Interview with Author, Linsey Mills: Currency of Conversations

INTERVIEWER: Linsey Mills, thank you for joining us today. We’re excited to discuss your new book, “Currency of Conversations: The Talk You’ve Been Waiting For About Money.” Let’s dive right in!

The introduction to your book emphasizes the significance of money and the value of saving, investing, and giving. Could you share a personal experience or story that shaped your understanding of the importance of these financial aspects?

LINSEY MILLS: Absolutely! My parents played a pivotal role in shaping my understanding of money management. They were exceptional role models for discipline with money and taught me the importance of saving and giving. Their guidance gave me a solid foundation that has stayed with me throughout my life.

However, during my college years, I had eye-opening experiences that highlighted the power and influence of strategic financial planning. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from a generous and wealthy donor, which opened doors for me that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

As I navigated through my college journey, I couldn’t help but notice the stark differences in financial circumstances among my fellow students. Some were free to travel abroad without financial constraints, while others were burdened with student loans and had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Moreover, I observed classmates whose parents paid the full tuition for college without requiring any financial aid. Witnessing the varying degrees of financial support and its impact on individuals’ opportunities and experiences was eye-opening.

Additionally, I couldn’t ignore the tangible symbols of wealth and philanthropy on campus. Buildings and structures proudly bore the names of wealthy alums who had made significant contributions to the institution. These visible reminders showcased the lasting effect of strategic financial planning and its influence on shaping the educational environment.

All these experiences collectively helped me realize the immense power that strategic financial planning holds. They were vivid reminders of the opportunities and advantages of proper money management and how it can profoundly impact individuals, families, and even entire institutions.

So, while my parents laid the foundation for discipline with money, my experiences during my college years allowed me to witness firsthand the influence and effects of strategic planning within families and their wealth. These experiences fueled my passion for sharing my knowledge and insights through “Currency of Conversations” to empower others to make informed financial decisions and achieve their goals.

Your book uses a water well pump analogy to explain money management. Could you elaborate on this analogy and how it relates to building wealth?

I’d be happy to elaborate on the analogy of a water well pump and how it relates to money management and building wealth. Growing up in the rural part of eastern North Carolina in Jacksonville, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the importance of a water well pump in my great-grandparents’ lives. On their farms, well-water pumps often had a cup of water left nearby.

We learned that using a cup of water was necessary to prime the pump to draw water from the well. This initial water helped create the necessary pressure and suction to create a continuous flow. Similarly, when managing our finances and building wealth, we need savings and knowledge to kickstart our journey toward financial abundance.

Just like the cup of water primes the pump, having some savings serves as the starting point for cash flow and wealth creation. It acts as a safety net, providing a sense of security and enabling us to seize opportunities when they arise. Savings can act as a buffer during unexpected expenses or challenging times, ensuring we don’t fall into debt or financial stress.

Moreover, knowing money management is crucial. It’s akin to knowing how to operate the pump effectively. Understanding the principles of budgeting, investing, and long-term planning empowers us to make informed decisions and maximize the potential of our financial resources. This knowledge allows us to maximize our savings, strategically allocate funds, and identify growth opportunities.

As we consistently save and acquire knowledge, we build a strong foundation for our financial well-being. Just as the continuous flow of water from the pump sustains the farm, our savings and wise money management practices create a steady flow of wealth. By diligently saving and investing, we increase our financial resources, generate passive income, and accumulate assets over time.

It’s important to note that building wealth is a gradual and continuous process, much like pumping water from a well. It requires patience, discipline, and persistence. However, just as a well can provide abundant water for sustenance, proper money management can lead to financial freedom, security, and the ability to pursue our goals and dreams.

Counting your money every day was a childhood habit instilled by your parents. How did this habit impact your financial mindset as you grew older, and how does it reflect in your daily routine now?

I’m grateful for that counting my money lesson in financial responsibility. It profoundly impacted my financial mindset as I grew older, shaping my attitudes and behaviors toward money management.

By counting my money daily, I developed a keen awareness of the value of money and the significance of saving. It taught me to appreciate the effort to earn money and the importance of not taking it for granted. It also ingrained in me the habit of regularly monitoring my finances, understanding where my money is going, and being mindful of my financial decisions.

As I transitioned into adulthood, I found that this childhood habit seamlessly integrated into my daily routine. Now, instead of physically counting physical cash, I allocate time each morning to check my financial accounts. This includes my bank accounts and investment accounts, cryptocurrencies, and keeping up with the financial markets.

Regularly reviewing my financial accounts, I stay informed about my financial positions and make informed decisions. It allows me to track my progress toward my financial goals, identify any potential issues or discrepancies, and make necessary adjustments. It also gives me a sense of control and reassurance, as I know exactly where I stand financially and can respond promptly to any changes or opportunities.

Beyond the mere act of counting, this habit has influenced my financial mindset in several ways. First, it has instilled a sense of responsibility and accountability for my finances. I understand that I am the steward of my money and must manage it wisely and with foresight.

Second, it has fostered a proactive approach towards financial planning. I am more attuned to market trends, economic indicators, and potential investment opportunities by engaging with my finances daily. This habit enables me to make informed financial decisions, seize favorable opportunities, and mitigate risks.

Lastly, this daily routine reinforces the importance of financial discipline and long-term thinking. It reminds me that building wealth is gradual, and consistency is vital. By regularly reviewing my financial accounts, I am reminded of the progress I have made and the milestones I have achieved, which motivates me to continue striving for financial success.

One of your goals with “Currency of Conversations” is to simplify complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand pieces. How do you approach breaking down these concepts for your readers, ensuring they can grasp and apply them in their lives?

I believe that financial literacy should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or prior knowledge in the field. So, when approaching the task of breaking down these concepts, I employ various strategies to ensure that readers can grasp and apply them effectively.

One approach I find particularly compelling is simplifying the concepts as if I were explaining them to a child. By doing this, I can distill complex ideas into their core components and use straightforward language that anyone can understand. Additionally, I leverage visual aids, such as simple graphics or diagrams, to enhance comprehension and visually represent the concept being discussed. These visuals can serve as powerful tools for simplifying complex ideas and making them more accessible to readers.

Another strategy I employ is to relate financial concepts to everyday activities and experiences. By drawing parallels between financial concepts and familiar situations, readers can better grasp the relevance and applicability of these ideas in their own lives. For example, I might use analogies from daily experiences, such as budgeting being similar to managing a grocery shopping list or investing being akin to planting seeds and watching them grow over time. These relatable examples help readers connect abstract financial concepts with tangible experiences, making them more relatable and memorable.

In addition to analogies, I believe in leveraging technology to make financial concepts more exciting and interactive. Technology has revolutionized the way we learn and engage with information. I refer to various digital tools, such as interactive simulations and games, to provide readers with hands-on experiences that help reinforce their understanding of financial concepts. These interactive elements create an engaging learning environment that encourages readers to participate and apply what they have learned actively.

Drawing from personal experiences, I recall teaching my younger sister about money by incorporating role-playing activities. We would set up a make-believe store and engage in transactions, allowing her to play the role of the bank’s customer and the teller. This practical approach made learning fun for her and helped solidify her understanding of financial concepts through real-life scenarios.

“Currency of Conversations” emphasizes practicality and actionability, providing examples and exercises for readers to apply the concepts. Could you share an example of an exercise from the book that readers can expect to find?

In “Currency of Conversations,” practicality and actionability are at the core of our approach. We understand that readers want to understand financial concepts and apply them in their own lives to achieve their goals. That’s why we provide various exercises and examples throughout the book, offering readers actionable steps they can take right away. Let me share an example exercise readers can expect in the book.

One exercise that resonates with many readers is the step-by-step guide to purchasing a home. Buying a home is a significant financial decision, and it can feel overwhelming if you need help figuring out where to start. We break down the process into actionable steps, ensuring readers have a clear roadmap to follow.

First, we address the importance of fixing any credit problems. Good credit is crucial when applying for a mortgage, affecting the interest rates and loan options available. We guide how readers can review their credit reports, identify and resolve any issues, and improve their credit scores if necessary. This step sets a strong foundation for the home-buying process.

Next, we guide readers on how to look for potential homes that align with their needs and budget. We discuss factors to consider, such as location, size, amenities, and proximity to schools or workplaces. We offer tips on conducting thorough research, utilizing online platforms, and working with real estate agents to find suitable options.

Speaking of real estate agents, we delve into the importance of finding a reliable and experienced professional to guide readers through home buying. We provide insights into what to look for in an agent, questions to ask during interviews, and how to build a productive working relationship. This step helps readers confidently navigate the real estate market’s complexities.

Finally, we emphasize the significance of getting preapproved for a home loan. We explain the benefits of preapproval, such as knowing the maximum loan amount you qualify for and having a stronger position when making offers. We outline the necessary documentation, the application process, and the factors lenders consider during the preapproval process.

By breaking down the home-buying process into actionable steps like fixing credit problems, looking for potential homes, finding a real estate agent, and getting preapproved for a home loan, readers can approach this significant financial decision with clarity and confidence. The exercises provide practical guidance that readers can immediately apply to their circumstances.

Ultimately, our goal is to empower readers with the knowledge and tools they need to take control of their financial journeys. By offering actionable steps and real-life examples, we ensure that readers can move beyond theory and make tangible progress toward their financial goals, such as purchasing a home.

Financial literacy is a crucial aspect of achieving financial independence. What steps can individuals take to improve their financial literacy, and how does your book contribute to this goal?

Financial literacy is indeed a crucial aspect of achieving financial independence. It empowers individuals to make informed decisions, manage their money effectively, and work towards their financial goals. Improving financial literacy requires a proactive approach, and there are several steps individuals can take to enhance their knowledge and understanding of personal finance.

I encourage individuals to read books and resources that cover various aspects of personal finance, including budgeting, investing, debt management, and retirement planning. Our book, “Currency of Conversations,” can be a valuable resource in this regard. It provides practical and actionable insights, breaking down complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand pieces. By reading our book and other reputable sources, individuals can expand their financial knowledge and gain a comprehensive understanding of key financial principles.

Additionally, individuals should review their current financial situation. This involves taking a close look at their income, expenses, debts, and savings. By assessing their financial standing, individuals can identify areas for improvement and determine specific goals they want to achieve. This self-reflection provides a starting point for developing a personalized financial plan.

Taking small steps to improve one’s financial position is another key aspect of enhancing financial literacy. This could involve creating a budget, tracking expenses, and finding ways to save money. It’s important to develop good financial habits and disciplines, such as regularly setting aside a portion of income for savings or investments, paying bills on time, and avoiding unnecessary debt. By consistently practicing these habits, individuals can build a solid foundation for their financial well-being.

In the context of improving financial literacy, our book, “Currency of Conversations,” plays a significant role. It is designed to simplify complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand pieces, making it accessible to readers with various levels of financial knowledge. The book provides actionable steps that readers can immediately take to apply the concepts in their lives. It covers a wide range of topics, including budgeting, investing, debt management, and more, offering comprehensive guidance for readers to enhance their financial literacy.

Moreover, our book emphasizes practicality and actionability. It includes real-life examples, exercises, and relatable scenarios to help readers apply the concepts in their own situations. By engaging with these exercises and following the actionable steps provided in the book, individuals can actively practice and reinforce their financial literacy skills.

Individuals can take several steps to improve their financial literacy. Reading books like “Currency of Conversations,” reviewing their current finances, taking small steps to improve their financial position, and developing good financial habits and disciplines are all crucial in this journey. Our book contributes to this goal by simplifying complex financial concepts, offering actionable steps, and providing practical guidance that readers can immediately apply in their own lives

In your book, you mention the significance of having access to tools and information to control one’s finances. Could you highlight some of the tools or resources you recommend to your readers to help them in their financial journey?

In “Currency of Conversations,” we emphasize the importance of having access to tools and resources that empower individuals to take control of their finances. Fortunately, there is a wide range of tools and resources available to readers on their financial journey. Let’s explore some of the recommendations I make in the book:

  1. “Currency of Conversations” – As the author, I strongly recommend reading the book itself. It serves as a comprehensive guide, providing practical insights and actionable steps to improve financial literacy. The book simplifies complex financial concepts, making them accessible to readers with various levels of knowledge.
  2. Financial Websites – There are numerous reputable financial websites that offer valuable resources, tools, and information. These websites cover a wide range of topics, from budgeting and investing to retirement planning and debt management. Examples include Investopedia, NerdWallet, The Balance, and Mint. These websites often provide articles, calculators, budgeting templates, and interactive tools that readers can utilize to enhance their financial understanding and decision-making.
  3. Blogs – Financial blogs written by experts and enthusiasts can offer unique perspectives, practical tips, and personal experiences. These blogs often cover specific financial topics in-depth and provide real-life examples. Some popular financial blogs include The Penny Hoarder, Get Rich Slowly, Mr. Money Mustache, and Financial Samurai. Readers can explore these blogs to gain insights, learn from others’ experiences, and find inspiration on their financial journey.
  4. Streaming Videos – Online platforms like YouTube and streaming services offer a wealth of financial education videos. Channels dedicated to personal finance, investing, and budgeting provide visual explanations, tutorials, and interviews with experts. Some well-known channels include The Financial Diet, The Dave Ramsey Show, Graham Stephan, and Andrei Jikh. Watching these videos can be an engaging and accessible way to learn about financial concepts and strategies.
  5. Workshops and Courses – Many organizations and financial institutions offer workshops and courses on personal finance. These can be in-person or online and cover various aspects of financial management. Institutions like banks, community centers, and universities often provide workshops on budgeting, investing, retirement planning, and more. Online platforms such as Coursera and Udemy also offer a wide range of courses taught by industry experts, providing structured learning opportunities.

It’s worth noting that personal experience plays a significant role as well. Throughout my 30 years of financial literacy, I have utilized all these tools and resources to enhance my knowledge and understanding. I encourage readers to explore and leverage these resources, adapting them to their individual preferences and needs.

By having access to these tools and resources, readers can expand their financial knowledge, gain practical insights, and make informed decisions. The combination of the “Currency of Conversations” book, financial websites, blogs, streaming videos, workshops, and courses provides readers with a well-rounded toolkit to embark on their financial journey with confidence.

Achieving financial freedom is a central objective of “Currency of Conversations.” Could you provide some insights into the mindset shifts or changes readers can expect to experience after reading your book?

“Currency of Conversations” aims to help readers achieve financial freedom by providing valuable insights and guiding them towards necessary mindset shifts and changes. After reading the book, readers can expect to experience several transformative shifts in their financial mindset. Let’s delve into some of these insights:

  1. Awareness and Exposure: The book exposes readers to a wealth of financial material, tips, strategies, and steps. By increasing their awareness of various financial concepts and strategies, readers gain a broader perspective on their personal finances. This exposure helps them understand the importance of financial management and the potential impact it can have on their lives.
  2. Empowerment through Knowledge: The book equips readers with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed financial decisions. It breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand pieces, enabling readers to grasp the fundamentals and build a solid foundation. This newfound knowledge empowers readers to take control of their finances and make choices aligned with their goals.
  3. Gradual Influence: “Currency of Conversations” emphasizes the power of gradual influence. By introducing readers to a step-by-step approach, the book encourages small, manageable changes over time. These incremental shifts in mindset and behavior gradually lead to consistent discipline and lifelong financial habits. It emphasizes the importance of taking consistent action, no matter how small, as it compounds over time and drives long-term financial success.
  4. Mindset of Growth and Improvement: The book instills a growth mindset in readers when it comes to their finances. It encourages them to believe that they can improve their financial situation through continuous learning and application of sound financial principles. Readers are inspired to embrace challenges, learn from setbacks, and persistently seek opportunities for growth in their financial lives.
  5. Goal-Orientation and Long-Term Thinking: “Currency of Conversations” emphasizes the significance of setting financial goals and adopting a long-term perspective. It helps readers define their financial aspirations, whether it’s achieving financial independence, saving for a dream home, or planning for retirement. By encouraging goal-oriented thinking, the book empowers readers to make intentional choices aligned with their long-term financial objectives.
  6. Shift from Consumerism to Financial Priorities: The book challenges readers to evaluate their spending habits and distinguish between needs and wants. It promotes a shift from mindless consumerism to a focus on financial priorities. Readers are encouraged to align their spending with their values and long-term goals, making conscious choices that contribute to their financial well-being.

By internalizing these mindset shifts and implementing the principles outlined in the book, readers can experience a transformation in their financial lives. They develop a greater sense of control, make wiser financial decisions, and build a foundation for long-term financial freedom.

It’s important to note that these mindset shifts require continuous effort and practice. The book serves as a guide, providing readers with the necessary tools and knowledge to embark on this transformative journey towards financial freedom.

What are you most excited about in terms of the impact “Currency of Conversations” can have on readers’ lives, and how do you hope it will empower them to take control of their financial future?

I am incredibly excited about the impact of “Currency of Conversations” on readers’ lives. This book is not just a compilation of financial lessons; it represents my passion for helping others achieve financial success. I have spent years sharing these insights with my family, friends, and clients, and now, through the book, I have the opportunity to reach even more people.

One of the things that excites me the most is the accessibility and reach that the book provides. By putting these lessons into written form, we can reach individuals who may not have received this guidance otherwise. The book serves as a platform to share timely and actionable information that can genuinely make a difference in the finances of individuals, families, and communities.

Through the book, readers will gain access to valuable insights and practical steps that can empower them to take control of their financial future. They will learn to make informed decisions, develop good financial habits, and create a strong foundation for long-term success. I hope readers will feel empowered and inspired to implement the strategies outlined in the book, knowing they have the tools and knowledge to navigate their financial journey confidently.

Furthermore, “Currency of Conversations” extends beyond the pages of the book. It incorporates various mediums such as quotes, videos, social media, and our website, allowing for a multi-faceted approach to financial education. This multi-channel presence lets us provide readers with ongoing support, guidance, and relevant information. We want to create a community where individuals can continue to learn and grow in their financial knowledge, even beyond the initial reading experience.

Ultimately, my greatest excitement lies in the potential impact the book can have on individuals and communities. By equipping readers with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need, we can empower them to make positive changes in their financial lives. I hope that “Currency of Conversations” sparks a transformation, allowing readers to break free from financial stress, build wealth, and create a better future for themselves and their loved ones.

Financial freedom is within reach for anyone willing to take the necessary steps and shift the mindset. I am thrilled to be a part of readers’ financial journeys through “Currency of Conversations,” I am confident that this book can make a lasting and meaningful impact on their lives.

Thank you, Linsey Mills, for sharing your insights and giving us a glimpse into your upcoming book. We look forward to the release of “Currency of Conversations” and the positive impact it will have on readers’ financial journeys.

Author: Linsey Mills

Meet Linsey Mills, an accomplished entrepreneur, author, consultant, and philanthropist. With a passion for inspiring others, Linsey has received numerous awards, including the US Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year and the Linetta Gilbert Service Award for his exceptional commitment to philanthropy. He is also the bestselling author of Your Business Venture and co-author of Teach Your Child About Money Through Play. Linsey believes in finding engaging work and enjoying Simply Outrageous adventures. With his experience as a licensed professional in health and life insurance, a financial coach, a game developer, and co-creator of The Colors of Why, Linsey is a wealth of knowledge. He is also a founding member of Next Generation of African American Philanthropists and a recipient of the Davidson College Alumni Service Award. Follow Linsey's blog for valuable insights and inspiration.

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