If I had to sum up the great big question of “WHY are you doing this”, here’s the short and skinny answer…. “To finally live the lives WE desire to live!”
What does that mean you ask?
We are ready to L-I-V-E beyond “Stuff”!….
For years, I’ve been able to accomplish a lot, and we’ve been able to do so much.
From traveling all over the country…
Speaking on stages in front of Thousands of people…
Building a global business….
Earning tons of money…
Buying “nice things”…
Traveling on luxury vacations….
But can I just be honest….
Despite it all, there was still something HUGE missing.
I just wasn’t sure what “that something” was, but i was secretly praying to figure it out because it was a nagging feeling that haunted me, that made me crave something MORE than what I had in my hand.
However, I knew that, “that something” was more in the category of a peace of mind rather than the accumulation of more stuff.
Here’s a video we put together to share our story:
CHASING THE AMERICAN DREAM
It’s crazy how we grow up with these images of what our lives should look like with the big fancy houses, the nicely manicured lawns, the luxurious Pinterest perfect decor with the fancy cars in the driveway, while everyone looks at us with envy, wishing they could be us…..
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this picture because eventually, this will be my life…
However, what we don’t realize is that for most of us, we spend our entire lives trying to emulate this idea, and we become slaves that are working just for things.
We go to school, get our degrees, pursue jobs with fancy titles, and away we go to creating our American Dream…….
The funny thing is, attached to this image of “perfection” is a boat-load of debt, distressed marriages, empty hearts, overwhelmed schedules and an endless chase for “more”.
For years, this is what I thought I wanted.
I too chased the idea of our perfect Suburban Lifestyle.
Spending years upon years as an entrepreneur, on the chase to earn more, so we can buy more…
Seeking out the perfect Super Sized Home….
Wardrobe to die for…
Kids with college sized schedules from Kumon, to Soccer to Football practice, then Gymnastics and Girl Scouts….
& the lifestyle that revealed that “I have arrived”…..
The truth is, no matter how much more we purchased, and how much more we accumulated, it all felt like an empty chase to me.
At times, I thought I was being ungrateful. So I’d say a prayer and Praise God for what we had accomplished, but the more I accomplished, the more I wondered… Am I living God’s will for my life, or people’s expectations for my life….
Not to mention… THE AMERICAN DREAM SIZED BILLS….
It’s crazy how through “lifestyle inflation”, earning 6 figures per year can often seem like the bare minimum to survive on.
It’s like no matter how much more we earned, there was always something waiting to eat up what extra we had.
Debt became a staple on the monthly budget, and it seemed as if we were working just to “pay some bills”…. with limited options to take our earnings and do what we wanted to do with it, no matter how much more we earned.
Finally, A summer vacation to the camp where my husband and I met, back in 1999, would shift our perspective in so many ways, and finally wake us up to discover that the path we were on, was no longer the path we desired to live.
THE AMERICAN DREAM IS NOT MY DREAM
We arrived to the camp around 3am. Our friend, who was the director of the camp was instructing us on where to pull in to access our cabin.
Exhausted, after a 14 hour ride, we raced in to the cabin ready to hit the beds without any idea of what would lie ahead over the course of the next 2 weeks.
Too exhausted to care, we realized the cabin had the bare minimum. 2 bunk beds, a couch and a recliner, and a king sized bed in the 2nd bedroom, along with a bathroom, A/C and a washer and dryer behind the cabin. It was the bare minimum we needed to get us through the week.
The bougie side of me was like “OMG we gotta live here for the next week”.
I was tip toeing with caution, worried about crickets, bugs, lizards and the likes sleeping in the bed with us. However, by the time we hit the bed, we were too exhausted to care, and I had to shift my mindset to accept the fact that this would be home for the next 7 days so get over it and focus on why we were there.
By the end of week 1, that little cabin had become our place of refuge.
On week 2, we were moved to a cabin at a different part of camp, but this time, we had the luxury version with the lake view.
It was still the bare minimum necessities with 1 bunk bed this time, alongside our King Size bed.
As a matter of fact, this room was a studio type cabin whereas the other one we stayed in before had 2 bedrooms.
But with us having such full schedules and being outdoors so much, we quickly realized that the bare minimum was all we needed because our hearts were full from doing the things outdoors that we really loved liked going out on the boat, spending time with the kids, zip-lining, playing bubble soccer, going for long walks on a hiking trail and simply congregating with other amazing people to have great conversations about life and what God was doing in our lives.
My mindset began to shift and I started asking myself, what would life be like if we lived like this everyday. Meaning, if we focused on having the minimum of what we needed to live, so we can put our time, energy and effort into places that we loved and enjoyed.
I didn’t say much to my husband but the thoughts continued to race through my head.
When the time came for us to leave, we were all saddened. Camp had done something for our entire family, allowing us all to get a different perspective on another way of life, even inspiring the kids in ways that made them light up as they discussed all they had experienced.
What I noticed however, was that none of us focused on the size of the cabin, or what we did or did not have.
What we focused on was the experiences we shared, the people we got to spend time with, the activities we engaged in and the true fulfillment we had gotten out of the entire experience.
And here’s the kicker…
Because we were hosted by the camp to come as speakers, we literally spent $10 over the ENTIRE 2 WEEKS for this trip. $10 BUCKS….
And it was literally one of THE BEST FAMILY VACATIONS we had EVER had… literally EVER……
While driving home, my husband made a comment saying “I feel like I just want to keep going, wondering why go home?!”….
I instantly responded and said “Keep driving then. If we had an RV, we could do just that!”…. He kinda brushed it off and shifted gears in the conversation, but it was on that ride home that things shifted for us all….
By the time we returned home, we all kind of sighed out of disappointment thinking “here we go again with the hum drum daily schedule of suburbia”….
The kids wished to go back to camp, my husband looked burdened with worry as he thought about all the things waiting for him to address when we got home like mowing the lawn and trying to get the house back in order. And Me, I couldn’t stop thinking about the “what if’s…..”
What if we did keep going??…
What if we really did have an RV??….
What if we gave this all up and hit the road to begin living our dream life??…
Getting settled again became difficult.
I couldn’t really concentrate.
I was no longer inspired by my office to get work done, but instead craved the outdoors.
I began desiring shifts in my life to do something more with our time than just “Chase Life in Suburbia”….
I started sharing with my husband that I felt like we were wasting away.
I confessed to him that I was miserable living the life we had built for ourselves, because despite the freedom we had with our “work from home” professions, we had become slaves to our homes, always sitting in these 4 walls while pecking away at a computer in the name of “getting work done”…
It didn’t feel right…
I kept wondering, why were we acting as if we were bound to where we were.
The fact of the matter was, there was NOTHING holding us here besides our own belief that this is the way we were supposed to live our lives…….
Finally, one day while we were both fighting to focus on what needed to be done for the day, My Hubby and I began to discuss, what are we doing all of this for?
Is this the life we really wanted to live?
Are we really happy with what we’re doing or is this all driving us down the road to distress?
Did we want to live just to accumulate things and pay off debts? Or was there so much more to life than we were living for?
Where is this all leading to, I wondered……
It was in that moment that I realized that
The American Dream, IS NOT MY DREAM!!
LET’S GO LOOK AT……
While running through our neighborhood, my husband shared that he was wondering “why are we here?” (meaning, why were we “stuck in Austin”)…
He came home and said to me “Let’s go look at RV’s!”…
Considering that he’s always fighting me on the idea, I was shocked.
However, I didn’t argue. I said, okay let’s go… and off we went RV Shopping.
He went from skeptical and resistant, to receptive and inquisitive of what our world would look like IF we chose to go that route…
To make a long story short…
One conversation led to another…
The idea of the RV became a discussion of possibilities and “how do we do it!”….
One thing we got clear on was that it was a great idea BUT….
There’s no way we wanted to invest in a Luxury Expense like that WITH DEBT…
It simply wouldn’t make any sense to tack on another $100k+ expense to our already existing debt, and think we’d escape the burdens we were already faced with, with paying bills all the time with our life in suburbia.
So over a few days of prayer, we simply submitted it all to God.
We said if it’s your will, show us the way. If not… frustrate it and make it plain!
What happened as a result of days of prayer is simply this…
We decided to SELL EVERYTHING WE OWN….
Relocate back to Florida to live with my mother in law….
Pursue the lifestyle of becoming debt free…
So we can be freed up to Travel and See the world with our family in tow!
In a matter of 8 days, we went from discussing the idea of doing this thing, to literally putting everything up for sale with a goal of hitting the road within the next 2-3 weeks….
WHEN GOD SAYS GO…..
I can’t tell you how clear we both heard the command to GO!
People may call it a fake, but prayer and a sincere relationship with God is the best thing that you can ever have on your side in this world that we live in.
My husband and I had gotten on one accord.
We tag teamed to put our heads together to map out a plan….
We sat the kids down to tell them what we were doing and why…
And miracles began to happen….
Our landlord allowed us to break our lease with absolutely no fight…
Our items began to sell like hotcakes, earning us over $5,000 in sales in the first 5 days alone…
Things moved progressively fast…
I mean, things were so powerfully aligned, that on a whim, I had the idea to host an auction to sell my books, and we literally made nearly $1500 selling books by auctioning them off through Facebook and Periscope. Something people had never seen before.
And the more we obeyed, the more freedom we felt!
It’s like, the more we took action, the clearer our vision was.
The beautiful thing is, we both saw and understood clearly that this was the best thing for our family, despite how random and bold it was.
While we were hosting an estate sale, people would ask us.. “Why are you selling everything? Your house is so beautiful, you must be so sad. I feel so bad for you!”…
And I’d simply tell them “You know, as beautiful as it is, we’ve been dying in this house. We want so much more out of life so we’re selling everything we own, to pay off all of our debts so we can travel and see the world!”
They’d go from feeling sorry for us, to being inspired, sharing that they would love to do something like that “one day”….
You see, what I noticed was this…
When people looked at your house and it’s beautiful decor as “the end goal”… it was as if you were committing a crime to sell it all and let it all go…
However, the minute they realized that you were letting it go to pursue more life experiences of traveling, being debt free and creating a life of freedom, every single one of them began to see BEYOND THE STUFF!
“STUFF” IS SO OVERRATED
I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m probably never going to be that chic that desires to take pictures in front of lamborghinis, show you my red bottoms and chanel bags and boast about how I spent $10,000 at Neimans on my wardrobe.
LET ME KEEP IT ONE HUNNIT WITH YOU… I DON’T GIVE A SHIZZLE ABOUT THAT THAT THIZZLE….
Honestly, none of that stuff tickles my fancy and I have no desire to lead a life that promotes that stuff as if it makes me better than anyone else because I’m rich and they’re not…
Give me a break…..
You see, most of us have been duped!
We’ve lived these very shallow lifestyles where the idea of success was painted within the perfect little lines of the American Dream…
And everywhere we look, from magazines to tv commercials, movies, social media, and reality shows they all drive us and encourage us to do the same thing… BUY MORE STUFF….
So here we are, working like slaves, clocking in more hours for dollars to ACCUMULATE STUFF…
And attached to all this stuff, is a ball and chain around our ankles that make us prisoners of our redundant lives where we “Gotta go to work to pay our bills”….
So what do we do?? We end up living each day with an obligation to take our ENTIRE LIVES and invest it into GIVING SOMEONE ELSE OUR MONEY, while BUILDING SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAMS… (can you hear me screaming this?)….
And we die with all this debt, not being able to take any of this stuff with us, all to leave it behind to have family members fight over it, debtors chase down loved ones to still pay for it, while we cheated ourselves in the lives we lived because we died, having never lived… and never pursuing the things that brought us the greatest joy, like our dreams, visions and goals…..
For me, I say “No More”…
I will not be a pawn in this game…
I will not allow this to be the norm in our lives…
I refuse to be a clone to this cycle of destruction…
And I’m honored that my family has said YES to making this choice alongside of me.
MY 9 GOALS OF TRUE FREEDOM
There are several goals that I have in this journey of letting it all go to be debt free. So let’s talk about them…
#1: I want to be debt free
This is pretty self explanatory. I’m sick of being in debt. I don’t like the idea of all my money being accounted for to give to someone else, and in order to really conquer this crap, I have to make a big bold move.
Drastic Results require Drastic Actions so this is as drastic as it can get.
Despite how “normal” debt is, I don’t want that to be our norm!
So we are doing what we need to do today, so we can have full ownership over our tomorrow’s!
#2: I want to increase our Net Worth
Or have a Positive Net Worth for that matter…
Here’s the deep, dark and ugly truth….
It’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you keep!
Focusing on building your Net Worth is what that looks like.
So many of us focus on how much we earn per year, but if all you earn is being spent, what good is that for your future, and the ability to truly live your dream life…
For years I’ve read up on the idea of building your Net Worth. Unfortunately I’ve been extremely bad at focusing on mine… UNTIL NOW.
Right now, due to all of my debt, I have a negative net worth, which is embarrassing when you’ve earned well over 7 figures in business.
However, time to shed the shame and get focused on the big picture goal… and being debt free will open the doors to building a Positive Net Worth.
It’s a long journey ahead but one that I’m willing to document and share, because most of us don’t know what we don’t know. So if I can shed some light on what I’ve learned to turn things around in my life, then I feel like I’ve done my job to help others in their journey.
#3: Take care of my health
I’ve had a few health things I needed to address for quite some time. However, I’ve feared those big medical bills being piled up on top of the other debts we had. So now I can address these things and plan for it.
#4: Get a looming IRS Issue in order
There’s a Green Eyed Monster that chases grown people in real life.
He attempts to eat away at all your green dough and if you’re not careful, he’ll swallow you up and drown you in the pit of fear, frustration and financial woes, just ask Mike Tyson.
I’m about to be the David to this Goliath and slay this sucka….
#5: Remove myself from the pressure of doing things I simply don’t want to do
Having been an entrepreneur for most of my adult life, i’ve come to learn what i do and don’t want to do.
There’s a laundry list of the don’ts and a handful of the do’s.
I’m now ready to honor my “DO List” and burn the don’ts out of my life.
#6: Write More
I can’t tell you how many books are on my computer, in my evernote files and hidden in the words of my blog post.
Writing is something I want to do more of, and I need to free myself up to make that happen, which I am now 😉
#7: Speak More… maybe…..
I truly do enjoy speaking. I say maybe, because I don’t know how much speaking I really want to do in this season.
I feel that my life in this season will be super focused on writing with a few speaking gigs in between.
But I have a lot that I want to do before speaking becomes my focus.
(This will be in another post.)
#8: I want to invest in a team to support my business
I tell people there’s a huge difference between a High Paying Hustle and a Highly Profitable Business….
Hustling will bring you a dollar for today, but systems will bring you money for a lifetime!
What i’ve learned over the years is that I’m tired of hustling. I’m tired of being the end all be all of my income and my business, and I realize that the only way to get beyond that is to invest in power partners that will help my vision and business expand and grow beyond anything I could ever do.
In order to get highly qualified talent, you have to invest in people who are not just “doers” but they’re “thinkers” and “strategist”. They will help you find ways to simplify your business, and grow your business in more profitable ways, while lending their expertise to help you make that happen.
I’m now growing and expanding my team with brilliant minds, and I’m super excited about it.
#9: Be available to do what God has called me to do…
This is one of those Last but not least things…
For years, I’ve known that there is so much more that I am supposed to be doing…
And it’s simply time to do it!
Being debt free positions us to say Yes and No to the things we do and don’t want to do, and I’m excited to finally say YES to what I know God is calling me to do!
So as you can see, there is a lot that has inspired us to pursue this journey of letting it all go to become debt free.
Although we are on the beginning side of this journey, I’m excited to know that so much more awaits us on the other side.
You have the chance to join us on this journey and walk alongside of us every step of the way!
We will be sharing a lot more throughout this process, so make sure you join our email list so you can get updates on our debt free journey as well as exposed to resources that can help you as you pursue your own!
Want to join us and become debt free as well? Comment below and let us hear from you! We’d love to hear your feedback, what you think and how this decision of ours has inspired you as well!
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