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This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Being selected for the #WomenInspired Campaign by Prudential during Hispanicize 2016 (the largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in digital content creation, journalism, marketing, entertainment and teach entrepreneurship) was an honor.
Seeing as Prudential‘s goal “To empower women with financial solutions so they can be confident they are making the right decisions for themselves and their families” aligned perfectly with my personal and professional goals, I couldn’t wait to get started. Through Dreams in Heels, my ultimate goal is to inspire women to live life to the maximum and pursue their dreams – of course, in order to do this, we need to make better (and deliberate) financial decisions.
Attending Hispanicize as an ambassador of the campaign, not only empowered me, but I learned why this campaign was relevant to me: How my background influenced my financial decisions, the importance of why this is a critical topic for women and, most importantly, I was personally moved by listening to the stories told by inspiring women. By attending the Prudential sessions/events I realized how neglectful I’d been of prioritizing my financial goals – current and future. It literally changed my life!
How did this campaign open my eyes as to how my financial situation is a perpetuation of what I learned from my family?
I was raised by a single mother in Puerto Rico. My mom was almost 40 years old when I was born, so there’s an age gap between me and my siblings. I must state that my mother is the strongest woman I know. However, although she owned small businesses her whole life, she rarely saved money, made investments or opened a retirement account. Why would she? Her mother never taught her about financial security. In fact, my grandmother only sent my mom’s brothers (the boys) to high school and she never even thought about retirement. Therefore, my mom never taught me much about making good financial decisions. Now, at 71, my mom has no real financial security.
I left Puerto Rico when I was 18 years old, to escape small island living. Without speaking any English, I came to New York by myself and started my life. A lot of people thought that I would not survive in the Concrete Jungle, but New York has not only been the university of my life, but it totally transformed my journey. Thirteen years later, I am 31 years old and standing strong in NYC. While it can be a challenge to save money, I’ve found a way to pursue my two passions – writing and traveling – and I’m committed to inspiring others to do the same. But If I had the opportunity to say something to my younger self, it would be, “Learn about money, about compounded interest, and put your money to grow and work for you. It is not hard to open an account with only a little investment…think, plan and save now for your future.” Basically, enjoy the journey but always secure your destination. I wish I knew this earlier in life!
Why is it relevant to you (and all women)?
It seems that Finance is still a predominantly male field, but that doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t learn about the importance of saving. Overall, we still earn less than our male colleagues so it’s even more critical that we understand that it is never too late to put your money to grow and plan for the future – short-term and long-term. And it is critical that we teach others – inspire the next generation to do the same.
When you find your purpose and follow your dreams, the universe conspires to help you achieve it all. It’s all about having a powerful reason to wake up every morning. I’m excited to be part of the influencers that are leading the #WomenInspired campaign of @prudential during @hispanicizeevent. As a Latina Women, I love how prudential is helping multicultural women to maximize their money. There are many things I wish I knew as a teenager and that’s why we should empower the Next Generation. We need to think about the future. Learn the art of negotiation and utilize the resources available to us as women entrepreneurs. My mission is to empower women to travel more and to live life to the maximum through this medium and now through my new brand @latinaswhotravel Ladies, let’s do this! We can do it. #Hispz16 #bossgirl #womenentrepreneur #serialentrepreneur #prupact #ad #latinas #latinaswhotravel #dreamsinheels #travel #dream
Who are these #WomenInspired?
They are confident, independent, high achieving, business owners (boss girls), wives, mothers and head of household…women like you! They believe that all women need to take ownership of their financial security.
What financial inspiration did I get from Prudential’s sessions, during Hispanicize 2016, that have made a permanent impression?
- You can maximize your money by creating a budget and learning about the tools available to help you. Examine your gains and losses to better understand what benefits yourself or your business and what does not. This way you can learn how your money can be utilized better; find where are you spending too much and not getting enough of a return. A good financial budget can help you live a better lifestyle and grow your business. I really wish that I knew this when I started my first business. Initially, I struggled a lot because I marched ahead without a clear plan or understanding of the financial tools I needed and I failed by not examining my losses sooner. This is a very important insight for any business owner.
- Put some money aside for knowledge and development; not every event or workshop will be free. Education is key and you should invest in yourself, by attending conferences like Hispanicize, workshops, events – meeting like-minded individuals is important because you can benefit from sharing experiences with each other. It is not just about collaborations or partnerships. Remember that you do not need to compete. You should only compete with yourself; push yourself to do more and succeed.
- Learn the art of negotiation. The ability to negotiate properly is critical in your day-to-day business activities. If you are not willing to negotiate, it can really hurt the bottom line of your business. Top three takeaways I learned: Determine what you want your desired outcome to be before you start any negotiation, know your audience and, more importantly, know your worth. If you do not know what you are worth, where you are going, what you want or who you are dealing with, the negotiation will likely fail miserably.
- Utilize the resources available to us as women entrepreneurs. To mention a few: Small business centers, (counselors that help with business plans, marketing strategies and more) free workshops and the library. Take some time at night to read a book. Even a page or two a day, keeps your mind active and learning. There are so many great books about budget, negotiations and finance; the classics include: The Art of War, Think and Grow Rich, The 48 Laws of Power, and Rich Dad Poor Dad. Or just simply find a mentor that can provide a fresh perspective and wisdom.
- Pay off your debt. Learn to spend less than what you make and to not accumulate more debt. Always pay more than the minimum on what you owe; this will be beneficial for your long-term financial goals. Building good credit is wonderful, but it’s just as important as saving.
- Sit down with an advisor at one of the Prudential Centers or go to their website to read more about the different services available to you. It is important to have long-term financial goals and to plan accordingly for your future and your family. You do not have to be rich to secure your financial future. Prudential is there to help you.
I hope the financial inspiration I gained from the Prudential sessions and events, during Hispanicize 2016, empowers you to seek personal growth and push yourself to proactively plan for your financial future. What are you waiting for?