Building Brunch & Budget with Pamela Capalad

Brian talks with Pamela Capalad, a CFP, Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC), and the founder of Brunch & Budget. Through Brunch & Budget, Pam helps people who feel ashamed or embarrassed about money have a safe and friendly place to talk about it and make real financial progress. Pam shares why it’s important to tackle both the technical and emotional sides of money and why running a business mostly sucks.


Mission-driven businesses have shared values.

Pam says that describing a mission-driven business is so personal, but it ultimately comes down to two factors:

Setting up your business in a way that clients or customers understand the point of the business and your end goal.
Ensuring your team is on the same page and lives out the shared business values.

“That’s been very important to me with Brunch & Budget,” Pam said. “As we hire people, as we have our clients trust people with their finances, that everyone is on the same page about it and everyone is involved in shaping what that mission is.”

Core values can help you say no to the wrong clients.

Coming up with shared values wasn’t easy, Pam says. She set aside time for weekend retreats and hours-long conversations in the office to nail down Brunch & Budget’s values and mission. Even so, it took about a year to define the company’s four core values:

  • Empower & Advocate
  • Celebrate, Don’t Sugarcoat
  • Be Fanatical About Getting It Right
  • Practice Radical Acceptance

Brunch & Budget uses these core values as a way to ensure prospective clients are a good fit for the firm. The team can also use them as a guide to say no to clients whose values don’t align with theirs.

“We’ve used them as a guide to say no to people,” Pam said. “‘You’re not going to be a good client because your values don’t align with ours, your mission doesn’t align with ours, and that’s okay.”

In one case, a prospective client tried to cut the waiting list by mentioning to one of Pam’s team members that he recently got a big inheritance — a move that Pam felt was like dangling a carrot in front of the planner. She told the planner who got the email to tell the client the firm didn’t have time.

“There’s something so liberating about that,” Pam said.

Running a business mostly sucks.

When asked about anything surprising she’s learned on her journey, Pam said, “Yeah, running a business mostly sucks.” Pam’s always tired, and unlike some of her clients, she can’t clock out at 6 p.m. and stop thinking about work.

“It’s hard,” she said. “You take everything personally. Everything feels way more dire than it probably is because it’s yours. I think my business is going to fail every other day.”

Despite the challenges, Pam says building a mission-driven business can also be incredibly fulfilling and is something she wouldn’t trade for anything. She’s found that she spends less money than she did working at a corporate job because she’s not trying to fill a void with vacations or material possessions.

“If you do want to build a mission-driven business, it’s going to be hard, but you’re going to have those moments where it will be fulfilling every day,” she said. “Just know it’s okay if it’s not for you.”

Resources + Links

Brunch & Budget:
Pockets Change:
Pam’s Twitter:
Brunch & Budget’s Twitter:
Traction: Get a Grip On Your Business by Gino Wickman
Brian’s Twitter:


About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.