Think about one of your greatest accomplishments in life. How did you celebrate? Who was there with you? What were the milestones you achieved along the way? Who supported you in the process and how?
Big things don’t happen in a silo. Great things don’t happen alone. We need to shed the illusion of self-made and celebrate being community-made. People help us achieve big things and people make the process great.
For a multitude of reasons, we were told to keep quiet about money, wealth, and finances. “It’s rude to talk about money,” or there’s the perception that you’ll come off as braggadocious, greedy, or selfish. We aren’t taught to have healthy, wealthy money talks or learn about the value of Financial Friends. We are led to believe that money is a scarce resource and that anyone else’s success means that we are the loser. However, when we stop looking at life (and business) as a zero-sum game, we can all benefit from Financial Friends and healthy, wealthy money talks.
If you’re ready to shake the outdated narratives, evolve your relationship with money, and find Financial Friends, read on.
Who are Financial Friends?
Your different friend groups have formed based on a shared interest or shared experience. I have friend groups from shared experiences like high school, college, professional industries, and local coworking communities. I have friend groups from shared interests like snow skiing, dog walks, small business, and money. Yes, I have found my Financial Friends in The Pledgettes community.
Financial Friends share a short-code with you. They understand the importance of “getting the SOW signed” or participating in your first pitch competition. I started my career in the music industry with a free internship. My dad didn’t get it and would love to tell people that I was working for FREE! That internship (thankfully) landed a paid position within the company that taught me some of the greatest professional lessons of my career. I had a ton of autonomy (my top value) to take risks, try new things, and confidently make decisions. Thankfully, to counterbalance my well-intentioned dad not understanding the value, I expanded my professional network to those that not only understood it but celebrated it!
Financial Friends are also taking an active role in their financial journey and embrace money talks. They are in the weeds and can share their experiences and offer perspectives when you feel overwhelmed and are ready to give up. Financial Friends have an abundant mindset and a love for celebration.
Celebrating is a valuable part of your financial journey because success is contagious. Making your first million starts with making your first dollar, and Financial Friends are in it for the long-haul to celebrate your milestones and achievements. Now, they are also encouraging your celebrations to be aligned with the milestone. You don’t want to raise a round and then spend it all on an employee retreat (unless that’s how you’re going to hit the next milestone). A celebration can be a party, dinner out, or happy dance via Zoom. Acknowledging your financial wins and sharing those with your Financial Friends is my favorite part of The Pledgettes.
Financial Friends can:
- Supply ample motivation as they cheer you on;
- Offer perspective when you’re self-sabotaging;
- Celebrate with you.
Where can you find Financial Friends?
Making friends can be an awkward experience. It’s like passing notes in middle school: “Do you want to be my boyfriend? Check yes or no.”
In 2019, I was seeking out Financial Friends. I wanted to find a group of women that wanted to talk holistically about money, wealth, and finance. So, I was that awkward new kid that just went up to women and tried to start a money conversation. I created this conversation deck with money conversation starters. And I would get one of two reactions:
- An eager excitement, a lean forward, and a whisper that we were about to get vulnerable with each other and start a secret society. These women had financial clarity on their Big Financial Goals and wanted more celebration, support, and connection. They were ready for healthy, wealthy money talks with other women.
- A physical recoil, closed lips, and conversation killer. They felt overwhelmed, scared, or felt it was rude to talk about money. These women were putting off action to “someday” and feeling stuck in their personal finances. They needed more healthy, wealthy money talks with other women.
It was then that I created The Pledgettes, a financial community for values-driven women. In addition to Financial Friends money conversations, we also expanded our financial literacy together through speaker events, with topics from money mindset to alternative investments. The Pledgettes is where I found my Financial Friends.
We are bringing a Financial Friends event to Denver Startup Week so you can find Financial Friends in the startup community. You can build your relationship from the shared experiences you had during Denver Startup Week and your shared interests in job roles, industry, business stage, or location.
How can you start a conversation with a Financial Friend?
Money talks are like peeling back the layers of the onion. Start with the outer layer, that onion skin, that doesn’t make you cry. As you build trust and credibility, you can dig deeper into the center part of the onion (that sometimes induces tears).
I have never started a healthy, wealthy money talk with “Where are all your accounts, and what is the balance in each account?” Yeah, that would make me run away fast if someone asked me that. The reality is we have money conversations every day, we just try to disguise them as something else. We talk about money when we decide where to go with friends, what to eat for dinner, or what we do for work.
Let’s start with some onion skin questions like:
- What would you do if you earned a $1 million investment?
- How has your money mindset evolved with your startup?
- What is your first memory of money?
Then, you can lead the conversations deeper on a specific topic or into a new topic.
Also, you don’t need to have the entire money talk in one sitting! Deep money talks can happen over time through a series of conversations. You are doing big things and they don’t happen in one afternoon.
Expand Your Financial A-Team
We wouldn’t put all the success of our business on one person and you shouldn’t put the pressure of your financial journey on one person either. The number one question I get is, “Can you introduce me to the best Financial Advisor?” Whoa, whoa, let’s start at the onionskin first.
If you are the CEO of your money, consider your Financial A-Team your board of directors.
When you start with your Big Financial Goals, you may not need a Financial Advisor first. Nor do you need just one person, you need a Financial A-Team. Financial Friends are one group of persons that belong to your Financial A-Team. You should also have Specialists, Connectors, Mentors/Mentees, and Diverse Thinkers. Learn more about who belongs on your Financial A-Team and how to build one with our Financial A-Team blog posts.