This morning I write from the balcony of a lovely oceanfront condo in St. Thomas, the US Virgin Islands. You might be wondering how someone without an income can afford to be blogging from the islands? Well, I’m a firm believer in paying for things in advance, and that includes vacations. So the primary expenses – condo, airfare, sunset cruise – were paid for long ago. And since we’ve been planning our sister’s trip for over a year, I tucked away cash every single month for just this purpose. Throw in some extra money I received after giving someone a really cool rocking chair, and I’m set. So I can blog from the islands and not feel stressed about money. How sweet is that!
I am the middle child of five siblings and one of three girls. There’s an age gap of ten years between sister #1 and sister #3 and we live in three different states. Many years ago, we made a pact to celebrate our 50th birthdays together in a destination selected by the birthday girl. We celebrated sister #1’s birthday from a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. It was particularly memorable as she ended up in the emergency room and had to wear an eye patch for the duration of our time together. We celebrated my birthday from a houseboat in Key West, where we joined a crazy bicycle tour and kidded baby sister about her early bedtimes. Now it’s time to celebrate sister #3’s upcoming 50th birthday. More fun and memory-making ahead!
As adults, it’s easy to neglect our birth families, especially when we live in different parts of the country. So while we’ve been on the island for less than 24 hours, we already have a new pact – celebrate our 65th birthdays together! It’s a little hard to wrap our heads around the concept that by the time little sister turns 65, big sister will be 75! But aging ain’t what it used to be. I love my sisters! And blessed to have them (and my brothers) in my life. Like everything else in life, our choices are a matter of priorities, and family should never fall in second place.
I’ve made a mental switch these last few weeks. Last week I wrote about the change cycle and how I was feeling “caught” between the discomfort stage and the discovery stage. I was lacking energy and failing in the productivity department. Well, no more! While joining a local group of entrepreneurs for weekly conversations (Cobblers’ Collective) has driven me to a different mindset, my productivity soared last week. The fact is, there are a ton of resources on blogging and online courses, and I latched onto a program that is incredibly well-organized, task-oriented, and motivational. The genius behind the program is Jeanine Blackwell and after just one week, I can say that my money was well spent. I’m getting critical feedback on the Early Exit Academy as I build content and marketing strategies.
I’m going to leave you with a sneak peak into the Early Exit Academy. And then it’s time for a walk on the beach. Let me know what you think!
I love taking complicated topics and turning them into actionable steps! And I love encouraging and guiding people to live better versions of themselves.
I have a PhD, received national awards, and even testified in front of Congress. But you know what? None of that saved my job! There I was at the age of 54… totally burned out and jobless. But I was PREPARED! Despite my late start, I had saved and invested and lived well below my means for decades. My financial status gave me the freedom to carve a new pathway for the next chapter of my life. And so…the Early Exit Academy was born.
I founded the Academy on three simple truths:
Truth #1 – You don’t have to work until you die.
Truth #2—Success cannot be measured by wealth alone.
Truth #3—Your habits and lifestyle choices are keys to success.
Here’s what the Academy is NOT: a series of mind-numbing lectures on sophisticated financial topics that will lead you to sensational overnight wealth. Nope, that’s not the Academy at all! Instead, here’s my mission: To LEAD and MOTIVATE you on your quest for financial freedom and self-fulfillment. I have the roadmap, and I’d love the pleasure of being your navigator as we journey together on this amazing adventure.
Dr. Brenda is a sociologist, educator, blogger, motivator, and financial coach. In addition to blogging at The Five Journeys, she writes 30-day challenges at BetterLifeChallenges.com. Her passion is guiding people on their journey to financial freedom through coaching at DrBrendaMoneyCoach and online courses at EarlyExitAcademy.com.