Interview with Patty Bonsera
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to be a Financial Wellness Advisor and Personal Finance Expert?
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you my defining moment that brought me to where I am today, coaching women like you on exactly how to reach their financial goals.
That defining moment in my life happened in May, 2009, just 8 months after the economic crash of 2008. Our family was hit very hard and I spent many nights lying awake wondering how we were going to pull ourselves out from underneath this financial mess.
I was approaching my 50th birthday and had spent 20 years in corporate investment management, as a securities trader, helping pensions, profit-sharing plans and big companies make a lot of money.
While my life looked great on the outside, I was a mess on the inside. I felt more alone, isolated and frustrated than ever, especially as a financial professional. I should know this stuff, right? However, trading millions of dollars of stocks and bonds and personal finance are not the same. Not even close.
Even in my own industry, there was no one I felt comfortable enough to talk to. I knew that if I felt this way, there had to be other women who were experiencing the same.
I started confiding in close girlfriends and when I shared my deepest fears and struggles, they felt as if they’ve been given permission to open up and share their stories, too. It was a true epiphany of how many women are hiding in unnecessary shame.
It was during those precious talks, I discovered that:
1. The number of middle and upper-income women struggling with debt are rising faster than lower income women.
2. The embarrassment and shame associated with financial trauma prevents women from reaching out and talking with other women or professionals.
3. Many women in midlife are living in silent confusion, anxiety and fear as a result.
4. These women didn’t want someone selling them more insurance or investments.
5. They needed someone to come alongside them to show them a better way to create the financial security they were seeking.
It was during those conversations that I made a commitment to immerse myself in personal finance and address the real issues for women navigation midlife.. The issues that mainstream financial services ignores, such as: our relationship with money, pay inequality and how traditional retirement is becoming irrelevant.
I created my own financial reinvention and decided to dedicate the rest of my professional life to working with these women to create theirs through my workshops, products, masterminds and VIP private consulting days.
Who are your clients exactly?
Women navigating midlife work with me because they have either raised a family, been through a divorce or some other major life event and are seeking, "What's next?" They are struggling with who to trust for unbiased direction.
They fear being judged by the “norms” of the financial services industry so they keep their struggles under wraps. However, these are women who refuse to settle for the status quo and want to know the steps to regain their self-confidence and reach their financial goals.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do so that every woman navigating midlife feels like she has a voice in her finances, doesn't feel alone and to show her how to define her financial security for what she wants for today and the decades to come.
How are you different from other “financial professionals?”
As a financial therapist, what separates my services from other financial professionals is I do not sell insurance or investment products. I bridge the gap between the emotional AND practical to help women shift how they see themselves and their relationship with their money.
What exactly is a Financial Wellness Advisor? Think life coach meets financial planner.
What that means for you is that I am very focused on what works for women in midlife who are trying to grab hold of her financial footing to redefine this chapter in her life and for decades to come. Because my focus is very narrow, you are welcomed into a heart-centered, judgement-free space with a step-by-step plan to reimagine your money story and create your financial plan that defines what you want for today and the future.
What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?
This Fear.less Girl Financial workshops, products and programs were created for women navigating midlife who are absolutely serious about creating a financial reinvention and ending what I call “the 3:00 a.m. sweats”, meaning, not waking up in the middle of the night anymore saying, “How do I get myself on a clear path to removing the financial stress from my life.”
It means going from fearful to fear.less.
They were created for you to help you rediscover your true self, reignite passions you put on the back-burner and reinvent your life, all centered around a financial plan that will lead you to achieve the financial security you’re after. You will be redefining what this means for you instead of what mainstream financial services says it should look like.
What type of woman is this program NOT going to work for?
Please know I’m very selective in who I work with and I cherry-pick my clients, choosing to (gently) turn away women who aren’t suited for my programs and won’t get the results for which they would have signed up for. (It wouldn’t be fair to them.)
The Fear.less Girl Financial programs are NOT for those who have no money coming in at all and are in extreme financial crisis, at least not right away. It’s been my experience that women in this situation are not in a position to do the work.
If you fall within this category, it’s absolutely OK. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Do yourself (3) favors:
1. Get some money coming in with a full-time or part-time job at the very least, and then call me. This will take the edge off and provide a little more peace of mind. Mostly, it will de-clutter your mind enough to focus on the work that we’ll do together and the BIG picture.
2. Sign up for the free MidLife Money Makeover tools over email (Click here to subscribe.) The free information will get you started towards your goals until you’re ready to work with me one-on-one.
3. Make a point to follow our Fear.less Girl Minute videos and join our Facebook community listed at the bottom of the ezine. These will give you a LOT of things to think about. Doing these three things will really help you get primed for our work. When you’re ready, call me and we’ll get you started. (I’m in no rush and will be here when you need me.)
Another type of person I won’t work with (without exception) is the whiner, chronic skeptic, or someone looking for a magic pill. While my approach stems from compassion and my heart, your midlife money makeover takes both of us working together with no excuses. If you are one of these people, I gently and respectfully ask that you not call and I hope you understand why. We’ll probably just not work well together and I wouldn’t want you to waste your time or money. Is that fair?
What exactly is the MidLife Money Makeover™ program and what does it include?
Your midlife money makeover begins with understanding it’s not about needing more financial information. When it comes to your money and your life, it's never just about budgets, spreadsheets or math. It means reimagining a new relationship with your money, which is the work that must be done alongside the mechanics of money in order to create lasting change to achieve your goals.
Then, it means taking serious action on it. Here’s what the MidLife Money Makeover gets you to do:
1. Rediscover Your True Self
Your rediscovery journey is a holistic process that helps you heal financially to create a new money story for your life. You’ll shed old money beliefs and you'll design a spending plan for your finances that accounts for everything — your current bills, future goals and living your best life on your terms. Yet, it's about so much more than just the numbers.
Remember those big dreams in your early 20’s? Whether you were raising a family, or your career took an unexpected turn, or experienced a major life event, somehow, those passions wound up on the back burner. Now, it’s your turn to bring them to the forefront and reignite them and discover new ones.
3. Reinvent Your Life
Think of me as your personal finance guide walking you through each step of the process, with encouragement and support, in a judgement-free space. I work with you to bridge the gap to bring the emotional and financial pieces of your life together. We’ll journey in figuring out what you want to accomplish and then, together, we create a plan on how and when you will accomplish it.
We plan, implement and partner together so that you:
Feel more confident about your relationship with your money.
Write a new money story for your life.
Create a well-organized financial life.
Have a financial plan in place to create clarity, confidence and growth based on your:
Build your future on your terms.
These are the steps of The MidLife Money Makeover™ process that I’ve created after working with women who have experienced life-changing events such as raising families, career transitions or divorce.
What results can I expect?
Your results will be determined by the time and effort you give to the work we’ll be doing together. Those who take action will see results right away, including real, tangible personal finance growth!
How can I guarantee myself that this will work for me?
You must look deep in your heart. Are you ready for financial clarity and change? Are you ready to live a life you love? If you are committed, this will work for you.
Patty, based on everything I’ve read and heard about you, I know you’re the one I want to learn from. What are my options for getting started with you?
Congratulations on making a decision for success! I’m happy to work with you to achieve your goals to create your reinvention for financial clarity, confidence and growth. To go from fearful to fear.less.