In these last hours of 2020, I’m very thrilled to share my interview with The Millennial Money Woman aka Fiona with you! In my view she impersonates how to take advantage of a difficult year and turn it into a sky-high win. For me it was extremely inspiring to see how Fiona started her blog in the midst of the pandemic and grew at a breath-taking speed sharing financial literacy with the world.
“When the wind of change blows, some build walls, while others build windmills.”An old Chinese proverb
If today you’re looking for inspiration about how to prepare yourself to make 2021 your best year ever, read my below interview with her – and please also find her interview with me on her blog – to truly kick-start 2021 and make it YOUR best year ever!!!
Enough said, time to meet Fiona – The Millennial Money Woman!
The floor is yours!
Who is The Millennial Money Woman?
I am Fiona, the founder of The Millennial Money Woman and someone who simply wants to help young professionals understand the sometimes-murky waters of finance.
The first time I discovered my passion for finance was when I saw my grandparents lose every cent to their name, after some poor financial planning. They worked all their lives, every day, and when they neared their retirement – their hard work fell to pieces because they didn’t practice healthy financial habits.
That’s when I knew I wanted to jump ahead of the game when it comes to finances, so I gathered my resources, stuck my nose into books and learned as much as I could.
I would not allow anyone to make the same mistake.
My educational background has allowed me to help young professionals navigate the sometimes-murky waters of finance:
- Earned a Certified Financial Planner (CFP – which is the equivalent of a financial ninja)
- Earned a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC)
- Earned a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning degree
Because I gained knowledge and practiced healthy finance habits, I purchased my first house at 23, have no debt (minus my mortgage), co-founded a financial non-profit program in my community, and am on my way to millionaire status in just a few more years.
I’ve been through a lot although I’m only a Millennial, and I’m here to pass down the tens of thousands of hours of reading, brainstorming and real life experience I’ve had so far in finance to YOU.
How do You Plan for Success?
Planning for success does not take talent, in my opinion.
What it takes is discipline, commitment and consistency.
So, to plan for success, I have a pretty basic process:
First, I dedicate a small amount of time each and every day to simply think and brainstorm my current status in life – both personal and business. This is where I take the time to reflect on my past (have I been successful to date? Is there anything I could be doing better?) and I also consider where I want to go and what I have to do to get there.
After I take time to reflect and think about what I need to do to make my blog a success, I start visualizing my goals by creating a vision board. This is a large board that displays my goals (short term and long term) in a very visible area (like my bedroom).
These goals are quantifiable and easily measurable. In other words, I can easily determine whether I’m one step closer to my goals or if I need to improve my game plan in order to make these goals a reality.
The very important thing to consider is never to create goals that are seemingly impossible to accomplish. Make sure you are realistic with your goal time frame and actual goal.
To read more about how the rich truly leverage goal setting to their advantage, read more here: The Mindset Difference: The Poor vs. Rich.
You don’t want to be discouraged and completely abandon your project, either.
What are Your Biggest Lessons Learned in 2020?
The Number 1 lesson I learned in 2020 simply was anyone can earn money from anywhere.
I wish I knew from an earlier age that you can earn money from simply blogging. And honestly, I really wish that I started earlier. However, it’s better earlier than never.
You really do have the power to choose how you view situations.
Some people may have exited 2020 in despair.
Others may have used 2020 as a motivator to start a business, and begin working toward their ultimate goal.
My ultimate goal is freedom, and I am 1 step closer through my blog.
How do You Determine Which Job/Industry is Your Calling?
Anyone can find a job anywhere.
But not everyone can start their own business. It’s scary, it’s risky and it can be daunting.
However, you’ll cut down on a lot of stress – and have a much higher chance of success if you simply pair your passions together.
Figure out something that you are really good at and something that you really enjoy.
Now pair those passions together, and you have the magic formula.
For me, my passion is finance and helping young professionals because I don’t want them to go through what my family – and my grandparents did. And I’m pretty good at writing – it’s easy for me and I can write on demand.
So, after reflecting my passion and my expertise, I decided to become a finance blogger. I can write about finance, help young professionals and never feel like I work a single day in my life.
And you know what – what I do really feels like a gift every morning I wake up.
I’m so lucky and I hope you find your passion too.
Do You do “New Years Resolutions”? Why/ Why Not?
I set New Year’s Resolutions every year!
However, my process is a little different than most people: I set my goals on a rolling basis, which means I evaluate my goals every single month and adjust my goals as necessary.
Adjusting my goals every month helps me ease into the process of what I need to do to see success.
I’ve seen so many of my mentees try to shift one habit to the other at the start of a new year and they virtually always fail because of such a sudden shift.
For example, I have a good friend who loves chocolate and other candies. Her goal at the end of 2019 was to stop eating chocolate. Period. And she was just coming off of the holiday and New Year’s Eve food… and she wanted to make that sudden shift in behavior starting January 1, 2020.
She made it for 3 weeks before she went back to her regular behavior.
That’s why I think it’s so important to try and make or adjust your goals throughout the year.
You don’t necessarily have to wait for the end of a year to set new goals.
However, the end of a year does mark an opportune time for me to set some longer-term goals and start working toward those.
For example, I sit together with my husband (more on that below) to discuss what we would like to do in the next 3 years, the next 7 years and the next 10+ years.
Having these conversations help us figure out a rough road map on how to navigate in the short term one step closer to these longer-term goals.
Discussion About Husband/ Wife Setting Goals
Setting goals with your significant other is so important.
After all, you are a couple now and you two should be working together, toward your goals.
My husband and I have been very successful in setting our goals (so far! Fingers crossed).
Our process is simple: We sit down once a month over red wine and cheese to discuss for 1 hour our current status, where we want to be and what we need to do to get there (very similar to my process when it comes to planning for success).
What I’ve found that really works for my husband and myself is that we set our goals in a very relaxed, non-intimidating atmosphere.
It’s not confrontational and we talk through our goals together.
Sometimes, our goals may not align – and that’s perfectly OK. The important thing is that both of us are aware of each others’ goals. Then, we figure out how we can help the other move closer to those goals.
However, my husband and I are very lucky because we are on the same page: We want the same thing (for the majority).
So each month (typically the last Friday of every month), we sit next to the fake fire in our Miami home, sipping red wine and eating cheese while we chat about our goals and what is next on our plan.
The most important thing to avoid confusion is communication with your partner.
I would suggest to over communicate than under communicate.
That’s really the simple secret to moving closer to your joint goals. Good luck!
If want to learn more about how to talk to your partner about money, click to check out my blog article about how to talk to your partner.
Comment Matt: If you haven’t read it yet, here’s how we did our couple 5-year planning session.
How do You Seize the Momentum of a New Year Coming?
I’ve only had my blog running for 8 months and have been published on Forbes twice, Budgets are Sexy and have been featured on over 35 podcasts, makes me realize that the new year, 2021 is all about leveling up.
This is the time to seize the momentum.
For 2021, my plan is simple:
Stay consistent with publishing personal finance content that’s visually appealing and easy to understand.
I strongly believe that as I continue publishing accurate, engaging and easy-to-read information, opportunities will present themself.
Blogging is a long-term battle and I know that one of the very key ingredients to win is to stay consistent and never give up. And that’s exactly what I plan to do with 2021.
It’s going to be the greatest year yet!The Millennial Money Woman aka Fiona
You had a Tremendous Run in 2020 With Your Blog; How Do You Allocate Your Time Every Day?
One very important lesson that I learned from the start of my blogging career is time management. If you don’t properly understand how to manage and allocate your time, then you can be the smartest person in the world – but you still won’t manage to finish things on time and meet deadlines.
Although I am my own boss, I self-impose my deadlines. And I don’t make a habit of missing one. Remember, to be successful, you need to be disciplined so don’t fall victim to letting things slide because before you know it, that “habit” will become an automatic behavior.
I know my body and brain work best in the morning hours, so that is when I tackle the most pressing tasks first: writing my blog posts. On a typical day, I wake up between 3:30 and 4:30am. I’ve become so used to this time pattern, that I normally wake up during this time even without an alarm.
I hammer out a blog post in the morning, when I’m full of ideas and energy.
Next, I network with my current contacts via email, phone call, ZOOM calls. I love talking to my contacts and forging new relationships, so this step could take a few hours!
Find out more about the power of grooming your network.
In the middle of the day, I try to swing into my design mode. That’s where I create the graphics and digital design for my website. I always try to improve my website, so I also take some time to learn about the latest web hosting platform updates, Google algorithm updates, etc.
Finally, during the evening hours, you can find me being interviewed on podcasts (I typically do 10 to 15 podcasts a month) or reading up on the latest personal finance material to metnally stay in-shape so I can deliver the latest and greatest news to my audience.
Rinse and repeat.
I do this every day – weekends, weekdays, holidays, etc.
I realize that to become successful blogging you can’t take a day off. You always have to stick to your program and it will pay off in time. My long term mindset and vision is what have brought me so far to date.
The Millennial Money Woman aka Fiona
Thank you Fiona for sharing your insights of how you made 2020 a super successful year with your blog!
If you like to read my interview on Fiona’s blog, please click here to read on and explore her blog.
Trust Fiona and me could inspire you today to get YOUR 2021 planning started.
We’re both looking forward and wish you a healthy, prosperous New Year full of new opportunities!
Financially Imagineer Your Life!
Happy New Year,
Matt | Financial Imagineer