- Why Jonathan and Amanda’s stresses about money led them to change how they live – and how it led them to launch their business.
- How Jonathan’s day job coming to an end set them on a course toward accidental entrepreneurship – and how they launched their membership site six weeks later without anything ready.
- The moment that changed Jonathan and Amanda’s lives forever – and how community rallied around them to help create the biggest enrollment they’ve ever had.
FREE Guide – Launch & Grow a Profitable Membership SiteReady to reclaim your time and attract more monthly paying customers? Our step-by-step guide will show you how to build a membership site that turns your passion into recurring profit. Click here to download!
Memorable Quote“Money touches everything. Either you manage your money or your money is going to manage you.” – Amanda Texeira
Episode ResourcesWalletWin The WalletWin Podcast WalletWin on Facebook
TranscriptRead The Transcript
[INTRODUCTION] Stu: There is a big trend brewing that’s revolutionizing the way business is being done, big companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple are jumping on this too but so are thousands of others in all kinds of markets like photography and calligraphy, fitness, finance, meal planning, lesson planning, dog training, and so many more, and they’re doing it by shifting to a recurring revenue model. Hi. My name is Stu McLaren and for more than a decade I’ve been helping tens of thousands of entrepreneurs generate recurring revenue through membership sites. Join our host, Shelli Varela, as she takes you behind-the-scenes to see how these companies are building a thriving tribe that spends with them every single month. Now, let’s get to today’s episode. [INTERVIEW] Shelli: Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira, welcome to the It’s a TRIBE Thing Podcast. Guys, thanks for coming. Jonathan: Thank you, Shelli. Amanda: Thank you, Shelli. Shelli: I am so excited to tell your story because your story is a move-you-to-the-tears sort of tale. What you guys not only are doing in the lives of the people you serve, but the original story about you guys and TRIBE Live. I’m not going to spoil it for the audience so I’m going to let you guys talk. First of all, welcome and can you share with our amazing listeners how you came to be in the position you are and who you serve? Amanda: Yeah. So, our business today is called WalletWin and we help people get out of debt, build wealth, and change the world through generosity. But it was not always so, Shelli. Let’s go back in time. Jonathan: I mean, the only reason that we are able to teach people about personal finances is that earlier in our lives we were terrible with money. Amanda: Yeah. didn’t know what to do it. We were totally broke, living paycheck to paycheck, and when we came home from the honeymoon we realized we had about $25,000 in debt and we only had a take-home pay of $35,000 and we sat there looking like the math is just not going to work out here like we either can get out of debt and have a life or we’re stuck forever. Jonathan: And that’s going to be no fun. Shelli: And so, let me just stop you there for one second. So, what would stuck have looked like for you guys if you didn’t eventually go through what you went through and figured out? What would that have looked like your lives because this is now the stuck that you’re helping the people you serve out of? Amanda: Sure. I mean, yeah, for us it looked like we had a money fight on our honeymoon. We felt stressed out. We lived totally paycheck to paycheck and just kind of hoping the next paycheck would be enough. Jonathan: And because of that, almost every decision that was ours to make in some sense already made for us because it has to be filtered through, well, is there enough money for it? If I say yes it is, well, am I saying no to eating or rent or whatever else it might be, things that need to happen? Amanda: Because our whole paycheck was owed to Sally Mae or Chase or whoever. Our money that we’re working so hard for was just going out the door before we can even use it and that just felt so frustrating. And that’s when we decided, “Nope, this is not how we’re going to do this,” and we started learning about how to get our money working for us and personal-finance principles that we could start utilizing in our own life and that’s kind of how we got going. Jonathan: Yeah. Because we would’ve stayed stuck. Sure. We wouldn’t end up with a nice retirement or whatever but we also wouldn’t have an opportunity to maybe grow our family, have the kind of house we want, do the charitable work and make a difference we want in the world like that wasn’t a future that we wanted to be in. So, we wanted to get things better. We figured it out and we worked really hard. We got a little bit of raises but we just got really smart with our money and we paid off the $25,000 of debt in about seven-and-a-half months. Shelli: That’s amazing. So, I just wanted to like stop there for a quick second because it’s so easy to think about debt and money and I’m hearing so many people talking about money mindset, the money mindset, and so many people aren’t able to crack the money mindset but it’s not just as simple as money. To your point like it’s the legacy. It’s what you get to do in life. Instead of living a life where you say, “What do I get to do?” it’s, “What do I have to do?” and the way you go through your life with respect to like stress and obligation and fighting with your partner and not just the quality of life, but the quality of service that you’re able to provide because once you free up not only the money mindset but you create a workaround to get that debt out of your life, it completely changes the landscape or the trajectory of what then becomes possible for you and the people you come in contact with. Amanda: Exactly. I mean, you just hit the nail on the head. Money touches everything and so either you manage your money or your money is going to manage you and it’s going to tell you what you get to do or don’t get to do and that’s just not a great position to be in and it leaves people feeling really stuck. And the more money you have, really, what you have is more options, more freedom, more opportunity, and those are the things that make all of us sing and then we get to figure out who are we truly in the world without money stress on our back holding us back. Jonathan: I mean, how do you get to express that in the world and make that dent on the road that you want to. So, having kind of freak out about everything else, you free up your mind and your life to be able to do those good things that you want to do. Amanda: Yeah. So, we give people the mindset and then the practical skills to get the money stuff off the plate so they can focus on being who they are meant to be. Shelli: I love it. Money in many ways is a vehicle for your own possibility, but I’m curious to know, you created a pivot that is like jaw-dropping and it’s the kind of quick change and quick turnaround that most people never experienced. What was the first thing you guys did for yourselves with respect to having $35,000 of income, $25,000 of debt, and then seven-and-a-half months turning that around? What was the internal game that you guys had to change for yourself first? Amanda: I mean, the first thing we did was we created a budget for the first time ever, and it was tough because we were not used to telling us ourselves, “No, we’re not going to go do these things. We’re going to do these things instead.” And we didn’t know. Jonathan: And also, we just didn’t know how much money we were spending on certain things. I think that first month we budgeted I think like $75 for groceries. You had to supervise the budget. Amanda: Not enough. Jonathan: In a month, yeah. Amanda: Right. We had to stumble through budgeting those first couple months, but the aim was just gather as much as we could out of our paydays to kind of throw at debt and we got better and better as the months went by with that budgeting skill. It’s a skill like a baby learning how to walk, you got to learn how to budget. You’re not just born knowing how to do this, so we had to learn and then we started seeing those numbers dropping and it felt really exciting. So, I mean, we won’t get into all the details, but we may or may not have dumpster dived dusted some furniture off and sold it on Craigslist to earn more income to throw towards the debt. We also got raises at work. We got so creative and getting out of debt kind of became this game to us. It was a fun mission that we as a newlywed couple could go on together and it unified us. Jonathan: Yeah. So many times, like debt and money stuff can drive a couple apart, but when you have a shared goal it’s kind of this shared like aimless thing we were going on and we could only have achieved it together. So, it brought us way closer together than it would’ve if we didn’t have that challenge early on. Shelli: I love what you said, “We were doing it together and we got excited about minimizing our debt,” and I think, again, I hear so many people talking about money mindset. And so, if you think of debt, it sounds like if I’m hearing it correctly, you know, it sounds like this heavy awesome thing but you guys really got creative and there are some unconventional ways to maybe, first of all, change the way it feels so that you get to do it instead of have to do it. Can you talk to how that transitioned for you from getting yourselves out of debt in such a short period of time to realizing, “Hm, we cracked the code not only on budgeting,” but on mindset when it comes to getting out of debt and managing money and creating that freedom so that those people can have a similar experience to you where money is the vehicle for possibility. Amanda: I want to say I think the transition was just we realize that if we lasered in and just got so focused on this one thing for a very short season, it would feel like a blip in our lifetime and it would be minimized because, hey, getting out of debt you’re saying no to some things, not everything. You get to have a little bit of a lifestyle that we teach our students but you’re more or less saying no to some things and we wanted that chapter to be so short so we could get on to the fun stuff because we truly believe that there’s more life after debt than before debt. Shelli: Life after debt. I like it. Amanda: Life after debt. And that is kind of where we wanted to get to as fast as we could because on the other side of debt was growing our family, was buying a home, was investing, was giving more, was starting a business, and we knew that those things couldn’t happen unless we just lasered in, locked down, and got focused and that’s kind of what the secret was to that time was paying attention to what life was going to be like later and that kept us so motivated. It was like the carrot dangling in front of us. Jonathan: Yeah. And then once it happened and be like you say the numbers are like, wait, what happened? Making 35, you pay off 25 like in seven-and-a-half months like to people, our friends, our coworkers are like, “Wait. What did you – how did you – can you teach me how to do it too?” And so, we just kind of we had people over for dinner and we talk about their money. We do like one-on-one coaching sessions during like lunch breaks at work and then kind of word got out that if you want to figure out your money like you talk to the Teixeiras. Amanda: Right. Then we started getting invites to speak at events, to speak on stage, to go on podcast and do interviews. So, then we got to a point where our family did start to grow and we weren’t as free to meet with people individually anymore and we wanted to because we knew how they got so lit up and on fire and excited about their life when they kind of figured money out and that’s when we decided we’re going to take this show online because then we can serve as many people as possible without time getting in the way. Shelli: Absolutely. Yeah. So, I want to talk about your membership site and the launch of your membership site because I would love it if you would share the story of your experience at TRIBE Live this past year. Amanda: Yeah. So, we have quite the story. I’ll back up just a hair and we’ll get to TRIBE Live but I feel like we kind of fell into accidental entrepreneurship, like we always wanted to launch someday and get a course out there to teach people about finances but it was decided for us one day in the fall of 2017, Jonathan came home from his day job and he didn’t have it anymore and we knew we had a rainy day fund to fall back on. We knew we had about six more weeks of paychecks coming in, but we decided we just jotted on the calendar that six weeks from that day was going to begin our first launch. We had nothing ready. We knew nothing. I mean, I think we just purchased our first online course like two weeks prior about how to do anything with an online class. [ANNOUNCEMENT] Stu: Hey, it’s me, Stu, and mark this date down, April 25. It’s the start of a brand-new free workshop showing you exactly how to build in recurring revenue into your business. Listen, big companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Spotify, and so many more have woven in a recurring revenue model into their business and so are thousands and thousands of others in all kinds of markets from photography and calligraphy to fitness, and finance, and health, and music, and dog training, and so many more. Listen, we are going to show you exactly how to do it. April 25 mark it down and go to TRIBEWorkshop.com to register. It’s all free and we’ll show you how to create more financial stability in your life and your business by creating a recurring revenue membership. It’s amazing. We’re going to walk you through how to do it. April 25, TRIBEWorkshop.com. We’ll see you there. Woohoo! [INTERVIEW] Shelli: I love it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss though like it’s easy to get caught up in the strategies and the tactics and the more you know, the more you need to know, and all of a sudden, this simple first launch is this huge mastermind thing and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you have to start somewhere and I love that you referred to it as the someday launch, trying to get it launched someday. But instead of waiting to have everything figured out and 100% perfect, you launched and learned. Amanda: Yeah. And really, I mean again ignorance is bliss because we had a list of maybe like 130 people. We didn’t know if that was like that, you’re going to even launch with that, but somehow in that very first launch six weeks later, we made almost $7,000 and we were like, “Okay. I think there’s something here.” And then we started we needed to launch again because a family has got to eat, got to keep a roof over the head, and we got stuck in launch mode with our course and we kept growing every other month we grow, but those launches. I mean, we had two kids at the time, ages three and under, and we were just launched out and at a conference that I went to… Jonathan: We went to the conference. Amanda: We went to the conference together and it was suggested there that maybe we give a stab at a membership site to kind of get a little bit of recurring income flowing into our business and we can kind of get out from under the launch mode. Jonathan: Yeah. So, we were thinking about, okay, well, membership. We had just barely figured out courses. Now, we have to figure out membership. What do we do? And then it was at the conference somebody clued us into TRIBE Live, that conference and learn about membership sites and all that. So, it was in Toronto. I’m from Pennsylvania so we’re on a big road trip out east. I took the kids to go see my family. Amanda went up to Toronto to go to this conference. Amanda: Yep. I had no idea what TRIBE was or any event. I just knew there was TRIBE Live in Toronto and I was going to get there. So, that was kind of the goal and the aim but before we left for that trip, we did a beta just kind of a tester like, hey, let’s see if anybody likes the idea of a membership. And so, we did this super informal kind of like our first launch where it was just rough and tumble and live on Facebook and nothing was sophisticated or well oiled, no sales page, and we had a teeny tiny list again of people that kind of were on that little launch list that we wanted to test the offer to. It’s about 250 people and about 30 people joined our membership. Shelli: That’s fantastic. Amanda: So, we were thrilled with the conversion numbers and it showed us that, okay, we have a course but then also people want more from us. They want to get a little bit more one-on-one coaching, get accountability. Jonathan: Go beyond the fundamentals that they learned in the course kind of have the everyday application, their mastery that we can provide into a membership. Amanda: Right. Jonathan: So, you were at the conference. Amanda: So, now I’m at TRIBE Live. Jonathan: Learning what the heck what you need to do. Shelli: And the reason I want you to tell the story is because I was at the conference as well and the energy in the room about your story was palpable. Amanda: Oh, my goodness. Well, that’s good because I was shaking in my boots. Shelli: So, share with everybody what was going on for you at the time, and what happened at the conference. Amanda: Right. So, well, like I said, we did that beta launch a few weeks before we got to the conference and now here I am at the conference learning how I probably should’ve done the beta launch and I’m like, “Oh well, whatever.” Next time I’ll mail it and I didn’t know when the next time launch would be but by the end of day one, I got a message in my messenger asking if we would be willing to adopt a biological sibling of one of our daughters. And it was we only had about two months’ notice and just in case anybody is not familiar, adoption can be a costly endeavor and we had just, you know, not only where we now in the first year of our new business but we had just adopted twice in the last three years. So, at this point, we were like, “Oh my goodness, like I don’t know if we can do it like our business is supporting us financially, but just enough.” Like, I got so scared. I got locked up and our member on stage Stu started to tell his early story and just about how you can’t let limiting beliefs just keep you hold in somewhere. You have to think bigger. And so, I stopped thinking like, “Can I afford this? No, I can’t. Oh my gosh, we can’t do this. I feel sick,” and I just started to think, “Wait a minute. How much is it going to be, how many weeks do I have to get that money? And what am I going to do to get there?” Because, yes, we’re doing this, and I called Jonathan because he wasn’t with me. His passport expired. He only had 10 years to renew it, but he didn’t. Shelli: That’s a whole side story. Jonathan: I went back with the kids and my folks and I get this call that, “Hey, there’s this baby.” I’m like, “Ah, what?” I mean, right away you knew. You were so confident that really struck me right, “Oh, we’ve got whatever it was, eight weeks or whatever, we are going to raise money. We’re going to do this membership launch the right way and it’s going to pay for it.” Shelli: So, while I’m at the conference, I get onto Facebook and I write into a couple of business groups that I’m in kind of, hey, if you were to come up with about $30,000 in the next eight weeks, what would you do? And a few people that were actually at TRIBE Live caught wind of this and they were like, “Hey, meet us after the next break,” and so that’s when I’m like, “Oh my gosh, there’s something kind of happening here.” So, I go and I find this group of way more established business owners than I, way wiser, and they bust out like a whiteboard and they start just doing this full out strategy session with me of how we’re going to get the money and I thought, “These people have been there and they’ve done this. I’m just going to listen to whatever they lay out for me in the next half hour,” and I literally, Shelli, I was standing there shaking as they laid out what we were going to do step by step over the next eight weeks. Shelli: Well, you know, like we used the term It’s a TRIBE Thing because it is a tribe thing. I guess a firefighter we don’t leave our own behind, period, full stop. And with the TRIBE community, it’s very much the same thing. It’s like if we have it and you need it then you have it. And so, the story that you’re telling me is like it just gives me goosebumps, but also because I’ve experienced that myself. It’s like, “Okay. One of our people just put our hands up. She needs some help,” and everybody guides them. So, what happens with that brainstorm and how did it end up turning out for that launch? Amanda: Basically, the big thing that I walked away with from that brainstorm was we needed the launch plan but then really that we needed to tap into JV partnerships. We have never done those before and their wisdom kind of tipped me off that we probably won’t be able to do it by ourselves. We need the help of other people. And then they help me brainstorm like 20 names of people that I could approach, partner with us, in this next launch. And so, over the next eight weeks between Jonathan and I, we were tag teaming the three-year-old and the two-year-old. I mean, it was a whirlwind of a couple of weeks but literally, I think it was six weeks after TRIBE Live, we launched, and we had our biggest enrollment ever. We welcomed about 83 new people into our course membership and someone enrolled in the course, some enrolled in the course and our membership and we got just enough funding. Jonathan: It was like exact. Amanda: The exact amount of funding that we needed to be able to say yes to the adoption three weeks later. Shelli: That’s incredible. Oh, my goodness. So, not only do you get an entire launch plan from attending TRIBE, you are able to adopt this beautiful baby and then serve the people who so desperately need to have possibility and be having the kind of life that you guys have lived as a result of solving your debt. What is your favorite piece of feedback that you’ve received from the people that are part of your community that you serve? Amanda: Gosh, it’s hard to boil it down to one. I mean, we’ve had couples tell us like their marriage has been saved because they’re finally talking about money instead of hiding from each other or people have told us that they finally have joy back in their life because they have a plan. That’s not just this like scary monster in the closet that’s going to eat them alive and restrict the rest of their life. Jonathan: Yeah. In some ways, we sell a course about money, a membership about money. People receive from that investment that they make is a safe marriage, a happier life, a better childhood for their kids, a brighter future for their retirement, whatever it is like we get this chance. We talk about money and like that’s great, but money is just like this tool that we have. The way we use it influences so much of the rest of our lives and we get to help people use that tool better so that they can use it better and have it in their life. That is incredible. Amanda: Right. And actually, just yesterday a student, I won’t read the whole thing, but she sent me a message and email just telling me where she’s at with things and she said, “My debt is almost paid off. By May I’m going to be debt-free and I haven’t been debt-free since I was 18. I saw it working when my credit card bill went to 0 and I had $1,000 in my rainy-day fund. I see it when I pay for things in my debit card and I have no doubt that there’s enough money in my bank account since I budgeted and I’m not paycheck to paycheck anymore. And I’m going to see it years from now when my retirement’s taken care of, I own a home, my mortgage is paid off, and I’m giving generously.” I was like moved to tears. Shelli: Yes. Amanda: It’s changing her life today and she knows because she knows these principles now, the rest of her life is going to be different. Shelli: Well, it’s funny. When you get a handle on your money, it changes your entire emotional climate. So, instead of living to survive, to your point, you get to change the world through generosity and the vibe of how you live your life and how you give in life is completely different. Amanda: Yes. Shelli: Nice. If people are looking for you online, what is the best place they can find you? Because I’m not going to lie. I probably will be looking you up. This sounds amazing to me. Jonathan: You can come on over to us. We are at WalletWin.com. You’ll also get us on Facebook at Facebook.com/WalletWin. Amanda: Yeah. And I am on Instagram @amandamtex. Jonathan: Yeah. And then we have our podcast, WalletWin podcast. You search for WalletWin. You should be able to find it out in like anywhere you listen to podcasts. Shelli: Amazing, guys. Thank you so much for sharing your story and also sharing the freedom that you provide through the vehicle of using the tool of money. You guys are awesome. Amanda: You’re very welcome. Thank you for having us. Jonathan: Thank you. [CLOSING] Stu: I hope you love that story. It’s amazing, right? That’s what It’s a TRIBE Thing is all about. So many people in all kinds of niche markets are leveraging their existing knowledge and influence and they’re transforming it into passive monthly income. Listen, this isn’t luck. There’s a repeatable formula for producing a growing subscription income and each week we’re going behind the scenes to show you exactly how they did it. Get the latest stories and actionable ideas from each episode at www.ItsaTRIBEThing.com and if you know one other person who could benefit from this, tell them to subscribe. Tell them to go to ItsaTRIBEThing.com. [END]