In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with entrepreneur Yamila Franco.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Yamila’s background is in entrepreneurship, social impact, and community engagement. As a senior marketing director from World System Builder, Yamila is on a campaign to financially educate 30 Million families by 2030 using the vehicle of education and entrepreneurship to break cycles of poverty and lack of financial education across communities. Yamila is a proud community member and has served on multiple boards to advance equity and inclusion.
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Links mentioned in this episode:
Key Takeaways for quick navigation:
- [02:11] Financial literacy is absent from many educational systems, leaving individuals unprepared for managing finances.
- [04:18] Lack of financial education leads to stress and challenges in entrepreneurship; access to resources empowers informed decisions.
- [11:31] Increasing demand for financial literacy is driven by consumer awareness amid economic changes.
- [15:45] Collaborative business models, like profit sharing, empower teams and foster positive societal impact.
- [23:16] Diversifying income streams is crucial for financial stability beyond employment.
- [29:28] Achieving financial freedom involves overcoming the fear of scarcity and enjoying life for a sustainable journey.
- [32:44] Attend financial workshops for education and find a trusted advisor; crucial for informed decisions.
- [36:56] Prioritize personal financial stability before diving into entrepreneurship for sustainable growth.
- [44:38] Overcoming physical challenges led to learning diverse ways to make money for flexibility.
- [45:06] Building an agency with diverse team members supports individuals facing similar challenges.
- [45:34] Visit worldsystembuilder.com for information about workshops and the community.
- [46:18] Starting financial planning isn’t overwhelming; take small steps to improve gradually.
[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: Looking to start a business? Ownr gives you the tools you need to get started today. Trusted by companies like RBC, Futurepreneur and the City of Toronto, Ownr enables Canadian entrepreneurs to start, manage, and grow their business. Right now, Ownr is offering their sole proprietor registration for just $49. I used Ownr to register my business back in 2020 and it was so easy to do. When I make the move to incorporate, I am definitely going through Ownr. Find out how easy it is to start your business today CalanBreckon.com/Ownr that’s O-W-N-R or click the link in the show notes. Now let’s get on to today’s episode.
Welcome to the Business Gay podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon. And on today’s episode, I have entrepreneur Yamila Franco. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Yamila’s background is in entrepreneurship, social impact, and community engagement. As a Senior Marketing Director from World System Builder, Yamila is on a campaign to financially educate 30 million families by 2030, using the vehicle of education and entrepreneurship to break cycles of poverty and
lack of financial education across communities. Yamila is a proud community member and has served in multiple boards to advance equity and inclusion. I’m really excited to have this chat with Yamila, so let’s jump.
[00:01:30] Calan Breckon: Welcome to the show, Yamila. I’m so excited to have you on and to jump into your story and all the good stuff you do. So how about you go ahead and introduce yourself to people?
[00:01:41] Yamila Franco: I’m so happy to be in your show as well. Thank you. So my name is Jamila. Like you said, I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, even when I was in know, I think a lot of us, we are doing a lot of entrepreneurial projects or entrepreneurial as well, but we don’t really recognize it in ourselves. But when I look back, I’ve been an entrepreneur from wanting to create more community engagements, community impact, to doing things that will make the world a better place, to then starting my first company, which was in tech, and then transitioning into completely doing financial literacy and social impact through that as well.
[00:02:19] Calan Breckon: Nice. So you’re in financial literacy now. That is your big dream off the top. Everybody heard that your goal is to teach financial education to 30 million families by 2030, which is really exciting. So do you want to talk just a little bit more about that?
[00:02:39] Yamila Franco: Yeah. So the reason why I even approached it this way, so when I look back, so I didn’t mention earlier, but I actually graduated from biology in the university, and I’m also an immigrant. So I’ve been in what we know today as Canada for ten years now and as a newcomer, as an international student, as anybody going through the education system, at least in British Columbia, financial literacy is not really part of the curriculum. And so when I look at the general life skills and information, that would have been great to know, especially trying to build a life, trying to build myself up and support my family, help the people around me. Finances was a big part of what I wish I had known earlier. And so even starting my first company, I didn’t have the understanding of what it meant to be an investor in my own business or how I was investing my time in so many different areas. Or then even when it came to finances, how to set my own financial goals or understanding credits, investments, wealth transfer, estate planning. And so a lot of the things that I think when we’re younger, we never think about, but partly maybe because we just don’t know what we don’t know. And so as somebody looking to bring value to the people and the community around me because that makes me, that fulfills me as well. I realized that my own lack of financial education and resources was a limiting factor. It was limiting in terms of my entrepreneurship where financially I didn’t have the resources to say I’m going to be the first investor, at least financially in my company. I only really had time to give. And the second part was that it caused a lot of stress. And I think when you have family here but also family abroad, people don’t realize that being an entrepreneur is so much more harder because your resources are spread all across, because we have responsibilities that other people wouldn’t typically have when they’re even going into the entrepreneurial space. So understanding that background now, that ties into me. Being in debt, really affecting having finances, impact my mental health. And I hadn’t even identified my physical well being and just feeling a lot of I’m going to use the word despair. I know it’s a big word, but when you’re a young person and you don’t see how you’re going to move forward in your career or financially or in your business, it can be very daunting to even want to move forward. And so I actually ended up partnering with somebody that was such a huge help in my personal financial journey and helping me understand how to handle my business finances better. So his name is George. Actually, he’s one of my colleagues right now. And he came to the rescue. I was referred to him, but he had so much experience and he made finances so much more comfortable and approachable and not so scary as I thought they would be. And so when he shared with me that he had also this vision of having a greater community, of building a team, but a team of people that come from diverse backgrounds and that don’t necessarily come from finances to be financially savvy or financially secure. So that vision was what really attracted me and helped me understand that I can be part of that vision. I can help expand it. I can help grow it. And so we started working together, and it’s been three years now, and our team has really grown that we’ve been partnering with organizations, businesses, universities, just to make financial literacy more accessible. But then through education, and this has been my experience over and over, we can create awareness. You know how I said earlier, people don’t know what they don’t know? And so through awareness, we can then give pathways for people to take action. And that action is what has a generational impact. An impact in the sense that somebody who is right in the same position I was before, where my challenges were more financial, they might not have to face those same challenges. They could pay their debt faster. They can build up their credit faster. They can not have to worry about money going to sleep. So now they can focus on innovation, on taking care of their families, having a better lifestyle, of giving back to their communities. So the essence of our financial literacy campaign is really about breaking down barriers, opening doors for people even to come and make money in the financial industry as well, through our partnerships, our recruitment strategy, et cetera. So that’s how it all ties into what I’m doing today.
[00:07:08] Calan Breckon: There’s so much that I wrote down that I want to unpack here, because it’s also true. I grew up very on the lower spectrum of the financial. My dad was a commercial fisherman, which went down the tube many, many years ago, and my mom was a stay at home mom. And then they divorced and nobody had any money, and we very much had no money growing up. My mom, we went on welfare, and I had no financial education as a young person. And that continues on generationally unless somebody has that opportunity to learn and to grow. And I had to do it all myself. Like, thank God the Internet got invented and I could use Google, because that’s how I’ve mostly done it myself.
Now, I do have a mentor who I work with who’s attack Specialist, and Sue Hi. Sue has been absolutely a godsend. And just things that I wouldn’t know about or was just so scared about or doing something wrong, she’s walked me through things and helped me through things. I know it was last year or the year before the person who was doing my books was not good. My first bookkeeper, and they almost ended up costing me $12,000. I was supposed to owe, quote unquote, five grand. But really, I was owed, like, $6,000 just because this bookkeeper was not doing their job correctly. But I didn’t know what I didn’t know, right, like you say. And so having that mentor in my life has been life changing. And so the work you’re doing to help people become financially literate, it’s really not as scary as we think it is, but because we’re so afraid, I think of our egos being afraid of not knowing. We grow up in this world where it’s like, oh, we’re supposed to know everything and like, oh, if I don’t know anything, I don’t want to look stupid. It’s like, no, the more questions you ask and the more open you are to that, the more you’re going to learn and the easier it’s going to become. Like, go into it with fresh eyes. I do want to talk a little bit about how this isn’t taught in school. At least in my generation, it wasn’t taught in school. I graduated in 2005. We had none, zero, zilch. This much education, really on financial education. And it blows my mind that we’re taught so many things in school that are so useless, yet the foundational pieces of being a human being in this world about credit, mortgages, housing. I didn’t even know what amortization was until a couple of years ago when I was an adult and looking things up for myself. That should be basic things that we are taught in school. They might be teaching them now, but let’s talk a little bit more about that. Do you know of any differences in the school system so far? I grew up in Vancouver as well, like in BC, so we had probably similar educations. But what’s happening now in that kind of world?
[00:09:56] Yamila Franco: Well, what I find is just because of everything you described and after COVID as well, I find that people have really been forced to wake up. People are being forced to care. Because with rising levels of inflation the way things are and I don’t mean about inflation in your basic goods, I mean even look at gas prices or look at the cost of meat or a plane ticket compared to the cost of flying before cost of university. There’s a lot of things around us that the cost is really increasing, quite uncontrollable, we’ll say. And when you find companies who’ve had over a 20% increase in the cost of their goods or services, I don’t think they’re going to bring it down. Even if the actual inflation comes down, the cost of what we buy and what we consume is still higher up. And so what’s the impact when people’s income, if they have a fixed income, is not increasing by a 10% or by a 20%? Because we know that doesn’t really happen traditionally. And so what I found is one people, because people have become more aware that they need it, that financial literacy is not a luxury, it’s actually a necessity.
So I’ve seen a big drive for people to become more educated and that is actually putting pressure, I find, in institutions and businesses to have a different approach. But then this different approach that we’ve been bringing because our campaign has been around actually for five years, or more than that, because I didn’t come up with the concept of financial literacy or with the goals that we’re chasing right now or that we’re pushing. I find that it’s driven by consumers, where a lot of companies, they either adapt and they’ve had to bring education as part of what the service they provide, or you find organizations like my own, like World System Builder, where we were there before people realized there was a need. So now there’s such a big when I call it a demand for the financial literacy workshops, or even for somebody to come to open a conversation about what does it look like to be financially literate. Because sometimes you’ll take it a step back and then you have all these people that have money that maybe they’ve been building their savings for years, and they’re realizing that they need investment knowledge, they need tax strategies. They need knowledge about wealth transfer and estate planning, which is also not very fancy to talk about, but it costs a lot of money when we’re not prepared.
[00:12:20] Calan Breckon: Yes.
[00:12:21] Yamila Franco: So how has that impact? I don’t think the system itself has changed that much for us. With our campaign, we’ve actually recorded educating over 2 million families thus far, and we have the goal of educating 30 million. But in the larger scope of the country, both US. And Canada, that’s a really small number.
[00:12:39] Calan Breckon: Yeah.
[00:12:40] Yamila Franco: So the change that I’ve seen has been coming from informed consumers. I see it in our clients, in our community, partners, in people that are now asking for this type of education, for the services, et cetera. So the challenge, though I know you said you got most of your information through Google, but I’ve also seen a rise in social media gurus and let’s say financial advisors or professionals or people that claim you should do this this way, but that is still not addressing the root problem, which is because people don’t have the core financial literacy. They don’t even have the skills to set their own goals or even care, or are aware that they should be setting their own goals for health care, retirement, college education, which in then leads to people should understand how much money is coming in and out of their pockets. And that itself can take care of a lot of the anxiety that families are feeling around money. But then we go into the challenge where people, because they have SEO much debt, a huge part of that debt right now, on average, people carry over $20,000 in debt.
And that interest that we’re paying towards debt is limiting our abilities to save or even to invest. But then you have people on social media that are building trust and they’re saying you should do this or things this way. But again, we need to take a step back. And each person, each family, individual, community, we need to start understanding our habits and what’s important to us first. Because even culturally, I can’t go to my own family and tell my parents, you should be doing things this way? No, I need to ask them what is important for you as a family, based on your values, based on do you care about a legacy? Do you not care about leaving a legacy? Or if you don’t want your children to go to university and end up with student loan debt, well, the youth as well should be involved in understanding what it means to sign up for student loan debt, how that will impact them down the line, if possible.
[00:14:39] Calan Breckon: Of course, I could talk forever about this, because the generational knock on effect of this, of how if your parents don’t know, they’re not going to teach you. You then don’t know. You don’t even know to ask these questions. You don’t even know. And all you think is like, oh, big finance, big banks, and then you spiral into other things like conspiracy theories and other stuff because your brain makes up these stories to make you feel better about the fact that you don’t know what you don’t know. And if people were just a little bit more curious and open about it, they would be able to learn these things in a safe environment and be able to learn the simple at least the simple basics of it all. I want to just say a fact that I didn’t even know until my mentor had shared with me is that bookkeepers are not regulated. So even though you have a bookkeeper and you’re like, oh, yeah, it’s not a regulated industry, at least definitely not in Canada, and I don’t think in the States, anybody can literally go put up a sign in their window and say, I’m a bookkeeper, and do your books.
And so it’s really important to learn these things about finance just to even have the information in the back of your head.
One of the things that when you were talking, I was thinking about so I want to start an agency for search engine optimization. It’s in my plans. I’m focusing on social growth, social justice and growth. So hiring people who were like me, who had either physical, mental disabilities that have prevented them from being out in public or other reasons that they can’t work outside SEO is a great job for them. And paying them a livable salary, like a high livable salary. But then part of that strategy that I have in my plans is also having financial planners as part of my system to make sure that I’m not just paying you all this money so that you can live and have a blast. I’m paying you this money. And I’m also helping you understand how you can set that up for yourself in the future and for your families in the future, which is so huge. And with that, what is your team doing to kind of reach those people who maybe don’t naturally fall into these systems? What kind of systems are out there where people can find this out.
[00:16:59] Yamila Franco: So it’s interesting where for us, we’ve taken a completely different approach. And I come from a very traditional business background. My first company, we had employees where they were paid a salary. We were trying to be more creative with how we pay them. But at the end of the day, compensation does drive behavior. That’s one thing I learned. Number two, I also wasn’t super comfortable with the idea that in your ideal business model, you see, I wanted my team to also benefit as much as I will benefit, or at least to benefit based on their work, not based on the title of a position. And so the intentionality with our business, and this is something else I loved, is that we moved away from very traditional compensation models and we decided to be more creative. And that actually helps us enter into different communities itself. I’ll tell you, it’ll make sense in a moment. So for us, for example, we have a profit sharing model. So our team doesn’t only get paid based on their work, but we can collaborate even with other financial professionals from other teams or other offices, et cetera. When we teach our workshops, we use education as an approach to invite people to learn first. And we use education as an empowerment tool. Why? I tell you this, because most people in our teams, they’re actually independent contractors as well. And so through that, number one, I’m not putting them in a box of what they should be doing every single day. But I’ll give you an example. One of my colleagues, one of her goals is she wants to bring financial education and our workshops to every single indigenous community across North America. You see, in your typical job environment, I would have to create a job description for how that looks like and then that person will be put in that box of being compensated when they fulfill those specific tasks. But in a different business approach, I say a more collaborative approach, I say, okay, well, let’s figure out how that looks like and what type of support do we need to put in place, even as an organization, as a team, so that we can actually do that. We’re too small yet to be able to reach out to every indigenous community across North America. But can I train you? Can I teach you the skills that I have? So in our partnership, again, we have a profit sharing model. So I’m not worried about training my competition to start with, I wanted to be more inclusive. I want my team members to have leadership in what they want and how they want to see this. The second thing, if you look at our goal, if our goal and our mission is to educate 30 million families by 2030, it’s not limiting that number to specific groups or communities. We go where people are.
I just came out of a meeting with a building manager, and they’re working with underserved communities, underserved groups, a lot of people that haven’t had the opportunity to even think about finances yet, I would say, and we’re going to sponsor the workshops and bring them to their community. But it was because one of our clients actually referred us and introduced us. And so we have a policy where we don’t say no to bringing education. SEO as long as it’s safe. And of course our team is taken care of, right? But our team has to lead. See, the ideas of who we should impact and who do we bring this with doesn’t come from me. It actually comes from the team and the communities we serve. So that means that we teach this education in our financial centers as well as people homes, people’s homes, universities, offices with employees, even in places of worship. So going back to it’s a system where people can come to us or we go to them.
[00:20:45] Calan Breckon: I love that. And I love that you said it’s not about competition with other people in your field. It’s about collaboration. And I think that that’s the mentality switch that’s happening is big industrialized capitalism was all about dominating. And I think a lot of the younger generation, at least how I feel and the people around me, it’s a lot more about collaboration. And when we all succeed together, we actually end up doing better. And the world’s not really done that to this point. And I’m interested to see what the outcome of that kind of thing is going to be. Because it just time and time again people do there’s. I can’t remember what the company was, but there was this guy, I think in the US. In the States, in Seattle, who he one day was just like, I’m paying everybody. It was like 80 or $90,000 salaries just like that’s. It across the board. And their productivity actually went up and their sales skyrocketed. And they ended up making way more money because people were making living salaries. And they also could buy homes, they could have families. And it was solving all these problems that I see in the world today where they’re like, oh, the child crisis, like the fertility crisis, women aren’t having enough children. And I’m like, women aren’t having children because we can’t afford to have children out here. But if people were making those living salaries, if I had a salary that paid me more than enough to afford my own home and buy my own home and to provide that stability in my life, I’d be happy to have kids. But that is not happening right now. And the dots aren’t connecting. And I’m seeing it. I’m like, how is nobody in government or anything just not recognizing this going on? But programs like yours will help people figure that out because we got to do it for ourselves. If nobody else is going to do.
[00:22:27] Yamila Franco: It for us, it is true, we do have to do it for ourselves. And there’s a lot of just what I’ve observed, so this was also a thing, is that as I was getting ready to settle in this country, I started to see a lot of what I call the red flags. So that specifically that I want a huge family. Like, I didn’t even bring in my family over. So when I thought and I realized what’s the real cost of providing the life that I will want to give to my children? It’s not that I’m going to have kids, it’s just that I said I’m going to dedicate five years of my life to literally work so hard that I can be well set up for the rest of my life.
So that when I have my children, I can actually take time to be with them and raise them and give them a loving and caring home rather than being in a position of a lot of people. I meet that parents are working one, two, or three jobs because they have to provide for their families. But then you have kids that are growing up without their parents and then leading to a lot of mental health issues and haven’t really dug deeper into correlations there. But if I was in that position of being a kid, I know that what really helped me was having family around when I was growing up, and I want to be able to recreate that here as well. The other piece is, through our campaign, we address everything. Yes. From budgeting, estate planning, wealth transfer, investments, but also diversifying streams of income. And that’s the only issue is maybe the employer can’t pay as much, especially if it’s a small business and they’re just starting, maybe they can’t pay enough. But I find that it is up to us as people to understand yes, understand the financial system, but understand how much we need to be making. And if we want to continue doing a certain work because other people love their jobs and stuff, then we should have opportunities or be able to find opportunities where we can increase our income, too, so we’re not struggling so much. And then also people understanding that it’s not just through employment. It’s not only employment income that’s available. Yes, you can have a business, or you can be self employed, or you can become an investor, even if investing takes longer. But as long as we understand how each one of those works, then we can decide what makes the most sense to us based on where we want to be.
[00:24:39] Calan Breckon: Yeah, exactly what one makes the most sense for you. SEO we’ve talked a lot about finances, where the world is today, what you’re doing. I want to track back a little bit and go into what was your biggest breakthrough moment on your journey of entrepreneurship that kind of got you to this place.
[00:24:58] Yamila Franco: Oh, you know what? I had a big breakthrough and I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement after that happened. And I will say that it happened when I first started in business, and I had a big downfall in business that really hit me hard, and I had to sign nondisclosure SEO. People can guess. A few things that happened didn’t have to do with my finance business, though it came from my work before. Let me see a huge breakthrough before. Then I started interviewing people that I thought were successful. This was before I experienced one of the hardest things I’ve experienced in business. So I started interviewing people that I thought were successful. I was a student at that time. I had just started my first company, and I wanted to understand what pathway and what steps took for people to get to where they were at that point. And this is why mentorship is so important as well. So if you can start a business and automatically have mentors involved in it, then you’re ahead. You’re like 1020 years. You can save so much time by literally borrowing their knowledge. So I approach different people. I’ve been lucky that ever since I came, I had mentors that adopted me and that have been guiding me to this day. I have people I work with that make so much more money than me, that have so much more impact than I do, and they’re guiding me. So when I spoke with the people that I quote unquote admired or looked at, just they gave me a real preview of what their life was. When I asked them how much money they made, what they had to get there in terms of what they studied, also if they were happy or not. And the happiest person was getting close to her sixty s. And she was happy because she was finally going to be able to start traveling the world and enjoying time in her life. She had great hair. She was a super nice lady. But to me, it was a big shock to find somebody who at their 60s was excited to finally start doing the things that I wanted to do. In my 30s now, I was in my twenty s. I was early twenty s at that time. And I thought, is that really what life looks like? Here the other person. They had really high stress jobs and positions that looked like they were rewarding. But when they will tell me things like, sometimes I don’t leave my job till after seven or 08:00 p.m., they don’t get to have dinners with their children, but their income was maybe like 60,000 a year. And to me, that wouldn’t be enough. To me, that actually wasn’t good enough to sacrifice. Because I would say, well, when I’m in that position, when I have kids, and if I’m going to follow this career pathway, then that’s what I can expect. So a lot of the people, it was. Actually discouraging. But that is actually what pushed me to go into business, because when I look back at what my family did, that gave us more time together and freedom was actually business. So those were key defining moments. I’d say when I was younger, it was that transparency, that clarity of what people did and deciding that I didn’t want that for myself. Okay, number two, the one, quote unquote, nondisclosure was a big downfall. I call it downfall shortfall. Maybe just a really bad experience I had before my earlier years as an entrepreneur. And I’d say my three key points in business was this year. So I was at a gala dinner that was sponsored by one of our financial institutions that we partner with. And this was actually in Bangkok in Thailand.
I loved it too. I was attending this gala and it was amazing.
I had a dress that was custom made for myself, and I got it from Nigeria. It was gorgeous.
I walked into this rooftop party with an infinity pool and everybody that was there, they were people that I knew from my community of financial professionals, but who are people that are in finances from non financial backgrounds. So they were people that in their previous careers, they were teachers, or they dropped out of university or they had traditional businesses or Harvard professor. There were all these people from other backgrounds. But together we all believe that everyone should have financial literacy. And then we were all together at this beautiful rooftop party in Bangkok, and then all of a sudden, there’s fireworks and a live jazz band.
For the longest time I’ve been, I think, operating from a space of being afraid of losing everything I’ve built. And I think that has driven me to work quite a lot more than what I should. And really, it’s like that fear. You made it, but you don’t believe you made it. And I don’t think I’ve made it yet. But that night, earlier this year, I decided that I could relax because this was my life now. This was going to be my family’s lives and my children. I accepted they were going to grow up in an environment of people that they can look up to and that are teaching them how to live and that I can bring my parents with me on trips like this. So it was that moment because I accepted that that was my life from now on, that I didn’t have to be afraid of not having enough money or afraid of just how tomorrow might look like.
[00:30:13] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Is that what you would say is the part you struggle with about being an entrepreneur? Is that not good enough or not quite there enough?
[00:30:22] Yamila Franco: Oh, absolutely. The amount of breakdowns I’ve had where people and imposter syndrome were literally the people that are closest to me that are doing so much better than me, they’re literally trying to convince me that I’m actually doing good. They tell me, you’re one of the top people, your team, your company, you get all this recognition, and I still can’t be happy because I’m afraid that it just won’t be enough. And part of that, I find, is because I am so connected to my family, so I know what they’re experiencing back home. So I feel this pressure of wanting to grow my company faster and increase my revenue, but I know that I got to do it in a way that is done well and fast. Growth doesn’t always mean the best for our company either, but if I can grow and bring my team with me through that growth, then we will be able to have exponential growth eventually. So it’s that challenge of still having the responsibilities that I carry from back home as a woman, as an immigrant, as a woman of color, et cetera, but then accepting that things are actually moving forward.
Maybe I can’t SEO it because every day I’m grinding, I’m working with new people, I’m creating new partnerships, et cetera. So that is the biggest challenge I find.
[00:31:43] Calan Breckon: Well, we’ll all get there eventually. Life is a journey, right? It’s not a destination.
Okay? So if somebody has listened to this and they’re like, okay, I need to get on track. I need to kind of start figuring this out for myself. I need to stop being afraid of it. Where can somebody go to start in regards to their finances if they aren’t in the best position currently or they want to start learning but they’re afraid?
[00:32:09] Yamila Franco: So I really invite people to just attend any of our workshops, because one of the things I find for financial success is, one, education, but two, find somebody that you trust and work with them. Even if people want to be their own money managers and we do teach that, I find that a lot of times people need that extra view because we’re so emotional about our money. So we need that extra person to support us as well. So one will be attend any of our workshops. They’re not attached to any financial institution. They’re just core financial fundamentals. Is that on everything from setting financial goals to understanding inflation, taxes, the wealth formula, rule 72, how insurance works, how again, estate planning. I keep talking about that because I’m young, but I’m such a big advocate, regardless of your age, to have your estate planning in place, regardless of whether you feel wealthy or not. So workshops, I love workshops. They’re such a good place to just access education and not feel stressed about whether you’re going to ask questions on the spot or not.
[00:33:14] Calan Breckon: Where can somebody attend that workshop? Are they in person or are there online versions?
[00:33:20] Yamila Franco: They’re both in person and online. I find the business gay is if you reach out to me on Instagram, and I will be adding some links to either register or to do surveys or to just express interest. I haven’t been super on top of how people can get in touch with me. So if you try LinkedIn, I’ll take forever to respond because we’re going to.
[00:33:38] Calan Breckon: Talk after the podcast and I’m going to help you set that up because that’s where my thank you.
[00:33:45] Yamila Franco: So my Instagram is really good because it’s now monitored as well. So my team can take care of requests, et cetera. So I think my handle will be shared, but it’s jamila with A-Y-Y-A-M-I-L-A FRP. So that’s one easy way. Or sending me an email as well. I’ll put my email address, I think, in the messages and we’ll be putting some forms where people can just express interest. So one of the things is we haven’t really invested too much in our marketing because word of mouth and the invitations we’ve been getting from the local work we’ve been doing has been our driving force. Rather than trying to convince people online to come and sit in a workshop, I do find that it is way much more successful when people understand on their own and maybe they’re invited through an organization or through somebody that can advocate for education when they’re are afraid of it themselves too.
[00:34:38] Calan Breckon: Yeah, but if you want to hit that 30 million, you’re definitely going to have to get online.
[00:34:42] Yamila Franco: I will. So I need your help. Thank you. If you can help me set that up and teach me how it works, I’ll get my team involved in it.
[00:34:47] Calan Breckon: We’ll swap seeds. I’ll help you, you help me. That’s how the world works in my world.
[00:34:51] Yamila Franco: Yes.
[00:34:52] Calan Breckon: I love it. Okay. So we’ll make sure I’ll make sure that all that is in the show notes that your Instagram is there, your email is there for people to reach out to. You coming kind of closer to the end here. I want to dive in a little bit just because I know the world is in such a precarious position right now.
This episode is being obviously pre recorded, so I don’t know when it’s going to come out exactly. But a lot of stuff is hitting the fan and times are getting tough. In the current economy, do you have any ideas of what entrepreneurs can do to find more funding or to get money flowing in their business? Like, just simple things that they could do right now or ideas that you might have for them?
[00:35:34] Yamila Franco: So this is something that I wish I had done for my first company or for any other company that I’ve started. But if you have a simple revenue stream, just one that you can build up for your existing company, okay, so build that first. So a mistake I find I made when I first started is I had such big dreams with my 1st, 2nd company, et cetera, that it would have taken so much money to actually carry that out at the moment. But if I had started not being afraid to shoot for something smaller find social media doesn’t help. Expectations doesn’t help. Especially here in North America. Can you build one small thing and do it really well? So out of that one thing you start seeing and from that revenue can you build it up and then understand that if you understand your budget, how much is costing you to make money, then you can fine tune until you’re able to then start saving that profit with the intention of reinvesting in your company.
So one I find misconception, I call it a misconception. At the end of the day, people can do whatever they want. But a mistake in my experience is that people drop everything off and they start to focus on just building their company. I understand it takes time, you’re putting sweat equity, but if your personal finances are not strong enough, your business will hurt.
So you need to position yourself as an entrepreneur first so you can afford to take risks in your company. How you do that? If your one stream of income is your job and you’re building your business as your side hustle, then you’ll have to position yourself good through your job, which means build your financial foundation before you dive 100% full time into your business even again. If it takes longer. I’d rather it takes somebody three, five years to build a company than them going all in one year and then having to drop everything off and go back to their jobs because they didn’t have a solid emergency fund or a debt repayment strategy. Or them having to cash out all of their life investments for that. Or not having the most important, which is proper protection in place, their insurances in case they have a disability, a critical illness, or if they passed away too soon. So it’s easier when it’s just you in the world. But I’m used to working with people that when you see the reality of them having a family and then they want to go into business. I do say we need to set up your personal finances first so you have peace of mind and you can make better decisions in your company without being afraid to maximize or without needing to maximize profits at that moment. See, because I think about sustainability. If you push really hard in your business and you do well one year, my question is can this be sustained for the second 3rd, 4th know, can this still move you towards your financial goals? And if you have responsibilities, we got to take care of them first so that you’re not just also then impacting other people. So the way I make decisions too, I think you can tell us. Well, Kellen is I always think about the people around me because I know my decisions will impact not only my family, it will impact my next generation. It will impact my friends, the people that are in my circle. So I just need to make sure that I keep everyone in mind when I do make decisions like that, and that will be my tip as well.
[00:38:48] Calan Breckon: For others, I love that we have very similar philosophies in that I have a philosophy of building a very solid foundation first, and that might take longer. But by building the solid foundation, I use the example of building the pyramids. The pyramids are still here how many years later? And the reason they did that is because they built really big, large solid foundations to build from. And that might take longer, there might be a little bit more grind in that. But by building that solid foundation, you can then continue on building and growing, and you can do it at a sustainable rate. And building that solid foundation is like a key to doing that.
[00:39:30] Yamila Franco: You got it. It’s the same with our finances. When it comes to our financial foundation, it’s like building a home, and you got to build it from the ground up. Now, when you start a business, so if I were to put things in order, I would say your proper protection is the first layer you want to take care of. That’s exactly. What we teach as part of a mindset is that if you’re building wealth, you got to start protecting that wealth before you have it, not when you get it. The reason you build wealth is because you were responsible and you had financial habits. Not the products. It’s the habits, the mindset, the understanding. Then we look at debt management, building your emergency fund and investing. Your business falls under investments. Now, ideally, we work on all of this at the same time, but we shouldn’t over prioritize and drop everything off just because we’re doing a business.
And then I’ve just seen so many cases of people that where things go sideways and it’s normal, right? A business is also a risk, but can we do it in a way where we are taking care of ourselves? Now, in the ideal world, that’s how we start a company. I will tell you, in that second situation, that was a defining moment for me in business. I didn’t have a choice but to have my business succeed, because it happened during COVID where I lost my, what I call it, my consistent source of income, which was from another business. I lost that, and I didn’t have a choice but to make this business work, but to make what I’m doing today, which has given me so much financial freedom, I didn’t have a choice but to make it work. So a lot of times, if entrepreneurship is an option, then that also means we have the option to get prepared. Then we should be well SEO up. If entrepreneurship is a necessity, you just have to make it work. And that’s where I came from. Entrepreneurship was a necessity for me. You just have to make it work. No fairy tale. It’s like, yeah, that’s just the reality. That’s just how it is. If you don’t like it, well, don’t go business.
[00:41:23] Calan Breckon: Right?
A lot of people can’t handle it. And for me, it wasn’t like I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but then it was also I had to physically be an entrepreneur. I couldn’t leave my house for long stretches of time. And so it was like, okay, well, I have to work from home. And it was before the pandemic, so it was before working from home was as popular as it is today. And it’s just like, okay, I guess I’m going to have to become an entrepreneur. What can I do from home? What computer things do I love to do? And it was like, okay, let’s just start building. And you forced to do it and forced to do all those things. But financially, planning and building your foundation is so important during that process. Otherwise, good luck.
[00:42:02] Yamila Franco: I know. I’ll tell you one thing that I don’t really tell people, because not everybody can relate, but women will definitely relate. One of the reasons why I say, for me, entrepreneurship is a necessity. Sure, I need to move my family forward, because to me, that’s just not I don’t have an option, but we have to move forward. But physically, for me, it was really hard to even go to my first job ever, which I was working at the University of Victoria. It was very hard for me to go to work almost daily because I was experiencing so much pain. Like, I was literally going to the doctor back and forth, and it was just related to my period, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but at that time, they were treating me as if I had endometriosis. And for women, I don’t know how working women do it if they have to go to their offices every single day of the month. And when I was, like, laying in bed, literally feeling trying to explain to my boss, I can’t show up because I can barely move or I have to stay in bed. So my health was also a big defining factor, but I also then realized that my stress was a factor in the pain I was experiencing in terms of my periods, too, throughout the month, actually, before, after, when you’re Ovulating all these random stuff as a woman. And so when I also changed my lifestyle, then at least business gave me the opportunity. At first, it was super intense, but then I was able to get a better handle of how I worked as a business Ownr, as an entrepreneur. It was just giving me the freedom of time to take care of myself. And that’s a thing that I will never give up, because I remember how bad it was before. So that’s why I say women can relate. If you’re struggling with any health related.
[00:43:45] Calan Breckon: Challenge, I can relate 100%.
[00:43:48] Yamila Franco: And then for you? Yeah.
[00:43:49] Calan Breckon: Even though I’m not a woman, but my physical invisible disability, I would be crippled on the floor, just crying for hours, not being able to change anything, and I’m still a medical mystery. Like, ten years later, doctors still have no idea what’s technically wrong with me. I’m technically medically fine, but it’s not stress. It’s a whole long story. It’s a whole different podcast that I’ll have to do. But because of that, I was just like, I can’t get a normal job. I can’t get a job and then be like, hey, boss, I can’t show up today because I’m dying in my bed, or all these other factors. It’s like, I need to be able to be malleable and movable and on the fly, be like, hey, I have one client today, okay? I can ask them if they can move it to another day and just apologize, and that’s okay, because it’s just, like, an hour or whatever. But yeah, no, I don’t have those options, and I still don’t. So it’s like, no, I got to make my job work for me.
[00:44:40] Yamila Franco: It’s true. And I’ll say, I know I only said women can relate, but I’ll say anybody who experiences some form of physical challenges or any disability, like you said, they can relate. So I use the example of my period, but anything that interferes with that. So that was a big thing that pushed me, and I was like, I just need to learn how to make money in different ways that can give me the time if I needed it.
[00:45:04] Calan Breckon: Exactly right. And this is why I want to build my agency with other people.
I’m going to start working with the IWSCC here in Canada to find people who are in this world who suffer from the same things, because I will understand that from them if they come to me and they say, hey, I had this today, but I can’t do it because of this. Cool. Let’s find somebody else on the team who can take that over but then have more of that anyways. There’s a whole thing. All right? We could go on forever and ever and ever. I want to roll this together for everybody. Where can people find out more about you and the company? Is there a website? I already have the Instagram and the email we’ll get in the show notes. But what’s the website people can go to?
[00:45:50] Yamila Franco: Yes, I think I can actually share with you. So you keep it, but it’s called Worldsystembuilder.com. There you can see systembuilderbuilder. Yeah, and then I know you’ll share it, but then people can find out about our workshops. It’s just a general website for everyone. That’s part of our community, actually. So if people want to connect with me directly, though, they would have to just reach out to one of my personal channels LinkedIn. I’ll add it in just because I also got now I’m more in tune with updating my LinkedIn and connecting with people there.
So I’ll be sharing more on LinkedIn and Instagram so people can find what we’re doing on that side.
[00:46:30] Calan Breckon: Amazing. Perfect. Awesome. All right, I’ll make sure all that stuff is in the show notes. Yamila. This has been such a lovely conversation. Thank you so much for joining me today. It was absolutely magical. And I hope that people take away from this the importance of getting their finances together and that it doesn’t need to be scary. And if you start now, it’s just how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Just start taking those little bites and finding out those little things one at a time.
[00:46:57] Yamila Franco: Awesome. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great to connect as well. I hope people find value from this. Even if you’re I would say, if you don’t want to know about finances, but you’re a new entrepreneur and you’re like or somebody who wants to go into business, just reach out to me, because I will be happy. To just have a conversation, share more of my experiences, maybe connect you with people that can help you better than I can as well.
[00:47:18] Calan Breckon: Amazing. Awesome. Well, thank you, so much. Ciao.
[00:47:22] Yamila Franco: Bye.
[00:47:24] Calan Breckon: I love how many just amazing golden nuggets that were in this episode with Amela. Financial literacy doesn’t need to be this big daunting thing. You can just go one little step at a time. And I know that it can be scary, but if you just do it one step at a time, eventually you will get there. For me, I was absolutely terrified of it, and it made a world of difference once I met my mentor and she started helping me figure things out one step at a time. We started with things like QuickBooks and understanding finances. Now we meet once a month, and it is absolutely life changing.
I want to thank you again for tuning in today. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button, and if you really like today’s episode I would love a star rating from you.
The Business Gay podcast is written, produced, and edited by me. Calan Breckon, and if you’re looking to get a free SEO website audit, you can head on over to CalanBreckon.com/audit and set one up with me. Or you can click the link in the show notes. That’s it for today.
Peace, Love, Rainbows.