Financial Wellness Tips From Self-Made Millionaire & Financial Expert Rachel Rodgers
Most of us have daydreamed about becoming a millionaire. In fact for me, it started as a kid. I remember fantasizing about having a lot of money so I could buy chicken nuggets whenever I wanted. It's clear I hadn't quite grasped the value exchange of those dollars and that life was a bit simpler in my 8-year-old brain. But those visions never went away as I got older; they simply shifted to more practical things, like helping my family and wanting to spend without worry.
Having the desire to be a millionaire can feel like a pipe dream. If you've never had that amount of money in your current reality, it's hard to even believe it is a possibility. Many individuals just can't fathom the steps to get there or assume it is meant for everyone but them. I would put myself in that camp until I started my business four years ago. It was then, as an entrepreneur, that I began seeing individuals around me hit that seven-figure mark despite all the odds against them. That gave me hope and still does.
It's true, money can't buy you happiness, but it can absolutely make your life easier, less stressful, and even joyful. It's OK to desire more money and dream of becoming a millionaire. In this series, I'm asking five self-made entrepreneurs the money, time, and energy lessons they learned on their journey to becoming millionaires. Regardless of where you are on your money journey, I hope their stories inspire you to keep going.
Rachel Rodgers is the author of We Should All Be Millionaires and founder of Hello Seven, a women-run company specializing in business, marketing, financial, and legal training. She went from living on government assistance and drowning in six figures of debt to building an eight-figure business, clearing all her debt, and becoming a millionaire.
Here, a Q&A I had with Rodgers:
Brianna Firestone: When it comes to wellness and your money, what has been essential for your success?
Rachel Rodgers: It's extremely easy to hinder your growth when you're struggling with negative thoughts about your money. We are all a product of our environment, and I'm no exception. The years of financial struggles that my parents, my sister, and I experienced made me believe that even if I did achieve financial success, it would all go away someday—that I might have money for a time, but I could never count on it long term.
And I have to admit that I still, to this very day, carry that fear. Each day, I have to choose to reframe those thoughts that try to steal my peace and instead, tell myself a new story. I call this act of choosing what to believe "thought work," and doing it has changed my life. It also improved my relationship with my money.
In practical terms, thought work looks like this: When a thought comes into my mind that isn't helping me get to where I want to go, I actively work on changing that thought to something helpful. For example, if the thought My wealth is a fluke comes to my mind, I grab that thought and replace it with something like I've worked hard for my wealth. I deserve the wealth I've created for myself and my family. I'm giving my children the life my parents wished they could have given me.
Thought work helps me keep my thoughts—and, therefore, my actions, and as such, my money—in check.
On your journey to becoming a self-made millionaire, what was the lesson you had to learn the hard way?
ALL the lessons. I built my business literally from scratch, with no special handouts, circumstances, or connections that would make the journey any easier. I had to learn marketing, sales, customer service, money management, team management, mindset, offer creation, finance, and so many other key aspects of running a successful company. For a long time, it was just me and my husband, doing everything in our business.
But if I had to choose just one lesson, I'd say this: I had to learn to stop saying yes to everyone with a pulse and a wallet.
This is a big challenge that many marginalized entrepreneurs face: They're spinning around in circles trying to do all the things because they feel like they have no choice or like they can't miss out on the opportunity for a check because who knows when the next one will come?
Particularly folks like me—folks who didn't grow up surrounded by wealth and abundance—have trouble breaking this habit. But, ultimately, I realized how destructive it was, both for my business and for my well-being, and I learned how to narrow my focus down to one ideal client and one main offer.
My experience of learning everything the hard way is why I created the Hello Seven Growth Scale™—so that other marginalized business owners don't have to struggle like I did. The Growth Scale outlines the precise business strategies you should implement at various stages of business growth from zero dollars to seven figures and beyond. It helps you go from one revenue level to the next in gradual and deliberate steps—the same steps I took to grow my company to eight figures.
What changed the game for you?
Working my strengths, and eliminating tasks that didn't align with those strengths, really helped me push my business forward.
A few years ago, I met a CliftonStrengths Coach and shared my top five strengths with her. She told me that I have no execution strengths and that I should stop doing anything in my business that doesn't have me on a stage in front of people.
At first I was offended. After reflecting on it for a minute, though, I realized that I had always struggled with sitting my butt in a chair to do focused, solitary work. But getting on the phone with clients or on a stage in front of a group of people I could help? I lived for that and would jump at the opportunity.
That's when I realized that I could hire other people to do that execution work. From that moment forward, I began hiring a team that could do all the things that I was not good at. This was a massive breakthrough moment—and it was the first year that I earned $1 million.
Regardless of where a person is in their journey, what is the one lesson/piece of advice you want them to hold close?
I want every person to realize that they have unlimited earning potential. That potential is your primary asset, and it has the power to help you overcome debt, build wealth, and reach millionaire status.
Consider what skills, experiences, or resources you can turn into a side hustle or into the main offer of your business. What do you currently offer—or what could you start offering—that is extremely valuable? What's an ability you've got that changes lives? An ability that makes someone's day? An ability that triggers people to say, "Take all my money!" Turn this ability into a business, and you could generate millions.
What do you wish everyone knew about becoming a millionaire?
I wish everyone—especially Black people, POC, women, LGBTQIA+ folks, individuals with disabilities, and all systemically disadvantaged folks—knew that becoming a millionaire is not unrealistic. Even if their reality doesn't show it right now. I wouldn't have named my book We Should All Be Millionaires if I didn't actually believe it was possible.
I went from living on government assistance and drowning in six figures of debt to building an eight-figure business, clearing all my debt, and becoming a millionaire. If I can do it, you can do it, too.
Brianna Firestone is a Financial Education Instructor certified by the National Financial Educators Council. Her expert advice has been featured in Money.com, Real Simple, and Business Insider. Firestone received her bachelor's in theatre from Stephens College and lives in Denver, Colorado.