Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Where is my money? I answer that question regularly and on a daily basis. I’m not talking about my money; I’m talking about other people’s money. I’m a personal bookkeeper, a daily money manager, a personal finance mentor, and a financial confidant. Simply put, I work with other individuals assisting them with their day-to-day financial affairs and paperwork. My services encompass many aspects of personal and business finance. I routinely pay bills, maintain and reconcile bank and investment accounts, organize tax documents, compile budgets, and file insurance claims. My services are tailored to my client’s needs. My client base is eclectic – I work with busy professionals who don’t have time to pay bills and keep track of their financial life. I have clients with budget issues and credit card debt who need a plan to be more financially successful. Small business owners who are just starting out routinely reach out to me to help them get started with their business finances and bookkeeping. My special clients are my senior citizens who they chose me to care for their financial lives when they no longer could.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
I've always been a believer that it takes a lot of courage to be an entrepreneur. It takes courage to start a business you love and to keep at it. It takes courage to walk into a room full of strangers at a networking event and work toward building relationships. It takes courage to make a sales call or to meet a potential client for the first time.
In my own business, I think you need patience and kindness. It certainly is very humbling when an individual opens up about their personal financial struggles. It's important not to judge someone by the financial mistakes they have made...and whatever the issue is, it can generally be fixed.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
Honestly, l truly didn’t know much about personal finance. Sure, there were some basics my parents taught me – I knew how to balance a check book and I was saving something from each paycheck. But, when you are living at home, personal finance just isn’t that complicated. Which is how I found myself, a stay-at-home mom, trying to make the money work for our family of five. My husband was a school administrator who only got paid 10 months a year. I needed to figure out pretty quickly how to set aside money and pay for the mortgage, groceries, diapers, and the like. On top of that, there was this future need to save for my retirement and pay for college for three children.
I made it my mission to learn about personal finance. My feeling was that if I could just move forward, one step at a time, I'd figure it out. I started to learn the lingo, and much of it seemed to be about common sense... pay yourself first, save something every paycheck, invest in what you understand.
Funny how you solve the problem for yourself, and, when you do that, you can help someone solve that same problem. I ended up having people come to me and ask me to help them... and they were willing to pay me. And so my company was born.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I am inspired by my clients as they better their financial life and have their own successes. I have had clients who struggled to make ends meet, and they've managed to pay off debt. It's a thrill when a client finds a way to save. I've worked with 80-year-old women who are writing checks for the first time (because their husband handled the money and can no longer do so) and they feel confident doing so.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
It is always my hope that I leave my clients in an improved financial position and that they move forward to live an empowered financial life.
Who are your role models?
I don't have any specific role models. I am always in awe of people who show courage, in whatever form that takes.
What is your morning ritual?
I get up, make a cup of herbal tea, sit in silence until that 1st cup of tea is done, and then anything is possible.
What does success look like to you?
Success is waking up each morning surrounded by people who love me and support me.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I recently gave a seminar, and a member of the audience asked, "What's your biggest challenge?” Sigh... I'm a wife, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, and a business owner. There's never really any balance. I just try to enjoy the moment I'm in and make the most of each day. And, honestly, those grandkids sure are special!
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
Ellevate is about building relationships. Even though I'm new to the organization, the group is so welcoming. I recently attended a Innovator's Luncheon and was in awe of the successful women who attended. I'm a squad leader and am enjoying my weekly meet-ups with other like-minded women.