Today I'm speaking with Alex Harvey - Empowerment Coach who I consider a fellow money coach as she helps women handle their money like a queen. She and I have similar background stories AND we love helping people get out of debt.
Some of the topics we discuss in this episode:
Welcome to the money, like my podcast, where I can show you how to stop living paycheck, to paycheck, become debt free and live your definition of financial freedom, I'm your host Mike Staunton, and I can't wait for you to dig into this episode. Let's do it.
Today, I'm talking to Alex Harvey and she is a money and business success coach that focuses on helping women with their gifts and talents in proving their income and being able to handle their money like a queen. Is there anything you want to add to that Alex?
No, that pretty much sums it up, but I guess in essence it's about helping people make a living doing what they love and also thriving by being self-employed. You know, and not having that mean that they don't work towards their personal financial goals.
Yeah! That's right! I mean I'm not in your wheelhouse about being a woman, but I am on the business side of things and it was kind of scary going from it being an employee to self-employed. How do I get clients? How do I get money? What revenues? What do I have to do? All of these questions came up and it sounds like you were the person for entrepreneur women to come to is that right?
This season has mentioned before anyone's that ever listen to podcasts. This is all about financial foundations, and I want to bring Alex on just because she's had more years being a solopreneur than I have and being a money coach, a fellow money coach. I wanted to get her beginning story and we're going to go through a list of questions here. So where did you start? Were you an employee going and making the transition, or did you just? Were you just a teenager entrepreneur right from the get-go?
No, I was an employee, so I started out my career as an engineer and I was working full time, my first job out of uni full time remotely, so I was working in mining and I lived about six hours, north of the capital city or a city. Basically, the capital cities of the only cities there are. There are some big towns, but so I was living remotely and I guess it started as soon as I started that full-time job I knew this was not for me. I thought I just remember thinking to myself. Oh my God is this what it's going to be like forever, just because it is forever for the rest of my working life, I'm allowed to take four weeks off a year. I know in America is even less and- and I have to have let you know someone's going to tell me whether I'm when I'm allowed to take time off and how much time if I'm allowed to take- and I just thought- Oh, my Gosh, that's insane. So I feel like that was maybe my first moment that you know was leading to this path, and then I went through a phase about a year into that job of just doing things. I wouldn't ordinarily, do like that. Just seemed like something I would never do and I did a whole bunch of random things. Like maybe I photographed a four-year-old's birthday party, you know someone who posted on buy swap sell. I made an iPhone cake for someone again off the buy swap sell thing, and then one of the things that I did was. I started a raw food market stall because I had gotten very obsessed with health and raw food and making all sorts of raw food treats, and it was through this that actually another woman. I knew that had her own business and also used to be an engineer. She came up to me at the markets and invited me back to her place afterwards and she said to me, you know I know you're, probably not making that much money off these products, and you should really be thinking about this as a business. You could really make this into a business, and then she put me on to all of these business resources online people to follow and learn from, and that's what really opened my idea my mind, I guess to two things: one was to business and the possibility and idea of business, and the second was to the possibility, an idea that I could do something that I was passionate about and that I really enjoyed and that maybe I'd get so much further in life, doing that, rather than just following the path that he made the most sense, so that so that's how that's how I got started on the business entrepreneurial path.
That's amazing! Thank you for sharing and I can relate to that very heavily meaning. I too went to school to be an engineer and that's actually how I got to Australia. Like you said in America, we only get two weeks a year in Australia, I was happy right, a double just for moving countries, and I was with that particular company, five years in the US and five years in Australia, ten years all up, and I finally figured out that there's got to be more than four weeks off where you have to ask permission to. I remember when I was getting towards the end, and I asked for another week or two or whatever it was, and that was like my sixth or eighth week. That year I had some that are rolled over and my supervisor told me it was okay and then HR came back said, wait. What are you doing? You know how many, how many unpaid leaves a weeks can you take? I mean I was in a financial position. I didn't need to be paid, but for them it wasn't making sense to have an employee, not producing an income for the business. So it took me ten years to figure out what you figured out and what sounds like a matter of weeks. So that's amazing. Congratulations and that's really cool how you also transitioned into trying different things. You didn't know what you didn't know. You didn't know what you didn't like and that's what I love to teach people. No one knows. I love this quote. My favorite quote that I live by is "a man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an opinion." I'll say that again, a man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an opinion. I can have an opinion all day. Long about me telling you about a business about doing raw food. You have the experience, I don't and that's the whole point just get out there and try and one of my biggest things that I try to teach people is to get out of debt. and people that, for what I teach people that I hear, the biggest ego boast argument is: Why would you pay off your student loans or your more dice? If you can invest that and make more on the interest right, the interest different, it makes sense mathematically. It makes sense, but the feeling that comes in of being debt-free is completely different. It's immeasurable, you can not put a number to that. That's been, I have that experience, they have an opinion and I have the experience. So thank you for sharing.
Yes, I love that, and you know I think, that's such a valid thing to always keep in mind when you are doing something, especially you know if we're talking business because everyone is going to have an opinion of what you should do, who should target what you should try. You know every person, that's never had a business right and you've just got to let all of that wash off you, because these people, who have often very strong opinions, have no idea they've, never done it before so. Yes, you've got. I think. That's that's a great quote, and I also you know. I love what you said as well about you know just trying things. No one knows from the beginning- and I say that to people a lot as well, because a lot of people are looking for the thing and it's like you know when I found the thing to put all of my energy into you know, then I know I can go for it, but I just don't have anything right now and what I say is just follow your curiosity, you know it doesn't help. You don't have to be able to see how this is going to lead somewhere. You just do things engage with life and that will bring forth. You know the next steps,
I'm with you. I've said this like I've, told us and spoke it out loud to myself and others, but I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing and the serving others right now. It's financial coaching and I don't think I'm going to Ever Stop Doing Financial Coaching. Will that change one hundred percent of the time and I'll share with you I'll be open enough to share this with you. I know your focus is women, and so I felt like I was going to step on your toes. If I also was coming a focus on women, I had to get over myself one because we serve even though we both serve women they're different times right and someone may need to hear the mask inside. Someone may need a different dependent aside from you. We serve the same people on a high level, but going down, we serve different people, and I didn't know that until I trated the dry like, I just got out there and I I tried to do this, and this is what it is. It is going back to what you said about once I get this thing or once I achieve or get through this thing, then I'll be happy action. What I have found once you try things, action will take you where you need to go to the universe of God, whatever you believe in so yeah, all in all just get out there and try if it's business or a new job. Maybe you want to be an employee, there's nothing wrong with a as well like I enjoy being an employee or I did in the past now I couldn't imagine going back, but I enjoyed being an employee and I had to try different jobs as an employee. You tried different avenues to bring your money and I didn't know until I try and now I have stories. I have experiences and it's a beautiful thing that has led me to who I am in who you are today as well. So I think we can agree to share that message with others is to start just try whatever it is just start just do it and and don't worry if someone else is already doing it and you can serve the same people and everyone has their own unique essence and flavor and people receive things from different people. So none of that kind of thing should get in the way.
Yes, so my next question to you would be around going from an engineering background and under my salary and assuming is the same, especially if you don't fly and fly out and moving towards owning on business. For me, there was a salary gap. So was there a problem in that for you having a salary gap?
No, not really because doing what I wanted was so much more valuable to me and I just knew in the long term. I've got so much more scope to earn more than what I would of. Although you know working in mining, I could own a lot, but it just then the tax on my soul and spirit and life force would have been too great. You know I was having a really sort lower back in about like the last six months or year. When I was in my job- and you know it was just so uncomfortable most of the time- I would be sitting during the day, even sometimes if I was standing for too long, and it will literally when it just out of the blows stopped after I left the job like it. I just completely stopped because you know it's if it's affecting your life force, your energy, your vitality, that can that can affect you in all sorts of other ways as well. Physically, you know, obviously mentally and emotionally. So it's just a totally random example. But no for me, I saved up a good chunk of money to leave my job, so I actually didn't go. I didn't set out to earn income straight away. I didn't know exactly what business I wanted to have straight away, because I realized I was much more passionate about the education and teaching a love teaching rather than making the raw food. So I knew I didn't want to. You know: Have a business making raw food once I left my job and I had all this money saved. So I decided to give myself a bit of time to work out what exactly it is and then to build that up again, and I I guess in terms of was it a problem. You know the gap and income it. It wasn't until I spent through all of my savings, but actually a real gift that I got from that was learning how to change my spending habits, because I think you know, unless you're stepping out into a business that you've already completely built up to support you full time. You actually you've got to learn how to adjust things based on whatever stage you're in right now and I was in a very comfortable salary, and so I comfortably spent money and actually spending all of my savings made me learn so much about money and changing money habits, because I actually felt incapable of changing my spending habits before that point, like I just you know, I would compulsively spend on things that I guess would give me a doorman hit and make me feel better. Even just things like food and coffee- and you know just daily things like that and yeah. It was through that experience that I learned you know: Managing Your own and self employed like inconsistent income varies from months to month, totally different ball game, totally different ball gaming being on top of things on top of your spending, all that kind of stuff. But once I got that down- and once I really was very, I guess on transparent with myself about my numbers, where everything was what I how I needed to manage things in order to be at the income level. I was, then it wasn't a problem. So yeah there's, I guess, an adjustment period of learning how to manage things a will at a different income level, but will so be when your income is more sporadic.
Thank you and the majority of people that I've talked to, and maybe even listen to this. This podcast, my podcast, would be a salary and have a consistent income, but I would love to talk about the variable like I would say. I call it like the hill and valley, like some months can be big and then some can, I mean for me some can be zero but or near zero at the moment and just lower right. So the variable income in what you just explained to me, did you ever feel out of control, or was there a moment when you came into more control?
I don't think I felt out of control per se, but there was a moment of oh fuck I've spent through all of my money, and I didn't realize, because I wasn't keeping tabs on it, because I thought I had so much that I just didn't have to worry about it yet, and I also thought that, as long as I was following my True Path, things would just start to fall into place. You know financially, but it didn't quite happen that way, because I also experienced you know such I would say like blocks and difficulty around, putting myself out there and making offers, and just you know how you actually go about actually getting clients and getting people to pay you and that that's an act, a proactive process that you engage with. You know when previously I had always been told from a job. This is how much we're going to pay you. You know you don't like it just kind of I mean you apply for a job, but it in a way like it's very passive. Most of the time I mean you can be very active about it. I wasn't and it just kind of comes to you and it's just such a different dynamic in going out after it. So I found I found that really difficult. Oh, that was just a real adjustment, so I didn't feel out of control, but I felt like Oh fuck. I've got to change things like Shit, you know like I'm going to have no money and I've never had no money and I've always had some savings and I've always worked like since I could work. I grew up on a farm, I was, I had no choice about working on the farm and I did get paid, and so I can't y not from a really young age. I always worked for a wage and so yeah that that was more of a moment of like I've got to change something, so I didn't feel out of control per se, but maybe more powerless and like what am I going to do.
Thank you for that answer and I'm very similar again. We can relate on a lot of things. I started working very early. I personally am a natural saver and it sounds like you are very similar there as well, and I guess to dive into it a little bit deeper. Could you share with everyone? Have you in your journey? Were you ever in debt?
No, I wasn't I because I, as it kind of comes back to I, worked from like age seven and got paid and my parents got up. You know got me and my sisters to have a bank account and put money aside and no, you know we got told to say we didn't really get per se any more guidance than that, but it was, but my parents were very much you save and you're only by something when you've got the money to buy something. So I think that was drummed into me, pretty young, so fortunately I didn't well. I didn't ever get a credit card. I did get a credit card when I worked full time purely for the frequent fliers and I paid it off every month, so I was never actually like in debt with the credit card, so debt wasn't wasn't a part of my journey.
Thank you and it's very common that people are in debt, but you aren't and you didn't, you still felt a little bit powerless in using your work, yeah, absolutely in earning and come yeah, and so for someone. I would like to just throw this out there with for someone that wants to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur well-being out of debt, doesn't eliminate the stress or anything like that. It's another, not job. At least for me and my experience. I was saying to somebody now where I had enough saved where I didn't have to. I have an income for a certain period of time. For me, I made that two years, but it was still I was in control of my spendings, so I want to share with everyone. It doesn't matter what you make just make sure you never spend more than you earn, even with Alex fly in, fly out, making. Let's just make up a number a hundred thousand dollars a year. She could go out and just have impulse purchases, but she still never spent more than she made and that's okay. Could she have done better? In her words? Potentially everyone has a different level of life. They want to live so for me as well. I've made money as an employee, and I saved the majority of that. If, after I became debt-free ten years ago and now going forward, I can promise you. I will never spend more than I make. I can make ten thousand a year, a hundred ten thousand dollars a year, a million dollars a year. It doesn't matter because I know how to control me. That's the biggest thing you've got to be able to control the person in your mirror, which leads me to the next wish of you Alex. when do you believe someone should start doing that controlling themselves gaining control of their finances?
Straight away. I think you know like I having such a cushy salary, which was about a hundred thousand dollars for my you know when I was working that that enabled me to not be on top of my money. So, yes, I did not spend more than I had only spent what I had, but in my first year of working, I pretty much spent what I had and actually that was also a bit of a waking up moment for me as well. I was I was a bit horrified by how much money I had the end of my first year working that job it was. It was a really similar amount of money to what I had at the start of the year. You know when I'd just been a student for for four years, what studying, full time and studying full time in engineering means you're at Uni five days a week, not any not these degrees, where it's like. Oh, like three days a week, you're at UNI. No, you! You need five days a week, so you've got quite limited earning capacity if you're working a casual job. So I was, I was pretty horrified by that and we had a financial planner come to town and to a session for women, so that was that actually got me to put together a budget, not a budget in exactly what I would spend, but just choosing these are all different things. I want to put money aside for savings and then having auto transfers so that as soon as my pay hit, my account money would go. You know to all those different areas and that's how over the next year, I saved up something like just over forty K, which is what I quit my job on, and so that was even you know a big step, but I yeah I still spent. I just still didn't feel I guess super in control of my spending habits, particularly once I left my job and just getting on top of that stuff. You know like if you can get yourself to do it while you've got a full time. Salary like that's the best time is right. Now that you, you will find the quality of your life does not go down. You like you. When you get on top of things, you will find there's so many places that you have money leaks that does not add value to your life does not mean as much as what it would mean. You know to either be debt-free or to have savings aside for things in the future. That really matter to you. So I think for everyone. The best time is now, because you know it will enrich your life. I think sometimes people think Oh, it's going to restrict me from enjoying my life and the things that I love right now, but it absolutely doesn't as long as you keep it values aligned what it will do, it will help you live even more of what you want.
Something everyone you know should, or everyone would benefit from being. On top of you know straight away, they do, and if you, for those that you listening, you can't see her, but that passion and that coming from the heart was amazing and it didn't even have to come for me. She said it perfectly exactly what I would say as well. For me, I have a similar story of Ted, didn't have a planner come in, but I had a lady at work and I was kinda saving, and that was the key word there kinda. I was saving, and this lady said: What are you been saving for? Want you go out and buy a car or get some more clothes and go on more holidays like in her asking that question she, I can only speak from my opinion. My opinion was that she wanted me to spend more money and joy life a little bit more, but what it caused me to do was ask myself really. What are you saving for and get clear on that and the result from that question made me say even more, even though I wasn't super clear on what it was I knew it was for something- and this was in my mid-twenties at this point, and I just knew it was for something and I was ready for whatever that was and I for my journey, I met Elle, we two thousand and sixteen she said. Let's quit her jobs and travel around Australia, or I tell you that was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I didn't even know you had to write a resonation letter right, that's my level of ignorance. I had no idea and if I had not had if I had not set aside tens of thousands of dollars, I would not have been emotionally comfortable quitting my job to travel around in a four-wheel drive and rooftop tent around the country. I wouldn't have been comfortable doing it, but those opportunities came because I took the action. I took the action first by asking myself. What am I actually saving for then being productive and saving consciously and then the opportunity came, and that happens for me all the time I assume Alex as well for business opportunities that the list is endless of what we can link back to when we actually take that first action, the ripple effect of dropping the pebble in the pond is massive.
Yes, absolutely that's a great story. I someone said to me recently. I heard I can remember it, but something like save for a want and a want will come. I think that was it. I don't know if you've hard that before. I haven't heard that, it was actually a client of mine from the US and so she's always been a good saver and she was saying in essence, you know to save and something will come along that you do want. You know and you'll have the money there for it.
That's awesome. Yes, thank you. My next question, for you is what is the number one thing for to start? Where should someone start if they know nothing about finances like maybe even ask yourself back when you were getting started? What's the number one thing you wish, you were told from someone else?
Well, I think you know finances. Don't have to be that complicated. This isn't my answer, but they're. Not It's not actually that complicated. Sometimes people think Oh, it's really complicated. I don't know much about it like really. I think you know one really great place to start is to start getting on top of your finances is to track your money like track. What you spend like what you're spending it on and also what you're earning you know. I was I'm so surprised. Sometimes I talk to people that are on salaries and they don't know actually exactly how much they get paid for months. So knowing just knowing your numbers is like, I think, really empowering to just know not roughly but no hey. This is actually what I spent on all these different kinds of categories, and this is how much I make if I had to give one starting point. That would be it.
I'm with you and I've created a budgeting, a fifteen-minute budget online and online course that I'm providing to everyone- and that's the number one thing: Know, your numbers you've got to track. What what's going in? What's coming in? What's going out, I will never forget the story. I was talking to a lady. She and her husband brought in cleared twenty-five thousand dollars a month. Wow. That was that's pretty good right, that's pretty good! They could only tell me where six thousand dollars a month was coming and like or when, if you're Listening and your jaw dropped, you're pretty normal, but it's no different than taking a zero off. If you made two thousand five hundred dollars a month- and you only know where six hundred dollars is going- that's probably you right. If you're listening to this four out of five people, that paycheck to paycheck and like Alex was saying, you've got to track these numbers. You've got to know your numbers. If you don't know, then that's the number one thing you need to be doing too.
Thank you for sure. Yes- and I totally agree with that sentiment of if you're spending your whole paycheck, it doesn't matter, you know if it's two thousand dollars your earning or twenty-five thousand dollars and what I find a lot is that people who are really unconscious with their money. Then they don't know the numbers they're, not conscious, where it goes. If they're living paycheck to paycheck, you know at four thousand dollars a month they find their still living paycheck to paycheck at six thousand or eight thousand, and they don't- and this is the other interesting thing is they often don't feel like much has changed in their life, so they're like how am I you know? Where is that extra money going?
I hear that quite a bit, so I think that's an important point. It's not about how much you're earning it's about what you're doing with it and you know. Are you putting aside a surplus? Yes, one of my favorite thing that I've said for years: I don't care if you make a million dollars a year, If you spend one point two you're still broke.
Well, you've shared heaps of great things today and I love that we've gone to connect. Is there anything else? I have a question for you to answer if you want, but would you share with everyone where you are today, like we kind of went through the journey? Where are you today financially?
I suppose HMM so well, it's an interesting time to ask because actually I am in the process of selling an investment property right now and I've just spent the whole first half of today doing the paperwork, because the contract put signed on Sunday so I'll give you I'll give you a rough run down. So I you know, hit my financial crisis point and I decided I have to figure out money. This is actually a really important part of living a life in alignment with out what I feel is my truth, with sharing my gift, tants and abilities with the world rather than feeling you know, I think there's a bit of a cultural narrative around money shouldn't matter. It's like money is actually kind of one of the most important things to be on. You know to master to actually be able to do that. So that's when I you know, I created a money, planner and tracker my Bonnets, planning, tracker and started to build savings and- and you know, started to build a self-employed income around that time as well, and you know- and that's really taking time and I kind of quit what I was doing initially and then it just really organically evolved. You know the sharing the money, work and doing money workshops selling me Abon its plan in tracker and moving into courses, and you know various other things from there. So my position at the moment is that I'm fully self-employed now, which is awesome taking a while to get to a comfortable income self-employed and that's really normal. I think there's a bit of a culture of like you should be able to do it instantly and I think that that actually can sabotage people, because you feel like a failure for not figuring it out right away, even though you're literally making up you know your job literally, and you know everyone's path is going to be different on that. So full-time self-employed, I invest. I actually just recently sold all of my ASX shares so and that's another good habit, actually very fortunate to have got from my parents always taught me to invest in shares to buy into a managed fund. That's yeah just have really got a good long-term returns in comparison to. If you look at like the last ten years of the ASX, it's not really that great and I bought an investment property a few years ago with my mom, and we have just decided to sell that because again we're just seeing better places for that money to go so that when we had an open home, this is a long answer. I don't know how much detail you wanted. There was an open home for it on Saturday contract cut sign on Sunday, which I'm just over the MARFA, so happy and yeah. Most of that money will go into a managed fund and I think, there's actually well yeah, there's going to be some extra, which is great really happy about that, and I just as of like two weeks ago, I've started to put a little bit of money into bitcoin, which I was always very. I don't know if Auntie's the right word, but not into Crypto, because you know for me coming at it from a financial perspective. It's like there's no value behind it. You know it's completely driven by form or you know what, but I realized, there's actually kind of whole worlds being built in that space. Now and anyway, I decided you know, I'm not going to put a big portion of my portfolio there, but I'm going to just have a bit of play and a bit of fun in the Crypto face as well. So that's where I'm at.
That's Amazing and with all that asked so many questions, but I would love to bring you back for a different conversation where it is focused on where we are now what you're investing in. Why you do those things that can be left for future episodes, certainly where season one is all about financial foundations, and you get to graduate if you will to that level of wealth and having a diverse portfolio and all these things. I want you to listen and take have this as a takeaway: Alex didn't say that she went into Crypto and then got control of her money. Don't hear that. She got in control of her money first and then you can start investing into anything. You want to do that's up to you to decide, but if you don't control the person in y mirror, bitcoin is not going to save your life. The lottery is not going to save your life all right. That's why the majority of lottery winners go broke again, file bankruptcy because they haven't controlled themselves.
Absolutely, and you know I only decided to play with bitcoin now, because I have extra cash to do it, like, I remember looking at it a few years ago when there was a peak- and you know that just wasn't the place for my extra money, then I was like no. This is just not where you know where I'm willing to possibly lose my money, so I'm not going to put it there. So yeah, I my mind, might be changing, but I have never really typically thought of it as an investment. You know that's why I've got investments in other places that are, you know more traditionally value back to, I guess, and then Crypto, I'm just going to start exploring again.
We relate there very heavily together. So my closing question for you, we kind of talked about it, but I want to ask specifically what does freedom mean to you?
Freedom to me means it's really about the freedom to create what I love the freedom to express myself, the freedom to do the work that I love and I think from that springs. You know all the other kinds of levels of freedom that I could want, but the most important thing for me- and I think this has really you know- I can see that this has been the most important when I reflect on my journey of what I've prioritized is being able to do what I love and to create a living doing what I really love right there with it.
I think we're two in the same people. I love it. Thank you Alex. where can everyone reach you? What can they find?
Yes, so my website is Alexis Harvey and I've got a couple of free resources on my website. If you want to check it out, but a seven days of money ritual- and I also have a six week- money transformation course called money queen that I run in live rounds, so you can check that out my website and join the weight list. If that's something you're interested in and then the other main place to find me honor, okay, I almost forgot one really important one, the well the one I was going to say next is my Instagram. That's where I spent time on social media. My handle is at Alex Ho and I was almost going to forget to mention that I also had a podcast. My podcast is called money, sex business and awakening so yeah. If you want to check out my podcast, definitely that's that's a place to find you know my content and I've got lots of money and business related episodes over there as well as well. As you know, I guess the the sexuality and the awakening part is is using all of these things on your path to actualize. Your potential live your potential and live your most kind of lit up a live life, so my podcast money, sex, business and awakening is the other place to find me.
Certainly- and I highly recommend it as well. I listen to multiple episodes that have motivated me to create this one money like Mike. So, thank you, everyone for listening and thank you Alex for joining on with me today, it's been a pleasure.
Thank you for having me and thanks everyone for listening
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