Episode 8: The Parental Conditioning of Money with Theresa Frickel
Theresa is an empowerment coach and joy activator. Join Emily and Theresa while they navigate how our inner child shows up in our bank account.
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Emily: All right, welcome to the Em Makes Money Show. We have an incredible guest here today. We have Theresa Frickel, who is a powerhouse visionary, an incurable optimist. She has been working as a coach and mentor in Germany for four years now. And she empowers women to create the life and business they truly desire. She has traveled the world by herself since she was 19 years old.
She speaks multiple languages and is always on the lookout for the next crazy adventure or challenge, committed to lifelong learning and growth. She leads herself, her business and her clients with joy, ease, and a fucking bold attitude. Theresa likes to call bullshit on her client's beliefs and is never afraid to ask the tough questions. She believes in normalizing wealth in the hands of good-hearted women. And she knows that we will all make a huge difference together. I love it so much, Theresa. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here.
Theresa: Hello, hello. Thank you so much Emily for the introduction. And thank you for having me. I'm so excited to do this with you today.
Emily: Yes. And you are like speaking my love language, talking about putting money in the hands of women and changing the world together. Yes, yes, yes. I am so here for it. And I'm just so curious. Because I'm imagining that you didn't go through school thinking. I'm going to be a coach and I'm going to call bullshit on my clients limiting beliefs. So, how tell me more about you. How did you get into this line of work?
Theresa: Well, no, I definitely did not start out, like as a little girl dreaming about, again, being a coach. My dream used to be like, I always wanted to be an actress. Yes. Yes. So how did I get into this line of work? Basically through frustration with my lasts nine to five job, the job itself was amazing. I really loved working with people. I was a software trainer. I was working in the education space already a long time before I became a coach.
So being with people and teaching people and helping people, empowering people. Has always been my thing. It just happened at some point that the company I was working for was not a match anymore. And I got more and more frustrated and I had just this urge inside of me that something needed to change. And I just didn't know what, and I just didn't know how, so about six years ago, that was the first time that I decided that I needed some outside help. To figure out where I wanted to go with my life. And that was the first time that I ever hired a coach to help me in that situation. And to just help me figure out what I wanted to do, after five sessions, I ended up with the decision to leave everything behind. I quit my job. I sold my car. I sold all my belongings.
I had like three boxes in my parents' basement left. And I took off to Indonesia for eight months all by myself. And I decided that that was going to be the journey that was going to change my life and on which I wanted to do. Figure out who I really was and what my life was going to look like, how I wanted it to be in the future and that's how the journey started. So from that coach, I was like, okay, now let's see, I gotta make something out of this life. I really want to be more out there and live more fully. And then when I was in Bali, I hired another coach and I was like, okay, now this is the time. I decided I want to go on this journey.
I want to find out who I am and I need help with that. So, During all that time, I hired two coaches and they helped me through a lot of questions. Really, I started asking myself , on where I wanted to go, what I wanted my journey, my life to look like, and to just create, like a bigger picture for myself. And then there was this one moment that I remember so clearly where I entirely understood that taking responsibility for everything in my life. My decisions and how I showed up was not a goodburden. It was actually a gift. And that that gift would allow me to really create the life that I, I dreamed of. And that was such a pivotal moment that I knew at that moment. It just, like everybody on this planet, knows how great it is to be able to say like I'm taking responsibility for my life.
So I get to create it. I knew that I had to help people just have that realization for themselves. And then from there it started growing and growing. And like with my own growth, I just saw more and more things that I can help people with, with everything that I resolved. I just grew my business, and this is where I'm at right now.
Emily: I love that so much. And I'm a huge fan of radical personal responsibility. And I agree with you that it can be so empowering once you realize that it can be a tough pill to swallow at first, like, wait, you mean, you mean that everything I have in my life and don't have in my life is my responsibility, but what about all of these excuses and reasons and circumstances, but we take the power back when we say yes, it is my responsibility.
So you decided to build a coaching practice and help other people transform their lives, the way that you are doing. And I'm so curious because I, you know, I love the topic of money and in my own experience, I never examined my money mindset or even recognized where I had placed so many limiting beliefs when I was in corporate America.
For me, it wasn't until I went on my own as an entrepreneur that I started budding up against all of these really unhealthy beliefs that I had around money and my own self worth. So I'm curious to hear, did you start to uncover some limiting beliefs around money or worthiness as you set out to become a coach and have people pay you for your services and decide how you were going to price your coaching?
Theresa: Absolutely, not in the beginning though. I have to admit, like, from my journey, I grew up in a very safe and stable household. There was always enough money, not for, like big investments or, like big things, big dreams, but we always had it really good at home. We never, ever had to worry about that. My dad made sure of that.
But the way he grew up with it was that he was very, very conservative about money. He kept it as much as he could. He kept it. And only for the things that he really thought were necessary for a good life, like building our own house and having, like a house to live in that was like pretty much all that we ever spent, like money on just things that were reasonable. And they had, like, my parents had saved up a lot of money for me from the day I was born. So even when I started out as a coach and started out with my own business, even though I was not making money at first, I still felt safe. So it still felt like there still enough. There's always something there and it wasn't until it ran out for the first time in my life. Because I just kept spending and spending and spending it, but didn't really take my business as seriously as, like an entrepreneur. You know, it was for the longest time, it was more like a hobby that helped me to grow myself. I was more focused on growing myself and killing stuff and releasing whatever needed to go.
So it was not until the point where all the money that my parents had saved for me ran out where I was just like, shit. I've been in this process of like, at the end of the month, there's never enough money left. So I'm just grabbing from my savings over and over again, because I can't make work that I realized. At some point, well, I really have to earn money. This is actually a hobby. I actually have earned money and I've never learned how to do that within the business, like basics, of course, like I understand that money needs to come in in order for my business to be a business, but it was just this moment where it's like, shit.
Now I don't have anything more than I could fall back on. And that was when the really deep wounds, money wounds from my past finally came out and I just needed, like I needed to address them. But it took me down like a spiral for a while where I just stopped trusting myself with money. And like, the more it went on, you know, for months, two months, two months having that same thing happening over and over good, you know, where you feel at the end of the month, it's like, Ooh, I just made it, you know, I'm just, oh God, just this month I'm done. And then the calendar changes and it's the first of the next month again. It feels like, shit. It's happening all over again. I have to hustle and do something to get the money that I need to just pay my bills and to just pay whatever I need to cover for the month. And that was like a really tough journey.
Emily: So tell me more about that. What were some of the money wounds that surfaced during that time?
Theresa: Well, one of the biggest was you can't handle money. And my dad used to say that to me because I used to be a explorer, the adventurer, the girl who just wants to do whatever the fuck she wants with her life, you know, and just spend money on experiences. And he was this very, very conservative man who only knew how to save money. So we butted heads like all the time and he kept telling me over and over again that I'm just not capable of handling money. And that stuck with me very deeply. Then another thing was always better spent than kept. I was in this.
Well, what if I die tomorrow? You know, like better to have, spend it all on experiences then like having $1 left over that I could have spent on something else. So, and then, I had, like serious issues with debt. I took on a loan from the bank and I felt, oh my God, I felt so guilty for such a long time for making that decision and how I invested that money.
Even though I did invest it in my business, it was like a very foolish investment that I made spending most of that money that I received. All at once at a really big event that I wanted to attend. And then I was just like, oh my God, debt is so bad. You can't have them. It's not good. It's just not good.
And I had to deal with all the guilt and the shame around that. And I had to heal that and to understand, to get to the point where I understood that. Not bad. It was a decision, but it's my choice of how I view this. What I did with it, my choice to say it's good or bad.
Emily: Totally. And you bring up something that so many people, not just women, not just entrepreneurs deal with, which is when there is that limiting belief around or the money wound of I can't handle money or I can't be trusted with money. Well then subconsciously we make that true. So then we do things that become evidence for us that we can't trust ourselves with money. So a part of you took on that debt and spent a lot of it on an event that you wanted to go to because you needed to continue to prove yourself.
Right? Oh, see, look, here I go again. I can't handle money. I can't trust myself with it. So when you became aware of that, what steps did you start to take to undergo healing?
Theresa: Well, It was quite difficult in the beginning because I had to admit that it had something to do also with, in relation with my dad and with the relationship that we used to have. So it was, it was bigger for me because it was not just about the money. It was also a reflection of the relationship I had with my dad. So I had to heal that as well. It will not just the money wound. It was also the relationship with my dad. So understanding that first of all, coming back to the understanding that I had from the very beginning that I am completely and entirely responsible for how I show up in this life.
So that was the first step of acknowledging that well, okay. I know that that is already my truth. I know. Okay. I am responsible. So I, if I'm just being honest with myself that everything that I've done. All the decisions I've made in the past have ultimately led to this point. And then I've just recreated this belief in the past, over and over again, like just what you said, just understanding that I had to spend all that money that I did make that decision because of that subconscious belief.
That was becoming aware of that was the first step and being honest and acknowledging that it was my responsibility. It was, all of them were my decisions and then forgiving myself for making those decisions. That was a huge part. Being able to say, look, you just didn't know better. If you had known better.
You would have done better. So why not give yourself some grace and understand that this is the moment where you can decide to make different decisions from now on. And it's going to be a journey and it's going to take some time and some practice, but if someone else was able to do it before we spent. Then I'm sure that I can do it as well.
Emily: Yes, yes, yes. I love the self forgiveness piece and also honoring that, that part of you too. Right? Because having that belief system, even though you weren't wanting to carry it forward, there were aspects of it that served you. The part of you that got to go on so many adventures that got to go that, of that event that you wanted to, that was just living in the moment and wasn't afraid to release money like that served that version of you and it's so it's, it's okay to forgive and honor, and then choose a new way forward.
Theresa: Yes. Well, I definitely did have a lot of adventures and a lot of people still say that the way how I've been traveling over the past few years, all by myself, I started traveling when I was 19, that my first trip was to the U. S. and I lived in the U. S. for more than a year. And it's just all been like this crazy adventure. And I always wanted to have that feed that big part of my life. So I am definitely happy for all the memories I created on the back of, kind of that conscious belief.
Emily: Totally, because I relate more to your dad. I had more of that kind of corridor energy around money, which at the time I thought was just responsibility and saving and I was always focused on delayed gratification. Right? And so it's like, it's the exact same thing in reverse. It was like honoring that part of myself. That's like, you did great. You're not in any debt, you have money in the bank. You did really well. And we missed out on a lot of joy and a lot of opportunities out of fear. So let's choose something different moving forward.
Theresa: And that's the beauty, right? When one's become aware of what is going on. Subconsciously once we realize what is going on, we get to choose. We get to decide how we want to move forward. And I think that's just perfect.
Emily: So you started your coaching business. I love to get into the numbers. So if you have, whether they're rougher exact, it doesn't really matter. But your first year as a coach, do you know how much money you made?
Theresa: I think it must've been around 8,000 euros for the entire year. So, I did have a handful of clients. I started out with regular one hour coaching sessions pay per hour. And I did have a couple of guides, which were mainly people that knew me already, friends and family.
But that was already where it started, where it was like, oh, cool. I have, like a client and I have another client and it's like, nice to have, but if it doesn't work out, I still have a lot of money saved. So that was the first year. And then I stayed for like two, three years, no, two and a half years. I stayed at around something between 15,000 and twenty-five thousand.
Really read it, not get out of this habit of this loop of like, I always wanted more, but with everything that was going on subconsciously. I just never really decided and aimed for more. So what happened was really that I started trusting myself less at these really low numbers. And I was like seeing people over and over again, make it the industry being numbers. And the longer I stayed at that level, I was like, there's gotta be something wrong with me, you know, maybe I'm not good enough. Maybe I'm not capable. And that just made it worse before it got better. It actually got worse.
Emily: You bring up some things so important. And it's the reason that I love having these conversations around numbers because the number itself is neutral, but we make it mean something and we often weaponize it against ourselves. And so that's essentially what you're saying is your mindset. Well, you're only doing 25, 30, 40,000 Euro and all these other people are doing more. So you're just not that good at this, people don't really want to hire you with whatever, instead of creating a more empowering story, like when they're incident number of people that need my services and these other coaches that I'm seeing.
They've had to work through healing their money wounds. They've had to create offers and messaging that allowed them to get to this point. And we never know what's going on behind the scenes and people's businesses, how long they've been at it and what it's really taken for them to see that success. So instead it's easier to just be like, well, it's just not going to happen for me. Guess I'm just not that good.
Theresa: I mean, that's kind of a comfort zone, easier at the end to say, well, maybe I'm not that good enough. And then it's like, well, then I can just let it all go. Then I don't have to work on myself, do all this inner work, which is also hard at times. Well, I just don't have to do it anymore if I'm just not good enough, like I could accept this. And there were many points in that journey where I was like this close to just giving up. But there was just this tiny little voice inside of me that always said, "if they can do it, you can do it".
Theresa: It was the one belief that kept me going for like forever. The more women I saw, even though there was part of me that was really envious. That was another part that was always knowing that if they can do it, you can do it.
Emily: I love that. And so you kept at it, you continued your own healing. And then what, how did that transform your business?
Theresa: Well, I hit the low point when it comes to my money story last year, where I just kept on spending, spending, spending, no matter how much more I earned, basically, I just wanted, you know, get rid of money because like, don't trust it in my hand. So I hit a point last year, where three months in a row, I was not able to pay my rent. And I was, like, really close to being evicted from my own apartment. And I was like, this can't happen because this is the only place where I feel, like at home right now. And this is like my safe space and also my creative space. And if I don't have that anymore, I don't know what it's gonna do to my business. And I was working with coaches at that time. I had two coaches and I just went down into, like the drama hole, I started making this such a big drama until a point where I was just like, I can't anymore. You know, it was, like, so frustrating that I really hit the point where I was like, think it can go any lower.
I don't think it can get any worse. And if I, that would be the worst for me to lose my apartment. And there was just this moment where I was like, I really need to change. I need to change whatever's going on. I need to figure this out. And with the help of my coaches, I was finally, finally able to realize that this belief of I am not good with money. I don't trust myself with money, it was holding me back in all the areas that I understood from that point on forward that I could start looking for ways and prove that I had been in a lot of situations where I did handle money well. And from the point on last year, actually in December where I paid off all my remaining.
Friends and a lot of bills that had been stacked upon. And that was like the point where it was like, I'm leaving this all in 2020. If this is a new year, then I'm making different decisions. And I don't know how long it's going to take me. And I don't know how many times I have to confirm for myself that I'm doing the right thing and that I'm good at this and that I can do this.
But I left that part, like that money drama part and the distressed in 2020. And then in January I signed my first 18 K client. So it was like, and that's like, that broke everything free once you had, I had that one client that was like, that changed everything for me and after. I'm saved now. I feel safe now.
I, I know that money is safe with me. That I'm a good person. Also, what was really important? I think that what I want to talk about is like, I actually, like, my coaches actually helped me to communicate also around the topic because eventually I had to have a conversation with my landlord and be like, I'm sorry, I just can't pay the money right now. It was so empowering to not flee from the conversation to be like, oh my God, I don't know, what is he going to think of me to just go and actually be brave enough to have a conversation with him to admit that I just currently don't have the money, but that I have every intention of paying it. That was like receiving an answer from him.
There was a, Okay, we got this. I trust you. Let's figure it out together. That was like, oh my God, it actually helps to talk about it. So that was like, huge. And from there on, I gained more confidence in the beginning. Just knowing that I can communicate, even though I might be in a very difficult situation. There's always help.
Emily: I love that. I love that. And I've heard someone named Rachel Wright says that when we have those tough conversations, it's always our inner child that shows up for the conversation. And that's what makes it so scary. Is, it's like it's little Theresa. Who's having to say this? And she's so scared that it's going to confirm everything that she fears about herself, which is that she's unlovable and that she's going to be rejected and abandoned. And it's like when we can, re-parent that part of ourselves and say, okay, deep breath. I know I'm really scared to have this conversation. And also I can do this. I believe in my power. I believe that somehow, even though it's really scary, I'll make it out on the other side. And then your worst fears aren't confirmed, right? The landlord doesn't tell you, you're a worthless piece of crap. Get out.
Emily: Then it's like, oh my gosh. Now I have two pieces of evidence. I have evidence that I can do it. Even though it's really, really scary. I did it. I talked about it and I didn't die. I'm still here standing. And my worst fears weren't confirmed. And that actually someone sees me as a capable human and believes me and trusts me and thinks that I will make good on this. Whew. Okay. New evidence.
Theresa: Yes. Yes. And I think that was a very important part because I needed that first. I wasn't a hundred percent like through all the years, basically that I lived, where I had the evidence of I'm not good with money. That was like the bridge that helped me to gain trust just in general, in myself, again, in being able to handle situations, no matter how difficult they are to know that through communication, most of the time. I am able to solve whatever comes my way, if I just not afraid to talk about it. And that first piece of trust that I gained back in myself, then also with the bridge in gaining trust in handling money with myself also.
Emily: Well, I just want to acknowledge what a badass you are and how much healing you've done, because that was just last year. And here you are talking about it on a podcast from a very healed place.
Theresa: Yes, absolutely. It's been a ton of work and it's been really tough. And I was, I used to be a person that was trying to. With joy and optimism to just override everything. But everything that happened up to the point last year made me realize that talking about it, being in communication is also the most important part for me in my business.
In all areas of communication, like also with clients and also with my content and with everything that I've put out changed so much inside of me that I just wanted to be, like, I decided for myself, I wanted to be the person that I can rely on that I can trust. So honesty is one of the first and biggest things that I can do for myself in order to move forward in the direction that I really want, like my business and my life to go and how I want to show up as a leader and be an example. And just be proof basically of that, whatever shit we're going through in life, like we are capable of handling it. We are capable of healing it and yeah.
Emily: We're our own best case studies. And also, you know, when we have a blocked throat chakra, right? When we're afraid to communicate, when we're afraid to speak our truth, it's not just in communication with your landlord, it's everything. And so, you probably weren't attracting the soulmate clients that you wanted or not to the level that you desired because they needed to hear your truth. And it's so different when we receive content. When we watch someone on video or we read their words and they're really speaking their potent truth, it just lands so differently. And I, I just, I feel so sure that you had clients going, oh my gosh. Yes, me too. This person gets me. I've got to work with her. And so then they're showing up saying, I want to work with you. Let me tell me a little more about your services and what are your prices? And I don't know. So it's so powerful when we can reclaim our voice.
Theresa: Absolutely. Then what you said is so true, like I knew from, like a mind perspective, you know, I knew all the time that, cause I saw it with other coaches that there's this possibility. Of being able to work with so many clients, of being able to work with people who just come to you and say, I saw you, I read that post or whatever. And I feel so connected and I just need to work with you. But I didn't think that, that way of speaking my truth was actually the gateway to that. There was still this whole machine running up in my head of how the industry and how online business and online coaching and everything works of all the steps that I have to take in order to become the magnetic, magnetic person, that brands that just attract effortlessly.
It was just not clear to me that, that would be the gateway basically for me, you know? And that would be not to say easy because it took a lot of work to get here, you know, and to talk about it and to be open and communicate and be honest, and to just share whatever I like from the depth of my heart and soul. But that, that was really like the point where it was like, oh, that's how it works. Oh, cool. Cool. Okay. Now I understand. So it ended up being much easier once I decided that I just share from like, with it.
Emily: Totally, totally like your brain went to this. How do I masculine my way into feminine embodiment? Like, right? Someone tell me the strategy, give me the five step process to be magnetic and have clients come to me. And it's like, what we want is the feminine energy. And we think somehow there's a masculine framework that's going to get us there.
Theresa: Exactly. If you've been way too long, it's like in this industry and you've tried out a ton of strategies that didn't work, you know, Well, what's the next strategy that I have to try and yes.
Emily: And that's the feminine way, right? It was this unblocking, it was an allowing, there was a truth inside of you that wanted to come out and you were scared. And that's why you say it's not easy. It's really not easy to show up and bury your soul and say, here's my truth, but it really is the most downstream path, because it's a path of surrender and trust in allowing instead of forcing and strategy.
Theresa: Absolutely. And it feels so effortless. It is definitely a decision that you have to make for yourself. You know, it's not like the three step framework. It's not the five step process. It's just, you surrender to trust yourself. You surrender to whatever's inside of you is always enough and where you are in your journey.
It's always enough. And it's, it's always perfect. And it's always just right. And from there you can just grow and expand and explore whatever next steps you want to take. And wow! That feels, like, so expensive.
Emily: Yes. It's a coming home. It's a remembrance.
Emily: And if anyone listening is like, oh, I desire that. And yet I'm so scared. I don't know how it's building the evidence for yourself. Theresa had to have that one scary conversation and then get a little evidence that, oh, there's a little more freedom on the other side, there's a little more breathing room. I feel a little lighter. I feel a little more like myself, for me.
I started a fresh Instagram account in January of this year because I needed to practice just saying. Anything and everything I wanted without giving one thought to who was receiving it. And that was how I built my evidence and got brave because then of course, some people did start following and some people did start interacting with it. And little by little, I got less scared and I felt so much better. The benefit ended up being that other people got something out of it, but I got so much out of sharing my truth. That, that was enough evidence to keep going.
Theresa: Because the feedback you get is just on such a different level. If you do good and do a good job with what you're doing in your business, then it's always like, oh, cool. Thanks. Thank you. That was helpful. Thank you for the PDF or thank you for your words. That was interesting. But once you were like all in with your heart, it's like oh my God, I needed to hear this. It's like, you're talking directly to me because I'm just exactly the same situation or I've been there. And it's like, there's just a connection that goes so much deeper. And that when we give that, what comes back is just so much bigger and so much more wild than we could ever imagine.
Emily: Amen. So before we wrap, I have to ask, is there like a juicy money vision that you are dreaming into and working on allowing this year?
Theresa: Well, definitely my first million, my business and I'm super excited because I have no idea how I'm going to get there, but I'm so excited for the first time ever. Since February, I allowed that inner voice to be like, you can make a million within a year. And I, with my male energy, thought that I had to go, the regular staff from 10 K months to like 15 and then to 20 and then to 30, you know, I had to take it step by step by step. I was like, you're like, you just made it out of this whole scenario. You finally just ditched all the shit that came with it. So now you want to have the million right away. What the hell's going on?
I finally allowed myself to believe that whatever it's shown to me, whatever I see inside of myself, I get to trust. So I decided I'm going for the million and, I have no idea how I'm going to make this happen, but I know if I just continue on the way that I am on and trusting, whatever comes up and believing and taking the steps, the action steps to make that happen. That is what is shown to me. I just am super excited to see what, what I'll be shown, you know, like what comes up the next couple of months and yes.
Emily: I love that. That's the feminine way. When money comes to us through the divine feminine energy, it's like the, how blows our own minds to.
Theresa: Yes. And I'm super excited for that because it's like, cool. I've seen a lot of women do it and I've collected tons of evidence that it's possible for me too. So now I'm just super excited to see how it's all going to let fall.
Emily: I am too. I'm super excited to see how it's to unfold for you. And I know that everyone listening feels the same way. So tell our listeners, how can they follow along with you?
Theresa: Well, it's, I might maybe on Facebook and on Instagram. So it's Theresa Frickel, my name. You can find me on Facebook and it's Theresa dot Frickel on Instagram. I keep it super simple. So yes.
Emily: Awesome. Well, Theresa, thank you so much for coming on the show. This was just such a joy connecting with you and hearing your story, and I appreciate your vulnerability and courage to share it.
And can't wait to follow along. Also be surprised and delighted at how that first million makes its way into your bank account.
Theresa: We'll definitely keep in touch and I'll let you know. So yes. Thank you so much, Emily, for having me, this was like, my heart is wide open right now. And I'm just so hot. So, you know, the energy is cursing through my money right now. It's amazing. Thank you for your awesome questions and for helping me and encouraging me to speak up about it and to be open about it and for creating this space where I just get to talk about this. And, hopefully it will help someone who is under similar path. To be asked and vulnerable and believe in themselves that they can do it.
Emily: Yes. Of that, I'm 100% confident. We are healing our own money wounds, and we're also giving permission slips to so many women, men to look at their own money wounds, their own story, their own limiting beliefs, and start to heal those as well. So thank you again, and we'll, let's stay in touch.