Kelley Keehn, founder of the Prosperity Factor, is an incredibly positive and engaging woman. She also has that rare quality of making you feel like you’re a very important person.
To top it off she’s beautiful and smart and has just landed herself a role as co-host of Burn My Mortgage, premiering in the fall of 2010 on the W Network.
I first approached her for an interview some months back when a good friend of mine, mentioned what an amazing mentor she’d been in her life and how incredibly focused and successful she was.
Kelley is not only a financial expert, she’s also a speaker, media personality and author of six books, including She Inc., The Woman’s Guide to Money and The Prosperity Factor for Kids.
Kelly is a former financial professional and managed millions for one of Canada’s most international banks and then went on to experience the challenges of running and selling her own business.
She’s witnessed firsthand the problems individuals have with money and discovered that whether someone had a billion in the bank or was a million in the hole, everyone has money problems!
What’s more Kelley understands what it means to be a woman in corporate North America today and how to overcome one’s weakness and capitalize on female strengths.
Below she reveals her insights as a workaholic, entrepreneur and a woman who challenges us to take on a different mindset and empower ourselves by taking control of our finances.
WomanzWorld: As an entrepreneur what are you most passionate about?
Kelly Keehn: Empowering individuals to feel good about money. Most of my books are geared towards women (but many men write me as well).
I don’t think one can be truly independent and free without being financially independent. There are times when a woman (or man) may need to be dependent on their spouse, if they’re having a child or going back to school, but financial empowerment is about education and knowing that no one will look after your finances better than you.
What led you to start your own wealth management firm?
The market. My position at the bank was fantastic and a privilege. As the banking structure was changing, I just didn’t see a fit for me there unless I was willing to relocate and I wasn’t due to my family and just buying another house at the time.
I thought I’d make one final career switch and open my own firm. I never thought I’d sell it 6 years later and be doing what I am today.
What’s been your biggest challenge to-date and how did you tackle it?
Definitely, opening my own firm. I thought I had run all the numbers, truly thought it out, but didn’t realize how very long it would take to get back to the salary I left at the bank.
Sure, I was building a business that I could sell one day (this never crossed my mind until my business coach suggested it three months before I actually sold it), but there are times when the receptionist is making more than the business owner.
It’s challenging to forgo a salary, expense account, and all that’s paid for and taken care of when working for a large corporation.
What key strengths do you believe women bring to the financial world?
In general it’s their attention to detail, follow-up and caring that are absolutely an asset.
What is the most common financial issue for women and what’s your solution?
There isn’t one issue. Women today are so diverse. Some have kids, some don’t, some are married, single or from the sandwich generation.
There are too many variables today that women didn’t have say 4 or 5 decades ago. But there are too many women that don’t think they can take charge of their finances.
They tell themselves myth’s like, “I’m just not good with numbers”, or, “my husband/dad/brother/advisor” will look after me”.
I think financial wellbeing, like with our health, and can never fully be trusted to anyone. And paying attention to your bank and credit card statements, your spending, negotiating on your mortgage, etc. – one doesn’t need to be good with numbers – they just need to pay attention to them.
How do you juggle being a Financial Expert, Author, Speaker and contributor to CNBC and CBC?
I’m a work-a-holic and proud to be one. It’s trite, but when you’re truly on purpose doing what you love, you can’t help but live it 24/7.
What was your inspiration behind your books The Prosperity Factor for Women, She inc and the Woman’s Guide to Money
Many of my past clients and women I’ve met that won’t ever be free and independent unless they’re financially independent.
That was the impetus of both books…plus, I could write a book on the “why”.
She Inc. is very special to me as I’ve lived these principles for over 15 years and have served me in every step of my life. If I hadn’t thought like a corporation, I’d NEVER be doing what I’m doing today.
What are some of the top books you’ve read that have made a personal difference to you and influenced you and why?
The bible, anything on NLP (Dr. Charles Faulkner and Richard Bandler) and anything on the human mind.
I’ve read and or listened to hundreds if not thousands of books and really couldn’t pin point which ones. But they’ve made me who I am.
Many people ask me how to get a great mentor. The best and brightest minds in the world are free for inspiration – you can find them all at the library.
What’s the most exciting thing that’s happening right now?
My new show – Burn My Mortgage.
What is your key piece of advice to any female considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Think of yourself as a corporation – whether you’re employed, self-employed or a blend of the two. I have worn all hats and know if I have any success right now, it’s because of that philosophy which I wrote my last book on.
You don’t know when one of your clients might offer you a dream job or when your boss may be your client 10 years from now.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, know what you’re getting yourself into. It can be the most rewarding step in your life but for many, it’s also their biggest failure.
I’ve become a realist and so many individuals don’t really think through going out on their own. If you’re willing to work for 10 or 20 years to become an “over night” success, then do it. But know yourself. If you want to go home at 5 and have the weekends off, you might be best to work for someone else.
You can find out more about Kelly at www.kelleykeehn.com