Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
As CEO & Founder of Behavioral Cents, I am a Master Money Coach for professional women. My 30-year journey in financial services across multiple countries has led me to this - my true passion in life. Money-life balance comes from aligning your Head, Heart & Hands, and placing Happiness on a pedestal instead of money. No Deprivation Required!
How would you define your professional mission?
My mission is to help women change their money behaviors for the better so they are ready for anything life throws at them! Parents, fairy tales, society, myths and Wall Street all put up subconscious barriers that make it so darn hard for women to feel comfortable with money. I cut through those layers, help women build new money behaviors, and get out of their way so they can soar!
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Personal finance is getting more complicated everyday. You need depth and breadth of experience, and need to know when to stop because you're bordering on legal or risk issues. Training on spending plans, money psychology, coaching skills, debt reduction, listening expertise and creative problem solving are all necessary in addition to building a business. I have 30 years of banking/credit cards/brokerage in multiple countries, and I'm still adding to my accreditation.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
I was privileged to manage the very first job share position at TD Bank Financial Group corporate. Two mothers wanted to maintain their careers and proved they could work well together. The job? Relationship manager to Walmart. It was one heck of a test, and none of us even batted an eye. We all know how capable women are - don't we?
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I was basically "raised" in financial services and worked with excellent executives as mentors. I was a Wall Street executive on Sept. 11 and began thinking about how I could make a more significant impact in life. While the financial greed of 2008 disheartened me, my growing experience with start ups energized me to build my own business. When I started questioning why 50% of retirees had no savings, I realized there was a systemic issue. Now I'm changing the system. There is no greater honor than improving another person's quality of life.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
There is a significant gap in financial services. The industry is great at telling people what they should do, but not so great at helping people execute it. Clients feel shame and guilt when it's actually not their fault. If we don't teach everyday cash in school, and parents don't, how can anyone learn? I'm filling that gap, and inspiring others to do the same. If programs, apps, and behavioral coaching become a pervasive part of the industry, I will be happy. We have a long way to go.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I live what I teach and my life is proof that good money behaviors build wealth. My family was lower middle class and my parents always worried about cash. I recall the hurt in my father's eyes when he had to decide whether to buy milk or donate to the offering plate. Even with student loans and car debt I started the habit of saving for retirement by being mindful of my cash. I bought my own home before I married. All capable women can achieve this - I'm living proof.
What is your morning ritual?
Mornings are my productive time. I devote them to clients and sales/marketing. When the 5 am alarm goes off, I grab a cup of coffee and then let my little bunnies out for a run. Up to my loft office I go to quickly check emails for client emergencies, and then leave email until later in the day. After a few hours of work, I stop to meditate and clear my head. Jumping out of bed is never a problem because I love what I do!
What would you say your personal superpower is?
I see the potential in people and help them achieve it. I planted a Red Bud tree in my front yard, and after the first winter a branch had broken off, buds were few, leaves were skimpy. My clients come to me feeling this way. My neighbors suggested I get a new one but I wouldn't dream of it. So I watered it every other day to build roots and balance. I fed it organic fertilizer so the buds and leaves would be nourished. Poof!! The tree was 2 feet taller and full of leaves the next year. This is how I see all my clients, and I help them get there with a little attention and support.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work-life balance is never perfect, but it's not much of a problem. I have a Happiness Chart I use with all of my clients, and also live by it myself. If you understand what truly makes you happy, and ensure that you're getting some of it, the rest of life falls into place. When I'm cranky or unproductive, sure enough, I'm not getting my happiness activities! And for moms - it is not selfish. If you're happy, it will reflect on your kids too.