When recession or any global phenomenon that affects the economy hits, can you genuinely say that you can survive? Have you successfully created that financial freedom to help you pay your bills and support your lifestyle? If not, this episode is for you. Today, Halle Eavelyn sits down with Penelope Jane Smith of Real Prosperity, Inc. to talk about how you can shift your personal economy so that you are not reliant on a business, a job, the government, or anything else for money. Penelope shares valuable insights into tapping money flow and living with joy and ease. She also talks about cryptocurrency, Prosperity Coin, and how she’s supporting women entrepreneurs to create their economy.
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Shifting Your Personal Economy With Penelope Jane Smith
I am super excited to have with me, my friend, Penelope Jane Smith. She is the premier financial freedom mentor for women entrepreneurs, which translates to Penelope and I do similar work in the world. As you might imagine, that means that we have something powerful in common and that is crypto.
Thanks for having me. I am super excited to geek out about money and crypto with you.
Before we get into the crypto part of your experience, I would love to hear the before crypto part of your experience. Talk about your work and how you came to that work.
I am passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs to create financial freedom, which means the passive income from your assets pays all your bills and lifestyle so you do not have to depend on your business, a job, the government, a partner, an adult child or anybody else for money. You can make choices from a place of freedom and joy instead of obligation because freedom is one of my highest values. I think about the movie Braveheart and the guy going, “Freedom.” It sets my world on fire. I am like, “Freedom is what I want for everybody.”
I have been super passionate about this. I have been teaching for many years and I discovered the magic of passive income back in my twenties. I decided to jump into real estate. I started with $10,000 of my own money. I turned it into over $6 million in real estate in 4 years. I was on track to retire to be financially free by the time I was 31.
In the 2008 crash, I lost it all. I went from being almost financially free to millions of dollars in debt, lost my gorgeous home to foreclosure, struggled and finally, was forced to declare bankruptcy. Right around that time, I got invited to participate in this high-level mastermind on Necker Island, which you have heard of. Have you been there?Everybody has their own personal economy that may or may not have anything to do with the economy at large. Click To Tweet
I have not been to Necker but I know several of you who have for sure. Was this a Richard Branson mastermind? One of those guys?
It was like that. It was somebody that rented the island from Richard Branson to lead their mastermind there. It was a $50,000 investment for the 6-day mastermind with no payment plans and refunds. My credit was trashed so it is not like I could borrow the money. My income and savings were gone. I had less than $1,000 to my name. I did not have the ability to do this or, at least, it did not look like I did.
What I did have was this strong, intuitive hit that I was supposed to be there. You are good at connecting with your intuition and following your intuition. I was like, “This is what I was supposed to do?” It was like a column of light coming into the top of my head, filling me with light and lifting me like a puppet on a string going, “This is what you are supposed to do.” I decided to tell my inner critic to take a coffee break. I am like, “I am going to come up with at least ten ideas for how I can do this, no matter how crazy they are. Maybe I could sell something for $50,000. Maybe I could sell $50,000 things for $1. Maybe I could sell 10 things for $5,000.”
I worked it out that way. “Maybe I could sell a bonus for the program. Maybe I could find somebody to sponsor me for a percentage of the revenue in my company. What are all these different things?” I had my list and I looked at, “What is the most possible and most likely?” Four of those things together worked. I was able to sell one of the bonuses and apply a program that I bought previously towards the price. I do not remember exactly what it was. I did find somebody to sponsor me for the remainder and exchange for a percentage of my business until I paid them back 150% of what they owed me.
That could have been multiple people. I reached out to multiple people. It just happened to be one person. Those four things together got me there but what is powerful is the process. If there was ever a time in the world to say, “I cannot do that,” it would have been me then. Instead, I asked, “How can I?” When you ask, “How can I,” maybe you do it or you don’t but it opens you up to possibilities and creativity instead of shutting down. I am glad I made it happen because that was the beginning of turning everything around.
The guy that was facilitating the group announced publicly in front of everybody that he wanted to win a Nobel Prize for single-handedly turning the economy around. It was inspiring to me. I was like, “What can I do to single-handedly turn the economy around?” Intuition again, everybody was doing this casino night thing on the island. I felt called to go sit at the top of the island of the crow’s nest with this question.
I noticed that everybody has an economy that may or may not have anything to do with the economy at large. My economy was tanking the worst but there were other people on Necker Island and back home in the San Francisco bay area where I am from that were having their best year in business ever. It was amazing. I am like, “There is something here.” I figured if I could support enough individual entrepreneurs to shift their economy to one of abundance, then we would hit a tipping point and that would shift the economy at large. I am like, “This is what we are doing. This is the game we are playing. Here we go.”
I immediately started making micro-loans for women entrepreneurs in Asia, Africa and South America because I wanted to have a positive, global impact right off the bat. I started doing training like bringing some of that Necker Island experiences back to California and supporting people to shift their economy. As a by-product, my business tripled. Life is pretty awesome. I bought my new gorgeous dream home in 2021, which is way nicer than the place I lost. I work maybe 15 to 20 hours a week because I have kids.
I get to do something that I love, make a difference in the world and make wonderful money doing that. I have a lot of freedom and ease in my life. It was a long time since I could share that story without bursting into tears. I am glad you asked me about it because I want to help people avoid some of the horrible mistakes I have made and then also give you hope if you have had challenges in your life like I have. You can stand up, dust yourself off and rise like a Phoenix from the ashes as I have. That is why I am so passionate about this.
I did not realize you and I have a very similar story. I was in real estate also in 2008 when the market tanked. I was starting to get way serious. Before I started coaching, I did not understand that I could be as grounded as I was and also be intuitive. The fact that I do not make things fly around the room when I work did not mean that I was more advanced. It meant that I was more of a newbie. I never trusted my intuition. It was a long time before I figured that part out. At the time, I was getting a big download about the fact that what goes ups must come down. I was at the top of the market and a big speaker at the time in real estate.
I would get out on the stage and my stomach would go into these knots as I was telling everybody how much money they were going to make from the returns based on what we had. We were showing like, “This is what people made last quarter and last year. This is, therefore, what you are going to make going forward.”
Finally, I went to my bosses and said to them, “What is going to happen when the market takes a downturn?” I had already seen this happen. We were in the CD-ROM industry and things were going up. We were in business with Warner Music group. I said to the suits at Warner, “What happens when this level is off? What happens when this starts to go down again?” They said to me, “Sweetie, we know what we are doing. Get back to work.”Do something you really love that would make a difference in the world so you can have more freedom and ease with your life. Click To Tweet
Here I am. I am going to my bosses saying, “I have seen this pattern before. What happens when the market stops going up like this?” They said to me, “Shut up, sweetie. Get back on stage. You have such a high close rate. That is all you need to know.” I made a decision by the summer of ’07 to get out. It was September when the market first started to crash. I walked away from my multimillion-dollar backend.
I had vesting that was going to happen in December 2007. In June 2008, I was like, “I cannot take the feeling in my stomach anymore.” I helped some people not lose their life savings but it was too late for some of the other people. I had my passive income real estate practice at that time so I had over 100 houses that I was partnered with all of these other people. I lost everything and my beautiful dream home to foreclosure. We have both been there and that was hard.
I have a big group of realtors that I coach every Monday. Sometimes women realtors work with me privately but everybody, when they say, “You would not understand because this happened to me and it was so awful. It can never get better.” I am like, “I do understand. I was there. I went through it.” Everything that you said about the idea of creating your economy speaks to me so strongly. I did a webinar about this. The US government says that if you are making less than $50 million, you are a small business. Is not that the cutoff?
I do not know the exact cutoff but it is big.
To me, that put it into perspective. When the news is talking about recession, stagflation and other words they have invented for the occasion, they are not talking to you or me. They are talking to those medium and large-sized businesses that are going to have to lay off 30% of their over-inflated staff. That can create a whole ripple effect on the economy. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, I feel like the idea of creating your economy is very possible. It does help if you stop paying attention to the news.
Everybody, remember my favorite crypto phrase, FUD. Do not allow Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt because all the news wants to do is feed you that fear, uncertainty and doubt. If you are getting caught up in FUD, you are not going to be able to create your economy because you are going to be paying attention to what the powers that be are telling you it is going to have to be. What you said is super powerful and important. Share how you got into crypto.
I am of the top people in my industry and the world so people are always coming to me like, “What about this? What about Bitcoin? What about Ethereum? What about these things?” To stay a leader in my industry, I am always researching and learning. When crypto, in general, and Bitcoin specifically fell into my lap, I was like, “This is interesting.” It got my attention but I was not jumping in and creating a paper wallet. I was not a super early adopter because of the investment strategies that I use, I look at price charts and historical data.
I want something to have some historical data and price charts that I can look at. By the time Bitcoin was 10, we had a good 10 years of data so I could look at what it is doing and look at price charts like, “This is interesting.” At one point, the market cap was like, “What is one Bitcoin worth times how many Bitcoins are there?” That is how much money is in Bitcoin. It got to the point where it was over a trillion dollars.
I was like, “If Bitcoin was a company, it would be the seventh largest company in the world.” The more historical data you have on something, the more money is in it, the more stable it is and the better decisions you can make because you have more information in front of you. It got to the point where there was enough mainstream adoption that I was like, “I can invest in this.”
I invested before it hit the trillions of dollars but I looked at different companies starting to invest in Bitcoin that different crypto funds becoming available so you could invest in crypto indirectly right inside of your investment account instead of needing to set up a fancy wallet and do all this stuff that is very overwhelming to a lot of the people I work with. Most of my clients are not very tech-savvy. I am like, “Go to MetaMask and create a wallet.” They are like, “I am out. I do not know what that is.” If it is like, “Go into your normal account, type in this symbol and click buy,” it is like, “Okay. That is like buying any other stock or fund. I can do that.”
I looked at all that and I am like, “This has enough traction and money in it that I can apply my investment strategy to it.” That is when I started investing. As I learned more about Ethereum, I got excited about that because the creator of Ethereum was like, “You can do a lot more with this technology than have it be a currency. You can have it run all these applications and companies and do almost anything.” It is mind-blowing what is possible with this technology that cryptocurrencies use. I got very interested in Ethereum at that point. That is how I got started in it.
I have my own Penelope Jane Smith YouTube channel and people were always asking me about cryptocurrency. I started posting videos like, “Here are my thoughts on Bitcoin and Ethereum. Here is how to buy cryptocurrency. Here is how to store cryptocurrency safely.” Finally, I decided, “Let’s create our cryptocurrency.” I am excited about supporting women entrepreneurs to create their economy. You can create your economy when you have your currency, form of exchange, token or social money that you are using. I am very excited about what is possible with that.If Bitcoin were a company, it would be the seventh largest company in the world right now. Click To Tweet
I wanted to talk about the process, not necessarily the technical process of creating your coin but rather the emotional process. What caused you to decide you wanted to do that? What did you feel like the value of that is?
It is to support my mission of financial freedom for entrepreneurs. Anything that can help me do that, I am interested in. I do events like my Financial Freedom 101 three-day event, which is online. People can participate from wherever they are in the world. When I lead it live, we play a game. This is going to be useful to you regarding how to create your economy, whether you use crypto or not.
We play a game where everyone in this event is interested in making more money and getting that money growing for them. Otherwise, you would not show up to an event like that. I stand in front of the room and say, “You said you wanted to make more money. Here is $1.” I pull out a real US dollar and I say, “I have $1. I want to buy something. What you got?”
People start making offers like, “I will sell you this pen, notebook or granola bar. I will give you a five-minute massage.” I am like, “I want the granola bar.” I give them the dollar. They give me the granola bar. That person has the dollar and they get to buy something. Maybe they buy the massage from somebody and then that person has the dollar and they buy the notebook. We go around and around. The dollar circulates the room for a while until we do $11 or $12 worth of business with this $1.
I say, “I would like to sell you an explanation for this exercise that is going to change your life.” Usually, they take me up on that. The dollar comes back to me. I have the dollar again but I also have the granola bar. How is that possible? I doubled my money. What happened? This shows you how money gains in value as it circulates. One of my prosperity affirmations or declarations is, “Every dollar I spend comes back to me multiplied.” Here is evidence. I spent the dollar. It came back to me multiplied. If you look at the room, we have created $12 with the business. That is super cool.
In terms of creating your economy, money is always flowing. The more we can keep that money flowing, the more it creates value for everybody. The more transactions we can do, the bigger and more valuable that economy is because that is the money moving more quickly. Everybody is doing more business. Money is always flowing. In terms of creating your economy, the first thing you want to do is, “How can you tap into the flow of where the money is already going and have some of it come into your economy?”
You are interfacing with the economy at large. You are like, “Here is a place for you to go.” Imagine you are in the United States and there is this United States economy that is the flow of this money. You have your economy that is this little stream over here. You are like, “I want to invite some of that money from the US economy into my economy stream.” Give it a place to go. You will see somebody say, “I will give you a five-minute massage.” Everybody wants that. They have a hot offer. They are tapping into the stream. This is where the money is flowing. Maybe they do $5, $10 worth of a business with that dollar because they had a hot offer.
You have somebody else that has this broken pen and they are like, “Here is this pen.” Nobody wants it. It is like they are standing on the side of the river instead of putting themselves in the flow. One way to create your economy is to look at where is the money flowing in the other economies that you are interacting with and how can you tap into that flow so that currency, whether it is US dollars, Euros or crypto comes into your economy. That is one of the things that we are doing with this prosperity coin. It is giving away to create more visibility for women entrepreneurs for their businesses and create our economy with this coin.
I played a game at another workshop where we all had these points that we could spend on whatever we wanted. The idea was that by the end of the sessions, whoever had the most points would win. I decided I was going to sell a coffee cake. I was like, “For 25 points, you get a piece of coffee cake for breakfast.” This is back when I ate sugar. I thought that was a good idea.
People would buy a coffee cake and I would get points. I would spend those points on other things. I still have a journal that I bought with points. I still have a book that I bought with points from that class. These were real transactions that were happening with these points, which is this currency that we made up. We created our economy in this classroom but it had a real impact and meaning in our lives.
The reason I created Prosperity Coin was for the same reason. First of all, to give women entrepreneurs a fun and easy way to dip their toes in the crypto world because you can get free crypto for commenting on my YouTube videos, participating in challenges or coming to my webinars. There is no risk. You can get some for free and start playing with them. With the platform that we partnered with to do the coding, you do not have to set up a fancy wallet or even know what that means. Create a little account like a Facebook account. Put in your name and your email and then you can start playing around with Prosperity Coins. We have made it easy.
You can then redeem Prosperity Coin for stuff like my Little Book of Prosperity, a ticket to my Financial Freedom 101 event or my networking success toolkit. It is like an arcade where you get tokens, play the games, take the tickets over to the counter and redeem them for prizes. I have my prizes but also anybody in the arcade, anybody in the Prosperity Coin community can say, “I will offer you this.” For example, you might say, “For 1,000 Prosperity Coins, I will give you a 30-minute mindset session.” You could say, “Here is a prize that I am willing to offer if somebody wants to redeem their Prosperity Coins for that prize.”Money gains in value as it circulates. You should aim that every dollar you spend comes back to you multiplied. Click To Tweet
Maybe you do one of those a month so you do not have to do it to anybody that wants to but it then creates visibility for your business because people are looking for like, “What can I spend my Prosperity Coins on?” They see you. It almost becomes like marketing for your business too. I have my brand of organic hand-roasted coffee. Somebody could buy my coffee. That is a real thing. They could buy my coffee for Prosperity Coins. The more offers, the more prizes we can put into the economy, the more things people can buy with it and the more interesting it gets.
It is like, “If I could buy my coffee with Prosperity Coin, I do not even need to interface with the US dollar for that anymore.” Imagine you owned a coffee shop and you had the only coffee shop in Japan. Everybody that is spending Yen would want to buy your coffee. If you have the only coffee shop in Prosperity Coin land, everybody is going to want to get their coffee from you. It is a way to create visibility for other women entrepreneur businesses as well.
You said something earlier that reminded me of something so powerful that I learned from Stuart Wilde. He was talking about the fact that $1 billion was flying through the air in 1s and 0s every single day from the stock market. He said, “The reason that you are not tapping into that billion dollars is you do not think any of it belongs to you.” You think, “That is going on Wall Street. This is what is going on over here.” He is like, “Come on, it is just energy.” It reminded me of what you were talking about when you were saying you are standing next to the flow at the river. You are like, “I am over here,” but the flow is over here. You do not think the flow belongs to you.
You have the story that the news told you that the economy is bad and things are down. You are not thinking in terms of tapping into your economy so that you can shift it. The truth is that most of us, I do not know about you but I do need $1 million in my life on an annual basis. I am very happy and comfortable when that happens. I love that. For the most part, you say, “What is your goal?” The answer is, “$1 million.” The truth is another $10,000 a month, which would be $120,000 a year, another $20,000 a month, which would be $240,000 or $250,000a year would change your life.
The question that we do not always ask is, “What do I need? How can I make this concrete?” Another thing that I find that happens with all of us is we tend to get scared of something. If I say, “It is $1 million in a lump sum,” that feels very unrealistic. If I break that down to $84,000 in change every month that I need to bring in, it is like, “Could I make an extra $84,000 or a total of $84,000 a month to get my million dollars a year? If that does not feel realistic or aligned to me, could I make another $250 million? That sounds crazy but could I make another $20,000 a month? I could do that.”
We are off to the races. What I feel like you and I get to teach people over time is we have learned that it is about your alignment with something more than it is about the specifics of it. It is a matter of getting yourself aligned with the thing that feels like it is a yes for you like a solid, “I can make this happen.” For example, your dream home is so much better than the one that you lost.
Were you in alignment with that first home? You were for a while but then you got realigned with the value of the dream home. Your vision was much bigger so you could attract the home of your dreams bigger and broader. If I said to you, “Penelope, you are going to lose that house but the next one is going to be even better,” that is a path that feels expansive to me. Do you agree with that?
That is a key mindset shift that I would encourage people to take if they have faced financial challenges. I hear a lot of my clients say, “I want to get the money back.” One of my clients was scammed out of $400,000. Another client, her financial advisor stole her $400,000 or $500,000 life savings. I lost my house and my millions. There is this wanting to get it back but it is not getting back. It is creating something new. I even used to fantasize about buying my house back because it was nice. I loved it.
On the other hand, one of my friends was like, “Do not go back. Look forward. What do you want to create from here?” It is true. The house where I am is fantastic. I might be here for the rest of my life or my dream might expand and I get an even more amazing house. Who knows? I do find that your vision can evolve and expand. The main thing I want to share is not to worry about getting it back. Focus on what you want to create from here.
Everything is energy and that money is going to come back to you, not necessarily through the conduit that you lost it through. Energy is never created or destroyed, only transmuted. That woman’s $400,000 can be transmuted into another $400,000 that comes to her from a different source. Karma is crap. The person that stole that money are going to get a gangrenous foot either now or in the next lifetime but something a lot more painful than losing the $400,000. What comes around goes around and the gangrenous foot is a metaphor for they will torture themselves. They will eat themselves up with the pain of having caused that pain.
I feel like if you are a good person and you are of integrity, then you are open to the flow of allowing that thing in. It can come back to you. I truly believe that. I have seen with clients over and over again that when you let go of that, it has to come through that channel. You are allowing stuff to start to flow through all the channels that you cannot even imagine because the universe can imagine for us much bigger than we can imagine for us.
You do not have to be attached to how it has to look.The more offers and prizes we can put into the economy, the more things people can buy with it and the more interesting it gets. Click To Tweet
I want to talk more about what you were saying about the idea of this grand experiment that Prosperity Coin is. When you talk about the idea of an off-grid network using this cryptocurrency, I feel like there is something powerful there like when we do microloans to other communities. Before the Taliban came back in, I was funding women in Afghanistan by doing microloans for several years. I am hopefully going to be able to start that again with them but I am looking into other resources as well. Those microloans are $50 to $500. We are talking about that kind of scale. It can change the lives of these women, their families and their villages. That is so powerful.
When you talk about Prosperity Coin and the economy that it is creating, it reminds me of the power of changing the way that we interact with money. I feel like your experiment with Prosperity Coin is helping women to understand the power and control that they can have over their economy. Maybe you have a couple of examples of what has the experience been for people who have participated?
It is brand new. We will see. It is an experiment. We finished minting Prosperity Coin. We minted it as an ERC 20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. You do not need to know what that means to use it.
It means that it is in compliance and that is the ERC 20 part. It means that if it is on the Ethereum blockchain, it means it is one on one of the most powerful blockchains in the world. Ethereum and Bitcoin are the two most powerful blockchains. Those are good things.
I am meeting with the team about creating our online community that attaches to the coin. There is going to be an open, free level where anybody can jump in and see like, “Here is what I could redeem my Prosperity Coin for. Here are the prizes I could get.” They can offer prizes, chat with the people and find out what is going on with Prosperity Coin. If they hold a certain amount of Prosperity Coin, it unlocks other levels for them. We are setting that up.
I look at it as a cool online marketplace where people can be getting their business in front of people. It is a different way to market and advertise your business by saying, “I will accept five Prosperity Coins for this.” Your offer is in front of people. Even if nobody buys it, everybody in the Prosperity Coin community is aware of your business. That is pretty cool.
It is so important because it goes back to the idea that we are empowering ourselves. You are going to empower women business owners to be seen in a new way through your system. I am committing to offer at least mindset coaching sessions purchased with Prosperity Coin because I love the idea that it is a new way to show up in the world. I feel like, as women, it is our job to be the light. If I shine my light and somebody else sees my light and goes, “I want to shine my light too,” that is giving us permission to be seen as well as permission to show up fully and support the other women in the community.
That is a beautiful thing. The other piece that I am picking up on that I want to make sure that I say out loud is to me, it feels like an experiment. The idea that we can have an experiment with a new type of community is incredible. It is being facilitated by cryptocurrency and this new way of being able to interact with money.
It is amazing how collaborative it is because Prosperity Coin belongs to all of us as women entrepreneurs. Even people who do not identify as women or entrepreneurs but still want to support that mission can still participate. I am the one that took on the learning curve and the expense of getting this thing created but anybody can play in the Prosperity Coin community. It belongs to all of us. The more we play with it, the more value it creates for everybody.
It is very brave of you. Here I am like, “I am an early adopter. I have had a crypto portfolio for years and I have this show.” You have created an environment, a community and an economy. Even if it is mason, you had that idea and you took it from start to finish. That is very powerful. It is like, “This thing is going to go live in the world and take on a life of its own.” Congratulations. That is incredible.
We can co-create with it. How cool is it to say, “I have this cryptocurrency?” Anybody that is reading can say, “I accept cryptocurrency.” Set up an account and tell people, “Here is my username.” It’s like you have a PayPal address or a Venmo account. You can be like, “Send me this many Prosperity Coins and I will give you this prize.” It belongs to all of us, which is cool.
I am excited that you were here. Penelope, I would love to know what is one more thing that you want our readers to know.
This is what came to me. For women, especially, there is a lot of shame around, “I do not have all this money stuff figured out. I should have it figured out and everybody else has it figured out.” No one has this figured out. The thing is most of us have some kind of formal education like high school, college or kindergarten. What do they teach about money in school? Pretty much nothing. Some of us have professional education. I became a licensed real estate broker in California, lots of continued education to get there. Unless you are a CPA or a financial planner, what did they teach you in your professional education? Probably not much.
We hold on to all this feeling that we should know how to manage and invest our money wisely but the truth is we have never been given the education or the tools and quite the opposite. In the Wall Street crowd, 86% of financial advisors being men, most of them over 50, most of them White, they want to make it sound like this is super complicated like, “Sweetie, hand your money over to me. We will make it work.” It does not have to be complicated. I want to acknowledge you for reading this and educating yourself because if you have a little bit of financial education, you can see how simple managing and investing can be.
These big box financial advisor people, there is an inherent gender bias in that industry like in most industries. Did you know that seatbelts, their safety testing is done on the average person, which is the average man? More women get injured and die from seatbelts than men. How screwed up? The same thing is true in the financial planning industry. Their models, the Charles Schwabs and the Merrill Lynches and the Edward Joneses do not take into account our longer lifespans, differences in our career paths and goals. Women statistically end up with less money at retirement but it has to last us longer. It is messed up. That is why I am so passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs, specifically. I thank you for letting me rant about that.
It is so valuable. I heard things I had never heard before so I am very impressed. Thank you so much for being here and for bringing your wisdom, experience and hard knocks so that women can learn to create their economy. I am so happy that you were here. Thank you again.
Thank you. It was super fun.
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