Most people accept the limitations placed on them by society, never questioning how much more they’re actually capable of. Tasha Cochran is not most people. And that is why I’m thrilled to have her on the podcast today to blow up people’s assumptions of what is possible.
Tasha Cochran is an attorney, personal finance expert, co-founder of One Big Happy Life, and a true trailblazer teaching millions of people how to build wealth for their best financial future.
However, Tasha began her career journey as a 19 year-old single mother in the military. Wanting to provide the best for her daughter, Tasha set her sights on law school and didn’t rest until she got into one of the country’s best schools, Yale Law. After graduation, she began working as a lawyer in Consumer Finance.
While she excelled at her career, and made valuable connections, she found herself wanting more. Needing a passion or hobby to take her mind of the stress of work, Tasha began creating YouTube videos on a topic she loved to talk about, finances. That hobby eventually led her down a path to create One Big Happy Life where she serves as a wealth expert and strategist to help others find sustainable and realistic solutions to building their wealth and lifestyles.
In under 3 years, Tasha began making multiple six-figures with One Big Happy Life all while still working a full-time job as a lawyer. In fact, Tasha only quit law six months ago in order to focus on and scale OBHL.
Tasha and her partner Joseph have built an empire by accepting fluidity and rejecting society’s standards of the “right” way of doing things. With their Wealth Builders Academy program, they teach individuals to take charge of their finances and stop living by limiting beliefs. Tasha is a shining example of what it is like to craft your own journey and design a life that works for you.
In this episode, we discuss:
How building your dreams and having a career aren’t mutually exclusive
Why it’s ok to not follow a strict life plan
How sharing your story can help you and others grow
The value of hard work in a quickly growing online space
Goli: Hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode. You guys are in for a treat. I love this episode so much and I'm going to get into why in a second. Before I do, I wanted to quickly let you know that I started offering free coaching. Once a month I jump on a zoom call and I chat with you about what is stopping you. I'm seeing the breakthroughs that people are having in my group program. And it is incredible to me and a kind of solidified to me that people just need a mirror held up to them to see their own blind spots. They just need to see where they are falling into these traps that they can't see, whether it's fear or doubt, anxiety, all of this stuff. And we are making some strides very quickly and I want to be able to offer that if you can't afford the program.
And so once a month I've committed to showing up on a zoom call. You'll get a link. You just show up and you can talk about anything, any part of this process that is keeping you stuck. Whether that's the fear of what other people think, whether it's figuring out what you should be doing, whether it's the steps to do it, whether it's figuring out the financial part. We can chat about all of it, but here's the thing. I only send that link out to my email list, so if you haven't already signed up for my email list, what are you doing? You can either sign up anywhere on the website that says sign up for the newsletter, but if you want to specifically sign up for the coaching, go to quitter club.com/coaching and I will send out the dates and the link every month, so I hope you join.
Also, I wanted to let you know that the book for February, since we're doing one book a month, is going to be Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. If you have struggled with figuring out what exactly you should be doing, if you quit your career, then this is the book for you. It's a great one and I can't wait to talk about it at the end of the month. Okay, now on to this incredible episode with Tasha Cochran. Let me tell you why I'm so excited about this episode because and I tend to get a lot of resistance from people about why they can't quit and without wanting to be rude.
Most of it is just an excuse and I see it, but when you're in it you really think, “No, my situation is different. Mine is really difficult.” But no, it's not. Sure, it's difficult. Everyone's is difficult. It's hard to make these choices. If it was easy, everyone would do it. It is very difficult but it's not complex. It's not something special. You're not a unicorn. And I think a lot of times people ask me specifically to find guests that mirror their situation so that they can see if someone else can do it. Then they can. I've been asked to find a single mom, somebody over this age, somebody that's the sole breadwinner or whatever it is because we want to see if someone else can do it. Then I can do it too. And I love Tasha's story because she busts through a lot of the excuses that I've heard of why people can't do whatever it is they want to do. And so beyond the fact that her own journey is incredible and it's such a cool story to listen to.
It's so inspiring because she's a testament to the fact that anything you're saying you can't do is an excuse and a limiting belief. So we will get into all of this. Tasha talks about how she found herself in 19 as a single mom and she decided that she needed to figure out how she was going to make an income that was going to support her and her child and how she was going to create the best life for herself. So at 19, she starts putting herself through community college and then college and ultimately goes on to Yale law school. She grabs graduates from Yale and begins working as an attorney and during the time that she is working as an attorney in one particular job, she was very unhappy. And we'll talk about what the impetus was for this.
But she began to try to create a hobby of putting up videos about topics that she's really passionate about, like financial advice on YouTube. And she created a platform called one big happy life. She was trying to show people how they can create these lives that they're happy about and how yes, you can create a life that's by design and by your own design and that works with whatever financial situation you're in. And so yeah, she begins posting this while she's working as an attorney. So a lot of times I hear people say, “Oh, but I have a full-time job or I can't do this on nights and weekends.” And a lot of people say, “I'm an attorney, what would people say if I posted on YouTube?” And so we talk about all of that with Tasha, but she began posting this and the first year, you know, she made $5,000 she did all this work and she only made 5,000 but she was doing it because she loved it.
It was a hobby. And in three short years, while working full time while her partner worked full time, they started making multiple six figures from this one big happy life platform. I mean it is blown up is unbelievable. They have over 180,000 subscribers on YouTube. She has over 20,000 subscribers on Instagram and they've just really made this behemoth of a platform in under three years. And she finally left her career as a lawyer just a couple of months ago when her business was in the multiple six figures and she realized that she could stop working to then focus on the business and grow it with her goal of making it a seven-figure business. Her story is just so good. So I'll stop talking because I think that she just does a great job of giving you all of the wisdom and insight you need to take that leap. So without further ado, let's jump in and talk to Tasha.
Hi Tasha, thank you so much for joining me today.
Tasha: Hey Goli. So excited to be here with you.
Goli: Oh my gosh, I am so excited to have you on. I can't wait to get into your story because I think that for so many people you end your story not only are inspiring, but I think you show so many of us how a lot of the things that we think are limiting us are just in our head and we're just using as excuses. So I can't wait to dive into all of it. We typically start back at the beginning, why don’t you let us know a little bit about what led you to law school.
Tasha: I guess we'll take it way back to when... Right after high school, I joined the military because I really had no idea how to afford college. I'm not from the United States. Neither one of my parents graduated from high school, so they definitely couldn't give me any advice on how to go to college. So the military, of course, said to me, well join the military and we'll give you money to go to college, which they did. I got my GI bill. Well at 19 I got pregnant with my daughter and I became a single mom. By the way, the military just doesn't pay that much. So I was making less than $24,000 a year trying to support my daughter and I'm thinking, this is not going to work. I want to make more money. And I also recognize that I wanted a job that was more of a career that was more intellectually stimulating, that valued me having different opinions and wanting to look into different ways to do things, which the military is not really about that life. So after I ended up going to school at night, while I worked full time as a Marine and then I got out of the Marine Corps and got my bachelor's. But at this point, I have a child to support. So I'm not thinking, well where is my passion? I'm thinking, what career will get me making the most money? And so that is how I decided to go to law school. I was really just looking to make money.
Goli: I mean that's incredible for so many reasons though. What do you think it was about you and that your mindset that you didn't give into kind of the limitations that I think society puts on single moms, especially at teen moms or young moms. I think so many people in your situation would say like, oh, I can't do that now. I have this young child, I should just be working or I don't have enough time because I have to work full time, or whatever it is. The stuff that we come to believe. It's incredible that you were able to (in that situation and having those responsibilities and having that time crunch and being so young) to say, “I'm going to do this and I'm going to go to law school.” What do you think it was about you? How did you find that drive?
Tasha: So I honestly - I probably have to say that I was born that way and I have to be honest about that because growing up my mom and I (and my parents generally) would bump heads so much because whatever they told me, I would question it. I would say, why? Why? Why do I have to do this that way? [inaudible] Growing up in a Guyanese household, very authoritarian parents that didn't go down well. So I had a very tumultuous childhood and so it's just the way that I've always been, it's something that continues to frustrate my parents, that I don't just accept what they tell me to do. I ask why I'm, I'm inquisitive. You know? Once you are told that something can't be done and then you do it once, it creates this precedent where you're like, well, I'm not going to believe what anyone tells me about what can and can't be done. I'm going to figure out how to do it and show them. And even if they don't know how...
Goli: What a gift. That is such an incredible mindset. I'm sure you know, it doesn't seem like a gift to parents that have a child that they want to just be obedient. But I think that's such an incredible thing to have. And so many of us lack that. So you have this idea of going to law school, you're going to make money and then you don't just go to any law school. You go to Yale, which is you know, arguably the best law school in the country. And how did you make that work though, with a young child?
Tasha: Okay. I want to also clarify that it wasn't just to make money. I will say that very early on as a single mom, I recognized just how pervasive the law is and basically every single thing that we do and how important it is to understand the law and the way that the law works. And because of those touchpoints that I had, with the family law courts, trying to get sole custody of my daughter and when I bought my first house and then when I almost got caught in a refinancing adjustable-rate mortgage scam. But only because I happened to read the HUD one and understood and the note the mortgage note and understood what was being said there. Don't ask me why. I was able to figure that out as a non-attorney, but I understood that the terms in the note were not what they had verbally told me and just encountering those things in the frustration with my own lack of knowledge also pushed me to law school in terms of how I got to Yale.
Well at first I was going to go to the university of Richmond because I was living in Virginia at the time in Fredericksburg, Virginia. That's where I had my house and University of Richmond was the closest to my house and so it seemed very convenient to me as a single mom. Well, at that time I did. I was married, so as a mom settled, living in a house that I would just go to the closest law school to my house and then when I started researching, well, how do you actually get into law school? Because of course, I don't know anyone that graduated from college, much less law school. That's when I realized that it was actually kind of important where you go to law school. I said to myself, well why don't I just try to get into one of the top law schools and see what happens.
Goli: That's cool. It’s so all-consuming in time, you know? It's not just class, it's like you're literally around the clock. So how did you manage that?
Tasha: So as I said, I was married at the time. What we did was when I got into Yale, we decided we would sell the house and we would move up to New Haven. William, my husband at the time, he was going to go back to school so he was going to go and finish his undergraduate degree. So both of us were full-time students at the time. And so then that made things a lot easier than it would be. I mean, just being perfectly honest, I was kind of a half-assed law student. I was not trying to be that person that was getting all the recommendations from the professors and gunning for the Supreme court clerkship. That wasn't what I aspired to.
I didn't need that. I only needed to get my law degree, do reasonably well and get a big law job. Knowing kind of what my end goal was and what was important to me and just being a non-traditional student with a spouse and a child, my priorities were very different and it was always incredibly important to me to be there for my daughter to be around. I kind of just went for B minus work in law school and I was okay with that. This is it and I'm, I'm sure you actually probably enjoyed law school more than most people because you had that perspective and those priorities and didn't have to make it an all consuming, you know a thing about your identity or anything. Yeah, I had lots of friends who were super stressed out even though, to be honest, as far as law schools go, Yale's kind of laid back with the whole no grades thing and no mandatory curve.
So it was like honors pass, low pass. So really for me, I thought, as long as I graduate with a mix of A’s and B’s, I'm okay. That's all it was. But for some of my other classmates, even though they told us when we got to Yale, “Congratulations, you've arrived, you can get off the treadmill.” They could not get off the treadmill. Ten years later, maybe it's been a little bit more than that now, 12 years later since we've started law school and I look at the people who were busting their butts and super stressed and I look at my life and I can't say that they have advanced farther in life as a result of making those years harder on themselves and they had to be.
Goli: No, absolutely not. I had the same experience in law school because Berkeley was the same. It was pass and honors and high honors, but there's still the same I think because it attracts a certain type of people. You know, type-A, super obsessive. It's very hard to get out of that. And even in the law firm life. And I think that contributes to a lot of the people that are unhappy is some of that is just self-imposed stress that you don't necessarily need, but we don't really know how, we're not really taught how to not live like that. So I completely agree. Okay. So you go to law school, you come out, you begin working as a lawyer. Why don't you tell us a little bit about how One Big Happy Life started while you're working as a lawyer?
Tasha: After law school, I got a fellowship, the presidential management fellowship, and so I actually took a non-legal job right out of law school. So it was not the law degree with, it's not required. It was a law degree-enhanced job. And I worked for HUD in the office of fair housing and equal opportunity and I quickly built a docket of cases that were... they're more complex and novel cases and all of their finance cases. So that is how I really got into personal finance and became a personal finance expert because I was doing it on the legal side. So [inaudible] Oh word. Three years into my career, I was divorced. I then met Joseph, who is my partner now. We moved to Philadelphia so that I could take a position as the head of the intake of the office of fair housing over a five-state region in the Northeast.
At that time, Joseph and I were trying to conceive and we were struggling, so we decided that we were going to have to do IVF and Joseph got an opportunity to transfer to Washington DC, which had insurance coverage for IVF, and that's how we got to DC. But then I had to give up my job because I couldn't transfer it to DC I ended up taking a job that I absolutely hated. It was the worst work environment of horrible bosses that I didn't think existed in real life until I came across these people. Of course, immediately I start looking for a new job, but I was miserable. And Joseph said something that I liked. He said I needed to do something to take my mind off of the day to day and how much I hated work. So he said, “Well, why don't you just find some kind of passion project to do for fun?” And that's how one big happy life was born.
Goli: That's so amazing. And I really dig into that. So when he says that, what kind of passion project, I mean how does the idea of putting up videos on YouTube about personal finance? What about that was - I know you were saying you personally loved personal finance, but I think a lot of people maybe don't jump into putting themselves out there like that on YouTube. And so what was it that made you decide that this was the route you were going to take?
Tasha: One of the things that you'll find in common in all of my stories is I kind of meander my way to things. Nothing is straightforward. It's like when you look at my life, it seems planned. There was nothing planned. It's, it's always kind of feeling things out and going. Where I feel called to go. I have to backtrack a little bit and say that three years before, so in 2013 my daughter was having a bit of an identity crisis because we lived in a majority white area and she's mixed race. It has these amazing luxurious curls. But she resented them because everyone else was blonde hair and straight-haired. And as much as I would tell her that her hair was beautiful, she would look in my hair, which was chemically relaxed and she was like, but mom your hair straight too. So I decided to go natural and so I cut all of my hair off.
I was inspired to do that and had the courage to do that because other people had posted their videos on YouTube of them cutting off their hair. So one day when it was time to cut my hair, I planted the camera in our bathroom and Alexis and I cut my hair off and then I put that video up on YouTube and I just walked away from it cause I'm like, Oh, I'm just paying it forward. Well, fast forward three years, Joseph's like, I need a passion project. I'm like, what am I going to do? And then I get this check from YouTube, this hundred dollars check, because that video had just been sitting there amassing views and it finally hit the payout threshold. So it just kind of all happened right at the right time. And then I started making hair videos and I realize I don't like making hair videos. I don't like spending a lot of time on my hair. There is no way I'm going to be talking about hair for like week after week after week. So what do I enjoy talking about? Well, I like talking about how to create a holistic and happy life that you love, that also allows you to build wealth and have the kind of lifestyle that you want to have. And so that's exactly what I started doing. I started making money videos.
Goli: Oh my God. Okay. So there are so many things I love about this because I think what you were just saying earlier about the way that you approach your life, which is just gold and I think it comes up a lot on this podcast, is the fact that a lot of times, it's just Martha Beck says, your life is talking to you and that, so where does your curiosity lead you? And allowing yourself to kind of go there. I think we still often stop ourselves because it doesn't seem practical or what are people gonna say. And so to allow that and then just trying things, you know, I think we so often try to think our way to the end goal. This is what I want and I'm just going to plan it all out.
But you know, had you never started doing hair videos and then realizing, Oh I don't actually like this and I can switch it to something else, you wouldn't have ever started just doing finance videos if you hadn't put up that one video. And I think it's, we get in our own way, we stop ourselves. So I love that you did this, but I want to know because so many of us might have that idea like, Oh, this seems like fun, or I like baking, or I like making hair or doing makeup or whatever. But then like the next thought is, but I'm a lawyer. If I put this up and people see I can't just put this on YouTube. What if my coworkers see it? Or what are people going to say? Or what am I really doing? What's gonna? You know, there's a flood of these negative thoughts. And so we just ended up not doing it and sitting with what we know. So did you ever have any of that? You're working as a lawyer at the time, so you clearly have coworkers and stuff, like people all go on YouTube. And so did you ever think, what are people gonna say if I, if they see that I'm making these random videos that have nothing to do with the law on YouTube?
Tasha: Absolutely. Because not only did I do hair videos in the beginning, but I'm on YouTube. So when on YouTube you do as YouTube brews do, we have a video where we did the family yoga pose challenge where I'm actually sitting there on my couch breastfeeding right on the thumbnail with Josef and Alexis doing some almost dirty dancing style, like lift the lift, not the other, not the crazy moves, but the lift also we did a spicy ramen challenge. Okay. And so those are so goofy and as a lawyer like they are fun, right? But it’s not necessarily how you want to present yourself as a professional. So what did I do? I hid it, no one knew what I was doing. I just counted on the fact that no one was going to find me. So I was still posting on YouTube or probably a full two years before I really ever posted anything on my personal Facebook page.
Now, having said that, when I started working at the CFPB, the consumer financial protection Bureau as an attorney there in January of 2017 I had to fill out an outside employment activity form. So they had to know from the beginning that I was doing this thing called one big happy life on YouTube where I was making $5 a month at that point. I loved doing it and it was fun and it still was not something that I thought would ever become my career. The thing that sustains my family financially, it was something that I was just doing for fun and thought, well maybe in five or six years when my daughter goes to college, it'll be making $2,000 a month and can pay for her to go to college. That was my long game at that time. So what I would say to people is that you only get one life and you can't spend it wondering what other people think.
I think it's okay to have standards in your life to say, if someone can't understand that I want to do this fun thing. I think it's interesting if they, if that will stop them from respecting me as a professional, then they don't deserve my respect in the first place. So that's how I think of it. And since then, now that we're bigger and more public, because at this point our videos have had over 14 million views. I've had some of my law school classmates reach out to me for advice and to say that they love what I'm doing. And I've also hired one of my former law school classmates as my attorney.
Tasha: Yeah. Like hired her law firm.
Goli: Yeah. I love that. I mean obviously I agree completely with you. That's the entire premise of this show is kind of figuring out that you have this one shot at life and to not kind of be a prisoner of what other people think and do the things that you want. And I understand that that's easier said than done, but it can be done. And I think, and I love that you to show that because so many people think they have to leave before they start doing something else. And again, it's just thoughts that we're putting on our, it's just a rule that you've created. There's no reason. I hear a lot of times with lawyers and obviously, we're trained to be risk-averse and we're trained to look at every possible potential catastrophe and so you end up thinking, what if, what if down the road somebody sees us? What if this and so you don't do anything in it. I just want people to really realize that that's an excuse because there's no reason why, even as a lawyer or a doctor or whatever, you can't start doing these other things that you like doing. You're just telling yourself that you can't because I understand it can be embarrassing, but there's nothing stopping you really.
Tasha: Yeah, and I was pleasantly surprised at just how much my bosses leaned into what I was doing with one big happy life, especially as the business really started to grow in 2019 so I became a brand ambassador for Oprah magazine and I got an opportunity to do a photoshoot for Oprah magazine. So, of course, I had to take personal leave to go do that, but my supervisors were and I was very upfront about this is what I'm going to be doing. They were so thrilled. And of course, they were like, as soon as the magazine comes out you let us know cause we're all going to buy copies. And it got to the point where Kathy, who is the head of the CFPB, she heard about it and was telling everyone about it. And so everyone was incredibly supportive. I say people might surprise you.
Goli: I love the fact that you've made it to the point where you're becoming a brand ambassador for Oprah and you're still working as a lawyer. So we will get to that. But I think that going back really quickly, we tend to get support and people tend to really love it or come on board, especially once it's kind of gotten legs and people see it in something, Oh wow, Oprah's involved. And that's so exciting. I think where people falter is because in order to get that you have to start messy, right? You have to start with no subscribers and nobody looking, and that's the scary part where we worry. People are saying, “Oh, what is she doing now?”
You said that you started, you know, obviously, you didn't, you didn't advertise on your own personal pages, but you didn't do this under a pseudonym or anything, right? I mean you did one big happy life, but did you cover up your name? Did you present yourself as anything else?
Tasha: In the beginning, I didn't see my last name. It was Tasha and Joseph and my kids' names, but, and we wouldn't say, we still don't say exactly where we live. I've never said exactly where I worked until I no longer work there because I also wanted to make sure that there was no hint of impropriety like me trying to use my official position to benefit my business, that kind of thing. I didn't start using my last name until I started working with the financial diet.
I did a weekly video show on the financial diets YouTube channel for about a year and that's when I really started using my last name because I started to do more speaking events and things like that. It's never been difficult to find me. If you search Tasha Yale law, there were like three of us and only one of them is black. So yeah.
Goli: But going back to when you first started doing the [inaudible] financial videos, and you were saying, I think that was like, it became more of a regular thing. In 2017 and you said you were making $5 a month or something. So you, and you had to disclose this, but at the time that you're doing this, how many videos are you putting up a month on YouTube? Oh my goodness. I would say between anywhere from nine to 15 videos a month. Unbelievable. Because that takes a ton of time to script them or or plan 'em record them, edit them, put them up.
At the time you were saying that you were thinking this is going to be something that, you know, brings in some side income to help put your daughter through college. But I mean was it really like you're putting in all this effort while having a full time job and having children so you're clearly very busy. I mean was there a time when you're thinking like what am I doing? Why am I spending all of this time on this side thing? Did you have a vision of where it was going to go and so it made kind of that hard work worth it. Cause I think a lot of people struggle with saying, well why would I take on a hobby that's going to take hours and hours after I come home from a 40 50 hour a week job? They struggle with that. So what was your mindset around that at the time?
Tasha: I would say in 2017 it was just fun. It wasn't a business. It was just this thing that I was doing for fun that happened to also make money and also allowed me to do good because I'm very passionate about consumer finance and about educating people and empowering them to make the best possible financial decisions. That is what I have devoted my legal career to and even before that, when I was working part time at the college, helping veterans navigate their student loans and their GI bill benefits, so it's something that I've always felt called to do, but I had never consumed personal finance media. I'd always just done it on the professional level. When I started looking at personal finance media, I was appalled because so much of it was just wrong and was honestly damaging all of the work that I was doing in my day job to try to educate consumers and increase access to credit.
I was passionate about it and it was fun. Then by the end of 2017 we had our first thousand dollar month and I'm like, wait a minute, there's something here. So then 2018 was my grind year and that's the year where I'm like, I'm going to make this into a business. I want this to replace my income. And that year we made $76,000 and I thought, this was way too much work for just $76,000. It is easier for me to make money as a lawyer than to do this grind. And the thing that kept me going was that I was still passionate about what I was doing and that I believed that I had a message that people needed to hear. I knew that I was changing lives because I would get messages daily, weekly about what a difference I was making in people's lives. And so I just didn't want to give up. I knew that I wanted to change the landscape of personal finance and that if I gave up, it wasn't going to happen.
Goli: Amazing. And did you, at the time when you were making 76,000 and clearly it's more work than that's worth, but do you see the potential of it growing? I mean, is that part of the motivation to kind of keep growing this as a business? Cause maybe if the cap was at 76 or let's say a hundred K wouldn't be worth it, but knowing that this can grow into something that would be replacing your income, was that something that kind of kept you going?
Tasha: So yes, definitely. Because for me it was, it's so funny when you first start out, you have no idea what's possible. You don't know what you don't know. And the more that I started to immerse myself in the business world, in the online business world and started to understand how businesses work, I understood how to create a profit plan for my business and create projections for what was possible in terms of revenue. That really helped keep me going.
And I will say just to be clear, 76,000 is a very good income, but I am also about people being comfortable saying I want a certain lifestyle and that certain lifestyle costs a certain amount of money and I'm willing to find work that allows me to make money to have the lifestyle that I want and also enjoy my life. So given that I knew that $76,000 for the business I was running was not going to cut it for me. So I knew I would have to continue to grow from there. But I invested heavily in education and in learning about business and so that I could expand my own thoughts on what was possible for me and my business and the ways that my business could make money.
Goli: I love that we talk a lot about that on the podcast. Especially because I always say, you don't know what you don't know. But one of the reasons I bring that up is because I think so often, like we look at doing something right and I've talked to so many people who let's say like want to be a freelance writer or whatever, and I'll give them suggestions of ways they can start. And they say, “Oh, well that's not worth it. It only pays this much.” And I always think when you're not looking at the potential, that's the beginning so that you can get your feet wet, you know? And yes, it's not worth it in the beginning because you don't know that other people are maybe out there making these businesses. I think it's just something worth noting because yes. You know, the first year you were making, you were saying, yeah, I think you said on another podcast that you made $5,000 the first year or something like that and then 76,000 and then the third year you guys got into multiple six figures or six figures.
Tasha: Yeah. So in 2019 I believe our revenue was $275,000
Goli: Unbelievable. Oh my God, it's so amazing. I love this. And you know it's, I know hindsight is 2020.
Tasha: Can I say one thing, which is that Joseph will kill me if I only give you the revenue number because it infuriates him when businesses only report revenue because he understands that revenue is irrelevant if you're not keeping any of your money in terms of profit. Our profit was $170,000.
Goli: Oh my God. That's amazing. And I appreciate you for wanting to clear that. Clarify that. Cause I know especially in the online business space, a lot of the marketing is around, “Oh I made 500,000” But then they don't say that they spent 480,000 so I think that's very wise and kind of you guys too to share. So thank you. Also, it's amazing. And I think if anyone was to look and say in three years you could be making multiple six figures, that's unbelievable. But a lot of times because there's no path laid out, it's very hard to kind of get started. So I think the fact that you started not really making much and then kind of growing this has been amazing and what is just more incredible on top of that is that the majority of what you guys did was while you both had full time jobs. So when did you finally end up quitting your law job?
Tasha: I quit my job in August of 2019 so I did not quit my job until I felt like the business revenue would be able to replace my employment income.
Goli: And Joseph still works full time?
Tasha: He does still work full time and for many reasons, but the primary one being that he is in the middle of pursuing public service loan forgiveness and he is less than two years away from reaching it and his student loans are over 200,000 because he's also a lawyer as of right now. It makes perfect sense for him to keep working for the next two years.
Goli: How did you guys manage this? What does your schedule look like when you were working, you know, as a lawyer and also trying to run this business?
Tasha: I'm just going to be completely honest and tell you that I was working all the time, all the time. I mean it's, I, I think that a lot of people would love to have this multiple six-figure business where they're only working 10 hours a week. I have not, I don't know how to do that without first building the business with the grind and with your hours. First of all, I worked from home two to three days a week and so that would free up about three hours of commute time that I could then work on the business. So from the moment I woke up, I would work on the business till it was time for me to start working, whether that was being in the office at six 30 or sitting in my home office at six 30 I would work on my day job from six to two 30 and then I would have about two more hours before the kids came home. And that would be with the kids and as a family from about four 30 to six 30 Joseph would put Reeves down every single night. Alexis cleaned the kitchen so I didn't have to do that. And so then I would work up until sometimes till midnight and get maybe four or five hours worth of sleep and do it again the next day. And then on the weekends, I would work typically an eight hour day.
Goli: I really appreciate you being honest with that because again, I think there's just so much BS marketing out there about basically get rich quick in six months and only work 10 hours and it's, it just doesn't work that way. But I mean you grind it for the amount of time you did and now that you have been able to leave and I think why your story is so inspiring and enticing to so many people that don't want to take a huge leap and want to replace their income. Just showing that it's possible. Yes, you have to kind of grind, but I mean in the age that we live in now with the internet, you can build your business, you know, at nights and on weekends and the fact that you guys were able to do that with such busy lives is incredible.
Tasha: The reason why it is a grind, it doesn't have to be, but to make it happen quickly, you have on one side. You have the education side because you have no idea what you're doing. The number of things that I've had to learn how to do, edit videos, edit sound, do graphics, run a website like what do I know about that? Connect my payment processor so that when people buy our products, when the customers join wealth builders Academy, that they're able to actually pay and I get money. There are so many things that you have to do due to work inside of your business that you have to learn to even know how to execute it correctly. And then there's the actual running of the business and customer acquisition. There's just so much. It's true that you don't have to grind, but the more hours you put in upfront, the faster it can all happen.
Goli: It's funny because sometimes I don't know why, especially with the entrepreneurship, people just assume they should know it or they should know how to run a business and it's, you know, they get frustrated or a lot of times they quit because they don't, and so much of this is just working on your mindset in the sense that the information is out there. It's just a matter of dedicating yourself to either learning it and like what you just said too, which is so important is that there is no timeline. So if you want it to happen faster, then you have to put in more time and energy and money and stuff to learn this stuff faster. But it can also be slower. Nobody is saying that you have to have a business in a year or you can build your business over five years and you're still, you know, at a different place in five years. So I think both of those are just great lessons for a lot of people listening.
Tasha: And also it's worth knowing what you want your business to look like and what you want your life to look like from the very beginning. Because the truth is I didn't have to grind through 2018 and 2019 I could have quit my job in 2018 and just been happy with the 76,000 and whatever kind of growth might have come from a more moderate schedule in 2019 so there are different ways to reach your end goal. It just depends on what your specific end goal was. I just knew for me, my goal is to get to, to make one big happy life, a seven-figure business within five years. So to make that happen, I knew I was going to have to put in the work. So now it's kind of shifting gears to One Big Happy Life.
Goli: And let's talk a little bit about what you guys are doing. And I know you were talking about how your passion is helping people with personal finance and in the way that you see a correcting kind of all the misinformation out there and you guys do such a beautiful job and you are so open with everything in your life, like all of your numbers, everything that's going on in your personal life. Can you tell us a little bit about what One Big Happy Life is and a little bit more about what you see with the problem in the personal finance world and like how you're hoping to change that?
Tasha: In terms of why we're open and, and how One Big Happy Life became what it was. So I had mentioned that I had a very difficult childhood. You know, often bumping heads with my parents and I didn't have anyone to look up to. I didn't have anyone that was showing me that no matter where I was starting from that I could move on from that and create a life that I absolutely love, that my life could be filled with joy no matter how sad I feel in a certain moment. I wanted to be that example for anyone that was coming up behind me and feeling that sort of doubt like they have this dream but no one supporting them. Is this even possible? I want it to be transparent and show them that yes, it doesn't matter where you are right now with daily action working towards the things that are really important to you, working towards your dreams, you can get there.
In order to do that, I had to be fully transparent, right, and show the ups and downs in my own life because a happy life is never going to be all positive. It's always going to be a mixed bag, but you just keep moving towards the more positive things and then you come up with plans to help you deal with the inevitable hiccups. So that's what led us to be really transparent and also recognizing that numbers are very abstract and people see a lot of numbers and they say, well, Oh I should pay down my debt super fast. And it's like, but do you enjoy this or I should retire early on a bare-bones budget. I'm like when you look at that person's life, does that life look like the kind of life you want to live? Ask yourself that question.
Don't just tell yourself this is the secret to being happy. I'll just do what they did. That's not, that's not it at all. The secret is figuring out what makes you happy. What does your best life look like and doing the things that will get you there? So that is the approach that we take with personal finance and we try to teach more financial abundance than scarcity. We try to encourage people to, instead of living down to your current income and cutting your expenses to the bone that you should actually be trying to earn up to the lifestyle that you want to have. It's not something that we see people talking about a lot in personal finance, which is problematic for us because so many of these people are profiting from this content. They've started, they've, they're creating a business, they're raking in the dough and they're not telling people, Hey, by the way, you should definitely grow your income because that's how I've been able to pay off my debt.
How is this okay? Why is this the world that we live in that people can just pull the wool over other people's eyes and no one saying anything or doing anything? And it's because what we have is a whole bunch of financial entertainers and not necessarily people who are looking to correct a lot of the systemic problems and really empower people to take control of their lives. And so that's just very frustrating for me.
Goli: Yeah, I bet. And do you have any tips for people? Like how do you grow your income? Is it just starting a business or how do you do it within maybe if you want to stay as an employee, I mean things that you should maybe be looking at.
Tasha: Yeah, absolutely. Even before I had quit my job during the three years that Joseph and I were running one big happy life, we added something like 50 or $60,000 to our household income over those three years and it's because we were always looking to increase our employment income.
I 100% believe and know for a fact that you can build well, you can build millions as an employee and you don't have to be a lawyer working at big law in order to do it. In terms of tips, I would say always be looking for an opportunity to grow your skills and make yourself more marketable and get a new job. I think people, they get a job and they see it as, I'm going to stay in this job and I'm just going to wait to get a promotion and if I don't get a promotion, we'll, I'll wait until next year. For me, I'm like, if I'm not getting a promotion, I'm out. Someone else is going to pay me more money. And so it's just knowing your worth, making sure that you're always at the top of your game, that you're, there's no dust on your resume because you're ready to start putting it out there at any time. And also honestly being willing to move because you're not always going to find that next right career move in the city where you live in. So Joseph and I being willing to move to for job opportunities has made huge impact on our ability to grow our employment income.
Goli: We've talked a lot about finance on the show cause I know that that's what stops a lot of people from trying to either pursue a dream that they have or try a different job. And I love the premise behind one big happy life and everything that you guys do. And because I think we don't realize that a lot of times we fall into this default victim mode and we don't see it as being a victim. But we're just kind of passive. We'll just take what's coming to us instead of being active in our own lives. And I just, I think this is just such a good Testament even with being very focused and having a goal as to how you want to grow your income and being very active in looking for opportunities. And I think, I think you're right - A lot of times, we just kind of get into these jobs and become comfortable and wait to see what our employers are going to give us. And it's just another example of how you can really take charge and once you become more conscious of it I think and really start setting goals and figuring out what you want, that there is a way to do anything you want, whether it's pay off debt, you know, or grow your wealth or increase your income. But it's a matter of taking charge.
Tasha: Yeah, absolutely. And I think a lot of people get stuck in this place of under-earning specifically because they don't have a financial plan. We hear this all the time in wealth builders Academy, which is our personal finance membership where we walk our members through creating a financial plan where we have them create, cast the vision for their lives to start and then we have them look at, okay, well what's going on with my finances now? And when they start looking at their finances, including very specifically what their minimum savings rate is, so how much they need to be putting away so that they can reach financial independence when they want to. They realize that they have been shortchanging their own financial future so that they can live a certain lifestyle right now that stays hidden when you don't look at your numbers and you don't know these things. But once they started realizing, Hey, I'm going to have this lifestyle, but I also want to be able to maintain this lifestyle and at some point be able to stop working. So I need to be able to put away some of my own money towards my me fund. Then they're like, wait a minute, I need to earn more money. I'm under earning. So it really does start with people recognizing that what they're earning right now is not going to cut it and then being committed to making a change.
Goli: I love that and one thing that I think you guys addressed that I think is really helpful for this audience because a lot of people stop themselves or have a kind of resigned to the fact that they're going to have to work these types of jobs for whatever salary because they have hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans. I know we've touched on then part of why you guys are doing what you're doing is to shed light on how to approach personal finance the right way and so can you talk a little bit about how your approach is to the fact that all debt isn't bad and how you can use that to actually build your wealth?
Tasha: I would say to start with this is a concept that I think a lot of people have a hard time internalizing, but the first thing to recognize is that we have two forms of currency. One is money and one is time and one of them is finite and the other one is infinite. And spoiler alert time is finite. Okay? Personal finance media especially, attaches all of these negative ideas to debt. And so it makes people feel like debt is bad. It's really not. Debt is you using money to buy back your time. So instead of having to wait years to have something, you can have it right now but you're going to pay for it. And so once you accept the fact that money is infinite, money is abundant and you can go out and get more than you understand that you can make that time versus money trade-off a lot easier.
And without that, the negative emotion, right? For us, how we look at debt is debt is a tool that can be used to help you buy back time and also build wealth depending on the interest rate of the debt. And so yes, it is okay for you to pay more in interest if it means that you will have some wiggle room and space to maneuver at this present time in your life. So, for example, right now in our lives, which is also one of the things I love about being able to share our lives. We have a toddler who is in a private school. He's in pre-K, we don't have free pre-K. We have a 17-year-old who is in community college getting ready to move over to a four-year college. I have student loan debt. Joseph has student loan debt. So we're balancing all of these things and if we were to laser focus in on one thing, all of those other things wouldn't be able to happen.
We wouldn't be, our daughter would have to take out student loans. I don't even know what kind of childcare we would have. And so recognizing that our debt helps us meet all of those life goals that we have all at the same time. And yes, at the cost of some amount of interest, I'm willing to use some of my money now and later so that I can have the life that looks the way that I want it to. Also understanding that I am building wealth. Even now, we increased our net worth by six figures year over year. We're still doing fine. It's all about knowing your end goal and using your money in a way that's going to best benefit your life both now and in the future.
Goli: Yeah, I love that. And everybody should go check out all of your videos for one big happy life on YouTube. You can just Google it, I'll put it in the show notes, but you guys go into such depth about your own budget and your net worth and you do all these updates and I think it's just so eye-opening for a lot of people to see that when you are conscious of it, when you're making decisions from a conscious, very intentional place, you guys are, even though you're making multiple six figures, both, you know you were in your career and in your business you're taking the approach of, “Oh I have to pay off all of the student loan debt or I have to pay off everything before I can do anything else.” I mean you're figuring out, where does it make sense?
What loans and what interest rates make sense for you to keep and then use that money to, you know, maybe purchase a home or do these other things that increase that. You were saying your net worth. And I think it's such a beautiful example of the fact of one, this whole scare tactic of you having to pay off all debt is just wrong and how you can do that and actually have a plan going forward so that the debt doesn't scare you and like feel crushing. But it's just part of the whole plan as part of the whole ecosystem.
Tasha: Exactly. It's so important to have a plan. The problem is that people, they don't know their numbers, they don't know how to create a plan and so they default to these should goals that things that they see, the sensationalistic headlines that they see about some person paying off $70,000 worth of debt in just nine months or something like that. And of course, that makes for really sexy headlines, but they don't recognize that said person has a million-dollar business. Once you have that plan though, you can recognize that, okay, this year I'm going to focus on this particular goal, so for example, my student loans, I am slow-paying those right now because right now I'm focused on continuing to scale our business. I'm happy to continue to pay the minimum payments on those loans for a few years until I get my daughter through college. I've got two more years for that and that's done and suddenly I have so much more cash freed up to put towards my student loans and paid them down quickly. It's just creating a financial plan and taking that long term view of your life and not being in a rush to get to the goal. It's about enjoying the journey in a balanced way.
Goli: You mentioned that you have a membership site, wealth-builders Academy, and so can you tell us a little bit about how you help people kind of get on this same plan, like figure out their numbers and figure out what is best for them.
Tasha: Inside of wealth builders Academy, we have, when people join, they go through the 30-day money plan where they come up with their vision and their goals for their lives, which most people they stopped doing that after they graduate from college or grad school. I'm like, you're not done, you just started. What is it that you want out of your life? And that's why so many people end up middle-aged and unhappy because they stopped asking themselves what is it that matters to them? So we had them go through, figure out what that life looks like, how much that life actually costs, see where they are right now. And then we come up with a plan to get them from where they are right now to where they want to go in a way that aligns with their vision for their life. And so then every single month we have, we do live Q and A's where they have, if they have questions, they can come to us, a reputable source, financial credentials, financial experts to ask.
We also have licensed life coaches inside that guide people through the money mindset blocks. Those other just general mindset blocks about what's possible for them and their lives. Navigating, making changes in how they're spending their money and how that impacts their children, their spouse, their social circle. Just keeping people in a place of constantly learning about their finances and about how their finances affect their lives and constantly taking action because they have that accountability. They have the support of the entire community where they can come and have these positive money conversations where someone can say, I want to own a house in two different countries in addition to living in the United States and no one is going to bat an eyelash at that and say that it's something like a waste of money. That's your vision for your life. We're here to support you.
Goli: I love that. That's incredible and it's so affordable. I feel like everybody should have to sign up for this. I know the number one thing people tell me as they can't do what they want to do because of finances, so I know there's a ton of people that need this. How can they sign up?
Tasha: Their best bet is to start by grabbing our one-year spending plan, which is a free template that we have over on one big happy life. So it's one big happy life.com. Forward slash budget. That way there'll be notified when the doors open to wealth builders Academy cause it's not always open. We bring in classes at cohorts so that they're all kind of moving through together. So yeah, that's, that would be their best bet. Perfect. Well, I will put that in the show notes. Tasha, I can't thank you enough.
Goli: I think what you guys have built is so incredible and so inspiring. I know to me and to so many other people, so thank you for doing what you're doing and thank you for coming on and sharing with us. Thank you for having me Goli. I'm so excited to be able to chat with your community and to be one of the amazing people that you've had on your show. Just helping people live the lives that they want and be free to go after their dreams. Oh, you're so kind and everybody should follow you. It's, it's a one big happy life everywhere, right? Youtube, Instagram. Yup. Perfect. So make sure you guys go follow for more tips and incredibleness. Thanks again Tasha.
Tasha: Thank you for having me.
Goli: How amazing is Tasha story? Honestly, it's so inspiring and I loved this episode. I hope you did too. She gave so many pearls of wisdom, but my three takeaways from her story, our one, you don't necessarily have to quit to start your business. We live in a very incredible time where you can build your business on the side and it doesn't have to look. It doesn't have to be as fast. There is no timeline. So if you are risk-averse and you want that salary, you can get started as slowly and as cautiously as you want, but figure out what you actually want for your life and get started. And two,
You don't have to get rid all of your debt in order to have a life that you want. We talk a lot about finances and I said this a million times of know your numbers, but I really think it takes taking control of your situation and learning about it so you can see how you can start creating the life that you want instead of putting it off even when you have debt.
Even if you're not making the amount that you want to be, start creating goals and figuring out where your financial situation needs to be in order for you to take the jump three. It's just that whatever you think is stopping you is all in your head. It's all just a limiting belief. Now, like I said, your journey is not going to look like anybody else's and it doesn't have to and you don't have to compare it to anyone else's, but there's literally nothing stopping you except for your own fears and your own thoughts.
So start managing them. Figure out why you're stopping yourself, why you worry so much about what other people think, and how you can get to a place where you can start taking that next step. I hope this helps and you liked this episode. I will be back next week for another one.
Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at quitter podcast. I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.