How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get to be a Spiritual Financial Mentor?
In order to answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a few defining moments that brought me to where I am today, coaching people on exactly what to do to build financially proactive and powerful lives.
The defining moment of my life came in late 2007, when I was miserable in my role as a CPA and senior audit manager – I desperately needed a change after 11 years of auditing and learning technical accounting rules. I felt like a “square peg” trying to fit myself into a “round hole,” and that part of my soul was dying. I was also earning a really nice salary and I was afraid to let go of that. My sister was expecting my first nephew, and I knew with the insane hours I was working that I would be an absentee aunt and I didn’t want that. I didn’t feel as if all that I had to offer was being utilized in my work and I was being asked to do more of the work that I didn’t enjoy, so I made the decision to tell a few key mentors that as soon as my current client was done that it was time for me to consider other roles within my firm that allowed for greater flexibility and less hours. I told them that I was heading back to graduate school to expand my business perspective and work toward an MBA, and that I wanted a more stable life.
My friends and family called this “pre-quitting” my job (announcing I was leaving months before I actually did), while I just called it regaining my sanity and claiming my life for my own. I was able to be this brave because I had established financial stability for myself and had financial resources that allowed me to take the chance that I would be let go as a result of the personal decision I had made. I now reflect on this as “Financial Freedom Point #1.”
Thankfully, my firm recognized the value that I could provide in a different area and within weeks of speaking up I was presented with a role in Human Resources that would challenge my already strong skills as a mentor, a coach, and as an executive. I enjoyed this role however I knew by the end of the first year that it wouldn’t be a good long-term fit for me and that I would need to figure out the next step for myself while still completing my MBA degree. By the end of 2009, I had worked in this role for almost 2 years, and I was learning a lot of other useful skills along the way while working as an organizational change agent.
And then my position was eliminated and I was laid off. O…M…G!!!
I panicked alone by myself at home. I tossed and turned restlessly the night before what I knew would be my final day with a company I had been associated with for almost 14 years. I was afraid to tell anyone until I had time to settle into the reality of the situation on my own. However, I eventually DID settle down once I realized that it was what was best for me and that I was in good financial shape, and that all that my parents had taught me about proactively managing my money was going to give me choice and the opportunity to use my financial resources to re-script my professional and personal life. I had arrived at Financial Freedom Point #2. This was slightly different than Financial Freedom Point #1 when I had been the one to decide that I needed a change in my role, and I was never in my whole life more grateful for the financial lessons and skills my parents had provided me. I breathed into the new possibilities and choices ahead of me to find professional work that was meaningful and that fully incorporated ALL of my skills and abilities while having a greater impact.
Several months later, I found my stride when I started to work as a personal financial coach in someone else’s business, and I loved having a real impact with clients as I helped them to gain control of their finances. I was able to apply my systematic way of thinking about money in working with clients and I consistently helped them to establish financial stability and work their way out of debt. I enjoyed that role while it lasted, but I reached a point where I yearned to express my own voice and have even more choice, and that meant starting my own business. This was one of the scariest professional shifts I’ve ever contemplated, yet I knew I was mentally and financially prepared to start off on my own. I had reached Financial Freedom Point #3. In January 2012, I started my own business, Financially Authentic.
So, as you can see I’ve been fortunate to live a life of financial freedom, choice, and peace as a result of the lessons and processes that my parents passed on to me. I’ve come to realize from many hours of self-reflection that I’m here to work with others and pass along what I’ve learned to afford them the same choices and opportunities that I’ve had in my life. I’ve been informally working with family and friends to help them achieve financial stability and strength for over 20 years, and I’ve now made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my life to working with others to help them build a strong financial foundation that allows them choice in their lives so that they can become all of who they are truly meant to be. By combining my love and understanding of personal finance with the lessons I’ve learned on the journey of my own spiritual awakening, it is my honor to support others to stabilize their finances so that they can create amazing experiences and results in their lives.
And while I’m on the topic of my spiritual awakening, I’ll add the fact that I’m also currently undergoing a significant shift in what I like to refer to as my own “financial consciousness.” As you can see, I began building my financial literacy with what my parents taught me – the “nuts and bolts” of managing money, if you will. Then, when I started my own business I began taking more risks and moving through the fears that I had about being an entrepreneur (and there were many fears…and sometimes they still pop up from time to time).
And where am I at now? To be honest, I’m in a space of exploration – of being able to see that abundance is not just a financial concept that represents how much money you have in the bank, it’s also about the amazing things that you have in your life. And in a spiritual sense, I’ve come to believe that abundance first and foremost comes from within each and every one of us and that we have the ability to create it in our lives – that money is the result of the abundance within us being expressed. I am also in a space of trust that everything I need in my life will be provided for. And while it’s new, and sometimes scary, I have to admit that this amazing space of abundance and possibility in my life has made me happier than I’ve been in years, perhaps my entire life!