[00:00:00] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson, and in this episode I'm joined by Danetha Doe, economist and entrepreneur to talk about the middle class money mindset, what it is, how it may be holding you back, and what you can do to break out of the box.
[00:00:22] You can find all the tools, books, and links we reference on the show notes www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
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[00:00:56] It's called Why You're Burned out on Social Media and a Solution. And if that's not your jam Natasha's interviews and conversations about entrepreneurship, mental health and the art of shining online will certainly have something to fit your fancy. Learn more and listen to the Shine Online wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:01:14] Danetha Doe is an economist, entrepreneur, webby, award-winning TV host and the creator of Money and Mimosa. She created Money and Mimosas to have a space for fun, sophisticated conversations about money. In 2022, she was named one of the top 100 most influential financial experts alongside Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran.
[00:01:38] To check out past conversations with Danetha, check out episodes number 168 and 229. All right, Danetha, it's so good to see you again.
[00:01:48] Danetha Doe: It is so good to see you, Emily. It's been a minute.
[00:01:52] Emily Thompson: It has been a long minute. As I was sort of prepping for this, I went back and saw that you haven't been on the show, which means I don't think we've talked since April of 2020, which feels like when I say it like that so long ago, but I, it could not have been that long. Has it, has it truly been that long?
[00:02:11] Danetha Doe: I think it has been that long. I think with the pandemic that we're still in, it makes it feel a little bit longer. And we of course though have connect, stay connected via email. I received the being boss emails and I think we've exchanged a couple of emails.
[00:02:25] Emily Thompson: Yeah.
[00:02:25] Danetha Doe: So it doesn't feel like we've haven't spoken in that long.
[00:02:28] But yes, it's been over two years.
[00:02:31] Emily Thompson: That is insane. Insane. Well, okay, then maybe an update. What have you been up to? I, we just chatted. You did a personal move. What? What have you been up to since we last chatted? All that time ago.
[00:02:43] Danetha Doe: Oh my gosh. And I wanna hear what you've been up to as well.
[00:02:46] Emily Thompson: Okay.
[00:02:46] Danetha Doe: Since April, 2020, a lot has changed. So I just shared that I moved from the Bay Area, Oakland, California, to Bend, Oregon. Absolutely love it here. And that move was inspired by a 22 month Airbnb hopping adventure that I did over the pandemic. And so in August, 2020 through May, 2022, my fiance and I lived in 10 different states across the country, and Bend Oregon was one of those cities that we landed in.
[00:03:20] We absolutely love Bend, Oregon, but we also spent time in some other places that we absolutely loved as well. And, and it was during the height of the pandemic. So we were very safe. We only went to places where we could drive. We were in very remote areas. One area was Washugal Washington, and our neighbors were llamas.
[00:03:38] That was, we didn't see humans
[00:03:40] Emily Thompson: amazing.
[00:03:40] Danetha Doe: We just saw llamas. Um, yeah. So that was a very transformative experience. I realized during that time that I hadn't taken time to just be and to sit in nature. And that was a lot of what I did during that 22 months. Within that 22 months, I did a six month mini retirement where I took an intentional step back from a lot of the projects I was working on.
[00:04:06] And, and again, just, I was just being during that time. So that's, um, that's a lot of what I was doing over these last two years.
[00:04:17] Emily Thompson: That sounds amazing. What prompted, what prompted the 22 months of Airbnb?
[00:04:22] Danetha Doe: It started off as, we'll do this for three months because none of us knew how long Covid was going to be by that point. We decided to do three months in Bend, Oregon in July of 2020. So the pandemic was fully here. Things had stopped. My fiance's job was allowing him to work remotely. Our lease in Oakland was coming up and we thought, hey, this is perfect. Why don't we just go to Bend Oregon? We love visiting there. That's where we got engaged.
[00:04:56] And just spend a couple of months, just a couple, three at most in this new area will come back to the bay. Things will probably be opened up again, and by the time the second month came around, we realized, oh, this pandemic thing is going to be much longer. And we were really enjoying being in a new area. We had met at a ski resort, so both of us knew each other loved adventure and seeing new places and we just decided, hey, why don't we make this a thing for the foreseeable future?
[00:05:29] No real plan other than, uh, planning out the next Airbnb location and it turned into 22 months.
[00:05:39] Emily Thompson: That sounds am, That sounds amazing. I keep saying that because that's just the feeling that I'm getting that just, that sounds like it's someone who. Like one of my personal values is an adventure and freedom. A couple of years ago we did like a, a really big road trip and, and still travel a good bit.
[00:05:58] That is like you are speaking to my soul and my soul is just perking up and going, yes, me too, and like, and high five for doing the thing. That sounds like, it sounds like such an amazing opportunity to stretch your legs and your eyeballs and your brain and just do something new and not just like for a moment, but for an extended period of time.
[00:06:23] As someone who's at home with a teenager, um, I'm definitely beginning to dream about being an empty nester and thinking about what that's going to be like. And I'm putting this in my inspiration notebook.
[00:06:35] Danetha Doe: I love that. And oh my goodness, I cannot believe you have a teenager now.
[00:06:39] Emily Thompson: Oh. Yeah.
[00:06:40] Danetha Doe: Wow.
[00:06:40] Emily Thompson: For sure. 14. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:06:42] Danetha Doe: Wow.
[00:06:42] Emily Thompson: Whole teenager. I'm counting down the days.
[00:06:48] Danetha Doe: Oh my goodness. I love that too. Like, I'm not gonnabe depressed when I'm an empty nester. This is a whole new fantastic chapter.
[00:06:55] Emily Thompson: Yeah.
[00:06:55] Danetha Doe: That is awesome. Yeah. And we share the same values around adventure and freedom.
[00:07:00] Emily Thompson: Mm-hmm.
[00:07:00] Danetha Doe: During that period, that 22 month period, every month we were in a new Airbnb and every month therefore felt like the start of a new year, January 1st, where we were in a fresh space and sometimes in a new state with new scenery. Um, I also learned, I did a lot of reflection during that time and since then, and one of the things that I took away from that experience was the power of presence, which we talk a lot about, especially in the space that we're in, uh, the work that we do.
[00:07:31] Rather, for me, during that time period, it looked like realizing, oh, this nook that I found in this farmhouse that we're staying in where I can read, I'm only going to have that for 28 days. And I'm gonna make the most of it, which means every evening I'm going to sit in this nook with sometimes the sunlight coming in at a certain angle and really soak in this moment because I'm not going to have it come the first of the next month.
[00:08:02] And so it was a beautiful way for me to practice presence, being in the moment in a different way than I had before.
[00:08:12] Emily Thompson: Yeah, I can totally see how that would, how that would come to the top for you. Any other, any other personal insights, insights, insights you would like to share about this little adventure?
[00:08:24] Danetha Doe: Ooh, there's so many. One of them for me, I learned during that time period how little I knew about what truly gave me joy.
[00:08:36] Emily Thompson: Mm.
[00:08:37] Danetha Doe: True joy. Yeah, I'm a fairly content person. I'm easy, I'm happy. I've done a lot of work to create the life that I've lived. Um, so I'm genuinely ha, genuinely happy, but that feeling of joy and I compared it to that feeling of being on a swing set as a kid where I could just fly high and no one was telling me what to do. And I got these little butterflies in my stomach. I realized I hadn't felt that feeling in a long time, and I wasn't quite sure how to tap into that again. And so during those 22 months, that was another intention of mine was to figure out how to reconnect to that feeling.
[00:09:19] And for me it was through reconnecting with my inner child and asking her, what do you need today? What's gonna light you up today? What can I give you today that will make you feel joyful? And so those were some of the insights that I, I also walked away with.
[00:09:36] Emily Thompson: What do you think sparked that for you? Was it
[00:09:41] Danetha Doe: Hmm.
[00:09:41] Emily Thompson: And, and I mean, in my mind it's, you know, you're getting out of your day-to-day, your like, very comfortable environment going to a place and going, okay, like if I don't have my usual coffee shop, or whatever it may be, then what is gonna make me happy to, what did that look like for you? At what point were you like, wow, I'm not feeling those feelings.
[00:10:01] And had you not at all been, or was it just because you were removed from your regular environment?
[00:10:08] Danetha Doe: That is such a great question. There were a few things that sparked it for me. One of them was grief. I was realizing there were some things going on in my immediate family and I realized, oh, I, this is me grieving, um, some of those relationships and that grief led me to ask more questions of myself, of, well, what's the opposite of grief? Well, it's joy. And what does joy look like for me? And when did I last feel that true feeling of joy? And that took me back to my childhood. Um, but I also love that you brought up getting out of my everyday routine as well.
[00:10:49] That forced me out of my comfort zone, and I'm someone that thrives in being outside of my comfort zone. So that was new for me to realize, oh, I had gotten comfortable in certain aspects of my life and now I don't have any of that. I don't have the coffee shop. I don't have my favorite grocery store that I go to.
[00:11:08] I don't have the smoothie shop that I can run to in the morning when I'm feeling for that green, vibrant smoothie. So how can I recreate that if I don't have any of those external, if I don't have access to those external things, how can I create that for myself? And for me, it looked like a perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe.
[00:11:31] That was a big one. Um, another one was having, um, a lot of this is gonna circle around desserts, but sometimes it was having desserts before dinner and just allowing myself to not be so rigid and to truly just let my hair down, be a kid again, give myself permission to do things that my parents would never have let me done as a kid.
[00:11:55] Um, and so yeah, that's, that. Those were the things that sparked that for me.
[00:12:00] Emily Thompson: Oh, wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. That's, this was not on the agenda today, but I'm so excited that you gave me a little, it gave us a little peek inside of, um, of that adventure for yourself, both like doing it, but also what that meant to you.
[00:12:15] I know that those sorts of things can, can really have a profound impact on just your perspective of the world, even if it's just your world.
[00:12:24] Danetha Doe: Absolutely. And that's why I love our conversations because you've done and continue to do so much inner work. You are doing the work and so you're able to ask those questions.
[00:12:33] Emily Thompson: Of course, of course. Um, well, I do want to get to the thing today and maybe a little backstory of the thing. We've had this conversation on the books for a minute. I don't even remember at what point. This came across my inbox because I also get your emails and give them a read. And at some point over the past several months, you sent out one that sort of sparked something in me and I was like, I need you to come talk to our audience about this thing.
[00:13:02] And this thing is the middle class money mindset. And so I'm really excited to dive into this. The email that you had written, um, if I'm not mistaken, was it over the, I think it had to do with Jamaica and their economical independence. What was, what was happening and. It doesn't matter. I can't even remember.
[00:13:28] That is not, that is not the point. The point is you and money mind, and middle class money mindsets, um, whatever the context of that email was, it really sparked something in me where I wanted you to come talk about this because as I was reading some of these things, it was like just some. Absolutely. Yes.
[00:13:44] I'm so glad someone is saying these things. Um, and I'd like to, I don't know, offer up some space for you to share this information with our audience. Um, so we're gonna talk about middle class money mindset. I wanna dig into a couple of pieces, um, one that I'm especially excited to bring up. Uh, but I think to get us started, why don't we just start with like a definition of middle class money mindset, how it is that you characterize that mindset, both like broad, but I would also love if you have like any like obvious little, like if you hear someone say this, you know that this is a me, a middle class money mindset problem.
[00:14:21] Danetha Doe: Sure. And to be honest, defining the middle class money mindset has been a challenge for me. I look more at characteristics, yes, rather than a definition that I can succinctly share. And so some of the characteristics, and I'll start with the one that showed up for me. And became very apparent during my Airbnb hopping adventure was this false belief that I had to work harder to make more money versus learning how to leverage my time, and I thought I had peeled back this layer for myself.
[00:15:01] I grew up solidly middle class, and I do work in money. And money mindset, and I had identified a middle class money mindset in my own life and I thought, oh, I've already worked through this. I, for example, hired a housekeeper, which seems lux, very luxurious for someone who doesn't have kids and doesn't have pets, I have, it's me and my fiance.
[00:15:23] So we have a housekeeper, and at the time, that was a big mindset hurdle for me to leap over. And so I've done things like that and I thought, oh yeah, I'm good in that area. But then during the Airbnb hopping adventure, I, especially during the six months where I did a mini retirement, I realized how little time I was giving myself for true leisure.
[00:15:49] Truly just sitting on my green velour couch and watching romcoms all day. Without anything on my agenda or going for a walk that was supposed to be 30 minutes and it turns into three hours, or grabbing a cup of tea with a friend and thinking it'll only be 45 minutes, and just letting it spill into the afternoon.
[00:16:13] How little I was doing that because I had to run back and get to work, or I always have new ideas for the business. Every time I wanna make more money, it's always associated with how much more effort I need to put in, rather than how can I leverage my time or find a way to do it in an easeful way.
[00:16:33] And so that was one of the biggest characteristics that I found in myself. And then in also observing others as well. Another characteristic that I found was this obsession with saving versus increasing income. And what I mean by that is when I would talk to folks about reaching their next financial goal, whether that was buying a home or going on a dream vacation.
[00:17:01] When I would then ask, well, what are your plans on making that happen? It would usually center around ways they were going to cut back, pinch pennies or cut back expenses, rather than how can they expand their earnings, their income, in order to reach that next goal? Um, another characteristic. Um, there were lots of characteristics, but the third biggest one was compartmentalizing work and play. Meaning folks, especially if they didn't have their own business. I think as business owners, we start to blur those lines naturally. But folks that have a typical nine to five tend to see the work week, Monday through Friday as dedicated to work. You're very structured. The kids get up at this time, they're out the door.
[00:17:54] By this time, I'm at my desk by this time and I work for these hours. I have lunch schedule in. The evening comes, it's time to help the kids with their homework or take them to activities. Then we do maybe one fun thing and then it's time to go to bed. And then the weekend is when we might have time for play and pleasure.
[00:18:14] Uh, but maybe it may just be relaxing and sleeping because you're just so exhausted from the week. And there's, so there's this compartmentalization of Monday through Friday looks like one way, and then Saturday and Sunday looks like another way. When we remove that middle, and that's the middle class money mindset, because when you remove that, there is this blend, this blur of my life is play and play is my work. And pleasure does come from simply sitting on the couch and watch watching RomComs. But it also comes from a conversation that I strike up at the coffee shop that leads to my next big movie deal, and there's this just magical flow that happens when things aren't so compartmentalized.
[00:19:04] And I found that the middle class mindset is very much in that com compartmentalization, that very structured approach to work versus play. Um, those were the three main characteristics that I found. And, and all of those keeps someone from moving out of that middle class because what I ultimately came to was that, and we're seeing it very clearly now with all of the layoffs.
[00:19:37] Um, but I believe we're moving into a two class society. We arguably may already be there. I will just say we may be moving there. And that two class society is a labor class and a leisure class. So there's a group of folks that are doing the work, whether it's physical work or mental work like our consultants, and attorneys,
[00:20:07] accountants and then there's the leisure class, and these are the folks that are being compensated gorgeously for living and pursuing a life of leisure and play and joy.
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[00:21:16] This is fascinating. I can also feel that some of this rigidity and structure and compartmentalization of this middle class mindset, I would imagine, could be argued is built to keep you there, right? Um, do not allow you up into any other classes, which I feel like we'll probably touch on in a moment. Um, but this is all fascinating to me.
[00:21:39] And I'm wondering, under what circumstances did you find yourself defining these? Like at what point were you like, what is this like thing that I'm seeing identifying it as a middle class money mindset, um, and doing your work around it.
[00:21:56] Danetha Doe: You asked the best questions. Seriously. Oh my gosh.
[00:22:00] Emily Thompson: Well, when It's fascinating. It's hard not to.
[00:22:04] Danetha Doe: Oh my goodness. Yes. So I found this, I found myself asking these questions of myself and trying to identify the middle class money mindset within myself whenever I was daydreaming. And in that moment of visualizing an expansive lifestyle for myself. To put that concretely, most recently I've been thinking about how can I have a career where I have three to four months of a mini retirement said differently, three to four months off every year.
[00:22:46] I want to, this past year I improved my Spanish. I'm now fluent in Spanish. I'm studying Italian. I want time where I can just dive into those joys of my life as an example, or writing creatively more. So I want three to four months every year to be able to do that. And when I started daydreaming about that, which for some people that may be a leap in and of itself to get to that point of daydreaming of that goal.
[00:23:12] Um, but for me that wasn't that hard to think of that goal. What was hard though, was thinking about, how can I do this without burning myself out the nine or eight months of the year? Because immediately I started thinking about, well, I can. Five x the amount of content I put out. I can create 12 more offers.
[00:23:32] I can do 50 one-on-one calls with folks and take on 12,000 more one-on-one clients, you know, exaggerating, but essentially it all boiled. Go ahead.
[00:23:42] Emily Thompson: I'm basically doing 12 months of work in eight months or nine months. So doing the same amount of work just in less time. Great.
[00:23:53] Danetha Doe: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that's exactly the expression I would have myself.
[00:23:56] Like Tanha, we're not gonna kill ourselves the rest of the year so that you can then recover for the remainder of the year, we want, yeah, we want to do this easefully.
[00:24:09] Emily Thompson: Yes.
[00:24:09] Danetha Doe: And so when I started realizing, oh, All the ideas I have around how to manifest this life has to do with me working harder. I realize, oh, this is middle class. This is some deep unlearning I need to do, and I'm actually, I wasn't actually sure where to go for that unlearning either, because as you said, we are conditioned to stay in that system. We are a part of a system. I'm not sure how deeply we wanna get into that piece, but there's a reason why we're conditioned to think this way and to operate this way and to never truly get a, our heads above water to see, oh wait, I don't have to furiously kick my legs so hard. There's some, there's an easier way to do all of this.
[00:25:02] Emily Thompson: Yeah, I mean, no, we could dive into that. That might have to be another episode for sure. Cuz I'm feeling that for, I'm definitely feeling that. But I love that you were, I love that you sort of uncovered the opportunity to dive into this by looking at what it is that you were more wanting to accomplish for yourself, which I would, um, like I think we can both agree is arguably like not middle class.
[00:25:28] Like lifestyle of, unless you're a teacher, I guess, but you know, is that even middle class these days? We don't know. Um, but unless you have that sort of work structure, even the idea of, of building a life where you're working, you know, eight, nine months and taking off three or four is elevated beyond middle class.
[00:25:49] So obviously there wouldn't be a middle class solution for a desire right to to, to accomplish that for yourself. So you're going to butt up against your belief patterns as you try to uncover that for yourself. So I love that you were like doing these, like, you know, these meditations or visualizations to imagine what it would be.
[00:26:10] You're butting up against them and you start pinpointing these qualities or these characteristics that you're identifying as the middle class mindset, which is what is holding you back? I also would love to get your, your thoughts on this as we're diving into, because I feel like I don't want any, I can imagine if someone is, you know, has grown up lower class, um, making it to middle class is the accomplishment and we are here innocence bashing, this, um, this accomplishment that you've made for yourself. Um, and, and if you're solidly there and loving your life, then again, we're bashing potentially the thing that you, um, are relishing in. So I would love to hear your thoughts of maybe even like a, is it good or bad? Of middle class mindset to even like give a framing for the continuation of this conversation for anyone who's like, wow, these bitches though.
[00:27:09] Danetha Doe: Just in case. Just in case. Great question. And the first part of what you said made me think of a lesson that I had been teaching that I had to relearn myself, which was,
[00:27:24] Emily Thompson: mm-hmm.
[00:27:25] Danetha Doe: the tools that allowed me to survive are not going to be the same tools that allow me to thrive.
[00:27:31] Emily Thompson: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:31] Danetha Doe: And so when you said this elevated way of living, three to four months off a year is not a middle class experience, so it's going to take a non middle class solution. That was where I learned, oh, the tools that got me here. We're great. They're awesome, and I'm really grateful for them. I can pull them out whenever I need to.
[00:27:53] However, they're not the tools that I need now to get to where I want to go, and I'm going to have to figure out what those tools are. The second piece of what you said around, Hey, we don't wanna bash anyone's Accomplishments their definition of success. Absolutely not. And the other thing that I had to unlearn in my own journey around the middle class money mindset was realizing I think too much about other people's feelings and to be okay with what I'm saying is going to rub people's feathers and rub them the wrong way, especially when we're talking about class, because there are so many intersections and structures in place that keep folks in certain class dynamics. There's a lot when it comes to economic class, whether we're talking about the United States or abroad, and I had to let that go.
[00:29:04] I had to let go of feeling bad about making others feel a certain way when I would share my goals, and that was something I associated with being from a middle class money mindset, maybe more so a Midwest middle class money mindset, which is where I spent a lot of my upbringing. This need to always feel that I had to take care of other folks' emotions and feelings.
[00:29:32] Emily Thompson: And I would argue too that. Any incredibly strong feelings is also just your conditioning.
[00:29:40] Danetha Doe: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:41] Emily Thompson: right around accepting where you are and being so proud of where you are that a challenge to it would be triggering. Just gonna throw that in there as well.
[00:29:54] Danetha Doe: Yes. And anyone listening needs to pause and re-listen to that because that is such a gem. So true, so true.
[00:30:04] Emily Thompson: Right?
[00:30:05] So, okay. We've given it a good definition. We've talked about like some in and ins and outs of it. Um, I wanna get into why we're having this conversation cuz this is really when it gets meaty. You know, the, actually, I, I wish I had gone back to read that email. I probably wouldn't been able to find it.
[00:30:23] Who knows? Um, but the idea here is that we are operating within a system, right? That we have been brought up in, we have learned it. Um, if you've done a quote unquote good job, you have elevated yourself to some extent, but only as far as they'll let you more or less, right? Unless you remove yourself from those systems.
[00:30:44] But even then, as business owners in an economy, we are in the system even if we have bucked as many as we possibly can. And I think about that for myself. Um, I've always been one who was, you know, very proud of having bucked many a system. I've, um, you know, I haven't had a real job in forever, I've been an entrepreneur for over a decade.
[00:31:04] I even homeschooled for a really long time. My partner and I are not married and likely we'll never be married. Like there are lots of systems um, that I have never plugged myself into and I love that for myself. Um, but I'm also a business owner in the American economy. So guess what? I am operating in a system a hundred percent.
[00:31:24] And I am not blind to that by any means. But I do love this conversation around, um, around money because it is very core to being business owners is something we all need to work on, um, so that we can find success in our businesses. And I think in the current economical climate, but also in the phase where many business owners who may be listening to this find themselves where you have you have optimized the living hell out of the box that you were operating in, right? Like you have done it, or for you it was getting to a place where, okay, like you have optimized working 12 months a year, what would it like look like for you to optimize working eight or nine months a year? That's a whole different box, right?
[00:32:07] So I think this is a really important conversation for elevating money mindsets across the board. Um, and I think to begin this part of the conversation, I would love to know from you how it is that you see money or the middle class money mindset holding those of us who are like ready to escape that part of the system.
[00:32:31] How are those mindsets holding us back?
[00:32:35] Danetha Doe: I would say in a few ways, I'll start with me. How I found myself being held back. I was not experiencing true joy. Going back to that feeling of being a kid on a swing there I had to how I loved how you said it, I'd optimize my business to work well for 12 months.
[00:32:56] So in some ways, even though I'm someone who loves to live outside my comfort zone, I'd created a comfortable system. And therefore, those feelings of exhilaration that I associate with joy were no longer really there and. In order to feel that again, I had to, I have to, and had to elevate my mindset into how can I create a career again, um, in order to feel those feelings.
[00:33:27] The other for me, and I think I found this also in talking to other folks and observing other folks from this lens in terms of middle class money mindset was the lack of creativity that I was tapping into. I love the arts. I love writing poetry. I love, I'm not a good singer, but I love taking singing lessons.
[00:33:56] I love reading a juicy fiction novel without the mindset of what can I take from this to improve my life? Because I've read every freaking personal development book out there, and that's what I go to. That's why I read, is to improve myself rather than just for the pure satisfaction of taking in words on a page and getting lost in another story, and I wanted more of that in my life.
[00:34:26] I want to be a part of a local play, not because I'm ever going to be on Broadway, but because that's fun. Where was the fun in my life? Just for the sake of having fun, not for the sake of improving my business or making more money, which making more money is important, uh, to be clear. But everything had that end to it, I realized.
[00:34:51] And the ends, I wanted to shift that end to include more fun in my life, and that's what I feel the middle class money mindset holds a lot of us back from. When I was thinking back to my childhood, I would get lost for hours writing my own chapter books about characters that I created. Where was that?
[00:35:17] Why wasn't I doing that anymore? When after and for me, I thought about Danetha, you've created this business' career where you're able to do whatever you want, but you're not doing whatever you want anymore. So that's where I find the middle class money mindset really holds us back. I've seen it mostly in regards to the arts and tapping into our true creative self, just for the sake of being creative and expressive.
[00:35:48] Emily Thompson: Yeah. What I see here is this, is this characteristic that if you want more, you do more. Right. And if you're having to do more so you can have more, you're gonna have time for the more, you're just working more, right? Like, so there is like this, like there's a stop where this isn't making sense, but as you're saying this, I'm totally seeing in my own life and you know the lives of everyone I know situations just like this where you think, okay, if I, um, You know, if I want to have the time to be a part of a play, like I'm gonna have to like rearrange all of these things so that I can work more to have more time to do the thing. I'm gonna need childcare, I'm gonna need someone to, you know, then clean my house because that's what, whatever it may be, right there is this reorganization and this idea that it's to do more, you have to work more. And then there's a question of is it even worth it? Which just gets into self worth and I'm not even going there today.
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[00:37:40] I am loving that you're sort of uncovering this idea and how there is like a how there's no solution to it if you're addressing every problem with that mindset.
[00:37:51] Danetha Doe: Exactly.
[00:37:52] Emily Thompson: So where did you fall in the context of the, like what is the opposite mindset or the adjusted mindset for that?
[00:38:03] Danetha Doe: For me, I found calling the mindset a leisure mindset.
[00:38:09] Emily Thompson: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:10] Danetha Doe: resonated with me rather than an upper class mindset, because to be clear, I've found, I've worked with folks across the socioeconomic spectrum, folks that. Our had challenges making rent payments to folks who literally came from trust funds and that's how they support themselves.
[00:38:31] And the middle class money mindset isn't necessarily indicative of your actual class where you fall on paper in terms of your class. I saw the middle class money mindset in folks who are upper class, we would consider upper class. They had this more blue collar approach to life where they felt that they had to do everything themselves.
[00:38:54] They couldn't hire out as an example. Um, and so for me, upper class mindset didn't resonate. It also felt unnecessarily pretentious. Not that I'm not that that's a bad thing, it just didn't resonate with me. So for me it was that the distinction between labor and leisure landed for me and I wanted more of a leisure mindset.
[00:39:19] And I did go back to, and I'll send you the article I wrote, I referenced an author. Thorstein Veblen, who was a Norwegian American sociologist and economist, and he was one of the first economists to talk about the leisure class. He's the one that coined the term that you're probably familiar with, conspicuous consumption.
[00:39:43] And so he was one of the first people to talk about the distinction between folks who have to work for a living and folks who are just living, and he defined it as the leisure class where they, during his time, those folks spent most of their time talking about manners and etiquette and chivalry, and had, um, they were known for having more expansive conversations, and that resonated with me.
[00:40:16] I wanted to build a life around those types of conversations where we talk about life and philosophy and then what I was saying earlier, having more space for art and self-expression in my life. And that, that for me sounds like leisure.
[00:40:34] Emily Thompson: Yeah. No, I agree. One of the things too, that you were talking about, um, as one of the characteristics that I even want to sort of highlight here is this like leveraging your time too.
[00:40:45] Because I think even thing that goes back to the reordering that I was talking about a moment ago of this idea where, you know, if you have, if you've grown up with a middle class mindset, you have structured your life under that middle class mindset just so to some extent you would have to work more to do more because you have to rearrange your life, right in order to allow you to do that.
[00:41:05] But I love to this like leveraging your time piece and bringing it to what you're talking about, like finding joy in those things. Here is my example. Here's why this sparked something in me, you know, as you're growing a business, you always, like, you want the role of like CEO where you just show up to a meeting once a week, right?
[00:41:28] And you just direct out, you answer the questions and you make the decisions and you, you know, empower the folks to do the thing. Um, and, and like that's the goal, right? Like you, that is like, let us leverage time. It is the most leverage time I think many of us are going to be able to accomplish. Um, within the context of our business is the way, you know, knowing my audience.
[00:41:52] Whenever I did that, I started hating those meetings, having like another meeting on my schedule here, I go to do the thing, and it's one of the things that I've had to very consciously do over the past several months of going back and recognizing that that is literally the work that I've been aiming for.
[00:42:09] That is the most leverage time. But here is the mindset that I found myself in because I think there's also just this middle class mindset of you're not supposed to love your job. Right. Right. You go to work you don't like, weekend is when you have fun, right?
[00:42:26] Danetha Doe: Yes.
[00:42:27] Emily Thompson: If you're compartmentalizing, the two weekend is when you have fun.
[00:42:30] Um, during the week is not fun. That's work. And they cannot be the same thing, which is also something you mentioned. What was it? Um, compartmentalizing of work and play and how we have the opportunities to combine it. But there is a middle class class mindset within us that tells us that we're not supposed to have fun while we're working.
[00:42:47] And so I've had to very consciously work on finding joy in those meetings because I do, like, if I release that mindset, I absolutely love that I can show up to a meeting and C-suite my way into having, you know, 40 hours of work done that week across a couple of people because I spent one hour. Two hours, usually two hours if I'm being honest, making decisions, having conversations, talking through problems, um, doing those sorts of things and leveraging my time to that level.
[00:43:21] Um, so I just wanna share that as like a funny way of how several of these characteristics can come into play as you are working your way, you know, up some, up whatever ladder. I don't know that you just have to pinpoint and start working through. And I love then though to bring this full circle into what you're talking about.
[00:43:40] How, um, one that leverage time allows more time for leisure. And two, you can find joy, like legit true joy in the work that you're doing, um, when you can pair time and impact and not a direct correlation. I feel like I got rambly. Those are my feelings.
[00:44:04] Danetha Doe: And I love hearing your feelings and it does make sense.
[00:44:07] And because I also love that you defined how being a CEO, which is what a lot of us strive to be, when we go into this world of being an entrepreneur, we wanna get to that place where we're not the ones doing every single blog post and editing it and figuring out the content strategy. We want to get to that place of being CEO.
[00:44:28] And for some folks, that is going to be their way of elevating from a middle class money mindset is truly stepping into that CEO role. Um, for others, for me, that CEO role doesn't quite resonate. I'm more of a, I'm a strong IC, individual contributor, and I'm someone who loves to have other companies work with me as partners rather than being employed by me, but for every person, that process of figuring it out for yourself and figuring out how to have joy in the way that you do work is going to be a big part of releasing that middle class mindset.
[00:45:12] Because you're right, we have assumed the conditioning that we aren't allowed to enjoy what we do. And that leads to that compartmentalization of work is different from play and I only have 12% of my time that I can dedicate to play rather than making that more 80%, 85% of my time.
[00:45:35] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I also love that you brought creativity into this as well, because I think you were also hitting on this, I mean, it's like, you know, popular economics, I guess, or just like how the world works. Um, but like within our little, our little community, less so because we do value creativity, we sell it, we find people who value it and will pay us for it, all of those things. But then there's a flip side of it, of we stop creating for creating sake, and we're only creating for money, right?
[00:46:05] Like, so we slipped back into it even as we are moving our way out of it, um, in really interesting ways. There is just like, there's these, I don't know, spiderwebs of nonsense that have infiltrated our brains and how it is that we connect time and money and our value in the work that we do. Um, so even though the spiderwebs are intricate and deep, um, I'm wondering if you've pinpointed any sort of practical steps that, or any like key mindsets that we should shift or things that we should do to help begin to evolve ourselves beyond.
[00:46:46] Danetha Doe: I love journaling exercises. I find those to be the most revealing for me in terms of where these spiderwebs have gone that I have let grow without tending to. And one of those journal prompts exercises I sent out to the Money and Mimosas newsletter readers. And one of the responses I got back was several months ago, and, was as I was coming out of my mini retirement and realized that that's what I wanted more of for myself, and that's what I wanna talk more about.
[00:47:22] This woman that read the journal prompt responded, and I'll share what the journal prompt is, but she re, her response was what really touched me and her response was, I want to spend the next year painting while looking over the San Francisco Bay. And the journal prompt was if $300,000 magically appeared in your bank account overnight, how would you spend it?
[00:47:48] The only catch is you can't spend it to pay down debt. You have to spend it on you. And when she responded with something so simple, yet incredibly profound, but very simple, that is so simple to have a canvas, a paintbrush, some oil paints looking at the water, and that's the next year. I was so moved by that because I realized a lot of us, what I was yearning for was similar to what a lot of folks I think are yearning for.
[00:48:26] The ability to create, simply to create, simply to self-express, and that prompt, I think is really helpful. If $300,000 magically appeared in your bank account, you didn't work for it, it just appeared. You can't spend it on debt because that's something to pay down debt. That's something our middle class money mindset will lead us to think that we have to continuously figure out how to pay down debt and you have to spend it on yourself.
[00:49:02] That, um, that prompt was really helpful and I think is helpful for folks to help shift out of that mindset. And, and I go back to that prompt often. It's not something that you can just do once and be okay because like you said, every level, once you achieve that goal of being the CEO, then you realize, oh, well this is fun, but is it fun?
[00:49:23] Maybe I should reevaluate. It allows you to, to reevaluate where you're at and, and how to continue to manifest that life that you want to lead.
[00:49:32] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Lovely. Okay, everyone go write that one down for. Um, I have one more sort of like follow up. It's not a, this is, this is the direct follow up from the email, whatever that was way back in the day.
[00:49:47] Um, that I absolutely, this is the point where I was like, okay, I need Danetha here to talk about this. I just I wanna hear your thoughts on this and, and how it relates to the middle class money mindset for sure. Um, but in this email you mentioned that everyone needs fuck you money to experience full freedom.
[00:50:06] That's, that's quoted fuck you money to experience full freedom. Um, I would love for you to tell me what fuck you money is and how it contributes to freedom and also maybe bucks the norms of this middle class mindset.
[00:50:21] Danetha Doe: Yeah, so fuck you money was something I landed on for myself. I wanted more of that, and I defined fuck you money as having enough money to do whatever I want whenever I want.
[00:50:35] I had also landed on that definition when it came to financial freedom, and I realized there was a distinction now in my life because the financial freedom I had created was still tied to me doing work and putting in more effort to create the life I wanted to manifest. Going back to manifesting three to four months off a year, I was still in that place of, well, I can't just take that time off right now.
[00:51:02] I'm not, I do have financial freedom, but I don't have fuck you money and for me, fuck you money. Being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. On the practical side meant being very liquid, having cash, so that means not having my cash tied up in real estate because that does not equate to fuck you money.
[00:51:24] That equates to financial freedom because that can generate rental income, but it's not fuck you money. It also means, um, cash also means cash flow. I say cash is king. Cash flow is queen. So that meant stock investments didn't qualify for fuck you money because that's not cash coming in on a regular basis outside of dividend stocks.
[00:51:51] I wanted fuck you money where I had the cash and I knew the cash would always come in if I wanted to step away from everything that I built. If in some other people's cases it might be leaving a job, leaving a manager, leaving a significant other. For me, I loved my life. So it wasn't so much I wanted to fuck it off, but it's also was getting to a point where I realized I want more and I can't just walk away from what I've built now.
[00:52:20] So I don't have fuck you money and I want fuck you money. And so that's how I defined it and that was for me also what sparked when I landed on that phrasing, which my fiance helped me get to. I was like, oh, this is the fuel to get those creative juices around what is it I'm creating next for myself?
[00:52:44] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Oh, and the thing where I'm tying this even back to this middle class money mindset is middle class is your dollars have jobs, right? Like your money has to be somewhere doing something for you, right? One way or the other. So this idea of fuck you money is like completely other of like, what do you mean just having cash sitting at a bank, waiting for you to like, you know, give to a cause that's, You know, supporting something that has otherwise pissed you off lately, or um, right, or you want to just buy that thing cuz you can and you want to, or whatever it may be. There's money over there not doing anything except allowing you to do what you want, when you want to do it.
[00:53:27] Which is also doing something. Um, but there's like money doing things or not doing things. It's extra. Right. So I also feel like there's a, a separation from the middle mass, middle class money mindset there, because the mindset would say that there is no, like ev everything has a job, right? And that with this, you are essentially, with this, you are essentially breaking free of that mindset and empowering yourself, which is the best empowering, I feel like most of us can do to more solidly live the way you want when you want to now, not later.
[00:54:10] Danetha Doe: Absolutely. And I love that you brought up the cause piece as well. If there's a cause that you care about, having that fuck you money to be able to affect the change you want to see happen. The, the thing that comes up for me is when I did research around the overturn of Roe v Wade and realizing it all tied back to this one billionaire who funded the political campaigns of the justices that were able to then serve on our court to make that, to make Roe v Wade be overturned.
[00:54:45] I realized I don't have fuck you money to be able to counteract what just happened. Someone else had the money to be able to create a world that I don't wanna live in, and I don't want that anymore.
[00:54:58] Emily Thompson: But if we all had fuck you money.
[00:55:00] Danetha Doe: Yes.
[00:55:01] Emily Thompson: Right. If we all had, fuck you money, in those moments where we were so angry, we probably could have to some extent, unless, maybe not immediately, but we could definitely be working towards it in a way where right now it's all tied up in real estate and stocks and our businesses, right?
[00:55:18] And all of these things. We don't actually have the freedom to make that kind of impact under the current system or that we still plugging ourselves into that is fascinating to me.
[00:55:29] Danetha Doe: Same.
[00:55:30] Emily Thompson: Danetha, this has been a treat. Thank you so much for coming and chatting with me about this. I hope everyone has taken some little nugget.
[00:55:38] I hope no one is too terribly annoyed. And if you are, check yourself as needed. For sure. Um, Danetha, where can people find more about you and this wonderful newsletter that sparked this conversation? Uh, where can they find you on the internet?
[00:55:55] Danetha Doe: Thank you so much for having me, Emily, and for your fantastically insightful questions. Um, folks can find me over at moneyandmimosas.com. I send out a weekly newsletter every Sunday. You can sign up for it over moneyandmimosas.com.
[00:56:12] Emily Thompson: Perfect. And my last question for you, what's making you feel most boss?
[00:56:17] Danetha Doe: Ooh. What is making me feel most boss? The clarity I have around how to create the life I want to lead now.
[00:56:29] Emily Thompson: Yeah, I bet that does make you feel boss. Good more power to ya.
[00:56:35] Danetha Doe: Thank you. Thank you.
[00:56:37] Emily Thompson: All right. This has been a treat. Thanks so much for coming to hang. All right, boss, because you're here, I know you want to be a better creative business owner. Which means I've got something for you Each week, the team at Being Boss is scouring the news, the best entrepreneurial publications and updates and releases of the apps and tools that run our businesses, and is curating it all into a weekly email that delivers the must know tips and tactics in the realms of mindset, money, and productivity.
[00:57:06] This email is called Brewed we brew it up for you each week to give you the insight you need to make decisions and move forward in your creative. Check it out now and sign up for yourself at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/brewed now until next time, do the work. Be boss.