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Author Jen Sincero's Tips For Making Money

What Goats (Yes, Goats) Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

Image Source: Heather Gildroy
While writing her hugely successful self-help book You Are a Badass, author and life coach Jen Sincero stayed in a California farmhouse — ostensibly for the peace and quiet, but what she found instead were inspiring financial lessons from an unlikely source: goats. She includes these lessons in her follow-up book, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, all about achieving financial abundance and security.

Keep reading for the laugh-out-loud hilarious excerpt and find out how we can live more like goats, become our "badassiest selves," and grow richer.

"I wrote the first You Are a Badass book while I was staying on a farm in northern California. The deal was I could have the entire 17-acre paradise, complete with beautiful sunny house and views in all directions, if I took care of their horse and two goats. I'm a little scared of horses (and don't you need a special license or degree or something to take care of an animal that large?) and knew nothing about goats other than that they can chew through cans, but I loved the place, and I love animals, and staying there ended up being one of my favorite chunks of time ever.

I'd spend my days sitting on the couch in front of the giant windows, typing on my laptop while gazing out at Diablo Mountain. The goats spent their days sitting on the porch in front of the sliding glass door, gazing at me, waiting in vain to be let inside. Sometimes they'd get up and chase the horse around the yard or run full speed into each other's heads, but for the most part they'd just glare at me with their weird goatly eyes, aggressively chewing their cud, insulted and unamused by their outdoor-only status. Every so often, when they just could not believe I still hadn't gotten up and invited them in, they'd take matters into their own hands and hurl themselves against the glass or get up on their hind legs and pound it with their hooves.

Image Source: StockSnap / Darius Anton
One day while I was off in town shopping, I returned home after about five hours to find the horse standing in the driveway by himself. Although he was truly one of the biggest horses I'd ever laid eyes on, he was also one of the neediest, and was rarely, if ever, more than 20 feet away from his goats.

"What are you doing out here all by yourself?" I asked him as I got out of the car, pausing to listen to the familiar sound of goat hooves banging against a glass door. My first thought was how strange it was that they'd be trying to get in when I wasn't home (they were equally as needy about me as the horse was about them). My second thought was Holy. F*cking. Sh*t.

I realized they weren't trying to get in. They were trying to get out.

In a slow-motion sprint, I ran up to the house, let myself in, shoved the goats out, and did my best to shut and barricade the newly compromised door. I then proceeded to stand frozen, with my hands over my mouth, uttering "Oh my God" over and over and over as I took in the sight before me.

It was like witnessing the aftermath of a particularly debauched fraternity party full of amateur drinkers — epic, shocking, and so staggeringly horrible you can't help but look even though you really don't want to.

The goats had finally made the impossible dream come true by knocking the sliding glass door off its track and bursting through the screen, which subsequently closed on its own, trapping them inside with nothing else to do but completely destroy the place for five delirious hours. Their handiwork involved knocking over every single potted plant, smashing the planters and kicking dirt, planter, and plant debris in an impressively wide radius. They pulled the dish towel off the counter that I had glasses drying on, thereby shattering glass all over the place. Then there was the pooping and pissing party, which took place on every single piece of furniture and in every imaginable corner. They excreted their excrement on my bed, the white couch, the coffee table, the dining-room table, the bench in the hallway, and inside my shower. There was such an incredible volume of urine, in fact, I imagined that they somehow must have waved the horse inside so he could get in on the fun too. For their grand finale, they hopped up and down and knocked nearly every single piece of artwork off the wall onto the floor. I mean, who thinks to do that?

My first reaction was shock, but I have to admit, after that I was pretty damn impressed. They really did a great, thorough job. We could all learn a thing or two from their tireless commitment to detail and the pride they so clearly took in their work.

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Here are some secrets to success that the goats modeled beautifully:

  • Chewing, kicking, stampeding through any obstacles in their paths.
  • Pooh-poohing the rules.
  • Dreaming. Bigger than goats are told they can dream.
  • Never taking no for an answer.
  • Following their hearts no matter what.
  • Not stopping until they reached their goal.

It opened up a whole new world for them, literally and metaphorically. They transcended their Outdoor Farm Animals status and became Creatures Who've Experienced Thousand-Thread-Count Sheets. They were forever changed. What this meant was that they became colossal pains in the ass, and more destructive than any goat has ever been, which is saying something. Drunk with power on their victory and newfound mindset that anything they desire is possible, they broke through the gate and started terrorizing the neighborhood on a regular basis. They began jumping all over people's parked cars, tried to break and enter any sliding glass door they happened upon, tore down bird feeders, obliterated gardens, and chased after small dogs, all the while maniacally screaming, yelling, laughing, and pissing wherever they pleased, like a pair of carousing psychopaths. I quickly got the gate fixed, patched all the holes in the fence surrounding the property, and covered my car in giant slabs of plywood to keep them off it, but the horse and I never looked at the goats the same way again. We were both kinda in awe.

Doubts, fears, and other people's rules are no match for a heart on a mission.

In order to become rich, you must connect to your desire for money with the passion of a goat who wants in off the porch. And the key to doing this is by getting clear on the specifics around your Why: Why do you desire this money? What will you spend it on? How will it feel to make it, spend it, and bask in the manifestation of your ever so important Why? Just wanting to get rich isn't going to cut it — there has to be meaning behind the money or else the second it gets hard or expensive or someone tells you you're high if you think you can get rich by selling your homemade ice cream, you'll slink back to your goat pen of complacency instead of doing whatever it takes. Start by thinking about what inspired you to pick up this book. How is more money going to add value to your life? How will getting rich change who you're being in the world? Which of your gifts are you the most excited to share in exchange for money? Where do you feel you bring the most value to your fellow earthlings? How does it feel to share your biggest, badassiest self with others?

If you're going to make more money, you need to get in touch with the emotions surrounding your incentive for making it, because emotions are what drive you to action. And if you're going to make the kind of money you've never made before, you're going to have to do a whole lotta stuff you ain't never done before, which will scare and challenge (and excite) the crap out of you. So you're going to want to be real fired up about getting rich and very clear about why it's so important to you."

From You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Good Witch LLC.

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