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Stitching Together the Torn Pieces of Life

Every day, Dave's team of coaches meets with people from all walks of life, in all sorts of different financial situations. Everyone from wealthy businessmen to young couples fresh out of college to people who recently filed bankruptcy. Dave's team works with all of them.

A few years ago, Carolyn Newell was a mother who found herself in a difficult situation, both financially and emotionally, following a divorce. "I initially came to Lisa Barber on the advice of a friend who had met with her," Carolyn said.

"I was about to go from being a homeschooling mom to unexpectedly single, so I really needed help preparing my finances for life with three kids, no job and no husband. I was shocked and scared to say the least."

Carolyn says that Lisa's personality style was exactly what she needed. "She offered suggestions and good advice, but I always felt like it was my call. She helped me realize I was capable of making wise decisions about my family's finances, which was important as I took over the role of head of household for the first time."

The Game Plan: 3 Objectives

In their initial meeting, Lisa focused on creating a plan specific for Carolyn's situation. "We had three objectives," Lisa says. "To develop a sound spending plan, to save for a refinance and equity purchase from her ex-husband, and to focus on her career development so she could replace alimony with income."

"Lisa's been great about first helping me get excited about an idea or vision and then giving me tools for the nuts and bolts of making it happen," Carolyn says. "That way, I'm able to see the goals as a means to an end, rather than something for me to feel guilty about never getting done because it was too daunting."

Since they first met, Lisa says that Carolyn has just about accomplished all three of the objectives they set. To create income, she's followed her passion for sewing and built a small business around it.

Carolyn started sewing in junior high and kept at it for years. But it was only recently that she realized how to build a business from it. "A friend mentioned Etsy and the possibility of sewing custom drapes," Carolyn says. "While researching that, I discovered the niche market for custom crib bedding. I do that almost exclusively now."

Her business has developed to the point that she even contracts out some of her sewing. "It's been a sweet thing to see how God is not only meeting my needs but also the needs of others through this little business."

Thriving Business and Exceeding Goals

Carolyn says her daughters have had to make adjustments over the last few years, but they are moving in the right direction. "I see a strength of character developing in each of them, and I think it's all part of God redeeming this time in their lives," she says.

In addition, the girls have become excited about the sewing business. "One benefit of having a business run in the home is that they seem to be developing their own entrepreneurial spirit. They talk a lot about business plans and how they want to make money by selling things. "

Lisa has been extremely pleased with Carolyn's progress, both on the business and personal levels. "She is consistently meeting her business goals, and her net profits exceed 50% of her sales each month," Lisa says. "She has exceeded her savings goals and is now in the first steps of a refinance."


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"When we first met," Lisa says, "Carolyn was scared and unconfident, but she had no choice but to succeed for her girls. She's just an amazing person, and to say I'm proud of her is an understatement. I share her story with my other clients all the time, because she's such a great example of how hard work and focused intensity can make a huge difference in your life."

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Ramsey Solutions

About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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