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From Beverly Hills to Broke. For Sheila Brown, Life’s a Beach

From in-demand Hollywood recruiter to world traveler and now coach, it is been a wild few years for Sheila Brown.

Sheila spent two decades in the recruiting field. For ten of those she worked for the likes of Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony, NBC Universal, Disney and other major Hollywood studios.

Back then she lived in upscale Beverly Hills — with a lifestyle to match. She’d amassed three hundred Gucci bags, a closet full of Prada shoes… the whole shebang.

Sheila was doing great financially. But was she happy? No. What she really wanted to do was see the world.

Why Should Kids Have All the Fun?

She got to thinking about how when you’re a kid, you have lots of free time and no money. And what did you and every other kid complain about most? They’re bored… There’s nothing to do.

With adults though, it’s just the opposite. “People with good jobs have money but no time to enjoy life. I remember thinking, it’s not fair,” she said.

That’s when it hit her. Sheila didn’t want to wait to see the world until she was retired. She wanted to live life fully now, while she had her health.

“Spirit told me to get rid of the house, the bags, the shoes, and all those other stupid trappings of success and go for it.” So in 2009 she sold everything and today all her worldly possessions fit into just three suitcases.

The same three suitcases she now uses while fulfilling her dream of traveling the world. And travel she has. So far this year Sheila’s taken 21 trips. In between she stays with friends of family.

If you think Sheila can do this because she’s rich – think again.

In fact she admits to making some “dumb decisions” a few years back which caused her to go broke. But for Sheila adversity didn’t equal failure.

Instead she describes that time as “22 months of life lessons.”

“Poor is a Mindset. Broke is a Temporary Condition”

Even in her darkest moments, which included standing in line at the welfare office, Sheila said she never felt poor explaining, “Poor is a mindset. Broke is a temporary condition. And I was broke.”

Things turned around in 2011. “I trusted in God’s plan and one day in January the doors just opened.” Withing a few days checks arrived from 14 different sources – including an online business she’d set up and had all but forgotten.

It was during her broke period that Sheila came across the Changing Course website. When she saw the course description for the Profiting from Your Passions® Career Coach training she wrote in her journal, “Someday I will take this course.”

Never Say, “I Can’t Afford This”

Notice she didn’t say, “I can’t afford this.”

It goes back to that mindset Sheila talked about. I read once that you should never say “I can’t afford it” to anything that will put you closer to a dream.

You can say, “That’s interesting, but it’s not for me.” Or, you can say, “I can’t swing it right now.”

But when you say “I can’t afford it” unconsciously you’re telling yourself that you not only don’t have the money right now but that you never will.

Three years later Sheila fulfilled her promise to herself. She not only did she find the money to take the course, but she also flew half way across the country to do it.

I saved the best part for last. Today Sheila’s life is a beach. Literally!

Right after the training with me, Sheila flew to the Dominican Republic where she’d rented a house on the beach for six months… sight unseen.

(Now you know why Sheila’s video testimonial has that beach house feel.)

Obviously not everyone walks away from it all and travels the world. And that’s okay.

But her story does offer lessons for all of us. For me it’s the inspiring reminder that life truly is short and that we need to at least try to go after our dreams.

Are there things you’d be willing to give up in terms of comfort or material things or fear in order to get something of far greater value?

Is there something you’ve wanted to do forever, but have been telling yourself, “I can’t afford it?”

There are 8 comments. Add yours.

  1. Mary

    Thank You Valerie for sharing a new way to approach an old challenge. It is amazing that what you say is what you become. And by changing your view point you can have a whole new perspective. I will never say “I can’t afford it” again now that you have shared a better response.

    “I read once that you should never say “I can’t afford it” to anything that will put you closer to a dream.
    You can say, “That’s interesting, but it’s not for me.” Or, you can say, “I can’t swing it right now.”
    But when you say “I can’t afford it” unconsciously you’re telling yourself that you not only don’t have the money right now but that you never will.” Sheila Brown

  2. I thought that was brilliant as well Mary. Wish I could claim credit but I know I read it somewhere and like you, it stuck in my head.

    Thanks for taking the time to post!


  3. D Rene

    Your story is very inspiring,I’m 53 I feel trapped in my “just a job but thankful I have one” life. Living check to check is frustrating I know I can do more I don’t know where to start. I love my kids 32 and married 20 and confused omg!!! I’m ready to live my life but I don’t know where to begin, it’s easy to say don’t say “I can’t afford it” but that’s my reality. I love to read, I’d love to write, but I don’t know where to begin.

  4. Sheila Brown

    Thank you so much for sharing my story Valerie! Life here in the Dominican Republic is beyond heavenly! You truly have not lived until you are able to wake up everyday, open up your patio doors and have the most gorgeous crystal blue ocean directly right in front of you! I am truly Blessed!!

    D Rene, I would like to give you some advice and hopefully some encouragement if I may. You are in a spot that many people find themselves, however, one thing they forget is that EVERYTHING is a choice! Feeling “trapped” is a choice. Framing your thoughts about your job is a choice. I would ask you to be very careful about the choice of language you use and to do whatever you can to control your thoughts. What we think about, we get more of.

    When I was in my “financial valley” for those 22 long months (notice I did not use the word “broke” – I do not want to speak it into existence), each and everyday, I would wake up and thank God for me being there because I knew 100% that I was there due to my choices and decisions and just as my thoughts and actions got me into the valley, I was fully capable of thinking & taking action to work my way out of the valley!! I also knew that God needed me to be in that space for a reason and I was able to remain in gratitude because I knew that HE would never give me anything that I could not handle. Toward the end, I was able to literally able to think my way out of my situation. 3 weeks after applying for welfare and being denied, I took my last $15.00 and I bought the book ‘Three Feet From Gold’ and while reading it, I realized that while I had strong desire for the massive goals I wanted to achieve, I actually completely lacked the Belief & Faith in myself required for me to achieve them. Once that realization hit me, I literally felt the cosmic shift around me. Within 2 weeks, as Valerie stated in the newsletter, I had what amounted to well over one hundred thousand dollars from multiple sources that poured into my life like a tsunami and it hasn’t stopped!! All because I realized that I had lacked Belief and Faith for those 22 months. Since then, life has been Epic and continues to be so. I do not have a job & I never will again & I live the life that I dreamed of, only the reality sooooooo much better than my dream.

    Please get crystal clear on what your REAL dreams are for your life! Those dreams that you have been too afraid to dream! If you don’t put them out there and believe that they will happen for you based on the actions you will be inspired to take once you put them out there, then you will continue to be stuck. You are no different from me. Just choose to believe in yourself and what you want for your life & take massive action!! 🙂

  5. Regina

    Hi Valerie/Sheila – Thanks so much, I have been contemplating taking the course, going back and forth about it in my head. Sheila’s testimony is just what I needed to push me over the edge. I like D Rene am in my fifties and am feel stuck miserable and unfulfilled more each day. I have a knack.. an enthusiasm for advising others on what they can do to make their lives better but can’t seem to apply it to my own situation. Thanks Valerie for the newsletter. I will be signing up for the online course tomorrow so as not to lose out on the fab discount you have provided. Thanks again, here’s to Building the Foundation to my Best Life.

  6. Sometimes all it takes is one person’s courage to inspire courage in another. Yeah for you Regina and thriled you’ll be taking the training!


  7. Larry Steward

    Hello readers – as someone participating in Valerie’s “Profiting” Webinar right now, I wanted to add some additional perspective. I found Sheila Brown’s comments above very inspiring for a number of reasons. I have had my share of success and right now I am in the “financial valley” as my wife and I had to make some tough choices these last few years. But fortunately like Sheila, I found Valerie. I never lost faith in our ability to rebound. I am 69 years old and even though my plan is in development, it is clear to me that this is the best move I’ve ever made. You get all the tools, materials, coaching, peer support, and resources you possibly need to move from where you are to where you want to go. My wife and I are thinking like Sheila in terms of relocating to where the beaches are white and the water so blue. It’s just a matter of having a plan, believing in yourself, rolling up your sleeves and making it happen. I only wish I would have done this years ago because realistically, I have maybe 10 good years of my journey left. I don’t want to reach the end and and say – I didn’t live the life I was capable of. So join the club and start creating the life you always wanted. I know you won’t regret it.

  8. I’m sure your own story will be an inspiration to others as well Larry. Most of all your determination to roll up your sleeves and make it happen. That’s the only way it [email protected]

    Thanks Larry. And so glad you’re in the Profiting from Your Passions(R) career coach training.



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