021 - Going from $50k in debt to making over 6 figures and living your ideal life with mom of 8, Lisa Canning


Lisa Canning is a mom of 8 and for the past 10 years, has been running an interior design business that saw her hosting her own HGTV show, working with The Property Brothers, and appearing on lifestyle TV shows like The Marilyn Denis Show.

Lisa is a coach to busy moms, creator of the ‘Conquer your Calendar’ online productivity course and has written the book ‘The Possibility Mom’.

I first heard about Lisa on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income show, so a big thank you to Pat Flynn as well whose podcast I highly recommend if you’re interested in building your own online business.

What we discuss on the episode:

  • Lisa and I talk about how she’s built up her business while raising 8 kids and how she’s overcome the challenges along the way to keep going.
  • This episode is loaded with precious nuggets of wisdom, life experiences, advice and such honesty and transparency about Lisa’s own struggles and challenges relating to money and what she did to go from more than $50k in debt to making over 6 figures in her business. 
  • If you’re a busy working mom, or just someone finding yourself always short of time, struggling with overwhelm, battling the fear of failure or lacking in confidence in yourself and how to make your dreams a reality, this is a must-listen. 
  • Get a pen and notepad and get ready to take notes


Connect with Lisa - @lisacanning

Lisa Canning’s Website 

Lisa’s course - Conquer Your Calendar

Lisa’s book - The Possibility Mom


Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Episode 452 with Lisa Canning

Marie Forleo’s B-school 

January Donovan’s The Woman School 

Ryan Levesque’s The Ask Method


Sharon: (00:04)
Hi and welcome to the financially free woman podcast. I'm Sharon and I'm the creator of this nonfinancial financial podcasts about money and how money affects the work. We do, the relationships we have and our ideas about freedom. Most people don't realize that the path to financial freedom doesn't begin with gaining more knowledge or making more money in this podcast. You'll learn how to embrace and accept yourself as a fully whole albeit imperfect person so that you can become the highest and best version of yourself. And this, my friend is the key ingredient missing from typical lessons about money and personal finance. In this podcast, you'll learn about your own psychology and relationship with money. How money is more than just the dollars and cents and practical actions that are grounded. So you can transform your dreams into reality. Thanks for joining me on this exciting journey let's get started.

Sharon: (01:08)
Lisa Canning is a mom of eight and for the past eight years has been running an interior design business that saw her hosting her own Haitian GTV show, working with the property brothers and appearing on lifestyle TV shows like the Marilyn Denis show. Lisa is a coach to busy moms creator of the conquer, your calendar online productivity course, and has written the book. The possibility mum. I first heard about Lisa on Pat Flynn's smart, passive income show. So thank you very much to PatFlynn as well. Whose podcast I highly recommend if you're interested in building your own online business, Lisa and I talk about how she's built up her business while raising eight kids and how she's overcome the challenges along the way to keep going. So without further ado, here's the interview. Hey Lisa. Hi. Nice to meet you

Sharon: (02:00)
Virtually. And I'm so excited to have you on my podcast for those listeners who don't know who Lisa canning is. I'm going to get Lisa to introduce herself and what she does, but I first heard about Lisa on Pat Flynn's smart, passive income podcast. And after hearing what she said about what she did, I just said I needed to get Lisa on, on the financially free woman podcast as well. So Lisa, would you mind introducing yourself what you do, how you ended up doing what you're doing all this? Absolutely. So I had the really unique opportunity to host an HGTV show back in 2007. And it was a unique opportunity. I was, uh, always a talkative, outgoing person in high school and a mom in my high school, kind of spotted this ability in me to speak off the cuff, to entertain a crowd. And she always encouraged me to get into TV, but I was like, I don't understand what that means.

Lisa: (02:57)
Like, I really was sort of, uh, I had a very narrow focus on what my career could be and it was go to university, you know, get a great job. I didn't really think of a career in television as even an option that I could have available to me. So she had kept in touch over the years and a show opportunity came up that she just thought I would be perfect for. And that was a show called marriage under construction. And so that launched my interior design as well as my lifestyle television career. So for about 10 years, I worked on television shows. I worked both in front of the camera and behind the camera on shows like the property brothers. And I had a really, really great time doing it. But while building my interior design career, I had now eight children at the same time.

Lisa: (03:50)
So I have had basically every other year, my oldest is almost 12. And then my youngest is one. So in the span of 12 years, I have birthed a lot of children. And as you can imagine, the demands of running my interior design and television career and the demands of raising a very large and very young family became increasingly and increasingly more difficult. And I tell the story in my book, the possibility mom, how it all came to an implosion in my minivan. And basically just to make a very long story short, I just days out of hospital having given birth to my fourth baby. So it's my fourth baby. And basically five years, I turned around, put lipstick on, grabbed a cup of coffee and was bringing her to a construction site. And I just remember sitting in my minivan that day, you know, and I've told this story so many times, but every time I recall the feeling, I have the same like physical reaction and the same emotional reaction that I wish I had somebody tell me it doesn't have to be this way.

Lisa: (05:04)
And, and the, the, the, the being this way was my, my moment of this cannot be it. Like life cannot look like me being constantly exhausted, me feeling constantly guilty for leaving my kids and my husband, me feeling like my career says everything about my identity and my worth. There has got to be more to life than this. And I just remember in my minivan having this moment of I'm gonna figure this out because this cannot be it. And so after that time, I affectionately call that my minivan meltdown. I had a time of experimentation. I like to call it. It was just, I got my hands on anything and everything I could related to time management, anything and everything. I could relate it to living authentically and designing your life around what mattered most. And I was able to put all of that into my book, the possibility mom, how to be a great mom and pursue your dreams at the same time.

Lisa: (06:05)
And now I coach moms on how to do the same things. I run group coaching experiences, one-on-one coaching experiences. And I also help women understand how to take their passions and turn those into a business. So I have a personal branding course, and I'm just really passionate about this topic, the topic that you talk about on your podcast. I am so passionate about because I think our relationship with money says a lot about our self-worth and the coaching that I do in women is all really at the heart about self-worth and identity. And so I just, it's been a very long road and a, and a, and a journey that I'm still on. I still have all kinds of hangups and limitations when it comes to money that I am actively working through. But I really like where I have landed is that I think that the pursuit of money should be fun and easy. And I definitely didn't always think this way.

Sharon: (07:09)
Yeah. So that's exactly what I found out as well. And just listening to you talk about your journey now, you know, uh, it also had my moment and that was, I still remember 3:00 AM not being, just being awoken from my sleep and worrying about money and, and having very similar thoughts like this cannot be, there's gotta be another way. And then trying to figure out what this other way is. And there's a lot of trial and error. Could you, could you share a little bit because, um, you know, in this podcast, I like to kind of look behind the curtain, pull back. And because sometimes we don't see what actually people have to go through in order to land, like you said, where you're doing what you're doing now and really loving what you're doing now, and it's not always a straight path. And that's kind of what I try to do in my podcast, because when we, when, when I talk to different women, who've found the thing that they really want to do and enjoy doing. It's not necessarily a straight path. Sometimes it feels like two steps forward, one step back, and you don't really know what you're doing all the time and you kind of have to figure it out. What was some of those things that you've learned along the way that's helped you get to where you are today and what you're doing today?

Lisa: (08:19)
You know, I, I loved my interior design career. I really, really loved it. And in fact, I, I sometimes miss it. I still do it a little bit for other people, but not, not really, to be honest, I really enjoy doing it for myself, but it was interesting. I took a program called B-School by Marie Forleo. I, you know, it's a really, um, popular online business course. She is, um, become very well known for this program that she ran. And I took the course thinking I'm going to maximize my interior design business. It's going to be the most profitable thing. It's going to be amazing. But what was so fascinating with, she has you do a lot of introspective, you know, questions about your life and your business and why you're doing what you're doing. And I found that every single question I was answering, they were questions like, if you could get on a soap box and just talk to people, what would you say questions?

Lisa: (09:16)
Like, what do you wish everyone in the world knew questions? Like, what do you fight for? And I just remember Sharon sitting there, every single one of my responses and a reminder, I was an interior designer at this time. Every single one of my responses was about motherhood. It was like, I want to fight to make motherhood valuable. I want everyone to know that motherhood is the most important job you will ever do. And that will give you the benefits and the rewards far greater than any worldly thing could ever give you. And I just remember, like when I was writing, it was actually at 3:00 AM. Also. I remember I did that exercise way early in the morning. And I just remember being like, just, almost like ferocious about it, like it was so I was so passionate and it was one of the first times that I realized, Oh, wow, like there's something in you that clearly needs to come out.

Lisa: (10:18)
That you're not really giving much space because you've kind of put yourself into this interior design role. And so I guess what I want to share is that you've always got to listen to that deeper intuition, that deeper intuition that is sort of nagging at you that comes out sometimes, and you can't even really explain it. Sometimes you're like, Oh, my word, like what's happening. Why am I getting this emotional about it? You've got to pay attention to that because oftentimes we just aren't self aware enough yet, right? If we don't have a coach, or if we're not doing this work consistently, you just might not be aware of a, of a deep, deep, deep passion that you have. And so that's probably the first thing I'd just love to share is that to be self-aware is a gift to you and your family and to your future.

Lisa: (11:13)
And so that self-awareness is really huge. And then of course, the willingness to get comfortable with failure. I was coaching a group last night. I take them through an experience called the woman's school. It's a program that I use in my coaching created by my beautiful friend and mentor January Donovan. And in the program, we last night, I, I was, uh, one of the women was asking, you know, I have a lot of dreams right now, but I can see that there's going to be a lot of bumps in the road. You know, a lot of my dreams are big and audacious, and she just asked me, Lisa, how do you prepare for inevitable bumps in the road? And I thought it was a really good question. And the answer I gave her was that I am really comfortable with failure. I mean, I hate it. Like, don't get me wrong, but I've become comfortable with failure. And I think that it is such an important thing in the pursuit of your most ideal life, because if we stay safe, we might never truly unlock our capacity. And so to be comfortable with failure in the sense that you are willing to be adventurous, to be comfortable with failure also in the sense that if you fail, you have self compassion. So I'm going to tell a story about a time that I did not have self-compassion Sharon, are you ready?

Sharon: (12:51)
Yes, please. I was going to ask you that as well. How do you get comfortable with that? Like failing and I think there's sorry. Probably we'll tell it quite well. The self-compassionate. Yeah.

Lisa: (13:02)
Ah, yeah. So, you know, it's, it's a difficult story for me to tell, but I think it's important one on a financial podcast, such as yours. So we recently moved our family from Toronto Canada to Southwest Florida. And in order to do that, we sold our home in Toronto. Um, we had put a lot of work and equity into it. So we had a very, very successful sale. I'll just share all the numbers. We, we made $1.2 million on the home that we had purchased for about maybe 380,000, and then put in maybe, you know, 200,000 or so in, in renovation. So w we came out quite a bit ahead and I was extremely happy. Now this also, so we did, we sold our home so that we could have the equity of course, to buy this beautiful home I'm sitting in, in Florida.

Lisa: (13:54)
But at the same time, I was launching my book. My book came out at the exact same time that we sold our home. And I used quite a bit of my own hard earned money to really put into a lot of the book promotions, building the backend of my online business, working with, you know, an online marketing coach, building online funnels, all the things. So we invested quite a bit of our hard-earned dollars, always with a bit of a calculated risk, of course, right. And I think the risk paid off. It was, we were just so blessed. I was on the today show. I was on hallmark common family in LA. I was across Canada and the United States speaking to moms and being on national television show, but I'll never forget one of the stops. So I was in Nashville, Tennessee, and I had just wrapped an amazing tour in Nashville.

Lisa: (14:45)
Nashville is one of my favorite cities in the us, and we were having the best time. And I coming back to the hotel room, I opened my computer and I was like, Oh, to my husband, Josh, Oh, look, the closing documents for our home, you know, are in my inbox. Okay. Let's, let's open them and get them all sorted. Right. And I'll never forget the immediate abrupt change in my emotions. When I read the final amount of the closing costs, like what we owed for the final deposit of the final transaction on our home. And it was $50,000 more than I thought it was going to be. Now 50,000 might sound like a lot to you, or it might not. It might sound like a little bit to you, but to me at the time, Oh, my word, it was a lot. And just to be totally transparent, it, we just made an error.

Lisa: (15:41)
There was no sort of like the way that we had our mortgage structured in Canada when we bought our first home was very simple. Like it was like, you just knew how much you needed for a down payment. And that was it. Everything else was taken care of from your mortgage, but this one and the way that it was structured with the builder, it was a new build. It was all kinds of transactions at different times. So like at time of signing at time of picking all your design finishes 60 days from closed 30 days and close. So we had just simply made a mental error in what we thought we had to have allotted at the end. And we did not have it. We had spent it on the book tour. We had spent it on other things that we were investing in at the time.

Lisa: (16:26)
And it was pretty brutal. Like I just remember the whole drive home. We had driven from Nashville to Toronto, if I'm not mistaken. Oh no, I might be mistaken. Anyway, it doesn't matter the whole, the whole commute home. I just remember thinking, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? And just to be again, transparent, you know, we, we were so grateful for the generosity of both of our parents. So both of our parents helped us out. We leveraged as much as we could from whatever we could leverage. And as a result, we were in a different financial situation when we came down to Southwest Florida than we had previously been in. And, you know, just, just again, to just be very honest about it, we went from a period of extreme abundance and wealth and the ability to travel and kind of, not really think about bills too, too much to a place that felt like when I was 23 and first married.

Lisa: (17:28)
So very conscientious of what we were spending, very conscientious of how much we were leveraged. And, you know, it was really painful. I remember Halloween 2019, we had moved into this new community, which was so beautiful and so welcoming. I literally did not have a single cent left on my credit cards to buy things like mattresses for my kids. So they were all sleeping on the floor and I'll never forget Halloween standing there in the grocery store, agonizing over what kind of candy to buy, because I truthfully did not have no more than the amount of Halloween candy, like $20 or something. Ridiculous. I did not have that room on my card at that time. And so it was a very challenging period that I didn't I to be very Frank, I didn't weather very well. Every single day I would wake up and I would call myself, literally, I remember I would roll out of bed or are we only had a mattress on the floor.

Lisa: (18:36)
I was very pregnant at the time. So we prioritized the mattress for me and I would roll out of bed. My feet would hit the carpet and I would say, you're a fraud. And you're a failure. Literally every single day, I would just have all these stories in my head of how can you coach other women? How can you talk about your book? How can you encourage other people to follow your dreams when your own financial house is not in order? And that story lasted me a long time, a really long time for about three months. I basically just stayed in crisis mode. And I'm sharing this story with your audience, because I think it's so important to talk about the relationship of mindset with the pursuit of money. And so I had the opportunity to go through, as I mentioned, I'm a coach for an organization called the woman's school.

Lisa: (19:31)
And these fine folks were like my neighbors. They had become friends and they were like, Lisa, like you would be a really good fit for our organization. Like you should really just like check out the program. We think it'd be a great tool for you to use and make money in your business, like be a coach with us and earn money. And it was this one sentence that changed everything for me. And in one of the trainings, January says, when you are in crisis, it is almost impossible to create. And I just remember thinking, Oh my gosh, I have been in this crisis mode of feeling like I've got to protect my family. I've got to make it, I've got to provide for them a life like I've, I've, you know, this is the stories in my head. I've dragged them across the United States away from, you know, our family, our extended family away from all their friends.

Lisa: (20:29)
Like I've got to make this work like with so much pressure on myself, all this crisis. And when I heard that sentence, like it's almost impossible to create. And then the sentence she said, next, the only person who can get you out of crisis is you. And I just remember, again, I was super pregnant. I was probably like on the floor again, like on the mattress, like off the floor. And I just remember being like Lisa get up, like get up and start creating. And so to make a long story short, I signed up to become a strategist in the woman's school. I launched using this as a tool in my coaching. And in the last year I have made over $120,000 using this tool. So in October, 2019, I was in, if I'm being very honest, more much more than a $50,000 deficit, because we just borrowed more to kind of make things work, have gotten out of that pool.

Lisa: (21:33)
And now using the tool of the woman's school have made over $120,000 and added the other things that I do in my online business. And so again, this number could be small to you. It could be large to you. It could be like, Oh, no big deal. Or it could be like that kind of money would change everything from, for my family, regardless of what that number means to you. The single thing that changed everything for me, going from this place of crisis scarcity, an inability to buy Halloween candy every single day, telling myself I'm a fraud and a failure. The pivotal moment for me was realizing that I was the one who could change it. So honestly like Sharon, to me, like you could have any crisis you might be in. I talked to women all day every day about these topics. And people come to me constantly with like, Oh, I could never, you know, Oh my gosh, like, your coaching is amazing, but I just like, there's no way I could ever convince my husband or, Oh my gosh, I'd love to participate in one of your programs.

Lisa: (22:43)
But I just like, there's no way I can make that work. And the thing that, you know, of course, I'm very like gentle and I'm very compassionate and I totally get it. Cause I was there. I was there. I was there in that crisis where there was no more room on a credit card. So how on earth could I have afforded coaching or anything like that? But it is often one shift or one realization or one conversation or one push that can separate you from crisis to your most ideal life. And I know there's a lot that we can talk about there and what I just shared, but that is, I think so important for us to realize,

Sharon: (23:24)
Yeah, you know, you, you, you talked about this coaching thing. I just want to talk a little bit about it as well. And sometimes people underestimate, they think that in order to have some sort of transformation in your life, you need something really dramatic. And you know, you talked about how sometimes it just, all it takes is a shift and the shift can seem like such a small thing, but that very small shift, it's kind of the thing that leads you on a completely different trajectory and leads you on a completely different path. So I liked that. You talked about, you know, this whole idea, sometimes you think, Oh, you know, but I've got, I've got food that I need to put on a table. I've got more practical things I need to take care of. Um, without realizing, in fact, I did a training, um, I do quite a bit of training on coaching as well.

Sharon: (24:13)
And someone made a comment like, Oh, well, you know, coaches, they basically just, um, they don't do anything much and they just get you to solve your own problems. And I say, yes. And it's, it's really in the shift because like you said, everything is in us. I mean, no one else can really fix the crisis or whatever issues or problems we have in our lives. If we don't shift our own mindsets to see the possibilities. And I love the title of your book, the possibility mom, I think there's work possibilities. Um, it's probably one of my most favorite words because that is, like you said, it opens doors. It's so abundant, you know? And you, you, you are in that mode of creating, like you talk about in a more creative, more, uh, more and, you know, I can, when I hear you talk about that story, it really sounds like you were telling a little bit of my story as well.

Sharon: (25:02)
And, you know, I was thinking you're right. You know, when you're in crisis mode, there's just no room for you to think of anything else, but problems and crisis. And how can you create from that kind of a mindset or that kind of thinking of that kind of a place I'm curious to know when you had that moment, what was some of the steps that you then took? Let's say, you've got someone listening right now and they're like, yeah. Okay, great. I'm ready. You know, I'm ready. I know I'm the one who's in charge of myself, my mindset. And I'm the one who can make a change and stop this crisis. What can I do next? Like, you know, small baby practical steps that they can take.

Lisa: (25:44)
[inaudible] I think clarity on a goal is so important, important or clarity on a dream. So the first thing I would recommend to people is to just give yourself the permission to dream and then be really clear on what that looks like. So for me at that time, I was like, I am getting out of this debt. I am making, my first goal was make $10,000 a month. How can I make $10,000 a month? And it's funny, I had had this on every single, you know, strategic plan, every single vision board, every single, whatever, like for a long time, make $10,000 a month. But I think what shifted this time was that I just got really clear. I was like, exactly. What does that look like? Okay, that looks like 10 units of my signature program. That looks like a hundred units of my online course.

Lisa: (26:38)
You know what I mean? I just looked at what are the various ways that somebody could make 10 K a month? And I just started identifying the actions that would be very probable to make that true. So I got really, really clear on the dream really, really clear and really clear in identifying the actions. And then honestly you really just have to focus on the next task you can do where you will not fail. This is my business mentor, Ryan Lesveque, founder of the Ask method, says this all the time, identify the next action that is so minuscule, like teeny tiny, like where, you know, you cannot fail and go and do it because the momentum from all these tiny actions will then breed the inevitable success that you are looking for. And, you know, I think another thing about $10,000 a month that might be helpful to somebody out there is that sometimes they can, these can be big stretches for our brain, right?

Lisa: (27:47)
So if you're not making anything a month or if you're a business or whatever you're doing is, uh, you know, you let's say you've just started a side hustle and it's currently bringing in a thousand dollars a month. And you're like, I can't imagine I'm already working so hard to make a thousand. How on earth can I make anymore? Sometimes the brain can't handle the jump. It's like, Oh my gosh, that's a huge job, like 1000 to 10,000. So make it make your next next thousand, like, make the goal again, something attainable, but still have the dream and the goal of the larger number, but focus on the activities that, you know, will make your next thousand very quick story. So I am in, as I mentioned, Ryan, Lesveque, uh, Ask method high-end or his, his, his, um, coaching program. And so it's interesting because I have gotten to get to know several very successful entrepreneurs who are, you know, um, their, their, their launches are making them a million dollars per launch, right?

Lisa: (28:50)
So they're in that level of entrepreneurship, but he, he does the singer on black Friday that I love, he, he always says a training on how to use black Friday as an income generator for your business. And he has of course a methodology, but he teaches on how to do that. But what he did this past black Friday that I thought was so fascinating was he shared the black Friday results. People who I look up to. So these people who I'm talking about who are farther along in the entrepreneurial journey than I am, who do these launches that are more like a million dollars a launch. And when I look at them, I'm like, Oh my gosh, like, how could I ever do that? A million dollars a lunch, but this year he shared their stories from just two and three years ago because this program that he runs has only been around for about, I want to say like three years, not, not very, very long.

Lisa: (29:43)
And I was like, Oh my gosh, those are the numbers I'm doing right now. So those were the numbers that were more in the thousands of dollars per launches, like $7,000, a launch, $10,000, a lodge, $2,000, a lodge like completely attainable numbers. And I just remember being like, everyone begins in the exact same place. It is very rare. And forgive me if you teach otherwise. So, you know, forgive me if you teach otherwise. But my experience has been that it is more a minority that people make a million dollars in like a day or like a month, or like a year. Even you make a million dollars. And I'm just using that as an arbitrary goal, you make a million dollars by first making 10 by then making a hundred by then making a thousand. And by then making 10,000. And again, you know, there might be some exceptions to this rule, of course.

Lisa: (30:40)
And Sharon, I don't know, you might think you might have some tricks up your sleeve that I don't know about that you need to teach me, but most often you are making the thousand dollars first before you're making the million. And that is such an important thing to remember that you make the thousand, you optimize that process. Next time you make 10,000, you optimize that process. Then you hit a hundred thousand and then, you know, so on and so forth. And so just from a very practical element, focus on the next thing that you can't fail at and then keep going and keep going and keep going. And then the final thing I'll share is that I, I have always invested in coaching, but with a really big caveat, you also have to invest in doing, I have invested over $50,000 in online courses, but then the online courses would just sit on my computer and I'd be like, wait, what's my password to that one.

Lisa: (31:50)
Again, I'm talking courses where I would spend $10,000 on a course and then never utilize it. I made my sister who has worked with me in the business. Um, over the years I made her look at everything I owned. I basically afforded her every, I literally went to my email and I put in the search term login and password because I buy so many courses. So I was just like, I kept forwarding her. I was like, log into this and make me a big fat like chart of how many courses I own. And how far show me visually, how many modules I've actually done. Oh my gosh, Sharon, it was the worst. It was like the, all of it was just one little thing colored in. Like I had done like one lesson of, like I said, $50,000 worth of co of courses. Now this is not to knock online courses.

Lisa: (32:51)
They are helpful, but they're only helpful if you do it. And so invest in the courses, invest in the coaching, but then have enough support and accountability in your life where you will actually execute. And so what does that look like? For me that looks like group experiences. You know, I get a lot of accountability when there are other people in the same experience and it's almost like either a live component or there's something you have to show up for live. So I find that really helpful for me. And I find it really helpful to time block. So I have a signature program, speaking of courses, but my people finish my course. So just, just a quick aside, because of my own frustration, I was like, I am never creating an online course that nobody finishes. Like I'm like gonna make it happen. And so with my signature time management program, conquer your calendar, I've built in a lot of gamification.

Lisa: (33:54)
I built in a lot of just fun little incentives for people to finish. And so at the end of the day, especially if you're a busy mom, especially if you are pursuing, for example, a corporate job, and you want to build something on the side that could perhaps build you wealth over time. The success of these things, the success of all of the things in our lives is directly related to the actions we take. And the actions we take are directly related on how we use our time. And for me, time management is not about like, can you do laundry faster? Can you make a meal in an hour? Can you make 10 meals in an hour? Although obviously those things are helpful, but let's say making a meal in an hour. So let's say you find an amazing resource that helps you make like 10 freezer meals in literally an hour. If you don't use the time that you have freed up in an appropriate way, I don't care that you made 10 meals in an hour. What I care is how are you using the time that you've now freed up, right? And are you able to sit down and actually do the thing that you want to move forward and not let fear of failure or distractions get in the way? Yeah.

Sharon: (35:15)
You know, that, that was a really nice segue into what I wanted to talk to you about because obviously, you know, mom of eight doing all the things you're doing, that was my one big question. You know, coming into this interview, I've got to talk to her about how she manages to do it all. And I'm glad you talked about a little bit about how we utilize our time. So after you saying the, after we free up for of all, first of all, get really clear about, you know, the things that we can do and then try to free up the time and make sure that the time that we free up is used effectively. Right? So for someone who is right now, completely overwhelmed, doesn't know where to start, has some ideas about what she wants to do. What would you say would be, you know, good to start off in terms of learning, how to use that time. Um, and that precious time effectively,

Lisa: (36:06)
There are three things that I teach in my signature program, clunkier calendar, and I'd love to share with them with share those things with you. So the first thing is the correct identification of priorities. So we have got to get clear on what's important to us, and there's a couple of ways to do that. And you know, if you are someone who is already self-aware maybe has already done a lot of this internal work and chances are, you probably know what's important to you, your health, your marriage, your kids, you understand that work. Isn't everything, all those kinds of things. But sometimes we got to do some deep dive, dig it in there. When I was in my minivan, meltdown work was everything and it required a lot of healing. It required a lot of soul searching. It required a little bit of therapy. It required coaching to get me to a place to understand, okay, your work is not everything.

Lisa: (36:58)
If your work was taken away, if you were all of a sudden, unable to work, unable to be on TV, unable to produce beautiful rooms, you would still be worthy. That took a long time. That's a whole other, that's all other podcasts, but that, that is what I do in my coaching. So we have to have the correct identification of priorities and then understand that the priorities will only remain in the correct order. So to speak when we have actions attached to them. And that takes me to the second thing I teach in conquer your calendar, which is, do you have appointments in your calendar that will keep the most important priorities, the most important priority? So let me give you an example. When I was in this interior design time, all my self worth tied up in what I did for work, all my self-worth tied up in how much money I made.

Lisa: (37:51)
There was no time for my husband. Like it's just to be very plain. Like I was just squeezing him in, in the minuscule moments that my work did not, you know, take up, my children were similar, you know, it was a little bit harder to ignore them, so to speak, like they were young, they needed a lot of care. I had babies, you know, during this time. So obviously I was nursing and I had babies with me while I was working, but I was not actively prioritizing time with them. I just wasn't. And I kind of kept telling myself like, Oh, it's okay. Like, you'll make it all up to them later. Like, you'll be able to afford this amazing vacation because of all the work you're doing that dah, dah, dah, dah. But my children basically only saw me in these passing moments of rushed frenzy.

Lisa: (38:44)
Right. And then when I was around them, I was always on my phone. And I just remember being like, when I was doing this work, when I was, you know, coming to terms with the whole, I had dug myself in, I just remember being like, if I want my children to remember me as a present and loving mother, I have got to get off my phone and I have got to actually look them in the eyes and slow down enough to actually spend time with them. So for example, one of the things I did coming out of my minivan meltdown was I made it a non-negotiable that I personally would pick up my kids three days a week, which meant that I had to stop work by three o'clock, which meant that I had to reverse engineer what that looked like. I had to be in the car by two o'clock, you know, all those kinds of things.

Lisa: (39:34)
Similarly with my husband, instead of just fitting in or squeezing in a date night, whenever I could, it was like in the calendar, Wednesday evenings without fail, we are going on a date. We have a babysitter. There's none of this, like, mom, can you please come over? My, my husband's mad at me. Like we really have to go out. No, none of that. It was like Wednesdays at 5:00 PM. A babysitter is showing up. We're saying, goodnight, all your kids love ya. And my husband and I would go out and enjoy aimless quality time. And then similarly, like I had zero space in my calendar for any kind of spiritual health, mental health, physical health, emotional health, nothing like that was basically any kind of self-care in that regard was happening in my car. Like desperately, like looking for something to watch on my phone that was like funny eating, terrible food, like from fast food.

Lisa: (40:32)
Right. And so I had to start putting appointments in my calendar for exercise, putting appointments in my calendar for things like spiritual direction for, for time to just be quiet. Oh, my word, we do not value quiet. And it's a problem like, and this is the thing that I think, you know, at time of recording, we are still in this weird coronavirus time, but one of the gifts of Corona virus, I think the observation I'm making about the moms that I coach and about myself as well, is the increase in space to self reflect. And here's the challenge it's really uncomfortable. And so then some people run from it, but I just want to encourage everybody, if you can just stay in that space of this comfort and like, listen and just hear what it is that perhaps you're supposed to do, how you're supposed to grow, you know, the ways that your life could be made better.

Lisa: (41:36)
Like that's where possibility and potential become unlocked. And so I've completely forgotten your original question. Oh, okay. Okay. So that's the second thing. Do we have activities that are tied to your priorities? And then the third thing is really getting clear then on how do you do all of that and fit all the things that maybe aren't your priorities in. And so what, where that comes down to is do you have the skills to delegate, automate and delete? And do you have the mindset and the habits to ensure that you do those things? So let me give you a quick example. When you start prioritizing things like your husband or like your kids, you know, like for example, I am off my phone every single day between three and 5:00 PM. It's just a non-negotiable my phone is put away. I do not pick it up.

Lisa: (42:34)
There's just no, like it's just not a thing. So then of course I started to have to get like creative because I was used to doing all kinds of work when the kids were around, I was used to just like, you know, creating social media stuff. Like I was just so used to always working while my children were around, I had to start thinking about, okay, well, how am I going to still do that stuff? But with the, a different way of, uh, uh, different, uh, intentionality, right. And I found actually, you know what, it's really not that big a deal like, you know, it's possible. Or like, for example, if you're going to go on a date with your husband, but now you're seeing, okay, well that takes away from time to like, do the laundry or do the dishes. Can we come up with a creative way to do laundry?

Lisa: (43:20)
Um, as you can imagine with eight children, there is so much laundry in my house. And so I just had to get creative with how I do it. And I just simply delegate laundry though. Like we have a, we have two college kids who are wonderful babysitters slash laundresses basically their job. I'm like for two hours, your job I'm here with the kids. Your job is for those two hours to do the laundry completely. And then for the other two hours that you're here, we're going on a date, my husband and I, so like you can get creative in so many different ways by either obviously hiring people by trading with people, by finding ways that you can automate things, using technology, even things like meal prepping. And, you know, coronavirus, I think is obviously also taught a lot of people about how to grocery shop online.

Lisa: (44:09)
But that was one of the things that I was like, I don't understand why any mom, grocery shops in person with her children, unless it's something that is like a pleasure activity for you. I don't believe that any working mother should be doing her grocery shopping herself the way that is typical, like literally going into the, there are too many efficient systems now where your grocery shopping can be done in, you know, now 15 minutes from your computer, as opposed to, you know, whatever an hour going to the store, getting your kids in the cart, you know, fighting with them about all the things that, you know, they cannot have, et cetera, et cetera. And then you come up frazzled the other end and you've forgotten five things. Whereas now you can sit at the comfort of your computer. You can create a list once and then rinse and repeat that list every single week.

Lisa: (45:01)
And these are the things I try really hard, especially for my corporate moms, for my moms who work corporate. I'm like, you have got to become a master at delegation, and this is, and if you can do it both at work and at home all the better, but I find my experiences, show me with my corporate moms is that it's like, they either have it really good at one place and not at the other. So it's like, they either have a really, really strong team, but they work, but they need to like increase the team of either like cleaning maintenance, a nanny, maybe at home, or it's like vice versa. It's like, okay, well, I've got a decent amount of support at home, but actually I'm so, you know, stubborn or I really want to control everything at work. And, and so then we have to grow in that mindset there. So it really comes down to those three things, the correct identification of priorities. Do we have actions that you can literally write in a day planner that will make those priorities true? And then do you have the mindset and the skillset for all the other things that happen in life that you can have an approach to either delegate, automate or delete,

Sharon: (46:12)
Right? Yeah. So those are all very, very good tips. I'm taking notes, as you can tell, as you're talking, because I find that those things are going to be things that I'm going to have to do an audit of my own, both corporate life and personal life to see what are the things I can apply. I want it to also, I'm mindful of your time. And I, and I know you've got so much to do, and I just want to make sure that, you know, we've covered everything, but just one final question, which is, you know, just looking back now from where you are today and all the things that you've done, what was one thing that maybe you thought, you know, you would have known then that, you know, now a lesson maybe that you might've done differently if you had known

Lisa: (46:55)
It's a good question. And I think I want to share, I wish I had agonized less and just tried more. I, you know, that $50,000 experience that, that $50,000 mistake, I basically just like agonized for three months and tried very little if I'm being really honest and you know, all these other times I, I had this sort of, again, like a fixed mindset around, well, this is exactly how it has to look, you know, I'm going follow this course to the letter, or I'm going to copy this. Person's, you know, methodology or this person's life to the letter, and then I'll feel successful. And I wish I had had the confidence in the beginning, which is why I care so much about failing fast to just try it. Like, like I said earlier, the pursuit of money can be fun and easy. Like it even feels good to say that the pursuit like making money is fun and easy.

Lisa: (48:02)
And I think the, the opposite of that is how I lived most of my life. Like, Oh my gosh, I have to make this sale. I've got to get this client. And then I've got to get next client. And then, you know, I've gotta be able to do this. And it's got to look like this, like this very frenetic, very kind of like, you know, waking up at 3:00 AM worried about money type of environment. And what is challenging about that is that now, number one, you might not know any better. You may never have been challenged through a coach or through anybody that making money could be fun and easy, or you may not have any, uh, just like idea of different possibilities where making money can be fun and easy, but even just the pursuit of the right questions. Well, how can making money be fun and easy?

Lisa: (48:48)
The possibilities are endless, but you have to be willing to ask the right questions and then be willing to just try it. I think so much of financial, you know, and again, I'm not, I'm being super honest here. It was terrible to be in that financial situation. It does not feel good when you know, your kids are asking you, Hey, like, how come you're not just putting this on your credit card, mommy. Like, that's what you always do. Like, it doesn't feel good. So I get it. I'm not trying to say take uncalculated risks. I'm not trying to say be, you know, careless and irresponsible, you know, of course do this all with a spirit of fiscal responsibility, but at the same time, we have to be willing to just try it. And so what does that mean in a practical way? Maybe it means you start small, you know, maybe it means like for example, in the online space, Facebook ads can sometimes be a thing it's like, Oh, but it's so risky. Like, I don't want to do that. Well, what if you just started with $20 a day, start with $20. That's a hundred dollars for the week for five days. Like, just see, see what happens if it, if the outcome is favorable, then keep going, see what happens if you do one more week at $20 and then see what happens if you do it at $50 a day and then so on and so forth, you know, you don't, you really do not know until you try.

Sharon: (50:14)
Yeah. I think that's really, really good advice in a very nice way to end off and close off the interview because you know, like you and I was, um, agonizing over money it's sometimes I find is that fixed mindset you talked about, like you, you just cannot think beyond the other possibilities, which is why coming back to that word possibilities. I really liked that because, you know, when we agonize it's because we're kind of resisting the reality that we're in and we don't want it to be that way. And so when we don't want it to be that way, that's when the agonizing and distress comes. But when you can actually free up your mind and to be in a less fixed mindset and just say, yeah, how can I make this fun? How can it be easy when we think from that mindset? I think that's when the ideas can start to come in, like what you talked about, how you, you can't create when you are in that crisis mode. And that's exactly what you talked about. So I think really, really good advice there. And thank you so much. I really appreciate your transparency and your honesty in sharing all of these stories that you shared and all the examples.

Lisa: (51:19)
Just one more thing. I think it's so important that we are transparent. Okay. So I went and again, not everybody has to be transparent. You don't have to tell everything on the internet. Of course, obviously, but I was in interior design where I would look left, right? Like left and right left. And right at all, these women driving luxury cars, carrying luxury handbags, wearing luxury brand shoes, and, you know, working on these clients that were like, whatever, millions of dollars, whatever. And so I had this perception that everyone was killing it and everybody was having incredible businesses. Everybody was totally in the profit mode and whatever. Right. And then we'd get together at these like, you know, small group experiences or in different coaching programs. And I would start to hear their actual stories and I'd be like, you're not killing it. You're like in hundreds and thousands of dollars in debt, like your business is leaking like 500 different ways.

Lisa: (52:20)
And I'd be like, Oh my gosh, you're I was this whole time being like, Oh, you're less than, you're never going to make it, like, look at them when actually people are really struggling and they're the exact same places you, and so I think I am, I am comfortable being transparent because of the power I have seen in other people being transparent with me and especially where women and money are concerned. I don't know. Again, like this comes to self-worth, this comes to like a whole other conversation on self-advocacy in the workplace. Like, you know, for all of your corporate mamas, I coach a lot of moms who are like, Oh gosh, like, I don't think I could ever ask for, you know, a, for 16 week maternity leave paid, for example, or like, Oh, I don't know if I could ever ask to like, leave the office by 5:00 PM every day or, Oh, I don't know if I could ever ask to be off my phone and not accessible between like five and seven.

Lisa: (53:18)
And I'm like, yeah, I can, like, let's just be transparent. Let's not be to ask for what we want. Let's show our employers or show our clients like how much value we bring and what a shame it would be if they lost us by being, having this spirit of self-advocacy and just asking the worst that'll happen is they say no, and you have to now recalibrate and you get to decide, okay, like how much am I going to push back? Or, you know, whatever. But that, especially with stuff around like, Oh, I need to be somewhere at five o'clock to pick up my kids. For example, I can't tell you the number of times I have coached a mom who has agonized over this decision. Like, Oh, like I, there's no way I could like ask my boss to be somewhere for exactly 5:00 PM. It just would never work. And then they agonize and agonize and I'm coaching them through like left right center to consider the possibilities. And then they finally asked the bus and the bosses, like, sure. Yeah. You know, so I think this, the more transparency we have, the more we talk about money, the more we talk about the pursuit of wealth and how wealth is not bad because of what it can do for the world. I just think we would be better off, less competitive, more collaborative, and everybody, everybody wins. I think when we are more transparent,

Sharon: (54:43)
I love that. And that's, um, I'm so happy you said that because that's precisely the spirit of the whole podcast is really about the whole transparency, because very often even things like money. And I don't know about where you are, but at least here in Asia, sometimes it's wrapped around a lot of shame and guilt and self worth. And what it says about me, what it says about my husband, what is this about my family? And so much of all of that. And I just feel that, you know, like Brittany Brown Wright talks about shame a lot, and she says that it machine to exist. That's got to be secrecy, silence, and judgment. And I'm just trying to go against the grain of all of this and just, you know, we talk about it because when you talk about it, there's no, there's no silence around it.

Sharon: (55:28)
And, and I've realized that the more we talk about it with each other, we're all going through very similar issues, but no one really wants to talk about it. And the reason why we didn't want to talk about it because we didn't want to be judged, you know, ourselves, we didn't want to be judged because I mean, we also, I mean, I speak for myself. Sometimes I do judge. Sometimes when I look at someone I do judge, and then I'll have to catch myself like, you know, w what gives you the right to say that you don't know what's happening in their lives. And I actually have to catch myself doing that. So that's exactly the whole spirit of his podcast. And I really saw appreciate you coming out and saying things in such honesty and transparency. Um, and I really, really enjoyed today's conversation, Lisa. So thank you so much again. Um, could you tell like our listeners, where would be a good place to get in touch with you? You've mentioned quite a few things that I'm going to put in the show notes, um, your cause your book, um, some of those coaching things that you talked about, but maybe if you, what will be the best place for people who want to, you know, find out about a little bit more about what you do or maybe connected?

Lisa: (56:27)
Yes. So the best place to connect with me is on Instagram at Lisa canning. So I'm actively in that inbox and all kinds of fun. If you'd love to see what my life in Southwest Florida looks like with eight kids, lots of things on Instagram, where, you know, in my stories, I, I do a day in the life Monday, every Monday. So I share quite a bit of my life there. And then my website, Lisa canning.ca has access to all of my courses and coaching and how you can start your journey towards possibility and freedom.

Sharon: (56:59)
Great. That sounds so cool. And, um, we'll put all that on the links and, um, so nice to have you on the show. Lisa, thank you so much again, and I'll be following you and finding out and keep, you know, staying in touch with what you're up to. So thank you so much, Lisa, for today. My pleasure. I'm so excited to be pre-selling my online course rise rise is a step by step program to help you master your relationship with money so that you can be financially free doing what you love in this four module. Self-paced online course. You'll get to learn how to recognize and let go of the self-defeating money, stories and rules you've been living your life from, which is likely the very thing, keeping you imprisoned by the fear of not having enough money. You'll learn how to master your head and your heart when it comes to money so that you don't have to let money control you or make you feel stressed, anxious, or burden for more information about the cause. Visit 2.0 dot M E slash rice. That's R I S E once again, it's 2.0 dot M E slash R I S E. Thanks for listening. And I hope to see you in the program.

Sharon: (58:20)
Thanks for listening. If you liked what you heard, please leave a review on whichever part player you will listening on. It really helps me further. My mission of helping more people realize their highest potential and live rich fulfilling lives. Don't forget to hit subscribe, to be notified when a new episode is released each week, finally download the worksheets and check out the resources for the episode and most importantly, practice what you learn so you can transform your life. I'll see you in the next episode.


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The Financially Free Woman Podcast Host


The Financially Free Woman Podcast was launched in November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to share the stories of everyday people making a living doing what they love. While training her students in leadership and mental resilience, Sharon noticed the rising level of financial stress and anxiety experienced by many of her students. It dawn on Sharon that this was an opportunity for her to share how she overcame her own financial anxieties triggered by her personal experience with a 6-figure business debt and being let go from her job as the family's primary breadwinner. She began sharing everything she learned about mastering not just the practical side of money but also her mindset around money. Through this work, Sharon began meeting and building a community of women creating and living their dream lives. The Financially Free Woman Podcast is a collection of stories, practical tips and strategies to help you discover your passions, and use them to make a lucrative living. Imagine a life where you spend your time doing what you love and getting paid well for it! That's exactly what these women featured on the podcast are doing and they tell you how! Get inspired and start creating your own your dream life!


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