Meet Meghann Birks – coach, creative, mama & Verve member
I wear a lot of hats and I love them all! I am a coach, a creative, a mama, partner, dancer, (very fresh) stand-up comedian, and all round life adventurer. I am originally from Canada, and I grew up in a household where my Dad was super tight with money and paid cash for everything, and my Mum was much more interested in pursuing new opportunities and experiences without a lot of thought for the long-term financial consequences. Needless to say, this mismatch in approaches created a lot of tension.
Money wasn’t something that was ever discussed openly when I was growing up. And, until recently, I had a really messy relationship with money, taking a ‘bury my head in the sand’ approach, which obviously isn’t great! It wasn’t until a health scare in my 40s that I finally decided to back myself and show up fully as who I am, totally vulnerable and scared, but devoted to standing strong and believing in myself.
It’s been hugely confronting for me to educate myself about financial matters and realise that I’m actually quite good with money. Unpacking self-limiting beliefs is hard, but this is where I have to walk the walk and do the work I ask my clients to do.
Right now I’m working hard to continue growing my business, Meghann Birks Coaching, while maintaining flexibility in my life, self-publishing my collection of essays and poems, launching my online courses, and staying present with my sons. I want to keep showing up in all my perfect imperfection, and inspiring other women to do the same.
How I define a wealthy life:
Wealth to me means being able to say “Yes!” to opportunities that arise without worrying about how it will affect us financially if they’re an epic fail. Wealth means being able to spend more time with my kids and have flexibility in my work life (which has obviously been super important this year!). Wealth means being able to travel home to Canada and see my family as much as I’d like to.
Wealth also means knowing that the work I do matters and allowing myself to enjoy both the emotional and financial benefits of my work without constantly feeling guilty, ashamed or like an imposter.
Why I joined Verve:
I joined Verve because it became apparent to me that I could no longer keep contributing to the systems that actively keep women uneducated, uninspired and unseen, as so many traditional financial institutions do. The older I get, and the more I trust myself and my intuition, the clearer it is when there’s a mismatch between what I say I want and what I’m actually accepting. A friend shared a link to Verve and I loved everything it stands for and everything it is striving for.
Weightlifting completely changed my life, and now I am ‘Queen of the (Dead) Lifts’.
Biggest financial ‘skeleton’:
When I left home, I wasn’t savvy with my finances and quickly found myself in huge amounts of debt as a young woman and into early adulthood.
Current money goals:
My number one money goal for the year ahead is to know where every cent of my money is going and whether or not it is working hard for me.
Money beliefs I am trying to change:
As a kid I was wildly creative and just really in flow with life. However, at some point in my teens I shelved those parts of myself because, let’s face it, the stereotype of the ‘starving artist’ carries a lot of weight in our culture, and I felt like I had to ‘grow up and get a real job’. So I got a real job, lots of them in fact, but I was always miserable.
Also, both my parents worked in jobs where they contributed a great deal to the community and worked long hours (as a minister and a therapist) but were not paid much and the narrative I inherited was: ‘The more worthy your work is in the world, the less you’ll be paid!’
It’s taken a lot of internal work as an adult to unpack this self-limiting belief and flip this script from an either/or (your work can be valuable or you can make money) to a both/and (your work can be valuable and you can make money).
My hope for women with Verve:
My hope for the women who make up this incredible community is that we, as both individuals and as a collective, stop settling for the crumbs when we deserve the whole damn pie – with ice cream! We have the knowledge, the experience and the drive to create something better, yet we are still underpaid, overworked and unappreciated. Imagine what we could accomplish if we had the financial and political clout to match?
Midlife can be terrifying, but not because of the grey hair, and wrinkles, and challenges of life, like raising kids and caring for ageing parents. I think it’s scary for some women because it’s the first time they allow themselves to sense their power in this world, and that can be overwhelming.
Make no mistake, we live in a society that would still prefer to keep us small in many ways, and I’m proud to be part of the revolution helping women take radical ownership of their lives. It’s not always easy…but it’s always worth it!
Want to share your money story?
Are you a Verve Super Member? We’d love to hear your story. Every woman has a unique story, and every story is unique in its power to improve the lives of other women. If the idea of being profiled scares the hell out of you, then never fear! You are not alone, our team will help you find your voice. Send us an email and let’s do this: email@example.com