Sharon Duncan

Financial Fear

Sharon Duncan

Sharon Duncan is the Founder of Infinite Assets, a financial consultancy. Sharon combines 30 years of financial expertise with her practice as a yoga instructor to help clients develop healthier relationships with money. At Infinite Assets, they examine the personal history and triggers that feed negative money habits. They work through an honest assessment of the client’s finances and then build a new plan founded on hope, purpose, and meaning.

Sharon offers multiple services, including one-on-one virtual coaching, group sessions, and seminars. She also writes a financial blog with advice on how to resolve your financial fears. Soon, Sharon will be offering online courses with step-by-step videos to guide you into financial freedom.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Sharon Duncan explains how she helps clients overcome financial fears
  • Unpacking your fear of budgeting — it’s just tracking
  • Infinite Asset’s new online courses
  • Empowering yourself to change and maintain a forward vision
  • Sharon’s refreshing morning routine

In this episode…

Figuring out finances can be a huge headache. But worrying about money is just for poor people, right? Wrong. 

Financial expert Sharon Duncan has worked with thousands of clients with incredible wealth and people who are deeply in debt. She found one common theme among them all — financial fear. People worry about having enough money, where to put their money, or if it might be stolen, or if they could lose it — just to name a few issues. What can you do to ease the stress and anxiety surrounding your bank account?

In this episode of It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, Sonja Anderson sits down with Sharon Duncan, Founder of Infinite Assets, to discuss how to conquer financial fear. Sharon talks about why money creates stress for many people, how to re-frame the way you see budgeting, and why goals are essential for progress. Tune in to find out how you can conquer your financial fears.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Intro 1 0:04

Welcome to It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, where we get down to the real business of how great leaders dug through their own trenches and climb some epic mountains to get where they are today. Now let’s get started with the show.

Sonja Anderson 0:21

I am happy to introduce my guest today, Sharon Duncan, who is the founder and visionary behind Infinite Assets. Sharon, among other things, is a financial coach who brings decades of experience to her practice. And I look forward to unpacking the story behind all of this with her with you welcome, Sharon. Thank you. Yeah, well, thank you. And as I mentioned, pre pre-interview here. These are these conversations that I’m having with, with business owners and entrepreneurs like you really are simply to, to share with the world that we didn’t all start with a silver spoon in our mouths, a lot of us bootstrapped our way up, we’ve all had a lot of experience, yes, to where we are today. And so my curiosity about you Now, obviously, I know what Infinite Assets is. But we share what we share a little bit of background, first of all, our work, you know,

Sharon Duncan 1:18

Infinite Assets grew out of my accounting business at 35 years, where I saw a need, where people were having terrible trouble managing money, and I love the human being, I love how it works. I love how we think I love the intuitive side of human beings. And I could see, intuitively I could see the struggle that was happening with every single person who came into my office with financial fear. So Infinite Assets really is an intuitive financial coaching. startup, we’re really still you know, even after being a business for 30 years, this is really a startup, this part of and it’s Yeah, and it’s infancy where I help people just see where the blockages are, see what’s hooking them up. Because most people think financial coaching or financial, a financial planner is really just about dealing with the finances. And if we don’t talk about and deal with the human component of it. And, and, and resolve that, or understand that it’s there. We can’t overcome it, and then build a beautiful future plan with purpose and ease. I, you know, I talked about the harm of the refrigerator, if you’ve ever sat in a in a kitchen in your kitchen. And you notice when the refrigerator turns off, or back in the day when they were older, you know, how are you know exactly what you’re talking about? Yeah. Right. So they turn it off, and then all of a sudden, you notice how quiet it is? Well, it’s the same thing with financial fear. Cuz it’s right, whether you’re talking about it or not, it is running all the time, if you’re not dealing with it, because we talk we will deal with money all the time. Sure, right. Every time you touch your debit card or credit card or pay a bill, you get a deposit in so that’s where Infinite Assets came from. I get so excited talking about it and and really wanting to spread it out into the world. 

Sonja Anderson 3:20

Yeah, you’re the curiosity that I that I think that surprises me is that you say it, we all do. And we all it’s all the time and one thing so I would think I’m so I’ve certainly been very poor in my life. And I think I was concerned about money then. But I think you’re absolutely right, even as you have money, or more money, or more and more money, that doesn’t really go away. You know, what should I do with it? How should I invest it? Where should I spend it? But do you? Do you think it’s true? Like, what percentage of the population Do you think has this underlying fundamental financial fear?

Sharon Duncan 3:51

I would say 99% of them. Yeah, I’ve I’ve worked with a lot of people with incredible wealth, and people who are deeply in debt. And there is some kind of financial fear undertone going at all all the time, whether you like the money or don’t have the money, whether you have the money or don’t have the money and somebody’s gonna steal it from me, is somebody going to attack it? Am I gonna lose it? That’s more on the wealthy side. And you know, if they have it as well, I mean, there’s a separation with people who have a lot of money between us and them, there’s kind of not for everybody, of course, but for a lot of extremely wealthy people. It’s an awesome them kind of a thing. And I’m not quite sure why that is. But there is some kind of form of financial fear that’s that is running.

Sonja Anderson 4:42

For sure. How did you discover that or unpack that? I mean, I know you. You start tell us a little bit about the early days because I know that you start 

Sharon Duncan 4:51

Yeah, well, I actually have been thinking about this for over 20 years. And I have And the business, I really never had time to get it get into the getting started with just the coaching piece. So how did I get into it? Well, again, my deep love of the human being and the intuitive connection with other human beings, that’s really what drives me and also being being of service, right? So I could see the need a long time ago, around the struggle that people were having with money. And so my brain has been going about fix this, how do we fix this? How do we fix this? Oh, how do we fix this? How you know, and I haven’t really had the time to start developing a program. And so with that since start, so I’ve been trying to pull things together, that makes sense, that are relatable that people can understand. So it’s really the clients who brought me an issue. It wasn’t like I woke up one morning and said, Oh, I think that there’s financial fear going, No, I saw it in my office, I’ve had 1000s and 1000s of appointments. So I’ve seen it over and over and over again. And what blows my mind is that people who had extraordinary wealth, were coming in with the same concerns.

Sonja Anderson 6:09

Right? And so what what do you do if that were to happen today, in your office, and I’m just what like, let’s just say I came into your office and I’m, I have financial security, but there’s some sort of underlying rub happening for me? Are you able to identify that and pump the brakes and move and pivot to that? Or how does that work in a real-life setting? 

Sharon Duncan 6:34

Well, first of all, we don’t really even talk about that I just pay attention to what I’m hearing from the client. Right? So there’s usually undertones or stories that will happen in the initial interview. And then I start to ask questions about what I’m hearing.

Sonja Anderson 6:51

Your intuitive,

Sharon Duncan 6:52

my intuitive, and then I start looking at the hook rather than the finances. Right? So we always get it. Because if people are in need of something, they’re going to tell you about it at some point or another in that first 10 or 15 minutes. And normally it’s more of an I say this with complete respect. It’s more of a therapy session than it is a financial session in the beginning.

Sonja Anderson 7:18

Sure, because money is money is like blood and water and oxygen for a lot of people. Right? It’s survival. It is a survival. Yeah. Have you had so I mean, assuming you’ve done this, work with yourself at some length, right? Because you’re, you’re able to coach others in that in that space. But were you always comfortable with? Have you had is that? Is the refrigerator humming for you? Are you okay?

Sharon Duncan 7:41

It depends on the day. You know, I was a broke single mother back in the day, and I was a broke single mother. Now when I say single mother, I mean, 24, seven, no child support, no family nearby, I didn’t have the opportunity of passing my chip my daughter off to a father, three days a week. So I had her all the time. And so I was broke. And for me,

Sharon Duncan 8:09

first, I had to identify the fact that I didn’t want to be broke anymore. And then when I started not to be broke anymore, I had to learn how to put things in place with my own money to make me feel comfortable. Right. So does that make sense?

Sonja Anderson 8:26

Yeah, it does. Give me an example of a couple things that you might have done. 

Sharon Duncan 8:31

Well, for example, I hate that I’m, I was writing a blog about it today. Budgeting six more six-letter word we all hate panting Yeah, eat the word budgeting. Right. So like I did some investigation today. Why do we hate the word budgeting? Well, it implies lack it, you know, people will say I can’t I’m on a budget. Doesn’t that say to you, I’m on it, you know, yeah. I have limited funds. Well, yeah. You know, what I needed to do was start Well, first of all, what we need to do is change the word budget to tracking and that is much more appealing. We need to track where it’s coming in, and where it’s coming out, going out. And I needed to do that for myself, because I found in my own life, because I had so not so much but I had a lot, you know, a lot of moving parts. Sure. My husband has a business, I have a business. I have employees, you know, there’s lots of stuff going on. There’s a lot of things moving so I know to start tracking my like to do it for my business. Of course, my business is like, right on on target, but Sure, I needed to start doing it for myself. And what I found was first of all, I had I had financial fear, like, I’m not enough, I don’t have enough, I’m gonna be a bag lady. You know what I mean? You know, that sort of thing. And what happened for me was when I started to track it track, not only what I what I earn, what I spend, it’s what I own And what I owed, when I put the whole picture together for myself, that’s when I was able to take a breath, brought my shoulders, and then sleep a little better at night.

Sonja Anderson 10:11

That’s interesting. So interesting sharing, cuz I think I might have told you the story about when I was incredibly poor, I knew exactly how much money I had in my little purse, down to the dollars and cents down to what denomination of me and I knew exactly what was in my little person. And it might be $2.37. I mean, I remember having so little and, and the change for me regarding that happened, when I decided not to track it anymore, the complete opposite I started to, I started to say, I’m not going to, I’m not going to look at the change they gave me, I’m just gonna throw it in my, in my so I wouldn’t know. So eventually, I didn’t know how much money I had, which is the complete opposite approach and didn’t work either. But it was how I dealt with how I dealt with that sense of lack was to stop focusing on it. And so now as I’ve grown in my ears, and I’ve worked with you a little bit and talking to some of that stuff i do i do track everything I actually know where the money is, and which bar I hit it in?

Sharon Duncan 11:15

Well, well, I understand and the the the letting go of the purse, is actually letting go of control and allowing it to come in. And it did it on a psychic level, I can see that totally happening that that I’m not going to worry about this anymore. I’m going to let it happen. And it did. And so once that happens, you need new new strategies, because you’re no longer a broke young person. Right? Yeah.

Sonja Anderson 11:49

So what about that? So I mean, you were you were in, you know, in the financial I mean, really kind of the nitty gritty for quite a while not in the coaching so much. Right. So right. So how what, what was that? Like? I mean, I know you enjoyed it, but it’s a different type of work that you think or is it Do you think it’s just the coaching is like an extension or an expansion of that type of word,

Sharon Duncan 12:09

it’s, it’s really an expansion, believe it or not, I, I, I love it. Most people think I’m crazy,

Sonja Anderson 12:16

myself included, I really,

Sharon Duncan 12:19

I love doing accounting, and I love tying things together and bringing the bringing the numbers together, and I love preparing tax returns. So I’m going to add to the fact that over the years, I’ve been able to curtail the clientele to everybody whom I love working with as well, we have a really lovely office. So that’s, so it’s really the coaching it’s just been, it’s just been a solidification of what I’m doing already. Because I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve been doing it for years. So it’s just putting a name on it. And and getting it out to a bigger group. I don’t I’ve never had to advertise in my local area where knows more small community, word gets out pretty quick. So I’ve never had to advertise. But if in order to have social change and get it out there, I need, you know, we’re putting a name on the Infinite Assets and really doing it differently. So that’s been brand new for me, actually.

Sonja Anderson 13:21

And you’re going to actually have courses that people can can watch and experience without at least the reason why I asked about that. Um, we’ve all done it. We’ve all listened to an audiobook or two about how to, you know how to become an instant millionaire, how to budget, the big-budget word, how did you know what we do behind the scenes, because we don’t want to come to someone like you and say, I’m embarrassed or I’m ashamed or I’m scared, or I don’t know how much money I have, or I don’t really know what I’m doing with it. And all those things, you know, we don’t really necessarily want to, we want to do a little bit behind-the-scenes research before we admit all of our worries. So the coaching you’re doing is actually you’re doing some courses, yeah, that people can get involved with well, and I wanted

Sharon Duncan 14:04

to speak to what you just talked about, nobody talks about money. Nobody talks about too afraid to talk about money, because of the social connection, the social like I am what I’m worth, which is horseshit. Because we are human beings with the little spark of energy that we’re we came into this world and we’re going out this world, whether we have a big bank account, or a little means nothing except for the fact that we’ve had an achievement. It’s an outside source of an an achievement we’ve had right some some of us have had to work harder than others to get that achievement but so the course really is, uh, in terms of the course itself. I would love everybody to be able to reach out and talk to somebody with compassion face to face one on one and say I’m afraid about talking about money. I’m not good at this. It scares me. I don’t have enough. Do I have too much I don’t want people to know that. I’m rich. All right. So the the course itself is about it’s a it’s a step by step process that actually has you go inside first. Wow, okay, right, we go inside first and talk about the struggles and where we came from what’s in the way. And and then we talk about what our goals and visions are and, and and look at the bigger picture, then we start talking about money and we take stock of where we are like what do we have? What do we owe? What do we bring in? And what do we spend? Doesn’t that sound simple?

Sonja Anderson 15:37

Right? Yeah, it sounds sample and I guess I’m imagining a bunch of people going.

Sharon Duncan 15:45

Yeah, but the time that by the time you get to that step, it may still be a little scary, but it won’t be as daunting. Mm hmm. Yeah. Because if you have a calculator or you know, there’s so many programs out there that can help you with compiling that and even my office can help people compile that information together, that moving forward is kind of starts to become exciting, because the home of the refrigerator has turned down or off. And so new possibilities and visions have come on board and it’s no longer about the money. It’s about having meaning and purpose and having a

Sonja Anderson 16:22

full full life. That’s what I mean. And I had that experience just with you myself, when we casually talked about some of these things and just the even the first few steps of just having a conversation really shifted my perspective on where I am today, where do I want to be where do I get to be if I want to be there, and how many steps away are there is that it’s not really that hard. You know, where we might think, Oh, you know, a beachfront property you know where my child my grandchildren can come in the summers feels out of reach, but then actually when you do the math and you look at what you have and where you’re going it actually becomes a tangible idea and I didn’t really dare I think I didn’t dare to have those dreams or those ideas until well you also shared some great books with me, which I listened to but like I mean, I think I think I think having the guilt free conversation about money whether you have it or don’t have it right is just essential. You were telling me that you what changed for you is at one point you started tracking what you own and what you didn’t and ended Is that really the turning point for you is that you just kind of got real with it or how did how did you take being a really broke single mom into a library a life’s work

Unknown Speaker 17:49

yeah

Sharon Duncan 17:51

well I you know the really broke single mom point was I think the act of the universe stepping in going you deserve better and look here’s a career that you love right and and then I realized it was my responsibility to change if I wanted to be not a broke single mother it wasn’t something I was waiting for somebody else to do it for me isn’t that ridiculous? It was waiting Yeah, right. Yeah. Oh no. My responsibility like I realized I am my own White Knight. I think I came from a generation and my mom came from a generation of you the the the man did it for you now I’m dating myself and just turned 60 so I was waiting for somebody else to do it for me or win the lottery like that’s not happening folks and I then I got empowered with the idea that I could do it myself and then what happened after that is every step of the way became apparent like going back to school you know, getting more money I was still working for somebody else at the time getting more money at my job I got laid off at my job and I that’s how I started my business right so that another layer and then I decided I wanted to have one of the biggest businesses in my area and that became a goal. So yeah, sure that I answered your question but

Sonja Anderson 19:17

yeah, it was little steps the little steps and that’s the main thing isn’t it? It’s not an overnight um, you know, a meteorite that takes right takes you out and replaces your current life with a brand new one it’s it’s work it’s one step. Did you have mentors at that time? Did you have anyone that you are do recall or do you have now that you were like, this was these these people these, whether they were like friends of yours neighbors, or authors or who inspired you? Well, I

Sharon Duncan 19:46

have to say, because of the way I was raised, I, I, I never really had mentors. I was too afraid to ask for help. Hmm. So the most the biggest difficulty I’ve had is doing it alone. I’m like, I’m doing it alone. So I’m just starting to have mentors and people that I admire like of course not i’m not going to remember any of them right now. He got sucked off totally right. Yeah, right, right. So I see people who inspire me like people who inspire me are the ones that helped me to get moving. And to keep going right in the day that I’m in I don’t know how it happens but I have an ELO day. The universe senses that you read something on whatever and you go Oh, Rene brown talks about shame I’m not good enough. Now do I who do I think I am? No wonder I’m having trouble that’s the imposter tape is running for me today you know absolutely right. Yeah. So yeah, it’s just a matter of showing up in the day that I’m in and doing the best that I can right right and then forward to right and while I’m moving toward the goal the big visionary gold the big point about it is I have a you know when I put that everything on paper for myself to go back to that question yeah, I have big visions of my life and whether or not I get there i don’t i don’t know but I’m working toward it. And if you don’t have a plan or a goal go to move toward you’re going to be treading water and today because there’s no you’re not there’s no forward looking forward motion. That’s you know, that’s part of the plan that I have is that we kind of have a forward motion. Where are we going? Yeah, folks, what do we want to do?

Sonja Anderson 21:26

And I needed that when I started talking to you last year I needed to be okay with having a plan and having a plan that might be a little more gargantuan than I thought I deserved to have but to go there anyway and then to realize actually that’s not such an outlandish idea to be to be to be fair, so you inspire me and I you are really amazing. I am saying this kill the person yeah you and I’ll wrap it up because I know just in terms of time but I do have a curiosity about your your something I actually asked a lot of entrepreneurs because I have discovered that most have daily rituals or behaviors or activities that they do that balance out their day the healthy ones not me not the ones that just work hours a day and don’t ever do anything else but I’m curious if you have daily rituals or patterns of you know your life that that support your balance right?

Sharon Duncan 22:20

years ago I read the book Oh darn it I’m not going to remember her name. She talks about morning pages,

Sonja Anderson 22:33

morning pages, okay.

Sharon Duncan 22:37

shows that she’s inspired 1000s of artists the artists way artists way Oh, I’m familiar. Yeah, yeah. So you know, I take time in the morning before I do anything with of course I get a cup of coffee first because

Sonja Anderson 22:54

then you can then you can actually what something Yeah.

Sharon Duncan 22:57

And I I can act into my people, my spiritual people, my guides whatever you want to call the my intuitive my panel, the people that are cheering me on saying, Look this I you could do this idea you can do it and I am I sit with them. Whether I’m writing or you know, writing a blog, or writing a daily meditation, or just sitting and drinking my coffee, writing my to do list, I sit for 15 minutes to 45 minutes in the morning just doing that connecting with the bigger purpose. Because for me, it gives me the strength to go ahead and add the courage to do the day and do the things that sometimes are really scary for me. Even still, after being in business all these years are still things that are really scary and push my imposter button so I can act in and trust and remember that there’s a there’s a bigger force at work here. I’m just the conduit, and how do I show up to serve and that that morning? ritual is what helps me to get back to that and give me courage for the day.

Sonja Anderson 24:02

Are you ever tempted to just open your emails first? Do you are you really good because this is you’re not alone. And so many wonderful people in your position have this morning, morning time. And I’m always so impressed that they don’t take a quick glance to see where we’re at. How big is that tsunami? Yeah, yeah.

Sharon Duncan 24:23

There are some mornings where I don’t have the patience to sit still. And yes, I absolutely do. But my day definitely definitely goes better when I don’t do that. And it could be that I only sit for five minutes and then I’m like,

Sonja Anderson 24:34

I gotta go. Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, Sharon, it’s so good to talk with you. Now where can people find you if they want to learn more about you or Infinite Assets? Well,

Sharon Duncan 24:46

what we go to the website, www.infiniteassetscoaching.com. If you want to connect with me, there’s a Contact button. it’ll send me an email and I’ll get back to you. You can actually book an appointment. Yeah. It’s really kind

Sonja Anderson 24:59

of Ah, well it is awesome. And your website is is amazing and your work is amazing. And you are amazing. And thank you so much for spending a little bit of time with me on this really quirky little show that I have. For you.

Sharon Duncan 25:14

It was an honor and thank you so much for having me.

Outro 25:20

Thanks for listening to It’s Not Just Business Talks with Sonja, a real-life podcast to inspire you. We’ll see you again next time. And if this is your jam, click subscribe to get future episodes.

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