Tag Archives: scarcity mindset

Nonprofit Radio for March 27, 2023: Your Relationship With Money


Rhea WongYour Relationship With Money

What’s your history with money? What are your emotions around money? How do these influence your fundraising? Rhea Wong explores it all, helping you have a healthy relationship with money, and improving your fundraising.



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[00:01:38.16] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big, non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. And oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with cielos kisses if my mouth got dry because you missed this week’s show your relationship with money. What’s your history with money? What are your emotions around money? How do these influence your fundraising? Rio Wang explores it all, helping you to have a healthy relationship with money and improving your fundraising on tony state to its spring think summer. It’s a pleasure to welcome Rio Wang to non profit radio real helps nonprofits raise more money. What could be simpler than that? She’s raised millions of dollars in private philanthropy and is passionate about building the next generation of fundraising leaders. She was recognized with the Smart Ceo Brava Award in 2015 and New York, non profit media’s 40 under 40. In 2017, we host the podcast, non profit Low down. And her newest book is Get That Money, honey. She’s at Rio Wong dot com. Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:01:40.37] spk_1:
tony Thank you so much for having me. It is a pleasure. I hadn’t realized how energetic your voices, which is really fun.

[00:01:47.33] spk_0:
I like strong openings. Yes, I don’t like, welcome to this week’s. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you and you, and you bring great energy too.

[00:01:57.52] spk_1:
Oh, well, you know, I, I guess it’s a comment among New Yorkers like us, even though we’re currently, neither of us is currently in New York City, but there’s a vibe there.

[00:02:08.66] spk_0:
And you’ve done stand up comedy too, haven’t you?

[00:02:11.52] spk_1:
Well, I’ve attempted to and have bombed on many stages. Yes.

[00:02:20.91] spk_0:
Okay. I’ve done the same. I don’t have some bombing. But you, you even, I heard you say to someone that you did some online, some virtual

[00:02:38.94] spk_1:
tony doing online stand up comedy is just the worst. Like, I mean, you’ve done some stand up yourself. So, you know, it’s not easy to stand up and tell jokes, but it’s exponentially harder online during the days of the pandemic. We tried to do a couple of comedy things and it was just terrible because everyone is on mute. You all use your black boxes and you don’t get any laughs and you have no idea if it’s because you’re not funny or because everyone’s on mute. It’s a killer.

[00:02:57.10] spk_0:
I can imagine. That would be very hard. I, I’ve never done virtual stand up. I’ve always been in clubs in, uh, in, I guess all in Manhattan. Yeah. Um,

[00:03:08.22] spk_1:
lower Manhattan kind of a guy.

[00:03:10.68] spk_0:
Was more. Midtown Gotham. Gotham. Gotham. Yeah. But,

[00:03:15.97] spk_1:
yeah, good for

[00:03:24.09] spk_0:
you. Now, you know, we’re talking, we’re talking, uh, multi, uh, Multi comic shows like eight or 10 comics and we each get six or eight minutes. You know, I’m not a headliner. The most I’ve ever been paid for. One show was $20.

[00:03:33.98] spk_1:
So. Oh, well, at least you got paid. I usually have to pay to perform. So. Okay.

[00:03:39.48] spk_0:
Well, I should introduce you to the guy who produces the show that I used to be in. You may, you may want to know him.

[00:03:45.39] spk_1:
Well, that would be fun. I mean, I haven’t made my way north of 14th street quite yet, so we’ll see. All

[00:03:51.97] spk_0:
right, don’t uh it’s not a frontier anymore. Midtown, not midtown, but downtown 20 23rd Street. Yeah, Gotham Comedy Club. I think it’s 20 23rd.

[00:04:01.03] spk_1:
Well, I have to tell you the pandemic. Definitely put a bit of a damper on my budding comedy career. So we’ll see about getting back to

[00:04:07.89] spk_0:
that. Well, the point is you bring great energy, wherever, wherever it comes from. So,

[00:04:12.91] spk_1:
thank you, tony

[00:04:14.35] spk_0:
Let’s, let’s introduce this to folks. You’re concerned about our relationship with money and how it impacts our fundraising influences. You know, how well we do, how well we comfortable we are talking about giving, what, what are your concerns about money? Relationships?

[00:05:31.17] spk_1:
Well, let me, let me back up a little bit. So I started as an executive director at the age of 26. And like a lot of folks in the nonprofit field, I was an accidental fundraiser. Right. So many of us don’t receive any formal training and how to do this thing. And over the course of, you know, the 10 plus years as an E D I had gone to a lot of training, you know, I did all of the training and I went to the Fancy Columbia program and the Fancy Harvard programs. And, um, and they would give me the nuts and bolts of fundraising training or how to do the ask for things like that. But I just felt so uncomfortable with it and I could never really figure out why. And then, um, and I really credit General from mcrae at, at Harvard for this, but I started to unpack my own relationship to money and there was no other place that I had ever been a part of no other training program that actually unpacked the relationship to money. And so we’re in the business of money. We’re in the business of fundraising. We’re in the business of talking to people about money, but we never actually examine our own stuff with money. And as we know in our society, money is so fraught with emotion, money. People have so many complicated feelings about money, whether you had a lot growing up where you didn’t have a lot growing up. We all have this baggage and I just thought, isn’t it silly that we’re in the business of money? But we don’t actually talk about our own feelings about money. So that’s really where it started for me.

[00:06:00.48] spk_0:
And the sense too that there isn’t enough money for our nonprofit, there isn’t everybody else seems to get the big gifts. Where, where does this, where do these feelings? Where does this relationship with money come from?

[00:07:59.76] spk_1:
Yeah. So, okay, this is such a long winded answer. But so I think to start with, in the nonprofit sector, we have a real problem with scarcity mindset. And so what I mean by that is, I mean, even the name non profit starts in the lack of not profit as opposed to social change or social, the social sector. And so the thing that I really came up through in the nonprofit world is this kind of culture of scarcity of this knee jerk reaction like we can’t afford that, you know, that’s not something that we can do, we can’t pay our people. Well, we can’t, you know, hire the people that we need, we need to keep budgets artificially low. But right, like it’s always about coming from this place of scarcity and not enough. And, and really also this sense of, you know, there’s a lot of comparison to, to your point, you know, well, how come that non profit got that big check on. How come they get the nice office space and how come they’re doing better than we are. We’re just as good. And so that’s the first thing I think as a sector we really suffer from that and then individually we bring our own stuff to the table. Right. So we all have stuff around money. Like when I grew up, even though I grew up in a middle class family here in San Francisco, um you know, my family are immigrants and so there’s this real mentality of we have to fight for what we got. You know, we have nothing to spare. We and if we do have any extra money, it’s going to be, you know, kept within the family and we’re gonna afford it, we don’t have enough to give away. So, on top of the culture of the industry, I found myself in which was a real lack mentality. I also personally came from a lack mentality. And so no wonder why talking to people who had wealth felt very uncomfortable. I felt like I was begging, right? I mean, we’ve heard this so often like I just felt like and no wonder so many of us burnout in the sector because we’re coming from this place of survival. So can I take a step back and talk about brain chemistry for a second?

[00:08:21.51] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

[00:09:08.26] spk_1:
I promise it will. No doubt too much. But our brain essentially only ever operates in one of two modes. It’s either survival mode or executive mode. So survival mode is exactly what it sounds like. We’re constantly like fighting were reacting or believing that there’s not enough for me. I gotta fight for what’s mine exec mode is when you’re prefrontal cortex is being engaged. And that’s really when you get to the space of what they call flow state, you know, that’s where generosity, creativity, um kind of feeling safe lives. And so because as a sector, as individuals were operating so often in the survival state of the brain, we’re always operating on this adrenaline pumped high cortisol state of mind, which eventually will burn us out. But if we can actually shift our relationship to money and shift our relationship to the work so that we’re operating more often in exec mode, we’re not running on fumes, we’re not running on that kind of desperate what I call hustle culture energy, which ultimately is how we burn out.

[00:09:43.92] spk_0:
Okay. So these two states survival executive, Okay. So really just two states, that’s all we have in mind. Survival and executive hope, hope I spend 99% of my time on executive mode.

[00:09:55.74] spk_1:
Well, on average, most of us spend about 70% of our time in survival mode. So when, when you meet people

[00:10:04.20] spk_0:
from below that average,

[00:10:51.10] spk_1:
well, yeah, I hope so too, but we’re all humans. Um So, and, and I think particularly in New York, I would say like maybe 90% of the people are in survival mode. But, you know, when you meet people in your world, let’s say, and you find them to be like, really reactive or like they fly off the handle or they, you know, they get mad about little things. It’s most likely it’s definitely that they’re operating in this survival mode, right? They are literally believing that they are fighting to survive that it’s a life or death situation. And so people act irrationally, they act emotionally. Whereas when you’re operating in that executive state, you’re just a lot calmer, you’re responsive, not reactive. And so if you don’t know this, if you’re not even aware of the fact that there are two different states that you could be in, then by default, you’re probably operating in survival state.

[00:11:24.45] spk_0:
Let’s go back to individuals, histories with money, not necessarily real Wong’s history in her family, but our own history. So we’re, it’s conjuring up, you know, like how generous your um your loved ones were, whether, you know, whatever kind of structure you grew up with family or otherwise. Um Whether they felt like there was never, never enough to do something or they, whether they challenged you on your own decisions about spending when you were young, you know, things like that, right? We’re sort of conjuring up the histories, our own histories.

[00:14:17.57] spk_1:
Yeah. So, so, okay, let me give you an example. Um So in my family, like I said, I was, I grew up in a middle class family in, in San Francisco. But I think the ways that you can start to unpack, what are the stories I have about money is you even think about things. Like, what did you hear in your family growing up or what did you witness in your family growing up or what kind of stories that your family tell? So, in my family, it was always like, oh, who do you think we are? The Rockefellers or money doesn’t grow on trees or? You know, I would see my parents like, it’s very funny, my parents are very different purchase money. My mom is a scrapper and savor my dad is a saber, but then he’ll randomly splurge on things. And so, you know, we didn’t really talk about money unless it was in the context of we don’t have enough of it or hey, look at those people that are so rich. And so part of the challenge that I really want people to go on is to start to think about what are the stories that they grew up with around money? And where did those come from? And oftentimes the way that we learn about money comes from, our family comes from our parents and it comes from their parents. But the way that a lot of people learn about money from their parents are sort of depression era. Like my parents learned about money from their parents who grew up in the depression of our immigrants to this country. The thing is we’ve not updated the stories about money and we just accept the things is true because, you know what a belief is just a thing that we think again and again and again, and if we’ve ever challenged that belief, then we just think it’s true without any question. And so a lot of the common money beliefs that I came up with was like, money doesn’t grow on trees. It takes money to make money. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Uh, you gotta work hard for your money. You know, these are a lot of the common things and I started to take a step back and be like, well, is that actually true? I mean, is that, is that true from what I see? And is that true for me? Um, I mean, the truth is, I know a lot of very wealthy people and I think actually this is one of the biggest myths is, you know, people with money are different, they’re, you know, somehow they’re meaner, they’re kinder, they’re smarter, they’re just different than me. Right? The truth is people who have money are the same as you, they just have more money. And I think people attribute money as a way that changes people. I think money is just an amplifier of who you already are, right? If you’re a kind person without money, you’re going to be even kinder with money. If you are like kind of mean and stingy person without money, you’re going to be even more so with money, right? So it’s not, isn’t fundamentally change who you are just amplifies more of what you already are.

[00:14:39.06] spk_0:
How do these stories around money? Which create our beliefs, influence our fundraising?

[00:14:43.39] spk_1:
Oh, very simple. So, tony What’s a story that you have about money?

[00:15:58.65] spk_0:
Um It was repaying a stranger who helped me buy a Mother’s Day plant when I was about seven years old, she was the cashier at what stores that used to be called? Woolworth. Uh And I bought a plant that I didn’t quite have enough money for like maybe it was a dollar 50 and Or $2, let’s say, and I only had a dollar 50. Um and I told the story to my mother when I gave her the plant and then my, my mother and my father brought me back to the store, politely, kindly, kindly not, no, no retribution but to, to give the cashier lady her 50 cents back to thank her for giving me money to help me buy a plant for my mother for Mother’s Day. So it was sort of, you know, that you, I guess if you return generosity, you know, and yeah, that you, that you return generosity. I was thinking that’s a very sweet story. My parents weren’t mad or anything like that. They just, they wanted to teach me that you, you let someone know how, how thoughtful they were and you repay it if you can.

[00:17:48.59] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s such an interesting takeaway because I, you know, you could make that story being a lot of different things. But in your case, you made that story being that people are inherently generous and it’s our job to give back if we can. And hence you are also in fundraising and plan giving, which makes perfect sense like people who want to leave their assets after they’ve passed on, you know, in many people’s cases. So let’s say I grew up with an idea of like, well, you know, money is hard to come by and people aren’t really that generous. If that’s my belief, the way that I approach fundraising is through the lens of people don’t really want to give. But, you know, somehow it’s going to be my job to convince them to give or somehow, you know, there’s some levels like manipulation and coercion or maybe like there’s this feeling of like I’m asking them to do something they don’t really want to do, right? And so I’m going to bring that kind of energy to the ask as opposed to if I had a different belief, if my belief was people love to be generous. People love to be in community with others who care about a particular cause. People love to give to this cause that provides meaning and purpose in their lives. And I come to the ask with a completely different energy. It’s almost like it’s almost like dating. I love a dating analogy. But so tony Like, if I believed that, you know, I couldn’t catch a date and, like, nobody wanted to date me, how do you think it’s going to go for me if I’m out in the dating pool and I’m trying to ask for dates, like, I’m gonna be kind of like desperate. Right. Kind of sad. But if I had a belief about myself, like, I’m awesome. And you know, I just want to find a partner who is as awesome as I am so that we can be awesome together. I bring a different energy to the table. And so what I think about our relationship to money is it really impacts the kind of energy and the kind of perspective that you bring to the table when you ask people to partner with you, you’re either coming from a place of being on your knees or you’re coming from a place of being on your feet.

[00:18:16.22] spk_0:
I think it’s valuable to think about how we feel when, when we give it feels good, it activates, we’re talking about the brain, it activates pleasure centers. It’s the same pleasure center that is activated when you eat chocolate. Or you hear good news I’m putting on the spot. Do you know what part of the brain that is? I, I used to know but I

[00:19:23.29] spk_1:
can’t. Uh so, so it’s actually the same part of the brain that exists where family and love lie. So I think so they’re like kind of different parts of the brain that process different types of information. And so when people talk about, you know, well, we have to be like really metrics driven and really data driven. That’s exactly wrong because that is a different part of the brain. That’s like the business, the brain. But where philanthropy lies is the emotional part of the brain. So you do have to have the metrics because we use data to back up an emotional decision. But you really have to lead with emotion because you know, in the face of it, philanthropy doesn’t make a whole lot of logical sense. Like why would I give my resources away that I could be using for myself? Right? So like that’s a logical part of the brain. But the reason I do it is because it feels good because it satisfies some kind of emotional part of my being, right?

[00:19:57.87] spk_0:
It feels good. And we also acknowledge people who give understand that the world is a bigger place than, than they themselves. And we’re all in community and we all need to give to support those who, well, those causes that we believe in because otherwise the cause won’t exist. And in some lots of cases, not all missions, but in lots of missions were helping those who don’t have what we have. So we’re giving back to other to those who need more than, than what they have. So, and that, which leads to the, which leads to the Pleasure Center being activated the same as when you eat chocolate.

[00:21:24.61] spk_1:
Yeah. But the point is that all of those reasons are largely emotionally driven, right? It’s like you can put some kind of intellectual afterthought on it. Like, well, yes, of course, it makes good business sense because X Y Z and if like, if we have no plan it, then how am I going to make money? Right. But deep down inside, we’re moved by this idea of like, could I live in a world of my Children to live in a world where there are no wild animals and there’s no clean oceans and there aren’t rainforests. No, I don’t want to live in that world, right? And that’s all deeply emotional. So all to say to get back to the original question, not only is philanthropy, deeply emotional, but feelings about money are deeply emotional. And so if I haven’t examined as a fundraiser in my own relationship to money and what I am bringing to the table, it, it complicates the issue, right? So if I can successfully unpack all of the stuff that I believe about money, then I am just a conduit for my donor’s wishes because here’s the other thing, wealthy people also have stuff with money just because you have money doesn’t mean you don’t have money, stuff. Right. And so if you as a fundraiser, have not unpacked your stuff with money and your donor also has not unpacked their stuff with money. Both of you are kind of sitting on this invisible pile of baggage with this space between you in a room.

[00:23:30.51] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s spring. I hope you’ll start thinking about your summer. It’s the time to start making plans for yourself so that you get the summer rest that you probably need. I mean, I don’t know for a fact, but most of us enjoy summer rest. And if you want to take care of other people, take care of big missions, you need to take care of yourself 1st, 1st, you gotta be, you gotta be in the right mind in a rejuvenated mind so that you can take care of others and, and work. I don’t think that virtual work has taken away our traditional summer vacation rituals. I think folks are still gonna want to have time off in the nicer weather. So take care of yourself, think for your plan for yourself, plan for yourself, family, loved ones, good friends. It’s the time I want you to be in the best state so that you can take care of business, take care of other people. Remember to take care of yourself. That is tony Stick to. We’ve got Boo Koo. But loads more time for your relationship with money with Rio Wang. Alright. So how do we approach that, unpacking our own baggage. How can we change our relationship with money to make ourselves more comfortable, more confident, be standing feet rather than be on our knees and which is all to say, make ourselves better fundraisers.

[00:27:35.72] spk_1:
Yeah. So a couple of key things that I would recommend number one is really take some time to reflect. So I have a couple of key questions in my book, which is, you know, what did you hear in your family growing up with money? What did you see in your family growing up with money? What, how are you with money today? So I actually have a fun experiment I do with people is I have, I call it the wallet test. Look at your wallet. What does it look like? Do you, are you giving your money a nice home or do you have like bills stuffed in? And is it all disorganized? Like that’ll tell you how, how you deal with money? Are your bills stacked up? And do you not look at them or are you the kind of person that really manages your money as a resource? Like the first thing is what are some of the clues that I have about how I think about money, how I interact with money. The second piece would be, what are the stories that I have about money? Right? And then, and then thinking like I’m a big fan of writing things down, but literally writing down like, you know, is that true for me? Is this a story that I want to carry forward for me? And if I, if I do then great, we can keep it. And if I don’t like, what are the things that I can choose to believe instead? Because ultimately, our emotional state is driven by the thoughts that we think and the way that we can change our emotional state is to change our thoughts. So let’s use an example, if my thought is well, people really just aren’t very generous and they don’t really want to give that might create in me a sense of anxiety about fundraising attention, about fundraising, maybe even frustration like, oh but these people should be giving money and how come they’re not giving you money, right? That feeling then creates my, my action. So I might go into an ask me being like really kind of upset or I might, I might talk too fast or I may try to bulldoze someone in and ask that will then create the outcome that I get. So where you can do an interrupt is around the thought process, a start to become aware of the thoughts. So that’s another strategy. And then another strategy is to be very aware of your emotional state. Am I in the survival mode or am I in exec mode? And this is a tribute to my performance coach Eugene Choi, you can label the feeling that you’re feeling. So if you’re starting to be like, I feel stressed or I feel anxious or I feel frustrated, even the very act of labeling that emotion moves the energy to the prefrontal cortex. And it’s really important to think about the words that your using. So I feel versus I am, I am as an identity statement, I feel is a feeling and feelings are temporary. But even the thought of having to think about, what is this feeling that I’m feeling will move your energy to the prefrontal cortex versus the Amygdala, which is your fight, fight or freeze center. And the final tip I have is two. And I know this sounds but really meditation is really helpful. So what meditation does is it slows your brain down a little bit and it slows down the space between stimulus and reaction. And so, you know, so often in our lives, whether it’s about money or other things, we get triggered and we’re often triggered before we even know why we’re being triggered. But what meditation does is it helps you kind of slow your, your thought processes down or at least become aware of your thought processes so that you can give yourself a little bit of time between the stimulus and the reaction time so that you’re reacting or rather responding in the way that you want to like if I’m starting to get really upset about something, if I meditate, if I take a breath. I can start to think like, why, why am I being so reactive about this thing right now? Like, what is it about this thing that is causing a survival state reaction in me? Like why am I believing that this is a direct threat to me in some kind of way? So let me pause there. A lot of different things I offered up. I don’t

[00:28:13.52] spk_0:
think meditation is woo. I think that’s, that’s very valuable meditation. First of all, it’s been, it’s existed for thousands of years. But um in one form, in one practice or another, I, I believe in it very much. Somebody may not recognize my form of meditation As meditation. But I do and I think it’s very valuable to, to reflect. And some, and like you suggested, sometimes meditation might just be 45 seconds.

[00:30:30.69] spk_1:
Yeah, it can be or, you know, even taking a second to take a breath because what happens when we’re in survival state is we start to breathe really shallowly. You know, we are shoulders, get up behind your ears, you know, we tense up. And so even just like that 30 seconds of dropping your shoulders rolling back and taking a breath from your diaphragm will calm you down. So, um one of the strategies that Navy seals use is called box breathing. Are you familiar with this term? So, Box breathing is really fun. It’s breathing in for a count of three, holding your breath. For a count of three, breathing out for a count of three, holding for a count of three. And you just sort of lather rinse repeat. And what it does is it slows your heartbeat down, it slows your breathing down. It helps you become more mindful and it literally just, it gets you into that executive versus survival because in their survival state, our Amygdala are going crazy and we are, we are literally interpreting the world as if we’re being chased by Saber tooth tigers, right? And in our modern day world, like everything is a sabertooth tiger like the news coming at us as a sabertooth tiger, my bus are being laid as a sabertooth tiger, like my coffee being, you know, spilled on me as a sabertooth tiger, right? And so we actually haven’t developed these mechanisms for how to calm our nervous system down uh in our modern world. Like so in the wild, you know, an antelope will get chased by a lion, then they’ll be able to like stand still for a couple of minutes and shake it off and move on with their lives. But we are not as smart as antelopes in the sense. I mean, the great thing about our human brains is that we have long memories and we think about stuff and the terrible thing about human brains is that we have long memories that we think about stuff, right? So like we can continue to be traumatized by an event that happened when we were two years old, even though we’re grown ups. But we relive the thing over and over and over again and we let that thing dictate the rest of our lives. And the truth is, it’s never about the thing that happens to you. It’s about your interpretation of the thing that happens to you.

[00:30:49.23] spk_0:
Okay. Well, let’s flush it out a little bit more. This is all very interesting. Um It’s never the thing that happens. You would see interpreter. Yeah. Well, right. How you felt or how you continue to feel about about that episode.

[00:30:53.91] spk_1:
Not just Yeah, well, not just how you felt about the episode but but what you made that mean about you,

[00:31:02.41] spk_0:
what you made it mean. Yeah. Alright. The baggage that you you heaped onto the incident. Yeah.

[00:32:04.70] spk_1:
So let’s take, let’s take an example. So let’s say you are carrying around, you know, a memory that you had when you were a kid where your mom yelled at you for something again. I’m just thinking of an example. Now, one interpretation could be you can make it mean that oh mom was just having a bad day and she was reacting in her own survival mode and that wasn’t really about me or you can make it mean there’s something really wrong with me like I I am a bad person. I do bad things and I never do anything, right? Those two interpretations for the same event can have very different impacts for your life, right? And so inherently, we have to really unpack all of the meaning that we’ve made about the events that we’ve had, whether it’s about money or other things and how we have let that event created a, You know, an influence over our entire lives. And oftentimes the things that happened to us are usually from like 0-3. And we, we make meaning of those things that we then carry forward for the rest of our lives.

[00:32:19.73] spk_0:
What do you mean when you say 0-3?

[00:33:27.76] spk_1:
So like, so 0-3. Yes. So 0 to 3 is when your brain is, is developing the most rapidly to that. That’s for like, yeah, sorry, sorry, 23 years old. Yeah. No, sorry. 0 to 3 years old. So those early years are are critically important and usually what the things that happened to us are, the things that in those early years are usually the stories that we carry around most um most deeply and um forget it was going to say, but essentially we need to think about unpacking those, those stories that we made it. You know, I remember what I was gonna say and inherently a lot of the stories that we tell ourselves um that are negative usually fall into one of three buckets. It’s usually like, I’m not good enough, I’m different. Therefore I don’t belong or what I want is not available to me. Mm.

[00:33:28.31] spk_0:

[00:33:31.30] spk_1:
And I can see your your wheels are turning. Let me pause there

[00:33:34.28] spk_0:
because I’m thinking about I’m thinking about my own story. So now I’m feeling like Howard Stern like what was your story? Tell me a story but I’ll I’m not gonna put you on

[00:33:43.63] spk_1:
your story. I’m

[00:33:49.56] spk_0:
thinking about a story when uh I called my mama bitch.

[00:33:51.83] spk_1:
Okay. How old are you?

[00:35:26.14] spk_0:
Probably around the same age as the tender mother’s day plant story. In fact, we lived in the same apartment on Orient Way in Rutherford, New Jersey. So I was probably 567, maybe 55. You probably don’t know the word bitch was probably 678 somewhere even six. You probably don’t know it. Seven or eight, I’d say seven or eight. And uh my dad, my dad is the one who yelled at me when he came home from school. He was, he was a teacher. So, and you know, just for years, how could I have? How could I don’t think it fits into one of your three paradigms? But you know, how could I have been so terrible to call my mother? I’m a bad person. I like to call my mother a bit like that. I’ve gotten over it now at 61. Just what time is it? It’s a little after three. I’m over it for about the past 20 minutes. No, but for years that really made me just, yeah, I just feel terrible about what I, what I had done. I don’t know if it made me feel terrible about myself, but certainly about what I had done. I don’t remember what it was. She obviously triggered me. It was my mom’s fault. There’s no question about it. She triggered me as a seven year old and I reacted appropriately. I think that’s, that’s my interpretation. Now, at 61 I was perfectly justified and well within my rights to call her bitch, she, she, she wound up and, and like I said, she active, triggered me. So, so I’ve come full circle about that or not full circle. I’ve got 1 80. If I was 33 60 I’d be back where I was. I’ve gone, I’ve done 1 80 since then. So that’s my little story of carry that with me for a long time.

[00:36:51.16] spk_1:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and it’s interesting to, to, to think about like, what did you make that mean about yourself? And so, you know, and generally speaking, like these formative moments happen earlier, but essentially, if like, let’s say in your case, you made this mean, oh, like I must be a bad person because what kind of person says such a thing to his mother, right? You know, I wonder what that inspired or influenced you to do in your life that you would necessarily otherwise have done without the belief that I’m a bad person because I did this thing or said this thing about my mother, you know, so to bring back to money, like if we have a deep belief about money, let’s say there’s not enough of it, there’s not enough to go around, etcetera, etcetera. Like what does that, what does that mean for me? How does that mean that, how does that affect how I show up in the world if I have that belief? Right? So part of it is really just about reprogramming our beliefs about the world ourselves, our, you know, our money situation, our families, etcetera. Um And once you can start to understand that you can decide how you want to think about things. All of a sudden the world changes completely. You’re like, well, then I can do anything. I could just decide anything about my life.

[00:36:58.59] spk_0:
It’s choice, it’s choices that we make and we’re free to choose,

[00:37:32.35] spk_1:
right? The decisions that we make and look obviously to, I want to be clear that like I’m not talking about losing touch with reality because then you become a sociopath, right? But um you know, often times when we see extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, like I talk about Oprah all the time, like Oprah is a personal hero of mine. How is it that Oprah who you had such a tough upbringing? You know, this little girl who went through some very tough things like sexual abuse and uh you know, didn’t come from money and grew up as a black woman in America. Like, how is she such an extraordinary success in the world? And part of it is like she just decided that that’s what she was going to be. She just decided that she wasn’t going to let her circumstances dictate her future. She just decided to tell herself different stories about herself and I think we can all do the same thing.

[00:37:54.60] spk_0:
What’s a healthy relationship with money? What does that look like?

[00:40:13.51] spk_1:
Oh, that’s such a good question. You know, I think this belief that decent question. Well, money is a renewable resource and I think that’s something that we really have to accept. I mean, time is not a renewable resource. Like it doesn’t matter how rich you are, you’re never going to get enough time on this planet, right? But money, you can always make money. And so I think the the person who has a healthy relationship with money is the kind of person who understands that money is just a resource to be managed like everything else without the emotional attachment to it, right? Like, and I’m not talking about being crazy about money and spending Willy nilly. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is just detaching from the emotional piece about money and just thinking about how to use it as a resource like you would any other resource. And so sometimes with non profit people because of the emotional attachment to money. They often don’t manage money in a, in a way that is not about emotion. So quick example, like I, for example, I offer training and my training is not inexpensive but, and I know you offer training as well, but essentially on this train, you’re like, look, I pretty much guarantee that you’re going to make money. Like there is an R it’s R O I positive, like you can not possibly go through my training and not make more money. And so often I’ll say people were like, well, no, I can’t afford it like, well, okay. So what’s your plan then? Like if you can’t afford this and you’re not willing to invest in something that will help you to make more money, then how are you going to make more money? Right. You’re kind of caught in this loop of I don’t have enough money. Therefore, I can’t invest in anything that will help me make money. Therefore, I will continue to not make money. So I think the smart executive director, the smart non profit execs relationship to money is to think about it again as a resource and think. Okay, well, what is a good use of my money? A good use of money in my mind is either something that will bring in uh roo I something that will save you time or something that will increase operational efficiency. And so when you say things like, well, we can’t afford whatever we can’t afford to bring on new development stuff. Well, is that development staff going to help you bring in money? And if so, you know, is it a 10 X and it’s 50 X is 100 X? Because if that’s the case, then that’s a good use of the money.

[00:40:44.74] spk_0:
And how is this healthy relationship where we’re, we’re treating it as a resource of commodity? We’re making it emotionless. How does that make us a better fundraiser?

[00:42:51.97] spk_1:
Well, I think a couple of things, I think number one, it helps us to talk with people who also have money in a way that is, it’s less fraught with our own emotional baggage about money and more sort of matter of fact, if I can say that, which is like, hey, you know, tony you really care about whatever you really care about clean oceans with this gift, we can do X Y and Z which will help you to achieve your dream of clean oceans, right? It becomes less about me and my stuff and more about like, how can I help my donor achieve what they want to achieve with their philanthropic gift? The other pieces, I think it also gets you off that roller coaster because I think we so often have this, this idea of like, well, if I get the gift, I’m a good fundraiser and if I don’t get the gift of a bad fundraiser, right? And if I’m a bad fundraiser, I make that mean something about who I am as a person. I’m a bad professional, I’m bad at my job. People don’t like me, like you can go down that shame spiral. And instead if you can actually have a healthy relationship to money and even just a healthy relationship to the process itself, then you realize that the the win is the process. Like, did you cultivate your donor properly? Did you help connect them emotionally to this thing that they wanted to achieve? Did you do all of the things? Right? Because if you did, that’s the win because ultimately, whether they say yes or no is beyond you. Like you have no control over them, you you’re not, you know, in their brain pulling the levers, right? And so if we can actually um separate our value from the things that we achieve, like you are a valuable person no matter what. And so if I can stop making my value be connected to the thing that I achieve because if that’s the case, I will never be enough, right? Because I will never like win all of the marbles, but I can be enough by doing the best that I can.

[00:43:01.64] spk_0:
We have inherent value, irrespective of our outcomes acts,

[00:43:28.65] spk_1:
right? When I think that’s hard to in our, in the society that we have because it’s so it’s so driven by, you know, the ranking and like you’re, you’re a better, more worthy person. If you produce more or if you get these better results, right? And so we’re always like constantly chasing the result and chasing the outcome, believing that that will make us a better person and other people will think we’re more valuable and better people. And it’s, it’s a race. You can never win.

[00:43:33.39] spk_0:
What do you say we leave it there?

[00:43:34.28] spk_1:
Really? How do you feel? I think that’s great. Tony

[00:43:50.60] spk_0:
This was borderline therapy for me with my uh my seven year old trauma. Just to wrap up that story. My uh my, my dad is the one who, who punished me and, but I was sure he was gonna hit me, but he didn’t hit me. He just, he was actually quite rational, explained why it’s not

[00:43:57.06] spk_1:
appropriate. Did it, did he make you feel that you were a bad person?

[00:44:23.81] spk_0:
No, I brought that on myself. Well, that I had done a bad, you know, I carried with me for a long time. That story and just how could I have done such a thing to my mother? That was, that was it. I don’t know. I went so far as I’m a bad person, but I did a bad thing left it there for a lot of up until about 25 minutes ago. All right. That was, I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. Thank

[00:44:26.79] spk_1:
you. Thank you.

[00:44:36.24] spk_0:
She’s real Wang. You’ll find her at Rio Wang dot com. Her podcast is non profit Low down her newest book. Get that money, honey, exclamation mark. Rhea. Thank you again.

[00:44:42.70] spk_1:
Thanks. Tony

[00:45:14.75] spk_0:
Next week, Gene Takagi returns if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation, Scotty. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.