J. Kelly Hoey

Name: Stefanie O'Connell Title: Millennial Finance Expert, Creator of Stefanie O'Connell/ The Broke and Beautiful Life Twitter: @stefanieoconnel Like me, Stefanie O’Connell is a big time advocate of entrepreneurship, particularly among young millennial women. Specifically, she works to empower young people through personal finance- a field she stumbled upon after becoming frustrated with the financial realities and limitations of professional acting (aka broke actress), Get inspired (and smarter about your personal finances) from this millennial finance pro. Me: Why are you an entrepreneur? Stefanie: I find that I perform far better and enjoy my work much more when I'm the one in the driver's seat. When I was acting full time and struggling to make ends meet in between gigs, I worked in service. For someone like me, who likes to work on her own terms, it was hell. But now, I really value running my own business. I've been recruited for several full time positions at significantly higher pay since, but I can't bring myself to give up the freedom of entrepreneurship. Me: What problem would you like solved? Stefanie: I'd like to see the taboo of "money talk" destroyed. If we are going to demand transparency from the financial services industry, our employers and our government, we need to start by demanding it from ourselves. Once we can talk about money openly and honestly, we can embrace it - that's where financial literacy comes in. We desperately need comprehensive financial education. I'd love to see personal finance included in every high school curriculum. Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed? Stefanie: I listen to podcasts, read books and educate myself in some form every single day. I wish I'd started that practice of constant self-enrichment sooner. We talk a lot in life, and especially in entrepreneurship, about "aha moments". When you're actively self-improving and utilizing resources regularly, you create more opportunities for those aha moments to arise. It's hard not to be motivated and moving forward when you're experiencing powerful inspiration daily. Me: What does success look like for you? Stefanie: I like to think of success as the zoom out version of your life - the big picture goals, hopes and dreams - and the zoom in version of your life - what you're doing today - being in alignment. When your day-to-day reality reflects, even in part, your biggest, wildest dreams, it's hard not to consider that a success. Me: Who are your heroes? Stefanie: My mom. My mom lived the American Dream - born into an immigrant family with minimal resources, got a scholarship to an Ivy league school, went onto a top business school, then dominated in the corporate world throughout the 80s and 90s, all while raising five children. When I look back, it's crazy to think how she did it all. Both of my parents actually. They both had high powered careers, but they always managed to make it to every gymnastics meet, music recital, soccer game, etc. Me: What is your best discovery? Stefanie: All things TED. Not exactly a secret, but if you don't listen to the TED podcast, that's a MUST. Me: What would the title of your biography be? Stefanie: Plan Z. Finding happiness by challenging the "pursuit of passion". (Or some incarnation thereof.) (This really is on my "list of books to write") Me: What is your biggest regret? Stefanie: I'm not big on regrets. I don't want to say that I don't have any, but I'm grateful for the process. It's hardship and failure that have allowed me to discover the things I'm good at doing and that have helped me get in touch with who I am and the things I truly value. Me: Anything else we should know about? Stefanie: There are many things in the works right now. At the moment, relaunching the new and improved http://stefanieoconnell.com is at the top of the list (hopefully next month) I've also launched a new collaboration - personal finance MUSIC VIDEOS...  And of course, my book, The Broke and Beautiful Life, is always available. 

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