82 Financial Freedom for Female Founders: How to Live Wealthy and Worthy

Learn in this episode with entrepreneur and wealth maven Katherine Dean how to manifest money, grow it, keep it, and make it work for you so you can live a life of financial freedom with multiple income streams, and why this is important for female founders to have the runway to invest in their own business growth.

Melinda Wittstock:         Katherine, welcome to WINGS.

Katherine Dean:              Hi, Melinda. I’m happy to be with WINGS today. This is exciting; I can’t wait to share some information with everyone.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, I know you have so much to share. And today, I really do want to dig into this connection between our mindset, how we think about money and how money manifests in our lives because I think so often we as women we get in our own way.

Katherine Dean:              Oh, boy do we. This is why I have this company that I do, Living Your Worth, Inc because it’s all about women who limit themselves from having complete financial freedom and success in their lives.

Melinda Wittstock:         What are some of the ways that that shows up specifically for entrepreneurs? Because you’d assume, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in it. You may have a great mission and want to change the world and do all these wonderful things. But presumably, you also want to make money. What are some of the [inaudible 00:10:55] where entrepreneurial women get-

Katherine Dean:              I was going to say, isn’t that why we become business owner [crosstalk 00:10:59]. Well, one of the things I can tell you is money mindset. And something that I talk about with my clients is your financial archetype. And what happens is we are taught from a very early age how to relate to money. We are living usually unless we’re real aware of it, we’re living in the same financial patterns as the people we grew up with. And that’s not out of chance, that’s because those are the habits, literally habits that we learned. And what happens is… it could be if it’s a limiting mindset, it could be women don’t need to make so much money. It could be societal because especially now there’s a huge movement going on now about women making 80 cents on the dollar that every man makes.

And it’s great to be an entrepreneur, but we still bring all of that into our businesses. If it’s we’re not charging enough for our services, we’re undercutting ourselves, we’re literally giving away everything including the kitchen sink when we do our services because we’re nurturers, we’re givers, entrepreneurs. We have a mission in life, we want everybody to be lifted by what we’re doing so we hand over everything and then our self-worth becomes compromised. That’s really where that whole money mindset starts to come into play. I’m excited to talk about that today because I get real worked up when I’m on stage and I’m talking to people. And I’m like, “Oh, my God. If you owned your worth, think about where your income or where your financial future could be going?”

Melinda Wittstock:         A part of this too is if deep down you don’t value yourself, it’s very, very difficult to create value in your business or value for anybody else true.

Katherine Dean:              True. And that comes up; it’s a lot of times subliminal. You don’t even realize that you are the one that’s impeding your next step or impeding the next level in your life because you’re used to being with you. You’re used to the money mindset, you’re used to the mindset that you’re in. And that is so true that we are the ones that kind of have that block. But sometimes, we don’t even realize because we don’t feel as though we’re worth it or we don’t have our own self-worth to be able to go out in the world and say, “No. This is my value, this is what I charge because I know the results I’m getting for people.”

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. We often under price ourselves:  I see that all the time. I know that I’ve done that in the past as well. There’s a little ‘niggle’ voice that says, “Can you really charge that? Will people really pay that?” And negotiating I guess against ourselves. Is that really prevalent? Women just tend to do that.

Katherine Dean:              We tend to do that both in corporate life and not in corporate life as an entrepreneur and business owner. And how I know this shows up is, can I give you a little bit about my background-

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, please. Yeah. I want to go into all of that, but by all means, how you can illustrate how you’ve arrived or how you see all of these things and then we’re obviously going to start talking about the solutions as well. But yeah, go ahead.

Katherine Dean:              Awesome. Okay. I went to school, undergrad marine biology. I don’t know why I did; I mean I love animals but was definitely not going to be looking at microscopes my whole life. I like to work with people. Then from there I went and got my MBA, and went into the financial services industry. That was 20 years ago; actually this is my 20th year in the industry. And what happened at that point was I thought I had it figured out. I was running a big operation, but running a big operation with literally 60,000 representatives of compliance that all reported up to me. These were all investment people and banks and small places around the country. I was getting paid $50,000 a year.

And why I sure that is because I had all this expertise, I had gotten my MBA. I was doing all of this, and I wasn’t willing to walk away from somebody when I started to negotiate my income because I never thought I was worth it. Fast forward, probably it was five years later, I think after this all happened. I was happily married, two small kids, one and three years old and I started to compromise my life for my spouse. Once my youngest daughter was one, my older daughter was three, we went out for date night. And as our food was getting delivered to the table my spouse says to me, “Katherine, I think we need a break.” And guess who wasn’t financially set to make sure that she took care of herself because I never thought I was worth investing in myself first.

I really fell flat on my behind and racked up a ton of debt. We had a two-person income and all of a sudden I was down to just me. And I had again set myself on the back burner while living into somebody else’s dreams, which was my spouse at the time. I was in the financial services industry, I was helping people build wealth and I was not doing anything for myself. And really through falling on my face and realizing that I will never ever allow another person to rip the financial rug from underneath me, I’m going to figure this out and I’m going to be on my path to wealth success. That’s when my whole life started to shift – and because I never wanted to be in that desperate place again. For me, was I going to be able to put food on the table? Was I going to lose my house to foreclosure? How was I going to pay off debt?

That was seven and a half years ago now. And from my own trials and tribulations, I started a company so that I could lead women through this path of having financial success without compromising their worth and compromising who they are. And fast-forward now seven and half years later, last night I just closed on another investment property. I have an ‘on-target’ retirement plan. I’m on target to have my bungalow in the Caribbean. I don’t say this to gloat, I say it because I’m just the ordinary woman who got a divorce and was financially in a strap and decided, you know what? Come heck or high water, I was never going to be there again. I needed to be a good role model for my children. I have two girls. And I didn’t ever want them to be compromised in the same situation I was ever in. That was really my drive for completely shifting my life and doing a 180.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, congratulations on that.

Katherine Dean:              Thank you.

Melinda Wittstock:         No. Really, heartfelt because all too often this does happen. And the best businesses are often created because of a problem or some sort of challenge or some sort of lack or gap or something that we’ve personally been through because it leads to that mission and the drive to not only fix it for yourself but then in doing so being able to share with so many others. And this is not uncommon for how women become entrepreneurs to begin with because there’s something that just hits or hits hard and you’re like, “Okay. That’s it, that’s enough.” And fix that. But how interesting though too, you’ve mentioned a couple of things now so far around where we undervalue ourselves. And that manifests in negotiating against ourselves, or in not having a walkaway point, and doing things like over delivering.

I think another one is us entrepreneurs not paying ourselves or not paying ourselves enough. But then the other one is living into other people’s dreams, particularly spouses. That is my story too. That’s a really big part of my story where I gave up, I sold properties to pay for that. I did all sorts of things and really not looking out for myself.

Katherine Dean:              Believe me, I did the same thing. Inheritances that went into other people’s dreams that were not my own. Oh, yes. I did it all. Everything that I share when I do workshops and retreats and my clients, everything I did is the leading example of what not to do.

Melinda Wittstock:         What not to.

Katherine Dean:              Yeah. Yeah. And I want to be that example, and it’s okay to be vulnerable because if I can just shift one life a day, I’m doing my purpose, right?

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]If you work really hard and aren’t able to put anything aside for yourself, you’re going to start to resent your business because you are your asset in your business and if you’re not having fun, if it becomes an obligation, you’re going to start to get upset. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness[/tweet_box]

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, that’s great that you’re doing that because I think to a lot of women and men, moreover, that don’t have this money piece figured out and they look at someone who’s really wealthy and the temptation is to say, “Oh, well, it was easy for them,” or they must be lucky, or some of those sort of underhanded kind of compliments that aren’t compliments. And at the root of it is sort of a jealousy and all of that. It’s easy I think for a lot of people to fall into that trap. A great way to counteract that is to do exactly what you’re doing, which is saying, “Hey. Look, I was there,” and genuinely.

And so, what were some of the initial steps? You described a situation where you have all this debt; you’re suddenly a single mom with two young kids. You’re being underpaid; you’ve got all this stuff going on. What were the first steps that you took to get yourself out of that?

Katherine Dean:              Well, the first thing I did, this is kind of interesting, we had a finished basement. And I thought, “You know what, I’m going to get a tenant.” In my mind, it had to be a female because I was female and I choose female, girls. I was not comfortable, I was like, “I’m going to get one person, I’m going to rent out my basement.” That was my first pad … I didn’t even put a kitchen in. I was like, “This is a studio apartment.” That was the first way I started to get what I consider passive income. All of a sudden, I went from having no income to getting $9000 a month that I didn’t have before. That was the first step.

The second step was I started to figure out other ways to make money. I started working with an MLM, put hardly any money into it, made money off of that. It was a little bit extra every month. It allowed me to start paying my debt off. That was another way of figuring out … really what started the whole thing was I had to be real with myself and accept where I was and not be afraid of it or be scared or to be ashamed of where I was. It was, “Okay. This is where we’re at: You got a boatload of debt and you have a mortgage. Those were the two main things that I had to focus on. From that, turned into getting some passive income from my basement. Then it was selling some MLM, having some parties and selling some stuff to just raise some extra cash. That was the second way.

The third was I asked for more money at my position. I actually did that moment of you either pay me more or I’m out of here because I figured I’m going to be making more anywhere else I go at this point anyway with all my experience. And come to find out, I started making $25,000 more. All of these things led, it was one thing after another. It was one breakthrough, then the next breakthrough and all along the way having a vision board for where I was going. I’m a true believer in vision board. Just understanding what was important to me, knowing that I didn’t want to lose my house. I knew that that was the security for my children and for myself too mentally right because if I had one more shift in my life at that point, I honestly think I would have fallen apart at the seams.

I was already falling apart emotionally, but I knew I had to just change that confidence with money. I needed to show up differently. When I had a money conversation with people, I needed to start to own my value. I was this professional who had 12 years of management experience and I had my MBA and I was accepting and getting undercut because I accepted what people would just offer me the first time around. And if you do speak with HR people, they will say 9 times out of 10, women will accept the first offer and not go back, men will negotiate three or four times. And I know it’s kind of a subtle difference here, but this happens in our businesses.

We don’t have the confidence with money so then we show up asking for less than we’re worth. And that’s not okay because overall tenancy especially in the United States, I know people may be listening to international as well, but women live longer and often we work less because we are the provider for our children. We have less time to actually save for the future and then on the back end we’re living longer so we actually need more money to live off of. It’s a catch-22, so we really have to get a plan in place so that we don’t have to feel that uncertainty. Even to this day my mother will say, “I don’t want to end up a bag lady.”

This was the mentality I grew up with was not enough, never enough, we’re never going to have enough-

Melinda Wittstock:         In scarcity and fear and you start to believe that.

Katherine Dean:              Oh, yeah. Yeah. My parents were successful business entrepreneurs and business owners. Multiple six figures back in the 80s was a decent amount of money. But honestly, I can say to this day, the only thing I ever remember talking about money was there was never enough money, never, never enough, there was never enough. To me, I thought, “I’m making multiple six figures and I have enough money. I just don’t understand the mentality … abundance versus scarcity really plays a tremendous role in your life when it comes to money

Melinda Wittstock:         Probably a lot of our listeners understand that difference between scarcity and abundance. But let’s break it down a little bit because when you’re in a scarcity mindset, you’re making assumptions that things are going to be the way they are. And I guess by law of attraction, you end up attracting those circumstances into your life. Talk to me a little bit more about how that scarcity manifests and how you flip the switch, how you actually make it over into an abundance mindset and what the difference is, how you live your life when you’re in an abundance mindset?

Katherine Dean:              Cool. Okay. Well, scarcity it definitely comes from fears or doubts around money, your ability to create wealth. And when I say wealth, also, I want to just be clear. For me, wealth is not just money; wealth is time, freedom with my children. There’s wealth where you can have oodles and oodles of money and be miserable, believe me. I still am in wealth management. I still have wealth management clients. And if you have millions of dollars, it doesn’t mean a thing, you can still be miserable because have scarcity of mindset. Scarcity is I’ll never have enough, I’m not sure I’ll be able. Even the verbiage if you talk about money, what actually comes out when you think about money and how do you cultivate a wealth-building mindset. And that comes from just shifting little things like I know next year I want to go on this trip, how can I make that happen versus, I’ll never be able to go on that trip.

It’s just such a subtle tweak in how you’re thinking and that can totally shift your mindset. What we do is we have these limiting beliefs and they compromise and slow down our path to financial freedom because we’re constantly putting obstacles in our way versus thinking about things differently or even having a conversation, have an accountability partner when it comes to money because women we don’t talk about money enough. We don’t sit around a dining room table and say or go out to dinner with our girlfriends over a glass of wine and say, ” Oh, my God, this week you’ll never believe the $10,000 I made in my business.” Really, if we do that, we lift each other and we become more … we think differently when we think that we can all have that opportunity for ourselves. Does that make sense?

Melinda Wittstock:         It totally makes sense. This is why we talk about the connection between confidence, connections, capital – or mindset, mojo, money – on this podcast because I found that the more you can actually visualize success, it’s an assumption that you’re going to get there.  You can see it, you can visualize it and you can feel it. The more I started to do that and think about it as if in gratitude, as if I already had the thing that I wanted or the success that I wanted, whatever it was, the more likely it was going to happen. I just didn’t know how it was going to happen and I didn’t know when it was going to happen. Trust that.

But I started to experiment with a really small thing that I didn’t have to be attached to, which was I get the best parking spaces. There’s always a parking space for me wherever I go. And seriously, I started this several years, I guess about five years ago. And there is to this day.

Katherine Dean:              That’s awesome. I never even thought of that.

Melinda Wittstock:         I always get these parking spaces, but it was my little experiment with abundance thinking. And I proved it to myself, so I stepped it up like I have fresh flowers. Somebody gave me this beautiful bouquet a fresh, out of the blue, stuff like that. It’s really a matter of changing your thinking. I like this idea that you do with having this journal where you write down or you catch yourself in the terms of even the way you speak about money. And what are some of the things that we should be looking out for in our language that tips us off that we may be in scarcity mindset?

Katherine Dean:              Yeah. Well, we talked about the financial mindset journal, I also recommend, I’m a big believer in daily affirmations. And not just reading yourself daily affirmations, but looking at yourself in the mirror. It’s kind of a different way to do things, I don’t know if anybody has done that. But I’d highly recommend writing something down of what you’re looking for. For me, what I talk about is creating your wealthy dream life, what does that look like? Real specifics not, “Oh, a new house one day,” because that’s not specific enough. Think about what does the house look like, what do your neighbors look like, where is that house? Is it close to the water, is it not?

All those types of things get really specific with what you want to bring into your life. Write that down, you can use your financial mindset reset journal however you want to do it. Write it down and read it back to yourself in the mirror. You had mentioned something before, and I loved what you mentioned about you manifest great parking spots. Well, I believe in the universe, so it’s almost like the universe is bringing it to you. But on the other hand, you’re also putting intention there. I find a lot of people will say to me, “Oh, I want a million dollars. I can’t wait, I want a million dollars to retire with.” But they don’t necessarily know what the million dollars is for or what the intention is with that. Do you want a million dollars because, yeah, you want an easy retirement. But what are you going to do when you get there? What is the purpose of a million dollar?

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. And not only that, but by saying I want you’re putting out to the universe that you want, want. You’re setting up a condition of want. I got very clear on my intentions recently where I used to do that. I said I want this or I need that or whatever instead I stated intentions as if they’ve already happened. And I feel tremendous gratitude.

Katherine Dean:              Think I cannot believe that I have a million dollars.

Melinda Wittstock:         Thank you so much for this amazing house that I have on the beach with etc.

Katherine Dean:              Yes. Exactly. Exactly. Because your mind will start to work somehow in that reptilian brain or whatever. I’m not a psychiatrist, any of that, understanding how the brain works or anything. But somehow your brain starts to make it happen. I did a workshop recently with 120 women. And I said I just want to speak in front of 200 women this year, no joke. Yesterday, I got an invitation to speak to 300 people in New York City. I was like, “Wait a second, how did that just happen?” I put it out, I said because I want other people to have this knowledge because I want them to have an easier financial future. It wasn’t about me; it was because I want to be the messenger for that-

Melinda Wittstock:         What you’re just saying there, sorry I got very enthusiastic [crosstalk 00:32:29] jumped right in and talked right over you. I’m so sorry. But I was excited by that because I think when women go into business often we’re very mission focused, very also relationship focused. We’re really focused on the other people. And without money, we can’t have nearly the impact that we could on that mission. If what makes your heart sing and you really want to go out and change something that’s wrong with the world or anything like that, think of how much more successful you can be, how much more impact you can be if you have the leverage of money. Money, to me is a tool now. It’s not a thing; it’s just a tool.

Katherine Dean:              Oh, my God, you must have listened to me before. I say it’s a tool for freedom, that’s it. It’s like hammer that builds a house; it’s just the tool.

Melinda Wittstock:         It is. I’ve just been educating myself on this. It took me a little while to actually understand this about money that really all it is a marker of exchange between two people or two things. It’s not really a thing in and of itself; it’s just a marker of the value that two people agree on. That’s it, it’s not a thing, but it is definitely absolutely a tool. And I think once you start thinking of it that way, a lot of the connotations, any negative connotations or anything you’ve had about it. Earlier in your life, maybe you watched a TV show where everybody who was wealthy on that TV show was a criminal. Or maybe there’s a religious connotation or my parents, it’s impolite to talk about money or just not wanting to look like you’re greedy or deep down thinking you don’t deserve.

It’s a way to get out of all those things I think if we think, “Oh, it’s just a tool and it’s going to enable me to really execute on my mission.” And so, when we think of this in terms of entrepreneurs, say in the context of a start-up, Katherine what do you recommend? Where a female founder and her team or maybe she’s a sole founder or maybe she has a partner in it and they’re bootstrapping. And they don’t have really a lot of money to put into the business, and everything they have is going into the business because that’s what the business requires. However, they’re paying themselves last if at all. At that stage of company and the company creation, what do you recommend practically that women should be doing other than that?

Katherine Dean:              Yeah. Other than paying everybody before themselves?

Melinda Wittstock:         Exactly.

Katherine Dean:              I’m not a very huge believer in … I know there’s the saying of paying yourself first. And I shifted that within the past year because paying yourself first to me seems like an obligation. But investing in your future self seems like a fun exercise. I call it investing in your future self. In a business, and we all know, you start up, you have a business. You might have an investor, so not only are you tied funds for yourself, things are really tight. Now, you have an investor and you don’t want to let them down either. And women don’t like to fail, let’s get that out there either. Women do not allow themselves to fail often enough.

And from my own experience, I can tell you that is the truth for many people that I speak to. But what you can just start doing is just celebrate the wins along the way. We don’t do that enough either. Celebrate every single win. If it’s your first client, put $50 in an adventure account or something that you want to have fun doing because if you work really hard and aren’t able to put anything aside for yourself, you’re going to start to resent your business because you are your asset in your business and if you’re not having fun, if it becomes an obligation, you’re going to start to get upset, you’re going start to not have fun anymore. And that resonates even when you’re having conversations with people. When I talk to people and they’re like, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to start a business.” And this is my two cents on that, $9.99 I think it is, I don’t promote Vistaprint. That’s not one of my companies, any of that.

But you can get business cards and you can become a business. That’s how easy it is to start a business. You don’t need to put a ton of money into a business right away if you just want to see how it lands with the people around you. If you’re holding on to a business that you’ve wanted to create for years, just start. If it’s something that’s your passion, the money comes when you’re passionate about what you do. If you’re not passionate about what you do or you’re upset about what you do, the money is not going to be there.

Melinda Wittstock:         Passion and being in alignment with your true purpose as a human being, having that mission and everything is really important.

One of the things that comes up often on this podcast is that we don’t spend enough time on self-care. We spend so much time doing “busy work” in our businesses that really someone else’s heart would sing doing that busy work and they would do it much cheaper than our own value. I did this kind of back of an envelope calculation not so long ago about myself. I was like, “Well, so I could be doing some of the accounting or doing some of the things for one of my businesses because one of them is very early-stage, or I could be working on my business, generating a new revenue stream or new IP. What’s the value of that? Is that $1,000, $10,000, $100,000.” Me at my capacity with my vision in terms of what I’m doing. Or really I would be the most overpaid bookkeeper or virtual assistant-

Katherine Dean:              Do you love doing that?

Melinda Wittstock:         No. That’s the thing we often don’t understand leverage even with our own time. There’s a leverage in self-care because when we take that time for self-care and as you’re saying to be happy, we’re more likely to really excel in the things that do make our heart sing, and that’s the really core value of our businesses. And then when we do actually take the time to really double down on what only we can do and that’s extremely valuable for the business and correlate that to our own value, suddenly you start to see really what you are actually truly worth in your business. And it’s much better to perhaps spend a little bit of money on a virtual assistant rather than burn yourself out on all that stuff.

Katherine Dean:              For sure. And that’s one of my big things is technology. I love looking at technology, I love playing with it. But I’ll be the first to tell you, that is not my forte. That is not where my time should be spent is trying to figure out how technology works. That’s somebody else’s expertise. But the leveraging part of it is so important because we should be focused on what makes our heart sing because that’s what’s going to bring clients. We’re focusing on the stuff that makes us miserable, that’s just putting blocks in our way.

Melinda Wittstock:         No. I think that’s right. But isn’t it interesting though that I think women, we have a tendency to want to do it all?

Katherine Dean:              Interesting point about, it’s so funny because I do share this a lot that men will apply for a job if they know 40% of the knowledge, women want to know 100% before they apply. It’s like, how does that work? We want to know everything in order to step into something that’s a little fearful because we’re unsure about how it’s going to turn out whereas men they’ll apply for something when they have only 40% knowledge and they’ll figure it out on the way down, they’ll figure it. We totally hold ourselves back from having any success in our life. And that’s what’s so cool is when you have a base of people around you and women around you that are embracing, that are like, “Oh, I have a webinar coming up, do you think you could share it with your audience?” And I’m like, “Sure. That’s cool, I’ll do that.” That’s how things start to actually work because now you’re in a groove and you’re collaborating and you’re really taking your business to the next level.

It’s just being comfortable being out there and again, owning your worth, owning where you’re going and owning your expertise and letting other people do this stuff that you don’t love so much.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Absolutely. Because I think sometimes where we take a little bit too long to hire and bring people in. To ask a wealth coach and a specialist as you are on this, there’s a tension between on one hand wanting if we’re bootstrapping a company or just wanting to be very, very careful about not spending too much and bringing in income, not getting way out on a credit card sort of business, way into debt is we fund our businesses. How to balance that with the need to actually not only invest in the business, but invest in ourselves by investing in the things where we create the most value and hiring the rest. When is it right to spend money at that stage and when is it not? Can you, I don’t know, talk through some parameters on that at that practical stage? Because I think for a lot of women listening, they’re either in that early kind of startup sticky floor phase or a lot of our listeners will say approaching the 1 million mark. So, how do you get from a million to five?

Katherine Dean:              Leveraging.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. Exactly. Getting really, really practical here now on when to spend, when not to spend in your business.

Katherine Dean:              Okay. Well, if you’re just starting out, you might have to do a little of the technology stuff yourself and just to get things moving a little bit so that you aren’t putting yourself in a boatload of debt. Because then you start to fear that your business isn’t working, and will give up on it real soon. I have found that a lot with people that they invest let’s say, we’ll do some small numbers like 10,000 into their business and they’re just like, “This isn’t working.” But they haven’t held out long enough to get the momentum behind the business. Now, you’re in debt and now you don’t have a business because you gave up on your dreams too soon. There is a balance there with what you’re investing in your business. But also there’s a way to leverage your business when you’re not spending a ton to be able to make money.

You could do workshops, you could ask friends to share information. Whatever it is that you’re doing, most likely … and women want to help women out. I know this for sure. For a long time, I wasn’t sure about it because I was in a corporate environment where I did not see this happening. But women really want to see other people successful, we love to see success stories. If you’re just starting out, share that. Go on social media, see what other people are doing. Try to cover it. Really start to do other things that don’t necessarily need to cost a ton of money. That’s when you’re just starting out.

And then just get a little momentum there, and then you can invest a little more your business. That’s there. But if you’re at, let’s say you have a seven-figure business and you want to bring it to the next level, between just starting and seven figures is leverage. It’s bringing the right people in, and sometimes it’s not always the right time or you’re investing a little more because you know in six months or a year from now, that’s where it needs to be. And that’s cool too. But you need to have the mentality of, “I need to invest to make more,” because investing in your business and leveraging that and building it out allows you to be doing what you’re most successful at doing. And if we’re doing too much, that’s not allowing our business to grow because there’s no expansion, there’s nobody there. If we fall, there’s nobody there to keep things going. That’s why hiring the right people, and there’s going to be some bumps along the road.

Leveraging is sometimes difficult because as women we don’t like to give everything up, we do like to do everything.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. I think one of the things that makes us it so much easier now though to is the way the economy’s evolving where there are well, by 2020 40% of the US economy is going to be powered entirely by gig workers. And so, these are freelancers or people who go gig to gig, to gig, to gig. So, they’re 1099s. And so, it makes it much easier for a startup or a young company to expand and contract, kind of like an accordion or do project-based things. And really think about not too late setting up the type of culture and the sort of systems that are going to attract the right type of people to begin with so you don’t waste time you know hiring someone who’s not a good fit or maybe they start out with a great fit and then suddenly they’re not because your business has changed.

I think that’s another area actually where women struggle a little bit because we all want to be liked. We don’t want to hire someone because we’re afraid that we might have to fire them. And sometimes that manifests in hiring a little too late. Another factor in all of this though too is a lot of women start practices because that’s a great way to start. We have expertise in a certain area so we share that expertise. And you’re a coach, so you know what I’m talking about. It becomes a practice and there’s a certain point where what’s the leap to take it into business territory where it’s not only about you doing the work, there’s recurring revenue, there’s other things where you don’t have to do anything and you’re making money. This is the passive income, the recurring revenue part of a business that a lot of practices can’t achieve.

Katherine Dean:              Yes. And I think a lot of that also has to do with leveraging and having collaboration with people, and afraid to have that collaboration, afraid to give up a little of the control, but also to people please. I know you first talked about you hire somebody but you don’t want to fire them. The good thing is you can hire people that are independent contractors, you’re not paying payroll tax. There’s a lot of stuff that goes involved in that, there’s not a lot of expenses you don’t have to pick up.

Melinda Wittstock:         Absolutely. And actually with Millenials, they prefer it because they don’t have to even be in the United States. They can be offshore and they can be living the life of their dreams and you don’t have to even pay them as much. And they’re happy because they’re living the life of their dreams.

Katherine Dean:              We certainly can learn a lot. Well, my generation can certainly learn a lot.

Melinda Wittstock:         Right. I know a lot of people who have companies like that, all of their folks are these Millenials having this great lifestyle, living on a beach in Australia or Buenos Aires or whatever. They don’t need to be paid as much because it’s not as expensive to live there. They’re really happy with this kind of arrangement and then your labor costs go down and you have the flexibility to expand and contract. Thinking like that. I think there are so many things now available for businesses that weren’t before.

Katherine Dean:              Yes and communicate. Communicate with people that are doing similar things to what you’re doing. I know that’s how I got the VA that I work with and also collaborate and get to do incredible things and speak at people’s events. And all of that is not because I hid behind a computer thinking, “Oh, I just wish I had clients.” Just being out there and being like, “Do you mind getting on a 10-minute call? I’m curious what you’re up to. How can I serve you? How can you serve me?” That’s where it becomes really exciting because then women working with women; really talk about getting your wings. In general, then things start to happen in your business and open up and opportunities come up that you didn’t even think were available to you.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well, this is so much my why or my mission around WINGS because as a technology entrepreneur I like so many of my sisters struggle to raise the capital we needed whether it was angel or venture capital. Still for qualified emerging growth companies where conceivably a VC could get a 10x return, we’re still only getting 2% of that money, which is crazy. This was very much born out of that frustration I think to begin with. But really out of that a desire to invest in other women’s businesses, not only by actually investing money. It could be like a passive income stream and those businesses. But also really throwing business to other women. Allowing other women to connect with each other to clearly create that ecosystem where we do actually show up and help each other.

You mentioned a little while back that in corporate, you’d lost faith that that could happen. I hear you because in all the years that I was in big media companies, it was the same thing. Women really were not helping each other so much. But I think that is changing. And so, how can we foster that ecosystem so when we recreate these win-win wins, all boats fries? That is my big passion to be a catalyst for that.

Katherine Dean:              If that isn’t the truth. And I love that you say ecosystem because I’m a true and true tree hugger. I’m big on sustainable portfolios for people for investments. I’m so glad you said ecosystem because I never thought of it that way. And like I had said before in that whole corporate environment, I think it was so hard with the glass ceiling and for women to actually get to a higher success. A lot of that it was-

Melinda Wittstock:         Because there was scarcity.

Katherine Dean:              Yes. Yes. There was scarcity.

Melinda Wittstock:         Talk about scarcity thinking there actually was scarcity. There was no enough oxygen at the top. And so, it sot of us to have to compete with each other rather than competing generally. And I really hope that that’s going the way of history because it’s not helpful to us. I think we advance further and faster when we do actually help each other.

Katherine Dean:              And it is shifting, there’s a whole movement right now. It’s completely shifting and this whole idea of working with people around the world. I know I work with somebody in the Middle East who does some of my YouTube stuff. I get to reach and I get to communicate and I get to support people that are doing their businesses all around the world. And I find it fascinating that I get to speak with incredible women around the world doing incredible things that I don’t have a niche in that I can … they’re my go troopers and if somebody ask me for something I’m like, “Oh, so-and-so does that. Why don’t you contact them? That’s not my expertise, but I can tell you she does a phenomenal job at that.” And that’s really the ecosystem right. It’s feeding each other, it’s giving each other, lifting each other. And I love all boats rise. I love that because that is what happens.

And then you start to be on this weird playing field of everybody’s winning versus competing. It’s not that edge team versus team, it’s one united front. And that’s really cool, that’s really impactful for everything in your life. Not just your business. For your mindset too if you know other people are out there and they’re really cheering you on and you’re cheering them on, it becomes this really great powerhouse of people that are making this entire change in this movement going forward. And that becomes really impactful for everyone. That’s really cool.

Melinda Wittstock:         As we wrap up the interview, tell me a little bit Katherine about what happens for your clients when they work with you and what kind of results or transformations that you’ve seen women in particular get along that path?

Katherine Dean:              Awesome. Thank you. Well, first we start with what I consider your wealth-building blueprint. We talk about your financial archetype. That’s from where you are right now. Then we I talk about uncovering your hidden wealth builders, which is where you are right now no matter what income you make you can start to build wealth and build a financially easy easier future for yourself. Just because everybody wants to see a little bit of immediate gratification, we start right away. We talk about what is your wealthy dream life in the future looks like and how to get a plan in action for you. My wealth to freedom roadmap is … in those other ways what we’re doing is we’re building the foundation. Now, in the wealth to freedom roadmap, we’re getting your action plan going.

It’s just getting on your roadmap to measurable success. And my roadmap isn’t going to be your roadmap; it’s not going to be expert’s. It all correlates back to what that wealthy dream life looks like to you. And then I usually wrap it up with igniting the power of wealthy habits, staying in the conversation, how do you stay on your path to measurable success? That’s easy, that’s having passive income, residual income over time. And what has happened because I do work privately with people. I work in a group setting and I also have an online program is I get really great feedback on, oh, my God, I’m starting to make 20% more income that I was before because I started to increase my prices or I understood how to leverage myself a little bit, which is funny that you talk about that.

Another thing is I have my [inaudible 00:56:11] you worked with me. Now, I’m going to have on my debt paid off in a year. I’m trying to think of some other things. I wish I would have started sooner because now I know where I’m going, how to get rid of dead and what my financially free future is going to look like. Another big one because we do know that money often leads to divorce or confrontation in a relationship. A lot of my clients say, “I can have an easier conversation with my spouse about money, we’re now on the same page.” That’s a lot of what comes up as well.

All different things. Money is weird for a lot of people, it was weird for me. It was a weird conversation. And once I started to have the conversation because I talk about something a lot of people don’t like to talk about, once I started opening up that conversation for people, the sky really becomes endless because you start to think of your life financially different like, oh, I can have passive income. I can have an investment property that throws off money for me, or I could invest in somebody’s business or five of us could put down a down payment on an investment property. Things start to shift and you start to think of just the opportunities and endless possibilities for yourself as the money conversation opens up. Those are the results that I get, which is pretty neat.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s awesome. Well, that’s just a beautiful thing. It’s very inspiring.

Katherine Dean:              Thank you.

Melinda Wittstock:         I know that you have a special offer for our sheroes listening to WINGS, and it’s the wealth to freedom roadmap. How can people find that? It’s just the URL wealthtofreedomroadmap?

Katherine Dean:              Yep. Wealthtofreedomroadmap.com, all spelled out. You can go there, you can get it’s my seven simple steps to wealth creator success, tips and tools how to eliminate debt, activate savings and get money working. That kind of gives my vibe of who I am, what I do and how you can get started on your financial path to freedom. Yeah. Thank you.

Melinda Wittstock:         That’s wonderful. Well, Katherine, thank you so much for putting your wings on and flying with us today.

Katherine Dean:              Thank you. This has been so much fun, I appreciate it. I’m so excited I could be here. Thanks.

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