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‘I Don't Have to Make Money Anymore': NYT Bestselling Author of ‘You Are a Badass' 10 Years Later

Courtesy of Jen Sincero

A decade after publishing the New York Times bestselling book "You Are a Badass," author Jen Sincero still doesn't always feel like she's "made it."

"I vacillate between feeling like I've totally 'made it' and that I am nowhere," Sincero tells CNBC Make It. "Not that I'm nowhere, but that there's so much further I could go."

The success of "You Are a Badass" and Sincero's subsequent series including the 2017 follow-up, "You Are a Badass at Making Money," helped Sincero go from earning less than $30,000 to "making seven figures as an author and success coach," according to her book.

"The fact that I'm not motivated by financial reasons so much anymore has been utterly unheard of for who I was for the largest part of my life," Sincero says. "That was always my motivation for being ambitious and working hard. And then all of a sudden I'm like, I don't have to make money anymore."

Financial freedom has shifted her focus

Sincero, like many of us, says before she found success, money was her motivation. How she spent her time was often determined by what an activity would cost or how much she could earn from the experience.

Having the freedom to do what she wants has been one of the best things about having money, Sincero says. And contrary to the idea that building wealth will make you more money-centric, her financial success has done the opposite.

"When you're broke, all you think about is money because every decision you make is based on how much money you do or don't have," Sincero says. "I rarely really think about money that much."

After achieving financial freedom, she "spent a good year just watching birds and doing crossword puzzles," Sincero says. It took a bit of time for her to recalibrate and find her new "why."

"Now my motivation is, is it fun?" she says. "Is it gonna give me energy or deplete my energy? And does it have meaning? That's the filter that I run everything through these days."

Now Sincero can 'give back' ...

One of the best parts of having disposable income has been the ability to give generously to charities she's passionate about, Sincero says. She has always considered herself a fairly generous person, but the freedom to show that even more through has been a wonderful experience.

"[Having money] allows me to be more authentic because I'm able to take care of my friends and the people I love better," Sincero says. "I'm able to give back, give to charity and just express my generosity in ways that I was really pinched off with when I didn't have money."

... and develop new talents

Her attitude towards money can feel strange or illogical. At times, Sincero finds herself having strange hang-ups spending on items that are cheap. 

"I'm better at paying big chunks of money than I am at little chunks of money," Sincero says. "I'll spend hours researching the best wooden spoon online, but I'll plunk down 10 grand to fix the fence in my backyard — that doesn't bother me that much. It's weird, it makes no sense."

But money has also allowed Sincero to explore parts of herself she didn't know were there and develop exciting new talents. 

"I have a real taste for design. I did not know that," Sincero says. "I'd never owned a house before, I never could afford anything. But I bought this house and renovated the crap out of it and loved the design process and architecture and all that stuff — I had no idea that was in me."

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