Relieve Your Financial Stress & Save Money With Author, Speaker, & Financial Advisor Chris Felton
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How To Save Money & Relieve Financial Stress

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From financial ruin to financial freedom, award-winning author and speaker Chris Felton shares his expert advice on ending financial stress to save money. Raw and real Chris shares his own life experience that will challenge you to look at what you really believe about money and how the truth can set you free.  


  • Practical tips to save while escaping debt
  • The holistic healing of forgiveness
  • How to unlock the limiting beliefs about money you didn’t know you had
  • The best way to set financial goals
  • Understanding the concept of managing money



Chris is an outstanding facilitator on sales and much more. He is one of the most sought-after presenters at the SBDC Small Business Development Centers. Chris Felton is a bestselling author, personal finance expert, and professional speaker. He has grown a successful financial services business, which has put them in the top 1% of one of the largest financial services companies in North America and more than tripled their income during the Great Recession. After almost 20 years in the financial services industry and over a decade of personal development, he has learned that wealth is built from the inside out! He is a highly sought-after speaker within the financial services industry for their unique approach to creating wealth.


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Money’s neutral. Neither good nor bad. It’s what we bring to the party, and most of it is what we got programmed that we never upgraded. The belief system, rich people are bad. They get portrayed in media is bad around political season. Oh, that guy doesn’t pay his taxes. You know, like just. All that stuff, all the messaging.
But my dad said, rich people are bad. They’re bad people. There’s fear that if I become wealthy, I’m gonna become one of them. They don’t understand that money makes a good person better and a bad person worse, it won’t make you happy. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with D IY Healthy Lifestyle blogger Ahna Fulmer empowering you to transform your life.
One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Ahna Fulmer. Today we have Chris Felton on the show from the brink of financial ruin to building one of the most successful financial firms in the country. Chris Felton is the founder of Piper Financial and he is here to share his top tips on improving financial literacy to.
Your financial stress. Welcome, award-winning author, speaker, and expert financial advisor, Chris Felton. Hi Chris. Oh, I can see you but not hear you. Can you hear me? I’m good. There we go. I was on mute. How you feeling? I was listening to your meal prep episode yesterday. Bless you, your man. I got, ugh, I’m sure it was covid.
I didn’t even bother to get tested, but we had a friend who got the exact same thing, laryngitis of all things, and ended up testing positive for covid. What a weird virus, . We could probably do another show on all that, but Yeah. Yeah. I’m like, okay. We did all sorts of natural path stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And as you learn, I’m a big mindset guy, so I just like, I’m choosing out.
But , I know I did get it. Yeah. I felt it, but I’m like, why do I need to go get a freaking test? I don’t really need to get it. Like I feel like crap. It’s all good. Yeah. Basically you should just be respectful and not be coughing on people. Yeah, that’s it. Stay away from large crowds. Wash your hands. Yeah.
Yep. All that good stuff. So yeah. Anyway, just to give you kind of a run through, I’m gonna actually start, first we’ll chat kind of about your backstory, your book. The, what I’m really kind of pulling people in with though is your expertise on destructive money beliefs and building financial. Literacy to end financial stress only because I think that is going to actually provide people with the most click-throughs.
Like, oh yeah, I wanna know that. But then we’re gonna basically highlight your book and what all is in that. But I just wanted to clarify. I’m using your expertise there on financial literacy to help pull people in initially. Yeah. I mean, the whole problem I solve is stuck so we can go Right.
Relationships, money, because Right. That’s the work I’ve done on myself is absolutely getting unstuck and money’s a ginormous one, and, and it’s 100% mindset and I’ll, yeah, I’ll talk to that. But yeah. Anyway, but thanks for having me. I, I really appreciate you stepping up and like, yeah, this guy wants to get on a podcast, like I’ll give him a shot to get on my podcast and yeah.
It’s huge. Excited to get my message out in the world and I really appreciate your, that’s awesome. Your help doing that. Yeah, absolutely. Happy to have you. All right, I’m gonna clap on three for my producers to line up sound and then I’ll have you do the same 3, 2, 1, and I’ll have you do it. 3, 2, 1.
Perfect. Well, Chris, welcome to the show. I got him right when he was taking a sip of coffee. . That’s right. I got coffee, I got water. I’m like ready to roll. I’m you and me both be here. This is my only, my second cup. Normally I’m on cup three by this point in the morning, which is embarrassing, but Yes. Yes.
Thanks for having me. I have three kids. A cup of kid is kind of how I roll. Yeah. You have a really cool story as everyone who is listening, unless you’re new here, knows we’re all about the backstory and imperfectly empowered as an intentional name because I truly believe that the sooner we embrace the imperfect progress in our life, The fact that we’re going to make mistakes is the sooner that we’re going to actually see transformation, especially authentic transformation that we really want.
You have a great story and you have a book. I wanna highlight this here from the beginning coming out called Think and Grow You, how to get out of your own way and Level Up Your Life, and a lot of what we’re about to talk about, you expand on further. In your book and we are going to touch on your financial expertise cuz this is an area that so many of us, I know for myself, I’ve had to do a lot of work as an entrepreneur in my financial literacy, understanding money, beliefs that I held that were.
Highly inaccurate and actually inhibiting my growth. So we’re gonna get into all of that. I’m excited to, yeah, unpack your knowledge and learn from you. But let’s press rewind a little bit. There was a season in your life that you were actually on the brink of financial ruin. Your family life was in disarray.
Tell me a little bit about that time in your life. Sort of what the turning point was for you. I left corporate America. I was a successful c p A with a big six public accounting firm. And then I, I started my own financial services business and went through a divorce and my kids were young and they moved the other side of the country.
I’m in Colorado. They were in Atlanta, Georgia, got separated from when they were three and one month old. That was a mess. And then my second and last wife. Marlow. walks in, she walks into I doing okay in my business. I get trophies. I get to speak a lot in my own mind, and she walks into, oh, this guy’s got it together.
But what she didn’t realize, Ahna was. The divorce, the money, beliefs, all this stuff that was piling on. I created $250,000 of unsecured debt and I’m in the great recession. I’m an entrepreneur. I have an office lease that I can’t afford. I got four or five mortgage payments going out, you know, basically the equivalent every month.
And she, we had an intervention. She’s like, Hey, we gotta, you know, she introduced a four letter word to me called a. Which I know it’s not four letters, but you know, just all these things and she’s trying to get me to change and I’m an optimistic guy and one of my favorite quotes is optimism and delusion.
Sleep in the same bed together. And I was delusional. And so she’s trying to get me to change. She’s got good money. Beliefs we’re on the edge. And what the turning point was, I had to pay my ex. beginning of the month, $5,200 a month. Mm. Allen Child support, I didn’t have it. I was using debt to pay her, and finally, at the end of my rope and I have to go to my wife to ask her for the money.
to pay my ex-wife. Mm. How do you think that went over? It went over really bad and she lost it. We call it the purse throwing incident. She threw her purse. You’re lucky it was just a purse. Well, there was some other things. She’s not here to defend herself that I felt like, you know, the guy in, in I’m trying to think of the movie.
It doesn’t matter, but I probably wouldn’t know it anyway. I’m like the worst movie. Yeah. So anyway, I’m dodging a lot of things. She’s throwing at me and then I’m just like, well, why are we still married? and the fight ended and she went upstairs and Should I stare or should I go? And I sat there and it was the most, it was the biggest turning point in my life.
It was an awakening out, and it was so clear, Ahna, I could see the dominoes fall. I’m like, oh my God. I created the divorce, I created this, I created that. It was just like one thing after another. And I realized wherever I’ve had a money problem in my life, I’ve always been there. And I was the common denominator to all my issues, and it was the first time in my life I took 100% responsibility.
And then the next day, Marlon and I came together and she said, Hey, we’re staying together. We’re not getting divorced. You’re not getting a job. We’re not declaring bankruptcy. and she’s like, I’m gonna get on planes, trains, and automobiles. We wrote a book 11 years ago called Couples Money. It was the result of her work of finding world-class couples that had wealth, not just financially, but every area of their life, and figuring out what they say the name of that book again, I want you guys to hear this.
A great concept. Yeah. Couples money. So we wrote it in in twos thousand 11, and it was, she was gonna go figure out what they do and then she turned to me and she’s like, what are. Going to do and I’m like, I’m going to figure out how this keeps creating this. Yeah. And Dad’s broke. Mom’s broke, grandma’s broke, grandpa’s broke.
I’m a cpa, I’m a financial advisor. I’m broke. There’s something that has to happen here. So basically when all in like an Olympic athlete would with their sport, I went all in on my money beliefs. Shifting, changing. Bill Robbins says it doesn’t work overnight, but it works over time. And so my commitment to that created a miraculous financial transformation, life transformation.
It was it was jaw dropping, to say the least. And I’ve been, I’ve been very blessed, but that was the turning point of my life. Yes. I love what you said and I want. Say this again. You said the turning point in your life was when you took 100% responsibility for the first time. And that concept, regardless of our story, I think is one of the through lines that I have heard over and over and over again is when we reach that.
Where we are willing to actually take full ownership of our mistakes as opposed to constantly pointing fingers in other directions when we finally sit down and say, okay, this is me. What am I gonna do next? And my question for you is, I just wanna settle in this for one second. I think what a lot of people wrestle.
in this scenario. So you took ownership, you finally recognized that you’re kind of the common denominator here. There’s a degree of shame that comes with that, and for a lot of people, I think they might reach this point, but they can’t get past the shame of their failure, the shame of their mistakes, however they perceive it and they get stuck.
So there’s people on both sides of the equation. As you mentioned, there are people who are stuck and they have not even recognized yet that they’re stuck. They’ve not taken that responsibility, recognized. This is a problem and I’m a huge part of it. So there’s that end of it. But then there’s people who I think they recognize that.
They’re a common denominator here in these problems, but they’re so full of shame they don’t know how to get out of that and actually see the transformation in your life. Did you experience a sense of, of shame? How did that affect sort of those moments and in that turning point and how did you start to move forward?
Yeah, I mean I think, I think the big point was the recognizing the price that I was paying and the price that others were. Mm. And you know, that was heavy. Mm-hmm. and my kids, I didn’t see my kids for a year. I just drinking too much. My health is a mess. I mean, it’s just, I love people. I care about people.
And the way I was showing up was. Impacting people. And it wasn’t like in my face because people are like, yeah, yeah, dad’s great, love him, but it could be so much better and mm-hmm we get comfortable in dysfunction. Mm-hmm. And, and I was comfortable with broke, I was comfortable with stress. I was comfortable with, right.
Cuz our brains go to what’s familiar. So the big part was, and that was kind of my moment of truth is, and in my book I have lots of exercises of like journaling of we must get our. on paper. Mm-hmm. to see what is the recurring theme that’s creating the feeling, that’s creating the thoughts, that’s creating the behavior and the action.
And it’s just, is it working or is it not working? And so for me it was like, okay, dude, people are paying a heavy, heavy, heavy price. You’re paying a heavy price. It’s not worth. , it’s no longer worth it. And another concept in the book, I just, I called a line in the sand. It was a line in the sand moment of like, I am done with this.
It’s a decoration, it’s a decision I felt in my heart. I felt in the core of my being. And the next day when Marla and I had that conversation, I’m like, I’m done. And I looked at her and I said, we will never. be back here again. And it was powerful, but it wasn’t like the shame and all that stuff went away.
Yeah. But another part of my book is forgiveness. I, part of my routine if we get to some of that stuff. But yeah, no, go for it. That was gonna be a question. Yeah, that’s a great, great chapter on the concept of forgiveness. Go ahead. Yeah, talk about that. Yeah. Well it’s you know, I think we do a lot of things, Ahna.
I mean, we want. . Mm-hmm. . Right? And we can’t have peace if, unless we have financial peace. And, and the only way to peace forgiveness is the path to peace, forgiveness of others, forgiveness of ourselves. And so the first person I had to forgive was me. and that work of forgiving and doing it and sitting and wherever you are spiritually, like you gotta lean on that and pull that in and bring spirit in and do those things.
But the big part was I had to start forgiving others in my life. And so I hired a coach. with money I didn’t have. Mm-hmm. and call myself a fully recovered cpa. Right. I’m looking for strategies and tactics and how-tos and I think that’s all I need. And so we do our first coaching session. and he said, okay, homework assignment.
And I’m like, oh, goodie. Right? CPA , right? Goodie homework, assignment homework. Get your nerd on. Here we go. That’s rights. I’m the same way. , right. Strategic right. And all that. Exactly. That’s awesome. And all that. And he said, okay, here you go. Forgive your ex-wife. I was like, what? Say that again? He was like, you need to forgive your ex-wife.
I’m like, she’s horrible person. Like, haven’t you been listening to me? Like, come on coach. Like he said, Hey dude, if you don’t forgive her and this come back, comes back to money. Right. Because everyone’s looking for the how-tos and the strategy and you know, you Google the word money, you got plenty of information.
Exactly. And I knew. I’m a financial advisor. I’m a C P A, I know money. And here are my coaches saying, if you don’t forgive her, you’ll be a broke joke the rest of your life and you will never let your money in. Hmm. And I’m like, okay, based on results, how’s my way working? He said that to me at least a million times.
Hmm. Chris, based on results, how’s your way working? It’s. . He said, if you don’t turn it around, you’re staring down divorce number two, alimony. Payment number two. So if you don’t do this exercise, I’m just gonna fire your butt and keep your money. So, right. Not optional. I was like, well, how do I do that? Hmm.
He was like, when we’re done, grab a pad of paper, write her name at the top. Stay with it as long as it takes, and write down everything you appreciate about her. Mm. , Ahna, I’ve never stared at a blank piece of paper for an hour, . And then finally I was like, she’s a great mom. And then I entered the exercise and then he said, do it again.
Do it again. Do it again. Do it again. Do it again. Mm-hmm. So I said, she’s a world-class mom, and she is, she’s teaching me something. She’s the, you know, whatever, like she’s probably my greatest teacher. You know, all, all these things. And what happened over time is I didn’t have to no longer. My, you know how the brain works, right?
Mm-hmm. , neural pathways start reforming. My whole view of her changed everything. Changed about her Happy Birthday text. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. I so appreciate you. Happy Mother’s Day, right? Like I started getting outta my own way and appreciating her and the blessings that have come. Mm. from that exercise.
My kids are 21 and 18 now and they are thriving. And anyway, it’s unbelievable. Hmm. And when I get done speaking, my commitment has always been, when I do a keynote, I’m always going to end in forgiveness. Hmm. Because people don’t get it. They think they get it. And I’ll come off stage, Ahna, and I think I covered a lot of really cool things and people are lined up and that’s all they want to talk.
They come up to me and they’re like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You’re telling me I have to forgive her? Him, mom, dad, come on. They’re horrible. Yeah. I’m like, based on results. This is what works and yeah, so well tale as old as time, right? We’ve been told that, I mean, even in the Bible, a text from thousands of years ago, says the same thing.
So you’re right. It’s so hard though. It is such a difficult concept, but I love the practical application there of writing. It’s similar to gratitude listing. It’s that concept of you need to start changing the narrative. And I, I like what you didn’t outright say this, but you are implying this. is when we do an exercise like that, it doesn’t negate the consequences.
Some of these toxic relationships, they do result in consequences in our lives, difficult realities that exist and that we have to give space and acknowledge. It’s like go. When you listed all of the good things about your ex-wife, it didn’t then. create a happy marriage between you. Yeah, like the divorce happened, that was real.
There were consequences that came about from that. However, instead of just simply focusing on the positive and ignoring all of that, it’s like you live in this tension of both and you’re allowing both to exist. You address, here’s the reality, but. Now I need to somehow flip the narrative so that I can move forward.
And that exercise of writing down that name and writing all. So for those of you listening and watching, this is such an amazing opportunity. If you can think of that one person, as Chris is mentioning, who may really be inhibiting you from moving forward. And to be clear, it’s not that person inhibiting you, it is your perception of them that is inhibiting.
From moving forward. So I love that. That’s such a beautiful, beautiful story, beautiful application. And again, all of this is in his book. More of these details, these journaling exercises, think and grow you, how to get out of your own way and level up your life. Forgiveness is, I mean, that’s a powerful.
Powerful tool right there. You have another chapter that I, I really like. You’re too young to be old. This is another fabulous concept and I am all about celebrating aging. Won’t get on into all of that right now, but especially for women. This is an area that needs to be addressed more. But talk to me a little bit about how there’s some limiting beliefs here when it comes to.
Age, and our culture is unfortunately, highly responsible for a lot of this narrative. But talk to me a little bit about that chapter. Yeah, I mean, so I, I turned so I’m 51. I turned 50 in August of 2021, and it turned 50, and all of a sudden I could feel me taking on the limiting beliefs of old. , like, I’m getting old.
And it’s funny, I mean, when you’re in growth and development, you start finding things and I, I have these angels in my life that like send me things. Mm-hmm. and it’s in my book and it’s a New England Journal medicine. It was a study of, of aging and basically it’s like the average age of prominent CEOs is 63.
The average age of pastors of the top 100 churches is 71. The average age of popes is 76. and basically it’s the most productive time of your life is 60 and it goes into your 80. 60 to seventies most productive, 70 to eighties, your second most productive. Your third is 50 to 60. You’re most productive, right?
You don’t have kids. You care less about what other people think about you. I mean, it’s really the time. Hmm. But. We buy into this. I mean, I was talking to one of my buddies, he’s 55, he looks amazing. I’m talking to him. He’s very successful, and he’s like, well, you know I don’t know. I’m like, dude, listen.
I’m like, listen to you. I’m like, shut up. I’m hanging up. I’m sending you this study. and read it, call me back. He’s like, holy cow. So Ahna, I started sharing this study with my clients. Mm-hmm. , and I could see like an immediate shift in their energy. Their head goes up, their shoulders come back like, oh my God, I’m not over my, the best of me is not behind me.
But the turning, the big turning point of this was I was asked to be on a panel. The, a large event we had about, I dunno, a thousand advisors in the crowd and I wasn’t, Given what to talk about. You know, you’ve probably been there, right? And yeah, I’m praying heavy. Like, okay, what do you want me to say? What do you want me to say Spirit?
What do you want me to say? And so I just, I’m sitting there, I’m about ready to go up, and I pull up the study on my phone and I, I stand up. I’m like, all right, everybody, whoever’s over the age of 50, scream out. And it was like, woo. . I mean, it was like two people. I’m like, oh my God. They’re all ashamed. Then I read, and then everything changes.
We have a reception afterwards, and I probably had three or 400 people come up. , send that to me. What are you talking about? The energy changed, the funny part the next day. Do you know who Sharon Lecter is? I don’t know. Yeah. Anyway, Sharon Lecter she was co-author. Rich Dad, poor Dad series. She’s Oh, okay.
She’s a legend. Mm. And she’s probably in her seventies. She’s just rocking it out, doing keynotes. So she wasn’t there the night before when I brought this up. She’s talking same crowd and she brings up the exact same. on a PowerPoint. Mm-hmm. , you’re too old or you’re too young to be old. And she said, okay, everyone in the crowd that’s over 50, let me hear you.
Yeah. 75% of the crew, they’re screaming. She’s like, oh my God, I’ve never had a reaction like that. I mean it, you talking about synchronicity Totally, totally blew me away. So I just screamed from the rooftops on that one and it’s I’ve never seen a study something like that. Totally shifts someone’s paradigm instantly just by reading it.
So I’ve been posting out a lot on social media over the last, you know, year or. . I love that. And it just speaks into this whole idea of, you know, where do we find our value? And unfortunately, so for women, I would say the aging process is really focused on appearance. And it’s interesting cuz for men, I think it’s more on your worth in productivity in like the success and what you can see happen in your life.
So the heart of the matter is the same for men and women. I think it just manifests itself a little differently in. . We’re personally feeling targeted in our own lives, but I love the concept of it. And here’s the other thing. So I worked in emergency medicine for 10 years. I was in medicine for 15. And from a physiological standpoint, I mean age is truly a number.
I have seen patients who are 30 who act and look like and are living a quality of life. Like they’re 80 on their deathbed. And I have seen 80 year old. Who have a mentality and a quality of life that is as energetic as a healthy 25 year old. So again, to your point, a lot of it is mindset and where you’re focused.
When it becomes all about us age is going to be a little depressing because you’re gonna buy into that societal belief that you are your appear. You know, if you’ve been told you’re pretty, your whole life for women and suddenly you’re finding wrinkles and you, you know, you have believed that your value is a tied to how you look, so you’re gonna keep botoxing and Botoxing because you feel like that’s where your value is.
If your value is in making money, Or in being respected, and you think that as you get older, less people are going to respect you simply because of a number, then you are going to keep, like you just pointed out, believing and limiting yourself that somehow. You’re not as, not as valuable. So it’s a great, great chapter.
I highly recommend it. Encouraging everyone. Age is just a number. It really is a mindset. What is your purpose? Where is your value? We are gonna take a quick break when we come back, stay tuned for a speed round of this or that with Chris. We’re gonna get to know him a little bit better, and we are going to dive into his expert advice on these limiting beliefs about money and how to ultimately flip the script and experience.
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Accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. We are back here with Chris. We’re gonna play a quick speed round of this or that. You get two options, whatever comes to your mind first. Coffee or tea? Probably coffee. Answer that one. . Oh my Lord. It’s not, he’s like, what kind of game is this?
Oh my God. That that was . No brainer. Do you take it? Do you take anything in your coffee? Little bit of. Little bit creamy. Okay. Here’s a question I love to ask. I don’t know if you’re much of a traveler. Where’s the best cup of coffee you’ve ever? The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Italy, I’m a huge coffee lover, likes Italy.
Jesus family, coffee in my house, , . Those are my priorities in life. , that’s pretty close. . Oh my Lord. I’m telling my wife that when I get home. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Amen. Italy. Yeah. Italy. Oh my gosh. I’ve gotten an answer. I need to go to Italy so many times. France and Italy are the two I get the most. Okay. Would you rather be a ninja or a pirate Ninja?
What would you do with your ninja skills? Get people out of their own way.
He’s gonna karate. Chop your issues. Yeah, that’s right. Get people to understand. They could be ninjas too. Right. Anyway, amens. That’s amen. Oh, I love that. Okay. Would you rather a personal yacht or a private jet? Jet all day long, my wife and I talking. Where are you going with your private jet All day long.
Well, I’m in Colorado and it’s like 17 degrees out and my wife Do you wanna talk about resisting reality? My wife Uhhuh cold Colorado. She’s done Florida. Jupiter, Florida. Amen. She’s like in love, so yes. And we have dogs. We have a dog that my. I mean, you wanna talk about crazy relationship. They love each other so much.
So yeah. So she thinks my dog must be on a private jet ticket somewhere, , or she’s gonna be traumatized her whole life. So like transporting. So private jet is really basically helping your whole family situation. Oh yeah. All day long. That’s so funny. Okay, you’re at a movie. Are you reaching for candy or popcorn first?
Candy, do you have a specific candy that you get when you go to the movies? . Oh, I’ve not heard that one yet. Drop drops. Drops. Yeah. You never had drops. Like the gummy, the little like gummy. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Cool. Shape, like, yeah. . Phenomena. Phenomena. It’s so funny. People like they have their rituals when they go out for a movie night.
This is the candy they get every time. This is the combination. I had somebody say they actually pour their candy into the popcorn. And it’s like a sweet and salty situation. Wow. I’m telling you people, brilliant people, they have their own, yeah, their own situations going on. Okay, let’s talk about money beliefs.
This is a really interesting concept and Rich Dad, poor Dad, I read that book for the first time I think two years ago, and it really is interesting, and there’s two things that I wanna point out really quick, is sometimes there’s this understanding that if you grew up in a home that was financially stable or even we.
That you understand good financial princip. , which is not necessarily the case just as you may have grown up in a home that did not have a lot of excess income and have come out of that home with very healthy financial principles. So I just right away wanna make the point. It is not how much you make, it’s ultimately how much you spend or how much you have left over that is going to ultimately result in financial relief.
And don’t just assume. That you should be in a healthy financial place because you grew up around money or you didn’t grow up poor. There may be things that you just simply were never taught, and that could be one of the reasons. So come at this with an open mind and be willing to think through. So talk to me about destructive money beliefs.
Yeah. I mean, the whole thing is we’re programmed, right? We’re 91% of our thoughts today, same as they were yesterday, right? And so we unconsciously do life. And from ages zero to four, we’re 50% programmed and we have no capacity to accept or reject. Messages. Mm-hmm. We just take ’em on. We’re sponges.
People are like, kids are sponges. Well, yeah. Cause they can’t accept or reject. So whether it was money or lack of their meaning of it, they accepted it. So by the time you’re four, you’re 50% program. Money’s good, money’s bad, people are good, people are bad. By the time you’re 10, you’re about 60, 70% program.
By the time Ahna, you are 18, you are 95% hardwired program. And then what happens? . Most people go with their entire lives and they never question it. So. Hmm. Financially, independent people, wealthy people. The majority got the same BS. And then when we were growing up, the messages we get from media is negative.
Right. I’m dating myself, Gilligan’s Island. Okay. Hmm. Thirst and how and his. we’re rich people. How were they portrayed? You don’t Look, I never watched it. No, you don’t look old enough to watch it anyway. . But they were portrayed as aloof. Checked out. It was all about them. Right? The worst movie ever written around portraying wealthy people, the Titanic.
Mm. How are, how are wealthy people portrayed? Mm, they’re upstairs conniving, right? Horrible people. And then downstairs. are the people that barely got on the boat, the broke people partying, dancing on tables. Mm, having the time of their life. Spider-Man, the green goblins a billionaire, so we have a lot going against us.
We got parental stuff by dad said, rich people are crooks. They make money on the back, support people making money’s hard. Saving money’s hard. My mom’s like, you either have it or you don’t. We feltons don’t have that. And then you get these messages. Why less than 2% get financially independent. But studies show that probably less than 1% got those positive beliefs.
It’s unconscious. They don’t even need to think about it. But for the rest of us, we have to have an intervention. Hmm. And it happens at some point. And for me it was the wife throwing the purse. Yeah. Me sitting there, me hiring the coach, and then he said a couple. Ahna, he said You no longer have a money problem.
You have a money project. Mm-hmm. And I was. . Whoa. He’s like problems. How do you view problems? This is a chapter in my book too. Problem versus Project. How do you view problems? Oh. Oh. Only God can save me now. Oh, I can’t. Right. Problems viewed with horrible energy. I’m stuck on this. Projects. We view projects way differently.
Mm-hmm. Right. We hit an obstacle. We’re not gonna fold. We’re gonna see it through. We’re gonna get it done. We’re gonna do whatever it takes. We’re gonna get it to completion. Yeah. Projects suggests there’s an end result. We have yet to see. , we’re gonna get there. Yeah. And you know, and that’s the gist of my book, is just these reframing, these perspective changes.
Mm-hmm. and I was blessed to have a financial independent coach and said, all right, so what he told me to do, he’s like, get a journal. And I called it My Money Journal, still Have it. And he said, write the word money down and stay with it as long as it takes. I was there for an hour or so. Write up everything that you make up about that word.
because we as humans are what incredible storytellers. We make up stuff about everything. Money’s neutral, neither good nor bad. It’s what we bring to the party. And most of it is what we got programmed that we never upgraded the belief system. Hopefully gimme an example of things you wrote down about money.
Like what kinds of things would somebody potentially write down about it? Yeah, I mean, rich people are bad. They get portrayed in media is bad, right around political season. Oh, that guy doesn’t pay his taxes. You know, like just all that stuff, all the messaging. But my dad’s a rich people are, are bad, they’re bad people.
There’s fear that if I become wealthy, I’m gonna become one of them. Mm-hmm. , they don’t understand. money makes a good person better and a bad person worse. It won’t make you happy. Mm-hmm. either or? Oh my Lord. Either or. We could do a whole podcast on that. Mm-hmm. , I’m either gonna have a great family life.
or I’m gonna be wealthy. Yeah, but never both. Yeah. And my wife figured that out in couple’s money. She’s like, Chris, it’s not either or. Like these people are both, they can have, yeah, all these great things. Money doesn’t grow on trees. I mean, just all this stuff. It’s an unlimited, but it’s, for me, I listed all out in my book, like all the stuff I wrote down.
But the empowering thing for me, Ahna, was if I’m a storyteller, if I want a different result, all I need to do, Is changed my story. . Mm-hmm. . And so I started writing a different story and affirming it, and it was money is the scorecard of value that I’m creating for others. If I’m growing, my income’s growing well, I want my income to grow because if my income isn’t growing, that means I’m not growing.
As my income grows, I’m making a bigger impact on people’s life. Making and saving big money is easy. That became an affirmation and then my spiritual journey, right? You start searching for it. Billy Graham. Mm-hmm. quoting my book, he said, once you get your attitude straight around money, it’ll help straighten out every area of your life.
Mm. Holy cow. Forgiveness, , right? Help me get better financially. My spiritual life grew up. I got better energy at 51 than I did at 41, like that quote from Billy Graham. So, so true. But you have to get in relationship. me plus a thought equals a result. Right? Right. You have to be able to address the underlying beliefs.
Yeah. That you might. Yeah, that’s so true. And I’m curious. So once, once you have taken the time again, great exercise here, which he mentions in his book as well, think and Grow You. So you’re writing down these beliefs about money that you inherently. , you know, sort of manifesting in your life. What then, practically as you changed your mindset, were there applications then that you changed in your life?
You mentioned budgeting, you mentioned, walk me through some of these top tips that practical applications that you then put into place in your own life. , no matter how small or big to maybe help people start walking in the right direction, little things that they could change today to ultimately end some of this financial stress.
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of change. I think change. I wanna change. I wanna change, you know, they wanna change 25 things and all that, and, and it’s, it’s always small steps and small things cared for. End of story and you won’t get overwhelmed. But the change trigger for me is, you know, is my morning routine of you brush your teeth every day.
You, you shower every day, you eat every day. You know, hopefully you go to the mental gym every single day. So part of was non-negotiable time, whether it’s 30 minutes, hour, whatever. But one of the things I had to do, I did not pay him to say this, by the way. Yeah. I know. I’m all about, I don’t, do you know that I’m creating a program literally called Early Morning Habit, so I did not pay him to say that.
But hey, it’s like I’ve said before, this is a consistent, people that are successful, however you define success often have an early morning routine. So anyways, just wanna put that in, not prep him for that. I’m gonna do all this and, and it’s, I mean, 30 minutes. a day over years. It’s four and a half working weeks.
It’s unbelievable. So first, my wife and I, and we had to set a, unifying, that word. Unifying. Mm-hmm. couple’s goal. So $250,000 in debt. broke as a joke. All this, I sat down with my wife and I said, what do you want now if we go ask our spouses, what do they want? Almost nobody knows. Yeah. That we’re unifying.
She said, if we had a hundred thousand saved, I’m like, okay. So people think goal setting’s, logical. No, it’s emotional. It’s emotional. So we sat there on and I said, okay, how would that make you feel? She said, oh my. Sat there and we spent time on the why of it. And what do you want? And this is one of the most beat up topics in personal development, and everybody hears it.
but they almost do nothing about it. Mm-hmm. And that was me. I’m like, oh, spreadsheets and all right, so the practical thing is what is your number one goal? If I ask you right now, could you spit it out within a few seconds? Mm-hmm. , if you can’t, you don’t have clarity, you don’t know what you want. Yeah. And you’re saying if you had the wealth, meaning you had the excess income that you would desire, you’re basically telling people you need to actually have a specific goal in mind.
What do you actually want to do with that? Is what you’re saying, is that correct? . And for me, focusing on debt, it just didn’t work for me. It was, it was deflating and the more I focused on it, the bigger it got. But us, instead of fixing problems, we started focusing on creating wealth. Yeah. It was a game changer for me.
Hmm. And so the single greatest goal my wife and I’ve ever set was having a big savings goal. Mm-hmm. . And so, so the first is what do you want? But most importantly why mm-hmm. and the why is almost always tied back to people. And I wanted to not fight with my wife ever again around. I wanted, the financial stress was taking a massive toll on her.
I wanted to see my kids. Your wives are always, almost always tied back to people, but then we had to chunk it down, so I had to get psycho on the first $10,000 because it was Mount Evers for us, so, right. Cause you’re overcoming 250,000 of debt. To save 10,000. Yeah. Right. So it’s basically 260,000 . Yeah.
But yeah. But through our couple’s money journey, we had a wealthy couple said, Chris, if you can’t save money, the seeds of greatness aren’t in you. If you can’t save money, you’ll never get debt free. Get focused over here, grow this, keep this steady. Once you get to certain level, then attack it. Mm-hmm. But you gotta create so much.
Reserves that you’ll never go back there again. Interesting. So what you’re saying is basically you’re slowly chunking away at the debt you had, slowly paying that off, but instead of taking every excess penny that you made and putting it right to debt, slowly pay off your 250 grand while saving 10,000.
Yeah. Yes. Yeah, I get that. That makes sense. To actually reinforce that you can save. Yeah. Well, because what my mom did was she would save. Accumulate debt, pay off debt. I mean, she did this like, and then have zero again. Yeah. Yeah. She passed away at 64, $10,000 to her name. Yeah. And so, and a big thing, and I don’t care if you’re at zero or you’re wealthy, is you gotta have a year end net worth goal.
Right? So my wife and I started tracking net worth in, you know, two thousands, 2008, 2009. Hmm. And, but we had to get emotional about the. . So we were clear the first 10,000 and in my morning routine, I created a movie. And the movie was, if we had that first 10,000 saved, I visualized my wife coming down the stairs in her ski outfit in the middle of the week.
She would give me a kiss and she would go up to the mountains and ski. Why was that important to me? Because she felt enough relief. That she could go skiing and not have to worry about things. Mm-hmm. , she could take a day off. And Ahna, if I did that, if I was totally tuned in only takes three to five minutes, I would see that scene.
I would wake up from that imaging in tears and you know, the power of the subconscious mind that. started shifting me at a heart level and started getting me focused on this is important. Mm-hmm. . So a lot of people skip those steps and it’s not overnight. , but it will happen over time. You have to get clear on what you want.
You have to identify the feeling that you want. Relief is powerful feeling. Mm-hmm. . You identify the feeling before you jump into the imaging. You play the movie, you feel it, and your subconscious mind. is so powerful, it starts taking over. So that’s a morning routine. You gotta do that. Yeah. For a few minutes a day, then it’s okay.
What is the goal? I’m just using our example savings. But then it was like, okay, where do we need to be? If we set the a hundred thousand by, you know, December 31st, 2023, and it’s January 1st, 2023, there’s too much time between you and the goal. Where do we need to be by March 31st, 2023? And then what do we gotta do this?
So that was it. And then we had a week, and we still do it weekly. Check-in US Saturday, usually a glass of wine, right? Late afternoon. What’s the goal? Where are we? What worked? What didn’t work? I got a couple other things. I’m wanna keep rolling here. You. No, I love that. I think realistically people want how-tos, you know, and I love that you’re highlighting the why, because what I am hearing, and I completely agree with this, Is, I mean, I literally did a podcast episode talking about this very thing that the reason goals fail is we’re not specific enough, and you are literally leaning into that very concept by saying, you need to come up with your why.
So you want financial piece. Okay, how much does that look like? What would be the number that you feel like What? And then why? . Why ultimately do you want it? Because as I’ve said before, money is a vehicle, not a destination. So what is the destination? Why do you want to get there? And then I think when you lean into the emotions of that and how that makes you feel, it’s gonna be a lot easier to do the hard thing, to not buy that extra shirt, to not buy that other pair of shoes that you don’t really need because you’re thinking, ah, I don’t buy this now I can get this.
and that will ultimately make me happier. So I love that you’re talking about the why i, the practical piece I think is. , you know, any practical advice, whether it be budgeting tools or how people just get started because it is over, like you said, it’s overwhelming. Yeah. I mean, I think so. So my wife kind of ran the budget and that’s, I think that’s where everybody goes.
But it’s, the big thing for me was what’s my respect level for money? Mm-hmm. And my coach said, Hey, if, if money was your friend, would money hang out with? . And I’m like, what do you mean by that? He’s like, well, you disrespect money. Like it’s, you’ll hear people say, it’s only five bucks. It’s only this, it’s only that.
I’m like, would you ever say that about your husband? No, it’s only my husband. Mm-hmm. , like, how much, how long would he hang out in an environment like that? So I didn’t have respect for money, and so the budget was fine, but it was the small dollar stuff. And yeah, the awakening for me, I was, I was reading if you’ve read Secrets of A Millionaire Mind by t Harv Ecker, no, I haven’t, unbeliev.
Secrets of a Millionaire Mind, and it’s all about, he calls it your Money blueprint, and it’s all about subconscious beliefs around money. And a billionaire has a different blueprint than the guy that makes, you know, 50 grand a year. That’s broke. You know, 90% of lottery winners are dead broker in jail inside of 10 years.
Everyone’s like, well, they’re stupid. No, they’re not stupid. It’s just that you dunno. Well, they, they have a money bucket that’s set for 50,000 of receiving money. Hmm. You give them hundreds of millions, their money bucket’s too. , it’s, it’s gonna go. So money’s gonna go where it’s respected, where it’s appreciated.
So anyway, honest, so I’m trying to figure this out, right? I’m looking at Mount Everest, $250,000 of debt, stress, all this stuff. And I’m like, I’m all in trying to figure out my money beliefs, and I’d read this book a million times, it felt like. And then he said, until you start managing the money that you have now, well you will not see.
right? And I was like, oh my God, if I can’t be trusted with small things, the big things will never show up. Yeah. And so I’m sitting there, I’m like, where? So here’s an exercise. Here’s practical. Where in your life are you blowing money? . Yeah. And those little mu, I love how you mentioned that $5 adds up. So don’t just skip over the $5 a month.
Here’s where I think is a practical one. Go over your credit card and look at all the streaming services you’re paying for every month and pair that down. That is that simple one. Go through Amazon, go to the channel subscription. You might be paying for Amazon channels. You don’t even. You’re paying for once a month, and it might only be six, seven bucks a month, but like you just said, you add that up over a year and that’s, yeah.
Quiznos across the street in my office. And I was like, you know, I ate there every single day, 10, 15 bucks. I had a good day. Oh, go get a sandwich. I had a bad day. Good. And so I made a connection and then I found a financial calculator online. I’m like, okay, 10, 15, 20 bucks a day. Compounded, I’d been in that office for five years.
Right. Plus happy hours. Plus if you’re a business owner mm-hmm. , right? Oh, I go out with my clients. I do this. Oh, it’s a business expense. Mm. So you’re, you’re spending a dollar to save 30 cents that that math doesn’t work too well. And so I found a calculator. I’m like, I’m easily blowing a grand a month on stuff.
And then you compound. and it was, it’s not the money you, you blew, it’s what it done. Yeah. Another good resource. A book called Your Money or Your Life. Phenomenal book. And ah, it’s the best definition of money I’ve ever heard in my life. Money is something you exchange your life energy for. Hmm. So if you’re making 20 bucks an hour and you go blow a thousand dollars on something that’s not adding value to your life, you just exchange 50 hours of your life.
Mm. For that. Was it worth it? So the gist is I got hyperaware of every dollar I was spending. Cause we were renting. Yeah. And we had a goal to buy a house. We got emotional about that house. We got emotion and we had to save money to get it there. And so every dollar I’m like, is this moving me further away from the goal or is it moving me?
closer, total game changer. So budgeting’s great. It’s awesome, but small dollars cared for is the thing that changes every, and then our, you know, our income rocketed after that too. So. I love that. I love the mindset concept there. And I’m just thinking, I’m literally thinking like, okay, how can I be applying this?
And I think one thing that’s coming to my head is if I printed out all of our credit card bank statements from the last 12 months, I’m tempted to go through and with different colored highlighters or different colored markers, like my kids’ gel pen markers, and start circling repeat transactions. No matter how small or big they are with the same.
So if it’s like the one restaurant that we go to, like that would have its own color and I would circle every transaction across 12 months because to me it’s exactly like what you’re saying. But it would also be a very applicable, you start and then you add that up and start to see where these small.
Payments are are coming from that you could be saving. So there’s a thought for anybody wondering, a practical way to apply that. That is something that I might do. Cuz I think that’s brilliant. You just forget, you forget the $5 you spend at Starbucks. Yeah, and the probably the biggest thing we did, right, is people are like, when am I gonna have fun?
Yeah. So it was my wife’s idea. She came to me cuz I needed to see my kids. I wanted to, she’s like, okay, we’re opening up fund funds. Fund accounts. Yeah. This one concept probably saved our marriage, but. . She just, Hey, beginning of the month, separate accounts, you get this, you get this. Mm-hmm. . And we’ve been doing that for 12 years.
I could tell you exactly what my fun account balance is right now. Yeah. But if that fun account, if the fun is not doing something to add value to my life mm-hmm. , I’m not gonna spend money on it. And so, mm-hmm. , we’ve been able to be disciplined. Have fun at the same time. Anyway, we, that’s in couple’s money.
My wife kind of goes through the, the fun, fun stuff. Yeah, that sound like a great, a great book too. That was something Zach and I, my husband and I implemented. When I stepped away from my full, from my medical job, we had to drastically cut back and this really is when money started to take different shape for me.
Cuz we didn’t have all of that. Excess income that I was making when I started my own business. And we realized very quickly we needed to set aside a certain chunk of money for each of us, for our own spend money is what we called it. And that’s exactly what you’re talking about. He used his to go golfing or we would combine and use it for a date night, or any gift that he would get me for my birthday came from his money.
It also makes it more meaningful as well. So that did, I’ll be honest, I struggle to stay within my myself, . Within my fun spend budget, cuz I like to have fun and I’m always of the mindset, I’ll just make. . So there there’s a healthy balance. That’s also why, you know, I’m in the entrepreneur world cuz I’m also like, I believe money can be made
Yeah, yeah. But then I spend it sometimes too much to have fun. So I need to dial back on on that. But I have so much appreciation for you sharing, and I think there are so many women are my primary listeners. I really encourage you to have your. Husbands, your boyfriends, your partners, listen to this because what Chris is describing, I think is something that many, many men wrestle with, struggle with, and will not talk to you about it.
and really share maybe how much money stresses them out, how they’ve tied it to their own sense of self-worth. And I really appreciate, Chris, you sharing the struggle, sharing how you moved forward. So women share this. I really think the men in your life will appreciate this and it only helps us as well just become less stressed.
And experience more freedom, whether that be financial, relational. So I, I pray God’s richest blessing over you and your family, all of all of them, and thank you so much for the way that you are allowing yourself to be used to make an impact. Oh, this has been awesome. I really appreciate you having me on and thanks so much.
Yeah. Where can people find you? I meant to ask you that. So y’all wanna check out his book, think and Grow You. We’ll make sure the link is there, but where can people follow you as well and find you? Yeah, think grow and then chris Those all the ways you can connect with me and the different programs and keynotes and things I do.
But yeah, that’s so I wrote the book is it’s time to get the message out and help people get unstuck, get outta their own way and level up their lives. So this has been a big part of it. So thanks for having me. Absolutely. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast.
I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time. Your story matters and you are loved.

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