“I never imagined that my own seemingly insurmountable money problems would lead me to a deeply satisfying and financially lucrative career.”
My approach to helping others is rooted in my own experience. Years ago, my financial life was in shambles. On the outside, I looked every bit the part of a successful career professional: I had the prestigious address, the designer wardrobe, the late model sports car, and a corner office in a landmark skyscraper in San Francisco’s financial district. But behind that impressive façade lay a dirty little secret:
“I had all the trappings of success, but the truth was,
I was flat broke.”
Instead of saving, I was living paycheck to paycheck. I was driving with an expired license and my car registration was past due. I was behind in my rent and car payments. Bill collectors were hounding me. And things were steadily getting worse. I was racking up credit card debt at an exorbitant rate, unable to discern between the things I wanted and the things I needed.
In short, I was in a financial mess. And to make matters worse, I was too proud to admit I didn’t know how to manage my money—and too ashamed to ask for help. When I finally hit rock bottom, I realized that there was more involved than my lack of financial skills. There were deep-seated emotional issues that were undermining my ability to succeed with money.
“But there were no services for people like me.”
I looked for answers in books, and while I found plenty of financial advice, there was nothing on the shelves that addressed the root causes that lead to money problems. Neither did the expertise of financial advisors and accountants. They knew a lot about saving, spending and investing but not about the self-defeating money patterns that were ruining my life. I sought out therapy, which helped me process my pain, shame, fear and sense of deprivation. But I could feel that the roots of my problem hadn’t been touched. They were still buried deep within me.
Like so many others, I had been living in what I call “a money coma” — utterly unconscious of my relationship to money — and that relationship was exactly what I needed to understand. And change.
No wonder there was no quick fix! This was an issue that needed to be addressed on practical, emotional and spiritual levels. Clearly, a lasting solution would require an integrated approach. It was that realization that finally enabled me to build a new and healthy financial life for myself.
I started taking simple steps that were amazingly powerful. I created a set of simple worksheets and easy money-tracking tools unlike any I’d found. I quickly began to see results, experiencing not only more financial stability, but also a greater sense of well-being.
“The vision of a future beyond my immediate state of devastation started to come into focus.
It was an image of the life I actually wanted to live.”
At some point, I realized I was developing a personal recovery process—Financial Recovery. As I began sharing this system with others, I became more and more excited by the results. People from all walks of life and all income levels were able to immediately transform their self-defeating behaviors and, over time, change their entire financial lives. In 1988, I started my Financial Recovery practice and laid the groundwork for the Financial Recovery Institute.
It’s been more than 28 years since I transformed my own relationship with money. In that time, I’ve helped thousands of others do the same. This work has been the most compelling and gratifying work of my life. Now my desire is to offer like-minded professionals the same opportunity I’ve had. I want to provide them with all the tools and training necessary to help others create stable, satisfying, sustainable relationships to money. I cannot imagine a more satisfying career or life purpose.