Steven Hughes is a Financial Wellness Educator and Reiki Practitioner. He works with individuals and companies by giving them the tools they need to make healthier money decisions.
Steven’s a nationally Certified Financial Education Instructor and was selected as one of only 400 young adults in the world to join the World Economic Forum’s esteemed Global Shapers Community in 2015.
He’s back on the podcast for round two, and in this episode we’re discussing how to gain control of your thoughts, setting goals and managing money expectations, the importance of a financial plan, and rebalancing your energy through affirmations.
We explore why Steven quit his job to pursue entrepreneurship, the danger of “I’m not where I want to be in life,” and why he decided to also become a Reiki Practitioner.
“Practice makes progress, progress beats perfection”- Steven M. Hughes
Steven also shares The Four Money Cycles, and the Financial Wellness programs he builds for people and companies.
Keep that same energy ft. Steven M. Hughes
Rich: Hey, what's good. This is rich. And you listening to the paychecks and balances worse about the intersection of work money and life. So whether you're trying to get out of debt or into a new job, PMB has you covered this week? I'm closing out financial literacy month and teeing up mental health awareness month with a friend of the show that also believes friendship is essential to the soul.
And Steven Hughes is a financial educator, Reiki practitioner and curriculum designer that specializes in creating clarity around your money. And this frat brother of mine has taught thousands how to realize their money goals, and he's going to help thousands more. And hopefully he helps you today.
Steven last, joined the show on PB one 13 for a great discussion on getting financially organized. So definitely go back and check that out. And if you normally listen to the podcast, you knows, I tries to keep the audio fresh, but for some reason it got weird on my side and I don't sound like I do now.
I'll see what went down and we'll get that fixed for next time. Anyways, here's my conversation with Steven M. Hughes and I hope you enjoy. Yeah, Steven. Welcome back to the podcast, man. Thanks for having me, man. It feels like it's been a couple of years. I think it has been a couple of years at this point, or at least it feels like that way.
For sure. And I know the last time you were on the show, it was a super popular episode on establishing some of the financial fundamentals. It was a new year kickoff joint, and I thought it would be. Great to have you back on today, since we just finished Q1 to do a all right, like how are we doing, how to reset, how do we stay on track to make sure that we're good for the rest of the year?
Things are starting to open back up. And I know that there's been a lot going on for you and I sit and I start a little bit about your background in the intro for those who didn't catch the episode from a two years back, which is probably a lot of people, but tell the PNB family a little bit about yourself, man.
Steven: A lot has changed since I jumped into the financial literacy world about 10 years ago. But in regards of what has changed, I'm a financial wellness educator and a Reiki practitioner. And I know that, when it comes to financial education, I feel like as we're in the same industry, like we do a pretty good job of confusing people on what they should focus on when it comes to their money.
And how they should talk about it, but of financial wellness very clearly is making healthy money decisions. And I want to help more people do that. And really, I think the base of all the things that I do going forward has been based in financial psychology, financial therapy and behavioral finance, because I know that, money is emotional when it comes to you making decisions.
Is this an emotional decision? All mental. And uh, that's what I focused on now, when it comes to helping people and really helping companies and organizations put their arms around giving their employees some benefits that make sense to help them manage their money better. But then I also work with people one-on-one when it comes to Reiki like doing distan, distant sessions for them.
What is Ricky? Yeah, sure. So Reiki is a healing. Modality has been around for thousands of years. It was born out of ancient Kemet, and it was preserved in Japan, but really it's if you know anybody who's been to the chiropractor and they've gone there to get their spine realigned. The them getting their spine realigned has so many different effects on them.
It's not just how they sit or how they walk, but it may change like their allergies. They may change their headaches, all these different things. And I'm just the same way that a chiropractor helps somebody reel on their spine. I hope people rebalance their energy and just to be clear, like energy. We already feel that right?
We know that every single one of us have these energetic bodies in us because when two people are arguing in a room and you walk in after that, you can feel the tension. Like when you meet a stranger, you can feel like, Oh, I connect with this person. And so I help people really. Move those blocks out of their way.
So they can get to the positive money decisions that they want to make.
Rich: I love that. And so, uh, so if someone's doing well, you're basically helping them keep that same energy. There we
Steven: go. I like, that's
Rich: Like the one-time is a good thing to help them keep that same energy. How did you get into Reiki?
How did you get into it? Right,
Steven: So Reiki, Reiki,
Rich: RA Y dash K E Y.
Steven: That's the perfect way to pronunciation. There we go. I actually got into Reiki from my therapist. So I knew that when I first started seeing her that she was a Reiki practitioner as well and a, in a master teacher, but we just had a relationship on the therapy side and when my dad fell ill last year, I wanted something that helped me process things.
Even better because I'd been seeing her as a therapist for years. And so she mentioned to me like, Hey if you want to give this a shot, let's sit down for a session. And after that first session, before she could finish the debrief, I said, how can I do this for myself? I can see the impact. I can feel the impact.
We've only been working for 30 minutes. How can I do this at home? So that I can just find to myself. And one thing that I didn't think would happen was that once I took the classes and got certified, I didn't think I was going to start offering it to people. But after doing a couple of sessions, like with my family and with my lady, I realize how quickly, like people.
Latched on to making decisions that are different. Like they were taking different actions and even people in the money world that I've worked with because now my Reiki sessions have made me virtually traveled to Atlanta or DC or Canada or Florida or California. I see when people. Hit me back and let me know that, Hey, this is what I have going on now.
I see the difference in how they're moving. How do you even talking at times? And um, that's how I jumped in. And I think that these two feet are here to stay in this.
Rich: It essentially becomes, and then the therapist, and I say this for self, that they become part of the support system. And we'll talk a little bit more about this idea of life portfolio that I've been thinking of, but I was actually writing a post for the website about mental money, which is something I've been thinking about a lot more and how I see a therapist as an investment in my life portfolio.
As kind of the stable coin for me, basically, that's actually a great way to think about it. That's like the Fiat currency, I loved that. I got to do something with that, but I, I think about the difference that has made, even in terms of financial habits, for example, because I'm someone who tends to be an emotional spender and I've been dabbling more in active investing in trading.
And I've noticed how I respond to some stuff. So for example, I don't get. Overly shook when the market drops, because I just tend to be very long-term generally with all my other portfolios and what I'm investing actively on a daily basis or every other day basis right now is just like from my play money fund.
And I've said this before, when I look at my bank account during turbulent times and I default to some of those old spending habits, or I get some of that axed or some of that, that FOMO that even I fall victim to sometimes. And I'm seeing how easy it is for all of us to fall into that. But there's just a lot of tools that I picked up from my therapist tools that I picked up from my leadership coach that maybe I didn't apply as much as I should have this past week, but just having that type of support and having someone like that to help you practice new skills and pick up new tools, it can show up directly in your bank.
Steven: for sure. And I think that even you mentioning how you've. Stopped yourself or at least giving yourself some rails to run on when it comes to thinking about your money decisions really helps when you get into a tight, like place or space, because we all are emotional spenders or savers or whatever it is.
Cause all of these things are tied back, hopefully to our goals or whatever legacy we want to leave. But oftentimes if you're not clear enough about your goals and intentions, then it's Oh, well, I got some money. Let me go ahead. And, I got some money in my Play-Doh account. Let me go ahead and do what I want to do.
Or even on the investing side, this is something that I learned from, from Tila Holcomb, like having specific rules that you use to invest and just when things are. Hitting the fan. It's I go back to the rules. I'm not going to touch any of these option contracts. I'm not going to sell anything yet.
These are the rules I'm following, and this is what's going to happen going forward. And that's made a world of a difference. I used to be that guy who would jump into a stock that I heard somebody talk about in our, buy it high, and then it'd be dropping and I'd sell it low. Oh my God, I'm losing all this money.
And I'm a financial educator, I, I teach people about money every day. And so I don't think that any of us are above these. Money challenges or even these different thoughts or emotions that we have about money. We just, need to do a little bit better job of getting our arms around it and saying like, all right, I know I want to change this.
This is what I need to focus on and have specific ways to change.
Rich: Yes. Yes. And on the. Reiki. I've got I spelled it out and I still can't get it. What whatever Reiki, there we go. There you go. There we go. So you mentioned that you got certified in it, but you weren't going to offer it to people.
So why did you get certified in it? If you weren't going to
Steven: offer it to do it for myself, I had to get certified. Because someone has to like you to go to a master teacher to even start doing Reiki, whether it's for yourself or somebody else, because there are some people who just get certified on Reiki.
One, because there are three levels in different modalities, but in Reiki, one under the Sui Reiki that I practiced. That's something that I could have used to learn more about Reiki and just work on myself. But the class that I took was Reiki one and two, and she let me know before the class even started Hey, this is something you may want to offer.
As we're doing this work, I see where you're leaning towards. This might be something that you want to do and like to think to rewind a year ago. And think about what I'm doing now. I would've never guessed that this is what I would be doing. Because I wasn't talking about financial wellness as much.
There were things that I was doing in my life that I made sure that I was living financially well, or even like the energy work that I'm doing, like meditating and some of the things you mentioned. But all of that changed like, as I. Change the way that I was getting this energy or even protecting it or paying attention to it.
Because one thing that we don't talk about enough is that money is energy. Like we've heard these dumb ass quotes before that money is the root of all evil, but if you replace the word money with the word energy, you would never ever say that quote again. If no, one's going to say the root of all evil, it doesn't make any sense.
And we use money every day as a tool to get what we want to get. But. A lot of people, just because of the marketing of money, like people have done a great job of making us fear money. But we should, we don't fear energy. We know we use it every day for what we want to get accomplished every single day.
Like we have more energy than on some days and others, or we have more energy in some months than others. But if we think about money more as a tool and as energy, I think that starts changing the way that we think and feel about money going down the road, I'm listening
Rich: and. You're making me think about something that I'm talking to my leadership coach about.
He has me in one of these like mental mind control program. Sounds like something else. It's not no coal or anything crazy like that, but it's about having control of your thoughts. Because that's a big part of meditation and self is your mind drifts. You bring it back. And within this practice, they have these things called Saba tours, which are basically like the different thoughts and the different things that the different ways that you'll sabotage yourself.
You know, I tend to be an avoider, for example. So when things get like super stressful or. I think that I need to be like super vulnerable or I'm going to have like a really difficult conversation sometimes. Like I'm just a lot more avoidant about it and I think it's better. And I think that if I say, or do nothing that eventually the problem will just go away, which I've learned that's like never the case, but then there's also, for example, something like the judge.
W within this system where that's the voice that we probably hear most commonly where it's you're stupid or you're this, or that's what, or even for example, like you post a Instagram post, nobody responds and there's a voice in your head that says nobody cares what you have to say.
And what's really interesting as we're talking about energy is the judge even shows in how you see other people. Because a lot of times, if you judge other people, it's really about how you feel about yourself, or even if you're not, even if you're not actively thinking it's like subconsciously like how you're feeling about self.
So if you're criticizing someone for their work, sometimes it's actually because you see them doing the work and you're not doing anything yourself,
Steven: Yes. Yes. I'm totally out to put my mic on mute because I was doing, I felt like I was your amen corner over here. Cause I'm feeling I'm picking up everything that you're putting down.
And I think that when people start when people decide that they need to change, I think that are, there are a lot of us who have no matter how much money you have because you know, I came from humble beginnings. We talked about it in the first episode, both of my parents were from Jamaica and it was eight of us living in a three bedroom house, sometimes 10, depending on who was here from Jamaica.
And I know that the things that we do with our money now, and this is something we don't talk about enough either is that at the age of four, you start like creating the money. And value equation in the things that you see and the things that you hear and the things that you've experienced. And as you go forward, 10, 20, 30 years, these might be things that you never talk about.
Again. But you are making decisions from eight year old, Steven, who was frustrated about not being able to make his own decisions. So now he's making all the decisions and spending money, however, the hell he sees fit, or, 15 year old Steven who feels like you know, he was boxed in. And so he decides to continue to spend money, to show people that I can do whatever I want to do.
And so I think that. When it comes to even starting something new, like therefore money cycles. I think all of us need to go through to really be financially healthy and live financially well. But you know, that's a huge thing to get started is just thinking about are what are the things that I've learned?
And we usually don't ask ourselves those questions before we switch things up. We start talking about budgets, even though I hate that word or. Financial goals or creating a plan or even meeting with a financial advisor, but there's so many things that have to happen before those points. Yeah.
Rich: It's a lot of work in that getting started part. And that's a lot of where the mental event is because a lot of times we know exactly what we need to do. I know everything, I ain't got all the answers, but to get where I want to go, I know what I need to do. And it's just yeah, but even in relationships, it's like when we're having a beef with our partner and it's we know what we need to say, but whether we want to say it and whether we can get over the ego enough to say it is something completely different.
Steven: And coastline huge coastline there.
Rich: Yeah. Maybe I might be speaking a little bit from experience, but so I'm gonna stop there because other room, and it's not a conversation that I'm trying to have right now while we're on the podcast, but that's something else too, is that we're always learning and we're never going to be perfect with any of this.
Like no matter what a lot of those voices can be. I very loud when you were about to get started, it's you don't have any experience in this. Your peers are so far ahead of you, all of these things that like we subconsciously say to yourself, and I've talked about this before, where for a while, and I still do this sometimes, and I don't know where I picked up this habit and it's related to this judge thing I was talking about.
Cause I find that it makes sense that when I'm in the mirror, I find that's actually, when I say the most negative things to myself organically, naturally. Yeah. Yeah.
Steven: Even as you say that one thing that I've done as far as helping me see myself in a different light is I have affirmations on the corner of my mirror that I say every time I'm in front of that mirror, like in front of that bathroom mirror, I'm going to say these affirmations.
And I'll just mention this with Reiki sessions. I'm usually helping somebody rebounds their shoppers. In several different areas of their body and the one that starts everything off is the root right. It's founded the base of your spine, but it deals with you being grounded or feeling okay, I can do this.
And if you start affirmations with the words I am, it helps you improve that. It helps really clear that out and strengthen that. So when you're standing there in front of the mirror, you can say, I am healthy. I can't remember the song. Yeah. That, they'd be dropping on Instagram, but she's hitting you with some affirmation.
She was like, I am healthy. I'm wealthy. I'm wise, I'm strong. She runs them down. And so I think that's a quick thing that people can do because that's part of the first things we should do is shifting our mindset around how we think of ourselves and how we value ourselves, because that is a direct.
Reflection of how we're spending our money, it comes out like in the statements. Yeah.
Rich: Yeah. It's how we spend our money, how we interact with people, how we see other people, the way that we go about getting started or not getting started on something. And it, and I think with us being a quarter into the year, just over a quarter into the year, we had our resolutions and.
We had all of these grand ideas for what we wanted to do and thought we were going to do. It's a check-in point for a lot of us. And for, for many of us, it's like where we're on track or we're ahead of track, but then there's also a for folks just like being like, man, like I'm not, we're not where I thought I would be.
And I know I've said that before in the show, and that's a dangerous way of thinking, because typically when someone says I'm not where I'd want to be, that somebody who is like almost like an overachiever. And I say this, even speaking from experience, because I've said a lot of times over the years, like I'm not where I thought I would be.
I'm not where I want to be. And I've found more times than not that the people who think that way, they're not just. Negative people they just really want to achieve. And there's always this proverbial next level to get to.
Steven: And not only do they want to achieve, they have that expectation to achieve this specific thing.
I think that when people are getting. Like a check-in or even seeing what they have done in the first quarter and where they're at for the second quarter. Maybe flipping that a little bit on not saying Oh, I'm not where I wanted to be, but just getting a heat check with yourself because. All of these financial goals that we may want to hit or that we may want to set, most of them are going to have a finish line.
So if you say that I'm not where I want to be. Maybe I want to make $10,000 a month in my side hustle by July 1st. And so I'm only, I only have $2,500 a month. That's running right now. Yeah, that's $2,500 a month. Can we pause for the cause and celebrate that? And then now that we pause for the cause and celebrate that, what are the things that are working that are non-negotiables that need to keep happening?
And then what are the things that you need to edit or sacrifice from this current plan to see something different? And I, I think that. Even as we talk about like finding a way to, check in with ourselves, like once a quarter or even once a month. One thing that I do is I have a monthly money meeting with myself.
And in that monthly money meeting like I go through my spending in like my problem areas. So I'm looking at you dining out and Amazon I'm looking at Shaw and I've really tracked those specific things outside of like other expenses, because most of my expenses are automated at this point. But when it comes to that I don't want to call it frivolous spending, but when it comes to me saying Oh, I need this camera on Amazon.
I should go ahead and copy it. It's a business expense, that can happen so fast when you're starting to build a business. Yeah. Oh, you tell him,
Rich: because this equipment, I got this what we are right now, business.
Steven: It's fresh though. You look like you're in a movie. Like I told you before. I think that.
When you have that monthly money meeting and really focus on the areas that you know are out of whack. So I know for me, I eat a lot of my money unless I push money to the side in my Play-Doh account where I can control my spending. And so I'm more disciplined on that. And that helps with my spending.
Now I'm spending. 60% less than I was on dining out before. And I think that in addition to looking at the expenses and how you're, how that's tracking in your problem areas, or with your challenging money areas, also track your income to see Oh, am I hitting my income goals for the month? And then also in this monthly money meeting, I'll go over my goals to see, Hey, where am I at when it comes to hitting these goals?
So I think that's perfect for people who are. Yeah, like wanting to do a heat check from the top of the year, because not only are you looking at your goals again, cause most people when they set their resolutions, but before February gets your 80% of people are not going to hit them. They're done with it.
I tried it. I didn't like it. I'm straight, but I think the. If you have them in front of you consistently, like in front of you even once a month it'd be great if you do it daily or weekly, but even once a month to see your goals and say, all right, how much progress have I made on here? And how can I take the next action?
To get that progress pumping. That's the biggest thing when it comes to just seeing where you're at and where you're trying to go. And so monthly money meetings, or even as we're talking about us being in this in the second quarter, a quarterly, monthly meeting to say, a quarterly money meeting, excuse me to say, all right, this is where I was last quarter.
This is the goals that I had. This is what the project stopped that I'll work on. And this is where we're at. And this is where we're going. That's, that's huge. It makes a huge difference. I'm doing that
Rich: now because I actually, cause I've been washy with writing goals over the years, but I'm becoming a lot more diligent about actually like writing down what the goals are.
Not just so I can reference them if someone asks, but just there, there is something about writing something down that makes it stick a bit more. I noticed one thing that's been really helpful for me recently with goals is putting a timeline on them, which I haven't really done before, or I've said like it.
But I noticed once, especially recently, I had a really big goal that I came up with and I put a two year timeline on it and. The way, like the sense of urgency that's there now. And even how I'm looking at my business, like how I'm spending in the business and I'm like, dude, do I need that app? Am I using this subscription?
Am I using that service? Ah, is that going to help me get to where I want to go? That's the big difference. That's the big
Steven: difference. Yes. I love that. Another thing that it helps eliminate or reduce is like when we're not moving in the direction or at least at the speed that we thought we were going to, when we have these expectations, we start feeling like shameful.
Especially if we shared the goals with somebody else Oh, I didn't, I didn't make as much as I thought I would, or I can't believe I spent this much money. On food when I know how to cook and I buy groceries, like I'm talking to myself right now. And so I think that when you're having these different conversations in your head, it's really easy to say Oh, I'm off track, but.
I love what you said about having the finish line, because even if you get to the finish line and two years later, and you may need another month, you can push that month out and say like, all right I know I need another 30 days and knock this thing out. It doesn't make you Powell on yourself to say I can't believe I didn't do this.
This is crazy. You can just adjust and keep the party going. And one mistake,
Rich: I think. I've made it. A lot of people have made is being almost too ambitious. What the goal is like, you gotta have the big, hairy, audacious goal, and it's yo, I'm gonna do this crazy thing. And I found myself in a situation where every few years, and it just happened again.
And you've been listening to the show for a while. You've heard me say this every few years, I find myself in the spot where like I'm overwhelmed because I'm trying to do too many things at once. And so being fully transparent, it's I got this YouTube channel that I launched this year because I want to talk more about podcasts.
And as I want to get back to doing more episodes on a regular basis, and, but I got this new job that started that. Wasn't part of the plan at the beginning of the year, which makes a huge difference because it requires. Completely different type of energy and mental, physical, and emotional given what I do in this world now.
And it forced me to sit down and go, man, I got it. So even before we started this recording, I was, I shoot an ideas and I'm like, yo. Oh, that domain that's a fantasy. I ain't gonna say what that domain. I own it. I can say what it is.
Steven: You can tell people, but yeah, let's keep it under .
Rich: Yeah, but it's, there's just so many things that not just are shiny because I see other people doing them, but they're shiny because they're things that I know that I could do well, and I just don't have.
Like the bandwidth to do everything. And I see you got a response to that. So I want to hear that. And then also, how do you go about deciding which goals to scrap? Because there's a level to that of this was like too aggressive. I need to tweak it. And then there's like my life changed and you can feel shame and bad about that as well.
Like I set a goal and three months later I'm already changing it. Like I can't do anything
Steven: right. When it comes to changing the goals. I'll talk about that first, a big thing that I started doing, I want to say it was, this is 20, 20 minutes. So maybe four years ago at the end of every year, I would have this thing that I would do for the last two months of the year called the 60 day sprint.
We're out only focused on four goals. It would be one goal in my personal life. One goal in my professional life, one goal in my financial life and one goal in my fitness life. And for the next 60 days, if it doesn't have to do with these four goals, it ain't getting on my plate. It's not getting on my calendar.
I'm only focusing on these four things. And what that helped me develop like over the years is when I decide that I want to get better in this area of my life. What are the things that are non-negotiables going forward? Yes, I want to get better. In generating income from our business, but one non-negotiables that I'm going to spend time with my lady, no matter what, one is, I want to travel once a quarter, like before the whole retreat to home hit last March. But as you have these specific non-negotiables and you know what you're willing to sacrifice, it comes into focus a little bit easier. So when you are like, Reviewing these things from quarter to quarter, you can say like, all right, you know what?
This isn't even on track. This has nothing to do with what I said at the top of the year. I'm going to go ahead and put a pause on this and you can decide as well, like in that time, especially if you were, like, you mentioned that you're writing more like pen to paper, which is that's something else I'm doing.
That's what I mean. I heard a quote a while ago from Les Brown when he was helping me to get my life together. But he said that writing makes a man or woman exact. And so it helps you say you know what, this is the goal that I want to see. This is the goal that I'm writing down. And if I revisit this later, I can say, you know what?
Now that I'm in this place in space because we change every single day. So why do we expect our minds to be the same from last night or last week or last month or last quarter? So you're going to learn more things and experience more things that you may want to change. The goal. You may want to soup it up, you may want to increase it w whatever it is don't ever feel.
And I know we're talking about, we talked about shame a little bit, but don't feel shameful about. Wanting to change the goal because you're never going stay the same every single day we're changing. But I think that's an easy way to pull back a little bit to say, Hey, am I going to, am I going to hit this goal?
And do I want to hit this goal? But is this really still in focus for me? Exactly. Do I actually want to do this being on social media? Like we have. A great firehose of marketing at our eyeballs every single day. And if you don't control like your timeline and which is hard to do these days on different platforms, because the ads and whatnot, then you're going to see.
Like the best of the best, right? People usually don't post the ELLs. They usually post the W's. So you're going to be seeing nothing, but W's for other people and they may alter or change the way you think about your own goals, because they're doing something you wanted to do and they may have done it faster than you ever thought was possible.
But as you get like more into yourself and come to yourself, then you're going to be able to see real differences and say Oh, that. Excellent. I'm going to clap for you. I want to see that happen for you. That's not like where I'm at right now, but keep the party going. Like I love it. And to your point when you were talking about actually, I cannot remember that initial thing that I had to respond to, but I think that even just talking about the goals, I'm thinking about how easy it is to get off track because of the things that we see with other people.
Yeah. I'll stop there because. As I stopped there, I'll mention that when I first got into financial education, these are not things that I could really clearly pinpoint to say, all of these things are connected. It's not just about the goals, but it's also about how you think and feel. It's also about how you talk to yourself about money.
It's all of these different things. And I know that as I've studied over the years about financial psychology and even behavioral finance and people talk to me, they're like what, what is that? Really knowing how we think that's where I developed those four money cycles, because I know we have to all go through them just to see no matter how much money you have or what the goal is.
These are the things that we have to do to hit these goals. Now, budgeting, not, saving for emergencies, not starting out with baby steps or whatever, all the fundamentals, bro. And that's what a Susie and Dave and them be saying, but I ain't rocking them. I ain't rock one, their advice right now. You know what I mean?
Like they I generally believe that their advice isn't something that I. Need to adhere to because when I jumped into financial education, I never listened to those people. Like I was listening to the remeet safeties and the Dominic Browns of the world, the Tiffany LBJs that really not only spoke to the fundamentals, but also the experience of these things.
Rich: And yes, yes.
Oh, that experience part is so important in I wrote down, on the, on the golfer and I was thinking about. This experience I'm having now, as I'm starting to trade more actively in dabbling crypto, I took my own advice before I got in and I was like, all right, what's my investing strategy.
What's my risk tolerance. What's my, how much money am I going to a lot myself to do this per month? I got a plan. As I've gotten started, I've noticed this plan has some flaws, but that's okay because I just started doing this. So I had initial goals. I had, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna trade at this. And as I started learning and I started reading more and I've actually lost a little bit of money here and there.
I'm like, okay. I'm like, I probably shouldn't have done that, but. Now I know how to avoid that in the future. So I'm constantly tweaking these goals. I know where I want to get to profit wise in this trading account, but how I'm going to get there is going to look a lot different than what I thought it was going to look like when I really got into this probably at the
Steven: beginning of March.
Yes. And I think that's something that happens with investing in general. Cause we generally don't know if you're not an experienced investor that when you were a kid, you saw your family or your friends doing this. When you're an adult, you're going to, you're going to take some ELLs that you're gonna get these lessons.
The game was going to give them to you. And uh, I think that just hearing you, move and change your plan as you're getting that experience is the biggest part because you took action. Not only did you create the plan, but you took the step and say, I'm going to follow this plan and see what happens.
And that's a huge
Rich: thing. Yeah. Yeah. So if there's a takeaway for folks it's to create a plan, follow the plan. Don't be afraid to tweak the plan and to also have a regular check-in cadence with self, whether it's for work for money. I do every Saturday is when I go through all my accounts stuff, personal business DoorDash and Uber eats.
They definitely got me in a stronghold. Now I invested in one of them. Um, I was, I was like, might as well. Y'all getting all my coin anyway. I might as well invest. And then I find out later on based on updating my investment strategy, I'm like this probably isn't the company that I want my portfolio.
So I ended up selling, but again, there was the learning from it and then being able to make the pivot and Steven there's like three or four of the things we were supposed to get to that we're not going to get to, because then this is going to be a two hour episode, like back in the old days.
But what do you have. Coming up. What should people know about for you? And is there any parting thought that you want to leave for folks just giving you us going into may and just where you are right
Steven: now. A couple of things that I have going on. I'm relaunching my personal website, Steven M hughes.com, just so that people know who've known me in the financial education space, know that I am, full speed ahead on helping people with financial wellness and that I'm a Reiki practitioner and that's part of how I help people.
And then also helping people know that. Financial psychology and behavioral finance is a real thing in our community for people who look like us and who don't get that type of information when it comes to making their money decisions. Uh, I'm going to be, before the end of financial literacy month, I'm going to be launching that.
So that's going to be good even now that people can. Head there and download the affirmations that I use daily. Cause I remember we were talking about affirmations earlier just to change the way that you're thinking. And I feel like I didn't I talked a little bit about the four money cycles that I helped people go through with companies and organizations as I build out financial wellness programs for them.
I don't think I've mentioned the four money cycles. So I
Rich: remember I was like, did I just miss it? I wrote it down. And I was like, ah, if I ask it, it's going to
Steven: be, yeah, sorry. So here we go. So the four money cycles that everyone should go through with when it comes to their money and getting financially wealthy and well, the first one is to shift your mindset.
The second cycle is to stabilize your household. The third cycle is to sustain good money habits. And the fourth cycle is to stack towards your money goals. Each of these cycles, no matter where you are in your money life, like if you're just not getting started with your financial, like turning your financial life around one 80.
You're going to have to go through these cycles because you're gonna have to think about money differently. You've got to value yourself and your energy differently so that you can actually stabilize your household so that you can start, automating your money or getting an accountability partner to sustain good money habits, and then really kick money to the side to invest.
But even as you hit these investment goals, now you have to change and shift your money mindset again. So there's cycles that we're going to consistently go through. As long as we're. Wants to be financially well and making those decisions. And so those are the four money cycles that I want to help more people like understand where they are and take assessment of are, do I need to start thinking about money differently or are, I know that I'm, I want to do better.
Do I need to start kicking this money into an account that I cannot see? So I can't pull it out and it's actually going towards an emergency savings account and those are things that we can. Talk about if they ever goes back to a two hour episode, like we can definitely crank that up.
Rich: A follow up and it's been awesome having you back on the podcast, doing a bit of catch up.
The other thing, I think that's changed. Is I think you, did you still have your full-time job the last time you, I think you did. Cause it was so long ago. I think you had your full-time job when you since gone independent. And I know we were going to wrap, but can you actually talk about that a little bit?
Because I know there had to be a, like a bit of a plan in place in terms of, thinking about what am I going to parachute out, even if it wasn't just about the dollars, it was about some of the other stuff you had going on with. You can just talk a little bit real quick about making that leap.
Steven: So last year, and I've been in a business to business sales for the past 10 years, and I love sales.
I think that sales is really the the transferring of someone's emotions and energy to another person. And you're helping them solve problems and giving them solutions. I know that people have a bad taste or thought in their mouth when they think about sales, because they've. Seeing the actual car salesman, that was terrible.
But as I built a career in sales and I was winning all of the awards you know, top 1% in a global company of sales, I wanted to continue that. And last year I started looking for another gig that will help me bring all of my energy and my experience to the table. I think that you found a sweet spot with your position now.
And I was looking for something similar, but as I found more positions that I. I liked, I was like, I'm already doing this outside of work conduct. Like, why would I get a job to do this inside of another company? And then I realized that I had kicked enough money to the side where I can pay myself for six months.
And so I, I saw to my lady, I said, Hey, this is something I'm thinking about. I think that I might quit my job and just see how I can get things started and grow my company. And she was like, yeah. I was like, Oh yeah. Okay bet. Let's figure this out. And um, you know, as I was looking for new positions, because, they say, if you stay at a company for two years or more than you're leaving money on the table and I hate leaving money on the table.
So as I was looking for new positions at the end of last year, I just decided Oh, you know what, I'm going to put my two week notice in. And I was helping more people see work on the things that we're talking about now. It wasn't just Oh, I'm going to help you do your budget, or I'm going to help you save more.
It was like, I'm going to help you understand why you think about money this way, because your parents weaponized it in their house or whatever. And so I think. As I had that experience in the month of January, like I didn't do it. I didn't do much of anything I think, but I really, I can't say that I had a planning, because winter is for planning.
I had a planning time where, I had to get the soil ready. I had to really get the ground ready for what this was going to look like. And by February I had a few companies and organizations that were asking me to build financial wellness programs or talk about financial wellness. In their company or organization.
And, as I really leaned into that, like I, I got all of the signs signals, like this is something you should be doing. And even as I paid myself out of my savings account, Now the company is making money where I can pay myself and not have to touch my savings. And we're just continuing to grow each each month.
And I can't remember if I shared this with you offline or not, but I hit one of my revenue goals for the year this month. And it's Oh, well, this is pretty cool. Congrats. Thank you. Thank you. So I think that when it came to the job, the thing that made it an easier decision for me is that I asked myself.
Is this job getting in the way of what I feel and know my purpose is now. But is this something that I'm supposed to be doing while I'm trying to build this thing on the side and all of the signals from the most high relax, yo, head out, hit the door, we need you on this. We need you on this purpose. And um, that's, that's really how the.
Quitting, the job thing happened. And I know that I mentioned in the last podcast that I live my life by three words, which your action cures, all, I've added a fourth word on it, which is authentic action cures off. And so I knew that as I was heading out from the job, I was just very honest with everybody.
Hey, Even the president of the company. I told him, I was like, this has nothing to do with how y'all ran the company. I've enjoyed working here, but I got to bounce and build this thing.
Rich: So what's really awesome about what you just said is you mentioned that a couple of years ago you had these three words and you still have these three, those three words and you built on them by adding a word.
So they're not gone. Like you're still like that consistency is so important and being able to. Look at the three words, your values, your mission, whatever it is for you being able to look at something and be like, is this a lining? Is this making it's I could go do this, but is this actually like aligning you were able to do that.
So that's super awesome. And one last question. I promise this is it for real Quarantine happens. So you quit your job before all of this mess went down. I know how things have gone just from talking to you, but you talk a little bit about what this meant for your business. Cause it's Oh, the economy tank, like everything is like going down.
Like it sucks, but I know a lot of people who've come up. I know a lot of people who've maintained. What's it? What's it been
Steven: like for you? So at the top of the quarantine last year, I was still working full time. I left my company at the end of 2020. And so you know, through, Oh
yeah. Yep. That's a fewRich: months
I'm thinking. Yeah, Nope, no worries. But I was going to say even during the pandemi, as we saw so many things change, whether it was how people were working or how people were staying connected or how people were finding ways to stay healthy, like health was just such. A focus of mine that was really dialed in.
And as I became more healthy and like even last year, I think I lost 30 pounds. And as I dialed into my health, more people were asking me about staying healthy, not only with their physical bodies, but with their financial situations. And so I started to know Oh, this is something that I need to help people with.
Yeah, as we're going through the pandemic, like even next week, I have a talk with a local government agency to help entrepreneurs in that city know how to manage their money after COVID-19. And so there are so many changes that we saw last year that was like a perfect storm to do something different.
And I think that that's, that's what it led me to do. I love it
Rich: because you made a point from one of the recent episodes I've been talking about how. I feel like in the past year, people have been sitting at home like, and they've had a lot of time to reflect and ask themselves, is this where I want to be?
Am I happy? And I think. While there's been a lot of struggle. There's also a bit of growth and empowerment because people have endured and survived this past year. And you know what, I, I can do this. People picked up new habits, they started growing things, legal things, maybe some illegal things too, depending on what state you live in.
But. But people have started picking up new hobbies habits even something as simple as being on a lot of meetings. And let's say you're someone who creates stuff, you do art or whatever. And I've been in meetings with people for work. And I'm like, Oh, I like that art in the background. Where'd you get them?
Oh, I made it myself. And so imagine you're someone like that and you constantly hear people commenting on your work and then you start thinking, you know what, maybe I should start creating pieces that I can sell. That are going to generate revenue a different type of way. So I think it's just the beginning of it, but I'm optimistic that we're actually going to see an explosion, particularly in the content creator economy.
I think people are right for it, especially after the last
Steven: Agreed. I think a lot more people are leaning in to not only their voice, but exactly what you said of what is it that I want to do that I want to get out that I'm because every single one of us are creators. Like the creator made us creators.
If we remain in his image like that, we are all in that position. And it's the first and the last affirmation on my list is I'm a creator and I create starting with my life. That's the last affirmation I say every morning. And I think during the pandemic, that was never, before the pandemic, that was never on my affirmation sheet.
I was talking to all about money. Like I'm gonna be rich and wealthy. I'm going to okay. Yeah. That's part of it. Abundance. Exactly. And that's part of it. But now, like even my affirmations, aren't just about money. They're about being healthy and wealthy. Like I talk about. I have a healthy mind that is connected to the unlimited source of the most.
I have a healthy body that has no aches, ailments or pain. But that created things you just mentioned. So many people are locking into that because they realize this is who I am like, this is their coming to themselves and saying, this is what I want to do and need to do. That's a
Rich: freaking fantastic place to really stop the episode.
So I saw you're about to take good drink there, but Steven, this has been awesome and we'll definitely have to do it again. Do you know, there'll be a lot more for us to talk about and work on, but really appreciate you coming on the podcast and kicking it with the PMB family. For
Steven: sure, man. And I got to say this before I leave.
I love everything that you got going on. And I see that you're getting clear on your goals and your intentions too, and who you want to help and how you want to help them. And so congrats to just the continuous Gus of the show, the new things you got popping with the YouTube channel and everything else that you know, got cooking under the hood.
Rich: I appreciate you getting that on the tape, man. I appreciate that. Thanks and rural to Steven for coming on the podcast for such a dope conversation. We even joked after the show, how alike we are and when, as far as comparing our sons and moons, because we be out here in these Paicey streets. And so I'm really looking forward to having him back on the show again, because there's still so much more for us to discuss.
And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to share with your network and follow the show on your listening platform of choice. So you don't miss the latest. You can also follow paychecks and balances on Instagram at pay balances where I'm switching the style up soon. And there's also another big announcement coming soon, but I'll save that for next time.
So thanks for listening. And until next time do something dope.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your first name and email address below to receive the biweekly newsletter and periodic updates to help you win financially and professionally.
Steven’s first podcast appearance: Get Financially Organized with Steven M. Hughes – PB113
Connect with Steven M. Hughes:
Connect with Paychecks and Balances:
Get Our Newsletter!
Join our free email community to get our newsletter with actionable tips and interesting reads to help you navigate your finances and career.