Q&A_Sherold Barr + Natasha Lakos

Q&A with Sherold Barr // on Fear, Money, and our Work in the World

“I believe in pushing past fear to lead an extraordinary life.”

Sherold Barr is a master life coach and freedom fighter. She works with smart people who want to live a more meaningful and purposeful life and have no regrets. That’s you? Me too.

I’ve been working with Sherold for the past 2+ years and I am so grateful to have her in my life. Sherold came to me as a client and when I ventured out on my own in business I knew I wanted her in my corner. Sherold has that fierce combo that I adore in people: business savvy, and incredibly soulful at the same time. Sherold was a no brainer to include in this Q&A series and I’m grateful she made the time. These conversations are all about wisdom I’ve gained from being fortunate enough to know and work with people like Sherold – stuff I love sharing with friends – and that includes you.

So without further adieu…

Your tagline is: “Fear is your rocket fuel. Freedom is your reward.” I think a lot of us may not identity as being “fearful” but fear can certainly be lurking in the shadows, as a business owner. Why is it so important for us to recognize and acknowledge fear?

Starting and running a business is a journey.  You are creating something brand new and your comfort zone will be challenged and expanded.  Whenever you start something new that is challenging, fears will crop up and your inner critic will chime in with lack and attack thoughts.

I am a fear type on the Enneagram – The Loyal Skeptic.  I’ve dealt with fear my whole life.  I’ve learned to work with it and to use it to help me move up in business and life to new heights. I know for sure that I have found more freedom in my life from facing my worst fears.  It’s helped me become a stronger and more resilient person. I want to share that with others so that their fear can actually be a path to freedom.

It’s important to learn to decode fear.  Notice what scares you and where you have resistance.  If you have a big resistance to doing public speaking, perhaps this is where you are being called to show up.  The greater the fear, the more likely it is part of your destiny to do this.  Walk towards what you are afraid of especially if this is your dream.  Take small action steps to get comfortable.  I like to say that fear + action = courage.  I believe each of us has a Soul Assignment here in this lifetime.  It could be what we fear doing the most that would offer us the most growth.  Once you do what you feel afraid to do, you build confidence.  Your freedom is on the other side of what you are afraid of doing.

What’s your best tool for moving through fear?

The best thing you can do is to be conscious of what you’re feeling physically and notice what you’re thinking.  If you believe you aren’t good at something, you will live out that belief.  Ask the fear what it is trying to tell you.  Is it trying to keep you safe by playing small? There is a big difference in knowing if your safety is threatened versus not doing something because you feel vulnerable.

Last week I gave a talk at an event with around 175 people.  Nine of us gave a six-minute talk.  I’d hardly had time to focus exclusively on preparing the slides and my sound bites.  I was so busy with work that I kept thinking, “I’m not prepared.”  I started noticing that thought and knew that I wouldn’t be prepared and in fact I would be anxious if I kept that thought.  So I deconstructed that thought and decided I was prepared enough and I would practice more.  I did a beautiful job, and I was proud of myself. It gave me the confidence to do more speaking.

The other thing I recommend is to think back to times when you did something that felt impossible.  In preparation for this talk, I started thinking about all the times in my life when I spoke in front of people.  Back in 7th grade I was nominated for class Treasurer and got up behind a podium in front of the whole school and gave a speech.  I became Treasurer each year in middle school and remember feeling proud I had pulled that off.  I also spoke two years ago at World Domination Summit and that talk went well.  So I knew I could do it.  I relied on what I knew I could do.  This is important for each of us to do – go back to when something felt hard or impossible.  Lean on that.

What is the #1 mistake you see women make with their money, or money mindset?

They do not look at their numbers.  They are afraid to look at their finances for fear of what they’ll see.  They give their power to money and their self-worth is tied to what they make or don’t make. This is all a matter of what they believe about money.  Not looking at your finances actually creates more stress and anxiety.  What you resist will grow.  Women tend to have their partner handle the finances.  I’ve done that in my life and if we don’t take charge or be a partner in the finances, statistics show that we live an average of five years longer than our husbands/partners and having to take charge if a partner passes away is not the time to learn about finances.

I also like to have women define what money means to them.  Ask yourself what would you have to believe about money to have your current financial situation?

What’s the turnaround/your advice on that?

I believe to be good in business, you must be comfortable with money.  If you aren’t comfortable with money, how can you grow a business and put the right dollar figure on the value your business delivers?  All business people need to track their numbers – know what it costs to run your business on a monthly basis.  This will tell you the baseline of what you want to bring in.  Then make a stretch goal that is edgy and plan out what you will need to do each month to bring that amount of money in.  Take small steps of consistent action.  Track your monthly revenue and expenses.  Track the number of times you speak to potential clients each week.  If you are a coach and you are not talking to potential customers, you are in effect not open for business.

As a service provider, you need to know how many potential clients you must talk with each week to get new clients.  That means you need to be out reaching people – speaking or networking – and making sales “asks.”

As a life coach, what’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give someone who’s starting their own business? Or taking their current one to the next level?

The people who succeed in business have a coach or mentor who is ahead of them in terms of building their business.  A mentor teaches you things you don’t know. In the first few years of business, it’s all about creating consistent revenue.  You want to select someone who will share the fastest route to making money and finding your ideal clients.  Then after you create consistent income, you create top-level income.  This would be a digital book, a digital program, an information product that you sell.  You would build out a sales funnel so that you are promoting some aspect of your business monthly.

You want to know exactly how much money you want to make and make a plan to take the action to get there.  You want to focus on revenue generating activities.  Have a big bold money goal and break it down into actionable monthly steps you will take to bring in the revenue.   If you aren’t clear on what you want to earn this year, you will not get clear results.  Money loves clarity and attention.

How important is ‘soul work’ when it comes to running a business?

If you step aside for a moment, and assume your business had a Soul, what would it want for you to have, be and do in this business?  My business would want me to meditate each morning before I start working, it would want me to exercise in some way daily, it would want me to build the business to support my life.  The way I do my business planning is that I decide what I want to be and do in my life each year first then plan my business schedule (launches) around what I have scheduled in my life.  Ask yourself what is your business bringing to the world?

Natasha, you are all about beauty and adding beauty to the world.  Your call is to serve at a higher level and to help others by guiding them to create a consistent brand identity that captures who they are at a deep level.

I am all about helping people evolve to live out their Soul’s destiny and move through fear, limiting beliefs and negative thoughts to step into who they are meant to be in this lifetime.  That is what I call your Soul’s revolution – evolving through obstacles and fears to live out your true potential.  Entrepreneurs are on a Hero’s Journey whether they know it or not.  There will be challenges (dragons to slay) and there will be mentors.  Accepting the call and challenge is the way and understanding that everyone has dragons to slay and these are here to help us evolve in this lifetime.

You and I love books! What is your #1 “must read” on the following subjects:

Money: Suze Orman’s The Money Class: How to Stand In Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve – a must read for all women and men.

Entrepreneurship: Seth Godin is my favorite guy.  He’s brilliant and his book Tribes was excellent, All Marketers Tell Stories, and Nancy Duarte’s book Resonate is fantastic.

Soul work: The Soul’s Code by James Hillman

So many of the people that come my way may have been working “behind the scenes” of their business…and are now ready to step out into the spotlight . Maybe they’ve been hiding behind a company name and are ready to brand themselves. Or they’re ready to up their game, and presence online, and off. What advice do you have for those of us who are scared of putting ourselves “out there”?

I see women playing small and not accepting that each one of us has unlimited possibilities financially – The Universe is here to support us yet most people do not believe that.  I love tro say dream bigger than you are dreaming and take small steps and expand your comfort zone.

Maintain awareness of your work through social media and by posting your blogs on Facebook and Twitter.  Each time you post, it raises awareness.  People will begin to follow you and if they like your content they will sign up on your list.  Guest posting on a site will also help you get known.

My tried and true (works every time) technique to prepare to speak or do something that feels almost impossible is to visualize in advance.  A week or more before the event, I see myself clearly in what I will wear and see myself and calm and confident.  Where the mind goes, the body follows.  You are rehearsing in advance.

One of the many wonderful tools you’ve given me is the “what are you tolerating” list…can you explain what this is and how to use it?

This is such a terrific tool.  I asked you to list 20 things that you were tolerating in your life and work.  Then I asked you to prioritize your top three and take action to change them.  We all tolerate too much and it builds up and this is what creates the feeling of being overwhelmed.  For example, I have a tremendous amount of emails in my inbox. I need to unsubscribe and delete a lot instead of thinking I will read them.  Lately I’ve been working to delete at least  200 or more at a time.  I feel so good doing that task.  It’s about shifting the feelings you are having before and after.  Look at what you don’t like doing and see if you can stop doing it or hire or delegate that task to someone else.  If not, how can you make it a better experience?

What is the one thing/tool/thought every one of us can do TODAY to help us move forward in our lives/business?

Know the end result you want to have in your business each year and start planning from there.  This is how you make sure you know where you are going – you start at the end in mind that you want to achieve and then plan your business or your life to get you there.  I ask my clients and Smart Women Make Money participants to get crystal clear about their result and create a Big Bold Money goal as well.  Here’s the pdf that I use in my money class for you to use for planning:  HowtoCreateYourIdealFinancialLife_SheroldBarr

Good luck!

Thank you Sherold!


055E_Sherold-2_touched upSherold Barr wants to live in a world where women experience financial freedom and ease in their life and businesses.

As a coach and mentor to women entrepreneurs, she’s been a speaker at World Domination Summit, featured on Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Life blog, Roots of She, and A Year With Myself.  She is the founder of Smart Women Make Money™ – helping women transform their relationship with money so that they can earn and manifest the money to support the life they want to live.

When she’s not helping clients start online businesses and teaching women to make more money, you can find her cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, traveling or hanging out with her two dogs and husband.

Sherold recently released her digital manifesto – 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Was 30: Hard Won Lessons for an Awakened Life.  It is available for free here.

Learn more about Sherold Barr here.