I was a precocious child and fiercely independent. By the time I was 4, I had written and illustrated a full series of picture books and, by 10, I was running a crafts enterprise out of my parents’ basement.
Upon realizing macramé was not my calling, I moved to war-torn Kosovo in my early 20s to follow the dream of becoming a celebrated war correspondent.
Realizing that wasn’t my jam, I shacked up with a fashion designer in a 14th century castle on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
My search for my next great adventure led me to Kenya, where I survived accidentally sailing into Somali waters on Christmas Day.
By 30, I had grown weary of answering to fickle editors, and I decided to take a leap of faith and write for myself. So, I started a copywriting agency in a coat closet, which rapidly grew beyond my expectations.
I was a natural at business development and quickly built a large base of loyal clients. It wasn’t long before I was managing a team of 7.
I was awarded 40 under 40 at just 30 years old. Entrepreneur Magazine called to quote me. I spoke around the globe to entrepreneurs. I had a Mercedes in the garage, and my manicure was never chipped.
By all accounts, I had made it.
Yet despite the optics of being this modern woman who had it together, I had a deep, dark, dirty secret.
I was broke.
I had my s*** together in every area of my life except this one. The financial deathtrap had me, and I had no idea how to get out of it.
I focused all my energy on making more money–not realizing I couldn’t earn my way out of my problem (even though the more I made, the more I spent should have clued me into how bad that strategy was).
I was working overtime to make sure no one found out I wasn’t as together or independent as I appeared.
So, I did what any self-respecting, hardworking girl would do…I stuck my head in the sand, bought a designer handbag, shimmied into my newest skinny jeans, pranced my way to happy hour where, once again, I spent more than I could afford.
The more I spent and the more I tried to keep up appearances, the further into shame I spiraled.
There was no rock-bottom turning point moment.
It happened one day when I sat down and finally looked at my bills. I added up my debt. I studied my spending habits.
My journey from being a financial mess to Crazy, Sexy, Money started when the unmanageability of my financial reality hit me.
Here I was, making a boatload of money, traveling first class to seminars and conferences in designer shoes, speaking on global stages…yet I felt nothing but embarrassment and shame surrounding my lack of knowledge around how to manage my money and build wealth.
I knew I needed help, but I couldn’t fathom the possibility of exposing my charade, revealing my lack of “together-ness.” So, I tried to solve my financial nightmare on my own.
I made some progress, but not nearly as much as I needed to seriously move the needle.
Finally, I broke down and called an expert. We spent an hour going through numbers and statements until he said what I needed to hear (not necessarily what I wanted to hear).
He told me any practical recommendations he could give me would be worthless until I got serious about my situation and my relationship with money. I needed to shift my mindset.
I hung up the phone feeling more helpless than ever, but his advice echoed in my head for days.
Very shortly after that meeting, having reached a new level of desperation…
I finally faced how toxic my relationship with money had become.
It took a while, but I accepted that the shame surrounding my spending habits, enormous debt, and lack of savings came from a fundamental place of not understanding how money works and how to use it.
I spent years convinced I needed more money to solve my financial problems.
And I thought I should know more about finances because I knew how to make money. Because I didn’t know how to keep it, I felt like a failure and a fraud.
Money was not the problem…I was.
When I came to terms with my relationship with money, everything changed. I let go of the shame and fear, and accepted that it was okay not to know what I didn’t know about how to manage my finances. I forgave myself for years of denial and mistakes. And I learned to love money–not fear or dread it.
What opened up was pure possibility. Instead of seeing my situation as a problem–and me as the victim–I saw it as an immense opportunity to learn and grow and take full control over my life, my finances, and my future.
Getting out of debt became easy.
Saving became second nature.
I started investing, and my money began to work for me.
When I spent money on trips or fancy martinis, I used extra cash set aside.
And I turned my financial situation around fast. In 16 months, to be exact.
Money is a taboo topic in our society.
We don’t talk about money because it’s impolite or we don’t want to appear better than or less than. It makes us feel uncomfortable or offended.
However, it’s this mentality that keeps us in the perpetual state of running to stand still.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, which sets us up for self-doubt and feelings of failure. The word “money” has become synonymous with how we value ourselves and whether we are enough.
Look, I’m not a financial advisor or guru. I didn’t go to school for finance or economics. I don’t have an MBA. I’m not a multimillionaire.
And I don’t claim to know everything about personal finance.
What I do know is that, when we shift the conversation about money as a signifier of good or bad, when we remove the shame so easily attached to financial matters…
We reclaim the power that we lost along the way.
And we build a healthy relationship with money.
Everything I know about making empowered money decisions and building wealth, I learned from the myriad of mistakes and challenges I had to overcome.
I no longer allow money to rule me. I am now the one making the rules in my life.
No matter where you are on your journey, rest assured, you are not alone.
There are millions of us out there taking back our lives, one small step at a time.
So ladies, I invite you to take the first step in your journey to Crazy Sexy Money. Right here. Right now.