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I’ve been sending out weekly Money Love Notes for a while now…and if you’ve been keeping up with me…you probably already know that I’m a licensed psychotherapist with 17 years experience…
…who accidentally became a financial therapist…and a writer of self-help books, blogs, and daily journaling (for my own personal writing pleasure).
Sometimes I look back at where I started in my career and all the twists and turns along my professional journey…which included starting out as a vocal performer touring around the world with concert choirs…
…and then studying psychology even though I was told “you’ll never get a job because psychology will never catch on”…
…and having big dreams of becoming an FBI criminal profiler…which led to becoming a police officer (for a VERY brief stint)…and finally becoming a clinical social worker when those plans went to hell.
Where I’m at now is right where I want to be.
I’ve worked hard to create the life I want for myself…a life where I get to work with a handful of therapy clients in my private practice…
…and teach other clinicians how to help clients get lasting results and feel their very best…
…and teach my year-long, online MONEY THERAPY program (coming soon to a “theater near you”!) to women entrepreneurs who want to end their toxic relationship with money, wipe out debt, make more profits, and live financially free.
But where I am now is certainly not where I started…and I often get questions about how I managed to pay off $87,000 of debt in 2 years…
…take a business that was losing money everyday and grow it into a six-figure business…
…and learned how to work with my money in ways that made more money so I could have the life I have now.
I’ve told my story in bits and pieces…here and there…but now?
I’m sharing my full Money Love Story- all in one place…with all the messy drama and juicy details.
So, if you’re curious about how I went from a shopaholic with a failing business who spent her days working with nightmare clients…and her nights crying over her empty bank account…
…to becoming the mastermind behind TWO profitable businesses and lives debt free…spending her days working with dream clients and writing to her heart’s content…and her nights binge reading self-help books and watching her adorable chickens waddle around the yard…
…you’ll want to gobble up this 5-part mini-series about how I transformed my financial life.
I’ll release one new installment of my story every week for five weeks- starting today.
I hope my story inspires you and helps you to see that you have what it takes to turn your messy financial life around. I hope it helps you shake off the haters who say that “most businesses fail” and “you’ll never get out of debt”…and believe that whatever you dream you can achieve. That’s what I’ve come to believe and this is the story of how it all came to be.
PART ONE: SHOPPING ADDICTION, A BABY, & A U-HAUL
It was 2010.
I was a Newlywed living in Dever, Colorado with my hot hubby…but we didn’t spend our days like Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson…lounging around in designer hoodies and sweatpants, playfully bantering about whether Chicken Under the Sea was actually chicken or tuna.
We were both working to get our careers started. Tom had a super cushy job working in medical marijuana. He’d work at the clinic for four hours and come home with fistfuls of cash. (I’m not exaggerating…the money he made at that job was RIDICULOUS.)
I, on the other hand, had an intense, demanding job working 24 on-call shifts as an organ donation coordinator. Basically, it was my job to travel to all the hospitals in Colorado and Wyoming (which meant some fun flights on little planes) to talk to families about donating their loved one’s organs…and then walk them through the entire 18-48 hour process.
My job was super rewarding…I was helping to save lives, after all.
But it really sucked having to deal with death and grieving families everyday…and I could never plan anything.
Tom had all the time in the world to hang out and all he wanted to do was play with me…but when I was on-call…we never knew whether I’d have the whole night free to play Super Mario Kart and binge watch Breaking Bad episodes with him…or whether I’d have to urgently walk out on our dinner reservation and fly to a hospital.
And my supervisor at that job was a huge pain in the ass. Her micro-managing and rigid expectations made an already stressful job unbearable.
If I didn’t turn my timesheet long before it was due, she’d complete it for me…with the wrong hours. If I confronted her about it…she wrote me up for “insubordination”. It was a real drag.
I was good at my job…and I just wanted to be left alone to do my work in my own way without having to answer to someone. I wanted to have the freedom and flexibility to do things when it worked for me and the autonomy to make my own decisions.
I wanted to be my own boss.
But that wasn’t possible…Tom and I had a lifestyle to maintain after all…one that included LOTS of SHOPPING.
Our favorite pass time was shopping. We’d spend whole weekends walking around the Cherry Creek Mall…caressing all the high end clothes…and pretending we were as rich and famous as Beyonce and Jay-Z…buying whatever we wanted.
Tom had the cash to support our shopping addiction…and I had the steady paycheck to pay all the bills…so we enjoyed $100 dinners out a couple times a week…and I had a closet full of Coach purses I hugged every night before bed.
I was too distracted by Ann Taylor…Banana Republic…Gucci…and Crate & Barrel (you know a girl’s gotta have the best fish bowl wine glasses) to pay much attention to the $40,000 of student loan debt I had to repay…
…or Tom’s $70,000 college tuition bill…or the credit card debt that kept inching higher and higher every month.
Why would that bother me?
I mean, doesn’t everyone pay on their student loans for 20-30 years? It’s not like you ever pay that shit off, right? And credit cards? Of course there’s a balance…who in the world has enough to pay it off every month?
This is like the part in scary movies where you see the main character do something stupid that you know is gonna get her killed and you scream at the screen, “No! Don’t do it!”…but she doesn’t hear you and just keeps on being an idiot.
I really wanted out of my high-stress job, but I didn’t want to give up the shopping…the delicious guacamole from La Sandia…the weekly massages at Massage Envy…or the ultimate spa mani-pedis that left my skin smelling like lavender and feeling like silk.
*Cue suspenseful music*
I got pregnant…exactly three weeks after we decided to “start trying”.
There was no way in hell I was going to be able to care for a newborn while being on-call and working 24-hour shifts. I had to quit my job…
…but the other surprising news was that the medical marijuana industry lost it’s novelty…and Tom’s income dramatically decreased to the point that he couldn’t even continue paying his share of the mortgage.
He applied to other positions…but with medical marijuana as his only real work experience…no hospital or clinic was interested in hiring him.
We had to do something about our jobs fast…before the baby came.
Tom came up with a solution…and approached me with his idea.
“Nicole, we need a U-Haul.”
A U-Haul? For what??
And that takes us to the next chapter of my story…read Part II here