How to Live Beyond Rich and Awesome

When I first “bumped” into Jen McDonough on the 48 Days Forum, I could feel her energy leap right through the computer screen.  It’s hard to believe this gal used to be a sedentary couch potato, because she’s completed an Ironman and marathon.  She turned her experience into a book, Living Beyond Awesome, in which she shares her story and teaches others how to tap into the awesomeness in their lives.

Another marathon that Jen has experienced is the challenging road to paying off $150,000 of debt and $30,000 in medical bills.  She and her husband Bob took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course  and set up a plan to manage their money. In one year alone, they racked up 10 different 1099’s and little by little, they paid down their debt.

In the beginning, it definitely wasn’t easy.  Doubt, fear and worry clouded their minds. “Finances affect more than just your checkbook–there’s a lot of emotions attached to that,” said Jen.  “Sometimes when you’re deep into a situation, you tend to focus on what you can’t do instead of what you can do. When you put the ‘poor me/victim’ situation aside and really look at what you can do, it opens up a realm of solutions. Those solutions give hope.”

Three and half years after starting their new financial journey, their lives have changed so much for the better. They implemented what they call “Intentional Living,” making every purchase and payment with intention.  This didn’t apply just to their finances– they lived with intention in every aspect of their lives.  “It taught us to view our purchases in hourly increments,” said Jen.  “For example, that $20 item at Wal-Mart was 2 1/2 hours of work. Every extra dollar we earned was tossed at our debt, which made us incredibly laser-focused on knocking out each debt.”

Jen went on to share more:

Our lives now are completely different than when we first started.  Insted of living in fear, embarrassment and shame– now we are living an incredible life filled with abundance.  Our lives were transformed  Material things mean nothing now and relationships mean more–I focus on that.    I focus on life  as a family.  Our time is very intentional now;  we don’t do the wasteful things we used to do to keep busy.  Our family has grown stronger.   We are intentional givers and this has  lead to incredible abundance.  It’s been a great lesson for all of us.

Bob still delivers pizza.  I am focused on building my speaking business and workshops and I’m  writing a third book.   I’m working in my passion with intention. The things I’m working on today are setting me up for future success. I’m happy to  be doing what I’m passionate about.  We all need goals to strive for.

I don’t believe we are supposed to live the status quo.  When you’re working in your passion, it doesn’t feel like work.  Passion gives you energy– it excites you.   You can live a life of passion;  your ‘impossible’ can become possible when you take intentional action. Hopes and dreams can become a reality when you put them into action.

Jen has generously given me a copy of her books, Living Beyond Awesome and Living Beyond Rich to give away to a reader.  Leave a comment by Sunday, December 9 at midnight on this post sharing how you plan to live beyond awesome and rich in 2013.


Jen blogs at:  The Iron Jen


living beyond awesome and living beyond rich


Leave a comment
  • Hi Karen!

    My plan for 2013 is to complete my 3rd marathon and stay focused on doing things that benefit my mental and physical healthy. As you well know, my year will include tons of time barefooting with my family. My motivation is there is always time for everything you need to plan your day to fit it all in and stop making excuses why you cannot do it. Life is too short not to enjoy each and every moment of the day! I strive to make a difference in one person's life each day. That is one reason I love being a teacher and a coach.

    Great article! Talk to you soon!

    PS buying 5 copies of Gliding Soles :)

  • Tina, your third marathon-- whoohooo!!! Love the advice you give in your comment-- so true!

    Hope you enjoy Gliding Soles-- let me know your thoughts on that one!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Karen Putz:

    Hi Karen, I hope I am not too late in the prize giveaway as you said Sunday midnight which is tonight but Dec 8th is yesterday. I would follow the former. I tried to post a comment but it was closed so I am replying with the hopes that you would honor the former, not latter. :)

    To live beyond rich and awesome in 2013, I strive to keep it simple with wants shopping. I was cleaning out my closet and realized that I had too many good clothes that I didn't need to add any more for a long while. How long is a long while? It'd depend on my determination. We will focus more on retirement savings and college funding, as in two years, all of our three daughters will be in college. Plus spending quality time with our family and friends.

    Happy 2013!

  • fb_avatar

    One of my blessings along the journey has been YOU! I am SO THANKFUL to the crew for connecting us - it has been totally energizing and I am in awe of you!
    LOVE your new book Gliding Soles and so proud of what you are doing and what you have done! LOVED getting to chat with you during our interview - you are a hoot!
    Thank you for the wonderful blog - I am honored! While the journey seemed long and tough in the beginning, it has been so incredible to have gotten to do. Wouldn't want to have gone through it again, but wouldn't have missed it for the world.
    MANY thanks my friend!
    Live Beyond Awesome.
    Twitter: TheIronJen

  • In reply to Jen McDonough:

    Also received a comment from Jean Modry from Chicago but she was unable to post. So using this as a submission as well.

  • In reply to Jen McDonough:

    Thank you Jen, for sharing your books! I've really enjoyed them and I can't wait to share it. According to, the books will go to Tanya/Steve Hammersmith.

    I can't wait to see how the rest of your journey unfolds in the years ahead!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Karen Putz:

    Congrats Tanya and Steve!!!

    ahhh...thanks Karen! I have a funny feeling we will be bumping into each other many times along this fun journey my friend! Anxious to see how your unfolds as well.
    MANY blessings and thanks!

Leave a comment