Just Take Action – TMA 003
With naivety that makes me laugh now, after having my first child, I thought I’d have so much free time, why not start a business?
As much courage as it takes to tell one’s story, it’s also tremendously freeing and empowering.
I heard it said that the most important gift we can give is our story. Every story we hear is a gift because we find ourselves in each other’s stories. We receive the gift of permission to live out our own story bravely, own it, and share it.
I’ll share how I became a cash flow coach, how it’s a part of my family, why I keep going, and why I want to keep growing for my entire life. More importantly, I’ll tell you about the mindset breakthroughs along the way.
I’ll tell you about the ugly mistakes I made during the process. I hope to encourage you not to give up. I hope to show you that there are lessons on the other side that are worth every gut-wrenching tear.
And I’ll show you how consistently taking action, no matter how imperfect, has been the secret to growth, confidence, and progress.
I hope to give you the permission to think differently and grow along with like-minded entrepreneurs.
My Core Strengths Illuminated By an Eclectic History
I grew up the oldest of 4 on a farm in Minnesota.
Everything I did was with my whole heart, with a grand, epic meaning.
I was involved in 4-H throughout grade school. At 12 years old, on one of my project folders I defined 4-H:
… a window into greater levels of knowledge, determination, personal development, perseverance and effort which involves making friends, learning new skills, and having fun.
I rode horses and competed at the state level in barrel racing. This taught me alot about dedication, hard work, and being coachable.
At 17, I moved 1,300 miles away from home to join a ministry training program. We traveled across the nation, leading youth conferences.
I joined the administrative staff of my church and led a team of 90 volunteers, and learned that I loved inspiring people to work together. Through writing training curriculum, I developed the ability to teach.
After I married Lucas in 2006, I finished out a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business. I was drawn to marriage and family therapy. In college, I discovered my aptitude for accounting and was offered a paid scholarship to make it my major. I turned it down, thinking I wouldn’t be interested in “crunching numbers.”
Out of college, I landed a career in business and human resource management. Training and development was my strength, and I thrived in building relationships that drew out the potential of others and inspiring teamwork. I learned that leadership and influence didn’t have to come from a company title or a supervisory position.
The Intrigue of Entrepreneurship
I can point back to an eighth-grade introduction to Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, and the Cashflow Game, as the first seed of entrepreneurship in my life.
I wanted to understand investing and business ownership that made money and created financial freedom.
The desire lay dormant for several years and resurfaced when Lucas and I were dating.
We’d have long conversations about what we wanted to do in the future. We weighed and researched many options, from starting a computer services company, to a coffeehouse, to buying a franchise like a Subway or a cleaning company.
At the time, we didn’t know much about our unique abilities or how to best use our strengths. Our main motivation was to build a business that would help us personally create cash flow and financial freedom.
The Silly Idea That Got Us Started
Five years after we were married, we welcomed our daughter into the world. Overnight, I went from full-time employee to full-time stay-at-home mom.
With naivety that makes me laugh now, we thought, with my unlimited time resources now that I was going to be sitting at home all day, why not start a business?
We had no idea the time commitment or the lessons we’d have to learn before we’d reach the elusive “success.”
We started a health insurance agency 3 months later, hiring a mentor to train us how to get started.
Looking back, this was not the best mentor and the training wasn’t great, but it did get us in motion. We were moving forward, taking action, and doing something.
I had to let go of it being the right thing, and just trust that doing the next thing would lead us somewhere.
As we worked primarily with business owners, we discovered a greater need that we could help them with.
Instead of providing a transactional health insurance product, we began to see their greater need to improve their cash flow and get their money working for them. The more creative, relational work is really what got us excited about expanding our business.
Personal Financial Failures and the Lessons We Learned as a Result
In our personal financial lives, we’ve always looked for guarantees, certainty, and control. However, we were trapped in scarcity and fear.
We made great money, but we lived like we were poor. We didn’t go on vacations, buy new clothes, or enjoy life.
Concerned about the devaluation of the dollar due to inflation, we wanted a long-term store of value.
We were stockpiling about half of our income into precious metals during 2008 – 2010, devoting our resources to accumulation, hoarding, and speculation. During that time, the price of gold and silver was rising compared to the dollar. We thought we were doing great.
What we didn’t understand was the value of having our assets in an opportunity fund that was available to be used.
We were just thinking about how to accumulate the most money, with the most certainty and the least risk.
We weren’t thinking about how to put our money to its greatest use to create cash flow. Valuing the dollar itself over our own worth, we failed to develop our greatest asset, which was us.
Because we hadn’t developed a financial system that worked, we missed what was in our blind spot. When we needed the capital to start our business, the price of precious metals was down, and it wasn’t an ideal time to liquidate it.
How a Personal Financial Mindset Shift Changed Our Business
In 2012, after we’d divested some of our shrinking store of precious metals, we were introduced to whole life insurance.
Using it as a vehicle to store cash, and build reserves that could be used to invest in opportunities. We could not only build cash value over time but also borrow against the cash value to invest in our business or real estate.
After doing lots of research on infinite banking(Privatized Banking) we purchased our first policy.
We got so excited about the guarantees and certainty that we wanted to share what we’d learned and use it to help others.
The Transformation from Just Sticking with It
It’s been 6 years in business at the time of this post. It’s rewarding to celebrate that we didn’t give up.
So much – well, just about everything – didn’t go as planned.
I’m still the owner and president. But our business and my role today looks nothing like we could have imagined from that initial decision to get started.
Over the past 6 years, we’ve:
- gone through several major iterations as we’ve become quicker to listen to the needs of the people around us and respond with innovation.
- been continual learners, listening to the market, reading, growing personally, asking our mentors.
- made pivots and shifts going from health insurance micro focus to a big picture financial optimization focus.
- revolutionized our roles and amplified our results by focusing on our areas of strength.
- practiced pitches and scripts and then gave them up for authentic conversations instead.
- learned sales techniques, and unlearned them to focus on educating and delivering value.
- constructed programs, manuals, and a comprehensive finance course, and then deconstructed the pieces to deliver just what our clients need in bite-size chunks.
- gone from being consultants with the answers to being the coach who draws your best ideas out of you.
I’ve learned to lean into the unknown and trust Lucas’s strength to support me as we build together.
More than anything, I’ve learned to keep taking action and moving forward. The one best step is a courageous one.
How I Serve Business Owners Today
I meet with clients individually, and I’ve also discovered a passion for speaking and teaching. I’ve loved teaching through video blogging and speaking locally, and the next logical step was to start a podcast to provide more value to more people.
Our focus through it all is to help business owners get their money working for them, increase their cash flow and control, reduce their risk, and give them permission to use their money along the way. I feel that one of the most important gifts I can give my clients is the financial stability to be able to weather an uncertain future, and have more options along the way.
The Elevated Mindset in Business
We’ve replaced our primary business objective of making money and adopted a new one of service and giving.
Hunkering down, trying to preserve yourself and achieve your own survival is rooted in scarcity. From that point of view, you’re not equipped to reach financial freedom. In fact, it’s as if you’re headed the exact opposite direction on the tracks.
We now look for ways to accelerate value for other people. This frees our own minds to be more creative and use our gifts, skills, and abilities in a way that’s more impactful.
Success, as we’d seen it at the time, was achieving a dollar amount in revenue and retiring Lucas from his job. Now we define success as being able to meet the needs of more people, more effectively.
And we’ve realized that our greatest investment is in ourselves and growing our ability to serve others.
Why I’m Still Growing
I know the growth isn’t over yet. I’m glad. After all, I’m an entrepreneur. I love growing and expanding what’s possible. I’m committed to continuous innovation and being an imperfectionist.
We keep going because we’re committed to sharing the wisdom we’ve gained. I know it’s not just for me. It’s meant to be shared. With you, with my great-grandchildren, with the world.
This podcast has come from that desire to give more value to more people, help more people understand how to increase cash flow and have more control.
We’re willing to suffer a few bruised and scraped up knees on the path to getting there.
Making Sense of It All
Now I look back and laugh a knowing laugh. I’m pulling from all of my life experience, no matter how seemingly unrelated it was at the time. It’s all come full circle to serve me and allow me a more multi-faceted way of creating solutions.
The teaching, writing, speaking, developing people and bettering their lives all make sense as I look back with self-awareness.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” ~ Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple
My husband and I went from hoarders focused on our own survival to doers, givers, and teachers.
Most of all, we’ve learned that wealth-building is not just about building up cash, but about committing to the process of developing richness in our emotional, spiritual, physical, mental, and relational lives as well.
How do you eat that elephant?
One bite at a time. By taking one courageous action after the next, knowing that courage usually comes after the action, not before.
The Podcast Has More
To get the rest of the story, listen to the podcast. You’ll hear about:
- The drastic change Lucas and I made in business when we started discovering and working from our own unique abilities.
- Our biggest failures in business and lessons learned
- How I now use a process that clients love because it focuses on what’s important to them, crafting a money system that fits with their life mission and purpose.
- The collaborative workshops on alternative business financing that resulted from listening to the needs of the business community and responding with education to help business owners have more stability, cash flow and collateral in their control.
The Entrepreneur’s Cash Flow Generator Guide to help you discover strategies to keep and control more of your money.
Success leaves clues. Model the successful few, not the crowd! And build a life and business you love.
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