EP 67: From Reformed Shopaholic to Thriving Entrepreneur, Melissa Houston, CPA / CGA
This week on The Millionaire Choice Show, Tony talks with Melissa Houston, Founder of thebusinesssociety.co, which is an educational website and resource for entrepreneurs who are looking for personal finance, business finance, and all-around business information.
I’m a Certified Public Accountant, but not the kind you find in a sterile office building, wearing a drab suit, handing you cold coffee in a styrofoam cup.
I’m also a Certified Life Coach and woman entrepreneur, just like you.
I understand the tightrope of bringing in revenue, and needing to spend money to make that money. Just like a houseplant, businesses need water (aka: dollar bills) to grow.
But when those dollar spills start spraying everywhere like a broken hose - leaking away into expensive masterminds and programs and Facebook ads and fancy branded websites and team members you kinda-but-don’t-really need - then you’ve got a PROFIT problem.
I know what it’s like, because even as a money professional - I once dug myself into $100k of debt. And now my mission is to help women entrepreneurs like you keep more of the money they make, and manage that money wisely and powerfully.
How did a CPA get herself into $100k of debt???
Gulp. Here goes.
Let me start by saying that I’ve been helping people manage their money for more than 20 years.
Yes, I said TWENTY.
I’ve devoured every personal finance book. My husband and I followed our financial plan rigidly, for years.
And then… it all fell apart.
It didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow unraveling, and likely why it was so difficult for me to see the problem. It began with the weekend shopping trips with the girls to buy stuff I didn’t really want, or need.
A handbag here, a piece of jewelry there. Individually, the purchases were fine. Splurges, but nothing to be alarmed about. But over time that dollar amount climbed into red alert territory - blossoming into a full-blown spending spree from hell—with lots of baby steps (and purchases) in-between.
But my shame and anxiety didn’t cause me to stop. I decided to suppress those uncomfortable feelings with… more shopping.
Pinterest became my new addiction. I spent many sleepless nights scrolling all the beautiful boards, searching for ways to upgrade my home decor. In a particularly devious move, I even convinced my husband we needed a pool for the backyard. We didn’t. And large renovations mean spending mountains of cash, and this renovation didn’t add any value to our home. A sunk cost, indeed.
The risky behavior continued. That jolt of excitement, the sugar candy high I’d get from shopping was too much to resist.
And then… the credit ran out.
I could no longer hide my shameful secret from my husband. My financial infidelity was exposed, and all of the “highs” I experienced through shopping felt so inconsequential.
Facing my husband’s disappointment made me realize that I never wanted this to happen again.