292 Build Your Money Muscles – Joan Sotkin

What You will Learn from Joan Sotkin's Story:

  • Recovering from Bankruptcy and Building Wealth
  • Build Your “Money Muscles”
  • Why Money Elude Us Sometimes 
  • The Mindset for Building Great Wealth 
  • Joan's Business Insights and Evolution of Content Marketing 

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More about our featured guest Joan Sotkin

Joan Sotkin loves working with forward-thinking individuals who are willing to implement new ways of being with themselves and their commercial ventures. Her passion is sharing with others and helping them find both peace of mind and prosperity.


Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to today's show. Your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, and practical solutions to help you relaunch and become known in your niche. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show. Thank you for tuning in and thank you for joining us in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, just know that you are among friends, and this is what you can expect: Unique insights, a-ha moments, and actionable information shared from self-made successes, as they share their trials, tribulations, and come-from-behind victories. Joining us on the show today is the author of a collection of amazing how-to books. There's “Marketing Your Microbusiness,” there's “Be Set Free Fast”, and there's also “Build Your Money Muscles.” She is also the host of the Prosperity Show, it's Joan Sotkin. Joan, welcome, welcome to today's episode of ReLaunch. How are you?

[01:13] Joan Sotkin: Okay, it's great to be here.

[01:15] Joel: It is exciting to have you on and we appreciate your time. And you do a lot of work with people, helping them overcome certain beliefs and rules and things that they thought they knew about money. And what we're gonna get into this more in detail as we go to the show, but I like to start off most of the show with a quick piece of takeaway gold. So in the interviews that you've conducted and the research that you've done for your books and your other projects, what would you say is the one hindering belief that most people have about money and they don't even realize it that they… Well, they realize that they have it but they don't realize that it's hindering them. What do you think? One belief.

[02:08] Joan Sotkin: Well, I really look at emotions more than I look at beliefs. But if you want beliefs so I can look at that, too. And a lot of it…

[02:15] Joel: Well this is your expertise. Let's look at emotions then and explain to me the difference.

[02:19] Joan Sotkin: Well, beliefs I think it's hard to pick out the beliefs that are in operation at any one time. I mean, right now, you've got a thousand beliefs in operation, but if I said to you, “How do you feel?” And you were in touch enough with the experience in your body, you don't even have to have words, you're gonna be able to tell me how you feel. So I think there are thoughts, beliefs, and emotions and I think that they're all connected and by looking at the emotions, which I think are the bridge between your internal and external world. Your emotions are really what inform your choices, which are what create your life stories. So, I have found that there are five major emotions that people act out through their money.

[03:09] Joel: Okay, quickly let's get through those.

[03:11] Joan Sotkin: Real quick. Shame, anger, deprivation, aloneness, and a sense of being trapped. And when you look at your bank balance, what you're feeling is one of your money feelings.

[03:23] Joel: Gotcha. Let's try to weave in money feelings a little bit later on in the show because those five things that you just briefly mentioned, they definitely need to be impact. So let's make it a point to try to circle back to that, is that okay?

[03:37] Joan Sotkin: Okay, sure.

[03:37] Joel: Okay, fantastic. This show is incredibly practical because it's not only about your relaunch, how you did it but we also talk about becoming known in your niche. Again, how you did it, and what we've all experienced numerous relaunches in our life, I generally ask people to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most transformational for them and then unfold the story from there. So let's just go ahead and bring us in right now, how do we need to talk about, start talking about Joan's relaunch?

[04:11] Joan Sotkin: Okay, well, I think you have to rewind a bit first, back to the 1980s, when I had a really successful business, it was a crystal business. I was the first one to market crystals and minerals for healing and meditation nationwide. I was mailing out 50,000 catalogs at a time. I had a line of stones called Joan Stones in 600 stores, and I was making, in today's money, about $50,000 a month. And I wound up going bankrupt because I had no idea how to manage that kind of money. I had a bookkeeper who was doing what I told him and I had no idea that I needed a controller, and it was devastating. It was really difficult to go through that bankruptcy.

[05:00] Joan Sotkin: And I tried a few things here and there, and was looking for what I was supposed to do. I wandered around a bit and I had given everything I owned away to try to find out who I was, and then I came back and I said to my mother, “If I get a computer, I can probably make a living doing desktop publishing.” So she helped me get a computer, it was my first multimedia, and there was this little icon for AOL, and I clicked. This was in 1995, and I clicked the icon and I was online 14 baud modem, it was very slow but I just knew that that was the future. And I've been online ever since, and for me, the relaunch… So there have been a number of relaunches along the way 'cause if you're online for any length of time, you have to keep reinventing yourself. But that getting online was to me… As soon as I got online, I said, “This is the future.” And I just sat in front of that computer for 10 hours a day until I figured out how to do it and how to build a website.

[06:16] Pei: Wow.

[06:18] Joel: Let me ask you this, Joan, if we… Before we get to where we need to be. As you were pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and you were recovering from the bankruptcy and from your healing, if you will, from some of the mistakes that were made, what did you learn or relearn about your own potential, possibilities, value? We all go through that learning and relearning process, and it's kind of a day-to-day thing. We're all a work in progress, but what were some of the key things that you learned or relearned about yourself so that you knew, you had a knowing, if you will, that, “You know what, I'm gonna be okay, I'm gonna figure out my next thing” even before you knew what your next thing was going to be, that you're gonna figure it out and that you were going to again be in a better place?

[07:16] Joan Sotkin: Well, I've always been kind of an optimist. And assume that I'm gonna move forward. And there was another story going on at the same time where I had been sick for many years. When I was in my 30s, the doctors told me I would never be healthy, I was just a hypochondriac, and I should just get used to being sick. And I said, “No thank you, that's not my story.” And so I started doing alternative things and this was back in the early '70s. And so by the time I had the crystal business, I had already healed myself enough to know that there was potential. There was one major thing that happened. I remember in the 1980s, a friend of mine had loaned me the money to start Joan's Crystals. And I called her up to give her a report and a guy answered the phone and said, “Oh, hi Joan, I'm Tony Robbins, you don't know who I am, but I know what you do. Why don't you come to one of my workshops and you can see what I do.” This is before anyone knew who Tony Robbins was.

[08:28] Joel: Sure.

[08:28] Pei: Seriously. Wow!


[08:30] Joel: The Tony Robbins.

[08:32] Joan Sotkin: The Tony Robbins. He was rooming with this friend of mine and so I went to the workshop, had no idea I was going to a firewalk. And there's like five hours where you build it up 'til you are willing to burn your feet off. It's a real process of hypnotizing yourself, and I kept saying, “Oh, I don't know if I can do this, I'm so tired.” ‘Cause I still was in that sick space, and I thought, “Well, maybe I'll come back at a time when I wanna come back.” And in the meantime, we're all outside waiting to walk over the coals, and I get on the very end of the line. And I'm doing this thing in my head, “I can't, I can't, I can't.” And all of a sudden, this voice inside of me just booms out, and says, “Joan, you can do it,” and I kind of took a deep breath.

[09:24] Joel: Was it Tony standing behind you whispering over your shoulder?

[09:26] Joan Sotkin: No. No. No, this is my higher self, whatever you wanna call it. And I just walked over the coals. They have a catcher on the other end to give you a hug. And boy, I just did it and that's when I knew that I could be healthy. And once I knew that, I really trusted all the metaphysics that I had been reading, and all the reading I had been doing about your mind affects your life and I just knew at that moment I could do it.

[10:04] Joel: So I'm curious. What came first in your relaunch? I'm picturing you right there on one side of the burning coals. And I'm trying to think, “Okay, something had to come over you.” And I'm trying to understand what was it, an overwhelming emotion? Remember, you talked about emotion at the beginning of the show. Was it emotion of you've got to do this or was it a logical? Was it a thought that said I can overcome? Just take me there.

[10:42] Joan Sotkin: Okay. Well, first of all, I've had that voice at other times. To get to Santa Fe, I woke up one day and I heard we're moving to New Mexico. And I thought, “What the heck would I wanna do in New Mexico?” And getting here, which I did after I got online and I started making money online, it turned out to be the best thing I ever did. And there was a period where I… The first time I gave everything I owned away, where I really went wandering for an extended period of time, where I never knew where my food was coming from, I never knew where money was coming from, and I just was living in the moment, and allowing things to come and listening to that inner guidance, which everybody has, it's just most people are afraid to listen to it.

[11:30] Joel: Fair enough. Yeah.

[11:31] Joan Sotkin: And so, I learned to listen 'cause the adults in my life made no sense to me. What they were telling me I had to grow up to be, did not make any sense to me at all. I did what they said and I got married, and I did it again and got married, and that wasn't the answer for me. And remember, I'm coming from a previous, previous generation where women were supposed to get married and take care of the kids. I never wanted kids. So it was really hard for me to define myself in the world, and by doing that wandering the way I did, it allowed me to not only see my strength, but to trust that whatever I need would be there. If I didn't have money for food, I assumed those where I need to fast, and I just learned to look at everything from this rather positive expectation point, and… ‘Cause you can either expect good or expect bad, so I just figured I should expect good.

[12:39] Joel: Yeah, yeah. So I'm curious, when did you learn to trust unequivocably, to just trust that, “I'm going to eat when the time is right”?

[12:54] Joan Sotkin: I had no place to stay. I was on the Venice, California beach, and I said to whomever this is that I used to talk to, I said, “I don't mind staying here, but I'm really cold.” When I hear, “Go over to the bench over there, and see what's there,” and on the bench is an army shirt and a sweater. If that happened, would you believe?


[13:23] Joan Sotkin: It was, and my… I'm a very curious person, and I wanted to know what that was. So it seemed to me like a good bet to trust it, and take a chance because by this time with all the physical stuff and everything I had been through I saw that it was pretty hard to die, and so I was willing to take a chance just to see what the next story was.

[13:51] Joel: It sounds like your own craving for curiosity?

[13:56] Joan Sotkin: Yes, and all I ask of life is that it be interesting.

[14:01] Joel: And it sounds like it has been up on to this point.

[14:05] Joan Sotkin: It has been. I got my pilot license along the way, I obviously got an extra dose of courage somewhere.

[14:12] Joel: Kind of moving into the next part of the show we also like to talk about how people became known in their niche, and when people go through a professional relaunch, that's what they're after. That's what they're craving, is to become known in their niche, because in today's content heavy environment, you have to become known in your niche. You can't just be another me too entrepreneur of will I do exactly what so and so does. If you wanna be a successful entrepreneur you have to stand apart. You have to be in what I like to call a category of one. A category of one is not original to me, but I've kind of adopted that phrase. So how did you specifically become known in your niche?

[15:05] Joan Sotkin: Well, first of all, I started Prosperity Place in 1997, where there weren't a gazillion websites, so I had the advantage of being in a space where people were looking for information, they were hungry for things, and so it was really easy to be found which was a whole different story back then. Now you got it with the SEO and everything. And in 2003, I started doing teleclasses, that was before a lot of people were doing them. So the teleclasses… I started an email list almost as soon as I got online, and I'm a marketer. I had been in the mail order business, and the Internet is the mail order business, you just don't have to pay for postage, and I thought that was fabulous. And it's all about connecting and building a list. It's been that way since the beginning.

[16:05] Joan Sotkin: So I just kept building a list and sending out newsletters, and I found it a great way to express myself. People wanted to know what I was saying. And once social media came into being, which was not that long ago, I just love to connect to people. It's all about relationships. And I don't even bother with the SEO stuff, and I don't pay a lot of attention to that, although I do pay attention to social media because my niche is so small. People aren't looking at… Although they're starting to now… For what I do. They're looking to get rich or to make more money, but this little segment that I have, where it's all about the inner work first. Now mindset is becoming more popular and with emotional intelligence, there are more and more people doing it, but I just stick with communicating with my list, and creating… I'm now in the process of creating joint ventures. I have a program I'm launching, and so it's relationships, relationships, relationships, relationships.

[17:22] Joel: So I like asking that niche type question because everyone has a different answer when they talk about what worked for them, so if I'm understanding you correctly, what you did is you focused on your list and then you became a resource for them, giving them good information that helped people on your list solve their problem. And lists, there's nothing new about creating a list. The only thing that is new is the technology that we use to have that list available to us. At one point, it was [18:00] ____…

[18:00] Joan Sotkin: Majordomo. Majordomo, it was. I don't know if you remember Majordomo.

[18:06] Joel: No, what is that?

[18:07] Joan Sotkin: It was the software that was all that was available for doing mass mailing online.

[18:14] Joel: I do? When was that?

[18:16] Joan Sotkin: It was in 1997. Actually, I was doing newsletters I think before I even moved to Santa Fe, so it was like 1995.

[18:26] Joel: Okay, gotcha.

[18:27] Joan Sotkin: And there were discussion lists and…

[18:29] Joel: Do they have 2.0 available of that yet? Or no?


[18:33] Joan Sotkin: This is, I mean this is before just about everything. It was still only Mozilla and I think then Netscape came along and… I mean, it was primitive back then. There was no Dreamweaver, there was no WordPress, there was no… You had to figure out HTML in order to build a website.

[18:57] Joel: Sure.

[18:57] Joan Sotkin: I mean, it was so basic. And then people started developing software and stuff. Now, I use Infusionsoft, which is about as sophisticated as you can get.

[19:10] Joel: Yeah, we use Infusionsoft, too and we love it. Let's turn the corner now, Joan, and let's talk about, as we've kind of entered this last segment of our show, let's talk about one of your books. Now, “Be Set Free Fast,” I love where my mind goes when I read or say aloud that title. And I also love where my mind goes when I talk about Building, “Build Your Money Muscles”. So, which one do we need to talk about? “Be Set Free Fast” or “Build Your Money Muscles”?

[19:41] Joan Sotkin: Well, they're both kinda interesting. “Build Your Money Muscles” is my signature one, 'cause it's the whole money stuff thing. “Be Set Free Fast” is one of the energy psychology techniques that was developed by a clinical psychologist, Larry Nims, and I wrote the manual for him and that's a whole another story. And because in “Build Your Money Muscles” I have a condensed version of “Be Set Free Fast”, which I call the “Power Word Technique.” And there are exercises in “Build Your Money Muscles” for changing your subconscious programming. The book is… My whole thing is you can't just change your money and you can't just change yourself, you have to do both. So, the book is a combination of what to do internally and how to develop your basic financial management skills.

[20:32] Joel: Okay. And now, are you talking about “Be Set Free Fast”?

[20:35] Joan Sotkin: That's “Build Your Money Muscles”, and within “Build Your Money Muscles” is the Power Word Technique, which is a very condensed version of Be Set Free Fast.

[20:45] Joel: Okay, gotcha. So, let's talk about some quick ideas or tips here for helping people reset, if you will, or maybe use the Power Word technique, get started on building up their money muscles.

[21:05] Joan Sotkin: Okay, well, to me, it starts with… Well, like in the book, the first chapter is about adapting to change. One of the reasons… My big question in life has been why do people who know better resist what they're supposed to do? Why do people who are suffering keep suffering? ‘Cause they're afraid to make the change to move someplace else.

[21:26] Joel: To do what?

[21:29] Joan Sotkin: And what I came up with is that change, aside from your amygdala going “Danger, danger, danger,” that change is a threat to your identity. So, if you've always been in a less-than space, and you suddenly start making money, then that doesn't feel like you and many people when they start making a lot of money, make it go away because their identity is of a person who is less than. So, I think it's really important to get in touch with what's going on inside of you, to do some things… My first chapter is about adapting to change, so that little things, like turning the toilet paper around in the opposite direction, which can be very disorienting, and it's amazing how we get disoriented. And to be willing to go through that period of disorientation, where you don't know what's next. I think our biggest fear in business that keeps us from moving forward is our fear of the unknown. And that's where that faith comes in. Now, it doesn't mean that you're gonna make the right decision every single time, but the so-called wrong decisions are just a learning step along the way. You sometimes have to find out what you're not before you find out what you are.

[22:53] Joan Sotkin: And so what I like to help people understand is who they are bringing to the table in their business. Who are you? And that's a question that most people don't always know how to answer. Who are you, and do you have any sense of why you wanna be here? What you're hoping to accomplish? So many people now are focused on money, but I don't think we come here to make money, I think we come here to learn and grow. And money is just a mechanism for us to do that. And so, I hope that the book takes them through exercises that will help them know themselves, recognize their place in the world, and learn how to manage money energy, it's the energy of relationship, and it's the energy with which we interact with the world, and to learn how to manage that, so you can make wise financial decisions.

[23:53] Joel: Joan, really appreciate you sharing that with us, thank you so much. Talking today with Joan Sotkin on the ReLaunch show. We'll, of course, have all of the social media hotspots available on the blog article that accompanies this episode. Really appreciate you being on today's show, Joan. And gosh! Time goes quickly on the show sometimes and you are welcome to come back any time though. Thank you so much and have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day.

[24:26] Joan Sotkin: You too.

[24:28] Joel: Thanks so much for tuning in. You can also access our show from many mobile apps and by visiting our website. Just go to joelboggess.com/292. You'll also find show transcripts and additional resources to support your relaunch into the life and business that you love.

Connect with Joan on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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