Transcript: How To Invest in Cryptocurrency, & Financial Education for Women with Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid

Keisha Blair: Welcome to the Holistic Wealth podcast. I’m your host, Kesha Blair, wife, mother of three, Author of Holistic Wealth and Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth. The show will showcase various experts in the key pillars of holistic wealth. Each week, we deliver the best information on how to become holistically wealthy, and live your best life.

Today our Special guest is Claire Wasserman and Claire is an author, she’s the founder of Ladies Get Paid and Ladies Get Paid is an all-in-one platform, it’s a book, a global community of professional women and it’s a movement. So Claire, thank you so much for joining us. Amazing having you here.

Claire Wasserman: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Keisha Blair: Absolutely. The book looks amazing. The platform is amazing. And I just wanted to start with your story because so many women come onto Holistic Wealth podcast. They’re like, you know, I transitioned out of corporate America and started my own business. So Claire, how did you get started with the ladies Get paid?

Claire Wasserman: I had a business before, so I just want to be clear that by the time that I did Ladies Get Paid, I was very well aware of the sacrifice that comes with starting a business. And I was like also extremely well aware of what my weaknesses were. So as not to make the same mistakes, but long story short, I worked for companies, recruitment companies that helped place talent. I was in the capacity of marketing, so I was bringing people together and I realized I was a little bit less interested in helping people find work. As I was helping people thrive at work. And it wasn’t until I had a pretty sexist experience that  really kind of startled me into the reality of the fact that women are nowhere close to men when it comes to gender parity, investing, leadership wages, and I wasn’t aware it was that bad. So as I started to do research after my sexist experience, I felt like, how could I not do something, but of course the question was, well, what do you actually do? Right when you’re trying to combat something that is so systemic and, and entrenched and complicated. And the only thing I could think of was, well, let’s just get women together and talk about this stuff. Let’s talk about money.

Let’s talk about the tough stuff at work. And it was out of hosting an event that made me realize two things. One, that I needed to continue bringing women together to talk about this stuff. And number two, there was a tangible way that we could at least begin to close the wage gap for ourselves. And that was negotiating our salaries. And that was, I don’t think that a lot of women either weren’t doing, because they were nervous or they weren’t doing it because they didn’t know how, but they didn’t know what to charge or they weren’t doing it. And they were getting a no and not knowing what was next. And now really sort of long story long, I created a slack group and as I hosted these monthly events, I invited people to join the slack group and it became very clear what kind of education women needed around money and career.

And that I could go and find career coaches and financial coaches and continue to host events. And so, you know, I’m sure we’ll talk about how do you go from offline to online, especially during the pandemic, but the business just organically unfolded. And it became clear that it was, if not now, when, and I was fortunately able to take the financial risk. And so in 2016, I jumped and I never looked back

Keisha Blair: And you’re so right. Like I had my moments too. I was widowed at a very young age at 31. When you said you didn’t realize the gender gaps, the gender issues were still bad. That’s what happened to me when I became widowed. Cause then I got the comments and like, okay, so I don’t have a husband anymore. So are you saying that I can’t do this on my own? Are you saying that I’m not able to do this? So I completely get what you mean. And that’s when for me too, there was a light bulb that, yeah something’s not right here. We’re nowhere near nowhere near gender parity. And it was that light bulb moment. And I’ve joined the slack group.

I’ve met amazing women on it. It’s an amazing group. And so I had to reach out to you because I thought this is amazing. This is amazing work being done. So I heard about it through a mutual friend and she was like, you have to get on, you have to, you know, join the group, the Ladies Get Paid group. And I did. And so Claire, how did that snowball, because there are so many events like everyday I go on, there’s like a menu of events it’s even hard to choose because there’s so many wonderful events there.

Claire Wasserman: Thank you for saying that

Keisha Blair: This is a significant undertaking. Like it’s not small work here. It’s big.

Claire Wasserman: This is why I think you see me drinking coffee, everybody listening. I asked Keisha, I was like, is it okay if I drink coffee while doing this? You were like, yes, yes.

Keisha Blair: You mentioned something going from offline to online and how that happened to build this group. And ofcourse the book launch in January, which has been, and I know it’s a major undertaking as well. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Claire Wasserman: Yeah. I mean, the pandemic hit a lot of people hard. And for us, it happened in March, which is women’s history month. We make a fair amount of our money during the year. During that time, when brands want to sponsor our events, companies pay for me to come and teach. And that evaporated, that evaporated and everything we did was pretty much offline. We started to do webinars, but you know, just seeing the power of women coming together in person. And we thought, okay, so the business is done.

We’re going to have to look for jobs. And then as you know, we’ve sort of mentioned here. There’s like always an aha moment. If you’re willing to see it. And the aha moment was, you know, what businesses exist when you’re filling a need. And you can charge for it. Right? So then the question was, is there still a need for this?

And the answer was yes. Even more so, even more. So women want to come together and learn about money and work and support each other. And so the only thing that needed to change with how we were doing the business, not whether or not the business should exist and also learning to be flexible about inclusive pricing, which, which we’ve always been very cognizant of.

And it actually was the best thing that maybe happened to our business, forcing us to go online, showed us that we could have more people attend. We could do it. It was easier to do, right. You don’t have to go and find a venue. It was less expensive for us to produce. So we could, you know, charge less. We could make good margins and I could shoot in my pajamas, and also we could have women from all over the world come and that of course spread the word right to your point of the snowball effect.

And so the other great thing about it, two things is we could then create a video library and that’s income, right? So instead of paying per event, you want to pay, you know, an annual fee. Well, then you get access to all of the events, right. And that allows us to have steady income and it gives a better value to the folks coming to Ladies Get Paid.

And then it also afforded more opportunity for sponsors to get involved. Because we could do way more events and again, at a lower price point. So I am very grateful to the pandemic early in that sense, only in that sense, in that it really sped up what we should have been doing with the business anyway. So, you know, I guess this year wasn’t all bad for us. It’s still, you know, it’s still tough. And I know it’s tough for a lot of women in our community.

Keisha Blair: And you mentioned the events and getting the platform to be more global, which is true because I mean, I’m in Canada and here we are talking about this. Right. And so that has been tremendous. But I’m wondering Claire, when you’re interacting with women and they’re talking about issues, financial issues, what are you hearing through this pandemic? What are some of the issues and challenges that women are talking about that they’re facing? Like, I’d be interested to know. Kind of like, you know, your stance on like the top two, three issues that women are talking about.

Claire Wasserman: This is another good thing about the pandemic. And I think you all are seeing how I’m trying to stay really positive during this hard time. The good thing is, is that everybody has had an aha moment of, wow, this is worse than I thought. And there were groups that were already vulnerable before this right. Women who were hourly and retail. Women who had money, somewhat money in savings, maybe not at all, they weren’t investing, right. They weren’t growing their wealth. They were just paycheck to paycheck. And this forced them to realize how actually fragile that is, and that we really need to prioritize this more than we ever did.

Besides women realizing this is like crucial to their life and their children. It’s investing, it’s their motivation to invest. And I think in large part that did come from the fact that there have been people who got even wealthier during the pandemic.

And so for everybody, you know, including myself, if some people are getting rich around here, well, why not? And that also includes the sort of emergence or maybe more mainstream adoption of retail investing. That it’s much more accessible to get stuck. That comes with risks. So this is why we do education, but there’s, you know, you don’t have to necessarily hire a financial advisor.

You don’t necessarily have to wait for somebody to teach you how to do it. It’s democratized in a way that it’s never been before. And it’s proven that even when there’s an economic downturn, it is still possible to make money. And that there’s motivation to do it, especially when you do see a lot of people getting wealthy and most of them are men.

So I think that fire has been lit for a lot of these women, more so than ever before. So that makes me very excited to see. And then the other part is just a willingness to really dig into internal money blocks. I mean, I think part of that is the fact that I’m about to get my certificate in behavioral finance and financial psychology.

And so recognizing that this isn’t just about math. Okay. That there’s a lot kind of financial and emotional baggage that we need to work through on large part handed to us from our parents. So there’s also the kind of therapy aspect along with the yes, math numbers part. So I’m still feeling positive. Cause I see, you know, as difficult as all of this is, we’re all going in a really good direction.

Keisha Blair: Some of the events that I’ve been seeing on the Ladies Get Paid platform, which has been exciting because it’s been in the news, the cryptocurrency, how to invest in that type of thing. And that’s been in the news, a fair bit. And so I wanted to get your views on that for years, the message out there to women. We’re trying to get our promotion, try to get more salary, asked for an increase. And of course that’s a part of financial resilience, but it’s not even scratching the surface.

Claire Wasserman: If we’re not exploring all of the avenues and how we can increase our wealth, we’re doing ourselves and are the generations after us a disservice. So I do want everybody to remember that this is bigger than you and that, you know, investments make money over time, compounded interest. So, again, it’s not about just today. I also, the other thing I want to mention is that there is a difference between risk here. So a lot of times women hear investing equals risky.

It depends what kind of investing you do GameStop, yes, that was risky. Okay. That being said, my partner, Ashley, she did it. But that’s because she was paying a lot of attention to Reddit. So, you know, buyer beware that being said, if you put your money in a mutual funds, that’s not risky at all over time, it will always make money. It’s just historically been that way. Now, Crypto, whatever you put in crypto, you do have to be willing to lose. But again, it’s about the long game. If you only look at what it’s making today versus tomorrow versus next month, you’re going to drive yourself nuts.

Again, you’re willing to lose or you’re willing to not touch. I do believe Crypto is the future. I mean, it absolutely is the future. One thing I do want to mention though, is Bitcoin is not Crypto. It’s a currency. So Crypto is kind of this umbrella, right? It’s an umbrella term in which you can buy different kinds of coins.

So if you’re reading about Bitcoin and that it’s worth, you know, really plunged recently, correct? It did that doesn’t mean you have to invest in it though. So just make sure you’re doing all of your research. You know, what place that it has in your portfolio. I would say, get started with Gemini. They have a great service. We have a partnership with them and they have a thing called Crypto Pedia. So just do a lot of research, put a little bit of money in there. You can see what happens, you know, in the next couple of months, just play with it. Even just downloading an app and getting familiar with the user interface, it’s going to really demystify how this works.

It’s going to show you that it’s not so scary, but again, I’m not going to sit here and say, you know, go and put all of your life savings. Nor would I say, put that in anything you don’t want to put your life savings in anyone, you know, one avenue, but again, to not diversify is to lose out. So, get started with five bucks, $10 bucks work your way up and you know, feel proud of yourself.

I think it’s only like 30% of women are investing in cryptocurrency. So I think only 15% of Bitcoin traders are women. So even just for all of us, even just as a statement, get out to there, we’ve got to do that. So we’ve got to do this for ourselves and for each other, for sure. And for the kids.

Keisha Blair: It’s so important and I’m happy we’re having this conversation because you’re so right. You know, women have been fearful in the past of investing and the different investments. I mean, even stocks at one point were just like, oh, I don’t think I want to do stocks move way past that. Now it’s even more. It can be more intimidating, but I absolutely believe this is what we need to do as women. So we need to do this. And so Claire, you have some amazing partners. That you really leveraged this platform and to get more women involved and to get them, that education that they need, like I’ve seen, you know, partnerships with like Hello Sunshine and different partners which is just tremendous. Like how have you done that? Especially during COVID-19, you know, which must have been really intimidating. How have you leveraged that to get women, the education they need?

Claire Wasserman: So determining that, yes, we want this to be as inclusive as possible, which means we will never charge very much. Well, what do you, what do you do to make money? Well, you find the people who can afford it, which are partners. Okay. Brands. But the only way that they’re going to be interested is if you have a pretty big and or engaged community, fortunately, we have both. So there was a lot of years, at least upfront where we were just going off of our savings. We were downsizing, adjusting our expectations, you know, things like that. And so, you know, in any kind of pitch to a partner, it’s not really about what’s in it for you, if it’s about what’s in it for them.

And knowing that the value that you bring. It has to be commensurate with what you’re asking for. So if I’m asking for, you know, a thousand dollars, but I’m putting in work, that’s like $5,000 worth of work, or I’m paying a lot of money to produce an event. Well, then I’m not going to make enough to make it worth my while.

So at least know your own worth and your own margins, and then it’s finding partners where there is just mutual benefit and it’s obvious. And that also means understanding your community really well, understanding what you do really well. It means asking a lot of questions up front to them. What are your goals?

How do you measure success? You know, what are there other partnerships you have and where can we fit in? So it’s almost like before you pitch learn lesson, and credibility, you know, over time, like you can continue to do bigger and better things when you have a proven track record. So fortunately we had established that before COVID and now we can all move faster, with brands, et cetera, but it did take a couple of months in the beginning of COVID for everybody just to slow down and figure out, you know, what are we doing?

How have things changed? and to that. You know, required patients and savings at the beginning of COVID, but I’m glad to say we’re getting out of the water now.

Keisha Blair: And I’ve heard that. Yeah, no. And I’ve heard that from so many entrepreneurs on the show, and this is what I think some people don’t realize is that, you know, there’s a downsizing that takes place oftentimes to build up the business. There has to be a downside, right? You know, personal expenses and that type of thing, which is something that, you know, people need to be aware of as they’re looking to start a business, especially during a pandemic at the end of the day.

Claire Wasserman: And this is for everybody and not just for entrepreneurs, it’s not about what you make. It’s about what you spend. You need to know your values though. You know, at some point, if you’ve just been sacrificing for years and you’re unhappy then, okay. You know, one thing I say. What makes me, and I don’t know if this works for anybody else, but I always think what makes me more anxious, you know, working for somebody else, but making money, working for myself, making a little less money.

Just working for somebody else, you know, or what makes me more anxious, not having as much money, but maybe being able to live a lifestyle of freedom, you know, however you define it or would it be I’m really anxious, not hitting my financial milestones. And so that’s something we all have to ask for ourselves.

It’s a personal question right? As kind of the chapters of our lives and stages of our lives change. So it requires a sort of consistent checking in, but not just checking with our bank account, really kind of really looking at our values and our needs, our emotional needs. And that’s why, you know, again, I’m passionate about behavioral finance and financial psychology because you really can’t divorce, you know, the money in your bank account from how you feel about the money in your bank.

Keisha Blair: So true. And especially when you know you’re going through a massive change in your life. That is even more so the case, you know, deep transformational changes that require like a whole system change up. It’s amazing that it hits at the core of it. And you’re absolutely right. And so I wanted to ask about the book of course, and some of the key lessons, from the book I wanted to see if you could share with our readers, anything that you would, of course, we’re encouraging them to go by and get their copy. But is there anything from the book that you’d want to share with us?

Claire Wasserman: It’s been such a journey since January. So still fresh, still tired from it. Yeah. I mean the book, I always knew I wanted it to be a kind of chronology of a career, right. Starting with like, who am I, what do I want to do for getting the job through negotiating it and the job through rising up at the job and ultimately making change for other people, right?

Whether it’s policies at work or also policies, you know, federal policies. Right. But I didn’t want it to be like every other. And I really wanted it to be very ladies get paid. And on what I think is special about ladies get paid. And you know, this from being in slack is that it comes from people’s stories.

And it comes from people being vulnerable with their stories. And so found real women, nine real women, each of them going through a certain professional challenges, and the chronology of their careers. And I tell their stories and through their stories, I kind of stop along the way and I give advice. It’s almost like, a career coaching them, and you get to listen in. And, also a lot of these women, they come up throughout the book, you really can follow their journey. And I’m so grateful to them for being vulnerable with me. Every detail in there is the same is real, except for some names I would say read it in order, even if you feel like you, you know, you’re up for promotion at work and that’s the area you want to focus on. Great. Go for it. But less than if you’re going to be an effective advocate for yourself, you have to first deeply believe that you are worthy of the advocacy. So go to the beginning, the foundational part of do I, you know, imposter syndrome and perfectionism. Also, if I consistently been articulated in my accomplishments or is this kind of the first time they’re going to hear about it?

And then how can I do that? You know? So again, it’s not just about to your point. Leaning in or having confidence like eight goes beyond is it’s like the more work you do, the more work you realize you have to do the more questions you ask, the more questions you realize you want to ask. You know, I know I’m biased, but I think the book is excellent. It took me almost two years to write. And it’s really in a way kind of crowdsourced from watching what’s going on inside in the community. I mean, more than 2 million messages have been exchanged in the Slack group since 2016. So this book is not just my opinion or my story. It’s real women. And I hope, and I believe everybody who reads it will see themselves in it. And I think that that’s important too.

Keisha Blair: Yeah, absolutely. That’s amazing. And so Claire, we’ve touched a lot on investing. And women going out there to get the confidence they need, the education, and the confidence they need to invest. And so when I came up with this personal financial identity quiz, you know, I mentioned it in my book Holistic Wealth  that I think all women need to embrace their own personal financial identity. Having gone through what I went through, even though I’m a trained economist, and developed policies at the federal level and all of that stuff, did federal budgets, I questioned myself. I did, I went through that period of questioning and it was like, why am I doing this what’s causing this?

And then one day it came to me, right. It’s something around personal financial identity and how we embrace it. And so I came up with a framework and I’ve been hammering away at the quiz and I’ve asked so many women who’ve been on the show and they’ve shared some amazing perspectives and I wanted to get yours, especially because of what you’ve been able to accomplish, with Ladies Get Paid, your book, the platform, because you’re interacting with women. Can you tell us a bit about your results and your thoughts around that and how it’s impacted your lifestyle? Like if you’ve seen your personal financial identity really impact your lifestyle, like on a day-to-day basis?

Claire Wasserman: I’m a Minimalist. I think if you were to look at my spending on Amazon, I’m a Maximalist. Plus a whole bunch of other stuff. Also, I think similar to a lot of other folks during the pandemic, I really cut down on my spending because I wasn’t going out. You know, it didn’t mean to really get any new clothes at all. Certainly not be pants. Right. So I’m a Minimalist. I’m aiming again, it goes back to, you know, it’s not how much you make. It’s how much you spend. I’ll be very honest. My journey to investing is pretty recent. I was definitely in the camp of if I don’t have enough money coming in, how could I invest it?

Right. I need to be wealthy. I was also living in New York for 11 years and it is expensive. So I honestly didn’t have that much money to do that much with it. That’s still a little bit of a cop out, but the reality of my financial situation was very clear. I did not have enough long-term I was living paycheck to paycheck in a lot of ways. I moved out in New York to Los Angeles was able to really cut down on my spending. And by that, I mean, not a lot of rent anymore. Cause that’s where most of it was coming from. So. I think this is a bit recent in a sense, I’m also getting over my fear of even just looking at my bank account, had a lot of emotions about that because it was never where I wanted it to be.

Eventhough I got a result of the Minimalist things change, you know, it, I’m still on a journey of embracing, investing, and saving and challenging myself a little bit more. It’s good to be in the moment when it comes to being present emotionally, but we need to not just be in the moment we need to not be in the moment when it comes to her money.

Keisha Blair: Yes absolutely. And so those are very wise words to end on clear. And this was amazing because this is such an important topic. You know, when we go through setbacks, we realize how much. Just going back to what you said in the beginning of this interview, that this is necessary. It’s like a wake-up moment that we need to be doing this. And so, as I said, I’m still amazed at the work you’re doing. It’s such important work. And who were happy to have you, can you tell our audience where to reach you like social media and a website? All of that. Of course, once you get into book work together,

Claire Wasserman: The best way to get in touch with me is through Instagram. So at @Claire GetsPaid. All my updates will be there. Obviously you can follow @LadiesGetPaid as well to get access to our slack group, which by the way, we’re going to be changing platforms soon. www.ladiesget and you can also look at our calendar and newsletter. Cause we do events every week, sometimes multiple events a week. And, www.ladiesget That’s going to have ton of places that you can buy it, obviously Amazon Barnes and noble support your local bookstore. And if you’re in Canada or an outside the U S yes, we still sell the book. So, you know, thank you for also giving me a platform to talk about. All this good stuff, and this lady needs to get paid too. So anybody who buys the book, they’re going to get a lot out of it. And so does my investments because I am able to contribute more to my 401k.

Keisha Blair: Thank you so much Claire for being on the show. It was wonderful having you, like, I always knew I wanted to get you on the show. So it was amazing that we were able to do this. I’m glad cause we need to get this out now as soon as possible. So women can hear this message. So thanks again for being here. It was amazing having you.

Claire Wasserman: Well, thank you Keisha for having me and thanks everybody for listening.

Keisha Blair: Thank you for joining us this week on Holistic Wealth with Keisha Blair. Make sure to visit our website where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify or via Rs so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you found value in this show, we’d appreciate a rating on iTunes or if you simply tell a friend about the show that would help us out too. Are you a member of the Institute on Holistic Wealth? If not, what are you waiting for? Go to Institute on Holistic Wealth/memberships to choose your membership plan and join as a member. You get so many perks, free worksheets, advice coaching, and a memberā€™s workshop to design an intentionally designed life. Do you need to figure out your life purpose? Take the Build Your Life Purpose Portfolio online self-paced course. Are you struggling with all your money decisions? Take the free financial identities quiz and then take the personal financial identities course. Did you recently suffer a breakup job loss or experience the death of a loved one? Take the Holistic Healing online course. Do you need an overall plan to achieve holistic wealth? We will help you figure out your Holistic Wealth Blueprint and of course if you want to start making money by helping others achieve Holistic Wealth, become a Certified Holistic Wealth Consultant. Regardless of what career you’ve got, the Institute will show you how to increase your income and walk in your purpose. The sooner you join the sooner you start to achieve a more holistically wealthy lifestyle and you’re going to want to stay for a very long time so go to Institute on Holistic Wealth/memberships to join. If you haven’t read the book yet pick up a copy of the award-winning best-selling book Holistic Wealth: 32 life lessons to help you find purpose prosperity and happiness