Today I’ve got a very special guest for you – Amanda Abella, a millennial Latina personal finance and business expert. We were introduced through our mutual friend Athena from Money Smart Latina at FinCon this year. And I’m so glad we were!
Amanda has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. She has an amazing story, and you won’t want to miss her advice on how to advocate for yourself, increase your income, and manage your money.
This interview was a bit different than my usual ones – rather than receiving the interview via e-mail or Google Form, we spoke over Skype. It was a lot of fun, and almost made me want to do a podcast! I say “almost” because I’ve had that idea in the works for a while now, but I’m wrestling with freeing up enough time to do a good job with it. We’ll see!
So without further ado, lets meet Amanda!
Tell us about yourself!
Amanda Abella is a full-time personal finance writer, online business coach, and millennial money expert. She’s also Cuban-American, bilingual, and Miami born and raised!
She’s spent nearly a decade freelance writing on her blog. In fact, when she started in 2010 she knew nothing about personal finance! She eventually learned all about money through her freelancing, and how to build a brand for corporate clients.
Fun fact – she’s been drinking coffee since she was five. Cuban coffee. CMO Note – as a coffee lover myself, we bonded over our mutual love of coffee.
Let’s get some details – how much money do you make, and how long did it take you to get there? And are you a millionaire or are you on the way?
She’s on the way to millionaire – it’s inevitable. CMO Note – I loved her confidence in declaring this. Yes! This year, she’s pulling in about $150k through her business.
How did you get started in the workforce?
Amanda graduated in 2010-not the best time to get a job. She was an ESL tutor for $13 an hour, and later worked for an employment agency making almost nothing. Working there, she saw people getting laid off all the time. She was inspired by the “Art of Non-Conformity” by Chris Gillebeau to give entrepreneurship a shot. “Why not just bet on me?” CMO Note – I also love that book. The link above is an affiliate link, but I actually found it at my local library. It makes a great gift for aspiring entrepreneurs.
She googled “how to make money writing”, and signed up for content mills, which provided either an upfront fee or paid based on ad revenue. One of the mills had personal finance assignments. Only one problem – money terrified her. But she figured if she was paid to learn about money, she would do it. Get paid money to learn about money – a win/win!
How did you get from where you started to where you are now?
She started coaching in 2013, and it took a while to make a business model. She had to hone in on a new domain. And as of four months ago, she’s been able to quit freelance writing and work as an influencer, spokesperson, and in coaching/consulting.
She accepted the fact that she was an under-earner, and originally make the mistake of just taking what she got. Over time she learned sales, negotiation, and become more aware of money psychology.
A few years ago, she realized that she was spending too much time and energy on saving versus earning, and today considers herself a “recovering under-earner”. She had to get over her fears of success, and set boundaries for herself.
Nowadays she’s aware of emotional money triggers, and has learned to look at the numbers, instead of the emotion.
Where do you want to go in your career – and your financial life?
She’s going seven figures baby! She has plans in the works to help both individuals and businesses, and is raring to take her business to the next level. CMO Note – I have no doubt she’ll do it, either.
Back to the emotional side of money – she’s learning that it’s OK to spend. When she got her first nice pair of sunglasses recently, she found old financial triggers coming up. “Can you really afford this?” rattling inside her head. Instead she re-framed it as “does feeling guilty help anyone?”
No, it doesn’t.
Money doesn’t stress her out the way it used to. Nowadays she’s trying to learn about real estate, and different kinds of real estate options.
What do you see as the key to earning such a high salary?
Self awareness – being more mindful of the actions you’re taking and how those will lead to your goals. Before you take an action, as yourself if this thing will make you money, and place your focus accordingly.
Learning to sell and negotiate was a game changer. And honing those skills is something you can do over time.
Have you ever experienced issues in the workforce because you’re a woman? What did you do in response?
She’s unsure if her original low salary was become of gender, but she’s definitely seen her family and community struggle with these issues. Many Latina’s start their own business for flexibility, and because everything revolves around family. The way work is set up is not family friendly.
Her mother, in fact, once had to write a letter to her boss asking for permission to go on maternity leave.
CMO Note: Wonder what would happen if permission were denied – was your mother supposed to just give birth and keep working?
Chief Mom Officer is primarily a personal finance blog – tell us about your saving and investment strategy
She invests a decent chunk back into her business, strategically. She also started investing in a target date fund at the age of 22. Now she’s all in index funds looking towards real estate in the future.
Always invest in yourself, and not necessarily to make more money. Invest in your mental and physical health too. Massages, yoga, gyms, all can make you a better human – or make your life easier.
What’s the top three pieces of advice you’d have for someone just starting out in the workforce, struggling with their career, or just looking to improve how they handle their money?
- Please negotiate your first starting salary
- Don’t ever get complacent.
- Always look for multiple, solid streams of income
Where can people connect with you?
CMO Here Again
I’m so happy Amanda and I were able to connect! And I loved getting to know more about her story. She’s a determined, successful business woman with an eye to growing her business in a big way. And I can tell from talking to her that she’s certainly going to succeed.
Be sure to leave Amanda a note in the comments! And in case you missed them, check out my other interviews with successful women.
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