I was born in the Philippines, and at the age of 2 my family and I moved to Germany. By the time I was 6, after four years growing up in Berlin our family packed up and moved to a small country town in Victoria, Australia. I had an incredible childhood and being an only child - I was fiercely independent and was always keeping myself occupied and on the go. Besides holding dance concerts in the living room for my parents, participating in every sport I could and hanging out with friends after school, I showed key traits of an entrepreneur from a young age.
At age 7, I was selling lemonade at the front of our house so I could buy a new scooter. I was always door knocking to raise money for various charities at school (hoping to win the prize for raising the most money!). At age 12, I was selling jewellery that I’d made from beads from the craft store so I could buy my very first mobile phone (hello, Nokia 3310!). At age 14, I got my first job at Domino’s Pizza and was so happy when I received my first ever pay check, it was such a rush to finally have a “real” job and be in the legit money making world.
During my teens I was unsure and confused about what “career” I should choose, but not about what sort of “life” I wanted to lead. I knew I wanted to help people and make good money doing it. I didn't want riches so I could drive a Porsche or live in a mansion, but enough wealth to create the life of my dreams. I wanted to follow in my parents footsteps and work for myself. I wanted the freedom to travel wherever and whenever I desired. I wanted to own my own home without the dreaded mortgage repayments taking over my life. I wanted to support my family in the Philippines, and donate to the charities and organisations I believed in. I wanted the freedom to work whenever and wherever I desired and always shuddered at the thought of being trapped in an office all day. I wanted to be able to stay at home with my children and be with them every step as they learn and grow. I wanted the freedom and ability to develop personally on all levels and be able to share my knowledge with the people around me to make a difference in this world.
I remember going to a ‘Career Day’ at high school and I’d decided that I wanted to be a Doctor and work in a hospital. Upon looking into what sort of grades I would need and the length of the university degree, I quickly changed my mind. I still had the passion for medicine and wanted to get into this field so I could make a difference, and that’s what lead me to study and complete my Bachelor of Nursing. The course took three years, and I had to get a casual job at a retail store to make ends meet. By the time I’d completed my degree, I was 21 years old. I was excited to see where this career was going to take me.
After working for a few years, I wanted more, I needed an adventure, a challenge, I wanted to travel. So, I worked hard, saved as much money as I could and jetted off to London to work abroad. I had decided to do a quick tour around Europe before I started work, I'm so glad I did as it was an amazing few months. It re-enforced my already strong love of travelling and connecting with people. By the time I got to London I’d changed my mind, it seemed counter productive to stay and work as a nurse in the UK when I would be making half the money I would in Australia. The shifts were longer and the cost of living was super high. I’d also be spending up to 3 hours on my daily commute, this wasn't what I had first expected and I’m glad I changed my mind before locking in for twelve months. So, at 24 years old and after four months travelling Europe, I headed home to Australia.
As fait would have it this is when I rekindled my love with my then ex boyfriend, now husband, Bowen. We had both travelled in the past on our own and now it was something we wanted to do together. We had hopes and dreams of working and making money online, becoming our own bosses, being time free and financially abundant. This was also the beginning of my Instagram and YouTube - Mantras and Mangos. I wanted to share my journey in overcoming an eating disorder through a plant-based diet, travelling the world and everything in between. Once Bowen and I decided we were going to travel the world together we manifested it daily, and took action to make these dreams become reality. I knew I wanted to fund my travels by working online and developing my passion to learn and grow, but before that I wanted to make as much money as possible, so I quit my nursing job for a trade that was paying a lot more.
After working 12-14 hour days for three months straight we finally booked the first leg of our world trip! We travelled for 7 months, during this time I desperately tried to kick start my online business. I completed my Health Coaching course so I could continue helping people whilst making an income online. I was also filming, editing and uploading 3-4 YouTube videos a week at the same time as Instagram collaborations. All this work was very time consuming and never had a guaranteed income at the end of the day. I didn't make much Health Coaching and Youtube is hard to break, and when the Instagram jobs did come, they'd be far and few between and didn't pay a lot.
After 7 months of travelling together we decided to settle in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is a known hub for digital nomads. Here, I was coaching a lot, I wrote and published my first ebook and was doing Instagram collaborations when I could. Luckily we still had our savings because at the end of each month, we would still end up in deficit, no matter how hard we worked. All of these opportunities were incredible, and although there are people out there making an income from these streams, it wasn't working for us. I found that my relationship with money wasn’t great. I didn’t view it as a positive in my life. Growing up we are told that “money is the root of all evil”, we’re raised with a perception that money is bad. When really, it has the ability to change the world if it’s in the right hands and used correctly. I was yet to learn that money was energy and I simply wasn’t attracting it.
We decided to move back to Australia, we were running out of money and I had become exhausted and was losing hope. Although I had previously quit my nursing job, I was grateful how easy it was to pick up where I left off and get back into work upon our return. So it was back to shift work, the 9-5 grind, living from pay check to pay check, no time freedom. My motivation was draining fast. I got to the point where I stopped filming YouTube videos and posting on Instagram because I felt so overwhelmed with my full time job and not having the time to release my creative energy - sound familiar? I wanted, actually - I needed a career change. Bo and I were planning on building our first home together and were also now engaged, so money was now more important than ever before and was paramount in allowing our dreams to become realities.
I wanted a new challenge and an income stream that aligned with my values as well as allowing me to choose when I worked. So I decided I would complete my 200hr Yoga Teacher training in India, as well as my pilates training. I was so grateful to land a job at a studio as soon as I returned and was able to cut back a day of 9-5 work. I was loving this extra free time, but my income still hadn't improved. We both continued to work long hours and make sacrifices to make ends meet with every extra dollar going into our savings. Then I was pretty much back where I’d started, working day after day to make my bosses money. I still wasn't my own boss. I was only partially working online (through Instagram and small affiliates).
I stopped taking on Health Coaching clients due to lack of motivation and also a waining confidence if this was the best way to be helping people. I wasn’t time free nor financially abundant. I was working as a full-time nurse and a part time Yoga and Pilates teacher, with little to no time for my own self care, creativity and personal development. I’d fallen back into the some old routine that so many people do. I felt stuck. I felt trapped. I felt lost. I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction. Your thoughts and feelings affect your reality and although at this moment I was struggling, I continued to imagine a life of health and abundance and I knew all my questions would be answered soon enough.
We headed to Bali for our honeymoon. We arrived in Canggu where I knew a few of my ‘online’ friends were living and working. We were about to head out for lunch and I said to Bo, “I’ll just put on some nice clothes, as I have a funny feeling we will bump into someone I know”. How funny life is, as we walked into this little cafe, there she was - my beautiful friend Amelia who I had connected with online many years ago. We’d always kept in touch online and had discussed meeting many times but never had the chance. How divine it was to see her glowing familiar face as we walked in, we immediately hit it off and planned on having dinner that evening. It was pure luck that we bumped into each other that day, as Amelia was leaving the next morning for a digital detox holiday.
It’s a beautiful thing when the universe aligns two lives and places them together with impeccable timing. That evening we bonded over vegan chocolate smoothies. Amelia told me of her success in her online business. Surely this was a sign. Surely this was the universe giving me the opportunity to take a chance, to make my dreams come true. I decided to take the plunge and join in on this incredible opportunity. I had resisted investing in the past for a number of reasons but mostly because I was scared, scared to take the leap of faith and invest on myself. My relationship with money wasn’t always good, but it was starting to change, at times it had come easily, and at times I’d had to work my butt off but I could feel a shift. I’d always been taught to hold onto every last penny because I’d worked so hard for it but I was beginning to learn that money was energy and it can flow into your life as easily as you allow it, but was I ready for this?
I dived in head first and did as much research as I possibly could. I spoke to Amelia and others who were succeeding in this business as well as days of reading everything I could find online. No sane person invests in a business without doing their own due diligence. It was the biggest risk and best financial decision I could have made in my life and career and I was so proud that I’d invested in myself. It was crazy how comfortable I felt after I’d made the decision to go all in and I’ve always been a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. We are all connected and you attract what you want with how you feel. This was no exception, the divine timing of our meeting and the years of hoping and wishing for an opportunity for change in my life and it was all unfolding in front of my eyes.
I do love nursing and how rewarding it is but I was working the 9-5 grind, saving every cent to pay for our wedding and our house, never receiving a pay rise or incentives for the hard work I was putting in, the harder I worked, the more my boss would earn. I’ve always loved Einstein's definition of insanity - “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” How was I going to make a change in my working lifestyle without making drastic changes in my philosophy and strategy. This change was inevitable, we are all on our own journeys and ours had taken a sudden and timely turn for the better.
I had now tapped into something so profound, so life changing that I knew this was the biggest step towards reaching our goal of financial freedom. Although I’ve always had a great belief in the law of attraction and everything being connected, I still had doubts in myself and needed to work on my mindset. I began tapping deeply into my self limiting beliefs and worked tirelessly to change them. I changed my thought patterns, read books, listened to podcasts, connected with people in our team masterminds and team calls and went through all the courses (more than once). I practiced gratitude more than ever before and visualised every day what my dream life would be like.
I now only work two days a week nursing and still teach Yoga as it’s my passion and keeps me connected and active. I get to choose when and where I want to work. I now get to travel whenever I want and don't have to wait for my annual leave to be approved (2 trips currently being planned!). We are now paying off our mortgage twice as quick as well as supporting my family in the Philippines and ensuring my parents can retire comfortably. I now have more free time to nurture my hobbies, grow as a person and spend time with family and friends. I sleep so well at night knowing my job aligns with my core values environmentalism, sustainability, health, community, financial independence, time freedom and abundance.