Getting a handle on your personal finance can change your entire life. Here to share how she redefined wealth and transformed her financial situation with a holistic approach is Patrice Washington. Lovingly known as America’s Money Maven, Patrice has supported so many women and families in their journey to achieving wealth with purpose through her Redefining Wealth Podcast. In this episode, she chats with Monick Halm about the six pillars of wealth that transformed her financial situation and her life as a whole. Plus, Patrice talks about her tv show Opportunity Knocks and their mission to help families all over the nation take control of their finances in a life-changing way. Don’t miss the money wisdom from this episode by tuning in.
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Redefining Wealth: A Holistic Approach To Personal Finance With Patrice Washington
I’m live here at FinCon 2022, and I’m excited to be doing this live interview here with Patrice Washington, who is the host of the Redefining Wealth Podcast. She is also one of the stars of the new PBS show Opportunity Knocks, which we are going to find out all about in this episode. It’s a new reality TV series helping families get out of struggle and get into wealth. I’m excited.
One of our missions here is to help women and families get financial freedom. Before you can get there, sometimes you are on the bathroom floor crying, and financial freedom feels so far away when you are trying to figure out how you pay your bills. I would love it if you would share a little bit about your story and how you got started, and even talk about money and wealth building.
Thank you so much for having me. What a lot of people don’t know is that I got started in real estate first. Many people know me as America’s Money Maven but rarely do they hear that. I was introduced to real estate at nineteen years old. I became a real estate and mortgage broker at 21, turning 22 years old in Southern California. That was what piqued my interest in personal finance as a whole because I was starting to help people who were twice my age and knew less than I did.
You don’t know basic things but you are looking to buy a home. I became fascinated with researching, “What it takes to build your credit or pay off debt and save?” In the process, I started to try to help my friends while I was in college. They weren’t listening but I tried. I grew the business by getting out in Southern California and educating.
That business grew to become a seven-figure business by the time I was 25. That was soon going away because the recession hit a couple of short years later. When the recession hit, I felt like I had been doing all of the personal finance things that I learned to do, yet I didn’t have the wisdom to be prepared for such a time like that.
I owned real estate, and I had investments and things but it wasn’t balanced appropriately. The recession was a big deal. I went from that seven-figure business to several years later, scraping up change. I had become passionate about financial education but you mentioned the bathroom floor. The day that I had to chase the power man down and beg him to put the lights back on and my daughter’s milk was spoiled. This is after coming home to yet another eviction notice several months in a row in my little teeny tiny apartment that I lived in after my home was foreclosed.
I was at the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Even what I was hearing, like the personal finance education and even the stuff I used to say to people, did not apply. I was like, “You are assuming that I’m here. Now, I’m trying to make a choice between do I buy milk or do I pay the light bill.” A lot of Americans, even people who may have education and know better, “I have degrees and have all these things.” When life happens, you can still find yourself in a place going, “What the heck am I supposed to do?” That’s where I was in 2009.
Let me step back because I’m fascinated. Here you are. You have a seven-figure business. You are teaching about money and finance. You have investments and real estate. What would you have done differently if you had to do it again?
The scripture that changed everything for me was Proverb 17:16. It’s the scripture that I found when I was on the bathroom floor. It said, “What good is money in the hands of a fool if they had no desire to seek wisdom?” What I would have done sooner was seek wisdom. I would have sought wisdom. I grew up in a Belizean-American home of a single mom and a single grandma. I grew up with like, “You figure it out. You keep people out of your business. You make things happen. You have to lone wolf it.”“What good is money in the hands of a fool if they had no desire to seek wisdom?” - Proverbs 17:16 Click To Tweet
When that’s the mentality, nothing in me thought about asking for help. Nothing in me thought about, “Where can I get support?” I internalized everything. For so long, I was willing to suffer in silence. People didn’t know what was going on with me. What I would have done differently was asked for help sooner. I would have been more honest about where I was. We all know, especially with money stuff, there are so much shame and embarrassment.
I felt guilty like, “How could you do this when you were the one that made it? You were supposed to be taking the whole family to the promised land and look at you. Everyone was rooting for you.” I felt like I had let myself down. I now have a new baby. Why would I bring a baby into this world in this scenario? There are all these thoughts going on. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten help sooner. I have been more honest and transparent and said, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” I could have gotten out of it sooner, quicker, faster had I been honest.
It wouldn’t even be gotten so bad if you had gotten help sooner. You are the host of a podcast called Redefining Wealth. How do you define wealth?
I define wealth the way the twelfth-century definition is read. It’s the condition of well-being. Oftentimes when we see, hear or think about wealth, we think about the surface-level definition. We are in a money space where a lot of us would define it as an abundance of money and material possessions because that’s what we hear and see.
Shortly after my bathroom floor moment, and when I was looking up the difference between knowledge and wisdom, I also got into like, “What is wealth? What is rich?” When I dug deep and saw that the original twelfth-century definition of wealth was the condition of well-being. It was something that had dropped in my stomach, and thinking about my life up until that point. I had a lot of monetary financial success but I started to think about my relationships. They had been bankrupt.
I was a good person but focused on building my business if you could not help me build my business, I did not have time for you on the weekends because I was in my hustle and grind. I wasn’t physically well. I was ignoring a lot of things in my body that manifested by the time I ended up on bedrest with my daughter but what do people do? You are on your hustle and grind. We ignore symptoms. I wear fatigue like a badge of honor. I’m tired. I’m on my hustle and grind. You sleep when you die.
There are many parts of my life that I was not honoring. I was not well. When it came time to rebuild, I always tell people, “I was not looking at a budget every day. I was not looking at my credit report every day.” That definition changed everything for me. I didn’t call it the 6 Pillars of Wealth back then but I started to say to myself, “Where can you become more well?” When I started looking at that, that is what got me back into working out. Paying more attention to what I was eating. Mentally, “Am I well? What am I feeding myself? What am I listening to? What am I allowing in my spirit?” Some of these things are why I have limiting beliefs about what’s possible for me.
I started to shift those things. I started to honor relationships more. I started to put boundaries in place. I started not to have drive-by faith, which was like, “I’m going to do a quick two-minute devotional.” I started to put my quiet time on the calendar as much as everything else. I started to honor and respect my space. All of those things later became what I now call the 6 Pillars of Wealth. Those are the things I focused on, and a byproduct was the way that I processed and started to change.
I started to see opportunities and possibilities that once I did not see. It’s because I was focused on what I was in, I couldn’t look up, look around, and see that maybe this was happening for me and not to me. That was the beginning. That is still, to this day, how I live my life. I live my life by the pillars. My calendar is set up by the pillars.
What are the 6 Pillars of Wealth?
The first pillar is Fit. It’s about becoming your best self. I talk about being mentally and physically prepared for what you say you want. Many of us are praying for things that we are not prepared to walk into. The second pillar is People. It’s about creating relationships that matter personally and professionally. A lot of that is like creating boundaries and creating sacred time for the people that matter most. Honoring and respecting people. It’s not about, “You have a million followers or you have this.” I go off energy in people’s spirits, and that’s how I live my life.Be mentally and physically prepared for what you say you want. Many of us are praying for things that we are not really prepared to walk into. Click To Tweet
One of the things I want to say there for somebody who is reading, and I know you need this. With the people pillar, how my business has been built and how my success this time around has been built is understanding that there is always someone watching who has the power to bless you but who are they watching you be? Who are they watching you be as you move through life? That is the reason that I’m even here. That’s the reason that I’m on the show.
It is not because I’m putting some appearance like when a camera is on. I met you. I’m the same way when there’s no one else in the room, and there are 2 or 3 of us as I am if I am on the stage and there are thousands. That people pillar and understanding has been a game changer for me. The third pillar is Space. It’s about setting up your life to support you. That’s the energy in your space. Is that set up to support what you say you want?
The fourth pillar is Faith. It’s about believing in something greater. I don’t try to police what people believe in but if you say you believe in something, make time to practice it. It should be a part of how you navigate life. The fifth is Purpose or Work. It’s about living your life’s purpose. I believe living in your purpose helps you better set your priorities, and therefore, your personal finances fall in alignment.
You don’t have to mismanage money because you are doing something that fulfills you. Most of us are mismanaged because we are unfulfilled. The sixth pillar is where I finally talk about Money. I have been known as America’s Money Maven for over a decade. I barely talk about money but I want people to clean up all the other parts of their lives that impact their finances even when they are not thinking about it.
You were talking about before one of the things you would have done differently is seek advice and get some help. I have a few questions for you about advice. What’s the best life advice you have ever gotten?
Monique Coleman, she’s an actress from High School Musical. She was on the Redefining Wealth Podcast with me. She said that someone told her, “Your business would only grow to the extent you are willing to heal.” Every time I feel stuck or stagnant in some way, I tap back into that and go, “What childhood trauma am I not addressing here?”
You can do all the personal development you want in the world but as you ascend to new levels, you will realize that you have limiting beliefs that have been in the background that you didn’t even know. It’s not until you step into a new space that you want to go to a new level or try a new thing, and you have that little voice in the background that’s running why you do or don’t do things. Every time I think about that, I go, “Why are you making this hard? Why are you making this complicated?”
That’s an invitation to heal.
Many of us have normalized. In many of our life experiences, we think, “I’m going to die this way. We don’t have to live that way.” That’s one that I find myself using and looking at over again.
What’s the worst advice you could give somebody?
I know that one is off the top. I had a mentor who loved me dearly and was very successful in his realm. I remember going to him in 2010 or 2011 and saying, “I’m going to write a book. I had gotten off the bathroom floor. I started a blog. That blog got me writing for other blogs and eventually for magazines.” I was starting to build my own little following in Atlanta.
People would always ask me when I would go out and speak, “Do you have a book?” I was like, “It’s time for me to write a book.” I go and meet him. I’m telling him my idea, and I’m proud of what I’m saying. He stopped me in the middle, and he was like, “Do you have 10,000 Twitter followers at this time?” I was like, “No.” He was like, “Who is supposed to buy that book?” I felt deflated.
I remember going home that day, I’m like, “I got to get on my Twitter follower game.” At the time, I may have had 2,000 Twitter followers. I was like, “It took me years to get these 2,000. It will be years before I can write this book if I have to wait to get 10,000 Twitter followers.” I remember that day I went to sleep early. I was done with the day. I was like, “This day has taken me out.”
I woke up the next morning and was like, “Screw that.” He is not there when people are coming up to me at the end of a talk and saying, “Do you have a book?” He is not there when I’m looking at other moms who are trying to figure it out, and I now have information. I know something that could be a blessing to them. He was not there.
I went ahead and published my first book in 2012. I would write three books and do well with those three books before I ever hit 10,000 Twitter followers. I believe in seeking wise counsel. People who love you will try their best to protect you and don’t want you to fail. At the end of the day, we have to reject any advice that’s not in alignment with our assignment.We have to reject any advice that's not in alignment with our assignment. Click To Tweet
I know what I felt led to do, and that’s what I was supposed to do. It didn’t matter if you saw it. I’m not asking you for validation. Seeking wise counsel does not mean that you are looking for validation. I don’t need anyone else to give me permission to do what I feel I need to do in my belly. Now, he is so proud of me. He tells me all the time, and that was the worst advice but the best thing that could have happened because it taught me to trust my voice.
Trust your own knowing. I love that. I know that you get asked to do TV and opt for a lot. You said no all the time but there was a knowing in you that said yes to this opportunity, which is Opportunity Knocks. Can you tell us about Opportunity Knocks? What was it that made you say yes?
Opportunity Knocks is a new show that will be on PBS this fall of 2022. I’m 1 of 3 opportunity coaches. We go into people’s homes all over the country and help them restore their financial dignity. Many of us who are on the show have come through some type of financial storm or challenge. We go in and allow these families to know that you don’t always have to be here in this space, and there is an opportunity for you to grow, not just survive but thrive.
I said yes to this show because when I got on Zoom with the creator and the producers and all that, they were describing the fact that this particular show is not more of the same. It’s not more of the like, “Here is what you need to go do, but now, we are gone.” This show was an example of what can be done, but now, you can go to this tech tool. It’s called The Opportunity Finder. You can put in your address, you can select whatever your needs are, and you can find nonprofit and not-for-profit CDFIs in your community. Community Development Financial Institutions in your community that specialize in helping people who need it the most.
The reason that I resonated with it was that when I was listening to the whole thing, I was thinking back to 2009. I was like, “If I would have had something like this, I may not have ever had to get to the point where I was on the bathroom floor like this. I could have found resources and support sooner, quicker, and faster, and from organizations that are designed to not let me wallow in my shame, guilt, and embarrassment.”
For me, it felt like when I think about younger Patrice or before everyone else knew me as America’s Money Maven, I think about like, “If I would’ve had that, what could’ve happened sooner for me?” I took the opportunity because my whole mantra is to chase purpose, not money. Let’s be real. Some of the TV gigs that I have been offered were way more lucrative but they didn’t feel purposeful. It went back to that like, “What’s aligned with me? What feels right in my spirit?” It felt right to be aligned with something that I believe will help everyday families. Not like what a Band-Aid is but real transformation.
What’s an example from this season that you have done of a family? How did the show help them? Where were they before? How can it help somebody who’s at home that is going through a similar fate?
One of the things that I love about how they cast the show is that you will see yourself in 1 of the 6 families for this first go-round. Everything from a single mom who moved from New York down to Florida or a couple a family who are ministers in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who had gone through those back-to-back storms and tried to rebuild and had everything wiped out. They were taking care of the people in their church.
A couple in Chicago or Philly who are trying to save money so that they can start a family. There’s a bigger purpose here to why they need to get their finances in order. There were many different stories but the family that I supported in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was able to work with a CDFI, the Community Development Financial Institution, and get their bills down by $800 a month. That is life-changing.
I remember when an extra $250 would have made all the difference for me in 2009 and 2010. With that additional $800, we can talk about, “What do I do with it?” A lot of times, the advice that we want to give people are not there yet because they are trying to get the basics down. That’s what I love about the show. Everyone is unique and different. Our backgrounds and experiences are different. The credit scores don’t tell the whole story.
What I love about these community partners that you can find through the Opportunity Finder is that you are going to talk to real people who are going to help you navigate your story and what makes sense for you. Every family on the show was helped completely differently because they had many different backgrounds but overwhelmingly, it was about helping them save more money each month and redirect that to what it is they want and do.
One last question before we go to our end of the show trinity. Trinity is a brag, gratitude, and desire. My question is, for a woman who is maybe not on the floor, things are balanced but wanting to create wealth in the broad sense that you define, what advice would you give her?
I would say to be radically honest about where you are and what you say you want. A lot of times, we are trying to police ourselves based on what we should do, what we should want, and how it should look. I turned 40 in 2021, and there’s something about a woman turning 40. That was such a moment for me, to be radically honest. If you were not worried about what other people would think or what anyone would say, what does wealth look like for you? In each one of these pillars, I have been able to identify that this is what wealth looks like for me. That’s why my book is Redefine Wealth For Yourself.
In the fifth pillar, what does that look like? I’m not the little rail thing girl I used to be. I turned 35, and things started coming on. I found myself I was attached to a number on the scale but that number didn’t always mean that I was healthy. In this season of Redefining Wealth, looking at the fifth pillar, what does that mean for me, mentally and physically?
In my relationships, what does wealth look like for me? If I let myself get honest, that’s a part of why I ended up getting a divorce. The reason that many of us are not radically honest is that we have to deal with what comes after you tell yourself the truth. Once you tell yourself the truth, you have decisions to make. I would say to any woman who is reading this, “Give yourself permission to get radically honest and be bold enough to do what comes up.” It will be bumpy but worth it.Give yourself permission to get radically honest and then be bold enough to do what comes up. Click To Tweet
It’s time for our trinity. First, we start with a brag. What are you celebrating? What’s your brag?
One brag I’m celebrating is that I have a fifteen-year-old child who loves her mama, and I love her. I brag about that because many people will say, “What is it like having a teenager? I know it’s not easy.” No. My brag is that when people used to say, “When she’s a teenager, you are going to hate her.” I used to say, “I don’t receive that.” Even at fifteen years old, I can still say, “I don’t receive that.” I brag that I have a good kid. It’s a joy and a pleasure raising her.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
I am grateful that I get to do meaningful work and create what I hope will be a lasting impact on the lives of many people because I’m not perfect and full of flaws. Even in the midst of that, I could still be used, and I’m grateful that I could still be used.
Last but not least, what’s one desire?
To travel more and enjoy even what’s here in my backyard. Every place that I go to, I desire to get to know it and not say, “I have been there because I went through the airport.” The desire is to enjoy more life.
Shall your desire be so much better than you can imagine.
You are welcome. Thank you. This was amazing. Check out Patrice on Opportunity Knocks. Where can you find the show?
On PBS stations all over the country beginning in October 2022 or you can also go to OpportunityKnocks.net.
Is that where you can find people can find the Opportunity Finder too?
That is where.
If you find yourself looking for support from community resources, you can find that all there. Thank you for reading. Subscribe and join us next time for another episode. Bye.
- FinCon 2022
- Redefining Wealth Podcast
- 6 Pillars of Wealth
- Monique Coleman – Redefining Wealth Podcast Past Episode
- The Opportunity Finder
- Redefine Wealth for Yourself
About Patrice Washington
Intuitive. Transformational. Purpose Driven. Patrice Washington is an award-winning author and podcaster, transformational speaker, hope-restoring coach, and media personality, committed to teaching a holistic approach to life while redefining the term “wealth” to its original meaning, “well-being.”
As the founder of Redefining Wealth, Patrice has built a thriving international community of purpose-driven individuals committed to creating a powerful life weaving together the aspects of their careers, home, health, and personal finances. Through wise teachings and intuitive guidance, Patrice creates a safe environment for Purpose Chasers to dig deeper in exploring and understanding the obstacles that are prohibiting them from making progress.
As host of Redefining Wealth Podcast, this now top-rated and award-winning podcast has garnered over 12 million downloads and counting, empowering listeners to look at life through the lens of abundance and opportunity, instead of lack and scarcity. Named by SUCCESS Magazine as one of the Top 25 Influential Leaders in Personal Development and one of the “12 Inspiring Black Voices in Personal Development” , Patrice is a conscious thought-leader, consistently called on by top national media outlets such as Good Morning America, CNBC, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, NBC, Essence Magazine, and more.