Episode 007: Your Money Mindset Can Hurt Your Career With Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, Founder of The Fiscal Femme




This week we’re talking to Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, founder of the Fiscal Femme and financial wellness and money coach. I know I say this a lot, but this was such a fun one to record for so many reasons. In addition to  her general awesomeness surrounding the work she does with clients, students, and corporate wellness programs, she’s on the air today to help any of us in the following situations:

  • You got used to a lifestyle with a high salary but want OUT. The idea of a pay cut terrifies you.
  • You don’t get paid what you’re worth and it’s starting to take its toll
  • You want to start your own business but don’t know how to rein in the spending and/or figure out to change your mindset from one of lack to abundance


If any of the  above made you gasp in agreement, tune into Episode 007: Stop Stressing About Money- Here’s How with Ashley here:

MONEYListen to the episode by clicking the  button below

We’re talking about tons of goodies on the show including:

  • Getting started on changing your money mindset
  • Understanding your spending habits and choices using a money journal – grab the free tool from the episode here
  • Communicating new priorities with friends
  • Breaking through tough to break habits


Ashley is the founder and creator of the 30 Day Money Cleanse. This was the program I took in 2014 to figure out how to shed miscellaneous spending and change my money mindset so that I could become fully self-employed (and self-funded).


PS: We didn’t talk about negotiating salary in this episode but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our downloadable guide we created around the topic. You can grab it here.


SHOW TIMES Timings are Approximate


1:45 Ashley Intro

4:20 The idea of a money journey

5:25 How can we cultivate a money mindset that serves us? How do we stick with it?

9:30 Your upbringing’s impact on your Money Mindset

11:50 Taking ACTION on your money journey

13:00 Money Dream Team

15:05 Happiness Allocations – what are they and how do I do mine?

17:00 If I feel stuck in my career and need a change, how can I think of my money differently to get unstuck?

22:00 Tricks and tips to embrace your money

23:30 Friendships and Money

26:20 Spending Tizzies- how do you get out of it!?

33:30 Money mindset success stories from the 30-Day Money Cleanse

37:30: Money personas we adopt that can hold us back

40:10 Money Cleanse details & Staying in Touch



-30 Day Money Cleanse

-Ashley’s site, The Fiscal Femme

Parkinson’s Law

Negotiating Your Worth At Work  (Ashley and Jill’s downloadable guide)

Kicking Your Career Change Off Right- Happiness Project Style

I know I’m about 8 years late to the party (story of my life), but I’m REALLY digging Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project”. It is rocking my world right now, just in time for the New Year. For those who are unfamiliar with her concept, Rubin chose 12 areas of her life she wanted to work on throughout a year and spent a month on each area.

By the way, I’ve started video blogging over on my Facebook page here, (“Like” the page to get notified when I go live and post video tutorials and all that jazz!) but after staving off 13 people’s colds, three stomach bugs and my husband’s full blown flu three weeks ago, I have finally succumbed to Sickness-Palooza 2016/17, so with my Rudolph-esque nose, I think videos are a no go this week.

Anyway, back to Gretchen. While her way of approaching things and her perspective is similar to mine in some areas, it’s radically different in other areas, which got me thinking: I bet we all think about career changes or pivots in wildly different ways, with wildly different attitudes, ranging from “I GOT THIS” to “NO, PLEASE, MAKE ME DO ANYTHING BUT GO TO A NETWORKING EVENT!” to everything in between.

SO, as I was reading her “Work” chapter, it hit me that lots of her lessons are SO vital to career change that I’d be remiss NOT to write this post. So, without further ado, here are some of the critical lessons from Rubin I think we could all consider as we enter a career change or pivot in 2017:happiness







Image: Happiness: A Happy Dog Contemplates Life In the Woods on New Year’s Day

  1. 1. In order to have more success, you need to be willing to accept more failure. Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy. Wow. This one was huge for me. As I looked back to consider my career change, I can pinpoint the few times I actually felt happy during it. I mean, I worked three jobs at one point to have some income while I built my business. I had months of $1200 or less in income. I had a ton of debt as I built and invested in my business and my skill set. I worked for a CA-RAZY company at the beginning of my career change (the one I mention that I don’t even put in my resume) that made my additional schooling all the more stressful. You get the deal. My career change was (and still is) fraught with risks and potential failures. Some came to fruition and others never did. So when you are considering your career change- or maybe you’re in the thick of it and feeling a little all over the place- know that it is normal, and that to really achieve that next level, there ARE inherent risks and nothing’s a done deal, but nothing is irreversible (besides questionable tattoos) either.
  1. Your Inner Critic Can Be Your Bestie, of Sorts. And no, not necessarily the margarita and taco night bestie, but more the friend who tells you like it is and doesn’t sugarcoat the message. What the heck am I talking about here? When instead of believing what your inner critic says about your abilities to change careers (“you don’t have what it takes”, for example) you can use that as information to KEEP.GOING. Acknowledge that this is your Inner Critic talking and keep going. If you want to get anything accomplished, you need to keep pushing ahead without constantly second-guessing yourself. So, terrified of networking meetings and think you bombed your first one? 1) you probably didn’t and 2) in order to hit on something big, strike a chord with someone, learn to present yourself better, you just gotta go out and do it again, and again until you start to hit your stride.
  1. When You Feel Rushed for a Solution, Slow Your Roll. When I’m trying to figure something out for the first time, I get all anxious like I need to know the answer right away or I’ll spontaneously combust. Like today, my assistant sent over a new program to help us keep track of passwords better (ummm dashlane.com if passwords are the bane of your existence like they are mine!) and I just HAD to know how to do it RIGHT THEN AND THERE. But…ya don’t, I promise you. So, if you’re embarking on your career change and feel like you just gotta know what your actual next step is RIGHT NOW OR ELSE, ya don’t, I promise you. Trust that you will figure out a way. When Rubin feels anxious and that she needs to know X now, she “puts herself in jail” which means that she tells herself she’s locked up with nowhere to go until she figures out a way to slow down. She also tells herself that it doesn’t matter how long it takes; the end result is that the project (in this case your career change) will get done.
  1. Work Smart. I talk about this in the Career Change Kitchen online course. It can’t be stated too many times. If you say to yourself, ‘Well I have all day Saturday to write some networking emails to start gathering info for my career change,” chances are it’ll be suddenly Saturday night and you’ll put your dancing shoes on and head out the door. Instead think about setting a timer (I suggest 45 minute work blocks) and focus on one SPECIFIC task. So with the networking emails, maybe you spend 20 minutes making a list of people you’re going to reach out to with their email address, 15 minutes drafting an adaptable email that can be tweaked per person slightly and 10 minutes sending the first one or two.
  2. Flip the Script: OK here it is: NOW is the fun part. I know, I know, a hard pill to swallow when you’re starting to put yourself out there in ways you never have before, so hear me out. The challenge for happiness, Rubin writes, is to take pleasure in the ‘atmosphere of growth’ – in the gradual progress made toward a goal. This brings in another concept I’ve been using a lot for clients and students of the Career Change Kitchen (and myself too!), and that’s Todd Herman’s idea of the WOW versus OWW Brain way of thinking. OWW Brain people look at accomplishments in terms of how far they still have to go and WOW brain thinkers look at accomplishments in terms of how far they’ve come. A very small yet huge distinction. SO, as you contemplate how to enjoy the career change process, try to think about it in terms of how far you’ve come. Maybe you’re just getting started, but making the decision to actually start after years of contemplating it is a huge deal. And then, as you rack up ‘wins’ in the career change process, you’ll note that doing a little something pretty often starts to stack up to bigger wins, and a WOW brain mentality is further cultivated.

Ok phew, that was a lot, but I hope at least one of these ideas re: happiness and career resonated with you as you start to contemplate or are going through a career pivot or change. They really are game changers once you put those mental hats on.

I talk about many of these concepts and more, as well as how to implement them in the Career Change Kitchen online course, a course I developed to help you achieve career happiness- in other words, helping you change your career in a soup to nuts way with way less anxiety and second-guessing. I’m guiding you every step of the way. You can check the course out here. I’m hosting a free info session on 1/9/17 and you can snag your spot here.

Operation GTFO: Quitting Your Job & Reclaiming Your Life

Let me start this one by saying the following: This is not one of my favorite topics. I have a hard time with the fact that SO MANY people are in work environments that are hurting their health and well-being.

I could talk about the injustice of that in a world so full of injustices or I could get on my rant of “Aren’t we all people?! Why do we treat each other in horrible ways at work?!” but I’ll leave it at this: I’ve seen many friends, clients and colleagues go through this cycle of pain, and I have gone through it myself.

There’s a position that I do not list on my resume or LinkedIn. I had a nine-month stint there, and I was so appalled at the way the company operated ethically and treated their employees (including me), that I quickly launched Operation #GTFO (Get the Eff Out) and ending up quitting outright. However, there were a couple of really confusing weeks before I did that when I felt so beaten down, scared of what I was going to do and unsure of how I was going to come into work everyday. An additional layer for me was that I had also seemingly figured out my previous unhappiness when I moved to Argentina, so it felt like a huge failure in those early, dark days. I was someone who “had it figured out”, so to feel these familiar pangs of terror and dread felt like this Paula Abdul video (minus the opposites attracting part).

I remember my birthday that year. I was out with my friend Molly for a nice birthday dinner. She had offered to come to my neighborhood and take me out for dinner and a glass of wine. Supposed to be fun, right? Well, I ended up getting myself so worked up after she left that I spent the entire night puking and crying. I lived alone at the time and was too embarrassed to call a friend for support, so I suffered alone.

That is not recommended. 

Soon after Puke-Gate, I had a super strong conviction that I had to #GTFO. (Puking, feeling physically ill, actually BEING physically ill, going to the hospital, having chronic pain, etc, etc are all bodily responses to an untenable situation at work B.t.dubbs) Anyway, I started to put actual feelers out to my peeps and I was also sending good vibes to the universe and all that jazz and soon enough, my friend Lauren contacted me with a mid-term contract position she thought of me for. I went in, interviewed, got the position and was happy helping that company out while I built this business on the side.

So, if you are in an untenable situation at work, and you know it’s gone on long enough, how can you figure out when and how to go about quitting your job? I’ve created a checklist you can use to make sure you’re ticking all the important boxes for yourself before making this big quitting decision. I do not take quitting outright (much less without a job) lightly AT ALL, so I hope you are not reading this post that way. Instead, I want to make sure you’re prepared and feel supported so you can reclaim your life.

Get the checklist here. 


Because life is short, as we see time and time again with all of the crazy and horrific things that happen in our world. Hating your job and making yourself sick over it should absolutely not be on your list of things to worry about. Ever.

Q&A Forum: How Do You Get People To Respond To Your Emails & Outreach?

We’ve all been there- THE EMAIL BLACK HOLE (dun dun dun!).

Sometimes you cold email someone and don’t hear back. That isn’t that weird. But what really gets your goat is when you’ve had a conversation with someone (however brief) and they know who you are!

So, how do you get your emails noticed and get a response to what you’re proposing/asking for/offering?

  1. Get off email (a novel idea)! If you’ve followed up and/or asked if they’ve been receiving your emails (the junk folder IS vicious and voracious!) and still nada, give them a quick call or send them a Facebook message or text. Change up the medium. Phone is best because then they’ll get you an answer right then and there if they pick up. And wouldn’t you rather hear ‘no, I’m not interested’ than play this long-winded game of wondering?
  2. Connect with them from the top: If you met someone in person who you want to connect with afterward, send them an email when you said you would. But also, when you’re with them, schedule some time in your calendars right then and there to follow up and actually send them a meeting invite with the dialing instructions. When I’m talking to prospective clients for my own biz and we determine there is a fit and interest on their end, we pick a time together to follow up via phone. I then add that 10-15 minute appointment to their calendar with dialing instructions- ie “I’ll call you at X number!” I make sure I have their buy in and that they’re actually interested in what I’m proposing. With relation to the job hunt, the same thing applies. You’re looking for a coffee or phone chat or an informational interview and then same thing applies. And if they avoid doing that, then maybe it’s a sign they’re not interested. People are generally very skittish at saying ‘no’ in the moment to someone, so this can also help you pick up on non-verbal cues. (That doesn’t mean ‘don’t try’ if you pick up a non-verbal cue that they’re not interested, but it more means maybe the voracious follow up isn’t needed)
  3. Revisit your initial email crafting. Take a look at how you’re approaching the initial outreach and see if there’s anything to change up there. I’m attaching a screenshot of a networking email I’ve used myself and with clients. This one talks about relocating to a new city (which can be removed).  Keep in mind that that first sentence is highly adaptable – just make it something personal/connecty.  A colleague of mine was talking yesterday about the weird disconnect between hyper-connectivity and actual communication and getting actual responses to people (the former is high and the latter is low), and I have thought about this lots when it comes to outreach- for me and my biz and for my clients’ job search and networking strategies. Take a gander and see what else you could try. This approach is by no means a fool proof one because- well, we’re human, but see what might work for you!

Like this article? Sign up here to get more advice about your career change,sweepstakes and to hear about my career change online course when it launches this summer!



Resistance: ACTUALLY Do Something You Want To Do

Why we allow resistance to prevent us from doing what we ACTUALLY WANT TO DO when it comes to work and life has been of major interest to me lately.

I’ve been pondering things like, you know, why I was checking my email 43 times a day (Luckily I have won the war on Facebook and IG, turning off my feeds) rather than DO THE WORK or why I’d suddenly feel the need to dust every wood surface of my home office with pine-scented wood cleaner rather than DO THE WORK. Anyone who knows me knows I really can’t stand most forms of cleaning, so I sure as heck didn’t suddenly gain a new hobby.

By way of background,  “DO THE WORK” for me means something pretty specific. I’m not lounging around in my pilates outfit eating wasabi peas all day watching “Veep” (Ok, ok, Last Tuesday, you win). Instead, I’m working with clients, writing blogs, speaking at and attending events, incorporating my business and the like. What took me awhile to realize was, that although those activities felt good and productive (and some of them ARE needed), they were…just activities. They weren’t actions toward my ultimate goal. Which, for the record, is to build a suite of online courses to help my people out AND to create international retreats. Instead, they were exactly what I called ’em above- “activities”.

And then I looked around and I saw people resisting everywhere- clients, friends, family, colleagues, people who call me for my complimentary consults– many of us are resisting the very thing we WANT to be doing.

It struck me as nonsensical so I set out searching for answers. I was open about it with some friends and colleagues and Aidan and a friend and I were talking about it when she recommended The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. 


The aftermath of a WIN Symposium dinner party where I talked about resistance.

As soon as I started reading it, I knew I had struck gold. Pressfield REALLY digs into the reasons we don’t do what we say we want to do and he gives us a framework through which to overcome aforementioned Wasabi-Peas in Pilates Pants Consumption. He says in many different ways that many of us are truly aligned with a path – we know what we’re meant to be doing- but we do LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE besides that one thing. This was essentially me for the month of April. I was super responsive via email, even more attentive than usual to clients and colleagues….and yet, nothing got done. What gives?

Some key takeaways:

Am I A Writer?: (Or a painter, or an entrepreneur, or a whatever it is you are). Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

I’ll Get Started Once I Overcome My Fear: “The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”

Fear of Criticism: a professional doesn’t take success or failure personally. Evolution is all about biological factors. It’s in our cells to worry about rejection. The amateur uses fear of rejection to prevent us from doing our work or showing it to the public for public consumption. To take rejection personally is to reinforce resistance- the battle is in our heads, not with critics or reviewers! It reinforces resistance again and again.

Knocking the Notion of Unlimited Choices on Its Head: This one is the kicker for me. Oftentimes as a career coach, I’m asked if I can transition anyone to any type of career. The answer is no, and not just because of the skill gaps one might have to fill before going toward a particular career (that is a totally workable situation for my work with my clients) but more importantly, it’s because we’re all not meant to do a huge number of things. (Despite my love for cooking, for example, I am NOT meant to do anything with sharp knives like work in a kitchen. Ask my college roommates and my doorman in Buenos Aires who had to get me to the ER in 2012.)

Which brings me to this idea. Whether you agree with it at its core or not, the idea of resistance is a very interesting concept to think about what you’re meant to be doing and your duty to breakdown the resistance and do it:

“Another way of thinking of it is this: We’re not born with unlimited choices.

We can’t be anything we want to be. We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.

If we were born to paint, it’s our job to become a painter. If we were born to raise and nurture children, it’s our job to become a mother.

If we were born to overthrow the order of ignorance and injustice of the world, it’s our job to realize it and get down to business.”

So…what’s the takeaway of this article- how DO you overcome resistance to do what you actually want to do? We’re going to get to that next week, so for now, the takeaway is to sit with some of these ideas and let ’em settle in. Next week we’ll discuss strategies.

In the meantime, if you’re tired of doing nothing about what you wanna be doing, let’s chat on one of my consults. You can sign up here.