Andrea Kennedy - Strategic and Empathetic

What are your "and" words and why? Strategic and empathetic.   I work with nationalities from around the world, a truly globally mobile client base that is diverse culturally as well as with their experience and intentions with money.  So it’s absolutely necessary that I bring communication, consistency and systems to help individual and couples master their personal finances. 

The issues most people face with their money are related to psychology – and by extension how they communicate their wants and needs – and also the lack of systems brought to their money.  So I bring both strategy and a good ear (also known as empathy) to families and professionals who seek a greater sense of personal mastery around their money.  To do this, you need to be strategic both from a psychological perspective as well as a “financial analytical perspective” i.e. knowing how to invest and how to avoid the pitfalls of bad advice.  But you have to be a good listener and weave through and build bridges anew to delicate personal relationships that have often been problematic for some time.  Some days it feels like being a hostage negotiator.

What you are known for saying / a quote from you. What does this quote mean to you, (or if it's from someone else, why does it inspire you)? Time=Energy=Money. Time is the most valuable resource you have.  Learn to use your time and energy efficiently and you will come to understand how to master your money.

Women give away their time and energy and money on a scale that men rarely do.  And once we are wives and mothers our time is just leached away from us constantly.  I love being a parent and a partner, but limits have to be put around what is assumed we will spend time on.  And limits have to be put around other women leaching from us as well – this starts young in the “chore department” where girls are saddled with time-taking chores and boys get to take out the garbage.

Partly this is a cultural issue in terms of how women are socialized.  We are socialized not to be selfish with our time and to give it away freely or cheaply to be liked or to be loved.  We sit at dinner parties and play hostess and listen to others drone on about their lives while we sit there with a smile playing Geisha.  We spend hours and hours on our looks and on our weight and on our wardrobes and on our interiors in the misguided grasp for the golden ring of self-worth.  And then we wonder why no one represents us in politics and why we have a wage gap the size of the Grand Canyon. Be strategically selfish with your time. Not everyone will like it, but who needs everyone. And then watch your wage gap shrink and your net worth soar.

Which other Ladybadasses inspire you and why? My mom was the epitome of a role model for personal financial mastery.  She grew up without a role model herself, without a college degree and in a time that women had very little say, let alone know how, in how money was managed and invested.  She was not a kept woman but was really way ahead of her time. Even now, she seems way ahead of her time when I look at, as yet, how dependent women can still be in this space, despite us all being in the 21st Century.

When did you first realize that you had some Ladybadassery in you? When I was able to almost always win at Dodge Ball in primary school! I realized there were people chosen on teams for popularity sake and others chosen for competence. I guess it’s best to be a bit of both in school, but if you could only be one, I leaned into competence. And had no problem pummeling popularity!

What keeps you motivated on days when you aren't quite feeling like a Ladybadass? My daughter is a Ladybadass herself. She is studying to enter film making, an industry that is not only stacked against women, but an industry with so many MeToo problems. I know I have to be a Ladybadass for her and I cannot either sit on my laurels or “feel sorry.”   Instead I feel deeply grateful and positive because, despite everything going on in this world, the long arc of progress is intact.  We all have to remember that “failures” or set backs are moments; they need not be life defining.

What is your advice to other women who are trying to tap into their Ladybadassery? Women have to break out of two cycles in my opinion:

1. Get comfortable saying no.  And accept that not everyone is going to like you or what you stand for.  To be successful as a woman means being strategic with your time and energy.  And for sure that will piss some people off who are used to abusing it. 

2.  Ask What If.  What if you started your own business?  What if you wrote a book?  What if you started a blog?  What if you left your job?  What if you asked for a raise?   What if your house was a mess for a month?  What if you stopped doing X so you could do more of Y?  And then just do it.  Seriously, whatever you want to be different, start with What If, and take it step by step and begin to move through the changes you need to move forward or shape shift past an impasse.

Andrea is an educator, author and money ninja. She helps the globally mobile high net worth families achieve total personal finance mastery through intensive highly personalized coaching and financial planning.  Own Your Financial Freedom, written specifically for women, will be launched throughout China in 2019.  It is the first personal finance book being published in China for women!