In this episode, I talk with Amanda Abella who is on a mission to empower women to become more financially secure, stand up for themselves, and create a better future for their family. Amanda is a powerhouse and first-generation US citizen.
For more information visit https://www.ThinkUnbrokenPodcast.com
In this episode, I talk with Amanda Abella who is on a mission to empower women to become more financially secure, stand up for themselves, and create a better future for their family. Amanda is a powerhouse and first-generation US citizen.
For more information visit https://www.ThinkUnbrokenPodcast.com
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Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Michael Unbroken here and you are listening to the Michael Unbroken podcast today. I am thrilled to be joined by my guest Amanda Abella.
Amanda is an award-winning content creator, keynote speaker, and business coach who specializes in helping business owners activate their persuasion prowess so they can make more money, say that three times fast.
Amanda and I actually connected a few weeks ago in Miami at an event for entrepreneurs and her journey in her story. I was so incredibly impactful. I thought to myself, this is a person who absolutely needs to come and share their mission, their story, their vision, their journey with The Unbroken audience. So Amanda, my friend, how are you today?
Amanda: I am doing well. How are you?
Michael: I'm so glad; I'm super excited to be here with you. So before we, kind of dive into all of the things, you know, we connected a few weeks ago in Miami sitting having dinner and what you've decided to do in your life is pretty incredible and consideration that many people who have not only the family background coming over as immigrants, and being a first-generation and all those things to be able to create massive change in their life, takes a tremendous amount of effort and energy. You've done that, you are doing that. And so, how did you end up with me having dinner a few weeks?
Amanda: Yeah. So we were at Grant Cardone’s event and I brought my assistant, Zhenya. And I really wanted her in the room because she like I'm not a shy person, you know, I'll talk to anybody, right? And I'm in sales. I'll talk to anybody and I love people but I was like; Let me push her, I'm trying to develop her and it was like the last night and people mentioned that there was a happy hour and I'm like, oh we're going to this happy hour and she's like, oh I've done so much peopling today and I'm like; Hmm. Hmm. You always go to the happy hour. So I was teaching her and then we went to the happy hour and we sat down, right next to you and we just ended up talking and we learned a lot more about each other and we hit it off and you just totally poured into me and Zhenya at that moment, so kind of serendipitous because we almost did not go.
Michael: Yeah, it's funny like that, and out of curiosity, your intuition was like; ‘No, no, you have to go and do this,’ right?
Amanda: Yeah. Yeah. My intuition is pretty loud and pretty strong. It's one of those things that I've learned about more recently in the last couple of years that there's always, this like vision or this voice guiding me, and when it does, it's loud, and it's very decisive, and it's like; ‘Oh, no, you're going!’
Michael: I love that. So many people don't have that experience, though, and myself included, I will definitely put myself in there for a very long time, ignoring just maybe not even knowing that, even noticing this idea of intuition or gut feeling, or the ability to be me, was really a hindrance in my journey. Talk to me about how now today with what you just said your intuition, your voice is so loud for yourself, like how do you even tap into that?
Amanda: That's a really great question that I've been trying to figure out the answer to, as more people ask me, I think to a certain degree, it's always been there. I remember I've just always been an observer ever since I was pretty young. So I remember just observing my peers in high school for example, and being like, oh, well, that's a really bad decision, noted. I'm not going to do that. So I'm constantly taking notes in my head, and I think what ends up happening is in the beginning, when I didn't realize I was intuitive. I just saw as, ‘Oh, I'm observing things, and then I'm picking up on patterns, and then I'm making decisions that way.’ But as I've gotten older, and particularly with certain things that have happened, like, I completely shifted business models, starting in 2017 partially because I had an intuitive hit that was like, oh, we are overdue for a crisis and your current business would not survive it. There was no rhyme or reason for this there was no like I mean, I was in finance and people are always talking about in my first business and people are always talking about a crisis and finance, but there was no reason for me to really believe that or maybe a month prior to not a month, a year prior to the pandemic coming. I actually moved out of my condo in Miami and moved back home, I had to move there a lot of construction issues in the condo and now with what just happened in Miami with condos, I was like a good move, getting out of there, but they were just lots of issues and I was like, I'm out of here and I went back home and part of the reason why I went back home was that there was again, an intuitive hit that was like, something's coming, and when it comes, this is where you're going to want to be, and it was just a voice, a year later, we have the pandemic, and it's true. This is exactly where I wanted to be, not hold up in a condo, and then in addition to that, when I hired Zhenya who you met, I had this crazy sense of urgency when I hire her.
I was like, I hired her at the end of 2018 and she was my first employee, which was already like a huge leap for me, from my first business, and I was like, we got to get these systems figured out, we got to get this foundation figured out, it was so urgent, it was so like we have, maybe 18 months, 18 months is what we got, right? And learn and behold, within 18 months, most of the systems in the structures were already taken care of so when the craziness of 2020 happened, the avalanche that came to us in terms of like business, and then also the fires, we had to put out at the same time at least our systems were good.
So now, my team comes to me or and they're like, okay, when Amanda gets on one of these kicks where she just gets to hit. We're just going to follow her because she's always right and then other things have happened like clients have come to me. One of them is a Dina. She runs a program called immigrant finance school and she's like, hey I worked with you in, I believe, it was 2018 because you told me that all the world systems were going to come down, and we were going to need new leaders. Well, it's 2020! Look, where we're at, look at the state of the world! And I was like, I don't remember saying that but I'm not surprised. I said it, or I had another client whose like, I used to have a column at ink and they came to me and they were like, hey, so remember when you wrote this whole article back in 2017, exposing the coaching industry for all the fuckery going on and how it was going to expose. Here we are in 2020 and 2021. So I was like, dang, there is something here and I just could not really explain it. I always thought I was just picking up on patterns and I'm like; ‘Don't people see this? Don't they see the same things I'm seeing?’ And then in 2020, I realized they don't.
Michael: Yeah. But I think people do see them but they don't listen.
Amanda: That's it. Yes.
Michael: Have you always been a person that has listened to their gut, to their intuition or did you have to? For me, I literally have to force it like because I was so used to not doing that. We're not listening was kind of the precursor for everything and so listening became new over the course of the last seven, eight, nine, ten years. Have you always been able to listen to your intuition, or do you have to train this?
Amanda: I think I had to train it. I think it was always there and I think we all always have it. Like, I mentioned I was a really good observer when I was a kid and I would take diligent notes, right? Based on what other people were doing, but I will definitely say, like, as a young adult. I definitely did not listen, I did not do good things as a young adult because I was not listening to myself and put myself in precarious situations, but I will say, I think my saving grace in a weird way. Sorry, I got my dark night of the Soul, a little early in life. I was 21, and basically, I got really, really sick in college, and now in retrospect, I realize it's because I had been dealing with depression for a long time, I've been dealing with anxiety for a long time, I was angry over a lot of things that have happened in my life. I was also dealing with the grief and the loss of a family member and I was not paying attention to any of that. I was just ignoring it, still, high functioning, still doing whatever, and then shortly after turning 21, I got really sick and it was to the point where I had to take a look at a medical leave of absence from school. So, I actually did half of my senior year of college from bed at home on a medical leave of absence. And when that happened, it started triggering a lot of panic attacks like a lot, like I was so terrified of just going to sleep at night and even putting my head down because that's when the attacks would start, and it was to the point when I did go back to school, because I had to go back at some point and finish off my last semester.
The only way I could finish with anxiety medication, I couldn't get through, and then that set me off on a journey to kind of figure out what the hell is going on, like, why am I feeling this way? Why has no one is taught me how to deal with my emotions? What is going on here? And then that led me toward a path of, you know, personal development, yoga, meditation.
I think has been the big thing for learning how to listen to myself and I started doing that about 10 years ago because I was just trying to find anything to help me deal with my anxiety, and the other part of it was, my whole first business started, as a result of that too. Everybody knows the part or if you know who I am. Everybody knows the part where it's like, oh Amanda graduated from college and couldn't find a job for 6 months and started freelance writing and talking about money, the part they don't know about because I didn't realize the connection to it was the year and a half prior where I was struggling with panic attacks.
The panic attacks actually, triggered me trying to go find solutions of which one of them turned into a business. One of them turned into just trying to heal myself, anyway that I could meditation came through that, and then through meditation, it's just learning how to listen to yourself. And I think when you have a lot of practice at it, there's a knowing that kind of comes with it and you know what, it sounds like, and you know what it feels like over time I just trusted it, you know, and the other thing is maybe in the beginning, it wasn't in the first few years, maybe I didn't trust it as much, I was still very scared, but then when I was 28 years old, a good friend of mine from college passed away, really unexpectedly, and he was only a few years older than me.
So I was 28, he must have been 32 just dead like just gone and I still don't even really know what happened. I think it was a work accident and I just have this moment where I was like, Holy shit, you're going to die someday, like, we're all gonna die someday and I don't mean to like get morbid, but it's more like that urgency came in of, you have to listen to this voice, you have to at least try. Like if this voice is telling you, to go blow up this business or help people in this way or take this risk or travel there. You have to follow it because you're going to die someday.
Michael: Yeah. I love that and I use that as a precursor. It's funny, how similar journeys are. I was having massive panic attacks, five times a day when I was like 26, 27 and meditation ultimately became this thing that was a precursor for change for me because there's something about what I believe is these things, these ideas, these concepts, these emotions, these pains, whatever it is, just needing to escape, and we constantly bear our self and stuff things, whether it be school or whether it be work, or whether it be, you know, listening to music all day long, or whatever it is, but in the silence, comes this really beautiful peace. And in that peace, you can start to process; it's very much like Bessel Van Der Kolk wrote “The Body Keeps The Score” and I believe that to be very true because our bodies retain all of the things that we've ever experienced. And when you have this compounding effect of just pressure, right? Eventually, it explodes, and I believe, like, that's what panic attacks are just the pressure exploding, and so tell you, get to this place of peace.
It's really difficult to not have them and I recognize like yes, there are neurochemical factors in that too and sometimes you need prescription drugs and so on and so forth, but I mean to say that meditation isn't a huge, huge practical tool in that would be a misstep. One thing, you've said that I think is, is really beautiful, as you talked about death. I almost died. Now, three different times in my life, and I believe that if people re-establish their relationship with death and time, then they will live life very differently. What, exactly switched for you? Because I lie in bed at night and I go, okay. I don't want to die with regrets and am willing to do whatever it takes to make my life, be my life, my dreams come true, whatever. How did you, what was the switch? Right? Because death is always around us, grief is always around us, like it's just natively a part of life. But even with the Catalyst, even with the Catalyst, and even though people will hear this, they still won't do anything with it. What was the switch? Like, what actually happened that made you that provoked you to be like, okay. I'm going to really step into this.
Amanda: Well, I think it goes back to my friend dying. I think, I was always somewhat aware I grew up Catholic. So like, you know, you do everlasting life and you know, life after death and all that kind of stuff and you know, my grandparents had died and all that stuff, but I'd never really been around it. I was aware of it and it was the same like I don't want to live with regrets and things like that, but then when I was 28 and my friend passed away and I'm like, he was only 32 years old. That's it 32. That's all he got, right? And I was like; I don't want to die with things still inside of me.
There's a great poem and they turned it into a song in Cuba, you've probably heard the song one thought I made alike, possibly, a lot of people know that Spanish song. It's based on a poem by the whole same idea, and there's a line that says; “antes me muero quiero cantar mis versos de mi alma” which basically means “before I die I want to sing my verses from my soul” and I have always heard that song growing up in that line always got to me. So I think I was somewhat already to do it, but then when my friend passed away and I'm like, girl, you are on borrowed time. You could die tomorrow, you could die into, and you don't know when it's coming and you want to make sure that you live a fulfilled life. Now, what does that actually mean? And, you know, at the time that we're recording this, I'm in Miami. We just had a condo collapse here a couple of weeks ago, ten days ago, 11 days ago; a hundred and twenty-one people have probably lost their lives while they were sleeping, right? And you think about those things and your just like it's coming like you don't know how or when but it's coming and I thought to myself, you know if I was in that situation where suddenly like it was a sudden death within seconds while I'm sleeping. How would I feel? I mean, they hope, they were asleep and they didn't feel too much, right? But, you know, how would I feel if I had not done what I came here to do? How would I feel if I didn't live, the way that I wanted to live? How would I feel if I didn't help the number of people that I wanted to help? And I think that's my driving force, we were just talking, and we’ve been working all weekend. I don't have to work on the weekends at this point in my business, but because that's my driving force in terms of, like; ‘You got this idea, you need to get it out before you die’ I worked all weekend. That's why I'm on this podcast, right? Because I'm like, even though it's a holiday weekend, we're still here because of that driving force of like I need to help as many people as I can before my time is up.
Michael: Yeah, and I'm right there with you. I believe in service so much and you know, I look at it quite often and people I think people around me, start to better understand that. This isn't just something that I do for fun. I'm driven. I'm obsessed with it and so it means it's like riding a bike right? When you're a little kid, you're like, I can't wait to ride my bike, I'm going to write it in the snow, I'm going to run it in a hurricane, I'm going to write it with flat tires, I'm going to ride all time because it's fun and that's how I think about everything that I do in my life. It's like riding a bike every single day. I can't wait to wake up and put my feet on the pedals and go on the adventure, but I'm not going to lie, there were periods of time when I worked in Corporate America, where that was not the case. I worked for Fortune 10th Company for almost six years, and I was miserable, right? And I hated my life and I'm actually I literally hated my life like that's not a parable, right? And so in that, one of the things that I now know and understand and appreciate about my journey today is the willingness to live life on my terms. I know that you have not always been in this position of doing what you do right now, but you had to make some choices you had to make some decisions. Talk about those choices and decisions that have you to where you are today and the impact that they've had on your life?
Amanda: Oh my God, so many. So as I mentioned I grew up Catholic. So I have a Ph.D. in guilt and this idea of like trying to be perfect and be a good girl and I went to a Catholic school for college which was like intense and I was like, yeah, I'm not about that life, but that was a difficult decision I had to make because sometimes we're only doing things because our family of origin did them and then we don't want to be cast away by the family of origin.
So that was a difficult decision in the sense that I didn't want to disappoint anybody, but I could not continue living that way because it wasn't authentic to me. I also didn't want to offend anybody, right? Like, I have tons of friends who are still in that religion and that faith and they're devout. I didn't want to offend them either, right? But I had to go, I had to get out. This is not the most empowering type of way to look at life, right? And I had to, I had to move on and try other things. I think that one, I think others have been. I don't, I would say, probably one of the biggest ones was transitioning from my first business, into the one that I have now has forced me to make some very different decisions that a lot of people in my opinion would not make and even in the first business, right? I was working at a day job, right? I was working weekends. I was working nights. I was getting up early to work. I don't know what the hell I was doing, right? There are no like, entrepreneurs in my family. I was trying to piece it together for myself and no one was out here talking about funnels and stuff back then.
So I was just it was just kind of like the blind leading the blind back in 2011, 2012, right? And you know, I had friends who were going out and partying and stuff and I'm at home blogging, right? You know, and I was just starting to make different decisions in that way. Leaving that job was a decision I had to make, I was a recruiter, and I was placing people in jobs with Fortune 500 companies with the upward mobility and the benefits and the 401K, and meanwhile, I'm over here, like I want to quit my job in blog and write about money, you know, and then my intuition kicked in and my intuition was like this economy is not going back to how it was before 2008, and all the people that you interview, just haven't realized it yet, you gotta move online.
I think that was the first time I really listen to that voice and made a decision that was really scary and that looked kind of crazy to people who were like, kind of on the outside of it, because I noticed back in 2012, probably I was like, oh there's something going on online, right? All my internet friends are like quitting their jobs to like freelance full-time. I gotta go follow that and it took me a while to muster up the courage to quit that job and actually do it because, on the one hand, I'm seeing the internet, takes off, and on the other hand, I'm interviewing people for jobs and everybody's talking about how they want the security. I think I forked over most of my emergency fund, at that point to hire a coach, to get me to be able to quit that job. That was terrifying, and I put in the work right, again.
It was like, morning, getting up early in the morning working late at night working on weekends and going to the gym in between, and being at this job in order for me to be able to quit. I've made decisions like I've put my money where my mouth is. I've spent the last two and a half years, probably working harder than I've ever worked in my life to build really solid systems and foundations. Most people would not work as hard as I've worked and the last two or three years, just following a vision. Right? There was no reason for me to do any of this stuff other than I just have a vision and I have a gut feeling that was it.
Michael: Yeah, and I think, you know, it's hard to say that most people won't. I think most people are in circles of people who don't support them in a way whereas all they hear look real talk. There's somebody listening or watching right now whose mother is in the way of making their dreams come true, you know, whose best friend is in the way of making their dreams come true, who is so trapped within the nomenclature of the idea that everything has to be passed and filtered through other people for approval. I think one of the biggest things that I hear here for you is, you know, you put yourself even though you were working in this job and you were trying to build this thing on the side, you still needed a community, you need a connection, but you need a commitment, these are three things I talked about and Think Unbroken all the time and part of it is that you went out and you got it, right? And you have to what people don't understand about chasing your dreams and having the life that you want to have is you have to invest time, money energy, right? You have to put yourself in a position to do that, and sometimes you need to leverage other people who are only simply one step in front of you, to be able to get there. And sometimes that's like hiring a coach. I think that's something that I'd love to talk about here because as someone who's a coach, who's coach thousands of people who has put themselves in a position to be a leader, in this space. I also have multiple coaches. I started this journey with a coach. I had someone who was one step ahead of me than I could leverage that I can learn from. Yet, we live in a weird society where there's this idea that if you're hiring a coach or you're looking for a coach that somehow you're not good enough, somehow, your dare, I say broken you're somehow like not ever going to make it or you need help and you're it's like almost foo pot this point. Talk about what happened, let's go back because I know you have coaches now, but we'll get there. Talk about that initial step in that process where you like to know what I need help because that's the word people don't use, you said, I need help. I'm going to go find it. What was that like for you?
Amanda: So I want to reiterate what you said, that you're right. There are people or who do not have support systems around them, and there are people that are afraid to make choices, and that goes back to that family of origin thing. I was talking about, you're just afraid of disappointing people, right? So yes, you're right. There are tons of people who are going to work hard, but for some reason, they're just scared to make the move and that could come from multiple different things. I think the other thing that was coming up for me while you were talking and asking this question is I learned to put myself first at a very young age probably like 18, I learned to put myself first and there's a funny story about that. I had a boyfriend at the time, he dumped me and I took one because I was the observer, right? I was like, oh, he just put himself first. That's what all guys do. What if I just learned to put myself first like, guys, you, right? And that's what I've always done. So, I know with women, in particular sometimes one of our biggest struggles is asking for help, that's a big one that we struggle with because we feel like we have to do it all ourselves. It's that superwoman syndrome, not saying I've never done it. I've totally been there.
I think another one, is we're conditioned to put everybody else before ourselves. So even when we do put ourselves first, we're going to get called selfish, right? Or we're going to get called a bitch. I've been called both several times, right? But ultimately, it comes back down to that, that peace that we were talking about earlier, which is I'm on borrowed time. I don't have time to waste on number one, other people's opinions of me, right? Especially, people, I don't know from a can of paint. And number two, I don't have time to waste and not live the width. What do I feel like I'm here to do? I think there's a certain level of feeling like I'm put here on purpose. Right? And feeling like I have to see something through like this is not and I'm sure you're the same way where it's not an ego-based thing of like, oh my God, let me be famous and have all these followers and make all this money. All of them, which is great. Right? And I don't mind that stuff, but there's something about it where it's a vocation, right? There's something about it, where it's like, this is a purpose, this is a drive and the reality of the situation is, I don't have time to waste in making sure that purpose gets fulfilled in the time that I have.
So, if that means, I have to ask for help and put down money in order for me to not waste as much time, then, that's what I need to do. And I do it a lot more easily now for a few reasons one of those reasons being it took me three or four years to even higher the first coach because I was terrified of spending the money because I was a chronic underearner. And then on top of that, not only was I a chronic underearner. I also worked in personal finance, so I was constantly writing stuff about budgets, and emergency funds, and debt and all the dope I lattes and Joe by avocado toast, like that, was the conversation I was around all the time.
So it actually took me a really long time to hire that first one because I was so scared of losing the money and but after I did that and I got results so quickly then it just kind of became a no-brainer like, okay, I have to keep doing this, you know, if they can get me to where I'm trying to go, faster. Imagine all the time, I think about this all the time, I actually shoot myself in the foot for all the time, I wasted not asking for help sooner. You would have a multiple seven-figure businesses by now and helped millions of people had you just gotten out of your own way and ask for help and not being afraid to just put down some money.
Michael: Yeah, but that's scary, right? Because I'll also before I say this you probably shouldn't buy avocado toast. Like, talk about, I'm in the wrong business, right? I think about this all the time. I spent the majority of my teens and early 20’s being and the same persuasion. I'm not going to ask for help. I'm gonna man up. I'm going to figure it out and I look back on that and I go sure did it, toughen me up. Yeah, but probably in the wrong way and now I look at my life, I have a business coach, mindset coach, I have a trauma coach for myself, and I have a fitness coach, like, because one thing I understand about life as (A) you can't do everything on your own and (B) if you really think about it, no one great has ever done anything by themselves. You can't name them, they don't exist because we are our communal species, but you do have to step through that asking for help fear.
Amanda: And we're not supposed to do it by ourselves. I think one thing that's interesting. You know, I come from a lot of background, Latin backgrounds. I remember, I used to get a lot of shit, and my first business because I was unemployed, I had to move back home, I had a job, I was freelancing, I was still home and I'm like, yeah, so I could blow this business up and invest money and build wealth, that's why I'm doing and in my culture, that was seen as pretty normal, right?
Whereas in American culture and this is something immigrants talk about a lot There's this idea of like extreme individualism that kind of doesn't make a whole lot of sense with the way that human beings are actually built. So I think part of what we see happening is that we live in this culture of like you have to do it by yourself. You have to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. If you didn't struggle, it doesn't count, if you didn't white-knuckle it, doesn't count. You know, asking for help is a weakness. You're supposed to be strong and I think a part of that is a cultural thing, you know, speaking from the perspective of someone who comes from a culture where it's more communal.
Michael: Yeah, and now one of the things you're creating shifts in terms of building community, especially for women and especially around money. I think anyone I've been an entrepreneur for pretty much my whole life. I've worked with some of the biggest companies on planet Earth and we're just now seeing and we're still not even close right? Women earn money as they should, and I still think we're miles away, unfortunately. I wish it weren't the truth, but it is the truth, but one of the things that you've done that, I think is so beautiful and not only empowering as you've decided. You know, what, I'm going to use my voice to help empower women, to understand their value, to understand their work, to understand that they can come out here into the world driven by, you know, especially men in business and get what they deserve. And you came up with an amazing business and brand to make money your honey. I want you to talk about before that particularly, but the transition, from that one job, leaving that thing recognizing following the intuition that wasn't for you, and then saying, you know, I'm committing because part of this and I'm sure you didn't recognize this when you started that it was going to be the hardest thing that you've ever done. Talk about why the commitment you make has driven you to launch and create this brand and make it what it is today?
Amanda: Oh my gosh, I think it's because I struggled with money for a really long time, and now, I've actually done a lot more of my own work in this area, we're over on generational trauma and things like that and it wasn't until recently when I actually realized it was Father's Day, my brother and I were here, obviously and then we were cleaning out my grandmother's old room because we had to move her, she has advanced Alzheimer's and we had to move her into a roof. So we were cleaning stuff out and we were going through all these old photos of like my grandfather on my mom's side and my parents started sharing stories, and I'd heard some of the stories before but there were others that were new.
And one of the things for me was like I am always kind of had grit which is good from it. I think immigrants have the grit that's good, but there's also the shadow side of it where it's like, we're going to overwork and we're not going to be properly compensated for it, and we always think something's out to get us, which is not a great way to live by the way, like, something's always going to come for our money, come for our security, come for our safety, right? So even though you have that great, you still also have that constant fear and worry and I had that fear and worry for a really long time and it wasn't until recently when I started kind of questioning. I am weird, where does this come from? Right? Like, it's not like you had anything happen that would make you feel that way, but you know, who did my grandparents and my parents.
So long story short, my family fled, the Cuban Revolution, for those who don't know, Cuba is a Communist dictatorship of a country, like, we were just talking before here, how we have like, easy access to the internet, they don't over there, there are dilapidated buildings. I mean, people there's no freedom of speech. There's nothing like you speak out against the government, you go to prison like that's how Cuba rolls, and my family lost everything. So on both sides of the family, we had some real estate like we weren't rich by any means or super-wealthy or any of that, right, but it was enough, where I mean had all those things not happened. We would have been and we weren't like the book Hardy's or anything but like it would if we would have been, okay, right? And we would have kept building on that wealth had the Cuban Revolution not happen. My parents also never would have met, and I wouldn't be alive, but that's a different story. So and they had everything taken from them, my mother still remembers the day, that the Cuban government knocked on the door when she was a little girl and basically took the farmland, that belonged to my grandfather and said, this doesn't belong to you anymore You know, my great grandmother on my father's side. She had real estate properties around Havana all gone, all gone, just like this poof and not to mention the struggle. They had to go through just to get out. My father was sent on a plane by himself to the United States at the age of 11, just to get him out of there. He went through a foster care system until my grandfather who had to flee very early because he was the police, in Havana before Castro came into Havana. He couldn't know, he was in New York, he couldn't afford to come to get my dad. My father did not see his mother for like 15 years because they wouldn't let her off the island, right? So there's that on, just on one side, right on the other side, my grandfather had to work on hard labor, and sugar cane fields for three years,18 hour days in exchange for their freedom. They don't let them go to the United States, not because the United States wouldn't let them, but because the Cuban government decides where you go and when right? So they're like your we're not allowing people to leave and go to the United States who have to go through another country. So they had to go through Spain. My mom went from communist Castro, Cuba to fascist, dictator Spain, under Franco and lived in poverty, basically. They both, he eventually makes it to the United States who pretty much lives in the projects in New Jersey. So my parents had to bust their asses to get out of poverty after everything was taken away from them.
I had aunts and uncles who lost all their degrees, all their jobs had to start over in the unit were great, aunts, and great uncles who lost their degrees had to start over. Everything was just ripped away from everybody's family's ripped apart, you know, we had my grandfather's on both sides. I recently learned how to partake in some, you know, illicit activities when they got here just to survive in a new country where they didn't even know the language, right? And both, I didn't know that until recently. So I was like, oh well (A) that's probably where I get my hustle in my grip from, right? So that's the good side of it, right? But (B) all this stuff, got passed down. So like, even though I didn't necessarily, I mean, I was born and raised in the United States. I have not experienced these things but I constantly grew up around the stories. It's still in my bloodline, is still in my lineage. And I think one of the things that I've learned and I was recently on a panel for AARP for Latinos and find or Latinas in finance, and one of the speakers said something so amazing, which was; “When you heal your own money journey, you're not just healing your life and the Seven generations in front of you, you're also healing the seven generations behind you.”
So it wasn't actually until relatively recently, right? When I really started connecting some dots in between how I'm behaving right? And in a not good way, right? Like we're all these fears and worries and traumas and how they would affect my decision-making abilities for making money and business. It wasn't until recently when I connected that dot because I was like, you're fine, you grew up in a fruits world country. Yeah. Immigrant family. Yeah, their struggle but like nothing extreme, until I started going back then I was like, oh this is where that comes from. So one of the things that I'm telling people to do is, you know, look back in that lineage because it's going to tell you a lot and it's really going to help you in that healing process and it's really good to give you some answers.
Michael: Yeah, there's so much practical power and what you just said because, you know, I can trace my lineage as well and you know, growing up in poverty, being homeless as a kid, looking at the way that I spent money. When I was 18, I got a car, a Chevy Malibu, from a Buy Here, Pay Here place because I didn't know you could just go to a car dealership and I had a 24% interest rate paying almost $600 a month for a Chevy Malibu, because that's how it worked, right? That's the only thing I've ever seen and so I also had to go through this process of healing my relationship with money. I love that, that's a concept now because I didn't understand that you could like not to be poor and not be homeless and like make a good living. And in that one of the things that I discovered was that's part of the healing journey, right? And that's so much what I think and I'm not going to put words in your mouth. So I want you to dive in and explain it but that's so much about what I think or believe I should say; is your mission to make money, your honey.
Amanda: Yeah, I really want to help people heal that relationship with money, you know, at first, it started in personal finance until I realized personal finance doesn't really help you do that. We're at least not to the degree. It said that you need to go, right? So in my first business, it was a lot more budgeting, saving debt, that kind of stuff but even still it gets you a little bit better, but it doesn't actually heal you. And one of the things that were happening in the finance industry and it is kind of changing right? Nobody talked about, you know your relationship to money how you want to live your life. What's your family lineage with money? What's the blueprint? Nobody talked about any of that stuff, even still mostly and financial industries, they don't talk about it.
Now where you do get more of that kind of conversation is entrepreneurship, because entrepreneurship, and that's one of the reasons why I shifted from like here's how to save and budget money, and being an expert in that space to like can we go learn how to make some money? Because in the process of learning how to make money, you have to deal with all your shit. There's no way you can't deal with your shit, right? Business and Entrepreneurship is one of those things that will force you to look at yourself in your own ego every damn day. So I was like, okay, right? So let me go in this direction because that helped me a lot more when I had to learn how to earn money and I had to deal with my stuff and my own worthiness issues as to why I can't have money right? Or why I'm not supposed to have money or why I feel guilty for wanting money and all those things it wasn't until I kind of switched gears and went from like let me obsessively manage money because there's not enough of it and switched it to actually there's a lot of money out there. Why don't I just learn how to make money that I was forced to deal with those things.
Michael: You talk about that switch quickly because I think that's such an I'm sorry to interrupt but I think this is really important. You talk about switching the way you think about it. What was that process?
Amanda: Oh my gosh, that's me. Like I'm still in the process without I think we're going to be a process with that one forever. Oh my gosh. Well, I think what it looked like from a more practical perspective, was it started as a survival mechanism for me, right? Because I did go so long without a job and was unemployed and I was having panic attacks and I just needed to figure out what to do. It started as a survival mechanism of me just trying to fix my own problems. And so I started freelance writing and even though I got jobs after that, I was in jobs for a couple of years, I still kept the freelance writing on the side because again, it was a survival tactic. I was like, no, no, you could lose this job tomorrow, you need money coming in from different places, even choosing to specialize in personal finance as a writer in my first business was a survival mechanism because I was like, you better learn how this shit works, right? Because nobody really taught you or you got minimal education on this which at least I got minimal most people get nothing, right? And most people are just repeating what they saw growing up and most people's parents it also had a dysfunctional relationship with money. So it really just started a survival for me like just being like I mean, at the time it was the last recession. So is like the world's on fire. Money's did name of the game. This stuff works. I will say that because my family fled, a communist situation that I at least always knew that at least in the United States opportunity was available to me, but I also understood it was not going to be given to me.
I wasn't entitled to shit in other words, so I was going to have to learn how to really figure this out. So I started piecing it together, you know, I was interviewing people in finance, I was researching all the time, but what ended up happening at some point, was I think six years into that, I was like, I'm still not making the headway that I want to make, right? I'm still not making the kind of money that I want to make. I'm still obsessed with it all the time. I'm still scared all the time. I'm still trying to be a perfectionist with money. I'm seeing all these people saving half their income. How the hell are they doing it the part they were missing out on was how much money they were making? That's the part they don't tell you, right? But I didn't realize that at the time and I was just like, busting my head trying to figure out how the hell is I actually going to build wealth. And it's not like I wasn't making money. I was a writer, I was doing quite well, right? But it still just does not seem like enough impact, it did not seem like enough money, it did not seem like just the even the way I wanted to live because it wasn't a scalable business model and I was exhausted, so that was a part of it as well. And I was like, there's got to be a better way, like what is going on here? What is happening?
So I started actually really funny shortly thereafter is when I found Grant Cardone, I saw Grant Cardone on an interview where he was talking about the finding this was back in 2017. He was talking about a financial system and how it's set up, investing in all those kinds of things, and basically all the and he was talking about how what we're told to do, basically just sets us up to fail, it doesn't work anymore. And I remember listening to that and I went, Oh my God, he's right. And I know for a fact, he's right because I'm in eyeballs. I'm up to my eyeballs in these statistics every day for the last six years. He's right, it doesn't work and it is not built in our favor. He is a thousand percent, correct. It was like I had that light bulb moment, we're finally got answers to all the questions. I had already been asking, it's just no one actually connected the dots or I wasn't able to connect the dots yet, and then I heard that interview and I just went holy shit. What have I been doing for the last six years? What have I been doing now? I will say, right? It wasn't all in vain at all. I don't think anything is all in vain.
Now, I know what to do with the money I pay myself, for example, did put me in a position where I could invest more money, but I was still, it was just not, it was still like, I would still have an emergency and still not have enough money to deal with the emergency. You're like, still on a struggle bus. So, when I heard that, I was like, this guy's totally right, and then I just started focus and I heard him say something else in that interview where I said, oh shit. Why did no one tell me this sooner, right? And nobody told me because I just did not have it around me to your earlier point.
He said most people spend 95% of their time managing money and 5% of the time making money or focused on making money. What if we switched that to 95% of the time focused on making money and 5% of the time managing it? And I said, there's my answer. And by the time I found him, by the way, I had a string of failures. Okay, I had because I had tried to get out of freelance writing and I'm a certified coach and all that kind of stuff and I had tried a bunch of things. I had tried membership sites. I had tried low-dollar offers. The only thing I had done successfully was launched in Amazon, a best-selling book, but other than that, everything was a failure. I got rejected 60 times in one month once, right? Trying to sell coaching packages. So, and I realized after hearing that it's like, oh, it's because you haven't been doing this smart and you still have been obsessively worried about managing money versus figuring out how to make it and do it in a way that's actually smart and efficient and strategic. This is a game. That's all this is.
Michael: Yeah, yeah. It is totally and I mean, I look at it, and to your point earlier, like my mission with Think Unbroken I never liked, if I get famous, I don't give a shit. If I get rich, I don't give a shit and if it happens in the impact of creating massive change in the world, well, so be it and I will welcome it, but the number one thing is the mission. And so, like, while I hear what you're saying, I'm always still thinking about like the mission, right? And that's what you're about to and what you're building now with, make money, your honey. Talk to me about what happened and how you're impacting, what the Mission, Vision, and goal of that company are because I think that (A) it's incredibly important, and be I'm glad that we finally have women in this space who are having a real and honestly vulnerable conversation in a way that's practical about helping women make money, instead of just bringing it to attention with no action on the backside, which holds true for everything on the planet, so I want to be very clear about that, but talk is about to about this journey.
Amanda: So the reason I started focusing on women specifically was that I was a finance writer for so long and was up to my eyeballs in data all day long. I had written stuff about the wage gap. I knew that we had, I don't want us, there are differences between men and women when it comes to how we perceive money. A lot of it is cultural conditioning, some of it is stuff you learned that the home lot of it is historical like we have just we've been treated differently as a society and then our roles with money have been treated very differently as well. So that impacts the decisions that we're making, you know, you also have women that just our relationship to society, in general, is different than that of a man's. You know, for historically we were seen as less than so of course, yeah, we have perfectionist issues and we have worthiness issues when it comes to money. We were taught to rely on a man forever. How did that work out? Not well, if you look at the statistics, right? If you look at the statistics of marriage overall right? and I can't remember where I found this. And I'm not saying marriage is a bad thing. I hope to get married someday. I'm just saying from a financial standpoint. It was not working out for women for a long time, right? We were taught our only means of survival was a man, you know, there are women right now who are in abusive relationships because they just don't have enough money to get out. That's an issue, you know, we know that when women get now we know because we have enough statistics for it. We know that when women get their hands on money, they actually do a really good job of sharing it with their families, and also the communities around them, men don't do that as much, right? But the women do right? They share it more. We know women. Now, we have some data, that shows us women make really great leaders, right? Politically incorporate and all different kinds of situations. The only thing that's missing is women knowing this stuff? Knowing it, right? Because a lot of women just don't know that, and again, it's the historical condition and it's what you grew up with that home. It's the cultural conditioning, so there's a lot there that we have to deal with when it comes to our own relationship with money and power. So that's one of the reasons why.
The other reason why is because of the last couple of years when I switched my business to teach anymore marketing and sales and scaling and things like that and building sustainable businesses for women, a big part of the reason I wanted to focus on sustainability is that, I mean, look at child care in this country. We don't have childcare, look at what's happened in the last year with the pandemic. How many women quit their jobs? Couldn't go back to work because they had to care for the children who were not in school because that's the way that we have it here. So the only way for you to be there for your kid and make oodles of money is with a sustainable business, where you call the shots. There's no other way around it, so that's another reason why the focus our women.
And then the final reason, which again has come up in the last couple of years. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have with women every week, who hired a bunch of wack-ass business coaches, and nobody taught them how to sell. They got a lot of marketing, and they got a lot of mindsets, and they got a lot of manifesting, but they didn't get any hard skills. And you need the hard skills in order for the money to come into the bank account, right? Money likes parted like for lack of a better term, money does like a funnel. It doesn't have to be a click funnel, right, but it has to be some sort of in structure, and some sort of a funnel in order for it to come through, right? So it was just irritating the fuck out of me, right? That I'm like, why am I having conversations with women who have taken 15 bajillion courses? Because of a perfectionism issue that they think they need to go learn more when in reality that's not the case at all. And then number two, there for like recently, I talked to someone who is $40,000 in dead. No one taught her how to sell. And I'm like, I'm so fucking sick and tired of having this conversation, because the only thing we need to do is practice hard skills now, because of our relationship to money, because of our relationship to power, because of social conditioning, because we don't want to be seen as a bitch because we are, we have issues with being assertive, because we confuse assertiveness with aggressive with aggression, right? Which is not the same thing, but because we confuse the two because we're worried about other people's feelings and because we don't want to do bro sales, which I understand, I don't want to do bro, sales either, right? We have a really fucking weird relationship to the hard skills.
So one conversation that's going, a lot in the space is like women being in their feminine versus their masculine energy, right? And they're like, I'm in the feminine. I'm in receiving. I'm like, but how many leads did you talk to this week? How many connections did you make this week? Did you make money this week? So there's a big confusion because of number one, societal conditioning, and our relationship to power and money because of societal and historical conditioning. And then number two, just the fuckery going on out here with the coaching space, which I'm sure you have seen that, although a lot of people are out here doing some really wonderful things, there's also a really dark toxic underbelly to it as well. Not just got fucking tired of it. So I just started getting on my soapbox and the last couple of years. I'm like we have to learn hard skills. Okay, we have to learn how to sell. We have to learn how to get this money here. All the reasons why we have to learn how to get this money, and by the way, it doesn't mean you're a bitch, it doesn't mean you're going to have to disappoint some people but it doesn't mean you're a bitch and it's okay to disappoint some people.
Michael: Yeah. I love that. I think it's important to understand. I mean at the end of the day and look I recognize the vast majority of people here, listening right now are not entrepreneurs and that's fine, but what you're talking about is practical whether or not you work for a small business, if you work for a corporation, you're always selling yourself like, sure, that's your reality.
Amanda: Yeah, you have to advocate for yourself.
Michael: A hundred percent. You have to be able to say; Here I Am, look at me. Give me what I want. One of the things that people need to understand, especially if they come from traumatic backgrounds, is that we have learned to turn off-putting ourselves first. I love that, that's where you started because that was me for years and I would put down my emotions, my emotions, my energy, my effort, all the things saying this is what I guess I'm supposed to get and that's just not practical to have a life that you want to have. I tell people every day you have to put yourself first that is not selfish, and money is the currency of how we exist in the world if it were gummy bears and fuck, I want to go and sell gummy bears, right? I want to make sure, that's the thing that helps me, take care of my family, my friends, my community, and do not want to say this in a way that's practical to not understand that your voice matters is taking away from the opportunity that you have to have a future, but no one else is going to use your voice, but you and you have to understand that in that process, yes, you may upset people and yes, you may lose people along the way and yes, other things will happen by proxy because that's the way it works. But the most important thing is how you feel about yourself, when you put your head on the pillow, at the end of the night, and if you're showing up for yourself, you can create the life that you want to have. And sometimes that means working with someone like Amanda who can help you understand how to tap into that for yourself.
Amanda: And here's an interesting thing. I tell women because there's always this conversation about confidence, right? Amanda, how are you so confident? Amanda, how do you put yourself first? Amanda, you know, and are you might get it as well and all eyes, what I say is, like, if you want to build confidence if you want, there's always also a conversation about self-worth. I'm not worthy of help. I'm not worthy of making money. I'm not worthy of having the kind of life I want to live and I'm guilty of it too, I've done it, right? But one of the things I tell women, right? Is, if you want to build that confidence and you want to get that feeling of self-worth, there's really only one way of doing it. And that one way of doing it is honoring your own word to yourself.
Michael: Yeah. Hundred percent. Could agree more. And what you think becomes what you speak, what you speak, becomes your actions and your actions, they become your reality manner. That's conversations, absolutely incredible! Before I ask you, my last question, tell everyone where they can find you.
Amanda: Yes, so you can go to my website, amandaabella.com. The spelling of my name is on the screen. You could also go to makemoneyyourhoney.com and you'll see the podcast, you'll see our programs. I actually just interviewed Gay Hendricks on the podcast, speaking of upper limit problems and moving past our own limits. So that's a really great episode. You guys are going to want to check out it's live on the website now, and all the things are there. I'm also on Instagram @Amandaabella, Facebook @amandaabella, Twitter, YouTube, all the things @amandaabella.
Michael: Love it. Thank you so much for being here is such an important conversation to be had and that is my last question for you, my friend. What does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Amanda: Oh, that's a really good question, Michael. So when the word unbroken came to mind, I kept thinking about fragments like being fragmented. So I think for me living on broken tries, it means trying to be a whole and what it is that I'm trying to achieve and accomplish in this lifetime as possible. So making sure I'm whole, my life is whole, the people that I'm helping make sure they can get closer to wholeness, that's what came up for me when you asked that.
Michael: It's really beautiful. I love it. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for this amazing conversation.
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My friends, Be Unbroken.
Amanda Abella is an award-winning content creator, keynote speaker, and business coach who specializes in helping business owners activate their persuasion prowess so they can make more money.
Her clients go from hating sales and marketing to achieving 90% close rates and closing multiple five-figure deals. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Univision, and many more.