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Episode 22 Empowered Business Podcast

Episode 22: The Importance of Financial Independence & A Life Update

I’ve gone through a lot of major life changes in the past 6-9 months…

Between postpartum PTSD, retiring my signature course on Pinterest advertising, starting to prioritize my physical and emotional health, being more strict with my workweek and more, there have been a lot of changes!

In this episode, I am talking about how these life changes put me in a recent situation where I experienced major sexism and really solidified why my business mission is to help women achieve financial independence. 

Over the years, I’ve seen way too many women in my life be in unhealthy situations because they lacked the financial resources to get out of it. This makes me EXTREMELY passionate about every single woman’s right to financial security, and it inspired me to share this episode with you.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Finally feeling like myself again after having kids
  • Making a major shift in my business and retiring my signature course
  • Pivoting my business to help women create financial independence
  • What I have been doing to drop my stress levels and reduce burnout
  • Why it’s important to me to have equal financial standing in my marriage
  • Navigating sexism as a female business owner

I am more passionate and revved up to help women reach their financial goals than ever before, and I want you to be one of those women who crush the 6-figure mark!

If you are ready to take the leap into digital products, I’d love for you to join me for a FREE training I’ve put together, 3 Little-Known Secrets to Picking the PERFECT Digital Product to Sell Online. Learn the BEST kept secrets when creating digital products and how to find the PERFECT one for your audience and business!

I hope that sharing all of this with you has inspired you to take action. Because remember, at the end of the day, YOU have the right to be financially independent.

I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on today’s episode! I just opened a new Instagram account dedicated to providing you with the best tips on creating and selling digital products, and I’d love for you to DM me there @monica.froese.

Resources Mentioned:

Speaker1: [00:00:04] You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast, I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help 1000 women make hundred thousand dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to one hundred million dollars. Sound good. Then let’s jump in. Well, hello there. It’s been a while since I’ve done a solo show and I have a lot to share with you. I was originally going to give this update as a small 10 minute update before another show. But as I was writing out my notes, it was apparent that I have a lot to share today and it deserves a show of its own. So I want to tell you about what’s


Speaker1: [00:01:09] Been going on for the last six to nine months of my life. There have been some major changes and it all started in September of twenty twenty. I’ve learned that my postpartum phase, after having kids lasts anywhere from like two and a half to three years and after suffering from severe postpartum PTSD due to birth trauma, after my first child, my kids ended up being five and a half years apart. And that’s because I wasn’t sure I was going to have another baby, which basically means that my body hasn’t felt like it’s my own for the last decade. Postpartum PTSD is a topic that I am just very, very passionate about and I’ve written a lot about it over on my website, Redefining Mom. And I’m going to link to a few articles that I wrote about my personal experience in the show notes. And if that’s something that you’re more interested in hearing about or maybe something that you think that you’re dealing with. 


Speaker1: [00:02:07] I’ve had a lot of people over the years find my articles and write me very personal and emotional emails and just thanked me for sharing my journey. So please go ahead and click on over there if that’s something that interests you.


Speaker1: [00:02:18] But basically in September of twenty twenty, my youngest daughter was two and a half years old and for the first time in a very long time, I started to feel like myself again, almost like how I felt at twenty six before I even had kids.


Speaker1: [00:02:32] So you can do the math and I’m thirty six now. In some ways this was great, but in others it led to a very dark four month period. Now first of all, the entire world was dealing with lockdown and while I can tell you that my family was extremely fortunate during this time, it did radically shift how my everyday life was functioning and that did create some friction with my mental health. Second, I was coming to terms with the fact that I needed to make a major shift in my business and retire my signature course on Pinterest advertising. Now, I’ll link to the episode where I talk about the huge business pivot I did in twenty twenty in the show notes so you can go back and listen to it. It’s Episode four. It was a decision that I agonized over for a very long time before I decided to go ahead and retire that course. Now, third, I was very unhappy with my body post second child. I’ve had an extremely hard time losing the baby weight this time around, and I’ve spent the last three years at my highest weight as an adult. And for the last four months of twenty twenty, I wallowed quite a bit. I told myself it was because we were cooped up in the house for months on end and entering winter again here in the Northeast.


Speaker1: [00:03:48] And by December my husband approached me and point blank told me I may need to consider going back to therapy like I did for the postpartum PTSD because I was not acting like myself at all and I knew that. But as a husband should point out, when he thinks that there’s something going on, he wanted to make sure that I was taking care of myself. So I spent weeks reflecting on this and decided that I really needed to do some things to take care of myself. I sacrificed my body to my children for a decade and I don’t regret a single moment of it. But I knew it was time to start prioritizing my mental, emotional and physical well-being. I entered twenty twenty one on a mission to change a lot of things about my entire life so I could start feeling like myself again. The first thing I decided to do was I alluded to this, I pivoted the entire product suite of my business away from Pinterest to helping women create financial independence through creating digital products. I’m happy to report that based on the numbers, it looks like that was not only a wise decision for allowing me to show up and help more women, but it also looks like we may double our revenue in twenty twenty one from twenty twenty.


Speaker1: [00:05:04] Now, second, I decided to tackle my emotional health. I started reading ferociously.


Speaker1: [00:05:11] I read so much. I read about a book a day since December. Twenty ninth, twenty twenty. Reading is something I’ve always loved but haven’t made time for since having kids. It relaxes me. It instantly drops my stress levels and the more I read the sharper my mind becomes. I took this to the next level by investing in a nice comfy leather chair from my office where I’ll take regular breaks through my workday. Finally, I can’t say I’ve ever done that in the past and reading has also allowed me to stop investing wasted hours on social media. I used to mindlessly scroll at night for hours, and now I barely go on social media anymore, and I know that has contributed to my lower stress levels. Third, I stopped working crazy hours and I made it a point to take real days off of work. I used to work nonstop, and as many entrepreneurs will tell you, it feels like you are constantly on. And the thing is, there was a time that that was OK. I genuinely love my business and for the most part, I love to work. But I suffered through too many bouts of burnout and my family suffered because I was constantly stressed out.


Speaker1: [00:06:29] So now I only work when my nanny is here Monday through Friday, about thirty five hours a week. I rarely touch work on weeknights or weekends. I’ve also gone away with my husband, meaning on a trip twice this year. And I didn’t open my computer once, not once. I can’t even tell you honestly, the last time I have taken time off and not worked was in twenty seventeen and that was before I got pregnant with my second daughter and really before the business took off. Now on top of that, I’ve managed to take off a few days at the last minute, which previously was unheard of for me. A few times my daughter asked me to cut the workday short and spend it with her and this typically would have stressed me out. But now I jump at the chance to do it. And it’s been amazing. The quality time that I’ve spent over the last five months with my daughters has just been so relaxing and so rewarding. Now, fourth, it was time to tackle my physical health. I started walking five days a week, at least two miles a day. My nanny is here until four thirty pm every day and I have a standing appointment on my work calendar to log out and close everything down at three forty five pm and go on my walk.


Speaker1: [00:07:46] I have been consistent with this for over five months now and the benefits of walking consistently for me have been incredible. I feel better and I have way less pain in my hips and knees. All in all, I’ve had a fantastic start to twenty twenty one and I am feeling a lot better. And one thing I have not been able to tackle just yet is the dreaded scale. And here’s the thing. I honestly gave up caring about what the scale said a long time ago. I’ve been called names my entire life based on my weight, which is truly sad when you consider I was five, five and one hundred and forty pounds when I entered high school. Yet I was still considered the fat kid throughout elementary school. And that is a terrible word, by the way. Like it’s just terrible to call anyone that the things I could tell you about what I’ve endured in regards to my weight, it honestly would probably make you cry. If someone ever treated my girls like that, I would just be devastated. There has always been an unhealthy fascination in my life about my weight. And honestly, the older I get, the less I care. All I care about is feeling healthy and good about myself. I don’t care about what other people think about what my body should or should not look like. So in the second half of twenty twenty one, I’m going to be tackling this issue once and for all. Now, I’m not ready to talk about it just yet, but if you couldn’t tell, I am basically an open book, so at some point I will open up more about it. I have a feeling my journey will help many other women out there and I’d be silly not to use my platform to do that. So stay tuned for my twenty twenty one recap in six months because I’m sure it will be a good one.


Speaker1: [00:09:29] Ok, so now I want to talk about how all of these life changes put me in a recent situation where I experienced some major sexism and it really solidified why my business mission is to help women achieve financial independence. I’ve told my husband for years that being part of a healthy marriage for me is having equal financial standing. I also tell him I’m not here because I’m forced to be here due to situational reasons. I’m here in this marriage because I want to be because I have the resources to be on my own. I’m not forced to be here. I’ve seen way too many women in my life be in healthy relationships because they lacked the financial resources to get out of it. And it really makes me angry and sad to see that before my husband and I got married, I was an extremely independent person. I traveled constantly by myself. I bought my own cars, had a career, pursued my master’s in business. And so when we got married, one of the things I told him was that I would always keep credit cards in my own name that only I could access. Now, he was raised very conservatively and a lot of my ways when it came to being independent or foreign to him. He is very much of a team mentality, and that was hard for me because my parents got divorced when I was 12 and I watched my mom struggle, my husband wasn’t trying to control me. He just genuinely didn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to share everything.


Speaker1: [00:11:00] Now, for the most part, we do share everything. We have bank accounts. We do have joint credit cards. We share our cars. We obviously live in the same house. However, there were a few things I haven’t budged on.


Speaker1: [00:11:13] The first is my business is solely owned by me. If something ever happened to our marriage, he’d walk away with his corporate paycheck and earning potential. So I deserve to be able to do the same. The second thing I haven’t budged on is I do have credit cards that only I have access to. However, he can see the statements and he can see what’s done on the credit cards. It’s just that it’s in my name alone. And the third thing is I invest heavily into my own retirement with profit from the business. And he also has his own retirement accounts through his job. Now, I’m telling you this for two reasons.


Speaker1: [00:11:47] First, I want to explain that I am unapologetic about my insistence on maintaining financial independence. Even in my marriage. I will always have a way to take care of myself and my children no matter what. And here’s the thing, it’s not about divorce. It could be about tragedy.


Speaker1: [00:12:07] We don’t know what the future holds. So I have every right to insure my ability to take care of myself. Second, I wanted to give context to the story that I’m about to tell you about the sexism I recently experienced. So part of my awakening in twenty twenty one was that I didn’t want to drive a minivan anymore. Frankly, I never wanted one to begin with, but I compromised on it. And I can’t say that it wasn’t extremely useful when my second was an infant. However, it made me feel old and I know that might sound really silly, but hey, we all have our things that get to us. And one of my things was I just felt old driving a minivan. I didn’t like it. So I decided I wanted to buy myself a Toyota Highlander and I wanted a sunroof, which is something I haven’t had in a car since before I had kids. I set out to buy this car on my own. I mean, I’ve bought every single car I’ve ever driven on my own, including the van. I bought my first car at eighteen. So I am no stranger to being treated unfairly by men at car dealerships. When I was twenty one, one of the service managers called me a little girl because he didn’t think I was correct about a problem that my car was having. And newsflash, I was right and he was very condescending. So my husband and I took the kids to the Toyota dealership and my husband told me to do the test drive alone.


Speaker1: [00:13:34] He’s six three. So all he really cares about is sitting in the driver’s seat. What really mattered was that I was happy with the purchase, so I did the test drive, decided I wanted it, and promptly had my three year old have a potty accident right after. So while my husband was tending to my girls, I was approached by the finance manager and it was like he was just waiting for my husband to leave. The first thing out of his mouth when he looked at the credit application was, is your husband cosigning? Hmm.


Speaker1: [00:14:06] No, he’s not. He says, Are you sure? Yeah dude, I don’t need a man to cosign on my cars, but I didn’t say that instead. I just said, yeah, I’m sure. Then he says, your current lease is in your name. I said, Yeah, exactly. I’m thinking. So why is it shocking that this lease would be in my name as well? But again, I just confirmed that is the case, that, yes, I am the only one on our current vehicle.


Speaker1: [00:14:34] While he says, are you returning your current lease today? So am I returning the van to the dealership today? I said no, I’m actually going to buy out the current lease on the van in cash. And then he looks at me and says, oh, with a shocked expression. Now, honestly, at this point, I’m really not even that mad because this has happened to me before, especially when buying cars. I’ve had really bad experiences in car dealerships. I remember when I bought my first two cars, I was asked where my dad was.


Speaker1: [00:15:03] And let me just tell you, I am giving you a hard core, eye roll right now. So now the finance manager is reviewing my credit application and says, you are self-employed. And in my head I was thinking, oh, boy, here we go. Yes, I am, I said. And then he said to me, You work at Redefined Man LLC.


Speaker1: [00:15:23] Now, I am not going to put an E on this podcast for dropping any

sort of bad words. However, looking at the girl who owns a business called Redefining Mom LLC, which is very clearly written now and calling it Refind Man LLC, didn’t go over very well. Now let me stop here and tell you I do regret naming my LLC after my brand name at the time. I personally think it was short sighted, and I know people don’t take me seriously because of it. Now I am in the process of renaming the LLC to Froese Media, not because I’m ashamed of it, but because my brand expanded beyond Redefining Mom.


Speaker1: [00:16:01] I want my company to be named something that is holistic of what I do now. At this point, I am very unimpressed with this guy, so I tell him the correct name of my business and also tell him when I leased the van three years ago, they listed my company as Redefining Morn. Yeah, Redefining Morn. M-O-R-N. And when I questioned it, they told me it would not report to the credit bureaus. Well, it did.


Speaker1: [00:16:29] And I had to file complaints with all three bureaus. I told him it was very important to me that my company name was spelled correctly before I signed, you know, because I’m very proud of what we built here and don’t spell it wrong. You know, we don’t spell Pepsi wrong, so don’t spell my company wrong. Now, the application asks for two years of employment history. I’ve had my company for five years, five years that we’ve turned a profit. I also had to list my monthly income.


Speaker1: [00:17:00] And let me tell you, I only listed an average of what I take home via payroll and profit distributions. I didn’t even touch the profit that I leave in the business. And I could have included that in terms of what money I had access to in order to secure this loan. But I didn’t. I just used what I take out of the business on a monthly basis. And you could tell he didn’t believe the number because he questioned me on it three times. He then wanted to know where I worked before I owned my company. Now, I was annoyed by this, but told him where I worked for eleven years prior to having my business. It happens to be one of the biggest companies in Buffalo. So he knew what it was and his response was, wow, that’s a great job.


Speaker1: [00:17:48] Yeah, except as you can see, I clearly make way more than I did working at that company. So then we moved on to housing and he says,


Speaker1: [00:17:58] You’ve only lived in your house for a year. I said, yes, we built a house in twenty twenty. OK, how long were you at your previous residence? He says, and I said seven years, as I stated on the application. Now, the implication here was that he didn’t think I was stable enough to qualify for a lease on my own, even though he knew I leased the last car on my own. Now wait for it. You think he would have moved on to actually going and processing my credit application, but instead he goes, Are you sure you don’t want a cosigner? Oh, I should have walked out the door right then.


Speaker1: [00:18:36] And I do regret that I did not walk. The only reason I didn’t was because new car inventory is super low right now because of COVID. And I really like this car. It literally had just rolled off the truck and I knew it would be really hard to find another one in stock in the area. So I confirmed yet again, I do not need a cosigner. And he said, OK, I guess we’ll just see what your credit report shows. And I’m thinking, yeah, I guess we will. I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise given my type of nature.


Speaker1: [00:19:10] But my credit is good and honestly, my credit has always been good in my adult life. So I am very proud of how hard I’ve worked for my score to be where it’s at. And I didn’t really appreciate his condescending remarks about it without even knowing. Now, at this point, I was sent back to the sales guy and we arranged for pickup the next day at five pm. I’d come in and sign all the paperwork when I came back. So I was determined to keep my cool with the finance guy the next day. And I told my husband I didn’t need him with me.I could handle it. So I walked into his office and sat down and we worked our way through the paperwork. And guess what? He did get the company name right, but said I owned it for a year and referenced my last job and even got that wrong by saying I was there eight years and not eleven years. His excuse was that the financial institution would have an issue with my self employment. I don’t think so. Not if I had to show my profit and loss statement, which is what a bank would ask for. So that was an excuse. It’s because he didn’t actually think or believe me, apparently. So that irritated me. I let it go. Then he tried to sell me three warranty packages, which mathematically made no sense, and I even showed him the math as to why. But it’s clear he got his commission from upselling me. So he was not a fan of me saying no, and that’s when it came. He says, I always get these for my wife and she’s always very happy that I did. Oh, no, I do not need you making decisions for me.


Speaker1: [00:20:45] So I said, that’s great, but I don’t need a man making decisions for me, needless to say, he pushed me back to the sales guy really fast after that. And I’m happy to report that was my last interaction with that guy. This whole experience made me really mad, but even more so, it reconfirmed my decision to pivot away from Pinterest advertising so I could really double down on my mission of helping women achieve financial independence by creating six figure digital product businesses. If you can’t tell, I am extremely passionate about every single woman’s right to financial security. I am more passionate and wrapped up to help women reach their financial goals than ever before. I want you to be one of those women who crush the six figure mark if you’re ready to take the leap into digital products. I would love for you to join me for free training that I’ve put together. Called Three Little Known Secrets to picking the perfect digital product to sell online. In the streaming, you’ll learn the best kept secrets when creating digital products and how to find the perfect one for your audience in business. Find out more details and sign up over at Empowered Business Dacko for such profit and I’ll be sure to put that link in the show notes as well. And I’d also love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on today’s episode. I know this episode was a little bit different than what you’re used to, but actually it’s a pretty good glimpse into my personality. I just opened a new Instagram account dedicated to providing you with the best tips on creating and selling digital products. And I’d love for you to DM me there.

Speaker1: [00:22:22] My daughter the other day said, What’s a DM? It’s a direct message. So the new Instagram account is at Monica.Froese. So I want to thank you for hanging out with me today. I hope that sharing all this with you has inspired you to take action, because remember, at the end of the day, you have the right to be financially independent until next week. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Empowered Business podcast, Let’s Stay in Touch. I just opened a brand new Facebook group for digital product creators. Whether you are new to digital products or an existing digital product creator, our new Facebook group, Digital Product Insiders, is perfect for you. Head on over to Monica Froese dot com forward slash group to join for free. See you here again next week.

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