Episode Number: 302

Episode 302- From Saving $100k to Running A Multimillion Dollar Company Focused On Giving Financial Power Back To You With Tori Dunlap

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From Saving $100k to Running A Multimillion Dollar Company Focused On Giving Financial Power Back To You With Tori Dunlap

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Founder and creator of Her First $100K, Tori Dunlap, joins the podcast to discuss her upcoming book, Financial Feminist: Overcome the Patriarchy’s Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love. After saving $100K At the age of 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded her now multimillion dollar company.

Her First $100K’s mission is to fight financial inequality by giving women actual resources to better their money. Giving women choices and options makes the entire world change– and that’s what Tori and her team are focused on through their blog, social media platforms, podcast and new book. We discuss how being a novice with money is the first step to being an expert, how money doesn’t have to be difficult, the ways we can navigate and survive capitalism and more.

Tori is an award-winning personal finance expert, is a member of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2022, is a Money Magazine Change-Maker and has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Good Morning America, TIME + more.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Tori saved $100k by age 25 + Created a Multi-Million Dollar Finance Brand
  • Common money myths and narratives marginalized groups are told to discourage wealth building
  • The call to use wealth as a way to build each other up and tear down fences that divide us
  • Why you need to hone in on your “why” when it comes to your financial goals + get crystal clear with your dream life
  • Redefining what success looks like + more
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Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Purchase a copy of Tori’s book Financial Feminist
  • Check out my new personal website here.
  • Join The Weekly Newsletter List
  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.
  • What stage of the financial journey are you on? Are you working on financial stability or work flexibility? Find out with this free assessment and get a curated list of the 10 next best episodes for you to listen to depending on your stage. Check it out here!

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Tori Dunlap 0:03

When you become debt free when you're starting investing when you're having emergency funds when you are more hopefully multiple sources of income when you're stable, that's a beautiful, beautiful thing and you get to invite other people to your table or build new tables and tear down the fences other people have built in the hopes that we can change the society to make it a more equal place for everybody.

Intro 0:24

T-Minus 10 seconds.Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who wants her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Intro 0:52

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.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 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 so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch that comm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's happen to the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:34

Hey journeyers excited because we have on a special guests I know I say every guest is special. But this guest is special because I've been watching Tori, so just gave it away. But I've been watching Tori Dunlap from I feel like the beginning Tori I mean, we may have entered this space the same time or not. But I just remember seeing your brand grow so much. And I'm excited to finally have you on the show. So let me first introduce you. Tori Dunlap is an internationally recognized money and career expert and podcast host after saving $100,000 At the age of 25. Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded her first 100k. So you may have heard of it may have not. But it's really meant to fight financial inequality by giving women actual resources to better their money. And guess what, of course Tory has wrote a book. So her upcoming book financial feminist overcome the patriarchy is bull Sure, to master your money and build a life you love is going to be out by the time this interview hopefully airs. So I'm really excited to have Tori on the show. So welcome, Tori.

Tori Dunlap 2:38

Thank you so much for having me. It's it's been on the bucket list for a while. So I appreciate you having me on.

Jamila Souffrant 2:43

Yeah, and I kind of alluded to this in the intro I did. But I just feel like you know, I've seen your brand, from the beginning, like grow, and how you connect with your audience. And I always admired how just like you just show up as yourself talking about money. And you're living, it seems to be like what you're telling your audience to do, like demand more, earn more, and you're doing it as you go, which is pretty cool to see. And your audience is leveling up with you. So I wanted to kind of start from the beginning. And talk about that big goal that you you met of saving $100,000 By the age of 25. Tell me more about that. Tell us how that happened for you. And then we'll go from there.

Tori Dunlap 3:24

Yeah. Yeah, so I graduated college in May of 2016. And I got my first job in marketing. And it was my it was my corporate career. And I thought that this was the thing I wanted to do forever. I had this like grand vision of me, stomping the pavement and high heels and a skirt and a coffee in hand with a briefcase and being like the VP of Marketing by 30. And I knew that was a fantasy because I hate wearing high heels and I don't drink coffee and like pencil skirts are the worst. So like, but that was the vision of like the career woman. And so I graduated college. And then of course, as we all know, the 2016 election happens not soon after that. And I was 22 coming into a world that I thought would be with our first female president in the United States. And that wasn't the that wasn't the reality. And I was deciding what kind of person I wanted to be, was figuring out what I wanted to do personally in my career and was also by this time, having a bunch of sexist things happen to me at work, having experienced a bunch of my friends coming to me for financial advice or coming to me to say this happened to me at work. This was super inappropriate, but I can't leave because this is the job I have. And so I started realizing through my own financial journey and through you know, being the friend that all my friends were coming to that if I had some sort of money, and I'm not talking billions of dollars, right, but if I had some sort of money, I had options. If I had an emergency fund I could leave either a toxic relationship or a toxic job, because I had the money to do so. If I had money, I could start a business, which is what happened I started her first 100k in December of 2016, prompted by the election of Donald Trump, I could take a vacation or to donate to causes I believe in or to have children or to not have children or to retire early, I had all of these options open up to me. And so the blog that I started in 2016, later became her first 100k prompted by that, like 100k origin story, I was working to save $100,000 By the time I turned 26. So at 25, the joke was, if I can do it the day before I turned 26, that still counts. And so I had saved 100k 25 years in three months. And that was a combination of privilege. You know, I'm a cisgendered, straight white woman who has very supportive parents, and that was who my financial education came from. And they were also able to help me with college while I was also working three jobs on campus getting scholarships, but privilege is a part of that story. Along with a lot of hard work, I was really strategic and value based spending, I still traveled internationally, I still went out to eat, but I was really focused on mindful spending, I started investing at age 22, I was maxing out my Roth IRA every single year. Sometimes it would take me the whole year, sometimes the 15 months. But you know, I got there, I was negotiating every single job I had. And then if I felt like I wasn't being compensated fairly, I found a new job. And then I had my side hustle. So in addition to my nine to five, when I was saving a portion of that income, I was able to save all of the side hustle income. So with a her first 100k origin story was my own 100k journey. And through that, and through the our mission of giving women choices and options, you realize the entire world starts to change. And so this mission of financial feminism became our mantra. And so her first 100k Now is a crew of over 3 million financial feminists, we have a podcast, we have a book all of these things. And it started with that origin story of 100k. But really, before then, of realizing, having this awakening, you know, as I came into the world as an adult, knowing that, Wow, there's so many pieces to the inequality puzzle. And I think we don't have any sort of equality for marginalized groups until we have financial equality.

Jamila Souffrant 7:16

Yes, and thank you for claiming privilege, I find so many people find it as an insult. When people bring up like privilege. And I say this, I've said this a few times. So used to this podcast a lot. You're like alright Jamila, you say this a lot. But I feel like we all have some level of privilege. Like, obviously, there are privileges that are just more overt. And it's not as necessarily helpful to some as others. But in general, I think if we can be honest with ourselves, and admit the privileges we have, we can understand what we can use to our benefit, and then also recognize and not be so offended if someone else does not have the same privilege, or is you know, saying to someone like, hey, but you had this? Yes, I did. And you know, my goal is to then do this, right? Like, I just feel like, we should be doing more of that. So as you were like in your early 20s, like thinking of the master plan, right to have more control over your life that you mentioned, some of the things you did. So you side household, you negotiated. So it sounds like your major way to get to that 100k was through income. Is that correct? Like was growing your income?

Tori Dunlap 8:22

Yeah, it was income, and then also investing in? Oh, gosh, what was that 2016 To like, 2019. Right, we had a really good market run that year, or those couple of years. And that's the thing, I think a lot of people don't realize about investing, we have a huge investing gap when it comes to women and people of color, right? Massive, women are less likely to invest than men, or more likely to not invest at all. And the number one reason they cite for not investing is fear. And you know, this right fear of getting started fear of making a mistake, fear of losing money. And what ends up happening, of course, is that with the wage gap, right 78 cents to a man's dollar worse if you're a woman of color is that we're taking less money. And then we're either not investing at the same rate, or we're not investing at all. And that's leading to this massive wealth gap where we're trying to retire. Which by the way, we're going to live seven years longer than men do, on way less money. And so one of the things that was part of my journey was starting to invest as soon as I could, and allow compound interest to work for me. And it's one of the things that I talk about all of the time at her first 100k is like, yes, we need that emergency fund. We need a budget, we need all of those things, but like wealth building happens in big decisions, right? The negotiating your salary or moving on to another job that's going to compensate you fairly wealth building happens in the starting to invest even if it's just with a small amount of money and allowing time to work for you. So I think a lot of us get caught up like we're meat safety, who's you know, another finance expert, he talks about the these $3 decisions versus like $30,000 decisions, right? The $3 decision is like, oh, do I buy organic strawberries or regular strawberries? Right but the $30,000 decisions are the ones that really The mean the most. And that's where we should be spending the majority of our time and energy when it comes to bettering our money. And so for me, yes, I was focused on, you know, value based spending and on not spending money on the things day to day that I really didn't love or didn't, you know, want to spend my money on. But the things that really made a difference, were those big wins, the negotiating the investing, etc.

Jamila Souffrant 10:22

Yes, I'm so glad you actually talked about investing in terms of that 100k. Because I don't know, if you you maybe have analyzed this, but how much of that 100k Was your principal that you put in versus like earnings,

Tori Dunlap 10:34

and I haven't looked at it, but I imagine a good percentage, it was a combination of savings slash investments. So I had my you know, high yield savings account where my emergency fund lived. And then I had a Roth IRA. And then I had a SEP IRA, which is for self employed people or for side hustlers. So even when I was working a nine to five I had a self employed they call it a self employed pension, right, a SEP IRA. So I was like, doing everything I could to max out my tax advantaged retirement accounts, meaning that I could invest more money,

Jamila Souffrant 11:05

right. So also glad that you made that distinction, because sometimes people hear like, Oh, it's just like putting like 100,000 $100,000 in a savings account. And it's wonderful to see in real numbers, how compounding works, because for when I look at my portfolio, and I don't have the numbers in front of me, but like 50% of it by now is interest. So like the money, and that's the whole point, the money is making money for you, which is why it's so important to start.

Tori Dunlap 11:32

Yeah, and they say the, you know, the first 100k is the hardest, that's always the joke. And so that's kind of where, you know, the idea of her first 100k came about was like, if I can get to that 100k, I can ease off the gas a little bit, because that's the incredible part about compound interest, especially with time is that that 100k At 25, if I never contributed another penny, which of course I didn't do, but if I never saved or invested another dollar, I would still have $1.6 million, by the time I'm set to retire at 65. And, you know, you don't have to be 25 compound interest works, whether you're 18, or 88. And so a lot of people come to me, and they're like, is it too late to get started? And they're like 40, or 45? And I'm like, No, never, never, never, never, we'd rather have some money in the bank or some money in an investment account, but not at all. And the common myth about investing is that you need a lot of money, you don't you can get started $20 $50, even if you just do it once and allow it to grow. Right $100 investment now and 30 years is going to be probably a couple 1000 In depending. So I think that that's something that I learned from an early age. And that's one of the biggest things we tried to pass on at her first 100k. And we also created an investing education app called Treasury because we were just so focused on how do we get women over that hump of believing that investing is intimidating.

Jamila Souffrant 12:52

And it's so crucial in building wealth, like you can't this there's a limit to how much you can cut down is budgeting can do so much. But being able to manage your your earning, and the difference between your spending and your income, like that's where the true wealth or is generated and not long, just long term growth, but in the now wealth, right, like being able to afford yourself opportunities to travel or do things with your kids or take the vacation you want. It's so important.

Tori Dunlap 13:20

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I think, you know, I talk about this and my book, financial feminist is like, there's all of these narratives about money that we're told, right, and I just rattled a couple off, right? Investing is intimidating. Investing means you're gambling or losing all of your money, invest in us just for men, you need a bunch of money to invest, right? Like these are all narratives, that we're told that, you know, marginalized groups are told so that we don't do the thing. We are told investing is intimidating by the men in power who are already rich, so that we don't gain financial power. And I spend literally the entire book like every chapter the first part of the chapter is like here are all of the narratives you've been told about debt about investing about money's moral good or moral bad like you've been told all of these things. And so no wonder you feel like investing is intimidating. No wonder you feel shame about having debt. No wonder you feel like, Why? Why can I learn about money? Why can't the stick? It's because you've been socially conditioned to feel that investing or, or debt payoff or saving money is intimidating or scary. It's so that you don't do it so that the people in power continue to be in power.

Jamila Souffrant 14:37

Right? There's like, it's so interesting. There's so much distraction that kind of pulls us off course to the things that we should be focusing on and then with that, right like I think it's coming from all sides, right, like there's this now push for, I think it's called like the soft life, which I think it's a trend but more like telling people to ease off which I agree with in terms I'm working so hard and blah, blah, blah, and getting more into luxury, which I can agree with, right. But I also feel like if coming from the wrong person or wrong position, even that can be dangerous. Meaning pushing luxury and saying you deserve luxury is I agree that you deserve whatever you want in life, right? But it can be a distraction, if that's the only thing people are telling you to do at or at the detriment of your overall well being. And what I find, and I know, you coach and you talk to and in your own community, maybe I've seen this, but what I find is that people think when they think of investing, and doing the things that you've done, or that I've done, it takes so long to happen. So why worry about that now? And I'm really trying to get people interested in like, no, like, the results can happen immediately. Actually, maybe not the, you know, you're not gonna have a million dollars tomorrow. But the fact that you were able to within that short timeframe, of course, you had a lot of things working for you to have that happen, is then eventually quit your job, me quit my job. And I'm not where I want to be financially yet, but I'm way ahead of where I would have been if I didn't start and like, like, how do you get people more excited about thinking about how this can impact the short term, making these kind of longer term decisions?

Tori Dunlap 16:16

Well, I think it's redefining what quote unquote, success looks like. Because if I were to give an example, that's very similar, I joke about this in the book, as well as that we like pop out of the womb expecting to know about money. Like there's very few other things that we hold ourselves to such high standards of like, I should just know how to do that. So it's like, you didn't you didn't come out of the womb, knowing how to play the tuba. Like you didn't come out of the womb, knowing how to speak fluent Italian. So like, why are you telling yourself that you should just know how to pay off debt? How to avoid, you know, getting into debt in the first place. Like it's like learning anything, right? And I mentioned like, being fluent in Italian, success can look like, wow, I learned five new vocab words in Italian today, as opposed to wow, and a week I'm fluent in Italian. That's not feasible. No one can do that. Right. That takes years. And typically like you going and living in Italy, right? And it's like, so if you want to be quote unquote, fluent, and money, that's going to take a bit, if you want to be a millionaire, a multimillionaire, you know, someone who is debt free, someone who is living a comfortable lifestyle, that's not going to happen overnight. And anyone who is telling you, it's going to happen overnight, is lying to you and trying to sell you something. So I think just offering yourself one a ton of grace, you were not taught this. And again, specifically, if you're a member of a marginalized group, if you're a woman, a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ plus community disabled, like you were not taught this on purpose. It's like a nutso conspiracy conspiracy theory. And then in addition, just like redefining what success is, when you first start learning anything, it's gonna be really hard, you're gonna hate it, and you're gonna suck at it for a while. And that's okay, right the first time again, you get on roller skates, like anything new, you're gonna fall down, you're gonna flub up, you're gonna say, you know, toilet and Italian when you meant to say something else, right? Like, real thing I did in French class, like, that's what's going to happen for a while. And then slowly, you're going to, to your point, you're going to look at, oh, I didn't know how to do that six months ago, but I know how to do it now. Right? Or like, oh, I made that mistake last year. I'm not making that mistake again, right? Like, that's going to start happening. And that is where we should define success of, again, I learned now what compound interest is cool. I opened up that Roth IRA. Finally, I might not have taken the step to like put money in it yet. But at least I got it open, like redefining what success is, as opposed to looking at people who had been doing this for years and being like, I want that looks like we'll put in some years and then you'll have that.

Jamila Souffrant 18:58

Right. And normalizing like you said, not not having it happen fast. And understanding that like probably the person that you find like your friend, your family member, your mother, like they are literally feeling the same thing. And the more we talk about it, the more we share resources with each other and our open, like we realized we're not the only one won't be the last one. We're not the first one to feel this way it it moves you forward faster than you know. So you quit your job, you hit your 100k number. What were you focused on next? Like I know what you did, but like you grew your business, but I'd love for someone who's saying, Alright, so I know I need to invest in save. But I also want to start a business and how do I get to the point where I can grow to potentially what Tori as done?

Tori Dunlap 19:41

Yeah, the 100k was literally motivated by numbers, right? I wanted to see 100k in the bank. I'm just a very numbers oriented person of like, let's see if I can do it. Like no one assigned this task to me. I gave myself a personal challenge of like, let's see if I can do it. But the most powerful part about that 100k was what it meant. And I think people miss this a lot is they're like, Okay, I want to get debt free. And it's like, why? They're like, well, because debt is bad. I'm like, No, I need you to have a better reason than that, oh, I don't want to be indebted to somebody anymore. And I want to use the money that I'm contributing to my student loans or to my credit cards to take a vacation. That is way more powerful. Your why your, you know, your psychology of money, why you're doing this thing, is the thing that keeps you motivated, even when you don't want to keep saving. It keeps you motivated, even when you're like, oh, my gosh, I've been paying off this debt for a year and I'm over it. I imagined what my life would look like, when I didn't have to go to my corporate job anymore. Because that 100k was the permission slip, where it was, you know, my safety net, so I could quit my job, I literally got very, very specific of like, what my day would look like, I would no longer have to wake up early in the morning, and drive to the train and get on the train and commute into downtown and sit at a desk working for somebody that I may not have been in love with for a long time, you know, for eight hours. And even if I my work was done, I still had to sit there for eight hours. And then five 530 When I was really exhausted, I'd get back on the train and do that whole thing again, the next day. I didn't want to do that I didn't want to make someone else rich, especially somebody who I didn't respect, didn't want to have to ask to take vacation didn't want to have to be physically at work all the time, but specifically have to put in 40 hours a week, even if I got my work done in 30. And so I visualized, okay, I get to get up, maybe I'm in Europe, maybe I get to work from Europe, a real thing I did last year, like I get up and I get to lead my team. And I get to employ people specifically most of my team is women get to employ women, I get to make more money than I've ever made in my entire life, I get to choose my own schedule, I get to take Friday's off, if I want to take Friday's off. So all of this I got very, very crystal clear on like how my life would change if I if I succeeded in that goal. So if you haven't done so already, dear listener is like when you're setting financial goals, make them very specific, and make them very like wax poetic dream big, like, how is your life different now that you're debt free? How was your life different now that you work for yourself? In terms of very practical elements, I think the smartest thing I did was that I grew her first 100k Very slowly on the side, I didn't ask it to be more than it could be by quitting my job way before I was ready. I didn't ask it to support me during a time that it couldn't support me, and allowed me to make potential risky decisions in my business. And 2019, I killed my best selling product, which was private one on one coaching, because I just didn't have the bandwidth. And so for Tim, you know, in a temporary standpoint, or temporarily, I lost out on a lot of money. But it was the right decision for the business. I just took it really really slow, I've still never paid for ads, we have no outside venture capital, I'm really proud of that. We just grew it very slowly through organic social media through connecting with our community. And I wasn't dependent on it to support me to pay my rent and to pay my bills. So I was able to make decisions, I was able to grow a really good foundation before we made a lot of money. The first two years, I don't think we really made anything. So allowing that to grow on the side, I think was really, really impactful. As opposed to you know, the moment I could have been like, I'm gonna be an entrepreneur, that wasn't gonna work for me.

Jamila Souffrant 23:50

Yeah, but see that I think that solid advice and behind the scenes, that's what a lot of people do. I mean, entrepreneurship, as you know, as we both know, is not easy. But it's even harder when that you are depending like you need a check or something to come through. Because then you start doing things that you don't want to do you create another prison for yourself, right?

Tori Dunlap 24:11

And you don't want the thing that you're really passionate about to be the thing that you start resenting like, I didn't want to resent her first 100k Because I wasn't bringing in enough money, right? Like I didn't want to feel bitterness towards the thing that I really loved before the bitterness, I guess was absolutely necessary, but like, I didn't want to rush it. I have a theory that there's two kinds of entrepreneurs. There's one kind of that has to like fling themselves off the cliff. And that's the motivation they need to like scramble and find a parachute. I am not that entrepreneur. I am a like I have a parachute. I have a backup parachute. I have a walkie talkie to call for help. I have like, you know a huge literally like a huge bouncy house that's going to catch me at the bottom like I had every single thing lined up. And still I was terrified to quit my job. So you have to kind of decide if you do want to be an entrepreneur? Like, are you more motivated by flinging yourself off the cliff and figuring it out? That is great in a lot of ways. It's also risky in a lot of ways. There's no right answer just for me like I, I'm very frugal, like stable, like a stability is very important to me. So I wanted all of my ducks in a row before I quit. But also that took me years. It took me a long time. So that's you kind of have to decide what that looks like for you.

Jamila Souffrant 25:25

Yeah. And it's so important to recognize when your choice in the matter, because some people are not real with themselves and is their actual choice.

Tori Dunlap 25:32

Yeah.

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Jamila Souffrant 26:27

So some people don't fling themselves off a cliff, they get pushed, like they literally like I have no choice. But the thing is, like, be honest with yourself. Is this really a choice? Like? Can you stick it out? Or can you not? And I think that's like the hardest thing for people in life, not just financial journey, but life journeys are to really dig deep and be honest with is this a decision I have to make right now? Or can I toughed it out? Is this something that, like, I'm not going to subject myself to this environment? Or these people? Because you know, like it's detrimental? It's causing more harm than good? Or is this something that you know what, there's something about me that can I can change to make this situation tolerable? So I can make it through. And again, I'm not advocating anyone stay in negative and bad situations. I just think it takes a lot of honesty to figure out where you are, because some of us have do have more choices than others. And yeah, sometimes it's just like, I literally cannot stay in this relationship, in this home, in this job, I have to leave, right. And because it's not safe, you got to do what you have to do. And some of it is what, what am I creating here, where I can create, like a better safety net for myself, before I have to jump, right. And it's really recognizing that about yourself is key.

Tori Dunlap 27:38

The introduction of my book is all about that I literally took a job for the money, like I negotiated $20,000 More than they wanted to pay me and thought, Oh, well, you know, I don't think it'd be a dream job, but it'll be tolerable and fine. It was not tolerable and fine. And it was, yeah, it caused me so much anxiety and a very abusive toxic boss who like and I guess described this more in the book, but literally called me into her office like 10 days in and made me cry and was like, I'm worried I'm gonna regret hiring you. I was like, 24, like Jesus Christ, like, it was not it was awful, it was crying myself to sleep was so stressed all the time about getting fired, and got to the point where it was 10 weeks later, and I was like, I don't want to be here anymore, I have the money to do so I'm going to leave. And I start the book that way. Because that for me is the feeling I want for every woman is I don't have to be in the situation, because I have the money to get myself out. Right. And to your point, there are some situations like, you know, I had my most recent corporate job was in a lot of ways a really great environment. And I was okay, staying there for longer if it meant building up my savings so that when I did quit, I was more, I was more sustained. I was okay doing that. Now, there were some days I was like, I really don't want to be here. But the you know, it was not toxic in the same way until it was which it took about a year and a half. And then I was like, Okay, I need to move on. So only you know, and that's my whole thesis is like, that's what financial feminism means to me as it's like, if we give women more money, right, we have more options. And when you have money, not only are you then able to make incredible choices for yourself, but you're able to use that money as a tool to protest the system for everybody, and to change the system for everybody. The quote that I start the book and end the book with is when you have all you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence, the idea that when you use your money to take care of yourself, when you become debt free when you're starting investing when you're having emergency fund when you are more hopefully multiple sources of income when you're stable. That's a beautiful, beautiful thing and you get to invite other people to your table or build new tables and tear down the fences other people have built in the hopes that we can change the society to make it a more equal place for everybody.

Jamila Souffrant 29:53

Oh, and it's kind of a good segue to using wealth in a way and and because some people say like You can't change the system like the system is broken. And so you know, is we live in a capitalist society. And there are some people who are like choosing, again, this, some people don't have a choice. I'm not talking about people who don't have a choice. But some people are saying, well, we got to break the system. And you know, I'm not, I don't want to be a participant in it, and capitalism is bad. And then the other side, who says, I need to have money to like, be different or to do something different? So from your perspective, and your research, I'm sure you did a lot of research for your books, and you talk about this a lot is like, how do we work in the system? That's so messed up?

Tori Dunlap 30:39

Yep. This was the hardest question for me. I spent, so many of my friends will tell you like, and my team will tell you like, I spent so many hours. I guess it was a little emotional, of just realizing like, why am I writing this book? Why does this matter in the grand scheme of things when like, the world is burning? And I know my work helps people I've seen it. But like, if I'm going to write a book about how to better your money, as someone who was honestly living paycheck to paycheck, this book will not help you. Like it won't. This book does not help. And so I'm I had a lot of reckoning with that, because I don't like capitalism. I think capitalism sucks. I think it's exploitative. Like, it's not the world I want. And through research and through reckoning with my own privilege, and the work that I'm trying to do, I don't want to win capitalism. If I win capitalism, that means I've probably exploited somebody, right? If I'm a multimillionaire, I have exploited somebody along that path. But if I lose capitalism, that means deep suffering for myself and for my community and my family. So if I win capitalism, that means suffering for others. But if I lose capitalism, right, if I choose to opt out, unless you're going and doing like a Discovery Channel show where you live on a Alaska thing, where you know, you grow your own food, and you completely opt out, which if you're listening to a podcast, that's probably not you, right? Like you have to participate. And so what we determined is financial feminism, my work is really a survival guide to capitalism. It's this idea again, of if you can control the things you can control, then when you have that money in that power, and that stability, you can start making the world a more equitable place, and we can change the system that does exist. Rest, and ease and luxury, all of the things that money provides. And again, I'm not talking I'm not talking a lot of money, I'm just talking like enough money for choices. That is a direct act of protest, in a society and in a system that under pays people and overworks people, right? If you are a woman, again, person of color, a disabled person, a queer person, having money in a society that does not want you to have money is an act of protest. It is an act of protest against the society and get set system. There is no perfect system. We're humans, we're deeply flawed, there is no there is no perfection. This is why we spend a whole chapter of our book and why we do this on the podcast is I tell you how to get out of debt, I tell you how to start investing. Also, we are focused on how do you vote? How do you change the policies that exist? How do you protest? How do you support organizations and businesses that are black owned women owned queer owned, like how do you support and use your money to actually see that you know, to support the change you want to see, but it is something that I really reckoned with. And I spoke to Julian and Kirsten over at rich and regular. And I have this conversation with them as well. And because again, it makes me really emotional. I'm like, it doesn't seem a lot of times like this matters. The most gaslighting thing you can say to like a single mom who's working two jobs, who still can't make ends meet is like Here, read this book about how to build wealth. And she's like, I don't have money leftover. I don't even have money to support, you know, the current bills that I have. And so we were talking about this and for them, you know, they're two black individuals, and I asked them how they reckoned with it. And Julian gave this great example of like, I have to climb the mountain. And if one of us gets up, then I can throw a ladder. I can throw a rope I can climb back down and help you climb up right I can send help but like somebody's got to get to the top of the mountain and then you hope the person of getting to the top of the mountain right is morally good and it's going to end is going to assist so for them for for you for me. I think that that's the idea is like if I can slowly climb the mountain, I can then show you Oh, yep. If you if you put your foot on that step you're going to fall right Oh, that's a trick step. Oh, if you know there's a there's an avalanche at this point. Like if I can tell you and give you resources to be able to climb the mountain and to use my money to make the mountain II Zero decline. That's the best I can do.

Jamila Souffrant 35:03

Yeah, and and so like, like you I think about that often about who the coolest content is for it, which is why I feel like it's so important to have diverse voices and people sharing their stories, because not everyone's gonna relate to everyone. Obviously, we don't all have the same privileges or starting points, some have more, some have less. And, you know, I always say this, like personal finance, in general is like, is most of most of the advice that's given is given from place of privilege and to people who are privileged in a certain sense.

Tori Dunlap 35:36

And it's focused on on personal choices, right? personal finances about 20% personal choices. 80% circumstance, right,

Jamila Souffrant 35:43

right. So, yeah, man, it's important, I think, I think acknowledging it like goes a long way. I think it helps aid but humanize like the actual experience of the audience. And what you also are going through as an individual, trying to figure it out. And I also think it's like no, right way, or one way to do it, to build wealth and or at the levels of wealth that people want to build, right? Like, not everyone needs a private jet or wants a private jet. And not everyone wants to have a million dollar business, right? Like some of it, like you said, it's just, it's just enough so that I can quit my job or take that vacation. Now, one of the things that for me, falacci started on the premise of the fire movement, that's what I wanted to accomplish when I started was financial independence, retire early. And really, it was about quitting my corporate job, and having enough money to do that, and kind of just opting out of like, the work system like having anyone telling me what to do. So for yourself, what is that enough point for you? Because you've been doing so much down? You know, I'm sure your your businesses making seven figures, if not multiple, right of that, like, so? How do you translate that into your own personal goals? And where you want to stop and say, Alright, I don't have to do podcast interviews, I don't have to write books, like I can live my life. Is that something that you're looking at? What does it look like?

Tori Dunlap 37:04

Even talking to my therapist, or haven't you? I've been asked that I was asked that for the first time, like last year, like what, what is enough? And I was like, wow, I don't know. It's still something I'm I reckon with, I am the most ambitious person you'll ever meet. But the problem with that ambition is it's a drug, that drug fuels me and a lot of ways I also overdose on ambition all the time, was actually a team member of mine, two days ago, asked me like, did you know like that this was going to happen? Like it was this part of the plan? And what the answer that everybody wants, especially from women is like, oh, no, I had no idea. And I told her straight up, I'm like, Yeah, this was the plan. Like, this is what I knew I was capable of, and this is what I wanted. And that has been driving me for a very long time. I mean, I want to build an empire. And also, Steph O'Connell, who's also a mutual friend, right? She has this whole bit about like, ambition is such a dirty word for women. And I'm really trying to own that ambition for me, is like, as long as I'm balanced, which I'm trying to learn more about if like, as long as I'm setting my boundaries, as long as I'm taking care of myself, which I'm trying to get better at, like, I am okay, saying that I want to build something really big. And I want to use it to change a lot of people's lives. Personally, at this point in my life, I don't own property, I am not married, I don't have children. No one else is dependent on me other than my team now. But like, personally, I'm good. Like, I'm financially independent, I was financially independent at 27. Like, I'm good, but my life is going to change. And so currently, my job is to use my money use my resources, to fund to the business to give more people jobs to make a bigger impact. That's how I see my role right now is I've taken care of myself, I am good for a while I'm good. So I'm going to use our financial resources to, you know, expand the business. I'm also starting to Angel invest now. And you know, women focused women founded companies. So that's part of what I'm doing as well. But it's something I thought a lot about, like, when are we when are we good, because I love my work. I deeply love the work that we do, I can see how much it changes people's lives. I also have this very deep longing to just like run into the woods where no one knows my name and to like, you know, foster some dogs and read a book all day. But I also know that I wouldn't love that all of the time. So what I'm trying to do personally, is I'm trying to find like the middle of the Venn diagram of like, ambitious, busy business woman, with a cabin in the woods anonymous, no one knows my name, and finding the happy medium. And I haven't quite cracked that code yet, but I'm working on it.

Jamila Souffrant 39:52

Yeah, well, I'm glad you kind of shared that vision because I know a lot of people are struggling with that. Like what does success look like for me? Do I think when I first started, I wanted to have an empire. And as the more I'm doing it, and I don't get, I don't know, if it's just like the amount of years that I kind of been in it, and by no means have I been like in this game that long, but maybe it's coupled with the outside responsibilities, like having small children and life, like, you know, life is lifing. It feels more like, I don't know about that empire anymore. Like, I don't like, you know, I just I do want, I want to make an impact. And I want enough money to live the life like give my kids experiences and take the vacations we want. But it's that it's that like, fine line. And I think what's important to know is that it can change, like, maybe there's moments in your life, right? We do slow down. And maybe there's moments in life where like, Nope, I'm full speed ahead. I'm going after it.

Tori Dunlap 40:45

I mean, we're promoting the book right now, right? Like I am full speed ahead until February 2023. And then I am taking hopefully a lot of time off. But also we have, you know, we're pitching TV shows, and we're doing like, there's so much, there's so many things moving at all at all points. And like it's something I've really struggled with, where I am trying to figure out how to take care of myself how to honor what I want, but also I have 14 1515 people dependent on me as well. I have 15 people dependent on our team, that they don't get their checks paid. Unless I am I'm out here leading the company. And so we're trying to find more sustainable ways to have the company exist with and also without me, not permanently without me. But just having that space for me to be able to go on vacation be able to take a hiatus for a little bit. So it's something we're still working on. And it's also just like, I want a lot of this, like I want a lot of this, I've always wanted to write a book that was a dream of mine. I literally wrote down when I was seven, but I wanted to be an author and write a book. And so I wrote a book, both because you know, 2627 28 year old being wanted it. But also because seven year old me that was her dream. There's a lot that I want to do and a lot that we haven't done yet. But at the same time, I have a lot of Yeah, it's like I again, I call it like the cabin in the woods feeling where I just like want to check out, I don't want anybody to know my name, I don't want my face on billboards, I just want to leave. So yeah, and I've worked with a coach about it. And she's like, Well, neither is going to completely support you in the way that you want. Right? Full ambition leaves you longing for something else. But I know that if I were to, to live that, you know, completely anonymous lifestyle where I'm not working at all, I'm going to get really bored really fast. So I'm trying to find the mix of both of those.

Jamila Souffrant 42:35

And coming to the point you've come right experiencing the financial winds and the business winds. Looking back now, what would you have told? Or what's the advice you'd give yourself or someone who's starting out who's like, Alright, I want to either have the financial success, make that first 100k Or build that business? What's that advice to that person or to yourself that you say like, these are the things you should start with and focus on to get to their

Tori Dunlap 43:02

specific financial advice, automate your savings, automate everything you possibly can set up automatic transfers from your checking account, or your payroll platform into your savings set up that automatic 401k contribution. Like, I think we have this this weird narrative that money should be difficult are that we have to like, you know, oh, we have to like remind ourselves to automatically or to set up a transfer or to pay our bills. And I'm like, Don't make this harder than it has to be like these things exist for a reason, take advantage of them. So automate every single thing you possibly can. And we talked about this earlier. But if you are not investing, even if it's just $100, like start investing, open up a Roth IRA, put the money in, and then you have to choose your investments. We talk about this a lot on the podcast. As people miss that second step, you have to not only open the accounts, put money in the account, but also purchase your investments just because you put money in a Roth IRA doesn't mean it's actually invested. And I'll shamelessly plug but this is why we built Treasury which is our investing education platform. We literally start with an investing one on one workshop that's led live by me, where I teach you exactly how to get started investing exactly how to open that account, how to choose your stocks, all of that. In terms of like more fluffy advice that I wish I heard less specific to personal finance. I was looking at so many people's businesses and going I want that I know I'm capable of that. And then getting frustrated that it didn't happen. Like I think who is now a colleague, which is crazy Jenna Kutcher, like I looked at her business in 2016 2015. And I'm like, I know I'm capable of that. But I have like 2000 followers, she has like 300,000 Like how do I get to that? And then I would get like upset because I'm like, I know, I know I can do that. I know that I want that. I know I'm capable of it. Why is it not happening? But the funny thing about quote unquote overnight successes is that they're overnight to you because you discovered them last night Like, they look like overnight successes because you discovered them last night. I discovered Jenna Kutcher after she'd been grinding for four years. And people are discovering me now and being like, oh, I want that business. I want what she has, I want that financial success. And I'm like, great, amazing, it's gonna take you 347 10 years. And like, as long as you're willing to do that, that's okay. But the patience that you need to have, and the understanding of okay, I love that I know I'm capable of that. Let's work towards it. As opposed to I want it right now. Because if I didn't have that business at the time, I wanted it if I could magically like Genie Jenna cutters business into my life and 2016 I did not have the experience to run it. I wouldn't have known what I was doing. I didn't have the team and the and the the system set up to support that business, right. And I learned that through the 456 years of building the business. So we often look at people and we go, I want that. First of all answers, ask yourself if you actually want it or if you just want like the Instagram version of it. And the other thing too, is like, are you willing to be patient? Are you willing to use that as like a good goal for yourself but willing to be patient? In addition, I think the other thing that I would tell people is in that like looking at somebody's business or looking at somebody's life, I think it's very easy to look at parts of somebody's journey and be like, That's not exactly mine. So I'm not going to use that advice. Like I get that a lot from people it's uh, you know, I'm I acknowledge my privilege, I should and I'm proud to do that. But people check out they're like, Okay, she got like she her college paid for not true. Die of support. Snowbird parents 100% Did I have parents who were really frugal and financially minded? Yeah. Is that a privilege? Yes, 100%. However, I also have a lot of really good things to say that can help you beyond that, right, I can teach you how to invest, I can teach you how to save money, even if you didn't, even if you have student loans, even if you didn't go to college. So I think a lot of times when people's journey is we want them to look exactly like ours. But the funny thing is, of course, no one's journey is going to look exactly like ours. So using somebody as inspiration, rather than feeling like oh, that's not exactly my situation. So I'm just not going to listen to them, or using their journeys as threats to your success rather than motivation. The really internalized misogyny comments that I get are from women who go like, um, I don't know why you brag all the time about your business. And I have so much compassion when women say that to me, because literally, you can go through my like tech talks and stuff, and they're like, why are you bragging so much? And I'm like, I am standing in my power, feeling proud of my accomplishments. And that's the feeling I want for you. And you're viewing me, because the patriarchy has told you right. Patriarchy has told you to view other women as competition, and that if she has something good, that means I can't have it, as opposed to wow, she has something good. How do I motivate myself? How can I use that journey? And what can I emulate from that to potentially have that in my own life? Right. So I think that's the other part too is one using people's journeys, as you know, guides and not piecing out if they have something that isn't similar to your to your experience. But also, we've been conditioned as members of marginalized groups to think that there's one seat at the table. And so we view anybody else being successful or standing in their power as a threat to that seat. But I'm out here building a completely separate table. I'm not playing at that table. I don't want that seat at that table. I want to build a different table. And I hope that my work is an inspiration for somebody else to want to build their table to

Jamila Souffrant 48:48

love it. Oh my gosh, Tori. Please tell everyone where they can find more about I mean, you have so much going on with podcast, your book that should be out when this episode drops, and anything else you want to tell them.

Tori Dunlap 49:03

Thank you for having me. So her first 100k is our business H ER FYRST 100 k.com Or her first 100k and all the socials and we have a book and a podcast called financial feminist wherever you get your podcasts or wherever you get your books and the book is coming out December 27. But if this is airing before then you can also preorder the book anywhere you get your books, but especially please order it from an independent bookstore if you can one it supports local businesses that really need your supports. Yes, it's available on Amazon but like try not to buy it on Amazon. And the second thing too is a lot of people don't realize if you purchase books from a retailer that is not Amazon the author has a better chance of appearing on New York Times bestseller list USA Today Wall Street Journal so you do you do a double support when you when you go and support a retailer that isn't Amazon so I appreciate it very much.

Jamila Souffrant 49:54

Okay, we will make sure we are listing all that in the episode show notes. Thanks so much again Tori for this

Tori Dunlap 50:00

Thank you so much for having me.

Outro 50:04

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.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 journey to launch.com/jumpstart.

Outro 50:22

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're 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 at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're 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 for 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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