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Building wealth begins with courage

In autumn 2015 we found ourselves on the balcony of a South African hotel and enjoyed a wonderful panoramic view of the mountains and the calming sound of the waves crashing in from the Atlantic. Life couldn’t
be better.

It was our honeymoon. We were healthy and made more than enough money to keep our lifestyles going. However, as we enjoyed the final hours of our time in Cape Town, we found that the life we ​​were returning to was completely out of whack. Somehow, over the years, we’d managed to prioritize the commitments we’d made for our lucrative jobs over the commitments we’d made to each other. Something had to change.

The desire to protect our marriage led us to reassess the role money played in our lives. We knew that financial disputes were a major cause of failed marriages. To turn the odds in our favor, we’ve focused on learning as much as possible about money, investing, real estate, and entrepreneurship.

We thought if we could get on the same page about our finances we would protect ourselves from the looming threat of money arguments and possible divorce. We loved what we learned and even more so with the implementation of the lessons. But we weren’t prepared for how this new state of financial mindfulness would change our lives forever.

As we focused on eliminating debt and wasteful spending while increasing our retirement investments, there was friction with our past lives, our social lives, and our adherence to the cultural norms that are important to us. For every profit in our retirement portfolio or profitable quarter as a landlord, there was a missed special occasion or series of long nights working instead of resting.

Despite our best efforts to balance one area of ​​our life, we have succeeded in imbalancing the other. But after five years, a child, and a handful of business efforts later, we can say with confidence that we cracked the code.

If we had to reduce everything to one word – a unique quality that we could attribute to our success – it would be courage. We appreciate our willingness to be different and to come to power in difficult times. It was the fuel that propelled us through sudden job changes, health fears, and unexpected natural disasters. Courage has given us access to the lessons money cannot buy, and the positive effects have expanded into our respective identities.

As investors, we have learned that patience has power and that there is little worth obsessing over variables that are completely beyond our control. As entrepreneurs, we’ve learned that there are few feelings better than achieving a high income goal. especially if we enjoyed generating it. And as a couple, we’ve learned to fight fairly and that conflict is inevitable and better accepted than avoided.

It took us nearly a decade and tons of hours of life to get to where we are today. We read a library of books, listened to hundreds of podcast episodes, watched movies, and had thousands of conversations about money with people around the world. We’ve attended conferences, spoken to groups of all sizes, and had a fair share of heart-to-heart financial talks with people in need. We even won a handful of industry awards along the way for our nuanced view of personal finance. All of this has helped us find and agree on a proven path to financial freedom that is equally effective and flexible.

There is no magic button to get rich, just as there is no key to success. The journey involves every nerve in your system and probably every muscle in your body.

In addition to challenging your intellect and strength, your bowels will also be tested. And in those moments of uncertainty and growth, it helps to have a familiar voice and community root so that you can win.

That’s what we’re here for.

This article originally appeared in the May / June 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo courtesy Julien & Kiersten Saunders

Julien and Kiersten Saunders, money editors for SUCCESS magazine, are the couple behind the award-winning blog and the upcoming book rich & REGULAR. They are producers and hosts on the original Money on the Table series, which combines a passion for food with thoughtful conversations about money

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Julien and Kiersten Saunders, money editors for SUCCESS magazine, are the couple behind the award-winning blog and the upcoming book rich & REGULAR. They are producers and hosts on the original Money on the Table series, which combines a passion for food with thoughtful conversations about money

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