Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, Founder of Fiscal Femme
We found Ashley through a LinkedIn article and it led us to her blog, The Fiscal Femme. After some digging, we thought - wow, she's awesome! Let's reach out and so we did! Next thing you know, we're on the phone learning more about how Ashley started her blog and turned it to a growing business.
Read her Spotlight below on how she built her empire today!
Every little girl has a dream - what did you want to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be an olympic dressage rider when I was a little girl (and really all the way through a lot of high school as well!). I ended up riding dressage competitively through high school. If you asked me when I was really little, I think I used to say doctor, but never made any steps toward that dream.
Can you share a little bit about your background and what catapulted you to launch “The Fiscal Femme”? Plus, how that organically evolved into what it is now?
I started the Fiscal Femme because I needed it myself. I was a finance major and finance professional (investment banker) who knew nothing about my own money. I thought… if I know nothing about this money stuff, with a finance background, who does?! I had to figure it out in order to make my life work and started blogging for fun about my journey. People started asking me for help and I loved sharing the power and freedom I discovered. I was hooked! The company has really evolved from there.
When did you know when you were ready to throw in the towel and call it quits with your full-time job and go full-time with what you’re doing now (with speaking engagements, blogging, and etc.)?
I had a grand plan to have a financially sustainable business before I left my corporate job to run the Fiscal Femme full-time. Then my grand plan was interrupted because an opportunity came up at work where I was offered a big promotion but would also have to do some intensive training. I knew it was a turning point where I’d either have to put my business on hold for a bit or go all in. I decided to go all in despite very practical and well-meaning advice from friends, family and mentors. I will never forget physically shaking sitting across from my boss as I told him that I’d be leaving to run my company full-time.
What is the best thing about what you do and helping people find happiness in their personal finances? The worst?
I am so lucky! I love what I do and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting to see the results and joy I create in my clients when they discover the path to financial freedom and achieve their goals.
The worst part is a more difficult question. People often hate facing their money and I get it… I was there too. It can be extremely daunting and scary. So I’d say one of the hardest parts for me (and most frustrating) is seeing people not take action or avoid getting started because I know what’s available for them on the other side.
What is your best advice for someone to start save and deplete their credit debt?
Get in action. There’s so much information out there and getting started can feel so daunting, but I’ve seen it a million times. Small actions snowball into big results. Take any small step in your financial wellness and if it feels like too much, break it down into an even smaller step. We learn by doing.
Get conscious. This sounds so simple, but very few of us know what’s actually happening with our money. What do you have and where and then what’s coming in and what’s going out?
Show your money love. Our financial wellness can often be put on the back burner, but when we create the time to dedicate to our personal finances, they show us love back. I like to set a recurring calendar reminder for money parties where I tackle my non-urgent financial to-dos. If you don’t create the time, it’s never going to happen.
What is next for you personally, Ashley and The Fiscal Femme?
That’s a great question! Personally, I’m so excited to be embarking on the journey of motherhood in a few short weeks and can’t wait for what that will bring. As far as my business, I am really passionate about offering my financial wellness programs to companies as I believe it’s a true win-win situation. Employees benefit tremendously from financial wellness programs, personally and professionally and companies win out as well because they have much more productive and happy employees who are able to better maximize their benefits (including one of the biggest benefits, their salaries!). I also have my 30 Day Money Cleanse launching on October 16th. It’s a program I created based on my work with thousands of people on their personal finances. It’s a really effective and truly fun program that helps people finally start saving while maintaining the things that are most important in their lifestyles. It’s a step-by-step course to tackle your finances once and for all.
Introduction & interview by Chary