Smart Cookies • DENVER, CO
Sandra Grahame of Smart Cookies was born in Calgary and spent many years moving between Canada and the United States. She recalls that even from a young age she has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and one day this spirit would become a career path. Sandra studied psychology in college and worked in Public Relations post grad. It was her time working in PR that Sandra stumbled into a group of women looking to better understand and manage their finances. This work became the successful business that is Smart Cookies.
Smart cookies is dedicated to inspiring people to make and meet their life-changing financial goals. These goals range from investing to paying off debt, starting a business and more. Sandra and her team work hard to make these dreams come true for her clients. How did Sandra and a group of friends do this for themselves? That is where her story becomes especially unique.
Oprah’s Debt Diet
While working in PR, a coworker and friend of Sandra said she had come across a new Oprah series called the Debt Diet. When asked if she wanted to join a book-club-type-group but for financial topics, Sandra jumped on the opportunity. While these women weren’t in terrible financial shape, each had goals and wanted to better understand finances. In one year this group of women collectively paid off $100,000 worth of debt. The success was so substantial that the women were asked to join Oprah to showcase their success story.
The group didn’t realize they would be on the stage with Oprah. Then during the commercial break, stools were placed on set and the women were asked to take their seats. From that point the women became well known for their success and soon after for their book Making More Dough.
From Friends to Business Partners
It’s important to note that these five women had yet to create Smart Cookies until after their appearance on Oprah. At the time, they were just five women who had managed to successfully reach major financial goals. The business itself was born in 2007. The mission of Smart Cookies has remained the same over a decade later. Smart Cookies focuses on the positive side of personal finance. In a mutual decision, Sandra eventually took the business over from the other women as they pursued other careers and she dove deeper into growing Smart Cookies.
Smart Cookies: Then and Now
From its early years, Smart Cookies was a pioneer in the online course world. Creating online programs was uncommon and much harder to navigate than today. While this style of coaching was new, it quickly became a success.
Smart Cookies offers a free live webinar series as well as paid courses that go into more depth about creating and managing financial goals.
Over the years the pillars of this business have remained the same. Sandra starts by walking new people through a “day well lived” model. Clients talk about what their best day looks like, before diving into the numbers behind that. This is followed by a “spending awareness” module to discover where their money is going. “It shocks them,” Sandra explains. From here, members of the Smart Cookies community create a spending plan for personal finances. Sandra focuses her clients on funding their goals first.
The Smart Cookies community is an encouraging group working toward a common goal. While people come from different political and socioeconomic backgrounds, they are all able to encourage one another through this commonality.