In this episode, I share the Introduction of my new book: Your Journey to Financial Freedom: A Step-By-Step Guide To Achieving Wealth And Happiness.
I talk about how plans are meant to be flexible, why joy and happiness are just as important on this journey as numbers and formulas, the importance of sustainable financial planning, and more.
In this episode you’ll also learn more about:
- My mother’s brave immigration story from Jamaica to New York City
- What “woke” me up and turned me on to the path to Financial Independence
- How motherhood pushed me further on my journey and inspired me to teach my children to not conform to society’s notion of happiness.
- The process of recording my audiobook, why pre-orders matter, and the steps I’ve taken to get this book into the hands of Journeyers like you + more
- Instagram: @Journeytolaunch
- Twitter: @JourneyToLaunch
- Facebook: @Journey To Launch
- Join the Private Facebook Group
- Join the Waitlist for My FI Course
- Get The Free Jumpstart Guide
- Get The Budget Bootcamp for FREE
Jamila Souffrant 0:02
There has been a fire smoldering inside of me wanting to burn free and wild, I will not suppress it any longer. Maybe my story and journey will help others like me who feel somewhat confused on this journey of life. Primarily, I'm here to learn, and boy do I have a lot of learning to do. I also know that I can make an impact on the world with my story. And that's where we start on this path together.
T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest, and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are in OG journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.
Jamila Souffrant 1:41
Hey, hey, hey, Jaron yours. Welcome to the journey to launch Podcast. I'm Jamila, You're fabulous. Amazing. Wonderful. Now, really, I'm Jamila, your host. And what I used to say in the podcast was your chief launch officer, helping you to launch to financial freedom to reach and achieve complete financial independence if you so desire it, but most importantly, helping you to enjoy your journey on the way and not enjoy it because it will be perfection. And because you'll get everything right. Because you'll understand things 100% But because you have confidence in not being correct all the time, you have confidence in one day figuring it out, you have confidence that you do deserve the life internally, that is screaming for you to be lived. And I hope that my life and if you've been following me for a while, I hope my journey so far has been an inspiration to you, coming from just learning about financial independence and being an outsider looking in on what it meant to achieve financial independence and then starting journey to launch and growing my brand, the podcast and now new book, your journey to financial freedom which will be out in the world December 5, going through that transition of quitting my job and discovering continually discovering what my journey looks like and sharing that with you, I hope, I hope it continues to be an inspiration to you that you can do this too. And whatever it means or this means whatever that life looks like, it's possible for you.
And so with that I want to do something really special. My book, your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness will be officially in stores available on December 5 2023. So if you're listening to this in real time, meaning when this comes out the week it comes out, you'll be listening to this about almost a little less than a month out from the release of the book. But if you're listening to this after the book comes out, you can grab it right now. But I want to share with you the audio from the audio book.
So I recorded the audio book for the book in a studio in New York City. Let's say I think maybe a couple like a month ago or so I didn't share that experience on Instagram. I created a couple of reels each day that I went into record it because it took me three full days to read the book. And it was a great experience. I mean as a podcaster who is used to working with audio but very basic audio, meaning I'm in my what used to be kitchen recording most of my episodes in the beginning and now I'm in my lovely office. It's just me my mic and I use Riverside to record. I have a fabulous editor Emily and people who help to edit and make the podcast sound good. But when you go into an official recording studio and you have a producer who's listening to every word, it's really great because they get to correct and stop you for every sentence or word that's mispronounced and helps with your energy and really makes the audio quality of these books you hear if you are an audio listener, uh, books, really amazing. So I went in and I recorded the audio book, or in the course of three days, I believe they thought it would take four days. But I think because of my experience speaking into a mic, and also I've been taking voice lessons for speaking, that helped tremendously in the confidence and the way I delivered the book reading the book. And so what I want to do now is share with you a very special portion of the audio book, the introduction.
So you'll be hearing the introduction of your journey to financial freedom a bit in this episode. But I wanted to be able to almost give you this as a way for you to hear what the book is about who the book is for, and how the book will help you reach your financial independence dreams. And I feel like almost sharing this is baring a little bit of my soul, because writing a book, as you may know, or not know, it's a lot of work. And you really putting everything out on the line in terms of, for me, my frameworks, and my thoughts and ideas. And finally, now, after I've been internally working on this project, and then of course, I've had editors at my publishing house, who are great at Hanover Square press, which is an imprint of HarperCollins. And I had a coach that helped me but still, right, these are all people internally, or who are helping me with this book. And yes, they're giving feedback. But this is the first time now this book will be in the hands of external people, people who are going to give me the real feedback are going to be able to tell me, Hey, this is what I think and so that the book is slowly entering the world, you know, I've gotten bound copies, I've gotten actually beat author copies, which are the actual book delivered, I've been able to give a couple out and went to a conference called fin con, which is a Personal Finance Conference for creators. And I ran into a few journeyer. So people who listened to the podcast, and at first I was gonna give these bound copies to fellow creators who maybe would want to interview me for the podcast, or influencers, quote, unquote. And then I started to get approached by people who actually listened to the podcast, who would want to read the book, who told me how much listening and following my work so far has changed their life.
So change their finances, but not just that, but change their life. And I said to myself, when I went back to the hotel room that first night, and I know me, so I'm the kind of person who I like to, I like to save. So I'm a saver in all areas that I'm kind of reforming myself on. And while that's great with money, right, to be able to save and hold back, I find myself typically saving in ways where I should be spending or enjoying the moment. So I'm the kind of person if I have a really nice outfit, I would say, Wait, should I wear that today? What if there's a better opportunity to wear it? And then I won't wear the outfit? And then I never get to wear the outfit? And because I'm saving it for something, something else? And I thought of this with the book, because I'm like, why am I saving it like waiting for the perfect opportunity? Or what I think person may, that I want to give this to when I'm literally getting approached by people who enjoy my work and who actually would want to read it. And so I decided, the next day at the conference that I would give it to journeyers, who I felt connected to who came up to me or who we connected with one on one. So I was able to get the book out. And I also created a real about that on Instagram. I'll try to link all that in the show notes.
But it was so special, because these are people that you'll hear from I actually interviewed Israel. On the podcast, he was someone that I met in person. He has his own podcast now. But he talked about being a teacher listening to me at like 530 in the morning, going to work and listening from the beginning like 2018. And so it was a pleasure to give him the book. And so I told them when I gave it to them, you were the first people to get your hands on a physical copy. It's not even like the official copy because the way that it's bound, it was put together at the publishers office. So it's the book, but it's not the official book with the full jacket. And the way it would look when it comes out December 5. And I was honored to do that. And now I'm in the position where I'm getting more books, I'm able to send them out. And then I know the book will be in people's hands if you preorder it which by the way, yes, you can preorder the book right now. You don't have to wait. Go to your journey to financial freedom.com To order your copy. I talked about this before. It's so important to preorder if you know you're going to get the book anyway, just get it now. It's so helpful for me because as an author, it signals to the publisher to the media that hey, people want this book, and anything that sold between a now and the first week that the book comes out counts as first week sales. So all those numbers count, because if I have any chance of making it on any list, selling the book, in this moment, counts, and signals to everyone like, Hey, this is a book that people want. So now that I just got the audio files in so this is part of the whole audio book, I said to myself, why not share this with journeyers. So even though I couldn't meet all of you at FinCon, and some of you don't even attend fin con or care what that is, I have you, my listener, who, maybe you just started listening, maybe you've been listening from the beginning, but I wanted to say, You know what, let me give you a piece of this too. And let you get a taste of what the book is. So you're about to hear the introduction to my book, Your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. I hope you enjoy it. I hope that it inspires you to actually get the book, you can go to your journey to financial freedom.com to get the book and pre order right now, if you're ordering it before the book comes out, you get special bonuses when you do I have a free course the fire starter course that I'm giving out right now, when you order the book, when you preorder. I'll also be having really special announcements coming up over the next few weeks as we gear up to the official launch. Like maybe Hint Hint, a live in person book launch event still working on that, and some other bonuses. So in order to do that you need to get on the list. You need to preorder the books you are in the know and you can take this ride with me. All right, enough yapping from me. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy the introduction to my book. This is the audio of the introduction, your journey to financial freedom out officially on December 5 But you can preorder now, your journey to financial freedom.com. Alright, enjoy.
When I was only eight months old, my mother faced a difficult decision that would affect both our lives forever. Her father had filed a visa application on her behalf to move to the United States, which finally got approved. The issue was that the visa application was submitted before my birth, so there was no accompanying paperwork for me to join her. This left my mother with a dilemma to leave me behind in Jamaica and pursue better opportunities in the US or to stay in Jamaica with me.
As a 20 year old single mom, she made the brave choice to go to a country she never visited before with no money, just a piece of paper with an address and phone number of someone to contact when she arrived. My mom's story is not unlike those of many immigrants who come to the US and take enormous risks by leaving everything they know behind to have a chance at creating a better life for themselves and their family. Despite the challenges of being in a new country, and hardly knowing anyone but a few family members, my mom did her best to acclimate and got her first job through a cousin at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Eventually, nine months later, my grandmother's and my paperwork were approved and we were able to join her in New York City.
I was just under two years old when we were finally reunited. As a mother now I know how difficult that must have been for her to make that choice to leave me behind at such a young age to venture into the unknown without a guarantee of what would come next. But I also know that the hope she had for a better life for me outweighed the fear of doing something risky.
My mother's upbringing was not one that allowed her to explore her own potential or independence. She grew up in poverty with no running water for most of her childhood and only the necessities. She recounts vivid memories of the many times she went to school hungry. After having knee she vowed to herself to improve our lives and find a different path. Despite limited resources and no internet to easily search for information. she persevered and sought out any available help in this new country. She utilized the yellow pages so locate resources and was determined to advance her situation. She received government aid to supplement her income but knew she'd have to further her education to increase her earning potential. So she pursued her associate's degree, followed by her bachelor's and years later a master's degree. Since she was a single mother who couldn't always afford childcare, I became her constant companion, earning me the nickname pocket book. She recalls the many times she had to take me with her to classes and appointments in the rain and freezing winters. Weather she was not used to growing up on a tropical island. When she did her homework, she gave me a paper and crayons so that I could get my homework done too. Although I may not remember all the specifics due to my young age at that time, her unwavering drive and determination left a lasting imprint on my psyche, and played a significant role in shaping who I am today. I may not have been born into money, but I had something more valuable, a loving mother who believed in me and showed me that anything was possible. This I hope gives some insight into why I felt inspired to pursue financial independence. And why I'm going to ask you to do what others will tell you is impossible or unrealistic.
When I started working full time, in my early 20s, I said that I would never work for anyone after the age of 30. I had such an ambitious can do attitude. I didn't like the constraints of my corporate America job and didn't want to have to call anyone else boss. I was sit at my cubicle crafting ways in which quitting at 30 was possible. I thought I could do it by investing in real estate and starting my own business. By then I already had one property in my portfolio, a studio apartment in an up and coming area of Brooklyn. I was also working on an online magazine Emperess that I had created in college with my best friend. My hope was that the magazine would take off and provide a full source of income. But somewhere along the way, as I approached my late 20s, I realized my dream of quitting the mainstream workforce was not going to happen. By then, my zeal for thinking outside of the box had slowed. I no longer had the energy needed to put into the online magazine to make it a true success. My friend and I decided to call it quits on the magazine. Every other entrepreneurial venture I tried, I either quit or watch fail before I could see any real progress.
As I got older, I began to accept that my big dreams of becoming my own boss and a millionaire would not come true. At 29, I'd gotten married to my college sweetheart Woody, and we began making plans to start a family. My ambitious goal of avoiding the never ending cycle of the daily grind faded away, and I instead resigned myself to following the path of so many others by settling for a steady job until retirement. In doing so, I found myself becoming exactly the type of person I had once promised myself I would never be someone who lives solely to work, spending the majority of their day being governed by others and exchanging their time for a paycheck.
I had a few nudges that would occasionally wake me up from what I felt like was me sleepwalking through life. A pivotal one came at 31 in 2014, when I found myself stuck in a four hour commute home from hell, seven months pregnant with my first child, Zack, my typical commute took about an hour and a half each way. But on this particular day, the traffic gods were not pleased. Everything that could go wrong did turning my already tough commute into a nightmare. Overwhelmed by frustration, I broke down and cried in my car. And then again, when I finally arrived home to my husband, I didn't want this to be my life forever. This couldn't be my life forever.
The next day at work, I Googled how to quit my job and how to retire early. A few podcasts and blogs came up and it was then that I was initially introduced to the financial independence retire early fire movement. I slowly started to read blogs at work and listen to podcasts on my commute about everyday people building wealth through working a regular nine to five. There were no fancy methods or complicated strategies. They were just spending less than they earned and investing aggressively to reach a level in which they could quit their jobs and retire early.
A seed was instantly planted. I had finally found a viable proven pathway to freedom from life in a cubicle. Woody and I started making changes to our finances like trading our expensive luxury cars for more economical cars, budgeting and investing more. Fast forward to 2016 we were making progress with our finances. But when I found out that I was pregnant with my second child, Luke, I knew that it was time to get even more intentional and serious about our financial independence FY journey. Sure, I'd miss my goal of not working for anyone after 30 but it wasn't too late to turn my life around. It's never too late to turn it around. I found a renewed sense of purpose and drive being pregnant with Luke. Although my children motivated me to take more courageous strides. I knew that this pursuit was something that I had to do for myself too. I didn't want to spend the majority of my time doing a job that didn't bring me joy, or stuck in traffic. Just as my mom set that example for me on what it meant to go for it and chart a new path different from the one she was expected to travel.
I want it to be that example for my kids to, I desired to teach them that they could accomplish anything they set their minds to, and that they need not conform to society's notion of happiness. I wish for them to design and live life on their own terms. I felt that it was my responsibility to lead a life that I could be proud of, to demonstrate to them that it could be achieved, and most importantly, to prove to myself that it was attainable, the pathway to the freedom that I wanted and the ability to do what I wanted with my time and energy was going to be through taking control of my finances.
I decided to officially start journey to launch originally called Mrs. Budget fab as a blog in 2016. to chronicle my journey to FY. At 33 years old, I declared my seven year plan to reach financial independence and quit my corporate job goal by 40 years old. An excerpt from my very first post on February 19 2016. Read, there has been a fire smoldering inside of me wanting to burn free and wild, I will not suppress it any longer. Maybe my story and journey will help others like me who feel somewhat confused on this journey of life. Primarily, I'm here to learn and boy do I have a lot of learning to do. I also know that I can make an impact on the world with my story. And that's where we start on this path together.
I soon change the name of my blog from Mrs. Budget fab to journey to launch as I quickly realized that budgeting was a key but small part of what it took to ultimately reach FY. The name journey to launch encompassed more of what the path to FY actually looks like, as it takes into account not just the end goal of FY, but the exciting journey that it takes to reach that ultimate goal. It also demonstrated the idea of aspiring to something bigger than what you currently have. I wanted to share my journey and help readers on their own journey to launch to financial freedom and FYI,
I started the podcast journey to launch a year later, I also got pregnant again with my third child Blake. As you can probably tell, each child inspired and pushed me further on my path. Getting pregnant with Blake was no different and cause me to make my boldest riskiest moves yet. By then I was 35 years old and balancing my demanding corporate job and commute with journey to launch on the side. I had progressed significantly in what I refer to as the aviator phase, which is the third of the five stages of the journey or process required to achieve FYI, something you'll learn about in chapter two of this book.
Once my husband and I had saved and invested a significant portion of our earnings into our investment accounts, I made the decision to move on to the fourth stage of the journey or process and attain work flexibility by leaving my day job. I had the liberty to resign from my position and establish my own business on my own terms. Although I had not yet achieved complete financial independence, I had attained most of its benefits. That's what I want for you too. And with this book, I hope to help guide you on a path to achieving it.
If you read an article online, you're probably seeing a highlighted word or phrase known as a hyperlink. You're interested in the story, but no, I hyperlink would give you even more information. Sometimes you ignore a hyperlink. But sometimes you click going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. Our life is like one big story. And as we write it we come across hyperlinks to it can happen when you overhear something interesting like a person talking about a place they visited, or a show they watched and you want to learn more about it. Maybe you end up visiting that place or pick up a book on the subject to learn more. Sometimes the hyperlinks don't mean much. But sometimes they can change your world as you know it. Your curiosity could lead to starting a new job or meeting someone who becomes a mentor. Maybe you discover a whole new way of life. For me, it all started when I looked up the words how to quit my job and found an article that mentioned the fire movement, something I had never heard of before. That moment changed the course of my life. It didn't happen right away, and it took me many more hyperlinks to get to where I am now. But you listening to this book is like you clicking on a new hyperlink in your life. The hyperlinks I've clicked on by first discovering fire and being intrigued by it allowed me to quit my corporate job.
In the following chapters, I will be sharing some recommended percentages and formulas to help you navigate your path. But you don't have to create a rigid plan around them. They are only meant to be reference points to help you get started or for when you need guidance. You don't have to live by formulas and percentages. You don't have to count every penny and live on a restricted budget forever. These formulas and percentages are merely meant to be a guideline. Like the bumper guards that bowling alleys give kids and less talented bowlers like myself that guarantee no matter how bad we throw, the ball doesn't go into the gutter. I want you to build your own guardrails and safety nets that allow you to be free with money. Now, I don't use a budget day to day, some months, I don't even look. Why do I feel comfortable managing my finances this way? It's because I found the balance between my current lifestyle goals and long term financial goals. I'm able to pay off credit card debt every month. My family is on track to our FY goals. I'm okay with my investments.
Could things be more optimized to save and invest more money? Sure. But that's not the main priority for me right now. Instead, I'm leaning more into spending and enjoying the right now. Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of fear and question are really good. When I have those feelings, I look at the plan I've created to give me assurance that I'm still on the right path. It's that sense of security and the now and the future that I want you to enjoy after reading this book. You don't have to become a personal finance expert or be good with math to be successful on your ePHI journey. I'm still learning and making mistakes just like anyone else. My ability to make it as far as I have is not because of pure skill, but a mixture of luck, something you can't control, and a lot of perseverance, something you can control. Best of all, I'm really just like you because I'm still on this journey. Maybe a few steps ahead but still willing to learn and adapt as I continue on my path too. To assist you in achieving FYI, this book has been organized into four parts.
In Part One where we focus on awareness, we explore the what, why and how of FYI, this lays the foundation for your journey and explains the five journeyer stages you must work through to reach FYI, the six components that make up part of the f5 formula, and how all the components work together to help you reach your financial and life goals.
In part two, where we focus on gathering information and making the journey enjoyable. I introduce you to the guacamole lifestyle levels to help you figure out the quality of lifestyle you want to live. As well as help you identify your starting point and your desired FY endpoint. You will discover where you are on your journey relative to your ultimate FY goal and learn how to craft a plan to reach FY by aligning your life and financial objectives.
In part three, where we shift focus towards taking action, I provide guidance on how to execute your plan to reach FYI by improving your mindset and habits, increasing your income, optimizing expenses, paying off debt and investing.
Finally, in part four, where we hone in on making your plan sustainable and enjoyable, we explore ways to stay the course on your journey toward FY.
As you embark on your FY journey, it's important to remember that your plan is not set in stone. The process of planning and executing is a continuous loop and adjustments may need to be made along the way. Part two will help you identify your starting and end points, but you may need to revisit them as you progress through the other parts. Part three is all about taking action and implementing your plan. But you may find that your initial plan needs to be adjusted based on what works best for you. You may find that in order to make your journey to financial independence more sustainable, you need to adjust your lifestyle or financial goals.
As an example, when I initially created my FYI plan in 2016, I set a goal of achieving FY in seven years by aggressively saving and investing while working in corporate America. During the first two years of implementing my plan, my husband and I were able to save and invest $169,000 However, I soon realized that this plan was unsustainable due to the demands of my commute, growing family and side business. After some reflection, I recognized that there were other pathways available to me. I had the opportunity to quit my job and pursue entrepreneurship full time which could either delay or accelerate my FY goal depending on the success of my business. Moreover, I came to the realization that my target lifestyle needed to be more realistic and authentic to my preferences. I revised my plan by adjusting my end goal and changing my journey to one that aligned with my desired lifestyle. While this meant that I may possibly reach my FY goal at a later age, perhaps at 55. I was content with this as long as I could enjoy more freedom and flexibility along the way.
As you go on this journey, there will be people who doubt you who tell you that it can't be done. They may say the lifestyle and freedom you are looking to achieve is only for a certain group of people, you may even think to yourself that you're not smart enough, talented enough, too old or too young to get started. However, despite any such doubts, you have ample time and are just as capable to realize the dreams you have for yourself. There's a popular Zen saying, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. That's one reason why you have picked up this book at this moment.
I don't know what it's like to never have to work for money ever again, I'm still on my journey to launch. But what I can say from experience is that you will unlock more flexibility and freedom with your money and your life at every stage of the journey. And that's true, even if you're not technically financially independent. Yet, I have gained a wealth of knowledge through my personal experiences and conducting hundreds of interviews for the journey to launch podcast, in which I interviewed experts and individuals who are on their own journey to achieving FYI, I have distilled this information along with my own experiences into frameworks and steps that you can follow. These guidelines will help you avoid making common mistakes, and achieve success along the way. In this book, I want to equip you with the necessary tools to design your own unique, enjoyable journey. My mom may have had few material resources, but she had something even more valuable in her courage to dare to try, which is what I'm asking you to do now to have the courage to try wherever you are now in your life. And regardless of where you are starting off financially, you can have in life or more freedom options and happiness.
All right, I hope you enjoyed those taste of the audio book and what is the book your journey to financial freedom.com. That was the introduction just the introduction gives you the lay of the land of what the book and how the book was organized so that I was able to write it in a way that I thought could be really practical and helpful to you. If you're listening to this, you know, I love your feedback. I'd love to know when you're listening. So take a screenshot say hey.
Tag me at journey to launch. I'm on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I'm mostly hanging out on Instagram. I'm also at Jamila souffrant. That's my personal, quote unquote, brand page that you can also tag me if you're listening to this, take that screenshot. If you preorder the book, take a screenshot and share it with me. So I can say thank you, you don't understand how much it warms my heart and makes me happy when I do see that you have pre ordered your journey to financial freedom. Again, you can get that right now even if you're listening to this before the book comes out on December 5 2023. You'll get some cool bonuses if you do and then you'll be put on the list to know about all the amazing things I have going on, that you don't want to miss. And I don't know, I don't know what else to say sometimes I'm just like, I can't believe this is my life. And I can't believe I have a book that's going to be in the world soon. And that you guys are amazing, as journeyers whether you're old school journeyers or just finding me, you know we are on this journey together. And I can't wait to see what we do, what we do and what we continue to do in this world and for our own lives. All right. Until next week, keep on journeying journeyers.
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 and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review number to 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 journey airs
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