Ex Wall Street Analyst Turned Author Madeleine Henry Shares About Why She Cashed Out and Left it All Behind

Show Notes

Ex-analyst turned author of Breathe In, Cash Out, Madeleine Henry gives an inside look at Wall Street and what goes on in some of the nation’s top-tier investment banks—and why more and more people are leaving it behind.

Breathe In, Cash Out: A Novel

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing Madeleine Henry! Madeleine, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show. How are you mam?!
  2. Madeleine, you worked at Goldman Sachs in New York City after graduating from Yale before deciding to leave it all behind…I would love to hear about your childhood…when did you decide that you wanted to attend Yale?
    1. The first stage of life is emulation and so I emulated people around me
  3. What influenced your decision to want to work in the world of investment banking?
    1. When I decided to become an investment banker, I was still emulating.
    2. A large amount of Ivy League students go into investment banking or consulting.
    3. Investment banking is a very demanding path to take.
    4. You work around the clock
    5. You are always on call and if a client has a request, at any time, you have to be there to serve them.
    6. One of the worst parts is that you get 4-6 weeks of training and when you get into the business, it is the dead season.
    7. People get there at 9:00 AM and are there until 10:00 PM
  4. When did you realize that you investment banking was not something that you wanted to continue to be involved in?
    1. Writing has always been a part of my life. I would write a novel every year in college.
    2. I had a few agents interested in my book and I got lucky because I worked at Goldman Sachs. 
  5. I would love for you to share about the best and worst parts of working in investment banking? 
  6. When did you decide that it was time for you to leave investment banking?
  7. I would love for you to share what you now do as a career?
  8. My understanding is that you now have over 30,000 people following your program…is that correct and how did you build your platform?
    1. I just sold my second book a few weeks ago
      1. I have written a full book and my agent sold it to a publisher
    2. I have a yoga practice
    3. I don’t teach but I share my practice with everyone on instagram
    4. I started posting to my personal instagram
    5. I was told that I needed to post my yoga content outside of my profile
    6. I started a page and posted there
    7. I grew a following and that is how it all happened
  9. What is your favorite pose in yoga?
    1. A backbend
    2. A standing split
  10. How do you get paid?
    1. I stayed at my full-time job until I had a publishing contract
  11. Madeleine what first inspired you to write your book, Breathe In, Cash Out?
    1. I had experience in investment banking and in yoga. They are polar opposites in many ways
    2. I really enjoyed writing the story and it was a lot of fun
    3. You have to set a long term goal.
    4. Transitioning takes a very long time. It took me years to get from thinking about the book to selling the book.
    5. Be prepared to invest a lot to change the direction of your life.
  12. For our listeners out there who are going to go out and purchase your book, Breathe In, Cash Out…what can they explain to find within your book?
  13. What do your days typically look like now that you are out of the investment banking game?
  14. Madeleine Henry, you come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
    1. I get up at 6:15 AM every day
    2. I get coffee
    3. I work on high intellectual things in the morning.
  15. Do you miss investment banking?
    1. It was more social and it was a bigger group
    2. Being an author is a lot less social
  16. What was your biggest victory in investment banking?
    1. Friendships
  17. Why would you recommend yoga to anyone in the world?
    1. You learn the importance of love for each other and yourself
  18. What are a few of the daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
    1. When you are consistent, you build habits that have a large effect in the long run

Madeleine Henry Thrivetime Show Slides

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Audio Transcription

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On today’s show we have a great guest. We do and when you start a show off with four yeses, it just, it bodes well. Check this out. Our next guest is all about breathing in. Her name is Madeline. It’s breathe in cash out. And then what’d you do then? Cash out. Madeline, welcome onto the show. How are you?

I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.

Okay, you got me with the, with the, with the pithy headline. Talk to what the listeners out there. What is this concept of breathe in cash out?

Well that is the title of my new book comes out in July and it is about an investment banker who wants to be a Yogi. And so she’s in the last year of her contract there and she’s just breathing in grinning and bearing it and cashing out before she can quit with the money. She earned there to be a yoga instructor.

Now you had to say that you call it a Yogi Yogi.

Yeah, you can. That’s a person who does yoga is,

oh, I did not know that. Yeah. See what you learn, listening to the thrive time show clay, see what you’re, this is what we, we are learning things. Now let me tell you this though. Z Madeline metal metal knew you worked at Goldman Sachs, I believe in New York after graduating from Yale. Tell us about what made you decide to want to go to Yale.

Sure. Uh, so the way I think about it is that the first stage of life is emulation and you don’t really know who you are yet. And so you emulate the people around you. Um, and so my parents actually met at UW. They were both students there. They met in their first week as freshmen. Um, and I grew up with a lot of Yale school pride and so I always wanted to go to Yale. Um, I actually, in high school I went to Exeter and I had ex, I had Gail’s course curriculum printed out and taped to my wall. Um, and so I just wanted to go there for awhile.

Now were you a particularly good in school? I mean, did you score very high on tests at all? Debate, standardized tests or, or, uh, how did, how did you do in traditional school?

Uh, I was quite good at traditional school. I actually graduated second in my class in high school, so I was a pretty nerdy.

Now you, you then decided to go do work for Goldman Sachs. Um, had you always been interested in investment banking or what was that? Where did that interest come from?

Yeah, so that’s still in the emulation phase of life. The way I think about it. And so at Ivy League schools, a large portion of students who go into investment banking or consulting, uh, in 2017, 40% of Harvard went into finance or consulting. I went to Yale, similar statistic. And so what happens is these big banks and consulting firms, they come to campus every year toward the end of college. They interview us, they make it very easy to go through the application process. All your friends are getting interviewed and it just becomes a decision by Osmosis to go into that field.

Did you like investment banking? What was it like? A lot of our listeners have never worked in investment banking. What was that like?

Yeah, so it is, um, it’s a very demanding path to take in the same way that if you’re starting out at a prestigious law firm, you’re gonna work around the clock. Or if you’re a resident in a hospital, you’re gonna work around the clock. Um, it’s just very demanding. And something particular to investment banking is that you’re essentially always on call because it’s a client driven business. And so if a client has a request, uh, over the weekend or over a holiday or late at night, um, you really are there to serve them. And so you are essentially always on call.

And so what would be viewed as the take back about your time, uh, working at Goldman Sachs? What was the best part or maybe the were, what were the best in the worst parts about working in investment banking?

Yeah, so one of, uh, the worst parts is a little bit counterintuitive. And so, um, what happens is you join the workforce after you graduate college in the summer. And so you get four to six weeks of on the job training before you even sit at your desk at the bank. And then after you hit the desk in August, it happens to be a dead time for business. And so you actually don’t have any work yet at your first full time job and you’re not told why. And you don’t know if your peers have work and you don’t know when you’ll get work and there’s very little visibility, uh, but you also can’t leave before 10:00 PM to midnight because that’s not socially acceptable. Um, yeah, it’s, it’s something called base and it’s an unwritten rule that you just discern in the behavior of your peers that, okay, no one else is leaving. I can’t leave.

What time do you get there? What time you get getting there?

Uh, I think people tend to arrive between around 9:00 AM would be normal. Um, and so that to me was a strange time because you just are waiting for work and you feel ashamed for not being busy. And of course the pendulum swings the other way, but it’s very a strange time in your work experience.

So, so now you have 30,000 people, I believe following your, uh, your, your program. Can you tell listeners about your program and how you transitioned from working there at Goldman Sachs to what you’re doing now?

Absolutely. So right now I am a full time novelist and Yogi. And so, um, I actually just sold my second book a couple of weeks ago, which I’m very excited about. And I also have a yoga practice. So I do know I don’t teach, but I share my own practice on Instagram through Madeline Henri Yoga. And those are pictures of the poses that I am paying attention to and the wisdom that I’m trying to take to heart, the mantras. I mean I share that on Instagram right now and that’s, um, it’s not a money making opportunity, but it’s just part of my life that I, and a way that I connect with, um, fans.

What does it mean to sell a book? For the listeners out there that aren’t familiar with what you mean by that?

Sure. So, um, that means that I have written a full book and my agent then, uh, sold it to a publisher. And so the publisher, uh, put forward a contract that we have.

Nice. Okay. Well we have a young lady here, Dr Z, I’ll n n n on on the show, uh, in the booth here and Andrew, maybe you can adjust her mic a little bit there and make sure she’s good to go. She is the manager of our call center. Um, she does not work until a 10 o’clock at night, nor does she work at Goldman Sachs. She manages the elephant in the room, men’s grooming lounge, but she is Z. Check this out. She is an aspiring author. Yes. And in aspiring Yogi, am I correct? Oh, they’re might miking you. That’s horrible. How passive aggressive. Let me try that again. Is that correct? Absolutely. Okay, so Madeline meet daisy, daisy meet Madeline.

Madeline. Hi. It’s such an honor to get to talk to you today. I was told that you would be on the show and there’s so much about your story that resonates with me and I would love to get to kind of pick your brain because I am starting yoga teacher training in September. Oh. And I’m super excited. Um, but also as an aspiring author, I just, what was the turning point for you in your career where you’re like, this is not cutting it for me. The, the nine to five, the American dream, if you will. What was kind of the turning point that had you searching for Yoga and being an author instead?

Interesting. So for me, writing had always been a part of my life and different people are drawn to different ways to express themselves. So for some people it’s painting. For me it was writing. And so I’d always been a writer in college. Senior year, I actually wrote a novel each semester in a tutorial with a professor. Um, and so that’s just to say that I took it very seriously, uh, even when I was younger. And so I was lucky that I was then able to turn that hobby into a business. And so there wasn’t a turning point. It was just always lurking. And I guess you could say the inflection point was when I got an agent and I think that I was lucky to have a few agents interested in breathing and cash out because, um, it was a novel taking place in an investment bank and I had worked at Goldman Sachs and I think that to agents that was just, it’s, it was commercial. Um, and I got lucky for that reason. So that’s, um, that’s my story. It wasn’t a decision. It wasn’t, I didn’t have a pivotal experience. I’ve just always wanted to be a writer. And then I finally had the chance.

No, Madeline, uh, darker Z has a question for you here, but before, before I allow him to, to ask the question, I, I, a lot of times he’s an optometrist and he owns an auto auction in different businesses. He’s a 53 year old guy. He’s got three kids. I’m a 38 years old. I have five kids. And, and a lot of times is a, as a funny game. We will Mike each other without asking, you know, so he says you’re more than me. I don’t think I’ve ever might, you know, and I say we, I mean me, but it’s kind of, I like, you know, someone’s in trouble. Z they had to have a problem with being late. We say we have a, we have a, we have a problem. Right? I see what you’re saying. So I queued, I see where you’re going. This is audio of, of you, uh, attending your Broga class. Oh my Broga class. Now Broga is a mixture of a yoga and all things non yoga with a bunch of rows and a man. Can you a picture? It’s a bunch of guys out on the golf course eating meat, talking about a, you know, man things and I’m going to keep the audio and then you can just, after I kind of take the shit under the bottom, you can ask [inaudible] what you catch on tech.

Here we go. This is, let me just get up here to here. Okay. Road. I show once road for Bashar once road flute with no holes. It’s not a flute and a doughnut with no hole. So Danish, he’s funny guy.

That sounds awfully familiar to my life. Actually. This is very, this is you. It’s me. It’s me.

Wow. That’s so wild.

Yeah. Blah blah blah blah, blah blah. Yeah. Do that line, man. Another, we’re talking about it. Um, do you have a favorite pose by the way? And Yoga, I mean, if you could like just do one pose the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ooh, interesting. I personally love back then, so I spend a lot of time and back then and that’s my point of greatest flexibility. Um, but I think that something that’s very visually striking as a standing split. And so that’s where I am holding a straight line slit. One foot is in the air, so it’s to the ground and it’s just so beautiful.

Well, if you want to show off, you’re like, okay kids, let’s now do a standing split back at the end and you’ve got no class going. Well my favorite, you didn’t ask if I’m going to tell you my favorite yoga pose and I’m not a Yogi, I wouldn’t call myself a yoke. I would call myself a Yogi. Okay. I mean, I’m just saying, but my favorite pose in Yoga, and this may come as a big shock icon to you, but it’s, it’s called sleeping bear. And uh, it’s more challenging than it sounds to be. Still. The corner for 30 to 45 minutes is, is a challenge a lot of people get, do or don’t love clay? You, I mean, I don’t know. You could stay still 30, 45 minutes. This is why you have no peace. Madeline, when asked you this,

you have 30,000 people following your program, where did you start? How did you get the first three?

Yeah, well, it’s a funny story actually. So I initially started posting photos of myself doing yoga to my personal Instagram. So that’s the one where it was all my friends and I had some people on follow me who I knew and was friends with. And then I, um, I was getting some feedback that I needed to take that yoga outlet elsewhere. So I created a separate Instagram handle or my yoga practice. Um, and then I built the community around that. And so a lot of people use the online community to share their yoga and I just connected with all those people and um, yeah, that’s, that’s how it started.

How do you get paid without getting, I’m gonna ask you how much money you get paid. How do you make money? There’s somebody out there listening today. So like daisy wants to become an author and a Yogi instructor or how do you, how do you, how do you make money? How do you monetize this?

Absolutely. So I stuck with my full time job until I had a publishing contract. And so as soon as you’re getting paid to write, then you have another source of income. And then I’ve just sold my second book, which is another source of income. And that’s how you make money.

Are you in perpetual pain? I’m looking at these poses here. Are you, are you, are you in pain? Where do you find them? What’s the Instagram account again? I looked up right here. I looked up up Madeline a Henry Yoga was the Instagram handle. If I’m correct here, unless I’m looking at some other, yeah, Madeline Henry, trust yourself, chase your dreams and uh, you look like you’re having a good time. But I would be crying. I think I would be crying. I want to cry right now. How you are you in pain? Does it hurt

ever? And that’s actually a, an important part of stretching is you’re never supposed to be in pain and you make gains over time. So it’s never an a single session that you’re making a great leap in your flexibility. You’re always supposed to go, you’re supposed to stretch to your comfortable limit. And then over time that adds up. And I think I’m actually in pain less than the average person. Um, because my body is more mobile and I can injury

Z. I mean, you’re looking at, you’re looking at the, at the poses here. Uh, what, what are your, what are your thoughts? See what, what’s your, what’s your hot take here? A days, you’re looking at the, you’re looking at the poses. What’s, what, what’s your, what’s your take there about this?

Well, I know I can’t do back Benz yet, but no, I would say what, what is the, what got you initially into yoga and what would you say is the number one thing that has helped you in finding a yoga practice? The practice that you would recommend to somebody else?


Um, what got me into yoga was Instagram. So what happened was when I left banking, I went to work in investing. And so that’s a job with more free time than banking where you’re working around the clock and you’re always on call. And so something I got involved with was a working out at different places in New York City and in New York City, yoga is marketed as a workout. And so I got into it with an exercise mentality and then I started following, um, I just was browsing on Instagram and started following these famous Yogi Instagrammers who I would aspire to be like. And so that’s, that’s how I got into it was through social media.

Now, what, what inspired you to write your book, breathe in cash out, but what a, were you, were you doing a certain, a yoga session and then boom, you had this idea or what, what inspired you to write the book and breathe in cash out?

Um, so I have experience in investment banking and in Yoga and I was that the combination of those ideas came to me one day and I laughed out loud and I thought, that’s hilarious because they’re polar opposites in a lot of ways. And so to have a character try and be a Yogi in the world, in New York city finance is just so crazy that I, it was fun to write. And so, um, I, I really enjoyed writing this story and I was just laughing and um, yeah, it was just a lot of fun.

So for the listeners out there that are, are maybe, you know, they’re thinking about, uh, they want to approach their dream. Okay. They have this big dream that maybe seems like it’s the antithesis of their day job. You don’t have a dream that that’s way different from what they do. For a living right now, what advice would you have for our listeners who find themselves in that kind of predicament?

Yeah, so I would say set a longterm goal because for me to transition from being in the thick of finance to where I am now took a very long time. And so from the genesis of this book idea, um, to selling the book with yours, and I think that if you really want to pivot, it takes a lot of work over time and just focus on the vision and where you want to end up, celebrate little victories along the way, but just be prepared to invest a lot to change the direction of your life.

Now come across as a, it’s a very proactive person. What time do you get up everyday? What, what does your daily routine look like? It, you know, from the moment you wake up until, like I said, the first, the first four hours of the day. What are those first four hours of everyday look like for you?

Sure. So I’ve always been an early riser, so I get up, I’m at around six 15 every day. Um, and then the first four hours, that’s my peak intellectual time. So I try and do all my creative, um, high brain stuff first. And so, yeah, I just, I basically, I get my coffee, sit down at the computer, have my breakfast, and I’m just working, uh, in the morning.

And then throughout the day, I mean you, you know, we’re here on your Instagram a, a there, you know, you come across looking like a healthy person here or you eat a diet, a well balanced diet of, of just Kale and Kale and what do you, what do you eat?

Um, so for me, I think that what works with, uh, keeping my body healthy is consistency. So I think it’s not about any specific food or any specific meal, but if you are doing, um, having the same kinds of meals with the same kinds of times every day, um, and creating a routine out of it, then you’re building something that’s sustainable over the longterm. So, um, what I eat, I do eat a lot of vegetables and I eat yogurt, Rice. Um, but I, I don’t really have a restrictive diet. I just try and stay consistent.

Do you, do you miss your, your job being a desk jockey?

Um, the only thing that I might miss about it is that it’s a more social environment to work in an office. So when I was in banking, um, training was 400 people about my age all in a room. Um, you know, I went to college with 20 of them. Uh, I knew, you know, 60 others peripherally and it’s just a, it’s a big group. Um, and then you work on the floor and you’re familiar with everyone on your floor versus being an author. It’s a, it’s a lot less social. So I find that I, I am now much more social outside of my work life than I used to be just because you’re compensating for that lack of interaction while you’re actually working.

Hmm. Matt Lama, you are in the baking industry, uh, without going through too many details. What was your biggest victory? I mean like when you said you put your hand today or was it good day go shooting score

in, in when I was in investment banking. A victory.

Yeah. Give us your biggest, your biggest home run, Grand Slam. Come on. Don’t do it. Do that leg split for the bank.

Um, I was pretty, I didn’t, I don’t think I can actually like speak to any specific deals that I did. Um, or whatever. Yeah. I think that I, I had a lot of great friendships come out of begging. And so to this day, some of my best friends I met there, you know, I sat next to them and um, I’d say that that was my biggest victory was that,

oh, come on. Your biggest deal. We wanted a Europe banker for goodness. The biggest, you had to put your head on the pillow one night and say that was a big deal. You had to get a pat on the back one day, gold star. And we’re in the meetings. I mean, you come on, you had to hit a home run.

Oh No, don’t like relationships though. That was the biggest prize coming out of banking. You know, friendship. That’s what life’s all about.

Z. I hear Ya. See, here’s the deal. You’re not gonna interrogate our guests anymore. You’re not gonna paint her into a corner. I just, I’m tired of bullying. I’m tired. We’re going to work here, going to do metals, we’re going to make Z [inaudible] power poses with no previous stretching allow is immediate. You’ll get into these poses when we’re done. You moot. Well you bye bye. Cause I bay scream like a, like a small child nowadays. He, I believe we haven’t have we we have time for one more question for Miss Madeline. What question do you have? The flower, the phones, the call center. Queen Daisy.

Yeah. So I would say yoga for me has been transformative kind of like you are. I started yoga as for the pure benefit of exercise and toning my body. But I quickly realized that it was much more about the mental and emotional benefits. So I would ask you, why would you recommend yoga to anyone in the world?

Um, I think because one of the most important things that you learn in yoga is the importance of love, um, for each other, for yourself. And I think that you don’t get that in a lot of other avenues. And so I think that, um, practicing yoga and remembering the importance of sharing love is important.


Madeline, I appreciate you for being on the show today. For the listeners out there that want to buy your book or, or learn more about you, what’s the best place to, uh, rediscover the, the, to discover the laser show that is Madeline Henry.

Uh, so I would encourage everyone to buy locally from their local bookstores, support local booksellers. Um, but if you’re going to order online, then it’s definitely on Amazon and spread the word.

All right. Well, Andrew, we’re buying a copyright now. Breathe in cash out the novel or buying a copyright. Now I’ve been waiting and we’re leaving or leaving a review about this interview. You are an all star, a, you went to Yale, which means you’re smarter than all of us and I thank you for putting up with us.

Thank you so much for having me.

All right. You take care.


so Z, we just interviewed a, uh, an ex investment banker, turd turned Yogi. [inaudible] I’m trying to get my foot over my [inaudible] hold on. Can you still leave? Uh, a boom would be in the shape of your, in your lap back at Dubai.

I got to go all the way. What looks like it hurts.


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