"You do not need permission to start a business and you do not need to be perfect to start" with Holly Morphew
Holly Morphew is an award-winning financial coach and speaker. She started teaching personal finance in 2006 as a Rotary International service project and has since become a global influencer reaching thousands on their path to financial independence. Holly’s values-based approach to building wealth has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Personal Finance, The Muse, and credit.com. http://www.financialimpact.com/
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I come from a long line of entrepreneurs in my family. My parents made a big deal of sit-down family meals, and we talked about money and business just about every night at the dinner table. I spent my first six years after college working in real estate, where I learned how to invest and how “the wealthy” relate to and make decisions about money. I always had a side-hustle along with my full-time jobs and owning my business was my goal. Before I became a full-time financial coach, I started a fabrication company with my ex-husband, consulted for six years for a software company, and worked in finance with an international retail wellness store chain.
What inspired you to start your business?
When I was 25, I bought my first house. I could rent out a room, which paid for half my mortgage. I wondered why more young adults like myself didn’t also buy a home, and that’s when I realized that no one teaches us about money, much less how to build wealth. I was fortunate because my parents taught me a lot about credit, saving, and investing, which I could put to use in my early twenties to build wealth.
Where is your business based?
I work from home in Boulder, CO.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
I wrote a book when I was 26 that outlined all the things I thought high school students needed to know before they were out the real world. At the time, I was a member of Rotary International. I proposed an idea to them where I would go to local high schools and teach young adults about money. This was when credit card companies would give college students a free t-shirt for completing a credit application. The project was a hit and soon parents of my students were asking if they could sit in on my workshops. That’s when it occurred to me that all ages need financial education. I created a workshop for adults and offered it free to my friends. I tested the concepts and got feedback and later turned the workshop into a private program where I could work with individuals and couples.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Hands-down, social media. When I first began teaching personal finance in 2006, no one understood what I did. They would always ask if I was a financial advisor. I spent a lot of time explaining that I help you get to where you have money to invest, whereas a financial planner helps you invest money you already have. I work with entrepreneurs, career-driven leaders, and those who want to invest or create an additional stream of income. Social media has been a portal to let people know exactly what I do and how I can help them create wealth starting with where they are right now.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been staying up to date with marketing strategies and the changing economy. I had three offices at one point, and I realized that the business model was not sustainable. In 2016, I rebranded and went entirely online. Today I meet clients on Zoom and I work with people from all over the US, and sometimes the world. In addition, I’ve learned that a business is only as good as its plan and building a platform that includes additional revenue streams such as books, speaking, courses, and masterminds, besides coaching, has been the key to my success.
How do you stay focused?
I have a strict morning routine and I spend a lot of time outside. I start my days with a 5 am a workout, followed by 30 minutes of reading, then meditation, and finally a vegan protein shake with probiotics. I take breaks throughout the day to walk or ride my bike, even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes. Finding stillness and quiet in my day and making it a priority in my free time allows me to connect with my purpose, and that’s what drives my business day in and day out.
I also use a productivity planner, which is a tool a friend recommended to me when I was feeling overwhelmed with the number of tasks on my to-do list. I list my top 5 most important tasks of the day and work in 25 minute increments to complete them. Each day I test how I did, acknowledge my wins, as well as what we can improve, and prepare an agenda for the next day.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
My background in entrepreneurship, business consulting, and investing in real estate give me an edge when working with higher-earners who have financial concerns beyond simple budgeting. Personal and business finances can be complicated, and many pieces need to come together to create wealth. Additionally, there are a lot of emotions that come up around the subject of money. I begin with getting clear about your goals then digging down into what makes you feel alive and thrive. Implementing a system to build wealth is simple. Implementing behaviors that build wealth is an ongoing practice, and self-awareness is the key to that practice.
The more you learn about yourself and how you relate to money, the more you will unlock the massive potential you have to become fabulously wealthy. I use a values-based approach, which means becoming aware of what drives you, setting intentions, and then aligning your behavior with those intentions. When you’re living from your values and have a clear vision for where you want to go, nothing can stop you.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
I began building an email list early on. I didn’t know how to leverage it until I began to learn about how to build relationships online. Today, it’s the way I share new programs, podcasts, resources, and of course, my blog.
What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
You do not need permission to start a business and you do not need to be perfect to start. If there is something you want to share with the world, just do it. You will learn best practices along the way, refine your business model, and improve your offering. What’s most important is that you get into action. Get your website up and add to it gradually. Join groups for support and learn what others are doing to grow their business. Ask for help when you need it. Get a coach. Finally, remember that a business is a work in progress. As long as you are doing your best, have a vision, and are committed to doing the work, you will be successful.
What’s your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
My favorite app is WellWallet. It’s a financial wellness tool that consolidates all your accounts in one place and tracks spending. Plus, it’s a conscious company committed to making a positive impact on people and the planet.
My favorite book is Accidentally Adamant by Tisha Schuller. It was given to me at a summit I spoke at last year. It’s a story of leadership challenges and being brave when navigating opposing sides of contentious issues that face our planet today. It’s honest and bold and provides actionable steps for communicating effectively with those who may have different beliefs than yours.
My favorite blog is Bigger Pockets. It is by far the best real estate investing resource I’ve come across, and most of its content, from calculators to analytical tools, are free.
What’s your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
I recently discovered Trello, and it has absolutely changed the way I work. I use it to communicate with my team, build talks, organize my projects. I love that I can tag people on specific items, create deadlines, categorize activities, and include documents and graphics in one place related to what I am working on.
Who is your business role model? Why?
My business role model is Amanda Frances. She knows who she is, where she is going, and what she is here to do. She sprinkles positive messaging into her social media, emails, courses, and videos, and sets a great example for being true to yourself while being unapologetic about your strengths and weaknesses. She’s one of the most successful coaches I’ve come across, both from a revenue standpoint and how much her audience loves her, and she doesn’t hold back in sharing her knowledge and expertise every chance she gets. She is a giver first, and it is clear she truly cares about helping others become as successful.
What is your beauty routine? What are some of your favorite products?
I had dermatitis my entire life until I discovered Arbonne, a Swiss herbal and botanically based vegan skincare and cosmetics line. I have used their products since I was 25 and my skin has never felt better. I even became a consultant for Arbonne, which was my first side-hustle. I still get checks today for work I did 10 years ago! I had acne in high school so taking care of my skin has always been important to me. I wash and moisturize my face with a day crème with SPF every morning, and at night I use a super-moisturizing night crème that makes my skin feel amazing all night long. My favorite product is a body-firming crème which comes in a tub, smells like oranges, and makes my skin feel soft and supple. I use it on my hands, my arms, stomach, and legs!
How do you balance work and life?
I struggled for many years with my schedule. Since I work for myself, there’s no one telling me what time to start or end or what I need to accomplish in a day. Also, as an entrepreneur, there’s always more work to be done! For a long time, I couldn’t turn off and was always in work-mode. When I was 20 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, and stress is the number one trigger for flares. I was sick for four years and had to learn at a very young age how to prioritize my health and listen to my body. I get plenty of sleep, eat a plant-based diet, have healthy relationships, and a set work schedule.
Being honest with myself about what I need and what is good for me has been the biggest learning experience. The clearer I have become about who I am, what people and situations make me feel the best, and what my body needs, the healthier I have become. I was told I would be sick for the rest of my life and even given handicap status. Today I am the healthiest I have ever been.
What’s your favorite way to decompress?
I love sensory deprivation tanks, yoga, watching the sun rise, reading, camping, and baking.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
I am finishing my first book at the moment and getting ready to speak at a couple of conferences about how to build a profitable online business and how to reach financial independence. I’m also working on producing my first digital course.
How can our readers connect with you?