I followed what I was told to do: I went to college, got a bachelor’s degree, landed an extraordinary 8-5 with a 401(k) and benefits, got married, and then I was laid off. After realizing that following directions led me into serious debt, I decided to seek out and learn the real rules about money and take back my life. Now I help others take back their life, too.

I’ve been placed on this earth to serve people and help them live their best life possible. That looks different for everyone, but I help people take ownership back by becoming financially empowered and build a business that allows them to live their dreams.

In 2015, I was excited to have landed my first career job ever! It had only taken 5 years from graduating college. This was unlike any job opportunity I had ever been offered. For one, it had a livable wage and it promised the ability to develop my creativity through marketing, give me mentorship and leadership I could follow, and allow me the ability to serve others.

As the months added up though, everything I was hoping for was actually not ready for me to take. I realized that I had a lot of growing up to do, but at the time I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. It was time to go, but I wasn’t willing to unlock my vice grip on the job because I was making enough money at the time to pay my bills and then some. So the Universe decided for me. A year and a half later, I was laid off.

Being laid off can cause a lot of anxiety, confusion, rejection, fear, and pain. After taking a couple of months to figure out what to do next, I decided once and for all I would be a business owner. Lucky for me, I had been shown a model of success by my parents. As a child, I watched them go from barely making it to high income earners in the first 10 years of my life.

When I got laid off I had to give back everything: my wage, my benefits, and most importantly, my work camera. I felt naked without a camera. With the support of my husband, I decided to take a risk and debt-finance my first camera so that I could try my hand at becoming a professional photographer.

A year later, I was featured in multiple online wedding blogs and recognized by Expertise.com as one of San Diego’s best wedding photographers two years running.

In a lot of ways, it was a dream come true. I had not only created a name for myself in the photography community, but I had been recognized for my work quicker than I could have ever imagined. Yet, the depression raged on.

What professional wedding photographers don’t tell you is that this dream job does not always come with a dream life. In fact, what I discovered was that as a photographer I spent 90% on the computer and only 10% of time with my clients, not to mention the very little time I got to spend with my husband.

My dream job was eating up my dream life. Extremely dissatisfied with the business of being a professional photographer, I knew there was only one choice for me, find another vehicle.

My husband and I as newlyweds were also looking for financial help. Should we merge our accounts together? Do we share a bank account? What does it mean now that we are married?

Lucky for us, a good friend of ours asked us to sit with her so that we could learn a thing or two about money and this meeting radically changed our lives. The level of care we were shown throughout the process was exactly the type of care I took with my photography clients, but what was more is I noticed that many of my photographer clients could use exactly the information and help I was receiving.

Now I get to help newlyweds, families, and entrepreneurs make powerful and educated decisions about their money and plan strategic ways to set their lives up for success for generations to come.