Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

My Relationship With Money

Joya Dass
3 min readFeb 19, 2021


Today I’m on Linda Ruffenach’s @westateofmind podcast. I publish the answers here

What was your first job?

My parents had enrolled me in an expensive private college. But they had failed to save for the expensive private college and they didn’t tell me.

Second semester sophomore year, I went to register for my classes. I remember going with a sense of dread in my stomach. I always knew things energetically before they happened. The registrar looked me square in the face and said, “There is an outstanding balance for last semester and there is another for this semester. You can’t register.”

I was marched into the office of the CFO. He promptly also reminded me that I couldn’t go to class. See the thing was that I was a product of a home of domestic violence. I knew from a young age, that I would leave and never meaningfully return. I had left. I was away. In college. I couldn’t go back. The only way — was forward. I wrote a lot of letters, saying I want to be a tv anchor will you help me. I don’t have the money.

Long story short. I got a scholarship that funded half of my tuition. I jerry rigged a series of loans to fund the other half, including a private loan from the college.

So my first job was in college, working at the media center at Bucknell. The Weiss Center as a manager. And admissions as a tour guide.

I had three mini jobs that added up to a one paycheck.

What did that teach you about money?

Life is happening for you. Not to you.

That college story was a gift. It taught me the stewardship over my own finances.

I grew up in a home that was financially insecure. My parents thrived on debt. Never saving for a rainy day. Spending to keep up with the Joneses. For many years, I thought my worth was tied up in the material.

With no relationships in television, I took every opportunity to break in. Going to graduate school for journalism and networking. Taking out a loan to do it. Moving to Washington DC for an internship. Taking out a loan to do it. The money wasn’t the factor. It was about moving forward. I didn’t take agency over the negotiation process. I was just so happy to be invited to the table. I took whatever people gave me.

I made a big quantum leap by leaving at 18 and making my own way. The early days were dark days. Pulling money from my coin jar to cobble enough money together to take the subway. Borrowing from friends. Living on almonds.

For years I was married to the story that I was a fantastic survivor. But I couldn’t THRIVE at making money. When I look at Whitney Wolfe Herd (founder of Bumble) going public with her company, I think “I couldn’t do that.”

Now I say, I couldn’t do that — — yet.

Today, I believe that I deserve wealth. I work hard for it. I know my worth and know how to gracefully ask for it.

That change in thinking took writing it down. Journaling about it. Working with a healer. Thinking actively about the 5 people I surround myself with. Are those 5 people challenging me to grow in my abundance thinking?

What does the word “wealth” mean to you?

Money is working for you

Passive income


Peace of mind

What is your personal passion?

Writing, travel, and scotch

What is the greatest lesson you have learned in life?

Everything comes down to focus, faith, mindset.

What strategies have you used to manage your personal wealth?

Now that I have a partner, for the first time in my life, I have money in the bank. I’m planning for retirement.

I’m 48. I’ve cleared all of my debt except for my student loans

Go back to the first week of running your business, what advice would you give yourself?

Charge for your time! Your time is worth something

I was such a doer. Know your data.

I run a women’s leadership movement. If you would like to join as a member or join any of my speaker events, email me at



Joya Dass

If you have a goal and want the steps to make it your reality, I have a solution.