Jamila Souffrant 0:01
You're listening to the Journey to Launch Podcast, The Immigrant Experience and Money, Plus How To Become the Ultimate Go Getter with Shinjini Das.
Welcome to the Journey to Launch podcast with your host Jamila Souffrant, as a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest, and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey to Launch to Financial Freedom.
Jamila Souffrant 0:40
Hey, hey, hey journeyers, Welcome to the journey to launch podcast. If you are a regular listener, then hopefully you are happy. You're surprised that you saw a bonus episode pop into your feed. I typically release episodes every Wednesday. This bonus episode is coming to you on a Friday in partnership with Digital Federal Credit Union today's sponsor also known as DCU. I'm going to be discussing the immigrant experience and money plus discussing how you can become the ultimate go getter with Shinjini Das, today's podcast guest. Now I did write an article in conjunction with DCU. It's on my site about the immigrant experience and money and you can check it out by going to journeytolaunch.com or check out the episode shownotes. Now Shinjini Das is CEO and founder of Das Media Group. She advocates for her go getter so she calls her audience go getters to go after their goal she empowers about 8 million go getters a month across her social media platforms. Sin Jenny received a president scholar and her BS in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. She even gave the coveted undergraduate reflections speech in front of her fellow undergraduates when she graduated back in 2014. Ever since then, she's been at it growing her media company and her social following to empower people all over the world to go after the goal. So I'm really excited for you to hear this week's bonus episode.
First a word from today's sponsor. That did you know that some credit unions offer rates that are more competitive than traditional banks, you're most likely earn and save more money by banking with your local credit union. For example, at DCU. Their members have the ability to activate the earn more feature on their checking account and earn an annual percentage yield that's higher than many other financial institutions. And if you think your money is more at risk, or that it will be harder to access your money at a credit union and a traditional bank. Think again. Just like the FDIC insurance deposits up to $250,000 at a traditional bank deposits up to $250,000 at a credit union are insured by the NCUA. You can also access your money held at a credit union at any time from most any ATM just like you would if your money were at a traditional bank. Most credit unions are part of the large participating networks of ATMs that are surcharge free members of DCU have access to over 80,000 surcharge free ATMs nationwide that display the Allpoints, SUM, or Co-Op logos. DCU also reimburses members for non DCU ATM surcharges that they may incur if they use an ATM outside the surcharge free network. Pretty good stuff right. To learn more, check out dcu.org and stick around to the end of the show. For the DCU money tip of the week, we'll be sharing money tips to help you save and manage your money so you can reach your goals.
If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com or you can click the description of wherever you listen to this episode to get the full episode show notes. Now if you are a new listener to the podcast or OG journeyer I've created a jumpstart guide to help you on your journey to financial freedom. It includes the top episodes to listen to the stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources to help you and so much more. Get it for FREE by texting launch to 33777 text launch to 3377 or go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide for free right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Hey Journeyers, I am excited to be talking to Shinjini Das of the Das Media Group and Shinjini Welcome to Journey to Launch.
Shinjini Das 4:35
Thank you Jamila. I'm so excited to be here. I follow all your posts. So this feels very timely and surreal.
Jamila Souffrant 4:43
Yeah, and the cool thing and you'll get to know her Journeyers as we begin speaking about Shinjini her platform. She has like her own like community and she calls them the Go Getters, which I think is pretty cool because I call you guys who are listening the journeyers and a lot of similarities. I believe in like, what we encourage what we want to to lead as you know, as leaders and entrepreneurs, but just also like encouraging our tribe, our people, our community to go after the things they want in life. So I think that's so cool about like your brand. So I wanted to bring you on the show because I wrote an article in conjunction with DCU, all about the immigrant experience and money and weaving in all that, like entrepreneurship, just like the unique challenges and things that come along with coming from another country, our family members, you know, immigrating here, us immigrating here, and making a way, right, like, you know, doing what no one in our family has done before, building wealth, starting a business, most times what that's like. And so I wanted to hop into your story on like, your background, like, I know, you said, you were also like born in India, like your immigrant yourself, and but you've been able to do so much in terms of navigating here since you since you land landed in the States, right? So tell me more about like your journey to where you are today.
Shinjini Das 6:01
Totally Jamila and you actually hit the nail on the head, it definitely has been a journey. And it's it's so funny. So I'm a public speaker. Right. So I'm an industrial engineer from Georgia Tech. And I'm also a competitive public speaker. You know, all throughout high school, I won all these public speaking competitions, and one of my signature speeches, as they say, Now, signature keynotes, was actually around literally landing Boeing 747 in America, so you hit it. I mean, that's literally what happened. You know, I was nine, I was nine and a half. And I think it was just really challenging, even coming up through American schooling, you know, even I mean, because when we talk about mind actually is so timely, because one of my primary challenges, Jamila was actually American currency. In school, you know, just the money here is physically different. The names are very different. And and also, if you notice, like, the names don't really correlate to the amounts, so I know, for the longest time I was like, dime, what is that? Like? What does that even mean? You know, because dime doesn't have anything related to 10 in its name, you know, so for a new kid, and for me, I grew up in a British school system. So in Malaysia, I was at a British international school. So English was not a problem. But I was trained in British English and British systems. And as you know, that's super different from American systems and American English. So I know, for me, one of the biggest challenges was actually just the physical currency. You know, and I remember Jamila, that causing a little bit of not even shame, but lack of confidence, you know, when you are at, you know, I don't know, McDonald's with your mom, you know, you don't really know what to order because you don't really know what they're going to even ask for, you know, and, and my family, we went through a lot of that, I mean, just simple things like going to a grocery store, and my mom was just overwhelmed by, like, how many types of milk there were, you know, and like, the currency. And also, I think when we talk about money, and the immigrant experience with money, and just my life and everything that I've been through, like it actually started pretty young here, from not understanding the currency. And that creating, frankly, a lot of problems to where I had to sit down with a cash register and play until I figured it out, you know, and what is a nickname for the longest time like nickel? Is it 10 or five, like, that was literally my life, because it doesn't sound like anything.
Jamila Souffrant 8:24
Yeah, you also just touched upon something important, because our families, you know, immigrated here came here for better opportunities, because typically, there are more options here. But sometimes those options are overwhelming. There's so many options, you have so much freedom, quote, unquote, you know, for the most part, and within that freedom, you then have now you can make choices. So I find that like coming here, it's like, yeah, like you're saying, like, you have to get a bearing a sense of all that. And you know, I hear this mostly from my mom, because even though like I came here when I was two years old, so I was a little younger, and I didn't have as much adjust. But like someone like her and my grandmother who came here, like at a later age, I just can't imagine like the difference in the way things are just the cultural difference. And then the way things are valued here and how different that is.
Shinjini Das 9:15
Totally. And it's and I always heard this gentleman, I'm sure you heard this from your mom and grandmother, too, that when your family has not really been used to choice choice actually becomes a burden. I cannot tell you how many times I heard that, why can't there just be one milk like I don't even know what milk I want. And I just I heard that over and over again, you know, which is why I'm in my dad sort of had that one track that he wanted to follow. He did it. I mean, so there wasn't, you know, 14 different career choices for him, you know, and he tells me that every day, you know, and I grew up in a single working household, meaning only one person earned. And I hear this all the time that choice is something we didn't really have. And I was born when my parents were actually about my age 28 I mean, it's pretty early, you know? So like, life just happens early married at, you know, 20, whatever, 2627 kid at 29. So, like, there wasn't a whole lot of like, Okay, so what do we want to wait, you know, or what do they want to do? So, I mean, just even little things like milk and this I mean, it's just crazy, you know. And so I remember that actually leading to some amount of like you said, burden versus excitement. Because when you've never been used to choices, you know, you don't even know how to function when you have choices.
Jamila Souffrant 10:32
Right. Another thing that I find like is common is that while my mom or you know, she didn't teach me about specific financial like lessons, one thing she was good at, though, I will say this was saving, because she didn't have much like room for error. She had so little resources. So I watched her like, save. But then I realized looking back at it, like her biggest investment was in me. So education, that was her way that she said, even for herself, she came here at 20 years old. And you know, she had to kind of start all over, get a college education and eventually got her master's. But she knew that that was going to be the way out. So for me, that was really important. Like, you're gonna take education seriously. And I find that that's oftentimes I'm similar for other immigrant children. So how do you feel like that shaped you and your choices in career and life and business?
Shinjini Das 11:20
Oh, totally, totally.So your mom came here and studied, basically, she came here and
Jamila Souffrant 11:24
yeah, she came here. But she, I believe, Jared, she was able to get her high school equivalent, like diploma like, so she was she came here, and she got her college education. So she started at like, the community college, and then eventually, like, got help from the government to continue her her education. But that was where she started.
Shinjini Das 11:41
Wow,amazing. Amazing. So my parents were a little older. So So education for them wasn't really as much of a deal as it was for me. But totally Jamila, I think, for me, it was really was about the engineering Jamila, I think that was just a game changer. My parents for the longest time, you know, they kept saying that, you know, we're here, you have to get our quality, not just a primary education, but higher education, right, higher education. And so I think, for me, the biggest lesson and or, you know, like, mandate, if you will, you know, was a college, you know, I'm not just any college, you know, preferably be an engineer, I mean, I think that can kind of early on in high school, like 17 years old, 16 years old, you know, to where they kept saying that listen, like, why don't you consider engineering? And, you know, I was not really the typical, you know, kid interested in engineering, you know, so I did actually push back a little bit, you know, I said, Why I don't even like that, and I, I don't even think I would be that good at it. And I honestly, I mean, I, you know, don't have this, like, brilliant, you know, talent and building or whatever it is. But I remember, you know, my dad specifically really pushing me and saying that, no, you know, you're here, you're gonna work really hard. And whatever degree that you do, you might as well do engineering, you know, obviously, as you know, women, it's it's a it's a problem, how few women do engineering. And then on top of that women of color, I mean, it's a real issue. So I think that really convinced me and that's when I started meeting Dean's and everything at Georgia Tech. And I'm, you know, we were in Georgia at the time, and it was a state school, and it all just worked out on somewhere, I really felt this just burning drive, you know, after kind of he talked to me, and he kept saying that, like I didn't I mean, I just I did what I could in India, education wise, but you know, you have this amazing opportunity, you got to go take it, you got to go run.
And so not only that, I actually got the President's scholarship, and that was something Jamila more than the actual degree like that was something I remember Jamila, that I was, hell bent on that I will go to college for free. You know, and I think part of that probably came from my parents literally just telling me that Listen, if we have to pay 60,000 a year, we probably can't. So I mean, I think that was pretty good. Because at that time, I did have a little sister, but we have a 12 and a half years age difference. So she was really young. And dad is the only one working. So I mean, I think they kind of told me that, you know, we we can't afford that if if that happens, or if it does happen, then we have to take out loans and and that's when I said you know, I don't want to go down that path that's not really attractive to me. So more than the actual engineering discipline, what I was on yielding on and and i will say I'm still so proud of this to this day. Jamila because for everybody listening, to get a scholarship to college, you really have to want it, you know, you really have to go after it. You really have to target it, you know, it does not come first of all easy. It's not widely available, as you know, it's very select, like what I got it was like barely 100 of the entire freshman class of Georgia Tech. And so it's just super selective and that to the awards that I got award level that I got was one of the highest honors That hundred. So I think that was just like a big thing for me is like, I gotta go for free. And I'm like, oh, engineering. Yes, that sounds great.
Jamila Souffrant 15:09
That's amazing. You had that insight at that age, because a lot of you know, unfortunately, I feel like a lot of people that is a push, right, like, okay, you can, you can be conscious, but so many people are not conscious about the cost of education, especially back, you know, in the day when, you know, you didn't have as much access to financial platforms and podcasts and blogs and knowing what the student loan debt would do to you. And so I just think that's amazing that you knew that at that age. Okay, talk me through that now. Like you're now graduating, or, you know, you being in school, like, what, what did you think you were gonna like, be when you grew up?
Shinjini Das 15:39
Yeah, honestly, I was straight up on that, like Corporate America path. You know, I mean, I was straight up on Georgia Tech, industrial engineering, and a number one program in the world. And I will say, You're right, I've always been kind of future focused, you know, so if you have younger people in your audience, I highly recommend them to be future focused, you know, to be sort of long term investment focus, because I knew that this degree, like, this is money right here, you know, I'm in Georgia Tech, industrial engineer, whatever I choose to do with it at 28, at 38, at 48, I will never regret this degree, I will never feel not even a shame. But I will never feel like I could have done better than this. You know, and until this day, you know, it hangs in my office, and I just literally every day, I'm so proud. And it's been six years. And I just don't think that pride is gonna go away, because it's just such an amazing accomplishment. So that happened. And then, you know, I was straight up on that corporate career track. So I was at Georgia Tech, I'm, you know, Georgia Tech engineering, I want to get an MBA, I want to just like scale, the corporate ladder. So I don't know, like Vice President of Marketing, you know, like, that was my hustle like, CEO, I don't think I ever said that. I did say C suite. So something like a CMO, you know, something like a CFO, I don't think I was really, you know, targeting CEO. You know, I just realistically, I don't know if that even seemed possible, but definitely C suite marketing. And like, literally, that was on path engineering MBA. And actually, I was very excited about it until I hit 24, which is when I started my media company, and everything changed.
Jamila Souffrant 17:16
So you became basically an entrepreneur, you decided to go that route. Correct. So I like a lot of people saw that my journeyers is that listen to my show and follow my stuff. I feel like you know, there, some are in corporate America or working for others, which is fine, I would say like, if you have a job that you love, or a job that provides stability, and even want to do something on the side, like turn into that, because entrepreneurship is not for everybody. But I do feel like it is a assets, like if you can, that can get you to financial freedom and independence, because there's like literally no limit to what you can like, bring in as income if you create like something valuable for people totally. So with the entrepreneurship, right, so that's a big thing, even before we press record on this, we're talking about just like funding, right for like, being able to become an entrepreneur is, is a is a privilege in a way because it takes money, and it takes not having to worry about the lack of money to be able to do something like to jump into entrepreneurship.
Shinjini Das 18:14
Correct. And I think also, you know, for me, at least, Jamila Well, I'm coming from a culture, you know, of stability, you know, and it's always been about, you know, the, like, the degree, you know, on my first job was, you know, 72,000 got the raise almost 80,000 at, you know, 2324 I mean, so that has always been the the mandate, you know, is that you have to be financially stable, you have to be and I'll tell you why. I mean, I think if you poke that, Bear, you will see that it's because both of us are not standing on much, right. So your mom came here, she did awesome. Like, that's it, like you don't have anyone else before your mom who was here, you know, and that's how I feel. So, you know, my dad is like, yeah, you know, I've done well, but like, you don't, you don't have a whole lot to stand on. But besides me, which is a little risky, just by, you know, proposition. And so I think for me, the biggest thing was always, you know, be financially independent, you know, be successful. So, I think the biggest sort of hit, I can't even say ego, because it wasn't really even, I mean, I was fine with potentially being broke for a few years, but I think that just my parents, you know, were very concerned, you know, because for them, this goes against everything that they've been taught. Same with my dad, he didn't have a lot of support. So again, he was sort of the Trailblazer found a career in sales, his dad wasn't really I would even say present, you know, mom was busy professor but just busy, you know, so me he had to find his way he became, you know, salesperson, you know, in sales everything. Vice President, you know, all that, you know, move to America, you know, you know, my married my mom and India, so he's definitely a trailblazer. And so I think somewhere he thought it was just kind of, you know affensive frankly, that I would shatter like what he's worked so hard for.
So I think it was a process to explain that I'm not, you know, shattering anything. I'm not stepping on anyone, I'm just I'm being a boomerang, you know, I'm going all the way down to go all the way up, you know, and I think that that was a huge process, though, because immigrant mentality, especially India, I will even highlight the Indian formula, because our culture, I mean, it's getting better, but it's not really, it's not really pro entrepreneurship, per se. I mean, just from my experience, you know, if you do build a business, a lot of my friends literally have just millions of dollars in funding, you know, so they've raised money, like they have investors and everything, which that was not really a path, I wanted to go down to build my media platform. So I wanted to be self funded. I wanted to be independent. And I think honestly, Jamila, what did help. And it's so funny, right? how everything comes around. Because I started this at 24. And 25, I opened my business account, which is not with DCU, but business account nonetheless. And they told me, you know, looking at my stuff, you're like your credit score is really high. And I said, Yeah, because I don't have debt. And because I went to college for free, you know, and I had two internships one at PwC and one on Deloitte, my combined earnings from those was 20 plus 20 k plus as a as a 20 year old, my Revit, like gross revenue from both the internships actually might have been even close to 30, depending on how, you know, it was so 30,000, at 20. So my point is, I was able to start a business at 24, this has not escaped me any day, because I know this to be true, because I went to college for free, because I actually made money from college because of those two internships and then Deloitte had a signing bonus. I mean, so I was not struggling. So I think that and so when I opened my checking account business on the lady, I still remember she's freaking out, she's like, you're 25. This is your credit score, because she sees all the credit scores of people, like you just said, just drowning in debt, right? drowning in student loan debt, right? 300,000 200,000, you know, their credit scores are shot. So as a result, it becomes harder to open an account and your limits are a lot lower is what I realized. Right?
Jamila Souffrant 22:24
And that's the thing too, right? Like you get you almost get I'm sure there's a sports term that I can't pull from now, but that that there's a handicap like, right that you're starting, and I'm no offense to people who
Shinjini Das 22:35
Yeah, start with debt, start with student loan debt.
Jamila Souffrant 22:37
But yeah, but like, there is something where you are like, starting from behind, you don't have the same resources and tools, and then your start line continues to be pulled back. Because then it's harder to get the resources and you have the account. And then when you need debt, to buy things, like possibly a home, you know, because home ownership, while you should still be very smart about it, it is a really solid way for a lot of people to build wealth like in this country. So the financial part of it like the money management part of it like especially for people who have just graduated have tons of debt, that adds to this, like complicated forward momentum that you don't some people don't have. So with you, I'd like to talk about you kind of mentioned it, you know, you opened up your business account. So you started your business. So there's a management process between like, now having a business like this is you and then your personal money. Yeah. Right. So I want to talk to you again, like managing that part of your life. What does that look like? For you? I know, you said, DCU wasn't you wasn't with your business account, but that you have accounts with DCU with your personal money.
Shinjini Das 23:40
Right, correct. That is correct. That is correct. And I think that was a very important decision Jamila, and that my business is separate from my personal account, because I remember the banker who opened my business account, she asked me if I wanted a personal account there. And I told her, I said, No, you know, I don't I don't need it in the same place. You know, it's actually a lot better if it's separate, you know, and it's two different entities. And I will say that my parents were the original DCU, you know, fans, but, you know, I had a choice of whether or not I wanted to also start an account in DCU, or not, you know, I'm and I picked GCU for the same reason that, you know, I think you you know, right, that it is a credit union, I mean, there is no fees. And also, I just want to say I'm a big fan of customer support, you know, because you go through so much, you know, just little things like even like having three different, like one checking and 2 savings, right? And I had questions about that. I'm like, Well, okay, so with the savings and there's plans were with I believe it's savings, if you have enough money, they actually add you know, some amount of like dividends that you get just automatically by you investing in that savings accounts. So I had a lot of questions about all that and these people 24 by seven available to talk to me, you know, and I just you know, it sounds silly sometimes when you say that, but especially when you're 2425 Like, you should not take that for granted. Because same with my business account, which is why I'm still with them for business. I mean, anytime I have a question, Jamila, like, they are literally a phone call away, you know, and I just, I've never felt stranded with DCU as well, I think that was a main reason that I have stayed.
Jamila Souffrant 25:18
Yeah, and see this is this is also a key in general with any body is that you do need financial systems and education at this point that you feel that you can trust, because there is a big mistrust of the bigger financial institutions and like the structure that everything is built upon. And you know, so I think one of the main things to get us from just like, as you know, culture as you know, as our lineage and immigrants, and just all that from just like, just getting by, to thriving is to understand, like, the different types of accounts we can have, is to feel welcome when we walk into like, you know, the the who's handling our money, not that we're just like another person, like, you know, that our our parents, maybe they don't speak English, right? Like, they could go in and find someone and least be like, respected and, and have someone talk to them in a way in which like they feel welcomed. I think these are not like small things. For people who don't have much these are huge things that make a big difference.
Shinjini Das 26:12
100% 100%. And I think also, and I'll tell you very honestly, Jamila I was at a point where my parents were just kind of tired of it. They're like, You're ridiculous, like you've given up everything out. So I actually did not feel comfortable. My point is asking them some of this stuff, because it's like, you have two cents in your account. I'm like, Listen, today, it's two cents. Tomorrow, it'll be 20 million, like, don't worry. So my point is actually the DCU helped us I'm not even joking. Like they became a lifeline. With regards to just questions, you know, that I had, I'm like, Okay, so I'm checking if I put this in? And is there a minimum amount? And I believe they said no, that there's not and so the things about, you know, okay, so if I'm not sure about, you know, what is it like automatic automated payments, you know, how can I check that, or just, I mean, a lot of things, you know, because I think I was also stressed out with having a business, and I'm like, I don't even know how I'm gonna grow this, I don't even know what my revenue model is gonna be. And on top of that, it was just a lot. And then Not to mention, the final change that I made, which has literally changed my life Jamila is that almost two years ago, I decided that credit was just becoming overwhelming. Because at the time, I did have a personal credit card. And of course, I have a business credit card, which you need. I mean, there's some expenses that are just, you know, too big, and you've got to put that on your business credit. But I made a decision about two years ago, where I literally said, I said, you know, let me take this as a challenge that I am going to run my personal life on debit. And of course, DCU was, you know, the, the hero there my personal, you know, card changed my life, you know, because I was just tired of seeing my credit, you know, go up and up and up. And I'm like, I this is crazy. This is overwhelming. And also, you can't really get a feel for cash flow on credit. Because your like, limit is high. Okay, let's get you know, but what Debit, Like you see that you see that balance go down immediately. And it just feels so much more real. So I have actually been running my personal life on debit via DCU for the last few years and successfully.
Jamila Souffrant 28:21
Yeah, and I love that you mentioned that you've consciously made that change. And this is the beauty of everyone's journey being different because there are some people like me included, like, I actually live my life, not all of my life, but a lot of my life lives on credit.
Shinjini Das 28:33
Jamila Souffrant 28:34
But I'm also managing that really well. Because it gets paid on funds, I get my plane, no, whatever, you're right. So you know, still gonna be different for everyone. But I hope someone listening to this, who does feel overwhelmed like that, they say to themselves, like, you know what, let me change my mind frame and like, let me run my life on debit. So I can see like, you know, get rid of that if I if I'm drowning with the credit credit makes me feel bad, or just overwhelmed, overwhelmed, right? To try it on the you know, the debit side of things, you know, and have a financial institution that can help you manage that, whether it's like, you know, you can log in, and you can see your accounts. You know, budgeting is important to you know, your budgeting app together, all that will help you begin to manage your money. Because here's the thing now and I want to talk a little bit about you as an entrepreneur, yes. Because if you're stressed, and you know, the crazy thing about is I'm sure there are a lot of entrepreneurs who see who may be doing well and bringing a lot of money in their business, but they're like personal finances are not that great. Yeah. So talk through for you started to make your stuff legit and earning money so that you could be also personally financially secure.
Shinjini Das 29:42
That's beautiful. And I will say I mean, you obviously are a hero, and you've been doing this a lot longer than I have. And so the fact that you just said that. I'm not surprised because your revenue in a business situation sometimes may not correlate to your personal wealth and I'm so happy that you brought that up Because I agree, that makes a lot of sense to me. So basically, look, and I'll be, you know, we're honest here. In the beginning, I was just trying to survive. And I'm not even gonna sugarcoat that. So it was about, you know, whatever my business needs, you know, I had a ton of advertising expenses, you know, and it was like, Okay, well, that's, you know, the priority. And if I have $5, in my personal account, I have $5. Like, it is it is what it is. So I, you know, I don't want to glamorize that part. Because that's real, you know, I had enough to, you know, do whatever I needed to do, I have been living at home Jamila all this time. So again, rent is not my responsibility. I don't have a car. Food is not my responsibility, but but my own expenses are my responsibility. So we know, for television interviews, you know, on Go Getters, I mean, all that wardrobe that's on me, you know, and you'd be surprised how much all that stuff adds up, you know, it's a lot to look at, like the image that you're trying to project, you know, and I think my parents they wonder like, yeah, that we're not gonna do that we're not, we're definitely not helping you by $700 jackets. And I'm like, cool. So that's on me, you know. So I think that was a like, it sounds maybe a little silly, but it was actually a really big motivation, you know, that if I have to show up on TV, if I have to show up on these big podcasts or whatever, you know, video, like, I have to look, the part I have that comes from my personal budget, unfortunately, I cannot expense clothes and all that because of questionable to do that, really. So I don't and then it became like, Okay, well, how do I do this? You know, and so I think I've set up a really nice structure, which I'm really proud of, which is the business and the personal, whatever revenue comes in, because I am the primary account holder on both, I am able to divvy and, and set aside and save and be very prudent about that money management, you know, so like you said, I mean, if something needs to be paid off, obviously, that's the first priority, you know, essentially their bills, you know, advertising, whatever, I'm working on bills, that gets paid off, you know, my manager, who I'm no longer with, but he still has commission off of my book, which I wrote, right, so like, he needs to be paid. So all that stuff is kind of first, but then after that, it becomes what can I put into my savings? What can I put into my personal and then ultimately, what do I need to run my personal life? You know, and in the beginning, like I told them, and it was a shoestring budget, you know, I literally there were days when, you know, you know, because in the beginning like if you have a joint account, right, like parents significant other whatever they can see, right? So like you have $2 Don't worry about it, we're fine because they also didn't understand that I I'm living on debit, right? So it's not like I have $2 it's like every second like I'm transferring, you know, like funds. So yes, if you see it, you know, there's many it'll be $2 but it's not $2 so sometimes I think there was a little bit of a concern but I have found a process now Jamila and I cannot overemphasize the importance of a process right so if you get a check for $5,000 you know, from a brand endorsement, etc, etc, whatever you're doing content or you know, I think me before would have said you know, what, pay all the expenses off you know, I think me today is saying Okay, well let's you know, pay the 3000 whatever, we don't have to go all the way and then let's put 1000 savings let's put 1000 in my own personal account again what what I love is because I'm the primary account holder on both I am able to transfer without you know, problems and concerns coming up. So I do use that feature very liberally versus if it was like a shared account or somebody else's the owner then you know, I would have had problems but I do that liberally and yeah every time my accountant she's like yeah, if you're the primary account holder like this is all yours.
Jamila Souffrant 33:51
Yeah, I like that you talking about the process because there's a lot of similarity you know, between you know, your personal finances and your business like if you are listening you have a business but you really do need to get a system down so I do follow the profit first system. I never can say his name right like I need him on the podcast so probably gonna invite him Mike Michalowicz. I'm probably butchering his name, but he wrote the book Profit First and that really helped me because I was pretty good at like my personal budget and like the family's budget and making sure was straight but now like I definitely have a system in terms of what every dollar looks like that comes into the business how much I get paid from that versus how much inside for taxes, savings, expenses
Shinjini Das 34:29
Oh, God. Yes
Jamila Souffrant 34:31
I think this is all great. And I hope it's really giving people just hopefully, just some things to think about whether it's on business or their own personal expenses that they're you know, trying to manage. But in general um, if you can talk to like as we wrap up your overall like as you look back, and you know, you're still pretty young and you still have left to do and all that right. But what would you say is like the catalyst for your success so far, because you are like from a young age, tell me some of the things that you've been able to do. I know you spoke at A keynote at your school.
Yeah, Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech undergraduate commencement speaker still one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, Jimmy love because I, you know, at the time, it's it's a very traditional school, you know, at the time very white, very male. And so for me to be the speaker, like, that's a big deal. And the keynote was the CEO of coke. So again, I represent everything that a lot of them are not, you know, in some ways, you know what I mean? So, like, it was wild. And yeah, dream come true dream come true. So yes, that was 2014. The publicist media discovered me in 2015. So like, everything happened really fast. A lot of TV interviews, I just came out from judging like a Diversity Tech Awards in Ireland, you know, all virtual, like, it's all global. Now, you know, I spoke at Dublin Tech Summit. And my whole thing is, like engineering, technology, media, women, I think if you were to sort of make buckets, that would probably be it, and speaker with the US Department of State, you know, keynote speaker with them, again, same vibe, like Women's Entrepreneurship, because I think, you know, a lot of women of color are gravitating to me, because they've never had, and I think similar to you, they've never had a self help education platform for them. You know, like, if you look at, you know, my competitors, they're mostly white women, which is fantastic. And that's awesome. I love it. But their audience is also affluent suburban white women. So when I look at my demographic of like Africa, and India, where do they go? So I think I'm very excited every day about what I'm doing and who I serve, and what the impact is. And then the goal is your right, you know, to be a go getter. So whatever that means in your life to be financially independent of, I don't know, start singing, I don't judge what you want to go get. You do whatever, but just just take action, you know, and that's kind of my mission and brand. But you were asking about catalyst, honestly, you know, I will say it is my degree, you know, I am still a very structured person. Sometimes people may not see that, because they're like, oh, you're, you know, creative. And I'm like, yeah, I'm creative. But the creativity comes with a structure. You know, and I think anyone who is smart enough to see what I'm doing knows that there's a structure behind what I'm doing. And I think that has been great. I'm not saying that there haven't been challenges. Jamila, I mean, there have been literally days when because, you know, running on debit, this is what you get, right? We're literally I had to decide have like an Uber or food. And, and that was a real decision, because that was all I had. And, you know, I made this commitment to live on debit. I mean, I think that's difficult. But then when I look at my audience, that's also the kind of decisions that they have to make, because a lot of them are struggling, a lot of them are on the come up. You know, I think it relates me to the demographic really well. Ultimately, it is about the process. And I'm very proud of that even just like social media growth. In the beginning, I was so overwhelmed. Like, I don't even know how to do this, like, how do you how do you get followers, like who who even will follow you, you know, but I've really created sort of a system around it. And that's my degree, like Industrial and Systems Engineering, it's just, I'm doing all of that online, which I'm actually really proud of, because it's a really unique wage to use this degree.
Well, that's the thing to like, you know, taking your your degree, your structure, that kind of traditional piece of paper, but also the training behind it, to turn it into and use those assets to help you now with your career, I think a lot of us can, you know, are doing that in some way. I always say like, no matter even if you're not because I know some people are listening and they're like, well, I don't even use my degree I paid all this money and like I'm not using but I promise you your experience what you've done, you do that even if you're not in that field, even if you're not using it has shaped you to who you are today and one of the things that you said earlier on an interview that stuck with me like that Boomerang kind of like concept of like, coming out and coming back in and you know, like sometimes, even if you relate it to I always say not like just a parachute but like a trampoline. Like there's bouncing up and bouncing down and but sometimes that bounce down allows you to bounce higher. You know, I love all of this. And so thank you for sharing, you know, your experience your immigrant experience and money and then of course, just how you use your personal banking and business banking, you know, banking, with DCU, digital credit union, so let everyone know where they can follow up with you and all the amazing things that you're doing.
Shinjini Das 39:32
Fantastic. Yes, follow me @speakershinjini, that's the easiest way journeyers. it's Yeah, it's speaker that's SP EA, ke Rs, h i n j i n i really, really excited because I think that you are all go getters and you definitely sort of need that consistent motivation and actionable advice to go get your goals so I'm here to help you become a go getter. That's who I am.
Jamila Souffrant 39:58
I love it. Love it. And I'll put all of it needs contact and the episodes show notes. Thank you so much again Shinjini for coming on and sharing your story.
Shinjini Das 40:04
Of course, Jamila a thank you for having me. This was awesome.
Jamila Souffrant 40:11
I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Shinjini, if you yourself are an immigrant, first or second generation, I wonder if you could relate to anything we said, I know everyone has a different experience. But I believe a lot of times we do have a common thread and theme in some of the ways that we were raised even if we came from and immigrated from different countries and parts of the world. So I would love for you to share that with me. So share that with me and Shinijini, you can take a screenshot of you listening to this in the app, Instagram, that's where we hang out where I hang out the most. And you can tag it in your stories or on your feed. And just tell me what you thought you can tag me @journeytolaunch and tag Shinjini @speakershinjini. So you tag both of us take that screenshot. Tell us if you could relate to anything that we mentioned in the episode, I would love to hear and see what you guys have to say. Again, if you want to check out the article that I wrote in conjunction with DCU all about the immigrant experience and money. Go to journeytolaunch.com. And or check out the episode show notes wherever you're listening to this episode.
Now it's time for DCUs Tip of the Week. Some signs it may be time to refinance your car loan. Interest rates have dropped the Federal Reserve sets target federal funds rates, which affect the long rates that financial institutions offer consumers from 2015 through 2018 interest rates rose nationwide. But since March 2020, the Federal rate has been close to zero percent. So if you took out a loan before March 2020, there's a good chance you could get a lower interest rate by refinancing. Here's another sign it may be time to refinance, your credit has improved, lenders are more likely to offer you a low interest rate. If you have a strong credit history, you may have better credit than you did before. If you've consistently made on time payments on all your loans, you've been making at least a minimum payment on your credit accounts, and you paid off any old loans. For more, check out dcu.org
If you want to check out the episode shownotes that's where you can get links to anything that's mentioned, and even get a transcribed version of this episode that you can read. Go to journeytolaunch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. Now you can also still grab your free journeyer jumpstart guide by texting, launch to 33777 or go to journeytolaunch.comm/ jumpstart.
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Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:
- I wrote an article, All About the Immigrant Experience and Money, in conjunction with DCU here. Article is not published yet, add it here when it is
- I mentioned Mike Michalowicz’s book, Profit First, which helped me with my process with my business account and paying myself first.
- If you missed enrollment join the waitlist for my FI course.
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