A Chat with Marlis Jansen, of The Money Conversation

A Hivery Member Perspective

We love sharing the voices of Hivery members and what they're working on. Today, we're showcasing Marlis Jansen, who created The Money Conversation to learn how we can change our stories and limitations around money and our value. 


What are you working on right now, and what inspired you to do so? 

I have recently created a company called The Money Conversation, aimed at helping people to create new ways of thinking and talking about money so that they can derive more power and freedom in their lives on their own terms.  Every one of us has a financial identity.  This is not our credit score, but an emotional blueprint that we carry with us and reference often, even if we don't realize we are doing it.  The Money Conversation works with individuals, couples and families and their advisors to help them access that blueprint, decide how they would like to update it and then to help them apply it to specific financial planning processes like estate planning, investment planning, marriage and divorce.

Can we change our financial situations by changing our mindset? What are tools we can use to change the way we think/feel about money?

Changing our mindset can create the conditions necessary for changing our financial situation.  As an example, many women are taught that they should not get involved in or "worry about" money. I think there is a shift happening right now in our culture that is making this less prevalent. But it is still very engrained.  It starts with girls believing they can't do math.  I recently had a client realize what she had given up by not being an active partner with her husband in this respect.  She completely changed the way she participated in financial planning.  With her new level of engagement, she felt motivated to get control over her debt as well as to reevaluate other things in her life that affected her financial situation, such as her career.

When I think about tools for changing the way we think and feel about money, I like to use assessments to help clients see where they are and visioning exercises to help them get out of their logical minds and into their deeper creative mode.  I like to guide clients through exercises where they envision intangibles like success, having enough, what financial freedom looks like etc.  These activities can take the form of drawing, journaling, verbal free associating etc.  There are also a bunch of online assessments that can be helpful.  WorthFM offers a free Money Type assessment online (http://www.moneytype.me).  There is also an online assessment that gets at the money messages people internalize, also known as "money scripts."  This one can be accessed at www.yourmentalwealthadvisors.com/find-out-your-money-script.

What advice would you share with The Hivery community on how they bring more financial abundance into their lives?

From a purely traditional financial perspective, financial abundance comes from living within our means and saving.  But this is, of course, a woefully inadequate answer to your question.  In our culture, most people live way above their means.  Our economic system encourages this by making it way too easy to take on debt.

What we need in order to bring more financial abundance into our lives is to really understand what enough means to each of us individually.  What it means to be enough, to have enough, to work enough.  We have been conditioned to believe that more is always better.  Creating more financial abundance often involves an identity shift.  Changing who you are with respect to money.  Ultimately, abundance is a state of mind.  I can make myself feel rich or poor depending on my comparison.

Identity shifts like this are difficult but doable.  We take on attitudes from our culture, family and social networks.  These attitudes form the basis of our identity.  When we become aware of the attitudes we have inherited about money, new choices become available to us.  With awareness comes choice.

How has The Hivery or the support to women in general helped you to achieve your goals and grow? 

I came to The Hivery first when it was in Sausalito and took Grace's (abbreviated) workshop called The Product of You.  It really inspired me to think creatively about how I could merge my passion wth my unique skills to create an offering that would excite me and be marketable.  The jury is definitely still out on how well I can do it but The Hivery has been a critical springboard for my personal process and for connecting with others who "get it," specifically with respect to the power of creating a career that is both personally and professionally invigorating.

What does it mean to be a courageous woman?   

To be vulnerable.  To me, being courageous means allowing oneself to be vulnerable in as many aspects of our lives as possible.  Growth comes through the portal of vulnerability.  


About Marlis: 

Photo by Kim Thompson Steel

Photo by Kim Thompson Steel

Marlis founded The Money Conversation with a desire to help people increase their emotional awareness and agility with respect to their finances.

Growing up in a culture where money talk is often taboo and realizing that emotion controls the human decision making process, Marlis saw an opportunity to address a need that is rarely met in traditional financial planning.

Marlis’ background running a private philanthropic foundation and as a member of a multigenerational family gave her valuable insight into how people relate to money.  This spans the gamut from multigenerational family dynamics to portfolio management.

Marlis is passionate about guiding clients toward a clear understanding of their current financial identity and then offering them tools to update any aspect of that financial identity that they no longer wish to carry.