Farnoosh Torabi, author and host of the award-winning podcast So Money, joins the Journey to Launch podcast to talk about her new book, “A Healthy State Of Panic: Follow Your Fears To Build Wealth, Crush Your Career And Win At Life.”
Farnoosh is America’s leading personal finance expert, hooked on helping you live your richest, most fulfilling life. She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, and more. So Money, her podcast of 9 years, has over 30 million downloads.
We chat about how Farnoosh’s parents raised her to have a healthy state of panic and how it informs her perception of personal finance today, how fear can be a signal to move forward with your big goals, FOMO, and more.
In this episode you’ll learn more about:
- Why we need to embrace fear instead of aim for the unrealistic characteristic of “fearless”
- The power of asking yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” + moving through the consequences of not acting on those fears
- How identifying, in detail, what your fear is, can give you clear steps to change it
- What FOMO is, why it matters to your money, how the comparison game accelerates this feeling, Farnoosh’s stand-up comedy career + more
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Hey, hey, hey journeyers Welcome to the journey to launch podcast for today's guests. We have the amazing Farnoosh Torabi, she is the host of the award winning podcast. So money, which has earned over 30 million downloads talk about amazing. She's a sought after speaker author of multiple books. And she's here to talk about her newest book a healthy state of panic, part memoir, part guidebook on how fear can be a superpower to achieve true wealth and career success. She's been featured numerous places New York Times Wall Street Journal Time Magazine, she's been on every show you can think up today show Good Morning America. And she's also been on this podcast before Episode 71. We can hear more about her backstory and how we first met. But Farnoosh I'm so excited to have you back on the show. So welcome.
Farnoosh Torabi 3:35
Thank you, Jimmy, I'm so honored in journeyers. You should know this is my first official interview about the book. So this is how special Jamila is to me and how I so honor her audience and please be kind. This is my first attempt at trying to say out loud, I mean, you've been through this Jamila, you're writing a book writing versus actually communicating out loud through words to new people who have never, like learned about your thesis, it can be overwhelming because you have all these thoughts running through your mind. How do you distill it? To make it crystal clear for the listening audience? Not just the reading audience?
Jamila Souffrant 4:17
Exactly. I can tell you i You are a few steps ahead of me financially in terms of book releases. Yours is coming out. Tell us the date,
Farnoosh Torabi 4:24
October 3, October 3 And assuming this is airing before October 3 You can go on to a healthy state of panic and get a giant bonus which expires on October 3.
Jamila Souffrant 4:36
Yeah, you're a few months ahead of me. My book comes out December 5, and I get what you're saying you've been in this industry. I talking about money and career, finances all the things for a while, right you were one of the first people, the staples that I listened to as I before I even had a platform and so I can understand and the fact that I hear you saying Even still, I am having to formulate and prefer factor at least walked through how to communicate my ideas into words that makes sense, even though you just wrote a book like I totally understand. And it just, I hope that it also helps people realize that no matter how long or often you've been doing something, the fear is still there or the nervousness of trying to communicate or do what you feel like you know how to do a little but out to the world to the world gets it. So thanks for sharing that.
Farnoosh Torabi 5:24
My pleasure. It's a little hard because the idea that I have is, is not new to me, but it is perhaps nuanced and new to an audience who has been for ever told that being fearless is what is courageous is what is the way and Amen, I've never been able to master fearlessness. I am a continuously terrified adult woman, Mom entrepreneur grew up a scared little girl and I have learned how to really learn a way to communicate with with fear, and befriended to use it instrumentally in my life, and that's where I want to sort of, you know, have the next conversation about money with folks, because money is so terrifying. And it is taboo for a reason we don't like to talk about money, because it's uncomfortable. It's, it's out of our comfort zone. You know, in some ways that's healthy, you know, we should we should kind of explore that and unpack that, because it might actually point us to what we're after what our goals are, what our values are, we can get into it.
Jamila Souffrant 6:28
Yeah, okay. So just I mean, we you have the credentials, and the background in finance, personal finance, and even business and you have a degree in journalism. And you've you've written books about money before and career. So when it came to now this next project and writing about more, I would say like a, it's almost like a personal side was still tangential to money, very important to what we talked about on a daily, what made you want to talk to talk about fear in this way, or to talk about the subject matter? And I mean, I would imagine that also brought up fear for you, yourself, personally, as you were doing something different than what people expected from you.
Farnoosh Torabi 7:09
Yeah. I mean, there's so many ways to answer this question. I think to distill it, it came down to the big question that I often get from folks, and it has nothing to do with money, but more about to do with and I'm sure you get this question, but sort of like how did you arrive to be someone who can make decisions about money and do it confidently and not only for yourself, but to give other people advice? Even on my show, I often talk about when with guests, I say, you know, how did you become who you are, and there's always a personal story there, there's always a personal journey. And my personal journey was perhaps not so obvious, related to money, but it was because I was the daughter of immigrants who came here from Iran. And that experience was for them quite scary. And so as a byproduct of that, me, I was also raised through this lens of fear. You know, it was the 1980s it was Worcester, Massachusetts, which which, you know, still is, you know, a tough city. And we didn't, my parents were not fluent. My parents didn't really have a network here. My mother was just 19 When she had me. And so I'm raised in this in this world. And my mother intentionally raised me to be afraid, because she's, I've interviewed her about this, she's like, I did it on purpose, because I was the only way I knew how to sort of manage you in this foreign country, where they did watch a lot of five o'clock news, you know, they did read a lot of back of the milk carton, missing children notes. And so they weren't, they thought that, you know, if they didn't take it really carefully, they didn't be very, very risk averse, that bad things would happen. So I'm raised with this. And that sounds really like what I'm trying to get at, like, that's not what we want when it comes to fear. But I had a very early education and relationship with fear over the years as I grew up, had to sort of reparent myself and become more patient with fear because it doesn't go away. And that is actually that relationship contributed so much to my ability to make decisions with a feeling of self alignment, value driven decisions that were really hard and uncertain, but you just do them and you're scared all the while. But you know what, you have a conversation with fear and it gets you to where you want to go. And even if it's not where you thought you would get, you're okay, because you're you're going to have a plan B, you're going to have a plan C. So my sensibility, my ability to make decisions, even the hard ones, my ability to not be afraid of money, I think comes back to having a healthy relationship with fear. And how I got to that was my parents, and our upbringing. And so that's really where I'm connecting the dots. I have talked a lot about money throughout my career coming at it from different angles. My last book was about female bride winners. And it's been almost 10 years Jimmy law right? So what do I want to say now? And through the podcast, through so many like, 1000s of conversations with myself and with viewers and with guests, what I've discovered is that the underpinning emotion of almost all of our financial questions, whether it's about how to retire, whether I take the job, should I start the business? Should I start a family? All of this? Yes, it's about money. But really, it's about fear, too. That is the underpinning emotion of a lot of our financial questions. And people want to know, like, Am I just going to be okay, you know, I find that my career has now turned more to being that person who's going to say, let's strategize. It might not work out. But here's how we can get there. And if you're afraid, that's okay. Let's address that, and get to where you want to go. I've interviewed way too many people at this by this point where they credit fear, you know, I got here because of fear. It lit a fire under my you know what, and I did the thing. It turned me towards my values, it reminded me who I am. It showed me what I wanted to protect. Wow, what an asset, you know, it's counter to everything we've learned, or we've been trained to think about fear, you know. And so this is what I want my contribution now to be is to talk about mental health and money, particularly fear and money. And it don't even just take my word for it, there was a 2023 study that came out this year, which I almost fell over when I read it, because I was like, Oh my God, thank the Lord. There's some science actually, to back this up now, too. But those of us who look at these sort of bad feelings, right, whether that's fear, or anger, or sadness, as neutral or even positive, we end up being happier than those of us who look at these sort of, quote, unquote, bad feelings, as bad as detrimental, it becomes sort of a self fulfilling prophecy. So to accept the good parts and the bad parts, you know, although I don't think fear is bad, but you know, that, like if we have to sort of simplify it, to recognize that how you're feeling however, your feeling is valid, and deserves a little bit of attention, if not more attention, as something that we can all do, but get better at even myself.
Jamila Souffrant 12:26
Yeah, you know, you brought up some great points. And it had me kind of thinking back to similarities. And you're really right about when you look at people who are successful in whatever avenue they choose to be successful, it could be personally right, like going after a relationship, or traveling the world or in career and money. There are these points where they have to make a decision. And in the moment, it's, you're fearful of that. And then I get a lot of people who have said to me, you know, you seem so fearless? Or how are you able to do that? Aren't you afraid? I'm like, Yeah, I'm very afraid, or I am nervous. I do have that. But I think what is important to know is this healthy level or relationship with fear that you talk about? And I think growing up so she maybe also as a daughter of an immigrant and coming here, where you saw almost firsthand what the real world was, you know, our kids. So we both have kids, and like they're not, they're more insulated and protected versus probably how we were raised. And, you know, we saw more. But I think that's actually a good thing in terms of the resilience and the courage it gave us to do the things that we are now doing in front of people. Whereas I want and I hope that this conversation helps encourage who, what like when you said, like, if you are feeling fear, there is a moment to almost think through like, is this a signal to stop what I'm doing because it's not safe or healthy? Or is this a signal that okay, I'm afraid but this is something that has to be done. I love having to think through that tough encourage people that to find that discernment.
Farnoosh Torabi 13:59
And when it comes to money, one of the first things I often encourage people to do if they're feeling afraid of have you name it, you know, there's a long list of things that we might feel insecure about in our financial life that that sort where we source fear, whether it's because like, I'm afraid to talk about money with my partner, because I'm worried it's gonna encourage a fight. I'm afraid to earn more this is I'm raising my hand I was a woman who at one point was afraid to earn more Jamila because I thought that it would mean compromising relationships and being labeled a woman who had her values mixed up, right? And this is even as I am an entrepreneur and a breadwinner. I thought if I try to cross the seven figure threshold, like that's, that's just asking for too much that's pushing the envelope, I'm gonna risk too much. And so my first offer if you're feeling fear around money, and there's a sort of narrative around that and there's something that you're telling yourself about how money is going to manifest asked, and it's how maybe not going to work in your favor, or you're not good at it. The first thing I want you to ask that fear is, how did you get here? Who brought you here? You know, because doesn't it almost feel like, you don't even know where it came from, you know, you're just sort of adopted this fear. And so, sometimes the fear is invalid. And that's okay. And but yet, we have to reconcile, we have to sit with it, we can't just ignore it, or let it just persist. And then we're stuck. We have to question it. Sometimes you realize it is rooted in some, some truth. But other cases, you might realize, like I did, that it was a philosophy of fear based philosophy that I inherited and interpreted from the world around me, from the culture I was raised in, from the TV shows, I watched from the friendships that I had. And when you realize, oh, that's just sort of their mentality that I have adopted. And then you think, Well, why, you know, why is that I work with a money coach, in fact, over around this, right, and sometimes that's helpful to work with somebody who can get you sort of out of it, or at least look at the fear, really head on, and force yourself to ask these hard questions. And what I found through that exploration, too, is that I was associating money with power. And I didn't like the word power, I thought power meant that I was going to be quote, unquote, aggressive and unliked. And dominating. Because I had, again, assumed a lot about that word from how I was sort of educated on it, right, sort of masculine power, domination. And it was the money coach who said to me, well, power is also the power to uplift, the power to help the power to enable, and I thought, wow, okay, that is true. You know, I'm a, I'm an educated woman, and I'm still learning all this stuff. And it's because how you're raised and how you've been conditioned, is really hard to untangle from that. So when I recognize that more money, for me would mean more power to support a family, contribute, support my community, leave a better legacy, I got encouraged. And I was willing to then rewrite that fear driven philosophy into have it be something like, maybe it's true that I'm going to be unliked by some people, that could still happen. And that does scare me a little bit. But you know, what scares me more? Is if I don't pursue this, what then? Yeah, I have a life that I live that is sort of unfulfilled, and on actualized at scarier to me, and sometimes that's the thing in our financial life that gets us over the hurdle, is when we imagine and visualize the scarier thing. And that's another thing in the book that I write about is like, what's the worst thing that could happen? Have you thought of that? Sometimes? Well, we're dwelling over the fear. It's sort of not actually as bad as things could get. And my offer, and this may sound a little nutty is to say, go to the edge, you know, think about five years from now, three years from now, if you don't do anything, because of this fear, if you let this fear take over, as opposed to saying, Okay, I see you fear, but I'm gonna imagine if I don't do anything about you, in three years, it's going to compound because fear doesn't go away. And fear does certainly have the potential to keep us stuck and uncertain and questioning ourselves. But it's when we can sort of see it, recognize it, and extrapolate and go, Oh, okay, if I don't face my bills, because that's terrifying. What's more scary, that I don't face my bills, and then in two years, I'm still in debt. I haven't made any progress towards building wealth. Now, I might even have a family, more on my plate, more responsibilities, and the problem has only gotten bigger. And sometimes when we see that, that is the catalyst that gets us to take action. I've seen it happen so many times in my career and anything in my own life.
Jamila Souffrant 19:21
You talk about fear and different types of fear. Yeah, I think you have nine listed or chapters in your book is nine.
Farnoosh Torabi 19:28
Yeah, there are nine.
Jamila Souffrant 19:30
If you could maybe just talk through a few of them. You don't have to go into too much detail, but I'd love to almost like list them off. Because when I was reading through them, I was like, wow, like this definitely, you know, something I can recognize and have this as a fear. You know, if we had like a fear toolbox like that isn't one of my, one of my fears. And then I want to talk a little bit about some fears that you didn't specifically maybe mentioned as the title of the chapter, but I want to know how it relates to any of the ones you mentioned.
Farnoosh Torabi 19:55
Sure. So I distilled the book to nine different fears. Thanks credit to My editor who had this great idea of organizing it in these ways, these are nine fears they're not, you know, these aren't the only fears, of course that we experienced. But I thought that for me, I have a lot of personal experience with these fears. I know I'm not alone, either. These are the Juggernaut fears that are not, quote unquote, irrational, you know, like, it's not like a fear of elevators, or a fear of like walking out of your house without your pants on like, this is like the fear of loneliness and rejection and FOMO, fear of missing out and failure, uncertainty, money, endings, the fear of ending, so whether that's a life ending, or a job ending a relationship ending, and then the last chapter is the fear of losing your freedom, and personal freedoms, right? So that's not to, you know, suggest, like, what do we do if there's a war, although I have all of those articles bookmarked on my computer, I want to know what to do in those cases. But that last chapter is really about how to listen to fear to protect, really what your ultimate personal freedoms are, which it's different for everybody, right? Your blueprint for personal freedom is different, like how that looks like for me versus you. And so, the reason I picked these fears, and the reason they matter as far as me talking about them, too, because I am a financial expert is I find that the fear of money is kind of entangled in all of this. You know, money is attached to our sense of freedom, money's attached to loneliness and rejection. Money is attached to FOMO, for sure, right? Uncertainty failure. And so the fear of money is actually central to the book, it's the centerpiece of the book, but book ending it are all these other fears. And so this book is not just about money, it's about work. It's about relationships, it's about life. And it took 40 I'm 43. Now it took 43 years for me to get here. I think when you think about what you want to write about as an author, my English teacher always said in high school, she said, Write what you know, write what you know. And this story, this book started with a collection of essays of things that I felt were transformative in my life, even if they were small moments at the time. But looking back, wow, what an impact. And the funny moments, the sad moments, the gutting moments that the winning moments, the losing moments, and then I found that the through line through so much of it was fear. And that was the writing process. I didn't approach this project thinking I want to write about fear. I approached this project thinking I want to write about the themes in my life that got me here. But really, there was one theme that I wanted to write so much about, there was so much content, and that was fear. But that's the organization of the book, you know, the fear of loneliness, gosh, and rejection, those start young, and they opened the book. You know, as daughters of immigrants, we come here, and there's a tremendous amount of loneliness, right? And loneliness is not just situational, it's not just like, you're alone. You're in a school and nobody speaks your language or you're alone, because you're maybe the only woman at work. Talk we talk about that in the book. But also there's the sort of a psychological loneliness where you feel like you're just not connecting with people on a mental level. On a relationship level, people don't get you. And then there's rejection which is which is very closely attached. And I disclaimer in the book, I say these, these fears do not live in silos, these fears. Sometimes they buddy up
Jamila Souffrant 23:42
Tag team you. Yeah.
Speaker 1 23:44
Yeah, sometimes they tag team. But my my hope in reading this book for readers is that they start to identify the specific fears that you might be facing. And that is critical, because we often just talk about fears is one big blob. Oh, the fear, but to say, Okay, no, what I'm actually feeling is FOMO versus the fear of money very different. And how you approach those fears should be different. And the book gives those instructions.
Jamila Souffrant 24:12
Yeah, I like I like looking at it that way. Because it's like that knowing yourself and being honest with yourself, because you're right, generally, when we talk about fear, it's just like, lumped together. But I've also noticed and realized through my years, when I look at my successes, or what's holding me back, it's based on some fear or insecurity that I have and the fact that I know what it is and I'm self aware of that even though maybe it's not completely healed yet is important because then I know why I'm not showing up to do something or I don't want to network or do the video, right? Like it's I know why and then that I think for people if they can realize, okay, I know I can identify this fear or this thing holding me back. And then it's, you can take this Steps to figure out what you're going to do if you want to do something to change it.
Farnoosh Torabi 25:03
Hmm. And to be clear, I know there are a lot of books out there and podcasts that preach fearlessness. And it's not that I don't believe you can be fearless. I think, you know, we don't. I'm not walking around the Earth terrified all the time, like 40% of the time, but not all of the time. There are definitely things that I can do without fear that maybe others could not. But I want to say that sometimes that promised land doesn't come with an instruction manual. You know, you're just like, be fearless. Ignore the fear. But that's not how fear works. It doesn't just go away, because you told it to. And so this book is really the manual to learn how to have a relationship with fear so that you can say, Okay, please step aside. Now, I have gotten what I needed out of you. And now I'm ready to do the thing. And that's maybe when you step into your fearlessness. But to get there, you got to have a respect and appreciation and an honor for your feelings, including your fears.
Jamila Souffrant 26:04
So the FOMO, you know, like you said, All the fears kind of intertwine with the money. But that if we're specifically talking about someone on their financial independence and freedom journey, can be something that is holding someone back or giving them anxiety and or just feelings around how they spend money or what they're not doing or comparing themselves against others. Can we talk about that a little bit?
Speaker 1 26:25
Yes. Well, FOMO Fear Of Missing Out is actually a modern phenomenon. And it was coined in the 21st century, and I interviewed the founder of it in the book, he's a Harvard grad. And essentially, it is that feeling, when you feel as though you are missing out on some sort of cultural phenomenon or experience that other people are doing that seems so much fun or so meaningful, and yet you're not doing it or you want to do it, but you're not sure how to do it. And And really, what you're afraid of is maybe not making the most of your time, not making the most of your resources and not making the most of your life. And we've all been there. I'm I think for me, this is the one fear that shows up more than anything in my day to day because why? Because I'm on Instagram a lot. Okay. I have not ventured to Tik Tok that much. And that's probably why is because it can totally get you down the FOMO. Rabbit Hole. But when it comes to our money, I think sometimes we fear as though we're not doing it, quote unquote, right? fast enough. You know, gosh, I just did a series for Good Morning America on early retirement. And they profiled several people that have retired in their 30s and 40s. And, you know, even as I'm participating in this series, I'm thinking to myself, This is not a fair characterization of what retirement really is. And so sometimes with FOMO, it's fake. You know, we fear missing out on early retirement. But when you really look at those who are early retired, they're not, they're still working, do you mean like, they're making money, they may not be working for a nine to five, or they're not retired, like playing golf, and, you know, living on a fixed income. That's not what they're doing. But we have, I guess, for lack of a word of a term for what they're doing. We call it early retirement, but it's really just like, they're taking ownership of their money, and life and how they make money. And that's kind of like entrepreneurship. So sometimes when you experience FOMO, and you're like, oh, but that person retired at 40. I'm not like or 50. I'm not what does that say? Right? It kind of cuts it, you were a really FOMO Sometimes the reason it bothers us because it because it maybe makes us feel like we're less than we're not as competent, we're not as capable. And so my first suggestion is that when FOMO shows up, you recognize maybe that it is fake, that there are times in my life when I have felt like I've missed out on parties. I see people having fun on social media. I'm like, Oh, my God, I wasn't invited to that baby shower. Those are my friends. How could the end then I find out that the invitation got lost in the mail. Okay, so that's sometimes what FOMO is like, the invitation got lost, or there was actually not really a party. You know, right now, I'm seeing all these people and their celebrations online, I used to get real down on myself. And I would see, like authors getting these huge, like book parties and signings, and I was like, Oh my God, what if that's not me? I'm not and then and then I realized, like, photos can be very tricky. It can look like there are 1000s of people that are but there were 12 so first thing first, I think just figure out whether the photo that you're feeling is actually fair, you're being fair to yourself, like do some investigating is what other people experiencing actually fun, actually truly what it looks like because the internet and photos and social media can be deceitful. But beyond that, you know, I think it's about recognizing what What it is about that experience that you want to replicate in your life, and that there are not necessarily only there's not just one way to get there, that how someone is experiencing fun or success is not how you have to do it to to get to that promised land of fun and success. Case in point. Maybe five, six years ago, I'm looking around to see what my peers are doing in the personal finance space. Many of them have started digital courses. Some of them are making boatloads of money, seven figures, they're touting it online, and even outside of our industry, right coaches, whether your coach health or you coach nutrition, or you coach fire, they're all making all this money, passive income, right? And I thought, oh, okay, I gotta do this. This is it. If I'm not doing this, I'm leaving money on the table. I'm not as successful. And I went down this online course rabbit hole, and I hated it. You know, I was like, there's a reason maybe I'm not suited for this, because I'm not somebody who likes to sit behind a computer. I'm not super into marketing. I know that that's maybe something I can outsource. But I also don't want to lead a team, you know, like this is this didn't mean that I was lazy or unambitious. It just meant that this path to doing what the others were doing, getting to where they were that sort of feeling of financial success. This was not the path. But I saw with that phone when I realized, okay, what I really want in what I'm envious in these other creators, is that they are more in control of how they're making money. Because I'll take you behind the scenes a little bit. You know, for many years in my career, I instill I work with brands, and it's b2b. And so a lot of times those relationships while I cultivate them, it's often they coming to me with a scope of work, and then we do the thing. And, you know, I have a podcast and I books, and there's different revenue streams. But I really craved having more ownership and going direct to consumer, for my business and for the for that control. And okay, so I thought if it's not the way if I'm not doing it with the course, because the the course thing is just beyond me, I can't I don't want it's not does not my love language, I thought, well, what is what do I like to do? Hey, FOMO, what can I do that would make me happy. And I realized, I like beat the in person experience. I like hosting, I like intimate groups, I don't want to scale, I don't need 1000 people, because I also know what goes behind that that's an operation that's a machine, you got to get a lot of Facebook ads placed. And I'm not giving Mark Zuckerberg any more of my money. And I thought, you know, I also have a lot of experience. And my experience is different for everybody else is how I arrived where I am, you know, let people want to learn that. And so I thought, let me do workshops. Let me do private group coaching. And that, for me was just a breakthrough moment. And when I started to do that, I got happy and excited. I I've stuck with it now for many, many years and the income. While maybe it's not seven figures revenue, the profit margins are much higher, I would be willing to bet than someone who is throwing digital courses out there, but not to poopoo, the digital course land and those folks. But the point of the story is when you're experiencing FOMO. Think about what it is ultimately that you're after. It's not the shiny object always right. It's the experience. It's the it's the benefit, it's the payoff that you want. And you can create that in your own way. You don't have to do it like everybody else is doing. And I only got to this point because I listened to my FOMO
This week's episode is supported by teacher talks money. Now, you know, I love you teachers out there. My husband is a teacher. My mom works in the school system. So I see behind the scenes of the hard work you do to help raise up and educate the kids. And not only should you be paid well for it, but you should also be equipped to succeed on your financial freedom and independence journey too. That's why teacher talks money is an organization of teachers dedicated to helping other teachers organize and save for a sustainable retirement plan through educational courses and tools. Rolls Medaka founder of teacher talks money is an educator and financial expert with 30 plus years of experience. She's a licensed teacher and school counselor on a mission to help all educators create wealth and the retirement of their dreams. She created a teacher talks money course and podcasts to help educate Here's understand their pension options, and create a plan for wealth. If you want to learn how to maximize your pension benefit and retirement savings, or book a free call with Rose, head over to teacher talks money.com, that's TACHERTALKSM o n e y.com.
Jamila Souffrant 35:25
Okay, so a couple of things when we're thinking about FOMO, which is like a natural feeling like for example, if sometimes I'll see someone had something an event, I'm like, Hey, why wasn't I invited? And I'm like, you wouldn't have wanted to go. So that's just your ego, like, you don't even want to go. But I think too, it's almost positioning yourself like, Who are you in your life? And in this story, life is a story. And are you the main character? Are you the supporting role? And as you were talking, I'm like, Yeah, I think when you get jealous of other people, you put yourself in the supporting role position, and then they're their main character in your story. So of course, you're jealous, because you're like, This is my life, why is this person maybe having such a broad impact on me, and I think it's good to put yourself back into into the main character role, because as the main character, everything does revolve around you. So even if someone is having the best life, best time, all the money, you know, great husband, or wife, and you're just like, wow, they can do that. But you still are the main character who is living your best life, whatever that looks like, and is on your journey that that that the people are following, right, like the imaginary audience around you is looking at. So I just think that's something to keep in mind. And then the other thing, I think what happens for people who are talented or have who want more for themselves often is that you have skills and you have the ability to do something. And so when you see other people doing things, and you know, you can do the same thing, if you applied yourself, if it felt good, and you kept going, and you could be successful, because I felt that to where, you know, I have a treasure trove of information all in my Google files, and in my Word documents about like, ideas and frameworks, and that if someone came along and went through it, and like made courses and did all these things with it, like I know to be successful. But again, just because you can doesn't mean you should and I think this also applies with money, is that that's why sometimes you get you feel pulled in so many directions. Because internally, you feel like, wow, I could do that too. But it's like, do you want to do it that way? Do You Really Are you going to be happy doing it that way? And maybe there's another way to get the information out your your gifts to the world and it doesn't have to look like that of the person how they're doing it.
Farnoosh Torabi 37:33
Just because you can doesn't mean you should I think I repeat that mantra weekly in my house. Absolutely. I think that what FOMO and like so many of these big fears are nudging us towards is ourselves. It's turning us inward to go okay, well, Farnoosh Jamila, journeyer, what do you want? You know, and so often, we are so busy thinking we want what others have, and that's what's going to make us happy. And look, sometimes when I see things online, and I catch myself going, oh, like, woe is me, I don't have that. I think there's always something I can learn from others. There's always something I can learn, even if it is this, you know, there's always someone in our group or someone online who's really good at self promotion. Really good at it. And that's part of it, too, is like some people are just really willing to like put themselves out there and talk about all of their wins. And honestly, I don't have enough time to do that. I have so many wins, so little time. No, the truth is I'm you know, I'm a tired mom. And I don't have time to be on social. But when I do see people promoting themselves, I actually think wow, like, it reminds me to celebrate my wins. It reminds me that like, I should be grateful for what I have to because and the no two lives are alike. You know, when you start to recognize what is working in your life and the patterns of how you got to your success. That is your treasure chest, whenever you're down. Whenever you're feeling like I don't have an idea. I don't know what to do. Look at your history, look at how you've done in the past. Don't look at social media to what other people are doing. Look at what's worked for you, and has shown up for you in the past and tap that again. You know, there's a reason you and I have been working sustainably in our industries for this long. It's not because we are always chasing the next hot thing. It's because we recognize not just what we like but what we don't like to do. And we've recognized that we are really good at strategizing when if and when we actually you know look inward and not try to get distracted by everything because I mean who has the time? Who has the capacity you're gonna burn out your day. is going to burn out.
Jamila Souffrant 40:00
It's also interesting because also as a working mom, you know, entrepreneur, the both of us have multiple kids and have the business, it's important to recognize our like position because I also feel like, while it's normal to have any feelings of oh, I'm missing out, I'm not as big as I could be, if I did this showed this part of my life, like I know or talk more about this, people would love that in to get more followers or more money. But I also feel like almost like stealth, wealth, like self confidence, and also like your portfolio of work. And I'm not using humility to be like you, you can't be boastful and brag or share, because I still feel like that's important to do to share that you know, you are proud of yourself. And if you want to share your wins, go ahead. Like I'm always rooting for people who do that. But I also think it's important that it doesn't always have to be as loud if you are not the kind of person who wants to be that way. Because it will show it will show through your work. And of course, like if we're giving people advice in careers, if they work in corporate America, you're always going to advocate that the person should be seen in the room, you don't have to be the loudest, but they need to know your contributions if they're not acknowledging it. But oftentimes, we know people and I worked in corporate America, it's just like, you know, who really knew what they were talking about, versus the people who were just talking. And other people knew what to write.
Farnoosh Torabi 41:21
You remind me Jimmy, that there's a chapter that I left out, which is, which was a chapter I almost didn't write, because I was so scared, ironically, of putting it out there. And it's about putting yourself out there. It's about the fear of exposure. So what I mean by that is that we live in a culture that prays at the altar of transparency, the altar of vulnerability. And I think that's so important, in many ways, in many circumstances to be very, very vulnerable. But you have to know who you're being vulnerable with. And I think sometimes social media encourages an unhealthy amount of oversharing. And this isn't about hiding your truth, this isn't about dishonesty, this isn't about silencing yourself, it is about recognizing that when you have a fear of going a little too far with your personal information, that maybe you should take a beat. And I mean, I'll let you read the book. But there are so many examples, I will give you one, I was at an event, on stage on a panel at I think it was fin con, or one of these conferences, where we're with like financial experts, and the panel was about how to earn more negotiating as a creator. And it was myself and a few others. And it was in this ballroom and many, many people in the room. And a woman got up and asked me Farnoosh How much do you make? And to che, because we had just talked about the importance of sharing what you make with others, to help with transparency to help others, you know, get what they're what they deserve. Like be there shouldn't be pay gaps, right? And the only way we're gonna get there is if we talk about what we make. Got it. But was that really my moment to spill my income? And my revenue streams? And my w two, you know, to a ballroom of people that yes, I think probably most if not all of them were very kind and nice people, but I don't know them. And I don't know how this information could get used against me at some point. And fast forward to another time in my career when it was actually a different scenario. But how much I made was a weapon against me. I was trying to renegotiate a brand deal. And I had done a lot of work for this brand I had over delivered, it's time to renegotiate, we were well into the process. And I asked for more. Not crazy, but for me it would have been meaningful probably for the brand who would have been a drop in the bucket. But this person who was actually a woman was like she'd had it she was like doesn't furnish make enough. Oh, wow. I'm sorry. That's how we're going to base what I'm going to make. And I say she was a woman for a reason is because sometimes I feel like as women, we are raised to feel like there isn't enough to go around, right? And we also internalize, we take what we put the fears, we have our money and we project them on others or the insecurities that we have around money and self worth. we project them on others because we haven't had as much experience with money. We're not maybe as fluent and et cetera, et cetera. So sometimes as women we need to stop and recognize to like, how are we projecting our sort of financial narratives onto other women and which we need to really unpack. But needless to say, in that moment, I actually went back to them and her and her team and I said, Do you really want to go on the record for saying something like that to a woman? And they said, Oh, we're so sorry. Yes, no, scratch that. Scratch that, because it had to be said, but my point is, is that I'm not comfortable. And I know, I may be alone in this. But there are people who feel very comfortable talking about all their money, all the to the penny what they make. But for me, that's not how I roll. And it's my fear of being exposed in that way. Because I've experienced these sorts of back lashes. I don't go there. Now, back to that conference. I said to that woman, I said, I appreciate the question. If you really want to know because this could be helpful in your next project, or as you're approaching a gig. Let's have coffee, and we went downstairs and we had a coffee, and we talked about it, and we shared. And that's how I prefer to do I prefer to do it one on one. Not in a ballroom with strangers, not on the internet where I don't know who's, I mean? Do I really want my inlaws to know how much money I make you? I don't know. Like, no, I don't want actually because they don't have the same relationship with money that I have, right? And my two, and so that's all I'm saying is like, do I want the distraction? No. So I don't think that it's a necessary piece of information in that moment, to just, you know, blog on on social media about it, I know that it can get a lot of clicks, I know that it gets a lot of likes, I know it can make you more popular, and it can go viral. But that's not authentic to me, right. And that's me,
Jamila Souffrant 46:47
it's that fine line, because I remember coming up and before, like I said, I had any platform, and I saw people like you making a living out of working personal finance, content and podcast. And, you know, there'll be some people who, because they shared what they made, it made me realize the possibilities, right? Like, oh, this person was talking about I just made $10,000, you know, writing a couple articles. I'm like, I didn't even know that was possible, or I just got a five figure six figure brand deal. Again, at some point, I did not know that was possible. So it was so almost like, you know, watching and seeing people who do share is helpful. But to a certain extent, right? As an individual doesn't mean because you have a platform or because you want to share about money and help people with money, that you have to compromise how you feel what you feel safe with
Farnoosh Torabi 47:37
what you want to protect, right? Look, we're all different. And how fear shows up in our life, it has to be different. And how I relate to fear versus somebody else is going to be different. Someone else could look at that fear and go, Okay, whatever, I'm going to do it anyway. Because I have a different kind of risk tolerance. That's fine, as long as you're prepared for whatever happens on the other side of that. And that's what we call strategic decision making is when we have thought it through. And when the fear shows up, it's asking us to think it through. It's not saying immediately stop or immediately turn around or immediately react. It's saying Hold on, think about what this could mean, how this could manifest, what the outcomes could be. It's just asking us to be more thoughtful,
Jamila Souffrant 48:29
which is what we all need to do. And I think this level of discernment, what happens in the moment of fear is the real, you know, I talked about inner walls a lot in the external things are great, obviously, and what we need at a baseline to survive, but then Anything over that is extra, but internally, when you look at maybe why people or some people can experience the same thing, but then come out of it different. Obviously, there's a bunch of reasons. But it's oftentimes it's like how that person is reacting or what they do, what's their next step? And that all starts internally, right, like what decision or what, what ideas or what are you using to make that decision that you need to make to go for it?
Farnoosh Torabi 49:08
Yeah, it is. Yeah. So you know, I have to say this book, it came out of doing something terrifying, which we didn't talk about, but maybe you'd be interested. Yeah, let's go. Yeah. What a tease. I did. I did some stand up comedy before the pandemic as a way to just kind of get myself out of the house. And what's more terrifying than getting on a stage and throwing out some jokes and probably getting nothing in return and going home set. So but I took the stand up comedy course, it was an eight week boot camp, three hours once a week at night. And the culmination of that was a stand up set you got to perform at Gotham comedy in Chelsea. And you know, you've got your friends and family so the audience is warm, but it's still pretty terrifying. And I did the thing and put the video up on Facebook. work so that my parents who were in California could watch it. And I took a little bit of risk doing that, because I'm like, Okay, this isn't just my parents are gonna watch us like pretty much anybody. So fingers crossed. And really, he developed a very thick skin. And I joked about in that six minute set my heritage, the irony of having immigrant parents who risked so much to get here. And then once they landed, it was like, we're not taking any more chances. You're not allowed to have sleepovers, no Froot Loops, no ice skating, stay inside. And also, I talked about the comedy in, you know, being a woman who earns her husband, I talked about parenting, I talked about, you know, wanting to change my name several times as a kid, because I hated being a Farnoosh. And I put it online, just put it online. Talk about fear of exposure, I had none of it at that point. And then a literary agent reaches out and says this stuff is is funny, and do you have more of it? And I got really excited, because, you know, it's, it's rare for like a literary agent to reach out to you. It's always the other way around. At least it's been that ways up until now for me. And I said, Sure. I mean, it's my life. So I have a ton of this material. Do you mean, do you mean, written down? And she said, Yeah, written down. So I don't have that she goes, Well, please start writing. So they started writing. And that was in 2018. So I didn't get this book till until three years later, a lot of stop and go pandemic, but she kept knocking on my door, and saying, Do you have stuff I can read, you have stuff I can read. And finally, I just did the thing. And Rick wrote 20 stories. And she's like, great, I know what to do with this, I think we have some material here that we can work with. And I can help you shape it and turn it into a proposal and get it out the door and sell it. And I was like, Okay, I mean, this whole process has been a test in my ability to trust others. And you know, it's really hard for I think women like us to feel like, we need to sort of lay our guards down a little bit and go with the current. And if there are people, which is such a privilege, right to feel like people are rooting for you and so much like that these agents and then my editor who wouldn't let me give up when I wanted to so bad. And they said, No, this story, these stories have to be told this, this thesis, this sort of way of thinking about fear, it has to be told, please keep writing. And I did and it was terrifying. And even now I'm scared, I have to say, you know, I was thinking about if someone asks me, What Are you still afraid of? I mean, like, all the things like ingesting cilantro, all of it, you know, like parenting. But the big fears, I think are this, this book, for me is definitely a fear of being exposed, you know, for the person who looks like she has it all together. And I do for many in many ways, but, and I have it all together, and I'm terrified. And you can too, right?
Jamila Souffrant 52:59
I think that one step of you signing up to take that comedy course, and then probably maybe having some fear around that. And then you know, going through it and then going on stage. So that's like your next the next thing you did probably that was very fearful. I'm sure there was a lot of fearful moments inside of that too. But then publishing it on Facebook, having people see it, but then that wouldn't have led basically that one decision, but then the the ultimate next decisions that you had to do through fear, ultimately led you to this book, right, like, Look at how beautiful is that?
Farnoosh Torabi 53:29
Yeah, I think I want to really, really say is that I why I did it even as I was afraid, you know, what was that fear? wanting me to protect or uphold or recognize, and it was the kid in me. You know, sometimes it's fear, you're afraid of doing something? But really, you know, when you think about what if I don't do it? What's that going to mean? If I don't do it, if I let this fear, washed me over, and I and I don't go to the comedy class, or I don't take the new job, or I don't jump into the new relationship or I don't invest? What part of me am I dishonouring? You know, that's a good question. And for me in the comedy, it was dishonouring, the little girl who loved to entertain, who really at the end of the day always wanted to be an entertainer and a presenter. But my immigrant parents, you know, you gotta study finance, or you gotta like, get a master's in something legit. And even journalism was hard to convince them that could pay off. But when you're thinking about not doing something because you're afraid, think about how scarier it could get and what part of you because we're made of a lot of parts. There's the kid in us. There's the mom in us. There's the sister in us. There's the business owner in us. There's the friend in us, what part of you are you potentially letting down? And that's scary, too. And that's, I think, even scarier than what you are confronting today is down the road. What you may be confronting is like looking back and again, realizing I didn't do the thing. And I'm, you know, now I have to face that. So I was 38. At the time, I had two little kids. And I felt like, I got to do this, like, when am I ever going to do this? There's no perfect time, right? Like when when is the perfect time to do stand up comedy. It's I just interviewed a woman who's in her 40s doing stand up and killing it, you know, and doing really, really well. Sometimes. I look, I mean, if you're not 40, yet, journeyer. I'm so excited for you. There are so many things awaiting you in your 40s and in your 50s. And so if there's anything that you are afraid to do, think about hitting 50. And looking back and going out and do the thing. That's pretty scary and sad, even more than scary. So do the thing.
Jamila Souffrant 55:46
Farnoosh this conversation has been amazing. Please tell everyone more about where they can get the book when it's out. And then when they can find out more about you.
Farnoosh Torabi 55:56
Thank you so much, Jamila, what a full circle moment. For me, I just want to say for both of us, you know from that coffee shop and Park Slope today, pre pandemic the before times today, I thank you so much for inviting me. The book is available at a healthy state of panic.com. If you want to support your local bookkeeper bookstore owner, I would recommend that first before the online sites, I think you know, walking into your local bookstore. Remember that number we used to go into split go into places. Yeah, so if you want to do that, that would be great. But however you want to purchase it, I'm not going to get in your way. The healthy state of panic.com if you order it before October 3, you can also get access to scared smart which is my three video course. Yep, I finally did one. It's a small one and but it's it's meaty, and it's packed with insights and prompts is a workbook on how to work through your financial fears. And so you get a head start before the book gets to your doorstep. I
Jamila Souffrant 56:58
love it. All right, thank you so much again. Farnoosh.
Farnoosh Torabi 57:00
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. 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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