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Where Mindset Goes and Money Grows: A Blueprint for Financial Success

Lesley Thomas is the visionary founder of The Money Confidence Academy, as well as the dynamic host of the Let’s Talk Money and More podcast. With a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring, she is an accredited money and mindset coach and mentor. Lesley specialises in helping wildly ambitious female business owners develop a powerful relationship with money, overcome self-imposed barriers, and become their own financial cheerleaders.

In addition to her work with business owners, Lesley is a passionate advocate for financial literacy in schools. She has created an innovative online portal, Money@SchoolTM and Money@HomeTM, which provides practical information on money and mindset for both schools and home education. Central to Lesley’s philosophy is her belief that “Where Mindset Goes, Money Grows®,” emphasising the profound connection between a positive mindset and financial success.


Could you share a bit about your journey as a money and mindset coach and mentor, as well as how you decided to specialize in this field?

I spent the first twenty years of my career working in corporate telecommunications. I worked all over the world, including Switzerland, Holland, and Japan. I really loved my job, but once children came along, it started to become difficult to be the mom, wife, and employee I wanted to be, so I decided to leave and join my husband in the business he had set up a few years earlier. When I joined Alpine Property Investments, I sold ski property in Switzerland and added the French Alps to our agency portfolio. This business was, and still is, my husband’s passion (he loves skiing), but it was never mine (I never managed to fall in love with skiing). So, in 2020, as lockdown hit, I decided to re-train as a business coach. Throughout my corporate career and while working with my husband, I had always coached and mentored, but informally. Lockdown provided the opportunity to train formally. My original plan was to become a confidence coach for female business owners. However, the more I studied confidence, self-worth, and self-value, a certain subject kept coming up: money! This became a eureka moment for me, and I decided to specialise in the mindset around money. To further deepen and enhance my skillset, I also trained as a money coach. It was at this point that I found The Money Confidence Academy, and about 12 months later, I started the Let’s Talk Money and More podcast.

What are some common challenges you see female business owners face when it comes to their relationship with money, and how do you help them overcome these obstacles?

The most common challenges I see are those in which my clients question their own self-worth and self-value. This can manifest in various forms, such as a lack of visibility in their business due to fear of judgment, or a failure to establish effective boundaries due to fear of client loss. Fearful of talking about their pricing (e.g., worried about not attracting new clients), or challenging a client who is late making payment (e.g., wanting to avoid conflict), keeping their prices the same for a long time (e.g., fearing what others might think if they increase their prices), playing small (e.g., worried about what others might say about them). Our money mindset plays a crucial role in hindering the growth of your business in the desired direction.

I have a large toolkit at my disposal, which includes NLP, hypnotherapy, timeline therapy, mindset work, a core money process (for delving deeply into a client’s history and relationship with money from their very first memory of it), as well as the skills I have developed as a result of gaining a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring.

Could you elaborate on the concept of becoming one’s own financial cheerleader? How does this mindset shift impact your clients’ approach to money management?

Becoming one’s own financial cheerleader is about adopting a positive, proactive mindset towards personal finance and your relationship with money. It involves taking active control of financial decisions, celebrating small victories, and maintaining motivation through the ups and downs of money management. Our beliefs, emotions, values, and behaviors towards money, along with the results they produce, shape our relationship with money.

Making the effort to shift your mindset allows you to become aware of what is currently serving and not serving you, enabling you to make informed decisions. You can choose to remain unchanged or implement a change. When clients become aware of how their current relationship with money is not serving them, they are better able to understand what needs to happen if they want to achieve a different set of results. It is then a case of finding evidence that the change you are looking for is possible, and then deciding if it is possible for someone else or for you. When you have that evidence, you have two choices: stay where you are or take the action that creates the change. It’s important to note that it is never our limiting beliefs that hold us stuck, because we can, as Nike says, feel the fear and do it anyway. But we need to be careful about our limiting decisions. What decisions are we talking about that are limiting our growth and opportunities? This is where the real danger lies, and this is where the real work needs to take place. 

Your advocacy for financial literacy in schools is commendable. What motivated you to champion this cause, and what are your hopes for the impact of initiatives like Money@School™   Money@Home™?

Three years ago, a school in Wiltshire asked me to support their financial literacy program. I found I really loved working with the students and having the opportunity to support them in becoming more confident with money and their relationship with it. I proceeded to develop a program designed for teenagers to enhance their financial literacy at home. Subsequently, I incorporated a school component into the program, drawing from my prior experience of delivering it in a school setting. This was necessary because there is a significant shortage of schools in the UK that offer this crucial education to their students.

With so many teenagers really worried about their financial futures, concerned that they will not be as financially secure as their parents, and some becoming so disenfranchised, they either consider criminal activity to support their lifestyle or choose to become economically inactive, relying on benefits, from the time they leave full-time education onwards.

How do you combine practical information about money management with mindset coaching in your online portal? What are the key principles behind Money@SchoolTM and Money@HomeTM?

When you understand, like I do, that our relationship with money and therefore our behaviours with it are based on our relationship with ourselves and how secure we feel in terms of our self-worth and self-value, then teaching this concept becomes very natural. I use every-day experiences to demonstrate to the students within the programme how their own money management is based on several internal factors, including how they think, feel, and behave around money, and to understand how this impacts the actions they take as a result.

It is akin to taking your theory driving test (which we have to do in the UK before we can have driving lessons or take the practical driving test), passing it, but not having the confidence to then go on to take driving lessons or apply for your driving test because you lack the belief you will pass the test. The same applies to financial literacy; there is little value in simply learning about the rudiments of personal finance if you lack the belief that you can ever be financially successful and do nothing with your newly acquired knowledge. By providing financial knowledge and combining this with a success mindset, this provides a real opportunity for students to take that knowledge and apply it, putting themselves in a stronger position to benefit from it.

Can you share any success stories or memorable experiences from your work with female business owners? What transformations have you witnessed in their lives and businesses?

There are so many examples I can provide. Here are just a few.

One of my very first clients, who on paper was financially successful, had a real fear about spending money. This came from the money story that she grew up with: that money was scarce. This meant that even though she made sure her children had a wonderful Christmas, she was unable to fully enjoy it herself due to her constant worry about not being able to replace the money she spent on presents and making the time of year special. She never made an investment in herself, and when she did, she felt a deep sense of guilt. After working with me, she was able to realise that the money story that had developed in her childhood was reflective of her parents money situation and not her own, and that she could safely and reliably count on herself to provide financially for her family, to enjoy creating these happy memories, and not worry about the very unlikely outcome that she had been imagining for many years.

I have assisted clients in discussing and raising their prices with confidence, as they begin to understand that their pricing reflects the outcomes they deliver for their clients and the value they contribute to achieving those outcomes.

I have also helped clients have open conversations with their partners about money and reach a compromise that works for both of them in terms of how they manage their finances collectively, reducing and overcoming previous arguments and objections around the whole subject of money. 

Your central philosophy, “Where Mindset Goes, Money Grows®,” is intriguing. Could you please explain how mindset influences financial outcomes and share some strategies for cultivating a positive money mindset?

My philosophy, “Where Mindset Goes, Money Grows®,” underscores the powerful connection between mindset and financial success. My belief is that by cultivating a positive and growth-focused mindset, we can improve our financial behaviours and outcomes. 

Self-reflection and awareness

Identify Beliefs: Reflect on your current beliefs about money. Are they rooted in scarcity or abundance? Are they empowering or limiting?

Challenge Negative Thinking: When negative thoughts about money arise, challenge them with evidence of past successes or potential opportunities.

Education and knowledge

Financial Literacy: Increase your financial literacy through books, courses, and workshops. Understanding financial principles builds confidence.

Stay Informed: To make informed decisions, keep up with financial news and trends.

Goal Setting

SMART Goals: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound financial goals.

Visualize Success: Regularly visualize yourself achieving your financial goals. This can reinforce positive behaviours and motivation.

Gratitude and appreciation

Keep a gratitude journal where you regularly note things you are grateful for, especially those related to your financial situation.

Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate financial achievements, no matter how small. This reinforces positive behaviour. Celebrating success is so important to creating future success.

Surround yourself with positivity.

Supportive Network: Surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude towards money and success.

Mentors and Role Models: Seek out mentors or role models who exemplify the financial behaviours and attitudes you wish to emulate. Producing proof is crucial as it establishes a feedback loop in your subconscious, enabling you to achieve success due to precedent.

In your experience, what role does confidence play in managing finances effectively, especially for women in business? How do you empower your clients to build confidence in their financial decisions?

Confidence plays a crucial role in managing finances effectively, particularly for women in business. Confidence affects how individuals perceive their abilities, make decisions, take risks, and handle setbacks.

I help my clients really build their confidence in their financial decisions by first helping them to improve their confidence in themselves. One cannot happen without the other. We achieve this by deeply understanding the initial cause of the lack of self-confidence and reframing it within the current context. To establish a real connection to why they want to become more confident, what are the goals they want to achieve, and what would be the outcome of staying the same, Empowerment begins with knowledge, and with knowledge comes the ability to make decisions that can move you forward. But with the same knowledge, you are placing yourself at the heart of a situation and deciding which course of action, and therefore the outcome, you want to achieve.

Confidence is the number one factor in effectively managing money. Your creation of evidence fosters confidence.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for The Money Confidence Academy, your podcast, and your advocacy efforts in the realm of financial literacy and mindset coaching?

This is a great question. Right now, my podcast is in the top 5% globally. I would love to see it in the top 2% within the next 12 months. With regards to my goals and aspirations for The Money Confidence Academy, I would like to take it even more international, as I know the work I do really helps female business owners create a relationship with money that motivates and inspires both them and those around them. I am launching a new podcast with four inspirational peers from the USA, which will soon be available on all podcast platforms. Finally, I will soon announce a campaign that will profoundly influence the lives of teenagers in a manner never seen before. Taking the phrase ‘ Go big or go home’ to a whole new level.

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