Easing Our Fears Of Money
How Joanne Leffeld uses Currents as a Moolah Doula
Compiled by Jodi La Marco
Joanna Leffeld, aka the Moolah Doula, helps clients give birth to new lives of financial wellbeing. We caught up with the Current advisory board member to find out how she helps her clients and why local currency is important.
When did you launch your business and what inspired you to become the Moolah Doula?
I launched my business approximately three years ago. I wanted to be able to help people get grounded in their relationship with money, and I wanted to do it in a way where there would be no conflict of interests as far as hiring someone, paying them commissions or management fees, or feeling as though it has to cost a lot of money to get good, straightforward advice.
How do you help people?
I work with individuals and couples, and I also give workshops. It’s a therapeutic process as well as an educational process. The therapeutic process involves helping people get clear as to why they have the underlying attitudes, beliefs, and even sabotaging behaviors they do about money. First you have to get clear on why you are the way you are with money. Once you understand what you’ve been doing and how you want shift that, the next part is to figure out things like whether you should ask for a pay raise or increase your rates. The other important piece is to understand how to be a smart investor—how to save, how to budget, how to make financial decisions that are grounded.
You’re a Current advisory board member. What has driven you to work to promote the use of a local currency? How does using local currency fit in with your vision of community sustainability?
I’m working with the Current because I believe it’s really important for this area to have a local currency. I am a big proponent of keeping business local, supporting one another as small businesses, keeping the big box stores out of our lives, having control of the products and services that we utilize, and forming strong relationships with one another in the community. I think for me it really has to do with knowing the face behind the products. When you can have a relationship with the farmers or the practitioners or the people who are making the different products that you are incorporating into your life, what an improved quality of life you have.
What measures do you take to support the local economy?
I am trying to get the word out about the Current, both by going to businesses to discuss the benefits of using a local currency and by helping to organize upcoming Current events. I’ve also been volunteering at Rhinebeck High School, going in and talking to students about money and how to be more mindful with money.
How does your business fit into the larger movement to revitalize the Hudson Valley?
My business is going to help business owners get very clear and focused so that their businesses will prosper. They will have a sense of abundance and prosperity in relation to how hard they work. It’s one thing to work really hard, but if you’re not clear about how to make your money work hard for you or how to value your goods and services properly, you’re working harder than you actually have to. I believe I’m offering a qualitative service to people in the Hudson Valley. There’s so much suffering around money, so by helping people get more clear in their relationship with money, it will help people’s quality of life.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
Watching how my clients take off. People come into an initial session and I can sense their shame, their fear, their reticence, and their sense of failure. I love seeing people shift from feeling really constricted to feeling really hopeful and optimistic. I’m a big believer in homework. When I have people who are really motivated to make a shift in their life and start taking action, it’s incredible how quickly they can shift from where they have been and the unhappiness they’ve been suffering to feeling like they’re empowered to make changes in their life or career. The best part is helping people heal. To know that you have control is kind of magical. Your thoughts influence your surroundings, and when you have a feeling of constriction you’re not going to get very far. Clients tell me all the time that I’m great at giving them hope.