Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.
Maryland-bred success coach Nathalie Nicole Smith is no stranger to being successful. In 2013, Nathalie Nicole was recognized as one of Forbes' "Top 30 Under 30" for her work in development of her Plush brand and now she is a multi-millionaire at the age of 32. The young mogul is also the author of best-selling book Becoming a Brand and founder of Women Who Boss, a 501c3 organization that helps women walk into their real purpose amidst their pain.
Nathalie is truly educating the next group of Black female leaders through financial and spiritual means and showing no signs of slowing up. With the development of an international podcast, an apparel line, a second book, and a million-dollar coaching program, it's clear that for her, elevating is a habit.
When it comes to her money, Nathalie shared a secret with us that a mentor once bestowed upon her. "I live by my money mantra, 'what to do with a dollar' that my mentor shared with me years ago," she said. She continued to break it down that for her money gets split up in seven ways: 15 percent to self, 20 percent money going up, 10 percent to tithes and offering, 25 percent to taxes, 20-25 percent household expenses, reinvesting 10-15 percent and saving 10 percent.
In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the beauty and wellness CEO about treating herself to a 2020 Lambourghini, the bigger picture of wealth and success, and her unhealthiest money habits.
On her definitions of wealth and success:
"Wealth means freedom to me. Being able to do what you love without having to think about money. It's not about the actual items you can attain, it's about the stress that is taken off of you when you don't have to worry how something will get paid. Success is being able to achieve your highest level of goals and being able to create massive impact. What good is success if you can't help people? If you can't impact lives? That's the bigger picture."
EPI Media Group/Nathalie Nicole Smith
"Success is being able to achieve your highest level of goals and being able to create massive impact. What good is success if you can't help people? If you can't impact lives? That's the bigger picture."
On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:
"Running my salon and not being able to really function 100 percent due to lack of stable liquid income [is the lowest I've ever felt]. At the time I was a recent college graduate and wanted to be an entrepreneur. I did not want to join the corporate world, so I hustled to make ends meet. I sold hair, did bottle service, etc. to make it work. I joined direct sales to be able to have liquid income to invest back into my businesses. I was actually not a fan of the direct sales industry, but when I met Coach Stormy Wellington and was introduced to Total Life Changes, I just knew this was what I needed. This was the vehicle I was looking for to change my future."
On her biggest splurge to date:
"[My] 2020 Lamborghini. And it was such a crazy experience. In one breath, I was so excited because it was definitely something I wanted, but in the next breath I had a few feelings of, 'It's too much, I don't need it, etc.' But I am extremely thankful for my circle that kept reminding me that I worked hard for it and I deserved it."
On whether she’s a spender or a saver:
"[I'm] a saver but I reward myself when I hit goals. You have to enjoy yourself and treat yourself sometimes. It keeps you hungry and makes you keep pushing yourself and working hard. Remembering the days I didn't have any [money] helped me learn how to save. It was a process though. I had to continue to grow and mature with my spending habits as well. There were definitely those times where if I made $5,000 a month I was spending $5,005!"
On the importance of investing:
"Investing is important. I just recently got into real estate. I also believe in investing in yourself and your team that helps you make money. I'm currently looking into acquiring two more properties by the end of 2020. Real estate is the game at the next level."
On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:
"My savings goal is $35 million minimum by 35 years old. Retirement is going to be amazing! Of course everything I have will already be paid off so expenses will be minimal. My family will be secure and I will be able to save the majority of the residual income that would come in from my business."
On her budgeting must-haves:
"Basic necessities - I need a nice environment to live in that allows me to create. My peace is essential to my ability to work and lead my team effectively. I enjoy my freedom and moving around as I desire. My budget must be able to cover those basics."
On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:
"My business structure is under a C Corp holding company. I have three main legs of business: direct sales, the Women Who Boss Network nonprofit, and the Plush rx Maryland location and online [division]. I always make sure I am doing income-producing activity to ensure productivity. Every move, every decision must be intentional and influential. Even things that may seem like 'fun' or 'relaxing' still has the underlying purpose of motivating my team. If they see me in a position they want to emulate, guess what? They are going to work hard to get it themselves, generating their own income-producing activity and keeping the ball moving.
"You never want to be in a predicament that you are stuck. You want to focus on one stream until you win big. After you win big, diversify so you can make that money work for you. For example, once I was really able to win in TLC, I was able to put focus back into Plush Rx and Women Who Boss. Now all wheels are generating income and adding to the bottom line."
EPI Media Group/Nathalie Nicole Smith
"I have three main legs of business: direct sales, the Women Who Boss Network nonprofit, and the Plush rx Maryland location and online [division]. I always make sure I am doing income-producing activity to ensure productivity. Every move, every decision must be intentional and influential. Even things that may seem like 'fun' or 'relaxing' still has the underlying purpose of motivating my team. If they see me in a position they want to emulate, guess what? They are going to work hard to get it themselves, generating their own income-producing activity and keeping the ball moving."
On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:
"Savings was a big thing I had to learn. Every dollar is not supposed to be spent. I had to also learn how to pay myself a set percentage to ensure that I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I started to see my savings accumulate. I started to do some of the things I had always desired because money wasn't an issue. I also began to see my team grow and their personal income skyrocket. That is the major key. Helping others win too."
On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:
"I was in the bottle service industry for 10 years. Clubs, late nights, fast life and faster money. It was a great learning experience and I met some powerful business associates along the way. I made a lot of money, but ultimately it was in a very toxic environment that I needed to break away from."
On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:
"I opened myself up to a partnership with a friend that wasn't in alignment or equally yoked with my goals. I believe it's a mistake we are all destined to take as we grow and learn how to make better business and financial decisions. You're so excited about your success and you want other people to be successful also. However, everyone is not meant for you to work with."
On her budget breakdown:
How much do you spend on rent? "$3,600."
Eating out/ordering in? "$2,000."
Gas/car note? "$3,000."
Personal expenses? "I am very low maintenance. After I pay my bills, 15-20% goes to me to spend as I please. I treat myself sometimes, but I am very mindful of the amount I have allocated and I govern myself accordingly. It is extremely helpful and I teach my team how to manage their finances in the same manner. It ensures you are able to not only make and save money, but also enjoy some of it too."
For more information on Nathalie Nicole Smith, follow her on Instagram or visit her official website.
Featured image courtesy of Nathalie Nicole Smith