Episode 101

Ask Me Anything: Money Blocks, Marketing & Selling

I’m back for part two of my Ask Me Anything series and today, I’m diving deep into money blocks, marketing, and selling. I regularly get asked whether we ever actually get over money blocks, or will we be working on the same money blocks throughout our lives? I love this question, and the answer relates perfectly to the topics of marketing and selling.

As you grow your business, new money blocks will come up every step of the way, especially when it comes to marketing, selling, and receiving more money. So, if you’re ready to start overcoming your money blocks, you’re in the right place.

Tune in this week to uncover the money blocks that are coming up for you as a business owner. I’m discussing common money blocks and showing you how to start overcoming them, as well as sharing my tips for staying in your zone of genius as an entrepreneur. You’ll also hear how to price and sell your services, and the biggest marketing mistake I see new business owners making.

To celebrate 100 episodes of the podcast, I’m doing a giveaway to mark this milestone. Three lucky listeners will win a coaching session with me or a $100 Amazon gift card. Click here to leave your review and enter!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why new money blocks occur as we grow our lives and businesses.
  • The kinds of money blocks you can expect to run into as an entrepreneur.
  • How to decide on the amount of money you need your business to make.
  • What you need to consider if you want to stay in your zone of genius as a business owner.
  • How to prepare for your sales conversations.
  • Practical tips to start feeling more comfortable with marketing your business.
  • The biggest marketing mistake I see new entrepreneurs making.


Read the full transcript now

You’re listening to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast with Debbie Sassen, Episode 101.

Welcome to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast. I’m your host, Debbie Sassen. I went from being a financial adviser, author and chronic underearner to building my business to six figures as a financial planner and money mindset coach. And then, on to multiple six figures as a full-time money and business coach.

I help entrepreneurs create money making businesses and build wealth, using sales and money mindset strategies in alignment with authentic Jewish values. Now, let’s dive in to today’s show.

Hello, my friends and business owners. Welcome back to the podcast. I am so thrilled that you’re here. I just want to point out, as I record this podcast episode, we are two and a half weeks into what I can only call a devastation, terrorist attack, that happened when Hamas, the terrorist organization, attacked Israeli civilians on the 7th of October.

Over 1,400 innocent civilians were brutally killed, murdered, burned, mutilated, and over 200 of our innocent citizens, and also many foreign nationals. I must point out that this is not just an attack on Israel, but foreign nationals as well were taken hostage. They were also killed. The hostages were dragged over the border into Gaza, and thankfully, four have been released as of this recording.

But there are about 220 that we have no idea about their whereabouts or their wellbeing, including babies of nine months old and the elderly in their 80s. We pray for their return. We pray for their safety and their health. All of the 4,000 wounded, we pray for their health. That they should have a complete recovery, physically and emotionally and spiritually.

We are still getting barraged by rockets. Today, as I record this, a rocket and missile landed in a home in one of our coastal neighborhoods. It landed on an outside balcony, narrowly missing a baby crib. And so, the situation, this devastation, this massacre by an evil terrorist organization continues, and we pray for safety. We pray for peace.

But that’s not why you’re tuning into the podcast today. Today, is Part 2 of “Ask Me Anything.” Before we jump in, one announcement, make sure you take a look at the show notes when we’re done because I’m doing a giveaway.

I really would love you to rate and review this podcast. Because every time you do that, this podcast reaches more listeners. iTunes, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts, will share it more with the world when you rate and review the podcast. So, please go to the show notes and find out how you can do that. Or just go to your website browser, DebbieSassen.com/giveaway and all the details are there.

All right, let’s jump into Ask Me Anything. Today, on the episode, we’re speaking specifically about money blocks, all different kinds of money blocks.

The first question that I got when I asked my listeners and the readers of my newsletter for questions, is a very general question about, “Do we ever get over money blocks? Or is this continuous work throughout our life?”

This reader really wanted to know if you can fully overcome it. Can you create a new story for yourself without blocks? I love this question so, so much. And, it’s very connected with the next question. I will tell you, here’s the thing, money is intimately involved in everything you do in your life.

You spend money, you save money, you earn money, you ask for money, your income, you pay taxes. There are so many ways that money moves into our lives and out of our lives. Money moves into our businesses and out of our businesses. On every level or every situation you will find yourself in, you will probably come across new money blocks, new money triggers, things that you didn’t expect.

Let’s just take a simple situation. Somebody is working, and they’re pricing their services at $100/hour. You can call it $500/hour, but let’s just start with $100. Then you get five clients, ten clients, and people are paying you $100/hour. It feels really great. Then you’re starting to feel like, “You know what? I need to raise my prices. This just doesn’t feel right anymore.” Maybe you have a waiting list.

In fact, I recently was speaking with someone, she had a six-month waiting list. But rather than raising her prices… because there’s this block that people will not pay higher prices, which is kind of crazy, because they’re waiting six months. Let’s just raise your prices. Some will go elsewhere, some will stick around, some are working with you. You will have an easier schedule.

But there was a money block there, believing that she couldn’t raise her prices. Those are the kinds of money blocks you will run into. If you have a longer work proposal, or you work with people for three months or six months at a time, and you want to raise your price from let’s say, $1,000 for three months, to $2,000. Or you want to raise your price from $5,000 for six months of coaching work.

That’s what I did, once upon a time, I went from $5,000 to $6,000, $6,000 to $8,000, $8,000 to $10,000, $10,000 to $12,000, $12,000 to $15,000, for six months of one-on-one coaching. In every single step of the way I had to rework on my mindset around money. Because it got comfortable, but something in my brain was telling me people are not going to pay those prices.

When I worked through my money blocks and my beliefs about me, my worthiness, what people will pay, how possible it is, and when I finally, sometimes hesitantly, went out and quoted the price the amazing thing is that some people actually said yes. So, that’s one way it can show up in your business.

It might be, as you increase your income, your taxes increase; your tax burden, your tax responsibility, the amount you pay. And that can cause a trigger, because all of a sudden, the numbers get larger and larger and larger.

So, you might have, at one point, paid $1,000 in taxes, and now it’s $2,000 and then it’s $5,000, and then it’s $10,000, and then it’s more, because as you increase your income, the amount that goes to the government does increase. As the numbers get larger, we get triggered.

As your business grows, it might be time for you to hire help. It’s funny, because a money block shows up as ‘I can do it better myself.’ Or maybe ‘I’m just going to hire someone who I don’t have to pay a lot of money to.’ And usually, not always, but usually, when you pay more for the people who work for you, you get a higher quality service.

I understand if your income is lower on your income journey, and you don’t have the resources to hire more experienced people, then you will out of necessity hire people that don’t charge as much. But sometimes this little birdie, this little money block gets stuck in your brain that you still want to hire people for lower prices.

Then you’re like, “No, it’s okay. It doesn’t matter. I’ll do it myself.” Your money block might show up as you overworking in your business and doing work that isn’t in your zone of genius. We might call it doing work that is below your pay grade.

I just like to say some people are gifted to do, let’s say, admin work. Some people are gifted to do artistic work. People are more creative, or people are more numbers oriented or practical oriented. Some people are great at coaching. Some people are great at all sorts of different kinds of things. It’s wonderful that God made so many different types of people in the world.

When you hire the people who are uniquely wired and gifted with their talents, and you pay them well, then you get to be in your zone of genius. But that can also show up as a money block.

Or money blocks can show up in your personal life, in terms of how you’re living. Do you continually wear old clothing, and you don’t upgrade your clothing? You’re thinking, “Nah, it’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine.”

I mean, I am not saying that you should waste clothes, throw out clothes, wear threadbare clothes, but sometimes there might have been a time in your life where it was more of a necessity to wear things out. But now you can allow yourself to really take a little bit better care of yourself, in terms of the way you dress.

But people have different ways that their money blocks show up. Last year, about this time, I was speaking with someone who loves the arts and culture, symphonies, dance, ballet, going to museums, and they travel all over the United States. There are certain parts of the arts that are just very important to them and they spend money on that. They’ll travel and they’ll stay in hotels, and they’ll go to nice restaurants when they travel.

Then we were speaking about taking care of her teeth at the dentist. I have aligners, and she said she would also like to get Invisalign, but it costs $6,000. It was just funny how her money blocks showed up. She said she wasn’t going to do it because it was $6,000. I paid less than that in Israel, but different prices, different situations. It’s fine.

It was just so interesting to me how you decide that it’s okay to travel all over the United States and pay this kind of money for the arts and culture, but when you want to take care of your teeth… That can also impact the way you have cavities, or the way your gums are taken care of. That was a money block, that I can’t spend money on this.

It sounds sneaky… You might say it’s a different value system, wherever, but it’s like, money for one thing is okay. We sort of say, “Oh, yeah, in that area of my life or that area of my business, I’m okay paying money.” Either they got over it, or it seems okay, it’s the way they were brought up. But in another area of your life or business, you feel like it’s not okay. That is a money block that you want to overcome.

It can also show up in the way you share money with your family, in terms of ‘I have married children, how much do I give them? How much do I help them?’ Like, what kind of weddings you make for your children? What sorts of Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs? What sort of celebrations do you put on when you are celebrating life and life cycle events?

Your money blocks can show up there as well. Or, again, if I want to help my kids, if I want to help them buy something for their apartments, if they need a new oven, or an air conditioner, or something like that, your money blocks can also show up in the way you let money move through your bank account, through your hands to others.

It will show up in the way you donate money. I will say it’s much easier for me to donate goods and services than to actually donate money. It just feels very different to me, for reasons that I understand from going into my family of origin story.

But if someone needs to send meals to the soldiers in Israel, they need to buy bulletproof vests for our soldiers, I feel much better contributing to a fund that is specifically buying bulletproof vests than just sending money. I don’t know. That’s just the way my brain works. And I don’t make it a problem, I just notice when it comes up. Of course, we donate more than the 10% that the Torah asks us to donate.

I work on overcoming my money blocks all the time, because this is the work that I do. So, don’t expect them to ever go away.

I think that that’s very much connected with the next question, which is, “How do I know when my Hishtadlut or Hishtadlus is enough?” That’s the amount of effort that you make in your business. So, there are two concepts. We have Bitachon, which is relying on God to supply everything you need. And then, there is the effort that you need to make in order to bring everything into being.

We discussed this a little bit on the episode that went out around the Jewish New Year. Because on the Jewish New Year, God decides how much money we’re going to make for the entire year. So, here is what I heard from Rabbi Liebe Kelemen. I, unfortunately, forget at this moment exactly who Rabbi Kelemen was quoting. But what he said is, “That we have to put in maximum effort and maximum Bitachon.”

Now, there is a concept that if you rely on, you really deep, deep in your heart and in your mind, you really believe 100%, and I have to say this I learned from our Rabbi before he passed away, you relying on HaShem is a work in progress every single day of your life.

I don’t think, according to my rabbi, and I’m just a little person in this area, I don’t think we ever get to the place where we are 100% relying on God. We always have this human brain, human ego, who somehow thinks… at least I do, maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re on a different level from me. But I somehow think that I can still control the world. Or at least my home, at least my life, at least something, right?

I have this sneaky little brain who believes that I’m in charge, and so it’s work every day to remember that God is running the world. He has organized everything in the world for my good, so that nobody can hurt me.

Nobody can harm me without God’s explicit permission for that event to happen. “Good, bad,” everything is organized by the Almighty. So, we have to put in 100% effort, and we have to work on believing 100% that everything comes from above.

Now, the question is when you say “100% effort,” and that’s really what this reader was asking, what does that even mean? What I learned from my rabbi, the late Rabbi Chaim Zev Malinowitz, is that you have to put in normal effort. “Normal” probably means that you really have to be introspective and look what’s happening in your industry.

It probably means, working four, six, eight hours a day. You have to think about what’s normal in your industry. How many hours is a normal working day for a working mother? How many hours is a normal working day for a working father? Oftentimes, men, because they have less responsibilities at home… We can talk about that on another podcast.

On another podcast there is something called the “gender wage gap.” And there’s also something called the “leisure gap.” Even when men and women are both working, what we know from the leisure gap is, women are still doing two thirds of the work at home, and the men are doing about a third. Women just have less leisure time, because we’re still taking on a lot of the home responsibilities, even when both partners are working.

But that was just a little detour, not the main topic for today. So, you have to put in normal effort. Now, that could also mean if you are not earning enough… Whatever that means, and that will relate to the next question… If you’re not earning enough, there might be ways that your business needs to be restructured.

It could be time to raise your prices. It could be time for you to hire someone to do maybe some admin work, some secretarial work. As I said earlier, you have to find out and figure out when is it time to hire people so that you can stay in your zone of genius? Is it time for you to move from a one-on-one business?

I talked about my one-on-one coaching business; and I have a one-on-one coaching offer. I also have a group coaching offer. And when I work with the group, I can coach five or six or 10 people at a time, that way I leverage my time, and I can make more money in the same hour that I’m working.

So, you also have to be smart and intelligent. If business strategy is not your zone of genius… We do get stuck circling the same way around and around and around in our business, and we don’t see outside of the four walls we’ve created for ourselves… hiring somebody in your business to help you see beyond what’s happening and to strategize with you, that’s where a business coach is so valuable.

Your 100% Hishtadlut, your 100% effort, could also be hiring somebody who can help you figure out a different business plan that will help you earn more money in the same amount of time, or more money in less time. You really have to be introspective on what is enough effort, and what does that look like?

Let’s now move on to the third question, which is related to the second question. Which is, “How much should I be aiming to earn each month?” This is a very open, very vague question. It’s kind of like how long is a piece of string? But let’s not leave it that vague.

My belief is your business is here to serve your life. Your life is not here to serve your business. So, I want to make sure that you have a life. I also want you to calculate how much money you need in your life. How much money in your personal life? What do you need for rent or mortgage? What do you need for your electricity, for your water, for clothing, for transportation, for insurance, for gifts, if you are going to give gifts to your children, to your grandchildren?

I find that this is one category that people are pretty clueless on how much they spend on an annual basis. We definitely have our holidays, and our expenses tend to go up during the holidays. How much extra money do you need during the Jewish holidays in the month of Tishrei? How much extra money do you need during the Passover holidays? If you’re going on vacation, how much money do you need for that?

There are so many categories of personal expenses. But you want to know how much you need on an annual basis. If I asked you to estimate it, you probably would be off by anywhere from 30% to 50%. You would probably underestimate, by a significant amount, how much money you need.

I didn’t throw in summer camp for your kids, right? There are so many expenses that we don’t even think about because they’re sort of one-offs. It’s not like your monthly or your weekly, your food expenses, electricity, etc.

Then there is money that you want to put away for the future. If you have children, you want to make sure that you are saving money to help them get higher education, or you want to save money to help them get married. That is also something that you want to calculate in, how much money you are earning every month, because you need to put money aside for the future.

You need money in an emergency savings account, or I like to call it a “financial freedom account” because it will keep you free and not going into debt, because you have money set aside for the unexpected things in life that always happen. We should expect unexpected things.

We just don’t know what they are, or when they will happen; when you’re going to need a car repair, when your fridge is going to die, or your oven’s going to die on you. Those need to be repaired; your phone, your computer, all of those things.

Sometimes they just go kaput, and we need to replace them. So, you want to make sure that you have money set aside in a savings for the unknown. That will happen, mark my word. It’s going to happen.

Then what about your retirement? I have heard entrepreneurs say they’re going to work till 100. I wish you a lot of luck. We have good health and longevity in our family. My dad, thank the good Lord, may he live and be well to 120, he’s 85.

He still goes into the business that he sold when he was like 80 or 81, and he shows up a couple times a month or week. I don’t know exactly what his schedule is right now. But he goes in as a consultant. He just loves the work. He loves the people there. That was his family for many, many years while he ran that business.

He sometimes travels overseas with the now owner of the business. My dad sold his business to one of his top employees when he left, so he just really enjoys showing up as a consultant. But he doesn’t have the same energy. My dad, God bless him, is a very healthy, energetic person. But when you’re 85, I promise you, my friend, you are not going to want to work 40, 50, 60 hours a week in your business. Your body’s going to want you to slow down, even the healthiest of us.

So, make sure that you have money in a retirement account that will carry you through your 90s, your 100s, until 120. Please, take my word for it. Figure out how much you need for that. You might need to sit with a financial planner and back into these numbers. But start doing some forward looking financial planning. That’s the amount of money that you need to be aiming to earn each month.

Most people are underestimating how much money they need. Which means you need to raise your prices, you need to ask for more money, you need to save more money. And you really need to look at your personal expenses and figure out where you can cut back on unnecessary things and put money aside for your future self.

This brings me now to question number four, and that is when we’re talking about pricing. This is a great question. Someone said to me, “I always choke up when I’m on discovery calls, when I get to the place where I have to quote my price. What should I do about it?” This is a great question. I love talking about sales conversations. I love helping my clients clear their minds ahead of the sales conversation.

The number one thing you need to do before your sales conversation is prepare for it. You can’t just slip into a discovery call or a sales conversation when you’ve just gotten back from carpool, you’re in your house, and somebody is ready; they’re on your phone or on your Zoom call. You sort of slip in huffing and puffing.

You really need time to sit down, and clear your mind. Make sure that you already feel wherever you are; that you are enough, you have enough, you don’t need anything else. This goes back to trusting and relying on God. That He gives you everything that you need.

And in this moment, the exact moment when you’re on your sales call, you do have everything you need. You have enough money. You have a roof over your head. You have food in the refrigerator. You have food in your cupboards. You have clothes on your body. You don’t need anything else in this moment.

Do you have an electricity bill that needs to be paid? Maybe. Do you have rent that needs to be paid? Maybe. Do you have shoes that you need to buy your kid? Maybe. But in this very second, when you’re getting on the discovery call, you need nothing.

So, the first thing you want to do is clear your mind of all thoughts about money. And if you choke up, do some practicing ahead of time. Don’t just roll up and mumble out of your mouth. Practice saying your price over and over again. “My fee is $100/hour. My fee is $100/hour.” Look in the mirror, say it over and over again until it feels so comfortable it’s like, “Please pass the salt.”

It should be very comfortable. It’s not something that you should be stumbling over when you are on a discovery call. Practice makes progress. Not practice makes perfect, but practice makes progress. Do it over and over again until it feels very natural to you.

I have a whole course in my program Wired for Wealth. I have a Sacred Sales Conversation guide. I love helping my clients to refine their sales conversation. I love to help them raise their prices.

One of my clients posted in our community today that she has now signed her fifth client at her higher price. She joined the program in September, and raise her prices by 20%. She says, “My new price doesn’t feel like my new price anymore.” And, she’s getting ready to raise her price again. So, when you practice, and when you really change the way you think about money, it just becomes natural; as natural as, “Please pass the salt.”

Final question for today is, “I don’t feel comfortable marketing, it’s not my thing. Do I have to market my business? I don’t feel comfortable being visible, having exposure.” Here’s the thing about business, you need to market your business. This is a golden rule of business: Always be marketing. People need to know about you.

Now, marketing happens in different ways. Sometimes, for some types of businesses, there’s a referral network. You have referral partners and people refer business to each other. Actually, just today, I made a connection between two of my clients. I referred them to each other because I said, “Oh, it would be amazing for the two of them to work with each other.” That’s a referral network among my paid clients.

But there are other types of referral networks. Some people don’t advertise or advertise very little bit, and they have a full practice. But it is very important for you to let people know that you exist, that you have an offer.

And depending on the type of business you have, yeah, you might need to be out there, whether it’s with a website, going to networking meetings, being online. If you feel comfortable being online, you want to be on social media.

There are many ways for you to advertise and market your business. It could be in print ads. It could be you writing articles regularly for a community newspaper. Have an email list where you collect emails from a bunch of people, and then you send them information on a weekly or monthly basis.

If you’re on my email list, you know that I send out emails, at least weekly, giving you valuable tips and information. If you’re not on my email list, DebbieSassen.com/newsletter. Get on my email list because I send out regular emails to my subscribers.

But you have to let people know that you exist. If you have enough cash in your business, you can hire a marketing team. But for smaller businesses, like most of the people that I work with, most of my clients, they don’t have a budget for a marketing team. So, you will have to do it yourself until you have higher income and you can hire a marketing team.

One big mistake, and I think we’re going to finish up with this, a big mistake that people make in their businesses, when they are solopreneurs, is hiring social media marketing people. It’s a big mistake, especially when you’re newer in business.

You are finding your voice; the way you talk, the way you express yourself, the words you use, the length of your sentences, where you put the emphasis how you want to say something. You’re figuring it out in your head. Your tone of voice is something that’s developing and evolving, and you don’t want somebody to take that away from you before you’ve figured it out for yourself.

I am still in the multi-six figures, and I am still writing my online content myself. I will usually post for myself on LinkedIn and Facebook, and then I do have a virtual assistant who takes what I have already written in my voice, the way I like to express it, and she will then put it on Instagram because I don’t have the time in my business.

Nor do I have the desire to show up on all the social media platforms. My main social media platform is LinkedIn, so come and say hi to me over on LinkedIn if you’re there.

But you need to let people know that you exist. When you are marketing, you are providing valuable, helpful information to your clients. Just this week, in my program, we did a whole workshop on four types of content that sells.

Four different ways that you can show up in your business online or in workshops, live presentations, at a retreat, whatever; when you’re giving speeches, or you’re a keynote somewhere. Ways that you can be helpful, let people notice you, and you show up as the expert, as the authority so people are attracted to you and they want to work with you.

All right, my friends. I hope you got a lot out of this episode. I want to remind you the questions that we went over in Debbie’s Ask Me Anything for my 101st podcast episode.

Number one, do we ever get over money blocks? My answer was no. And that’s a great thing, because it means we always have work to do in the world.

Number two is, when do I know when my effort is enough? You have to keep putting in effort in your business, be introspective, and you might need to hire someone with outside eyes, that 30,000-foot view of your business. You’re so stuck in usually, you cannot see the forest for the trees.

When you hire somebody in from the outside, who can help you look at things differently, it’s amazing how the clouds part, and the sky opens up. Then you get to put in your effort in a different way that will probably make you more money.

We talked about how much you should aim to be earning each month, and how most people are probably under estimating by a longshot. When you get on a discovery call, make sure that you plan ahead of time and you clear your brain of any scarcity, any neediness, any graspiness, around having a new client and having money right now.

We talked about the importance of marketing. Money blocks will also show up in your marketing. I didn’t mention this yet, but here we go. We’re going to close with it. When you don’t want people to see you online, because you think that they’re going to have thoughts about you, they’re going to think you’re sleazy, that you’re grasping, you’re worried that they’re going to judge you for showing up online, you’re worried that they’re going to say, “Who does she think she is?” Those are also money blocks that seep into your marketing.

You just want people to knock on your door and say, “Hi, here I am. I want to hire you.” But guess what, my friends? Most business, especially in 2023 when I’m recording this module, most business is not happening that way. So, please learn to feel comfortable showing up and sharing your gifts with the world.

God gave you the gifts that you have. Each one of us is uniquely designed by God. He doesn’t make any mistakes. Whatever you do, you are here for a purpose.

I want you to show up in your business, make money, save money, take care of your family, and share money, donate money, make sure that you’re helping other people in the world, and save for your future.

Thank you very much for being here today. I’m reminding you to go to the show notes, and rate and review this podcast. This podcast is the work of many people. When you rate the podcast we all get seen, we all get paid, and that’s what we’re here for.

So, go into the show notes, click the link DebbieSassen.com/giveaway, and rate and review the podcast.

Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing you next week. Bye-bye.

Thanks for listening to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast. If you want to stop underselling and underearning and close more sales, you need to clear the limiting money beliefs that are sabotaging your business growth.

Head on over to DebbieSassen.com/mindset and download my free Money Mindset Workbook. Uncover and dissolve money blocks, like hundreds of other entrepreneurs who are now building six-, multi-six-, and seven-figure businesses and creating true financial freedom.

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