| by Kenneth Chase | 19 comments

I Couldn’t Pay My Rent |How I Went From Broke To Rich One Cup of Coffee At A Time.

I’ll never forget the day. It was more
than 25 years ago. I was in between jobs I was temping and I was living in this
really tiny basement suite it had really really low ceilings they were so low
that when tall people would come over to visit they’d hit their head on the
doorways. And we were right next door to a popular fried chicken fast-food
restaurant and in the summer my roommate and I had to choose between sweltering
with the windows closed or having everything we own smell like fried
chicken. And that day came when my rent was due and that month I had only made
$300 and back then that was still peanuts and that $300 didn’t cover my
rent. Hey there i’m Nafissa Shireen and welcome
to Living Forward TV. Today I’m sharing with you a very personal story. I truly
believe that no matter what life throws at us, if we keep moving forward, if we
keep taking action, and if we just get out of our own damn way and we live for
our future, and not for a past, and not our current circumstances, we can create
magic. And that core belief is the founding principle of my company, Living
Forward. Whether it’s the clients we serve, or through Living Forward TV or
our social media channels, we’re all about helping you create the personal
freedom you really want. And yet, that freedom so many people resist taking any
action towards creating it. And I think that’s because it can be so easy to
think when you see someone else who’s successful, that it’s easy for them and
somehow is out of reach for you. And what I’m about to share with you today isn’t
my entire story however what happened in my early 20s, as challenging as it may
have felt at the time, and I didn’t fully understand back then the impact of my
choices, when I look back and connect the dots on my life, it really changed
something in my thinking and my beliefs and it changed me and has really set me
up for who I am today and all the successes that I’ve had in my life- and I
want to share it with you. In thinking about that month where my income didn’t
even cover my rent, it was really scary at the time. I had to pay my rent, I still
needed to eat, I had a car payment, and never mind putting gas in my car. I had
no savings and I was living off a credit card. And then, to make matters worse, the
monthly statement came in and, while I still had plenty of room and available
credit, a minimum payment was due and I needed to make that payment to keep the
card current so that I could continue to use it so that I can eat. And I had no
money. What I did have, though, was my resourcefulness. I only needed $50.00 to
make the minimum payment and I had plenty of room on that card. The payment
wasn’t due for a couple of days, so I went to the bank machine and I simply
took out a cash advance for exactly $50 on that card and then I walked into the
bank with the card and made the minimum payment. And then I continue to use my card to cover my expenses until more work start
to flow in. I did in that moment, however, feel like I’d hit rock bottom-
you know paying my credit card with my credit card. So I made two important
decisions that day. One is I wasn’t going to live like this the only place I could
go was up and I was going to figure out how to create wealth for myself. And the
second- I was not gonna live in survival mode. No matter what my income was I was, I was always gonna find a way to treat myself like the most important person in my
life and indulge in small ways that made me feel whole and in a forward mindset.
The only problem? I was flat broke I had no idea where to begin.
So I decided with changing my thinking about what happened with my credit cards,
instead of looking at this like some horrible thing, or that I was a bad
person for not having enough money, I just realized that I’d hit a tight spot
in my money-making and yet I had these resources and they provided me with the
ability to continue to look after myself by myself. And I was kind of amused and
impressed with the fact that I figured out how to keep it available without
needing help from anyone. I decided that I would be grateful, instead of depressed.
The next thing I did was to continue my daily ritual of stopping at Starbucks. I’d
temporarily stopped that that month and I brought it back. I consider that
investment in a cup of coffee to be one of the most powerful things I’ve ever
done for myself. You know many financial experts will tell you that if you forgo
that cup of coffee you’ll save a few hundred dollars a year and yes, I heard
that from a lot of people. I mean they cared about me and they were trying to
give me advice. And you know what? I didn’t buy into it then and I don’t buy
into it now and I never will. I truly believe one of the reasons that I am
where I am today as a successful business owner with a seven-figure net
worth is because I never did give up my daily stop at Starbucks, even though I
was relying on my credit card to buy my coffee. You see, to me this wasn’t a
mindless exercise in convenience, to just run in and grab a coffee and run off to
work. No, I stopped at Starbucks every morning, I sat down, I read the paper, I
contemplated the day, and got myself into a really good mindset. That
made me feel whole and it put me in a really good space and I was able to make
decisions. I did however change my beverage from a latte to a drip coffee I
believe back then it was probably still less than a dollar a cup. You see it
wasn’t about the coffee itself, it was about the ritual, it was about how I was
feeling in that moment, it was about being powerful and productive. And
feeling that way kept me moving forward and in that place I was able to, as I
said, make decisions about my life. And when I look back and I connect all those
dots I realized that you know while I was certainly broke during that time, I
wasn’t poor. See broke is nothing more than a reflection of a person’s current
finances and conditions and no matter how much money you have, or how little
money you have, your current situation is always temporary because what comes next
depends on your individual choices and actions and your next move. Poor, however,
is a crippling belief that goes right to a person’s heart and identity. Anyone
can end up broke from time to time. However, it’s our decisions and mindset
that determine what happens to us in the long run. The most important thing to me
back then, and it’s a philosophy that I carry with me till today, was that no
matter what my current financial situation was, I was never going to feel
poor. I was always going to be resourceful. Now, I did have to adjust a
few of my habits to face the current financial reality in front of me and at
the same time, I had some non-negotiables. These were things I was not going to
give up for anything. So one was my daily stop at Starbucks, which we’ve talked
about and I think it was the most important. There were other things like
my favorite salon shampoo and conditioner. I wasn’t gonna ruin my hair! I
mean, come on! I always bought, and I still buy, top-quality toilet paper. Um,
you know, I always ate at the table and beautifully plated my meal up nicely.
Even though I may have been eating ramen noodles, I still presented whatever I ate
to myself like it was fine dining. I made my bed every single day and I always did
my hair and makeup presenting at my very best, even when I wasn’t at work and I
was just doing errands and running around. And another thing I always had
were scented candles. Now some of these things involve
spending money over and above my means at the time and others involved nothing
more than imagination and creativity. And while traditional financial planning
would have cut some of these indulgences out for me, and I certainly would have
saved a little bit of money in the short term, I really don’t believe I would have
ended up where I am today as I would have been developing a scarcity and lack
mindset and a debilitating mindset of cutting back instead of growth and my
income potential probably would have been capped around the $15 an hour I was
making back then. I mean, sure, these non-negotiables contributed temporarily
to me being “broke”. However, more importantly, they prevented
me from ever being poor. I had no idea what I was doing at the time or just how
important these decisions were. All I knew was how I felt in those moments, in
the individual moments, and that was expansive and abundant. I was building a
mindset and laying a foundation. I mean back then I actually never heard of the
term mindset. However now, I realize I was taking really important steps that
created who I am today. By constantly ensuring that I created experiences and
meaningful rituals, and an environment to me that was everyday simple luxuries.
They made me feel whole and abundant and it kept me in forward motion. I was
creating emotional and mental strength. I created a belief system that success
for me is a natural inevitability. It declared what I was worth and I created
expectations of abundance in my life. And by creating beliefs that serve me, I took action and made decisions that were in alignment with what I ultimately wanted.
And I’ve been on a journey of growth ever since. And I still do that today
except today I’m consciously aware of those choices, which makes it even more
fun and the reason I wanted to share this with you is because of what I said
at the outset. It can be so easy to look at someone successful and think it’s
easy for them and not available for you and that’s just not true. When I hit my
rock bottom, I could have made that choice too. Instead, I chose me. And today I’m here to invite you to always choose you. No matter where
you are in your business, no matter what life throws at you, how you show up and
how you move forward has nothing to do what’s happening on the outside or your
circumstances. It starts on the inside. It starts with seeing beyond those
circumstances and creating, even in small ways, the life you want. I encourage you
and invite you to look at the places where you can start to incorporate that
abundance in your life and what rituals and experiences can you bring in that
make you feel really good. What can you change in your environment or simply
bring into it. Now, don’t get me wrong, as I’ve mentioned in other episodes, I don’t
advocate spending recklessly or without meaning there’s a really big difference
between spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need just because you
feel good or you’re trying to numb a void. We don’t want to do that. What I’m
speaking about it’s a decision to always treat yourself as the most important
person in your life and to be aware that there are a lot of small things that you
can do to really create that feeling of expansiveness and abundance where you
can be fully present in the moment and you can enjoy it and you can be your
best and true self. Even if you need to make some practical adjustments, like I
did I mean like I said I changed the type of coffee I was drinking. My fancy
meals looked good, but they were ramen noodles, right? What was important was the
feeling that it gave me and so I encourage you to determine what your
non-negotiables are. Most importantly, get clear on the feeling you want to have
and find ways to make it happen. Find your own resourcefulness and always
find something to be grateful for. The biggest stretch will be your mindset and
your beliefs because you’re now gonna step into a new paradigm of what you
believe is possible for you and what you can expect for yourself. And the good
news is, is that once you stretch something, it can’t go back to its
original form. You’re gonna start to unlock what’s truly inside of you and
you’re gonna be living the way you really want to and you’ll be amazed at
what’s possible for you in the long term. I mean, just think about it,
how cool is that that you can start creating the future you desire by simply
living it now? If you found today’s episode helpful, please share it with
someone who you know needs it and subscribe to my channel and I would love
to hear from you please leave me a comment below and let me know what you
found most helpful, most inspiring, and what you will do for yourself. And if you
have more questions or you need more help or want some support then I’d like
to invite you to join the Living Forward Facebook Community. I come to you
live each week on “After the Episode”, I take your questions, I interact with you,
and I give you a great place to build your network and grow your business.
Simply go to livingforwardcommunity.com , click the “Join Now” button,
and I’ll see you on the inside.


Professor Heather Austin

Sep 9, 2017, 4:38 pm Reply

I love that you started out with a story. I was super inspired by your story. I found myself in the same situation when I was in college. Thanks for sharing.


Sep 9, 2017, 5:30 pm Reply

Thank you for sharing your story. I can really relate, and have gone through similar situations when I was a young adult & college student.

Knit Crochet Designs

Sep 9, 2017, 8:35 pm Reply

Wow this video is phenomenal! I love the intro and graphics, thumbnails, and everything!

Roman Ryder

Sep 9, 2017, 1:20 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing your story! I grew up very poor, so having an abundance mindset is an ongoing battle for me.

Video Cashflow

Sep 9, 2017, 4:46 pm Reply

Great video and story-telling technique. "How do YOU create a mindset of wealth?" – great question – positive self-talk, don't watch the TV News or read the papers, and just take action.

Wild Woman Enchanted

Sep 9, 2017, 7:59 pm Reply

Love the way you think! Love that you are sharing this! Love that you bought your Starbucks coffee because you mattered! Love your intentions! Love that you treat your self as the most important person in your life! Keep sharing. Keep learning! Keep teaching! Keep stretching! Keep feeling! Keep shooting videos! Keep being awe-some!  ~Elizabeth xx

Christina Tsiripidou

Sep 9, 2017, 2:22 pm Reply

Love that you shared your story. Very inspirational 🙂

Lakeside Table

Sep 9, 2017, 5:15 pm Reply

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm really enjoying your channel!

Bloggin Brandi

Sep 9, 2017, 3:16 pm Reply

Love hearing other bosses stories! It is all about the journey 🙂

Maggie Giele

Oct 10, 2017, 10:31 am Reply

Your story is so intriguing. Thank you for sharing – love your sincerity in it. I absolutely agree with how your decisions and perspective move your life forward – so important to keep that in mind.

Johnine Barlow

Oct 10, 2017, 2:38 pm Reply

This is a beautiful message, daily ritual and keep moving forward.

Angie Sanchez

Oct 10, 2017, 6:02 am Reply

You are speaking my language and this could not have come at a better time. Thank you for being honest and not saying what everyone else is such as "cut out that cup of coffee completely." I had to share this video on my FB Page! Felt it in my heart. Thank you! 💞

Bill Benoist

Nov 11, 2017, 12:58 am Reply

Such an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing!

Gabby Andrews

Dec 12, 2017, 12:05 am Reply

Thank you for this video! I have also heard the eliminate the daily coffee tip and I love my daily Starbucks as well it gives me peace and I never thought of it this way! Amazing way to shift my mindset.


Jan 1, 2018, 9:33 pm Reply

It's all about how you view yourself.! Thanks for sharing your story.

Pam Duthie

Jan 1, 2018, 12:22 am Reply

thank you for sharing that

lil babypisces

Dec 12, 2018, 3:24 am Reply

I nearly cried watching this, thank you!


May 5, 2019, 5:52 pm Reply

How did you pay your rent tho? I don't have a credit card.

Victoria Leigh

Jul 7, 2019, 3:50 am Reply

Yes Yes Yes!! That is so true! There is cash flow challenged and there is broke, or broken as I refer to it. A totally different mentality.

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