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I was already tired of wondering why I wasn’t living up to my own standards and what I truly wanted.
At the beginning of my career, I looked successful…but only on paper.
In reality I was just paying the bills and maintaining. I was just doing “okay” and felt guilty for not being more grateful for what I was earning.
I had a decent job, a reliable car, and was able to keep a roof over my head and feed myself. I was financially independent.
But I expected more of myself.
I wasn’t living up to my fullest potential because I got too comfortable with making “okay” money and that complacency killed my progress.
My breaking point came as I caught myself second guessing whether to pay for a large vet bill to keep my dog alive or save the money in my bank account to pay my bills next month.
Enough was enough.
I was done making financial compromises and tradeoffs.
I realized that I could only cut so much from my budget to stay afloat. To truly get ahead in life and live without financial insecurities, I have to make more money.
Create job opportunities
Leave a significant legacy
Make sure my son lives in a safe neighborhood with great schools
Pay my parents’ medical bills because they can’t
Stay in a more comfortable hotel where I don’t need to question my safety
There’s so much I want to do in my life, but it all costs money. Cutting my budget wasn’t going to allow me to live a better life.
I need to make more money if I want to afford all that I want to accomplish.
With this new approach, I sure as hell increased the money I brought home. I did whatever it took—no excuses.
And the same can be true for you too. If you want more for yourself, then earn more.
My family and I immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, escaping communism. I proudly became a U.S. citizen in 1995 and graduated as salutatorian of my high school class in 2005.
I worked odd jobs throughout college, earning less than $30,000 a year—but I proudly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics and Economics from Emory University in 2009.
During college, my dog, Duke, became ill and I racked up $1,500 in vet bills. I did everything I could to save him, but despite using up all I had saved, he passed away. For many years I lived with the guilt of that moment, wondering if I had been able to spend more if he could have been kept alive.
Soon after college graduation, I became a stockbroker. In 2012, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.
On September 13, 2013, I asked my boss for a raise. He told me I should just marry a guy who made more money than I do. Two weeks later I quit that job and started my own business (Capital Benchmark Partners, an independent financial planning and investment firm).
In 2013, I moved from my 26th floor luxe high-rise apartment back to my parents’ house, borrowing $7,000 for business expenses. In my first year in business, I made $35,000—gross income—which was less than I had been making while in college. But by 2017, I had earned my first six-figures!
In May 2018, I started the Live and Earn podcast, interviewing women to talk about their personal finances and relationships with money. About a year later, I made it onto public radio to talk about being a woman in the male dominated finance industry, combatting sexism within it, and addressing the gender pay gap by being my own boss.
I hired my first full-time employee in August of 2018. I was able to fully cover her health insurance and other benefits. This was a huge milestone for me because for the first time in my life, I felt the power of money: I had the financial power to give someone else an economic advantage so she could live a better life too.
In June 2019, my dog, Mochi, was bitten by a snake. This time there was no hesitation. I paid the $6,000 vet bill without even thinking twice if I should because I make plenty of money. And that allowed me to avoid making a financial compromise when deciding between saving a life and saving money.
In October 2019, I was featured as one of ten women chosen by Atlanta’s Best Self Magazine to talk about building my business from the ground up, and was also featured in EveryGirl on “Why it’s important to talk to your friends about money.” Just months later I was interviewed by UPS for their Longitudes blog, and the article hit the top of their charts. The Director of Marketing at UPS’ headquarters even personally reached out to invite me to attend the Michelle Obama book tour in their private corporate suite (I even got a signed copy of her book!).
In March 2020, my dog, Mochi, and I were attacked by a neighbor’s dog—while I was 22 weeks pregnant—which meant another large vet bill along with a large personal medical bill. This was another moment where I was incredibly grateful not to have to choose between saving a life or saving money.
I’m putting my goals out into the universe!
By 2030 I will have helped over 1,000 women smash their income glass ceilings and earn six-figures and beyond.
Want to be one of them?
Click the button below to explore how to work with me.
It’s time to flip the switch from freelancer to Founder and become a Self-Made CEO®