EPISODE 68: Melissa “The Coach” Thomas – From $43,000 in Debt to Meeting Elton John In Person

Welcome to the How Did You Get Started Show with Felicia Slattery! We air live in the Talk 92.3 FM / AM 760 Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee each Saturday morning at 11:30 AM – Noon Eastern Time. If you’re interested in sponsoring the show, contact Felicia on her contact page here. You can call the studio with a question for Felicia or our guests at: 865-888-8255 and listen live from anywhere around the world right here:

Now, ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST:

Today’s show is all about setting an audacious goal that gets you excited about life, being honest with yourself, and doing what you need to do to reach your goals.

Melissa The Coach Thomas became debt free so she could pursue her dream of meeting Elton John. Talk about a specific (and wild!) goal!

In October of 2017, she checked that item off her bucket list – to see and meet Elton John in Vegas when she attended her 37th and 38th Elton John concerts, making a total of 38 concerts in 25 years! (Now up to 47 and counting, I believe!)

What’s the number one thing Melissa The Coach says she’s learned over the years?

Time and Money no longer have to be obstacles to pursuing your dream.

We all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. How do you spend your time pursuing your dream? Giving, saving, spending, planning are all important aspects of personal finance.

Melissa Thomas, who goes by Melissa The Coach, says she struggled with all of those areas.

Her story begins with hitting financial rock bottom in December of 2009. Since then, she’s not only learned how to manage her money better, but she’s learned how to manage her time. Often, she is asked, “How do you find the time to do everything that you do?” Her answer is simple – “I don’t ‘find’ time, I make the time.” Melissa lives by scheduled systems she has created for her personal life, her business life, and her family life. She says, “I control my life, life does not control me.”

Melissa The Coach is a coach, a speaker, and an author.

She coaches the way she lives – to use money as a tool to have experiences, not debts. This means creating a budget that works for your family.

Her first book, Building My Yellow Brick Road: Life Lessons from Pursuing a Dream is a memoir of the 25 years she spent pursuing her dream to meet Elton John in person.

Melissa The Coach says she believes in the power of discovering your God-given dream, pursuing that and letting nothing stand in your way! (I concur 100%!)

In order to reach her dream, she had to be focused and disciplined. As a result, Melissa The Coach has been building better budgets since 2010, when she started with her own family’s financial mess. Up until that time, she and her husband were living paycheck to paycheck, had no money in savings and no plan for their financial future (lots of people can relate to this). She also discovered they had just over $43,000 of debt, NOT including their mortgage.

Like many people, her family made enough money, they just did not manage it well.

So Melissa found a reason to think differently about money and get out of debt.
Her dream of meeting Elton John became more important than the debt.

That’s her, sitting at Elton John’s piano. Yes, she’s wearing a shirt covered in sequins which is way outside of her normal wardrobe of jeans or khakis, a polo shirt, and her Doc Martens or “Chucks.”

What else was way outside of her comfort zone? Acknowledging her financial mess, making a decision to become debt free and creating a plan to accomplish that task.

It seemed crazy at the time – getting out of debt and actually following a budget is not the norm of our society. It’s weird and yes, it’s crazy.

But making that crazy decision, led to another crazy decision –
She started her own company as the sole owner and operator of Melissa the Coach.
She’s learned a lot about helping people overcome their financial struggles since she’s become an entrepreneur. She’s also learned a lot about herself, too. Mostly that being a business owner is not the only thing that defines who she is.

Melissa “The Coach” Thomas is a wife, a mom, a dog rescuer and an avid sports fan (football is considered the “5th Season” in her house), and she’s in a constant state of personal development. It’s not unusual for her to be reading two or three books at once and she prefers cooking over baking.

Melissa wants everyone to be debt free and learn how to manage their money so they can use it as a tool to pursue dreams, help others, and build a solid financial future.

On September 27, 2013, she made her last payment on the debt her family owed and successfully completed a major part of her debt free journey – she paid off $43, 544 of consumer debt; 6 credit cards, 2 vehicle loans, and a student loan.

Later that day, she called in to The Dave Ramsey Show – check it out here:

She’s been debt free ever since and she accomplished her dreams. Since becoming debt free, she and her family have saved and paid cash for two new-to-them vehicles, a complete kitchen renovation, vacation and yes, she’s now averaging three Elton John concerts a year instead of one a year. Check out her Melissa The Coach website, pick up her book, and give her a call if you have a wild dream and you’re not sure how to get there financially.


Do you have our book yet? PICK UP THE AMAZON #1 BEST-SELLING “HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?” BOOK. JUST CLICK THE BOOK: