Hello everyone! Welcome back for episode #7: today I talk about my key takeouts from my interview with Marina Passalaris of Beautiful Minds. Marina and her organisation spend a lot of time helping young girls to find ‘true wealth’ through understanding themselves and being empowered to be true to their own beliefs. They also recently added a component to their courses to teach the girls about money and finance – something every young person needs to be taught!
Takeaway #1 – The images of success and wealth given by the media are very masculine
How many role models do we see of feminine wealth and success? It is often perceived that to be successful as a woman you must take on masculine traits – is this attractive to our teen girls? We need to change these messages now.
Takeaway #2 – There is an (often unconscious) bias against teaching girls about money
Marina found that with the money component of the course, it was often the attitudes of the parents that shone through – “oh my daughter’s not really interested in that”. It may be totally unconscious ( no one would like to think that they’re teaching their daughters the wrong messages about money), but why don’t we see money as being important for girls too? This is still an area where it seems the masculine ideas dominate…
Takeaway #3 – Why do we leave school knowing how to dissect a frog but not knowing how to manage money?
A course on money and how it works would be so valuable for all kids! It’s a vital life skill, yet it is rare to find in our schools. Why is this?
Speaker 1: Want to know what successful people are doing with their money to create wealth and use it consciously for the greater good? Welcome back to Wealth Unplugged, the weekly podcast that gives you diamond tips on creating conscious wealth from change makers, world shakers and wealth creators. Now here is your host Barbara Turley.
Barbara Turley: A big welcome to you all and thanks again for tuning back in to another week of Wealth Unplugged. I hope we’re staring to build up a bit of a regular listenership now, I think we’ve got quite a few subscribers to the show, so that’s pretty exciting for me. Maybe you’re already a loyal fan of Wealth Unplugged, and if you are, a big shout-out to you and virtual high fives all around from me.
So my aim with this podcast, as I say every week, is to make it nice and short with just a few key tips that I pick up from the guests that I interview on my Feminine Wealth TV show. So because it’s quick and easy to consume in this podcast form, you can easily fit it in while you’re cooking dinner, out for a run, or even walking around the supermarket. Now that’s something that I started doing recently with podcasts that I listen to because we’re all time poor and it’s really hard to get them all in. Typically, if I’m on my way to the supermarket I download a couple of podcasts beforehand and then I just listen to them while I’m strolling around with my trolley, so give that one a go.
This week I had a really interesting Feminine Wealth TV show, and it was one that I really wanted to do but I had to think about it for a while because I was unsure of how it would actually come out, or whether it was a bit off topic. I think that was my main issue. I felt that it was slightly off topic and I didn’t know how I was going to fit it in, but as it turned out it really fitted in so well and I got some amazing key tips from it for you. I had Marina Passalaris, who is the founder of Beautiful Minds Australia, on the show. Now, Beautiful Minds, it’s basically a life skills course for teenage girls and they learn everything from self-love, self-esteem and etiquette, to nutrition and fitness, and of course money, which was the angle that I really wanted to bring in.
I pitched the idea of the interview to Marina and she absolutely loved it because she had just recently introduced the whole topic of money into the course. So off we went and we recorded the show, delving into the minds of our teen girls and how they feel about money, business and wealth. What’s interesting is that really what Marina and her incredible team are teaching girls is how to have true wealth where money plays an important role, but it’s not the be-all and end-all, and unfortunately most of us learn this a little too late in life, or never learn it at all, so it’s great to see that the next generation are actually getting this message pretty early on, because true wealth is more than just being rich or having loads of money, it’s a much broader thing than that, it’s a lot of self-love in there as well. Whether they’re hearing it or not, these girls, I’m actually not so sure and neither is Marina, which was the most interesting part of the interview.
So the first thing that really struck me during our conversation was the fact that Marina felt really strongly that as a society we’re just not doing enough to really guide and impact our goals in the right direction. What she’s trying to do is helping, but it’s only a drop in the ocean, really. She’s really only scratching the surface with her courses. There’s still not enough female leaders and role models who are truly feminine being portrayed by the media, and obviously our teen girls, they’re all over social media, they love magazines, and TV, et cetera. They’re total media mavens. Even in the movies we definitely don’t have enough ads showing women making empowering decisions about money while also being feminine, and that’s the key, I think, making empowering decisions about money while also being feminine. And usually women in these situations are portrayed in quite a masculine way, like some sort of bull terrier which is totally undesirable.
And I have to admit, I can resonate a little bit with that because I think years ago, in my career when I was an equity trader, I used to meet guys and they would say to me, when they asked me what did I do and I said I was an equity trader they used to call me a bull terrier, they used say, “Oh, you must some sort of bull terrier.” And I think I did have a sense of … I tried to keep my femininity, but also quite a lot of those masculine traits to keep myself strong, so I guess in order to achieve in that arena I felt like maybe I had to be that way. This message that we’re delivering, in order to become a leader you need to become a kind of a man of a woman, it’s not really a great message.
I was at a great little seminar recently where one of the speakers was talking about of our perceptions of femininity and what femininity is. And she asked the room to think of the words that came to mind when we all thought of the concept of feminine energy, and it was very interesting because I immediately heard my own self talk and the women in the room were shouting out words like, “It’s floffy.” Weakness came up for me. Emotional, silly, fickle, full of jealousy, envy. A lot of these words that were very disempowering, actually.
Unfortunately this message is still emanating through our society, especially in the realms of business, success, and wealth. These are still really masculine paradigms and this is something obviously I talk about a lot, but for a woman it’s easier to step into her masculine to achieve, or not to bother about achievement at all. It’s kind of one or the other. You either need to be a man of a woman to achieve, or if you choose to go the other path you don’t really have a sense of achievement in that sense. It certainly isn’t a very attractive proposition for our teen girls, now is it?
I think that’s a big question we need to ask ourselves. Which one of them wants to become a man of a woman and why would we want any of our daughters to become something like that? I certainly know my parents didn’t want that for me. The message they’re getting, our girls, is that you can’t be successful, be a leader, be wealthy and be a beauty, a feminine goddess, a gorgeous, nurturing mother and a beautiful wife. Why can’t we be all of those things? Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?
Marina is sadly seeing this firsthand when the girls come through her course and this is, I think, what made the interview more interesting than I even anticipated. The girls still see the whole money making, or wanting to make money, as a bad thing, as something that you shouldn’t be striving for and that they’re not really interested in. What’s even more interesting is that she says it’s often coming from the family beliefs around girls and money. The belief that money is not important for girls is filtering into the girls mindsets from how they’re being brought up, how their parents are thinking. I’m not saying that this is a conscious thing, because obviously no parents wants to feel that that’s the message they’re giving to their daughter, so I think it’s more of an unconscious thing, we have these unconscious biases in society around women and money.
But Marina first picked it up when she decided to add the topic of money into the course and I had asked her, first of all, why did she decide to do that, and secondly, what was the reaction of the parents and of the girls when she did? She said that, what was interesting, some of the parents came back and actually called her and asked if their daughter could perhaps skip that session as she’s not that interested in the money topic. The very fact that the parents are fine with this is actually a worry because that’s where the message is getting perpetuated from. We really need to be raising our girls to understand the importance of having your own money as a woman, being able to make, manage, invest and engage the right advisers on your own money.
Something like 50% of marriages end in divorce these days and most women will far outlive their husbands, so it’s clear that women are very unaware that the likelihood of them facing big financial decisions alone in the future are very, very high and in fact pretty much guaranteed. So the messaging from society, the media and our families is more empowering for boys around money than it is for girls and if we don’t change this now, and get our girls when they are much younger, then what kind of female leaders are we really trying to grow for the future. That kind of leads me onto my next point.
Marina talked about her own entrepreneurial journey. The highs, the lows, the wins, the losses, the mistakes, as we all have in business. She asked the very valid question of why is it that we are leaving school well able to fully dissect a frog but no idea how to start a small business, how to understand good debt versus bad debt, or how to build true, sustainable wealth, and like hallelujah finally somebody has said it because I couldn’t agree more.
School is another massive topic that I could go on, and on, and on about, not because I didn’t like school, I actually loved school, but do I really think it equipped me for anything other than insane drive towards getting a gold star and becoming a total overachiever? Not really. I definitely didn’t learn about money at all, not even the basics of understanding the price of money at school. Now I guess those who did economics might have fared better, but a course on just money, not economics, just money and how it works, I recon that would get full attendance all the time from every student. In my opinion it’s a vital survival life skill that kids need to learn way more than pretty much any other subject that we learn at school, if you think about it. So why is it not on the curriculums and mandatory in every school program all over the world? For me that’s the question of today.
So look, I think I’ll leave you with that thought provoking question for this week and if you’ve time then check out the whole interview over at energisewealth.com. As always, if you enjoyed today’s show I’d love to hear about it either in the comments below or over on the Energise Wealth blog where we get lots of conversation going on over there, or even on the Facebook page at Energise Wealth.
I particularly like to hear from you if you have daughters and you talk openly with them about money, how do you manage that conversation? How did they react? Are they interested or do they just think it’s boring? Do you enjoy it or is it still a bit uncomfortable because you yourself don’t feel that you’re that well up on the subject because you also didn’t learn it at school. This is a real community for you to share in and grow in, so keep those comments coming. And if you’re game enough why not join my Twitter chat every Monday lunchtime. That’s Sydney, Australia lunchtime with the hashtag #wealthunplugged and you can join in the conversation there too.
So that’s it for this week. Remember to tune in next week when I’m going to be talking about what I discovered about the booming business of beauty from Kate Scott and Lisa Sullivan-Smith of The Clinic here in Sydney. Now The Clinic, it’s just this oasis of skin rejuvenation, which is a beautiful place and we actually filmed the interview in The Clinic premises, which was just in their beautiful waiting room, which is fab. So yeah, hopefully you join us next week and we’ll see you then.
Speaker 1: Thanks for tuning in. Come and join us on energisewealth.com to continue the conversation. Get your free video training, seven steps to energized wealth and watch the video interviews that were the inspiration behind this episode.