Posted on June 15 2022
We are excited to share our interview with financial expert, Michelle Begina. Michelle is a TED Talk speaker, Author and has helped hundreds of women gain confidence in their financial decisions.
ALLY Shoes: How did you become a Certified Financial Planner or what led you to become one?
Michelle: Such a loaded question for someone who grew up sports car, airplane and yacht poor! In reality we weren’t very different from other families that lived paycheck to paycheck. Every time my parents bought a big ticket item we were down to our last $5 bucks, including when my parents bought a yacht and let me know that they didn’t have money to send me to college as they had promised. They chose boat candy over my future!
Becoming a CFP is my way of giving to others the guidance and coaching I only wish I’d given from my parents as a kid and a path to create a better way of life for myself. I lived the consequences of my parents poor financial choices and all of the instability and insecurity they created felt awful. We lived rich, poor, rich, poor. I actually know what it feels like to go broke again and again and it’s worse than we imagine! It’s really all helping others to stop self-sabotaging, like my parents did, and get people set for life on their terms.
ALLY Shoes: What is the biggest mistake you see women make when it comes to finance?
Michelle: In a nutshell, playing it too safe or trusting more in others than herself.
This can range from an unwillingness to take career risks, invest in herself (ex: time for self-care, more knowledge) or negotiate for more money or flexibility at work. And, it takes time to evolve to the place where “what you think of me doesn’t matter as much as what I think of me.” It’s a process to define success on our own terms. Eventually we do, because we all hit a certain point when things just aren’t working and we know something has to give because “doing all the things” was supposed to make us happy.
ALLY Shoes: How do you create confidence in your clients when it comes to financial decisions?
Michelle: Great question! I’m in the camp that confidence comes as a result of taking action toward goals, not the other way around. To me, The Will Is The Way in life. That begins by being strong willed, but not in the way we normally think about that.
Being strong willed actually means knowing exactly what we want, why we want it and being resolute in the drive to make things so. When it comes to money we must be unreasonably, irrationally, optimistic that we can manifest our dreams into reality to fill in the blank …. have enough to retire, buy a home, quit and start a company and/or feel secure and free. This requires us to define success on our own terms and to give ourselves permission to move forward on our wild and crazy dreams.
Not everyone makes it financially because it’s hard work to do so! We’re taught the right thing is not to talk about money. Period. Since we don’t learn how to have conversations with others about it, that limits our ability to understand our own relationship with money. And, it’s what’s inside that counts!
Not making it financially isn’t usually from lack of good intentions or from trying. Sometimes the root cause is from lack of vision. As Roy Disney said, "When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier." A clear vision leads to knowing the right moves to make. Taking action brings confidence. My job is to guide the process.
ALLY Shoes: After the pandemic, have you seen any trends / changes related to our savings / spending behaviors?
Michelle: People are reevaluating their lives in so many ways. The pandemic took us by the shoulders, gave us a shake and woke us up! The environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing trend accelerated, that’s for sure. People are aligning their need for flex time and how they want to work alongside aspects of life, outside of work. And, post-pandemic it doesn’t look like being “crazy busy” will be making a comeback!
ALLY Shoes: Who is your biggest ally?
There are too many people to just name one! My husband Mike is the first person who comes to mind. I married well. He stands in for me when self-doubt kicks in by reminding me of all the times that I’ve done hard things. He’s my rock.
We are so happy to share Michelle's TED Talk, "Talking About Money is Easy Once you Know How."