Unsuccessful small business owners know all too well the feeling of disillusionment and the continual drudgery of pouring money into a never-ending stack of debts.
Fifty-three-year-old Judy McFarlen, a veterinarian based in Alberta, has a work ethic rivaling an athlete’s. But she counted herself among the unsuccessful not too long ago, as she attempted to pick up the pieces from a failed business venture. While Judy’s commitment to paying debts was noble, she was down in the dumps about where her financial life was heading.
“You just get tired of struggling and trying to find ways to find ways to put money aside for you because you’re trying to pay back debt that it gets quite discouraging,” says Judy.
Judy paid back $100,000 over the course of six years, but it still wasn’t enough. Her motivation was waning, more and more, year after year. Finally, about a year ago, she hit a financial low and depression ensued.
Oddly, the timing couldn’t have been more serendipitous.
While looking for some kind of financial solution to her debt, Judy discovered Mindshift.money’s Financially Fit Bootcamp program. She’d heard about similar “debt-free” programs, but something about the promise of a life of freedom gave her unexpected hope—without over promising anything.
“I was looking for a system to make sure I didn’t get into that business loss situation and to make sure that my family was taken care of if anything happened to me, and figure out a way to have more money left in the month, rather than more month left and no money,” says Judy. “I liked that Mindshift Money founders had a system, and the first step was reevaluating where things were for you. My husband and I have a cattle ranch … we have a decent amount of assets and a career, but we have zero freedom.”
Feeling inspired, Judy dove in head first and hatched a plan to pay off her multiple debts more quickly. She started with the largest one first and set up a bank account system to automate the flow of money toward her savings and bill repayment goals.
“The lady at the bank was like, ‘Really? Why so many accounts?’” Judy says with a laugh. “What happens is if you don’t have it automated, you have this false sense of security that you have this money in your account, and that justifies excess spending.”
In addition to finding ways to increase debt repayment, Judy and her husband learned to live off one account, from which she could draw money for her daily flex expenses, like groceries. After her account funds are gone, she has no choice but to stop spending until her Spend account is automatically replenished at the beginning of the next week. Knowing she needs to make her money last keeps Judy disciplined and her daily spending in check. While making such a major change was hard at first, every time Judy pays off a bill or debt, she is more motivated to pay off the next one.
More than seven months later, Judy has paid off three out of six major debts. She’s on track to be completely debt free by August 2019.
But perhaps the most important piece she learned from applying the MindShift.money principles to her life is the foundation for her Financial Freedom.
Moving Forward to Financial Freedom
Judy is publishing her first veterinary book in a few months, Dr. McFarlen’s Bone Broth Diet for Pets. And she’s looking forward to working on new business ideas now that her mind isn’t focused on debt repayment.
“My dream is to be in a situation where when I stop moving the money doesn’t stop moving,” she says. “And I think I’m close to that. I look forward to the freedom of choice that provides and have been successful in building a new business model for myself. When you have failures, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. You just have to pick up where you left off and keep going.”
Has MindShift.money helped you overcome a business failure? We’d love to hear about your success! Let us know in the comments below or in the Financial Foundations community.
Erin is the managing editor of MindShift.money and the owner of Lane Change Media. As a business owner and content provider, she takes her personal motto, “Don’t slow down, just change lanes” seriously. She lives in Los Angeles and has far too many pets.