SDH 462: Her First 100K with Tori Dunlap

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Hello, She Did It Her Way listeners. Please give a huge welcome to the lovely Tori Dunlap! Tori is an internationally recognized money and career expert, and founder of Her First $100K. She got her start when she saved $100,000 by the age of 25 (incredible, right?), quit her job in marketing, and launched her company to fight financial inequality by giving women actual resources to better their financial situation. Tori has helped over 1 million women negotiate salaries, pay off debt, build savings and invest. She has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Times, BBC, Time, People, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNN, NBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

Tori got her first taste of being an entrepreneur when she was only 9 and had her own candy vending machine company. By the time she graduated high school she owned 15 of these machines and eventually sold her company to another young (10 years old) entrepreneur, ironically also named Tori.

Growing up, Tori knew owning a business at such a young age was rare but from a young age, her parents financially educated her telling her to never rely on credit cards and instilled lessons in her on learning how to budget, invest, and negotiate.

By the time Tori graduated college in May of 2016, all of her female friends were coming to her for financial advice and guidance. As she moved into adulthood she realized she was entering into a very different environment than expected and knew that having a financial foundation was imperative for every woman in America and truly the best form of protest against inequitable unjust systems and companies. She wanted to teach other women to be able to use money as a tool to make choices about their life.

Tori launched Her First $100K as a blog in December 2016, while working her 9-5 job in social media marketing. After building up momentum launching her business Tori was featured on Good Morning America and soon after quit her job to work her own business full-time.

In her first full year in business as an entrepreneur (2020) she had roughly 30,000 followers, and has now grown her audience to over 2 million followers. She also is the founder and host of the number one business podcast called Financial Feminist with over 1.4 million downloads in only 3 months.

Tori‘s goal (one of many) is to help women achieve financial equality and to make change through a larger lens.

If you would have told her five years ago, a college graduate who went to school for organizations, communication, and theater, that she would be a financial educator full-time, she would have laughed in your face. Her plan was to take the corporate world by storm reaching the position of VP of Marketing by 30. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans…

Two weeks in, Tori found herself working for someone she just couldn’t respect and had already determined that the corporate world was just not for her. She had no desire to help make someone else rich while being told that she could only take a certain number of days off per year. It was time to look outside the corporate box. She set her sights on being able to leave behind the corporate world by the time she turned 30. To do this she needed her side-hustle to make as much, or more than, her corporate salary brought in. At the age of 25, it had already happened, and after months of talking herself out of it, it was time to make her leap.

Despite growing up with financially minded parents, they were resistant to her quitting her job because it was the ‘stable’ choice. Leaving behind her corporate salary and benefits meant she was taking a risk and they weren’t fully on board with that yet. Despite it all, she took the risk.

Tori is a huge fan of not only taking risks but also setting and going for BIG goals. She also likes to remind people, notably women, that the subject of money is NOT taboo and that the narrative society has placed around talking about money is simply not accurate.

“The patriarchy tells us don't talk about money. Talking about money is bad. Talking about money is impolite. [It] keeps them in power, they profit off of our silence, right? If they tell us don't talk about money, they're talking about money, they get to maintain social order, they get to maintain their power.”

Wanting money and wanting power is not bad and these beliefs should not be perpetuated.

“I want the ability to donate to causes I believe in, or take my best friend out for dinner, or have kids, or not have kids, or get married out of love, and not out of financial dependency.”

Tori also reminds women that just because they are female, does not automatically make them ‘bad at math’. If she, as a theater major, can do it you can rock your finances, too.

Tori’s Top Personal Financial Tips:

Automate your savings

Make (and keep!) a monthly money-date with yourself

Get clear on what you want to spend discretionary income on

Tori’s Top Business Financial Tips:

Know and track every number you have (the BS big spreadsheet)

Figure out your ‘ramen noodle’ number

Set aside money for taxes before spending

Want to hang out with Tori and see what Her First $100K is all about? Reach out to her on Instagram (@herfirst100k), check her out on Tiktok, or visit the website.

Until next time, friends, keep doing it your way!

Insights:

  • “As she moved into adulthood she realized she was entering into a very different environment than expected and knew that having a financial foundation was imperative for every woman in America and truly the best form of protest against inequitable unjust systems and companies.“
  • “Tori‘s goal is to help women achieve financial equality and to make change through a larger lens.
  • “She also likes to remind people, notably women, that the subject of money is NOT taboo and that the narrative society has placed around talking about money is simply not accurate.”

Resources:

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