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151. "It's Not About The Money" with Scarlett Cochran

Updated: Mar 7

Do you want to be a millionaire someday? Because my guest this week believes that you can make sure that achieving this milestone is inevitable. Her name is Scarlett Cochran. She’s an attorney, financial expert, and entrepreneur. Her background includes working at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. There she dealt with real, systemic issues, involving fair lending and equity. Now she’s taken what she’s learned and launched the brand “One Big Happy Life” to help people become “inevitable millionaires”… She says the secret to getting there is, is actually not about the money.

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Full Transcript Below:

*Transcript is auto-generated*

Scarlett Cochran 0:00

You know, when I think of the word hustle, it's and the word grind. Like people say that a lot to me like, Oh, get on your grind. I'm like, I'm not grinding. I am at least not anymore. And I'm not gonna say, look, there have been times in my life where I was grinding. And guess what, it wasn't healthy. It wasn't sustainable. And I also think long term, it wasn't productive, and it wasn't necessary. And there's a difference between hustling and grinding and working hard.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 0:32

Welcome to sincerely future you a podcast that helps ambitious women like you and make decisions today with the future you in mind.

Welcome to this week's episode of sincerely future you. As you know, each week we talk about how to access our future selves in the now to achieve that success that we really want out of life. And with that, I want to ask you a high quality question. Do you Yes, you want to be a millionaire someday? Oh, this is the episode for you because my guest this week believes that you can make sure that achieving this milestone is inevitable. Her name is Scarlett Cochran. She's an attorney, a financial expert and an entrepreneur. And Her background includes working at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. There she dealt with real systemic issues involving fair lending and equity. But now she's taken what she's learned and launched the brand one big happy life. You know, I love that brand title to help people become inevitable millionaires. She says that the secret to getting there is actually not about the money. Welcome to the show. Scarlett Cochran. Hi, Scarlett, thank you for coming on the show.

Scarlett Cochran 1:49

Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. So

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 1:51

aside from all of the amazing things that Scarlett is that we just told you. She is also a friend and colleague that I've admired since we met at our mastermind, which began as a 200k mastermind for coaches of all kinds. And then Scarlett then went on to be a part of a $2 million group further as she was scaling her business. And I think one of the things that we always had in common, so the first day we met was, we just love to talk about money. We think it's really important for all women, but especially for single moms, for women of color for women that just are well women in general just don't have as much exposure or access to these conversations in a casual or a professional environment. And so when I met, when I joined the mastermind meeting, Scarlett was one of the first times I had another colleague that was kind of having these candid conversations in the same way that I was about money. So kind of tell everybody a little bit about who you are as a person, and why that became important to you and a part of your mission.

Scarlett Cochran 3:10

Yeah, like you said, money is something that we should be talking about, because it really does touch on every aspect of modern life. You really can't live life at all without spending some kind of money or needing access to resources that cost money that someone else may gift you. So even if you are someone say that doesn't have a home or that's transient and relying on social services, that those social services are funded in other ways. So money is such an important and important part of really everyone's lives. And I realized this like growing up as a kid, I didn't learn about money. I didn't even really get an allowance. It was if I needed money, I would just ask my dad, Hey, can I have some money for lunch or something like that? So my parents didn't teach me anything about money. And I left my parents house, I joined the Marine Corps. So I became an active duty US Marine, and suddenly, I had this regular paycheck coming in. But I live in the barracks, so and I get I go to the meal Hall for food. So I had this money, and it was money that was available for me to spend doing whatever I want, I could squander it. And it didn't matter because my housing and my food were taken care of. And then when I was 18 years old, I Well, just before my 19th birthday, got pregnant with my daughter, Alexis, and suddenly, I had all of these life needs. And this future focus that I didn't have before you know, I needed something like a car. I needed a driver's license. I needed plates and spoons and beds and cribs and baby clothes. And that's when I realized like, oh my gosh, money is so important. If I want to create a good life for my Child, I need to figure out this money thing. And oh yeah, I'm not making enough of it, even though I'm working in a full time job. And so that was where my quest to make more money and understand money began because I was facing being a single mom, raising a child. And like every parent out there wanting to create the best possible life for myself and my child.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 5:23

Yeah, I mean, it's so funny, you said, like, you left childhood and then went into almost like a similar like childhood 2.0 For money, where you're like, oh, I don't have to think about where this money food is coming from or where my money goes, right. And so, for a lot of my listeners, most of them are not 18, right? A lot of people come to this, they hear a concept that I talked about, or that you're going to talk about, and listen, if you're overwhelmed, and you're like, well, shoot, I didn't start at 18. Don't worry, Scarlett is a master at helping people of any age become what she calls inevitable millionaires. We'll talk about that. I love that term so much. And so even if you're not starting, like, just now, like, at any point, I know, for me, I didn't start really understanding money, and then didn't really start even applying the tools that I understood from like 26. And then until about 31, was when I started to really, really get my shit together in terms of applying these things. So would you agree, it doesn't really matter?

Scarlett Cochran 6:32

Yeah, where do you start? I mean, 100%, it's funny, because I was trying to figure out this money thing, and I was getting better and better at Money in my 20s. But like you, I really didn't really get it together until I was in my early 30s. Because after deciding that I wanted to make more money, I left the Marine Corps and I started to go to school full time and work part time. And so I put myself through college, and then I put myself through law school. So that was, that's where I spent my 20s working part time going to school full time being a mom along the way, I got married. And then at the end, when I graduated from law school, got my first job, then I got divorced. So that's me at 30 years old, right, having spent my 20s getting to the point where I could make a solid income, but not necessarily building my wealth. I wasn't building my financial wealth, I was building wealth in other ways, like a wealth of knowledge, building my career, my ability to make money, but I really didn't start building financial wealth and building real financial stability until my 30s. Everything I did before that was really about positioning myself and doing the best that I could with the resources that I had available. But it's like based on the skills that I have. Now, if I'd had that when I was 20, it would have been a completely different game. But the point is, you don't need to have that right away. You can build on your progress over time. Absolutely.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 8:02

i You said a couple of things that I was like, oh, we can't gloss over this. Number one, is that one of the a couple of the other things that Scarlett and I have in common, and that just made me admire her so much is that we both experienced being single moms, we've both gone through divorce, we've both really had to kind of figure this out, not in a partnership, which I think gives you a whole nother level of, of pressure. Yes, but and responsibility, a beautiful thing. But more importantly, I think that there is a societal narrative about what you are capable of when you have that type of a label. And I mean, I know that from from knowing you personally, that you really, you You probably didn't have too much time to think about how hard it was during those times to and I have a similar experience where from the outside. It looks like oh my gosh, I don't know how you did it. And you're like, Well, I don't know really either. I just kind of put my head down. I did it. But if you're listening any if you were in a situation where you feel like your back is up against the wall. This is not an episode to skip over. This is something that I wanted to I wanted to have Scarlett on the show specifically for that audience. The marginalize single moms are a huge part of my mission and helping people to make money and I know it is for you too. So everybody, long story short, turn the volume away up because we're about to talk about some really, really important things. So yes, she was a single mom. And yes, also you said to like there are multiple ways for you to grow your wealth. A couple are in Scarlett's book that is coming out which we're going to be talking about that a couple also are are really important and those live in your brain and those are the things that we talked about on the podcast as well a lot which is are you growing Your ability and your skill of being able to make money, your skill and your knowledge in terms of what you can provide in terms of value. And then also your skills in terms of understanding numbers and money and how, like the economy works in just a very basic, simple math way that does not require you to be a rocket scientist. Yet,

Scarlett Cochran 10:26

I mean, I love that you point out that they just need a baseline level of financial knowledge. And I think that the part of the problem is that we all will watch the news, we'll listen to the news. And we'll hear about all of these complicated things like even with the stock tickers across the bottom, and it feels really overwhelming. And one of the things that I like to remind people is that not all of the news is for everyone, right? You have to think that there are people who are stockbrokers who are hedge fund managers, watching the same news as you, there are people running multimillion billion dollar companies watching the same news as you. And so, yes, and that news covers stuff that's only relevant to certain segments of people. But somehow it's you're made to feel like it applies to you. And you need to understand that as well in order to be financially successful, it's like all of the investments out there. They don't all exist for us regular folk, right? There are investments that exists just for people who have extra hundreds of millions of dollars that they're like young, what do I feel like doing with this money today? Okay, you don't need to understand that stuff in order to become what you know what I call the inevitable millionaire. So someone who has a seven figure or eight figure nest egg that you can rely on when you retire, you don't need to know all that. Yeah, there's a baseline level of knowledge that you just want to make sure you're keeping up as the finance industry changes so that you can make good financial decisions for your specific needs.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 12:04

Yeah. So can you elaborate on that tell us like, what does it mean to be an inevitable millionaire? And I know obviously, for those of you who don't, please go and follow Scarlett, she is on Instagram at one big happy life. Big

Scarlett Cochran 12:16

happy life. Yep, one big happy life on Instagram. And also on YouTube. YouTube is actually our primary platform, where we published where I publish, you know, longer form videos, and I think I would like to start actually putting those videos in a podcast. So maybe one big happy live podcast will be coming to you soon. But I use the term inevitable millionaire, to help people step into the identity of someone that is going to be a millionaire, no matter what. And also, really helping people lean into the idea that you don't have to already be a millionaire, especially like, let's get back to the news cycles that such and such is a multimillionaire and retired at 30 years old. Okay, for those of us who are already, like in our 30s, or like me, I just turned 40. So I'm going to be now in my 40s, I turned 41. later on this year, it's like that ship has already sailed, okay. And I just I use that term, inevitable millionaire to help people realize that you can become a millionaire if you want to, on your own timeline, and that it's okay to enjoy the journey along the way and savor your life because you are an inevitable millionaire, you are going to get there, as long as you're doing the things that you need to do today to hit that million dollar target on your preferred term timeline.

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 13:39

Yes, I love that. And let's talk about a little bit you just kind of alluded to it. But I think that people really feel about money that either they need to enjoy life or they need to hustle. And I think one of the things that both you and I gravitated towards each other in the beginning was like, we just feel very calm about money. We do not believe in hustle and work at all, we believe in hard work, which ironically, you know, one of our coaches just posted just did a podcast episode on hustle versus hard work and really like what are those the differences but in in your own words, like, let's talk about hustle, why do people not have to hustle and why is it important that they don't use that word to get?

Scarlett Cochran 14:30

Well, you know, when I think of the word hustle, it's and the word grind. Like people say that a lot to me, like, Oh, get on your grind. I'm like, I'm not grinding. I am at least not anymore. And I'm not gonna say look, there have been times in my life where I was grinding and guess what, it wasn't healthy. It wasn't sustainable. And I also think long term it wasn't productive and it wasn't necessary. And there's a difference between hustling and grinding and working hard. Now there are times when I don't have the where I am working more, right. And there are times where I'm working less. So right now I have a book coming out. So I'm doing a lot more publicity, a lot more podcasts, I don't have the same full control over my schedule during this time, because I'm doing a lot more scheduling with other people and compromising and traveling and speaking. And so I'm in a season of my life where it's busier, where I'm working a bit harder. But I'm also always cognizant of the balance at where I'm making, I'm prioritizing the things that matter to me. So spending time with my family, making sure that I'm getting enough sleep, making sure that I have my water, I'm holding up my water bottle for those of you who are listening to the podcast,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 15:49

watching as well. Yeah.

Scarlett Cochran 15:52

And so making sure that I'm taking care of myself, because especially as I get older, the more I realize, hey, I'm not getting any younger. And I want to I want to live till I'm like 90 plus years old. And the only way I can do that is if I make sure to do the small things today that will include increase my quality of life later. But another thing that we think we have to do is hustle our way to making a whole bunch of money. And this is something that I initially thought as well, especially when I decided to become a lawyer, I thought I bought into the story that I was kind of inherited from society was communicated to me through osmosis by living in this western society, that I had to go to a law firm and work, you know, 7080 hours a week, work nights and weekends. If I wanted to make $160,000 a year, that was the starting salary at big firms back in the day, like 12 years ago or so, when I graduated from law school. And I tried it and I really hated it, I was miserable. I was so unhappy. And I just made the decision. Like, look, there's got to be another way. I know, I want to make this much money. But I don't want to make it this way. I want to find a way where I can be a present mom and wife and actually have hobbies outside of work and have the energy for those things. And so just by allowing myself to ask myself the question, well, what else could I do? How else can I get to this life that I actually want in a way that allows me to actually enjoy my life the whole time? And that's been the question that has guided me my whole life. And that has helped me not lean into hustle and find the alternative path that would work for me and allow me to have balance in my life. And not overwork

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 17:45

that makes so much sense because the title of Scarlett's book is actually it's not about the money. So like, let's just talk about it. What is it about if it's not about the money after we've been talking about money this whole time, just to clear it out? I kind of feel like being on the inside of this industry. And we do similar things. I have an idea of what it's about. But I want to hear it in your words.

Scarlett Cochran 18:08

Right? Well, with personal finance. When you look at what's out there in the media and the narrative around it. We're often told about what we should be doing with our money, what we should and shouldn't spend on the tips or how to save more money, how to get the best interest rates. And it's all about the money and how to spend the least of it and keep the most of it and build it the fastest. But no one's really talking about but wait, what does your life actually look like? Do you enjoy your life? Does it feel good? Is this the life that you want to look back on? Right? What if you like spending money on lattes? What if you like lattes? I have a cappuccino like Two cappuccinos a day. They're small though they're tiny ones everyday and I love that now we make them at home. But it's with $1,000 Super automatic, like coffee maker that grinds and Frost's and does all the things. Right. And certainly someone would have some thoughts about, well, why don't you just brew your coffee for 50 cents out of a standard coffee maker in the answers because I don't want to I like my cappuccinos. Okay. And so the reason why it's not about the money is that I want us to stop looking at the dollars and cents and making decisions based on the dollars and cents and instead, make decisions based on the life that we actually want to live. Because that life the memories that we make in our lives. That's what we're going to be looking back on when we're old. We're not going to care how quickly we paid off our credit card debt, or our student loans or our mortgage, we are truly not going to care. We're not going to remember the things that we are going to remember are the things that were meaningful, truly meaningful to us. Who did we spend time with? How did we love what did our relationships look like? What did our career look like? What kind of Mark did we leave on the world and Too often, when we focus on money, those questions get left to the wayside. And so then we end up with unfulfilled lives. And so in the book, I encourage people to first decide what kind of life you want to live. How do you want to live? What does that lifestyle cost? And then you start asking the question of your money because your money exists to serve you and your best life like, okay, money, this is what I want. Now, let's figure out how we're going to make this happen for me,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 20:30

so good. I mean, it just brought up so many very, like, specific memories in my life when I just said, I don't know what the answer is. But I know it's not this. And one of those was when I was decided to get divorced from my ex husband, we had a lovely relationship in a lot of ways. And there was still very much love there. But we didn't want the same life. And when it came to money, it wasn't even that we were arguing, we just fundamentally did not believe in the exchange of like time for money, and what the point of money was, and how much time we wanted to be spending working versus doing other things. Fundamentally, I was asking the same questions you were. And he was very much bought into the, I would say, like the American dream, of like, you go, you go to work, you work hard. In college, and then in, you know, he had his NBA and like, and this is even about him, but I see it happen with a lot of my clients. They're entrepreneurs that come to me after having been a part of this societal dream for a little while and being like, why does this feel terrible? I was told that this was going to feel good, do I have to wait until I'm 65? To feel good about this life? And then at that point, like, will I be able to even do the things that I wanted to do in the first place? So I just think everyone should pause. I really like to always think of a moment within interview podcast to be like, you took nothing away from what Scarlett said, can you just ask yourself that? Can you phrase that one of the things that I asked my clients all the time is like, the quality of your life is equal to the quality of the questions that you're asking yourself. So if you could boil it down to one question for them to ask themselves? Like, what is the question?

Scarlett Cochran 22:35

Oh, my gosh, one question. That is where I

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 22:38

know, I can just one for now. And then we'll have you on the podcast again.

Scarlett Cochran 22:43

Um, so I would probably say it's going to be it's okay. So is this what I really want? And why? And ask yourself, why do I want that? And why do I want that? And why do I want that? So that you're digging down to the the route? Right? So like you mentioned, people kind of following the path that they've been sold leads to a happy life, right, right, which there is no one size fits all path to a happy life, every person is an individual. And so it is going to look different for everyone, just like our fingerprints are different. The the pieces that constitute a happy life for each of us is going to look slightly different, which is why we need to look inside for answers. And so, but you can start where you are, which is we all have some inkling of a desire. And so for many people, it's, I have to I have to wait till 65 to be happy. Okay, what is it at age 65? That you're thinking that you want that's going to make you happy? And why? And why so and so questions like, oh, well, I want a million dollar business entrepreneurs say this a lot. And so the question is why? And it could be so that I can do this. Or I'll use an example like my daughter, she is doing V tubing on YouTube, where you have an avatar when you're streaming, not YouTube, Twitch, twitch, I think, okay. And she talks about wanting more followers and being frustrated that her following isn't growing as quickly as she would like for it to and I'm like, What is your goal? I asked her what is your goal that you want to accomplish when you have a lot of followers? And so she said, Well, I want to be able to sell merch for my character and make merch. And so I asked her well, you have followers now, why aren't you just selling merch now what is stopping you? Why do you have to wait? And she's like, you're right. And so that's the point when we ask ourselves, what do we really want? For many people retiring early 65 Oh, I want to have more control of my schedule. I want to be able to travel more. I want to have more time to work out I want gonna have more time to read? Why? Okay, so why can't you do those things? Now? How can you start doing those things right now? Why do you have to wait? Yeah,

Jessica McKinley Uyeno 25:08

it's so good, and especially about the followers. I mean, this isn't just children, like my clients all the time. And they're like, oh, I need more followers. And I know it. Like, I actually don't have a large amount of followers compared to my income. And I think people are always like, very surprised about what my revenue is, when they see my followership. And they're like, where do you get all of your clients? And I'm like, yeah, for my followers, and they're like, but you only have whatever, almost 3000 followers, and I'm like, yeah, how many clients do you think you need in order to create multiple hundreds of 1000s of dollars? And then when I did the breakdown this year, I don't know if you haven't seen I like posted on Facebook, even I did an annual revenue report. And I broke down everything in my business, I posted my revenue, I posted how many clients what my, my business structure was in everything. And people were like, Oh, my God, this was so interesting. Because when people say I want more followers, their answer is usually because I want to be able to make more money. And I'm like, why don't you just make more money? Now? There's how many Yeah, and so they spent all of their time focused on similar to the zombies that are in corporate just like grinding? Well, I want to have more money. It's like they spent all their time, posting reels and trying to do all these specific things that eat up all their time. And I'm like, Yeah, but that's a money making activity. This interview was full of so many valuable insights that we actually split it into two, so stay tuned for the release of that second part of the interview where Scarlett shares the seven money capacities, also known as the seven money practices to grow over your lifetime to help you become that inevitable millionaire. You can also preorder her book at one big happy Next week, we're also going to be doing a Valentine's Day episode, so make sure you come back to learn the six ways to romance your future self. No, it's not what you think we're gonna be talking about. But love will be in the air in the episode and I get a little emotional, so you're not gonna want to miss this hurt string pulling episode. For more information and links on this episode and others head to our website. Sincerely feed Hey, hamsters, if you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to what's forward slash podcast. That's what's happening. Whats h a p p y and forward slash podcast? If you're a business owner, and you're resonating with what we talked about here, what are you even doing come hang out with me over where the party's at on Instagram at what's happening? W Jess again that's happy. Ha p p y and ing and book a discovery call to see if coaching is your next best step.

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