First off, for our members who don't know you, please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What type of work do you do? How would you get into profession?
I grew up on the north end of Tacoma and went to Stadium High School (the one where 10 Things I Hate About You was filmed). After, I went to the University of Washington for undergrad and grad school. In between degrees I lived in San Jose, CA for 4 years as a high school English teacher as part of the Teach for America program. Currently, I'm an Email Marketing Manager at Bulletproof 360. If you've heard of the "butter in coffee" trend, our founder Dave Asprey is mostly responsible for that. He's considered the "Father of Biohacking." I really enjoy working for a health and wellness lifestyle brand. It has opened up my eyes to new diets, collagen protein, daily supplements, MCT oil, clean coffee, and lots more!
How long have you been an FHC member? What type of workouts are you into?
I joined FHC about a year and a half ago with my girlfriend, who currently lives with me just down the road. Together, we went through a couple H.I.I.T. programs she found online. One was the Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide. The other was Anna Victoria's Fit Body Guide. Between the two, I recommend Kayla's. Personally, I found Anna's to be less of a challenge and not worth the money.
More recently I've gotten back into running. Three years ago I injured my ankle pretty bad during a softball game. Technically it was a bone bruise (lots of little breaks) and I experienced soreness for over 2 years when trying to run. Finally, I feel back to full strength and I'm celebrating that by running 15 to 20 miles a week!
Last year you published your first book, The Money Resolution. That's quite an achievement. We had a copy of your book here at the gym. I think someone liked it so much they actually took it home with them!
(Errr... that rascal) Can you tell us a little bit about the book and what inspired you to write it?
Totally! I found myself, like many my age (31 at the time) drowning in student loan and consumer debt. My debts in total were approaching $100,000. On January 1, 2018, I decided enough is enough and I committed to learning all things money and taking action obsessively for 1 year. It's the only resolution I've ever stuck with. I documented the whole thing as a "Note" in my iphone and in December of that year I started writing about it. I thought it was going to be a series of blog posts somewhere but, after some research, I learned it's actually pretty easy to self-publish via Amazon. This felt like the perfect way to share everything I learned from scratch. From first word written to holding a proof of the book in my hands it was 2 months. That's probably not normal for a first-time author but, like my money
resolution, I become obsessed with the idea once I got started. I sincerely hope it will help motivate others to tackle their financial stresses head-on and aggressively.
Why do you think it is so important these days for people to be financially literate? Why do you think so many people are not?
In short, we don't teach it in school. We didn't used to anyway. Luckily, that is starting to change--slowly but surely. A lot of what we learned about money is from our parents, misleading advertisements, and sponsored articles with hidden agendas. The reality is, if we learned from our parents, it's very likely they didn't have the best education when it comes to personal finance either. I used to feel so much shame and embarrassment when it came to my financial situation. When I committed to becoming financially self-educated, I very quickly realized it's not our fault we aren't educated. Most of us are hiding the same shame and embarrassment and have no idea how to solve our problems because it was never prioritized in our education system. We don't ask for help because of this embarrassment and because we don't know who to ask. Or, we tell ourselves "I'll figure it out later." The good news is there is TONS of free information out there. Library books are free to check out for starters (you can even check out ebooks and audiobooks via SPL!). Plus there's YouTube, blogs, online courses, podcasts, and lots more! If I could recommend one book, it would be "Rich Dad,
Poor Dad." It completely changed my life.
You've got quite the resume Frankie. Did you really work for the Seattle Storm? How was that?
I did! It fulfilled a requirement for grad school. I was only there during the 2012 season in the marketing department but it was a ton of fun. That was also back when we were super close to getting the Supersonics back via the Sacramento Kings. My dream job at the time was working for the Sonics during their first season back but ultimately it was not meant to be. I will say, I'm sort of glad. Working in sports requires long hours and, unless you stick for a long time, relatively low pay. I would work a full day then work all night at the arena when there was a game. Not to mention, the day after getting eliminated from the playoffs was one of the strangest days in an office I think I'll ever have! Only 1 team gets to celebrate in the end so you'd think people would get used to losing but nope! It's just as gut wrenching to the staff!
What's next on the horizon for Frankie Calkins? I hear you're working on another book? Can you tell us anything about it? Any long-term career goals, such as taking up writing full-time?
I am working on another book! The second book has been much slower and much more difficult because I'm becoming a perfectionist and have become much more busy. I go through spurts of working really hard on it for a few days, then not touching it for months. Mainly, I use any spare time for writing, filming, and editing videos for my YouTube channel (also called The Money Resolution). I've put out close to 40 videos in the last year but please don't watch any of the first 20. It was honestly harder to learn YouTube than write a book! About a year ago I realized YouTube was a much easier way to reach young people and a larger audience. I try to keep it lighthearted and the topics are all over the place. I know I'm supposed to "niche" down but I get excited about an idea and put in a solid 20 or 30 hours on a video over a week or weekend. It took almost a year to get to 100
subscribers and my goal is 1,000 by the end of 2020 so please subscribe! :) On that note - If any FHC members have thought about writing a book or starting a YouTube channel, lets chat! If nothing else, I can tell you exactly what NOT
to do by now. I'm also working on a course but that won't be out until late November at best I think.
What's one piece of financial advice you'd like to impart to our readers?
Just one?! That's almost impossible! :)
It's generic but I think incredibly important: face your fears and just get started. If you avoid looking at your accounts because you're scared of what you'll see, it might not be as bad as you think. If it is that bad and you continue to avoid your debts and goals, the situation will only get worse and compound interest will continue to work against you. Time is your biggest asset. Forgive yourself for past mistakes, get educated, and create a plan. A financial planner is
a great option but there's nothing wrong with a commitment to teaching yourself and taking action. The reality is, if you're struggling financially and feeling helpless, just know it's not too late and you're not alone. As the saying goes (that I'll butcher): The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention there are 100 more tips in my book! Most of them are much more concrete than this and almost just a brief. Even if you're not struggling with your personal finances, continued education is incredibly
Thank you for the spotlight FHC. Physical fitness is #1, but I hope members are prioritizing financial fitness close behind it in 2020!