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In this episode, Chelsea answers some of your most pressing questions in English, French, *and* Spanish. Here all about why she's learning a third language, and what this hopefully means for the future of TFD.

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here:

The Financial Diet site:

Hey, guys.

This is Chelsea jumping in to preempt myself and to remind you guys that if you have not already, do not forget your tickets to our amazing upcoming spring events. We have a spring refresh in April where we're refreshing and rebooting every element of our lifestyles with a ton of experts.

We're doing an all day conference for career day in May that is all about anywhere you're at professionally, making sure you can get to where you want to go. We're also doing several big upcoming classes on things like investing, branding, budgeting, everything you want to learn about. And do not forget that as always, if you join our membership program, The Society at TFD, you get 50% off of every single event, workshop, class, conference, everything we do forever.

See you there. Hey guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet.

And I am very, very excited to host this very special episode of TFD that's really just about just about having some fun, guys. I as many of you know, I'm a bilingual person. I have spoken French for many, many years of my life, lived in France, my husband is French, all that stuff.

And France, French culture, the Francophone world, my family members who are Francophone are actually from Quebec. They're not French. So all kinds of the Francophone world is a very big part of my life, a very big part of who I am.

A lot of the videos that I film I'm filming while I'm in France. And I, like many Americans, have taken a fair amount of Spanish throughout my life. I have traveled to many Spanish speaking countries, actually not that many.

But I traveled to Spanish speaking countries. I live in New York City and every day am around all kinds of Spanish speakers. But I never really took the deep dive into truly committing myself to learn Spanish and holding myself accountable to it until this year.

I really wanted to use, especially this like the last leg of the pandemic to do some really productive stuff. So that project for me has been becoming fluent in Spanish. I do several lessons a week via assume with a tutor.

And I would like to spend a month this year, vaccine pending, in a Spanish speaking country depending on where my husband can be. That might be Spain. Maybe that will be Central or South America.

It kind of just depends on how the year unfolds. The road to accountability on language learning is long, and windy, and nuanced. And I wanted to add a lot of accountability to myself with Spanish by doing some content here and there in Spanish.

This will be my first foray into video content in Spanish. And it's going to be painful. So everyone really bear with me.

I'm still, I would say, beginner, maybe early intermediate part of the journey. I mean, you guys will tell me. But it's something that I really want to commit myself to doing, especially with Spanish, because I would really like to be able for TFD to branch into more and more Spanish first content.

And me understanding that as the owner of the company is-- as an owner of the company, the CEO, a very important thing. And when it comes to French, that is obviously just such a huge part of my life. I know I have a lot of my little Francophone buddies there in the comment section.

And I never give you guys enough love or talk to you guys that much. So I just thought it would be really fun to do a trilingual Q&A. So some of these questions will be in English, some in French, some in Spanish.

And again, no judgment in the comment section about my Spanish. This is a safe space. We're supportive here.

We lift each other up. We don't make fun of each other. So I'm going to make tons of mistakes.

But we're just going to do it. And hopefully first of much of this type of content in terms of multilingual. So to start things off with an easy English question, we have Aaron who asks, owning a company through a global pandemic must have some takeaways.

Is there anything that you would say to you two years ago to prep you for the next disaster? You know what's interesting? I was actually in a meeting earlier this morning with one of our newest, actually our newest hire at TFD, our newest employee.

She's our financial manager. And we were talking all about savings. Because like a person, a business has savings and needs an emergency fund, and needs cash to buffer anything that could happen.

And a business is not unlike a person who works freelance where you don't always know exactly when you'll get paid. And there is often a lot of delays between when you're getting your invoices filled and when you need to fill your invoices. So cash flow management is extremely important to any business.

But we were talking about what kind of are the philosophical guidelines of our savings strategy. Because when it comes to how much you really need for savings and how that needs to be prioritized amongst other goals because you also want to be reinvesting your money. You don't just want it sitting there.

She was asking specifically about, to what extent do we want to be saving kind of in the instance of another pandemic? Because the pandemic did slow our growth substantially. But it didn't stop it.

We still grew last year. And obviously the PPP loans, we've gotten both. And they've really helped a lot.

But my answer was really that you can't really plan for what that crisis will be like, and really kind of nor should you. What the COVID crisis represented for small businesses like ours, and it totally varies industry to industry. Our business as a digital first platform was much better equipped to pivot than let's say, a bowling alley, or a restaurant, or all these different in-person experiential events, concerts, et cetera.

So we could have never accounted for all of the various nuances in that situation. And it's likely that we won't be able to account for whatever the next one would be. And the ways in which it would impact our business are not going to be clear to us now.

So we can't really operate and invest the way we need to be investing, and spending the way we need to be spending to grow, if we're preparing ourselves for a catastrophic event. I think my reframing from COVID was pre-COVID, my greatest fear, my absolute greatest fear, was that TFD would have to close. Close.

And I can honestly say now that given what happened with COVID and how many businesses which were doing amazingly and did everything right had to close as a result, I now feel an extreme sense of peace that one day some kind of crisis could hit that forces us to close. And you can't live your whole life as a business owner with that worst case scenario in mind. And I think what I've realized I'm comfortable with is a middle of the road saving strategy that does give us enough of a buffer that we're not at the whim of cash flow and when our invoices are filled.

But we're also not just hoarding our money in the event of an emergency because we have to be reinvesting. We have to-- I mean, it's such a cliche, but it's true. You have to spend money to make money.

So I think that fear of we've seen the void business wise, small business wise especially. We have seen that void in COVID. And we don't know when the next one will be.

And we don't know how it will affect us. But I no longer have such an extreme fear about TFD having to say goodbye. Because that might happen.

And that's just the name of the game. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] So another young lady on Instagram is asking me, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Ah, wait. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] So another English question. We have, what did you underestimate early in your career that actually proved to be valuable? I think the number one thing is just being reliable.

And I used to think that it was like 80% talent, 20% reliability that got you places. It's the opposite. It's 80% reliability, 20% talent.

And we work in a field with a lot of creative professionals, many of whom are more talented than you could possibly believe. But every single day, I will take a moderately talented but reliable person. Is there a different path you would have taken in life?

Or is there a new path that you wish to pursue in the future? I think it's probably pretty unhealthy to think in terms of wishing you had taken a different path in life because that ship sailed, honey. But definitely other paths I would like to pursue in the future.

There's many other things I would like to do with the rest of my life. And since I don't plan on having kids, it's all options for me, baby. But yeah.

Definitely, I mean part of the reason I want to learn Spanish is because a lot of the things that I would like to do in the future, whether that's involving myself more in politics, or in working with children in different capacities, especially in cities like New York, being bilingual in Spanish opens tons of those doors. Also travel. Like most of us godless millennials, I love to travel.

And obviously, so many countries are Spanish speaking. Ooh, this is a really good and important question. Now that you're successful and don't have the same money stresses that you had when you were younger, how do you keep in touch with the situation and the mindset of your viewers who might be struggling?

Well, I can't relate anymore. I am not financially struggling. My husband and I have been living in two different countries and paying two rents for an entire year and will probably continue to do so for at least the foreseeable future.

And the fact that we are not planning to have children is also just financially obviously that relieves so much stress. But we both earn good livings and have total financial stability. So I can't relate.

So the truth is that I view my roles twofold. One is to make my content on TFD more and more educational in terms of explaining concepts, in terms of sharing information, in terms of doing deep dives on subjects that I think are important to changing the overall money discourse, and hopefully maybe even one day policy. But then also lifting up other voices.

I'm still the majority sort of voice share on our YouTube channel. But hopefully, that will be changing as we add more shows to the channel. And also on all of our other platforms, I'm very much not the majority of our content.

We are all about other people, other voices, other stories. Because ultimately, I don't really think the problem is that I'm not struggling financially. Because ultimately, if anyone is successfully creating content that's reaching people, they're probably not going to be struggling financially for a long time.

I think the problem is that any one perspective is much too limited. And that's also part of the reason why it's very important for me to expand our content, even in terms of language and culture. Because I think we need to be telling more stories, reaching more people, and really opening up the financial conversation.

We have a French question. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] What is your opinion on using astrological signs to label people in the workplace? Seems like an HR violation. Maybe bordering on illegal.

Really not sure about any of that. But so I have the same opinion about astrology that I do about religion, which is that I think for many people it can be an incredibly useful tool for organizing and understanding the world around us, for figuring out our place within that world, for navigating difficult situations and relationships. I have a good friend who is very, very into astrology who kind of refers to it as a language for understanding all kinds of phenomena and situations that otherwise are very kind of hard to parse.

And she's very smart. And I have a ton of respect for her. And I don't think that there's anything inherently wrong with embracing astrology in that way.

Similarly, I don't think there's anything wrong with embracing any organized religion in that way to help add structure, and meaning, and kind of understandability to the world around us to simplify it to an extent. I don't think any of that is bad. But I do think that any time those parameters that you're using, whether it be for something like astrology or for something like religion, are now being projected onto others, when it's being used to make assumptions about others, when it's being used to evaluate, or regulate, or judge, or label the other people who did not ascribe to that, who did not sign up for it, I think that gets very problematic ethically.

I think there's a reason that we can't and shouldn't use religion in the workplace. And similarly, I think astrology has no place in it. And I know that there are many companies that don't abide by that.

And I'm actually not totally sure about all of the nuances, the laws about how you're allowed to integrate your religious faith, for example, into how you operate as a business. But I do think ethically, it's just very compromised. Because you can't impose that on someone else.

And you really shouldn't. But I definitely-- I'm value neutral on astrology. So don't come for me, either side of that issue.

I can't take it. OK. I'm going back to French. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] So the last question I'll go back to Spanish to answer is, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] I forgot the word.

But closed. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] That was painful. That was painful. No, but you know what?

This is going to be good, guys. Because here's what I want to leave you with with this Q&A. Nothing in this world, and I say this with true-- I weigh my words here.

Nothing in this world that you will do will change your life more once you've achieved basic financial stability, because obviously if you don't have that, life is impossibly difficult. But I'll hedge my bets here and say, few things in this life that you'll ever do will change your life more than learning another language in every possible way. And the number one step to learning a language is to not be afraid of looking like a fool.

I made 1,000 mistakes with my Spanish answers. I couldn't find certain words. It was painful.

I guarantee you that I'm to watch this video in a year and maybe quietly set it to private because I'm so embarrassed by how bad it was. No, I won't do that. I won't do that.

But it will be really embarrassing. But I don't care because I want to actually get better. And that's how you get better.

And if you are trying and you are being genuine in your attempt, people will be helpful and nice to you, except asshole Parisians. They'll just be dicks about it. But just don't learn French.

Anyway, I'm kidding. Oh my God. I'm going to get screamed at.

Anyway, all of that is to say I could not recommend to you guys more to-- I think that's fucking, Duolingo. That fucking owl. Anyway, I could not recommend to you guys more to learn another language, to give it a try, to not be afraid of looking silly.

I hope that this year we'll be able to do more content purely about financial education in Spanish. And I really hope that my video that is going to break the French internet about what Parisian women can learn from American women will hopefully be coming out sooner rather than later. But I'm taking my sweet, sweet time with it because.

I got to do it perfectly. All of it to say, thank you for sending your questions. And I will see you guys back here next week.

Do not forget to click that Join button and join our secret society. Do not forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Goodbye.