Creating generational wealth is something that we all want to achieve for ourselves. Knowing how to break away from the mindsets that many of our ancestors have slowly internalized will give us the freedom to expand our wealth. Marginalized folks find the knowledge to break away is what we will discuss in this week’s episode with Charly Stoever. They want to help BIPOC individuals make money their b*tch! Charly helps us to shift our mindsets about money from scarcity to abundance.
What You’ll Learn On This Episode:
- [02:00] Making money and credit your B*tch
- [03:16] Stepping into your identity
- [04:58] Dealing with rejection
- [06:56] Charly shares her experience not feeling like they belong in the nine to five world
- [08:54] Charly’s perspective on why we deserve to talk about money
- [10:45] Moving past the colonizer mindset
- [12:06] How money goes beyond being a personal quest and can be a transformational tool for our collective people
- [14:30] About Charly’s money coaching services and workshops
- [15:30] Living in Mexico and the United States
- [20:18] Listening to your intuition
- [21:30] Build financial stability
- [25:35] Representation matters when learning about money
- [29:16] Talking international travel and adventure with Charly
- [32:35] Why you don’t need an MBA to start a business
- Learn more about the TRANSCEND Community
- Get the New Business Checklist for free
- Need help forming your LLC in California? Check out From Me to LLC
- Money Coaching with Charly
Connect With Us:
- On Instagram | @ashawilkersonesq
- On Facebook | @ashawilkersonesq
- Connect with Asha on LinkedIn!
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel!
Connect with Charly Stoever:
- On Instagram | Traveler Charly
- On Twitter | Traveler Charly
- On LinkedIn | Traveler Charly
[00:00:01] AW: You’re listening to the Transcend Podcast. I’m your host, Asha Wilkerson, an attorney by training and an educator at heart. This podcast is all about empowering you to build a business and leave a legacy. Here’s the thing, the wealth gap in America is consistently increasing. While full-time entrepreneurship is not for everyone, even a side hustle can change your financial landscape if you are intentional about using your business to build wealth.
I’ve run my own law firm for over 10 years. In that time, I’ve helped countless California businesses go from idea to six figures. On this podcast, we talk about what it truly takes to build a sustainable business and find financial freedom. Let’s dive in.
[00:00:44] AW: All right. Welcome back to Transcend the Podcast. I am super excited to have you here. I am here with my new Instagram friend that I have met, traveler Charly, or Charly Stoever. Welcome, Charly, to the podcast. How you doing?
[00:00:58] CS: Thank you Instagram, friend. We’ve written never met in person, but it feels like we have. I’m so excited to be here on the interwebs with you.
[00:01:05] AW: Totally. There are actually a handful of people that I really connected with through the interwebs, that we met a couple weeks ago and we’re like, “Have we really never met in person?” This is just the new age that we’re in of creating friendships through the Internet. I’m with it. I’m with it. Charly, welcome. Tell us a little bit about the work that you do.
[00:01:27] CS: Yeah. I am a non-binary Latinx money coach and business wizard, helping LGBT and BIPOC entrepreneurs make money their bitch. I’m currently living in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I’m working as a digital nomad. Been here for almost a year and a half now. I don’t plan on really going anywhere else at this point. It’s nice being in paradise.
[00:01:49] AW: Yeah, I believe it. I believe it. Okay, so two things. First thing, that one of the things that I saw when we first connected was your program of make money your bitch, or make credit cards your bitch. I was like, “Oh, okay. I definitely need to check into this.” Then you said, did you say entrepreneurship wizard? Business wizard? What was that little piece in there that you just said?
[00:01:49] CS: Yeah, business wizard, because I like making things fun. I feel like, people get really scared when it comes to investing and money and business coaching. They take themselves so seriously. I’m like, “No, we’re out here painting rainbows [inaudible 00:02:19]. I’m out here collaging, yeah, having fun and play, and wearing all the floral shirts.” I’m all about having fun and creating the magic that’s within ourselves.
[00:02:28] AW: I love it. I love it. One of the things that I tell people all the time, which we often need a reminder, myself included, is to show up exactly as who you are, right? Don’t put on these airs. Don’t fit into the box. I think, a lot of times I know that when we don’t have people who look like us, when we don’t recognize our stories in other people, we go to what the status quo is. How important is it for you to show up exactly as you are? Secondly, how did you evolve in that process? Because I’m assuming, it wasn’t like, day one, “Hi. This is exactly who I –” At least, it wasn’t like that for me. I’ve had to get comfortable, more and more comfortable with myself and just say, “This is me. I’m black. I’m a business coach. I’m an attorney, but I don’t really like litigating that much. Here I am. Take it or leave it.” What was your process through that?
[00:03:17] CS: I mean, being queer, I was raised not being able to be myself at all. I was in the closet until I was 18-years-old. I was forced to not be myself. It was not okay to be myself in that big aspect. Queer is just a part of my identity growing up. I was in a Mexican household. We were undocumented, but we didn’t really talk about our Mexican culture much at all. It was just the food. My mom made bomb food. Yeah. I love to cook as well. I didn’t know there were different genres of Latin music. I didn’t know salsa was a type of dance. I just like the salsa you eat, that can be green and red.
I learned all about my identity when I went to college. The older I got, and the more I was exposed to different identities going to college, I was like, “Oh, there’s gay people that are okay being gay. Oh, that means I can be gay, too. I can be queer. Oh, I see this happen.” I see myself in them and they’re making it okay. I’ve just taken that of I’m going to expose people to who I am. When I do, and be okay with repelling people, but knowing that people that want to be around me, whether it’s online, or in person will gravitate toward me, because I’m being authentically me. That’s a life thing that also translates to your business. It’s only getting more exciting, the more I’m diving in to myself and getting to know myself and sharing that with others.
[00:04:38] AW: Yeah. No, I think that’s absolutely beautiful. This week in my business membership community, we’re really talking about being visible. I’m going to talk about messaging in a couple of days, and just thinking about narrowing down our field and oftentimes, it feels really scary to narrow down the field to choose a particular person that you want to help with a particular situation. Also, on the flip side of that is It can be scary to show up exactly as we are, because some people aren’t going to like it. Some people are absolutely going to love it. How do you deal, and this is also the coaching aspect of it, too, but how do you deal, or how do you tell other people to deal with that rejection, where some people aren’t going to feel you, but also, some people are going to be feeling you a whole lot, and those are the people that you want to connect?
[00:05:23] CS: The more you censor yourself, the more your audience will expect you to censor yourself. When I started stepping into – I’m a money coach. I’m charging for my value. I’m starting a business. I got a lot of flack from people within my community, and my friends who were triggered, because I was stepping into business ownership, which is just not something that a lot of people are used to. When you get a job, or get a raise, or get that master’s degree, which we can talk about soon, or buy the house, people will slide into your DMs and congratulate you. As soon as you start a business, people are like, “Oh, that’s scary. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say.” P
People are just scared. You’ve got to just do it anyway, because there are people like you and me who are doing this despite it being scary, and it’s exciting. I’m all about the adrenaline rush of being a business owner. It’s just something new every day that’s exciting to me.
[00:06:14] AW: It’s totally something new every day. How did you actually make that transition? For me, I feel like, the transition was forced upon me. I started working at a law firm right after I graduated law school. I’m that person who always looks at what’s the top position and then make a plan for how to get there. I just knew, I was going to try and make partner in the shortest amount of time possible.
Unbeknownst to me, the firm was having some financial struggles. Since I was one of the last people to get hired, I was one of the first people to get let go. Then I feel like, I just fell into entrepreneurship as an attorney, because my friend was telling me, “Asha, you’re doing the work anyway, for these other attorneys. Why don’t you just do it for yourself?” It had never crossed my mind that I could actually be a business. It just wasn’t in my realm of thought. I’m always curious for folks, when did you decide and how did you decide that, “Okay, I’ve got this knowledge. I’ve got something to offer. Instead of taking it to an employer, I’m going to take it to the world at large and be my own business owner.” What was that like for you?
[00:07:07] CS: I never felt I fit in at the 9 to 5. I’ve had lots of different careers, because I shift my focus and I’m not afraid to try new things. That wasn’t the best for my career. I mean, I was a teacher. I was a tour guide. I worked as a stockbroker. Every time I was there, I was like, “This is not a place where I can fully embrace myself, or I feel my skills are being valued, where I’m being supported and able to be set up for success to be promoted.” Everywhere I go, I’m just going at the entry level, and I was tired of not making money.
Honestly, in my 20s, I was tired of being exploited, of writing blog posts for free for other people getting paid via exposure, which is a scam. Don’t do it. Unless, you’re going to be on Oprah’s podcast or something like that. That’s good exposure. I was just tired and didn’t feel I belonged in the 9 to 5. I was like, “Oh, I have nothing to lose. I have the skills. I don’t like making rich people richer working at the brokerage firm, trading Apple stocks for them. I want to make my community wealthier, at least, normalized talking about money for them.”
When I was working at a call center, it was those conversations, like the 30, 40-year-old BIPOC folks, LGBT folks that never had many conversations with would call me, they didn’t know me. They just called the 1-800 number, and they’re like, “I don’t know what I’m doing. Help me learn about money and adulting, basically.” Those are the conversations that inspire me to keep going, despite facing transphobia and sexism, homophobia, all the phobias at that job that allowed me to quit when COVID was hitting. I just felt like Bruno in Encanto. I was seeing all the visions, and I was very sensitive to the energy shift.
I was like, “I need to peace out. I have the money to quit. There’s no excuse. Also, let me get a full ride to an MBA program and start my side hustle.” All these things were just like, bam, bam, bam.
[00:08:54] AW: I love it. I love it. Why did you decide to focus on the money part of it? Why money?
[00:09:02] CS: It’s something that that people can connect over, because of how much it scares them, or it stresses them out. Rarely do you ever hear people saying things like, “I love money. Money has granted me so many opportunities, and so many amazing travels.” I hadn’t even said it, until I started journaling letters to my money, because I’ve traveled to 30 countries and I’m 31. Money has blessed me with so many opportunities. Our society, especially when we’re marginalized, we’re not supposed to want money, or want to build wealth. I’ve made it work and I was like, “No, we deserve to talk about money in not such a negative way,” and that happens by learning how to make money our bitch and using credit card points hacking and investing in the stock market, but most exciting, investing in ourselves, on our businesses.
[00:09:48] AW: Yeah. I think, that’s so important. The money piece of it, because especially as people of color, BIPOC folks in the US, probably around the world, you’re absolutely right. You hit it on the head when you said like, we’re not really even allowed to – money. I feel guilty. I think about this also. I still feel guilty if I’m like, “Ooh, I want a beach house over here and a regular house in this city.” Or, I want to not have to work by the time I’m 45.
It is true that that is what I want, but there’s some guilt that comes along with that. I think, that’s very much like a colonizer, white supremacist thing. What mind trash, I guess, have you had to dive into with some of the clients that you coach? Some of the BIPOC, or queer clients that you coach around feeling worthy of, don’t even say chasing after money, but prioritizing making money?
[00:10:43] CS: Yeah. What you said is so important. It is the colonizer mindset that makes us feel guilty to rest. Because rest was reserved for the wealthy, white slave owner, whether they were in Georgia, or in Colombia. It was always rich, white people that had the luxury of rest, because they exploited people in order to plant cotton, or plant sugarcane, or work in the fields for them. Marginalized folks have internalized that. Oh, rest is something that the Bougie slave owner can have.
That’s changing, but we’ve still inherited these beliefs through our generational patterns, to our genes that, oh, no. Rest. Peace is a trigger. Now, that’s definitely something that I work with with my clients. It’s interesting, because we feel this guilt no matter what income level. I’ve never made more than $40,000 in my life. I coach clients who make six figures, and they still feel the survivor’s guilt of, “Oh, my God. I’m the first to make this much money. I feel so guilty. There’s so much work that I can be doing that I’m not doing.” I’m like, money is power. Save money, invest money, so you can donate it to causes you care about, or donate to political figures that write policy that you care about. There’s still so much more that we can do with money. Once we stop feeling guilty, and transform that into an awareness of how money is power, that’s when we’re going to save the world, because these Elon Musk billionaires shooting rockets up into the space, they’re not saving the planet. We know how to do that.
[00:12:07] AW: Yeah. Right. I mean, absolutely. My community is really focused on building businesses that leave legacies. Not just the legacy of the business, but this financial legacy. Also, what if we can make enough money to send our kids to college, or give them the option to decide when to go to college, or to pursue a trade, or to give our children the down payment for that house that they really want?
Not just legacy in terms of when we’re no longer on this earth, but what can we do right now, and how can we use our businesses to build that wealth in the community? I tell folks, great. We need money for our – People need money. We all need money to survive in this world. That’s the currency that we use to get things done. It not only transforms your personal life and your immediate family. When you build a business, you can hire the people that you want to hire. If you have a brick and mortar, or even an online business that has a strong presence in a community, your reach is exponential.
Then, one thing we don’t think about oftentimes, because we feel so excluded from the political landscape, these politicians get donations from their constituents. Money talks. Unfortunately, the more money you have, the louder your voice is. That is the system that is currently at play. If we want to make changes on a local level, with our school system, with our local elected officials, with our state elected officials and our national officials, then we actually need to have some currency to get our voices heard.
Making money isn’t just this personal – It can be this personal quest, but it really is so much bigger than just us as individuals. It’s really transformative for our experience as a collective people that have been historically marginalized in the US and abroad.
[00:13:48] CS: Asha for president. Just saying. If you run, I’m going to vote for you. I’ll be the first in line.
[00:13:54] AW: You know what? I can’t do it, because my emotions are all over my face. My face has no control over my emotions. It just speaks. If you really want to know how I’m feeling, just look at me and you’ll see it. I’ll tell you, just by looking at me. Thank you for your vote of confidence, Charly, I appreciate it.
[00:14:10] CS: I also would not be able to be a politician. I’m like, “Nah, I can’t hide how much.”
[00:14:14] AW: No. Nor should we have to. That’s not my lane. I’m going to stay in this one over here and not jump in that one. I want to know a little bit more about how you coach clients, and if people are interested in, they’re like, “Okay, I want to be better with money. I’m really connecting to Charly’s story. I want to work with them.” What kinds of things can you help your – or do you help your clients with?
[00:14:37] CS: Yeah. You can find me on Instagram @travelercharly with a Y, because that’s how they spell it out here in Latin America. Go to my website, travelercharly.com. My only offer for working one-on-one with me is a six-month program, where we talk about money mindset, credit card points hacking, investing in the stock market, stock market and business coaching.
I also do monthly free workshops as well. This month, I’m planning on Encanto-themed workshop based off the Disney movie for healing yourself doubt for entrepreneurs, with my friend Yurich, who’s a trauma-informed Latina life coach. I’ve got lots of fun things going on. I do love working one-on-one with my clients. There’s something for everyone.
[00:15:22] AW: Yeah, absolutely. I love to travel, and you’re in Playa Del Carmen right now. Tell me about what inspired you to actually move to Playa, and what has that been like, operating a business remotely in paradise, as you called it?
[00:15:36] CS: Yeah. I was born in Mexico. I was born in Morelia Michoacan, which is inland. There’s no beach there. The food is the bomb. I love the beach more than good food, apparently. At age three, I’m –
[00:15:48] AW: Wait. Playa doesn’t have good food?
[00:15:50] CS: Not as good as inland. Because there, you saw the gringos coming through. The gringos to them, these tacos are amazing. To me, I’m like, “Mmm.”
[00:15:59] AW: I know something you don’t know, and it’s at Michoacan. Okay. I get it. I get it.
[00:16:03] CS: These are not Michoacan stuff Carmelitas. You’re lying.
[00:16:08] AW: I feel it. Okay. I’m sorry to interrupt you. Go ahead.
[00:16:11] CS: It’s okay. I’m getting hungry now. You’re probably getting hungry, too. It’s okay.
[00:16:15] AW: Definitely.
[00:16:16] CS: Yeah, I tried making it work so much in the US. I’ve lived in Washington State, Washington, DC, Boston, California, Texas, Indiana. By 30, I was like, I can’t leave this place. I would always come back to this area. Two or three years. I’ve never been a religious person, but I felt a connection to God. When I was here, I felt so calm. The beach is gorgeous. Life just feels like a throwback. Back in the 50s, which I’m an old soul. I should have been born in the 50s. I thank God I wasn’t, because LGBT rights were non-existent then. Rights for most people that weren’t white men.
[00:16:51] AW: No. Neither one of us would have been happy in the 50s.
[00:16:54] CS: This conversation would have been illegal.
[00:16:57] AW: Totally, totally. 100%. Yeah.
[00:16:59] CS: What? They’re talking about money. This Internet thing. No. Yeah, I moved here, because also, the cost of living was lower. I was getting my MBA remotely in the US for the first three months. It didn’t make sense for me to pay US rent to study remotely. I said, “Okay, we don’t know how long COVID is going to last.” School admins keep saying, one more semester, one more semester. I was like, “Okay, sure.” I moved to Mexico, just found a month on Airbnb.
Yeah, with the cost of living just made sense to stay out here. I haven’t really found a reason to go back to states. I pay $400 a month for my studio, five minutes from the beach. It’s nothing fancy, but I definitely could not afford this in the states. Yeah, I feel like, I’m semi-retired out here, because the money I make for my business, I just pump that back into my business and use it to scale my business, and I live off of my stocks and my brokerage account. I already feel like, I have way more time to just exist and live and heal and do craft nights with friends, than I would have had in the states.
Time is so expensive here than it is in the states, because you’re just forced to work to pay the rent, to pay the bills, to buy things. Here, I’ve really had that on pause. Playa is also, it has some of the better Internet, believe it or not, in Mexico. It could be worth so –
[00:18:21] AW: Good to know for my next trip. Okay, wait. You said something that you just slid in there, that you are living off of your stocks. Everything that you’re making from your business, you’re reinvesting into your business. Explain that. Break that down, because, and about time being more expensive. I’ve got six questions. I’m going to try and make one really good one.
Okay, I remember being younger, I don’t know, like 10, 15 years younger, and I used to read a lot of Chicken Soup for the Soul books when I was a kid. I think, I’m probably an old soul as well. I just remember, it was either in that book, or just somewhere. They were talking about people at the end of their life, they always say, “I wish I would have.” Nobody regrets the decisions. For the most part, people don’t regret the decisions that they make. They regret the actions that they didn’t take.
Then, I thought about the retirement age in the US of being 65 and a half, or whatever it is, and looking at the people in my life who’s, their knees don’t work anymore. I got knee problems. I’m 38. I’m like, I don’t want to wait to live my life. You have taken this step of essentially, reclaiming, or just choosing a life that is affirming for you and letting go of this world in the US, the – maybe “the American dream,” to move down to Playa, to a place that just fits you and meet you where you are.
You’re able to do that because in part, because you are living off your stocks. Also, you’ve just created a system to be able to live now this semi-retired life as you put it now, as opposed to waiting until you’ve got a bunch of gray hair and need assistance walking down the street. How did you just get your courage up, or your gumption, or whatever, and maybe you didn’t need courage, because you’re not like me. I needed a lot of courage. How did you just make that decision and stand strong in that decision like, “Yo, this is not what I need and want to do. I’m going to do what I need and want to do. This is how I’m going to do it.”
[00:20:18] CS: Yeah. A lot of people think that decisions are irreversible, but that’s not true. Other than death, so many decisions are reversible. If it didn’t work out, then I would have just been able to come back to the US. If I didn’t discover that I didn’t need a master’s degree in business to start a business, and I would have looked for a job after I got my masters and gone back to the US. That was not the case. I had no idea how it was going to unravel.
I just listened to myself, because I never regret listening to my intuition. No matter how painful the decisions have unraveled, I always learn something from them. You can always, as long as you have the money for financial security, it gives you the freedom to say, yes, and then, oh, wait, actually, no, let’s do something else and pivot. It really comes down to the money for me, because I’m highly anxious. I have high-performing anxiety. It’s called performing for a reason. Just having money has allowed me to move past the anxiety, to make these baller life decisions. That’s what I want for everybody else. I want to model that for people. I was one of the first people that was quitting – when COVID was hitting, I was quitting my job. People talk about the great resignation. I’m like, “I did that a year ago.”
[00:21:30] AW: Right. You’re like, “I started that. Thank you very much.”
[00:21:32] CS: Yeah. I coined the term. Just kidding.
[00:21:36] AW: Yeah, right? Totally, totally. Let’s give Charly credit for that. Then, so how long did it take you to – What were some of the steps that you took to build this financial stability to be able to make a decision like that? Because I think, follow FIRE stuff. Apparently, I need a whole bunch of money to be able to retire at 45. I’m like, “Okay, Asha. Don’t get stuck on where you are now. Think about what you want, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.” That’s the self-talk I have with myself. A lot of times, we see the wins on IG, but we don’t see the process. Do you have some tips for some listeners who are thinking about either relocating to another country, or just choosing a better life and want that financial freedom? What are some of the steps that they could take to make that happen?
[00:22:18] CS: Yeah, they can definitely work with me, book a free call to talk with me about how I can work with you to come up with your plan and talk about your life goals. This makes sense. Have you thought of this? I’m all about helping clients think about their life possibilities. Money is just a tool for that. I’m really a life coach. That just helps people live the lives that are aligned with themselves. As we’ve talked about, money is a big factor that allows you to live your dreams. That’s why I call myself a money coach and the business wizard. I just got really excited about your question, I already forgot.
[00:22:49] AW: I think it was, let’s see. What did I say? What are some of the steps that you took to financially prepare yourself to be able to make this move?
[00:22:56] CS: Okay. Yeah. I mean, I grew up in a very scarcity mindset home. I was always good at saving money. I remember my dad used to ask me to lend him the money that he had given me, because I was the child that was highly traumatized and scarcity mindset, I’ll say. Because, I don’t know, my family is very unpredictable with their money, but I got them, I guess, with my little piggy bank. I carried that throughout. When I became a documented resident and have my green card, I was like, “I don’t care where I’m working. I’m working at McDonald’s.” I turned 16 and worked at the drive thru. I was ecstatic to just have a job and not be afraid of being deported. Even though my last name was Johnson. I’m going to write a book called deporting the Johnsons later, but that’s another episode.
Then yeah, I learned about credit card points hacking from cisgender white men that worked at the tour company, that I worked out, because they were the ones that inherited this knowledge. It just made sense for us to talk about credit card points hacking. I just learned that credit cards aren’t bad. You just have to learn how they work. I’ve always been somebody that paid my stuff on time. I’ve never viewed credit cards as borrowed money for an emergency. No. I view them as debit cards. I pay them off in full every month, and you can get mad points and money if you have a big purchase coming up. You can spend $5,000 in three months and get mad points. You should be able to pay that off. That’s how I backpacked in Latin America for six months when I was making $10 or $15,000 in the summer.
I didn’t have to pay rent, which is a huge expense. Rent is a huge money siphoned, especially in the US. It was much cheaper for me, even flights included to just fly to Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Mexico than it would have been to just pay rent in the US, living with five roommates. I had been in DC. Then I learned about investing when I was 26, because I had a friend working at Charles Schwab, an investment firm. She said she was a financial advisor.
I was like, these white people keep talking about Roth IRAs. I don’t know what it is. Should I open one? She brought me in. She’s like, “Yes, you should do it.” Look at the time module of the stock market. It doesn’t matter if you make a lot of money or not, what matters is you invest in small amounts. If not, you’ll miss the growth of the stock market. That image stuck with me. That’s the image that I keep in mind every day, when I talk about money with people. That’s why it’s urgent for me. You don’t have to make a lot of money. What matters is small amounts. Move past the fear and let it compound.
From that moment of saying, a Chinese-American woman talk to me about investing, because I would not have listened to a white man talk to me about it. Now, I took that moment and share that with others.
[00:25:36] AW: Yeah, beautiful. I think, that’s so important, right? You’re so needed in the world and in the community at large, because you’re right. Who the message is delivered from really, really matters. I joined this coaching group. I won’t call them out by name, because I’m still a part of the group. When I joined this group, I logged on to our first Zoom meeting. Literally, it was it was a screen full of middle-aged white women, and from the Midwest. It was such mental gymnastics for me to feel comfortable enough.
Now, I grew up in Portland, Oregon, so I’m really – I’m comfortable around white folks. There was something in my mind that was like, these women can’t teach me a thing, because they’re going to make assumptions about me. My life is not similar to theirs. It wasn’t an insecurity thing. I don’t know, as much of them. It was just purely a comfort level thing. The jokes that they were making about their grown children. I was like, “I can’t relate to that.” Especially with a topic that is as sensitive as money. Money just has an emotional pool for us.
Maybe we’re on the road, but certainly in the United States. I encourage you who are listening, to find somebody that you feel comfortable with, and that you trust. Because, and let it be Charly. Let Charly tell you their story and tell Charly your story, because Charly was going to help you work through whatever your goals are, whatever those blocks are. That’s what a lot of the personal financial coaches do. Get with someone who you can trust, because we all have this money story. We all have a money story, whether money was abundant or not abundant, whether we were viewed as a burden, because there wasn’t enough money to pay for the things that we needed, or whether we were that financial backbone of our family.
There are still things that we have to work through. Don’t let the knowledge, the investing, the unknown scare you out of taking that step to learn more. Reach out to Charly, get the information and then figure out what move is right for you. I’ll get off my soapbox right now, but I just wanted to make sure that everybody understands that, because yeah, the information isn’t drastically different, but how we can apply it to our own lives. That’s the piece, right?
You’re talking about not taking, or not listening to these old, white men, because you just don’t feel a connection to them about what they can tell you about investing, because the assumption is that we have nothing in common. This Asian woman who is closer to you than this old white man like, oh, let me – I trust the words that are coming out of your mouth. Now, it has actually transformed your life and allowed you to live how you’re living now. I think, that that’s awesome. Don’t be afraid, folks to reach out and find somebody that you connect with and identify with.
The other thing I want to say too, about the credit card point tacking. I need to do better at that, but I do love my travel rewards credit card. I spent about six weeks in Colombia at the end of 2021. One of my friends is like, “Oh, your business must be doing great, because you spent six weeks out of the country.” I’m like, business could always be better, right? The thing is, when you move around, or different – depending on what country you go to, I save more money paying rent in Colombia than I did living and eating in Oakland, even though I still had to pay my rent in Oakland. Because the cost of living in the food and the activities are so much cheaper in other places that I saved money, even though I was not living this double life, but still paying rent and Oakland.
Again, don’t be limited by the present situation. Look forward into what you want, and then figure out a path to help you get there. Charly, I’ve got more questions. You love to travel. I love to travel. What are some of your favorite countries that you have been to?
[00:29:22] CS: Colombia, since you’ve just mentioned it. That’s one of my favorite countries. I’ve already been there. Yeah, I’ve been there three times already. The first time I went was in Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena. I was just there for three weeks, serving in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua for two years, and it was almost the end of my service. I decided to travel to Colombia and I fell in love with the colors, the geodiversity, the cities are so different from each other. The beautiful accents. It’s not that big of a country, but there’s just such diversity. We just take a plane ride an hour away. Yes, Medellin people keep talking to me with, I can’t even describe their accent. Let me play some Aluma, listen to my Aluma. You know what I’m saying?
[00:30:05] AW: Totally, totally. People on the coast, to coastadenios have their own slang. I was talking with folks and they were like, yeah, the folks of Bogota don’t understand a word we’re saying. I’m like, “Ooh, tell me more.”
[00:30:15] CS: Good. Now, I don’t feel so bad. Give me some more [inaudible 00:30:18]. Y’all know how to cook out here on the coast.
[00:30:21] AW: Yes. Yes, indeed. Where else? Where else do you love?
[00:30:25] CS: One of the most memorable experiences was in 2017, when I got laid off from my job in DC, and I was like, “Fuck it. I’m going to just travel to Southern Africa.” I’m going to go to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. I’m going to get into the devil’s pool. There’s literally a pool of water on the edge of Victoria Falls on this Zambia side, that you pay a tour guide, walk for 40 minutes, and they’ll take you to a pool and they’ll hold your legs and lift you up, so you’re literally on the edge of Victoria Falls. I’m not much of a daredevil. I will never bungee jump. I’ve never skydived. At that moment, I just felt so alive. It was an incredible experience for me to just be like, “Fuck, yeah. Stick it to the man. I’m getting laid off.”
I’m on the other side of the world, seeing the world. You can’t tell me not that. That was an amazing experience, just for me to prove to myself that I was alive. I felt dead inside after getting laid off and doing the whole rat race thing. Then, I got a message from a hospital that could confirm that my Medicaid would cover my top surgery when I was in Cape Town, South Africa. All the things aligned for me to go back to DC to get my basically, gender affirming top surgery. I went to Brazil, too, before that. South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Brazil, and three months.
Now, I travel way more slowly. I’m like, “Thank God, I lived my 20s. I did what I needed to do. Now, I want to be booking an Airbnb for at least a week and a spa. I don’t want to camp in the backyard and my single cat with the chickens anymore.”
[00:32:00] AW: Right. There’s levels to this stuff, right? What we did in our 20s might not be how we want to travel in our 30s. I’m so inspired and just lit up by your story and by your willingness to just do what you need to do. I’m sure, it hasn’t always been easy for you to do that. You’re such an inspiration and such a light to the entrepreneurship community, the Latinx community, the queer community, the BIPOC community, just community in the world at large. I am so grateful that you are here with me on this podcast today, just exposing for people how to build a business and leave a legacy.
The last thing that we didn’t get to, you’re in business school, I went to business school, we had a little quick chat on email this morning about how business school is a waste of time. Or, well, I said waste of time. You said, you don’t need an MBA to start a business. Let’s just close with that. What is your message to folks who were like, “Oh, my God. I don’t have enough education. I don’t know what to do to start my business.”
[00:32:52] CS: That’s how I connected with you in the first place. I heard you speak on Denise’s podcasts on Yo Quiero Dinero Podcast, and you said, “Yeah, you don’t need an MBA to start a business.” I was like, that far. Because I was halfway through my MBA. I was so burnt out. I hired Kat del Carmen, my business coach to really get things going in my business. It just made so much more sense. If you want to work for yourself, hire a business coach. If you want to go back to the 9 to 5 and become CEO, then yes, you should probably go to business school.
Pretty much, none of the things I was learning in business school were applicable. If anything, they were harming my entrepreneurship journey, because they make you feel like you have to stay within the zoo. You’re a zoo animal. You need to copy the words in the resumes and spit out a cover letter that reflects the resume, so you can be the perfect cookie-cutter version of what employers want, and they’ll be more likely to hire you and pay you more if you have an MBA. That’s the opposite of what entrepreneurship is.
Because if you can modify yourself and make yourself be just another money coach, or be a business coach that has the same templates on Canva, no one’s going to want to hire you, because you don’t bring anything special to the table and you don’t differentiate yourself. If anything, getting my MBA was harmful for my entrepreneurship journey. I just felt a huge weight being lifted once I finished that degree where I said, “Okay, I can be myself now. Oh, and I can hire an accountant. I don’t need to do accounting myself.”
[00:34:18] AW: Right, right. No, I 100% agree with that. I remember when I was young, and I don’t know if I’d started my own business yet. A friend of mine has this awesome media company in Oakland. He didn’t go to college. He’s self-taught in all of his media skills and things like that. He said, when he works with other entrepreneurs, so the ones who went to college have a much harder time, or have formal education have a much harder time in entrepreneurship than the ones who didn’t.
The reason why is because in school, they tell us what’s possible and they tell us how to do it. In entrepreneurship, we are supposed to be busting through ceilings and walls all the time. It’s being able to think outside of that box and dream of what is possible, not being stuck by what is. If you are thinking about going to get an MBA and you want to go work for somebody else, that’s awesome. If you are ready to start your business, you don’t need more formal education. You need mentors along the way, like Charly, like business coaches, like attorneys, like accountants to help you get to where you need to go.
Charly, tell us one more time where folks can find you, if they’re interested in – even just want to see life in Playa. Where can they find you?
[00:35:27] CS: Find me @travelercharly on Instagram. Travelercharly.com. Yeah, just DM me to say hi, too, if what we’re talking about has resonated with you. This is so much fun. Thank you for having this platform and spotlighting people’s voices too, and normalizing entrepreneurship. We’re all making it less scary for everyone and more exciting, which is the best part.
[00:35:49] AW: Absolutely, Charly. Thank you so much for gracing this podcast with your presence. Thank you for your light and your laughter and all the skills that you share with the world. All right, Transcend. We will see you next week. Ciao, ciao.
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