that fits your life!
Welcome to “The Best Thing I’ve Learned About Money” audio blog series. This is where you’ll hear from fellow creative entrepreneurs and mentors all about one specific topic: MONEY!
Today we are so excited to introduce you to our featured guest, Kaitlin Holland, the Owner of McAlister-Leftwich House and Founder of The School of Styling as she shares the best thing she’s learned about money!
I’ve always had a love for entrepreneurship and began my first business, a vintage rental company, while I was still in college. After graduating from college with an art degree I saw a need for a training environment that served the creative entrepreneur as a whole so I created The School of Styling to provide women a place to build business and creative confidence.
In 2017, my mom, husband, and I purchased the historic McAlister-Leftwich House in downtown Greensboro and reimagined it as a wedding and event venue. My days are filled with leading the McAlister-Leftwich team, running our marketing, planning workshops for The School of Styling, or at home caring for our two babies, Lucy and James.
And today, I’m excited to dive into the best thing I’ve learned about money in hopes that my story can encourage you to talk about money AND remove any shame you might feel around money.
Let’s dive in!
I was about 8 years old when I had the thought “what if I saved half of all the money I got for Christmas, my birthday, and from chores each year? How much will I have when I go to college?”
I think I roughly calculated a few thousand dollars, a number that seemed outrageous and exciting all at the same time. I wish I could sit here and tell you I had the self-control to save the money. Or the wisdom to budget. Or the patience to delay gratification.
But one too many trips to Claire’s for sticker earrings derailed it all. And you may think, “well, you were 8. Cut yourself a break!”
But now I’m 28. I run two businesses. I have two kids. I’m married to a man in ministry.
For years, I felt a deep shame around money. For too long I avoided my bank account like the plague. My husband said I was like an “ostrich with its head in the sand” – I didn’t want to look because I didn’t want to know. And while money doesn’t have feelings, I certainly have feelings about money.
Whether it’s anxiety when money is scarce, security when our savings feels cushy, pride when I make a lot, shame when I don’t. Up and down, up and down this rollercoaster of emotions I went.
My identity isn’t tied up in a number. My feelings don’t have to be controlled by my perception of scarcity or abundance. And you know what that realization brought? Freedom.
Maybe you’re where I was (and where I still find myself some days, if I’m being honest). Maybe you are afraid to look at your bank account because somehow that number you see staring back at you means that you aren’t good enough, wise enough, or skilled enough.
If that’s you, here are three things I encourage you to do:
What would change about your perception of money if you were grateful for every dollar, quarter, nickel, dime and penny you have?
Oftentimes we are tempted to look at our bank account in terms of what we don’t have, but what if we shifted our heart and gave thanks for what we do have?
Those who are faithful with little will be faithful with much (Luke 16:10). Whether we think we have a lot or a little, let’s strive to be good, generous stewards with what we do have.
Related : What is your Money Mindset?
Growing up if I felt overwhelmed by all I had to do, my mom would always encourage me to write it down. She said when you write it all out it doesn’t look so overwhelming and you can actually begin to tackle each task little by little.
The same is true when it comes to money!
Peter Drucker said, “what gets measured gets managed.” I have found the unknown is what stirs up anxiety in my heart, but once I see the numbers on paper no matter how good (or not so good they look), I can move forward and make a plan.
When was the last time you checked your bank account? Stop what you’re doing and go check it now. Remember, the number that you see doesn’t reflect who you are.
Whether it’s your spouse, a close friend, a family member or your business partner, have them look through your bank account and hold you accountable to your goals.
Shame breeds in the secret, but when it’s out in the open—as exposing as it may feel at first—you will find confidence, freedom, and solutions are more quickly available.
I know we’re talking primarily about money here, but that also goes for the number on the scale, the number of followers you have, the number of clients you’ve booked, the number of kids you have.
True freedom comes when you believe this and live out of the knowledge that what you have doesn’t determine who you are.
Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s “the best thing I’ve learned about money” series.
In the comments below, I would love to hear what success looks like for you and if you’re up for it, share with us the best thing you’ve learned about money, too!
Kaitlin Holland is the Owner of McAlister-Leftwich House and Founder of The School of Styling. She lives in Greensboro with her husband, Clay, and her babies Lucy & James.
Kaitlin graduated from Elon University with a degree in Art and quickly discovered her love for entrepreneurship. After starting a successful vintage rental company in 2012 (and later selling it in 2015), Kaitlin saw a need for a training environment that served the creative entrepreneur as a whole. So, she created The School of Styling in 2014 to provide women a place to build business and creative confidence.
In 2017 Kaitlin, her mother, and her husband purchased the historic McAlister-Leftwich House and reimagined it as a wedding and event venue. She spends her days at the venue working or at home caring for her babies!
Photo Credit : Ally & Bobby
"I have my cash flow plan beside me and I have been up sixty freaking percent this whole year simply by planning ahead for slow months and all the sudden the money is there. What! You are brilliant and I am so grateful for you and the way you love us and take care of our hearts and just are YOU! I sometimes feel like that 2nd grade kid who’s like, “Teacher! Look - I did my homework!”