Latifat Akintade is a GI physician and a money coach for female physicians who want to understand their money better and build their net worth from the inside out. If you have ever struggled with money or your mindset around it, this is an episode that you can’t afford to miss!
Listen in as we discuss how Latifat helps women understand money so they can lead the type of life they want to lead and learn to understand their finances in a healthy and mindful way. We also talk about why money is so much more than just the numbers in your bank account, as well as how the stories we tell ourselves about money can give us power over it.
Katrina Ubell: You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast, with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 231.
Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians Podcast. I’m your host, master certified, life and weight loss coach, Katrina Ubell MD. This is the podcast for busy doctors like you, come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you’re looking to overcome your stress eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place. Well, hi there, my friend. Welcome back to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so happy to have you with me again today. How are you doing? I love to just think about you as I record this.
I like to just think about us getting together, maybe hanging out in my new attic office, we can hang out on the couch up here. It’s very nice and comfy now and we can just share some coffee or some tea and talk and just hear each other, sharing about what’s going on in each other lives. I feel like I’m just right on the cusp of being able to see some friends who live out of state, out of the country but we’re not quite there yet and I’m desperate for it. I’m really, really, really wanting to connect with people and then, can I be honest? There’s a little part of me, that’s also like, “Can’t I just stay in my house? Do I really have to go places and do things?” I’m guessing that you understand.
I mean, if you’re a massive extrovert, you’re going to be like, “What, are you crazy?” If you’re a massive introvert, you’re like, “Listen, I would be happy if we were in lockdown 24/7.” If you’re like me and you’re somewhere in the middle, there’s like part of you that loves that and there’s a part of you that really is a little reminiscent of what it was like to just not have anything to do or anywhere to go. It was actually a little bit nice, wasn’t it? Well, very simple at the time, in terms of that part. Obviously, it didn’t feel simple because there was a global pandemic and we were scared to death and we didn’t know what was going on. Anyway, maybe I should just stop talking about that.
The point is that the weather is so nice here in Wisconsin. I know if you live further in the south, then it’s not so much and if you live south, south, like in the Southern Hemisphere, then you’re heading into winter so I know it can be different, wherever you are in the world but it’s just finally starting to get super, super nice here and I just love that. Super digging it. I’m excited, my oldest son, my high schooler is actually finished with high school already. I’m recording this a couple of weeks before it’s going to live and my other two have a couple of weeks left but then they’ve got some fun camps scheduled and yeah, my high schooler got his first vaccine shot. So, it’s just like, we are moving forward.
This is happening people, it’s very, very exciting. Here’s the good news, we do actually have an opportunity to hang out together and it’s coming up later this month. It’s going to be on June 30th, in the evening, where we won’t be able to hang out in person, because that would be really fun, but not possible. At least not with our current state of affairs but we could hang out online together. I’m going to invite you now to come and join me at my free presentation called How To Lose Weight For The Last Time. It is something that is really imperative for you to know about. If you are trying to lose weight, literally however you want to lose it. If you want to work with me, that’s fine. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter. You still need to learn this stuff. So it’s really the missing pieces to creating permanent weight loss.
So literally no matter what your plan is, if you don’t know these things, you’re going to really struggle to lose the weight and keep it off and actually solve your weight loss problem for good. So I want to invite you to come and join me to learn that information. You can ask me questions, I love to answer questions while I’m there and we’ll just have a great old time together, so it’s on Wednesday, June 30th at 8:30 PM Eastern Time, 5:30 PM Pacific. If you’re outside of that timezone range, then there are lovely Google calculators that can help you to figure out what the timezone is at your area of the world and if you can’t make it, we will send you a replay. So you’re definitely going to want to register regardless of whether you can make it live or not, but I’m telling you coming live is definitely the way to go.
It’s just so much more fun. We get to interact. You get to ask me questions, and we just have a great time. So the way to register for that is to go to katrinaubellmed.com/loseweight, L-O-S-E W-E-I-G-H-T. Again, katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight and you’ll be all set and we’ll do it. So it’s in a couple of weeks, and we’ll have a great time. It’s going to be so fun, and actually I have some really awesome great news. I’m just remembering you don’t know this yet. I will be telling everyone who comes to that for presentation, all about the new Weight Loss For Doctors Only Program, all the details, I have some really awesome cool stuff going on with that and a cool new bonus that we’ve never been able to offer before, but I’m super, super excited to bring it to everybody who signs up and it’s just going to be really awesome.
You’re going to want to make sure that you take part. So again to register go to katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight. Okay, so on to our episode today. Today I have a really fun and interesting podcast guest. Her name is Latifat Akintade. She is a GI physician and she also is a coach for women physicians, and really just women who want to understand their money better. Now, you may be wondering, why is someone talking about money on a weight loss podcast? I will tell you that we discussed that in our conversation. In fact, Latifat, she reached out to me and asked me if she could come on and I don’t just take people lightly. I’m kind of like, “Yeah, okay, what do you want to talk about? Why would my listener be interested?”
She actually just had such great things to say. I was like, “Absolutely, you should come on, because we all need to hear this.” So, if you have ever struggled with money or even just your mindset around it, meaning feeling like it’s complicated, feeling like, “You know what, you don’t need to worry about it, because your partner has that all handled and he or she seems to do a really good job, so you don’t need to worry about it,” just anything around money, which pretty much you probably do. We’re being honest, you probably do, then you’re going to want to listen to this one. She is just a really interesting person who like so many of us coaches, had a problem herself and then found the solution and now helps others to create that same solution. So she is just a delight.
She’s just a really fun person. I had a really great time talking with her. Thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for you to listen in as well. So please enjoy Latifat Akintade and I will talk to you next week. Latifat, I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for joining me today.
Latifat Akintade: Thank you so much, Katrina, for having me be here with you.
Katrina Ubell: So what I would love for you to do is to just start off by introducing everyone listening to you and kind of your journey, your backstory and how you came to be doing what you do today.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely. Hello, everybody. I’m with Latifat. I’m a GI doc. I’m also a mama of three little ladies, ages three to eight. I live in California. I am a money coach and what that means is that I help women learn to have money and just leave the kind of life that they want to leave, and it’s interesting, they asked me to share how I came to this point. People are like, “Oh, well, you have this money stuff figured out?” I’m like, “No.”
Katrina Ubell: Well, usually we become the person that we needed. I sure does.
Latifat Akintade: Exactly. I am now the person I wish I had when I was done in residency because this journey didn’t start out fancy or pretty. It started out with me being broke, not knowing anything at all about money, living paycheck to paycheck and I mean, I went to residents in New York, I came to California for fellowship and at that point, we had one kid. I mean, all I wanted to do was be a great GI doc, none of this like money stuff, none of this business stuff. I just wanted to be a fantastic doc and I remember one day sitting down looking around me and realizing how much burnout there was in medicine, and how my attendants who absolutely loved so much were kind of going through the emotions, and I drift in one step at a time and I was like, listen, I have a daughter then, I have three now. I know that I want to do GI for a very, very long time.
I know that I want to do IBD, Crohn’s and colitis type stuff and the best settings to do that is either in an academic setting or in a large hospital system like Kaiser. So I knew that I was going to be quote, unquote, stuck with someone by choice and if I didn’t get my money right, I was going to be a slave to someone’s decisions and I was never going to have a power of choice, and I was never going to be the kind of parent that I wanted to be. That was-
Katrina Ubell: Let me interrupt, sorry, just for one second. The reason you’re saying that, let me just make sure I’m understanding this correctly, is because you realize you weren’t going to be like hanging out your own shingle, starting your own practice, doing your own thing. You’re like, “I’m going to be part of some larger institution if I want them do what I think I want to do.” So you’re realizing kind of how you were stuck there.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely. I was realizing exactly how I’m stuck and realizing that if I did what a lot of my attendants were doing in their life 360, which was not really paying attention to their finances, trust in someone else only to take care of their finances, not being financially independent, living paycheck to paycheck, I was not going to be able to be my own free minded self in medicine which is not what I wanted.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah, yeah. So okay, you have this rock bottom moment, if that was your rock bottom moment. So, what did you do?
Latifat Akintade: So I started looking at my finances. I mean, number one, by that time-
Katrina Ubell: Which is huge. Okay, that’s huge, though, because usually we’re scared to death. We don’t want to know what the numbers are. Yeah.
Latifat Akintade: Yes, I was scared to death until that moment. I mean, literally, I had student debt. I didn’t know how much I owed because the only thing I had done up to that point was defer, forbear, whatever the heck I could do to like not see it, right? We were living paycheck to paycheck. My husband had a decent job but still, we didn’t know how much we were making. We didn’t know how much we’re spending. We were surviving on Starbucks because we’re like, “We just got to survive,” right? That’s what we were doing. So for us, the first step was just sitting down and going, “Okay, let’s even get a sense of how bad this is,” right? It’s like, how much do I owe and bringing out that statement, looking at it and realizing that I wasn’t going to die, if I knew the number, six figures I owed.
That was like, the first step for us was, how much do we even owe? What is even the interest rate? I mean, we’re paying like six to 8% by that time, and we’ve been doing that for like years for six years or so. I mean, my student loan looked different than what it was when I graduated and that’s very common with a lot of physicians where no one has taught us about money. We’ve been told not to worry about it, you’ll be okay. You’re a doctor, right? What we found is that our six figures plus income doesn’t necessarily automatically translate into being wealthy or rich, or even have money at all, right? So the first step is just really getting a sense of where the heck are we? Where are we even starting from? Then now, let’s build from there.
Katrina Ubell: Now, let me ask you this, once you knew what the number was, did you … even though it was arguably a large number, did you feel some relief in actually understanding what the facts were or did you feel worse because I could see it going either way, where like … because if you’re in denial, it feels better to just not know but some people I think, are so afraid to look that the story they tell themselves is so awful, that they’re so scared that actually knowing the facts is useful.
Latifat Akintade: I mean, now as a coach, I wish I could say I looked at it and I thought, “Well, awareness is awesome.” No, that was not what I thought. I’m a GI doc, I’m allowed to say shit a little bit. So I looked at it, I’m like, “Oh, shit. What the heck am I supposed to do now?” It wasn’t that relief at all. It was, how did we get here? How are we going to get out of here. At the back of my mind, I already had told myself that the worst thing was already the status quo, right? So after that initial-
Katrina Ubell: So, you can only get better from here.
Latifat Akintade: You could only get better but I did freak out at first and then I was like, “All right, Latifat, it can only get better, I think.” That’s how that journey started.
Katrina Ubell: Okay, okay. So that was the first thing. Finding out what was going on, having awareness and then, where did you even know where to start?
Latifat Akintade: So once I figured out how much I owed, we started out in just deciding what do we even want, right? Because a lot of times, it’s not unusual to see doctors in their 60s still paying off their student debt, which is … if that’s what you want to do-
Katrina Ubell: Nobody tells you. I just want to point out. Nobody talks about that.
Latifat Akintade: Nobody talks about that. You see physicians in the hospital working like they should be retired, right? No one talks about that and there’s nothing wrong in practicing medicine until you’re 100 years old, if that’s what you want to do, but the key is having that power of choice and that’s what I realized that I had to take the power back from this unintentional, just letting life happen to me through my money to being empowered and figuring out what exactly do I want. So at that point, we said, when do we want this debt gone? That was our first question. We didn’t know how we were going to do it but we just said, “Let’s at least have goals,” and that’s what I always thought, we just got a sense, like what would I want?
Do I want this done in 10 years? Do I want it done in five years? What would life look like when I’m done and just dream a little bit, like have fun with it? Because honestly, what I found is we take money so seriously, we don’t like it’s … right?
Katrina Ubell: It’s very scary for a lot of people.
Latifat Akintade: Exactly, but what I found is when we can have … make it a little less scary and maybe a little fun, we actually find that it’s not as intimidating as we think it is, right? That’s part of … where the dreaming did help us was what would that mean? If we’re done with paying student debt in five years, like, “Okay well, I will have this amount of money left every month, what would we do with it? Oh, well, I don’t care what we do with it. Maybe we could vacation, we could do this. Just dream, just have fun.” It doesn’t have to be so serious.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah, yeah. I think that that is good in terms of creating a future focus. We don’t want to get into that place where … and I actually hear about this a lot, especially with the people who were … I think it’s called fire. It’s like the abbreviation where it’s like, all about being financially independent, retiring early, all this stuff. So people are living this extremely austere lifestyle. They aren’t allowing themselves to spend money on anything extra, so that they can achieve, fire or whatever, like get to that place. Obviously, you can do whatever you want. Everybody has their own ability to do … make whatever choices they want. I think that there are a lot of people who decided to do that, because they think they’re going to feel so much better when they have whatever number they think that is, right?
It’s not so much I think the money that they want. I think it’s the feeling that they want and when we’re living for the feeling we’re going to have in the future, I find that almost always, that feeling is never as good as you think it’s going to be. It’s usually a disappointment in some way, shape or form. So what we have to do is go … that’s going to be awesome to have all that extra money leftover in five years or 10 years, or however long but today, we also can love our life. We don’t have to hate ourselves, because we have all this debt.
Latifat Akintade: It’s funny that you bring that up. I did a post, I think a few days ago on my social media platform, where I put a picture of my husband and I. We’re I’m married and it was a picture from six years ago and one from I don’t know, two months ago and our net worth, completely different. I think what a lot of people … that I was going to write was I’m happier now. No. No. No. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. You get to bring that light in right now. I’m not happier now than I was then. In fact, what I find is one of the reasons why we spend, overspend or underspend is related to how we feel, right? What I find is when we can build ourselves up from the inside out, we actually spend less, we enjoy our money more, we invest better because we’re not like, I’m going to hate myself, if I lose money, like I’m not going to hate myself, I’ll be okay, right?
What happens is our net worth grows. So the sooner you can start to love yourself, the sooner your net worth is going to grow.
Katrina Ubell: Totally. This is something that I think so many people find is like, the more money they make, just the more they spend, so they’re like, “But I make so much money, why do I not have more in savings.” This is, I’m sure exactly what you help people with, but there’s a lot of money mindset and thoughts, and all kinds of beliefs that we have that are based in scarcity around moneys that so many people have. So, just recognizing that … even the people, I feel like the people who are like, all of a sudden, they have like, all these financial … these big financial things, like things break in their car or their house and they just can’t keep money. It’s like, there’s something going on deeper, that creates that environment for you, right?
Not to blame you but just like it’s really interesting, why do some people seem like they always keep having problems and problems and problems and others don’t? It’s like, there’s some difference there and I think it’s worth finding out what that is.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely, 100% and for those that are listening on the podcast, I’m like nodding my head like vigorously and probably going to get arthritis in my neck. It’s so true and I mean, kind of going back to the journey, and I know we sort of like left the journey, a week or a year ago or whatever.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah, come back. Let’s go back to the journey. Tell me.
Latifat Akintade: Because the thing is, so I started … we started digging ourselves out of debt, like the credit card debt we had, and all that stuff and I started learning about money a little bit because I didn’t know what anything was. I didn’t know what a 401k was. I learned about budgeting, but I hated the budget. I’m like, this is not me like the tradition … Yes. Yes. listen, if you’re listening, if you hate budgeting, you’re my people because the bottom line is … and that’s a joke in some way, because even the whole idea of budgeting, it’s assuming there’s only one way to do it. There are different ways of doing it and the goal is I’ve had clients, I love their spreadsheets and I’m like, your spreadsheet gives me Tachycardia but I’ll help you through it, right?
Ultimately, there’s something for everybody. So I had to figure out what that thing was for me and it wasn’t like picking pennies. It wasn’t about having the perfect spreadsheet. It was about figuring out money the way that’s imperfect, which is exactly what I am. I’m like very, very imperfect, which is perfect for me but that’s how it started. So just little bit of information. One at a time letting myself have the permission to really learn. Even if I forget, I’m like, “Okay, I learned about a freaking 401k like 50 times already and I still don’t remember it. All right, it’s okay, Latifat. It’s just like every cycle, like the mechanisms you learn in biochem, you’ll get it at some point,” and I did get it eventually, right?
So at some point, I was good with the number stuff, but then it still didn’t make sense to me that we are physicians. We are incredibly smart and a lot of us struggle with money. That’s how the psychology, the mindset, the emotional part of money started to come into the picture for me, and I’m like, “Okay, this makes a lot of sense now that it’s not just about the numbers. It’s about this deeper stuff, this unconscious stuff,” right? The stories, we’re telling ourselves about money, like “I’m bad with money, I’m guilty about having money, I shouldn’t have money.”
Katrina Ubell: The more I have that means I’m taking away from others, like a whole zero sum. The bigger piece of pie I get, the less someone else gets.
Latifat Akintade: Exactly and that’s the thing. A lot of times whatever you believe you can find proof of it, right? It’s like rich people are greedy. Of course, if I think rich people are greedy, I don’t want to be greedy. I don’t want to be rich. So subconsciously, I’m going to be doing everything I can to avoid being rich, even though that’s not my intent on a conscious level.
Katrina Ubell: I think that’s really important, right? It’s not like you’re on purpose doing this. I think some people can turn this into like, “Oh, so it’s my fault now, like I have to blame myself,” and that’s not what it is. It’s just there’s like … I think of it as like, when you go to the ocean, there could be like an undertow, like an undercurrent. You know what I mean? You can’t see that from the top. When you’re just thinking about what you’re thinking, you’re just seeing what’s at the top, you got to dig deeper to find out what’s going on down below.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely. Yes, people can say … it sounds like it’s my fault. Sounds like you’re blaming me, but I’m going to flip that switch. What it means to me is you actually have power to change it now. We don’t have to wait for anybody else to fix this. The thing is, it’s not your fault. It’s more of what we don’t know, right? Now as we learn, we can do differently, we can do better. So there’s stuff happening on the subconscious level, not just to you, but all of us, including myself and I continue to discover those and that’s really where the growth comes. We can all grow regardless of what your net worth is. It may be negative 500,000. It may be positive 500,000. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter, we all have work to do.
Katrina Ubell: So my question for you, this is … I’ll kind of tell you my personal experience, slash ask you what you think about this. So my experience with the financial industry, let’s just especially like with investing and insurance and all of those things you’re supposed to have, that was always extremely male dominated … meaning I wasn’t exposed to women. I’m not saying there aren’t women doing that. I think they’re in the minority, like there’s small percentage of women who are doing that. So, it was a whole bunch of men and I felt like, well, this is just what you have to do. I don’t even know that I really questioned it. I think I just sort of accepted like, this is how it is and then we had a relationship with a financial advisor for … I mean, literally, we were interns and then we fired him just a couple years ago.
So it was a long time, like over 10 years, I think, and nice guy but literally, I could not understand the words coming out of his mouth. Every time I would go. Well, first of all, I would avoid the meetings like the plague and then he’d be like, we need to have you guys come in, you have to come in. We have to meet, of course because then it was like in person. Today, I’d be like … finally, I’ll get on the Zoom call but I just didn’t want to think about it. Then we’d finally get dragged in there. We’d go in there, he would explain a whole bunch of stuff, show me a bunch of charts, use a bunch of colored pens to show me a whole bunch of different things. I would even go in going like, “Okay, I’m going to ask anything I don’t understand, I’m going to ask a question.”
So I would ask questions, and then the answer still didn’t make sense to me, and then my husband kind of seemed like he knew what was going on, so then I just started being like, “Well, at least one of us understand, so I’m just going to let him understand.” Then we would find that like a day or two later, even he couldn’t explain, like I couldn’t … even if it seemed like it made sense when I left, I couldn’t repeat it. I couldn’t explain it to anybody else. So those experiences made me believe that this was all very, very complicated. What I now say to anybody I work with is like, “Listen, I need like kindergarten level. I’m not joking, okay?” Because I would go in there going like, “I am a smart person.”
“Why can I not understand this?” Thinking that it was my fault and instead I just needed to find someone who didn’t need to use a bunch of fancy words and language to kind of maybe … I think he did that sort of to justify why he was an expert and maybe like why he was so good at this.” Because I think he was good at it. Almost, he wasn’t getting his returns, then maybe I’d be like, “Well hold on a second,” things always look good. So I was like, okay, so it wasn’t actually until I owned this business, where I started going, “You know what, I think I might actually have to start figuring out some more of this stuff and really understanding it, especially when it came to like accounting and taxes, which is like so not fun to think about or talk about,” but I finally realized like ultimately, this is on me, like these people work for me and it’s my job to manage them.
If I can’t understand what they’re saying, then I have to tell them and if they are not able to explain it to me in a way that I understand, then it’s not a good fit and I need to go find somebody else who can help me. So anyway, I think probably a lot of people have a similar experience and I would just love to know, what your experience was, if you worked with someone, if you didn’t, if you did it on your own and what to do in that scenario.
Latifat Akintade: Great, great, great point. So I actually … the first step, well, apart from looking at our debt, that I thought I was going to take as a financially matured or maturing human being was hire the financial advisor that my program director that had give us a talk because he’s my program director’s financial advisor. My program director was coming from a great place. He wanted to help and the only way he knew to help was give the only resource that he was using, that was a bad idea because we did end up signing with that person and he sounds like the exact story you just shared right now, which is a very, very common story. Okay? I’m not against financial advisors. In fact, there are financial advisors that are amazing and my hope going forward is to be able to create a list of financial advisors that people can sort of like vet themselves.
However, if you think about the fact that it works for them, for you to not feel confident, in some ways. Some financial advisors, the good ones want you to be empowered about your money and they will explain it to you and they would not just talk at you but will coach you as they talk to you because they want you to be empowered. However, some of them really just want you to think it’s too hard, too complicated but you’re a physician and just FYI, we have a reputation as docs, in the world that we’re bad with money, right? In fact, I had a client who was, after we work together decided that she wanted to get a financial advisor, which is completely fine. It can work together with your knowledge, right? It’s a complimentary and the first financial advisor she spoke with said, “Your physician, yeah, you guys don’t have time and yeah, physicians are not good with money.”
Needless to say, she didn’t hire that person. I mean, she told me that if she … we hadn’t worked together, she probably would have because that was the truth that she felt back then but now that she knows, the more she felt empowered and could actually make a more informed decision. So for me, I was like her a couple months ago, where I got the financial advisor and he would throw the numbers at me, throw the chat at me and I didn’t know how I was paying him, there was no transparency of how I was getting paid. I was just happy I wasn’t writing him a check, even though he was actually making money from my stuff, right? What you don’t know could be hurting you pretty much, right? So when I started getting this information, when I started learning, I realized that it was not making the best decision for us, right?
Part of that is the things he was investing in, we’re very complicated. The more complicated it looks, the less trust worthy it is, in my opinion, right? It should be simple and we know based on data, that simple does not mean not successful. Your investments can be … your entire investment, I don’t care how much your net worth is, can be written down on a piece of paper, and it would be fantastically fine, and you would actually do better than someone that’s like changing things every single day, right? So once we started to learn, we realized it was not the right fit for us, so we actually fired him. Okay. The other thing too, was coincidentally, we had money with him that he was managing and we had money that we were managing and managing ourselves is sort of like making it sound fancy. We weren’t really managing it. We just put it there in something that was auto doing whatever it wanted.
After a year together, the stuff we had was doing better than the stuff that we had with him. So we’re like, why are we paying this guy that doesn’t agree with our principles and how we want to invest our money, so we let him go. So we’ve been managing our finances ourselves since then, and guys, listen, listen, this stuff is not hard. I promise you. I promise you. It’s not hard. The reason why it’s hard is because you think it is but once we help you manage your mind and really help you learn the ABCs, you can do this stuff and you can make it simple and successful and if you decide you want to get a financial advisor, it would not be from a place of having no choice or needing one-
Katrina Ubell: Or fear that you’re screwing everything up. Yeah.
Latifat Akintade: Exactly. It would be because-
Katrina Ubell: You’re going to be like destitute at 85, with no other … living on Social Security or whatever-
Latifat Akintade: In a homeless shelter.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah. Yeah.
Latifat Akintade: Yes, but that’s a very common experience for a lot of people and I’m going to reiterate this, because I think a lot of … there’s a lot of people in the physician community that are anti-financial advisors. I’m not, I am just anti thinking that a financial advisor is a substitute to your own financial empowerment.
Katrina Ubell: Yes. Yeah, it’s like both have their own place and you don’t necessarily need the advisor, but you need the Financial Empowerment. That you need to … You need to know what’s going on with your money. Yeah, for sure. When we think about it, there’s like a ton of guilt and shame and embarrassment and all this stuff around it, of course, we’re going to want to avoid it, right? So here’s another thing we were going to talk about is like how money and weight, overweight, and overeating issues kind of go, play hand in hand, right? A lot of it … it can be really similar in a lot of ways, right? We are scared of what’s going on with our money, so you know what’s a nice distraction is a glass of wine or a snack, right? At the same time, I was telling you before we started recording that I have had many clients who totally handle like … they’re like, I’m not reading anymore.
I’m drinking just you know, as much as I want to. I’m not overdrinking anymore. Now, they’re totally overspending. So they’re like … we’re so creative, our brains, right? I’m like, “You know what brain, you’re crafty. I’ll hand it to you.” I was talking about one client who was like, but it’s thrifting, so everything is so inexpensive, but I can’t get off of this, I have to keep looking at it. So, it really can tie together in that overspending, avoiding money, all of that. It’s like the same thing, just a different flavor, basically.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely, 100%, the same thing, different flavor. What I tell people is, everything seems hard until you learn it and then, you’re like, “Oh, my goodness, how come I thought this was hard,” right?
Katrina Ubell: Well, it’s like being a GI doctor, right? When you were a med student, you’re like, “Oh, my gosh.” Now you’re like, “Yeah, I learned it and now I can do it.” Yeah.
Latifat Akintade: I won’t tell you about how many times I got stuck in the sigmoid, even as a fellow. Right, and now I can scope in my sleep, right? So what we’re saying is that these things are the same … They’re symptoms of similar stuff. It’s not like you’re a horrible person. I am, I’m going to speak for myself. These are things that I’ve experienced completely and I find myself drifting back to the places of like overeating, as well, when I have stress in my life, right? Because what happens during stress? What happens at midnight? You eat and you shop, right?
Katrina Ubell: It’s easier than ever. That’s the problem, right, with Amazon, buy it now. It’s like … done.
Latifat Akintade: I mean, it’s like during COVID, I … we talk about the COVID-19, the 19 pounds, that people gain but the other thing that a lot of people did is spend online because we’re … it’s just, when we feel those things in our body, we want that feelings to go away. We don’t want to feel those emotions. We don’t want to feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to feel sad, we don’t want to feel disempowered and part of lashing out is like we’re just grab into things that’s going to make us feel heavier and that’s also going to make us feel better, like going on a shopping spree and I’m not against shopping spree just the same way, Katrina is not against eating.
Katrina Ubell: Right. Right.
Latifat Akintade: Right? In fact, I’ll share a funny story with you, I was coaching in a group recently, and one of the ladies said, “Oh, my goodness, I did something horrible. I made the worst financial decision ever. I bought a truck and I shouldn’t have done it. I shouldn’t, but it was just a nice truck.” I said, “I want to hear about your truck. Tell me about it,” and she went on for two minutes about why she bought this truck and how it makes her feel bad. So I’m like, “I want you to feel that every single day,” with or without a truck, right? That’s the thing, we want you to feel great without needing to feel like you have to overspend or underspend because there are people that actually hoard money as well, which is by itself another pathology, but we want you to live well.
We want you to love yourself. We want you to breathe well, so that money and food can do what they were designed to do, which is be an accessory and just to be enjoyed-
Katrina Ubell: Help to facilitate the life that we want to live, not be what we’re constantly focusing on and obsessed with. My gosh, I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. Okay, so you have four steps to changing your money mindset and I would love it, if you could just touch on those.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely. So when it comes to money, there is … your audience are going to know about mindset, but a lot of times people are like, I don’t know what you mean by money mindset. I just want-
Katrina Ubell: No, in case people don’t. We love to know.
Latifat Akintade: Yeah and it’s just the way we think about our money, the way we think about how we spend, the way we think about debt, because I just told you about debt but debt is actually not necessarily something evil or made by the devil. It’s something that we can actually use as a tool, in a way that’s breathable, not in a way that’s like fasting or famine, right? So when I talk to people about the four steps, I always talk about how to rethink things you’re spending, how to rethink, how you think about debt, how to rethink how you earn money because you’re a pediatrician. We all know that pediatricians need to get paid more, right? What people make that name is that I cannot earn more money, but the thing is-
Katrina Ubell: They 100% believe that. I was like, the only way I could make more money is to like see more patients or work more hours, be away from my family, it was a terrible mindset, I thought it was fact.
Latifat Akintade: Yes, it feels like the fact so there’s evidence and yes, you should get paid more. However, that is one fraction of your source of income and should not be a reflection of your value as a person or what your worth in terms of numbers, right? It just means that’s what this-
Katrina Ubell: They’re going to love this, because I just recorded an episode about value that hasn’t even aired yet and that’s exactly what-
Latifat Akintade: Really. Okay. Well, hey, we either both run or we both ride, right? That’s the point but I want people to think about our income in a way that’s different, where if this is a fraction of your income, what do you want the rest to look like, where do you want it to come like, right? Again, we talk about rethinking how we relate to our spending. We’re thinking how we relate to debt. We’re thinking how we relate to our income and sources of income. Then, the last, which is my favorite is rethinking your relationship with yourself, right? Because without a strong, deep, mindblowingly neutral or fabulous relationship with yourself, you’re never going to create the kind of wealth that you want to create.
Wealth that grows. Wealth, that’s breathable. Wealth, that’s healthy. Wealth, that’s not suffocating. Wealth that gives because literally money is like, stuff that flows through us, right? Let it in and we let it out. We take some of it to build our future, to be the change we want to see in the world, to have a cushion but there has to be an outlet, because otherwise, then it’s not … It’s like bin full of crap. You’re constipated.
Katrina Ubell: Yes, right. Yeah, and what I say in that … and I’ll just reiterate it here, for anyone who hasn’t heard that one, is that we need to have money in the hands of the good guys, the good people, the good ladies, right? So when we think that, it’s bad for us to have money or we shouldn’t have money, or it’ll mean something negative about us, if we have money, we’re totally confused and it doesn’t mean like, “Oh, you can get a bunch of money, but then you need to donate it.” What you can do, and it’s amazing and so many women do give money to very admirable, different organizations, which is great. There’s so many other things that you could do with that money, like creating experiences for you and the people that you love, opportunities for people that you love.
I mean, so many women are the ones who are using the money they have to put other family members through school, support people in other ways, support elderly, relatives, parents, things like that. You having more money is not a bad thing and I will go to my grave arguing that. More money is better not because you’re like a better person, or you’re more important than someone else but because of … it’s a tool that you can then use to influence the world in the ways that you want to.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely, social change is incredibly important to me and last year, in the middle of COVID, there was a lot of things going on with Black Lives Matter, and I partnered with some other colleagues, physicians, colleagues of mine that are fantastic and we organized like a Black Lives Matter for white coat here locally in Sacramento and I will tell you that when I wanted to do that, when I chose to do that, I didn’t ask my hospital system, if it was okay for them, if I did that. However, there was a moment where I asked myself, if … how are they going to react if they see me in a white coat on TV doing this, leading this, co-leading this and I felt like, okay, they may not be happy about it and I may lose my job, and I was completely fine with that.
Completely fine with that and I could use my voice, the way I feel like is ethical in ways that are valuable to me and I would do that too, I take my last breath and if money is evil, then that’s the kind of evil that I want because that’s the evil that changes the world because money really isn’t evil. So I mean physicians … If you want to be inspired, go read personal statements that we wrote. I mean, like we are world changers and that world starts from our homes, starts from our living room right, and goes beyond our communities. Then, we go through medicine and there’s this, almost like this deconditioning, the stripping of who we truly are and what I found is when we actually do this work and we help people remember that actually money is a tool for you to go back.
Borrow lessons from that version of you that wrote that personal statement so you can change the world, I will argue … and I don’t need to argue until my last breath because I have no plans on taking that, right? I will argue with you that it’s a little unethical for you to have the capacity to earn more and not do that.
Katrina Ubell: And not do it. Yes and I just want to point out that when you were organizing the Black Lives Matter event and you had that thought crossed your mind about your job and maybe they would fire you, it’s possible. It could happen. Someone who doesn’t understand the … well, first of all, that your value as a human is fixed and abundant and could never be any greater or less than no matter what you do or what job you have, but then also understanding your value as a physician and knowing that if they don’t see that for whatever reason, great, you’ll go find someone who does. That’s that level of relationship with yourself and confidence in yourself that allows you then to live your life in the way that you really want to, that allows you to be able to do something like that and go out there and take that risk.
When you’re living that small, small life, like what is everybody going to think and if I lose my job, then I’ll lose everything and then I won’t have any money and then, I’ll be living in a homeless shelter. Even when we can logically understand, that’s not true when your mindset is in that place, you won’t go and make the changes that you want to make in the world, whether it’s social justice or so often we hear physicians talking about how the whole culture of medicine or the administration, or these big systemic forms of oppression within medicine, but then they’re not doing anything about it, which is fine, but it’s way more empowering to go, “You know what? I’m going to go and put my hat in the ring and I’m going to try to make some changes.”
I’m going to do what I can, little old me, in my little corner of the world. I’m going to do what I can do instead of just playing small, because someone might get mad and then, what will I do?
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely and what I tell people is when women have money, women physicians have money, we make decisions that are different. Decisions that are better decisions that are healthier. Sorry, maybe my voice is going down. It’s because I’m really like, this is so-
Katrina Ubell: You’re into it.
Latifat Akintade: There’s a lot that’s going on in medicine that may feel like it’s outside of our control and there’s a lot in medicine that is within our control. If we start to see our power and we put ourselves and position ourselves in a place that’s empowered where we’re okay, walk in.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah. Right. Exactly. My gosh. It’s so good, or just like, a moment of silence for that. It’s so good.
Latifat Akintade: We can change medicine, guys. We can change medicine and I don’t care if you want to practice medicine or not. There’s no one size fits all. For some people, not seeing patients in clinic is the best gift you can give your patients. For example, I see my patients, I’m going to practice medicine for a very long time. However, I also have this backdoor way where I help physicians by helping with their money so they can be better physicians as well. So whatever your path is to helping physicians or helping your family, the bottom line is what you’re doing is a small piece of the puzzle for how we can rebuild medicine, not just for ourselves but for that pre-med student, that’s like, “I think I want to be a doctor.”
We have the responsibility, not in a bad, crazy, negative way but in an empowered way to make medicine better for those people, which makes it better for us and it really starts with just owning the power that we have in ourselves, the power that we have in our voice that may be covered under a cloud of like dust, because no one has helped us blow the dust away, but it’s totally available for you. I don’t care what part of the world you … and this applies to you as well?
Katrina Ubell: Yeah. Yes. I’m glad you mentioned that. One other thing, last thing I want to ask you is I think there are a lot of people who say, “Well, my partner handles all of that. He or she is the money person. He or she is the one who knows all about it. So I don’t need to even worry about it or think about it because they’ve got it covered,” and there’s thoughts about that, so I’d love to know what you think.
Latifat Akintade: I will tell you that a lot of people that I’ve worked with, that thought that, once they started learning about finances, they realized that their partner didn’t got it as much as they thought they got it, right? Number one, that may be a story you’re telling yourself and maybe you’re not great with money yet and your partner is better but maybe you’re … this is not like judgment but maybe you were like D and your partner is like C minus, minus and you’re like, “Oh my God, they’re so much better.” So now what I want you to do is, regardless of how great you are, they are. Imagine what happens when you add your brain and your fabulousness to the wealth of your family. It just helps a lot of things when it comes to numbers.
The other thing as well is I love teaching women about money because it’s never just about money. It’s also about their relationship. So what I find is when women are able to learn or the other partner that thinks they’re not as good with money, starts to get more comfortable with money, it brings the communication level to a better point where it actually deepens their relationship, and honestly, there’s a reason why money is one of the top causes of divorce. So by being able to communicate about money, not just the numbers but also a lot of the psychology behind it, it also helps, I think it decreases the chances of divorce, but even if you do get divorced or separated, you both end up better, which I hope is what you want one for each other.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah and you never want to stay in a relationship, because you’re afraid, then you’ll have to handle the money or like you won’t know what to do, and it’s just better to stay where the other person is handling it. Yeah. I love that.
Latifat Akintade: One more thing to add to that is actually, I had a guest on my vlog, which is going to be a podcast starting in June. By the way, I had someone coming, who is a fantastic lady that chose to come and share about her physician husband, who unfortunately passed away. He was the financial one that was doing everything. She didn’t know anything about the money. She’d deferred everything to him and he unfortunately died suddenly of a surprising … died while hiking the mountains. Now, she’s left … she’s a stay-at-home mom, taking care of the kids, not knowing anything about money, not knowing anything about where the money is at, and sort of like the challenge is associated with that and how she had to learn.
So she did figure it out because I truly believe that women are … we have the capacity to do crazy things. However, we don’t have to wait to that point to at least be knowledgeable or empowered about our finances.
Katrina Ubell: God forbid something like that happens like on top of your grief, now, you’ve got to sort that out too. It’s just like really … it takes an awful experience that makes it unnecessarily worse. Really. Yeah. I love that. That’s so good. So you actually have a free mini course to help women with money. So, I’d love it if you’d tell us about it and how we can get it.
Latifat Akintade: Absolutely go get it. It is on my website. So, this is a course that I … it’s a mini course that I was considering selling to be honest with you, but it was really good and I know that not everybody is ready to invest in coaching yet and I’m like, “Okay, listen, I don’t care where you are. I just want you to be better.” So, and I’ve had people reach out to me and tell me that that mini course was exactly what they needed to at least get started. So what I go through in that mini course are those four things that I talked about in terms of how to build that financial freedom and how to fix that relationship with money. I really get to help you learn how to think differently in a way that helps you grow.
It’s not about making you someone else. It’s about helping you unlearn some of the things you’ve learned before and now truly start to get what you need to get, to learn how to create your own finances and build your own net worth, because that’s what that’s about. I’ll help you do it through that mini course in a way that’s healthy, in a way that’s not fire, crazy, fasting, NG tube so you can lose weight with … no, none of that nonsense. We want you to enjoy it, breathe into it and live well. It’s not better there nor here and you can start to have a better financial life now.
Katrina Ubell: Awesome. So, they can just go to moneyfitmd.com/freedom. So M-O-N-E-Y-F-I-T-M-D dot com forward slash freedom. Love it.
Latifat Akintade: Thanks for spelling that out.
Katrina Ubell: Yes, I’m so used to it, I’m like, oh my gosh. Sometimes I’m embarrassing myself. Have you ever done that? I used to do that where I’d be like signing my name on the credit card thing and I put MD at the end. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t mean to,” sorry.
Latifat Akintade: Sorry, Katrina, I never do that. You’re all alone.
Katrina Ubell: I’m the only one who does that. I’d be like-
Latifat Akintade: You’re the only one.
Katrina Ubell: Sorry, just writing in my name all day long.
Latifat Akintade: Yes, no, I do that. I sign on my kids’ school stuff. I’m like, doctor I’m like … actually, nevermind. No, it’s just, “Mama here.” Just mama. Mama.
Katrina Ubell: Exactly. Latifat, thank you so much for coming on. It was so, so fun and I’m sure you’re going to help so many people with what you’re doing.
Latifat Akintade: Thank you for having me here. Thanks for doing what you’re doing. Health is important and I’m just so grateful that there are communities of women physicians that are empowering each other and just helping us all create a better life, because that’s what this is about, so thank you.
Katrina Ubell: Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals? For lots of free health, go to katrinaubellmd.com and click on free resources.