Bret Shuford 0:08
Hi, Katy, welcome to the creative visibility Podcast. I'm so
Yay, I'm so happy. I'm here to thanks so much for inviting me, Brett.
Bret Shuford 0:18
Yeah. So for people who don't know you or don't follow you, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do? Yeah, I am a financial coach who helps creative freedom seekers, who I like to call freedom seekers, make more worry less and achieve true financial freedom so that you can create the life of your dreams, I apply very practical and spiritual practices to my work, because I really believe in a holistic look at your money because everything affects money. You know, whatever's going on with you emotionally affects your money, whatever is going on with you and your relationships have extra money. So I really look at everything as a whole, in terms of helping you to heal your relationship with money, as well as
Unknown Speaker 1:17
getting rid of money blocks, so that you can actually make more money.
Unknown Speaker 1:22
You say, heal your relationship with money, like people have damaged relationships with money and what it is that
Unknown Speaker 1:30
you find that to be true?
Unknown Speaker 1:35
Unknown Speaker 1:37
unfortunately, I think, um, well, most of us, like grew up without knowing anything about money, right? Like we grew up in.
Unknown Speaker 1:46
Most of our parents didn't teach us about money, most of us, like, didn't know how, how money really worked. And so what we absorbed as children, we got through seeing how other people reacted to money. Like if we had parents who fought all the time, like I had parents who fought all the time around money, right. And so I absorbed different things and learns what I didn't want, but rather than what I would have wanted, right with money. And so I did do have, you know, I started off with a very different relationship with money, and saw that, like, with my, you know, my family, for some reason, felt like money was really kind of a super important thing. And not that it's not important, however, like they made it so important that it was like, we couldn't really just have fun, or, you know, do some of the things that you wanted to do as a kid together as a family. And so I grew up not even wanting money to be a thing in my life. And,
Unknown Speaker 2:57
and so whenever I made any money, I used to just spend it all like anytime money came into my life, it just went right out, you know, to the point where like, even in college, I took cabs everywhere i i Like paid for all my friends drinks at the bar, you know, it just did not want to be associated with money. And later, I just realised, well, that's not a very healthy way to to go about it. And
Unknown Speaker 3:28
and so once I started as a freelancer, I kind of figured out like, Okay, what a why, what, what do I need
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to have in my life? And what do I want money to mean for me.
Unknown Speaker 3:43
And all I really want money to mean for me is like freedom of choice, right? The more money I have, the more choices I have to be able to do the things that I want to do. Right. And that's really important to me, also, because of where what I've also learned growing up, because I've known two women growing up, and then later on, I have a best friend who had to stay in abusive relationships because of the lack of money in their lives. They didn't work outside of the home, they took care of small children. And they just felt like they had didn't have a choice, you know, and in order for them to survive and take care of their kids. They had to stay in this relationship. And I never wanted that right and what so it's become my mission in life. And my mission in life is to really empower people, everyone, everyone I know to actually be able to make decisions not based on money. And instead, I want you to make decisions based on the dreams that you have for your life and for your kids. And the things that you really, that really light you up and what you really, really want to do and that's
Unknown Speaker 5:00
It's also why I love talking to creatives, you know, and it's not just because I was one, right, like, I was a TV producer for 15 years. And, and so I really understand what that lifestyle is like, like living paycheck to paycheck or, or kind of the feast or famine mode of working on a show for three months, and then not working for three months or six months. So I truly understand it from that perspective. But I also understand it from a very emotional perspective of wanting to give people that freedom of choice, you know, and to be able to do those things that you really want to do and not have to base it off of, can I pay my bills this month?
Unknown Speaker 5:43
Who Yeah, you know, it's so funny. I'm, I'm currently doing a programme. And I love the way you start with just acknowledging abundance, right? Where I feel like most financial people are going to start, like, start looking at your expenses. And you're like, let's, let's look at what's coming in. Because that's really
Unknown Speaker 6:05
quantum physics, right? What you put your energy on is what you get. And I have found that to be so true, since we just started. But that first exercise, noticing what's manifesting for me, which is, which has been really cool. But I also like, as you were just talking, especially picturing you in New York,
Unknown Speaker 6:27
buying your friends drinks paying for taxis, because lord knows I did the same thing.
Unknown Speaker 6:33
But I remember at that time, like I thought I would graduate from theatre school work for the rest of my life on Broadway, and never have to worry about when I was going to
Unknown Speaker 6:50
how to pay the bills, I just had never thought about like, no one said, how are you going to pay the bills? And that they did, I was so stubborn, and I don't know, persistent or are blind does had this blinders up that was like, oh, you know, God's gonna take me, it's all gonna be fine. I'm so talented. I'm the exception to the rule, or whatever entitlement was coming up for me. But I remember that my self worth was so tied into what I did that 2122 years old. And I'd been so lucky to have worked professionally, but then like, 911 happened. And I was living in New York, and I had no job. And I did not know how to pay my bills, I just didn't even have the
Unknown Speaker 7:36
tools in my tool belt. Right. And then the the sickening part of it was like, then because I didn't couldn't pay the bills, I was a terrible person. I am failing.
Unknown Speaker 7:51
You know, or even like, I don't even deserve to live. Like, there were moments where it was that bad? How do we help people see what maybe cuz you know, as a creative, you do have to have a certain level of blinders up to move forward. Right? But how do you how do people get clear and get honest with themselves?
Unknown Speaker 8:13
When maybe there's resistance around that? Or they they're afraid to? Because they might think that, oh, I have to give up my dream in order to do so.
Unknown Speaker 8:25
Yeah, those are great questions. And, and I want to kind of go back to the self worth piece for a little bit, because I do really, really believe that your self worth is tied to your net worth, right. And the more that you increase your self worth, the more your net worth goes up, the opposite isn't true. Because lots of people with high net worth, like may not have high self worth and that speak, and that's when they get into trouble, right? Like that's when, you know, the lottery winners go bankrupt within three years, or
Unknown Speaker 8:59
musicians, like go on drug binges, and, you know, and or child stars, you know, start to spend all their money and then, you know, they don't have anything to show for it afterwards. Right? And so this is this is like a matter of choice in a way, right? Like, it's like, sometimes people come to this place of like, now that I have nothing, I need to start looking at it. But I want you to look at it when you have something and I want you to look at it in a way of like, okay, even if you're putting away $5 a month, right? That is something that is something more than you know, and it can build upon itself, you know, it can build upon itself in the future. So that when you do need the money, you have something to fall back on. I really believe in that I really believe in like, especially for for creatives. It's like you know, we all have to you know, look at it in a in a way that
Unknown Speaker 10:00
Like, the more money you have sort of in the bank, you know, like, just as an emergency or for a rainy day or whatever, the more that you're going to be able to make the choices to keep going with your dreams, right? Because if you're in survival mode, right, like, there is no way you can be as creative as you possibly want to be. There's just no way, there's no way. And I mean, I've been in that up into up and down into that for so many years. Right. And I guess, you know, the challenge, I think about, I feel like this is turning into, like you coaching me almost,
Unknown Speaker 10:37
I feel like the challenge is like, you know, especially for people maybe in my experience of being in the theatre or being an actor, where it's feast or famine, sometimes, you know, you're in a great gig a great show, you're making the most money you've ever made as an actor, and you're like, finally I can do all the things that I wanted to do. And then the show closes. And all of that stops, right? Or you book a TV show, you do a couple episodes, it doesn't get picked up, right? And then you're dealing with like, what, who am I how, you know, like, all of that stuff starts to come into play.
Unknown Speaker 11:16
So I know people who are Tony winning actors, right? Who are Emmy nominated actors, who have to have a side hustle have to have a side job, because they are not making enough money, you know, from acting to support themselves. And I think that
Unknown Speaker 11:36
there's, for those people at that stage in the game, they tend to not be too tied into it. Like they're like, No, that's what I have to do. I gotta pay the bills, I'm in New York, and blah, blah, blah, or I have kids or I have kids. But for these young people that even myself, you know, at 22, who is like, if I'm not making money as an actor, I'm failing. And you know, and I would get this, I would wait tables, or I would cater or right? Let's roll out the list of things that I did to make money.
Unknown Speaker 12:05
How do you help them balance the thoughts around income? Putting a roof over your head and food in your belly while you're pursuing this and making money as a creative? Mm hmm. Well, first of all, it's like a way to think about it in a different way. Like, I want you to think about it as an investment job, something that's investing in your own future. And you're using it as a way to be able to keep going on the auditions and keep going on to do the things that you really want to do, right? Because what again, what we were talking about before is like, when you look at like the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, right? If anybody has seen those, that pyramid, at the bottom, it is like food, shelter, water, right? Like those are the your basic needs and love, right? Like we all we actually do need that too.
Unknown Speaker 13:05
And you want to be able to take care of that first, right? Like, there's just no way of thinking about any of that other stuff without having your basic needs met. And once you have your basic needs met, you're going to find that you're going to just have a much bigger capacity to be able to to get the jobs, get the things that you've been wanting to do. And then also other people are going to feel that energy, right? Because it's the same thing. Like, if somebody feels like you're desperate, like your energy is like, I'm desperate, I haven't worked and I don't have any money. And if I don't get this job, I will need to move back to Kansas or I need to, you know, or whatever. Unfortunately, that doesn't draw in somebody's wanting to hire you for any jobs. Right? Think about it, smell it? Yes, it's like dating, right? Like when you're dating somebody and that person's like, Yeah, I haven't had a date in, you know, two years, and I'm totally desperate.
Unknown Speaker 14:16
It's a turn off, right? It's a complete or no. Yeah. And employers are the same, right? No matter what casting directors, but also, like, if you're running a business, too. I mean, your customers can smell it too. It's like if you're like, in, you know, if you're an entrepreneur and you're trying to get your brand or whatever, off the ground. Yes. And you're so because I see this all the time, people are just they're trying to figure out how to grow as fast as possible. They're trying to get as many followers as possible and so they start they stop focusing on relationships and start focusing on numbers right? They start focusing on like, the algorithm
Unknown Speaker 14:58
Unknown Speaker 15:00
Unlike what about people, like they're just gonna be doing this for people, not a computer like, and so actors do the same thing. And you know, it's just a different type of situation. So having that stability, having that that investment, in the meantime, knowing that, like, it's an income opportunity, right. I mean, that's what I hear you say. It's like, the income versus the fulfilment, the fulfilment, I guess, or the career? I don't know. Yeah, it's the income. Well, it's the investment in yourself and having that baseline, having the foundation to be able to actually create something bigger, you know, in terms of your dreams, right? Like, I do believe that God takes care of us no matter what, you know, one of my, you know, favourite Bible verses not to get preachy, because, you know, I, I'm very open when it comes to religion. However, I did grow up in the South and, and I did go to Baptist church, every single Sunday. For many, many years. I'm so funny, I never, I never would have looked at you and said she grew up Baptist. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 16:11
Seriously, most people are surprised to even know that I grew up in Texas.
Unknown Speaker 16:18
One of my favourite Bible verses is from the book of Matthew, where they talk about how like, you know, God takes care of the trees and the flowers and the birds in the air, and why would he take care of us? Right? Aren't you just as important, even more important than all of the other, all of the other God's creations, right. And so I really, really adhere to that. I love that. And I also know that because money isn't really something that's super spiritual, or you can't, you know, you can't take it away with you that to have more than enough, like, we're always going to have the enough parts, but then to have the more than enough part, it's like, that's up to us. Right? It's up to us to decide we want to have more, it's up to us to start to create habits and to understand how to create more, and to invest in order for our money to make more, if that's all up to us to have. I love that. And I I wish there were more Christians who relied on that verse in Matthew, I love that verse.
Unknown Speaker 17:29
So, how so? How do we as creatives, you know, look at finding financial freedom, right? What are the steps to, to even getting there because I mean, I know, people who are trying to create multiple streams of income, either through online through their craft, through running businesses.
Unknown Speaker 17:54
And they, there's that if you come from the arts and creativity, we are already kind of inundated with a scarcity mindset from not just like, mostly just from cultural, right? Like our family, everyone culturally has a perception of what it means to be a creative, you're going to be broke, you're going to struggle, if you're an actor, you're going to deal with rejection, you know, all of those things, what are the steps to getting out of that scarcity mindset and leading towards financial freedom? Yeah, so one of my favourite things is to and this is something that, you know, we talk about in the financial freedom for creatives club is to start to notice, like what is coming in for you, right, and to start to notice the abundance in your life, and that doesn't necessarily mean it's money, but instead to start noticing any kind of abundance in your life, right? Like, if you normally it's a really busy parking lot, but you instantly got the first spot.
Unknown Speaker 18:59
That's abundance, right? And to make a note of it, you know, so that you start to focus your mind on what is coming in for you what is abundant in your life, rather than focusing on what you lack or what is not there in your life. So that's a really powerful exercise for anybody to start to be able to cultivate. I really believe that's, you know, a really good way to look at it. And then the other part of abundance is to start to look at like I want you to look at the world in a way that it's like there's there's enough for everyone and it's not just like okay, if if I don't get something I don't have you know, like there's there's only you know, like there's only one thing for me right like and if somebody else gets it then I don't have that anymore, but instead to to start to open up your mind to say like, there is enough for everybody is the same as
Unknown Speaker 20:00
Are the oxygen we breathe? There's enough oxygen for all of us. Right? And there's also enough money for all of us. There's enough money and opportunities for all of us, right? There's so much money in this world. I mean, it's so crazy. I mean, I just even wrote about it today in my blog post that, you know, I know when I say this, people are a little bit like, well, if you know, like, there are real realities to all this, but money isn't really real.
Unknown Speaker 20:34
If we, as humans made it up, you know, we made up the currencies, right? We and every country has its own value, right? Like $1 in the US is not the same as a Canadian dollar, not the same as an Australian dollar. Right. And we, as a society have decided what that amount means. And even during the pandemic, when they were giving out like, checks, right, like, they were sending out money, it's like, they're just printing up more money. So there's enough for everyone. And we just need to start to look at it in that sense, it's like, all of us can be able to create and have and cultivate more money in our lives, we all can and deserve to have that. That's what I love that, you know, I was just gonna be to Steven and I are expecting a baby in in April. And,
Unknown Speaker 21:31
and, you know, for two men to have a baby, it's extremely expensive, especially because we went through surrogacy, which is like the most expensive way to go. And it's, you know, but we were, we love a challenge. We love an adventure, we were like, we're just gonna figure this out. And it's taken five years, but we're finally there. And it's very exciting. But it's of course, bringing up as we get closer to parenthood, it's bringing up our experience of parenting. Right, and we're really looking at because we're dealing with our families very excited about is having a baby, they're coming to the forefront, which is interesting at this stage in our lives after being so independent in living in New York for 20, whatever years now, being back in Texas, it's been very interesting. But right before this call, I made a post on my Instagram stories about, you know, we invest in these these amazing women that come and clean our house. And they come twice a month. And we bought, you know, we put it in our expenses as something that's worthwhile, because literally, they came and cleaned for an hour while I was in here, coaching clients. So I was actually making money while they were cleaning the house, and it basically paid for it. And it's like, it's for me as a business person. So it's a worthwhile expense, for investing in my business to have these people do that. Right. And that's like, the way I think about it. I don't think of it as a luxury. It's like, this is part of my business. It is a luxury. I mean, these are wonderful people doing this for for us, but like, it's a different way of thinking. And then I got a text from my mother in law. Because she saw my stories. I don't know it was on Instagram or Facebook, and she was like, I can't believe you pay for a cleaning person. Get off your lazy asses and do it yourself.
Unknown Speaker 23:24
And I don't think she was joking, huh? And how did you feel? And when you got that text? I was a little I actually wrote back haha, like thinking she's joking. And then I realised Oh, she's I don't know that she's joking. And so the little bit offended? How dare you call us lazy? Like we're working our butts off. But then also like, oh, man, this is so sad that she feels like, this is something I have to do. That it's my responsibility that it's not that like in that she can't see the amount of work that we have put in to get us here. Right? Yeah. Yes, that's really frustrating. And then it's also got me thinking, Okay, how do we protect our family unit? From this way of thinking? And I also know, and this is something that, you know, I actually would love to talk about, we can talk about in a minute, but is the relationship being married to a creative? We both make money that's not the most consistent we're both trying to make decisions based on our passions, you know, so trying to balance like, you know, I don't know I Steve is on here. So I don't know how he's gonna react to his mom's text. He might actually buy into it, right? Oh, no, we are wasting money. We shouldn't be doing this. How selfish. Right? So it's an interesting yeah, cross process that I think we all carry so much of our views around money into adulthood and I'm like,
Unknown Speaker 25:00
I must tell you, I stopped myself from doing this. I'm like, you know, I'm 42. Like, you can actually tell me how to how to live my life and this voice. And I'm not actually your side. I'm your son in law. Right? Right. I mean, I have some
Unknown Speaker 25:20
I mean, first of all, it, it isn't anyone's business, right? Like, they're like, no one's I mean, even though we should have more conversations around money, and like, you know, how much people are making. And you know, and all of these things shouldn't be hidden in the closet. However, it's not anyone's business, what you're doing with your money, to be honest, right? And, and I tell, and I say this to couples that I work with, like, I work with a lot of couples, and especially creative couples. And I say you have to keep yourself in a bubble in a way, especially when you start to have kids, right? Because no matter what, like think about it this way, even if you felt like your parents were perfect, not that most, most people do not think their parents are perfect. But even if you did think your parent, I just want to say that Stephen and I will be perfect. I'm just saying.
Unknown Speaker 26:20
Even if you think your parents were perfect with you, you are still going to want and have different things you want to raise your children with. Yeah, right. And so it's the same thing with money, you're going to be able to want and do things differently with your money and how you're going to teach your children about money than the way your parents have. Right. Our parents have because our parents, I mean, I don't know, hardly anyone that I mean, maybe it's because I work with people with money. But I don't know anyone whose parents actually really taught them about money and taught them in a really healthy way about money. Right? And so, you know, these are the decisions that you get to make around it. And, and as much as like, yeah, like her comments. It's like, even if it was a joke, it's still it's not the funniest joke, right?
Unknown Speaker 27:20
I mean, I think that, like, it's just, you know, for her, it was like, Okay, well, thank you. Thank you for your thanks for your judgement, I mean, input.
Unknown Speaker 27:35
Yes, but, and then the other part about it is yes, you're going to be able to make more money, when you actually hire people to do the things that you don't love to do, or that you don't really want to be doing. Yeah, you're going to be able to, you know, talk to clients, create more income, do all the things that, you know, and why would you be spending time doing that right for me, like, I hate to weed, I am going to spend money on a gardener to come to my house every single week to actually do all the weeding and gardening and all that stuff for me. Because there's no way I'm spending two hours a week or more. Yeah, that kind of stuff. Well, and I think that that's, you know, I think that that's something that's, it's that is a mindset around abundance, and that I think no one's really taught. And it comes from that scarcity place, right? I mean, it's the same as like, you know, actors who get it who don't want to get an agent or get an agent like or, or, you know, because it's all about, like, where, where do you want to be like, what is it worth to you? And 100% And you're creating something new creating a job for somebody else who loves it? Yeah. Like, my gardener knows so much about flowers and trees and plants and stuff. And, and like, it's amazing. Like, every time I've talked to him about these kinds of things, I'm just like, Wow, you really like it, and you're really good at what you do. Thank God because I don't, I know nothing.
Unknown Speaker 29:10
It's like, hard for me to even keep my house plan so
Unknown Speaker 29:15
so true, but it is, but it is it is definitely a challenge in a marriage or a partnership. When you do have two different sets of backgrounds of growing up, you know, financially spiritually, all of those things too, right. So it's very, very interesting to hear you say all that because that is something that's come up for us you know, we've built this whole brand the Bravo husband's brand together, which is now creating another income stream for us with brand deals and partnerships and and all that stuff and I love it so much. But we still have to Stephen still has to teach ballet classes, you know, five days a week which he doesn't he is a mind bit isn't all of it.
Unknown Speaker 29:58
And I'm you know still
Unknown Speaker 30:00
doing coaching. So it's always like, yeah, it'd be great to be a full time content creator, and maybe we will get there. But constantly having these conversations around why it's worth investing time maybe to make something, even if it doesn't pay at this point, to build a portfolio or to build a reputation, those kinds of things are,
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