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Brittney Castro, Founder of Financially Wise Women | “I cannot pretend I have motivation or no emotions about something. I have to allow them, process them and take care of myself in all ways.”

Brittney Castro, Founder of Financially Wise Women | “I cannot pretend I have motivation or no emotions about something. I have to allow them, process them and take care of myself in all ways.”

How did you come up with the idea with Financially Wise Women?

I came up with the idea of Financially Wise Women when I was at my job after college as a financial advisor at Ameriprise. It was there that I got trained as a financial advisor, how to market myself and get clients and also learned about the financial industry as a whole and the challenges women were facing with managing their money and working with financial planning professionals. I became aware of the different issues that being a woman in finance faced, as less than 20% of the industry are women. I came up with the idea to focus on helping women with their money because I really wanted to help the smart savvy women I was working with understand money and finance and wealth in a way that made sense because I could relate to the clients in so many ways.

I was brainstorming with my mom and told her the idea of creating a financial firm that supported women and empowered women on their financial journeys and then we brainstorm on names for the firm and came up with Financially Wise Women. We’ve now evolved it to Financially Wise Inc. as we do help a lot of men and believe that in order to help in this next stage of the financial evolution, we need to help both men and women on their financial journeys.

What´s your background? Did you have any difficult experiences and lessons learned in the past?

I graduated with a degree in business economics and started my career after college as a financial advisor. I didn’t have any formal training or know what financial advisors were before I accepted my first job. I think the experiences and lessons I’ve learned have just been around how to become the best version of myself, how to become a successful financial planner and truly help people, how to market myself and create a brand, how to manage the different roles of being an entrepreneur, how to relate to clients in a way that made sense and just make sure my voice was being heard in the industry as someone who created her own firm and brand and being a pioneer in this new way of providing finance.

What´s the biggest problem women have when it comes to how to take care, spending and saving their money?  

I think the biggest problem women have when it comes to taking care of their money is finding people who will educate and empower them and not talk down to them or make them feel stupid for asking the questions. Because of history, women tend to still be shyer or reserved about seeking out the advice and asking the questions to help them manage their wealth. I think these things are of the past and should no longer hold women back. There are a lot of great resources and financial professionals now available who are authentically helping specifically women to manage their money. You just have to do the work to seek out the right information and find the right people to help guide you on your financial journey.

My guess is that a lot of women reaching out to you are struggling with their money habits and can´t afford to pay for expensive coaching or advice. How are you balancing your business to keep it affordable for your clients and still not underselling yourself?

I’ve always believed in valuing myself and my services and I do believe our services are very affordable for what we’re providing. It’s not just about giving clients a budget or a financial plan but it’s about relating to them, informing them about strategies, educating them, empowering them, so it’s very holistic.

I also create a lot of free content through my blog, social media, written content, media appearances and more. I believe that there’s a lot of free information I do for the people who might not be able to pay for our financial planning services. That makes it very easy for me to say these are my fees for our services and this is what it is and I want to be able to help you and if you’re not ready to work with us, there’s all these other free resources I have created for you.

We´ve seen that your offering financial planning, online money courses, financial wellness workshops, speaking engagements and brand partnerships. What´s your favorite segment of your portfolio?

I had the vision to create more of an empire when I started the company. I think the favorite segment of the portfolio right now is working with brands to create content to help more of the masses with financial literacy. Whether that’s written content, video content, media interviews, etc., working with these big corporations and brands to spread my message and expertise is really exciting for me as I feel I can help more people on their financial journeys.

How are you spending your days? Is there something like a routine?

My days are all different but I do have a model week and I’m very good at time management.  As we all know life is never linear and you might have a plan and a schedule but you have to adapt and pivot as the day goes. I do have a schedule for my workdays which is I get up and meditate, try to do some sort of physical activity whether it’s a work out or going on a walk with my dog and then I start working. I try to keep a balance between going on walks and being outside in and connecting to my friends and family and loved ones as well as manage my day and clients and workload during the day. For me, being less rigid in between my scheduled meetings and appointments keeps me balanced. I’m an entrepreneur and it’s never a 9-to-5 type of schedule where you can really turn off on so I just really make sure I’m taking care of myself throughout the days and weeks and months.

Credit: Financially Wise Women

You started your business already back in 2013. Have you seen a change in how women manage and think about their money in the last years?

I’ve seen changes with how women manage their money and think about money. I think we’ve evolved a lot in society and just terms of making sure women’s voices are heard. Social media and online marketing have really allowed everyone’s voice to be heard, women included helping more become aware of the specific issues maybe still affecting women on their financial journeys. The conversation is more relatable than ever before because of social media and blogs helping people know they’re not alone which I think is a beautiful part of the change. Knowing I am not alone has always soothed and reassured me when dealing with life’s ups and downs so this alone has been a huge transformation I have seen.

Money means Freedom is a lot of aspects. What means money to you and do you have any strict guidelines you follow yourself once your income hits your bank account?

For me, money means freedom and I get to choose how to use money as a tool in life to live my best life and having choices in life. I do believe in having weekly money dates even though I have a bookkeeper and CPA helping me manage my business cash flow, as the best advice I ever got about money, was “always keep your eye on the money.” So even though I pay my team of professionals to help me, it is still my money and my responsibility to know what is going on. So every week, I review my budget and spending, accounts, financial plan to ensure I stay focused and am aware and conscious with my money.

We read, that you do everything like meditating, visualizing, journaling practicing affirmations to become the best version of yourself. All these practices are proven and very helpful, but what would you recommend to someone who just feels stuck in their debt and financial chaos? Is there an easy way out?

If someone is stuck in their debt and financial chaos, unfortunately there is no easy way out. You have to start by acknowledging and accepting what is, whether it’s debt or another specific challenge like being out of work. Don’t avoid or run from the challenge. Be brave and look the tiger in the eye no matter how hard it feels. That is the hardest part. Once you do that though, you can begin the work to process the emotions around what is happening and put a game plan to put in the work to make the changes needed to overcome it. I find out once someone makes the decision to fully accept what is happening and then take action steps to move from that place, then real change can happen.

What are you doing when you feel doubtful and not motivated?

When I feel doubtful or not motivated I tend to let myself take a personal day to get recharged whether that’s through meditation and doing day trips and being offline. When I look at my life as one holistic happening, I see that nothing is linear or separate. Meaning, I cannot pretend I have motivation or no emotions about something. I have to allow them, process them and take care of myself in all ways. Once I do that, I can get back to the day to day tasks at hand and be “productive.” But for me, being productive is not the goal. Rather living a conscious, meaningful and rich life is. So I now know that whatever I need to do to re-fuel myself in whatever capacity is the most important thing.

www.financiallywisewomen.com/
@brittneycastro

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