PATRICE WASHINGTON: “So it was our second bedroom, and I wanted to, you know, start my office. I was starting to blog and do these things. And everything went there to die. And I looked around it one day, and as my vision started to sharpen on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become, I asked myself, ‘Is this a money-making space? Like, is this the space of a best-selling author? Is this the space that you would expect to see an internationally renowned speaker in? No.’ And it didn't mean that I needed to move immediately, because financially that wasn't even an option. But what it meant was that I could do my best to bring the space up to the level where I saw myself and not allow my space to kind of drain my energy by being a mess, quite frankly, by being a mess, by being cluttered. I try to keep everything as pretty as possible because it makes me smile. And you want to have the best energy you can in your space because your space teaches other people how to treat you.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: You, my friend, are in for a treat today. My guest today was part of my July Entrepreneur virtual event, which was a huge hit, partly because of my guest today. Holy heck. She was a crowd favorite. My whole team and the attendees of this virtual event raved about her. And I couldn't wait for this interview so that you could experience the goodness as well.
So her name is Patrice Washington, and she is a big deal. Patrice is an award-winning author, transformational speaker, coach, and media personality. She was named one of twelve Inspiring Black Voices in Personal Development by Success magazine, featured on forbes.com as one of Fifteen Inspiring Podcasts for Professionals of Every Stripe, and highlighted by entrepreneur.com, just to name a few impressive successes. She's committed to empowering women to look at life through the lens of abundance and opportunity versus lack and scarcity, and redefined the term wealth using its original meaning, which is well being. She inspires women to chase purpose, not money, and I just love everything about her.
She's also the host of the Redefining Wealth Podcast, which has over two million downloads and counting. And today she's my phenomenal guest who is going to share her six pillars of redefining wealth. And just a hint: these pillars aren't what you would expect them to be. Patrice has graciously put something special together just for you at the end, so stick around so that you can grab it. And although Patrice definitely serves women in her community, for the guys that are listening, this is going to be just as relevant for you, I promise you. Everybody needs to hear the six pillars to redefining wealth. I think they will change how you look at your business and your life.
So I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s get to it.
Patrice, welcome to the show. I’m so delighted that you’re here.
PATRICE: I am so super excited to be here, Amy. Thank you for inviting me.
AMY: Well, of course. We have so much good stuff to cover. And I’m really grateful that you’ve come on here because you first spoke at Entrepreneur Experience. You were a huge hit. I feel like social media blew up the minute you started talking. I was overwhelmed by how many people were posting about you, and I thought, “Wait a second. This topic has hit a nerve. We need to bring this on the podcast as well.” So you were so gracious to say yes to the invite. And with that, I thought, “Okay, we’re obviously going to go over the six pillars of redefining wealth,” but before we get there, you have a very interesting story, and I would love for you to share a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey before we dive in. Are you good with that?
PATRICE: I’m good with that.
AMY: Okay. Let’s do it.
PATRICE: I've been an entrepreneur at heart my entire life. And while I've been known as America's Money Maven for over a decade now, this was not one of those things where you dream about it as a little girl, right? No one is like, “I want to be a personal-finance expert when I grow up.” So I definitely didn't go to school to become this person, but I always tell folks I'm here because of my testimony. And that is while I was very passionate about personal finance, really since about nineteen years old when I was introduced to real estate, became a real estate and mortgage broker at twenty-one years old during my senior year in college, and then launched what I thought would be the thing for the rest of my life, I launched a boutique, real estate, and mortgage brokerage with my now husband, then boyfriend, and it turned into a seven-figure business by twenty-five, Amy. And I thought I had hit the jackpot—
PATRICE: —and I would do it for ever.
And then the recession hit. And at the beginning, in 2007, when the banks started to first close down and there was just a lot of uncertainty, it felt very fearful, and there was just so much competing information, and you didn't know what was going to happen, all of this was taking place while I was on bed rest because I was getting ready to welcome my daughter into the world, but I took a fall down the stairs, and it sent me into pre-term labor at twenty weeks pregnant. And so I'm in the hospital, watching the news, trying to stay calm, to keep this baby baking as long as possible, but watching as the banks that I worked with every day are closing down left and right. My sixteen loan officers and real estate agents are calling me, freaking out day after day, saying, “My deals are falling apart. My client lost their deposit. What are we going to do?” And here I am on bed rest, unable to help anyone.
And it wasn’t until my doctor came in and said, “Listen. Patrice, I don't know what you're stressing about, but we can tell on the monitors that something's not right. If you don't stop, you will leave here two years in a row with no baby,” because the year before, I had a son prematurely, who died in the same hospital, same doctor, same floor, five hours after birth.
PATRICE: And I had to make a decision to surrender in that moment, and I literally asked the maintenance people to come in and take the TV off the wall. I did not want to spend whatever time I had left with this baby baking, worried about things that were beyond my control. And I just prayed, “God, if I did it before, You'll have to teach me how to do it again. You'll have to show me what to do.” And it came, but it would be almost two years of basically wandering that wilderness season where we lost everything.
Eventually, we closed the doors. We laid everyone off. That seven-figure business ended up with me scraping up change to feed my daughter, who was born healthy—still premature, but healthy. And it was one moment in particular where I had had enough. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Everything that I tried to do seemed to fail. I couldn't get a job to save my life. And I found myself in the mirror one day saying, “God, why me? I've been a good person. I treat people well. I operate integrity. Why is this happening to me?” And I turned into, it started with just talking in the mirror, turned into crying. And then it turned into that good, ugly bawl. Have you ever ugly cried, Amy?
AMY: Oh, yes. Yes, I have.
PATRICE: The ugly cry. I did the ugly cry until I was in fetal position on the bathroom floor. And then still, small voice said, “Get your Bible.” And I ran across this scripture—actually, it came and found me—Proverbs 17:16. It said, “What good is money in the hands of a fool if they have no desire to seek wisdom?” And it literally changed my life. “What good is money in the hands of a fool if they have no desire to seek wisdom?” And it changed my life. Like, that was the first time—
AMY: That is powerful.
PATRICE: Yeah. It was the first time that I understood, like, wait a minute. I thought I had been wise. I was using knowledge and wisdom interchangeably. And I looked it up. I was like, I got to understand what this means. And knowledge was information and education. But wisdom was knowing when to apply it, how to apply it, with whom to apply it. And I realized that I had not done a good job asking for help. I had not done a good job of actually applying all the information gathering I was doing. It didn't help because I didn't know how to really use it when it came down to it.
And with that, I said, “God, if You restore me, I'll do everything I can and go everywhere I can and teach people that this journey is not about chasing money. It's about seeking wisdom first,” because with wisdom, you'll always be able to get it back. You'll always be able to do it over and over and over again.
And I got up off that bathroom floor, and the next day I started a free blogspot.com. Super ugly, super cheesy. I had no skills. I knew nothing about the online world. But I started that free blogspot.com, and it led to me writing for other websites and writing for magazines, eventually publishing four books, nationally syndicated radio-host segment, and speaking internationally, and on and on and on. But it all started with just wanting to make sure that people didn't have to go through what I went through, and if they were there, that they had a girlfriend in the struggle who was willing to hold their hands and say, “Look, we can do this again.” And I've been telling people “We can do this again. We can rebuild. You got this. Don't give up hope,” for the last eleven years now.
AMY: Wow. That is a powerful story. I knew it was good, but come on. There's so many lessons in there. And I think one of the biggest ones is that I'm sure if you look back—I mean, tell me differently—but with the recession and everything changing and you losing what you had, what you have built now—I'm guessing, and tell me if I'm wrong here—would you change that for the world?
PATRICE: No. I wouldn't change it for the world. And I tell people all the time, Amy, I was passionate about financial education because that's how I built the business in the first place, was going out and educating my community at that time. But I had to go through that experience in order to have compassion.
PATRICE: I didn’t understand compassion in that way, and not because I was a mean-spirited person. I was a young girl from South Central Los Angeles who was making six figures in college. I did not have a frame of reference for adult struggle, you know?
PATRICE: I didn't get it. And I realized, and as I looked back, I'm like, in order for me to have the impact that I have today, I had to have a heart for people, and my heart couldn't have developed this way without the hardship I went through.
AMY: Okay. This I know for sure because everybody that I talk to that has a story like yours where there’s loss and there’s heartbreak and there’s, like, “What the heck? Why is this happening to me?” and then they come out of it, and what they’ve created from that is spectacular, which is what you’ve done. So I’m glad you told this story, because I think somebody needed to hear this today. Like, wait a second. There might be a reason why you’re going through what you’re going through right now. You have no idea what’s on the other side.
So let’s talk about the other side, because you have built something, like I said, spectacular, and you've helped so many people, specifically women, in terms of really redefining what they think about wealth. And you created these six pillars. And this is what you had presented at the Entrepreneur Experience, and this is why I wanted you to come on today, because the pillars—and we're going to get into each one of them—but the pillars aren't necessarily money related, but you tie it back. It all starts to make sense. So before we get into each one of them, why did you create these six pillars? Why do you talk about these six pillars?
PATRICE: You know, so when I first got into this personal-finance space as an educator, I ended up leaving California, coming to Atlanta, and I was counseling people with personal finance. And I worked through a nonprofit organization, and they would say, “How do your people get the best results? How are you getting people to raise their credit scores and finally budget and save money?” And when I really would think through what I was doing with them, it never had anything to do with money. So other people were following the curriculum to a tee, and they were just talking about budgeting. But I was talking about beliefs, and I was talking about behavior, and I was starting to look at the patterns and really see that if I help people truly shift their mindset, not just—you know, we throw that term change your mindset around, like it's so cliche now.
PATRICE: But people don't understand that truly when you start to shift your thinking and it changes your beliefs and it changes your actions, the results will come. And I would tell people, “Listen. I’m not just trying to change the fruit on the tree.” Your bank-account balance, where you live, what you drive, how you live, all of those things, that’s fruit. We don’t change fruit. The only thing that we can do is change roots. If we’re going to get something different, if we’re going to get something new, we have to dig deeper and change the roots.
So I became obsessed with financial psychology. I later went on to get a certification in financial psychology because I wanted to get to the roots of what was stopping people from doing the things that they know they ought to do but they couldn't get in a pattern and a rhythm and a habit making better financial choices using wisdom.
And it was a thing for me behind the scenes, but in media, when I was on television and radio all those years, the producers would ask for the same soundbites over and over again. You know, they’d be like, “Well, let's talk about saving on groceries or saving on car insurance.” And I'm like, “Oh, my gosh. It's so much deeper than that.”
And I remember the last straw for me was I was taping The Dr. Oz Show, and I love The Dr. Oz Show. So grateful. But I was taping The Dr. Oz Show, and it was a segment about saving on groceries. And, you know, Dr. Oz loves a good visual. They had, like, this felt board where we were moving Velcroed broccoli and apples from one category to the next. And inside, I was slowly dying. I was like, this is not it. I was standing there smiling, but I felt like my spirit was like, you got to tell the truth. You got to tell the truth. You have to make this a more mainstream conversation. You can't stay in this money box, where people think that not drinking Starbucks is going to save their financial legacy. Like, you have to talk to them more about what you've done, what you do personally, what you tell your one-on-one clients. You got to make that the thing.
And I took down my entire website, Amy. My whole website, I literally took every—well, it got hacked. So that was one of those bolder moments where I knew I should do it, and then my site got hacked, and—
AMY: Well, if you needed a sign, there you go.
PATRICE: You’re right. I mean, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it. Like, my site getting hacked was totally the sign, and I was like, okay, let me just embrace what God has been telling me to do. And I shifted. I literally had no products, no programs, no nothing. And I took six months or so, and I just prayed about, what do I need to share with people? It wasn't a rushed thing at all. It was, what do I need to share? What is my voice in this? Where do I stand? And am I okay if another producer never calls? Am I okay if someone never books me again as long as I'm standing in my truth? And when I got to the “Yes, I'm okay as long as I'm staying what's real to me,” I looked back. I started to really brainstorm and think about all of the habits, all of the rituals, all of the behaviors for myself and for my clients, and I grouped them and categorized them, and the six pillars were born.
AMY: And the six pillars were born. And they're so incredibly important. So let's get to it. So the first pillar is fit, correct?
PATRICE: Yeah, yeah.
AMY: Okay. What does this mean, and why do we need to pay attention to fit? F-I-T, just in case someone's wondering.
PATRICE: Okay. So fit is not just about going to the gym. So for all of you who are tuning out, come back. Come back. It’s still here. Okay, that’s a part of it, but fit is about becoming your best self, and every time I've coached someone or counseled, it has constantly, especially for women who undercharge, a lot of it has to do with the confidence not being there. The experience is there. The education is there. But when the confidence is broken down, we don't quite show up and ask for what we want the way that we should. We don't show up with the power and authority that we deserve to be at this table, right?
And so people will go, “Well, that's not a fit thing.” Absolutely it is, because in fit we talk about being not just physically fit, but also mentally fit. And I always tell people that greatness requires you to expect resistance. There are going to be rooms that you walk in where people are instantly annoyed by your anointing, right? And because we all have these backgrounds where we have a lot of conversations and chatter going on in our head—maybe someone said something to us in our childhood, or we had some negative experience, and there are just these things that linger—whenever we show up in these professional spaces, it's so easy to be triggered by the comment from a troll or for someone not understanding what it is you try to put out there. And when you're not mentally fit, you fall for these things. They become easy targets, easy distractions, and now you're not walking in your purpose the way that you should.
So for me, being mentally fit is number one. It's paramount because being an entrepreneur is not easy. This is an emotional roller coaster. If you don't question “What am I doing?” at least twice a year, I don't know what you're doing.
PATRICE: But you have to question it every once in a while.
And so from my own story, really quickly, I just always share about growing up feeling really ugly and being the ugly duckling in the family or feeling that way, at least, and being told that. And if it were not for therapy and for doing consistent work just in personal development and working on my mental health, there's no way I could be this person. I know who I was twenty years ago, twenty-five years ago. There's no way I could be this person had I not gone to get that support at twenty-two years old. And I tell people, you can listen to all the podcasts in the world, you can read all the books, you can do all the things, but if you don't believe that it's possible for you because there's a barrier, there's a block because of some type of childhood or emotional trauma, you can have all the experience in the world and still hide—
PATRICE: —and still not show up as the greatness that you are. And so being mentally fit is definitely paramount. And then being physically fit, because if you have a vision for your life, you got to protect the only vessel you get in order to execute that vision. And we live in hustle-and-grind world, where everything is supposed to be super hard, and you need to be up at 3:00 a.m. getting it done. And, you know, those things are for short-term sprints, like if you're in a launch, but that's not how you live your life. It's not sustainable, it's not good for you, and at the end of the day, you're not working the paper prescriptions you can't pronounce.
AMY: Oh. That's powerful. That's the one thing that I’ve, over the last just few years, I’ve focused so much on my mental fitness. I got a coach. I worked on myself—I still do every day—but also the physical part. No longer am I working out and eating good to lose weight, but just to feel optimal, to feel so good that I could do my webinars and do my videos and do my podcast and all of that. So I subscribe to this one, for sure. So I'm glad it was the first one you talked about. I think it's so incredibly important.
Okay. Move me into the next one. The next one is people.
PATRICE: Yes. So people's about creating relationships that matter. And this one is also huge. You know, I get asked all the time about, how’d you get this? How’d you meet that person? I mean, even with you, Amy. People might be like, “Well, how’d you connect with Amy?” I don't know. Someone introduced us, right?
AMY: Someone loved you online, and I started asking around, and Sylvia, my community director, is, like, “You've got to check out this girl. She's so good.”
PATRICE: Oh, my gosh. Thank you, Sylvia!
PATRICE: So it had nothing to do with this relentless pursuing, right, or trying to force and manipulate. For me it's really been about valuing the relationships that I have in my life. And I think so often we are always looking for the next. Like, who's the big person I can connect myself with? How do I attach myself to this person's caboose? And it's like, what if you just treated the people you already had around you well? Like, we're always looking for the next. I always tell my clients you're looking for more clients to mistreat, because the ten that you have, you're not taking care of.
AMY: Oh, that’s good. You guys, did you hear that one? That is important. I think all of us have been guilty of that one way or another.
PATRICE: Yeah. Where it's like, oh, I want bigger and bigger and more and more. It's like, what if you went deeper with fewer? What if you really, really focused on the people you already had around you?
I remember—Amy, you’ll remember this. Do you remember when people were, like, their whole marketing plan was, “I got to meet Oprah”?
AMY: Oh, yeah. It was all over all the time.
PATRICE: It was all the time, right. It was like, “If Oprah could just eat my cookies.” It's like, but there's a whole neighborhood of people that you're not catering to because you're waiting for a woman in another city to put you on a show that has since gone off the air. And so what if you just really took care of the people around you? That's professionally, but even personally. Especially because I work with so many women, I'm like, we can't keep saying, “Well, I'm doing this for the people I love,” but the people you love never see you. They never know that you care. You're never present.
My daughter taught me a valuable lesson years ago about the difference between being present and being present. And I would confuse physical presence for being present. And my daughter was talking to me one day, and she was telling a story, and she's long winded like her mother, as you can tell. Like, I'm just nodding my head, but I'm looking at my phone. And she's like, “Mommy, this wasn't a good story. Why are you smiling?”
PATRICE: Right? And I was like, “Oh, I'm—okay, I'm sorry.” And so I realized that was so connected to some of the mom guilt I would feel when I would leave to speak all over the country, because I would have those moments where I was like, “Oh, my gosh. Am I leaving too much? Am I doing this? Am I a good mom? I know I'm also called to be the Money Maven, but I know I'm called to be her mother.” And I would have all this tension between my personal and professional lives.
And I decided one day that I just didn't want to be a public success and a private failure. I was not interested in that. And one of the first things that I did was just commit to putting the phone up; being present when we eat dinner; making sure that my daughter knows that we always have our time together, and she doesn't have to compete with social media. She doesn't have to compete with other young girls saying, “Oh, my gosh. Miss Patrice, Miss Washington, you're my idol.” I want to be Reagan's idol. I want to be my daughter's idol. And it's an honor to have the affection of people out in the world. But at the end of the day, I want to make sure that the person, the little person that I laid on bed rest for for ten weeks, is proud and knows that her mom is present and loves her. And so doing that and making that shift about six years ago allowed me to go out and serve so much more powerfully because I wasn't concerned about, did she know I love her?
PATRICE: Does she know that she's good? I wasn't concerned about that, because I made sure that when we were together, we were together.
AMY: And it's obvious. Just from social media and just talking to you behind the scenes a little bit, Reagan knows her mama is present and loves her. And it's so special. So I think you're the perfect person to speak of this because you've been on both sides of that, and it's an important one, for sure.
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Okay, now back to the episode.
Okay. The next pillar is faith. Now, I'll tell you, some people hear that and they're like, “Oh, wait a second. My faith is not the same as Patrice's faith. So now this is going to get a little weird.”
PATRICE: Yeah. And it’s not, because I don't try to force my faith on anyone. I respect whatever folks say they believe in. But this is the thing. If you say you believe in something, do you make time to practice it? That's my big one. Because as we talked about, the entrepreneurial journey is tough, right? And there is a lot of up and down, and I see so many people, Amy, they give up right before that big break.
PATRICE: They give up right before. They question, they doubt, they straddle the fence, and instead of going all in, they retreat. And I really believe that my faith is what makes me resilient. I believe that my faith has taught me that none of the things I've experienced have happened to me; they happened for me in order to become who I was called to be. And my thing is, not waiting until I'm in the middle of a crisis to figure out who I am and what I believe. Because if you wait until you’re in the middle of a crisis, you really turn something into a bigger catastrophe because you don't have anything to ground you and sustain you.
And one of my best friends in the world is actually Muslim. We went to college together. And one of the things that I have to tell her, years ago we were having this discussion, and I was like, “Friend, what does your faith tell you about forgiveness?” And she was like, “What?” And I was like, “What does your faith tell you about forgiveness?” And she's like, “Well, I don't know. You know, I don't really go to mosque like that anymore. And I don’t really do this, and I don’t really do that.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s why you’re spiraling right now. That’s why every time I talk to you we keep having the exact same conversation. You haven’t moved past it, not because you’re not a smart person, not because you’re not extremely intelligent, but because your faith is not there telling you that there’s something on the other side.” And we believe that faith is believing in something greater and just understanding that all of these things still come together to support you in becoming who you were created to be, but when you don't have anything to lean into, I say when you don't believe in something, you fall for everything that this life throws at you. And so it's not about believing what I believe, but it's about knowing that whatever you say you believe in, make time to practice it. Put it on the calendar. Devote yourself to it the same way you do building your business or doing anything else career wise. How do you not have thirty minutes? How do you not have twenty minutes a day to build your faith muscle? because that's what it is. It's a muscle. And so, again, if greatness requires you to expect resistance, that faith pillar is a part of your process for how you deal with things, not if they come up, but when they come up, because life is going to happen, whether you like it or not.
AMY: I can't even imagine building this business without my faith. I can't even imagine getting through some of the hardest things I've gone through in this business without my faith. So I knew your stance on this because I got to see you talk about this already. But I love that it's, whatever your faith is, double down and make sure you're very clear on how you stand in that faith because you are going to need it as you build your business.
AMY: Yeah. I'm with you 100 percent.
All right. The fourth pillar is space. Okay, explain this one.
PATRICE: Okay. So space was so important for me when I was rebuilding. I'll tell you, after we lost everything—I had 6,000-square-foot home in Southern California, and I ended up in a 600-square-foot apartment in Metairie, Louisiana.
PATRICE: And I remember finding this Target gift card that someone had sent for Reagan, and I was like, “Dude, I know that this should go towards formula or Pampers, but I got to get this place together.” I used that fifty dollars to spruce up that teeny, tiny apartment because to me environment is everything. It is everything. And I don't think that we take it as seriously as we should. The space pillar is about setting up your life to support you. And again, I believe that so many of us are so talented and brilliant, but we don't realize that oftentimes we're not making the progress we want to see because our space is so full of clutter, and it is blocking that creative flow, that juice that we need to come up with the content or write the book or publish the blog or do whatever it is you want to do.
When that space is out of order, your brain just feels so chaotic. And we say that clutter is the physical manifestation of chaos in your mind. And any time you can't seem to find your way to the answers, you just keep asking yourself or getting stuck or getting blocked over and over again, I always encourage people to take a look around their immediate environment—I don’t care if that’s your home, your office, or your car—and see if you have piles of stuff, if you have things. And I want to say it's not even just in the physical space. Some of us have a lot—or it's not even just junk. Don't think of A&E Hoarders, because it doesn't have to be that, right? Some of us have really neatly packed away clutter. Some of us have moved across the country with things from past seasons that no longer supported us. And if we're honest, there are things in there that while it's neatly tucked away, it really reminds your spirit of a time that doesn't bring you joy, and you're just kind of taking it from place to place to place, not realizing that that season is up and it's time to release. It's time to let go of some things that maybe you're holding on to, but your Creator wants to put something else in your hand. And I'm just always like, look at your space. Look at your space.
At one point, when I was starting to build this business, it was in a spare bedroom, and it was where all things came into the house to die, right? Like, you know how you have that area where it's like, you don't know what to do with it? Put it in there.
AMY: It’s called my laundry room. Yes.
PATRICE: So it was our second bedroom, and I wanted to, you know, start my office. I was starting to blog and do these things. And everything went there to die. And I looked around it one day, and as my vision started to sharpen on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become, I asked myself, “Is this a money-making space? Is this the space of a best-selling author? Is this the space that you would expect to see an internationally renowned speaker in? No.” And it didn't mean that I needed to move immediately, because financially that wasn't even an option. But what it meant was that I could do my best to bring the space up to the level where I saw myself and not allow my space to kind of drain my energy by being a mess, quite frankly, by being a mess, by being cluttered. I try to keep everything as pretty as possible because it makes me smile. And you want to have the best energy you can in your space because your space teaches other people how to treat you. It teaches [unclear 34:41].
AMY: I agree. I love that you said you love just to have a pretty space. I like a clean space. I don't like a lot of stuff on the counters. And I do like my space to make me feel really good. Like, it's pretty in my world, for sure. And this has always been a big one for me.
I was talking on a Facebook Live recently, and I was saying different habits of moving from a nine-to-five job into entrepreneurship. And one of the things I said was, you have to have a space in your house somewhere. And when I lived in a little condo in Carlsbad, it was literally in my bedroom. The chair once—the desk was up against the wall. But if you pushed the chair out, I literally did hit the bed. It was nothing pretty. I didn't have the room, but I made sure I had shelves and a plant, and it just made me feel good.
PATRICE: It does.
AMY: So this is important. It is important. And I've never heard someone say it like you just said it. Is this the space of a best-selling author? Is this the space you expected of someone that is making a huge impact as an entrepreneur and making as much money as they want to make? Most people right now are going to say probably not.
PATRICE: Yeah. Well, I think that the pandemic really revealed to people how not well they were using their space, right, because it's easy to not think about it or negate it when you're going in and out, in and out. But when you are stuck at home and you get to look around, I'm telling you, I think the most crowded place during the pandemic has been Home Depot and Lowe's or something because—
PATRICE: —people are like, “I’ve got to pull it together.” But it does make a difference. It really impacts your energy. It impacts your creativity. And again, I think it teaches people how to see you and treat you, because when you don't respect your space, other people don't either.
AMY: Exactly. Exactly.
Okay. The space one, I love that you brought that up. It was unexpected, for sure.
Okay. So the next pillar is—we've got two more—the next pillar is work. Tell me about this one.
PATRICE: So work is just about living in your life’s purpose. I think one of the greatest things I've taken away from my work in financial psychology is really seeing a connection between, you know, when people are not fulfilled at what they do day in and day out, they have a greater propensity to mismanage finances because that void from not doing work that you love, not doing something that brings you energy and joy and just fulfills you, not about money, it's about doing the work that actually fulfills you, doing something that's greater than yourself.
And this is where I have to say, too, it's not about, do your passion and the money will come. I don't believe that. I say purpose for a very specific reason. I think that passion is about you. It gives you energy. It makes you happy. It brings you joy. And that’s awesome. But you can be completely passionate about things that are not your purpose.
I am passionate about singing in the shower. Amy, you would never pay a dime to hear me sing. You wouldn’t invite me to sing anywhere. I’m passionate about it; it’s not my purpose.
The way you start to figure out what your purpose is is because it actually has a positive impact on other people. Purpose goes beyond just you, right? It goes out into the world. The reason the gifts were given to you freely were so that you could give them to others. We're blessed to others, right? We're blessed to be a blessing.
And so in my work, I've always encouraged people not to find their purpose, but to finally just accept it. I think that people are so busy looking for purpose that they just really negate the things that are right under their nose. You know, we want it to be sexy. We want it to look like Amy's, right? We want it to look like this person's or that person.
My gift was talking. Again, as you can see, no shortage of words. I’ve always been a talker. I got in trouble for talking in first grade. But Miss Boynton, my first grade teacher, told me, “Miss Cunningham,” which was my maiden name, “you know, when you know something, you have a responsibility to share.” And I have literally been doing that my entire life. Once I learn something, I share it with other people. That has always been my gift. I wanted it to be sexier, I promise. I wanted to use my height for some type of good. I wanted to use my long piano fingers and give you classical piano. Like, I wanted it to be something else that was cooler, but it was just talking. And once I finally just accepted that this thing that I got in trouble for on every single report card my entire childhood was the thing that God gave me freely to use to be of service to other people.
And so it wasn't about finding it. It was about accepting it. And then it was about putting myself in places where I could do it over and over again. And that's the thing that keeps us from needing to window shop. You know, it keeps us from needing to browse online and surf online to just buy things that keeps you from doing all the other stuff that you think is going to fill the void. It's not. Filling the void comes from the fulfillment of using your gifts and walking in your purpose. And when you do those things, you can set your priorities so much cleaner, right? It's a more-clean process.
AMY: It is. It is. And it's funny you say that because I too wish my purpose was sexier, for sure. But I'm very clear of what it is. And for me, it's teaching and being an example of what is possible. So every single day, I make sure that that is what I'm doing. But there's other things that I've thought about. Like, I love to organize. I could be a professional organizer tomorrow. Now, I don't think I would do it great. I'm just saying I love that topic, but that's more of a passion. And so I just think that you talking about the difference between passion and purpose, and you were blessed with this, and you are meant to bless other people with this, I think you broke it down in a way that somebody really needed to hear it that way, because, like you said, it's just cleaner. And so just own it. You got to just own it. So good.
Okay. So funny enough, your last pillar is money. So when we marketed this podcast, when we told people about it, we were talking about how to really redefine wealth and how to get really clear on this area of wealth, but you talk about it in such different terms, and now the final pillar is money. So can you kind of bring it all together for us?
PATRICE: Yeah. So money is last for me because money tends to be first for others. And I knew with the work that I would do, you know, every time you jump straight into a money conversation with folks and you haven’t addressed the other things that we have, the other five pillars, they couldn't see it. It’s why we hear the same financial advice over and over again, and it’s like, it’s not rocket science. It’s like, spend less than you earn, save 10 percent of everything you bring in, don’t lend money you can’t afford to give, don’t invest in things you don’t understand. Like, so many of this stuff is the same thing over and over again, but when your mind is cluttered with how you feel about yourself and all the stories you have going on with your physical appearance, with your relationships, with your faith, when your mind is cluttered and just not able to receive, it's always hard to accept the really basic fundamental, foundational truths about managing money.
And the greatest lesson that we teach at Redefining Wealth is just understanding that as you do the other five pillars, it will be, I mean, it feels like magic, but it's not magic. I'm not, like, woo woo. It feels like all of a sudden everything that you heard starts to open up and now you can make better choices. But that's wisdom, applying the wisdom.
So it's one thing to have the education—we heard what our Big Momma said, we heard what the blogs have said, and all the money segments that we've seen on TV, we heard it. We had the knowledge. But we didn't have the wisdom to apply because we weren't ready yet. And so even at Redefining Wealth, I never have people start with the money pillar, as much as they want to. I’m always like, let's focus on another pillar and watch how that starts to clear up.
And we really just teach having a respect for money and understanding that who you are with $100 is who you will be with $1,000. It's who you will be with $10,000. It's who you will be with a million. Having more money only amplifies who you already are. And if you're struggling in that area, I guarantee you that if you really want to have a breakthrough, it's not going to be by beating yourself up about a budget. It's not going to be by depriving yourself of any and everything you ever liked or wanted, because I don't believe in deprivation. I believe in discipline. It's not going to be based on whatever budgeting apps you choose. It'll be based on a shift in your behavior and your beliefs about what is available to you and what you deserve and just having a greater vision for your life.
Like, it literally all comes together, and it goes back to what I said about people pillar. The opportunities that you have been wanting to attract really do come, and I'm not a huge manifestation person. I'm hearing more about it and learning more about it, and it's possibly connected, but so many of the opportunities, Amy, that I didn't have desired over these last ten, twelve years, they've all come, and it was through no focus on money. It was through doing the work in all the other pillars and knowing that as the money came, now I have the ability to set my financial life up and follow the guidance of my financial advisor and financial team members and my CPA. But I needed to have clarity around the other things in my life first. And it seems counterintuitive, but just trust me on this, guys. Trust me on it.
AMY: Okay. So tell me this. Can you give me one practice or an example around a strategy that you can use to hone in on this money pillar?
PATRICE: One thing, especially as an entrepreneur, one of the strategies that I had heard about for some time—and it's funny. It wasn't until I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz, I believe is how you pronounce his last name—
AMY: Yes, yeah.
PATRICE: —like, I love that book, and it just talks about as an entrepreneur, how do you actually pay yourself first? And it breaks it down into really, really clear buckets. I personally, every dollar that comes in, I tithe a little more than 10 percent now, but I tithe. I have a profit bucket, I have a taxes bucket, and then operating expenses, and then whatever else.
And that’s a practice that is not difficult to do, but even when I would suggest it to my clients, it will be difficult if they were still struggling with the people pillar, because they were trying to still buy friends. They were still trying to take care of adult children, or they were still not taking care of themselves so they were spending more in health bills than that gym membership would have cost. And so the buckets are easy to distinguish. What people were doing were kind of going in and out of those buckets. You know, the transfer I'm going to start saving money today, and it’s Friday, and then on Monday, you're like, “Ah, got to get that back out”?
AMY: Yeah, yep.
PATRICE: So using budgeting apps, I mean, all of those things are great, but it's the skill set is only 10 to 20 percent of this, honestly. If you don't have the mindset to sustain it, you're not going to do it.
AMY: Totally agree. You hit it on the head with that one, for sure.
Okay. So these pillars are incredibly important. We'll make sure that we also add them in the show notes so you all could go back and get a short definition of each of them to spark your memory if you want to work on one in particular at a time. So remember it’s fit, people, faith, space, work, and money.
So first of all, Patrice, thank you so much for coming back into my community and teaching this important lesson of the six pillars. I really appreciate your time and your effort here.
PATRICE: Thank you so much, Amy. It was my pleasure.
AMY: And also, I know that you have something special that we're going to tell people to go check out. So where can people learn more about you, and where can we send them to grab that something special?
PATRICE: Yes. You can learn more about me at patricewashington.com. And I actually have a little cheat sheet for you of the pillars that break it all down. So that's at patricewashington.com/thepillars.
All right, guys. Thank you so much for tuning in. And Patrice, thank you again.
PATRICE: Thank you.
AMY: So there you have it.
Every time I get to talk to Patrice, she totally blows my mind because she has perspectives and different stories and experiences that I've never thought of the way she thinks about it, and I always feel like I've gained new insight, and, hopefully, you feel that way as well. So Patrice gave you a lot of examples of things that you can work on within the six pillars. So choose just one, just one pillar to double down on. And once you've really explored that pillar and you feel good about it, move on to the next. I think that 2020 is one of the best years to chase purpose over profit. Because let me tell you, when you lead with purpose, as Patrice has laid out for you, the money will always show up.
All right, my friend. Thanks so very much for joining me today. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.