Meet the lovely Bari Tessler, M.A., is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach and the founder of the Conscious Bookkeeping Method: Tools For Financial Transformation™ I’ve worked with Bari personally and fully endorse her programs and her authentic and supportive wisdom.
Enjoy our interview and please comment below on your favorite takeaway or aha!
How have you navigated being an entrepreneur and a mommy: What systems and boundaries do you have in place to help you personally balance self-care and productivity?
It’s been essential for me to create a business that supports my family and our commitment to doing work we love, working from home and raising our child in the best way.
I was an entrepreneur for 7 years before I had my son Noah (just shy of my 40’th birthday). I spent those years growing my business into a team of Financial Therapists, Bookkeeping Trainers and Financial Coaches with lots of services. I worked 40 + hours per week. I loved it.
When my son arrived, it became crystal clear that my entire business model had to change in order to honor this blessing of having a child. I chose to work only 10 -15 hours during my son’s first 2 years. I scaled back to a team of one (me). I spent my time on the most fun, simple and lucrative aspects of my work. I shifted from being a locally based business, to 100% online.
In the last year or so, the desire and energy to grow and revamp have returned. (I’m sleeping again!).
I’ve stepped into a growth phase again, and hired a small team to support the growth.
I have my mommy days (2 days) and I have my work days (3 days), during the week. I do well when I can keep things separate. On the days that they merge into each other (when I am in the middle of a launch for one of my online programs), I take a lot of deep breaths and use Sesame Street to help me parent!
Every day, no matter if it is a mommy or a work day, I take an hour or so break to hike up my favorite mountain right outside my door. This is a non-negotiable self-care practice!
What are the biggest obstacles that get in the way of making time for yourself? (either external: others needing you. or internal: your mindset)
Here are my 3 biggest obstacles that I had to overcome.
Obstacle #1: Not knowing how to protect my time.
I had to be willing to request/demand that my husband step in and give me a break during my mommy days so I could hike or go to my acupuncture appointment. We are a dual entrepreneurial family and both work from home. (My hubby runs TechHusband.com). And, yet, initially I felt an inner challenge to making this happen, even though we are a dual-income, dual-parenting household.
Obstacle #2: Not knowing how to say ‘No’ so often.
I have had to learn about my ‘No’s’ and ‘Yes’s’ in a much clearer way. As I am growing, my invitations are increasing (which is lovely). So, I have had to learn how to say ‘No’ more often and more gracefully. I try to offer something else that I can give to them.
ie: No, I cannot meet for tea, although I can have a little phone chat or you are welcome to listen to my free tele-class recordings to understand me + my work better.
Obstacle #3: Not knowing I could get help with meals for my family.
I really thought I had to do it all. And, like many of us, I was spending a tremendous amount of time thinking about, planning, shopping and preparing for all of our meals. I decided to research some options and found two local chefs that create organic farm-to-table meals that I could order weekly. This service costs less than a personal chef. And, at the end of the day allows me more time with my son, my husband and my biz. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I gave this to my self.
I love how you teach your clients to incorporate values into your financial planning. Can you give some examples of this?
Many of us think that bookkeeping and financial planning is so boring and dry and dull. I have become obsessed with teaching my community how to create money practices that are filled with aliveness, fun and a deeper meaning. And, one way I do this is by teaching my clients how to incorporate their values into their planning. I have lots of tools up my sleeve to help me accomplish this! One of these potent tools is to ‘rename your categories’ and fill them with your intentions and your values. I am big re-namer. I like to learn the traditional language first and then have fun with it.
Example #1: who wants to sit down a do a Budget? It feels like a bad, restrictive diet, right?
But how about sitting down to engage with a ‘Map of Intention’? Doesn’t that feel so much better?
Example #2: Mortgage or Rent BECOMES Home. Or Sanctuary. Or Love Shack.
Isn’t that way more exciting to write that check out to: Love Shack!
Example #3: Credit Card Debt BECOMES my ‘My Italian Adventure’ or ‘Honoring a Big Life Transition’
What time of your life where you in? What did this debt represent? How did it help you in a transition? How could you re-name this a debt or liability category?
There are many creative ways to rename your income, expense, debt or asset categories. The sky’s the limit. And, this helps you understand if you are earning your money, spending your money, investing your money in accordance with your values or not.
A couple of my favorite tools of yours are the body check-in and CHOCOLATE! 🙂 Can you explain what a body check-in is and how it relates to money healing?
I have been teaching this tool since I started offering the Conscious Bookkeeping work almost a decade ago. I know many of you have a similar practice that you bring to other areas of your life (ie: meditation, yoga, centering, exercising, gardening) or maybe this type of thing is brand new for you. Either way, I invite you to experiment with this tool and incorporate it into your daily and weekly ‘MONEY PRACTICE’.
The body check-in begins by stopping whatever else you’re doing and taking a few deep, slow breaths. Closing your eyes is also often helpful. You then take on an attitude of openness and curiosity and place your attention on your inner experience. Let yourself become aware of any thoughts, feelings, images, body sensations, or memories. And, just notice what arises…
The body check-in is a great way to pause and get centered. It is a great tool to help you gather clues and data about your particular money story, money dance and money patterns. I want you to think of the body check-in as an essential part of your journey, as it holds abundant opportunities for self-discovery and self-connection.
Use it during or after money conversations with your spouse, clients, bosses, friends and family. Do a body check-in during any money interaction that you are having throughout your day, ie: when are you sitting down at your computer and reviewing your online banking balances, paying bills or reviewing your Income and Expense reports.
The body check-in helps tremendously with increasing your awareness, understanding, forgiveness and healing with your relationship to money.
..and what does chocolate have to do with bookkeeping?!
Re: chocolate. I simply have a love affair with chocolate.
Chocolate. Oh, Chocolate, how I love thee. Chocolate is everywhere in my teaching, my copy, my daily life. I eat it every day. I invite my students to nibble on it during their money practices (try it, it really helps).
No really, I do playfully encourage my students to nibble on chocolate when they are learning a bookkeeping system, reconciling their bank accounts or reviewing their numbers. (or any of the parts of a money practice). It simply helps take the edge off. And in moderation gives you those great health benefits.
Bari Tessler, M.A., is a Financial Therapist, Mentor Coach and the founder of the Conscious Bookkeeping Method: Tools For Financial Transformation™. She offers online money programs as well as private Financial Therapy for women, couples, and creative solopreneurs.
Bari holds a Masters in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University. She originally worked as a body-centered therapist, leading authentic movement groups, working in Hospice and later ran a bookkeeping practice.
In 2001, Bari founded Conscious Bookkeeping, based on her 3 Doorways for Financial Transformation: Financial Therapy (Money Healing), Values Based Bookkeeping (Money Practices) and Life Vision Planning (Money Maps). The business quickly grew from a one-woman operation into a team of six other accounting, psychology, coaching, and investment professionals.
Then, with the birth of her son in 2008, Bari successfully evolved back into a one-woman rockin’ show as a mommypreneur, updating her business model to honor the importance of spending lots of time with her family.
Her teaching combines practical action steps, a wealth of therapeutic experience, and game-changing inspiration to help her clients transform their relationships with money, body, mind and spirit.