The power of beliefs: from poverty to prosperity

How Teresa Greenway used the power of belief to go from living on $300 a month and food stamps to making almost six-figures in two years.

Teresa has ten children (that’s not a typo: ten) and spent thirty years of her life locked into an abusive marriage.

When I first met Teresa, she had recently left that marriage, which required tremendous courage. She was impoverished, living on food stamps, earning less than $300 a month, and barely surviving.

Teresa joined Smart Women Make Money program two years ago.

Privately, I have to admit, I wondered if my class would be enough to help Teresa. Her situation was so dire. I crossed my fingers and hoped that everything would work out.

I could provide guidance and support, but ultimately, creating a radical financial transformation would be up to Teresa. This was her story to re-write.

The class began. Almost immediately, Teresa was forced to confront all of her fears about money, and about her capacity to earn money. She realized that her mind was full of mental clutter—dark, disempowering, negative thoughts, like:

“I never went to college. I’m stupid.”

“It’s impossible for me to work full-time because I have a special-needs kid.”

“I can’t work because my mom is sick and she needs me.”

“I’m a hopeless case. Things will never get better for me.”

“I am 51 years old. It’s too late for me to make any kind of change.”

“Who am I to start a business? I can’t compete with other people.”

“God loves poor people. God doesn’t love rich people as much as the poor.”

Teresa was shocked by how much mental clutter she was carrying inside her mind.

Prior to taking my class, she’d never really noticed any of these thoughts before.  But now, she was learning how to pay close attention to her own thoughts, and she was stunned by how much negativity she discovered.

Practically every other thought in her mind was some variation of: “I can’t.”

Teresa realized, “With thoughts like these going through my head, every hour of the day, it’s no wonder I’m struggling to earn any money!” She also realized, “I need to deal with this mental pollution, or things are never going to change.”

Teresa’s transformation began with a very small shift. She began saying to herself: “Maybe I can make money.”

That quiet, humble statement—“Maybe I can”—unlocked something inside Teresa’s mind. It was like a key opening a door that had been locked for decades.

The door opened just a tiny crack. Fresh air and light poured inside. Teresa started to feel open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t a hopeless case.

Shortly after that, Teresa came up with an interesting money-making idea—perhaps she could teach bread baking classes online.

Teresa has always been passionate about baking bread—especially sourdough bread, which requires a very specific pre-baking fermentation process. She figured, “I know how to make the best bread. I could teach other people how to do it, too!”

She did some research and found an online teaching website called Udemy, where anybody can sign up to teach a class, or take a class. Again, Teresa whispered to herself, “Maybe I could teach a Udemy class. Maybe this is something I could do!”

She put together a class and launched it online. The Udemy corporate team noticed her class and featured Teresa as “one of the top ten Udemy instructors” of the year, which brought Teresa’s class a lot of attention and new sign-ups.

The people at Udemy loved her bread-baking class because it wasn’t a typical class covering some type of technical/computer-related skill—it was different! Nobody else was covering bread. Teresa was the first.

As those first couple of student sign-ups rolled in, Teresa’s mind shifted from “Maybe I can do this” to “I am doing this… it’s working!” and “Hmm, what could I do next?”

The pollution inside her mind continued to evaporate. She felt increasingly optimistic, excited, and ambitious.

Eventually, she set an audacious income goal for herself: $10,000 per month.

“Maybe I can earn $10K a month through my bread classes,” Teresa wondered. “Why not? Anything is possible!”

I checked in with Teresa months after the money class ended. She was already earning $5,000 a month—halfway to her goal.

For a mother of ten who used to exist on less than $300 a month, $5,000 represented a world-changing improvement.

Recently, I emailed Teresa to check in again. Now she’s up to $6,700 a month, and she’s on track to earn $80,000 this year.

She’s purchasing a small home to fix up—her very first home—and eventually she intends to sell that first home, make a profit, and then invest in an even nicer property.

“I have choices now that I’ve never had before,” she told me, in her email. “I will always be grateful to you for opening my mind to our own endless possibilities.”

Teresa’s staggering transformation was largely due to the fact that she began to notice, and clear away, the mental clutter that was keeping her in a state of anxiety and poverty.

When you begin to notice the thoughts that are blocking you—and when you challenge those thoughts and begin to clear them out of your mind—it’s unbelievable how much your life can change. Teresa’s story illustrates that perfectly. And if Teresa can do it, well, why not you?

Sign Up for my 3-part FREE money class called Clear Your Money Blocks So You Can Make More Money. 

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