These past 2 years as a digital nomad has been an immersion program into the entrepreneurial school of life. I’ve met, interviewed & worked with more entrepreneurs over the past 2 years than anyone else. In all my discussions with successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life on what the secret to success actually is – essentially, it all boils down to mindset, the beliefs we have and the stories that we tell ourselves.
At the center of this is your money story, which we’ll unravel in more depth in the free Master Class you can download from the show notes at www.EntrepreneursForAChange.com/46.
My guest today, Stephanie Trager, who will be teaching the Master Class, is a holistic business coach and the Founder of the company Intentional Paradigms. She works with business leaders and entrepreneurs to achieve their next level of success, embrace their inner purpose and become the influential leaders in all aspects of their lives.
In addition to being a licensed attorney, certified mediator, herbalist, & energy medicine practitioner, she is also the author of the forthcoming book, “Soul Success: Success from the Inside Out.”
In this interview, she shares with us.
- What is a money story, & why does it have so much power over entrepreneurs?
- How ancient shamanic systems can be leveraged to empower your business.
- What Soul guides are and how to connect with them.
- How to connect with your self-worth, so you can confidently raise your prices.
- What failure really means.
Download the Audio Master Class
In the Master Class, which you can download for free at www.EntrepreneursForAChange.com/46, Stephanie reveals why our money story has so much power over us and teaches us how reprogram our minds to have a positive relationship with money. You’ll discover,
- What a “Shadow” is and how this affects our relationship with money.
- Techniques you can use to reframe your money story.
- What are the different money archetypes and how do we tap into their power?
- Her recommendations for budding entrepreneurs in setting their fees and value.
- How letting go of money actually attracts more money.
- And much, much more!
Mentioned in this interview
- Tony Robbins
- Lynne Twist
Where to Find Stephanie
- Intentional Paradigm Website
- Stephanie Trager Website
- Follow Stephanie on Twitter
- Connect with Stephanie on Linkedin
- Intentional Paradigm Facebook page
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Lorna Li:Hello there, Stephanie. It’s such a pleasure to meet another wisdompreneur, who has had experience with shamanic medicine work and spent time in Brazil. So I’d love to dive into that world a bit during our call, but first, please tell our audience who you are and what is your business.
Stephanie Trager:Thank you so much, Lorna. My name is Stephanie Trager, and I am a holistic business coach. I work at the level of body, soul, and business. The name of my business is Intentional Paradigms, and I work with women entrepreneurs, solo practitioners, and leaders in business who want to reach their next level of success. I want to help them leverage their unique gifts and talents for more impact, income, and purpose in their lives.
Lorna: So what inspired you to become a holistic coach to entrepreneurs? Was there some experience or aha moment that led you to start the business that you have now?
Stephanie: It wasn’t an aha moment. It just happened. I wasn’t like one day inspired to become a holistic coach and a business coach. It just happened. I was practicing law in New York City and I was coaching people. That’s just what I was doing. So I said, “You know, I’m gifted here. Let me start a business doing this.” Then I got certified and it was one thing after the other. It’s about leveraging your unique gifts and talents and this was mine, so it was a natural progression.
Lorna: So how are you different from other coaches because there’s this whole world of coaches out there, and I’m amazed at all the different flavors of business coaching. It’s fascinating to me because I never really understood how big an industry coaching is and just how successful coaches can be. I mean going up to the level of Tony Robins, who’s clearly making seven figures. He might be making eight figures; I don’t know. He’s obviously one of the coaches at the top of the echelon.
So for me personally, I found that coaching has really helped me in my life because as a solopreneur, there’s nothing that I think that could be most deadly to your business than working in a silo because you don’t necessarily know what you might be doing wrong or what you could be doing better. Then, of course, having the accountability of somebody else to hold you accountable is so helpful.
But I think the key to finding the right business coach for you is to really understand who you are working with and how they work and whether you have a connection with them, whether that partnership is going to be one that will help you. Not all coaches and potential clients are necessarily a fit, as you know. What makes you different and why is it that the clients that you work with choose to work with you?
Stephanie: Well, I agree with you. We’re all very different. My coaching style is very different than the next person’s coaching style. What I appreciate is that some people might to have questions asked, right? Some people don’t want you to give them ideas. They want you to coach the ideas out of them. That’s one coaching style, and then there’s more consulting style where they want your ideas and your communication strategies.
For me, I am also an attorney. So an attorney, you are an advisor. I think that’s a natural tendency for being a problem solver, and I love solving problems. What I bring is my background. I am also a wellness coach and a business coach. These are all certifications and licenses. I’m a mediator. I had a divorce mediation practice for a while. I was also working in corporate law. I was an activist.
I’ve got this whole background. We all have such different backgrounds and bring our different talents and our different gifts, the gifts that we were given to actualize in this lifetime. And for me, my gifts – it’s a part in my work to help my clients connect to their soul.
Leaders in business sometimes look successful on the outside and they’re missing that soul connection on the inside. Wow, it can happen when you plug within. So that’s my secret sauce.
Lorna: How do you communicate the value of connecting with your soul to potential clients? If I were, for example, going to stick myself back into my former corporate American environment and speak about the power of connecting with your soul to some of my business colleagues, I might have range of weird looks to laughter. But yet, I understand deeply the power of connecting with your soul and connecting with your purpose. A lot of that comes from the medicine work that I have done in the Amazon basin with different shamans in different countries – in Ecuador, in Peru, in Brazil which is my favorite and then, a lot of my spiritual work within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Personally, I think that when everything that you do is aligned with who you are and what you are here to do on this Earth as part of your divinely inspired purpose, there’s definitely a lot of mojo that comes with it. I think the business community is still – I don’t know. It’s not quite a commonly accepted concept. So I am curious to know like how it is that you are able to educate people about the process of connecting with the soul and why that’s important in business.
Stephanie: I’m actually in the process of authoring a book which has that very intention. I agree with you. You have to definitely watch your words. It’s very interesting and sometimes the initial take when you use certain words, so it’s about being really crafty and our higher selves. Women in business or men in business – I’d like to say, women and smart men, at some level they know they’re hungry for something. At some level they know they need that connection and have been missing it. So they’re seeking it. You can’t appeal to people who aren’t really looking for something. On some higher level, they’re going to resonate whether or not they understand why. So I agree with you. Be very careful with your words and it’s nice to say things. There’s ways to say things that speak to people. You understand like you’re speaking to the key points and they get that. Those key points like disconnected, lack of purpose, or frazzled, or how about are you suffering from injuries, or are you, all of a sudden, have calamitous events in your life.
Those are things that are signs from your soul. It’s not like things are happening to you. They’re happening for you to wake up. Most people are stuck in, “Why is this happening to me?” So it’s an opportunity to say, “Okay, let’s tap into how connected are you to your soul right now. And that might not apply for everyone but for the people who are there on the tipping point, they’ll resonate.
Lorna: What drives you to be an entrepreneur doing the work that you do? Is there a personal story that you would care to share with us that makes this entrepreneurial journey meaningful to you?
Stephanie: Well, I don’t even consider myself – I didn’t say one day, “I want to be an entrepreneur.” I said, “I want to work for myself.” I didn’t even really know what the essence of entrepreneur was when I was in corporate or even before that. I love the fact that no one get to literally wake up everyday and feel like I’m actualizing my purpose here, my mission. That’s what feeds me. It feeds me to know that I can help others do the same thing.
Lorna: I love stories. When you think of the feeling of having helped somebody else, is there an example in your history of coaching or even in some of the work that you might have done before where that feeling of having helped somebody else is something that you like to remember and cherish?
Stephanie: Yes, all the time whenever a client expressed their gratitude. Yesterday, one of my clients was on her pinnacle moment. She had transformation in her expressing that to me. I was crying. It makes me so happy. You could be working with someone for five months and it’s like, “Ha, is this working?” Then, they have their moment and everything changes. Everyone has their time. And I also think that too, just in mind, especially when people lose loved ones. It’s that essence of death and dying which everyone has a different understanding of.
And for me, I love to comfort people in that space after they’ve lost somebody, and I have a special connection there. It really feeds me where I can be comforting other people going through that. The comfort – there’s no word for it.
Lorna: Yes. It’s so fascinating to me that in many ways our business community and culture can be so disconnected from people and their life experiences. These life experiences very much – I mean it’s life, first of all. Then secondly, it can really have a huge impact on how you show up for the work that you do. It’s almost kind of like if we do experience some type of tragedy or difficult personal event, we just need to hide it and put it in a box and then just still show up to work and then smile and pretend everything’s okay. It’s not considered to be professional if you have a moment of grief in the office.
I think that’s just an unfortunate part of our culture. For that reason, I think that having somebody who is a coach that can be that person for you beyond just your friends is also incredibly powerful too, because most of us I think might feel very isolated in our work environments if we’re also having to handle something that is difficult and challenging on the personal front.
When you work with clients who might be going through a difficulty like that, I think one thing that I see with entrepreneurship is that it can be a steep personal development curve. So a lot of spiritual, emotional and psychological issues or challenges or triggers can come up during the entrepreneurial journey. Is there anything that you do with your clients that might be inspired from your experience in the shamanic realms?
Stephanie: Well, that’s why I have taken on the title as a holistic business coach because I love helping people make money. I love helping people leverage their gifts and create business models that speak to their souls and it requires looking at yourself, every challenges and opportunity to reach the next level on personal note. So my programs are designed for that level of soul success. It’s about success from the inside out.
Everything I do is that, we might spend more time on personal growth, our numbers and program development. Everyone is also on their own individual journey. That’s like we have to meet where they are and figure out where they are and where they want to be and what that strategy to get them there including the personal growth.
Lorna: Do you have a particular methodology that you use like a system that you take your clients through?
Stephanie: Yes. I’ve developed a system. I call my system Soul Success method and means successfully inside out. It is a journey of personal growth and definitely take a look at your money styles. That’s a big part of this entrepreneurial journey. I’m sure you must hear that in a lot of people. It’s like the biggest challenge of luck. It comes out for women especially, solo practitioners, and entrepreneurs and leaders is the money issue.
Women, for some reason, have a much harder time seeing the value and selling for themselves, selling their value than they do for example selling other people’s values. So I meet sales people all the time, women in sales. They might be amazing. They say, “Did you ever sell your own services?” They have a story. It’s always a lot different when they sell their own services when they’re the one to sell their product to somebody else’s services.
Lorna: Why is it do you think that women are much more challenged in recognizing their own value? I have been having a lot of really interesting conversations about this with other people and of course, it’s always fascinating to hear a male perspective and a female perspective, but I think especially in light of the recent tragedy around the shooting in Santa Barbara, I think it’s where that is. It really created this whole activist hash tag “#yestoallwomen” outpouring of different women’s experiences and what it is to be female.
If you read that hash tag, it’s just incredible. You see all these women speaking of what it is like to be female and just not even in the United States but in different parts of the world. For me, it’s really been a bit of a lens in terms of, “Gosh, we have these female experiences in this female paradigm. Why are some of these challenges so much more difficult for us than it might be for men, for example, especially around self value and self worth? I’d love to hear your perspective on why that is. You’re not the only woman entrepreneur that I’ve spoken to that has expressed this challenge that their clients who might mostly be women entrepreneurs face.
Stephanie: Well, I see it like I’m dreaming a world into being. If we really look at that and apply it to this story as well, then, the more we create this outpouring, this activist platform, the more we’re I think creating the separation in a sense. I was talking to somebody about this also. It is somebody I grew up with actually. He said, “Is it just about where we’re from?” I don’t feel, like in my life personally and perhaps I’ve been privileged on some level on money that I don’t feel like I had less than opportunity than men. I feel like, yes, right from my money story, roles in my world very different than my brother, a man.
We are different. We’re different humans. We have different characteristics and I think women are sensitive, so we internalize things at a young age. We’ve internalized a lot of messages maybe on a deeper level and they have different impacts for us than they did for the boys. So now, we’re actualizing those. We’re unraveling those old stories and hearing them and it takes intention. People can go a long windily without looking at it.
I was thinking before about dreaming our world into being. I had many years as an activist. I was very passionate about protecting the Redwood Forest and spent years as an activist. The activist, in the sense of the word, it was a kind of a fight. It’s a resistance movement. I did martial arts for many years and that was my initial connection to Brazil. In the martial arts that I did, Capoiera, threw out a resistance movement for African slaves in Brazil. That energy of resistance of us against them, that is going continuously – it’s going to replicate, and replicate, and replicate.
I think the more we call this attention to women in struggles, women are different, the e woman experience and suffering, on some level, we have to do that to bring compassion and awareness. On some level, where are the solutions? How about just launching straight into the solutions? I don’t know if you’re familiar with Lynne Twist. Are you familiar with Lynne Twist?
Lorna: Yes. I love Lynne Twist. She’s been such an idol of mine for many years. I’ve been a big supporter of the Pachamama alliance and I’ve read her book, The Soul of Money. I think she’s just phenomenal. She’s a powerhouse. When I think about the different women leaders that I hope to be one day, like the ones who inspire me, she is up there. She is one of them.
Stephanie: Well, what I loved that she did impeccably, in the book The Soul of Money, was point out that how looking into the solutions, that people are suffering in their personal world, for example. Is it really helping them that we create outrage in activism or is it helping them by saying, “What kind of solutions do you need? Let’s work with you.” That’s what Lynne Twist kind of talked about in that book so impeccably.
Lorna: I think we need both. Honestly, I think without the outrage, it’s just easy to go through life like it’s not a problem. For example, the actions of this young kid killing these six people were the actions of a mad man and not the reflection of a greater culture that actually promotes misogyny. That’s the big debate. People that are saying, “Well, not all men are like this. This is one crazy person.” But actually, when you dig deeper and look at all his statements and his expressions of entitlement and then look at the forums and the community that he’s participating in, it’s much, much bigger than that.
I think, yes, the outrage is necessary. But I don’t think I completely agree with you. I don’t think it is constructive for us to then perpetuate a fight of men versus women or women versus men. That is not going to help the situation at all. But I think it’s definitely to bring attention to this. I find it really interesting that a number of the men that I’ve engaged in dialogue around this have not actually thought that they’ve come from the perspective that women’s experiences are kind of exaggerated unlike, well, you are guy. Who are you to tell me what my experience is and what constitutes harassment or not harassment?
I mean if it’s physical groping, that’s harassment but if it’s verbal aggression, that’s not harassment and they’re completely different? No. They’re both coming from a place of violence and sense of entitlement that you are total stranger that you can come and start spewing stuff at me and that’s your right to freedom of speech. Right now, with this national dialogue happening, I think it’s a really powerful time for men first of all to listen. It’s not the point to argue or invalidate our experience or deflect the conversation by saying that it’s not all men that are like this.
Although it’s quite interesting when you look at the “#notallmen” and “#knowallwomen” hash tags on Twitter, you can see exactly why “yesallmen” exists. But I think, too, it’s a really a great time for women to really reflect on how it might be possible. Okay, sure these things exist, but then what can we do to then stop becoming victims and take back our power?
Stephanie: Well, it starts by healing ourselves, you know, healing from inside out. The problem on the outside is what we’re talking about now, right? It’s this national debate. It’s this thing going on outside. I’ve done so much personal work on my inside and the things that only me being a female would experience in my lifetime. I had this deep personal responsibility and really connect this to my soul in order to understand and heal and empower our next steps. That is still an ongoing dream.
That’s what I love to introduce to other people. It’s very easy to, first of all, this is in no way saying, “No, let’s not talk about what’s really going on in the world” or ignore or be in denial. It’s saying, “So how can I grow here. How is this benefitting me?” The secondary benefit from every issue, challenge, and problem in the world somehow we benefit as a collective. It’s feeding the story that we’re dreaming of. It’s keeping the status quo. It’s keeping this conversation alive about the differences between men and women and violence.
So on an inner level, while we’re having that debate, how can we as women say, “How can this challenge actually be an opportunity for me to grow? How can I do this inside work? How is this triggering me?”
Lorna: In terms of women and value, how do you work with women entrepreneurs to really reclaim their value?
Stephanie: We’re clearing out first how they let it go. So reclaim it because it was there. It’s interesting to go back in time that they – let’s just say we. When did we first decide that we weren’t worth it or that we shouldn’t charge what we’re worth? And one of the thing is, it’s about really looking at paradigm. People, in general, have very different ways that they decide on their value. I do work with Money Archetypes. Money Archetypes is a very amazing tool that gives me and my clients so much information about where the story can come from.
There’s about eight different archetypes. People get an opportunity to see what’s really going on inside and what their money story is all about. For example, some women, when they’re selling your rates and how much do you charge in service-based businesses, they will even look at what the market were there, what’s happening out there in the community. There’s a local economy. Others will look at what kind of education they have, what kind of training they have. Others will look at something completely different.
So it’s fairly interesting to first find out what’s going on, where are they getting their perceived value from. Makes sense?
Lorna: Yes, absolutely. Wow. That’s so interesting. I never actually thought about money archetypes and value but you really illustrated. Yes, definitely. There’s so many different ways in which we approach setting our rates. I think setting your rates to what the market, what’s out there can be a very deadly strategy because you could easily set yourself up for the rates to the bottomline especially when you see other types of markets opening up to.
I see this all the time with places like Odesk and Elance where it’s like, “I know what my typical hourly rate is for someone with my experience as a professional search engine optimizer like a professional SEO in the corporate world.” Then when I look at what’s being charged in sites like Odesk and Elance, there’s no way I can do that kind of work for $10 or $20 an hour and would it even be good.
Absolutely, I think it’s not so much a question of what’s out there in the market but more important of something to consider is what your market is willing to pay for you. So the same product can be sold for $200 and $2000. It’s all about what your personal audience will pay and that is why it’s so important to build up a tribe if you’re an entrepreneur.
So how do you help your clients handle failure because failure is a very common entrepreneurial experience? And of course, it can be a very personally challenging experience as well which is what causes a lot of people to actually give up on the path of entrepreneurship. I’m curious to know – well, first of all, let’s start with your own story. How often have you failed and what was the biggest failure you experienced? Then take it to how then you parlay that experience with working with clients and dealing with failure.
Stephanie: The infamous failure. I feel, failure for me is a feeling, not an event. In retrospect, when I look back in my life, I don’t think I ever failed. I really don’t. I think that I’ve had feelings of being a failure whether they were accurate or justifiable, that’s questionable mistakes. If that means mistakes, yes. But would I do things differently? Yes. Can you resonate with that, Lorna? Failure is a feeling that we have and not necessarily an event or something that happened wrong.
Lorna: I think it’s all about how you look at a particular situation. For example, some people might see the event of losing a large sum of money like as a failure event, whereas somebody else might see the act or experience of losing a large sum of money as, “Wow. That was a very expensive lesson.” And so there are two different things. One is more of a failure paradigm and the other one is more of a wow-I-learn-something paradigm. I would agree with you in that sense that failure can be highly personalized. Nothing is a failure unless you assign the meaning of failure to it.
Stephanie: So every time, some things didn’t go as planned or say it was a failure. Looking back at it, was there ever a moment where you could have done something differently and you didn’t listen to that intuition that you have. So I would say, “Okay, was there a sign that you are getting that you didn’t see you’re here because it’s an opportunity to hone that muscle, that intuition muscle for the next time.”
For me, I would say I left a job in New York City. I was living in New York and practicing law and had my side coaching business going on. It was really stressful. I was doing martial arts and dance, and just busy. Overrun. I quit my job and moved out to the mountains across the country and I didn’t strategize with my money. It’s like, “Whatever. I don’t care if this ends literally to save my life. At this point, I will just live on my savings and figure it out.” So most people said, “Are you looking for a job?” “No, I’m just going to figure it out.”
So was that a failure that I didn’t have something lined up? Could I have been more strategic? Yes. Would I have done things differently? Yes. One of them would have been to hire a coach sooner and really help me sort out what was the best next step. Though I don’t think it was a failure. I had feelings that at some point, I was failing or had feelings like I’m a failure but I don’t think they were accurate. Many people on the outside said, “Look at what you have just done.” So it helps to have a fresh pair of eyes to give you a different perspective.
Lorna: Yes. I think there are some things that I would consider that would fall into the realm of like knowing when to fail quickly. I think that can be a tricky area where it’s like hard for us entrepreneurs to know whether something that you’re working on just needs more work and more dedication versus what like the concept is flawed or the model’s flawed. You got to try something else and abandon and move on to something else. And so I think that’s where the wisdom fail quickly comes into play is that, like not knowing when you need to fail might be an act of failure, so to speak.
Stephanie: When you do see it as useful information to get [unintelligible 00:31:33].
Lorna: Yes, exactly. Okay great. So we’re coming about to the end of our interview right now. I’d like to ask you about entrepreneurial mindset. Of course, there’s so many different factors that separate successful entrepreneurs from those who struggle from aspects of the business, the product. There’s so many different things. But then mindset is also a huge component as well. So I’d like to ask you what mindset tools or techniques work for you?
Stephanie: Well, action. If I sit too long in idle thought, I’m not taking advantage of useful time to course track. So for me, action feeds my mindset. I think one of the most profound shifts for me happens when I remember that I have soul guides, like I am really actualizing my soul’s purpose here and every time I veer off course, I have to meditate. I have to take time to connect myself and connect to my energy that is out there that I believe are helping me. So that’s my strategy.
Lorna: Soul guides. How do we connect with our soul guides? How do we find them?
Stephanie: Well, it’s different for everyone. It really depends on I guess the spectrum where you are in terms of your spiritual practice. For me, it’s a spiritual practice and when I veer off from that, the signs show up and they say, “Get back on.” If I don’t listen to the signs, it’s when things happen. So how do you find soul guides? It’s a very individual process. I’d say, reach out and contact me.
Lorna: I’ve seen some of my soul guides in visionary states, but for those who don’t work with the visionary plant medicines, I can’t necessarily provide much guidance beyond that. If you do one day choose to work with visionary plant medicines, then that’s a great opportunity to invite soul guides and spirit allies to come forward and show themselves to you.
Stephanie: And they’re there. They’re there, without the help of medicine although I hear you.
Lorna: Yes, exactly. They’re there all the time. Okay, great. So Stephanie, what do you think is the most effective way to change the world?
Stephanie: I would say, we are dreaming our world into being all the time. The most effective way to change the world is to take responsibility for everything that we do, everything that happens to us and that we are co-creating with everyone else in a collective, so being really intentional with our thoughts, our actions, and our words and taking congruent actions to change the world.
Lorna: Fantastic. How might we best stay in touch with you, Stephanie?
Stephanie: Well, you can visit my website. It’s www.StephanieTrager.com. And my e-mail and contact information is there as well.
Lorna: Fantastic. For those of you who want to get more of a deep dive into the Money Archetypes and how to work with them to completely rewire your money story, feel free to check out our master class which is available for free as a download from the show notes. Alright, thank you so much, Stephanie and you have a wonderful day.
Stephanie: Thank you, Lorna.
[END OF RECORDING]
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