How to Maximize your Money Mindset with Lena Elkins
H: Welcome back everyone, today I am so excited to hang out with my friend Lena Elkins Lena is the CEO of Lena Elkins coaching a white glove consultancy for top performing coaches consultants and service providers internationally she’s also an international speaker influencer a member of the Forbes coaches Council and host the Facebook group millennial go-getters she specializes in digital marketing copywriting sales funnel and personal branding she takes a no BS approach to breaking through major barriers and reaching accelerated success for her clients originally from San Francisco Linda moved to Israel when she was 22 and lived in an immigrant absorption Center and scrubbed the floors of a grocery store her hard work and desire for something more let her to become a marketing expert and by the time she was 24 she had tripled her income and was making more money then most 40-something professionals she knew. Now she’s on a mission to help others. Welcome Lena
L: Thanks girl so excited to be here!
H: Yes so we always have great conversation and today I really want to highlight this story that I just touched down a little bit from living in an immigrant absorption Center which first of all tell us about it, and scrubbing grocery stores to running, being the CEO of your own business so take us back to moving to Israel and your decisions to leave San Francisco and was that a quest to make your dreams come true or, yeah what motivated you to make that Big Move?
L: Yeah it’s actually crazy, entrepreneurship, or the whole concept of Hanna Hermanson, was never even on the radar. All I know is that I was 22, I had just graduated from college from the University of Oregon, and I just knew I wanted to try and do something different. While all my other friends were in this like, as you know Hanna, 25 year old crisis of – okay how am I going to get a job, how am I going to do whatever my next steps are, I really wanted to try and do something unconventional and at the time my sister was actually living in Israel and I thought what better time than now? So when I actually moved to Israel I couldn’t afford regular rent. Rent in Tel Aviv is actually pretty expensive, so the only thing I could afford was to live in an immigrant absorption Center which is really exactly what it sounds like. It’s a place where people live during transition when they immigrate to a new country. You know they also have them in the States, but this one was in Israel. And there were immigrants from all over the world so obviously there was American, French, all kinds of European, Ethiopian, Russian… so there’s all kinds of people living there and it was subsidized housing so it was very affordable and simultaneously they also taught us Hebrew, so we got some language skills there as well and in order to pay my minimal rent that I could afford I actually got a job at a local grocery store in the small town I was living in because I couldn’t really get anything else, I didn’t have the language skills I didn’t have any professional skills at that time, I just graduated and I really didn’t stand a chance and any other space so I thought hey I’ll help improve my Hebrew maybe meet some people in this town remember I moved there by myself I didn’t know anyone and so I thought maybe this would be an okay opportunity, you know? So yeah, I worked at this grocery store learn some Hebrew mostly about organic fruits and vegetables and vocabulary and all that super useful stuff and eventually I was able to land a marketing job and entry level social media marketing job at a local nonprofit and it’s funny looking back on it I don’t even know what they saw in me like I didn’t know anything about marketing they must have just been like she’s a Millennial, she’s 22, she knows how to use the internet, will give her the job. So they gave me that job and it just became apparent to me very quickly that I did not mesh well with this whole 925 structure I hated having bosses I hated being in the office commuting all these things that most people just accept as well this is how life is supposed to be I couldn’t accept it. There’s something in me that just said Lena this isn’t for you. So at that time I had a good friend who actually turned into a marketing Mentor for me, at the time he had his own very successful digital marketing consultancy in Tel Aviv he was also American and from LA and he kind of took me under his wing for a few months and then after that plus my experience that I have had with a non-profit I decided, I get it now I don’t have to be the greatest that whatever it is I’m doing I just have to get a few clients that I can have on my own who I can help serve and then I can basically build a life for myself here. It’s also important to remember that, it depends on where you live in the States, but minimum wage is very low right? So what I was making at this nonprofit job also didn’t cover my rent in Tel Aviv, it was like $1,500 a month, and I just knew that it was not something I can control at all and I like to be in a position where I could make the money that I wanted to make I could work at the clients that I wanted to work with and I could work on my own schedule and also my family was in America it was also really important to me that I would be able to go visit for extended periods of time and I just thought if there was a time to try out this whole entrepreneurship thing, why not at 22, before you have any real responsibilities before your married do you have kids you have a mortgage to pay for it’s really a time that it’s okay to be broke and to mess up and to embarrass yourself and I just knew that would be the time to do it there would be no other time so I just jumped into it at first I never looked back and that was like 4 years ago now.
H: Headfirst for sure. I think it’s really unique for people to own and say if there’s a time to fail I’m going to set aside this time to fail yet I think that willingness to learn and step out of convention and try something totally different is where we find the most, you know the highest Achievers those next level of success, come after that. A bold decision of some sort like you are describing.
You are a Millennial go-getter write someone who just packed up her bag moved across the world do you think that that desire to break convention or to not accept maybe the status quo is something that you grew up with or did it hit you right after graduation talk to us a little bit about your coming to accept, or not accept, convention.
L: that’s so interesting, I feel like so much of the time, and you know this, people have the stories of like I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur from the time I was 4 years old because I was selling baseball cards, or my dad had a business or my parents were creative and really taught us, for me it was really quite the opposite and I didn’t even really know that entrepreneurship was a thing until I really enter the space on my own. But, my parents were always nine to fivers, corporate good stable reliable jobs. Yet at the same time, as I think many Millennials were, I was raised with a lot of negative money stuff going on in the conversations in my household. So as I grew up it was very clear to me that you would never start your own business you know this is the safe way to do it, this is why you’ve gone to school your whole life, this is what you need to do, even so you’ll never really be happy. And again, I think that’s what we both seen, our parents are always complaining about money even if it’s not obvious right even like subconsciously all these ideas are built up in your mind, so for me, it was a huge – here’s the thing, I think that I very much easily accepted myself doing my own thing that was never hard for me, but I was terrified of what everyone else thought. And I was terrified of what my parents thought and for the first year maybe, I mean I remember telling my mom I just took out a $10,000 loan to pay for a sew-in so coach and she was like you are crazy. Like nobody in my life, all of my friends, I was so humiliated, and because of that it started to creep in am I doing the right thing, and it was because I was taking advice from all the wrong people. That’s what it ultimately was. All these people who are in the 9 to 5 path who were still students they couldn’t possibly understand how I could try to take this unconventional path. So because of it that’s what was so hard to accept what how do I stop to not care about what people think and to purely focus and stay in my own lane and just worry about what I’m doing and not worry so much about what everyone else thinks.
H: Yeah that is huge, and to be able to own that at such a young age because I do feel like the stories around money and what is quote-unquote safe or acceptable you know we all want to make our parents proud or do the right thing at some point in our lives, and to be able to step into those loans and this lifestyle by surrounding yourself with other stories and other voices has been a really powerful strategy for you to surround yourself with people who are speaking about money and lifestyle differently than you grew up with.
L: Yeah for sure, I think that was the biggest mindset shift that I ever made, was when I decided to stop taking the advice of people who hadn’t already achieved what I wanted to achieve and all these people who were very successful who I normally doubted or look down on because I thought they’re rich their wealthy their successful therefore they must be bad people they must be greedy. Once I kind of made that mindset shift and taking what they were saying more seriously, that changed everything for me and that’s when I really saw the value in surrounding yourself with winners. That’s what it all timidly came down to. And really started cutting out the people in my life unfortunately sometimes who weren’t there. They were stuck in this mindset around scarcity and lack in your life and I only want to be listening to people who are focused on abundance and opportunity and success and really looking at the glass as half-full. That was a shift, that may seem really small, but it has completely transformed my business, and my life, and pretty much everything.
H: That abundance peace has been huge for me as well, and realizing that there are a lot of people out there boo think about money as a good tool for social change, or for the environment, kind of breaking that mindset of either you have to do good for the community and work for the state and we stay safe or and we work for the weekend or we have yachts and we don’t care about other people and our money just kind of goes to Diamonds and you know there is so much space in the middle of people who are earning a lot of money giving a lot and I love one of my mentors, wants to talk to me about entrepreneurship in his eyes was just about bringing more abundance into the world. Whether that be more time for your employees, to do what they love, or more money to donate to a cause. So much more choice and more abundance not just for yourself, but to give that to other people, and I was like okay. I can earn a lot of money. And that’s okay.
L: Yeah totally I know you read the Jensen Cheryl books it’s this really bizarre misconception that we have to break down which is that it doesn’t have to be either or it’s not like you’re wealthy and you’re awful and if you are broke than you are pius and amazing and humble it’s not either or and so much of the time people dedicate so much of their organizations and their time to volunteering and nonprofits which is so so so amazing oh those rich people, but you just never know those rich people with money might be actually having a much bigger impact than you are because they’re able to donate the funds to, you know just giving it a different way, and once you can change your mindset around that and just be like left judgemental if you know then it can make a huge difference and just opening up the doors to yourself, and giving yourself that permission, two step into that abundance.
H: Yea yea – so many ways to be generous. I like that. So, you in your early twenties you tripled your income. And so here we are, like – “yes you can do it! You can triple your income!” But what does that actually look like for you. Did your life radically change? you know where you throwing confetti and like drinking champagne all the time? Someone who’s may be listening to this thinking okay yes I do want to take ownership for my finances, I want to start figuring out ways to make more money, but what is that going to mean for my life will it be a lot of work will it be kind of easy. Tell us about your experience.
L: yeah I think that’s totally right I just drink champagne all day and chill in bed and yeah. So it’s funny that’s exactly what I thought it would be, so the problem is and this is what is so interesting, even though I was suddenly taking so much more money I wasn’t giving myself permission to step into that place of gratitude, and essentially because of it I was still stuck in this kind of negative money mindset I hoarded my money and I was still terrified that I wouldn’t be able to afford rent. And I held back from investing in myself. And I stunted my own growth because I thought what if I never make this money back? And so my mindset actually prevented me from stepping into the lifestyle that I could have without actually living above my means. So that was the huge shift for me.
But once I actually got over that, really everything changed and I think maybe 6 months after that my fiance, he’s a full-time student still, but he has a part-time job, and I was actually able to retire him and that was a shift I never thought I would be able to make in my life even though in my family my mother was the primary Breadwinner so it wasn’t so bizarre just realizing that I was able to afford not only me but my partner was so empowering I think as an entrepreneur and as a woman and just showing that Not only was I able to do this for myself but now I was able to do this for my family so that was a huge lifestyle change that I never expected and then of course we are able to move into our Dream apartment and go on our dream vacation and travel the world all things that I had done before but I was no longer stuck in this mindset of I have to do it on a budget, I have to do it the easiest way possible and I wasn’t putting myself in those boxes anymore. And just feeling that freedom was so empowering and just realizing you can do whatever the hell you want was a huge huge huge change for me.
H: so how did it shift?
L: Good question. Good question. The lifestyle change or how did the process to get there.
H: The mindset from, “okay I have to hoard this I have to work really hard we’re still not secure to – Eliav you don’t have to work!” how did you work on that mindset were there exercises or conversations you specifically had?
L: I see I see, one of the first coaches I got was really focus on and her programs on money mindset, which is not the reason I signed up for her I didn’t even know what money mindset was, I remember somebody using the term wealth consciousness to me one time and I was like what the hell is well Consciousness who is making this stuff up but once I actually started learning about it and I started how even small things that I would do would impact my life and then once I started working with her I dipped my toes into the world of self-help and realize there’s so much content on this topic and this whole idea that you can perceive the world through multiple different lenses right which I never really considered before so once I started dipping my toes in that world I started reading a lot listening to a lot of podcast joining a lot of conversations online that were relevant reading a lot of blogs and even though in the beginning to be honest I thought it was kind of BS I didn’t really buy into it I thought this stuff doesn’t really work I just started implementing Little Things by little thing even if that was just a mantra one Mantra tell myself everyday and I’m going to read it out loud or I’m going to save it to the background of my phone or I’m going to put it on a piece of paper and hang it on my bathroom mirror doing small things like that actively rewire the chemistry of my brain I swear and also one more thing I know we were just speaking about this yesterday but the whole vision board thing crazy! That blew my mind. So I had this vision board and I would fill it up with all these things, so the first time I read about it in a book and I thought this seems ridiculous I feel like a five-year-old putting this thing together but I thought I’m just going to do it and I put it together and I hung it on my wall and I hung the next to my front door so every single day when I left my apartment I had to look at it take it in for a second and then subconsciously my actions throughout the day would really be aligned with those fools and I thought I’m not going to cheesy things in 5 years 10 years ever these are ridiculous things and I cheat every single one in less than a year like big checkmarks over every single image and that just blew my mind. To show the power of manifestation and mindset work really really does pay off.
H: Lena! I love this! We have such different backgrounds I came from teaching yoga and way before I ever thought I would be an entrepreneur I had you are abundance on my screensaver and I had green juice on my refrigerators think about when I was going to be drinking that in Costa Rica and the key I had to learn was that all that energy that I believe in with yoga and breathwork and spirituality also relates money. Cuz money is just another form of energy. And for you to be someone who was like okay I need to earn money to make rent we just need to figure this out I need to get clients just to see that blend like yes mine’s that work is the foundation no matter what type of work you’re doing everything is energy. So even people who are the no BS marketing coach will tell you that it’s not just tactical strategy it’s so much more and your personal development that has to be foundational to anything else that you do.
L: Yea, for sure I agree.
H: and something else, I just wanted to kind of come back full circle, when you were talking about retiring your partner. I just think that that is such a great example of generosity looking different then something we may have grown up seeing. And bringing more abundance into your world, by saying, hey partner and this is exactly what Mac and I are doing I see a lot of your energy going into working and kind of keeping your head above water as a student or an educator and if I have the abundance to say you don’t have to do that just for money and just to be able to bring Eliav on your team pursuing passions in a different way and for Mac to be able to educate in new and different ways that to me is such a unique way that we weren’t taught that you can, especially as a woman, be generous and Change the World by giving other people keys or opportunities.
L: Yea I totally agree, and you know what’s so interesting about it, when people hear retiring your partner I feel like people suddenly think of Aaliyah as like laying by the beach all day and going shopping and what was so cool about it what was so cool about it was that it actually gave us an opportunity to become much closer because he started asking me what are you working on or what is this and he had the mental and emotional space to start engaging on a deeper level. So what eventually started happening, as you know, Ellie off now works in the business which is something that we never in a million years imagine happening he also – speaking of coming from different backgrounds- comes from a completely different background also knew nothing about entrepreneurship or that this is possible but also having the opportunity to educate a partner in that way and bring them even closer to you is such a rewarding and special thing that I really never imagined in a million years and it’s such a big change that I’m so grateful for it such a surprise
H: Yeah and that’s something else I would probably not measure, we think about our income we think about our clients but that ripple effect when you decide to stand in your power and you decide I’m going to blaze a trail I’m going to figure this out not only for myself but for who else is going to impact you see the side effects and so for me my parents understanding what entrepreneurship even is, or my partner not to have to go to work maybe I don’t need or my brother to go “hmmm maybe I don’t need to get a job right out of college, Hanna is teaching me something”, but yeah just being able to show more people what’s possible is so inspiring about you being the go-getter that you are.
So we are reaching that point in the conversation I like to call Pop Quiz! You know my background in education so I will be grading you, but there are only three questions.
The first one is:
What is one action you would encourage listeners to take to day that will help them get towards whatever their dream life is
L: Hanna these are tough! One action…
H: No you gave some already!
L: okay one action you can do today is we were just speaking about this yesterday get out of Facebook eyes stop scrolling through your newsfeed comparing yourself to everyone left and right because the more people you allow into your brand the more it’s going to influence your brand and the more you’re just going to sound cookie cutter you need to stay in your lane you need to focus on your unique message and what unique gifts you can bring to the world and also Jess remembering, everyone needs to remember no matter where you are in your life for your journey, that there are people out there in the world right now who are waiting for you they are looking for you and your unique message and your unit story so if you don’t put yourself out there in the right way is to never going to be able to find you so just put off here to this side stop comparing yourself to everyone else and stay in your lane and that’s when the magic is going to really happen.
H: Yep, comparison is the thief of joy and stunter of creativity. So let’s throw that app out the window! (Laughs)
solid, okay, question number 2:
What is a tangible resource you would recommend, perhaps it’s for people who are working on this money mindset, or maybe it’s just something that really changed your life whether it’s a book or podcast or a person, that you would recommend people getting their hands on?
L: Sure a book recommendation I would highly highly recommend is FU Money by Dan Lock. It is hilarious and so well-written and just really gives you like a bird’s-eye view of what your entrepreneurial journey is going to look like, looking at it from all angles, and it’s just a great read
H: Awesome, I haven’t read that one I’m taking notes
L: get on it
H: question number 3 where can people learn more about your work and stay connected with you
L: So you guys can always check out my website LenaElkins.com you can email me Lena@lenaelkins.com and you can follow me on Instagram which is @LenaElkins18.
H: Awesome yea when people give you their personal email folks take advantage of that even if it’s just to say oh my gosh Lena I used to work at a grocery store, because you never know what those connections can make, I think it’s actually something along those lines as how we originally connected a quick message we had something in common and you and I have been working together creating more abundance in the world
L: Dream team
H: that’s right! Thank you so much for taking the time today Lena you and I will be chatting soon and maybe some of the listeners will be emailing you soon but remember you can check out all of the resources that Lena mentioned on the website dreamlifeisreallife.com/podcast and we will be back next week with another inspiring guest.
L: Thanks Hanna, you’re the best!