Are we really one of the wealthiest countries in the world?
While you can find over 33 million results by googling “Millionaires in the USA,” it turns out that less than 10% of our population are millionaires or has a net worth (assets – liabilities) over a million dollars. And the wealth is more concentrated than you might think. Three of the richest Americans hold more wealth than the lower 50% of the country’s population, and women and the BIPOC community have even fewer millionaires. I was shocked; we’re commonly referred to as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but how is that possible when over 90% of our population has not reached this crucial milestone and the wealth is so disproportionate to the population?
What was holding us back? Have we given up hope or never believed it was possible for us to achieve?
As an advocate for women to be in charge of their money, a measure of progress in our society would be to see more women millionaires. When women succeed, we all win, as women focus on embracing and empowering others and positively impact their lives, their families, and their communities.
I began to think about how I could help make this possible and it hit me, believing you can is what makes all the difference.
While we see multi-millionaires in the limelight, gracing the cover of Forbes and jet-setting around the world, most millionaires are working with us in our communities. They’re the business leader who built a successful business, the mom next door who diligently saved, and the men and women who we commonly hold as pillars in our communities.
The challenge isn’t the goal; it’s that we need more accessible role models! We can relate to those who have trail-blazed the path and follow in their footsteps. They provide hope and keep us motivated and energized. That’s why I’ve started this project, “Women’s Million Dollar Conversations.” A series where I feature leading women who have acquired, earned, or sold over a million dollars to discuss their insights, experiences, and tips on how they achieved their goals so that you can expand your vision and achieve yours too.
Welcome to Women’s Million Dollar Conversations
Dive into a captivating Women’s Million Dollar Conversations episode featuring the remarkable Elizabeth Bachman. Drawing from her diverse experiences in opera and coaching, Elizabeth offers profound wisdom on shattering glass ceilings, leveraging alliances, and revolutionizing communication for unparalleled success. As she discusses her path from the world of opera to mentoring high-achieving women, Elizabeth unveils the transformative influence of networking, embracing vulnerability, and cultivating trust as key drivers toward achieving goals.
Are the endless pursuits of wealth leaving you drained? This episode offers a fresh perspective through the insights of Michele Hecken, a remarkable ex-CEO who specializes in guiding high-performing leaders to craft organizations where their teams invest in their passions. With experience spanning 25 years, Michele’s climb from a one-bedroom apartment in a foreign land to founding a global, multi-million-dollar translation enterprise showcases her determination and vision. Her transformative philosophy, centered on recognizing self-worth to gain prosperity, has empowered numerous Fortune 500 firms and entrepreneurs. Tune in to hear Michele Hecken’s compelling story, reevaluate your approach, and embrace the notion that self-worth is the key to unlocking fulfillment and accomplishment.
Believing in yourself is a powerful force that propels dreamers to achieve. And in the world of marketing, Anna Madill stands tall as a true testament to this principle. Anna embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with unwavering determination and a profound belief in the power of action. As the owner and CEO of Avenue, Anna’s path to success was not without its share of challenges. While growing her business, Anna defied expectations and shattered stereotypes and was recognized by Portland Business Journal as a 2023 Executive of the Year, the Women of Influence Award for 2020, and the Forty Under 40 Award for 2017.
If you are a working professional, there is a chance you have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in your career. That is why when I got the chance to interview Meg Carlson, Founder and CEO of Uproar Capital and former VP for Ore-Ida Foods, I had to ask her how she overcame imposter syndrome as she was promoted as the first woman Vice President globally for Kraft Heinz Corporation. She mentioned that when she was first promoted to VP for Heinz, she struggled with imposter syndrome and sought the help of a therapist. After sharing her feelings during a session, they turned to her and said, “For some reason, you have chosen to give up your power, and you just need to take it back.” And take it back, she did!
Not only was Meg able to thrive in her leadership role with Heinz, but she was also able to invest to build her financial freedom and later found other businesses and organizations within the Food and Beverage industry. As CEO of Uproar Capital, she accelerates early-stage food and beverage brands for clients, including Charlie’s Table, Domaine Sante, Snacktivist Foods, Sun Valley Mustard, and Zacca Foods. Realizing that Meg could own her power was a defining moment for her, and I hope our conversation gives you the strength to do the same.
When we were younger, the worst answer we could hear to one of our requests was “no.” However, my recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversations guest, Ana Rau, a Major Gifts Officer at Portland Community College Foundation, explains that there are more possibilities to explore when you have accepted the worst outcome. And that perspective helped Ana prepare for a 30-minute conversation where she secured 1 million dollars from an anonymous donor to help underserved students gain college educations.
Several other factors go along with landing a million-dollar donor, such as research, preparation, partnering with another colleague, interest, and forming genuine connections; not being afraid to make the ask is the final piece of the puzzle that takes a giant leap of courage. And with a passion for solving inequalities through her fundraising work, Ana Rau allows her values to give her the courage to help make a difference in several lives looking to better their education and positively impact their families. I hope our conversation inspires you to make some giant leaps and gives you the courage to ask for what you want without fear.
Sometimes in life, we come to a point where we feel like giving up. But according to my recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversations guest, Cathy Kemnitz, CEO at Cathy Kemnitz Consulting, “the only way out is through.” Cathy shared that taking risks and being brave enough to face challenges head-on sets apart successful individuals. As a successful businesswoman, Cathy has proven that taking leaps of faith can lead to great rewards. In just four years of starting her consulting firm, her company earned over a million dollars by helping business owners achieve their financial dreams. Although there may be fear or times it may seem better to quit, her inspirational journey and words of wisdom will inspire you to take that first step. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to learn from her experiences and share them with you. If you feel stuck or unsure about taking a risk, I hope Cathy’s words of wisdom will inspire you to take that leap of faith.
As an advocate for building your network and community, I’ve coined the motto, “When you master your relationships, wealth will follow.” Many of my Women’s Million Dollar Conversations guests have proven my theory to be a genuine factor in their success. My most recent guest, Lori Spencer, attributes much of her success to the advice she got early in her career, to build a mentor’s table, and she now serves as a mentor to many food and beverage businesses in the Northwest herself.
Lori’s community has helped her build and sell America’s leading Chai beverage company, Oregon Chai, and supported her as a top consultant in the food and beverage industry through her firm, Lori Spencer Consulting. By building her relationships early in her career, Lori was able to learn from and lean on others when she needed them the most. A supportive community, self-determination, and a strong work ethic were part of Lori’s recipe for success. I encourage you to join our conversation to learn more about how Lori co-founded a million-dollar business in three years and built her community.
On the journey to success, many of my Women’s Million Dollar Conversation guests shared that there came a point when they needed to take a leap of faith to reach their goals. My most recent guest, Suzanne Hanifin, Founder & President of Acumen Executive Search, is no exception to that rule. In June of 2007, Suzanne decided to take a leap and start her own certified Women-Owned, boutique Search & Advisory firm specializing in recruiting and placing professionals, directors, and C-Suite Executives for a select clientele. She has successfully grown her business through economic ups and downs while focusing on and promoting work/life balance for herself, her team, and her clients. I hope our conversation inspires you to leap toward your dreams.
People regret more what they do not do than what they do! My recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversation guest, Andrea Jones, Principal of Andrea Jones Consulting, learned this fact early on in life and decided she didn’t want to live life with regrets, so she took a chance on herself and her dreams. So, in 2006, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of starting her Business Consulting firm to help organizations efficiently accomplish impactful projects and change. With steady growth, excellent client relations, and a dedication to continuous learning, Andrea and her team have grown into a million-dollar organization that helps Fortune 100 companies optimize their people, processes, and technology. I had a great time speaking with Andrea about several topics and hope our conversation spurs you to take courageous action toward living your life to the fullest.
As we celebrate #WomensHistoryMonth and reflect on women leaders who have paved the way for change, it’s essential to acknowledge that you must truly trust yourself and your vision to make an impact at scale. Sometimes that can be easier said than done, but my recent guest, Sherry Cadsawan, points out, “you have to make decisions without all the facts, and you have to take some risk.” As CEO & Founder of Talence Group with over 25 years of experience identifying top talent, Sherry knows all too well how important it is to make decisions and take risks to progress. It is how she has been able to develop training programs, methodologies, and models that help Fortune 100 companies build diverse and unrivaled teams. I truly hope our conversation inspires you to step forward in the face of fear or uncertainty, trusting that everything will work out in the end.
I am excited to share my inspiring conversation with Suzie Hall, CEO of The Cornerstone Collective, a full-service design and construction solution studio. During our conversation, Suzie explains how vital faith in the unseen has been a part of her entrepreneurial journey. And as Founder and CEO of four companies, a long-time entrepreneur, and a Board member for several organizations, it’s hard to believe that all her success partly came from having the faith that it was possible. Throughout our conversation, she shares that being intentional in her everyday decisions and having faith that things will work out towards her highest good has led to much of her success and hard work. I hope our conversation encourages you to keep faith in your journey.
If there is one thing my guest always mentions as an integral part of their success is the importance of mentors. And my recent guest, Emma Dye, owner of Crisp Salad Restaurants, is no exception to that rule. In our Women’s Million Dollar Conversation, Emma explained just how important mentors were to her success. Her involvement with the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Accelerator program helped catapult her success expanding from one to many Crisp Salad locations across the Portland metro area. To support the community, each month Crisp Salad donates a portion of sales to an organization doing good in the communities they serve. Join our conversation to learn more about Emma and the impact mentors had on her success.
I am honored to share my inspiring conversation with leading behavioral and mindset expert Vered Kogan. As Founder and CEO of the Momentum Institute, Vered and her team speak, train, and coach leaders and teams to successfully navigate change, build resilience and strengthen their mindset. Throughout our conversation, Vered shares the importance of giving ourselves grace, compassion, understanding, and truly listening to the nudges we get through our emotions to help guide us to our higher selves, whatever that may be. Please join our conversation in learning how Vered has leveraged her mindset to build her business and helps leaders do the same.
I have been honored to interview several successful women professionals, and I have yet to meet one who has not struggled with the concept of “being enough” at some point in her life. My most recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversation guest, Kristy Comstock, is no exception to the rule. During my interview with Kristy, I asked her about a bias she has faced, and she responded, like so many of my guests before her, not being enough. However, with over 15 years of experience as a Senior Business Operations professional, building, developing, and leading high-performance teams in operations, sales, retail, wholesale, and marketing, Kristy is genuinely more than enough. She’s led teams from startups to Fortune 500 and enjoys learning from and mentoring others in their career journeys. I hope our conversation helps you realize that you are more than enough as you are today! Join our conversation to learn how Kristy realized her full potential, and you can too.
When it comes to building money confidence, it can seem like a long and arduous road. However, my dear friend, Alyssa Gasca, Owner and Principal of SPARK Executive Solutions, shares the humbling lessons that can be learned along the way. Alyssa spent the first half of her career at Intel, enjoying her work leading global change projects. However, after the birth of her daughter, she decided to start her consulting practice to have the freedom to be present with her family while also doing the work she loves. As a result, Alyssa found abundance in her life by reframing her limiting beliefs. Join our conversation to learn how Alyssa’s path to financial freedom provided her peace of mind, business growth, and money confidence.
I am pleased to share my Women’s Million Dollar Conversation with Anya Krebs, CEO of Office Space Copier, one of the only women-owned copier companies in the U.S. In less than three years, Anya has grown her business to over a million dollars in revenue by doing what’s right and focusing on her customers. When Anya’s not working to save her customers money, she advocates for non-profits. So far, she has helped save non-profits over $400,000 to work towards her goal of one million dollars saved. I hope our conversation gives you the insight to build your career and pave your path to success.
I recently had an inspiring Women’s Million Dollar Conversation with my special guest, Kim Prosser, Co-Owner of Precision Door Service Oregon. With 35 years of experience in the construction industry, Kim has survived many recessions and setbacks on her path to success, yet Kim’s secret to success is fairly simple: Do NOT Give Up! Kim’s found this method to help her succeed in all areas of life, including earning her Private Pilot License in 2001 and checking off items on her bucket list while running a successful business. I hope Kim’s story of success and advice inspires you not to give up as you reach your million-dollar goals.
I am pleased to share my Women’s Million Dollar Conversation with my guest and dear friend, Audra Smith, Regional Sales Manager for Principal Financial Group. With more than 30 years in the financial services industry, Audra holds present and past board positions with the Association of Health Underwriters, Women in Financial Services, and Rotary International. She has also been awarded the Principal’s 2018 Corporate Advocacy for Women Award and most recently taught Junior Achievement Students about the importance of saving for their futures through the “Better Together for Financial Literacy” Program. I hope our conversation encourages you to persevere towards financial independence.
I am delighted to share a recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversation with Mary Quist-Newins, Founder, Executive Director, and President of Moneyweave® Academy. Mary’s passion is to provide trustworthy, comprehensive, and competent financial planning education for women, inspiring sound decision-making, purposeful action, and philanthropy through her nonprofit. Why? To provide economic security to women and girls throughout the U.S. As someone who has held the only endowed professorship in the nation dedicated exclusively to studying women and money at The American College, Mary knows how to make and achieve goals. I hope our conversation inspires you to clarify your why so that you can take the first step toward your goals.
In my Million Dollar Conversation series, I recently had the honor of interviewing Jenna Bayer, founder of Jenna Bayer Garden Design. Jenna and her talented team have focused on creating one-of-a-kind garden experiences using sustainable practices, extensive horticultural knowledge, and artistic principles since 1994. Her passion for creating sustainable outdoor spaces has fueled her award-winning firm and loyal customers. I hope our conversation inspires you to explore what keeps you going when you feel like giving up.
I am delighted to share a recent Women’s Million Dollar Conversation with guest Peggy Fisher. Peggy has recently started a new chapter in her professional career, moving from over 25 years of experience leading marketing and business development for two of the largest dental equipment manufacturers in the field to following her passion for enriching the lives of others by helping them address the root cause of health conditions through the healing power of food in her new venture, Mindfully Nourished. Peggy is a woman after my own heart as she created her success and then opened a new chapter for herself to improve the health of her network, similar to my story of finding success in financial planning and now sharing insights with professional women on how they can create their financial freedom. I hope our conversation inspires you to take risks that align with your purpose, passions, and dreams.
In the latest episode of Women’s Million Dollar Conversations, it was an honor to speak with Leadership and Business Advisor, Jackie Seto. Jackie has spent her career in the Semiconductor Industry breaking norms as a women engineer and leader. In her free time, she fosters her passion for advancing DEI through volunteer mentoring and business advising for women leaders at a number of organizations. I hope our conversation inspires you to manifest your own success!