than to struggle.

  5. pat November 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I really enjoyed this interview Christie and thank you for introducing us to Christyna.
    I can resonate with her approach to finances and received a lot of useful advice.
    I especially liked when she said:

    “Stand strong in who you are and then from that space look at what is next for you financially. ”

    I also love her offer on Financial Friday’s. I may be joining in.

    • christie November 2, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      Yes that is one of my favorite takeaways from Christyna’s interview. It gives me such a feeling of “I am enough.” and a core strength to calmly approach my finances.

  6. Yvette November 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Thanks Christie for introducing us to Christyna. I’m very comfortable in this area, but I enjoyed her interview, tips and her non-geeky approach to finances. Loved it!

    • christie November 2, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      Yvette – thank you for commenting and noticing Chrisytna’s non-geeky approach. Her approach is so warm and personal, no guilt or fear attached to finances.

  7. Lea November 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    Thanks for this interview I’m always glad to learn about more financial gurus!

    Making decisions based on whats going on as opposed to being overcome by
    worry
    = loved this and soooo true!

    Having a calm attitude is SO important when getting people to open up and talk about
    their personal finances.

    Especially when dealing with anyone that gets anxiety over their own cash flow.

    Great interview!

    • christie November 2, 2011 at 9:37 am #

      Thank you Lea! Christyna’s approach is all about calm and taking stock of what is real today with our finances. Thinking about it that way has been so helpful to me.

  8. Jennifer Peek November 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    What a great interview! I love Christyna’s practical approach to looking at finances, but not having it be all about money, money, money. As a mom + entrepreneur, I especially appreciated this “If you are a mom and an entrepreneur, you have already stepped outside of the rat race that so many people are still stuck in. You are reclaiming the value of your vision for the world and for your children and that really matters.” That is a great reminder to stay focused – on the business and the finances.

    • christie November 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      Jennifer – that’s my favorite quote, too. We do need to remind ourselves just how far we’ve come.

      • Christyna November 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

        Money is a tool like a sculptor’s clay and scalpel. It’s importance comes from using it to serve our life and purpose. Our communities are enriched when women craft whole, values/mission soaked, unique lives. Thanks Jennifer.

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