“Don’t marry before you’re 28 and before you do, make sure you’re financially independent.” Ever since I can remember, my mom would say this, and it had become forever etched in my brain. In the early days of my childhood, my mom did not work and was reliant on my father’s small business. I watched her stretch our dollars as far as she could, from cutting coupons, to buying everything on sale, and sticking only to the less expensive fruit that was in season. This instilled in me an early education in finances and the importance of building a financial nest egg. This was the same driver behind building a “practical” career. My parents were Chinese immigrants who had immigrated twice: first as children and young adults to Taiwan from Communist China in 1948/1949, and then to the US before I was born. They didn’t have the luxury to think about following their passion. It was all about survival, doing what was practical. Make a living, pay the bills, raise the children. This outlook--raise your children to successfully survive-- dictated everything that was expected of me throughout my childhood and set the foundation of my career choices for 25 years. Whether it was the decision to attend engineering school versus a liberal arts school, my choices to go into consulting and then later to financial technology software, the practical elements of my career always checked off the boxes and it superseded my desire to pursue a career of passion. However, after consulting for 25 years, I finally accepted that it wasn’t feeding my soul. After a ski accident in which I tore my ACL and did not bounce back as quickly as I would have liked, I had my aha-moment. I was done. I saw no path in corporate America that excited me - all the previous reasons for doing what I was doing, no longer were important. We have one life to live and I had a strong desire to make a positive impact in the world, no matter how large or small.
This led me to where I am now, following my passions and serving my community, including other women just like me who have their own “money story.” I love seeing women achieve especially in finances, an area in which traditionally women have not been encouraged to achieve, and in which women can have insecurities about handling confidently.
Of course, I work with men, families, and small businesses as well and no work could be more satisfying than that which moves people toward their dreams. Not with abandon, but with a sound financial foundation and strategy you can see working through your life as you live it.
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