For businesses, there are many questions up in the air right now. In the words of our own Chiller-in-Chief, Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, even we had to “Pivot!!” our direction to keep up with the times. To spread the positivity and help to others, Cyndi partnered with Dell and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (DWEN) to support five small, female-lead businesses in the form of mentorship and even a Dell #XPS 13 inch laptop from Dell, because we’re #inthistogether.
Below, read our interview with one of the winning brand’s founder. Alyssa founded Booked ‘N Busy and launched amidst a pandemic against all odds. But be thankful she did during this time, because Booked ‘N Busy helps provide accessible and understandable financial literature and a sense of community to women all over so that they feel in control of their finances (something we arguably need now more than ever before.) Read more about Alyssa’s financial journey, budgeting tips, and how Booked ‘N Busy can help you below.
Caffeine of choice? Tea
Dream job as a kid? Backup dancer for Destiny’s Child
One thing you NEED in the morning? Peace and quiet
One thing you NEED to fall asleep? To wish my mother good night
Favorite way to kill time in quarantine? Spending quality time with my roommates
Go-to snack? Blueberries
One thing you wish you told your younger self? All of the answers you seek are within
What gap in the market do you find yourself filling?
We’re filling the financial literacy gap in the market. Our approach is quite distinct: We use practical, psychological and spiritual resources to help our community of millennial women create a healthy and paralleled connection between their mind and their money.
While women are slowly yet increasingly redefining financial success, we still have quite a way to go if we want to equally control (or surpass) the amount of wealth as men. Women live longer than men but earn less, women budget more money than men but invest less, and a majority of women rather talk about their own death rather than money (crazy, I know).
Money is a masculine energy: It’s only natural for men to grasp onto the money concept quicker than women. However, all living things possess both feminime and masculine energy. In other words, just as men, women too have the capability to tap into the abundance of wealth. We just absorb information differently and need to be taught differently than our male counterparts.
What support did you or did you not get from loved ones? What did that teach you?
When I first told my mother about my newest business venture she rolled her eyes and warmly said, “Honey, I think it’s a great idea but you have a problem finishing what you start.”
As a multihyphenate being, I’m blessed and cursed with exploring any and everything that intrigues my consciousness. This last year alone I came up with at least six business ideas but none of them stuck like soul food in my ribcage; none of them resonated with my spirit. My mother is cognizant about this: She knows I’m constantly on an uphill battle searching for my meaning, purpose, and identity. She understands the emphasis I place on creating generational wealth, self-sufficiency, and contributing to the world in ways that align with my moral compass. If the venture doesn’t feed my mind-body-soul, I drop it like a bad habit.
Never in my 25 years of existing have I felt more aligned with something larger than myself. From both a practical and spiritual lens, Booked ‘N Busy is embedded in my destiny. Even if it’s only a small part of my life’s journey, I know I’m on the right path. My friends, family (mom included), and online community see the fire within me. I’ve proven my commitment time and time again with my consistency. Because of this, whether it’s emotional, physical, or financial support, my loved ones really hold me down and I’m blessed to receive their unconditional support. Once you show the world you’re about the ish you say your about, they’ll step in and lend a helping hand.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge so far has been solidifying my brand messaging. By trade, I’m a copywriter: I create converting and stunning copy for brands both big and small. However, when it comes to my own brand, I occasionally find myself at a loss for words.
We’re our own worst critics, cliche but true. On top of being hypercritical of my own work, there aren’t many other businesses doing exactly what I’m doing. Thus, there’s not much inspiration to pull from. It’s like imagining something that has never been created before. You know who does that? Visionaries. This is something I’m practicing: Being kinder to myself and the work I produce while planting myself in environments of full blown genius, imagination and letting it pour out of me. That’s when the best ideas (writing included) flow out.
What’s your favorite part of working for yourself?
My favorite part of working for myself is the sovereignty I have to create, to manage, to inspire, and to build. I may not know all of the answers or do things the “right” way each time, however, there’s power in generating income for myself, community, and economy. To help guide myself and community break biased barriers surrounding our health and wealth, on my terms, is pretty badass.
Tell us about your journey to financial wellness?
My journey to financial wellness is an uphill battle. I began by hyper-focusing on my subconscious relationship with money: I grew up with two siblings and a single mother. We were less than middle class and accepted government assistance my entire adolescent years.
To get to the root of my money-related issues, I had to go back in time and relive my first experiences with my money, the way it made me feel, and how it affected the immediate adults around me. A child’s mind is similar to a vacuum; sucking up any and everything thrown onto its path. Unlearning these limiting beliefs is my biggest challenge: Some days I conquer money like a Queen and other days I’m fearful of treating myself or even spending on the necessities.
What makes my journey unique is my self-awareness. I know I’m no expert but I do know where my financial-stress is deeply rooted from and I have access to the tools to dig myself out and into the light. I love this quality within myself because when I speak to my community, it’s coming from a place of authenticity, genuine sincere, and relatability. We’re all on the same journey, we’re just walking different paths.
What’s your #1 finance tip to freelancers and creatives during this time?
Create a monthly budget, cut out unnecessary expenses (remember the photo app you subscribed to months ago and only used once? Let it go) and invest in yourself (such as a lucrative business idea or learning a high income skill).
Why is it so important to have accessible financial literature, such as the Ebooks?
Accessible financial literature is imperative because money (just as wellness) is a fundamental building block of life tied to one too many societal constructs. We cannot expect women to digest the importance of investing, ownership, or retirement if they cannot effortlessly access the resources and tools needed to expand their knowledge and comfortability with money. Research from a 2018 study found that millennial women spend $170 billion annually: The largest spending power of any generation. It’s time we own a larger portion of what we’re handing out and begin investing our money into ourselves (the best thing money can buy).
Feature Image via Paige Hogan