From Poverty to Millionaire, How Pursing Financial Independence Gives You Options & Living Authentically With Delyanne Barros

Episode Number: 334

Episode 334: From Poverty to Millionaire, How Pursuing Financial Independence Gives You Options & Living Authentically With Delyanne Barros

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Show notes

Delaynne Barros, award-winning Latina money expert and former employment attorney, joins the Journey to Launch podcast to discuss her path from undocumented immigrant to seven-figure business owner. 

After learning about the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, Delyanne decided to go “all in,” by paying off $150,000 in student loan debt and throwing money into the stock market. 

We chat about frugality out of necessity and intentionality, avoiding lifestyle creep, the “golden handcuffs” of high salary careers, escaping poverty, and more.

In this episode you’ll learn more about:

  • What made Delyanne want to become a lawyer and how she was able to retire from law at age 39
  • The important lesson behind Delyanne’s experience pouring money into the stock market during COVID-19
  • Passive income vs. front-loading work as an entrepreneur
  • The cost of living in Portugal, when Delyanne plans to retire her mom, deciding to be child-free by choice, and more

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Delyanne Barros 0:02

When I found out that you can invest your way out of a workplace, and like retire yourself, that's when the lightbulb went off. I was like, Oh my God, this means I don't have to be an attorney until I'm 65 years old. This means I can actually retire much earlier. And then, you know, I'm running those calculations on paper like Russell Crowe. I'm beautiful mind, and I'm doing all these complicated numbers. And I'm like, Oh, my God, I can retire by 47. I'd like to see if I can make this happen. And so that's when the plan started coming together. And that was what got me excited.

Intro 0:32

T-Minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who rocks 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 five, four, three, two, one.

Ad 1:01

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Intro 3:48

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to 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 to 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 hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 4:32

Hey journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast. Today's special guest is Dalian Barrows. She is a Latina money expert and ex employment attorney after working for 14 years as a plaintiff side employment attorney. She decided it was time to go she was able to pay off $150,000 in student loans retired from law to run her own company Dalian the money coach full time she runs her business from Portugal today where she relocated recently, so I can't wait to talk more about that. She has been featured on CNBC, CNN time Business Insider, you name it. I'm really excited to have Dalian on the podcast. So welcome to the journey to launch podcast LDN.

Delyanne Barros 5:16

Thank you so much. I have been a longtime listener and fan. So it's a full circle moment for me to be here today.

Speaker 3 5:22

Oh, that's so awesome. And I do remember running into you at the past fin con. And it was like a quick chat. We didn't really have a one on one conversation. But it's just one of those moments where I'm just like, wow, like, this girl's got it. She's really good at what she does. And I want to talk more about your origin story. Because there's a lot that you have accomplished personally, financially, professionally. And let's go back, though, to where you came from. Where did Dalian grew up? What was your life like that led you to where you are now?

Speaker 1 5:56

Yeah, I love it. When people ask me like, where are you from? Because I'm like, that is the most complicated question, you can ask an immigrant because we are, you know, a lot of us are rootless. And that's how I feel as well. So I was born in Brazil, and I moved to the States when I was eight years old. So I grew up in Miami, moved to New York on to pursue law and ended up staying there for 15 years. And then I you know, needed to flee the city, because I was like, Not About That Life, forever. moved to San Diego where I wanted to just like, relax my nerves a little bit calm. my nervous system. Did that for a little bit. But then I was like, Okay, now that I have retired from law, I want to be able to really be free to live anywhere I want. And that's how I ended up in Portugal. But obviously, I skipped through a lot. I yatta yatta through a lot of my life there. But just to give like a geographic overview.

Jamila Souffrant 6:50

Yeah, no, I wanted to go back because I love as this fellow immigrant, it's funny what you said like, it's funny to ask immigrant that question. And I totally agree. So I guess let's kind of jump a little bit to you moving to New York City, because I guess that's when you said you wanted to start your law career. Did you always know you wanted to be a lawyer? Did you have dreams of financial freedom in when you were a teenager? Or did you not know what that was? And didn't discover it until

Delyanne Barros 7:13

later on? Yeah, no, I didn't know those words, financial freedom, financial dependence, I didn't know what any of that was, I didn't know what the stock market was, I think maybe I had an inkling from, you know, seeing it in the movies. But I only had the idea of like saving money and making sure that you don't get caught with credit cards. And those were like the two things that my parents reinforced, they're like, make sure you have good credit, and make sure you get an education and save your money as much as you can. And that was the extent of the financial lessons. But that stuck with me. And it was enough to really keep me out of trouble for the most part. But I did see my parents struggle a lot growing up, and money was scarce. When we were family of five, my dad was a carpet cleaner. My mom's a housekeeper. And when my parents got divorced, I saw all of that financial burden fall on my mom. And I quickly learned that I'm like, wow, I never want to be in that position where life pulls you know, the rug up from under you whether it's because a partner leaves you or your divorce, something like that. And you're just floundering, you know, because she was completely floundering, like she didn't even know where their accounts were like, my dad handled all the finances. So seeing her go through that I was like, wow, I never want to be in that position. And I think it made me like fiercely independent in the way that I am. So I'm grateful for, for taking that lesson. But that's what kind of pushed me into like, the only way that I'm going to escape poverty is if I dive deep into education, like that is my path out of poverty. And so I doubled down on my education. And I was, you know, I grew up on undocumented in the United States, I didn't have my green card for many, many years. So finally, being able to get my papers be documented, be able to go to college, that's all I really want it to me like that was my version of the American dream is to be able to like get an education and to be able to make that a reality was a dream come true. So I was like, Okay, what are we going to do very, you know, typical immigrant mentality, am I going to be a doctor or a lawyer? Those are the only two options. So I decided to become a lawyer because I wanted to help people like me, people of color immigrants. And so for a long time, I was thinking of becoming an immigration attorney, but decided to go a different route where I could still help that same community, and that was employment law. So I still can help people who are undocumented, like I am, we're getting taken advantage of in the workplace, we're not getting paid their wages we're being discriminated against. And I just felt like that area of law spoke more to me. So I was lucky enough to land a job right on law school. I graduated in 2008. At the height of the financial crisis. This is like when the stock market started coming into my purview, because I was like, Oh, the stock market thing is causing a lot of trouble for people, you know, like what's going on here? And so that's When I started getting like a an inkling of it, and then you know, you get your 401 K at work and your HR person is talking to you about it. And that's where things started to come into fruition. But honestly, like the whole, deep, deep dive into investing, and my financial knowledge happened very late in life, it happened when I was like 3637 years old. So I tell people all the time, I'm like, it's not too late, you know, like, you may discover this stuff later in life and feel like, Oh, my God, I missed the boat. And I'm like, that's kind of what happened to me. And I was still able to put it put the pieces together and make it work. But yeah, New York was a big, big school. It's like life school, right? It teaches you so much, you really have no choice, but to learn very quickly when you're there.

Jamila Souffrant 10:41

So you worked in law for 14 years?

Delyanne Barros 10:44

Yes, I was in litigation for seven years. Then I moved to Thomson Reuters. I was an attorney editor. So I wrote resources, where I took very dense legal material. And I created like resources for other attorneys to like, Hey, I don't have time to read like a 2030 page case. So condense this for me. So I can hurry up and decide whether I need to cite this in a legal brief do I need to know about this case or not? So I think that those years of doing that really helped me do what I do, because now I take very complicated financial jargon. And I make it very simple for people to understand. So it all fed into one another. So I feel like I can still very much use my legal skills in what I do today.

Jamila Souffrant 11:26

Yes, I always love talking to the ex lawyers and teachers on the podcast, who have then created a business because you guys are the best at explaining things, and having the foundational skill set to be able to translate, but complicated jargon, and make things relatable. I always tell people, whatever you're doing now, you may not understand what it means and how it will help you in your next phase of life. But there's a skill set to be had, even if you don't like your job or the people, there's something there that will make you excel or prosperous in the next phase of your life. So just be open and take on the challenges as they come. So you're working now in law? What was your moment? If there was one? I mean, there could have been multiple that made you say, Okay, this is not what I want to do. For forever. There is something else out there for me. And what made you get more interested in your finances?

Delyanne Barros 12:23

Yeah. Sadly, I realized that I was not going to enjoy being a lawyer six months into becoming an attorney. So it was very early on that the realization came that I was like, Oh, my God, law school and being a lawyer are not the same thing. Right, which I think a lot of people realize when they leave college, and they actually get the job. They're like, Oh, this is like, not what I expected. And this is the stuff you know, nobody tells you when you're in school. And the reason why I say that is because, you know, everybody knows lawyers have very difficult personalities. They're not always, you know, the best people. People, people, like they don't know how to communicate, clearly, they don't have the most the best emotional intelligence. There's not a lot of mentorship for women and people of color. So you can quickly feel out of place and overwhelmed. And it's a fake it till you make it career, like you're really not supposed to be asking a million questions like they say you can, but you're being judged every time you ask the question. So it's very much like you're on your own being thrown in the deep end, which, you know, I was able to do, I made it work. And I was, I was a very, very good attorney, I would say, you know, even excellent, but I was not enjoying what I did. Right? I was excelling at it, but I wasn't enjoying it. And it's like that Ico guy that Japanese. Have you seen that that Ico guy, you know, diorama, whatever you want to call it? Like you want to find what you're good at? What will what will get you paid and then like what you're actually going to enjoy. And so I was filling like two of those criteria, but I wasn't enjoying what I was doing. And I was like, God, what would it be like to actually enjoy your job? I hear people say that, like, Oh, I love what I do. And I would feel so jealous. And I'm like, wow, what is that like to really love what you do. And I just thought that that was like a pipe dream that that was not going to be my reality. And I had kind of given up on it. But when I discovered what was frustrating what was holding me back from like, leaving law, as with many people, it's like the golden handcuffs where you're getting paid a nice salary, and you're just way down with debt. I had $150,000 of student loans. I'm like, I can't just up and quit this job and like, go pursue my passion, whatever that is, right? I was like, Okay, well, if I can pay off these loans, that's going to be like one step closer to me, being able to walk away from this kind of career. But then that didn't excite me as much as when I figured out financial independence when I found out that you can invest your way out of a workplace and like retire yourself. That's when the light bulb went off. I was like, Oh my God. This means I don't have to be an attorney till I'm 65 years old. This means I can actually retire much earlier and then, you know, I'm running those calculations on paper like Russell Crowe. On beautiful mind, and I'm doing all these complicated numbers and I'm like, oh my god, I can retire by 47, I'd like this, I can make this happen. And so that's when the plan started coming together. And that was what got me excited. So it wasn't just like, oh, I want to be debt free for the sake of being debt free, it was old, becoming debt free, it's gonna get me closer to becoming financially independent and becoming free of this career. That wasn't, you know, that was making me miserable. And that's where everything took off from there.

Jamila Souffrant 15:27

So we can orient ourselves as we follow. Now, your journey forward. How far away from you quitting your job was that point, when you realize what you could do? It was how many years you would you say?

Delyanne Barros 15:38

So I was about 12 or 13 years into my career now. And this was 2019. When this started happening, this discovery period, and I was able to quit my job I 2021. So Much, much sooner than I expected because I didn't think I was going to be able to quit for like seven or eight years.

Jamila Souffrant 15:57

All right, 2019, you get super serious about reaching financial independence, you realize I can pay off this debt, invest my way out? What were then the changes that you made? Because you had a very short timeframe that you were able to do that. So how much debt did you have at that time? Where you focus on paying it off? Were you just paying the minimums? And then what were the strategies you started to use to get you to where you want it to be?

Delyanne Barros 16:19

I was totally paying the minimum because again, there was no motivation to like pay it off any faster. Because what I was doing instead is I was hoarding a lot of money because I was doing what everybody told me like, Hey, you're supposed to, you're not supposed to be renting, you're throwing money away, you're supposed to be like buying a place. So I'm hoarding cash, like literally in an account that's paying nothing. And I am not sending my money to Sallie Mae cuz I'm like, Nah, forget her, like, I need to go buy this house. And I'm chasing New York City Real Estate, which everybody knows, has always been impossible even before all of this. So I'm having deals fall through and like apartments. I'm not people are coming in with all cash offers, and I'm just feeling frustrated. I'm like, I don't understand how am I supposed to like, make this financial independence thing happen. And then that's when I discovered investing. So what I did is I took that $100,000, I set aside about 20 to 25,000, for my emergency fund. And then I sent another 30k to my student loans. And I just started investing the rest. I'm like, okay, opened up an account of Vanguard bought an index fund, and off to the races. We were, and I'm like, this is the beginning of my kind of independence journey. And I started both, I started throwing significant amount of money into my student loans. I was sending like, three $4,000 a month to Sallie Mae. And I was also trying to put money into the stock market. And this was like 2019. And then what happened? Six months later, we had contempt. So I did scary thing that people are scared of doing, which they're like, Oh, my God, what if I put a bunch of money in the market, and then it crashes? I'm like, Y'all, that's exactly what I did. I put so much money into the market, and it crashed six months later. And I'm so glad I didn't panic. I had prepared myself mentally for it. And it all worked out. Right, like, look where the market is today. So just know that like, I did that thing that scares everybody. And I survived. And I'm better for it. Yes, now

Jamila Souffrant 18:08

we got to step back a bit, because you just said, I had $100,000. And I was able to disperse here and here. So we have to address because I understand I will. So I had a high paying career also. So when I tell people about my saving and investing journey, and how, you know, relatively quickly, I would say once I got focused, how I was able to fast track where it wasn't my investments by diverting, you know, any extra income and to savings and investing. So I want to like come back to your to that chunk of money. Now. Do you remember how long it took you to save that amount? And were there sacrifices that you were making on the expensive side? So you know, we know income is like a driving force to being able to reach your financial independence goals? Like the more you have it? And the better you can manage? the faster you'll get there. But for you, was it mainly a play on going to earn as much and I'll be fine? Or were you very focused on expenses, also, where you were able to even just have that runway of $100,000 in the first place.

Delyanne Barros 19:09

Yeah, so I've always tried to find the most economical place to live. I think that that's what allowed me to save that money for as long as I did. My rent is always been like the number one thing that I try to keep as low as possible. And in New York, we know that that's challenging. So I could have always afforded a more expensive place, but I chose to like keep it as cheap as possible. So that means you know, I was living and today these neighborhoods are all fancy, but back then they weren't so fancy. I was living you know, in like deep Crown Heights. I was taking the subway like over an hour to get to work. I even used to bike I used to bike all the way from Crown Heights all the way into the city. I love my bike. So you know, these are things that I did that people were like, Oh my God, why don't you live in Manhattan? Like, I'm like girl because I'm trying to save this money and you know, so there were sacrifices made and whenever I traveled It was super budget like Like I would do these group trips where you know, you're split splitting a room with a stranger. And you're, you know, the whole trip cost like two or $3,000. You know, that was most of my life, I never flew first class until I was like 38 years old. These luxuries did not appear in my life from for a long, long time until I had my business. So I've always been like a frugal person, because I was very focused on these bigger goals. And so that kept me very, very focused on not spending too much. And that Sotho helped me because when I did start making more money, and again, I'm fast forwarding, when I did start making more money, my business, it allowed me to, like, channel that mentality and not overspend and inflate my lifestyle. So yes, on the expense side, I was able to control things. And on the income side, you can never ever ignore income income is going to be the number one determining factor. I started making $85,000 a year when I became an attorney in 2008, which sounds like you know, a great salary except when you remember that it's New York City, and I owed $150,000 in student loans. But eventually, I was able to get that up to $200,000. So over the period of 1314 years, I was able to go from 85 to $200,000. And this is before taxes. And then the other big thing I did is I left New York City and I moved to San Diego, which San Diego isn't like the cheapest place on Earth, but it is cheaper than New York City. So I went from paying like $3,000 a month in rent to $1,900 a month. So that savings again got funneled into throwing it at investments or throwing it at debt. So the combination of those two things high income, and being frugal is what allowed me to really really expedite this journey.

Jamila Souffrant 21:41

Did you have a lot of friends that understood or it didn't matter to you? They understood or not? Did you have people who also were on the journey with you in real life I understand that online you we meet people where it's like oh, like I found my people who do this too. But how was it what whether it was a your corporate career where you're everyone maybe at lunch is going out and just spending money for lunch every day? And or friends right? They're like, well, we earn a lot of money or Dalian you seem to earn a lot of money. Why is that a problem? Like if we go out and eat and spend all this money? So what was that like for you the social settings?

Delyanne Barros 22:17

Yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm painfully introverted. So I've never had like a large group of friends. That's not my style. But I usually friends, you know, especially in New York, I feel like are your co workers, that's who you're spending the most amount of time with. So most of my friends were lawyers as well. And a lot of them were in the same space as I was meaning like, I was on the plaintiff side, right? So I was fighting for the little people. I'm here representing the employees. I'm not making like that big, what we call like white shoe firm salary, where these associates are making like $200,000 Straight out of law school, those people are usually representing the company's the employers. So they're making a lot of money. But I'm over here on the public interest side, I'm not making that much money. So the people around me were kind of earning similar amounts. So we weren't doing like big lavish things. But New York City, you know, is a type of city where people Yeah, they want to go out to drinks, they want to go to rooftops, they want to do the things, they want to go to Broadway. And so you're trying to keep up. And that's when credit card debt can kind of creep up for a little bit. And I did struggle, I used to have like a $5,000 revolving balance, like constantly on my credit card, and then bonus time would come I would pay it down. And then the balance would just like rack up again. And it took many, many years for me to break that cycle. Because the income was just wasn't enough to keep up with my lifestyle. But I was able to break that habit. I finally you know, I stopped trying to go to Equinox, and buy fancy suits and things that I was cannot afford. And I'm like, girl, you cannot keep trying to like live this lifestyle. So let's be realistic. But nobody ever talks about money. I mean, money, especially I think in these higher level jobs. I think it's like a big taboo, it's very faux pas to talk about money, you know, like, nobody talks about it, except when it's time for bonus. And for raises, then we're talking about money. Sure. But other than that, nobody's talking about their personal spending. And a lot of the people that I worked with, some of them came from money, like they were wealthy, you know, born into money. So you definitely can't talk about money around those people. And so it was just a journey that I did on my own pretty much until I got to the point where I started my Instagram and I was sharing it publicly. That's when I was able to finally like, find a community. But up until that point, it was me, myself and I

Jamila Souffrant 24:30

when you started your Instagram, was it just I'm showing my journey to financial freedom independence. Did you view it at that point that you were going to be able to quit your job or was it like a side hustle slash hobby? What was your thought process? Around that time?

Delyanne Barros 24:47

When I started sharing on Instagram, it was literally like an outlet. I just needed an outlet I just needed to share because it was something that I was just so obsessively thinking about all the time that I always use Social media to like channel, whatever it is that I'm passionate about at that moment, before this, it was fitness, I thought I was gonna become a bodybuilder. I was like really into fitness, I became a spinning instructor on the side. And so these are the things that I shared on my Instagram, my histogram has always had a purpose, right? I went through a, like a cooking phase. So I used to share all these recipes. And so when I became interested in personal finance, that's what the page became. I was like, Hey, y'all, I know you like my, my fitness stuff. But we're gonna talk about money now, because this is my new obsession. And so if you don't like it, that's cool, you can leave. But if you like it, this is what I'm talking about. This is my plan, I'm planning to like, pay off my student loans, I'm planning to invest my way so that I can retire by the time I'm like, 4547, you know, the numbers were all planned out, based on my salary, right? my income and my salary at work, there was no calculation based on like, Ooh, maybe I'll launch a business or maybe I'll have a side hustle. And I'll make X XYZ extra money. None of that was calculated into the formula. So I just start sharing my journey, you know, as I do. And before I know it, people are like, Oh, my God, but this is so interesting. Like, would you coach people, would you teach us this stuff that are done? And the more questions you get, you're like, oh, maybe this could be something. And before you know it, you start a business, you buy an LLC, and you're like, Oh, my God, this is like turning into a thing, and it becomes profitable. And it completely accelerated the plan. And it went from me being able to retire by like, 4547. To me being able to quit my job by 3839, I think was 39 when I quit, completely unexpected, like literally out of left field. That wasn't part of the plan. But I'm, I'm very glad it happened.

Jamila Souffrant 26:37

And it's interesting how you talked about being paint like an introvert, but yet you were able to share so openly on social media. So I think I was gonna ask you what you thought your recipe for success was and the way you grew your following. Because from like, the outside looking in, it seems to have happened fast. You know, like, I think you have like over I don't know, you have like hundreds of 1000s of followers at this point on Instagram, right? So what back then like, I feel like you seem to be able to connect with their audience. One question is, what do you think that was? Right? For people who are also listening and want to share also their journey? And then to because you're an introvert? How did you go from like, not being able to, or wanting to really have that one on one in person, interaction with people to be uncomfortable with the one to many? And I think I know that I'm like this too. So I think I know the answer. But I would love to hear from you what that what that's like to

Delyanne Barros 27:29

the trick is to not think about the men that the all the eyeballs that are on you in like, to this day, it still doesn't register in my brain, that millions of people are looking at my page, I just had a real go viral with a million views. And I'm like, I can't process what that is that a million people have seen my face from this one video. And I think it's good that I can't because I think it would be too overwhelming, like my brain would short circuit. So when literally, when I'm looking at my phone, I'm making content, it's just me and my phone. That's how I talk, you know, I'm like, I'm just gonna talk like it's a it's just me talking to myself, or me talking to my sister or my mom or my friend. And that's how I do it. I really do not think about like, oh my god, 1000s of people are gonna see this. I just put that completely out of my mind. And it's only when I start reading comments that I remember that there are other people out there looking at this stuff. And you know, when the trolls come out, and the bullies Come on, I'm like, oh, yeah, there are people out here looking at this thing. And that's when I'm reminded but I think that being able to keep that mentality has helped me to not like get too wrapped up in the whole thing. I know people like they get so caught up in that like, oh my god, what if? What if I look cringe What if I embarrass myself, I'm like, I never think about those things. And, but I do think about those things. If I'm in a group of people, personally, right? When I'm in a group of people, I become very, very shy. The larger the group, the quieter I become. But when I'm by myself with my phone, I feel like I'm on stage like, I'm, you know, so much confidence. So it's not a problem. But I do enjoy also public speaking like you, I don't know, if you were there, the year that I use focus and con, which was the first time I saw you, which I was like blown away. And I'm like, I want to do that someday. And I was so blessed to be able to do it the following year. And I was like trying to channel your confidence and your energy. And again, I did the same thing. I went onstage you know, you can't really see everybody because that light is in your eyes. And I just pretended like I was just talking to the front row. I'm like, it's just me in the front row. That's it. There's nobody else in this room. And that's what gets me past that those thoughts of like fear and anxiety. And that's how I create my content. Honestly, like I those numbers do not compute in my mind.

Jamila Souffrant 29:40

I hope it inspires someone who is holding back because they are afraid of judgment that everyone experiences this and I think the really the only difference are the people who let it stop them. Or the people who just said say eff it like I'm just gonna do it anyway. Which like, oh, because look at what doing it anyway. look where that got you look where For me, I just feel like there's so much whether it's in finance or another skill, or hobby that you want to share just something you're passionate and it doesn't even have to be something where, where I want to make money and grow my account, you know, it's just like, you may have something to share that is valuable, that can help you create connections or start a new pathway for yourself. And don't let if it's just because you want to keep it to yourself, that's one thing, if it's because you're afraid of what other people are going to say, when most other people that they're just consumed with their own crap anyway, it's just like, don't let that stop you don't.

Delyanne Barros 30:32

It's like going to the gym when people are like, Oh, I don't want to look silly at the gym. I'm like, look at other people in the gym, they're all looking at themselves. Nobody's ever looking at anybody else they're looking at themselves. Don't worry about that. Like, even if somebody looks at your video, and they think, oh, that's cringe. Five seconds later, they're going to swipe to the next video, and you're going to be a foregone memory. And the people who actually connect with your message, they're either going to hit follow or they're going to write something nice. And those are the people you're trying to attract anyway, those are the people that are going to stick around. So don't worry about the the negative people I've gotten every comment you can think of bully troll, whatever, it's it's fine. It's I don't know, it doesn't affect me, because I'm like, This is literally a stranger on the internet that I'm never going to see in real life. How could I possibly let this person you know, come into my world into my psyche and impact me like, I just can't allow that. Also, I get lovely messages every day of people saying You changed my life. You helped me so much. I couldn't have done this without you. That's what I use as fuel and motivation to keep doing what I do.

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Jamila Souffrant 33:10

As you began to now grow your business while working what was that Flashpoint to knowing when to quit? Did you already start planning that out? When you started the business was making money or had that runway? Or what was that process? Like we thought about it?

Delyanne Barros 33:26

Yeah, and I think every entrepreneur has this moment where we think like, oh, I made the how much this month and we think it's a fluke, right? We're like, Oh, that was just you know, that was luck. Obviously, something's off in the matrix, and that I'm not going to be able to replicate that right? So then you do it again the following month, and you're like, Oh, I did it again. But that was like a fluke, you know, it was like it was again, so you have to keep doing it. And I was able to replicate that results over six months. And at that point, I was like, Okay, I'm really exceeding what I make at work. You know, I was making what I made in a year as an attorney I was making in like two or three months. And so it was getting, you know, to a point where it no longer made sense to be taking time away from the business when it was making so much more than my career. But again, your ego will keep you stuck, right? So giving up the title of lawyer walking away from a career that I paid a lot of money for that I poured a lot of money into. You have like that sunk cost fallacy and you're like, Am I really going to do this? What if this business blows up and then I'm like, What am I gonna do? Am I gonna have to be able to go back to law, all of those thoughts go through your head, but you at some point, you have to take a leap. Even when you're making a lot of money. It is a leap of faith. So I took the leap, but I was also again, I leaned on my money saving skills. I was very conservative about saving money, I did not inflate my lifestyle right away. I kept my lifestyle pretty much the same for like two years, even though I was making multiples of what I was making before I stayed in the $1,900 studio apartment that I launched my business in, I stayed in that apartment for two years, I did not move, even though I was making my first year I made a million dollars, and I stayed in that apartment, not inflating your lifestyle, like really perfecting your business, making sure that it's going to be long term, before you start really making big, big lifestyle changes, I think is like crucial to like your mental health and like not getting caught up on lifestyle creep, like too quickly.

Jamila Souffrant 35:26

When did you then decide to move to Portugal? So what was that decision making? Because at that point, were you in San Diego still?

Delyanne Barros 35:36

I was in San Diego when I launched the business. Yeah, because I launched the business January 2023 months before the pandemic, which honestly was like good timing, because everybody was at home captivated audience. So everybody's talking about the stock market. And I'm like, oh my god, like talk about luck, right? Like, I tell you so many people, yes, you need skill, you know, you need to do the work, you need to be prepared. But man luck also plays such a massive role in life. And you can never count that out. Which is really annoying to me when people don't, don't mention luck or privilege, because I'm like, come on, that plays a major role in things. So that was so so lucky. And the dream of going to Portugal kind of started when I visited for the first time. This is how I pick all my future homes I visit. I look around. I'm like, I could see myself living here someday, you know, and that's what happened with New York. That's what happened, Santiago. And when I went to Portugal in 2018. For the first time, I was like, dang, I would really love living here. I'm Brazilian, I speak Portuguese. There's a lot of Brazilians here. I'm like, my, my culture is here, there's a connection. But I'm like I can't because I'm a lawyer, and I'm geographically bound to this career where you can't even you know, move. But once that chain was broken, and I was no longer an attorney, I was like, Oh my God, I don't have to wait till I'm retired to move to my dream country. I can go now and I can keep working and and then retire whenever I'm ready. And like literally within a year of me saying this out loud. I had my visa, I sold all my things. And I literally moved here with two suitcases and I shipped three boxes. And that's it.

Jamila Souffrant 37:11

How different is Portugal in terms of prices, like what you paid when you were living in San Diego versus what you're paying now has your cost of living decrease or increase?

Delyanne Barros 37:19

It's increased because I am living in a much more luxurious place. So this is like me rewarding myself for the three years of hard work that I poured into my business honest not just three years, but also my entire career of being frugal. Like I said, I've been frugal my whole life out of necessity not because I like to be frugal not because I want to be some people like to be frugal, I don't. I did it out of necessity. And I'm like, oh my god, I can finally afford to live in my dream home that I've always wanted to. And I am renting, which I know like, people are like, how can you rent and I'm like, because you can. So I'm renting this gorgeous home, I'm looking at the water right now stunning, I can see the entire Atlantic Ocean and the river. And it's absolutely like a dream to be living here. And this is obviously temporary. It's not where I'm going to be forever. But this was like a reward for me. And it's much, much more expensive than what I'm paying in America. But I was saying even let's say I wasn't living here, I was just renting a regular apartment, it would be comparable to what I was what I'd be spending in America, probably, I think there's a perception that Portugal is like very, very cheap, very inexpensive. And with some things it is like grocery store and things like that, you know, the fruit of the grocery store. But for the most part, it is pricey. And the Euro is higher than the dollar. So I don't want people coming here thinking like, this is going to be like Brazil prices or Colombia prices, you know, like it is expensive here. And people need to be realistic about that. Cars are expensive gas is expensive real estate has gone up. So you do have to plan accordingly. And I didn't move here for the cost I moved here for the culture. That's the number one reason I chose it. And I think choosing a place just for cost. I understand why some people have to do it sometimes. But I also know a lot of people who make that decision just based on money, and then they move back to where they were. Because that can't just be the only reason why you move somewhere. Oh, I want to save money. You have to pick a place where you're actually going to be happy and be able to build a community and build a life.

Jamila Souffrant 39:16

I like that evaluating where you're going to go not just the cost, but culture connection community, being able to foster that. Now, did you consider any other places did you consider Brazil? How did you think through that?

Delyanne Barros 39:28

Yeah, I didn't consider Brazil because even though that's where I'm from, and that's where my mom lives. Unfortunately, Brazil is just too unsafe. There's just a lot of violence there. There's a lot of crime. So that wasn't like an option. And I felt more disconnected from Brazil than I do connect it to Portugal because here there's there is a bit of an expat community. A lot of Portuguese people speak English even though I speak Portuguese too. It's nice to also be around English speakers. I also adore Europe. I've always wanted to do the whole backpacking through the Europe thing. But again, I don't have money to do that. So now I'm finally in Europe, I, you know, not that I'm gonna backpack through Europe, it's too late for that. But I am going to be able to like hop on a plane for 200 euros and like, go to Spain, go to France go to Greece, you know, I'm gonna finally be able to live out those aspirations that I've always had. So I just felt way more of a connection here. The other place that was high on my list was Spain, because I also speak Spanish. And I had visited Spain first. So Spain was high on the list. But then when I visited Portugal, that knocked it off. And I was like, no, no, I feel more at home in Portugal that I do in Spain. And when I look into the visa options, because that's the ultimate goal, right? Like, okay, you might like that country, but like, can you move there? Like, is that possible, and when I found out that they have this passive income visa, where you just have to show that you, you know, you have they call it the retiree visa, I was like, Oh, my God, I can qualify for this. That's when everything fell into place.

Jamila Souffrant 40:59

Now that you are running your business, in Portugal, you've achieved the financial independence lifestyle that you wanted to have, what does your day look like now that you have control over your time, and you're running your own business, so you feel like you're working more, because sometimes you hear that from entrepreneurs, that it's their own business. And it's like, they put the chains on themselves, like, it's not the corporate chains anymore, it's their own business chains. Or because you can control your time, you're making more room for relaxation, or pleasure.

Delyanne Barros 41:30

I think you know, in the beginning, if you really do want to grow your business, and for it to be successful, especially in a short period of time, it's hard to be like, Oh, I'm only going to work on my business, like 10 hours a week, if you really want it to grow, and you want it to be successful, I was pouring many, many hours into my business, I was working 12 hour days between my full time job and running the business. And even after I quit my job, I would say 2021 2022, I was still working a ton, right? Like I post a lot on social media, I engage with my audience a lot, I was constantly going live on Instagram, I was still training an attorney, I didn't get an assistant till 2022. So it was a one woman show for like two years solid. I didn't have any anybody to help me with anything. Now I have two assistants, who posts you know, I still create all the content that you see all the captions, everything, I write everything. But everything that happens behind the scenes really is like my assistants are putting it into motion. So I finally created like an ecosystem, where I've been able to automate most of my business. And this was all in preparation for this move, you know, because I knew when I moved to Portugal, that I was going to pull back a lot and you need to, otherwise you will burn out, I couldn't sustain the level of work that I was pouring into my business for so long. any longer. I think like, By the third year, I was you know, you get to a point where you're like, you just want to burn your whole business now, that's when you know, you're like, Okay, this is when the shift needs to happen if you want this to be a long term thing. And thankfully, that's when the move to Portugal came. And I've been able to like pull back a lot. I mean, if I work 1015 hours a week, that's like a lot. So I've been able to pull back a lot. So I went from working, you know, 4050 hours a week on my business to now working maybe 10. At the most 15. And the rest, it's like my assistants are able to handle it. So I've really been able to lean into, like the retiree lifestyle, since I've been here and I am enjoying it thoroughly, it's a little bit of a struggle to work these days. Because it's stunning. Here, it's summer, every day is perfect. I just want to be at the pool or at the beach or doing something. So it is very, very challenging to get myself in this chair to work. But I also have to tell myself, you don't have to, because you did all the work already to get yourself to the point where you can just enjoy it. You have seasons in your business, there's going to be seasons where you're going to be very, very invested. And there's gonna be seasons where you're gonna pull back a little bit and you have to accept that.

Jamila Souffrant 44:00

Yeah, I think it's important to remind yourself, I feel that way too, for me, at least in the sense that if I am taking more time off, which is you know, right now, like, all right, my son is home to he's a teacher, which is like the worst combination, because if he tells me he's going to the beach, I'm like, I'm going with you. So after this call, I'm out of here, even though I do have things to do. But I would be lying if I didn't feel sometimes guilty, like I should be working more. But then I remember, you know, there are times and days, like where I am working a lot, or in the school year, you have three kids. So like it's a lot and so to lead into the rest to lean into the leisure of it and remind yourself that you've worked to get to this point. And then also, if you're not there yet, don't compare yourself to someone who has done like a lot of groundwork versus you just starting. So that's important to remember too.

Delyanne Barros 44:55

Yeah, I think like it's difficult now and when people see my lifestyle and I'm like go Yeah, I only work 15 hours a week. That's all they see. But I'm like y'all didn't see like the three years leading up to this. So basically, I frontloaded a lot of the hours, right? So this idea that like, oh, you can have a passive business. And I'm like, I don't know, if it's really passive, I think what you're doing is you're just front loading a lot of work. And now it feels like it's a little more passive. But really, what you did is you just, you know, you front loaded a bunch of hours, and now you're getting to cash in on it, you know, and so, you know, I feel zero guilt when I'm not working. Oh, my God, I feel zero guilt. And I don't know, I think that that's something that, I don't know, it's ingrained in some people, I guess. The retired life is definitely for me, you know, like I did the I chose the right path. Like some people are like, Oh, no, I can never see myself without work. I can never see myself without a job. It's that's so not me. And I was so respect other people who if that's you, that's cool. Like, I'm not going to tell anybody to quit their job if they don't want to, but it's just not me. I, you know, I'm just like that tick tock sound. The question is, like, what's your dream job, and I'm like, I have no dream job, I do not dream of labor. That's me. And I'm so thrilled and blessed to like, be able to, like taste this level of freedom, I never thought that was gonna be possible. So whoever wants to taste it, I want them to experience it too, because it's incredibly liberating.

Jamila Souffrant 46:15

It is, it's not far fetched and not impossible. And there's varying levels of it, you know, like, it's like one of those things where you experience it. And you're just like, I want other people to know what this is like. It's possible, it's attainable, it may take some longer than others to reach it, but it's possible. Now, I'd love to talk a little bit more about your personal life. There's something you're very vocal about on social media in general. It's about like, kids, and like being like an independent woman. So tell me more about that. Because as someone who's tied down, joking, joking. With the husband and three kids, I love I just, you know, I love my life. I love it, right. But I also love seeing women and other people take a different route, and like seeing what they're doing. So talk to me more about your choices and how you're living your life.

Delyanne Barros 47:07

Yeah, and I'm, again, I'm not anti kids, I actually think kids are hella cool. Funny thing is, it's like, it's not the kid that bothered meets the parents. I'm like, I don't want to talk to you about your kids. I want to go hang out with your kids. I'm like, that's more fun and interesting to me than sitting here talking about them. You know what I mean? So I actually think kids are hella cool. But I always knew that I didn't want kids. You know, I'm the oldest of three, I kind of helped to babysit and take care. And like, I have a sister that's 10 years younger. Like I used to change her diapers, I used to give her a bath. Like, I was a little bit parenthesized growing up. So the idea of having children like I was already exhausted by the time I was like, 1516, I'm like, No, I'm done. But yeah, I never got like that inkling to oh, I want to be a parent. There were moments that were flashes when I was dating, where I was like, Oh, could this you know, maybe could I start a family with this person, but the Inkling was never there. Also, I never met somebody who made me feel secure enough to make that decision, which I think is a huge part of this. And also, I didn't feel like I had a village around me that could support me, because I do think it takes a village. And I didn't feel financially secure enough, you know, and as the years progressed, we as you know, as a parent, the prices keep going up. And so you need the village to be bigger, you need that partner to like, bring more to the table, and the stakes keep going up. And so even though now I could I you know, I'm 40, but I could totally have a kid if I wanted to women are having kids at all ages, that desire is not there. For me, I want whoever wants to be a parent to be a parent, and I want whoever doesn't want to be a parent and not be a parent. And I am already taking I'm already at the next phase of my life where like I said, I'm talking about retirement, and I'm talking about retiring my mom, which honestly, she's like a kid, you know, also like, I'm already taking care of her, I already have responsibilities there. The idea of adding to that is just not where I want my life to go. But I've always been very vocal about that. And I have to say it took so much pressure off of my dating life, when I was finally able to come to terms with that and vocally tell a man, no, I don't want children. It was incredibly freeing. And it's just, you know, even though they try to convince you, they're like, oh, no, you just haven't met the right person. I'm like, no, no, please listen to women, when we say we don't want certain things. And yeah, I feel so incredibly confident in my decision. And you know, people always get the pushback is also like, well, who's gonna take care of you when you're old? I'm like, all the money that I saved. All the money that I saved, not having that kid is gonna take care of me when I get old. So don't worry about me. I'll be fine. But I'm vocal about it, because I still think women get a lot of pushback for making this decision, which is crazy. These days. This should be like very common conversation.

Jamila Souffrant 49:49

Right? Like, it's your choice. It's your life. And I think people also don't view even though, you know, we want to look at having kids and a spouse as just an emotional decision. And it's not just an emotional decision, it's a financial one. We don't often make it with that in mind, like what our finances how that will change, or the future impact of our life and potential income and expenses when we make these big decisions. Oh, but it has the biggest impact. That was funny, as you were saying, You parented very young, so you knew what it was like. And I feel like I had a total opposite. I was not I was not into kids in terms of taking care of them. I had a younger sister, I never changed her diaper. So for me, it's like I had the opposite. I didn't realize what it was really like having kids. And I think just more honest, open conversations, allowing people to make their choices, and respect those choices can go a long way. Because, you know, I see when you post certain things about not wanting kids or having kids, and there's so many other women who feel this way that you know, so like this, I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to them.

Delyanne Barros 50:53

Yeah, I get so many people and also get a lot of parents, which I'm so grateful for, where they're like, I love my kids. But if I go back X, Y, and Z, maybe I would have waited longer, maybe I wouldn't have had three kids, maybe, you know, maybe I would have had kids at all. And I'm like, wow, like, I find it so brave, that parents are able to like say these things because they need a platform to they need a safe space to vet these things. Because it's so taboo for parents to like, say that, Oh my god, I'm so I'm grateful to be able to like give people like that kind of release, where they're able to, like cathartic ly share that. And I think it's just, you know, something that's becoming more accepted over time. But now I'm like, in this country, where it's very religious, little Portugal is very Catholic. And it's gonna be interesting, telling people here that I'm 40 years old, and Charles free. So now, you know, it's gonna be a whole new set of challenges. Because in America, I feel like the idea is being accepted in other places, not so much. So I haven't run into anybody yet who's given me any guff about it, but I'm sure it will happen. Especially, you know, when I was renting my apartment, and the guy came to show it to me, he's like, oh, so when does your husband get here? Or, you know, you have a family, right? And I'm like, No, it's just me. It's just me in this apartment. And he's like, Oh, I, I thought for sure you had like a family? Like they just assume, right? So you are gonna get like side eyes and things like that. But I honestly, I don't let any of that bother me.

Jamila Souffrant 52:18

Well talk about your mom a bit, because you said your goal is to also retire her. So what are your plans with that? Because I do know that that would be a lot of people's dreams is to be able to tell you their parent, or Mother. Hey, you're good now. So what does that look like for you?

Delyanne Barros 52:33

Yeah, and I know that, you know, again, people have a strange relationships or strained relationships with their parents. So I also get comments where they're like, Well, my parents, you know, kicked me out. And I don't have that kind of relationship. And I'm like, I completely understand that I'm not here telling people, you have to do this for your parent, just like I wouldn't tell somebody, you should be child free. Like, these are all like, I'm sharing my life. And if you connect with a great if you don't, that's okay, too. But I'm not telling anybody how to live their life. And so the decision to take care of my mom has always been there. Honestly, since my parents got divorced, I saw the struggle that she went through, I wanted to do more at that age, you know, I used to give her my paycheck, I used to work at Walgreens. And I would give her the paycheck my paycheck to help her pay the mortgage because she was struggling to pay it. And I wish I could do more. And I couldn't, you know, so my mom had to leave the country because she just couldn't afford to live in America anymore. And so we've been living in different countries for 20 years. So all of like our milestones, all of our heartbreaks, everything that we've experienced has all been through text messages and video calls. And, again, because flying to see each other is a lot of money, my mom doesn't have any money. So that would mean me paying for myself and paying for her right to get a place. And so it wasn't until I got a little more financially stable, that we were able to like kind of meet in the middle and start meeting up. And then when this idea of Portugal that came in my head, I'm like, oh, not only is Portugal a great place to live and where I want to live, but also it's going to be so much easier for me to take care of my mom there than it would be like in California where things are insanely expensive. Here, she would have access to health care, affordable health care, which is my biggest concern for myself and for her, right when you're taking care of an aging parent, anyone, children, whatever, the biggest thing and the fastest thing that can bankrupt you, is a health scare. So I'm like, okay, in Portugal, she's going to have affordable health care, she's going to have access to these things. I know I'm gonna be able to do this in a responsible way. I'm not going to pluck my mom out of one country and bring her somewhere else if I'm not gonna be able to deliver on this promise. And so this started to become a reality and now, the great thing is with this visa once I get approved, I can apply to have her come through like a family reunification application, that's one option. The other option too is my mom can come on the same visa I did the passive income visa because she also has a business my mom's a business owner herself. In Brazil. She has a pencil By store, and my mum doesn't need to work, by the way, because I sent her enough money to pay for all her living expenses, but apparently parents, you know, they like their independence. So she's like, well, I need my own money and I'm like, okay, okay, so it's so funny because it's like such a reversal, the role reversal. So she has her business and I have to like force her to take a day off. She's a little bit of workaholic. Oh, yeah. But the goal is to bring her to Portugal by her home here, retire her and she's been here a couple times now. She absolutely loves it. She's ready to come she's in her bags are packed and so hopefully that will happen by end of 2024

Jamila Souffrant 55:35

Oh, my goodness, I can't wait to follow along with that and have you back maybe on the podcast once that happens even before then, you know, I'm sure you'll be having a lot of exciting things coming up. But Dalian please talk a little bit more about where people can find out more about you. And we'll put it all in the show notes so people can reach out.

Delyanne Barros 55:53

Yeah, I am chronically on Instagram less so these days, but that is the best place to find me is on Instagram. That's where I post the most. You can also find me on Tik Tok. That's also where I post and all the other platforms, I'm everywhere. But I would say Instagram tick tock are the number one, you can go at Delhi and the money coach or you can go to my website, deli and the money

Jamila Souffrant 56:14

Again, I will link all of that in the show notes deli and this was wonderful. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Delyanne Barros 56:21

Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to have been able to do this with you.

Outro 56:25

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to 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 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 in 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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