Financial wellness is critical for everyone. If we are not financially well it will have a bearing on other facets of our life like health, business, mental wellness. Mindset and massive persistent action will be critical to shifting us, especially during these challenging times. – Jean Archary
If there’s anything that COVID taught us is that we need to take the lessons from COVID and apply them to what’s coming in the future. As an example, if people had seen COVID coming, we would have done things a lot different in our personal lives, and our business lives, to be better prepared for something like that.
And in a similar light, we need to make sure that we’re using those lessons to better prepare for what we know is coming as an example, retirement and death. So I’m hoping that in this podcast, that our audience will be able to use some of these lessons, or some of the nuggets that I’m going to be sharing to help them plan for those eventualities.
“When you know better, you do better” – Dr Maya Angelou
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Highlights of this episode:
- Jean’s backstory – Going from Riches to Rags.
- Looking at Covid as a spiritual journey.
- 5 Steps To Badass Your Financial Wellness
- Align your plan with your vision and goals. And your money mindset.
- Align your plan with your income.
- Manage, and reduce your expenses.
- Sharpen your investment IQ.
- Start educating everybody else in the household.
- Prioritizing financial planning, especially for retirement and unexpected events.
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Jean Archary is an author, speaker, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and accredited workplace coach with over twenty years of experience within financial services. Her exposure to coaching, psychology and financial planning led to the design of a financial wellness program that considers both sides of money (IQ) and (EQ). She has served in various roles in the Corporate sector ranging from financial planning, strategy, management, development and operations.
Slightly edited for readability.
Jean Archary 0:00
You know, if there’s anything that COVID taught us is that we need to take the lessons from COVID and apply it to what’s coming in the future. As an example, if people had seen COVID coming, we would have done things a lot different to our personal lives, our business lives to be better prepared, prepared for something like that. And in a similar light, we need to make sure that we’re using those lessons to better prepare for what we know is coming as an example, retirement and death. So I’m hoping that in this podcast, that our audience will be able to use some of these lessons, or some of the nuggets that I’m going to be sharing to help them plan for those eventualities.
Di-Di Hoffman 0:48
Welcome to the BadassPreneurs Business School Podcast. If you are a life or health coach, a wellness practitioner, or a healer, stick around, because I share the inside scoop on running a thriving soul satisfying online coaching practice. I am Di-Di Hoffman, your host on badass previous business school podcast and I’m thrilled to introduce you to a real badass financial wellness coach from sunny South Africa. Jean Archary is an author and financial wellness coach and a certified financial planning professional, who is on a mission to empower and educate as many people as she can to manage their money better so that they can achieve financial wellness. Jean, welcome to the BadassPreneurs Business School. Thank you for being here.
Jean Archary 1:40
Thank you for having me.
Di-Di Hoffman 1:43
Jean. Yes, I had a quick glimpse in what you do for a living. Take a minute, give us a glimpse into your personal life who is Gina damn
Jean Archary 1:54
Badass mom. I think my daughter would agree. Um, yeah, so I’m a single mom. I have a 13 year old daughter, I recently left my corporate job about five months ago, to focus on my passion, which is empowering others about money. It’s been a passion of mine for a very long time, I managed to focus on it in my spare time. Whilst I was employed in corporate, I did work for a leading financial planning asset management company. And unfortunately, I did not focus on financial education and financial wellness in my role, but it was always a passion. And so through that passion, I actually created a series of stories that teaches kids about money in the book, muscle spindles and her money tails. And that was in my attempts to educate my own daughter on money. Because at that point, in time, when she was about six years old, I found there was a gap in the market, there wasn’t any books that spoke to kids about money in an age appropriate manner. And so that led me to this idea of creating those stories for her. Now she’s a teenager. And so I now need to develop additional content to that speaks to her, which I have done in the form of online financial education causes. that’s appropriate for teenagers as well as for adults.
Di-Di Hoffman 3:21
That sounds cool. Your favorite quote is when you know better, you do better by Dr. Maya Angelou, tell us more about that.
Jean Archary 3:30
Absolutely. And I think, you know, in anything with life, you know, when you learn a skill, or you learn through experience, your approach to situations or challenges and problems is a lot different time. It’s basically hindsight. And in a similar fashion, you know, financial education is not something that’s taught in schools. So there’s a huge gap in this in the sense that as parents, we weren’t taught about money at school. So how do we then teach it to our own children? And how do we apply it to our own personal life as well as business life. And it’s only through area that we actually learn to improve the way we apply certain things. So it’s through those experiences that we get to apply those learnings to our own lives. And this is a big problem, not only in South Africa, but globally, too. And I’m on this mission to try and solve that problem and to try and educate as many people as I can. And we look at personal finance, how do we go and teach our children about money when we haven’t learned it ourselves? And so we might be, you know, teaching our kids in a disempowering way and not being aware of what we’re doing, unless it’s pointed out to us. So yeah,
Di-Di Hoffman 4:51
I agree. I agree. Jean, your superpower, what is your superpower? And how do you use that to serve your client?
Jean Archary 5:01
I think it’s my passion. I think passion for anyone, you know, if you’re living your passion, we can do so much, you know, they say Wally is a little days away. And that’s exactly how I feel about my life, I feel like I’ve embarked on this journey from a very young age, actually discovered my passion, when I was probably just often given birth to my daughter. But, you know, my personal story is one about from riches to rags. Because we have a lot of money, and we ended up losing it when I was about eight years old, and my entire life changed in like, overnight. And we went from having all these opportunities to having all those opportunities snatched away from you.
You know, my parents were married, and my dad, in the process, sort of disappeared. And my mom was left to raise four kids on her own. And just watching her go from not having from being a stay at home mom to now all of a sudden, having to take care of these four children on her own and being she was not even yet 30 years old. And that was a, it was a huge transition for all of us. But going through that experience actually made me realize how important this topic is. And it drove me it fueled my passion, my motivation to want to do better, and to be better. And that’s basically how I got here.
Di-Di Hoffman 6:33
That’s awesome. Who is your ideal client?
Jean Archary 6:41
So in my attempts to educate as many people as I possibly can. And again, I think this is an important part of the conversation, because I was meant to have left my corporate job last year in April. And obviously, as we know, COVID hit South Africa around March, April. And I had to put a hold in my plans, based out of fear, actually, because now this, you know, business is shutting down, there’s a lockdown. Schools are going, you know, online. So it was it, we weren’t prepared for something like this. And so I had to delay my exit from corporate. And so at that point in time, my business was being built around a message or financial education for the employee. And so when COVID hit and businesses was shutting down, I had to re strategize. And I had to adapt my message. And so I thought, you know, corporates are not going to want to focus on financial wellness, maybe right then and there, maybe they’ll look at it, you know, become a priority later on.
But I also realized I needed to reach a broader market. And so I started creating content for the working adults, plus the families. So I started to add on to that vision, which is great, actually, for me, because now I can target corporates. But I can also target individuals because financial wellness is something that impacts not only the working adults, but also their families as well. And we want to start shifting things in the world. And you know, in terms of creating a Money Smart world, we need to start educating children as well about money. So my target market or my ideal client is basically everyone. But the way to get to them is to reach the individuals or employers as well.
Di-Di Hoffman 8:37
As holistic health coaches, we are all acutely aware of the importance of financial well being and financial wellness, The COVID lock downs, especially in South Africa had a huge impact. Can you highlight some of those issues for us in terms of finances?
Jean Archary 9:58
Yeah, and you know, this is I look at COVID as a spiritual journey COVID happened to us for a number of reasons. And that was to shift us out of our comfort zones. We were taking life too lightly. I think the impact and damages that we caused to the environment, to our personal lives, financial lives, we needed to pause and reflect and look at what was happening around us.
Now, COVID showed us a lot of gaps in our systems, for businesses, or let’s start from CAD for countries for the world, for countries, for businesses, for infrastructure, for schools, for hospitals, for individuals and families. And if you look at the impact that it had, businesses had to shut down, they weren’t able to operate if they were not online technology from such a big part of our lives. And I think a lot of businesses had not implemented technology to the best of their advantage. And if we had, when we when we went into lockdown, we wouldn’t have been, we wouldn’t have lost income, we would have been able to adapt almost instantly. Because we would have taken into consideration, we would have done scenario planning and businesses do scenario planning. But why are we not doing scenario planning in our own personal lives?
Even as, as a small business owners, we need to look at how do we how do we plan for those events that could impact us, and that could prevent us from achieving what we needed to achieve. So it was being able to work continue business, or business succession planning, business continuity, those were things that that obviously impacted us from a personal finance perspective. And I mean, obviously, we’ve got wellness coaches, listening in, they’ve got their own businesses that they need to manage, but they also have clients that they need to manage. And so personal finance of finance affects them on two levels on the client level, and on a business level. And until we make sure that it’s very difficult, because how do you how do you manage your own business finance, if you you personally, you’re not managing your finances either. So you’ve got to manage your personal finance, and then your business finance.
And then you got to make sure that your clients are financially well, because financial wellness forms a part of that life wheel. And if, you know, we see it in businesses, as for employees, if employees are not financially well, it affects every other aspect of their lives, it affects the productivity, the stress level, this absenteeism will be on the increase, they’ll go home and have arguments with the family because they stressed out and anxious. So it impacts the largest, you know, mental health, physical well being, you know, we say we know that, you know, how our mind and how we think our thoughts, impact our behavior, our actions, and also our bodies. So finance basically forms a huge part of making sure that you know, all other aspects of our lives and our lifestyles. Is, is well, basically,
Di-Di Hoffman 13:32
I love that approach. Because that is absolutely spot on what we do as coaches, and I just want to highlight the fact that a lot of our health coaches, especially in South Africa, were literally caught with their pants down, when Covid hit us. We’ve all been talking about taking our businesses online, but we love because we coaches, we love the one on one interaction. And we just thought, man, you know, we’ll get to it. And then COVID and suddenly, you couldn’t see your clients anymore. It had an impact, on all of us. I like the fact that you are highlighting that. What lessons did you learn from this? What lessons can we all take away from this?
Jean Archary 14:17
So many, and I think the biggest thing is firstly, you know, we need to be able to adapt to, to future challenges. I think it was Charles Darwin who said that it’s not the strongest of the species that will survive, but it will, it’s the ones that are most adaptive to change. And, you know, so nobody could have seen COVID coming. I think if anybody saw that happening, we would have been a lot better prepared. But I think it’s very important that, you know, we learn from those experiences and if we, if we don’t use what COVID taught us to improve on our future, then we’ve learned nothing at all. So the question we need to ask ourselves is what lessons are we going to take from COVID to improve our future lives from happening, or from, from making sure that if there is a negative event, or traumatic event that happens or challenge that comes across our parts, that we are going to be better prepared. And it’s little things like making sure that we’ve planned for retirement, making sure that we’ve planned for a death or an illness.
Now, if you’re a small business owner, you need to make sure that you protecting your biggest asset, which is your income to yourself, basically, you know, so just getting our priorities right and making sure that we’ve planned for those eventualities, because retirement is definitely something that’s going to happen. Yes, some of us might have the option, or the ability to work beyond retirement age, but some people might not have that, that option, or might not want to do it. You know, disability is not something that might happen, or something that will happen, it’s something that might happen.
So again, we need to make sure that we are prepared for something like that. And I think again, COVID taught us that illness can happen to anyone and everyone, irrespective of your health, your mental, or your mindset, or your wealth. So obviously, those people that have money are better prepared to handle those, the challenges that come around it. So you know, if you have money, you you’re able to go to get better medical care than somebody who doesn’t have medical aid as an example.
You know, another thing that COVID taught us was that if your business was impacted by by COVID, you weren’t able to operate online, you if you had sufficient reserves available, it would have bought you time to put those measures into place. I worked with big corporates, and let me tell you, they mobilized within a few weeks. And we were back doing business because they have the resources available to do that. If you as a small business owner don’t have sufficient or adequate resources, you’re not going to be able to mobilize.
But then you also look at it from a personal perspective. If you have sufficient money, we you don’t have to worry about you know, something happened happening to your business. If you’re the breadwinner in the family, and something were to happen to you, you want to make sure that your family doesn’t have to worry about money, you want to make sure that you buy them enough time to grieve as losing somebody in your life is it’s it’s traumatic. You want to make sure that you’re if you’ve got a family that you don’t have to worry about money or moving out of your house now, because you don’t you didn’t have sufficient life cover to take care of your family members. So you know, it impacts all aspects of our lives, our livelihoods, and money just gives you an option two buys you time basically.
Di-Di Hoffman 18:03
Absolutely. Can we be a little bit more practical? Can you give us a few steps we can take to improve our financial wellness going forward?
Jean Archary 18:14
So I think the first thing is that financial wellness is personal, it’ll be unique to the individual. So you might be married with kids, I might be divorced with a kid and somebody else might be single. And so your financial wellness plan will look very different from mine, and the single person. And so it’s very important that we understand what that is. And I’m sure in from a coaching perspective, you know, you need to understand the individual as well what the goals are. Because a plan is not going to work if it doesn’t align to that person’s goals and the vision. So the vision is very, very important and understanding that person’s personal circumstances.
Also, mindset is also another thing that’s important because this is the emotional relationship we have with money.
And then there’s a the IQ, the technical aspects of money. And my program actually brings together both the emotional connection we have with money, the psychology of it, as well as the technical skills. So we can’t show people you know, as an example, you want to lose weight, he has a plan going into it when I might be an emotional eater, and we haven’t addressed those issues, achieving my fitness or find our weight loss goals is not going to be as effective. If I look at my emotional connection with food. And in the same light we need to understand what that means for money because money has two sides to it.
There’s the IQ side and the EQ side. So we need to be able to give people the skills to be able to budget But we also need to understand is there are there any emotional blocks to prevent that person from being able to budget. So the first step is understand the vision that that person has the potential blocks that might be blocking them from achieving the vision and the goals, then the second step is to understand the income, because obviously, you’ve got to earn an income in order to be able to achieve your financial goals.
And so that’s the second step is to fully understand how that income is structured. Now, if your employer or employee working for employee MicroSIM, employee benefits, which obviously, we need to understand how that works, if you’re a business owner, then making sure you understand how your income is structured so that you are maximizing your tax benefits, you know, you don’t want to be paying too much tax. So just managing making sense of what that looks like.
The third thing is then to start reducing or managing your expenses. Because you know, a lot of people spend more than they earn, they live beyond their means. You know, there’s a saying that goes, It’s not how much money you earn, it’s how much money you keep. So people might think that they don’t earn enough to save enough. And that’s actually not true, I think everybody is in a position where they can earn more money, or they can try and reduce the expenses. And so we help people through that process of trying to manage the expenses better.
And then the last step is to understand what I call more than money is to look at how you’re investing we’re investing, simplifying investment knowledge, because, you know, the world of finance is so complex and can be so overwhelming and so daunting, and I think a lot of people stay away from that. And so my intention is to try and simplify those messages in a way that makes sense. For people. Yeah, and then, you know, so those are basically the four steps.
And then the last step of the bonus section, I like to call is to start educating everybody else in the household because you want to raise the money smart world, not just, you know, money, fix everybody, not just the working out.
Di-Di Hoffman 22:12
Look, I simply love these four steps, it’s simple, it’s practical. It’s literally hitting the nail on the head, you know, with all of them, especially the mindset, I work with coaches and a simple mindset thing is around pricing their services. And it’s all mindset. People think it’s supply and demand, but it’s not, it starts with your mindset, if you can fix that, then you got the right mindset, you will find that you can literally charge anything for your services. Absolutely. One last question. Any final words of advice for our BadassPreneurs?
Jean Archary 22:53
Yeah, you know, it’s when I started in this industry, 20 years ago, the statistic was only 6% of South Africans would retire financially comfortable. Only 6%. And this is not a problem only in South Africa. It’s a problem globally, you think a country like America would be better off when it comes to money. But I mean, unemployment rates was impacted all of us increased through COVID.
COVID actually highlighted a lot of the issues that most countries have. And financial education is one of them, because people were not prepared, people had not planned. And if they had planned, they would have obviously been in a better in a better situation. So you know, in order for us to start shifting that statistic, and increasing and so that more people are able to retire financially comfortable, something needs to shift. And the only thing that needs to that that’s going to help is if people start changing their financial habits, improving their financial habits, the problem is not going to go away.
Ignorance, you know, like retirement is an example. I posted a post on social media yesterday, offering access to a retirement specialist or retirement educator. And, you know, every single person that hasn’t retired, that’s going to be should actually be attending an event like that. But people are not, it’s not a concern. There’s no urgency, because retirement is something that’s only going to happen in 20 years from now.
But let me say this, I mean, COVID We didn’t see it coming. We know retirement is coming. And you’d be still not saving adequately for that event. So you know, use the lessons that COVID taught us. If you could go back two years, and you knew COVID was going to happen, what would you have done differently? You would have saved more You would have started to automate your business, you would have started to bring technology and you would have been better prepared. So if we don’t use these lessons and better prepare for what we know is coming, then we’ve not we’ve not learned anything. So yeah, so that’s my final tip is, you know, ignorance. We can play ignorant for as long as we want to. But certainly eventualities are going to happen, and I would rather be prepared for something that’s coming my way they’re not.
Di-Di Hoffman 25:31
Absolutely, I’d simply love that. I simply love that. You have an e book that our listeners can download. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
Jean Archary 25:40
So I’ve simplified the four step process for the audience. I will send out the link to UDD or if maybe you can email it out to your audience. But basically, it outlines you know, everything that I’ve said, in a summary of what I’ve said today, those four steps. Yeah, and I obviously have unlined content that is available as well. So if people wanted to access further information, or courses that will help them they are more than welcome to visit my website.
Di-Di Hoffman 26:20
Absolutely. I’ve been to the website and it looks great. And there’s a lot of information. Do you have a favorite social media hangout place, where can we connect with you. Or you can be like me and say, oh, sorry, I don’t do all the social media.
Jean Archary 26:44
Yeah, you know what, especially older people, it’s a lot to handle this. I’m technically challenged myself and managing a whole lot of social media platforms as a solopreneur is very difficult. I mostly use LinkedIn. I’ve got a LinkedIn personal page for my business, which has many messages, as well as my personal name, personal profile. And then Facebook. Also, I’ve created a group we for specifically for parents who want to raise money smart kids. And I’ve also got a page there on for my business as well.
Di-Di Hoffman 27:19
I’ll put those links down in the show notes. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us. We wish you only the best. And may your business grow and prosper beyond your wildest dreams.
Jean Archary 27:31
Awesome. Thank you so much.