How We Got Started
I am Briana Cavanaugh, Financial Bliss Mentor Coach and Accountant. I have been doing accounting since 2003 and have more than 20 years of experience in various forms of coaching and counseling.
A mentor coach is someone who has a lot of experience and is a masterful coach. And they use their years of expierence in coaching, training and business to support and coach other coaches. Financial Bliss is the state that I want to transmit to you in our work together.
I work with women, especially women with that unicorn business idea – you know the one that will change the world if only she got her financial crap together! I also work with feminists, LGBTQI and trans communities and we love working with folks of color. I design and teach workshops and trainings on money mindset, financial self-love and pleasure in addition to running a bookkeeping firm: Bliss Your Bookkeeping. I work at the intersection of money, pleasure, self love and accounting.
I believe that we as Change Makers and Business Owners have the capacity to be successful and that money is a key part of that transition from chaos and overwhelm to bliss.
I love helping women really get money and finance and feel powerful about their money! I believe in our power as Change Makers to turn our dreams into plans and plans into action and action into clients and money and revenue. I believe in supporting people, like you, who are doing amazing things in the world – coaches, leadership consultants, documentary production companies, LGBTQI community, marketing and PR consultants, permaculturists, authors, artists, activists, feminists, and other extraordinary Change Makers and Business Owners!
Because I believe in the power of purpose, I focus on people who are purpose driven and want more: more passion, more pleasure and more reach for their business. And the thing that stand in their way is so often money.
I believe in not just getting the bookkeeping done. I believe in helping people understand money: what it is and what it isn’t and how you can use it to enhance your lives rather than be a slave to money. I used to say, money doesn’t buy happiness, but poverty (or scarcity thinking) has a way of keeping happiness away. And then I found that you can buy happiness. But there’s a limit. And our dreams must take us beyond that limit to have the impact that we’re longing for.
(By the way, impact and money have to balance each other in our goal setting, did you know that? People tell you to dream big so that you can make the impact you want. But if you dream without including money, all you get is a lot of hard work and not a lot of traction.)
My work comes out of my own history with money and background in technology and finance. I spent years working in technology only to find myself disconnected from meaning and wondering why anyone would want to sit alone in a box all day. So I set off in search of my true purpose.
In the process I spent down my savings, my 401k, my unemployment and somehow landed myself on welfare. It was awful. I was desperately unhappy, working so so so hard, applying for literally thousands of jobs and getting nowhere. I did everything I was told and I just wasn’t a fit for the corporate world. I kept wondering what was wrong with me!
I am a very educated, hard working woman and I just couldn’t figure out how I landed on welfare! One morning I woke up and I didn’t have enough food to feed myself and my son and had to go to a food bank. I’m super lucky that was even a possibility for us. But I vowed never again. I vowed to figure out a way that I – and people like me – could make the money I need, so that I could get really good at money.
So I went to work learning about money.
I did tons of research about how to get support getting off of welfare (there’s is almost none). At the time there were 2 organizations in all of California. So I contacted one of them and they hired me. I did legislative work with the California state budget. I did advocacy around helping welfare moms get what they needed and learned how to get what I needed.
I realized that while having a purpose is great, somehow I’d have to draw down the resources to do things like pay rent and electricity because PG&E doesn’t take chickens, or love and good feelings as payment.
Many people I met wanted to trade, barter, share, or dog walk instead of dealing with money. But dog walking doesn’t pay the rent.
They want the system to be different. I want the system to be different. We all want the system to be different.
But wanting a thing does not make it so. In fact wanting a thing creates more wanting rather than creating the thing itself – it’s not looking at what’s real. The current world uses money to exchange goods and services. THe current system conflates money with the banking system and credit and debt. But money predates all of those things. So I know that it can be different.
Back then, I wanted to be proficient in that system so that I could do things like have electricity and eat food every day. My son can’t eat massages and dog walking!
That lead to me taking on more work and eventually I got a part time gig doing bookkeeping alongside all the other work.
People started to ask me for help with money because i figured so much of it out. I managed to feed myself and my, then small, son. I managed to create a company while homeschooling him and still studying and learning. It was a huge shift in how I thought about money, family, myself and my community.
Beyond that I realized that many women and marginalized people don’t have the self-confidence or protected space to really get the financial education and make decisions that lead to excellent money making and managing. And most money making seminars are focused in a way that is inaccessible to all but a few either because of the jargon or a the super high cost.
Fortunately, at about that same time, I was thrown into a job doing financial analysis for a non-profit based on my technology skills. “You can do it!” they said. And they were right. That was 2003. From there I struck out on my own.
One I got out of the big myth of the patriarchy: that I had to over work and be under resourced, I started firing folks. Going from just me to a team of bookkeepers. To a team of bookkeepers and assistants and more. We are a team of certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisors who specialize in accounting for small businesses.
I love my work! I hope you love your work too.
If you find that you want to love your work more and worry about money less, give me a call or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you!