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Ideas in the Wild: How Author Myra Oliver Aims To Help People Reclaim Their Life and Control Their Financial Future

Myra Oliver was 22 years old when she decided she wanted freedom from debt and consumerism. She designed a plan, made changes, and reinvented herself.

By 33, not only was she debt-free, she built a rental portfolio that provided her with passive income to quit her job and find financial independence.

We live in a consumer-driven culture that prioritizes expensive things over quality of life. We buy houses we’ll never own, cars we can’t afford, and stuff we don’t need. Debt is robbing us of a life worth living and forcing us to stay at jobs we don’t like.

We’re trading our time for money — and not making our money work for us.

Myra wrote Down Home Money to show that financial freedom is not about how much money you make, but what you do with it. I caught up with Myra to learn what inspired her to write the book, her favorite idea she shares with readers, and how that idea has impacted her life.

What happened that made you decide to write the book? What was the exact moment when you realized these ideas needed to get out there?

Honestly, I should have done it when I sold my hair salon and took a three-year sabbatical. I’m not sure that I really realized what an accomplishment it was to become financially free at 33 years old. I got bored and wanted to build something, so I got back on the treadmill for success and just never stopped to take the time to reflect or put anything down on paper.

Writing a book has been on my bucket list for twenty years but now more than ever I knew I needed to tell my story. Hopefully I can help someone to realize that it is not how much money you make, It’s how much money you keep and what you do with it.

In 2018, I finally decided now is the time to do everything that I had been putting off for many years. I started writing the book and walking five miles a day. While walking I started reading all the books out there that were about financial freedom and that just confirmed, I needed to tell my story, because mine was hindsight. I’m not sure there was an exact moment I decided to write the book. It was more like lots of cumulative moments, but it became clear that I could make a difference and needed to get the word out.

I was sitting in a John Maxwell seminar in 2016 and he made a comment that I could not get off my mind after I left so I give it a lot of credit for me getting off the treadmill and living a life worth living. He stated: “Success is great but significance is where it is at!” That was a game changer for me. That is what I had been searching for all this time. I wanted to be a difference maker!

What’s your favorite specific, actionable idea in the book?

You have to know where you are in order to get where you want to go. You have to do a Net Worth Sheet. It’s painful, but wow, it is eye opening. When I coach people and they do this for the first time and see what they have or have not been working for their entire life.

Like a 46-year-old that did it and was over $300,000 in debt. She has been working since she was 20 years old. It helped her understand that she has been working for absolutely nothing and will have to work at a job she hates forever because of the debt she is carrying.

It is so important for people to understand that debt is a trap that keeps you right where you are. In order to have financial freedom you have to be willing to have delayed gratification and this is something that is not the norm. Our society teaches consumerism. Have before you can afford. It’s really sad because it is forcing us to work way into our 70s.

Financial freedom is simple. It is not easy.

What’s a story of how you’ve applied this lesson in your own life? What has this lesson done for you?

Before I spend any money, I ask this simple question: Is this a want or a need? It may seem crazy, but try it because once you start doing this I guarantee you start saving money immediately. We never take the time to say “Do I really need a $5 coffee? Or would it be smarter to take that $5 daily coffee habit, which is $25 a week, or $100 a month, and invest in my future?” Seriously, we buy houses we will never own, cars we can’t afford and stuff we never use. Just look around your home and open closets and drawers. Do you have STUFF? We are all guilty of wasting money. Doing a Net Worth Sheet really helps you see if you are growing and moving forward or moving backwards. I do a Net Worth Sheet on New Year’s Eve every year. That’s how I judge what kind of year I had. It is an amazing tool to help you get clarity on where you are so you can move towards financial freedom.

You have to be willing to do what others won’t so you can have what others don’t have!

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Zach Obront

Zach Obront

Co-Founder of Scribe, Bestselling Author of The Scribe Method

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