Personal Improvement

Listen Emotion Matters with Joan Sotkin

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Today we interview Joan Sotkin of Prosperity Place, who approaches money in a holistic way. Because listen, emotion matters when it comes to money.

Joan’s Story

Joan comes from a family of compulsive debtors. She was born in 1940, a time when women’s roles were pretty prescribed. Joan got married and started on the prescribed path. She became a teacher but didn’t like teaching any more than she liked being married. She felt out of place. Looking for something else, she started studying what she terms, “woo woo stuff,” like astrology and healing crystals.

In the 1980’s she began selling crystals and minerals for healing and meditation and was making great money. In 2015 money, she was bringing in $50,000 a month! And then she went bankrupt.

Joan didn’t know how to manage cash flow. Her father died and she has since learned that people often deal with a big trauma by overspending. Her field started to grow and she didn’t know how to compete. Eventually, the business closed.

Early Adopter

In 1995 Joan discovered online business and taught herself how to build websites. A year later she moved to Santa Fe with $200 and whatever possessions fit in her car. In 1997 she started Prosperity Place. It’s a place for her to teach people what she learned from her mistakes and successes.

Joan was an early podcaster too. She started podcasting in 2005. When Word Press came out she started building websites for other people.

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Insanity Defined

Joan found that old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” to be true. She sees people acting out emotions through business and financial decisions over and over. You have to get in touch with your emotions in order to sustain success. We can know intellectually what to do but it still has to be done by a person (us) and a person can get in the way of doing it.

Even men can have emotions now!

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Money And Emotion

Our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions are what form our decisions. If you’ve had emotional issues in childhood, they sometimes manifest themselves in the decisions we make. If certain needs aren’t met, we feel deprived. If there is abuse or neglect, there is a feeling of being trapped in a situation. These emotions have to be expressed one way or another. That way can be healthy or it can be unhealthy.

If your “story” is always ending the same way and you don’t like the ending, you can change it. Worrying about the future doesn’t help the future. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens to you.

Stress As A Motivator

Does stressing over a situation motivate you to work harder? In that case, stress can seem like a beneficial thing. If you weren’t stressing so much, you would sit around playing video games instead of working toward a goal that will allow the stress to be alleviated.

Being chronically stressed can cause adrenal fatigue which can lead to chronic disease. Making decisions based on fear can lead to poor decisions.

You Are Not Required To Worry

Do you feel as though if you don’t worry, you’ll fail? Some people who are very afraid to fly feel this way. Through the entire flight, they concentrate on the plane not crashing. When it doesn’t, they’re convinced that it was their worry that kept that plane aloft. They believe worry makes things happen or can prevent things from happening.

Worrying is a waste of time. It’s creating a future that does not exist. You’re making it up! This doesn’t mean you stumble blithely along through life with no plan. But there is a difference between anxiety and concern.

Whenever Joan starts worrying about money, she says to herself, “A large sum of money from an unexpected source.” Because that is as likely to happen as any doomsday scenario she could come up with through worrying.

Ask yourself, how often has your worse case scenario actually happened? Have you ever been in a tight spot that you got yourself out of? Have faith in yourself that you can find a solution to any problem. Once you see that you can find a solution to any problem, you have nothing to worry about. Ask yourself, is everything okay today? There is a path other than worrying. You don’t have to worry to be successful.

Remember when Andrew had his burnout a few months ago? Everything Joan just explained is why.

A Holistic Approach To Finance

You have to take care of yourself first. That means eating right, sleeping enough, getting exercise, meditate. If you have a health problem, there is a reason. Something in your body is not working properly.

No one has a statin deficiency. Your body needs, fresh food, it does not need sugar nor does it need a lot of carbohydrates, especially not in the form of refined carbs. Joan sounds Paleo to me! She’s 75 years old and works nine hours a day.

You have to take care of your money in the same way. Money goes to people who love and take care of it.

Find Balance

Business and money should not be the core of your life. You are the core of your life. Never be in a hurry. Joan has an exercise to help teach this; you are never allowed to go through a yellow light. Rushing and hurrying causes stress. You are wasting time by being in a hurry to get something done.

Either you don’t do it properly and it has to be re-done or you crash completely after it’s finished and are useless for a period of time. If you can find balance, you can find more time.

The Middle Ground

Joan isn’t telling any of us to go lay on a beach and ignore the world around us. But there is a middle ground between constantly worrying about money and completely ignoring it. It doesn’t mean not having goals, it means maintaining balance while working toward those goals.

Joan’s goal is to be healthy until the day she dies and to be comfortable with whatever amount of money she has.

A Different Perspective

Joan’s way of looking at things is pretty different from the way we have been looking at things. But her way seems healthier. She brought up some ideas that I hope we can all take on board. Too much focus on money, like too much focus on any one thing, is unhealthy. Here is to a balanced, healthy life for us all, financial and otherwise.

Show Notes

Pumking Southern Tier: A seasonal, pumpkin beer.

Prosperity Place: A holistic approach to business and financial success.

LMM Community: Join the money revolution! There are two new podcasts coming up for Community members only, Rich Tips and Ask Anything.

Inter-Article Image Photo Credit: “Flat emoticons [FREEBIE]” by Crassus on DevianArt

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.

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