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EP 67: From Reformed Shopaholic to Thriving Entrepreneur, Melissa Houston, CPA / CGA

This week on The Millionaire Choice Show, Tony talks with Melissa Houston, Founder of, which is an educational website and resource for entrepreneurs who are looking for personal finance, business finance, and all-around business information.

About Melissa

I’m a Certified Public Accountant, but not the kind you find in a sterile office building, wearing a drab suit, handing you cold coffee in a styrofoam cup.

I’m also a Certified Life Coach and woman entrepreneur, just like you.

I understand the tightrope of bringing in revenue, and needing to spend money to make that money. Just like a houseplant, businesses need water (aka: dollar bills) to grow.

But when those dollar spills start spraying everywhere like a broken hose - leaking away into expensive masterminds and programs and Facebook ads and fancy branded websites and team members you kinda-but-don’t-really need - then you’ve got a PROFIT problem.

I know what it’s like, because even as a money professional - I once dug myself into $100k of debt. And now my mission is to help women entrepreneurs like you keep more of the money they make, and manage that money wisely and powerfully.

How did a CPA get herself into $100k of debt???

Gulp. Here goes.

Let me start by saying that I’ve been helping people manage their money for more than 20 years.

Yes, I said TWENTY.

I’ve devoured every personal finance book. My husband and I followed our financial plan rigidly, for years.

And then… it all fell apart.

It didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow unraveling, and likely why it was so difficult for me to see the problem. It began with the weekend shopping trips with the girls to buy stuff I didn’t really want, or need.

A handbag here, a piece of jewelry there. Individually, the purchases were fine. Splurges, but nothing to be alarmed about. But over time that dollar amount climbed into red alert territory - blossoming into a full-blown spending spree from hell—with lots of baby steps (and purchases) in-between.

But my shame and anxiety didn’t cause me to stop. I decided to suppress those uncomfortable feelings with… more shopping.

Pinterest became my new addiction. I spent many sleepless nights scrolling all the beautiful boards, searching for ways to upgrade my home decor. In a particularly devious move, I even convinced my husband we needed a pool for the backyard. We didn’t. And large renovations mean spending mountains of cash, and this renovation didn’t add any value to our home. A sunk cost, indeed.

The risky behavior continued. That jolt of excitement, the sugar candy high I’d get from shopping was too much to resist.

And then… the credit ran out.

I could no longer hide my shameful secret from my husband. My financial infidelity was exposed, and all of the “highs” I experienced through shopping felt so inconsequential.

Facing my husband’s disappointment made me realize that I never wanted this to happen again.

But I couldn’t lean on the old financial advice - all of the things I already knew, yet still got myself into this position.

I needed to find a different kind of support.

I hired a health coach, not to help with my crushing debt - but to work on my weight. While I expected to shed some pounds, what I didn’t expect was that I was really shedding toxic emotions and feelings.

And then I realized that my excessive spending wasn’t about the money, or the weight. I was overcompensating for other things I didn’t feel good about. My life seemed “okay” from the outside - great husband, kids, job, friends.

Nothing was “off,” yet something was definitely off.

I realized after a lot of reflection and deep coaching work that I wasn’t living my purpose. I’d always wanted to start a business, and now I had a mission - wanting to help women just like me to take control of their finances and their emotions around money. But I wasn’t able to do that trapped in a job, working for someone else’s mission.


Today, I work with women entrepreneurs and help them manage their money and profit more. My guidance and advice has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other high-profile spaces.

“But most importantly, I help women entrepreneurs deal with their deep-seated emotions around money and their relationship with money. I love creating a safe container for these conversations, a place where women don’t feel judged.”

I know what it’s like to hold onto shame around money, and I know how powerful it is to release that shame. Most of us have emotions tied to our money, and that’s completely okay. What’s not okay is ignoring those emotions, and bottling them up until they explode into $100k of debt, or worse.

Now that I’m firmly on the other side of this transformation, I can tell you that this work is worth it. When you take control of your money, and your emotions around it, you’ll operate more wisely and powerfully.

Find out more about Melissa Houston at

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