Performance and Leadership Coaching with Tara Newman

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Performance and Leadership Coaching with Tara Newman

My team and I work day in and day out getting people financially healthy, and there’s really only so many changes you can make to your expenses. One of the best and most effective ways we see people getting their financial lives in order is through making more money and becoming more productive in their current or new jobs in order to make more money. So I’m excited to have today’s guest on the show, Tara Newman Performance and Leadership Coach and Founder of the Bold Leadership Revolution. Tara’s joining me today to talk about her experience helping leaders achieve higher levels of performance in their work and personal lives and what it takes to get there. I hope this conversation inspires you to reach for higher performance in your work life as well.

What are we drinking?

Tara — LaCroix

Shannon — Schweppes

Podcast Notes

  • Tara and Shannon met when they were trying to build their blogs in 2013.
  • In 2014, Tara decided to offer a service on her blog to make money.
  • Tara has been a coach for two decades. She went to grad school for organizational psychology. The TV character she gets compared to the most is Wendy Rhoades from Billions (minus the dominatrix routine). Tara did her internship for an executive coach and worked for a long time within various organizations.
  • In 2014, she admitted she was burned out. She went to a naturopath and found she had end-stage adrenal fatigue, which is emotionally and energetically driven. The gateway to start healing was reiki (an energy healing system) and becoming certified as an advance reiki practitioner.
  • In January 2015, Tara decided to start her own business so she could quit her full-time, corporate job. She took eight months to build it, to make sure it got off the ground before quitting her job. She had built enough of a platform through her blog, and already had a network, and she was able to quit earlier than expected. In her first month of business she made more money than in her bonus check for the year.
  • Most clients spend more money when they are unhappy. They can take a lower-paying job, and tend to save more when they do, because it will make them happy.
  • Tara and her husband started a business previous to this one and they went bankrupt in 2010. She had a lot of fear about quitting her job and having that happen again.
  • You are either winning or you are learning. While working full-time, Tara was intentional about taking all of the revenue and reinvesting it into the business and herself.
  • Tara originally decided to leave her job in 2016, but in May 2015, she decided she wanted to leave even earlier. She and her husband created a list of things they needed to thrive and that was what they spent money on. Anything else was cut, so she could save enough to leave her job. Tara found that 90 percent of things on this list don’t cost money. She reviews this list quarterly.
  • A couple things that were included on this list were a small wardrobe of higher quality clothing and regular manicures. If she wants to add something to the list, she either cuts something or makes more money by either working or selling something.
  • If you are an entrepreneur, you have to accept the fact that you are a commissioned salesperson.
  • Leadership is for everybody – you are leading yourself. If you have a family, you are leading them. Every day you are leading in some way.
  • What is the biggest challenge most people face when accessing that higher level of performance? People who are ambitous are too focused on the achievements and the outcomes. They overuse their ambition and it becomes a weakness.
  • When you focus on performance and the process and go beyond the initial motivators (money), there are some traits of high achievers that disappear. When you go beyond the money, you can begin to make more money.
  • A high achiever will burn the the candle at both ends to achieve the outcome. A high performer will never sacrifice sleep.
  • How do you go from being a high achiever to a high performer? It is a process and takes a tremendous amount of self-reflection. Tara coaches people to take them from being a do-er to a be-er. Coaching helps determine the behaviors, habits, and beliefs that need to be adjusted.
  • Most high achievers benchmark themselves against others. You will never meet your highest and greatest potential, if you cannot perform every single day.
  • Tara believes that leaders today are an endangered species that are burning out at an alarming rate. If we do not take serious measures to protect our energy and sanity, we will never go on to leave the legacy and impact that we desire to leave.
  • Tara is an eight on Quick Start on the Kolbe assessment. People who like her Quick Start energy often do not have it themselves.
  • Everybody has the potential to set goals and accomplish them. Human beings are adaptable.
  • Tara has a contract with her clients. She has a 100 percent commitment to them getting results, but she doesn’t tell them what to do. Her clients are in control of their results. If working with Tara is not the quickest, most effective, or most enjoyable path to them getting the results they want, she will release them from the contract. She has only released a client once.
  • Clients need to want the change or it won’t work.
  • Are their resources for people who are not ready for a coach? When a person is not ready for a coach, it is usually their own fear and resistance. People can continue to read books and listen to podcasts, but if they want to commit to mastery in their life, they will need a coach. You will not be able to take it to the next level on your own. Why keep doing good when you could do great.
  • Tara takes on clients who want a coach, not those who need one. She offers programs at all different price points and lengths of time. Anyone can schedule a free call to see if coaching is right for them.
  • Tara also has a podcast called Bold Leadership Revolution.

TAKEAWAY: Understand the value of a coach and how that coach can help you achieve higher performance levels in all aspects of your life whether it’s your job, your finances, your body, or your mental health. I see firsthand the difference my trainers make in the lives of their clients every single day and if you want to achieve more in some area of your life, I encourage you to invest in yourself. There is no greater
investment you can make than in helping yourself achieve more in life.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing?
  2. What is a show that you like to binge watch?
  3. What do you do to relax?

Connect with Tara

Website: taranewmancoaching.com

Facebook: @theboldleadershiprevolution

Twitter: @thetaranewman

Instagram: @thetaranewman

If you need someone to help you perform more in your financial life, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 

Taxes and Bookkeeping with Eric Nisall

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Taxes and Bookkeeping with Eric Nisall

With just a few weeks left to go before tax filing time, my friend, and one of my favorite CPAs, Eric Nisall, joins me to answer, quite frankly, lots of my and my clients tax-related questions. He also talks about his awesome new course that is perfect for bloggers, freelancers, Instagrammers, influencers, entrepreneurs, or pretty much anyone who is considering becoming any one of these. It’s a great show, and if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you’re scared to file, or maybe you haven’t filed in a few years, grab some paper and take notes.

What are we drinking?

Eric — Ice water

Shannon — Coffee

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon did her own taxes when she started as an entrepreneur.
  • Eric said that approximately 3% of people who file a Schedule C get audited. Typically, it is people with an adjusted gross income of $2 million or more. He said to make sure you are honest and have back up for all of your numbers. Most of the time it is just a letter in the mail asking for more information or documentation.
  • If you file an extension, make sure you do it before the deadline. It is easy – there are only four things you will need to put on the form and the extension is automatic.
  • What would you say to people who haven’t filed in a long time? If you make less than the standard deduction, you don’t have to file a tax return. If you are getting a refund, you can file it two years later and you won’t get penalized. If you meet certain qualifications, you must file a return by a certain date or you are going to face penalties.
  • Everything you do financially is fixable.
  • If you haven’t filed in a while, don’t be afraid to do it. There are people that specialize in back taxes and you can get on a payment plan. You will not go into bankruptcy because you owe back taxes. Search for IRS negotiation attorney. Stay away from people who charge you to interview them. Eric doesn’t specialize in back taxes.
  • Nobody’s life is perfect. Everybody has messes, you just don’t see it on social media.
  • Closing a checking or savings account at a bank will not affect your credit score. If you are declined for a bank account, it is usually because you didn’t answer the questions right and they aren’t able to identify you, or it’s because you bounced too many checks or had insufficient funds in the past.
  • Don’t worry about the tax changes for next year.
  • Contributions to a SEP IRA are based on your annual net income, adjusted for self-employment taxes. This number is difficult to figure out until you know how much you will be making for the year. Accountants are not able to tell you how much you are able to contribute, until the end of the year when they know your annual income. You have until the date that you file your tax return to make a contribution for the previous year.
  • SEP IRAs and solo 401(k) contributions are great ways to lower your tax liability. If you want to get the best service, go to a pension administrator. There are firms set up specifically to do the legwork to figure out the best option for you and your business.
  • What if you already filed your taxes and realized you forgot something? Don’t be in such a hurry and rush to get your taxes done. Take your time. You cannot file an amended return electronically – the IRS does not permit it. You will need to do it online, print it out, attach the documentation, and mail it.
  • In Eric’s course, there is a session where he makes participants write out all of their payees. They can use this list to verify they receive all of the necessary forms before filing their taxes.
  • Eric has a new online course called Bookkeeping for Bloggers. He talks to a lot of people who are bloggers and podcasters that want to hire him, but they are making little to no money after expenses and he cannot ethically take them on as clients. He created this course to help those who are self-employed and have very few transactions per month.
  • The course is written conversationally and includes videos and worksheets to help entrepreneurs understand and create best practices for their business. It is for both those just starting out as well as more established entrepreneurs who want to know more about the finance side of their business.
  • The course covers the basics – income and expenses and how you account for them, deductions, travel, working with contractors, etc. It is recommended for those who have a freelancing type of business and want to have a good grasp on how to manage their business better.
  • These are great foundational practices. Shannon said previously she would have to figure everything out on January 1, for the previous year. She now has a bookkeeper who handles her business and it is a lot less stressful.
  • The course costs $300, but listeners get 20% off! Use coupon code FINGYM at the time of purchase. This is applicable to all levels of this course.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that if you run your own business, no matter what it looks like, make sure you take the steps to build a really strong foundation of best practices when it comes to the finances of your business. Please take my advice and do what I say and not what I did. I really wish I did it myself. If you need help doing that, I highly recommend investing in Eric’s course.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you weren’t doing what you are currently doing, what would you be doing?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  3. What do you do to relax?

Connect with Eric

Website: ericnisall.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ericnisall/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BloggingAsABusiness/

Course website: http://bookkeepingforbloggers.com

(Coupon Code FINGYM for 20% off)

Twitter: @ericnisall

Instagram: @ericnisall

If you need someone to hold your hand and help you lay a strong financial foundation, whether you work for yourself or someone else, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 

Women Who Inspire with the Happy Hour Ladies

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Women Who Inspire with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour, where I gather great friends to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. Since March is Women’s History Month, we focused this conversation around women who’ve inspired our lives, or at least that’s what I told everybody we were going to be focused on. But, like most Happy Hours, this conversation took a turn that I was not expecting. But I absolutely loved it, because I love nothing more than an honest and real conversation, which is what my friends, and our guest for this month, listener Erin, provided.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Margarita

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Vega Protein Shake

Erin  — Gin and Tonic with a splash of grapefruit

Shannon — Pinot Noir

Podcast Notes

  • Erin is taking Liz’s spot this month, as she is on maternity leave. Erin was supposed to be on the 200th episode, but there were issues with the connection. Shannon was in San Francisco last week with Bacardi, and Melanie met up with her. Erin found them at the event.
  • Shannon had an interview today with a company that wants to feature her and the Financial Gym on their internal site. One of the questions the interviewer asked her was “Who was a female entrepreneur who inspired you to start your business?” Shannon didn’t have anyone in particular, so she asked the ladies if they had anyone that inspired them on their career path.
    • Tonya: No one in real life, but she has always been a fan of Lisa Ling. Tonya has always wanted to be a documentary film maker and has always liked Lisa’s point of view. She has never had a real mentor. Tonya always looked up to her former male boss. She gets energy from people who are pushing through boundaries, even if she doesn’t know them.
    • Shannon: Her greatest mentor was her former boss, Bob, who is also the first investor in the gym. Shannon wants to be a mentor for other women.
    • Melanie: She didn’t have a lot of female role models to look up to when she worked in the non-profit sector. From an outside perspective Sophia Amoruso from Girl Boss has inspired her, because of her resilience.
    • Erin: She is still in the early stages of her career. There is a difference between inspiration and copying. She doesn’t like the question of “who are you inspired by?”, because it makes it sound like you can’t do it on your own. You don’t need inspiration of from other people to have your own success.
  • There is not enough accountability with women – are we thinking of how we are influencing others?
  • There is a lot of credibility to women who are simply living authentic lives. There is a lot of pressure on women to be all. We don’t give a lot of credit to women who are making other choices.
  • About 50 years ago, K.B. Switzer was the first woman to participate in the Boston Marathon, and she entered illegally.
  • The challenge women have is realizing what your authentic self is, because of all the pressure of what we “should” do. If we are not totally comfortable with the life we are living, how are we going to tell someone else how to do it? Work/life balance talks are usually with women, not men.
  • You might not have it all figured out, but you have something figured out. Own that, and whatever you know will be valuable for someone else. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be valuable.
  • When things aren’t going well, you could be a source of strength and mentorship for other people.
  • A huge area women need to change is not viewing each other as threats. Why do you think women have an issue with this?
    • Melanie: We live in a patriarchal society and we want a seat at the table, but we feel like it’s a man’s table and there is one seat available. Let’s create our own table.
  • It’s intimidating to ask someone to be a mentor. It comes down to finding the right source. The worst that is going to happen is they are going to say no. The best case scenario is they are going to lead you to someone else.
  • Some women think that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness, like you don’t know what you are doing. Why should we all know everything? If you are trying to get your life to the next level, you need someone to help take you there.
  • Tonya is currently mentoring a man and helping him make more money. Mentoring is not always imparting advice, it is about listening. Ask them questions and they may figure out what they need to do. Don’t always give them your opinion and what you would do.
  • Be careful who you share your grand plans with, because people will question you and give opinions. Look for someone who listens to you, encourages you, and believes in you. Be that woman!
  • Instead of feeling threatened, embrace other women’s’ journeys and support them.
  • Wherever you are is good enough. Embrace that.

TAKEAWAY: Here’s to strong women – may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them, may we hire them, and most importantly, may  we support them.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at shannon@finblonde.com or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money Facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!

Angel Investing with Diane Henry

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Angel Investing with Diane Henry

In honor of Women’s History month in March, I’m focusing all of my podcasts this month on women and their accomplishments; and I’m so excited to share today’s guest with you. I met Diane Henry last year when my lead investor in the Financial Gym sent out an email about why investors should invest in my company and Diane responded almost immediately. Diane built a successful business in the male-dominated world of commercial real estate, to the point where she is now able to invest in other businesses, and one of her portfolio companies is actually the Financial Gym. Diane joins me today to share her story and her approach to angel investing and how she picks the businesses she invests in.

What are we drinking?

Diane — Coffee

Shannon — Champagne

Podcast Notes

  • Diane had always been interested in starting her own business. She saw a hole in the commercial real estate market and knew she could fill it. People were not trusting the people who were supposed to be helping them.
  • Diane and Shannon talk about working in male-dominated fields and the heightened sensitivity about everything gender related.
  • When Diane first started out on her own, she had a lone-wolf mentality, where it was her against the world with her team behind her. She didn’t have a lot of sponsorship or mentors. She now recognizes that mentality was not necessary and realizes the importance of having a mentor.
  • Diane is an angel investor to founders in the early stages of businesses. She finds it to be an incredible experience to be an advisor to new entrepreneurs.
  • Diane invests through Rogue Capital Collective and now has many investors that feed knowledge and experience into the collective.
  • An angel investor is expecting a future financial return – it’s not free money or a grant.
  • Every angel investor is different. Diane only invests in venture scaleable businesses, meaning a business that can go national or global and can reach millions of customers. She also looks for the founder. Why are they doing this? Why are they credible to do what they are doing?
  • Diane shared an example of a male founder that was pitching a product for women and it was only men on his team. What you are building, and the founding team, should make sense.
  • Diane is an investor in the Financial Gym. In their initial conversations, Shannon loved the way Diane made her think about her business.
  • The size of an angel check is based on how established the business is. It is ultimately about the founder and if Diane can believe in what they are doing. If risk and reward are proportionate, then she is willing to invest. If everybody else is chasing after a business, it drives the price up.
  • If you can’t sleep at night, because you are so passionate about your business idea, you will be able to ride the ups and down of being an entrepreneur.
  • Last week, Shannon had her first Series A conversation and explained that the first two years of going on her own, she still thought she could just go back to the bank if it didn’t work out. After she received her first investor check, she went all in and didn’t look back.
  • This year, Diane started to share more of her views and strategies through her website and Twitter.
  • Diane continues to invest in founders of all types. Her portfolio is diverse, because her network is diverse. She is trying to scale up her advisement work. She just did the .25 Initiative, which is a great way for founders to get people on their board. She is always analyzing the market to see where future opportunities may come from.
  • Diane invites partnerships for investing, instead of being a lone wolf.
  • Being an entrepreneur is intense. It can’t just be a desire for the money – there has to be something to make it worth it and keep you coming back. The money cannot be the only reason. The road to the top is winding and you need to have a strong stomach.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that there are numerous lenses in which we can view people and to check yourself before you filter everything through a gender lens. As Diane said, Women’s history month is about more than accomplishments for women is about equality for all.

Random Three Questions 

  1. What is a book that has inspired you?
  2. What is a show you love to binge watch?
  3. What do you do to relax?

Connect with Diane

Twitter: @investordiane

Roguecapitalcollective.com

If you need someone to help make money fun, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 

Get Money with Kristin Wong

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Get Money with Kristin Wong

In honor of Women’s History month in March, I’m focusing all of my podcasts this month on women and their accomplishments. I am excited about today’s guest, because she literally helped establish my blogging career and she didn’t even know it. Today I’m talking to Kristin Wong, who has written everything from TV shows to personal finance articles and has now written a book called Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford. She joins me today to talk about her journey and why writing about personal finance suits her best. We had a lot of fun recording this show and I hope you enjoy it.

What are we drinking?

Kristin — Paloma (tequila with grapefruit juice)

Shannon — Woodbridge Mondovi wine

Podcast Notes

  • Shannon Kristin linked to and quoted Shannon’s blog article “Are You  Financially Sexy” and shared it on Lifehacker, almost four years ago, and Shannon’s stats went through the roof.
  • Kristin has written about money, career, dating, and relationships, and always goes back to writing about money. She started writing for JD Roth on his blog Get Rich Slowly, and he let her write about whatever money topic she wanted.
  • Kristin always wanted to be a writer. She lived in Houston, and worked for Halliburton writing manuals on how to use drilling tools. This experience gave her the confidence to write about money topics.
  • As Kristin grew up, her parents read personal finance books and taught themselves how to better their financial situation.
  • Kristin moved to L.A. to write for television, and she wrote for Netflix, Fox digital, and did some comedy writing. This type of writing was very technical and Kristin felt that she could be more creative writing about money. She chose to switch from writing for television to writing about money and had to get over what other people thought of her.
  • Shannon faced the same thing when she left Merrill Lynch to start the Financial Gym, because she had to get over what other people thought of her.
  • Shannon talked about financial companies and insurance companies whose goal is to sell clients their products. She explains whole life insurance policies and the only time it makes sense to buy one.
  • Once Kristin started writing about money on Get Rich Slowly, other people asked her to write for them. She eventually wrote for Lifehacker, NBC News, and several others. Her friends then started asking her to teach them about money and she thought about writing a book so she could give it to them to read. About three years ago, Kristin started writing everything down and she used that information to write a book.
  • Kristin proposed the book to a couple of different agents and was turned down. One agent that turned her down told her she didn’t think she would be able to write a book. Kristin went back and changed her proposal and found an agent that was interested and published her book Get Money.
  • Kristin and Shannon talk about the Real Housewives and hotel cable TV.
  • It was important for Kristin to have a balance to reach people who are in tough financial situations and not so tough financial situations. She didn’t want people to feel left out or bad when they read it. Kristin gamified the information to make it more interesting and engaging. The book will be released on March 27, and Kristin will be at a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Fifth Avenue in NYC on March 28.
  • Shannon talks about her podcast and supporting women. Shannon started this podcast because she saw a video at FinCon about personal finance podcasting and it was all men. Her friends dared her and she tried it.

TAKEAWAY: We should make money, and getting better at managing it, something that is fun and not a chore. We talk about mindset shifts around money all the time and making money fun instead of tedious should be a mindset shift we all make.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you were to write another book, what would you write it about?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  3. If you were to win one million dollars, what would you do with it?

Connect with Kristin

Twitter: @thewildwong

Book: thegetmoneybook.com

If you need someone to help make money fun, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 

Achieving Financial Independence with Liz Thames

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Achieving Financial Independence with Liz Thames

In honor of women’s history month in March, I’m focusing all of my podcasts this month on women and their accomplishments, and today’s guest is someone near and dear to this show. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know her as Mrs. Frugalwoods on our monthly happy hours, and I know her as my friend Liz, who has just fulfilled a life-long dream to write a book, Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence through Simple Living. She joins me today to talk about the book-writing process, why this was an important step for her, and more about life on the homestead.

What are we drinking?

Liz — Homemade Seltzer

Shannon — Black Cherry Schweppes

Podcast Notes

  • Liz makes her own seltzer water at home. You are in control of the amount of fizz when you make it yourself. The higher end seltzers don’t have as much fizz.
  • Liz thinks “I should just make this at home” about most things.
  • The path to financial health makes people think (1) can I live without this, and, if not, (2) can I make this myself.
  • The Great Homemade Seltzer Discovery of 2015.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to make your own seltzer water.
  • Liz is known as Mrs. Frugalwoods, because of her blog Frugalwoods.com, which she started four years ago. The blog tracks the journey Liz and her husband, Nate, took from living very conventional lives outside of Boston. They made a decision in 2014 to pursue financial independence. This means their assets cover all of their expenses. They do not have to work, but they both choose to work.
  • Liz quit her day job about two years ago and about a year and a half ago moved to a 66 acre homestead in the middle of the woods in Vermont. They have a two year-old daughter and a newborn baby girl.
  • Shannon and Liz met through blogging. Liz was an anonymous blogger at first. Liz and Nate were on Martinis and Your Money as Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods.
  • To get to where they are now, Liz and Nate were saving over 70 percent of their income. They were only spending on the bare necessities of life and found a way to only spend in service of their goals.
  • It isn’t a question of never spending any money, it is a question of what do we want out of our life and how is our spending helping us or hindering us in getting there.
  • They apply optimization and efficiency to how they manage their finances, their relationships, and their home.
  • It is all about letting go of shopping, wearing makeup, and feeling like she needs to be a certain person. She is a happier and more confident person.
  • Setting goals, being intentional, and being decisive, strategic, and quick is important. There is no bad month to start your goals. Just begin.
  • Clients who start at the Gym with $0 are further ahead than those who say they will join when they have more money. Just make the change now. The only thing holding us back is usually ourselves.
  • Liz did everything she was supposed to do, but was still unhappy. Liz and Nate realized they were escalating their spending and increasing their lifestyle and it wasn’t bringing lasting happiness. They made a decision to make a change. You have a lot more options when you are not living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Even if you don’t want to quit your job and want to work forever, you may lose your job unexpectedly. It is a huge difference if you have a emergency fund. It gives you flexibility and options.
  • Everyone should have the goal to do whatever you want whenever you want. It is so different to go to work when you know you don’t have to go to work.
  • Too often, we put the choice of material goods over the choice of circumstances. It is not about choosing between a Mercedes and a BMW, it is choosing not to buy either and instead choosing to buy your way to financial freedom.
  • How do you want to spend your time? The less you spend on a thing, the less time you need to work. The lower your expenses, the less you need to earn and the less you need to save overall.
  • Liz invests in low-fee index funds through Fidelity and constantly buys into the market. They automate it to contribute every month. It is all about simplifying and creating efficiency and about being content with less.
  • Liz and her husband have tried to smooth out the happiness curve, so there aren’t highs of spending followed by lows.
  • Liz has always wanted to be a writer. One of her degrees is in creative writing. Nate created the blog for her, because she was always talking about writing. Working with a publisher really pushed her into a new level of writing. Some of the chapters in the book were rewritten 18 or 20 times. The book is all new material.
  • Harper Collins reached out to her and asked if she wanted to write a book. It is really important to have an agent and to find an editor and publisher who understand your vision. Liz had to do a formal proposal. The whole process to write Meet the Frugalwoods took about two years from start to finish.
  • Having choice in your finances should be a universal goal for everybody. Don’t just move along the life track without questioning what you actually want to do.
  • Setting the goal is half the battle. Liz recommends to (1) write out your dream bio and your current bio, and (2) imagine yourself as a 95 year-old or that you are writing your obituary.

TAKEAWAY: The power of having clearly defined goals. Nate and Liz had clearly defined goals of financial independence, living on the homestead, and for Liz writing a book. If you haven’t set any goals for yourself, I hope you’ll stop what you are doing and really give some serious definition to life goals you want to achieve and set to making them a reality.

Random Three Questions 

  1. What is a book that has changed your life?
  2. What is an area where you are not frugal?
  3. What do you do to relax?

Connect with Liz

Website: Frugalwoods.com

Twitter: @Frugalwoods

Instagram: @Frugalwoods

Facebook: Frugalwoods

If you need someone to help you set out life goals and achieve them, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

Work Bravely with Sarah Sheehan

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Work Bravely with Sarah Sheehan

This is the first Friday of March and March is Women’s History Month so I’ve decided to focus all of my podcasts this month on women and their accomplishments. At the Financial Gym, two words we hear all the time are fear and shame, and something I haven’t addressed on this podcast yet, or enough, is the shame founders have around their finances when building a business. So I was thrilled when Sarah Sheehan, Founder and Chief Customer Officer at Bravely told me she wanted to come on the show and speak about this specifically. She and I discuss how our finances shifted once we started actively pursuing our dreams and businesses and how we’ve combated the shame that comes with those finances. It’s a great conversation and I thank Sarah for giving me the opportunity to discuss this on the show.

What are we drinking?

Sarah — Prosecco

Shannon — Cristalino Cava

Podcast Notes

  • Sarah caught the start-up bug when she worked at the Gilt Groupe, prior to the New York tech scene taking off. It was exhilarating coming from Sirius and Coach Handbags and she was addicted to the adrenaline rush.
  • Bravely connects employees with professional coaches outside of work, so they can have better conversations and make their organization better as a whole.
  • Many employees will go to friends or family members with issues or questions about how to handle a situation at work and, although they are well-meaning, they are not equipped to answer the questions.
  • Sarah met her co-founder, Toby, at the Gilt Groupe.
  • Sarah previously worked in Human Resources and had to figure out how to retain talent and how to make the employees more engaged and produce healthier workplaces. At Gilt, she had the opportunity to do a complete career switch and launched their vertical of high end services, their answer to Groupon, called Gilt City. It grew really fast and over the next four years, Sarah became the head of sales. She realized how critical it was to attract and retain talent.
  • The idea for Bravely came from her co-founder referring his friend to her to help her with her situation. Toby was working on medical services on-demand and said what if they did that for HR services.
  • Sarah was consulting and left a year ago to pursue Bravely full-time.
  • When she became an entrepreneur, she felt a lot of financial stress. She could not pay herself what she was making inside a company. She is living in a financial state she has not seen in over a decade.
  • Shannon shared that she experienced the same thing when she started the Gym.
  • When starting a company, your finances are going to be a disaster.
  • Sarah always had a level of security with a regular paycheck and bonuses. Now her salary covers her rent and she lives off of her savings. When she evaluated how long her savings would last, her spending changed overnight. The hardest part is saying no to her friends.
  • Shannon said being an entrepreneur she is low on time and money. A year ago she had no money between herself and the Gym.
  • Sarah said that she understands her privilege being backed by venture capitalists and is grateful for this opportunity.
  • Shannon said when she started on her own, she wondered why she couldn’t be happy working a regular job like other people. She is honest with people that her finances are a mess, but she knows how to fix them.
  • A few weeks ago, Shannon made the decision to sell her house. She doesn’t know when she will be getting a salary increase, because she wants to hire more people and make enhancements at the Gym.
  • Sarah said she has never been happier than living this poor life. Shannon said she has never made less in her life, but she has never been happier. Believing in what you are building makes it all worthwhile.
  • People tend to spend more when they are unhappy at their job. Stress at work is all-consuming. You talk to your friends and family members about it and it has a ripple effect.
  • The people that Bravely works with cannot always walk away from the paycheck or the insurance.
  • Shannon said she didn’t get her finances on track, until she  realized she wanted to open her business.
  • Sarah said the silver-lining is that she realized she didn’t need expensive clothing or high-end trips. As her income grows, she will be able to continue to live frugally and she will be able to help other women find their path with the money she is not spending.
  • Shannon gives two different pieces of advice to people who want to start their own business:
    • At a bare minimum, you should have at least one year of salary saved up and readily available in cash. It always takes longer to build a company than what you expect.
    • If you feel passionate about what you are building, and cannot sleep at night, this is the other option.
  • Sarah said she didn’t really go through her finances well before starting her company, but she knew she had enough to supplement her salary for a while.
  • Shannon said there is no shame in not having a lot of money when you are starting a business.
  • You need to have a high tolerance for risk. When you are doing this as a single woman, it is even riskier.
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Everything is fixable. Focus on each day.
  • It is difficult to stay healthy, when you are working seven days a week. You must have an outlet to stay sane. Shannon uses a Peleton bike about four times a week.

TAKEAWAY: Remember that starting a business will have a lot of negative repercussions on your personal finances; however, if you’re truly passionate about the path to your dreams, you will find a way to make it work no matter what.

Random Three Questions 

  1. If you were to build another business, what would it be?
  2. What is a show you like to binge watch?
  3. What is a place on your bucket list that you’ve never been to?

Connect with Sarah

Workbravely

Email: Sarah@workbravely.com

If you want to make some of your dreams a reality and need someone to help you along the way, I hope you’ll reach out to my team at the Financial Gym. We have clients achieving their dreams every day that they never could have realized on their own. You can schedule a free call here to find out more. No matter where you are in your financial journey, my financial trainers can help you get where you want to go. So head over to or send friends to financialgym.com/friends to sign up today!

 

Single Finances with the Happy Hour Ladies

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Single Finances with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour, where I gather great friends to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. For the past 37 happy hours, it’s always been the same crew, Melanie from Dear Debt, Tonya from Budget and the Beach, and Liz from Frugalwoods; however, we had to break our tradition this month because Liz is on maternity leave of sorts and has recently given birth to her second baby girl. All of us at martinis and your money are thrilled to welcome another little frugal weirdo into this world and we were sad to not have Liz on the show, but instead we got to welcome one of my amazing listeners, Dylan, who actually suggested this month’s topic of single finances. Something I love about happy hours is that I hit record and you never know where the show is going to go, just like any night out with friends, and this one was no different. I hope that you enjoy the show, my old friends Tonya and Melanie, and my new friend Dylan.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Hot toddy (tea, lemon, honey, & bourbon)

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Cabernet

Dylan from Nebraska — Blue Moon

Shannon — Gin & Club Soda

Podcast Notes

  • Liz gave birth to a baby girl, Aurora. Congratulations, Liz!
  • The juice in gin and juice is both grapefruit juice and orange juice.
  • Pros and cons of single finances:
    • Melanie: Her financial situation didn’t change drastically when she became single last year, since she was paying for almost everything. Groceries and utilities went down. If it was more of an equal partnership, it would have been more shocking. They did not make many financial decision together and managed their finances separately.
    • Shannon: She has always contributed more financially in her marriage and felt pressure to contribute the same percentage when she opened the gym, even though she wasn’t making as much as before. Money was always an issue they didn’t address. They relied on Shannon’s bonuses to pay off debt. Resentment started to build when the bonuses were gone.
    • Dylan: She enjoys being single and only needing to pay for one plane ticket or one dinner. She doesn’t have to be accountable to another person.
    • Tonya: She has dated people, but finances were always separate. Rent costs more, solo traveling costs more, etc. When freelancing, she wondered where her next check was coming from – it is all on her. She doesn’t have money fights with anyone. When dating, you tend to go out more and spend more.
  • Many single clients think it would be nice to have another person be a sounding board for financial decisions. However, if you are not on the same page, fights will happen. More times than not, couples are not like-minded.
  • Shannon joked that expenses go up when clients start dating (dating sites, clothing, lingerie, self-help books, etc.).
  • Dylan was a serial first dater, so her dinner and clothing costs were low.
  • Shannon moved to Atlanta for a guy, and then they broke up a month later. Dating helped her meet new people and explore the city.
  • Tonya said it is taken a step further in LA, with women getting Botox, fillers, and other procedures.
  • When you feel good about what you are wearing or what you look like, it shows in your confidence, but there is a fine line of taking it too far.
  • Be yourself and wear what you feel represents your best self. Don’t waste your time and money.
  • Tonya’s last serious boyfriend was very serious about money and always chose the lower cost dining options. For the most part, she has been on equal spending levels with people she has dated or they were good with money. Some of the people she dated in the past became more reckless later.
  • Dylan has always been better with money than the guys she dated. She moved back to Nebraska for a guy and bought a house, and he broke up with her eight months later. She was glad only her name was on the house.
  • It is better to be single than to be with someone who takes advantage of you financially.
  • If you don’t have a financial accountability person, you need to be disciplined, look at your money, and check your expenses. Schedule time to look at the numbers.
  • Make sure you have bills on autopay or that you have a family member who can step in if something happens to you.
  • Whether single or in a relationship, you want to make sure you can support yourself.
  • Make sure you are spending your money on things that you value and that you are maximizing your income potential.
  • Shannon said she is going to sell her house, because of the change in her finances over the last year.
  • Don’t over romanticize having another person in your financial life.
  • A current challenge for Dylan is rent and taking care of her dog in her apartment. She adopted the dog when she had a house. She likes that she can change her lifestyle without  anyone else having a say.
  • As a single person, you have the most flexibility and options. You are not limited, because there is not dual income, you have so many choices.
  • No matter your situation, you should always feel confident in your ability to manage your finances. Be aware of your money and where it is going.
  • What is your favorite part of your financial life, being single?
    • Melanie: She is relieved to not have to judge someone else’s financial choices or try to get another person on the same page as her.
    • Tonya: She can do whatever she wants, every decision is her own, and she doesn’t have to answer to anyone.
    • Shannon: She can own her money choices.
  • For a single person, every financial decision is a decision and it won’t end up in a fight.

TAKEAWAY: Whether or not we’re in a relationship, all of us should feel comfortable managing our money as a single person, meaning that we should all feel in control and confident with our finances. As I’ve seen and learned personally, you never know where life is going to take you, but you always know you’ll have to deal with money in some capacity so it’s better to get comfortable with it sooner than later.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at shannon@finblonde.com or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!