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This Financial Coach Only Understood the Value of Her Work After Her Husband Took His Own Life Heidi McNulty has incorporated the difficult lessons she's learned into a successful financial coaching business.

By Anna David

Key Takeaways

  • Heidi McNulty and her family endured tragedy after her husband took his life in front of them.
  • McNulty how incorporates mental health into her financial coaching business.
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Photo courtesy of Heidi McNulty

Heidi McNulty had it made.

Growing up in a house where her parents lived paycheck-to-paycheck, often fighting about money, she was determined to become financially self-supporting.

After leaving home at 17, she did just that.

While there were some lessons to learn along the way—particularly when she lost $52,000 the first time she flipped a house—by the age of 35, she had it all: a husband, three happy kids, and a net worth of $12 million.

Then, the unthinkable happened: her husband Rick, in the midst of a PTSD episode, killed himself in front of her and their children.

A silver lining amidst the darkest of clouds

Because she had spent so much time building wealth, McNulty didn't have to worry about money in the months after Rick's death. This left her and her kids plenty of time and resources to recover.

"I had time to just focus a hundred percent on healing and a hundred percent on my kids' wellbeing," McNulty says. "We did a lot of things to honor their dad's memory, but also did a lot of counseling."

And that healing softened her.

"The best way I can describe it is that I was a very intense, intimidating, strong businesswoman," she says. "I would walk into a room and control the energy and control the room…I don't think that I had any empathy, and now I would say I'm probably one of the most empathetic people you'll meet."

McNulty felt ready to start dating. About eight months after Rick's death, she signed up for Tinder. A tattooed life coach whose profile focused on mental health and wellbeing messaged her. The two met for breakfast "and we've pretty much been together 24-7 since." (McNulty and "the tattooed guy," Robert Eastman, married earlier this year.)

Wealth and mental health

After finding stability, McNulty decided the time had come to use her experience to help others.

And so the longtime financial coach incorporated her experience and knowledge into her new bestseller, Buying Time: A Young Person's Guide to Building Wealth and Fulfillment. She also decided to incorporate mental health practices into the financial coaching she was already doing.

"I help clients create a game plan of what investments most interest them and how to accomplish that with daily budgeting and things like that so that they can reach your financial goals," she says. "But I tie those to some mental health practices, such as daily gratitude lists."

McNulty adds, "Mental health plays into our finances. There are much better ways to make ourselves feel better than to spend money."

Anna David

Host of Fail Your Way to Success Podcast

Anna David is one of the world's leading experts on how entrepreneurs can build a business from a book. A NYT bestselling author of eight books, she's also the founder of Legacy Launch Pad Publishing and host of the Fail Your Way to Success podcast. 

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