What does being financially independent mean for you?

Our featured trailblazer today is Jamila Souffrant.

Jamila Souffrant is a podcaster, writer and founder of JourneyToLaunch.com where she shares her journey to reach Financial Independence and helps others do the same. As a money expert who “walks her talk” she helps brave Journeyers; gain clarity around their finances and create an actionable plan to reach their goals.
Because of her money habits, Jamila and her husband saved $169,000 in two years and are debt free besides their mortgage. She is also a mom of three young children and currently lives in NYC. Her mission is to teach, inspire and help others reach Financial Freedom & Independence through her platform.
The Journey To Launch podcast was named one of  “27 Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To In 2018″ by BuzzFeed. Jamila is also the resident financial expert on a weekly segment on News12, the most watched local TV news-station in NYC and has been featured in other notable media outlets such as Money Magazine, ESSENCE Magazine, TIME, Business Insider, Refinery29, CNBC & CBS

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Key take aways from Jamila:

  • I was always mindful of what money was and the opportunities it could provide; and it instilled in me a deep sense of appreciation for my mom’s hard work and the opportunities that I wanted in life.
  • I’ve always been a hustler and a saver because my grandmother always did it.
  • My mother and grandmother didn’t have much money but they saved what they could, so that they could get to a better place, and I was taught that you should save most of what you make.
  • I was saving from my little job at 14 years old, and I continued that habit as I grew up.
  • The pull to launch JourneyToLaunch came from the podcasts and blogs about financial independence that I indulged in.
  • At 31 years old, I was pregnant with my first son and had a horrible commute home.  I decided that I didn’t want that long commute and didn’t want to spend so much of my time doing work that I didn’t love.  I didn’t want that to be my life.
  • The dreams I had in my 20’s slipped away from me, and at 31 years old, having the experience of the horrible commute, and feeling like I was becoming stuck in a world in which I didn’t feel my true self, and like I was bringing my best self to the world, I started googling about how to quit your job; how to retire; how to live life on your own terms.
  • In my research I stumbled upon a lot of personal finance information about people retiring “early,” reaching financial independence and the idea that you can craft a life with your finances and use it as a tool to live the life that you want.
  • These discoveries spiraled me into podcasts and reading, and inspired me to start my own blog, showing how I would reach financial independence.  This then quickly morphed into sharing in a way that resonated with others.
  • My vision is a media company, delivering content in different forms – video, podcasts, blogs, courses — resources or tools to help, inspire and provide direction to reach financial freedom
  • Mindset is a big part of my success.  I view hard work and sacrifice as an investment into my life and myself.
  • It scares some people to think that they can’t live their life and they will be miserable on this journey, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
  • With a mindset shift on the journey to financial freedom you can replace some of the things that you once did that were inhibitors or roadblocks to you reaching your goals to creating things that will help you, it won’t feel like a sacrifice.
  • The end goal and what we were working towards was so much bigger and important for me than whatever it was that I was dealing with and going through at the time.
  • I’m still dealing with the fears that come with making the decision to quit my job and realizing that there are no consistent paychecks.
  • I didn’t have the time to wait until we were cash positive.  My deadline was imminent.  I couldn’t handle everything going back to work after maternity leave.
  • Having a plan helped me navigate the negative emotions of this transition.  I considered the worst case scenarios.
  • When I have fears about what did I do in leaving my job, I think about the fact that I would have had more regret not taking this chance at the moment that I did.
  • Financial independence means you are financially secure to the point where your savings, assets and investments are able to provide you with an income cushion that you can live off comfortably, and you wouldn’t have to actively work for money if you didn’t want to.
  • The concept of financial freedom is that you can use money to live the life that you want instead of money using you and you feeling like you’re not in control.
  • The mindset shift that is required for pursuing financial independence is to first believe in yourself:  You have the right and you CAN do it!
  • Key steps to begin to use money to secure financial independence:
    1. Take stock of where you are.  Where are you with your finances?  How much debt do you have? What’s your income? What are your liabilities?
    2. Decide what financial independence looks like for you.
    3. Create a plan to get from where you are to there
    4. Understand that depending on where you’re starting from, the journey might take a little longer.


One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Give yourself grace.  Depending on where you are, there’s a lot of things that we did not know, and our parents didn’t know to teach us.  But that’s the past and now we have the power and control to change our lives.  Believe that it is possible.  Freedom is possible. The journey may be long, depending on where you start, but every step along the journey matters. Every step forward is a good step in a better direction that gives you more options.
  • Immerse yourself in content and inspiration to help you on your journey


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