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managing time and money

Managing Your Time and Money – Miriam Gunn

 Hey friends, today’s interview is a little bit unusual in that I’m the one being interviewed.

this is an excerpt from the podcast Launchpad with Kelly Smith. We had a lively conversation about

how the undisciplined use of time and money really sabotages yourself and ways that you can do something different.

If you would like to hear the full episode, you can look in the show notes and the link to that will be there.

I hope you enjoy this conversation we had.

Kelly: Welcome to the podcast launchpad, where you’ll learn the tools you need to use your podcast to be a go-to expert in your field, expand your audience, and get more clients. I’m your host Kelly. Enjoy the show

I am really excited to chat with today’s guest because we’re gonna talk about how the undisciplined use of time and money creates stress in our business and in our podcast journey.

Miriam Gunn has fostered growth in others since 1985 as a mentor, a licensed therapist, and a certified coach. Currently, she’s passionate about helping businesses and high performers become successful so they can add their influence to this amazing world we share.

[00:00:43] Why a Coach?

Kelly: So tell us a little about your background and why you decided to become a coach.

Miriam: Well, I, I mean, if I go way, way back, I was mentoring university students, and did that for about 25 years. And in the context of that, so many [00:01:00] times they needed a therapist and I would join them and go with them to therapy or help them figure it out.

And at a certain point I said, why don’t I get this degree?

I look at therapy as, let’s look back and figure out where we got off our path and let’s fix some of that stuff back there. And I look at coaching as, let’s look forward to where we wanna go and land.

And so at that point I got a certification in, coaching- began working with people, loved it, and found out that the people I liked the most to work with were entrepreneurs because entrepreneurs know how to take action, which really is at the heart of coaching.

Then at that point, I got another certification in business coaching specifically, just so I could better serve the business owners I was working with.

Kelly: That’s fantastic.

[00:01:49] The Undisciplined Use of Time and Money

Kelly: So would you give us some examples of the undisciplined use of time or money or other resources?

Miriam: Sure. Let’s, let’s go with two versions of the undisciplined [00:02:00] use of time and then I’ll bounce into the money space.

There is the undisciplined use of time that creates issues, negative issues for the person, like they’re just not good at leaving margin, or they have a magical thinking about what can be done in five minutes. Usually what can be done in five minutes is not a four point list.

So the, the, the five point lists can’t be done in five minutes.

But if you just say, I’m not gonna try and do any of those things. I’m gonna get my keys, I’m gonna get my things. I’m gonna sit in the car for 10 seconds and think, did I leave anything at home before you zip out of the driveway to do your stuff?

That’s a space that really helps people not get frantic. When you’re frantic, you’re secreting adrenaline and cortisol, and now you’re missing stuff. You’re not driving as well or whatever. Or you’re in a. And you’re not thinking clearly. So that’s a space [00:03:00] where an undisciplined use of time like pulls you down.

Being Better

But then there’s an undisciplined use of time where you’re already doing well, but you could do better.

And I think that comes down to the sort of space where you maybe on Sunday look at your week and you plan out your week, and then maybe you batch things like for example, Today, we’re recording on a Monday, which is really unusual for me. Normally, I only do podcast things Tuesday afternoons and Thursday afternoons, and that way my brain knows this is what we’re doing, and when I schedule other things, I schedule them in other places.

The undisciplined use of time, am I doing responsively, not responsibly, but responsively with a V, what it is I’m setting out to do, or am I doing reactionary what they, whoever it is they out there are asking me to do.

So I try not to get into my email until [00:04:00] midday. I try to work on my big projects in the morning. My brain knows this is how my schedule is blocked out. This is where I am going to put my energy, and then I don’t waste a bunch of time to trying to figure out the, the decision making.


Kelly: makes so much sense what you’re saying, so when should, before we get into the money, When should we take a break then?

Miriam: I’ve heard a lot of research say a variety of things. Some people will say 90 minutes, some people will say 50 minutes. I think there are, these, you know, various programs that say X many minutes on and X many minutes off, and.

What Worked Before?

This is my opinion, but I would say work with what worked well with your brain.

My brain wants to be done at 50 minutes. So why don’t I let it, I’m gonna waste the next little bit anyway, so I will often set an alarm for 50 minutes [00:05:00] and then I’ll take 10 minutes and I’ll do something.

I live on a little farm and so I will go out and check on something. I’ll go look for eggs or I’ll put fly masks on animals, or I’ll just take a quick walk around the yard and then get some sunshine and then come right back in and do another 50 minutes.

That’s what works for me, but I think you have to know yourself.

Kelly: Mm-hmm. .

I haven’t done that before, like setting an alarm because I don’t wanna break the flow if I am caught up in something.

Miriam: Yeah.

Again, I think it comes down to knowing yourself. If you’re the kind of person who can get into flow and stay in flow and go two or three hours, my goodness, do it.

Mm-hmm. . Um, if you’re the kind of person whose brain gets fatigued and you need a 10 minute break, and then you come back with like more vigor and the ability to think creatively again than do that.

I, I do think that [00:06:00] we are in the habit of maybe taking direction from everyone outside of ourselves. But there also is a deep knowing inside yourself that sometimes says, I just need a break. Yeah. Gimme a break. And I will go back to working. You know?

Kelly: Yeah.

Very true. So let’s talk about, undisciplined use of money.

[00:06:23] Talking about Money

Miriam: As a therapist, I can tell you that the things that people fight about the most are money and sex. Mm-hmm. . And as a coach, I can tell you as a business coach, I can tell you that if you get yourself into a space where you don’t have enough money to cover your expenses, The stress is through the roof.

Like it’s just visceral because it’s not just you that you’re in charge of. Now, if you’re a company that has team members, employees, now you’re looking at other people’s lives and the, the stress is astronomical. And sadly, it’s not [00:07:00] uncommon when business owners get into this space where they can’t cover their expenses, they, they get suicidal and some of them actually even take their life.

And I’m here to say nothing is worth that. All these problems can be worked out no matter how many zeros are after that number.

But I’m gonna say, you know, dialing this way back to a much smaller space. I encourage people to get into the habit of really understanding their finances and understanding what they’re doing with their money.

There are so many people who are unaware and they just sort of spend, they, you know, if they feel like it, they sort of have a general idea, and if there’s money in the bank, it’s like everything’s good.

Like I said, I’m on a farm, so I have animals. So I have an animal emergency fund, I have a vehicle fund, I have a health fund. And when the money goes in initially, it’s automatically pulled out on such and such a. [00:08:00] I don’t have to think about it.

Money Decisions

But then when, one of my animals needed a, it was an emergency surgery, it was $1,200. I didn’t bat an eye. I just said, yeah, that’s fine. Do do what you need to do to save her life. Mm-hmm. , and it wasn’t stressful.

But when you don’t have that money in those accounts, it’s extremely stressful.

Years ago, I said the ideal scenario is that I never make a decision based on do I have enough money?

I make the decision based off of is this the right decision, whether it’s for the animal or the vehicle or the vacation or whatever. Is this the right decision for my life based on a whole bunch of other principles.

So then I ask the question, how do I set myself up for that?

And the way you set yourself up for it is similar to time. You can be reactionary with your money and just deal with things as they come. Or you can be proactive and responsive and set it up ahead of time. [00:09:00]

So that’s a lot of words, but the principle’s the same, whether it’s you’re an individual or whether you’re a business, it’s just at a different scale. And when you’re looking at businesses, the question really becomes, is my overhead exceeding my cash flow?

And if it is, you’re gonna be uber stressed out and your business isn’t gonna do well.


[00:09:22] Be Proactive

Miriam: Yes. I’m a, I’m a big fan of, it is easier to stay, not stressed than it is to talk yourself off the ledge. Mm-hmm. , you know, whatever’s causing the ledge. This is intuitive with time and not as intuitive with money. But people are amazingly willing to be in the dark.

I know another entrepreneur who lost, I, don’t remember if this was in a quarter or in a month, but it was like $17,000 one quarter or month Then later $13,000 [00:10:00] one quarter or month, mostly because he didn’t have enough time to check his emails and figure out who was supposed to be doing what.

It was entirely avoidable. All he had to do was basically hire someone else to stay on top of that, and he had the resources to do it. He just didn’t get around to the organizational space to do it. He was running so fast fulfilling the business that he wasn’t working on the business so fast fulfilling the business that he wasn’t working on the business.

And I, I guess what I would say for individuals or business owners and I, I would say most are pretty good at having a general idea, but they are not good at having maybe like a quarter by quarter idea of what is happening with our revenue, what is happening with our profit? What is happening with our products?

Which product is making us the most money? Which products do we need to triage, and which ones do we need to basically accelerate going with that 80/ 20 rule? Hmm. That’s on the business side.

The Personal Side of Money

[00:11:00] On the personal side. It’s crazy how many people have high, high credit card debt.

And what’s fascinating about it is it creates so much anxiety that they won’t open the statements, whether it comes electronically or in paper, and they avoid it, and then they of course, make the problem worse, which gives them worse anxiety, and it’s a very, very negative feedback loop.

So open your statements, create a plan. Take action. Don’t put your head in the sand.

Kelly:  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Also with, when you’re mentioning like re in the in business, really look at your products, let’s throw in your services.

I would add and see which ones are costing money. Do you need to promote it more or do you need to start letting it go and, you know, not just let [00:12:00] it peter out, but actually. You know, have it come to a conclusion or things like that. Absolutely. Yeah.

Miriam: Being active in the decision making process rather than being passive and letting just the currents of life float you down the river.

It’s an interesting space because when people get too overwhelmed, they stop taking the vital signs of their life or their business, and that’s where these problems, you know, creep up.

[00:12:28] Don’t Become Your Own Bottleneck

Kelly: So one thing I just thought of, would this be considered another resource that we may not be making great use of? And that would be, team members, you know, whether it’s someone we’ve hired full-time or a virtual assistant, where again, we may not be making best use of them. We’re not giving them enough to do or we’re not providing proper guidance.

Miriam: A lot of times, and it’s never anyone’s intention, those assistants or team members aren’t given, you [00:13:00] know, those maybe tasks. In part because the c e o or the owner doesn’t have enough clarity around them. Like you have to have a system that you can communicate to someone.

I remember hearing moms say this when they were in therapy, and I’ve heard CEOs and owners say the same thing. Oh, it’s so much easier just to do it myself. I don’t have time to teach someone how to do this.

And it is easier in the short term, you know it’s gonna be done right. And you know, there’s truth to that statement, but in the long term, you absolutely cannot grow.

You become your own bottleneck and you burn yourself out.

But teaching someone else to do it is a bit of a process, and you have to be willing to put up with the mess a little bit and also have some iterations around all of that because everybody’s learning.

Kelly: Yeah, do you have [00:14:00] any other suggestions for us or any other tips? What you shared was really great.

[00:14:07] Social Contagion

I do  know that there is kind of a social contagion If you hang around people who are chronically late, you will be chronically late, and if you hang around people who are punctual, you’ll become at least more punctual. If you hang around people who spend money without any sort of sense of, is this in my budget or I’m saving for something, you’ll become a spender Who you hang around with really influences what you do. Because we’re social creatures.

We have this thing in our, in our brain, actually on the back of our retina, we have these mirror neurons and, and also within our brain that cause us to mirror what we see in other people.

So if I smile, you smile, and if I get angry and hostile, you have to work really hard to not get reactive. [00:15:00] and if I’m spending money like crazy, you’re gonna be tempted to buy, you know, something that you might not have done on your own. Mm-hmm . So I guess I would say to people,

pay attention to who you’re hanging around with. Pay attention to what it is you want and start looking for people who are also doing that.

Your Environment

And you know, sometimes that means reading books by people who are doing that, following people on social media who like espouse these ideas.

They don’t have to necessarily be in your physical presence, but you have to put some inputs in that encourage you to make the behavior change and then you reduce, like I have a friend who spends a lot of money on things I would never spend money on, and when I hang out with her, I always end up spending more.

I don’t have to get rid of the friend, I just have to stop going places with her. Mm. And I have another friend who’s incredibly healthy in what she [00:16:00] does. I go to lunch with her because she orders healthy stuff and she reinforces what I’m trying to do in my life.

Kelly: Yeah, that makes sense.

Miriam: Surround yourself with people who are better at what you want to become and you’ll become it.

Kelly: That makes sense. Wonderful. Something to strive for.

[00:16:20] The Leave Better Podcast

Kelly: Awesome. So let’s talk a bit about your podcast, the Leave Better Podcast. What made you decide, decide to start a

Miriam: podcast?

Oh my gosh. Well, I mean, I was, I mean, to be honest, I was a little bit jaded with the kind of conversations I was having. I live in kind of a remote area and I just made the decision.

I wanted to have engaging conversations with people doing extraordinary things, and I thought, well, I’m really interested in self-development. I’d like to magnify my voice and get, you know, away from the [00:17:00] one-to-one and get more into the one to many. And I. I’m gonna win either way because even if nobody listens to it, I’m gonna have engaging conversations with people doing extraordinary things.

So that was my initial, you know, space and I thought, well, any, anything else that it, it happens beyond that is just icing on the cake.

Kelly: From a practical perspective though, what has been the most, like the biggest practical benefit you think you’ve gotten from podcasting so far?

Miriam: I would say probably three. The first benefit is that I had to learn a whole bunch of new technology. I like to learn, but also it’s very difficult to make yourself learn something without a practical application. So I. It’s not gonna stick if you don’t have a reason, at least for me. So I had all sorts of software and actual equipment and best practices [00:18:00] and platforms and this, that, and the other. So I just learned a lot of things and I loved it.

Hiring Help

The second thing, what I would say is I had recently hired an administrative assistant, or I guess I would, I call her my executive a. and I was in the process of that struggle we talked about earlier where it’s easier to do the vacuuming than to teach your kid how to do it.

And it forced me to systematize so many things that I was doing, and the podcast allowed me to do that easier because we were learning together. I hired her right at the time. I started the, well, maybe two months before I started the podcast, or maybe a. and so we were using, are using still a product called Asana as a project management tool.

And I said to her, okay, we’re gonna figure out how to do this, but every time you figure it out, I want you to document it as though you are teaching the next person. Mm-hmm. and I, I just love her to death. And I said, I don’t ever want you to leave my little company, but if you do, [00:19:00] we’re gonna have this documented so the next person is very easy to train. So I loved that benefit. It’s been huge. It’s, and I, I can’t say enough about that. Mm-hmm. .

And then I would say the third thing that I’ve gained from having my own podcast is I have a list of things that I’ve learned from each person that I’ve interviewed. It’s been great because I’m choosing extraordinary people.

It’s been super fun and I have learned so many things. I’ve talked to people from all over the world, and it’s been a, a big win. .

Engaging with People

I love being able to engage with people at a heart level, at a self-development level, and have somebody else come away better.

My whole premise is I want you to come in contact with me and leave better, but then as you’re better, I want you to leave them better your family, your business, and ultimately your world.

There are so many people doing good, but [00:20:00] there are also so many people who are somehow constrained there’s just so much negativity.

And it’s like, no, you can make a difference. Yeah.

Listen to somebody who inspires you and then go inspire someone else. Totally. I don’t know. Yes. I’m, I’m just a big fan of, you’ve only got one life, so do something with it.

Kelly: All of that is so beautiful. I just love everything you said there.

[00:20:26] Finding Miriam

Kelly: So how can listeners find you to learn more about you and your services?

Miriam: I love working with entrepreneurs and high performers, so if you are someone who is passionate about growing, I’m passionate about helping you grow.

I say reach out to me and we’ll have a conversation, and then we decide how to work in a way that fits what it is you’re, you need.

Kelly: Thank you so much, Miriam. This has been fabulous. I really appreciate your being here today.

 Photo credits: Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash


End Credits

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

Full audio episode found here.

Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

All Leave Better podcast episodes can be found here.

Music by Tom Sherlock.

head shot Miriam Gunn

If you are curious to know more, please contact me!

As someone who has been a therapist for over a decade and has been coaching people for over three decades, I am uniquely qualified to address your concerns.