NAME: Tonya (myfabfinance)
When did you launch your business/blog?
I launched My Fab Finance in 2013. I initially created My Fab Finance to serve as my accountability partner as I embarked on my own journey to financial freedom. I decided to grow the site because I felt like there weren’t a lot of people speaking to millennial women of color about finances in a way that we could understand and actually enjoy. I wanted to share my perspective as someone who has never worked in the finance industry. Someone who struggled with math growing up but was able to establish financial freedom.
What inspired you to pursue your dreams and begin creating the life you want?
I believed I could and I believed I deserved it. I know so many people who are making a living doing what they love. I began to focus on how I could do the same. I’ve always felt like I would be doing what I loved. I left North Carolina so that I wouldn’t be resigned to a call-center or banking job. I connected to who I was at the core when I moved to New York City. Once I became clear on who I was and focused on how I could pursue my dreams, my purpose found me. Have I always wanted to be a financial educator? No, But I’ve always wanted to be a change agent and My Fab Finance allows me to create change in the lives of others.
How does your business line up with your purpose in life?
I get to help people change their lives and their children’s live by way of financial freedom. I’ve always been about empowerment and advancement for people of color. My work with My Fab Finance is the icing on the cake. ☺
What do you enjoy most about living life on your own terms?
Designing my days. I'm able to travel, spend more time with my family, attend events, while doing things that matter to me. I'm able to listen to my body more as well. If my body says I need more sleep, I sleep in without having to come up with an excuse.
Describe an a-ha moment.
I would say one of my biggest a-ha moments was when I interviewed Russell Simmons. I was still working my full-time job and had to go back to the office after the interview. It was that day I decided that I was going to resign and I began planning my exit.
What has been your biggest challenge as a blogger or business owner?
Remaining focused and choosing not to overextend myself. It's so easy to take on more projects than you should. I had to realize that just because it’s a good idea doesn’t mean it's mine to execute.
What keeps you motivated on days when you feel overwhelmed?
Impacting more people. I want my work to touch thousands.
What’s one thing that you makes you stand out from your peers?
I would say my approach. We all have unique approaches. I’m young and funky with a big afro. It sets the tone for the manner in which I communicate with my audience.
What’s your biggest fear? And how do you overcome your fears?
One of my biggest fears is losing sight of why I began doing this work in the first place. I've seen so many people start out with the intention of doing good and then they start chasing the accolades and the awards, rather than results.
What’s one lesson that you’ve learned on your journey to being free?
I've learned that you have to define free for yourself, someone else's definition won't do. Because then you're not necessarily free you are living in someone else's expectations of you, which isn't freedom. Define freedom for yourself and don't allow others to distract you from your pursuit.
What are you most proud of?
There are quite a few things I'm proud of, my masters degree, the Black Enterprise cover, and becoming one of the first people in my family to be self-employed. But I think overall what I've created for myself living in New York City. I moved to this city eight years ago with $500 and a handful of friends. I've essentially built my business and made a name for myself in personal finance. They say if you can make it here you can make it anywhere and I've flourished.
How do you support other women?
I provide women with tools and resources to become clearer about what they want in life and how to achieve financial freedom so they can do more of what they love.
What does being free mean to you?
Being free means living authentically on my own terms.
What is your favorite affirmation or quote?
“When you want something bad enough the universe conspires to help you achieve it.” -Paulo Coehlo
What book would you highly recommend the BeFree Community read?
Feel It Real by Denise Coates- it is a fantastic book about the law of attraction and applying it to your life.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Consistency is everything. Sure there are people who may know more than me but I've been consistently doing this for three years. You have no idea how many blogs I've seen come and go since I've started. It's not because they lost the passion is but they got discouraged. The most successful bloggers are usually the most consistent. And consistency is key in anything that you are doing.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
I am an ambivert. This means that I possess qualities of both an introvert and extrovert, but I have no problem working alone sometimes I prefer to be in my house by myself.
What exciting things do you have planned for 2016?
In 2016 I will be doing a debt repayment challenge starting in March. I will be launching my first membership club for My Fab Finance in May, and I am working on a millennial wealth building conference for the fall.