Unmasking the Emotional Side of Money with Christine Luken

Christine Luken
Founder of the Financial Dignity® Movement and Coach
May 24, 2023

In this episode, Lara Galloway features special guest and Founder of the Financial Dignity® Movement and Coach, Christine Luken. Together, they delve into their shared fascination with the realm of behavioral finance.

Understanding the intersection of emotions, finance, and human behavior is crucial for professionals in the advisory field.  

In this episode, Lara Galloway features special guest and Founder of the Financial Dignity® Movement and Coach, Christine Luken. Together, they delve into their shared fascination with the realm of behavioral finance, shedding light on how their respective roles in financial advising have greatly profited from the realization that money is intricately tied to our emotions.  

In this episode, you’ll learn:  

  • Christine's personal journey with money: the catalyst behind her entry into the financial landscape, her drive to acquire financial knowledge and her expertise in the realm of behavioral finance
  • Developing a balance between wise money management and emotional intelligence
  • Mastering your voice of reason over your voice of emotion
  • How to become self-aware of your personal money story
  • And much more!

Connect with Christine Luken:  

About our Guest:  

Ready to master your money and become a financial success? Then you need Christine Luken, the Financial Dignity® Coach in your corner!

As the Founder of the Financial Dignity® Movement & a Certified Financial Counselor, Christine has coached hundreds of high earning professionals to pay off staggering amounts of debt and massively increase their net worth over the past fourteen years.

Christine’s three books, Money is Emotional, Manage Money Like a Boss, & Financial Dignity® After Divorce, have landed her over 100 podcast, TV, and radio interviews, establishing her as the authority on money and emotions.

When she’s not coaching clients from her office in Cincinnati, you can find this Certified Divorce Specialist & member of the Financial Therapy Association curled up with a good book, a fluffy cat, and a strong cup of coffee.

Podcast Transcript

Voiceover: Welcome to the FAST Podcast, Financial Advisor Strategy Talks with Lara Galloway, SVP of Financial Education at White Glove. Lara Provides advisors with an opportunity to hear from some of the best minds in the business. Follow along to learn quick tips to help you grow your business. From gaining new leads, to keeping current clients engaged and everything in between.

Now onto the show.

[00:00:00] Aric Johnson: Hello, and welcome to the FAST Podcast with your host, Lara Galloway from White Glove. Lara, what's going on?  

[00:00:05] Lara Galloway: Well, I know you're just as excited as I am about this.  

[00:00:10] Aric Johnson: I'm so excited. Oh man.  

[00:00:11] Lara Galloway: Because I took you up on a recommendation to bring on a great guest that you've been doing some podcasting with. So, let me tell you, I'll tell our listeners and then I'd love for you to chime in a little bit here, Aric, too.

[00:00:23] Lara Galloway: But my guest today, is Christine Luken, and as the founder of the Financial Dignity Movement, I just love that. Can we just pause? The Financial Dignity Movement? How great is that? Christine Luken has coached hundreds of high-earning professionals, business owners, and divorcing women to pay off staggering amounts of debt and massively increase their net worth.

[00:00:47] Lara Galloway: I love this. She's the author of three books and host of the Money is Emotional Podcast, with Aric Johnson, all right, and Christine blends wise money management with emotional intelligence. Why don't you talk about this just a little bit, Aric? Because you brought the idea of Christine to me when I was telling you how I've just been nerding out over behavioral finance.

[00:01:09] Lara Galloway: And loving so much that I'm learning from, the speakers that I'm talking to in our podcast guest... You said, "Lara, I've got the perfect person for you!"

[00:01:18] Aric Johnson: Yes. So here's the thing is that all three of us share a very similar background with coaching and consulting. And after coaching as many financial advisors as I have, one thing that I think that they many times miss is the behavioral finance piece.

[00:01:35] Aric Johnson: In ways that there's so much emotion involved in finance, period for families, for multi-generational families, for businesses. It's very, very difficult to get away from, right? It's ingrained in us. So I totally geek out with Christine on this stuff and she's the pro. She's amazing with everything that she does.

[00:01:55] Aric Johnson: And I thought there's no better fit than the fact that Lara, you work

[00:02:00] Aric Johnson: with so many amazing professionals, as advisors, and you have so many resources for them. She's another resource because if the client isn't working with, or if the advisor isn't working with behavioral finance with their clients, they're missing a big piece. And they could be missing a lot of opportunity.

[00:02:19] Aric Johnson: So this is something that needs to be addressed in everybody's practice. That's my opinion. And I think that you are the perfect person to bring more information to these advisors.  

[00:02:28] Lara Galloway: Yeah. Well, thank you. And without further ado, let me welcome you, Christine Luken, to the FAST Podcast.  

[00:02:34] Christine Luken: Thank you so much for having me. I'm just going to bring both of you with me everywhere I go to introduce me.  

[00:02:40] Lara Galloway: Fan club! Awesome. Well, so I'm so excited to be here with you. And last week, Christine, I was listening, I was driving to Indiana for I did some speaking for NAIFA,  

[00:02:52] Lara Galloway: one of our partners, and I was listening to your podcast and I was just enjoying the heck out of it and hearing you and Aric talking.

[00:02:59] Lara Galloway: So, to all of our listeners, if you haven't tuned in yet, make sure you hear the Money is Emotional podcast with Christine and Aric. You've got some great guests on there too, and I appreciate a lot about what you're talking about. Kind of just demystifying this whole money myth. I know my background as a coach, we were always taught everybody has a money conversation. Whether it's articulated or not, right? So, I listen to the genesis of your podcast and I'd love for you to share

[00:03:27] Lara Galloway: with our readers just a little bit about why you started this work, Christine, because what is it about money is emotional.

[00:03:33] Lara Galloway: Why does that even need to be said to start with?  

[00:03:36] Christine Luken: Yeah. Well, so my short story of how I got into this line of work, it's not because I've always done this stuff perfectly. In fact, it's like completely the opposite. I crashed and burned financially in my mid-twenties, despite having an accounting degree.

[00:03:54] Christine Luken: So I was the person that had all of the head knowledge. I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I was working for an accounting, or I was doing accounting in my profession, and yet I was bouncing checks at home. And I say it was because I allowed my heart to hijack my wallet. And what I mean by that was, I was in a relationship with a guy who had terrible money habits.

[00:04:20] Christine Luken: I mean, he was in and out of jobs and even in and out of jail. And I thought if I just loved him enough that he would change. And he did. He got worse. So at age 26, when most of my friends were

[00:04:34] Christine Luken: starting to contribute to retirement and to build their net worth, and get married, here I was watching the implosion of my seven-year relationship. And I jokingly say if it's possible for a credit score to be negative, mine probably was. Now I don't think it is, I think the lowest you can be is 300. So it was probably like 301. And my finances were a complete and total disaster because of the choices that I made in this relationship. And I had a lot of shame and embarrassment around getting myself into that mess because I should have known better. So, obviously not having a grown man child is part of my household, my finances improved quite a bit once I broke up with him. But what I realized as I was rebuilding my personal finances and leaving that money stress behind me,

[00:05:36] Christine Luken: was it got me really curious as to why people, smart people like me, who were on the honor roll, can manage to screw up their finances so thoroughly. When I was hearing all these financial professionals say, well, money's just math, it's all about the numbers, follow this checklist. And I'm like, why didn't that work for me?

[00:06:01] Christine Luken: I knew in my head what to do, but my heart was pulling me in a different direction. And that's when I really got interested in psychology and behavioral finance. And this was back in the early 2000's. This was 20+ years ago. So back then, really behavioral finance was in its infancy and they were only really talking about it in psychology circles.

[00:06:26] Christine Luken: They weren't really talking about it in personal finance or investing or anything like that. So that's kind of how I got started. And it began gradually where I was volunteering and helping people out. And, I didn't intend to make a career out of financial coaching,  

[00:06:44] Christine Luken: but as I did it first as a volunteer, and then part-time, I just really fell in love with the transformation that I was seeing with people. And, I don't know, I'm sure there's people in our listening audience who can relate to this. But when you have a purpose that's pulling on your heartstrings, it doesn't matter how much your day job is paying you. Right? If you don't have that same purpose. So that's really what led me to start talking about money and emotions,  

[00:07:22] Christine Luken: because as I started coaching, as I started teaching classes, et cetera, I realized that the emotional part was largely left out of the personal finance stuff that's out there. It was essentially like, hey, here's your checklist of stuff to do, and if you just follow this checklist, then you're going to have financial freedom.

[00:07:45] Christine Luken: And then when people would try to do the checklist, or the formula or whatever it was,  

[00:07:51] Christine Luken: and something blocked them from progressing, they would feel like there's something wrong with them. And so they would say, "what's wrong with me that I can't do this?" And I would say, well, that's actually the wrong question to ask.

[00:08:06] Christine Luken: The right question to ask is what happened to me that is causing me to not be able to progress through this particular thing because we do all have a money story. We have things that were imprinted on us when we were very young that are stored down in our unconscious mind that most people aren't even aware that they have a money story.  

[00:08:34] Lara Galloway: Yep. Absolutely. I listened in one of your episodes, how you were talking about your money story was that you had to work hard to make money. And so if money came to you easily, which is common when you are exercising a strength, a gift, a talent, right? If money comes to you easily, well then you tend to ignore, oh, that was just happenstance.

[00:08:55] Lara Galloway: Oh, that was, that's not real. I can't expect that to keep coming. It's not something I can count on because money has to be hard. It has to be hard to earn money. And so we can literally find ourselves turning away opportunities to make money that are easy or that  

[00:09:11] Lara Galloway: take less time or that are challenging for other people to do, but that are naturally easy for us to do.

[00:09:17] Lara Galloway: Is that a fair assessment of what you said?  

[00:09:19] Christine Luken: Oh, absolutely. And I think what's frustrating is sometimes, at least in my situation, when I would see other people making money easily, I would think like, that's not fair. They didn't work hard. But they didn't have that story. They didn't have that truth wedged down in their unconscious mind the way I did, because they had a completely different upbringing than I did.

[00:09:44] Christine Luken: And, maybe their parents taught them like, hey, it's easy to make money.  

[00:09:49] Lara Galloway: So I just want to, I think that is so important. Like, if you ask people what's your money conversation, they may literally, and I know when I was a coach and I would ask people this, they would say they didn't have one.

[00:10:00] Lara Galloway: And I thought that's funny. You, chances are, you probably do, you may just not have ever put words to it or thought about it. And we do an exercise and then eventually we can kind of see where that stands. But I want to put it in the context bringing it back to some of the stuff we do at White Glove,

[00:10:16] Lara Galloway: because whenever you are in a human conversation, an interpersonal relationship talking to someone, these sorts of things come up.

[00:10:25] Lara Galloway: And for financial advisors and planners and guides, when they are experts and they're talking to people who may have that desire to get some help about their finances. I just want to point out a couple of things that you said that I think are so critical and that I want these guys to think about.

[00:10:42] Lara Galloway: So, when you're doing a workshop and you're meeting these people, and then perhaps they're coming in for an appointment with you one-on-one,  

[00:10:49] Lara Galloway: you want to have in your mind some of the stuff that Christine has shared here that could be happening for these people in their minds. They could be coming in thinking, like you said, I, well, I'm a smart person and I had a checklist. I had a budget. I know better. I know how to do this. But I just can't, so obviously something's wrong with me or I'm too emotional about money. I made these, I pulled all my money out when the stock market started going down and inflation started going up, and I feel horrible about it.

[00:11:21] Lara Galloway: So, Christine, when you are dealing with people that are going through this, can you help me talk to the advisors who are listening to the show  

[00:11:28] Lara Galloway: and help them know how do I address that when I might, when I understand, first and for foremost, just acknowledging that that could be what's happening for somebody when they're sitting in my office.

[00:11:39] Lara Galloway: Because I as an advisor, want to get them the best returns that I can. I want to make them successful, so they're thrilled with me, right? But what if I can't get them to do the right behavior? What if I, despite what I tell them, they make the wrong choices?  

[00:11:54] Christine Luken: Yeah, it's common and it is very frustrating for the advisor, and I think the most important thing for financial professionals to understand is that money is emotional.

[00:12:08] Christine Luken: And that's not my opinion. It's actually science. So scientists have determined that the moment of decision happens in the same part of our brain that processes emotion. And they found it out by accident because they were doing this study with a group of stroke patients that just had damage in the part of their brain that processed emotion.

[00:12:33] Christine Luken: So they had a hard time expressing emotion themselves and interpreting it in other people. And they took a break during the study for lunch and they asked everybody, do you want a chicken sandwich or a hamburger? And none of them could pick. And then they were like, uh oh.  

[00:12:50] Lara Galloway: None of the patients, none of the stroke patients could pick?

[00:12:53] Christine Luken: No, none of them could make a decision because that's where the damage was in the brain. So we cannot remove emotion completely from the equation. And I think understanding that first and foremost is, really the foundation. Because once we have said, okay, we know we can't remove emotion from the equation,  

[00:13:16] Christine Luken: but how can we manage emotions so that the decision we're making right now, we're also going to be happy with later?

[00:13:27] Christine Luken: And what I like to tell, there's a couple of kind of like tricks and tips

[00:13:32] Christine Luken: that I give advisors and, the first and most important thing is we can communicate this with our clients to say,  

[00:13:41] Christine Luken: when you're making an important financial decision, it's best to wait until your emotional volume is low.

[00:13:51] Christine Luken: And so I'll tell you what I mean by this. We kind of have these two competing voices, right? We have the voice of reason, and then we have the voice of our emotions. The voice of reason is always present. And I almost like to think of these like two different radio stations. We can think of the voice of reason, kind of like the classical music station, right?

[00:14:13] Christine Luken: It's very low, it's very chill. When a new song comes on, it's usually not jarring, right? There aren't fluctuations in volume. It's just very soft and very steady, and it's always there. Now our emotions are the exact opposite, right? So our emotions are kind of like the top 100 hits. Like we don't know if it's going to be like death metal or a rap song, or some sweet love song, right?

[00:14:40] Lara Galloway: Let me tell you, I don't want to know a day when death metal hits the top 100 chart, but that's just me. Okay. Keep going.  

[00:14:47] Christine Luken: So with our emotions, the volume fluctuates depending on how we're feeling. And we experience this all throughout the day. Something happens, we watch something on TV, we get a phone call or a text, we get good news, we get bad news, something upsets us on social media, and so we have these spikes. Of volume, so to speak, in our emotions. The voice of reason is just it's here. There's no spikes. It's just nice and solid. We make the best decisions relative to our money when we can hear both the voice of reason and the voice of our emotions.

[00:15:31] Lara Galloway: Can you give an example? And I love that. I think that's a really good analogy. And you're not only saying we should, advisors should, include the emotional channel in the conversation as long as well as the rational, but when it's a bit more calm. But just making sure that we acknowledge that each of these channels has input that need to be acknowledged and validated, but,

[00:15:57] Lara Galloway: I also love just the idea of teaching advisors how to actually do more of this. What are some tips that you're giving and can you kind of give an example of when somebody, like again, on your podcast, you made an example about

[00:16:12] Lara Galloway: somebody's daughter and the parents weren't going to buy a car, they were never going to cosign.

[00:16:17] Lara Galloway: Do you remember that example? Because I thought that was a really good way to illustrate the point about, despite the fact that your and advisor's clients may be very rational, making good decisions, may have certain values and ethics  

[00:16:30] Lara Galloway: emotion may make them completely change their mind and take a different route. And that could be really frustrating to an advisor if you don't understand and can't see that coming. So can you kind of talk through that example a little bit?  

[00:16:42] Christine Luken: Yeah. So, you might have clients set of parents who , are very clear like, hey, we're never going to cosign loan for anybody. That's just our policy that we're not going to do that. Well, let's just say that was my parents and I was coming out of my horrible relationship with my ex-fiancee and my credit was an absolute mess. What if the only way that I could get an apartment was for my parents to cosign?

[00:17:14] Christine Luken: And they saw that he was emotionally abusive and they saw that he was quickly heading down the road towards being an alcoholic or a drug addict. And I didn't have kids, but what if I did have kids? How fast are they going to change their stance on that? Right? Because that's their daughter.

[00:17:36] Christine Luken: They want her to be safe. That's the most important thing. And they're going to help her however they can. All of a sudden the policy goes out the window.  

[00:17:44] Lara Galloway: Right. So a carefully crafted financial plan that an advisor might have built an estate plan or a financial plan that they might have built according to whatever values your client said, this is how it's going to be.

[00:17:57] Lara Galloway: And then a short while later, as you're working with this client over the years, they may come in and blow up that plan. And, I can imagine that that could be pretty frustrating for an advisor who has care. So do you have any tips and tricks for kind of just helping advisors through that transition when they have a client that is, they know are making an emotional decision about their money?

[00:18:23] Lara Galloway: Like how do you handle that as an advisor who's crafted that plan?  

[00:18:26] Christine Luken: Yeah. Well one of the things that I like to do with my clients when there is an emotional decision, because it's not just money that weighs in to the equation, right? We value our relationships, we value our family.

[00:18:43] Christine Luken: And when it comes to situations like this, I will say, okay, let's think about all the possible outcomes if we go ahead with this decision, what's the best possible outcome? The best possible outcome is that you're helping your daughter. She's going to get back on her feet. She's not going to be with that guy anymore who's draining her financial resources.

[00:19:08] Christine Luken: So she's going to start paying off her collection, she's going to start building her credit. Maybe after two years she'll be able to qualify to stay in that apartment without you being a co-signer and there's no financial repercussions to you at all. Like that's the best case scenario.

[00:19:29] Christine Luken: What's the worst case scenario? She signs a year lease. Two months later, she gets back with her ex, moves out, defaults on the apartment, the apartment complex comes back to you and says,  

[00:19:44] Lara Galloway: Pay up!

[00:19:45] Christine Luken: You're responsible for all 12 months. Oh, and she left the apartment a mess. So your security deposit is gone and there's a big cleanup fee, right?

[00:19:55] Christine Luken: What's the potential damage here? Probably what's going to happen is something in between those two extremes,  

[00:20:01] Christine Luken: but just articulating those two extremes and saying, if this worst case scenario happened, how is it going to affect your family and your finances? Because it could negatively impact you paying, helping pay for your son's college. If all of a sudden you have to step in and pay this, thousand-dollar, $1,200 rent bill,

[00:20:27] Christine Luken: and that was money that you had earmarked for your son's college, this could have unintended consequences, if we have this worst case scenario. Are you prepared to handle that?

[00:20:38] Christine Luken: Are you okay with that?  

[00:20:40] Lara Galloway: I think that's perfect. So just literally talking through the various financial impacts and as an advisor, they're doing this all the time. They're running different models, different scenarios, right? So here's your asset map, here's what your plan is. As we, make a decision here, here's the impact it looks like over here.

[00:20:57] Lara Galloway: So, acknowledging that the emotional side is at play, acknowledging that it makes sense and that it is also valid,  

[00:21:05] Lara Galloway: running the plan A, plan B, the pros, the cons, and looking at them just in black and white, very pragmatically as a plan. There's a finite pool of money. We shift some from here, we put it over there.

[00:21:16] Lara Galloway: This is what's going to look like. And then asking them to make that choice. Is that the choice you want to make? Right?  

[00:21:22] Christine Luken: Exactly. Because ultimately it's their money. And they're going to do what they want to. And as the financial professional, all we can do is say, it's my responsibility to tell you these range of outcomes.

[00:21:37] Christine Luken: I hope you don't make this decision over here, or maybe there's some variables that we can change in this situation that is going to mitigate this worst case scenario.  

[00:21:48] Christine Luken: And also acknowledging, as an advisor, your internal bias, your job is to, you probably got into this business thinking, I just want to get the best returns I can.

[00:21:59] Christine Luken: I want to take their net worth. I want to grow it by X percent. These are my internal metrics that I have. But one thing I used to, when I was a coach, I would ask my clients oftentimes, when we’re trying to make a decision, what are we trying to solve for? What actually is the goal?

[00:22:15] Christine Luken: What are we or the problem? What is the goal of the problem we're trying to solve for? And it could be our goal, or our problem, is we have to have this much money. Our goal is we want to grow this much money. That's the thing. We want a portfolio that demonstrates this level of return on investment.

[00:22:32] Lara Galloway: Great. Okay. But if we're coming up where the client is changing their mind and whatever, it might be worthwhile asking that question again, what problem are we solving for? Ah, a new priority has arisen.  

[00:22:45] Lara Galloway: And that priority is the stability of this child. And if we take care of this daughter in this moment where she has clear, demonstrated need,  

[00:22:57] Lara Galloway: and we evaluate the options that come from those, and the consequences and the impact that's going to have,  

[00:23:02] Lara Galloway: we've decided that we're solving for this problem now. And money is a solution to solve that problem in this way.

[00:23:09] Lara Galloway: Right? So just noting that the problem that we're solving for over time can and likely will change for your clients.

[00:23:17] Christine Luken: And I think when you see your client stuck in a pattern, that's when you need to say, ah, there's something here. There's something deeper here that I'm unaware of.

[00:23:32] Christine Luken: And they may even be unaware of. And so we can start asking some questions and diving deeper to figure out what is it that's going on here, really? Is there some sort of, pattern around emotional spending? Where the person spends because they're lonely, or they're bored, or they're anxious, or they're mad at their ex, or whatever the case may be.

[00:24:01] Christine Luken: And sometimes just asking people how they feel about money and listening to their language can point to some things that may be sore spots. So, if someone were to have asked me 10 years ago, how do you feel about making money in your business? And I'd be like, oh, that's hard.

[00:24:21] Christine Luken: And the company that I used to work for, it was in manufacturing and making money and manufacturing, nine times out of ten is hard. There's not a lot of companies that have lasted 10, 20, 30, 40+ years in the manufacturing sector because it is tough. And so that was my whole frame of mind when I started my business.

[00:24:46] Christine Luken: This is going to be tough. And I made it tougher on myself than it had to be. I undercharged, hated sales. I mean, I had some pretty big obstacles when it came to the growing of my business at the beginning, and I basically had to use my own tools on myself.

[00:25:03] Christine Luken: To say, okay, what? Obviously I'm running up against some blocks here. What's going on?  

[00:25:10] Lara Galloway: I think bottom line is you're making some great points here that financial advisors,

[00:25:15] Lara Galloway: if you can understand the emotional side of money, if you can bring that into the conversation with your clients,  

[00:25:20] Lara Galloway: likely the payoff for you is that you're going to be able to understand your clients better and also help them understand themselves, and motivate some behavior that is going to serve both of you. And then also I think it's really important for financial advisors to maybe even

[00:25:37] Lara Galloway: take a look at themselves the way you did when you started your business, because you're entrepreneurs as well, and looking at what sort of conversations you're having with yourself about that,  

[00:25:46] Lara Galloway: making money and being in business for yourself, I think that's super critical  

[00:25:50] Lara Galloway: and having been an entrepreneur myself and running my own company and having to sell myself, I have a lot of the same things that you're talking about. I think it's just so common we get in our own way. So I think it's just really powerful to kind of bottom line it.

[00:26:04] Lara Galloway: And I would love if you have just kind of a closing remark here before I ask you our last question. Just what is it that you want our listeners today to walk away with, our financial advisors to walk away with when they're thinking about the emotional side of money? What is just one nugget of wisdom you want to leave them with?

[00:26:21] Christine Luken: Well, I think one of the greatest skills that they can develop is emotional intelligence  

[00:26:28] Christine Luken: because, if you're blending the emotional intelligence with the wise financial advice, you're going to win both the heads and the hearts of your clients. And you're not going to lack in the referrals department. Because when people know that they are being taken care of on an emotional level, you're not going to be able to get rid of them.

[00:26:57] Christine Luken: I mean, you're really not. And this doesn't mean you necessarily have to cry with them, but it does mean that you are noticing

[00:27:07] Christine Luken: when they are struggling with an emotion or having an emotional moment and giving them space to experience it without trying to rush them through that or rush them out the door,

[00:27:23] Christine Luken: and you have to get comfortable being a little bit uncomfortable sometimes.

[00:27:29] Lara Galloway: Great wisdom. Great wisdom there. Thank you for that. And I always ask at the end of the segment, Christine, you're a very successful person. You've helped coach a lot of clients through some crazy obstacles to success. Do you have your own sort of success metric or definition of success you want to share with us?

[00:27:48] Christine Luken: For me it's not the numbers. How many people you've helped, what your revenue is, what your net worth is. To me, it's impact. It's how many people have you positively impacted, and I don't think that we will ever know in this lifetime the ripple effect that we can have on people.

[00:28:10] Christine Luken: Every once in a while I'll just have someone pop up on social media or in my inbox and say, I've been following you for three years. I followed all of your advice. We just paid off all our debt. This is the first time I've heard from them. And so a lot of times we as financial professionals can think we're putting all this great advice out there.

[00:28:33] Christine Luken: We never really know the positive impact that our words and our actions are going to have on people. And so for me it's really, if I'm doing the right things, I don't really need to even worry about the success. If I feel like I'm impacting people positively on a daily basis through whatever I'm doing, personally or professionally, then,

[00:28:59] Christine Luken: I'm just going to let God or the universe take care of the results and the numbers.  

[00:29:04] Lara Galloway: Well, I'm sure that a lot of the advisors listening to this show are feeling the same way. Making that positive impact and the empowerment and education that you provide your clients, the guidance, the things that you make possible for them,  

[00:29:17] Lara Galloway: the heavy burdens you remove from them by helping them make those good financial decisions is amazing.

[00:29:26] Lara Galloway: So Christine, I really appreciate your time today and I want to thank you for being my guest on the FAST Podcast. It's been a pleasure.  

[00:29:33] Christine Luken: Thanks for having me.  

[00:29:35] Aric Johnson: This has absolutely been fantastic. Of course, I'm geeking out over here with just listening to the two of you, but I do have a question for both of you,

[00:29:41] Aric Johnson: and I'd love an answer from you both because I think you bring different perspectives to the table.

[00:29:46] Aric Johnson: The bottom line is advisors have to build relationships with their clients. Relationships come with positive and negative things, right? Once we have that relationship, there's nobody on the planet that I've ever met, at least that's like, what I'd really like to do is I would like to shame people.

[00:30:02] Aric Johnson: I'd like to really just get a laugh or two out of someone's shame. However, the problem is, is that we all feel that if we've done something wrong. How do you help advisors, specifically, communicate with their clients that no matter what you've done, no matter what  

[00:30:16] Aric Johnson: decision you've made, because a lot of times, Christine, like you said, somebody already makes a decision and then they have to go and talk to their advisor about it.

[00:30:24] Aric Johnson: How do we help the advisor create an environment where there is no shame? Because you don't want to approach somebody and tell what you've done in an embarrassing way. Right? So how do we get the clients to be able to say, "hey, here's what I've done. I know it wasn't what we talked about. How do I fix it?"

[00:30:42] Aric Johnson: How does the advisor make it so it's a safe place so there's no shame involved? So they actually do have that conversation because clients will just shut down or they won't communicate for months and months and months and it just makes it worse. So Lara, what do you think? What are your thoughts?  

[00:30:56] Lara Galloway: So I love that question, and one of the first things that I always try to tell our clients is you have to be relatable. And part of that, and I think the story that Christine shared was really powerful,

[00:31:08] Lara Galloway: one of the reasons she's relatable to her clients is because she's honest about having made mistakes herself, despite the fact that she had an accounting degree and knew better. She knew how the budget works and she knows what positive and negative cash flow looks like.

[00:31:24] Lara Galloway: And yet she still found herself in this horrible situation. And I think for advisors, I mean, gosh. Is there, I'm sure that there's some mistake you've made, some purchase, some stock, something you just fell in love with. For whatever reason, you made a decision and one way or another it led to some remorse, something that didn't work out well.

[00:31:45] Lara Galloway: If you can share an example like that with your client, if you can relate to them, if you can say, yeah, we have a similar family situation going. Whatever. Maybe someone's talking about estate planning is one of the things. We do a lot of estate planning workshops,

[00:32:00] Lara Galloway: and people come in and they have some really crazy stories about, we have my daughter getting divorced and it's really messy and we're trying to figure out how to disentangle some blah, blah, blah.

[00:32:10] Lara Galloway: If the advisor can share a story, that they've been through themselves. That happened with my mother-in-law. This happened, blah, blah, blah. If you share a story, share a personal story that is relevant to whatever that shameful experience is that your client is sharing,

[00:32:28] Lara Galloway: then that's going to make them trust you just a little bit more and appreciate you because they've been vulnerable

[00:32:34] Lara Galloway: sharing how, yeah, I've done that too. Takes away just a little bit of that vulnerability and helps them relate to you. So being relatable, sharing a relevant story maybe from yourself or someone closely will help.

[00:32:48] Aric Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. Christine?  

[00:32:50] Christine Luken: Well, I would definitely agree with that. The other thing too is just approaching the whole relationship from the beginning to say, we're not going to do this perfectly.

[00:33:02] Christine Luken: Right? We're making this gorgeous plan for you, and I'm showing it to you on the screen. This is not going to go perfectly. And what's going to happen is life is going to happen. When that happens, I want to be that person that you call to jump in with solutions and to help you. And, there's probably going to be times where you make a decision without me,

[00:33:29] Christine Luken: and you're going to feel bad, and you might even feel ashamed, and you might even avoid me.

[00:33:35] Christine Luken: That's the last thing I want to happen. If you make a bad mistake, I still want to be the first person that you call. I prefer you call me in the beginning of the situation so I can help you to make the best decision for you and your family. But I know that's not always going to go that way.

[00:33:55] Christine Luken: But I want you to know there's no judgment, there's no shame. My job is to help you and to have money support your happiness. And whatever part I can play in that, I want to play as big a part in that as you will let me.  

[00:34:13] Christine Luken: Just opening with that at the beginning of the relationship and setting that tone is going to help so much.

[00:34:23] Aric Johnson: Absolutely. Well, I know that we will have links to your information, Christine, as far as how advisors can reach out to you, how other listeners can reach out to you. Lara, there are advisors listening to this right now that aren't currently working with White Glove,

[00:34:36] Aric Johnson: and maybe they're just listening and they've tuned in because another advisor told them to.

[00:34:39] Aric Johnson: How about you give them your contact information and anybody who wants to reach Christine can reach out to you as well to get her contact information.  

[00:34:46] Lara Galloway: Absolutely. You can always reach us on our website, whiteglove.com or info@whiteglove.com and we'll be happy to get back in touch with you.

[00:34:55] Aric Johnson: Awesome. Thank you both so much. This has been amazing, and of course, our last thank you goes to the listening audience. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening to the FAST Podcast with Lara Galloway. If you have not subscribed to the podcast yet, please click the subscribe now button below.  

[00:35:08] Aric Johnson: This way when Lara comes out with a new podcast,  

[00:35:09] Aric Johnson: it'll show up directly on your listening device. We humbly ask that you share this podcast, rate it, and leave a review as this actually helps others find the show. Again, thank you so much for listening today. For everyone at White Glove, this is Aric Johnson reminding you to live your best day every day, and we'll see you next time.

Voiceover: Have questions about the topics covered during the show? Visit our website at www.whiteglove.com or email us at info@whiteglove.com. Don’t forget to click the follow button to be notified when new episodes become available. The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guests and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of White Glove.

The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice. Always seek the advice of your financial advisor or other qualified financial services provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning.

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About the
FAST Podcast

We see the podcast as an effective tool to help advisors grow and continue their education by delivering valuable tips from some of the top minds in the industry.

Here at White Glove, we recognize that time is every advisor's most precious resource, which is why the episodes are presented in a quick, interview-style format, making advisor education convenient, portable, and on-demand.

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