let’s get to know each other.
I hated my name growing up and created new identities for myself between the ages of 11 and 14. I’ve been Tina, Christina, Ashley and Nikki. My parents obliged in calling me by these names and even introduced me to new friends and neighbors with my name du jour. God bless them. Now, of course, I see that having a unique name was and is a great gift.
I peaked in the 11th grade when I played Sally Bowles in our school’s edgy theatrical production of Caberet.
I got denied from Harvard and Yale. Accepted to Northwestern, NYU and Penn State. Waitlisted at Georgetown. I chose Penn State because it was the cheapest and my dad promised me a car to make up for it. (I never got the car, but I did meet my husband at PSU, so there’s that.)
I almost got fired from my internship at a major magazine because I wrote in one of the issues that you could buy everything at “Family Dollar” and “Dollar General” for $1. Well, Farnoosh, not “everything” at the dollar store is $1, mmmk? Some things cost $5. And for that I was shamed in the newsroom and nearly fired. It was an ugly-cry-in-the-bathroom kind of day…Lesson learned: Fact check the you-know-what out of everything. Also, crying in the bathroom at work is totally O.K.
A crazy dream of mine? Participating in Dancing with the Stars. (And now that I’ve put it out in the universe, I fully expect this to manifest.)
My audience has been growing up. . . So have I.
At the age of 22, I was over $30,000 in debt. I made $18 an hour. Before taxes. With a Master’s degree. In New York City. Those early years involved lots of borrowed clothes, canned tuna, and $5 Footlong Subway sandwiches. But it was worth it. Because, as I slowly climbed out of debt in the most expensive city in the country, I realized that there was a void. . .
Young adults had no access to effective, fun, or even digestible financial advice.
As a financial reporter, I empathized with young professionals who felt financially drained and lost. I jumped at the opportunity to help educate that demographic, to get them excited about taking control of their financial life.
It was the start of a beautiful relationship with my audience – one where we continue to grow together.
My first book, You’re So Money – Live Rich Even When You’re Not, published in 2008 and was a nationally acclaimed tell-all for young adults searching for financial independence. Soon the book took on a life of its own and I began making regular appearances on the NBC Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning America and writing for several top magazines including Glamour, Marie Claire and O, The Oprah Magazine.
At the same time, I began coaching Americans who were struggling with piles of debt and other money challenges on SoapNet’s reality series Bank of Mom and Dad and on TLC’s makeover program, REAL SIMPLE. REAL LIFE. Then came the Webby-nominated personal financial series Financially Fit on Yahoo! where for three years I served a daily dose of money inspiration to millions of viewers.
But money isn’t just dollars and cents.
It’s a deeply layered issue.
It’s not enough to walk into someone’s home and share 5 straight-forward tips on how to get out of debt. There are psychological, mental, and emotional barriers that prevent us from taking action around money.
I was fascinated. I wanted to learn more about the emotional connections that people have with money. This research led to my 2nd book, Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset & Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life.
As I developed this whole new way of talking about money and relating to people around their finances, my career matured. The types of issues I tackled matured. I matured.
I was no longer just “the lady who helps you with a budget.” I was a trusted friend and a shoulder to cry on.
I began helping people unravel deeply buried knots, so they could finally clean up their financial messes.
And my audience and I are still figuring out how to balance everything, now that our lives have shifted.
I’ve fallen in love.
I’ve gotten married.
I’ve become a mom – twice.
When women make more, the world becomes a better place.
As the breadwinner in my family, I arrived at an interesting emotional and financial paradigm in my early 30’s.
The fact is, while female breadwinners are on the rise, society still expects men to take the financial lead as breadwinners in their households.
This economic shift can lead to guilt, shame, and questions of identity for both sexes. Money is already a bone of contention for most people; when she makes more, however, the plot thickens.
This led to my latest book, When She Makes More, a resource for any woman who brings home the bacon and hopes to keep her love and family life alive and thriving. Based on dozens of personal interviews and an academic study of nearly 1,000 top-earning women, the book reveals 10 counterintuitive rules these women must follow in the 21st century to manage (and take advantage of) this unique circumstance—emotionally, socially, and financially.
More to come...
Fifteen years into my life’s work, I feel like I’ve just begun. I’m having a blast hosting So Money, a podcast I launched in 2015 that features intimate conversations with inspiring and highly-accomplished individuals from Tony Robbins to Seth Godin to Sallie Krawcheck, all about their personal money lessons – good, bad and ugly.
I continue to speak across the country to audiences large and small. I love collaborating with forward-thinking brands, as they develop financial campaigns for their audiences.
And lately, I’ve started to more formally answer a question that seems to pop up everywhere I go: Farnoosh, how did you launch your career as an expert and become an authority in your field?
For me, the path began with a simple book. Along the way, I connected many dots, leveraged the right resources and made lots of mistakes. I realized those experiences were worth sharing. And in 2016, I launched a private 1:1 coaching practice, as well as the Book to Brand workshop in New York and look forward to bringing my professional insights to the masses in very near the future.
I couldn’t have done all of this without the constant support and feedback from you, my audience. I am deeply grateful. Thank you.
Hope you’ll stay along for the entire journey!