Respecting Your Money When You Hustle

I have a new found appreciation for money.  Walking away from a corporate job means walking away from a good salary and bonuses. So naturally it has me a tad freaked. Not because I fear not making money ever again, but more from just leaving what I know in terms of getting a set paycheck every 2 weeks for the unknown. Since I am on a path of not fixating on what is scary, I chose to look at this as a great opportunity for me to really reevaluate how I spend my hard earned money. I admittedly buy things (a lot of things) when I want to without being on a strict budget, but this is not a habit I want to carry with me. Knowing that my income is going to be based on how hard I hustle, I am not taking any of it for granted.

Case and point. I am probably the only person you know that has a land line. Why you ask? For whatever reason, the condo community that I live in requires a local area code to have the gates hooked up to a phone so that residents can buzz guests in. (Seems antiquated but there you have it). I thought I was paying about $20 a month which had me thinking, I probably buzz people in about a dozen times a month. That’s like $1.50 a visitor. Which is lame.  Totally lame. I discovered by asking my condo association that google voice would work. Oh and that is FREE. When I called my phone carrier to disconnect, it turns out I am not paying $20. I actually pay $49 (which is more like $4 a buzz). Who is the biggest sucker? ME! And it is my own fault. I clearly do not pay attention to my bills on auto pay, and I am quite annoyed with myself for wasting that much money for the last few years for no good reason. Needless to say, I cancelled my old school land line and now have google voice up and running. I can buzz my guests in from my mobile phone, and I no longer need to consider charging them a cover to get in.

Wait, there’s more!

Take skin care. I pay A LOT for that (probably about $250 for a 2 month supply). I have realized that I have been buying that stuff for over a year and I do love it. But I also am fortunate that I am benefiting from ketones helping my skin. That is 100% true and I do not mean that to be a sales pitch (well ok maybe a little. #shamelessplug). I know we only get one face and I definitely want to swim in the fountain of youth for as long as I possibly can, but I am convinced I can do it on less money.

This next example, as funny as it is, is actually haunting me. Up until a few weeks ago, I had been getting a gel manicure and pedicure about every 2 weeks. I skipped the mani the last time I went simply because my nails have gone to shit. So anyways, having my nails just completely natural, it had me realizing, I will survive without glitter and designs on them. I know this will cause heartache for my friend, Cari, who looks forward to those Instagram posts of my nails but at last, something has to give. I calculated how much I spend on beautiful, glamorous, sparkly nails (ok yeah I am having some separation anxiety). Be warned: This info is not for the faint hearted. It comes out to be about $170 a month which equals $2000 PER YEAR. I have never felt so vain as when I came to that epiphany. That is money I could have taken quite a few trips with. Or money I could have put towards my mortgage. Or money I simply could have just put into savings. I mean seriously. Done and done.

I am definitely going to miss my job perk of having free DIRECTV. I do not see myself paying for traditional cable because not only can my money be better spent, but my time as well. I have so much to do to get my business going that I will be in serious trouble if I am glued to the boob tube all day long. (Although I cannot under any circumstances not watch Outlander every week. I will probably pay for the STARZ app because hello? Jamie would miss me too much).

Don’t get me wrong. There are extravagances I do not see myself giving up, like my car. I am a total sucker for Lexus. Not just because they are so pretty but because they are seriously way smarter than I am. I have grown accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of them, and for now, I can justify the expense.

All these examples in my financial evaluation I am doing is a reminder for me to take better inventory on my money and where it is going. Priorities change and I should be adjusting my spending to tailor to it as needed. I still intend to go to CrossFit and buy ketones because those are the foundation for me to stay healthy and happy. I probably on the other hand do not need to go to Lorna Jane every month or so for new workout gear.  It is important to find realistic compromises. I will be so bold to say that it is possible perhaps you may want or need to take stock of your own situation to see if you have any reckless spending patterns like I do.

My biggest lesson though is realizing that yes, it is absolutely wonderful to have financial freedom, but I have taken advantage of it.  I am certain I can give up fancy manicures and top of the line skin care without sacrificing the quality of my life. I am certain that I will survive if I do not catch all my television shows in real time. I am certain that life in itself is going to keep me busy and fulfilled that I will not miss what I am “giving up”.

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CrossFit: In the Name of Pride

Everyone who has done CrossFit has heard this joke probably a dozen times:

 

“How can you tell if someone does CrossFit?”

“Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.”

 

Damn straight we will. If you back squatted twice your body weight or did 10 strict pull ups WITHOUT ASSISTANCE, wouldn’t you talk about it? #respect

 

Yogis talk about yoga. Cyclists talk about their killer rides. Runners talk about the half marathons they just crushed. And CrossFitters talk about CrossFit. When it comes to us CrossFitters though, there is a perception that we talk about it so much because we like to brag. Which truth be told, I cannot deny there is some validity to that. Really though, no matter what our sport is, we all talk about it so much because we have immense pride for our accomplishments.

 

I would say most people who join CrossFit are average people, meaning we aren’t former elite athletes and we may have not even been in the best shape of our lives the first time we walked into a box. In fact, a lot of us who start CrossFitting are there because we have big goals and dreams. And often we also come from a place of insecurity.

 

As I have been networking a lot with CrossFitters around the country, I am hearing more and more of the most inspiring stories. Women and men are starting their CrossFit journey knowing they have 50, 60, 100 pounds even that they need to lose to be healthy. Many are coming off tragedy like losing a loved one or even a divorce. Many are starting after recovering from devastating injuries and years of rehab. My point is that people are coming in when they are not their best (and that is putting it mildly), yet they dig deep to find the courage and motivation to go. They not only show up, they work their asses off. They do things they did not dream they would ever do. They start doing push-ups. They start being able to run. They start squatting to full depth. They start losing weight. They start seeing muscle. They start feeling good about themselves. They find happiness.

 

So yes, CrossFitters are going to talk a lot about CrossFit because they are turning their insecurities and their challenges into their redemption. CrossFitters are finding inspiration again. They get so much respect from others and are setting great examples. I posted a few videos on Facebook of myself doing some different lifts, and I had a woman reach out to tell me that I inspired her to go back to CrossFit. I know I got far more gratitude knowing I influenced someone to make a big change more than the 100 likes I got. CrossFitters help each other. It’s just in our nature.

 

I truly believe that CrossFit athletes are contributing to changing outdated ideals. We are showing and telling the world it is ok to admire and respect different body types. It is ok treat our bodies like the temples that they are. It is ok to sacrifice and compromise to make fitness and health a priority. It is ok to be part of a “cult” when said cult is providing a community like no other.

 

Personally, I absolutely 100% love talking about CrossFit so much because it connects me to other people. It supports the idea of women boosting women (instead of women tearing women down). It shows strong is sexy. And, as someone who is obviously short, and who easily feels intimidated in most situations by other people’s heights and proportions, it helps me build my self-esteem. I find great power in pushing my body to lift things that are beyond expectations for someone of my own size. And so yes, I want to talk about this. A lot. Because other people need to hear it.

 

Maybe it’s not tragedy or severe weight loss that is drawing people into CrossFit. No matter how they came to be there, they likely are defying what they believed their own bodies can do. I love hearing about people’s triumphs no matter if they are 20 or 40 or 60. No matter if they are trying to lose some extra baby weight or train for a tough mudder. I love hearing about it, and I do not want CrossFitters to ever stop talking about it. Our accomplishments are all relative and every one of them is deserving to be screamed from the rooftops.

 

So please understand that not every CrossFitter who is posting on Facebook about their workouts or talking about it at the water cooler are just meatheads. Many of us, like myself, are just damn proud. It is that simple.

 

Dear Universe: I Got This

Foreword:  Can I first take a minute to say THANK YOU? I have been confident in my decision to leave my corporate ­­job and start a new journey. I expected SOME support from my close friends and family. I had NO IDEA that the support would literally come from every single person I have talked to, interacted with and who have been following my posts (and last week’s blog). You would think that as an adult hearing another adult say “I am proud of you” would not give you warm fuzzies, but guess what? It sure as shit does. Having so much validation from everyone has not just humbled me, but has given me such a confidence boost. It is also keeping me accountable and motivated because I feel like this is not just my journey, but something bigger that is going to inspire many people.

Also I really need to work on an elevator pitch for what it is I want to do. For now, let’s just say a fitness coach.

I believe that many of us approach change with practicality. We like to have a backup plan, Plan B, planned out just as well as Plan A. So it is really not surprising that quite a few people have told me (upon learning that I am venturing into something very new, very different), “Well you have great skills and if your plan does not work out the way you want it to, you can always come back here or find another corporate job.” I am very grateful that I am respected and valued enough to have that option, yet I am not allowing myself to even entertain it, not even for one micro second.

I am a strong believer that what you put out to the universe is what you get back. So if I even tell myself or I tell someone else or I tell the universe straight up that I am ok with returning to a job similar to the one I am leaving, then I am essentially giving myself permission to not succeed at my journey ahead. I cannot give myself a fall back plan that  involves returning to a job that does not inspire me. I have to believe in myself and my abilities (and divine timing) that I am on the path meant for me. I have to believe that I CAN (and will!) succeed at my dream. I have to believe that I do not belong in a traditional corporate environment and that I should not ever go back again (unless it is because they want me to coach their employees for healthier living! #shamelessplug).

I have nothing but excitement for what is ahead of me, which if you know me, speaks volume. I am not someone who typically goes with the flow or just “trusts”. It has taken me a long time to get to where I am, and I am choosing to focus on the positive. By giving myself permission to return to the corporate life is like telling myself I may not be good enough to do what I want to do. I would never say that to a friend or my sister or a niece or a nephew that they “may” succeed. I would tell them, “Absolutely! You got this!” So why would I tell myself anything less?

I had an epiphany watching a recent Facebook live that one of my respected leaders at Pruvit (the company I am an independent promoter for) posted.  She talked about how when she herself chose to take a leap of faith to promote, she had a lot on the line financially. She really did not even have the money for the small investment to get started. She did it though, and she told herself that she would and HAS to sell the product she was investing in. And she did. Pretty damn quickly too.

When she was telling that story, I realized I had the complete opposite mindset when I started promoting. I told myself that the worst case scenario was that if I did not sell the initial batch ketones I had to purchase that it was just a little bit of money and no major setback. And guess what? It took me months to completely sell them. Why? Because I gave myself an out. I told myself “it is ok if I do not succeed.” And after hearing my leader talk and having many conversations this past week with many people about my sort seemingly crazy but admirable career change, I realized that I need to ditch that thinking, with ketones and with my future business. I need to tell myself that I HAVE to do this. And I will. I believe that 100%. And I have to do it without a backup plan or contingency thinking.

I also think that we give ourselves permission to not succeed because it is easier on our ego. It is far harder to give something everything we have and not succeed than it is to maybe give half our energy and fail. Because then, it’s like, “Well I didn’t really commit to it.” Or “I knew it was risky, so I’m ok that I did not do well.”  If I am walking away from a solid income and stability, why on earth would I want to take any chances that I cannot replenish that? Girlfriend would have to be crazy. Which I am not. I am practical and sensible, yes. And even pragmatic. In this scenario though, where it is my livelihood and more importantly my happiness and mental sanity, I am completely committing to this. I want to. And I have to.

Committing to something obviously is not solely a way of thinking. I still have a lot of hard work cut out for me. I have to commit every fiber of me to this. Probably just as importantly, I have to work on a little thing too called confidence. If I believe in myself and my plans, then others will too. (People snuff out doubt and weakness like hounds, and that just comes back around in the universe). For the first time in my life, career wise, I am being very brave. I have no room for giving myself an out, even if it is hardly detectable.  Instead, I will stay focused, stay positive, and hustle my buns off. Because there is a lot of amazing, fulfilling, beyond- my dreams success waiting for me.