Ep #22: Regret-Proofing Your Life with Suzy Rosenstein

I have a feeling that my guest today is someone a lot of you listeners will relate to. Suzy Rosenstein worked in the public sector for years in a job that looked good on paper but wasn’t fulfilling her… until the Universe conspired in her favor and she was laid off. Suzy seized that opportunity to create her coaching business and start making her wildest dreams come true!

Suzy specializes in helping people to reach their full potential and regret-proof their lives. She seeks out people who are frustrated and know, in their heart of hearts, that there’s more. Sound familiar?!

We talked about pretty much everything important to us personally, as well as our businesses, but Suzy’s advice on regret-proofing every area of your life really speaks to me, and I hope it shines a light on your journey as well. If you’re feeling that life is passing you by, this episode is for you!

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why Suzy knew becoming a life coach was the right choice.
  • How to figure out your niche.
  • Why the midlife feeling that life is passing you by is not as age-related as you might think.
  • What makes Suzy so passionate about regret-proofing
  • The huge difference Suzy has made in my life and work.
  • How looking to your childhood can help you rediscover your passion.
  • Where regret-proofing meets money mindset.
  • How to deal with that stage of life where you have a little more time to yourself than you’re used to.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 22.

Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hi, everybody. It’s Tobi, and I am so excited today because we are having another interview. I have a guest today and this guest is super-special to me because she is my own life coach. So I’m sharing with you all something super-personal and special to me.

My guest is Suzy Rosenstein and she is amazing. So before I let her talk, I’m going to tell you about who she is and we’re going to get into some cool things today.

So who she is, is a master certified life coach. And she had another career before that she can tell us about, but the whole reason she does what she does is because of that other career. She felt like she wasted too many years being stuck where she didn’t want to be. And so now that she’s become a master certified life coach, she helps midlife women who feel like life is passing them by and that they’re going to have regrets; she helps them make a change.

So please help me welcome my friend, my coach, and this extraordinary woman, Suzy Rosenstein, to the podcast today.

Tobi: Hey, Suzy.

Suzy: Oh my gosh, I’m so happy to be here.

Tobi: So what I didn’t tell them is I met you because I went to The Life Coach School, which they’ve heard me talk about a lot, and I was so lucky – just the way that life works and fate works – you were my master coach for my small group, right. So we just were put together. It was meant to be. And then when I got back and I started putting a lot of things in place, I was like, “I need Suzy. Come help me. I want you to hold my hand.” Because everybody needs a coach and I’ve always had business coaches, but I’ve never had a life coach until you. So yay – yay us…

Suzy: It’s the secret sauce. I love when the universe unfolds as it should.

Tobi: Yes, exactly. So I told them a little bit about who you are, but I didn’t tell them you’re Canadian. That’s the cool part, because you don’t even have to be in my own country to coach me. Like, we just hop on a call and it doesn’t matter where you are, right. So tell them a little bit more about who you are before we get started in our topic today, which is regret-proofing your life. So tell us about you.

Suzy: Okay, well I’m actually a dual-citizen. I grew up in the Philadelphia area, but a million years ago, I met a guy and ended up in Canada, yada yada yada, that’s what happened.

Tobi: I love it; how fun.

Suzy: And if my kids ever did that… So what happened to me is one of those classic situations where I worked in the public sector for 27 years in the field of health promotion and health education. And in my last job, I had 19 years of those 27 and I was in a publishing department making books to help families and other healthcare professionals with addiction and mental health. And my job looked amazing on paper, I worked with smart people, it was an amazing cause-oriented institution. But, you know, I was just there too long. And then one day, I got that fateful knock at the door and I got a layoff notice. So when that sort of thing happens – if any of your listeners know – your heart just starts racing out of your body and it’s just so intense and it’s quite harsh, but even as it was happening, I had a feeling that it might be a gift because I was actually unhappy for five years, even though my job was fine.

So I really had been there too long and it was that layoff notice that was the best gift ever and it happened the year I turned 50. So a lot happened that year and I was very in the mood for a change and the universe opened up there too.

Tobi: I love that. so isn’t it funny how when we don’t listen and we don’t listen and we don’t listen and for five years you weren’t listening, and so, like, the universe and god and whatever you believe in just conspires and gives you a big old shove out the door. It’s like, 50 is the perfect time; let’s push her out and make her actually do what she wants to do. I think that’s perfect.

Suzy: Well I was looking. I was looking around and I was whining to my friends, “What should I do? What should I do?” And the thing was, I didn’t know about a life coach at that point either and it would have saved me a few years if I would have had some help. I did investigate some options that were related to my education. I have a master’s degree in applied social psychology, so I kind of looked at that and I did some brainstorming and I went to a career place and I came up with all kinds of ideas, but the thing I realized that I missed, this part was clear, I missed working one-on-one with people. I was, like I said, in this great educational institution, but I didn’t work one-on-one.

I made books, the books went out there, they helped people, but I never had the connection and I really missed that. I am a people person and what’s so beautiful about coaching is that you get the one-on-one, you get to connect with people in an extremely meaningful way and you get to help people and you get to participate in the joy and excitement of growth. It’s so much fun.

Tobi: Yeah, and I’ve been a business coach, and now a life coach – a business coach for 10 years and I know exactly what you mean. It’s so fulfilling. It’s almost even more exciting to help to see other people bring things to life even than yourself sometimes, right. You’re just so proud of them, like they’re your sister or your child or your mom or something. It’s so special to have those relationships.

Suzy: Absolutely, yes.

Tobi: So when I came to you, a little bit different than your typical client, not that I’m not almost 50. I mean, I have about four years, but obviously we had a relationship, so I just knew you would be dynamic and great at helping me achieve really big goals. But tell us a little bit about your typical client, because I love that you know exactly who you wanted to help. And I talk to the people that are in my coaching program Design You a lot about finding that niche or that group of people that they’re so passionate about that they just want to love-up and pour into. And sometimes, they don’t know who that is, but you obviously knew and a lot of times it is because it aligns with our own life, right. So tell us about the ladies that you typically work with.

Suzy: Well you are exactly right and when I help people – I do some business coaching too and I help people determine their niche and the first question I ask is exactly what you said, who do you get a charge out of working with? Because it’s not like we’re working at Starbucks, it’s not like we’re a doctor who has to treat people who come to you. We can decide, as an entrepreneur in this profession, who lights us up. Who do we get a charge out of working with? And that’s fine. And then, of course, we need to figure out why they need help and what we can offer them. So with my people, I definitely got a charge out of working with midlife women and I have clients who aren’t midlife women, I have a young guy that works with me for some business coaching, I have women who are not midlife, but the ones I try to find on purpose with everything I talk about, all the examples that I use and everything, they are typically 48 to 62, in there. So they’re women who are starting to think about turning 50 and not everybody enjoys thinking about that transition.

Some women who are in their 50s who probably should have been doing a little bit of thinking about that transition, because it sneaks up on you, and people who just know in their heart of hearts that they’re frustrated and that there’s more. They have this feeling that life is passing them by, and sometimes, that is not an age-related thing, sometimes it’s a stage-related thing. And that’s typically why I get people at different ages, because if you’ve been hyper-focused on your career early on, you may hit, what I call, a midlife funk in your 30s.

Tobi: Yeah, I hit it in my late 30s and even now I’m 46 and I’ve kind of gone through a couple of resources and then I found you, thankfully. But we had that conversation that one of the reasons why I’m already ready for this kind of work a little bit early is I sort of did career on steroids. So I blew through a lot of those stages and sometimes, when people do that, like you said, we get to that spot earlier and we’re like, “What now? I’ve done all the stuff I thought I wanted and what now?” So that kind of leads us into a little bit of a discussion about why is this so important – like, as women, when we start hitting that midlife funk, so many people just ignore it and think it will go away. Why is it so important that we lean into listening to our thoughts, our body, all of that stuff, and doing something about it? Like, why is this process of regret-proofing the next however many years really important?

Suzy: It’s such a good question; because life flies, my friends. Life goes by in a blink and you don’t need to be 55, like I am, to really start to appreciate that. before you know it, your kids are older and leaving the house. Before you know it, somebody close to you has died or gotten a scary disease. Before you know it, things aren’t the way you planned or anticipated and what typically happens is we’re very busy and we’re multitasking our 20s and 30s away with families, building careers, paying down mortgages, having debt. We’re just running around in a chaotic blur and what typically happens is that all of a sudden, you’re in an age or stage where you’re like, whoa, what happened? Where did the time go? And then you realize you may have regrets, and that’s why I love talking about regret-proofing, because it really puts the emphasis on empowering yourself to do something about it so that you can live more intentionally.

And if you look at research with seniors who have lived well into their 80s, 90s, and I even saw one study interviewing people over 100 – if you talk to people about what they regret, it’s usually relationships and things that they didn’t do because of fear.

Tobi: Right.

Suzy: And, you know, we have an opportunity. There’s so much available to us now in terms of mindfulness strategies and help and self-help and self-development that we need to tap into it so we’re more aware of what we want. And women are always the last person on their own agenda, so many people to take care of in a very chaotic and intense but wonderful phase of life. And so it gets to the point where, like I said, because of age or stage, all of a sudden, you’re at a point and sometimes you get a wakeup call. And a wakeup call can be anything like a health-scare or a milestone. It could be a significant birthday or a layoff or kids leaving home, empty nest, something happens…

Tobi: Marriage stuff, divorce, all that stuff.

Suzy: Something jarring, something jarring that just kind of wakes you up and it reminds you that if you don’t start paying attention to what you actually want – and I know it sounds very Oprah…

Tobi: Oh, I love Oprah. We can go Oprah anytime you want on my podcast.

Suzy: So, every time I say intentional – it’s like the word, journey – every time I use the word intentional, I think Oprah. Yeah, but it’s really true. So instead of just walking around subconscious, just responding to things, instead you want to think about what it is you actually want and set your life in a direction toward that on purpose. That’s regret-proofing; regret-proofing your life. The way I like to think about it is regret-proofing your professional contribution, your relationships with others and the relationship you have with yourself. And if you do all of that, you are much more likely not to have regrets and be happier about the way you’re living your life.

Tobi: Yes, and I absolutely love this. So when I first called you and I was like, “I want you to help me because I’m going to launch this new program and all that stuff and I just want to really be at my best so I need you to be my coach.” But I didn’t know for sure that your program applied, and you were like, “I think it will, but let’s just see what you want to do.” And then, by the third meeting we had, we were moving right into the regret-proofing piece and it was awesome because we figured out that – you teach to look at things in timelines, right. So what happens 25 years from now, 20 years from now, and we got all the way down to five years from now and I realized that in exactly five years, my daughter goes to college. And so we realized it was so fun to have that milestone that fits right into your system that I had an opportunity on the front end of the next five years to make it every single thing I wanted it to be while she was still at home, which was probably my favorite part.

Now, there’s been a lot of highlights of working with you, but that was really, kind of, my favorite part so far. But in thinking about that, the process of regret-proofing and how you take people through this, can you give us a little taste of some of those highlights of – maybe even talking about the milestones and the things that would help them understand the work that you do with people.

Suzy: Sure, so one of the first things, and I’m sure listeners of your podcast will appreciate the thought model, and one of the very first things we need to do is to make sure that you understand the difference between what happens in the world and what you think about it, because most of us thing that what happens in the world and thoughts are the same thing. And what we learn doing this kind of work is that we really have more power than we think and by separating out your thoughts, you can see, slowly but surely, that you can watch yourself thinking, and that’s where the power is. Just because a thought pops into your head and creates the way you feel and is actively producing results in your life, doesn’t mean that that’s the way it needs to be. And when you have awareness of it and see it, then that is like the fuel for intentional living.

That’s how you can really start to say, “Ooh, this is where my wiggle-room is. This is where my power is.” But some of the exercises I have, I’m a firm believer that what you enjoyed when you were a kid, there are so many clues lurking in your childhood in terms of what you were passionate about and what you really enjoyed. And a lot of women say things to me like, “I just don’t know what I’m passionate about anymore. I don’t know what I want.” And I think the best place to start looking is in your childhood. And I take my clients through an exercise where we just look at the happy highlights of what are the things that made you joyful throughout your life. You can carve up your life into different chapters. It doesn’t really matter what they are, but they’re significant to you. It could be age or it could be things that happen, places you went, but that you look for joyful things. And those joyful things are probably the same sort of things that will give you joy now as an adult. And just that awareness – I’ve had clients say, “Oh my gods, I forgot I loved horseback riding.” Or, “Oh my god, I used to love to write.” And then we look at their life now and the way that they’re planning on developing their lives and those key ingredients are often missing.

Tobi: Right.

Suzy: That’s just one really nice place to start. How was it when you did that?

Tobi: Oh, I loved it. Okay, so what we went back to was my whole life as a child, I always thought I wanted to be a teacher. And it’s so interesting because, essentially, as a coach and as a podcaster and all the parts of the things that I do and love most about my life, I really am a teacher. And it’s so funny how that presents itself because it doesn’t necessarily mean I was supposed to be a school teacher, but I loved that whole process. I love learning and I love putting things into common sense tools and ways of telling it to other people that they can apply, and that’s exactly what I do today. And then we also discovered, which you’ll probably remember, that one of the things I didn’t like so much – not that you expect – you don’t want us to focus on the negative, but I kind of discovered, through some of this, especially in the career area, that I don’t enjoy it as much when I’m being creative and it’s really constrained.

So we looked at some of the particular client situations or partnerships that I have and we learned why some of them really are great for me and I thrive there and others aren’t. and it’s because when I can really bring my creativity to the world and it makes a difference, then I’m really fulfilled. And when I bring it to the world or to a client and, sort of, all the creativity gets nixed and moved out of the way, then it doesn’t really light me up anymore. So I think it’s so interesting because I work with lots of people, especially interior designers, and they’re like, “What happened? I loved designing, now I hate it.” And I try to help them understand, they don’t have to hate the whole thing. They don’t have to hate the whole industry; they just need to have the confidence to pick the parts they really like and just offer those. So I think that was one of the things that even though I knew that and I was practicing that, I didn’t necessarily know why something didn’t light me up anymore. And through those exercises, I was able to see that makes so much sense because I’ve always been unhappy or uncomfortable when I felt restrained or when I felt like it was a waste of my time or I wasn’t making a difference. And so, I can now really use that as, like, a litmus test. When you’re helping me, we do that every time, don’t we?

We go back to those and you always go, “Now remember, Tobi, you said you didn’t like doing…” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, okay, scratch that off the list.” But that was – yeah, I really loved that part and it really was great to look back because I literally noticed, which would not surprise most of our listeners or my friends or my family, that all of my highlights from birth until now were pretty much around learning; learning, education. There’s a reason I have three college degrees, a life coach certification, a health coach certification; like, that lights me up. So I was always good at giving myself permission to lean into it, but so many women aren’t. And I’m sure a lot of your clients aren’t. So how do you help people? That’s what I was thinking earlier when you were saying why it’s so important. But how do you help people take the leap from, I know what I want to do, even if I don’t really want to admit it, I’m kind of admitting it, but I’m just too afraid to leap? Like, how do they go from there to fulfilling what really lights them up?

Suzy: It’s a big leap, right?

Tobi: Yeah, it’s a lot of work, isn’t it?

Suzy: Yeah, it’s a lot of work, but you know, just picking it apart, what I really like is – it’s such a simple analogy, but it’s like an onion – you just keep asking why. And the more people become able to see their thoughts and question them with simple questions, like, why do you think that? And then the other question that’ so good is, well what do you make that mean? Because we say things as if it’s a fact, but just being open to asking yourself three simple prompts; why, what do you make it mean, and so what if you feel that way or so what if you think that or so what if it happens that way? So really just giving people permission to be curious about what’s going on in their brain, what are they thinking about? Why is it important? What do you think it means to be afraid of that? Why are you fearful? And just digging in…

Tobi: So when we dig into that one of what do you make that mean, that’s the one that’s the most powerful to me, and so just to help people understand a little bit more, what you’re kind of saying is if they don’t want to take a leap because they’re saying, “Oh well if I leave this steady job, even though it bores me to tears and it’s killing me a day at a time, if I leave that, I’ve made it mean that I’m irresponsible or I’m a flake…” or something like that, right. So those are the things that we want to dig into and look at why. Why did you decide it’s irresponsible and you’re a flake? That’s just a thought, right?

Suzy: Exactly, so everybody’s different, but a lot of people that talk to me about this topic, it really is, I’ve been at this job for a really long time, and so what? Well, it’s safe, or I’m afraid to leave because I think I aged out and I’ll never be able to find another job or I’m worried that it is irresponsible because I don’t have a solid plan, or even though I don’t love my job, I’ve been here 20 years and it’s a known quantity, kind of like the devil you know. One problem really is when they’re unhappy but they don’t know what they want yet, and then there’s another problem where it’s, “I think I do want this, but I’m afraid.” So there really are different scenarios, but in both, once you have an appreciation that there really is a difference between a thought and a fact and you are open to questioning things that you’ve thought for decades, absolute decades, and you dig around, you’re going to find things that you might not be aware of. So one of the things that kept me stuck for five years was fear, but it wasn’t the fear I thought it was. So I thought I was just afraid of being perceived as indulgent because I really didn’t know what I wanted and I thought I was afraid to leave a good job, because really, my job was good. But the more I dug in, I realized it had to do with age and I always thought that being at a job for 19 years was an asset…

Tobi: Right, yeah…

Suzy: But when I started to think about leaving, I was afraid that it wasn’t an asset, that, in fact, by staying in one place, I hadn’t grown as much as I could, I hadn’t maybe learned some of the new technology. I just thought, all of a sudden, this idea that being there too long was not a benefit, it’s what really created fear for me, but I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand it. But then, you know, it’s funny, when I look at my career path, and even back in high school in my yearbook, I wrote under my picture that I was fascinated by human behavior. And then that led me into psychology. And then, in my master’s thesis, I studied the relationship between children and their pet dogs…

Tobi: Oh cool, and you’re a dog lover too…

Suzy: I am a dog lover, but what was so interesting about the topic – of course, it was an interesting topic, but it was the type of research. So it was qualitative methodology, so I was involved in in-depth interviews where I was writing down exact words and phrases and I was looking for patterns and tried to really get inside the head of what these kids were talking about, which is a skill that has been a key ingredient of every job I’ve had, including life coaching.

Tobi: Oh, it’s one of the reasons why I think you’re the best at – and I think you’ve told me that before, but I forgot that and that makes so much sense because you are so good at cuing into and cluing into things that – this is my experience – I say that sometimes I don’t even know I say. So yes, that’s fascinating. So we’ve talked about what people should do when they kind of know what they want and they’re afraid, but what about those people who, which I have been at points in my life – before I came to you, I was for sure this way and I encounter people every day in my coaching business that are this way, but what about when you’re so overwhelmed that you don’t even know? Like, you kind of don’t even know what your problem is and you certainly can’t see the path out of that. Like, what about that?

Suzy: Well one of the most fun things about that issue, overwhelm is like fear and worry. It’s one of those emotions that we like to call indulgent. They really just keep you stuck. It keeps you spinning. A lot of people experience it. It’s just like, I’m in a spin, I’m stuck, I’m confused. I used to say I was confused all the time…

Tobi: Mine is always overwhelm. I was always overwhelmed. For years, I was overwhelmed.

Suzy: So we just say these things as if it’s – you know, your girlfriends aren’t going to question you on it, it’s just like, “Oh yeah…”

Tobi: “You are, you’re totally overwhelmed, I see it.”

Suzy: But as a coach, it’s our job to question things like that, but the first thing is to point out statements like that and to just point it out that it’s optional. So the feeling of overwhelm is optional and the thought that you’re overwhelmed is optional. And just that is enough to shake you when you’ve been living in that story and talking about it as if it was just like your right arm.

Tobi: Yes…

Suzy: Yes, I’m overwhelmed, yes, it’s my right arm. It’s right there. It’s a fact. Just that very little bit of the ground zero, like you’re just really starting there, okay, interesting, let’s look at everything. And then just take it from there one step at a time. I have a lot of exercises like the one looking through the past, but we talk about things that you really want, and that’s so hard for so many women, to come up with 20 things that you actually want, understanding and learning that it’s okay just to want things. There’s no imaginary person with a clipboard sitting next to you evaluating your desires.

Tobi: Yeah, like in my work. Remember, I decided, I was like, why am I going to still be driving a mom car at 50? I’m getting a convertible. My child will be driving herself, she’s the only one I’ve got. When I’m 50, she’ll be 16. I’m getting, like, a sexy little convertible. And that’s on our list that we work towards when we do our work together, which is so fun because I think about it a lot.

Suzy: It’s so fun. And a crazy thing on my want list, I wanted a big dog. So when I was a kid, we bred St. Bernards and it was just part of my life. We were in the dog show thing and I was a kid with all these big dogs and I loved it. And then, you know, then I became an adult and my husband and I had a golden retriever and then we had another golden retriever. So over 20 years, they were wonderful, wonderful dogs…

Tobi: And you had three boys…

Suzy: I do have three boys. It was a very busy household, three young men, but then when I turned 50, I started to turn 50, I started to do some of this work. And I was like, you know what – one of the things I loved as a kid was having a big dog and I thought about why, why did I love that? Because I really wanted to share that with my kids, even though they were growing up at that point; one was off to university. Now they’re all at university, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And one of the reasons was I remembered how much my dad loved it. So my dad died when I was a kid, but before he died, he was a dog show judge. It was something I did with him and I loved it. And so I pitched the idea to my family and everybody was into it. So we didn’t go with St. Bernards because we really wanted a swimming dog because there’s a family cottage that we go to a lot. So we ended up with a Newfoundland who’s pretty much the same size as a St. Bernard. And what do you know – my husband loves the dog just like my dad did, my kids love the dog, everybody is really enjoying training him to do water rescue and all kinds of stuff.

Tobi: What’s his name, remind me?

Suzy: Niko, Niko the Newf. And he messy and he is slobbery and he has so much hair…

Tobi: He’s as big as you are because you’re petite.

Suzy: He’s a big boy. He is a big boy, but I’ll tell you, I’m so glad we did this because I have such fond memories of it as a kid. And now, I was able, with intention, to be able to share something that was important and fun for me with my kids, right.

Tobi: And I love that because I also work with women and help them create more health, wealth, and joy, and sometimes, so much joy can just come out of a simple decision like that. And we’re all the time thinking, I’m just unhappy. And if we just stop and go, “What would fill me up? What could I add to my life that’s full of joy or what could I get rid of that makes my life more joyous?” But I think that’s so fun because when you talk about your dog, it’s like one of your children. Like, it lights you up, so it’s so fun.

Suzy: Well, I think there’s something to empty-nest dogs. I did a podcast episode on that recently. It’s very common that when kids leave, that we still – we are nurturers at heart, right, and so many women still feel the need to show love and find a lot of enjoyment from getting a dog when their kids leave. So I was planning ahead. So now, the empty nest is here and we’ve got a big 130 pound ball of company.

Tobi: Okay, so before we wrap up, because we’ve got a few more minutes, but I want to be sure we dig into the money talk, because that’s what we’re talking about this month in my coaching program, and I’ve been doing some podcasts on it. In my coaching program, we’re calling it a Money Mindset Makeover. And a lot of the regret-proofing you do falls in not only the category of career, but it also takes money to do a lot of the things you figure out through this regret-proofing process that you want to do. And I think then comes all the money mindset issues, right, because if you make your list and in the next five years you want to go on all these trips with your daughter, like I do, you have to pay for that stuff. And you’ve said the same thing about your life, like you planned all these great trips and you still do with your boys and your husband, and it takes a lot of money to do that. So what about the money mindset and how does that all play into regret-proofing your life?

Suzy: Oh, it’s such a great question. Money, kind of, goes into all three categories. So, in the regret-proofing your contribution, that is how you make – it could be a financial contribution or a volunteer contribution, but because we’re talking about money, money is related to what you do professionally. So some thought has to be given to that and what kind of goals you have personally and as a family. Regret-proofing your relationships, it goes into there a little bit too because in that category, we’re thinking very intentionally about the kind of relationships we want to have with significant people in our lives, our partners, husbands, kids, parents, siblings, community members, whatever.

But when it comes to money, you definitely have to really dig into your spouse and your children and really figure out what kind of relationships you want, where money is involved, where your family goals are involved and you may not have the same ideas. So with that vacation example, we can’t do it all. We couldn’t renovate a bathroom and take a nice vacation in the same year, right? So when you make big decisions like that, everybody needs to be on the same page. And the third area, the regret-proofing your relationship with yourself, that’s when the money mindset comes in for yourself because you can definitely control what’s going on in your mind, but not the other family members minds, but that is where all this stuff comes up and sometimes you believe stuff from childhood about your own relationship with money and what you make money mean, when you make spending on yourself mean, what you make debt mean, what you make giving back mean. And all of that stuff can come into play when you are thinking about what you want for your family going forward, what you want for yourself going forward. So it’s really, really important to dig into your brain, see what’s going on in there and make sure that you create what you want in your life.

Tobi: Right.

Suzy: So if there’s a problem with how you think about money and how it makes you feel and that’s in direct contrast with something you really want to create for your family, then you have some work to do.

Tobi: Yeah, and I do think it’s even harder for yourself, because I think you’re right, especially as moms, we want to spend our money on our kids and we’ll do any amount of work or anything to spend things on them and even our spouse, maybe not quite as much as our kids, but we will spend money on them and us as a family, but then when you get to the part where you’re like, “What do I want?” And even if it’s something that, in a sense, seems frivolous, a lot of people would not do that. “I want some diamond earrings, I want a new car, I want to get a massage every week of my life.” And so that was a really fun part because we dug into that together. And yeah, for all this work that we do, I put a dollar amount in my journal, buy all of these things, right. Because if you don’t, how are you going to get there?

And it’s not scary to see that – I mean, it would be scary for a lot of people, but to me, because I am a coach and we’ve done this work, I can look at it and we just do the math. I’m like, how many weeks do I have to make the $20,000 before the Europe vacation or whatever. And so I think that’s what’s so great about working with you, coming from The Life Coach School, my business background, your business background. We’re able to get all that drama out of the way and go, “It’s no big deal. It’s just $20,000. How are you going to make it and how long’s it going to take?” Right?

Suzy: I love that whole math versus drama thing, but I’ll tell you, I did notice one of these money mindset issues did pop into my brain and it had to do with anything I wanted to do that was feminine. Having a family of three sons and husband and none of them care about anything aesthetic – I’m talking to a designer, right – nobody cares about any of that stuff and they don’t even like to wear suits. So anytime I did anything, I became very self-conscious of how much it cost to color my hair, how much it cost to get it done, how much anything cost that had to do with…

Tobi: Clothes and makeup and facials and all of it…

Suzy: Yeah, so I just – I don’t know what it’s like to have daughters. I come from a family of five girls, so I know what it’s like to have sisters, but it’s funny, I did become hyper-aware of personal hygiene and beautification-related expenses in this family of people who get $10 haircuts, you know.

Tobi: My husband just gets his head shaved. He’s practically bald anyway and he can take a shower and be ready in like a minute and a half, you know, so I can relate. Well, I think that’s great to just point that out to people because a lot of times, we don’t notice that and maybe that is why we’re holding ourselves back even from some of the joy and some of the ease in our life and some of the fulfillment that we want, because we’re truly just keeping our self in prison with our thoughts, whether it’s about what we want to do or about money. A lot of times it’s both of them. I would say, more often than not, there is at least a small money component, if not a huge one, to everything we want to do or decide in these areas.

Suzy: I agree, and one of the ways that regret-proofing and midlife and all that kind of stuff plays into it is, as we age and as our families grow and we get a little older, we eventually do have a little more time to ourselves. So it’s not that the kids are easier – and I’m making air-quotes – it’s that the parenting responsibilities are different. And so you do – like when your kids transition into university, you’re still involved as a parent. You’re still schlepping furniture and you’re still driving and visiting and taking people out to dinner and coming and going and doing all this stuff, but you do have more time. You don’t have to make dinner in the same way when kids aren’t living at home and you have a little more time to think. And what I encourage is to dream, right. You have a little bit more time to think about, “Alright, with this little bit more wiggle-room that I have, what is it that I want?” And most of us haven’t thought about that that much in the last few decades.

Tobi: Well I think that’s a fabulous place for us to wrap up today because this was an amazing podcast, and we’re going to leave everybody with that homework, to go dream and figure out what it is what they want, right?

Suzy: Absolutely.

Tobi: So I think that’s amazing. Well thank you so much. And let’s tell everybody where they can find you, because you have a podcast of your own and I’m going to put it in the show notes, but it’s called Women in the Middle, right?

Suzy: Absolutely. I encourage you guys to listen. We’re having a lot of fun on there. It’s called Women in the Middle: Loving Life After 50. You don’t need to be in your 50s. I’ve got male and female listeners and people of all ages. But you will hear examples about things that are typically issues in the 50s. it’s about mindfulness, it’s about empty-nest, it’s about career malaise. It’s about aging and it’s a lot of fun; Women in the Middle. And I also have a freebie called 10 Simple Ways to Bust Out of Your Midlife Funk. You can find that and you can find a free mini-consult that you can get on the phone with me, a 20-minute consult, and that’s all on my website at www.suzyrosenstein.com and I would love to talk to you.

Tobi: And we’ll put all of that in the show notes so they know where to find you. And obviously, I highly recommend you because every, what, three months, I just re-up my – I call it membership – my agreement with you, because I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon. I’m going to keep achieving at my highest level and I want my coach alongside me to make sure I don’t get tripped up, even as a coach, in my own thoughts. So if I need a coach, I promise, everybody out there really should consider having a coach.

Suzy: Oh my gods, Tobi, you’re a doll and you’re absolutely right; we all need coaches. You’re a superstar and it has been such a joy to watch you grow because one of the things that is so much fun for a coach is to get a motivated client and somebody who’s just ready to make exciting change and ready to learn and ready to do the hard work and clearly, you’re enjoying the life that you’ve carved for yourself and you designed yourself, right.

Tobi: Thank you so much. Yeah, I did and I’m trying to design everybody else with our Design You program, but I appreciate that. And I know what you mean. Yes, we help people for sure that are going from, sort of, ground zero or have hit the bottom and are on their way up, but it is pretty fun when you get somebody who’s like already really successful and they want to go to the next level. That gets really, really fun. So thank you for holding my hand as we skyrocket because there’s no sky’s the limit for me. There is no limit thanks to our thinking and our life coach work together. So it’s been fun to do that with you and I just appreciate you for being there with me and for being on this podcast and I will talk to you again really soon in one of our private sessions. And we’ll have to have you back sometime. So when we make a lot more big strides in my business and you’re helping me do it, we’ll have you back and we’ll talk about that too, okay.

Suzy: Oh my gosh, it’s an honor and a pleasure and I love watching you soar.

Tobi: Thank you. See you soon, Suzy, and thanks for being with us here again on the Design You podcast and check out the show notes to learn all about Suzy and anything that we talked about on today’s episode. It will be there for you to figure it out and I’ll see you next time on the Design You podcast really soon. Bye, y’all.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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