Every step of the way I have used various resources to get to where I am today. Below I have listed out the books, podcasts and other resources which have helped me go from homeless to happy, found and sell my business, turn obstacles into opportunities, resources about confidence, relationships and life in general.
This page is a work in progress as there is a lot to add.
Things To Do
I read a lot of books, listened to podcasts, created a vision board and followed my 10 steps to success with goals (which I still follow).
Take time for yourself. Meditate. Exercise. Learn about what you want, what you enjoy and who you are. It takes time and the resources below will help. Stop trying to do what you think everyone else wants from you or is telling you to do. Don’t worry about society’s expectations or if like me, you grew up in a strict religion, don’t worry about it. Do what works for you, live life your way and you will be so much happier.
Write your goals in permanent marker on your mirror. Find a mantra or affirmation you can quote when times get tough and focus on the life you want, not the past or what is happening now.
How do you get the money to do it all? When you are starting at the bottom it can feel impossible. I created this guide for How to Survive on Centrelink. It covers everything from what you might be entitled to through to ways you can make and save money.
There is a selection of finance books which I found most useful but more recently, there are books I think which are even better than what was available when I was rebuilding my life.
We Should All Be Millionaires
We Should All Be Millionaires might be my favourite book of the year! The statistics, history and facts throughout, the push for women, practical tips and added information for women of colour is all mind-blowing for me. My daughters are Polynesian so anything like this is extremely valuable and I can’t wait for them to read it.
The Kickass Single Mom
Kickass Single Mom is not just for single moms/mums. While most of the content is geared to single mums, mums in general can take a lot of the advice in here and apply it to their lives. Why is it so many of us feel we need permission to do things? It’s as if mums (especially single mums) can’t have a life.
Emma lays it all out for you, what she did after her husband suffered a severe brain injury and she found herself as a single mum. She is making massive changes in the US for gender equality and definitely someone you should check out further. Her book is refreshing, honest and exactly what every mum, single or not, needs to read.
Aussie Money Mindset extraordinaire, Denise Duffield-Thomas, wrote Lucky Bitch, a must-read to change how you are with money. Clear your money blocks, learn more about yourself and your relationship with money, why you do things the way you do and prepare to make more money! While it might seem a bit ‘woo woo’ to some, it’s worth reading and doing the exercises. You can check out Denise’s site for more resources too.
Unleash Your Inner Money Babe
I love a challenge and the idea of creating $1,000 in 21 days appealed to me. If you liked Lucky Bitch and are into manifesting, you will love this book. Each day you have things to do which help with your money mindset and bringing in an extra $1,000 within the 21 days.
One of the things I love about this book is the fact it doesn’t focus on your income as there are so many ways money can come to you. Each time I’ve done it I made way more than the $1,000 (I tend to aim higher in general).
Quit Like A Millionaire
Quit Like A Millionaire is often recommended in finance groups so had been on my list to read for a while. It helped my partner and me significantly but that is because of our backgrounds. The author grew up in complete poverty in China and talks about the scarcity mindset. It was eye-opening to me as I have always approached things from an abundant mindset but then, I have the total privilege to be able to do that.
My partner is Ni-Vanuatu (native to Vanuatu) and most of his adult life was in the Solomon Islands. Both countries were two of the least developed countries in the world. Vanuatu recently upgraded to Developing Country. He grew up in poverty but was exposed to wealth through cruise ships and his work. He was taught that wealth is only for white people though and grew up with a scarcity mindset.
Quit Like A Millionaire helped me understand him and his family so much more plus saw us change our budget. I’ll share more on this in a future article once we have trialled our new budget for a while.
The Simple Path to Wealth
I read The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins this month. It had been on my to-read list for years and is now probably my favourite finance book ever. I am hoping my partner will listen to it on Audible since he hates to read. Compound interest, investing wisely, patience, it really is simple to be wealthy!
My taste in podcasts changes regularly. I tend to be someone who listens to episodes on particular topics rather than being a loyal listener to a specific podcast. That said, Manifestation Babe, The Strategy Hour and ChooseFI are three I have regularly used for business and finance.
Health, Confidence, Body
Confidence and health have been directly related to my success in life and relationships. Ever since I was a kid I have had issues on and off with body image, confidence and in 2015, I had severe paralysis and pain issues.
You Can Heal Your Life by Lousie Hay
You Can Heal Your Life by Lousie Hay is how I overcame paralysis, twice. After being told by doctors my pain and paralysis issues were permanent, I rejected their diagnoses and looked at alternative options. It was fascinating to me the direct connection between my stress levels and my pain issues.
Even now, if I get stressed out, the same spot in my spine will swell and I’ll have issues walking. Whenever my partner suspects I might be stressed but I am denying it, it’s really easy to tell simply by touching my lower back.
I loved this book, it was an easy read with great advice. There is a strong connection between our confidence/self-image/body issues to our finances so clearing those issues will help your money.
Beyond Beautiful busts myths, offers practical advice, little action steps you can take and a lot of thought-provoking content. As someone who has had issues with my body and eating since a young age, books such as Beyond Beautiful are helpful to maintain the right mindset.
Write a list of 100 things you love about yourself. It might be hard but if you listen to compliments others give you and think about things in your life, take note. Think about times you felt good and write it all down. Having a list of 100 things you love about yourself is eye-opening and confidence boosting.
In order to get stronger, fitter and happier with my body, I did a variety of classes and exercise including pole dancing, silks, lyra, yoga, hiking and finally learning to dive with Dive Munda. Each one has a welcoming community, you learn a lot and they grow your confidence.
Think about something you have always wanted to learn or try and go do it.
Going through my divorce a few years ago I read almost the whole self-help section. Any content I could consume, I did. Here is a selection of things that helped me.
What Happened To You?
What Happened To You by Dr Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey is a book I will recommend forever. For helping to understand others and ourselves, this book is a must-read for everyone. it was eye-opening how trauma impacts us all, our reactions, triggers and how to help. The stories in it are so moving and for someone who has experienced extreme trauma, it was validating.
The Big Leap – Gay Hendricks
This blew my mind. I normally hate it when people say that about something but The Big Leap was something else! It had been recommended so many times but I resisted because the cover seemed so plain, the book is so thin, how could it possibly help?
Every single person I know who has read this book says it changed their life. It’s so simple to read, yet profound. Learn more about yourself, how you self-sabotage and stop it!
Unf*ck Yourself – Gary John Bishop
Get out of your own way! Unf*ck Yourself was a game-changer. How often are we so caught up in our own thoughts that we talk ourselves out of something? The mantra “I am willing” from this book and everything he said about it was the kick up the butt I needed to commit to working out, taking care of myself and focusing on the things I want in my life.
I listened to it as an audiobook and have since ordered a print copy from Book Depository. My aim is to have an incredible bookshelf of books I want my kids to read. Growing up my parents had books including The Richest Man in Babylon, Think And Grow Rich, The Magic Of Thinking Big and so many more which I read as a teen and they helped steer me in the right direction. We’ve started our collection, but I add to it regularly.
Unf*ck Yourself is the sort of book that slaps you into action.
Not Just Lucky – Jamila Rizvi
I was given Not Just Lucky because I always said how lucky I am and my friend wanted to show me it’s not just luck. I’ve overcome domestic violence, homelessness, paralysis and won international awards. Whenever I was asked how I did it, I would share my tips but also said I was lucky. It irritated my friend to no end because it wasn’t just luck, yet as women, we downplay our resilience, our hard work and say we’re lucky.
No, you worked your butt off to get to where you are. You ate crap for breakfast and did what you had to do. I know I did. On top of that, one thing I had no idea about was how much my looks impacted everything. White privilege anyone?
Seriously, in the book the ‘ideal’ or ‘luckiest’ woman, was described. When I looked into the research from various universities about this I was mortified. Why? Because it described me.
Basically, if you’re caucasian, blonde, my height (172cm), attractive but not too attractive, slim but not too slim etc. You are ideal and will have it easier with everything from wages through to how you’re treated at meetings compared to other women.
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
Surprisingly, this was a book I read with my daughter when she was 9. I was reading The Last Lecture on the bus and she asked what it was about. When I told her she asked me to read it to her. Amusingly, we noticed others near us leaning in to listen and every day they would sit near us to hear more. The conversations we had around it, the way it prompted our thinking and in general, the reviews of this book are why I would recommend it to all mums.
We want to think we’ll live forever, but we won’t. My mother died at 37 from cancer so Randy’s book and his stories hit home for me. It wasn’t until I faced my own health scares with paralysis and testing positive for bladder cancer (the cancer my mum died from) that I really appreciated my life. Since that time, I have actively worked to ensure my daughters and I have the life we want, that we have memories, not just things.
The Last Lecture is a wonderful collection of his life stories with lessons for all of us. Professors are often asked to give a ‘last lecture’ at universities. For Randy, it really was his last lecture.
This is a bigger one. I’ve always had good financial knowledge so didn’t need to learn as much about that. However, relationships were difficult for me. My parents had a great marriage until my mother passed when I was 15. Because of my self-esteem issues, I was easy prey for my abusive husband.
That marriage did a lot of damage. Then another bad relationship meant I was done. Or so I thought. Once I spent time healing myself, I met my partner, Justin. Our relationship has faced numerous obstacles including finishing both our custody arrangements (he and his ex are amicable, mine was a battle), bushfires, cyclones, multiple cultures and countries plus blending our family. We both have kids from previous marriages, he grew up in Vanuatu and lived in the Solomon Islands, both extremely different cultures to what I grew up with.
His ex has a different parenting style to us, plus we each have kids from our previous marriage and now a son together. That is a lot to blend.
This is what helped me both to overcome the abuse and be ready to date, communicate in a relationship and be a stepmother.
Nacho Kids Academy
At first glance, this puts some people off. Essentially, not you kids, not your problem aka nacho kids, get it? Basically, you as a step parent are there to be a fun aunt or whatever especially if they child already has 2 parents. You are not there to replace either parent.
Blending a family is a huge process for everyone. Adding new partners, siblings, changing homes, not seeing your parents all the time, it is disruptive and a lot to take in. For kids, their whole world has exploded. Most want nothing more than their parents to get back together.
It’s a tough gig. Step mums have much higher expectations placed on them. Also, they potentially will forever be seen as “the other woman” by the children whether they were or not. The fact is, they are not their mum.
With Nacho Kids, I learnt to step back and just be a fun aunt. I’m another adult in her life but Justin and his ex are her biological parents. The aim is to step back, let them parent how they want to as it is their biological child and simply be supportive.
Doing this changed everything. My relationship with Justin’s ex is strong, we message regularly, she updates us about Jemeliy, all the kids talk about each other as siblings and it is extremely different to how it started. The beginning was a mess, volatile and aggressive, which is why I found and decided to try NachoKids.
The Gottman Institute
With 40 years of research, The Gottman Institute has helped thousands of couples and families. We love their social media accounts for daily inspiration. Their books are all backed by research and we found them useful. Be aware, the audiobook is so dry, I found it hard to get into. I prefer to read books in general but when I listen, I need some personality from the narrator.
Women Who Love Too Much
Every woman needs to read this. Too many woman I know give too much in their relationships. I have and it screws you over. This is not to say you can’t be loving and giving but you need to ensure you take care of yourself and are not being taken for a ride.
I read Women Who Love Too Much after breaking up with my ex boyfriend and it opened my eyes. I also read about codependency and addictions (he was an alcoholic and I later learned used other substances regularly). You deserve so much more than you are probably settling for.
The Queen’s Code
This book is not to everyone’s taste. The Queen’s Code outlines ways men and women think differently using a story from a grandmother teaching her granddaughter. In my experience, using the advice in the book helped immensely not only in personal relationships but in business when dealing with men too.
The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman
Knowing how you give and receive love as well as how your loved ones do will profoundly change your relationships. My daughters love this book and the test you can do to check your love language. 5 love languages rule so much of how we behave and why we do what we do. They are gifts, quality time, physical touch, acts of service and words of affirmation.
Learn your love language and the languages of those you have relationships with such as your partner, kids and parents. It will improve them.
The Revolutionary Art of Changing Your Heart
The Revolutionary Art of Changing Your Heart is aimed at relationships but has been eye-opening for me about how I react to situations and why plus what my defence mechanisms are etc. We read a few pages a day together and did exercises in it. Learning more about each other, why we think and act the way we do helped our relationship immensely.