77: Chasing Cupcakes With Elizabeth Benton

In the Money Mindful book club this month, we are reading Chasing Cupcakes, how one broke fat girl transformed her life and how you can too, by Elizabeth Benton. This is the kind of book that can actually change your life. If you apply what you learn in it. I absolutely love this book.  So I'm absolutely delighted to have Elizabeth Benton, the author joining us on the show today to tell her story and to discuss her wonderful book.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Elizabeth changed her whole life by proving her own stories wrong
  • Great questions to ask  to become a better thinker and decision maker
  • The difference between fear and danger
  • The difference between a true barrier and a perceived barrier
  • How you too can change your life by asking better questions

You can listen to the episode above or read the unedited transcript below.

Transcript

Meaghan Smith  00:19

Hello, beautiful people. And welcome to another episode of the money mindful podcast. I'm your host Meaghan Jean Smith. I'm a money mindset and life coach for women. I help women get out of their own way. So they can live an extraordinary life. They want to live on purpose. It's a new month, and you know what that means we have a new book to devour in Book Club. If you're new around here, welcome. In addition to this podcast, I also host a book club for women who want to learn more about their mindset and money we made on the last Tuesday evening of the month online on the money mindful Facebook page, if you want to join in, we would love to have you join us, you can find out all the details on the money mindful website or the Facebook page. This month, we are reading chasing cupcakes, how one broke fat girl transformed her life and how you can too, by Elizabeth Benton, oh my gosh, this is the kind of book that can actually change your life. If you apply what you learn in it. I absolutely love this book. So many women I know and coach have the same struggles of feeling that something is missing in their life or that they're not good enough in some area of their life, you know what I'm talking about? Right? So I'm absolutely delighted to have Elizabeth Benton, the author joining us on the show today to tell her story and to discuss her wonderful book. Elizabeth, welcome.

Elizabeth Benton  01:56

Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to chat.

Meaghan Smith  02:00

Me too. I want to know all the things and for my audience who are not familiar with you, they don't haven't heard of primal potential or anything like that. Can you tell us just give us a little bit of a brief intro about yourself what you do. Also, we need to talk about your goats at some stage. So I'm just going to throw that in there. But yeah, please tell my audience about yourself.

Elizabeth Benton  02:30

Absolutely. So in addition to writing chasing cupcakes, I have a podcast of my own called primal potential. And all of that started from a few decades of hard times a few decades of struggle of really wanting a life that was different from the one that I had, and simultaneously, believing it was possible, but not believing in myself to do the work to make it happen. And I struggled with my weight for 30 some odd years, in Grand fashion like not, you know, not 10 vanity pounds, I was over 350 pounds. And I'm only five foot five inches. So I was extraordinarily overweight. And it frustrated the heck out of me because I saw that I was motivated and disciplined in other areas of my life, in my career or with my finances. But my health mattered so much to me. And that was the one area where I wasn't showing those same qualities I wasn't showing up and being disciplined or following through and keeping promises I made and it made me crazy. Well, after working on my weight forever and ever and ever, I sort of burnt out of the process. And I decided, you know, I'm going to get out of debt. At that point I had over $130,000 in debt between student loans myself, my former husband, you know, miscellaneous stuff cars. And it was in the process of getting out of debt, that I realised everything I was doing wrong with my health and with food and with fitness and all of these kinds of things that had nothing to do with calories had nothing to do with food choices, and everything to do with how I thought about the decisions that I was making. And it was just so life changing for me that I knew I needed to share it I knew that I wasn't alone in the path that I had walked even though it felt super lonely and it wasn't something I shared with other people. So that was when I started my podcast primal potential back in 2014. And a couple years later wrote chasing cupcakes and here we are.

Meaghan Smith  04:49

Oh my gosh. I love that. And you know what? It's funny because I think we just talked about this off air that the book. It talks about your journey. of what you just described there, with weight loss and things like that. And I think that this book, I've seen this book kicking around with some weight loss people that I know. But I actually think this book is really just a beautiful story of a woman, you developing a really deep relationship with herself and becoming her own best friend to create the life that she wants. Would you agree about that?

Elizabeth Benton  05:29

I guess it would depend on the day asked me in terms of being my own best friend. And in fairness, like life has changed a lot since I wrote it. And I've been through some very hard times. But what I would say to me, I agree with you, it is not a weight loss book at all, though I do tell the story of that process and what it looks like for me, it's a book about becoming a better thinker, right? becoming a better decision maker. And how we do that, because this word mindset gets thrown around a lot. And I think that most people would agree that it's important mindset, how we think but the notion of how to change it, and how to become a better thinker, and how to consistently make better decisions, isn't as clear to most people. So the tools and the strategies, though, I applied them to my finances, and I applied them to my weight, and I applied them to lots of other things. It really does boil down to what is the how behind this mindset work. Because whether we're struggling with money, or we're struggling with self esteem, or we're struggling with weight, or a little bit of all of it, or relationships, all of our choices are a result of how we think. And most people are going about change the wrong way. They're trying to force a behaviour change. But their thinking remains the same. When the reality is that our thinking is what brings us to our conclusions. And that is why people feel so frustrated in any area of life. That feeling of I know what to do. So why am I not doing it, especially when I want it. And that piece, that is really what we dive into and chasing cupcakes is, because you've you've got to think about it differently, you've got to become a better decision maker, you've got to become a better problem solver. And when you do that, you unlock everything. And what might have been a fight for a year or 10 years, or in my case, 30 years isn't a fight anymore. Because you're approaching it differently. You're not fighting against yourself. You're, you're more, you're more logical, you're more linear, you're less irrational, less emotional, fewer incomplete stories, that sort of thing.

Meaghan Smith  07:41

Yes, absolutely. And throughout the book, for those for you listening, what Elizabeth does, which I just think is worth, like 100 times the price of the book in itself is she puts questions throughout the whole book that you can ask yourself, and that my friends is the absolute gold in this book. I mean that I mean, I just yeah, Elizabeth. That's why I just think this book is so fantastic. And I'm so behind it. Because just asking yourself, the questions that you put in there is can that's what changes your life, because and that's what so many people don't do. And not because there's anything wrong with anyone we just are not aware that

Elizabeth Benton  08:33

we're doing in a pattern. We're in a pattern of thinking about things in a certain way. And so we arrive at the same conclusions, whether that is our spending conclusions, our eating conclusions, our communication conclusions. If we think about the situation and our options the same way we'll make the same choices. And when we talk to people about becoming a better thinker, or upgrading your mindset, the how gets lost. And for me what I have found to be that really effective tool that's totally free and always accessible, are great questions. If you just start to not tell yourself, you're wrong, not tell yourself you're lying. Not tell yourself you're unmotivated, or you're making excuses. But pose some better questions. it unlocks everything.

Meaghan Smith  09:24

Yeah, and I think actually, let's have a little bit of a chat about because I think this will help people understand these because so in the book you there's a couple there's a couple of quotes I'm just gonna read. So you said silently through the example of how I treated myself, I taught other people how to treat me, I rejected myself and indirectly suggested they should reject me too. And then you went on to say, I had spent years living and thinking in the problem. I was so attached to the problem that I wasn't giving any energy or attention to the solution. Let's tease that out a bit.

Elizabeth Benton  10:05

You know, it's funny, if you had told me then that I wasn't giving attention to the solution, I would have told you, you were wrong, I would have told you, you were crazy. You're stupid, all these things because to me, thinking about the problem, I thought I was thinking about the solution, like, I'm too fat, I need to lose weight. I'm an emotional eater, like, that was my fixation on wanting something different. And, and I would have told you, like, I'm always thinking about how to lose weight, I'm always thinking about what I should or shouldn't eat. So if you had said, you know, all you're focused on is a problem, I would have, I would have said, that's just not true. I read diet books, and I, and I clean out my fridge, and I get rid of all this stuff. And I sign up with trainers. But all through the lens of the problem, instead of what would it look like to be a slightly healthier version of myself, for the next hour? It was, what's it going to take for me to lose 15 pounds before you know this event, that's in three weeks, everything was through the lens of the problem, instead of through the lens of the solution. And the and the reason that that's a real issue is because our feelings about the problem get in get in the way. We're basically burdening ourselves, slowing ourselves down, weighing ourselves down, metaphorically speaking with all of the past, and also how we feel about it. And when I realised that the last 30 years, the last 30 days, the last 30 minutes, you're really irrelevant. Like I didn't have to carry that, and the doubt and the shame and the guilt and the frustration, I could just be fresh in this moment and say, Well, look, I don't need to know if I'm going to be this like, super fit, healthy person for the next 10 years. I don't know. But do I have it in me to like, show up that way for the next hour? What would that look like? And it was so freeing to finally let go of what I consider drama. And for me, drama is what we add to the facts, right? So it was very, very true, that I had a pattern of emotional eating, it was very, very true, that I had a pattern of not keeping the promises that I made to myself, fact. But the feeling I loaded into it and carried with it of like, so I'm never gonna be able to get there because I can have a few good days. And then I have a few bad days. And then I'm back to the beginning, man, I drift for a month, and then I'm overwhelmed or stressed. And there was just so much drama, because I was attached to the problem and the story of the problem. I was born a fat baby, my mom restricted my food, all of that, like, didn't need to be part of my everyday narrative. And it was. So releasing that. And then I think the whole teaching other people how to treat me, super huge, but totally separate in my mind of like the impact. I had a big issue with my weight. And I didn't accept it. So I projected that on to everybody else that I didn't want to be social. For for reasons, including, I don't have anything to where they're going to judge me, I'm going to be only overweight person. Like they didn't care. Even in hindsight, when I talked to my family. Now they're like, when you post pictures of you at your heaviest. Like we didn't see you that way. Like we didn't see the weight. We saw so much more than that even now. Like they don't they don't consider, oh geez, she's up a little she's down a little. But I assumed that they did. And I put that on them. And that made me miserable. Not the relationships in my life. But the assumptions I made about the relationships in my life and it just made my world so small.

Meaghan Smith  14:19

Okay, if for you are listening, rewind a couple of minutes and go back and re listen to that. Because what you said at the very start about thinking about losing you having your attention on losing the weight or just asking yourself, Well, what could I do in the next hour to get a healthy choice? That is, that is the key. Because what's so well practised at what we do whatever we do all the time, we're always practising it. I mean, I mean, just like whether we're aware of it or not what we do on a regular basis that that's what we're practising, that's what we get good at like if you spend all your money Every time you get paid, you get really good at spending all your money every time you get paid. Like, that's, that's just a thing. But if you spent if you put a little bit of money aside, every time you get paid, you get good at putting a little bit of money aside, we, we are what we practice. But I think that a lot of people miss that that's actually our thoughts

Elizabeth Benton  15:23

about it is, if, if there's such a big difference between, I'm going to become somebody who puts away money every time I get paid, and I can do it one time, right? Because where I was for such a long time was I felt overwhelmed by the impossibility of the future. And this idea of consistency, I would have told you well, but certain weeks, I have more bills to pay, and certain weeks things come up or certain weeks, like you know, I want to go and do these things with my friends. And I would have found the exception, like I can't do that every week, because whatever. But that's not the point. I burdened myself for so long, with my feelings about the past and my fears about the future. But when you free yourself, you say, Look, I don't know if I'm going to be able to set money aside every single time I get paid for the rest of my life. But I don't have to do that. Now. I don't have to make that commitment. Now. I don't have to have that belief now. Can I put money away the next time I get paid this time that I got paid today? What amount of money can I? Okay? Maybe my goal is to put away $100 or you know, 10%, or whatever it is. And that feels unreasonable? Well let go of how you think it should be. And instead, focus on what you can do. So instead of thinking, I should be saving 10%, every time I get paid, I should be putting that away. If you aren't there yet, then what you need to do. And part of becoming a better thinker isn't fixating on how it should be how you think it ought to look? And how you can do that. What can you do? Because putting away 1%, or half a percent is a hell of a lot better than throwing out the whole thing? Because you can't do 10

Meaghan Smith  17:13

Yeah, yeah. And did you find that there was a period of time? And even now where I mean, maybe not now, but you it's you had to practice those new behaviours. And even though you're practising the new behaviours and thinking in the new way, like, what can I do in this next hour, that just slipping back into what we always do? Oh, it's so easy and comfortable.

Elizabeth Benton  17:39

Totally. And I had so many moments of, I don't care, not even early on, I want people to hear this. Don't think something's wrong. If years later, you're finding those original thought patterns creeping back in. And I don't, I don't know if you know this about me, Megan. But for your listeners. So I worked on this stuff. For years, I lost over 100 pounds, I paid off over $130,000 in debt, I started a business, all of this. And then in March of 2020, after a healthy pregnancy, and just an amazing period of life. I had our first daughter, and 14 days later, she died unexpectedly, the very same week of the COVID, lockdown starting. And so we were in like to think that I would ever experience that in the in the sudden, tragic, traumatic way that we did. And then to think that I would experience it when funerals were deemed inessential. But like liquor stores were still okay and still open. Like it seems like a dream. And in the months following that, everything was I don't care. Right? It doesn't matter. So whether it's because you had a stressful day, or it's because you've had some like massive, massive life event. It is okay. And it is normal. And you don't need to be afraid if you notice those thought patterns coming back in. And I went back to the same exact questions and the same exact strategies. Like I don't care is true through the lens of my daughter died. Nothing matters. But that's not the only lens. And I actually just finished writing my second book and that and that's one of the examples that I give. I don't know, if you have ever been to the eye doctor where they like put that black occluder thing in front of you and they say, is it better like this? Or is it better like this? Well, one day that just struck me as how our brains work, too. We just don't always give ourselves multiple options. So I was looking at, you know, when my husband would say, what do you want for dinner and I would say I don't care. I don't want to eat or my mom would say you should get outside and go for a walk and I would say no, I don't care. I was looking through the lens of our daughter died. I don't want to do anything, nothing matters. But that wasn't the only lens. That was the view through that lens. That wasn't wrong. That wasn't bad. But it also wasn't the only lens. If I switched to the lens of, I want to have a big healthy family someday, I want my life to look different someday, I know that in order to have those dreams, I have to be healthy. And I know that this pain of loss is not going to get better or worse based on if I have dinner or if I go for a walk through that lens, it looked very different. through that lens, I would say okay, I'll go for a walk. Okay, let's go pick up some dinner or whatever. In life, though, sometimes we just give ourselves that one option of like, I'm stressed, I'm tired. I've failed before. That is not wrong. That is not bad. But it is also not the only option. And so we have to say, Well, what does it look like? When I think of it through this lens? What are my options? When I think about it like this, instead of locking into that first idea? That is I don't care. I'm stressed, I'm tired, it's going to take too long or anything along those lines.

Meaghan Smith  21:24

Oh, my gosh, thank you for sharing that with us. And I just think that's so such an important thing to share. Because what you just said then is Oh, gosh, I actually feel a bit sorry.

Elizabeth Benton  21:38

No, it's okay.

Meaghan Smith  21:41

Yeah, what you said then is when you experience something that's hard, that when you look after yourself and look at things through a different lens, it's not detracting from the pain or the grief or anything like that, that you're feeling. And I think sometimes that's what gets confused and that there's a whole lot of stuff in there, what you just said, it's like one, that whole energy of I don't care, because you've just experiencing something something horrendous, totally valid. But I also see that people beat themselves up for that, like at a later stage like that they should have done something different. Right. Then also, what I heard from what you said, was that you made choices to actually look after yourself, which in fact, is get is what helps you get through that. Because it being in that state of being looking through that filter of I don't care. You actually talk about this in the book, I can't remember it off the top of my head, but you said something about pushing self care aside is not about survival. When you when you're trying to do things or read, it's actually part of what helps you get through stuff. And when you stop looking after yourself that's actually destructive and makes it worse.

Elizabeth Benton  23:06

No, yeah, absolutely. It sure does. And, you know, to your point of of the fact that it doesn't invalidate how you're feeling one of my mantras in the last year because it's been just a year since our daughter died, has been this feeling can ride with me, but it can't drive. Right. And that might be something huge like grief. But it also might be frustration or just feeling stress at the end of a workday that so many people will use to blow their budget and get takeout or people will use to skip their workout or people will use to hit the snooze button in the morning. Whatever it is. We can do better at separating how we feel from what I choose. So I would tell myself, I'm not saying I need to like be Pollyanna about this situation and cheer up Buck up, toughen up. No, no, the the grief, the sadness or the stress, the irritation, whatever it is, it can be here it is not wrong. It is not bad. It can take up space, it can ride with me, but it cannot drive. So I can be sad. And I can be apathetic or I can be angry, and I can make a positive choice. And I practice that in the littlest things. I can be irritated with my husband and speak to him with kindness. That is a practice in separating how I feel from what I choose. I can be tired and unmotivated and work out the feeling can ride I can be tired the whole time I'm working out I can be unmotivated the whole time. The feeling can come with me the feeling doesn't block me it is not a true barrier. It is a perceived barrier. But it is not Not an actual one. And so I use that all the time, like, the disappointment can ride with me, but it can't drive it is not what is making the decision. So I'm not deciding what to eat or what to spend or what to save. Based on how I feel, the feeling is there it is not wrong. And also, the choice is totally separate.

Meaghan Smith  25:20

Yes, I think this is a great time to talk about. On in one of the chapters towards the end of the book, you talk about the difference between fear and danger. And I'm just gonna read just a little bit because I think this is so good. You say danger represents an immediate and real threat. It's not imagined when a lion is chasing you, you are in danger. Experiencing fear does not mean you are in danger. More often than not fear actually has nothing to do with danger. You do not need to act in response to fear fear is the anticipation of danger or loss. anticipation is the work of your imagination. While danger reflects your circumstances. Fear reflects your thoughts. Ah, yeah. That is just, I mean, if you can eat like, this is why everyone just go out and get this book right now. This is, this is so fantastic. Because just that is gold, like realising that so many people, including myself, you know, I fear, I think fear is a barrier to doing something. And it's not. Because we we get so afraid to do new things like to change our job, or to start a new career or do something that we've never done before in the financial realm. I invest in something or go out and buy a house or do a Facebook Live because we're trying to start a business and we feel fear. And then we see that as a stop sign. But the what, yeah, the way that you just described it is just, yeah. Thank you for writing this book.

Elizabeth Benton  27:18

No, I, I totally agree that it is it is all about the way that we think and one of the things that it's funny that you say that because I was just I just submitted the manuscript for my second book last week, and I talked about removing yourself from the centre of the story. And when you are in fear, whether it's fear of Facebook Live or fear of an investment, you have you at the centre of the story, right? It is about, they might judge me, I might experience loss. But if you remove yourself from the centre of the story, you can put anything else at the centre, you can put your goal at the centre, you can put the people you're serving at the centre. But just know that when you are in that fear state, you have yourself at the centre of the story 99% of the time. And just like we have different options for different perspectives and different lenses we can look through. It's the same thing with fear. That is one story you can tell. Absolutely. But it is not the only story you can tell.

Meaghan Smith  28:25

Yeah, so good. Okay, so you write, as I said, you write lots of questions in the book, which are fantastic. And I'm curious, Elizabeth, are there questions that you regularly ask yourself, like? Do you have a little set of questions you ask yourself on a daily basis or anything like that? I'm just curious.

Elizabeth Benton  28:46

Totally, but they change. So they change based on what I'm working on. They also change based on what my struggles are, or sometimes just based on what my priorities are. So certainly, the questions that I've asked myself in the last year navigating grief are very, very different from the year before that when I hadn't been through that situation, as we record this, I'm currently nine months pregnant. So the questions that I asked myself now are very, very different from the ones I'll ask in six months, but there are a few staples. Like what else is true? is a huge one for me what else is true? Because and, and I use that in fear situations a lot. You know, our daughter died last year, I'm currently pregnant. There's all sorts of fear thoughts that go through my mind with this with this new experience. And I challenged myself not to say, well, you're making that up. That's wrong. That's not true. It's very logical, because it's informed by my past and that's okay. I'm not, you know, a crazy person. I'm not being dramatic. Those are based on my experience, but they're not all there is so what else It's true. I do this all the time, around fear, financial fears. So in the last year, partly because of COVID, partly because of, you know, the experience of losing our daughter, I changed a tonne in my business, like, tore it down and said, What do I really, really want here? And I'd be lying to say there aren't moments of fear of, what did I do? Was this a mistake? Where do I go from here? Is it going to work? And I'll and I will notice when I am in moments of panic, or moments of doubt. And I'll say what else is true? What else is true is that I built something from nothing before, what else is true is that I have more connections, more experience, and more resources now than I had then. And it's not a way of dismissing anything, it's a way of rounding out the perspective, right, we have to be open to the fact that there is so much more than what we've locked in on. And so what else is true is a huge one, even when I come downstairs in the morning, and for the like 400 days in a row, my husband's dirty socks are on the floor next to the couch, even though we've had this conversation a million times, right. And my first thought might be like, I get no help, right? I feel like the maid I have to pick up after you. And then I say what else is true? What else is true is that it matters not at all in the scheme of my life, if he leaves socks on the floor, every flippin night. And the fact is, if he wasn't here, and there are no socks to go along with it, I would wish for those socks. And then it takes absolutely nothing for me to pick up the socks as I walk through the living room and put them by the wash, it takes nothing. So what else is true is that I can choose if this is something that ruffles my feathers, or that I have a higher bar for irritation, and I choose to have a higher bar than socks on the floor for irritation. And it doesn't mean that I don't wish he would just somehow Remember to pick his stupid socks up. But it just challenges me to consider so much more. Whereas before that question, I would lock in on these damn socks, then when he woke up, I'd be in a pissy mood. And you know, it just it would escalate from there. So I would say that is probably one of my top five questions.

Meaghan Smith  32:28

That is so good. And what I love about that is husband gets to be husband, he doesn't need to change. And you are taking 100% emotional responsibility for yourself and your own thoughts and feelings. And that is powerful.

Elizabeth Benton  32:46

Yeah, it's so funny how quick we are to see some of these things and other people. But because we don't slow down our thinking enough, we don't recognise it in ourselves. So the other night we attended this virtual town meeting, right. And the reason there was this town meeting was because there were a collection of five or six women who were very angry that one of their neighbours had a rooster, and the rooster was annoying the heck out of them. And so they caught they got their signatures to have a town meeting to propose banning roosters, and I'm sitting there, and we're on mute and this town meeting, and I'm saying to my husband, can you imagine how miserable life would be if a rooster like pissed you off so bad that you went around collecting signatures and getting a town meeting? Like you can't ignore a rooster. And then because of questions, I realised there are smaller things that annoy me in my life than a rooster, right socks on the floor, I would argue are smaller than your neighbor's rooster crowing. But I was so quick to see how ridiculous I thought it was that they were upset about the rooster. And I'm not as quick when I'm not asking questions to see that same behaviour in myself. And it is very freeing to begin to use questions. So that it's not everybody else's fault, right? It's not your husband, spouse, your kids fall your wife's fault, your boss's fault, your sisters, your mother's your father's. It's not anybody's fault. With a new perspective. It just isn't worth all of the drama that you previously put there. Then all of a sudden, we have way more energy to do good things with our lives because we're not always overwhelmed, stressed out or pissed off.

Meaghan Smith  34:37

Yes. Everything in there. Yes. Okay. While we're on the topic of animals, let's just have a little talk about your goats.

Elizabeth Benton  34:46

Okay,

Meaghan Smith  34:47

what is that? What's you've got goats? You've got Chooks did I see I've been watching you know, Instagram

Elizabeth Benton  34:52

chickens. We have roosters and we have a dog.

Meaghan Smith  34:55

Oh, so the goats got out that Elizabeth posted a story recently on Instagram. This is one I've heard some funny stories about goats. Do you have any?

Elizabeth Benton  35:12

Oh, unfortunately, yes, more than I would like. So the other day I shared that I'm nine months pregnant. And we're putting in a pool a saltwater pool in our yard. So the other day, the pool guy comes to the door. And before he can even say anything, I see my goat behind him like far from his pen clearly out and I'm like, Jesus. And of course the guy says, you know, hey, your your goats out. Now, my husband is usually the one who takes care of the goats and he always says, it's no big deal. They follow you right back. They love me so much that it's no big deal. So I'm like, Okay, well, I'll walk down to the pen, and he'll follow me. Yeah, no, no, this was like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The goat was like sprinting around the yard. And my fear was that he would like run into the road and get you know, so I really wanted to get get him contained. I didn't want to pick him up because I was afraid he would kick my belly being nine months pregnant. So I'm like trying to bribe him down with with carrots and I can't quite get it he just keeps running up to the where the pool guys are. And I'm sure they're thinking this is hysterical. There's this pregnant woman you know, running around after a goat in the yard. Finally, I picked him up he was very calm. It was great. I get him back to the pen I put them in. Immediately he Sprint's over to the area where he apparently escaped from a jumped out again. After some time of me nine months pregnant chasing a goat around the yard, the pool guy took pity on me, and came and helped me and secured the area weird gotten out. But yeah, then the story you saw was all forgot out just the other day. So it's never a dull moment around here.

Meaghan Smith  36:51

goats are so smart.

Elizabeth Benton  36:53

They are Yeah. So God dogs.

Meaghan Smith  36:57

What do you what do you have the goats for? Is it for getting keeping

Elizabeth Benton  37:02

their babies right now? Um, well, they're less than a year old. But ultimately, it's milk. So milk, goat cheese, that sort of thing. But we're not there yet. So right now, they're just fun pets, that we keep outside. But someday there'll be milk producing.

Meaghan Smith  37:21

Oh, I love that. Okay, so you've mentioned this new manuscripts that you've just finished? Can we talk about that? Or is that still top secret?

Elizabeth Benton  37:30

Oh, absolutely, we definitely can. I did not plan to write a book in this last year. Like, if you had told me you know, there would be another book this, this close to done, I would have said not a chance in the world. But what happened was, about two weeks after our daughter died, I started writing myself just very, very short notes in the morning to kind of not at all to pat myself up. But to get through the day, right? It started as simple as a way of looking at things that would encourage me to take a shower, or a way of looking at things that would enable me to open the mail and pay the bills, and you know, all of that kind of stuff. And it was very basic. But after a few weeks, I was like, you know, I think other people might really benefit from these perspectives. So I started sharing them with some of some of my listeners. And then, as I got a little further out from from D's death, I decided this is this is a book because for me at that time, having lost a child and I think that that is arguably like the worst thing that a human can experience. Every single self help book that I had ever read, felt out of touch and out of reach. Like I wasn't there, it felt very inaccessible. I was like, on the primer level, and they were on the fast track. And I thought it would be very valuable to have a book in the trenches, like a tool book, a perspective book, in the trenches, not for people who have lost a child or for people who have lost a loved one. Because I believe that these tools and perspectives very much like chasing cupcakes, they can apply if you just had a crappy day at work. They can apply if you're going through a divorce or a breakup or you've lost your job or anything big or small. So it is a collection of tools and perspectives for tough times so that we don't just sit in the story and the problem and let it steamroll us. It is not it's not a Pollyanna book about you know being positive at all. It is practical tools and perspectives for that trenches from the trenches, whether that is something small, like a bad day, or something massive like death.

Meaghan Smith  40:07

Okay, that sounds amazing. So when's that going to come out? I mean, because that's like a really new thing, right?

Elizabeth Benton  40:14

Yeah. So my hope is that it will be fall of 2021, october november of 2021. That is, that is the goal we are shooting for right now. And it seems like we're on track.

Meaghan Smith  40:26

Okay, we definitely have to keep a lookout for that one. So let's switch gears a little bit, I'd love I usually ask my guests if they have some sort of tip or practice or something that they do around the area of money. And I'm so curious to find out if there's something that you do from this perspective of being such an amazing thinker, when it comes to money, is there anything that you would be willing to share with our audience, something that you do with money,

Elizabeth Benton  41:00

One thing that helps me a lot with money is every single month, at the end of the month, I have a net worth spreadsheet that I update. And I for the longest time for years and years and years, I didn't do that i i had financial goals, right, especially when I was getting out of debt, pay this off, pay that off. But then over time, I found that I wasn't being a great steward of my money in that I wasn't having it work for me to the extent that it could, largely because of fear, right, I was fearful of loss and investments or things like that. And I even in in, I have a few real estate properties. I wasn't paying attention to how those were doing. You know, like, I get money from my tenant every month. But I didn't have a sense. I went a full year and a half losing money on a property. Because I had never really done the math of like, what am I spending between the HOA and and my mortgage and insurance and all of this other stuff. And so it is so simple, it probably takes me 10 minutes, but I just update the value of any properties, less any mortgages owed the value of any retirement accounts that I have checking accounts that I have savings accounts that I have. And I look at the number. And sure I have the expectation that my net worth is going to go up every month. But realistically, it doesn't always I mean, making big changes in my business and COVID. And just things like that, that if the if the market is down, then that can influence things, but at least I know where I stand. And that helps me because I used to just think can I afford it? like can I pay cash for this? We've been renovating our home for a couple years now. And it before I started this net worth sheet, it was easy to be like, Well, yeah, I can pay cash for it. Like, don't really want to kind of get a sting a little bit. But then when I think about, alright, how can I make this neutral? From a network standpoint? Am I going to say yes to this? and have it be a loss to our net worth? Or am I going to say yes to this and figure out how I can make it a wash and not bring down our network that has really helped me take my financial thinking to the next level takes 10 minutes a month. And it just really, really makes a difference.

Meaghan Smith  43:31

That's really good. And what I like about that, and what I talked to my audience about, is it it's a relationship, it's having a relationship with your money. Yeah, like that. It's something that you actually care about, not from the standpoint that money is the all important thing that we must worship, but just that money is your friend and that you want to look after it and know it and understand it. And I liked the word that you used, like having stewardship and yeah, being a guardian and taking care of it. Yeah, I love that. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. So let's, let's wrap this up. Elizabeth, you must tell us where can we find you everybody's going to want to get this book. I mean, obviously, we can just Google it. You can get it from any good bookstore, you can get it through my website, but tell us where can people find you because people are gonna want to follow you after this and find out what you're doing.

Elizabeth Benton  44:28

Yeah, so the book is on Amazon, audible Kindle, those places, paperback, hardcover, all of that I did record the audio version. People always want to know like, is it you or somebody else? I would never have somebody else read my story. That sounds crazy to me. My podcast is called primal potential. It's been going since 2014. So we've got like 1000 episodes, and social media wise, where I sort of share my life and all of that where you can find me the most is Instagram. You can find me there at Elizabeth Benton.

Meaghan Smith  45:00

So good. All right, well, I'm gonna put all those links in the show notes so people can find you. And can I just say, thank you for writing this book? You know, I, I really feel that there is everybody has a purpose. And it's, which is just their life, right? I mean, whatever it is that you end up doing. But I think that when we follow through and just do the things that are meaningful to us, I think sometimes we can underestimate the impact. And this is I'm not just like saying this, because you're, you're here, I actually think that this is an incredible, incredible book. And in fact, my best friend in Sweden, she was the one who recommended this to me, she was like, you have to read this book this you have to have this as a book club book. Like, just get it. And yeah, it is so fantastic. I love that this is just available to anyone. I mean, books, how much does a book you know, $25, like here in Australia, that sort of like, yeah, roughly what they are. And it's just full of so much wisdom that can really help you. So thank you for putting that out there for everybody to benefit. I just think that that is such a beautiful thing to contribute to the world. And I've got so much out of it. So thank you.

Elizabeth Benton  46:26

Thank you for letting me share about it and share about my experience and, and get to know your audience. I really appreciate it.

Meaghan Smith  46:33

You're so welcome. And thanks for making the time to come on the show.

Elizabeth Benton  46:39

My pleasure. It really was my pleasure to have this conversation.

Meaghan Smith  46:43

All right. Oh my goodness, everybody. Elizabeth, what an incredible woman you have to get your hands on this book and join me for book club this month. We are meeting on Tuesday, the 25th of May all the details are on the money mindful website. We are always capable of creating the life that we want and teaching the process to do this is exactly what I do with my clients. If you would like to get help with this and find out more you can book a consult on the money mindful website, the consultations, just a fun chat where I help you identify what is getting in the way and a plan to get you the life that you want. Okay, until you hear from me again next week. Have a beautiful week. Bye Bye.

Episode references

Find out more about Elizabeth Benton on her website Primal Potential

Find out all the info for book club and get the book Chasing Cupcakes here.

 

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