Episode #83:
Building Wealth for Women with Dr. Deborah Ekstrom

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This week, Caterina is joined by money mindset guru, Dr. Deborah Ekstrom, to discuss all the steps women in business need to take in order to build wealth. From making the initial decision of building wealth, to assessing your mindset around money, this podcast is filled with endless tips for you to design your life with wealth in mind in order to create a more secure and amazing life and a better world!

Hello, I am Dr. Deborah K. Ekstrom – Founder and CEO of Money Loves Women. I’ve created the Money Loves Women Podcast for the modern woman in need of actionable advice from vetted resources; that can assist them in achieving financial freedom, personal mastery, and professional success. I want each person who visits this site to leave feeling more capable, more deserving, and more focused toward accepting abundance into all aspects of their life. Please watch this quick video for more information about me and my goals for women everywhere to lead extraordinary lives.

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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #83 Transcript


Building Wealth for Women with Dr. Deborah Ekstrom


Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.

[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando and I am blissing because today we have an amazing guest: Dr. Deborah Ekstrom. And she is going to support you to have a better relationship with your money. She has so much to share with you. We want you to fall in love with your money. Deborah, thank you so much for being here.

[00:00:49] Deborah Ekstrom: Caterina, thanks for giving me the delight of working with you again. I really am going to enjoy this, I can tell that.

[00:00:56] Caterina Rando: Thank you. So many things I want to have you share with the listeners. Before we do that. Say a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey.

[00:01:03] Deborah Ekstrom: Well, I grew up in the Midwest in a middle-class family, and early in my life I decided I wanted to be a physician. And because I am entrepreneurial, I had my own practice. But all through that time, I was really interested in money and really interested in growing wealth. So I had to teach myself how to do that. And I didn’t have that many resources, I didn’t have that many role models. So as a result of that, I developed this company Money Loves Women, because I really think money loves everybody and that you have to stop it from coming in your life. And I didn’t want women to have to struggle so hard to find the information. It’s not that the information isn’t there. It’s just that there’s so much information now, it takes a lot of time to sift through it, to find out what you need to know. So I wanted to teach women and want to teach women how to grow their wealth, in every quadrant of their life, but especially money.

[00:01:50] Caterina Rando: That sounds great. I want women to massively monetize. I want women to manage their money with ease. I want women to have money confidence, where they feel very confident about their money. And you know what I want, Deborah? I want every woman to feel like she’s going to be okay no matter what. And part of it is because she knows what to do with money, but also because she knows that she has massive value to bring. Now, Deborah, I know that you have so many things to share. First, I want to hear a little bit about what made you… I got that you want to help women, but you know, you already have a busy practice as a physician. What made you add on this whole new thing?

[00:02:35] Deborah Ekstrom: Well, I just really want to have another career. I don’t ever want to stop working. And it’s been my vision to make women successful for a long time. But I also think we need more power and more money and more influence in the hands of women, because I think that’s what would create a more balanced and peaceful world. And that’s the whole driving force behind Money Loves Women.

[00:02:56] Caterina Rando: I love it. I’m right there with you. Okay. Now, let’s get into some of the things that you want women to embrace. I know that you’re very big on decision-making for women, and I am very big on that myself also. That is one of your key steps. Let’s share about women and money and making decisions. What are your thoughts?

[00:03:16] Deborah Ekstrom: So the first initial step for building wealth is actually making a committed decision to build wealth. And the interesting thing is most people never make that decision. They never even decide to build wealth. Sometimes they’re afraid of money, or they’re afraid of the power that money will bring, or of failing, or that they’re not good enough to actually make that happen. And some of it is just lack of information. So making an actual decision for wealth without knowing how you’re going to do it, a committed decision, not a decision in the future because that’s procrastination, but making a committed decision that you’re going to do this. You’re going to learn money. You’re going to do money. And you’re going to vision money. And you’re going to make it happen in your life. And you’re the one that’s responsible. So that’s the very first step of wealth building.

[00:03:58] Caterina Rando: And you’re going to bring in some money. Great. Okay. Now, Deborah, let’s just pause here because, everyone, you’re listening to this podcast right now. You’re listening to this podcast for a reason. If you have not made the decision that you are going to build some wealth, let’s take a deep breath and let’s have you do it right now. Because you know, Deborah, one of the things I see with women entrepreneurs is that they want to be of service to everybody. At the same time, their businesses are not financially thriving. And so they’re struggling. They’re not blissing in their business. And let me be very clear, my friends: financial ease definitely creates more bliss in your business. All right, Deborah let’s make the assumption every gal listening has made the decision. What’s she going to do next?

[00:04:46] Deborah Ekstrom: The next thing she’s going to do is design a life with wealth in mind. So she’s going to vision what she wants her wealth to look like in every quadrant of her life: in her health and wellbeing, in her vocation, in her intimate relationships, and especially in her money. And the one that I found that is the most important is health and wellbeing. But the one that women have the most contention with is money. And that’s why I like to concentrate in that area.

[00:05:11] Caterina Rando: I thought you were going to say relationships, maybe that’s my personal projection there, because I’ve had a challenge with that. And one of the things that I’ve realized coming out of my financially challenging marriage is that my pattern as a woman –and I’m saying this because I’m sure some gals listening may have this awareness– my pattern as a woman has been to rescue men financially over the years when they got in trouble, and that’s something I’m not going to do anymore. And I mentioned that because I think a lot of women, they want to be helpful, they want to be of service, they want to support their partner or their friend, and that they put themselves and their financial ease and risk by helping every Tom, Dick, and Harry, or maybe just particular Tom, Dick, and Harry’s that ask. Now, Deborah, I have to ask you that I have to shine the spotlight here. What are your thoughts about that?

[00:06:15] Deborah Ekstrom: That’s a really good question, Caterina. And you might find that some women have the same issues with men and the same issues with money. I like to have women write a letter to money to see what it turns out to say. Cause sometimes it says the same things that they might say to men, like “I really want you in my life, but I’m afraid to get involved,” or ” first I approached you and then I’m running away,” or “I’m always very afraid that you’re going to abandon me.” So money and men sometimes get mixed up.

[00:06:44] Caterina Rando: My gosh, that is a great exercise, Deborah. I have never written a letter to money and I think that is something I am going to do. That is a good exercise for anyone listening. I love it. Bing, Bing, Bing. All right. We are making a decision. We are beginning to design a life. What else are we going to do?

[00:07:06] Deborah Ekstrom: In the decision and designing a life, one of the things that needs to be examined is mindset. And intelligence actually can be advanced, if you have a growth mindset. So intelligence and skills and all that, people aren’t any particular way. You can be whatever you want to be. But if you have a fixed mindset, you think you are a certain way, maybe you think you’re cooked by the time you’re 25 or 30 in that you’re always going to be that way or that other people are always going to be that way. That’s not actually true. We continue to grow and change and become the next version, the best version of ourselves. So assessing your mindset’s really important piece to making sure that you have a growth mindset.

[00:07:44] Caterina Rando: What you’re saying is if somebody is listening –Deborah, let me make sure I got this right– and they don’t think that they’re money smart, they can still become money smart. That’s what you’re saying, right?

[00:07:56] Deborah Ekstrom: And it’s not a negative reflection on them. So if they think they have to be perfect already, then they can’t make themselves vulnerable to learn anything new because someone might find out that they’re not actually smart. And the truth is it’s not about smart. It’s about the process of becoming more informed. And I really like to say, and I know you believe in this too, Caterina, fail fast and fail forward. So get out there and start doing things because if you’re not moving forward, then you’re not getting closer to your mastery. And perfection is not where we want to be. Perfection is not achievable.

[00:08:29] Caterina Rando: Exactly. Perfection is not required. It’s not encouraged. And the other thing is get out there. Because guess what? You might not fail. And you’re going to learn a lot along the way. I love this Deborah. This is wonderful because the other thing is not everybody grew up in a household where they had great money modeling. Most people had not that great money modeling. And you know, one thing I want to, I will say about myself is my parents had jobs. My parents did fine financially. They’re still doing fine financially, but they never talked to me about “Hey, you might want to buy a house with that money that you’re making in that business.” It was only through watching my mother accumulate real estate that I started to think about it. I really wish someone had given me some education about “Hey, okay. Once you start to make money, here’s what you want to do with it”. And now here’s the other thing, though, and I’m sure you would agree: it’s never too late to get your party started. Right, Deborah?

[00:09:30] Deborah Ekstrom: Never too late get going. So the next thing to do after you’ve designed your life, made your decision, figured out where you want to go in terms of visioning. You don’t need to know how to get there, you just need to have a vision for it. And it has to be something you’d love so that you really can move in that direction and you’re in harmony with the universe. The next thing to do is take responsibility for your money. You’ve made a decision you’re going to be wealthy, now take responsibility. So that means making sure everything’s in place. So you’re protected and that means insurance and proper entities if you’re building businesses and so forth, and then taking the responsibility to educate yourself and go ahead and make those decisions and move forward.

[00:10:10] Caterina Rando: Let’s talk a little bit more about what are some other ways that you see women taking responsibility and not taking responsibility that we want to shine the spotlight on. You mentioned about your entities and about insurance. What else, deborah, have you seen that would be an example of women not taking responsibility that we want to be aware of?

[00:10:34] Deborah Ekstrom: Well, not having a spending plan in place is a real problem for most people. Most women, for sure. So setting up automatic transfers of specific amounts of money that you’ve planned to automatically go into those things to get saved for. So that the places you really, really love to have a lifestyle around you have the funds to do that without guilt, but that you really cut back on the things that don’t matter to you. And you don’t spend frivolously. So you’re spending and saving and paying yourself first for the things you really, really want. And so you can make that happen.

[00:11:13] Caterina Rando: One thing a lady said to me not too long ago, Deborah, she said “well, you know, I just got my tax bill.” And I thought to myself “sweetheart, you’ve been in business for several years. Did you forget that you’re supposed to pay your taxes?” That’s another thing to do, is every month put a little bit aside for taxes, that’s also taking responsibility. And one thing, Deborah, a lot of ladies don’t even look at their numbers, and taking responsibility means that you’re looking at your numbers I would say on a daily basis: what’s coming in, what’s going out, meeting with your bookkeeper every month. What are your thoughts?

[00:11:50] Deborah Ekstrom: Well, there’s so many automated ways to do that now, for your personal finance, for sure. Obviously, for your business, you need to take responsibility and keep your eye on that all the time. But it’s great to start when you’re young, even before you might have a business when you bringing in your first paychecks to get that underway. And, even a lot of people who are making a lot of good money don’t have their money automated so that they’re paying their bills, automatically. And so they’re doing, they’re saving automatically. And making all of that happen. So that’s a big piece of your responsibility. And then reviewing what your memberships are, where your money’s going, what your insurance levels are. Do you really need what you have there? And making sure you’re directing your money in ways that are efficient and that you’re not wasting it.

[00:12:34] Caterina Rando: I love all of that. And what I want to suggest everybody is make a decision –back to decision-making– what’s a time of year that you would review that every year. We encourage everyone to review their networking and their memberships, as you said, every year in December. When are you going to review your insurance every year? When are you going to do these other things that you want to do consistently? Make a decision once that “Hey, I do that every year at this time”. I want to also say, Deborah, something you did mention that I think a lot of ladies when they have businesses, especially when they’re newer in business, is they don’t pay themselves. I will say that for a long time I didn’t pay myself consistently every month, and now I pay myself, the money comes out automatically from the business, goes into my personal account every month. It’s always very exciting to see when “oh, there’s some more money there. Oh, that means I paid myself”, which is good. Let’s make sure that the ladies are automating that they are paying themselves first.

[00:13:37] Deborah Ekstrom: Yes, that’s really, really good. A really good point. You absolutely have to pay yourself first. If you’re not paying yourself a salary then you don’t really have a business. You’re churning something else. And maybe at the beginning, you can’t, and if you’ve saved up, that’s fine if you’re starting a business. And business, by the way, is one of the roads to riches. And it’s a very common one. I love it when people develop a business, because it develops themselves. And the truth is that the whole training behind Money Loves Women is really transformational wealth building. So the gold nuggets in all of the training and in the process are really who you become while you’re doing what you’re doing. And that’s called personal presence. And it’s so, so important to pay attention to that. Not just the skills of wealth building, which aren’t actually that hard to learn harder to execute, but not that hard to learn, but who you’re being while you’re doing what you’re doing is what’s really going to help you grow and give more opportunities to you. So you build your confidence, build your skills, and then build your opportunities. And that’s a huge piece of wealth building. So that’s different than the skill stack that we’re talking about.

[00:14:45] Caterina Rando: I love this because Deborah, let me take you as example, you have a thriving plastic surgery practice, which we’ll have to save that discussion for another day because I have many questions. And because your business is thriving, because you have created financial ease and financial abundance for yourself, with your business, then you can take some of your time to make a whole ‘nother business that is helping people in a whole other way. And this is what I would say, you’re an example of a rising woman who is lifting all the women around her, because you have created financial ease and abundance for yourself. And that’s what I want for all of our listeners. It is very tough to be serving all the people you want to serve when you can’t pay your bills. And not only is it tough, it certainly doesn’t feel good. You know, sometimes women are not even wanting to admit that they want money because they think that is something not good about it. The beautiful thing about money is that it is a tool to uplift and impact all the lives you want: yourself, your family, your community. And the more wealth you have, the more, if you’re like you’re suggesting Deborah, you can become the woman that you want to become. I will say that having financial ease and knowing that I will always be okay, that makes me more confident and that informs my decision-making every day. What do you think?

[00:16:21] Deborah Ekstrom: I couldn’t have said it better. I just love your term financial ease. And yes, it informs your decision making and it gives you huge confidence knowing that you can take care of yourself. I’ve always said a man is not a plan. I think it makes women very uncomfortable when they’re depending on a man, it also takes their power away from them. So to have your power, and we want more influence and power and money in the hands of women, to have your influence and to have your power, you really need to have that reassurance for yourself. So having that business or having that income or that paycheck or those skills and continuing to build those skills. So you continue to build that so you can invest more and more and make your money work for you, is the ultimate goal of wealth building.

[00:17:08] Caterina Rando: One of the things also that relates to this is that when you don’t have financial ease and you don’t have financial surplus, it’s sometimes very difficult to make decisions that are the right decision. Let me give you an example. Recently, I had to cancel my upcoming bliss retreat because of COVID and all of the things going on that made it necessary, made it the right decision to postpone. Well, we’ll go the following year. The thing is though that that means certain people have paid for programs. Now they’re not going to have to pay for those programs because they’re going on the next program. Certain people may choose to get a refund or something like that. So this is going to significantly impact the bottom line. Not to mention that this is the third time we’ve had to do this. And I gave many refunds after the first one, when we started the pandemic. Here’s my point. My decision-making had nothing to do with “can I pay my bills?” Because of the financial ease and the financial surplus, the decision was all about what is the right thing to do. And that’s another reason why we want our women to have financial ease because they will do the right thing. And when they have financial ease, it makes it so much easier. What are your thoughts?

[00:18:35] Deborah Ekstrom: Yes, I think that’s absolutely true. You don’t want money interfering or a scarcity interfering or scarcity mentality interfering with your decisions. And the universe is abundant. As long as you are taking responsibility for your money, it’s like anything else, if you don’t love it properly and don’t take responsibility for it properly, what happens in a relationship? It goes away. Same thing with money. So once again, very much like a relationship, right? So there’s, there’s a lot of similarities and everything you said is absolutely true.

[00:19:08] Caterina Rando: Now as much as I do love money, I love making money, I always like to say, Deborah, “revenue comes after relationship.” That the revenue is secondary, meaning dollars in the door is secondary to the relationship, which would also be doing the right thing. But again, if you don’t have any revenue, it’s harder to always do the right thing. But I am blissing that we’re having this discussion. Okay, Deborah, what else do we want everybody to know to build some wealth?

[00:19:38] Deborah Ekstrom: I think the last thing that is in that stack of skills is investing your excess cash flow. So creating that excess cash flow and the faster you can do it, and the sooner you can do it, and the sooner you take action, the more you can do in terms of having your money work for you and make money for you. And that’s a whole master’s degree and learning how to invest. And it’s not that these have to happen in a linear fashion, they don’t. They can happen right from the beginning when you’re designing your life and taking responsibility and setting up your spending plan and your savings plan. You’re probably going to set some aside for investing and you might do some simple investing at first, perhaps in stocks, or something more simple. And when you get more advanced and you have more money to invest, then you’re going to start to look at alternative investments, or real estate, or build a combination of those, which is what most wealthy people do. But you do need to learn those in-depth so that you know what you’re doing, and you don’t have to learn everything about everything, but you need to learn about the things that your advisors are doing. Your lawyer, your accountant, and your business advisors, your bookkeeper, you need to learn what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. You don’t need to know a total expertise, but otherwise, you can’t choose well. And you can’t tell whether they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. So I always advise in that direction.

[00:20:53] Caterina Rando: I love this. You say “Hey, have a bookkeeper, have your accountant, have your financial advisor.” Let’s give the ladies three criteria that you would suggest for how they’re going to pick the right person for them?

[00:21:10] Deborah Ekstrom: I think the very first criteria is someone that you like and you’re compatible with, but the very next important criteria is someone who will take the time and have the patience to teach you. And not everyone is capable of teaching you or wants to teach you. When you have someone who’s got your same philosophies around money, and for me, money is a very spiritual thing and I have to have somebody who’s also oriented in that direction who believes in abundance, who believes in maximizing income, and finding all of those ways that are legal and right for you to maximize your income, not just do basic accounting sorts of things. And the same thing with your lawyers. They need to be able to be very skilled. And you need to be able to pay for those people. So sometimes you have to trade off on that. First you maybe can’t afford the best, but that’s something I think that’s really, really important is finding out what your fees are going to be, making sure you’re compatible and you have the same philosophy, and then that they’re willing to teach you. And those are three major things I think for your advisors.

[00:22:22] Caterina Rando: Beautiful. Very important. I would say, and I think you implied this Deborah, we want to make sure we have people that have the same values as us. Integrity. Freedom. You said attitude of abundance. Absolutely. Beautiful. Deborah, I want to come. I want to hang out with you more. I want to fall even more in love with money. I want to rub elbows with you more so that more of your brilliance wears off on me. Tell me and all of our listeners how we can connect with you and learn more from you.

[00:22:58] Deborah Ekstrom: You can go to www.moneyloveswomen.com. If you want to connect with me directly, you can go to Dr. Deborah Ekstrom. That’s D E B O R A H E K S T R O M. doctor.deborahekstrom@moneyloveswomen.com. But to access the podcasts or any information we’d have on the website is simply moneyloveswomen.com.

[00:23:22] Caterina Rando: I know you have the podcast. How else do you serve women around money?

[00:23:27] Deborah Ekstrom: Right now we have a little free test you can take that determines your personality around money, because everybody has a different personality, and it helps guide you in terms of your decisions around money if you know your personality. And coming is going to be some teaching modules, that’ll be in the next six months. Eventually there’ll be a book about Money Loves Women. And I’m going to get deeply involved in investing, especially in teaching investing, especially acquisitional entrepreneurship, which I think is just such a wonderful space for women. They’ve gotten to a certain point in their life or their business or their employment, and they decide they want to take on a business, grow it and sell it. And it’s a really, really great way to appreciate a business and grow your money and get cashflow at the same time. It’s like a cash machine and an investment, all rolled into one. And there’s many of those things. So investing is I think for our upper level wealth builders, and then we’ll have basic wealth building techniques that people can grow into becoming an investor.

[00:24:27] Caterina Rando: Deborah. That all sounds wonderful. I would like you to have a Money Loves Women retreat that I can come and hang out with you and other women and we can write a love letter to money and we can do some other things. I know you have up your sleeve. Listener, this is a very important place for you to put some attention on making your decision, on designing your wealth building life, on taking responsibility. Of course, mindset is so important and figuring out what is your strategy to build wealth. Dr. Deborah, you have brought massive value to the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I certainly hope you will come and hang out with us again soon. I look forward to sitting in your room very soon and learning more from you. And everyone, remember you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. The more financial abundance you have, the more you can make decisions with ease. You can bliss more in your business, have surplus that makes you feel comfortable and supports you in fulfilling your mission. Dr. Deborah, thank you so much. Thank you everybody. And we’ll be together again soon.

[00:25:47] Deborah Ekstrom: Thanks so much for having me come on. Thanks Caterina.

[00:25:51] Caterina Rando: Thanks Dr. Deborah.

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