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Personal Growth
Personal Story

The Ultimate Guide to Money

I recently did a podcast series all about money. Today I’d like to break it all down with the goal to provide clarity on your relationship with money and move you in a more positive, understanding direction when it comes to your finances.

What Is Your Money Story?

We all have one. Your money story is about your beliefs, feelings, view and relationship surrounding money.  The best place to begin when identifying your money story is to take a look at your upbringing. Typically, our parents relationship with money often shapes our initial views and beliefs.  Think about it, what did you hear growing up – ‘money doesn’t grow on trees,’ ‘money isn’t everything,’ ‘ you must spend money to make money,’ the list goes on.  Was there debt or was money never a problem? Think about how you were raised around this topic and which beliefs you have carried with you into adulthood.  One part of my money story is a belief I inherited from my dad which resulted in less than ideal spending habits.  Once I went off to college I quickly went into debt, now this was simply my own spending as my parents paid for my tuition. I spent money as if I were making money, with the mentality that I’d make up for it later. The result was about $120,000 of debt once I graduated – not so great.  This belief was what I was brought up with and is quite different from the way I live my life now. I was able to check my attitude and money mindset, make some changes and evolve my money story.  I now have check-in’s on a monthly basis regarding how I currently feel about my money situation, asking myself – what is my money story today?  Now ask yourself, what parts of my money story would I  like to change?

How Do You Want To View Money?

My view on money in the past versus the present could not be more different. In the past, I would make it and then promptly spend it. One turning point in my money story was when I transitioned from working a 9-5 into becoming an entrepreneur. I am now more about investing, looking for things that add value and simplifying. Which is a stark contrast to my previous views on money where I had an issue with constantly consuming, accumulating unnecessary items and overspending.  I was able to change my view on money and shift my mindset into an attitude of allowing money to work for me.  Part of this is also gaining clarity on how we view debt.  We will all experience debt at some point in our lives whether it’s student loans, a mortgage or something as small as a cell phone. It’s important when diving into your money story, to acknowledge any fear or anxiety surrounding money – and this typically comes up when we think of debt.  Reflect on your past and present views of money, what shifts would you like to make?

How Do You Handle Your Money?

A vital part of being on top of your finances is keeping track.  No matter if you work a 9-5 with one income stream or run your own business with multiple, it’s important to be aware!  Once you start tracking the ins and outs of your income including expenses, debt, taxes and more, you will gain clarity surrounding your flow of money.  This will also help you to stay accountable, hold yourself responsible and ensure you’re clear on your full financial picture.  Do you currently keep track of your finances?  What can you improve on?

What Is Your Money Mindset?

The last step is to think about your goals and what you have in mind for your future.  What is your current reality and what do you have to do to reach your goal. Or better yet – who do you have to become to reach that goal?  You may require a shift in mindset, a change in habit or a re-wiring of your money beliefs. A perfect resource for uncovering this is Kate’s book, Money: A Love Story and her accompanying course, the Money Love Course.  Creating more abundance is possible and those seemingly unreachable goals are achievable – it usually only requires a simple adjustment.

Once you’ve fully reflected on the questions above, you need to create a game plan for moving forward.  This could be setting up the business you have right now to be completely sustainable or starting a side business you love.  Ready to take real action?  Check out the resources below and make the change now!

Kate’s book, Money: A Love Story
Project Life’s Money Series: Episodes 061 – 066
Smart Passive Income
Entrepreneur on Fire

Finding Success through Network Marketing

This past month, Kate and I were recognized for hitting one million dollars in commission with our network marketing company, Usana Health Sciences.

Today, I’d like to share my insights, experience and advice surrounding the network marketing industry.  A formal definition of network marketing, also known as MLM (multilevel marketing) is essentially a direct selling method where independent distributors sell goods or services for a commission.  Distributors are also encouraged to recruit and train others, with a goal to build and manage a team.  To me, it is a business model that exists because it brings a higher quality of product as well as allowing for delivery of product to be much quicker.  Network marketing eliminates the middleman and in turn, myself and our team become the marketing arm of the company Usana.

One of the more unique parts of this business model, is you have a choice in the company you promote and sell for.  When you’re actually excited about and fully believe in the product or service you are selling, it’s a game changer. I’ve known people who dislike the company they work for, don’t enjoy the product they promote and simply see it as a job.  This can make for a mediocre career and overall experience, which is why network marketing is different in it gives you a chance to choose a company that feels right for you.    

[If you’d like to hear more about my experience, listen to Project Life’s Network Marketing Series, Episodes 030 – 033]

Often when people think of this type of business, an aggressive salesman, persistent promoting and pushing sales with complete disregard for customers can come to mind.  This type of mentality is not how we have built our business, and not an approach we have ever taken.  I’d like to share Kate and I’s personal view when it comes to our Usana business, and what we like to call Conscious Network Marketing.  Meaning we present material to someone when they actually want to hear about it and when it’s relevant.  If they are not interested, we stop talking about it and simply let it go. We listen to the customer – what they want, how they feel and if this feels right for them.  We are professional when it comes to a potential customer and make a point to be transparent about what we do.  When it comes to our team, we lead with a purpose to nurture, help them grow and hopefully produce a transformational change.  There is no bait and switch situation, there is no taking advantage of people – the goal is to just make a positive impact.

When it comes to my personal success with the network marketing space, the benefits I’ve received and what this industry has allowed me to accomplish in my first 7 years of business is invaluable.  It has acted as our starter business, our most consistent source of income and has put me on a much higher platform as a result.  I say it’s a great business to start with because what I learnt and experienced in my first 3 – 5 years was phenomenal from a skill building standpoint. The confidence I now have within myself and the strengths I bring to the table not only have a powerful impact on my business, but on me as a human.  

I have seen our team members start with Usana and then go off to do great things, others have stuck with Usana and now have a reliable business they enjoy.  It’s all about being part of something greater than ourselves and I believe it is a perfect place to begin a transformation.

Interested in this topic? Check out!

One Million Dollars in the Bank

One of my goals was to have 1 million dollars in the bank by the time I was 30.

At 34, I can now say…that didn’t exactly happen.

I’ve created goals in my life, in my business and now I’m beginning to realize and re-evaluate the purpose and real meaning behind these goals.

My real journey with what I’m doing now, didn’t even start until I was 28. Leading up to that point I was working my tail off for somebody else and wasn’t exactly enjoying what I was doing.  At that point it was more about survival than anything else.  But when I started my business, my game plan had just been put in place and I was just beginning to enjoy the direction my life was taking.  

Then when I turned 30 and came face to face with the fact that I didn’t hit that goal – I really beat myself up about it.  Even though this was simply an arbitrary goal I had set, I was incredibly hard on myself for not achieving it.  The reality was since I started working on my own business at 28, that only gave me a two year window to reach this goal and that simply wasn’t going to happen.

[Want to hear more? > Listen to Project Life Episode 016: One Million Dollars in the Bank]

Then I came to the realization – why does it even matter that I didn’t hit that one million dollar goal? So I didn’t have one million dollars by the time I was 30, so what?  Why does it even matter, what difference does it really make? My problem was I treating it as a sprint, when it’s actually a marathon.  The business I run now is a marathon, to the full extent of the word. I have been running our business for 7 years now and we make a profit every year. With the goal being to continue to scale the business, reach more people and generally, grow. Now I know the income will grow and the bank account will grow but the question is – what if I never hit one million dollars in the bank? What then?

Gaining this new and different perspective about the reality of life and business, has created a beneficial mindset shift.  I get to see my daughter and wife every day, choose my own hours, and live life on my own terms. Of course I have other goals that require extra capital but it’s honestly not the end of the world if those never happen either.

Have you had a dream that you’ve beat yourself up about not achieving? Let me know in the comments!

What is your current money mindset: Abundance or Lack?

When I was in $100,000+ of debt with credit cards and student loans, I was completely living in a lack/scarcity mentality. I always dreamed of building a business and creating something greater than myself that would allow me to be financially free. But when I was living with a lack mentality, I wondered how that would ever be possible.

This is when I went to work changing my mindset and habits: I hung out with individuals who made millions of dollars per year, I opened my credit card statements, I looked at my bank account, I sold my house and moved to save money, I reduced my living expenses, and I reprogramed my brain for abundance.

If there is one thing I have learned from my wife Kate Northrup over the past 5 years, it is to think abundance when it comes to money.

The world is based on a lack/scarcity mindset – the idea that there is never going to be enough money, happiness, good health, etc. – and so it is really hard to change your mindset from lack to abundance.

I would like to create a business that makes $100,000 in revenue, I want to help 1000 people in our business, I dream of venturing to Australia, and I want to create a life where I am in control of my destiny.

This is an abundance mentality.

The abundance mentality has to be created for yourself – figuring out where your limitations are and working to strengthen and change your current beliefs.

I am still working on this. Our business generated over $600,000 per year in revenue over the past few years, yet I still think about the time my credit card was denied at a store. I think about that incident often, but it is just the little part at my cellular level still living in my past life.

When I started to live with an abundance mentality, I paid off my credit cards and student loans, I was able to upgrade my truck, our business started to grow, and I realized my dream of living close to the water here in Maine.

Here are 3 easy steps to start your abundance mindset:

1. Read Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup – buy book here.

2. Watch the Financial Freedom Friday series we put together – learn more here.

3. Sign up to receive a free #MoneyLove story every week for a year – learn more here.

And feel free to watch this video I put together on the abundance vs. lack mentality:

Have a great rest of the week – sending you lots of #MoneyLove.



Crazy Money Story

I just paid my real estate tax on the 43 acres of land in AZ I purchased when I was in college about 10 years ago.

It was memorial weekend, I drove 4 hours from my house in Phoenix(was there for an internship) to the east side of AZ, the guy told me he had a parcel he thought would be perfect for me, I stood on top of it, looked around and told him, “I will take it.” It cost me around $16,000 and I financed it with 11% interest. $1000 down.

Then I used the money from Sallie Mae to pay for grad school a few years later to pay this property off. Since the interest rate was less than 11% and I could defer the payment because I was in school.

Ok, that wasn’t even the craziest thing I spent money on….

When I was in grad school, I went to a stock trading seminar, dropped $32,000 on stock trading classes. After I bought those, I never spent 1 hour going through the material.

One month after purchasing the stock classes, I started my USANA business. And what happened next is for another day…

I never stressed about the debt, I always had a much bigger picture in my head on the way I wanted to live my life.

It is Monday morning, so many people are going to be riding subways, sitting in traffic, and going to a job they hate. Thinking about the weekend and how fun it was and dreading the fact it is a Monday.

In the next 30 minutes, I will be picking up a baby that will need a diaper change. I will be playing with poop, not really but you get the picture.

This is fantastic because when I bought that property or spent the $32K on something I never used, this is the exact reason I did all of those crazy things.

It was to live a life very few people get to live, it was be at home with the family, it was to build a business which will pay me whether I work or not, it was to have the ability to create something greater than myself, it was to put my ego in check, it was to hangout with friends in the middle of the day, it was to allow my wife to sleep while I take care of our daughter, it was to surround myself with people I actually want to hangout with, and even though it has been by far the most challenging thing I have done to this point…

it was for all of the poop!

What is your crazy money story?