Uncensored Money Season Five: "She's so Lucky". It's Time To Make Your Own Luck
Melissa Browne: Ex-Accountant, Ex-Financial Advisor, Ex-Working Till I Drop, Now Serial Entrepreneur & Author, Financial Wellness Advocate, Living a Life by Design | 12/02/2024
In this solo episode, Mel talks about why the words, “She’s so lucky” are like quicksand for your finances (and your business if you have one) and what she thinks you should be doing instead...
Books and resources mentioned in this episode
- My Financial Adulting Plan
- 10 Ways To Love Your Finances
Finally, if you love this episode please make sure you subscribe and leave us a review.
Mel: Hey everyone. I'm Mel Brown. 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: One of my most hated phrases is she's so lucky and I know that it's been used a lot about me. It might be that someone's looking from the outside in and going, oh my gosh, she's so lucky. Look at her. She has the choice to work or not, or, oh my gosh, she's so lucky. Look at her business and how many people she has in her community and more. And what I want to do today is just share a glimpse behind what that is, and also for you to understand that you actually can be lucky too.
New Speaker: I want to start this conversation by saying I am aware that I am speaking about this with a gift of privilege in that I have been born into one of the most incredible countries on Earth, Australia. We have so much freedom, even those of us that don't have much, have so much freedom and privilege.
Mel: Whilst I was born into a Western suburbs family that was quite violent and inconsistent, that again, is full of privilege because if I compare that to someone that's not in a Western country, if I compare that to someone in Gaza, my life could be so much different simply from the lottery of birth. But one of the reasons why I wanted to talk about that phrase and looking at someone else and thinking she's so lucky, is because I think that's a phrase that keeps us in comparison quicksand.
New Speaker: Because what we are doing is we are diminishing anything that other person has done and putting it all down to luck. And what our brain does is essentially trick us into going, well, that's the reason they are where they are. So it's actually okay for me to just be where I am in the situation where I am, because I don't have that sort of luck.
Mel: And what I want to say to you is, I don't either. As I said, part of my story for those of you that are new to following along is I grew up in a violent, quite inconsistent household. I went through a very traumatic assault as a teenager, as a result of all that I married stupidly young, to basically the first person that was willing to say that I was okay, and then spent my twenties in the grip of an eating disorder trying to reclaim some control over my life. You know, it wasn't until I started to move out of my twenties and hit my thirties that I went, that I worked with a great therapist, worked with a therapist do you hear that word. It's action who made me realise that actually my circumstances, just because they are what they have been, just because they are what they are right now doesn't mean I have to live there.
Mel: I had more choice than I realised. I just didn't know how to exercise that choice or even that I was allowed to exercise that choice. And I know for some of you, you are in a position of that quicksand where you don't know how to exercise that choice. You don't know that you are allowed to exercise that choice. And I want to suggest to you that you have more choice than you realize, but you need to take action. For me, that first step of action, as I said, was to work with a great therapist who made me realise that I had more agency than I realised, more choice than I realised. And that ultimately led to me splitting from my first husband.
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.
Mel: My story is well known now that as a result of a throwaway line during that divorce process, I gave my entire divorce proceeds as well as everything in my business and personal accounts to charity. And I did that as a result of a throwaway line where my first husband said, you'll never make it on your own. And of course, that meant that I didn't have money for bond, for rent, for cash flow, for wages, for super or anything. So I had to move in with five friends into a mouldy basement room, went into five figures of debt and had to claw my way back. You know, anyone that has been through a divorce does not feel lucky. Trust me when I say that. You might feel lucky at the other side of it when you've come out of it, but you don't when you're in the midst of it.
Mel: And sitting in that, lying on that bed staring up at that mouldy ceiling, I felt the furthest from luck than I ever had been. In fact, I probably sat where many of you are and looked at friends that were buying houses and having babies going, oh my gosh, they're so lucky they haven't been through what I have. And I definitely fell into that pity party of, I don't know if you've ever done that, where you just sit through and you run through all the sins that have been against you or the hardships that you've had, or your reasons why you can't do it, or why you are not enough, or why you are in the position that you are. And I remember just going through that. I reckon I took a 12 month pity party where I just, it was like a shopping list of it's because of this and it's because of this and it's because of this.
Mel: And I had some really legitimate reasons to have that pity party where I grew up, that assault, the eating disorder. I had so many reasons why I felt like I could live in that pity party, the stupid emotional decision to give all of that money to charity. But after 12 months, I realised, you know what? I could live here and the only one that's suffered that's gonna suffer for that is me. Or I could take action, start to create my own luck, start to create, become the main character in my life, and actually start to take steps to do something different. So I worked on things like developing more income. So the money that I was earning through my business was not enough. So I had to make a plan to increase my income. I started to learn about investing, made huge mistakes when it came to shares and more.
Mel: But I learned, I bought property, I developed multiple income streams, I invested in other businesses, and I started to gradually very slowly, it felt at times get out of that debt build income. Sometimes it felt like three steps forward and one step back to a point where in my late forties, I had the choice to work or not and was a multimillionaire. And the reason, again, I tell that story so often is because it is about making your own luck. But you only do that by choosing not to live where you currently are today. And I don't mean situationally, I mean that position that you are currently in, that emotional state, that lack of action, that relying on hope as a strategy, that inaction, that comparison culture, it's choosing that actually this ends today, and then deciding what's that one step that I'm going to take to move myself along?
Mel: My first step out of that was working on building my income. I just simply wasn't earning enough. So I had to start building that. It was so simple. The decisions that I made included joining a coaching club, if you like, for accountants, where I learned how to grow and develop that business because you know, as an accountant, I was great at helping others, but not necessarily great at building my own business and selling. So I needed to learn how to get better at that. And then the next step and the next step and the next step. And of course, it was never as fast as I wanted it to be. Nothing ever is right? But there is those moments where you eventually look back and go, ha, look at how far I've come. But you don't start down that path of transformation and choice by not taking those first baby steps and then another, and then another, and then another.
Mel: If you are someone who looks across the fence at myself or other people and goes, she's so lucky, I want you to choose today to stop saying that it is absolutely holding you in financial quicksand. It's if you have a business, it's holding your business in quicksand. It's absolutely inhibiting your growth. And instead, I want you to think about what your next step that you are going to take to get to that point that you want to get is what you might need to do that I had to do is unfollow and mute a lot of people on social media, because if you are like me, you will compare yourself to them and you will find yourself wanting. I still do that today. I still today mute and unfollow people who are incredible, but I know that I will compare myself to them. I'll find myself coming up short in my business, so therefore I just need to put them on mute.
Mel: I just need to not see them constantly. I might go across once a month or once a quarter and see what they're doing. I just don't need that in my face. So that's another example of an action or a small step that you can do in order to pull you your finances or your business out of that emotional quicksand. I'd love to know what small step you are going to do. Come across to Insta @melbrowne.money there's an E on the end of Browne. DM me and let me know what's the one step you're gonna take. Let me know if this has resonated with you and if it has, if your one step is you knew about my course, the My Financial Adulting plan, you're like, oh, I shoulda, I shoulda. We are running a Love Your Finances little thing at the moment, and we are kind keeping the doors open, very sneakily for that, which means chances are they're still going to be open. So jump on the link in the show notes below, and if they are, this is your opportunity to create your own luck.
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.