Uncensored Money Season Five: My Biggest Announcement Yet.

Melissa Browne: Ex-Accountant, Ex-Financial Advisor, Ex-Working Till I Drop, Now Serial Entrepreneur & Author, Financial Wellness Advocate, Living a Life by Design | 11/03/2024


Show Notes

This week in Uncensored Money, Mel and Lawsie talk about wanting what’s best for you, not just what others think is best for you. And, they announce a update to the My Financial Adulting Plan that may change everything.

Books and resources mentioned in this episode

If you're on insta, come play over at @MelBrowne.Money and make sure you’re signed up to Mel's Money Musings for more tips, tricks and ideas on how to best work with your money.

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Mel: Hey everyone. I'm Mel Browne. I'm an ex-accountant and ex-financial advisor, so I have the theory, but I also have the life experience. I'm now financially independent in my own right after coming back from less than nothing in my early thirties. I want this podcast to be like a chat with your girlfriends about money. My aim is to help you discover why you're behaving the way you are with money, to suggest new ways you might behave that are a better fit for you, and to increase your financial literacy and financial confidence. I hope it inspires challenges, educates and empowers you with how you do money. So let's get into it. Welcome to Uncensored Money.

Mel: So in today's episode w e are making what I think is a pretty big announcement and we are gonna talk about what that means as well as why we are doing it. But also I wanna talk about why we chase things and how in business too often we forget it's our businesses and we get to run them how we want. Madness Law's, right?

Lawsie: <Laugh> the horror.

New Speaker: <laugh> crazy. We've been running them. My Financial Adulting Plan for four years now, two years. How long have you been with me Law-dog? Two years. Full time?

Lawsie: Yes. Something like that. Yeah. Almost two and a half.

Mel: Crazy. And we've had more than 3,600 people join us, which when I wrote that figure, like that's absolutely mind blowing to me. But one of the things that you and I get super excited about Lawsie are the individual results we've had in the program and their results. Like Claire who went through the very, very first round and who is on My Financial Adulting Plan film holding up the cardboard that says $50,000 because that's debt.

Mel: How much debt she had. Yeah. When she came into the program, that's how much credit card debt she had and it was not an overnight fix. But over time she now has paid off that she has a buffer account, she's saving up for a house deposit, she's got a new job. And I love that she sent me a message when she got her latest job, which was she got her pay rise and it was a significant pay rise. And she messaged me and said, normally I would go and buy myself a pair of shoes to celebrate, but I had your voice in my head. And I went, no, no, you can have something little and then you are instantly gonna hide that extra money for yourself and start putting that into a mortgage account. I'm like, oh <laugh>. Like just the change in mindset. Or Catherine and Liz who are in the latest film who are both in their fifties and both bought a home, both were able in their fifties to buy their own home, which they came into the program going, I don't think this is something I'm ever going to be able to do.

Mel: Or even Emma and Michelle who Emma's an accountant, Michelle was an ex CEO of a billion dollar business. They made one phone call and saved, I think it was in the papers. 'cause Emma did some media around it. She saved about $12,000. Michelle saved about $18,000 a year from scripts that they received in it. And I know you have other stories 'cause you are in accountability groups with people. So what are some ones that you hear?

Lawsie: Yeah, I think the overarching theme for all of them would be that they've just taken back control. Yes. And then actually worked out what they want in life and then being able to take the steps to do it. But I think because they've taken back that control, they've got the confidence to do it and then go, all right, I'm gonna try this or I'm gonna do this. 'cause I know like we have recently heard from Sarah and she was saying that from the confidence of doing the course, she's like, I've always wanted to do these, like almost have a side hustle of taking people on overseas trekking adventures and stuff. And she's just come back from the second trip that she's run with that and she's living absolutely living her best life. Mm. Getting to do all the hiking and trekking and travel that she wants to do as well as getting paid for that.

Lawsie: And that's all just in addition to what her, her day job is. But she's getting the balance and being able to do those things and then that's setting herself up for the future as well. Or even, I think Marnie recently, like she said that she had the confidence to go back and go and do her MBA and even just committing to that, even though she knew that it was a financial outlay, she's like the job opportunities and promotions and pay rises and stuff that came through simply from studying it. She hadn't even completed it. Yeah. Was amazing. But then it's also that reframe for her where she's like, great, I know what I'm gonna be doing with those extra funds now. Yeah. And she's got a very clear goal around when she wants to be able to have the option to stop working and be financially independent. So I think it's just that. Yeah, like it's amazing. It's so lovely to see people that can just take back that control and just follow, do the different challenges and things. I think you and I are both fans of Jodie who embraced the

Mel: Whole, oh my gosh,

Lawsie: Finding 10 K in 12 months. And she did it in, well under.

Mel: I Think it nine or 10 months. She had 11 and a half grand. She's a rock star. I get you.

Lawsie: And she's doing it again this year. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And she's already on track for where she needs to be at the end of the end of two months and then three months. And she's just like, yep, that's something that she's, that's what I do. She's grabbed. Yeah. And it's just sort of become part of her life. I'm like, who doesn't want an extra 10 K in their life?

Mel: Uhhuh


Lawsie: Each and every year. I'm like, sure, I just love that they've all taken different things and applied it to their lives to ultimately get closer to what it is that they want, which is really cool.

Mel: Yeah. And I loved, I remember Marnie sending us a note inside the My Financial Adulting Plan Facebook group of her and her daughter meeting her daughter embracing her mom over in the UK. And she was like, I did not put this on a credit card first time ever. I'm like, oh <laugh>. Like it just, oh, we knew we would have that, but I don't think we expected the stories that we collect and the lives that we've changed. Certainly not when I started. It absolutely was not. I didn't expect to have so many. But also I think what we didn't expect was the community we created that is so strong and so supportive and that so many of our members talk about loving and having these conversation and these new friends that they didn't have before. And during the four years of running the My Financial Adulting Plan, we've had targets and we've thrown targets out the window because we didn't know how this business worked.

Mel: 'Cause We've never run one like this before. I mean I used to run an accounting firm. People had to come and do business with us 'cause we had tax. And with a financial planning kind of, once you have a client, you've kind of got them forever. And we kind of got them from the accounting firms. So it wasn't hard like this is just such a new animal. But because we are both a little competitive, especially with ourself <laugh>, I think I'm competitive just in life. I think you are competitive with yourself as in you always wanna strive for more. So we kept chasing bigger and bigger and bigger because that's what you're supposed to want. But this year my word is more. And I think that means that I should want even more people doing my program. Right? But I also want more quality. I wanna celebrate more results.

Mel: I want more community, but I also want more joy personally. More downtime, more adventures, more opportunities. Just more not just more numbers. What I realized very quickly this year, I mean it's February, so I realized it very quickly was that if I really want to say yes to more, I need to change some things. Because for example, if we are honest and if we want to celebrate more results and more community inside the My Financial Adulting Plan, my question that I kept asking was, can you still do that and pour a thousand people at once into our space? And I'm not sure that you can like perhaps, but I'm not sure that you can. And I don't think that if you can, that we could manage that who we have at the moment and what we want. I'm super predictive of these lives and this community that we've created.

Mel: And for me, and I know for you Lawsie, the results and the financial transformation are why we're doing what we're doing. Like we had this conversation really recently. This is why we do what we do. So this year we are making a big change. You ready for it? Lawdog?

Lawsie: Ooh. It's like I don't know what it is. Sure. This suspense is killing me.

Mel: She knows what it is. As if I would make a decision without raining it past her. But our big announcement is we are going to limit each round of the My financial adulting plan to 400 people only. And that might seem like a big number, but let me put that into context. If we've made this decision in 2023, so last year, it would mean that over 220 people would've missed out on joining. Like that's massive. But that's how much we wanna protect the community and how much we really wanna make sure that we are able to create the results we want by limiting that number.

Mel: Because here's the thing, to me, community and results are more important than chasing a bigger and bigger number. And I know <laugh>, so I have a business coach from when I first started online courses. Tina Tower, you and I meeting with her on Friday this week. Lawsie we are. And I said to you, let's make this podcast before <laugh>. We meet with her. 'cause I don't wanna go back on this decision. We're meeting with her this week and I know she's not gonna be happy. So if I disappear listeners, please tell the police Tina's name, <laugh> Tina Tower, because obviously she wants more for us. But we know that that more isn't right for what the results we want. But let me explain it another way. On Instagram, I don't do sponsored posts. I am approached at least once a week to do a sponsored post.

Mel: Last year it was with a major private health insurance company. I always say no. And the reason I don't do sponsored posts on Instagram is I believe money is a really it subject. I think too many people look at people that talk about money and think, Ugh, can they be trusted? What's the kickback they're receiving for it? And I wanna make sure people know when they engage with me that I'm not receiving anything like nada zip. I will always say no. I reckon I miss out on a hundred grand a year by saying no to sponsor posts. Like easy. And yet I make that decision every single week because it's more important to me that I'm seen independent, that people trust me and therefore take action to make significant change in their finances. Then I get a little more cash. And that is exactly the same reason why I want to limit growth this year for the My Financial Adulting Plan.

Mel: 'Cause It's more important that we protect community and transform individual lives and have thousands more stories as Claire, Catherine, Liz, Emma, Jodie, Marnie and Sarah than going, oh my gosh, look at this massive number. So I wanna ask you a question listener around what you are doing. And Lawsie and I are gonna talk through this, when it comes to your personal finances, what are you chasing that everyone else wants for you and thinks is possible for you and could even be a great thing that isn't necessarily right for for you? So this is the first of three questions, Lawsie and I wanna talk through. And I really want you to give some thought to this. So let me say it again. When it comes to your personal finances, what are you chasing that everyone else wants for you and thinks it's possible for you and could even be a great thing but isn't necessarily right for you? What do you reckon, Lawsie? What are some things that we've seen or some things that that might be the case?

Lawsie: I mean, if we look at it from a personal level, I think, and there's often that common misconception that you and I are in business together and for the Millionth time for everybody. No, no. I'm very happy employee land and it is very much Mel's business, hence why it's called Melissa Browne

Mel: <Laugh> as you like to remind me

Lawsie: <Laugh>. Exactly. It's your business boss. But I think whether it's been the accounting firm and different things and even this business with you, people just assume that I am a part of it, that I want to be a part of it.

Mel: And that's certainly something I invited you to be early on. Yes.

Lawsie: Oh absolutely. Like we've had conversations. Even when you sold the accounting firm, there was all this pressure from that going, oh don't you know, you should be buying in as part of this transition to be a partner. And I like, ahh. And I totally get that. Other people were obviously wanting that. For me they were. And financially sure it probably would've been a great thing. It's just not what I want. And so I think that's just one of those examples that just because you can doesn't mean that you should. Yeah. And just because everybody else around you is encouraging you to or pressuring you to, depending where they are on that scale, it doesn't mean that it's something that you should be doing. And so to take that time to step back from it and go actually what is the thing that I want? What's the right thing for me? And then making that choice and sticking to that. So that would be, yeah, that's one example.

Mel: I don't know about you, but sometimes I wish there was an easy way, a silver bullet, a magical unicorn, a fairy godmother ready to grant me three wishes. I mean, think of all the miracle diets, fitness fads, promising a six pack in six weeks, or finance bros promising riches by following this easy formula. Do you believe a word of it?Well, the part that longs for a quick fix might be taken in, but you are smarter than that. Personally, what I believe in is consistency, educating myself, finding an expert to help me, surrounding myself with a community who are going to motivate me to keep going and make me feel like I can do it because they're doing it too or are further down the road than I am. That's exactly what we've created inside the My Financial Adulting Plan. If you feel like you're on top of your finances, you have a plan for this year that you're super comfortable with and have everything you need to make that happen, then just ignore this ad. But for the rest of you, make sure you check out my life-changing 12 week course or for less than the price of a cup of coffee a day. Head to the show notes to join the wait list for the next round. Or you might be lucky enough to find that the doors are open and you can join now.

New Speaker: Now that's a massive one. 'cause I reckon there would be so many people in that situation where it's either taking on a manager role or maybe it's starting a business or buying into a business and it's not right for them. But it's recognising that. I remember talking to someone, Antonella or a client so long ago where she was a lawyer in her business and a business coach said to her, you need to stop doing that and hire more lawyers and manage them. And she said to me, but Mel, I love being a lawyer. Like she was a family lawyer. She goes, I love this. She's like, I don't wanna manage people. So it's your business. Don't <laugh>. Yeah,

Lawsie: <Laugh>.

Mel: But we just think this is what we should like I remember her being heartbroken. I wanna suggest another example is buying your own home. Like so many people think that's a natural first step to adulting or, or, or if they were to say to their friends and family, you know what? I don't think buying their own home is right for me. I reckon the pressure that would be brought to bear around that would be extraordinary. What do you mean you're not gonna buy a home? Are you mad? What happens when you get older? Blah blah blah blah blah. Like you can just hear it. And yes, you should still be investing, but owning your own home is Abso freaking absolutely not the right move for everyone. And more and more people are rejecting that, but there's still a lot of pressure around it. Mm-Hmm.

Lawsie: I think another example is even things like direct shares.

Mel: Yes.

Lawsie: You know, again, coming from the accounting background, I think a lot of people go, oh you know, oh you should be investing in direct shares and this, that and the other. And I'm like, yeah sure I do. But it's not what I do for most of my time I couldn't be bothered. Yes. Like, and again, it just comes down to that there's so many different options when it comes to buying your home or how you gonna invest or all of these things. And it's like it actually doesn't matter. Like just choose the one that's actually gonna be the right thing for you. Yeah.

Mel: And you still invest in ETFs but just not so much in this.

Lawsie: Yeah. Like I have direct shares and stuff, but I'm like yeah, no, I'd rather just be spending my weekends out climbing a mountain. Like much more exciting.

Mel: Automate it and forget about it.

Lawsie: Yeah, exactly. I don't need to be pouring over financial statements just because I know that I can interpret them. Yes.

Mel: So true. And it's not personal finance, but even like you and I have both decided not to have kids. And certainly, I don't know that you probably receive the same pressure as I did. I'm not sure if I've ever asked you that as when I was in my thirties, when I reckon it daily, I would get asked by clients, friends strangers on the street, blah, blah blah. Oh, but are you sure you don't want kids Who's gonna look after you when you're old age? You'll never love someone as much as you love. You'll never know love like this. Oh what does my mother say? You can't just turn your mother heart off. Like my favorite line ever. But again, the pressure around succumbing to what was then a societal norm was massive. If I had had children, it would've been to meet that not because of something that I wanted. And I'm grateful every single day that I didn't have children. Total sidebar. Do you get people saying that to you now? Or is it, I don't anymore.

Lawsie: Like we absolutely used to. I think it was that same, you get married, it's kind of that next step door thing step. So I think a lot of people were always asking, oh you know, like, oh you're married now. Like, and I'm like, that's great that

Mel: You had one child. When are you having a second?

Lawsie: Yeah. Like it's just that it's more next step. Yeah.

Mel: Oh my gosh. Yes.

Lawsie: And I guess it is people making conversation. It is all those things, but I don't get it so much now. But absolutely like we would get it at networking things and we'd go to the accounting firm and stuff and clients to an extent would ask. But then you are always dealing with your clients anyway. So I think naturally just those conversations died off. And it certainly isn't like people ask now. Like particularly when you're meeting them or do you have children? But it's not, yes. That expectation of when are you having children? Yes. It's just that curiosity of where do you work? Do you have children? Where do you live? What do you do for fun? Like it's just a curious question. Mm. Not,

Mel: Which

Lawsie: Is yeah. A very different. But yeah, absolutely. We used to get that all the time, but it's certainly not something I've had for quite a while. Which is nice <laugh> .

Mel: Things are changing. Maybe they'll change with housing too. When it comes to your personal bits and bobs or your personal finances, again, it's asked, the first question was all around, is it right for you? And we've given you a bunch of different examples there when it comes to your business as well. I wanna give you a couple of questions. If you have a business or a side hustle or a hobby for you to ask. And it is, what do you need to say no to in order to say yes to something else? To be honest, that could be a personal finance question as well. But what do you need to say no to in order to say yes to something else? So if it was personal finances, it would be, I might need to say no to going out this year and miss out on some things in order to save up for this juicy goal that I'm so excited about that I really wanna meet in 12 months time. And I'm gonna loud budget, I'm gonna talk to, when people ask me out, I'm gonna say to them, you know what, I'd love to but this goal is so important to me that I won't. So that's a personal finance example of saying no to something in order to say yes to something. Yeah.

Lawsie: I think, I mean even if we look at your business, 'cause it's not our business

Mel: <laugh>,

Lawsie: I think for us it was, you know, a couple years ago saying no to running like the Business Adulting Plan. Yes. As a course and as a membership and with the regular meeting with the clients and things like that. And that was, you know, a huge revenue hit. Yeah. I think it was

Mel: About $150,000 that we shut down a revenue overnight.

Lawsie: Yeah. But it was about saying no to that. So we could actually focus on the My Financial Adulting Plan and then helping more people with their personal finances. Yeah. So it was very much no to that. So we can say yes to really focusing our time and energy. Mm.

Mel: And it really felt like we were riding two horses. It was. And I think it's that thing just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Like we've said that quite a few times today. Yes, I love business. Yes I am. I love teaching it. But I kind of had to pick a lane and be really great at that. And I still will dip into businesses. I just won't do. I used to do one-on-ones. I used to do monthly coaching. Like it was a whole big thing. And now we don't do any of that one-on-ones is another thing that I've said no to in order to say. And the yes that I've said some in order to say no to one-on-ones is just having more energy for other things. Like one-on-ones drain me. I remember when I had the accounting firm, if I looked at my calendar and I saw appointments in there, I'd go nooo.

Mel: Like Tony, my husband sees a day of appointment. He's like, yeah. And he's like bounding out the door. So excited. Like as an introvert, I loved what we'd get out of the sessions, but I just hated doing like, I just hated the energy suck. It was kind of like exercising. I loved it. After <laugh> or during, I just hated the getting to it. Now I don't do them at all. 'cause That thing means I can pour energy into our community and have, I think if I did one-on-ones, I would have to drop that 400 to probably 200. 'cause I just wouldn't be able to show up like I do in all the places. I'd probably have to say no to speaking on podcasts. No. To any speaking gigs that I did. Like I would just have to say no to so much more. And I just choose no. Plus you love them. So that's an easy thing. Mm-Hmm.

Lawsie: I do love them. Mm-Hmm. I'll say no to doing group stuff and Yeah. Yes. To doing the one-on-one stuff. Yeah. No, not quite. That's not quite true. But, and it's the same, you know, you see businesses all the time, like they might end up having so many different product lines and doing all of these things and suddenly they go and shrink it in because they're like, actually no, we don't need to have a hundred different product lines. We are just gonna focus on this and be really good at this. Or all of those things. Or it's saying, doing the reverse of that, if they figure that that's actually gonna be better for them as well. So there's so many ways where it's again, just having that critical lens, I think, to look at it and go, what's working? What's not? What do you actually wanna do? And then yeah, taking action in line with that.

Mel: So we just wanted three simple questions to give you something to think about so that you can practically go and do something, which is, you know what I'm all about, another way to think about this is what do you need to be bad at in order to be great at something else? So for me, what I'm gonna choose to be bad at this year is the growth is like hypergrowth. I'm gonna limit my growth. So I'm gonna be bad at that in order to be great at community and having those transformative stories. For me, that's more important. Another example is Netflix. So during the pandemic, Netflix looked at what they were doing and they knew that if we were all at home, we weren't gonna be writing albums like Taylor. Only a couple of us were doing that. The rest of us were binging <laugh> shows on our couch, including me. And so what they did is they made the decision to be bad at HDR. So they dropped their high definition quality down and as a result of that, it meant that we could all stream in the volume that we did without having the buffering or the streaming issue. So they chose to be bad at the super high definition that perhaps they might have had the month before the pandemic. What about other ideas? Lawdog.

Lawsie: I think it's even, this is gonna sound terrible. You did it with your accounting firm, <laugh>, where you said we were Yes. Weren't going to be the absolute best at tax. I'm not gonna say we're gonna be bad. Yes. But with the <crosstalk>, we're gonna

Mel: Be good. Yeah.

Lawsie: Yeah. That we were going to be great with our customer service and getting back to all of our clients same day, give or take at the very end of the day and whatever. But constantly in touch with our clients, being really proactive in working with them and giving them this experience where they felt like we actually wanted to do work with them and we weren't putting out this image of we are so busy, that's why it takes us four weeks to return your calls and emails and you're constantly chasing us to get back to you.

Mel: Look how important we are with our big $12 words and our unable to be contacted on the phone now. Yes.

Lawsie: <Laugh>. Like all of those things. So it was that sort of thing going, yes, we're obviously still gonna be doing tax, but also this is where we're really gonna focus. And we had service stands and everything else around that to make sure that that was as robust and as beneficial for clients as it possibly could be. 'cause That was the thing they worried more about. Yeah. Yes. They needed the tax done. Absolutely. But they were more worried about actually getting in touch with us when they had questions, being able to get advice and answers, you know, on the spot or within a reasonable timeframe and where they knew that we were gonna get back to them. That's, yeah. Another example where we're like, yes, this is the core business, but this is the thing we're actually gonna shine at. Yeah. As well as then keeping everything else going.

Mel: I have to say that now I get so annoyed about that because for example, I've got a, BCC that I'm doing something within my leg and it's super minky. So I took a photo and sent it to my dermatologist yesterday. I still have in her back. Yeah. <Laugh>. And I'm like, come on, that is not how should be. Exactly. So I get so annoyed because I'm like, this is possible. We used to do it and if we didn't, so our admin team, which we employed quite a bit of admin, would email you and say, Hey, just so you know, we got your email and you'll be replied to at this point. So you're like, oh, yay, I'm happy. Not even that. No,

Lawsie: Your manky photos just floating inside.

Mel: Yeah. Exactly. I'm gonna show it to you later. I'll send it to you.

Lawsie: No, I don't need more of that. Thank you.

Mel: No, exactly. That's yes. Sometimes we don't want more. What I hope that you learned from this today is that you don't always, just because we say we want something doesn't mean that it's the thing that everyone else looking to you thinks that it should be. When I write that, my word for the year is more your presumption of what that is and the reality of what it is can actually be two different things because you are the one that is in control. And I think we just forget that what it means for you if you wanna work closely with us is, as you know, there's limited ways that you can do that. And if we're only gonna have 400 around this year, and as we know, as I, we said at the beginning, that would've meant more than 220 people missed out. That you are going to wanna jump on the waitlist for the My Financial Adulting Plan.

Mel: 'Cause We are gonna have pre-sales this year. We're not gonna do all the same language around doors open. No, no. We're having pre-sales. And you want access to that pre-sale because what we promise you is that when we hit those numbers, we're putting a sold out sign up and you will not be able to join that round. I don't care if you beg, it's gonna be really important that you make sure that you join the wait list and we'll put a link in the show notes so that you can do that. But I want you to think this week, what's the thing that I need to be making? Where should I be making change in my own life? What's the one thing that I'm chasing that everyone else wants, that they think it's possible that I know is not right for me? What do you need to say no in order to say yes to something? Or what do you need to be bad at in order to be great at something else?

Mel: If you enjoyed this episode, we would love it if you subscribed and give us a review, then make sure you come and play with me on Insta. I'm at @melbrowne.money Remember there's an E on the end of Browne. I'm one of those fancy Browne's, and don't forget to check out the show notes for even more ways you can work with me to transform your finances.



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