I was recently talking to my oldest daughter, Madison – she’s a sophomore in college – about what it means to be a Money Mentor. She looked up from her phone long enough to say “that’s pretty cool” and got back to it. I then said “did you know, right now, you know enough to be a Money Mentor?” “Um, seriously, dad?” she responded. “I, like, know next to nothing about money.”
“Exactly,” I said. Next to nothing which means you know something. Her skepticism was apparent but not unexpected.
Being a Money Mentor Isn’t About Knowing Everything, It’s About Knowing Something
Maddy, like so many of us, fell into the “all or nothing” trap. You know, that line of thinking that seems logical but routinely ends in failure. We do this all the time in our lives. We don’t modify our eating habits, we go on crash diets. We don’t ease into an exercise program and build up our strength and stamina slowly. We jump in with both feet and cry when we’re sore and can’t move the next day. And then …
You know what comes next, right? That’s right. We. Do. Nothing. “All” very quickly goes to “nothing” and we’re right back where we started. Or, worse yet, we admonish ourselves for failing and fall further behind.
The same principles apply when it comes to being a Money Mentor. You don’t need to be a finance expert, you just need to know a little more than those you are mentoring. Take my daughter for example. She wasn’t a finance expert (still isn’t) by any stretch but there was one thing about money I know she understood: the power of compound interest. (see BLOG)
I know what you’re thinking, “well, of course she does, she has a financial expert as her father.” Yes, I’ll admit, her knowing about the power of compound interest is a bit advanced for someone so young but what she knows isn’t the point. The fact that she knows something is. And the same is true for you.
Be Careful Not to Fall for the Following Money Myths
Myth: I need to be an expert in finance to be a Money Mentor
Truth: Becoming a Money Mentor isn’t about knowing everything. It’s about knowing something and having the desire to share that something with others. You start by learning one something and then another something followed by another. As you master each “something,” your confidence grows and your willingness and ability to help others grows along with it.
Myth: I’ll just mess them up, I’ll steer them down the wrong path
Truth: Money Mentors don’t tell people what to do, they educate and inform. Money Mentors stay in their lanes, only speaking on topics where they have been trained or have a greater level of knowledge than the mentee.
Myth: I’ll never be able to learn enough to teach it
Truth: Nothing could be further from the truth. Self-limiting thoughts like these all too often become self-fulfilling prophesies. Don’t sell yourself short! You can do this and we can show you how. You just have to bring the pain … oh, wait – you just have to bring the right attitude!!
Maddy, the Money Mentor
Are you convinced? It’s okay if you are skeptical like Maddy was. It’s natural. For so long women have been pushed away from the world of finance that it’s become routine to think it’s “not for me.” And, the truth is, it will continue to be that way if you allow it to be.
But, we’re trying to fix that – one Money Mentor at a time.
I am proud to say Maddy now considers herself a Money Mentor (and so do her four younger sisters!). She is no longer a skeptic and is building her confidence as she learns new things. And the best part? She is control of the process, she is in control of how quickly (or slowly) she moves through the learning curve. And she knows where to turn for help when she’s ready.
Maddy, the Money Mentor – one down and a generation to go!