Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP® is the NY Times best-selling author of Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality and President of a wealth management firm outside of Chicago.
Chock full of “left-brain” credentials (MBA, CPA, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™), Ellen also walks on the “right” side, balancing values, big picture ideas, meditation, and a sense of humor with all her professional training. She is as comfortable talking about the power of compound interest as she is the power of belief.
Ellen has appeared on PBS Nightly Business Report, CNBC and WGN TV, TEDx, and NPR. And her work has been quoted in such national publications as The New York Times, Money, Time.com, Forbes.com, The Huffington Post, and US News and World Report.
In this interview, Ellen shares her insider secrets on how to build a prosperous life by managing your money…
Interview with Ellen Rogin
How do you define prosperity?
Most people first think “money” when they think of being rich or prosperous.
According to Merriam-Webster the actual definition of prosperity is: the condition of being successful or thriving; especially: economic well-being.
I love this definition as it encompasses more than just financial success.
If you focus on your own definition of success and thriving you’re likely to include components such as good health, loving relationships, and meaningful work.
Instead of just accounting for your financial resources, what if you instead focused on your true prosperity net worth. Just as some social impact companies are now looking at a double bottom line (profits and social contribution) you can do the same for your situation. Not only tracking your financial assets and liabilities, but also listing all of the non-financial areas that bring you joy, happiness, fulfillment and fun.
Why is money so important to people these days?
No getting around it – we live in a material world.
Money is important because it allows you to do do what you want for yourself, your family and your community.
Why are most people just plain wrong about money?
You develop your attitudes and beliefs about money at a very early age. Many of these beliefs are unconscious and often not examined. So people develop attitudes about money issues as young kids, but are often not given the tools to actually handle money effectively.
For example, most people think they should have a budget and stick to it, but few actually do this.
Well to start, budgets are no fun and feel restrictive. Maybe you have inner beliefs that have you feeling guilty about spending money or entitled to spend more than you have. Maybe you’re worried all the time about losing what you have.
All of these are very real feelings and yet not very supportive to reaching your goals.
Instead if you spend time to examine and understand your money upbringing and combine this with learning money basics you’re much more likely to reach your financial goals.
What are some common lies, myths, and misconceptions about money?
Many people believe that if they just had more money they would be happy and their lives would be better. Many different studies have shown that after your basic needs are met, more money doesn’t make you happier.
Interestingly, another study has shown that more money does make you happier if you use it to help others.
What compelled you to write your book and how did you become a subject matter expert?
All too often money and financial planning is discussed in boring or confusing ways. This has caused a lot of people to feel really disconnected and uneasy about managing their money. I think this is especially true for women who traditionally haven’t been taught how handle money in ways that resonate with them.
When financial education is geared to women it often starts with scaring them. They hear things like:
- “You know, women earn less than men,”
- “When you’re out of the workforce to have kids your retirement benefits are less,” and
- “Women are too conservative when it comes to investing.”
This is so demotivating! It would be like a tennis coach telling a player, “Your backhand isn’t very strong, and you don’t run fast enough, and your serve, well…”
Women are awesome when it comes to money – and our book, Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality, is a tool that reinforces that idea.
My co-author Lisa Kueng and I wanted to offer a conversation about money that is engaging, interesting and even funny at times. People make bad decisions when they focus on fear. Instead we offer an approach based on resilience, calm, and possibilities.
As a financial advisor, I give a new spin on traditional topics by combining my credentialed experience as an advisor with my understanding of how people’s beliefs and thoughts about money directly impact their success. I’ve seen first hand what makes people successful with their money and what limits them.
What is the #1 reason most people FAIL to succeed with managing their money?
The reasons people fail to succeed are as varied as the people themselves. Being unconscious with money beliefs, not being clear on what you value, not learning about financial concepts, and spending more than you earn all contribute to a lack of success.
What are some specific steps people can take to be better with managing their money, today?
The three top things you can do today that will make a significant difference in your financial life are:
- Create a clear compelling vision of your future. Making a Prosperity Picture (a visual depiction of what you want now and in the future) is a great start.
- Save on a regular basis. This may seem uber obvious, but spending less than you earn is one of the keys to meeting your financial goals. Set your savings on auto-pilot. Have money come out of your paycheck into a retirement plan, or from your checking account into an investment plan. Most everyone does better when this happens automatically.
- Make giving a part of your financial plan. One of the best ways to loosen your grip on money and become more open to abundance flowing to you is to use your money to help others. You can set up your giving on an automatic basis (similar to your savings). Each month you can have money transferred from your checking account into an account earmarked for helping others. This money can be given to charities, causes or people you know who need your help.
What if you started managing your money today… what would your life look like in 30 days, 90 days, or a year?
Sometimes people feel like it’s too hard to start saving or too confusing to learn about money issues. These are clearly money beliefs that are limiting your ability to build prosperity.
If you spent 2 hours a week (that’s less than 20 minutes a day) getting your financial house in order that would be about 25 hours over 90 days and more than 100 hours over a year. Imagine what you could accomplish with this attention on your money!
You can create a prosperity picture, learn about an area of your financial life you hadn’t previously understood (maybe insurance, or investing), you could create more security for your family by getting your will done or updated or clean up a financial mess.
Within a year you could have paid off debts or started to build a savings plan.
What additional resources are available to help people manage their money?
Our book, Picture Your Prosperity, is an easy to digest resource. In addition I have a 7-week on online course, Fast Forward to Prosperity designed with life-changing action steps that have the power to bring more abundance, prosperity, and money into your life.
If you could give one piece our readers about money, what would that be?
Abundance is our natural state. It’s not about doing the hard work to bring it to you – it’s about stopping those things that keep it from you.
What is your favorite quote of all time?
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve
If you could create a quote to be remembered by right now, what would you say?
“When your generosity grows, your prosperity flows.” – Ellen Rogin
What projects are you working on now?
I am in the process of creating videos to show people how achieve success and prosperity in every area of their lives. You can find them at: www.youtube.com/ellenrogin.