Welcome to Thrive! A weekly advice column for creatives and the generally confused.
This month I am interviewing Natalie Taggart of Wealthy Witch about making big life changes, working with fear and our relationships with money.
1. You created Wealthy Witch after facing your own life shift, from corporate to your true path. How did you learn to trust the voice inside you and what was that experience like?
We all have that voice inside of us, it’s just a matter of how deeply we choose to listen. This can be a process, since it’s not exactly something we’re tested on in high school! For me, that voice made its first appearance when I had a nervous breakdown at my stressful management consulting job. I knew afterwards that doing that job long-term wasn’t an option, and I was going to have to figure something else out. That was the first wake up call for me.
The second wake-up call actually had nothing to do with work, it was through a romantic relationship I was in at the time. I knew for about a year before it ended that it wasn’t right, but I kept going because I was so scared of ending something that looked great on paper. After we broke up, I had a visceral sense of, I told you so, from that little voice and I knew I could never ignore myself like that again. So a few months after our breakup, when I had the opportunity to quit my job and go full time into coaching, I knew I had to take the leap.
Trusting your intuition can be really challenging at first, especially if it’s going against what you believe you “should” be doing, or what you thought your life was going to look like (it was for me!) But it’s there for a reason, and listening to it is so worth it.
2. What’s the hardest part about having a “non-traditional” job? What’s your favorite part?
The hardest part is also my favorite part!! The hardest part is that it’s all up to me. I’m the boss, the visionary, AND the CEO so that can definitely feel stressful and like a lot of different hats at times. It’s also been the best crash course in personal development that I ever could have asked for – starting a business will bring up ALLLLL of your “stuff,” including stuff you don’t want to deal with or look at.
That said, that kind of creative control is what I would have killed for a few years ago so I never ever take it for granted. It’s such a powerful feeling to be able to move something from a vision in your head into something that’s concrete in the real world. My absolute favorite part is seeing a client be transformed through an experience that I created – watching someone have a life-changing breakthrough never, ever gets old.
3. Fear keeps us from leaning into our naturally given gifts. Do you have any tips for combating fear? Is it possible to ever overcome fear?
I LOVE this question!! One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it’s actually not helpful to try and “combat” fear, or make it go away – fear is a natural human instinct to a perceived threat.
In a creative context, the fear is usually of putting yourself out there, being rejected, people not liking you or your work, etc. This makes perfect sense because as we evolved as humans, people liking you and being accepted as part of the tribe was a life or death matter. If the chief didn’t like you, and you were alone to fend for yourself in the wilderness, odds are you would die. Hence the fear.
These days, it’s the opposite. To succeed as a creative, especially a creative entrepreneur, you have to get super comfortable with putting yourself out there, being seen as different, facing potential rejection, etc. It’s inherent to our survival in the new economy. But our brains and nervous systems haven’t caught up.
That means that no matter what, the fear is going to show up. Instead of fighting it, which just creates more internal conflict, I try to welcome it in. I embrace it as a sign that I’m doing something outside of my comfort zone, and that’s always where the magic happens.
I don’t believe it’s possible to make fear completely go away, but it is 100% possible to get more comfortable with it. It’s like working a new muscle – the first time you do 10 reps it might feel super hard and your arm might be shaking, but after a month it’s no big deal. It’s the same with working with your fear. The more you practice doing the things that scare you – and prove to yourself you can survive it, that the lions aren’t going to eat you – the easier it gets.
4. As creatives, it can be hard for us to think of our work and making money off of it. How do we get comfortable seeing our work and money aligned?
Practice. Practice practice practice.
It’s ok to start small. Oftentimes there’s this kind of go big or go home, overnight success mentality that can be really damaging. I sold my first coaching sessions for $40 an hour, but it helped me prove to myself that I could do it, that I could get my clients results, and that this business thing could actually work.
The more you practice receiving money for your creative work, the more comfortable you get, the more your self-worth grows, and the more you can charge.
The other thing it’s important to note is that in school we’re taught to value hard skills, or things you can tangibly measure. But how do you measure joy? How do you measure connection? How do you measure inspiration? It’s not an accident that these are the things that are deeply, deeply lacking in our society.
It’s our job as creatives to deprogram within ourselves what society will tell us – that our work doesn’t have value, isn’t worth it, no one wants it, whatever that story is for you – and own the value of our work for ourselves. No one is going to give you permission to charge, you have to give it to yourself.
When you show up standing in your power, owning your value, totally grounded in what you’re doing, the right people will meet you there.
5. Why do so many people have bad relationships with money? How do we start to heal this?
At the heart of this is that we’ve been told that money is the answer. More money = you’re a success, no money = you’re a failure. This leads to thoughts like, “if only I made this amount of money I’d be happy,” “if only I had the nice car or the wardrobe I’d be happy,” “if only I had the money to travel I’d be happy, etc.”
A relationship with money is just like a relationship with a human. Think about those phrases in the context of any other relationship and it starts to sound codependent, right? We give so much of our power away to money, when really the power has been with us all along.
We can start to heal it by looking at how we’re treating money as if it were a real person – how do you talk to it? How do you treat it?
Are you constantly berating it as being “never enough,” or are you showing it love and gratitude? Are you closing your eyes, ignoring it and hoping you somehow make it to the end of the month, or are you setting up a weekly money date to look at your income and spending?
Looking at it from that lens can be very eye-opening. Oftentimes it’s like, of course no more money is coming to you, because you’re being so mean and neglectful to the money you have!
What we focus on grows, so if you can show money love and gratitude for everything it does for you (even if you feel like you’re just scraping by), you’ll start to feel better and things will start to shift.
Natalie Taggart is the founder of Wealthy Witch, a financial empowerment +
coaching company for witchy women entrepreneurs and creatives. Her signature framework, the
Wealthy Witch Way, combines the inner work of wealth with grounded money
practices, and adds a healthy dose of magic. You can learn more and
download the free guide to the Wealthy Witch Way here.