Listen above or subscribe on Apple Podcast + Spotify

In this episode of Referral Worthy, Dusti sits down with Megan Hale, the visionary behind DreamMoney™, a unique approach that marries intuitive wisdom with financial strategy to create sustainable business growth. As a former psychotherapist turned business strategist, Megan shares insights on how entrepreneurs can align their business practices with their core values and the importance of emotional intelligence in financial planning. They delve into the challenges and triumphs of building a business that not only thrives financially but also fulfills a deeper purpose. Megan’s holistic perspective on profit-making offers listeners a refreshing view on achieving success without compromising authenticity. Tune in to discover actionable strategies that will help you nurture a business that’s both profitable and purpose-driven.

Referral Worthy is hosted by Dusti Arab, Fractional CMO and marketing strategist. She's the founder of the reinvention co, a marketing consultancy for personality-driven companies with big online presences and small teams. Learn more at

Love this week's episode of Referral Worthy? Leave a review + subscribe!

Referral Worthy intro, outro and transition music is named We are invincible by Tim Hirst and was found on Epidemic Sounds.

“The earlier you can get clear on the money first, the more you’re setting yourself up to succeed… money is the air your business needs to breathe truly.”

– Megan Hale, on the foundational importance of financial clarity in business

Dusti Arab: Hello, and welcome back to Referral Worthy. I am here today with Megan Hale. Who is just one of my favorite people on the planet. She is the fintech founder of Dream Money™, in addition to being a fractional CEO, and one of the smartest business strategists I’ve ever met, so thank you so much for being here. Megan.

Megan Hale: Well, thanks for having me. I’m so excited to see you and for this conversation.

Dusti: Ah, so you have gone through some incredible changes over the past 18 months and I want to get there but I would love just for all the folks out there who aren’t familiar with your story yet. Give us the background. What is Megan’s origin story? How’d you get here?

Megan: Yeah, well, I mean, it depends on where we want to start. But I think the easiest place to begin is I really got my start in the online space from making my transition from being a therapist and private practice. And I was really curious on how do I leverage my skills, my background, my training in a different way that’s a little bit more scalable, and that’s also a lot more flexible because I am married to active duty military, and I really needed something that could move with me as we move from base to base to base and that’s when I found online coaching and that was in 2015. And my business, which is very typical for entrepreneurs, by the way, we go through lots of iterations of who do we want to be serving? What’s the work that we want to be doing? What are the core results that we really want to help people achieve? So I started in the life coaching space and then moved into the business coaching space about three years later, and I’ve been there ever since. 

Dusti: I love that. And you’ve really focused on money specifically, which for a lot of therapists is a four letter word. So talk to me about Dream Money. So how did you come up with a concept? Where did that come from? 

Megan: Yeah, I mean, well, one, money was definitely a four letter word for me when I was getting started in business, and I realized pretty quickly, I had to deal with all of that if I was going to grow something that was successful and sustainable and all of those things. And so I knew that I had some stuff to work out with money and I really focused on the money mindset piece first because I feel like that is what we are told, is like if you’re not making the money that you want to make, it’s a money mindset issue, it’s something about your worth, your value or whatever. So if you tell that to somebody who does inner work, and like they’re really skilled at it, they do it professionally, they do it for themselves, game on, I’ll go and uncover every single story of unworthiness, right? And I did that. And I started a whole podcast called The Enoughness Revolution of all of the things that I found and unpacked, and it still wasn’t translating into my bank account. And so I was like, oh, there’s gotta be something more here than just the inner work. And in 2017, I was faced with a huge obstacle of getting ready to have my second baby. I was going to be a mom of two under two. My partner was going to be deployed for six months, just three weeks after we had him. And I was getting ready to walk into the hardest year of my life. But this was also when my business was just starting to build that momentum. You can feel like you’re on the cusp, right? And so I was in this moment of, I feel like I’m right on the brink of making some dreams real. I don’t want to take the foot off the gas of my business. But I know that next year has to look radically different for how I’m going to hold all of these things. And that obstacle ended up putting the right constraints in my path that forced me to think differently than I ever had before. And so what that invited me into was restructuring my business. That allowed me to double my revenue working half the time. I stepped into a whole year’s worth of sustainable cash flow for the first time ever. And that literally shifted my life where I really started to understand “Oh, it’s not just the inner work. It’s really the strategy and the structure that we need underneath us for all of these things to work together.” So that became the foundation of what Dream Money has become now and of course, I built a whole body of work around it for how we intentionally create it.

Dusti: So much so much good stuff there. Like it’s so easy, especially coming from the therapy space, the coaching space like all of that, you know, it I feel like inner ties so much with some of that toxic spirituality stuff, potentially. It’s like, it’s actually not all in your head. It’s possible you actually just need some concrete skills and it will fix this problem. Yes. Yeah, and I’m a poster child for this work. I did the Dream Money stuff with you back in 2020. I had just lost my corporate gig like the week COVID hit and we all went into lockdown. And I was very fortunate because I was in the business of getting people online. So I was very well positioned. But until we did our work together, I was not aware of that. I was under charging by about two thirds to be profitable at all. And that was like, it’s like it took all of the sting out of raising my rates. It wasn’t like, “Oh, what are people gonna do?” It’s like I literally can’t afford to be in business if I’m not charging more money.

Megan: Exactly. And I think that’s one of the things that I hear most often is that, one, there’s a lot of mindset stuff that comes up when we’re looking at raising our rates, when you ground it in what’s truly needed. Truly, for you to be okay, for you to have your needs met, for you to do your work in the world. It doesn’t mean that it takes all the emotion out of it, but it starts to ground it into something way different that’s outside of yourself, which makes it a little bit easier. And so I think when people can see the numbers in real black and white, it’s like, “oh, it’s not just because I want to make more, I literally need it. I need something to keep the lights on.”

Dusti: Seriously and especially when you’re just getting started. It’s so easy to forget about, you know, little things like your tax bill that’s coming at the end of the year. So if you do wonderfully out the gate, and you’re not charging with that in mind, at the end is something that’s going to happen. You’ve really put yourself in a compromising position.

Megan: Yeah. Well, I think here’s the thing that shows up with that, too, is that a lot of us have money shame because of that, right? Because we might be in debt to the IRS or we owe back taxes or whatever. When I get into somebody’s numbers and we’re looking at the whole financial picture, I’m like, “Of course you are. Literally, of course you are, like every single dollar that you’re making has to go to your household. You don’t have extra money to be setting aside for taxes or any of those things.” And so I feel like people just have that sigh of relief when they can really see the whole picture and it’s not them, because there’s so much personal blame that’s happening. It’s like oh my gosh, we need to be doing better for her businesses and ourselves when it comes to money because shame is heavy and it’s hard and it’s toxic. It has to be in that place. Absolutely. So Dream Money is not just a blueprint, not just a body of work anymore.

Dusti: Absolutely. So Dream Money is not just a blueprint, not just a body of work anymore. Now it’s an app as well. Tell me more.

Megan: Okay, so, back in 2017 before I took this big leap, that was when I started asking myself different questions. And that’s when I opened a spreadsheet for the very first time. And up until that point I had been pursuing this six figure mark, right that we’re told over and over again, like you need a six figure business and blah, blah, blah, blah. And so I had been pursuing that for three years and coming up short every single time, very frustrated. Like I was so unsuccessful and a financial drain on my family. But for some reason going into 2018, I was like, “how much do I truly need to go on maternity leave, to not be stressed about my business, not be stressed about my family? Like what is that number?” And that’s when I started calculating very precise specific AF revenue goals for me. And that became the foundation of what is now the Good/Better/Best Goals Framework and that’s always where we’re gonna start because your good goal is going to help you clarify exactly what financial stability looks like in your business. Then our better and best goals are going to help us start funding our personal financial dreams. And so automatically, it not only informs so much financial clarity, but it starts to ground you and your own personal definition of success. And so this was everything for me. It gave me the financial clarity I needed to say “okay, well how are we going to sustainably get there?” So I was like, “Well, this was cool. It worked for me, will it work for other people?” And so I started teaching it in 2018. I’ve been teaching it literally ever since. And it’s something that people love. They adore it. We of course have built out the whole revenue strategy, like once we get these goals clear, how are we going to build this sustainable business that can reach them? And so we’ve had hundreds of people go through the Dream Money framework at this point. So much so that I am turning it into an app and so we will have our MVP which is our minimum viable product out on the market by the first week of April, which is a very, very exciting thing. 

Dusti: And okay, well I’m gonna expedite this podcast now. To make sure that we hit that.

Megan: I am super, super excited. We did our first round of raising capital late Q4 of 2023. And we brought in enough money to build MVP, which was amazing. And I just led an eight week program walking people through the inner work side of money. Just had our last call yesterday when we’re recording this episode, and just the feedback alone with just what this framework does for people and their relationship with money. Their confidence around it is just, I will never get sick of hearing those affirmations again and again. So to know what we’re going to open up when this app is on the market and all the more people we can reach, it makes me really, really excited.

Dusti: Ah, this is going to change so many lives in such a positive way. It’s so exciting. Okay, so given where you’ve come from, where you’ve been, what you’ve created now, if you could go back and give yourself any advice, or is there anything you wish you knew back when you were getting started? 

Megan: Gosh, there’s lots of things. I mean, one, this isn’t a plug for my work, but really getting clear on the money first. The earlier you can get clear on the money first, the more you’re setting yourself up to succeed because, in my world, money is the air your business needs to breathe truly, it’s that foundational. Also getting clear on the results you really want to help people achieve I think, early on. Even back when I was live coaching, I had found Marie Forleo who was like, you know, such a trailblazer at the time. And I knew back then that I wanted to work with entrepreneurs, like I knew it in my soul. But I skirted around that for a very, very long time. Like the “Who am I to support these changemakers?” Right? And I really wish that I would have listened to that knowing sooner because it would have helped me step into solving the right problems for the right people and really building out my methodology for how I was going to do that. And so, you know, listen to your knowing, my friends.If you know it, give yourself permission to go after it.

Dusti: God I love that. Okay, so right now, where are you getting your clients from?

Megan: Yeah, well, I’ve always built a live launch model in my business. And that’s been super successful for years and years and years. Last year was the first time where I started to feel like the market was shifting a little bit in regards to the launch model. And I was like, “Oh, this is interesting. So what are we going to do from here?” So I think one of the things that I’ve always kind of built into my revenue strategy is a really strong referral network. And so although I lean on live launches to build a lot of buzz and a lot of visibility in my business and bring new people in, I also have always poured into relationships for word of mouth referrals, for affiliate partnerships, promotional partners, etc, etc. And so last year, I’m so glad that I did that. Because I leaned on that extra strategy to really help us fill the revenue gaps that started to show up. So for me, it’s a blend of still doing launches. I think that nothing beats a live launch in my opinion. Now I also have a lot of systems that make launching a lot more comfortable and sustainable these days. But I think it’s really hard to be a live launch truly, but referrals and word of mouth and then we’re starting to build out our marketing funnels as well because we’ve built our body of work at this point. We know where people are going and all of those things.

Dusti: Totally. So talk to me about being someone who helps run live launches for larger small businesses like yours. Talk to me about your approach and how you have done live launches, particularly those early days when you were doing it before you had much help. 

Megan: Yeah, well I mean, I think the thing that makes my system so unique is that I’ve pretty much always had very, very young children at home while I was doing the grand majority of launches. So I think for me, the first thing is, one, we want a really spacious timeline, because there’s a lot of things that you have to get done especially when you’re a party of one. So you want to make sure that you have a very, very spacious timeline and when things need to happen, so you have enough time. Because the worst thing for me, who lives with chronic anxiety, is when you don’t feel like there’s enough time and you’re overwhelmed. It kicks my anxiety into high gear. So I had to really figure out, what’s the timeline that works for me, that mitigates the overwhelm, that mitigates the anxiety. So for me I’m that’s a 10 week timeline from start all the way to finish just to live launch. But the other thing that I do is I lean on live launches to create really strong value for people. I lean on what I call a value week strategy, which is like a multi day training event where I’m really walking people through my methodology, what I’m helping you do. I’m helping you actually take meaningful steps the whole time. So you’re getting something of value whether you join me in my offer or not. And what I’ve noticed over time is one, it’s built a reputation for me of leading some of the best free trainings on the internet, which I’m like, “Yes, I will receive that all day.” But two, it’s also really building strong relationships every single time I launch so if somebody isn’t a yes right now, they’re likely to be a yes the next time around or so on. And so I think when you’re thinking about launching, having a people-first approach, having a high-value-first approach is really going to be, it’s worth its weight in gold.

Dusti: That’s so good. So I’m also curious, like, talk to me about what happened last year. So your live launches, we’ve been talking for a long time now about when we’re experiencing different things in the industry. What happened last year and how did you adjust? 

Megan: Yeah, so last year, we went into two launch cycles. And obviously when you have a validated offer, you have an engaged community, you know your sales content rocks, it’s solid, you have all the pieces that make up the foundation for a successful launch. And when we went into the first launch, I was like, “Haha, it’s weird that this isn’t converting. What’s going on here?” And I didn’t know what to make of it then. So I pivoted in the middle of the launch. I was listening to the feedback that people were giving me because what I was selling back then was our old signature offer called Flow, which is really an all-in-one solution where we help you map out your signature methodology. We’re helping you build a signature offer and then we’re delivering that spacious launch process that I started to lay out, right. So we’re taking you all the way from the beginning all the way to the end to generate that passion fusion in your business for financial stability. So the first launch people were like, “I don’t know if I’m ready to launch. I don’t know if I have an audience.” So I was like, “What are we going to do?” So I came up with a whole new offer in the middle of the launch of like, “How can we leverage bits and pieces of this to help you build a really aligned audience?” which helped save that launch. Just a bit. I mean, we still didn’t convert nearly at the level, but really proud of me and the team and how we responded in that moment. So that was launch one. Then launch two, we went into another enrollment period, different sales content, where I was really talking about how to lead a values-driven launch. And people still did not say yes to our offer and I was like “What is going on?” So they already had the methodology mapped out, they already had the offer mapped out, they didn’t need the first half of our program. Now prior to 2023, this would not have been a big deal. Because people I think were investing from the place of “I don’t need all of the things but I’m still willing to invest to get the thing that I really need.” And the thing that I saw last year is that that’s really starting to shift. And so this all-in-one solution that we were offering, people didn’t want all of it. They needed more agency and accessibility to get the pieces that they needed, then decide on when they wanted that next step. And so what we decided to do was actually take our core signature offer and break it down into more bite-sized pieces. That’s giving our audience a lot more agency and sovereignty, like how they want to purchase, how they want to go through the work and methodology. And so that’s what we took from 2023 for how we’re building our offer suite this year.

Dusti: That is so fascinating to me just on so many different levels here. So when you say smaller offers, are you talking like smaller group programs or like smaller automated courses at different times? With upgrades? 

Megan: So basically, our methodology is split into two pieces. So we’re focusing on building out the signature offer first because, in my personal opinion, it’s way easier to build an audience when you know what you’re selling. Right? So you’re building the right audience for the right offer because how many times do we put time and energy into building an audience and they’re not even the right one for the thing that we want to help them with? So I think that’s the first part. And then the second part is just our live launch process. And so we have the first half is that is four months where we’re getting clear on the signature methodology and the signature offer and then getting it ready to market because we do want to create the sales page and you have a working something. If you don’t want to launch with us and you have a different sales strategy, rock on like, that’s great. Go and do whatever you want. For those who do want a live launch with us, then you would just flow into the second half of the program to learn our launch strategy. And then launch it.

Dusti: Very cool. Oh my god. I love hearing about the way that business owners iterate like that. Especially because like, I mean, realistically, you have a lot of irons in the fire right now. You have an app in process that you drove a successful campaign to generate capital for versus having to wait for VC or something like that. I have so much respect and admiration for the way that you approach that. I know I’ve been over here knee deep in baby land for the last year but I was like, “Megan’s killing it,” while I’ve been half asleep.

Megan: I remember that stage. That’s the beautiful thing about business though is that we go through different stages of development for sure. Like I think we have to build our body of work before we can iterate on our body of work and all of those things, but when we have our methodology built out, that opens up so much for us for changing how people get access to it or repackaging it, repricing it. There’s so many things that we can do. So even though we’re creating a whole new offer suite, there’s not a whole lot that I need to create because my body of work is created. So it’s like creating an introduction to the brand new piece over here and creating a net loss module over here. And so getting the ROI out of your business like that, from all the time and energy it takes to create is a really, really beautiful thing but you still got to put in the sweat equity on the front end of actually building it.

Dusti: Right. Okay, so given where your clients are coming from now, if you had to start from scratch today, how would you find your first 10 clients? 

Megan: Well, I actually am starting over from scratch. So we just went through a rebrand over here at Megan Hale Co so we have a whole new visual brand. We have all new offer suites and we’ve really honed in on the clients that are getting the best results with our framework. And I think the thing that I’ve had to give myself permission for is that we really do serve a more experienced and advanced entrepreneur. So the people who can really leverage the wisdom and expertise that I bring, you’ve been in business probably for at least 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years. And you’re not seeing the revenue growth that you want. But the thing that you don’t realize is that you have a whole lot of entrepreneurial experience you bring to the table, entrepreneurial maturity of how to navigate your inner world. You also have a lot of entrepreneurial clarity that is poised to come into our framework where you can just go boom, big. So we are starting over with an all new email list,an all new social channel, like everything, because all my channels and my list are just so old. And I am going to start over straight from the bottom of “This is who we are, this is who we serve, this is what we do. Come with us into the movement that we’re here to lead.”

Dusti: That’s so hot. Oh my god

Megan: It feels radical and scary, but I’m like “Let’s do it. Why not?” This is the time.

Dusti: Oh my god, it’s so antithetical to what everybody fucking says. And I just have chills, I find that so appealing and just the…like, this is the kind of change that needs to happen in our little corner of the internet. It really needs to be this kind of radical change based on what’s best for not only you, but for the people that you know that you can most help. That is so moving to me. 

Megan: Yeah, I mean, I’m here for it. I’m a little terrified to announce it. So we haven’t announced it yet. But we’re building out, because we will do an email campaign for the people who want to come with us. We’ll do the exact same thing on social but there’s also something that feels really freeing and leveling up about it too, of being willing to kind of start from the top and let’s build it from scratch. So when it comes to strategy, I think for me, I’m really grinding down into my strengths of storytelling, of really helping people know our company and what we’re building and what we’re doing in the world, the kind of world that we want to see, how we’re intentionally doing that. And really baking our values in through every single layer. I think the thing with a rebrand is, I don’t know if you’ll get that, you might chuckle when I say this, I wanted people to feel like they were experiencing a high end skincare line when they were interacting with Megan Hale Co. Because I want people to know there’s such a high level of intentionality that we’re baking into every single layer of our business and if you want to build your business that way, come on.

Dusti: Okay, that’s hilarious because you know what, the first thing I thought when I looked at the site was that it kind of reminds me of Alice Mushrooms a little bit. Like okay, Alice Mushrooms – go look it up after this and I think you’ll see what I mean. Because it’s not a skincare brand, but it is the highest end mushroom chocolate that you can buy. And it is thoughtful. It is luxe, There are some shared brand values there for sure. 

Megan: I love that so much.

Dusti: Megan, for you what makes a business referral worthy? 

Megan: Hmm. I think self trust. Integrity is a core value of mine. Like I want to hear positive things being said about you. I want to hear a positive brand experience that people are having with you. I especially want to hear how you’re holding your clients through a sales process because I think that says so much about a company. If there is high pressure, if there is like…how people respond to a no says a lot. And so I want to know what your relationship style is with your audience because that makes me feel safe sending my people to you. So that is the thing that I’m looking for is that consistency, that trust, that positive brand experience that is making people feel a certain way in a good way where they want to tell their people about

Dusti: Right, right. Well, do you have any final words for listeners today?

Megan: I think for those of you who are building, building, building, focus on relationships because it’ll never go out of style. There are a lot of strategic tactics out here that shift through season to season. Some things work one season, some things don’t the next. But I think if you build your business on really solid, timeless foundational pieces, that is the thing that’s going to help you be here long term.

Dusti: Megan, thank you so, so much for taking the time today. I always leave our conversations so inspired and I’m like, “Oh, I’m ready to go now. Let’s go.” All right, everybody. If you are interested in learning more about Meghan Hale and Dream Money, take a look at the show notes down here. You’ll find all of her links there. Until next time.

Filed Under: