045 – Tips for building wealth with Shani Tené

045 – Tips for building wealth with Shani Tené

How to Build Wealth as a Business Owner: Practical Strategies


Building wealth as a business owner can seem daunting, especially with the constant hustle of managing your business. In a recent episode of the “Take Your Shot” podcast, we tackled this complex topic, providing actionable strategies to help you achieve financial independence. We’ll cover key pain points such as managing income, investing wisely, and dealing with debt. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear roadmap to start building your wealth effectively.

The importance of budgeting

One of the foundational steps in building wealth is effective budgeting. Most business owners have a rough idea of their expenses, but a detailed and categorized budget can reveal opportunities for savings. Here’s a deeper dive into this crucial step:

Creating a detailed budget involves splitting your expenses into specific categories such as rent, utilities, business expenses, savings, investments, and debt. This granular approach helps you identify areas where you can cut costs. Monitoring your spending is also crucial, and using budgeting tools like Monarch Money can help track your expenses. This tool allows you to set up and manage budget categories, giving you a clear visual of your spending patterns. Adjusting your budget regularly is also necessary. As your income changes, revisit and adjust your budget to ensure you’re not overspending in any category. Keep your expenses steady even if your income increases.

How to start saving money

Saving money is often the first step towards financial security, but how you save can make a significant difference. Here’s how to optimize your savings:

Utilize high-yield savings accounts like Wealthfront instead of a regular savings account. High-yield savings accounts offer a higher Annual Percentage Yield (APY), ensuring your money earns more interest over time. Automate your savings by setting up automatic transfers to your savings account to ensure consistency. Treat your savings like any other bill you pay each month. Prioritize an emergency fund before focusing on other financial goals. Building an emergency fund to cover at least three to six months of expenses provides a financial cushion in case of unexpected events.

Section 3: The Financial Freedom Pyramid

The financial freedom pyramid is a wealth-building framework designed to guide you from budgeting to debt payoff. It consists of five steps:

Step 1: Budgeting

Budgeting is the foundation of the pyramid. Without a solid budget, it’s challenging to save or invest effectively. Most people think they are budgeting, but often their budget is only in their heads. To create a real budget, categorize your expenses into specific buckets: essential expenses, discretionary spending, savings, and investments. Monitor your spending and adjust your budget regularly to reflect changes in your income or expenses.

Step 2: Giving

The next step is giving. This can mean different things to different people, such as donating to charity or giving within your community. For business owners, giving can also provide tax benefits. By incorporating charitable giving into your budget, you can reduce your taxable income, which can result in significant savings. The key is to find a balance that allows you to give meaningfully without straining your finances.

Step 3: Saving

Many people stop at this step, but it’s crucial to move beyond just saving. Utilize high-yield savings accounts to maximize the interest you earn on your savings. Treat your high-yield savings account as your main account where you deposit all income. This way, your money earns interest throughout the month before you transfer it out to cover expenses.

Step 4: Investing

Investing is where your money can truly start to grow. Many people hesitate to invest because they think it requires a lot of money or expertise, but that’s not the case. Start with index funds, which are collections of stocks designed to mirror the performance of the market. Vanguard is an excellent choice for low-fee index funds. As a business owner, you should consider opening a solo 401(k), a Roth IRA, and a taxable brokerage account. Each offers unique tax benefits and opportunities for growth.

Step 5: Debt Payoff

The final step is paying off debt. Contrary to popular belief, you should focus on investing before aggressively paying down debt. This allows your investments to grow and generate returns that can be used to pay off debt faster. Start by paying off high-interest debt first, such as credit card debt. This approach helps you save on interest payments and reduces your overall debt more efficiently.

Practical Next Steps

To implement these strategies effectively, consider the following steps:

Set clear financial goals. Define what financial independence looks like for you. Whether it’s saving a certain amount, investing a specific percentage of your income, or paying off debt, having clear goals will keep you focused. Educate yourself continuously about financial management and investment opportunities. Resources like the “Eternal Wealth” podcast and financial books can provide valuable insights. Seek professional advice if you’re unsure about where to start or need personalized advice. A financial advisor can help tailor strategies to your unique situation.


Building wealth as a business owner is a journey that requires careful planning, disciplined budgeting, strategic saving, and smart investing. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can take control of your finances and work towards financial independence. Remember, the key is consistency and staying informed. Start today and watch your wealth grow.

Other Tools and Resources

  • Monarch Money for budgeting
  • Wealthfront for high-yield savings
  • Vanguard for investment accounts
  • The “Eternal Wealth” podcast for ongoing financial education

More from Shani Tene

Shani Tené is a successful Money Coach and financial educator who has transformed her own life and the lives of thousands through a faith-inspired approach to financial freedom. Having built a million-dollar business, Shani leverages her extensive financial knowledge and spiritual principles to offer personalized 1:1 coaching, dynamic group coaching sessions, and comprehensive digital products. Her practical experience shines through in her coaching, as evidenced by her personal financial achievements, including purchasing her house and car through smart investments. Shani empowers her clients to enhance their income, manage debt, and invest wisely, ensuring their financial goals align with their personal values. Her holistic strategy not only boosts financial health but also fosters spiritual richness, guiding clients toward sustainable wealth and true independence. Whether seeking individualized attention or the collective energy of group sessions, Shani equips people with the necessary tools to significantly improve their financial and spiritual wellbeing.

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Tips for building wealth with Shani Tené


Welcome back to another episode of the Take Your Shot podcast. Today we've got Shani Tené and she is amazing when it comes to building wealth and financial independence. And today we are going to be talking all about how to do that as a business owner. So Shani, welcome aboard. Do you mind introducing yourself and telling everyone a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Sure. Yes. Well, first off, just thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. , but as you mentioned, my name is Shani Tené and I'm a money coach and financial educator. And so my main goal is to help people, , build their journey to richer living. , and so I teach like real actionable wealth building strategies through a kingdom lens.

, and so whether it's like investing, saving, debt reduction, credit score repair, income boosting, I like, I'm really like a 360 approach to really leveling up your financial well being. So I'm super excited to be here and can't wait to share some of the nuggets that I have. Oh man. And we are so excited.

To talk about this and have you on here, because I think this is a topic that not [00:01:00] everyone feels comfortable talking about. I know money can be for some people. They just don't want to talk about it or they don't even know where to start. And so I'm just so excited for this conversation. I'd love to know a little bit about like, what was your journey kind of getting into this more like financial freedom realm?

Like, do you mind sharing a little bit about kind of how you stumbled upon this and how this became something that you do now as a coach? For sure. We have similar stories in the sense of like, I was also trying to climb the corporate ladder. I had like a terrible relationship with money and I equated wealth with working a lot, so I got all these jobs, work, work, work, work, work, work, work.

And that was like my entire life and I end up getting laid off. And so for me, that's when the switch changed. So I ended up blowing through all of my savings. Maxing out my credit cards going into tons of debt that I really couldn't pay back and essentially ran out of money and went broke and so For me that was kind of like my lowest point in my life and I knew like I couldn't stay in that in that moment and so That's when I really tried to like dig deep and [00:02:00] figure out, okay, what is my purpose in life?

What am I here for? , what is God calling me to do? And so, , that's when I really found that I was actually really good with money. So I was able to start my business after that because I didn't want to work for anyone else ever again.

And so. I started my own business, , and grew that. And then I started to learn about investing and how to really multiply my money. , and from there I learned so many tips and tricks that I would just like mind blown. It was like, this is stuff that everybody needs to know. And so I've pretty much made it my mission to help other people reach financial freedom, , and not have to go through the same pitfalls that I went through.

I love that. And especially just the fact that you really felt this calling and passion to kind of just like make a way for yourself to do this. Cause at the end of the day, like money doesn't have to be scary and it can be really empowering. And like, how cool is it that you've been able to now build a business that revolves around doing what you love and empowering other people to like, have that same freedom that you were able to find.

I think that's so awesome. So I [00:03:00] seriously, I love it so much. And. When it comes to, you know, building wealth, I think there are a lot of different, maybe misconceptions or mistakes that a lot of people make. Do you mind walking us through some of those things that you've seen when it comes to people mismanaging their money and building wealth?

For sure. I think the most common one I see is. When people increase their income or when they start to make more money, they have new clients, , they end up increasing their expenses at the same time. So we really want to keep our expenses the same, , and use that extra income to really level us up in a sense of like investing.

So, which kind of ties into another like mistake that I see is that We're not investing our money. So instead of using your money or extra money to just buy more things or, , use it specifically for your business, invest in your business. And that might look different for everybody, but I'm talking about investing in the sense of like, The stock market are things that you might not necessarily [00:04:00] be too familiar with, but ways that can multiply your money because as an entrepreneur, it's already hard enough to get started.

Like, it's already hard enough to, , build your own capital. But if you learn about investing, you can find ways to use other people's money to grow your business or even use your own money to multiply that to grow your business. So I really think like the way that we utilize our money, we tend to do that.

In a way that I think could be improved. , so I would say that's probably one of the, one of the first ones, obviously there's tons of them, but I think that would be the first one. Like making sure you keep your expenses low, , even when you get, , additional income. I think that's so great. And I think it's so easy to, yeah, I got a bonus this year and just blow it on something cause you want to celebrate, which I think there's maybe a balance between, you know, somewhat celebrating, but also still being really smart and wise with your money.

So I think that's really great. I'm just like figuring out how can you really maximize the The income that you're getting and making sure that you're, you know, providing an opportunity for that to actually work for you. So I think that's really good. And then are there any sort of, are there any [00:05:00] sort of like mindsets or, you know, roadblocks that you see people that maybe hold them back from actually doing more with their money?

Yeah, I think it's the misconception that investing is like scary. It's hard. And that you have to have a lot of skills or have to have a lot of money. But honestly, you can get started investing with 1. You don't have to have a lot of money. So that, that myth is busted. , it's not necessarily hard. Like, , if you invest in what we call an index fund, , it's basically a basket of stock.

So instead of having to pick, okay, I want to invest in Google or Amazon or Tesla, whatever that specific company is, you might not know which one specifically. But with an index fund, like if you think about it as a basket, it holds lots of different stocks within it. So that way you can invest in one, one thing, but get a piece of the pie of all the different companies.

So that also busts the myths of like, I don't know what to invest in. Choose an index fund that tracks the S& P 500. And that way you, [00:06:00] you don't have to really make those hard decisions. So I think it deals a lot with everyone sees these lines and these, , data points. And it's like, you don't really have to understand the lines and all of that stuff.

Just pick an index fund and choose to invest some of your money in it. And that's pretty much the simplicity of it. Okay. That is seriously such a great thing to think about. I'm just terms of that. It doesn't have to be that overwhelming.

I'm someone where I'll be honest, it's been very overwhelming for me to figure out, okay, what do I do with these like extra funds if I want to invest? Like I've, I've kind of had that, what do you want to call it? Investment paralysis where I'm like, I don't know where to invest. And so you just kind of hold back and maybe don't.

And so I think that's a really good way just to kind of walk through it. I'm just like, it doesn't have to be hard. There's things like index funds where you don't have to choose the right exact stock, but just find something that tracks the S and P 500 or different indexes. I think, I think that's really great.

So. So there's a lot of things we could talk about today. And I know you specifically have a framework that you like to walk people through in terms of building wealth. Would you mind just walking through what that is [00:07:00] for us today? And just kind of explaining your step by step process and how you like to frame that.. Of course, I'm super pumped because this is like my bread and butter and like one of my favorite things to talk about.

, so it's called the financial freedom pyramid and essentially it's the steps that I took. To go from completely broke to living in my wealth, , and with the premise that you don't necessarily have to pay your debt first to have financial freedom. , and so it's going to be, , a pyramid because we're going to talk about how we're going to be building wealth from the bottom.

Up, whereas society typically tells us to build well from the top down. So there'll be some, , myth busters once we get to the top of the pyramid, but it's going to have five different steps within the pyramid. And so the, the first step is going to be the bottom of the pyramid, the foundational step, because without this, it's going to be very difficult to invest or save.

So the first step in the pyramid is going to be our budgeting step. And a lot of people are like, okay, budget. Cool. I already budget. Okay. But in all honesty, most people aren't really budgeting. It's probably in [00:08:00] your head. You're like, okay, I spend this much for rent this much for, , my business and so forth, but you really want to, , niche down and put your money into buckets.

So you want to have like. Expenses budget, a giving budget, a savings budget, an investing budget, a debt budget, and really look at your numbers and see, okay, what can I cut down because the first path to building wealth is essentially freeing up the money that you already have. So once you know where your money is aligned into these different budget buckets is what I like to call them, then you can better assess.

How you can use it as we move up the pyramid. So step one, we solidify our budget, right? We've cut out things that we don't need freeing up some money. So that money that we have freed up, we're going to take it and put it in this imaginary bucket that we're going to take with us up the pyramid. Which takes us to the second step of that pyramid, which is going to be the giving step.

So giving can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. , for me, , it's giving, I'm giving to the church, but as business owners, that might not be what you're doing [00:09:00] as business owners. I think we're looking at it in the sense of like the benefits that it gives us as tax write offs.

So when we're working in our business, we want to reduce our tax liability. So at the end of the year, We don't owe a lot of taxes or we end up with like net zero where they're not giving us money But we're also not owing money and so as a business Incorporating giving into your budget will allow you those write offs that will help you save Money on taxes at the end of the year And so those savings that we get from those write offs, you can take that money and add it to our bucket.

So if you're following our bucket is getting a little bit more heavy with money, the extra money from our expenses that we cut out in our budget. And now with those extra tax write offs. So we scurry along to the third step with our bucket, and this is going to be the saving step, right?

So saving is typically where most of us end up stopping. A lot of us don't make it up the pyramid because. We end up stopping at the savings for me, like growing up, my parents always told me save, save, [00:10:00] save. But they never told me what to do after that. And so when we think about saving, we kind of have to change our perspective on how we save and why we save.

And so instead of like, when you get paid from a client, instead of just putting your money into a regular savings account, We want to look into what we call a high yield savings account. This is an account that pays you interest, , simply for keeping your money in that account. So you're basically like getting paid to keep your money in a bank, which is like nuts, and so it's kind of the first way to make passive income.

You don't have to do anything different. You simply just open up the account, put your money, and it typically has like a 5 percent return. So this is kind of like your first way of, , beginning to invest your money. And when you're doing this, it's not just about putting, , the money aside that you're setting for savings.

I always like to think of like my high yield savings. As my checking account, so when I get my money, I typically put my money in my checking account, take a little bit out and put [00:11:00] in my savings. But instead of doing that, what if I put my entire paycheck or all the money that I'm getting from my clients into this high yield savings account and then allowing it to grow?

, that 5 percent over the entire month. So then when it's time to pay my light bill on the 28th, I've essentially already paid my light bill through the interest that I earned from the money in that account. It's literally like mind blowing. So once you start to do that, like your money will naturally just start to grow.

And so we end up with an excess of money that we can then take and drop into our bucket. And so we're heading off the pyramid. So we have two more steps to go. So hang in there. So we take our bucket that's full now, and then we move to the fourth step, which is the investing step. And so most people are like, well, I don't even have money to save.

So how can I invest? But that can't be an excuse anymore, because now we have our bucket full of money that we can take and dump into our investments. , and so, , again, I talked a little bit about [00:12:00] getting into investing, so I won't go into super details there, but I do think there are like three accounts That every business owner should have.

, so that's going to be a 401k account. And I know you're like, okay, as entrepreneurs, I don't have an employer, but like surprise you as an entrepreneur could open up what we call a solo 401k, it operates the same exact way as an employer. And the great thing is you get tax write offs. So we talked a little bit about how giving gives us those tax write offs.

This will also help you get those tax write offs. So a 401k, the second is a Roth IRA. And the reason because this is tax free money, so you can withdraw the money tax free, whatever you want. And then the third is going to be a taxable brokerage, which you can, , contribute as much as you want and take it out whenever you want.

So I would say those are the three main ways and the money again, that you've gathered from your pyramid. That's what we're putting into those investments. And then our last step, our last and final step, our fifth step, we're at the tippy top of the pyramid, this is where [00:13:00] we're paying off our debt. So did you guys hear that?

We're paying off our debt technically last, not first, because now we're taking the money that the profits from our investments, replenishing our bucket and then dumping that into our debt. So now we're over contributing to our debt, which now it can actually make a dent in it. Because I know a lot of times it's like.

Your debt looks like it's the same number from like 10 years ago as it is today because the interest is eating it up. , and so it's really important to use your investments to basically pay your debt versus the reverse where society tells us, pay your debt and then invest. But if you, if you pay your debt first, then you'll end up in that never ending cycle of paying your debt with nothing to show for it.

So. That is essentially the premise of the pyramid starting from top to bottom and essentially showing us how we can build wealth, , without necessarily paying our debt first. I think that's so great. I love how you just kind of flip things upside down and especially talking about that debt piece because [00:14:00] I know at least here in the United States where I'm based is like, that is like a huge issue for a lot of Millennials and now Gen Zers, like trying to figure out that college debt and trying to figure out credit card debt.

, so I think that's really interesting that you kind of flip things upside down and Really have people like save and really get that exercise, that muscle of, you know, budgeting, being able to save, invest, and then, you know, pay off debts kind of when you have that money allocated. I'm really curious though.

So do you have any recommendations for times where maybe you shouldn't wait to pay off your debt? Like, is there a certain interest rate or, , point in which like, ah, maybe you should tackle that at some point? Like if it's ever, outweighing the speed at which you can save it and invest?

Yeah, so I'm not saying necessarily don't pay your debt. Yes. I feel like we should be paying the minimums on those debts So they obviously don't we don't run into other issues But I will always say you do want to tackle the debt with the highest interest rate first So any extra money that you're allocating I always like to put it towards the highest interest because that's the one That the interest is eating [00:15:00] up your payments because your money is going to the interest and not the principal balance.

So , my process is listing all of my debt out in order, , from highest to lowest for interest rate and then any extra money I'll put towards that highest interest. And then once that's paid off, then I'll reallocate that money to the second highest interest and so forth until it's all gone. But I do think credit card debt should be most people's focus just because naturally out of all the debts, that one typically has the highest interest rate.

And that totally makes sense. So no, I think, thanks for like kind of clarifying that. I think that's really awesome. . I would love to know though, like when it comes to actually implementing this, what are some of your favorite tools or resources that you really recommend using to make this a little bit easier for people?

For sure. So if we're looking at our pyramid, I'll kind of take you through some of the tools that I use as we go up the pyramid. So. When it comes to budgeting, I love this tool called Monarch Money. , it's a budgeting tool that allows you to set up those buckets that we talked about, and it gives you a visual of where your money is going and gives you [00:16:00] notifications around like, okay, you're overspending, underspending, where you can reallocate.

So that's an awesome one. That's Monarch Money. , when it comes to saving, my favorite savings. High yield savings account specifically is wealthfront the reason being when you're looking for a high yield savings account You want to find the account that gives you the highest apy? And wealthfront has a five percent or more apy which is essentially equating to how much interest you're going to get off of your money And so wealthfront Hands down has been my favorite just because the returns are much higher and then when we think about investing Definitely love vanguard as my brokerage We talked about index funds and when you're choosing a place to invest your money You want to choose an account that has a lot of money?

, low fees, especially when it comes to index fund. Vanguard was like the starter of index funds, so they naturally have the lowest fees. So you get to keep more of your money in your pocket. So, , I love investing in Vanguard. All those accounts that I mentioned, the 401k, the Roth, the [00:17:00] tax on brokerage can all be opened in Vanguard.

, so I would say those are kind of like my top three, , tools that I use to kind of track my money. Awesome. And you said you had a resource at some point in which the people can download and kind of get more information on some of your favorite tools as well. Yes, I sure do. It's called the five must have tools to reach financial freedom.

And they, , are the, all the tools that I use to get to where I am and the tools that my clients use. , you'll find everything from budgeting, saving, investing, , a lot more things that we, , outside of what we just discussed. So you'll definitely want to download that, um, and check out all the tools to kind of help you on your financial freedom journey.

Awesome. And we will have that linked for anyone listening in the show notes. So please, please take a look at that. Shawnee put a lot of work into it and there's so much wealth there. So we just went over so much today and Shawnee, thank you so much for everything you've shared. For people listening who are interested in kind of figuring out like where to kind of start this journey. , what advice would you have to maybe help them get [00:18:00] started, whether that's something mindset related or something practical, like what do you think is kind of the best first way to start tackling this?

I would say be consistent in one area. So try to find the area where you really want to like level up. Maybe that's the investing area. And really just go all in on that. I would say with investing time is your greatest asset. So the sooner you get invested, the faster your money can grow and the more it can grow.

So if I were to say to start anywhere, it would be to start with investing. , again, you can get started with as little as 1. , just want to start with something, , to get it moving and to just see the results. Once you see the results, you will be sold on it.

And so I would just say, be consistent in it because it's going to take time, just like it took time to build your business. , investing is the same way. It's not like an overnight success. So I would just say, be consistent, , and consistently invest. I love that. We're all about consistency here, right?

It's like going to the gym. You won't see results unless you're consistent. You could be consistent for a short amount of time, but it's [00:19:00] all about doing it in the long run. So I love that. Shawnee, thank you so much for being here today for people who want to connect with you or potentially work with you, where, where can they find you?

Yes. Well, thank you so much for having me. You can find me on all social channels at Shawnee Tanay. That's S H A N I T E N E on all channels. I'm mostly over on Instagram. I post content. All about wealth building on there on YouTube. , and, , news news. This is like breaking news. Essentially. I'm, , have a podcast out, , called eternal wealth.

, so you can also find me on all streaming platforms there. Awesome. We'll have that linked as well. So thank you so much, Johnny, for everything you just shared today. And for everyone listening, we'll see you next week.

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