5 Lessons About Money and Financial Wellness I Learned From My Puerto Rican Father

Photo: Courtesy of Author / W+G Creative
Today, I’m a spiritual leadership coach running a multiple six-figure business, but a few years back I was a 20-something Latina working in the fashion industry, trying to find her way. I was paid far less than I deserved, and I wasn’t lit up by what I was doing. For years, I tried to find my niche and my path to success while wondering if I could afford my New York City rent.

Deep down I knew I wanted to make an impact—and I knew I wanted to be financially well off while doing it. My intuition was telling me to go off on my own, but “what ifs” were stopping me from taking the leap. It wasn’t until my dad started to hit his financial peak at the same time he got diagnosed with cancer that I realized I had no other choice but to try.

You see, I was born into a Latinx family that set me up for entrepreneurship from day one. Both my parents were raised by immigrants, and they led themselves toward a life full of possibilities. They pursued higher education, moved us from a small town to an affluent neighborhood in the North Shore of Chicago where we could go to better schools and have more opportunities, and were fiercely hardworking.

Now, as I’m on the verge of hitting another financial milestone in my business, I’ve been reflecting on my parent’s legacy. The lessons both of them taught me have impacted who I’ve become, but it has been a handful of lessons about money I learned from my dad that have influenced how I’ve built my business—and an abundant life in the process.

Today my dad is a top salesman in his IT company, but he didn’t start at the top. He didn’t start making seven figures until he turned 52. Before then he was one of those guys in the '80s and '90s who worked in the basement of an IT company. I used to go to that basement as a kid, and I watched him go from there to near financial freedom.

I’ve watched my dad surpass all the goals he’s set for himself and then some. I’ve seen him build systems and investments to set our family up for generations to come. I’ve watched him fail and then get back up again. I’ve seen him work all hours of the night, on the verge of insomnia. I’ve watched him survive stage four cancer. And I’ve heard him admit on several occasions that all this work and survival are things he’s made happen for us, his family.

As I look at where my business is today, I see just how much my dad’s drive influenced my journey to success. I see how, by following his lead, I was able to go from making $20,000 my first year in entrepreneurship to having a $35,000 week in 2021. And now, I want to let you in on the foundational beliefs he taught me about money that helped get me here.

1. Nurture your relationship with money

When I asked my dad how he went from being raised poor to where he is now, he said, “I changed my relationship with money.” Money is not a simple transaction—it’s an energy, an attitude, a perspective, and a way of being. I’ve watched my dad become extremely mindful and diligent with money as if it were his child. He went from growing his wealth to nurturing his wealth, and that changed everything. Because when you have a healthy relationship with your finances, you’ll find that each challenge with money teaches you but never stops you. And, eventually, ceilings don’t seem all that hard to break.

2. Investments in yourself are key

Invest in your education and never stop growing—that’s what my dad would always tell me. These investments don’t always have to be monetary, either; they can be in the form of time, too. I always recall my dad’s library and what he used to watch on TV. Books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Freakonomics, and others were always on his shelves. He had Mad Money with Jim Cramer on TV all the time—years before hitting seven figures.

Today, my shelves are stacked with personal and professional development books, and I have a set of books I recommend to every client. I am also constantly investing in myself with intention. For example, having a coach myself has helped me become a better coach—and ultimately turned out to give me a better return on my investment.

3. Money can be fun

My dad has an incredible ability to work extremely hard—and play just as hard. He truly holds nothing back when it comes to enjoying what he makes, especially with the people he loves. It’s a constant reminder for me to enjoy money, have fun with it, and be grateful for the experiences it provides. I’ve found that this is often one of the hardest things to teach my clients but often makes the biggest impact. I always love when a client comes to me and says, “but wait, I can actually enjoy spending what I make?” Plus, I’ve seen time and time again how this mentality actually attracts more business opportunities.

4. Give to others—the money will always come back

My dad used to always say this growing up and still does today. He’s never believed in being tight with money when it comes to other people, and he’s always modeled this. Whether it’s generously giving to charity or spotting family members, or being a very generous tipper, he’ll always help those in need. In my own life, I’ve seen firsthand how adopting this vibration leads to more success—both monetarily and spiritually. After all, nature is constantly providing, and the more we give as humans, the more we circulate that energy of giving and receiving.

5. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to spend it

After a financial hurdle around the recession in 2008, my dad became much more conservative and frugal with money. He became what most people would call “an essentialist.” He eliminated the lavish details of materialism and stripped it down to simplicity. As his bank account grew, he stayed frugal. I learned from him that you could put aside money for a fun day or an investment down the road, and it’ll be worth the wait. To be honest, this is the hardest one for me on a personal level, but it has helped me make more mindful business decisions.

All of these tools and mindset shifts I learned from my dad have helped me transcend generational patterns and subconscious beliefs about money that have likely been passed down for hundreds of years. They’ve also taught me how to have a fun and loving relationship with money, and now I leverage that relationship to help others achieve their version of success.

My dad showed me that you could achieve great things no matter where you are from or how much money you start with. He truly opened my eyes to another world where big money was possible, which has meant everything to me as a mixed Latina female entrepreneur. To my dad, you are proof that dreams are possible for anyone, regardless of where you come from.

Antoinette Beauchamp is an empowerment mindset coach, speaker, author, and meditation teacher. As an ELI-MP certified coach, she inspires and challenges people to lead with passion, find balance, step into their power, and own who they were born to be so they can live with joy and ease. She has worked with thousands of people, including influencers, entrepreneurs, and C-suite executives to help them create monumental changes in their lives to launch them into the life they've always wanted to live. 

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