Jamila Souffrant 0:00
You're listening to the Journey To Launch Podcast: How To Quit Your Way To Financial Freedom And Career Success With Mandi Money
T-minus 10 seconds. 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 in five, four, three, two, one.
Jamila Souffrant 0:38
Hey, Hey, Hey, Journeyers. Alright, let's just hop right into it, because I want you to get these gems that we are about to share on this episode of the Journey To Launch Podcast. So I have on a guest that I am so excited to bring on the podcast. You know, I've been listening to Mandi on her own podcast, who she co-hosts with Tiffany, The Budgetnista on the "Brown Ambition Podcast". I think when I, like, before I even had a podcast, so it's really cool to have this full circle moment with Mandi.
Mandi Woodruff-Santos, also known as Mandi Money, is an inclusive wealth building advocate, career expert and co-host of the popular podcast brown ambition. Her personal finance and career advice has been featured on CNBC, CNN, Business Insider, you name it. From 2016 to 2021, Mandi served as Senior Content Director for Lending Tree and its subsidiaries, where she steered a team of 30+ staff editors, writers and contributors to produce hundreds of articles a month and newsletters and webinars and ebooks. Most recently, in 2021, Mandi embarked on her own new path as a solopreneur, leaving behind her corporate "job," to go out on her own. So, in a lot of ways, I can relate with Mandi's story. You're going to hear how Mandi, basically, quit her way to earning more. When she quit and asked for more money, leveraged different positions and made moves that she had to. She was able to put herself in a position to become a six-figure earner and now she is on her own as an entrepreneur, teaching others how to do the same. So you're going to get a lot from this episode, I'm really excited for you to hear it!
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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Hey, Journeyers! I have, as always, I call every guest special, because I truly believe that they are special-- but this one is pretty special. We have Mandi Money. Mandi, welcome to the podcast.
Mandi Money 4:20
Hey Jamila, how are you?
Jamila Souffrant 4:23
I am good and Mandi, you know, some people may not know who you are. Some people may, but you are one half of the "Brown Ambition Podcast" with Tiffany, The Budgetnista. You have your own brand. And I want you to talk about that, because I've seen you, like, when I came into the space, like, you were already doing the thing, like, you're already, kind of, like, in here. You had your podcast, you were working, I believe, full time still at Lending Tree. I'm not surem but I think that's where you were working full time and I was so impressed, because you, kind of, like, had that, just, professional, like, background. Like, you know, you were, like, a real writer and you managed writers and that kind of, like, career space. But then you also, in my opinion, had this, kind of, on the side, personal brand that you were building. And I love that. And so I think, like, that meshing of, kind of, like, the, the professional corporate, kind of, like, I have the receipts on my resume to talk about, like, the things that I'm talking about, versus, kind of, like, the more, "here's my personal story of what I've done," is really, like, a powerful combination. So, I'm excited for everyone to learn more about you and your journey to where you are.
Mandi Money 5:27
Hi, Journeyers! Thanks for having me on. This is great! I have watched your show grow by leaps and bounds. And I just want to say, congratulations, because, I'm just so excited for you and all of your success. And I'm excited to be here. And if you guys haven't checked out "Brown Ambition," we had Jamila on in May. So in May, as a guest co-host, so you need to check out your girl, because I hope we brought her out of her shell, you know, got a little, little nuggets that you may not hear on Journey To Launch. But yeah, I'm Mandi Woodruff-Santos, most very recently became Mandi Money, because, you know, I love alliteration, like any other English major out there. And also, I just had no-- I had no new ideas, but I've always, kind of, seen my career. I've never really defined myself at the job that I had. And I think that's really helped me, because I knew a job is a job as a thing that I'm doing. And it's fun. And I'm being challenged. And it's helping me build wealth. But I always had this this entrepreneurial spirit of- I want to create something beyond that. And so for me, "Brown Ambition," which I launched six years ago, with Tiffany, at the time, I was a reporter at Yahoo Finance. And for me, it was a creative outlet. And it was also something that I wasn't allowed to do. "Allowed" at Yahoo. They really wanted me to be in the box of writing articles, and maybe doing some video content to drive eyeballs to the site, because that's how they sell ads. But a podcast to them was like, "What?" You know, I actually pitched them the idea. And they said, "Yeah, if you can't guarantee a million downloads right away, then we're not interested." And s,o I'm glad that they said no, because we launched "Brown Ambition," you know, independently and it's, and it became such a wonderful outlet for me to still talk about the things I wanted to talk about and scratch that itch of educating women, especially about their finances, while also pursuing my own career and building wealth that way, and establishing myself and growing into a leader and a boss, and all of those great things that I necessarily wouldn't be able to do if I had just chosen one or the other.
Jamila Souffrant 7:35
Yeah, I think it's really cool too, because what your full time job was, like, literally was in line with what you were doing on the side, as you talked about scratching that itch. And, like, so many people, like, that's not the case, like, you know, like, I worked in corporate America in real estate. And so it was a bit different. But, like, for you to be working in a big corporation and talking about money, personal finances at that, and then be able to kind of, like, leverage what you were learning there, but do it differently. Because what I know about the big companies are that they have so much more regulation and rules. And with your own stuff, you can have a lot more flexibility and move faster. So what were the things that you were learning at the bigger companies that you worked for, that you were able to apply and help grow your own brand and podcast?
Mandi Money 8:18
Yeah, I think what I loved about 'Brown Ambition,' was Tiffany was on her own journey, and I was on my journey. And Tiffany, from the time we started the podcast, you know, it's funny, because at the time, I was like, "Wow, she's The Budgetnisa!" But then she'll go back and tell me like, "Girl, I didn't have two coins to rub together when I-- when we first met." But to me, she was, you know, a huge-- and she's become, obviously, so huge, but she's been The Budgetnista, really focused on her businesses as The Budgetnista, educating women. And for me, I was, you know, the nine to five worker of the host. And I really felt like I could identify with a lot of our listeners who were working their way through the ranks of corporate America, just like I was, and wanting to know how to tackle the particular challenges and questions that you end up facing when you are working for a corporation. And so I always like that balance that we could provide. And I did, I always felt like, you know, at the end of the day, everybody can't launch their own business. Everybody doesn't want to launch their own business. And that has always been okay. Like, I, I think on on our show, too, we try to, like, give people encouragement, if that's what they want to do. But I would never want anyone working in corporate America to feel less than because they're not out there with their own brand, and, you know, with a billion tick tock followers and things like that. There is no shame in getting that paycheck, gettin that 401k, you know what I mean? And, and, and doing a job that you enjoy? None at all.
Jamila Souffrant 9:42
Yeah, and see, I love that about your story too, because you leverage and you talk about this, and I can't wait to get into this, like, quitting your way, like, still staying in corporate America for a very long time and quitting your way up the salary ladder. And I think, like, you said you went from making $30,000 in 2010. To over $300,000, or higher-- $300,000 annually, most recently. So can we talk about that? Because I know that's a passion of yours now, it's like talking to people about how you did that, and then helping them do the same.
Mandi Money 10:12
Right? I-- when I sat down to really think about my journey and look at the last decade of the body of work that I've done in my career, I could not deny the fact that the way that I have achieved certain milestones, like getting to 10xing my income, and also 10xing my net worth, so how much I actually own, versus what I owe, I could not deny the fact that quitting was my secret sauce. When I quit, and I literally, I just did this for-- I'm a contributor to CNBC. And I was just like, "You know what, I like to have receipts. I'm a journalist by training and I don't want anyone telling me that I'm not telling the truth." So I'm like, "Let me download my, you know, download my Social Security income statement." Yes, you can get yours too if you want to go back to see how much you earned in high school and question why you never invested it and why you bought Gap jeans instead. Anyway, so I looked, and I was like, "Wow, my income jumped 30%, 50%, 100%, sometimes, when I switched jobs. When I quit." and that was when it clicked for me. We're not coaching people enough on when to identify when it is time for them to leave their jobs. And even on our podcast, Tiffany and I will get questions every-- or we would, early in our years, get questions from people who had these really, you know, "I have a toxic manager. I'm being micromanaged. I don't feel like I'm getting the opportunities I have." And sometimes I would be annoyed at myself for the advice I would give. Why didn't I just tell him to quit? You know? It's almost like we have this fear of telling someone to quit. Like there's a taboo associated with it, like, you're, you're disloyal, or, you know, you're, you're not someone that can be relied upon. But I look at my own resume. And I just think it's BS when anyone says, "If you quit jobs, people are going to question your loyalty and they're not going to want to hire you." Then how do you explain my success? So that is where-- that's really where I found my, my, my passion: is helping people identify when it is time for them to quit, how to quit thoughtfully, how to quit consciously, how to quit compassionately, and how to quit their way rich, literally, and build wealth as they level up in their career.
Jamila Souffrant 12:16
Let's talk about that, because I know someone listening is like, "Yep, that's me. Toxic toxic manager, hate my job. I do want to leave," but it's scary, right? Like it's scary for them. And maybe they're-- they've just never quit things before. I, I love-- that I put this meme or this tweet out there and it talked about how-- @TalkWithAmber wrote this on Twitter. And she said, basically, yeah, @TalkWithAmber wrote this, and she was basically saying how this whole, like, perfect attendance record thing that we used to get as children prepared us to, like, be the, like, just hot messes of adults that we are now. That, that thinks we can't disappoint people, we have to always show up, even when we're sick. And I'm guilty of that in a way. But it almost, to me, also relates to, like, your job and, like, working in environments that you don't enjoy. There's that, but then there's also the survival part of it, like, people do need income, and they may be afraid that they won't be able to get a new job, and then what? They have families and mortgages. So can we dive a little bit deeper into the considerations that one should take into place when it's the right time? And then we could talk about, like, what that looks like if they say yes, it's the right time.
Mandi Money 13:18
Absolutely. I mean, you mentioned income, but, like, healthcare is also a huge reason in this country. Like, that is the big hold I think a lot of companies have on their workers: is that health care policy, because going out there, you know, I love the Obamas just like any other progressive, but you know, Obamacare is expensive, and it really can be difficult to go out there, especially with family. If a family with even one or two kids. I mean, I know people who spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars, sometimes 1,000s a month on, on health care, private insurance. So that's a huge one. That being said, there, there are, there you can stack up the reasons why it's risky to quit your job. We all know those reasons. What I like to do is kind of pivot and talk about, you know, what can you gain by looking for a new opportunity? And I think for a lot of people, the initial thing is just fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of putting yourself out there, because if you put yourself out there, you might get rejected, right? And I've actually been coaching women for free, because I just wanted to, since July, and so many really, like professional, women who have amazing resumes. I listen to them tell me all the reasons why it may not work out for them, but they haven't even, like, submitted a resume anywhere or applied anywhere. And I just think that putting yourself out there and letting that fear go, like, what's the worst that could happen? You get turned down for a job? Okay, you're not going to die. And it doesn't mean you're going to lose a job that you have. So I think there's no harm in trying right? So I think one consideration is what are the stories you're telling yourself about why you should be staying and can you change that mindset? Can you turn it from, "I'm really stable here. I've got good insurance," and can you turn that into, "This is not the only place I could be stable and other jobs offer insurance too. So what if I love and found jobs that had those benefits that were important to me, but also fulfilled other, you know, values that I have or interests that I have or professional ambitions that I have?" And that's that's a big one. I'm also a big fan of-- well, not a big fan, but I never would encourage anyone to quit if they had no plan. Like, I'm, you know, I've never-- out of all the times that I've quit, I've never done it and not had something lined up. Well, okay, one time, technically, more recently, yes, but yeah, 99% of the time, I was quitting for another opportunity. So I wasn't just flinging myself into the unknown. And I think I talked to someone about this yesterday, I was like, "I have a lot of empathy for the, like, the mental health and the lack of bandwidth that you can have sometimes, when you're so stressed at work." It's almost like, but where do I find the energy to put on a smile, and, you know, a virtual filter to my face and go do an interview when the job I have right now is just so-- it's so soul crushing? And for people who are in that position, I think it's a good idea to start saving and putting aside income, so that you have a financial safety net, so that when you're ready to quit, like, if you don't think you have it in you to do the interviews and get something lined up, and you just want to take time off, like, that's fine. But financially prepare yourself so that you really have time to take a deep breath, collect yourself, and then get back out into the job market after that.
Jamila Souffrant 16:27
Yeah, I'm glad that you actually are clarifying that you do recommend, obviously, having something lined up. It's not just, like, quitting and having no plan after that. I'm so glad that you talked about, essentially, preparing yourself, like, before you quit, having something lined up. And I think it's also important to, kind of, get a little bit more specific about, like, financially preparing to quit, because that is a big thing, like, because we tell people, okay, "Pay off debt. You know, invest in all these things." And in some instances, it's going to be helpful to pause that in order to create that safety net. And I can say for myself, when I quit my job to do this full time, and when I was preparing to do it, we stopped investing in our, like, maxing out our pre tax retirement accounts and started diverting that money into a fund that can help sustain us while I figured things out with Journey To Launch. So I think it's-- we should talk a little bit about that. Like, it gives people permission to pivot so that they can create this room for themselves.
Mandi Money 17:22
Yeah. I think as helpful as we personal finance educators can bem this whole thing of, "I should be doing this, and I should be doing that," and all these rules and things to follow. For me, it's all about taking, it's all about educating yourself and hearing all the advice and then putting it through your own lens and what's going on in your life. And there are times when the tried and true advice just doesn't make sense. So yes, I mean, if you are someone who, you know, in your case, you were launching a business and other people's cases, they just may-- they wanna, they may want to go to school for a while or to pivot in their career, they may want to, they may want to take, you know, to pivot in their two different industry, they may need to take a pay cut, but their lifestyle will not actually be decreasing. And I know if you have kids in daycare or something like that, even if you make less money, there's only so much you can budget. You know what I mean? You can only cut costs so many-- so, so far. Still got to take care of the little humans. So in that case, yeah, I think that you have to look at, you know, what are your priorities? And what can be put on pause for a while? Absolutely, If you have high interest debt, I think that instead of thinking of, you know, completely stopping making those payments, you know, are there ways that you can-- you can kind of slow down the progression of that debt? Can you look at an option like a debt consolidation loan to get a fixed rate that's maybe lower than the debt that you have? Can you transfer your credit card debt to like a 0%, balance, credit card, if you have that as an option? There's things you can do, but I certainly think it's always smart to have a safety net financially, set aside. So look at what your lifestyle costs: your minimum, keep the lights on, keep the family fed, roof over your head, lifestyle expense, and multiply that out by six months. For me, it was 12 months, because I had a child. I didn't always have a kid, though. But for me, I've always had a really healthy cash cushion throughout my career. And that is honestly what has what helped give me a bit of courage when it came to taking big leaps. I knew, even if, I, you know, I've worked for-- I've quit jobs to work for startups that could have crumbled, and these big risks I took, because I could afford to. And I think having that financial safety net early in my career and just building onto it. I called it my F-U fund for a reason, because I knew that I could say F-U to anything I didn't want to do at the end of the day. And I think that's incredibly empowering. So when you're young, it may feel good to take those vacations and you should, you know, once in a while, but think about yourself five years down the line and having that financial safety net and how that can really empower you to take big, potentially wealth building risks in your career.
Jamila Souffrant 20:01
So as you quit numerous jobs to get to your multi, you know, six figure, like, income that you got to, finally, were are you looking at other jobs, like, in the same realm? Were you strategically looking for higher paying jobs? Or, like, what was it like? Because I think for someone thinking or listening, they're, like, "Well, maybe I make $50,000 now. Obviously, I think I want to make more. I know I can make more. Is it that I go to new industry using those same skills that I have now, but leveraging it somewhere else? Or I go to the same type of job somewhere else I can pay more?" Like, they're trying to think through what is that next and better opportunity? How were you thinking about the next opportunity when you were doing it?
Mandi Money 20:38
Yeah, for me, it was really about being honest with what I liked about the work that I was doing and what the next step could be. I'm a naturally ambitious person. And I'm, I, after a couple of years, if I don't feel like I'm being challenged or doing something new, I get itchy, like, I'm ready to do something else. Like, I've done that, I'm really good at it, I'm bored. And that was really the driving factor for me to look at new opportunities was, Is this going to interest me and challenge me? And do I get to do something that I haven't done before? And on top of that, yes, of course, I was looking for higher pay. The real turning point for me, and my income, came when I moved from individual contributor, being a writer and reporter and not managing people, to a job where I was actually managing and building a team. And how did I pivot? You know, how do you get people to hire you, if you don't have any managerial experience? A good way to do that is-- for at least for me, was to join a smaller company, it was a startup. And I had, I had formed a professional, like, a-- relationship. I met, I had met the founder at a conference and we sort of hit it off. And we just stayed in touch. And I actually used-- I actually would call him up, because he was, he was a phenomenal guy who spent decades or, I don't know how old he is, anyway, a long time in the credit card industry. So I would get a lot of insight from him. And we just, we just formed a nice, you know, like a, I don't know, like a peer kind of friendship, professional friendship. And they, they took a chance on me,. They did, and they were able to, because one, I was, maybe cheaper, than they would have gotten. Had they, you know, looked for someone with tons of experience. And they knew, what I learned as a manager, which is that when you hire someone who is stretching into a role, yes, they may be nervous, but they are going to grow, and they are going to have lots of room to grow and feel-- like I stayed longer than I'd stayed at any job at that job, because I was coming into it with so little experience that I was constantly challenged. Constantly, until I wasn't and then I said, "Buh-bye." But you know what I mean? So I think that that's really key is looking for opportunities that not only gives you a professional challenge, but then also, will pay you, you know, commensurate with that challenge. And I was lucky to get that.
Jamila Souffrant 22:48
And I think it's also important to, like, you know, you're also interviewing them to see how,like, how good of a manager, how good of a workplace this would be. Like I saw recently someone said, "I finally did it. I finally asked, "Why should I work for you?"" You know, like, kinda, like, instead of, like, you know, how they ask you, like, when you go to interview, like, "Why should we hire you?" It's like, "Why should I actually work for you? Like, you know, tell me why this is a good fit for me." And I think approaching it that way, where you're interviewing them, to make sure that they can provide you what you need is important, too.
Mandi Money 23:16
Yeah. I love that you said that. Especially in today's labor market, it's, kind of, like, companies are the ones needing to really woo talent, because there's a real, there's a real lack of talent willing to move on right now. I mean, it's been a pandemic, there's less talent, there's people who have left the workforce altogether. Black women seem to have left the workforce in droves, me being one of them, not left the workforce, but left the traditional, you know, working for companies workforce. And you've-- I've, the, the job offers that I've seen people get have been really competitive. And people are getting big raises now. And I think it's-- just speaks to the fact that real talent is hard to come by. And it-- you may have several job offers that you're looking at, or several potential job offers. And so, you have the-- you have the, the luxury of choice in a way that me, like, recession college graduate baby did not have. I was just taking whatever I could get, and you need to-- and it may not always be this way. So I think it's definitely, you should understand your power and absolutely ask the kinds of questions and reflect on yourself. Reflect on your time where you're working now. What do I like? What do I not like? And ask questions that can help you suss out what you're gonna be getting from this new company. I would never jump at a big shiny paycheck and just sign the dotted line just to get a raise. There has to be other things. Has to be you know, is it remote working privileges? Is it flexible time off? Is it the ability to manage people? Is it the ability to manage nobody? If you know that about yourself, that's fine. Is it, you know, having a manager, but being promised you have autonomy? Like those. those are intangible benefits that don't get listed on job applications.
Yes! You ask those questions. It's important.
Jamila Souffrant 25:05
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And then the other thing is, like, because of the interesting time we're in, like, it is probably easier to look for jobs while you have a job, because you could do a lot of virtual interviews, right? Like versus before, you have to take off work and leave, like, you know, on lunch breaks or just-- it'd be more I would think, a hassle. And now it's, like, you can easily-- or more easily do that virtually.
Mandi Money 26:53
Yeah, absolutely. I ws one of the people who was interviewing while working full time, during the pandemic. There were just a lot of job opportunities, which was exciting. I do want to caution, you know, when you're looking at new job opportunities, that's great, but-- and consider consider what you're leaving on the table. I don't know if we talked about, like, compensation benefits. You know, equity, you may have matching 401k contributions that haven't fully vested yet. So I would take all that into consideration when you're negotiating your next job offer. Not-- I'm in no way saying don't pursue a new job opportunity, because you have, you know, these incentives keeping you there. I mean, they're called incentives for a reason. They're great. And I've definitely built a lot of wealth by taking advantage of things like restricted stock units, and sign on bonuses and annual bonuses and things like that. But companies a lot, especially in, in demand fields right now, they are willing to make people whole, in the form of, like, let's say you're leaving $10,000 worth of equity on the table if you were to leave your employer. If you tell your prospective employer that, they may be willing to give you a cash sign on bonus to make you whole for the money leaving on the table. I think you should definitely be open and honest with the recruiter or the hiring manager. So that, because, like, at the end of the day, they want you to come, right? And I don't think you need to be shy about saying, "You know, I'm, I'm pretty happy here. And by the way, I have $10,000 that is going to be poof, gone, if I just jumped. So what are you going to do about that?" And give them a chance to make your deal even sweeter.
Jamila Souffrant 28:28
Yeah, no, that's actually, I'm glad you brought that up. Because you have to understand what you are leaving behind and make sure it's worth it to leave it and/or see if you can negotiate that within your new salary or opportunity. So as you are talking or, you know, helping people now think about quitting. And again, we're talking about, like, quitting once you have other things lined up. But this process can take a while or it cannot, right? Like, it can go really quickly for someone. And by that, I mean, like, is it that they are now outwardly putting it out? Because it's, like, what is that thing? You putting it out on LinkedIn right? But maybe you don't want your current employer to know that you're looking. So, like what-- how do you start looking without alerting, you know, the people in your office that you're looking?
Mandi Money 29:12
People seem overly nervous about that. So in my-- I wrote the "Just Quit Toolkit," which is, like, a free online guide, where I kind of just tried to put down on paper, all of my strategies for passively looking for work. I'm a big fan of passively, passively job searching, which means, I put all the right signals on my LinkedIn profile. I've got my LinkedIn up to date. I'm posting regularly. I'm checking my LinkedIn Mail and all of that. But also you can, you can put an indicator on your profile called "Open to," and then you can specify what you're open to. Open to work, open to part time, open to full time, etc. And I do have a lot of mentees who are worried about their employer seeing it. You can actually, there's a, there's a LinkedIn when you, when you click that option, LinkedIn will say, you know we only enable people who have LinkedIn recruiting to see this. They can can't guarantee that your employer won't see it, but they, they do their best to, they do their best to probably hide that from-- if they see someone at your company who works in HR, and-- you know what I mean? But at the end of the day, what are you so afraid of? I was just saying this yesterday to someone, if you have been honest in your one on ones with your manager, in your annual reviews, with how you're feeling about your work, and what it is that you need to feel supported and grow, I don't really think it would catch anyone by surprise if they knew that you were looking for a new opportunity, if you've made clear that you're not getting what you want out of the job that you have. And on top of that, I don't think there's any, like, legal way they can retaliate against an employee who is keeping their options open. Like, that is just, that's just smart. And I get really annoyed by managers who have the gall to expect people to stick around forever out of a sense of loyalty, like where do you come off? Get out of here. I was a manager. And for me, at the end of the day, like, people are humans, and they have their own goals. And I think it's our job as managers to make sure that we're doing what we can in the context of our power and the company that we have, to help them get there. But if, if the employee is no longer happy, then we need to, like, accept that and have a plan on our own for how do we backfill? Like, what are the systems and processes that are in place so that if someone leaves, we're not scrambling. That's just bad management, if that's what's happening. So I say all that to say, yes there's a chance someone may see that you're open to work. And they may, I mean, now it's a lot easier to sneak around. They're not-- you're not just gonna, like, possibly see your boss on the subway when you told him that you were going to doctor but you're dressed in, like, a business suit. What a nightmare. Thatm that's less likely to happen now. But if it does, I don't know. Maybe they would be-- maybe it would give them the wake up call they needed that, "Hey, she's got it going on. Like, maybe I should be giving her that raise or promotion or whatever it is that she's, you know, asked for recently." And yeah, I It's like dating in that way, right? Sometimes it kind of sucks. But you need-- it's almost like you need someone else to, like, cat-call you when you're, when you're out with someone for them to realize, "Oh, you know, I better step it up." Like...
Jamila Souffrant 32:13
I still got it.
Mandi Money 32:14
You know? Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Jamila Souffrant 32:16
I think I mean, I think too it's, like, it's, it's some of it is rational. But a lot of it is irrational, that you think you have to be so loyal, like, they'll be mad at you. And all these things where it's like, literally, it's, like, they're probably looking at, "Wow, like, I'm surprised she's still here." Like, "I'm surprised she didn't ask for more." Like they actually are probably thinking that about you. Like,they're wondering why you haven't left yet. Or why you haven't asked for more yet. Like, you literally need to.
Mandi Money 32:39
I never want to be someone's sure thing. Someone-- Oh, that sucks. And I've seen people be referred to like that by senior leadership. Like, "Oh, you know, oh, good old so and so. They've been here forever. We can always count on you. And wow, she goes above and beyond or he goes above and beyond." It's usually a she. And no, I'm not here to be that. To be, I think we've just, like, in society in, in morning television, talk shows and afternoon daytime TV, we have just created this martyr, this female martyr. Where, "Oh, let's give her a makeover. She's killed herself being a mom and working and she doesn't ask for help. And she does everything. And she makes cookies. And she shows up to work every day. And, you know, she raises 12 kids and all of that and like, Let's get her a haircut and a nice outfit." And I'm just, like, that is some BS, like, well-- let's, let's not normalize female suffering to be valid-- to be worthy of attention. And I think that, that happens to like a less dramatic extent in the corporate environment. I even have fallen prey to this too, as a woman. I remember we were moving offices in Manhattan, and I'm the senior most leader in my office in Manhattan, although our company is based in North Carolina. And we were switching offices, and we're moving to a better office. And there was another, actually no, I wasn't the senior most. I was a second most senior leader, my boss was a man. And somehow I ended up being the person facilitating the move and making sure everyone packed up their belongings, and making sure everyone had snacks at the new office. And I was doing all this extra work. And my husband was like, "Why are you doing this?" Like, while he's helping me string up those like, those nasty sticky strips to catch flies, because our new building had a fly issue. And he's like, "Why are we here on the weekend?" And I'm, like, rolling out rugs and dealing with, like, interior designer people. It was just this extra work that I think as a, as a nap-- the way that society sort of makes women feel, is we need to take on the extra thing. So I was, like, happy to do it. I'm being helpful, but where the heck was my boss? He wasn't-- he didn't care at all. Like, he was enjoying his weekend somewhere. Which is no, no shade to him at all. But yes, it's that-- it is that inclination to want to do more. And I don't even know where I started going with this point. But it ain't cool. And I don't want to be the person who is, who is taken for granted, because they don't give those people raises or new opportunities. They don't. Because it causes extra work for them to figure out how to give you a raise and promotion. And if you're happy, they're all too happy to leave you where you are.
Jamila Souffrant 35:20
Yeah, and I would say just like, even deeper than that was that you'll probably find, you know, the correlation. If you're-- if you find that you're actually like that. And it's okay to be like introspective and honest with yourself if, like, that's how you feel. That, that maybe boils over and other areas of your life, whether it's, like, your dating and marriage, relationships with friends, money, right? Like, I just feel like this is all the-- this is why I like talking about money in a holistic way. Because how we deal with our boss and how we negotiate or don't negotiate our salary is probably a reflection of others areas our life that we need to work on. It's not probably-- it is. And so that's why it's all interconnected. And so if you can find out that root of that, whether it's, you know, through therapy, through your childhood trauma, or whatever that is, like, it-- that's going to be helpful in many ways in improving your life and your money. So.
Mandi Money 36:11
Amen. I mean, I'm looking at the clock, because I know you got therapy at one. I got my therapy at one on Thursdays. One o'clock is a good time to just get your mind right, you know? 100%. 100%. My therapist's favorite question is, "So you're, you're saying that you're tired? And you're doing this and this? Who asked you to do those things?" I'm like, "Damn it, Laura. Nobody. But I'm doing it."
Jamila Souffrant 36:36
Well, and that's the thing, I think we can create so many stories in our head, when we have to realize that a lot of it's made up voices or opinions that no one has told us. We're just assuming and creating ourselves and we can we can start to create our own new narratives. And so, I love, again, that you transitioned, or you're showing your transition to jobs with more salary. One of the things I want to know now is, like, you are now a full time entrepreneur, right? You're working for yourself. And so I'm curious to know, for you what, what was the point that made you feel like you can now do this on your own? Because you could technically go get another job, and kind of, get that guaranteed, you know, six, multi six-figure salary, versus, as we know, as entrepreneurs, kind of, like, we got to build it from the ground up. So what made you kind of take this route? And how's it going?
Mandi Money 37:25
Oh, it's going so well. I can't even say I wish I had done it years ago, because everything I did up until now is just, it got me to where I am. It got me to the point where when I finally did step into my own and I told my, told my network, told my friends and my social media friends, like you, in my head, I told you all that I was doing this. I mean, the way that the-- the way that, sort of, the-- it just taught me that for the past 10 years, I've been doing good work. And it's all led me to these relationships that I have and this reputation that I have, that has helped me, helped me pick up work and help me pick up opportunities at a quicker pace than I ever could have imagined. But when I look back at it, I'm like, "This is not happening by accident. You're not just lucky. This is a decade's worth of work that has, you know, that you are reaping the benefit of." So instead of, kind of, taking away that, kind of, feeling like, "Oh, it's just beginner's luck." No, I mean, this is 10 years of work that I have built up to this point and building my own brand outside of my job. And that's why I'm really-- I want to remind people, you know, for me, "Brown Ambition," was my creative project. It was my outlet outside of my job. Before that I had a bike riding blog. I wrote about biking in Manhattan. And there was always something that I had that was my own, you know? My own network, and then I could leverage and I think that was hugely instrumental and how things have been going so far. But for me, why did I pivot? A big reason was I was, so-- I was just excited. I was excited about being my full self. And as much as I loved the people that I had, I've worked with over my career. And I loved working and being a part of a team and building teams and leading and I loved everyone that I worked with. Over the years, I built great relationships. I was ready to focus on me. I missed me. I missed sitting down and thinking. I missed sitting down and remembering that I write and I have things to say to women, especially women of color, and I didn't have the space or time to do that when I was working for other people as much as I wanted to. And having a child? It literally sucked any other moment of my day when I wasn't working and I just could not do it. And maybe there's people out there who can have a nine to five job and be a mom, you know, and wrie on their-- I don't know when-- write throughout the day, throughout the day or on the weekend or early morning. I just could not-- I couldn't do it. I needed the quiet. I needed the space. And I found that what I did initially was take a month off. And I told myself, "Let me take a month off. Regroup. And see where things stand." Again, I had this money saved up, why not use it? And that time off, where I talked with, you know, I talked with some trusted friends and advisors, and sat with myself and wrote, it felt damn good. And for me, it's always been important to follow that good feeling. And I didn't want to give it up. I became-- I was like, " I like this." I had autonomy at my jobs before, but not truly, you know? I still had to tell someone I wasn't going to be somewhere I said I was going to be, you know what I mean? But not, not 100% autonomy. And I have loved most of every day since I went out on my own. It's a lot of work. There are those days where I'm like, "What am I doing today? And who's going to tell me what to do? Oh, nobody." But I wouldn't, I wouldn't trade it at all. I'm so happy.
Jamila Souffrant 40:45
Yeah. I love that you talked about just, like, the past 10 years, it led you to have the experience and you know, quote, unquote, luck, which is not luck, to be where you are today. Because, for someone right now, that's what's happening. Maybe they're not at that you're 10. And it's all coming together. And all the puzzle pieces fit. Which I'm not saying they're all fit for you either. I'm sure there's so much more for you to, like, do in the future. But for someone, like, they don't see the big puzzle piece, they only see the little pieces, and they're just like, "Why am I in this job? Why am I doing this thing? It doesn't make sense." And it's like, literally, there's a lesson to be learned here. And if you can have the patience and perspective. To be patient with yourself, to figure that out, you will look back at your, you know, your year 10-- year two and from your year 10 and be like, "Oh, that's why I had that manager. That's why I was in an uncomfortable position to ask for more. Because here I am now asking for a lot more or being able to do this thing that would not have been possible without that experience."
Mandi Money 41:40
Yes. I mean, hindsight is 20/20, right? I think you can catastrophize it's so easy to just come up with every reason why something won't work out. But why not? If you're just making up stories, why not make up a good ending? You know what I mean? Like, why don't we always tell ourselves the worst version of, like, what could go down? What if it works out? How about that? Like, that's true optimism, and it's not easy. It's something that I work on every day. And then not every day is as easy, but I absolutely agree. And I love that you said that and try, as much as you can. Again, this goes down to, like, who are you listening to day-to-day? And who are the other voices accompanying your own self talk? And are they positive? Are they making you feel better about where you're at? Are they helping you grow? And are they giving you something? And if they're not, learning to slowly mute those other influences, those other voices, so you can just focus on yourself and your path. Can also go a really long way.
Jamila Souffrant 42:35
Yeah. What advice do you have for anyone who's like, "Okay. I am ready to quit, maybe I did have something saved up." But they still are feeling uneasy about it. Like, you know, they're they have a potential job that they can take. But again, they-- it's the unknown. What words of advice would you give them to help them, like, get over that fear and take that leap?
Mandi Money 43:00
If you're scared, it's probably a good thing. The times when I was most petrified of an opportunity, that's kind of when I knew it was right. It's the same way I negotiate. If I'm petrified of what I'm asking for, probably I'm asking for just about, maybe a little bit less than what I should be asking for. And I think that that fear has always led me in the right direction. I mean, it's a good fear. It's the fear that, this is new. It's the fear that, I may not be up to-- I not maybe up to this challenge. I may fail. I think I can do this, but I'm untested. It's that kind of fear and that anxiety. Will they believe in me? Will I-- will this be worth it? That kind of fear, I think is a good indication that you are growing and you're heading toward growth. Because I think that that it should be hard. It should feel challenging to really be worth it. At the same time, I would say, you know, what is the-- what are what are the facts, as far as what happens if it doesn't work out? If something doesn't work out, if your next job doesn't work out? Your-- it doesn't take away your experience. Doesn't take away your your skills. Doesn't take away the context that you built. It doesn't take away the other sources of income you may have. It's not your everything. So I would just sit down with yourself and talk about, what do I do? Like, I'm Mandi Woodruff-Santos, if tomorrow, nobody ever wanted to hear me talk about money or career stuff ever again, or hire me to write, or consult ever again. I can write. I can edit, you know? I have other skills. I will not go hungry. I will not. I will find a way for my family, because I know that I can do that. And I think at the end of the day, you have to bet on yourself and have faith in yourself and your, your ability to overcome challenges. And,you know, the best way to build faith in yourself ,that you can bounce back from anything, is to take those risks. Because with every risk where you don't fail, you're like, "Damn, like I'm good. I can do this!" You build that resilience, and that is why I was able to, you know, quit and start my business and that is because I knew I've been through a lot over my career and I have, no matter what, I have risen above those challenges, and I have a lot of trust in myself.
Jamila Souffrant 45:07
One thing I hear too, and, I think, because, we're both moms, is preserving, like, a part yourself, for you, like,just for you. And I feel like that's what you did when you had your full time job, but you still did "Brown Ambition," kind of like, even though, like, you're making a lot of money, it's, like, "I'm still gonna have this outlet." And I feel like as moms, I'm saying this as like a segue, because it almost feels like we can get lost in the title of being a mom, or even business owner. But, like, I really believe in having identity outside of these, these big labels for ourselves, you know? Instead of like, "Oh, I'm a lawyer," or "I'm that career woman" and like, "My salary is everything," or "I'm a mom. And that's everything," is because eventually, like, those titles wash away or you outgrow them. Like, your children grow up. You'll always be a mom, but they may not-- they're not gonna need you as much. And so, who are you after all that? And so, I think, I love that, like, being able to really-- whatever that is, like, whether it's, like, more career-focused, like, on the side that you're doing something more creativity, focus, even fitness, like, you know, like, we talked a little bit before we started recording how I should do to try to make fitness for me a priority, because it was what I did before the kids, like, and I want to be able to, like, have that as part of who I am, like, you know? When they get to where age they are in literally living their lives, right? And so I just want to also just remind, especially moms and women, and anyone listening, that it's important to, to not fall into the label that we so can fall into and have those things for just us. Because these are the things that will really help us through when it's when it's needed.
Mandi Money 46:38
Yeah. Absolutely. And I always go back to when I'm happy, he's happy. And what makes me happy is not being attached-- him being attached to my hip all day. But taking time for myself. Yea, that, that, that recharges me so that I can come and turn it all the way up for him. I want to be my happiest. I want him to, just have--I feel like the way that kids absorb energy, it just follows them through life. So I just want, at least I can control the energy that I give him. And I want it to be happy and joyful and excited and curious. And I want to be down there in the dirt, focusing on him and playing with the worms and all that kind of stuff. And in order to do that, and to show up as my best self. I can't be coming home from a two hour commute, you know, haggard, and from a job that I'm not happy at doing things that I don't want to be doing so that I can pay for his daycare. That just leads to resentment, you know what I mean? So, yes, if there's any way that to justify, you know, taking time for yourself as a mother, I think the best justification is, it will make you a better mother. A better mother. It'll make your child happier. You know, maybe that's, for you working out. I wish it was for me working out. For me, you know, it's writing and sitting down and lighting a candle and writing words. That is something that I had, you know, really not being able to do for so long. And to be able to do it now, it is-- it feels like I'm getting to know my old self.
Jamila Souffrant 48:04
Oh, I love that, Mandi. Okay, Mandy, please let everyone know where they could find out more about you and tell us more about this toolkit, because it sounds wonderful.
Mandi Money 48:11
Absolutely. You can go to mandimoney.com. That's Mandi with an "i," and check out the "Just Quit Toolkit." You can also follow me on IG @mandimoney. And on TikTok, I went to TikTok, it's @maaandimoney. There's three A's, because someone else has Mandi Money and I just, like, couldn't be bothered. So I was like, let me add enough A's to where they say the username is not taken. So yes, I am @maaandimoney on TikTok, where I talk about all this. You know, quitting your way rich and how to quit consciously and compassionately and use your career to build wealth, because it definitely is possible.
Jamila Souffrant 48:47
Loved that. And then she's also the co-host of the "Brown Ambition" podcast, so...
Mandi Money 48:53
Oh, yeah, that too. You don't want to keep just naming off things, you know, people get bored. But yes, check out "Brown Ambition Podcast." Every week on Wednesdays. We're a great companion show to any Journeyer looking for another, you know, show to listen to, I would think.
Jamila Souffrant 49:09
Yes, yes. All right, Mandi. Thank you so much.
Mandi Money 49:12
Thanks for having me on.
Jamila Souffrant 49:17
All right, Journeyers! I really hope you enjoyed that conversation with Mandi Money. And if you want to check out my appearance on the "Brown Ambitious Podcast," I was a guest co-host with Mandi. You can check that out on episode 271 from "Brown Ambition." I talked about my journey. But with Mandi's story, I really would love, love, love to hear your biggest takeaway. If you are currently in a situation where you feel stuck and you know you need to quit and get out of it. I wanted to know if this inspired you to make some moves. Share that with me and Mandi on Instagram. I'm over @journeytolaunch and Mandi is @mandimoney-- that's m a n d i money. So, tag us, take a screenshot of you listening to this or your biggest takeaway. Share it on your feed so Mandi,and I can see it and see your biggest takeaway.
Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.
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