The birth of my daughter Alison on April 10th, 2018 made me a father.
But, in addition to that, the idea for not just Winning To Wealth, but our desire for financial independence was birthed on that day as well.
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What's up? What's up? What's up teammates Michael here from winning to wealth. And this is money talk Monday number 28. And as you can see, it's not Monday at the time of this release. And that's because this morning I woke up with this idea to do this special episode for Father's Day. Now, I already had an episode that I wanted to drop tomorrow. But the more I thought about this idea, I didn't really want to wait and put it out later. Or even try to ram in time. Like once we are getting ready to have family over this evening and all that stuff. So while the idea is fresh in my mind fresh in her brain, I'm gonna get this out to you guys. And it's important for me to do that again because it's it's Father's Day and this was just a thought that I had and I really feel like it could help. A lot of you dads out there really so first things first to all of you father's out there. I do want to start by saying Happy Father's Day, and hopefully your day is filled with joy. It's filled with love. And it's filled with like some great, amazing food that you didn't have to grill yourself. Right. So, jumping in on Tuesday, April 10 2018, at 7:16am, after over a full 24 hours of labor, I became a father to my little girl, Alison. And it was one of the best dang moments of my life. And like the moment I laid eyes on her, I broke down into tears. And the reason for that was just sweet had just gone through so much during Taylor's pregnancy, from just being considered high risk, and then having all the extra appointments to being told that Alison may have a heart defect and that, you know, she might need a pacemaker immediately after birth. And that happened at our 20 week anatomy scan. And so there was this time during the pregnancy where we were having almost three appointments a week, and it was just a lot. Right. And and I mean, it wasn't just the stress of Alison's health. That was a lot, it was also having to take so much time off of work, and having to deal with the work drama that can come with, you know, being off three times a week because it was so stressful. I didn't want Taylor to ever feel like she was going through that alone or that I wasn't present. And so it was important for me to be at all those appointments. And so I never wavered on the fact that my family comes first. And as a matter of fact, I think I only missed one doctor appointment. And that was before the anatomy scan. And that was because I had just had to take this trip to Pittsburgh that was already booked and scheduled and all that. But as we got closer to the third trimester, I started asking my employer at the time about paternity leave and just really trying to get things sorted and set up so that everything went smoothly while I was out. And so I'm requesting info. I'm reaching out to my manager and essentially, I'm not hearing back on anything. And so finally, I get pretty He fed up and I just went directly to HR just to learn more about the process. And it was then that I was told that there was actually no paternity leave in place. And that if I wanted to take time off, I'd have to use all of my PTO and then I could start taking unpaid time off. Now because of everything that had gone on with the pregnancy and all the appointments and all that I only had like barely like two weeks of PTO left by the time Allison was born. And so here's the thing. I knew that with Taylor's lupus she could go into this huge flare after giving birth and so I needed to be ready really at any moment to be like full time dad and like full time caregiver at the same time. And I just knew that would have been impossible to do this while working full time. So that's part of the reason why I was just like, well, two weeks that's just not gonna work. And And honestly, I felt a little trapped and like, I didn't really have any options that were in my family's best interests, right? So it was like either, you know, I take the two weeks of PTO and now I don't have time in case something happens. Plus I'm on unpaid right now, it was just a lot to really sort through and deal with. And a side note, when Allison was born, like, I start getting these phone calls, it felt like, like every other day from my manager and other leaders in the company, and it will kind of start off like, you know, this short like, oh, congrats, man that's so exciting and like the whole little fatherhood talk. But then these conversations with I mean, quickly shift like maybe a minute and a half into so have you decided when you come back to work? And that whole process of literally being bombarded by managers in my company, like every other day while I'm managing, you know, my daughter whose blood sugar super low, my wife who's recovering from pregnancy, with lupus, and I'm balancing all this and then I've got these Dang phone calls, like that whole process really turned me off to that company. And it was a huge reason why I left a few months later. But back to the story. So as Taylor is in labor at the hospital, I started thinking about life and being a father, like in a different lens, right? Like, we had been financially responsible. I mean, we paid off. We were debt free since 2016. So this is two years of, you know, smart financial decisions. So we were in a really good spot. But I started thinking like, if I didn't have the power, or maybe the better word is I didn't have the flexibility to to not go back to work when my wife absolutely needed me. Then how is that going to be present for Allison as she grew up? Like, how can I be sure that I be there on her first day of school? Like how could I know that I wouldn't have to miss her sporting events and what could I do to be sure Sure that I'd be home to see her off on her first day or drop her off at college and like all these things, right? And ultimately, I was thinking, how could I be sure that I could be there for her when it mattered to her the most. And I realized that like, with the current situation that I was in, I couldn't be sure of any of that, because as long as I was trading my time for their money, they had more control over my life than I really wanted to admit at the time. And so it was right there in that hospital while Taylor's in labor and I'm waiting on my daughter to be born, that I made the decision to fully pursue financial independence with like everything I have. And so it was in the hospital where I actually decided to create one into wealth and and I did that as a way to track and keep myself accountable to our family's plan to be fully financially independent before we turned 40. And so at that point, as I said, we were debt free But we were only investing like 15 to 20% of our income. And we were spending the rest, which is a good amount like it would have set us up to be super comfortable once we hit like 60. And we could have had this, you know, these golden years of retirement and all that. But again, the thought starts creeping in my head of like, like, what about all the years in between now? And 60? Like, what are you going to miss as a result of that? What are you going to not be there for? And that just, it did something to me. And so since then, since that moment, we've had months where we've invested over like 70% of our income. And now this year, we had really kind of settled into being comfortable with about 50% and we did that so that we can enjoy the journey a little more than we had been right so like, you know, we were prioritizing date nights, more. This year. We were doing one on one dates with our daughter Allison, we have planned more trips this year than we had in previous years. And so we really wanted to kind of slow down just a little bit and enjoy the journey a little more. And we did this, we got to this point of going from saving 15 to 20% of our income to 50 to 70% of our income by prioritizing and really spending on things that we actually value, and then cutting out everything that we didn't really value. So to me, this process really showed me that money isn't really about the money. It's about the time that I get to have with my daughter that would have been sold to a corporation if we went on top of our finances. It's about like going through a time like this a layoff when I don't have to worry about whether or not my family is going to be taken care of or anything like that. It's also about not having to worry about whether or not I'll be fired for doing what's best for my family. And it's even about being able to choose to work with an employer that actually values family and work life balance as much as I do, regardless of what they're willing to pay in terms of The salary. So for me, April 10 2018, is like twice as special because the birth of my daughter, Allison, really also birth something in me. And that is the desire to be in control of how I spend my time and how I spend my energy. And and and so April 10 was the day that I fully realized that really, children shouldn't be an excuse to not be financially responsible, like children shouldn't be the reason why you don't pursue your dreams. If anything, they should be the reason that you do. And so to all the fathers out there, Happy Father's Day, once again and again, I hope your day is fantastic. But I do want to challenge you with this question. And that is, do you really have the ability to live according to what you say you value? Right? So we all say our families are our top priority, but are you positioning your family financially to be in a place where you can choose your family over your job? Now I know we place a lot of pressure on being here. provider and protector. And that's important, like I know it is I'm not trying to downplay that part at all. But providing your children with the gift of your time is just as important, right. And so is protecting the relationship you have with your children by just being there and being fully present when you're there. And, and so one way that you can have more control over just how pressing you are, is to use the money that you've earned to buy your time back. And we do this by making smart financial and investment choices over time. And so if you're looking for something to help you learn how to manage your money better, I want to encourage you to download my winning two wealth money playbook. It's free, and it lays out the exact steps that I've taken to get to where we are today, which is consumer debt free with a six figure network that allows me to choose just how much time I get to spend with my family at any given moment. And you can find that over at winning to wealth comm slash playbook. Also be sure to hop in my private Facebook community. I'll be hosting a live q&a this time. Tuesday night at 7:30pm Central Standard Time. So that is Tuesday, June 23 7:30pm. Central Standard Time, I'll be hosting a live q&a in my facebook group you can find that over at winning to wealth comm slash teammates that is winning to work.com slash teammates. But hey, that's all the time I have. It's Father's Day I've got to get back to my family. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care
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